Because He Lives...He has blessed me!

Because He Lives...He has blessed me!
My first Grand Blessings

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How great is our God

                                          * * *
How great is our God

You may know the Chris Tomlin song How Great is Our God. The one with the chorus that goes

 “How great is our God, sing with me,

How great is our God, and all will see,

How great is our God”

But how will the dying, lost world see if we do all our singing in Churches, in worship venues? Time spent in corporate worship isn’t going to result in many people
seeing how great God is. It is when we go out of the worship venue that the
non-Christians see us. It is then that we can show them how great God is. We
need to be ‘singing’ with our lives outside the worship venue. We need to let
joy spill out in indiscriminate acts of kindness in our everyday life. We need
to show love to the broken, the hurting, the weeping, the looked down upon, the
rejects, the oppressed, the sick, the outcasts. If our times of cooperate
worship doesn’t result in that pouring out in our lives it is just empty noise.
It is worthless. We have wasted our time. Non-Christians aren’t going to see
how great God is, and God already knows how great He is. He doesn’t need us to
tell him, he needs us to show the world. In Amos 5:23-24 God makes it very
clear that worship that is pleasing to Him isn’t singing the right words, but
doing the right things:

“Away with the noise of your songs!
       I will not listen to the music of your harps.

 But let justice roll on like a river,
       righteousness like a never-failing stream!”

We need to worship with our lives, with actions speaking louder than words, with love for God and all his creation. We need to
let our praise be genuine and be pouring out at all times and in all ways, not
just in standard worship in special venues. God isn’t just in the venue, He is
in the world. It is when we worship like out there, with our life song and not
just lip praises that all will see how great God is.

We can’t worship God in the building and then ignore Him as we walk out the door. (In Matthew 25 Jesus says that ‘whatever you
did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
' )We
can’t worship the homeless Son of Man on a Sunday and then walk past the
homeless in our day to day lives. (Matthew 8v20: Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
) We can’t tell God
we love Him, but then refuse to love his people. (1 John 3:16-18 tells us “This is how we know what love is: Jesus
Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our
brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but
has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us
not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

We know how great God is, and so does God. So rather than half heartedly telling Him how great He is again and again, it is time for us to show the world through our lives.
Aaron Boyd from Bluetree once said “Songs don’t change the world, people do.”
We need to be people who don’t just sing the songs, but live the life. Then all
will see how great is our God!

My Sunday School lesson was on Amos this morning and I had never really read about him before. I googled him this afternoon and found this. I think it is the perfect paraphrase or what God meant for us to get out of it!!! I copied and pasted this from a Max Lucado devotion. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is a day that should be sad for me. My Daddy died when I was 8 years old. He committed suicide. I have been told that he had an injury from the Korean War that left him mentally incapacitated at times. He also had alot of sadness in his life. He chose to end his life. I wish that he hadn't. There have been so many times in my life that I could have used his shoulder to cry on, or celebrate with. So many times that I needed him to be in my life.

I did however have a wonderful step father. He did the best he could. He was my friend. I could not have picked a better 2nd choice. I lost him when I was 25. He died from lung cancer. I hate cigarettes. He was always around when I needed a friend and a father figure. But he was not my daddy.

Daddy's have a special role in a girl's life. Just a man to wrap his big strong arms around you and make you feel safe. I never had that. A man to protect you from big dogs and bad boys. I never had that. A man to walk you down the aisle to get married and care enough to make sure the man he was giving you to was the right guy. I never had that.  A man to be there when your children were born and to cry because he too, loved them so much. I never had that. A man to be there to pat your head when your heart was broken and let you know the most important man loves you enough to stick around. I never had that either.

But I do know that, it was his loss. He missed so many wonderful times and people that he was responsible for. I did get to hang around to love them for him. I thank him for the life he gave me and I do know that he loved me more than life. I am just so sorry that he did not have someone to shake him and make him stick around. Life is worth living...for those we love and for those we are going to love that we don't even know yet.

So, Thank you my Heavenly Father, for showing me Your love. It is everlasting and will never disappear. If not for You, I would never have made it through some of things that have come my way. You have used them to make me strong. You have shown me that through whatever comes along, that the life You have given me is worth living. Because You have been with me all along, today is not sad for me. I have been very blessed by everyone you have sent into my life. If my Daddy had not come to be with you, I would never have had Trey and Stacey. I can not imagine life without them. I adore them and all they have brought into my life. Because of that decision I have Brennan, Nate, and Charlie, not to mention Larry and Julie. Thank you for all you have given me in place of my Daddy. Romans 8:28 says,"All things work together for good for those who love the Lord." I do, and it has. Everything. Praise You.

 I love you, Lord Jesus. Thank you for wonderful memories of two daddies, my daddy and Hugh.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who was Mary Magdalene?

