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Archive for the ‘FYI’ Category

Home “Buyer’s” Beware Part III


It’s A Racket!

If you remember the housing bubble, then you should remember when it burst.  Well get ready for the Housing Bubble Burst Part II

The Property

This is not for the property investor/flipper.  It is intended for the first time home buyer.  The buyer that is intending to make a commitment, an investment and intends to live in their home for the rest of their lives. 

This is an investment for a life time, covering up to 30 years.   You want to take your time, this is a commitment second only to marriage.   You want to look, get the feel of and imagine the potential.    You want a good location, well built and strategically appointed rooms, bathrooms and windows.    Don’t allow you agent to down play the flaws.  here are just a few things to look for.   broken or cracked windows, lose hinges on doors and cabinets,  lumps in carpet, uneven floors (bring a basketball or soccer ball),  counter tops out of level,  check above the corners of windows, if the house has settled to much there will be a crease on either or both sides.  The entry doors will also reveal this defect. 

Check the driveway, if it is cracked, it’s only going to get worse.   check for discoloration in the ceiling, this will sometime reveal a leaky roof.   Use a circuit tester to test the wiring. If it has a three prong outlet it should be grounded.   Insure that the wiring is done correctly on each outlet in every room.   Be vigilant on renovations.  Most garages will have gas furnaces and water heaters.    If a garage has been made into a bedroom or family room, insure that any gas lines has been totally removed.   some renovators will only cap off the gas lines which could result in future problem leaks.  If a home has been switch from gas to electric, insure that the gas has been capped outside at the meter. 

Flipped houses

These houses are bought at auction for as little as $10,000 and sold a few months later for upwards of $200,000 with little more than carpet,  paint, appliances and maybe some carpentry work.    These houses are listed with the highlighted attribute “New Carpet, cabinets, appliances, paint inside and out.”   As with anything, you are going to have the can-do’s  and also the can’t even if they tried.    Be careful with these properties.  They are  more of a cover up than a fix up.     Mildew is sometime covered up with paint only to be revealed in a few months.   squeaking floors are repaired by drilling in screws to quiet the squeak.   Most of the time it will make the floor even.  wear soft bottom shoes to get the feel of the floor.  

foreclosed home

For what ever reason the home owner no longer was able or wanted to continue living or paying for the house.   In many cases they were over extended from the beginning by over paying for the home.    You want to be able to make the payments, maintain and make improvements over time.  If all you can do is make the payments, the property would soon result into blight.   Usually sold as-is.

Short Sale

This home has more owed on it than it is worth.   This type of sale will require a third party approval and sometimes more.  Often times it will also have a second or even a third mortgage.  It will usually take longer to close on a   sale of this nature.  It is not worth the hassle.  Usually sold as-is and not worth the asking price and will have to be approved by all parties involved and it only takes one disapproval to squash the deal.   This hassle is not worth it….Run!!!

The bait Homes

These homes are put on the market solely to stimulate the market and flush out any potential buyers.  These homes are usually under priced and in immaculate well kept condition.   The old saying “If it seems to good to be true” should be well observed.    I don’t think that there is a law anywhere that say “If you put your home on the market, you must sell it”.   Open houses are mostly stages that are put together to gather info on potential buyers.    It’s not to far fetched to imagine a home owner receiving  compensation to stage such an event.   Whether it is really for sale or not, these bait homes are out there, be mindful of them and just walk away.     Because, if you manage to  get an offer in, it will be countered with a stipulation that even a 1st year law student would advise against.

These homes are sometimes advertised as “Bank Approved”.  You should know that if you are getting a conventional loan, your bank will have to approve it. As every bank has their own approval standards.   Your bank  will not give any credibility to the approval of another bank.

flopping

In ‘flopping,’ a home is purchased by insiders at a steep discount, then immediately sold for a big profit.

To Be Continued……….

Home “Buyers” Beware Part II


It’s A Racket!

If you remember the housing bubble, then you should remember when it burst.  Well get ready for the Housing Bubble Burst Part II

Location, Location and don’t forget, did I mention Location  Your agent wants to close the deal.  It really don’t matter to them if it’s near a nuclear plant or a waste dump.   That being said, check out the surroundings of the property.

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Take into consideration that stop lights are a health hazard in that exhaust fumes from cars stopping idling from 15 seconds to 3 minutes and starting up in four different directions.   A round-a-bout is not as bad as a stop sign.   A 4-way-stop intersection is the worst.  By law every vehicle has to slow down, stop, idle then accelerate. This will be going on in all four directions.    So you may want to rethink the highly promoted corner lot and take these into consideration.

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Another health hazard is properties near power sub-stations.   Electrical companies deny cancer clusters ever exist but why take the chance.  They are all about the money and don’t want  law suits.   There are warning signs posted all over.  Why would you want to live near it.

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Yet another controversial location is near a cell tower.  A cell tower is a relay system for cell phones.   You cell phone is a high frequency low power transceiver and it’s signal is picked up by these towers and amplified and retransmitted.    Some towers are set up to retransmit  signals from other cell towers.   Why subject your family to highly amplified high frequencies?  It’s not worth the investment.

Near a freeway,  don’t even think about it.   Not only do you have to contend with the noise, but the exhaust fumes from gas and diesel fueled vehicles that travel up and down the freeway 24 hours a day.  What happens when there are frequent traffic backups?  Idling vehicles, diesel and gas.    If you care about your family, stay away.   You agent will not be concerned about your future health, closing is their game.

The HOA.  Do your really want to pay someone to tell you what you can and can’t do on you own property?  hold up, wait a minute, your city, county and state code enforcement officer does that, so you already have three, do you really need another?

