Happy Memorial Day

May 24, 2009

A lot of people will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend.  Some of us will be heading to the lake, while others are visiting families to remember those that have passed before us.

I remember my father on this day.  He died at age 47, much too young, and my memories of him are now ones of the hero he was to me.  He had an amazing ability to drive non-stop for hours.

We grew up in the Detroit area of Michigan and many of our vacations were the of the “visit Granny and Granddad” variety.  On the long trips we took to Florida to visit my Papa and Grandmother, we would play a game that we now play with my kids—the game of counting how many different state license plates we could find.plates

It’s a simple game.  Every new state we uncover goes on the list and we cheer each new milestone.  One year, we went on a three week vacation from Michigan, to upstate New York (Baseball Hall of Fame), and down the east coast to Florida.  We had found the 48 lower states along the way and figured there was no way we would find Alaska and Hawaii.

Imagine our shock when we pulled into a parking near the beach on Singer Island and found the last two sitting side by side!  Few people believe the story and if we had had cell phone cameras in 1974, we could have preserved the moment in history.

A strange thing about the country we live in now is that we are so much more mobile than we were in 1974.  We went on a three day trip to Tulsa, OK from Wichita, KS, and found 39 states.  We found both Alaska and Hawaii while driving around in Tulsa.  We even have adopted the game to play a shortened version in Wal*Mart parking lots.

Try this some time you have a few minutes to kill.  After securing your packages, drive up and down each aisle in the parking lot and count how many different states you can find.  I will bet you that you will find at least ten states each and every time.  Why do I know this?  We average about ten each time we go.  For every border state to Kansas we find, we find one that just seems like it does not belong, like California or Georgia.

I guess the moral of this story is we live in the country that gives us the freedom to move around.  My Father-in-Law was a District Court Judge in Wichita and he has remarked several times how amazing it really is to drive across state lines as freely and as many times as we want.  Try that in Europe or Africa.  It is not going to happen without searches and passports.

MemorialDayOn this Memorial Day, please remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom to travel as we please.  Remember your family.  Remember to hug the ones you have now.

All Signs Point to Yes!

May 23, 2009

This storyupward_trend_chart in the Wichita Eagle signals what most of Wichita may already know—that the worst of this economic crisis may be over.  While not all of the news was rosy, the trend is turning now that there has been FOUR consecutive months of growth in new housing starts.  Everything from housing starts and automobile sales are starting to creep upwards.

One can only wonder if the momentum can build up enough to start a huge surge in shopping for new homes and kicking tires…

It Pays to Show Up…

May 19, 2009

Walter Clement Pipp was a very good first baseman.  He played for the New York Yankees and was near the top of the league in several statistical categories.  He led the American League in Home Runs in 1916 and 1917.  He was a contributing member of the powerful New York Yankee lineups of the teens and twenties.

Wally Pipp

Legend has it that Pipp one day had a headache, and couldn’t play.  His protégé, a young first baseman named Louis, was set to start in his place.  Louis had been scouted by Pipp himself.  In fact, he even encouraged the Yankees to sign him right out of Columbia University.

No one really knows if Pipp actually had a headache, was hung over, or just needed a day off.  Louis not only replaced him very well that day, but went on a streak of hitting and power that few in the history of baseball has matched.  Louis and teammate Babe Ruth became two if the most feared hitters in all of baseball.  Louis also never gave up his position to anyone else until 2130 games later.

By now you have guessed that Louis is better known as Lou, as in Gehrig.  Lou amassed an amazing array of baseball records and due to the disease that bears his name; he is a cult hero among baseball fans to this day.

The moral of this story for us all is to prepare to play everyday.  You never know who is waiting in the wings for their chance to play.  Do you stay late to take one more “Up” car salesmen?  Do you show that “one last house” that might make the light flip on to “yes” for your buyer?  Do you go out of your way to make your spouse feel special every day?

From Lou’s perspective, are you just waiting for your chance to shine?  Is there a project at your office waiting for someone to take the reigns and run with it?  Is this part of the reason that Lou played hurt so many times?  Was he afraid that another young ball player would step in if he was absent and take HIS job?

Be ready to play every day.  If you can focus and sell more at the end of the month, you can sell more and focus at the beginning and middle of the month as well.

As the late Paul Harvey would say, and now you know the rest of the story.

My Newest Listing!

May 16, 2009
Pat's Listing

Pat's Listing

This is an amazing house located in the very exclusive Reflection Ridge neighborhood in Northwest Wichita.  The back yard to this house backs up to the #3 tee box!  Maize schools, close to 21st and Maize shopping/dining heaven!

Click HERE for the video on my facebook page and click HERE for the actual listing with all of the details…

Wichita Parade of Homes

April 26, 2009

We just finished week 2 of the Wichita Spring Parade of Homes!  What an amazing day!  There were more people than I thought there would be considering we had a tornado warning in the middle of the day.

Next week is the last week.  See you then?

Buy Before the Market Turns Around!

April 23, 2009

This story in the Wichita Eagle talks about Wichita being stable enough for outside investers to buy property in Wichita.  This will mean prices may start creeping upwards as more buyers come into the market.

Even a 5% increase in price means a $200,000 home becomes $210,000 very quickly.

Click my address link to see what I currently have on the market.

8000 Reasons to Buy Your First Home!

April 19, 2009

If you have never bought a home, or haven’t owned one in more than three years, you are eligible for the up to $8000 tax CREDIT that you may have seen on the news.

The difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction is an important distinction.  Let’s say at the end of 2009 you had a tax due of $6000.  Let’s also say you had $5000 withheld bit by bit every two weeks.  You would owe the US Government $1000 by April 15th.

A tax deduction would lower your adjusted gross income by up to $8000.  At a 20% tax rate, you would save $1600 in taxes lowering your $6000 above to $4400.  Since you had the same $5000 withheld, you would get a refund of $600.

A tax CREDIT means at the end of your tax preparation, instead of the $1000 owed in the first example, you would get a $7000 check back.  Even though your total tax liability was only $6000.

If you currently rent, have a stable job, and desire to finally live the dream of buying a new home, call me at your earliest convenience.

The information and examples in this blog were obtained from a website run by the National Association of Builders.

http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php

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April 19, 2009

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