 Who was Mary Magdalene? There are just some things we are not supposed to know all of the answers too. There are things that God does not reveal all the details about. Mary Magdalene is one of them. There are many opinions of exactly who Mary Magdalene is.
Mary of Magda, Mary of Bethany, The woman at the well, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, the woman that washed the feet of Jesus and anointed with oil, at the home of Martha and Lazarus. There are also many non-Biblical opinions about her. I choose not to go there. If it isn’t in God’s word, I find it unimportant.
But does it really matter? What God wants us to see is her gratefulness for being healed, her faith, her dedication, her love.
She is brave, loyal to the bitter end, and an undying friend.
The male disciples have run, scattered, fled. But Mary Madalene was at the foot of the cross. Mary Magdalene stood below the cross where Jesus was nailed. She must have seen his agony. She must have seen Jesus ask forgiveness for the people doing these terrible things to Him. I bet she was not surprised. Mary Magdalene had seen Jesus in action. She knew, first- hand how He took a sinner, a person with seven bad things wrong with her and made her his friend. We don’t know what the seven things were, we just know she was healed of seven demons. She was the first person to the tomb the next morning after the crucifiction. She was there when no one else would be seen as a friend of Jesus.
Some commentaries I read, suggested that Mary Madgalene is Martha and Lazerus’ sister, Mary. If so, then she had fresh in her mind that Jesus had raised her brother out of a tomb. She probably had at least a suspicion that Jesus could, maybe, just do the same. As far as we know Lazarus was the only other person that was resurrected after being dead, wrapped in burial cloths, anointed with burial herbs and oils, and left for dead for several days. AND, Jesus brought him back by calling Lazerus to come forth. She went back to the tomb the next morning after Jesus’ burial while it was still dark. She had probably been up all night, not being able to sleep, grieving. She wanted to get to the tomb early. Perhaps to just sit and talk to Jesus, pray, or maybe, just by a miracle, He was risen…. Jesus must have really cared about Mary Magdelene, even loved her. He chose her to reveal Himself to first, after His resurrection.
He could have appeared in the room where all the male disciples were. He could have shown Himself to Pilate, wouldn’t that have caused Pilate a scare? But, no, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene. At first, she did not know who He was. She thought He was the gardener. We don’t know why she did not recognize Him, but as soon as He spoke her name, she grabbed Him, and said “Rabboni”, Teacher!!! She was so excited to see Him, He had to tell her to let go. He wanted her to see Him as He was. He had changed. She had changed. Everything was different, she did not recognize Him by looking at Him, but in her heart she knew Him by His voice. Same as us. We might not recognize Him by seeing Him on the street, but as soon as He speaks to our heart, we know it is Him.
Jesus told her to go tell the others. She did not have to think about it one second. She never had the thought, “They will think I am crazy, they will think I am possessed again”. She did not care, she had seen Jesus, God’s Son, risen from the dead, just like He said.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My God is An Awesome God!!

My God is an awesome God.

My God is an awesome God, He reigns over Heaven and Earth! I have experienced the person of God this week. I had the occassion to pray boldly before His throne and pester Him, and be persistent, and pretty much demand that He show me He is here!!! I was halfway afraid He would not show up. But my God did!!!!! He answered my prayer exactly as I asked He answer it with no swaying right or left!!!!! I wanted to run through the streets and tell everyone I know, "Do you know my God? He is real, He is here!!! I am so excited that I know He engages with me in conversation!!! He heard me, He answered me, and He spoke to my heart! He said to me, "I have shown myself to you, now trust Me in whatever comes, You know I am here. I am."
Wow!!! Now, I have the job of sharing this! People will be annoyed and think I am crazy, but I do not care. I promised Him if He would show me He is here, that I would be a fool for Him. I will do whatever it is that He needs me to do.
God loves us. His whole goal was to have a relationship with us. He made man to engage with. He gave us the free will so that we could worship Him and Know Him because we want to. He wants us to choose to seek Him, to want to know who He is, He wants to walk with us daily, and be in control. Let Him. Your life will be full of wonder and blessing.
The Word says, "IF you abide (live) in Me, and My Word Abides (lives, you study it and learn it) in you, you can ask whatever you want and I will do it". It is a promise. But the condition is that we seek Him, really seek Him and learn His word and get it in us. We have to eat His word, digest it and let it nourish our souls.
Just get started. Once you start you will never get enough. I promise.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Assignments for Sellers From Listing Agent....ME!

