Look closer • Defining Homes

Buyers and owners alike can always find hidden discounts

By M. M. Adjarian

These days, there’s no denying that anyone who owns, sells or buys property is concerned with the bottom line. With liquidity in short supply and loans more difficult to secure, homeowners and homebuyers are looking for ways to get the most and best for their money. Besides, who doesn’t like a good deal?

With his experience as a Dallas Realtor, Rogers Healy of Rogers Healy and Associates Residential Real Estate, knows what to look for regarding money-saving opportunities for people standing on either side of the property-owning fence.

If a property owner is specifically renovating to sell, taking care of electrical, plumbing, roofing, foundation and window issues should be at the top of any to-do list.

“It’s the stuff that a homebuyer’s going to ask for when they get the house under contract,” says Healy.

Healy advises to do research on how much projects will cost and then to get bids from contractors.

“In the economy that we’re in, people are definitely willing to work for less,” he says.

Just don’t limit searches for bids to the newspapers and telephone book. Consider a modern approach. Healy suggests that social networking is a reliable way to go with the search. Plus, feedback is easily found.

“I think you can catch some great deals on Facebook fan pages and on Twitter as well,” Healy says. “That and also skimming the paper. Places like Home Depot and Lowe’s will compete against each other for your business, meaning they will want you to come to their store for the better deal.”

Realty offices are a surprising resource. After buying your home,  the affair, with your agent doesn’t stop there. Agents and firms can also provide homeowners the names of vendors specializing in renovation materials and services.

Healy’s own firm has a service provider list “of at least three people for everything from aquarium installation to air duct cleaning” that it shares with clients and non-clients alike. The one word of caution Healy has for home renovators is that a project could run double the expected price tag.

“Prepare for it to cost more money than you think,” he says.

Financial flexibility is crucial for those selling their home. Properties stay on the market longer due to the economic situation and seasonal fluctuations. These conditions are creating possibilities for property discounts that come from homeowners willing to sell for a lesser price.

One option would allow the seller to finance a home purchase. Another, which is becoming increasingly popular, is leasing to own the property.

“People who maybe have been burned or don’t have great credit or don’t have a huge amount of liquidity can get on a contract and then have an extended option period which is the lease,” Healy explains. “At the end of the lease, they have the option to apply a percentage of the money they’ve paid as rent as a down payment and purchase the property.”

Neither method of financing provides buyers with discounts, but  offer possibilities for home ownership to more people.

Affordable options and breaks are also offered to veterans, individuals who have owned property for two or more years and first-time buyers.
Or you could just be in the right job at the right time.

“A couple of banks I know of are doing creative financing if the buyer is a CPA, a dentist, an accountant or an attorney,” Healy adds.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of Defining Homes Magazine October 8, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

How do you ‘cure’ gay marriage? One NOM supporter suggests by executing gays

Maggie Gallagher has taken her hate on the road with the National Organization for Marriage’s “One Man, One Woman” bus tour this summer. But so far, it doesn’t seem to be generating much interest — at least not from the anti-gay-marriage movement. LGBT rights advocates do seem to be turning out in force to protest the tour most everywhere it stops.

For example, Bil Browning over at The Bilerico Project reports that when NOM stopped in Indianapolis for a rally on Monday, July 26, there were only about 40 anti-gay-marriage folks there. And at least a quarter of those were tour staff members.

Those who showed up to protest the NOM’ers, on the other hand, numbered about 250, Browning said.

But here is the guy at the Indianapolis rally who’s getting the most attention: Larry Adams, who was holding a sign quoting verses in Leviticus saying that any man who has sex with another man should be put to death, and including a drawing of two nooses.

A young woman with the Courage Campaign interviews Adams on camera, posted below, and you can watch the video and see for yourself what he has to say. You’ll also notice that even though Adams is there in support of NOM, NOM really isn’t interested in having his support. At least not publicly.

At least three people interrupt the interview to try and either stop it altogether or to at least distance NOM from Adams and his message. One of the NOM guys tells Adams “we don’t want anything inflammatory” and “we’re here in love.” Adams assures him that he is on NOM’s side.

But at the same time, NOM is careful not to try and run off the Courage Campaign tour trackers. They obviously don’t want a repeat of what happened at the NOM tour stop in Maryland, where NOM official Brian Brown got police to remove a videographer from the Courage Campaign, threatening to have the cameraman arrested if he didn’t leave.

Of course, instead of Larry Adams and his signs advocating murder, the problem at the Maryland rally was the REALLY small crowd. Guess Brown didn’t want anybody documenting just how small the crowd was.

You can read about that incident and see video footage and photos here.

OK, now watch this video from NOM’s site, with what they call “truly shocking” footage of aggressive LGBT protestors “storming” their podium and bullying and intimidating a woman nursing her baby.

OK, I did see the one guy “storming” the podium. One guy. And I did see the nursing mother surrounded by her other children sitting at the back of the rally. But I never saw anybody messing with her. What was VERY obvious was the fact that the LGBT civil rights supporters FAR outweighed the NOM ralliers. Even in NOM’s own video.

—  admin