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The highly advertised Bus stop.   If you have asthma or any other respiratory illness you want to stay as far away from living at a bus stop as you can.   A vehicle stopping and starting by your home every 15 min……not a good thing.   If you don’t have a respiratory problem now…you will.   Admittedly, this is an extreme example.  this home is on the corner, a bus stop right at the garage, at a stop light and a cell tower across the street.  That’s before you even look at the inside of the house.

Flood Planes

Check the area’s flood plane map.   The is as elevation in most every area that will always flood.   Compare the flood plane with the elevation  and find out the elevation of the property you are considering.    I don’t have to tell you that the elevation of your property should be substantially higher than the flood plane.

The Greenbelt.   These areas are promoted in areas where no other construction is allowed.   While it may seem nice to live near a green belt, there are restriction and research need to be done to find out what can and can’t be done on your property.    Various restriction apply so thoroughly do your research to assure that the restrictions would not hinder you ambitions now or in the future.

Industrial Areas.   After reading this far, do I really need to explain why this area is not a good idea.   But I will say this, trucks, noise, traffic and I don’t want to get into what is stored, shipped in and out of these areas.

Railroad Tracks.   Really!!!

To Be Continued…….

The Solar Energy Equation


power needed x 2 = inverter power

if you needed 250 watts

250 X 2 = 500

500 would be your inverter power

inverter power / 500 = batteries @ 100ah

500 / 500 = 1 battery @ 100am

if your inverter power was 750-1000 watts you would want 2 batteries @ 100ah

if your inverter power was 2000 watts you would want 4 100ah batteries.

solar panels =  90 watts x 100ah batteries

if you had 1 100ah battery you would want 90 watts of solar panels to be useful  

keep in mind that 15 watts = approx. 1 amp.   an ideal charging rate is 10 amps which is about 150 watts.  

if you had 2 100ah batteries you would want 180 watts of solar panels.

Don’t get me wrong, you can have a 45 watt solar panel system but don’t let your battery go flat 11.9 volts you will be days on end to top off your 100ah battery

 

The ideal beginner solar system would be 500 watt inverter, 1 100ah battery and 90 watts of solar panels.   

Link

My Solar Transfer Switch


This is my Solar Transfer Switch, I made it to switch from house current to my solar panels during peak rates.

Who Are Those People?


Who are those seemingly healthy people that can not control their bladder?  Who are those people that can not control their bowels?  When you look at the larger scheme of things, one has to wonder if their bodies are not shutting down or going through some sort of devolution.   All you have to do is look at the commercials on TV. Adult diapers and all sorts of medications are on the market.   Who are those people?   Who are those people that can’t control their weight?  Surely those people are not eating genetically modified food.

  Why do so many of those people  need  dialysis every week.  And one of the biggest and most concerning questions….Why are there so many of  those  men that can’t get it up?    Never in my life have I ever imagined such a crisis…so much so that it has been given a new name “Erectile dysfunction”.   Get real. it’s called being impotent, as in, you are not potent.  You no longer have the ability to have sex without the use of drugs.   

What is being prepared for, when there is test tube reproduction?   Why is it so important to find other ways of reproduction?  Who benefits from in vitro-fertilization?.  Why has the industry for fertility drugs grown so rapidly and is so lucrative.  Who are those people that  need these drugs and procedures?  By not being able to reproduce  does this mean that those people will soon become extinct?

  Another industry that has me really baffled is the tanning industry.   Being black in America has negative connotations, yet there is a multi-billion dollar industry to make you dark.   At first it seemed that just the suntan lotion was just to protect pale skinned people from the sun.  But I later found out that it is formulated to give you a gradual tan so as not to burn.   Then the pink elephant in the room turned brown.   Who were these tanning booths developed for?  Who are those people and why do they need a tan.  

Getting back to all these drugs on the market..why would you take a drug for an allergy that causes you to have a host of other problems cause by the side effects of the drug.  Surely those people realize that synthetic drugs are created in a lab.   I could go on and on but you get the gist.  

Who are those people that don’t know that radiation causes cancer and goes through air port body scanners?   Who are those people tested for cancer with a CT scan,  which causes cancer?   I refuse to get a tooth pulled if it include taking an X-ray.     

Speaking of cancer,  in the scientific world, a result would have to be positively replicated in order for it to be scientific fact.   Therefore since there are thousands of men and women walking around today 80 and 90 years old  and has been smoking since they were pre-teens, you can’t say that smoking causes cancer.    Saying that it may cause cancer makes me wonder who was the genius that came up with  that conclusion.  Surely not a scientist.    It is a known fact that radiation causes cancer, yet, every day, those people voluntarily expose themselves to radiation at airports, doctor’s office, dentist’s office, check points (coming soon) and a host of other places.

To be continued.

Naked And Afraid


what’s the big deal about surviving naked?  you can take a video camera to remote locations on the continent of Africa or the jungles of South America and get real naked, real survival and in some cases real afraid.   It seems that only in America that naked is a big thing.   But then the fact that one individual suffered from sun burn should be an indication that some people are not ready for prime time.

NOW!  why are all the men such cry babies?  gees, the women seem to be scoring higher than the men. What’s that about?   The Discovery Channel need to find some real men.  But then they would have to change the name to “Naked and not afraid”.

Former New Jersey Governor Is Head of Commodities Trading Firm That Goes Bankrupt


MF Global bankrupt

The markets were shocked this week by the announced bankruptcy of a major commodities trading firm, MF Global. Under the leadership of former New Jersey Gov. John Corzine, MF Global purportedly made highly leveraged bets on the debt of European nations, which caused staggering losses.

The firm is currently under investigation by a slew of regulators and has been prevented from initiating new trades, leaving thousands of clients stranded.

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