I have two Rome homes for sale that are almost ready to go on the market. One Seller is a previous client, so she knew to expect "assignments" from me. The other Seller is a referral, so at our first meeting, I was faced with the difficult task of itemizing what they needed to do to prepare their Rome home for sale: paint this, re-carpet that.preparing Tulsa home for sale
Unless impossible from a financial standpoint, I like to get my Rome home for sale move-in ready. The inventory of homes is so high that Buyers will not spend a minute considering a home that has dingy carpet, hot pink walls or outdated curtains. When Buyers walk into your home, you want them to say, "Oh my gosh, this is perfect and I don't need to do a thing!"  Your Rome home for sale must "WOW" the Buyers in the first ten seconds, which is why your front lawn/garden and entry way are critical.
 Home Buyers also must see themselves living in your home. They must feel comfortable that their furniture will fit in your living and dining rooms and that your closets are large enough for their home. Realtors don't ask you to empty 40% of your closets because we think you have nothing better to do - if your closet is crammed, the Buyer will think that there is not possibly enough room for their clothes. If your kitchen counters are cluttered with canisters, spices, toasters and mixers, Buyers will think that there is not enough counter space for them to prepare dinner.
Hiring a home stager for a consultation can pay off in the long run. We know that your favorite 20 year-old recliner is exactly where you want it to watch television, but is it making the room appear crowded? The National Association of Realtors reports that staged homes bring almost 7% more in price than homes that were not staged. So, while your furniture is arranged the way you want to LIVE, it may not be arranged in the best manner to attract a Buyer. I can help you with that also.
Yes, it's an inconvenience to store that toaster if you are use to keeping it out, but wouldn't you store it if it would decrease your days on market and increase the price you could get for your home? So, consult with your Realtor about what you need to do to prepare your home for market. Typically, fresh paint and new flooring will be the least expensive improvements that will immediately increase the value of your home.
Remember that in addition to selling homes, we work with Buyers. So, we know what turns Buyers on and what turns them off. Get your Rome home for sale 100% ready to sell before your Realtor puts that sign in your yard!

Pessimistic Media Shut UP!

Members of the Media reporting on the housing market – would you shut the hell up?!!

Members of the Media reporting on the housing market – would you up?!!
Members of the Media reporting on the housing market are giving the public a very skewed view of the reality of our real estate market. It may be a “Buyers Market” in some areas and a “Sellers Market” in another. While home prices have declined in some markets, they are completely stable in other areas.
Don't believe all that you hear in the news!
It’s my job to educate my clients in my geographic area and it’s YOUR job to report the news accurately. You can’t talk for five minutes about how HORRIBLE the housing market is, then close with a ten-second disclaimer that “local markets vary.”
How has your irresponsible reporting affected my job? My Rome home Buyer considered putting an offer on a home that he loves five weeks ago, but after hearing YOUR report, he decided to wait a little longer – just in case we “hadn’t hit bottom yet.” He still wants to offer 15% below list price because he HEARD you say that no one should pay full price in “this market.” In the meantime, he’s lost over $10,000 due to the increase in interest rates in the last five weeks.
Members of the Media reporting on the housing market – would you shut up?!!
And my home Seller received two offers this week on her property – both well below asking price. Thankfully, she doesn’t HAVE to sell and has the luxury of waiting on an educated Buyer to make an offer on her Rome home for sale.
So, members of the media reporting on the housing market, why don’t you PREFACE your reports that markets differ geographically? And while you’re at it, why don’t you report on some of the areas of the country that are on stable footing? In other words, do your job and let me do mine!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things to Consider When Buying Your Home!


Buying a home is not a discrete event; it's a process - a sequence of events that happens over time, sometimes over as long as several months or even years!  While general guides to buying a home are a dime a dozen, I'm excited to share with you some insider secrets you may not have heard elsewhere - one for each stage involved in buying a home. Here's to helping you make the best decisions at every phase of your homebuying process!

Stage One: Deciding Whether It's The Right Time to Buy. 
Insider Secret: The market is the least important factor you should consider when deciding whether and when to buy a home.
Why: Everyone knows affordability is at an all-time high.  Home prices are low, and so are interest rates. But trying to time the market is a fool's errand; many who get caught up in that game of trying to make sure they buy at the absolute bottom will end up losing out on very, very favorable conditions.

Beyond that, the most important considerations when deciding whether and when you should buy a home are personal, not market driven. On today's market, it only makes sense to buy a place if it's going to be sustainable and work for you for at least the next 4-5 years [if your town's real estate market has been fairly recession-proof] or 7-10 years [if the housing/foreclosure crisis has hit your area pretty hard].

Against this "smart holding period" backdrop, smart buyers decide to buy when it makes sense for:
  • their life plans (i.e., they are comfortable making the commitment to live in the same town, and the commitment to )
  • their family plans (i.e., whether they plan to get married, have children or empty their nest in the time they plan to own the home - and the implications of these plans on their space needs and location priorities)
  • their career plans (including, but not limited to: whether they have job or income security, whether they feel they will be working in the same area for the foreseeable future, and whether they want to work less or start their own business in the months or years to come)
  • their financial plans (including foreseeable changes in income and expenses, e.g., kids going to college or making partner at the firm).

Stage Two: Getting Pre-Approved.
Insider Secret: Working with a mortgage broker referred by your real estate broker or agent may save you money.
Why: Bolstered by the real-life stories of a couple of bad apples, TV pundits and some consumer advocates have spun the tale of a real estate industry cartel, whereby sinister agents hook unsuspecting buyers up with shady mortgage brokers, who place them in crappy loans and kick back some bucks to the agent. I'm here to tell you, in my experience, the opposite is true the vast majority of the time. 

When you work with a mortgage broker who has a strong track record of helping your real estate agent's clients out, you end up in a best of all worlds situation, nine times out of ten. First off, your agent will take you much more seriously once a mortgage broker they know and trust has run your credit, checked your income and approved you for a loan, as well as communicated with your real estate pro about your qualifications and what you can afford.  Secondly, your agent can help you communicate with your mortgage broker, sometimes helping get past appraisal glitches or facilitating other workarounds, as they come up. Third, you get the assurance of working with a mortgage pro who has been vetted and vouched for by someone you not only trust, but someone who can verify that the mortgage broker has the ability to get transactions closed in the timely manner required of today's real estate sales contract.  Otherwise, you may end up working with a competent mortgage broker who has a great track record when it comes to refinancing, but can't keep up with the pace and common obstacles to getting a home financed in the context of a sale.

On top of that, sometimes the relationship can help you negotiate out of a couple of line item loan fees (if your particular mortgage rep has the power to get them down at all), if push comes to shove and cash is tight to close the deal.  Assuming you are working with a real estate pro you really trust, working with a mortgage broker they trust can save you, rather than cost you, money.

Stage Three: House Hunting
Insider Secret: "Distressed" doesn't always equal "discounted" - in some cases, a "regular" sale can be a deeper deal.
Why: Short sales and foreclosures have grown to comprise roughly 30 percent of the homes sold on today's market, even higher in some areas. The average sale price of foreclosed homes was 32% lower than the average sale price of non-foreclosed homes, at last count. However, it's not always the case that foreclosed homes or short sales - homes which are being sold for less than what the seller owes on their mortgage(s) - offer the buyer a fabulous discount. 

Mortgage servicers and asset managers who make decisions about distressed properties are on the hook to their investors to recoup as close as possible to the current fair market value of every home they sell. Some banks even have a general rule of rejecting offers more than 10 percent or so below the home's list price, preferring instead to reduce the price by that amount and put the home back on the open market to see if any new buyers are activated by the price reduction to make an offer better than the lowball offer that was initially put on the table.  On short sales, the bank is trying to get as close as possible to recovering what the seller owes - and may or may not be concerned with what the fair market value of the home is. (Nine times out of ten, there will be a big gap between fair market value and the seller's outstanding mortgage balance. If there wasn't, the seller wouldn't need to do a short sale!)

With so many distressed properties and homes with depressed values on the market, in many areas, the individual, non-distressed home sellers who are putting their homes up for sale right now are those who are very motivated to sell. Further, they are more likely to be flexible with you on everything that is negotiable, from contingency and escrow periods, to price, to repairs and included items.

Also, individual sellers can be emotionally motivated to sell to move on with their lives, get into their bigger (or smaller) house, or move on to their next job; banks, on the other hand, aren't people (!), so lack that emotional sense of urgency to get the properties sold, no matter how urgently you may think they should be trying to get rid of the foreclosed properties they own. (If you've heard the old advice that banks don't want to be in the home-owning business, I can tell you this. That is true, in a very general sense, but now they are and will be - for a long time to come. They have no emotions, have no urgent need to sell or move, and are not willing to give houses away at pennies on the dollar to get out of it, no matter what those infomercial folks say.) 

Long story short: you can sometimes negotiate a better deal with an individual seller on a "regular" sale than with a bank on a distressed home sale. So, don't limit your house hunt to foreclosures and short sales, if you're looking for a good deal on your home.

Stage Four: Negotiations
Insider Secret: Your family and friends can cause you to lose your dream home.
Why: With so much information on the web and the news every day about the recession and the buyer's market, everyone seems to be an armchair economist/real estate savant.  But much of that news is national and based on medians, averages and trends.  That is, it might not necessarily apply to every home on the market in every city, and more importantly, it might have nothing to do with "your" particular home.

When I was a little girl, my best friend's grandfather would very carefully hand each of us a quarter, always doling it out with the sage admonition: "Don't spend it all in one place." We'd always smile, look at each other, then go ask our Moms for ten bucks apiece.  In the same vein, people who are not currently in the market for a home have no idea what an individual home should "go for." If you tell your parents, church pals, or colleagues at work the blow-by-blow details of your offer, counteroffers, etc., you should expect to hear things like, "Oh, you're paying way too much!", "I think you should push them down another $10K," or "You know, you're in a better bargaining position than that." And sometimes, taking that sort of advice will end up blowing your deal.  Work with your trusty real estate broker or agent to develop a smart strategy - with their experience in your local market - about what price and terms to offer.  Then keep working with them to manage and maintain realistic expectations as you proceed through negotiating the contract to buy your home.

Stage Five: Escrow, Inspections and Underwriting
Insider Secret: It's critical that you attend your home inspections.
Why: When it comes to inspections, many first-time buyers expect that a home will either pass or fail.  Except in a few jurisdictions where the government imposes certain condition requirements for a home to be sold, the home inspection is more about educating you, the buyer, as to the details and nuances of the home's condition than about seeing if the place hits a particular target for "good" or "bad" condition. 

Home inspectors don't just look for things that need fixing, they also look to understand the home's systems and features, as well as to point out areas that will require your ongoing maintenance, highlight emergency shutoffs and other need-to-knows, and indicating where you should have specialists further inspect items of concern. Many home inspectors create vivid, detailed electronic reports - some, complete with color photos. But that's not enough!

If you're physically onsite at the home during the inspections, the inspector can physically show you the shutoffs for water, gas and electric - and how to use them.  They can also point out, in person, any things that need repair, and give you some tips for maintaining the place in tip-top shape.  Also, in many states, the general home inspector is legally prohibited (vs. the pest, roof or other "specialty" inspectors) from issuing a written quote or bid for repairs, to avoid a conflict of interest where they'd try to fabricate flaws in the home to get the repair job. However, the repair costs are one of the most important things a smart buyer wants to know!

If you show up, many inspectors will give you a rough range it would cost you to do various repairs, or otherwise indicate to you whether the needed repairs are "big deal" or "$10 home improvement store" fixes; some will even give you a few references to contractors they trust. 

All around, you'll get much more of the detailed information you need to know whether and how to move forward with the transaction if you should up in person to the home inspections, rather than just waiting for a copy of the report to come to your email.


Friday, February 18, 2011

The Results Are In!!!!

The Results Are In!
HomeGain surveyed about 600 real estate agents from all around the country to determine the top relatively low cost, do-it-yourself  home improvements for homeowners getting their house ready to sell. (low-cost is defined as under $5,000).
In my opinion, a home is properly "staged" when all of these items have been addressed, but for the purpose of this survey, it is given its own category and ranks #3. The top five home improvements that Realtors nationwide are recommending (based on those that offer the best return on investment) inlcude:

   1. Cleaning and de-cluttering
   2. Lightening and brightening
   3. Home staging
   4. Landscaping
   5. Repair Electrical or Plumbing


Cleaning and de-cluttering is still the most frequently suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2003).  This very low cost improvement was recommended by 99% of Realtors and usually costs less than $300.  When cleaning and de-cluttering is done right, real estate experts estimate a return of nearly $2,000 to the home's sale price.  That's a 586% return on investment! 
Check out the graph below to the return for all the other improvements:
home gain survey 2011
(reprinted with permission)
"Sellers need to prepare their homes for sale before putting them on the market," said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager at HomeGain.  "Homes that have initial appeal have a better shot at selling faster and closer to the asking price than homes rushed to the market with no improvements." 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I am not implying . . . I'm just saying.....

Down Payment Assistance! Get It Before They Run Out!

Free Money!

Floyd County, Georgia has money for assisting down payments and closing costs. You may qualify for up to $8500 from the State. There are certain standards you must meet, but a great chance for some people to be able to get their own home. If you stay in the house for at least 6 years you are forgiven the debt. It is not a loan that you make payments on monthly or ever, unless you sell before 6 years. Call me and I will give you the details. There are limits on income and you can not have owned a home in the last 5 years. You can call me at Hardy Realty or my cell.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When Opportunity Knocks. . . Make Sure Karen Jordan is There to Open Your Door!

Do you listen to your agent?

 Did you hire them to do a service for you?

 If so, then listen to them. If you hire an agent with professional real estate experience, they will tell you their professional opinion, backed up by facts. A professional does not always tell you what you WANT to hear. They give you facts, backed by data to prove the facts. They will tell you the price your property needs to be in order to sell, not to sit on the market for eons. The way they will be able to do that is to compare your property with like, similar property that is on the market and properties that have sold recently.

Comparables are:
  •  neighborhood
  • square footage
  • amenities
  • condition and maintenance upkeep
We can not go by what you paid for the property or how much you have in your property. In this market, it is irrelevant. We wish everyone could make money on their property, especially us. But all of us are in the same bag. Real Estate prices are just down from what they were 3 years ago. We are all sad about it, but it is just the way it is.

If you don't have to sell your home today, then you may want to reconsider putting it on the market, unless you are going to buy a property to replace it. It is really all a wash. If you sell yours for less, just remember you are going to pay less for the property you replace it with. Until there are less houses on the market and more buyers then it will be a buyer's market. That means the buyer has the advantage in this market. So if you have your home on the market, consider any offer you may receive on your property. If it is anywhere near what you can live with, I would advise you to consider the offer. May be far between the next offer.

Don't shop around for an agent that will just tell you what you want to hear. You want an agent that understands the market, and knows how to encourage the buyers that are out shopping for property. You want an agent that goes after the buyers and does not wait on them to happen upon your home. You want an agent that is creative and aggressive. There are new and old agents that will do anything to list your house, but do they know how to sell it? You want experience.

I have sellers that simply will not listen, they think they have time to wait. That is fine, but the service I offer is experience. I know how, but sellers have to listen. Consider what we professionals are telling you to do. If your home is being shown, and no offers, that means that there are many other comparable homes for less money in better condition that they can buy. It is a buyers market. We need to go get the buyers. Listen to me!!!!

1. Great price
2. Great condition
3. As few negatives as possible for buyers to see
4. Spit shine clean!!!!!!!!
5. Clean up your yard!

Who wants to buy a dirty house that has no maintenance on it? Just more for them to do when they buy it, if they even consider it!!!! You have to create the home that every one envies.

If you wonder what needs to be done to help you sell, call me and I will come over and give you some advice. Today is the day to get your property to be the one all the buyers want!!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Perfect Pound Cake by Karen, aka Mom

3 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 baking soda
1 cup butter , softened
1 8oz container of sour cream, I use low fat
6 large eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice or a 1/2 tsp almond flavoring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

preheat oven to 325 degrees
place first 9 ingredients in a 4 qt mixing bowl. Beat a low speed with
mixer for 1 minute until all mixed, scraping sides. Beat a medium speed
for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube
pan. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick
inserted in the center comes out clean. Cook cake in pan for 10
minutes. remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

I cook a little less than 1.5 hours, because I like it to be kind of
gooey inside. I think I cook it 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stick a
toothpick in it and see if it comes out ok. It is yummy..... Love Mom.

Home Ownership Matters!

     Some people say we shouldn't encourage home ownership because some people shouldn't own homes. That belief misrepresents reality. While I agree that not everyone who wants to buy is financially ready, this hardly means we should discourage ownership for all. The median net worth of home-owning families is more than $200,000 compared with about $5000 for families who rent, according to the most recent data available from the Federal Reserve. Families that work hard to get on the housing ladder and begin building equity can, in the long run, be more self-reliant than those who don't take that step. Isn't that a worthy justification for government incentives, such as the mortgage interest deduction and capital gains exemption?
    Home ownership has been part of the American experience since the very first breath of the Republic. When Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence, he wrote that "all men are created  equal ... with certain inalienable rights, among those these "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Those rights were broadened from the writings of John Locke, whose work Jefferson admired. Locke's belief that government had a duty to protect citizens' "life, liberty, and property" helped inspire the American Revolution. Today, what we need to do as a nation is connect with our truth and our tradition: Home ownership matters.

Taken from Realtor Magazine. February 2011

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What About Appliances?


What Appliances to Leave  

Before listing your home for sale, one important decision needs to be made concerning what appliances will stay with the home.  It goes without saying that 'built in appliances' like dishwashers and trash compactors will remain with the home.
A little input on the subject of leaving appliances:
1. Do not leave 'old' appliances that have are near the end of their useful life.  They will just become a problem for the buyers.
2. Do not expect 'included appliances' to increase the value of your home.
3. Do not let a request for an appliance to be included become a 'deal killer'.  If the price offered is right, let go of the appliances a buyer requests to remain.
4. If you are including appliance, include the warranties if you have one.
5. Do organize and leave all 'owners manuals' for the buyers and if your have parts for any appliance, identify  them and leave them for the new owners.  They will not do you any good.  The buyers will appreciate your efforts!
6.  Last but not least.  Make sure the movers do not pack the attachments for the central vacume!

Never Assume Your Friends Understand

A couple of nights ago, I was out for dinner with my girlfriends, and though the evening felt like a group hug for my soul, I also learned some important lessons about my business.
One baby shouting in another baby's ear.1. "I was afraid to ask you to help me find a home because I know you're so busy and I didn't want to burden you."
What?!?  Oh for the love of Pete.  Have I really created the impression that I'm too busy to help out a friend who needs to find a new home?  Yikes, I guess I have.  First of all, I'm not too busy to help anyone.  Secondly, I'm NEVER too busy to help a friend.

Please friends understand I love you, and would NEVER want anyone else to help you find the most important investment you will ever make. I am NEVER too busy for you!!!!

I also want to say, I adore my friends, and what would I do without you? You know who you are....

Can you Buy a House After Having a Foreclosure on Your Property?

It's Been A Roller Coaster RideIf you are one of the millions of families that lost their home in the last couple of years to Foreclosure… you might think…
Been There – Done That
You might not want to own a home again!
But if you’re one of those folks who truly does want to purchase again, here’s some potentially good news.
USDA says that they will allow you to purchase a new home to owner occupy, after foreclosure if you’ve done the following things:
  • Wait 3 years from the date of the Foreclosure.
  • Re-establish Credit
  • Have Credit Scores that meet the guidelines (as of the date I am writing this, that means you need a 620 score.)
Here’s the other part… you need to DOCUMENT what happened, and why you ended up in a Foreclosure.
“FHA insured mortgages are generally not available to borrowers whose property was foreclosed on or given a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure within the previous three years. However, if the foreclosure of the borrower’s main residence was the result of extenuating circumstances, an exception may be granted if they have since established good credit…
This does not include the inability to sell a home when transferring from one area to another.”  So you MIGHT be able to buy after two years. 
My “real life” answer to this question is… in today’s credit environment, it’s going to be HARD to get a Bank to loan you money for a home if you had your home foreclosed upon less than 3 years ago.  I know what the guidelines say, but Bank’s do not have to follow guidelines set by FHA.
FHA does not say you have to have a 620 credit score, but there are VERY few lenders who will allow you to purchase a home without at least a 620 score!  There are some Banks that will not allow you to purchase with FHA if you have ANY lates on ANY accounts in the last 12 months!  That’s not an FHA guideline, that’s a BANK rule, so again – I’d say - you might still be forced to wait 3 years, and have all of your documentation in order!
These guidelines are different from the Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac Conventional Guidelines… And these foreclosure guidelines are changing OFTEN… so I would not rely soly on information you get from an online site. 
Call a loan officer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do Not Do These Things If You Are Thinking of Buying a House!!!

1.      Don't change your job before applying for a home loan.
Along with that, now is not the right time to become self-employed or quit your job. You want to show lenders stability, which means you'll be less likely to default on the loan.

2. Don't change banks.
Like your employment, you want your banking history to show stability.

3. Don't buy a car or truck or any other form of transportation that you have to finance.
Buying one increases your debt-to-income ratio and that's something loan officers don't want to see.

4. Don't buy furniture on credit before buying your house.
Like financing a car, charging big-ticket items increases your debt-to-income ratio and now is not the time.

5. Don't be late on your credit card payments or charge excessively.
You need a track record of responsibility and show that you can manage your money.

6. Don't make large deposits into your bank accounts.
Lenders like the money that will be your down payment to be sitting in your account for at least two months - what they call "seasoning" - so that the funds don't just appear out of the ether.

7. Don't lie on your loan application.
Sounds simple, right? But don't leave out any debts or liabilities you have or fudge your income. It's fraud.

8. Don't co-sign a loan for anyone.
Even if you're not the one making the payments on that loan, it increases your debt-to-income ratio.

9. Don't have inquiries made into your credit.
Looking for new credit translates into higher risk for lenders. If your inquiries are related to your mortgage search, it usually doesn't affect your credit score because the assumption is you're rate shopping. But opening credit accounts within a short period of time represents some risk and your credit could take a hit. It's probably not a huge factor in your calculating your ability to repay a loan but why take a chance at this juncture?

10. Don't spend your money for closing costs.
Part of the price of financing a loan is the closing costs and you'll likely have some responsibility for paying them. Make sure you have enough for your share of the obligation.

Sales Tax on Real Estate

Many people have asked me about the 3.8% sales tax on the sale of real estate that sneaked into the Health Care Bill. The rumor is that starting in 2012, anyone that sales their home will be charged a 3.8% tax off the top of the sales price. I heard it as well. I went snoping to see if I could find out the truth. I found this. I hope you will read the whole thing, then you will understand the truth of the situation. It is not as bad as we thought, but I still disagree with it. My stand is that our homes are ours. We worked hard to buy them, pay for them, keep them, and then live on the money later if we need to. Social Security can not take us into our retirement and keep us there in a lifestyle that is far above poverty. The equity we have worked for is ours. We payed taxes on the money we earned, payed for our houses with after tax money. Now they want that too! I will not go there with this. I just wanted to share the information I did find out. I am assuming that this is true. I will pass it to you. If I find out anything else I will pass it as well. This is the link to get it. Good Reading....

Karen Jordan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Requests for Referrals. Thanks, please read if you are my friend....

January 18, 2011

Dear Friend,

I hope your New Year has started well. I know that this coming year is going to be full of fun and happiness for us all. I know that you know the real estate business has been off, but I have decided to make this year different. I am going to start it off by asking for your help.

Real estate has always been a referral business. I am now, asking for your referrals of anyone you know that may be in the market to buy, sell, or rent a home, or commercial building. I have always relied on your referrals, but with the market being as it is, it is even more important to remind my friends that I am need of you sending me business. I ask you to think of me when you hear someone talking real estate. Give me a call or give them one of my cards and ask them to call me.

I have been in this industry for 28 years. I am a professional. I make it my business to be informed of the market and your interests. So you can assure I will take care of your referrals as if they are you.

Thanks so much for your help. The greatest compliment I can receive is your trust with your family and friends.


Karen McAlister Jordan
Hardy Realty

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have just been shocked by someone I love. They are about to handle something very tough. Why them, Lord? They are so in love with God. Why them? He is the one I look to, and now him. Why him?

I really believe that God is working in the world to wake us up!!!!! We just move in and out of days and nothing matters. Wake us up Lord. But why him?

Be with him O God. I believe that You are who You say You are. And I believe that You can do what You say You can do. So here we go!!!!

This is going to turn us upside down. Just use it Lord. Use it to show us Who You Are!!! I know that You can turn this town upside down. Now be with him, and keep him under the shadow of Your wings!!!! Give him the strength he needs to lead us in the days that he needs us to be there for him.

You know who I am talking about, God. Everyone else, just pray for someone I love very much. God will know who you are praying for. He is awesome like that.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I have been locked up in the house all day with 6 inches of snow outside. Hey! I live in Georgia. Where did all of this come from?First response is to freak out and be completely bored. But, after looking out and seeing how beautiful it is, I decided to accept the blessing God intended it to be. I have done my Bible Study program for Wednesday night. I enjoyed friends outside, and I enjoyed just being at home with Peter, which is rare. But then, I was hungry..... So I made some soup. It is very tasty. Just like Panera Bread's Chicken and Wild Rice soup. Try it, you will love it!!!

I thing tomorrow is going to be bad and icy, so now I will have something to warm up on the grill should our power go off. I don't know if I can stand too much more excitement!!!!

This makes me thankful to be a Southern girl. I want my Southern daughter to bring my southern grandchildren back down here where it is supposed to be warm. After all, this is an exception!!!

LORD, please give us some sunshine. I guess He is trying to get rid of some fleas and ticks outside. lol


1 1/3 cups wild rice
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
7 cups water
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
3/4 cup white wine

Cook the wild rice according to package directions, but remove from heat about 15 minutes before it's done. Drain the excess liquid, and set aside.
In a stock pot over high heat, combine the chicken and the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and tender. Remove chicken from the pot, and allow it to cool. Strain the broth from the pot, and reserve for later. When chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones, cut into bite size pieces, and reserve. Discard the fat and the bones.
In the same stock pot over medium heat, saute the celery and onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cover. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender. Return the broth to the stock pot, and add the partially cooked wild rice. Stir in the bouillon, white pepper and salt; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk, and continue cooking until mixture is bubbly and thick. Add some of the broth mixture to the milk mixture, continuing to stir, then stir all of the milk mixture into the broth mixture.
Mix in the reserved chicken meat and the white wine. Allow this to heat through for about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Play Smart, and You will WIN!

Interest Rates as of 1/5/11 are 4.75 for 30 years

If you were buying a $150,000 Home with a FHA loan this is what you would need!

  1. ME!
  2. Down Payment of 3.5%, which would be $5250, and can be a gift from someone.
  3. You can ask the seller to pay the closing costs which would be about $5000.00, that way you don’t have to come up with them.
  4. You need decent credit with a score of about 600.
  5. You need a job, or proof of income to be able to make payments.
  6. You should get a pre-qualification from a lender, to know what amount the lender would loan you based on your income and debt ratio.
  7. Your payments of principle and interest would be $782.48.
  8. You would have to add on around $150-$200 for taxes and insurance.

Interest Rates are on the way up! They higher they get, the higher the payments will Go! Prices for houses have never been so low, well not in a very long time.

A house that was valued at $200,000 5 years ago is now in the $150,000 range. Some of them, not all. Why would you wait? If you can get a great home, in a neighborhood that you love, don’t wait! Either it will be sold to someone with better insight, or it the interest rates will go up and not only will your payments be more, but you will pay thousands more over the life of the loan. Be smart! Play with the pros. Do not listen to the pessimistic people that drag everything down with them. In 5 years, you will be the one smiling….


2011, My Year To Be A Winner!!! Again!

It is a New Year, time for new attitudes and goals. I have to admit I had become a little pessimistic over the last year. The economy is down, people are out of work, and foreclosures have made prices fall like those black birds out of the sky! The media has had a hayday with all the negative talk they put out for people that don't know any better believe! Who wouldn't be pessimistic or down listening to all they have to say.

In spite of all the negative emotions and conditions going on in the world right now, I have decided to make 2011 the best year of my life! I am going to make my life better. You ask, "And, just how do you think you will do that?" Well, I will just share my thoughts with you. First of all, this past year has left me lots of time to myself. I have used that time to study God's Word, and become MUCH closer to Him and my relationship with the Creator of the Universe is now in order. (do you think He may have used this down time for me to see Who really has control over my life and circumstances?). That is the biggest blessing I have every received. So business down equals priorities in order. With that as a fact, now I can get to business with a new manager. God.

My time off has also shown me that I can do without so many material "things" that I thought I had to have to make me happy. But you know what? I do not need $100 jeans, or $1000 pocketbooks. Why did I ever think those could make me proud of who I am? In fact, I should be ashamed that I would consider those, when my friend from Indonesia's family eats a bowl of rice 3 times a day and feels satisfied? I can truthfully say, I am happy that the tough,( which are really full, compared to others in the world), have happened. I praise God for using this time to show me what and WHO is important in this world. I like Paul, have learned that I can be content with much or little. Things do not make my life.

Now don't get me wrong, I am an aggressive lady. I like to win. I like to be great at what I do, not just ordinary. So I will take all I have learned in the last year and put it to use. I will work harder this year to be successful, and to help my clients. I will set goals and work to achieve them. I will study successful people and use their secrets. I will devote my time designated for work to work smarter. I will win the game this year! So together with lesson learned from 2010, I WILL have a great 2011! Hope you do too.