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Bill Koenig

Bill Koenig | REALTOR®
Direct: (859) 372-6072
Office: (859) 372-6000
Contact Me

RE/MAX Affiliates
4895 Houston Road, Suite 100
Florence, KY 41042 

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Home Spun Wisdom

How to Plan Your Next Trip Around a ‘Walkcation’

(TNS)—On my latest trip to Chicago, I consumed nine tacos, three doughnuts, an Indian crepe, a giant tamale, a mound of carnitas, a bowl of pasta and a table full of Vietnamese food. How did I not gain 15 pounds? Well, I also walked eight to 10 miles per day, which is typical for me when I travel.

Exploring a city on foot has so many benefits. I stumble on unique gems that I likely wouldn’t find otherwise. I hear neighbors talk to each other. I suddenly feel like a local, which, in my opinion, is the best thing to feel when you visit a place. As a bonus, you can eat more.

Here are a few tips for planning your next “walkcation”:

Pick your highlights and pin them. First, figure out what you most want to do or see, and then plot your findings. The Google Maps app allows users to custom-label any address or landmark with names and little flags that pop up when you look at the map as a whole. This way, you’ll easily see which of your favorites are within walking distance of each other.

Think neighborhoods. Consider using your highlights as jumping-off points for neighborhood crawls. Research the borders of a neighborhood, map out the main streets and hit the pavement. Walking is the best way to get a sense of an area’s character and what it has to offer. Stop at anything you find interesting.

Do the distance. Checking out a park? Walk its circumference before leaving. A museum? Take the stairs between levels. Want to lounge on the beach? Walk a mile on it first.

Track your progress. Pedometer apps are easy to find by searching the phrase in your smartphone’s app store. Watching the miles tick upward is motivating.

Dress in a versatile style. With all this walking, you’ll need the same outfit to span breakfast, lunch and dinner—and don’t forget to wear a good pair of walking shoes.

©2018 Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Visit the Star Tribune (Minneapolis) at www.startribune.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Plan Your Next Trip Around a ‘Walkcation’ appeared first on RISMedia.

Real Estate Q&A: How Can I Make My Community’s Board Listen to My Ideas?

(TNS)—Q: I live in a beautiful community that is well maintained by the board and its various committees. All is great, except for the roads—they are ugly with oil marks and patched areas. I have asked after this, but it does not seem to be a priority of the board of directors. How do I get the board to address this issue? – Philip

A: Most people who want to get their board’s attention try to bring up a new issue at the public board meeting. This is not a good idea and will most likely not work.

A board meeting is a business meeting and should be run from an agenda of items known to all in advance so that the members and directors have ample time to research and consider the issues to be dealt with during that meeting. The common tactic of trying to embarrass or ambush the board at the meeting almost always backfires. Simply, the board meeting is not the time to introduce a new issue.

The better method is to send your board a letter outlining your concern. Try to be detailed and propose solutions. Explain why you think it is an essential use of the community’s resources, bearing in mind that other residents may have differing priorities. Send the letter by certified mail to ensure it gets the attention it deserves.

If it still does not make the agenda, try again, or, even better, get some neighbors to write in, too. Many voices will hold more sway than just one.

Finally, if, after all of these efforts, the existing board does not share your priorities for the community, you should consider running for the board at the next election. When you are a board member, you are able to help set the agenda and get your ideas pushed through—at least, that is, if enough of your neighbors agree with you.

Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar.

©2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Visit Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at
www.sun-sentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Real Estate Q&A: How Can I Make My Community’s Board Listen to My Ideas? appeared first on RISMedia.

How to Avoid a Low Home Appraisal

(TNS)—Even when a seller and buyer agree on a price for a home, the deal can collapse if the property appraises for less than that price.

For example, let’s say a seller lists his house for $325,000, the buyer offers $275,000, but they settle on $300,000. A week before closing, the appraisal comes in at $265,000. That’s the maximum price for which the lender is willing to offer a mortgage.

Who’s going to make up the $35,000 difference?

In this case, the seller has already come down on the price and doesn’t want to lower it again, and the buyer may not have enough cash to cover the shortfall, or does not want to pay more for the house than its appraised value.

As a result, the deal falls through.

What Causes a Low Appraisal
Short appraisals are common in declining housing markets because the lack of recent comparable home sales in the area, or “comps,” make it hard for appraisers to determine the current market value of a property.

When home sales slow down, good comps “age” quickly. Add foreclosures and short sales to the mix and appraisals can run all over the map.

The Home Valuation Code of Conduct, or HVCC, which went into effect in May 2009, compounded the problem. The HVCC prohibits Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lenders from having direct contact with appraisers.

As a result, most lenders work through appraisal management companies, or AMCs, whose pool of residential appraisers includes those with limited training or little familiarity with the geographic area being appraised.

Know How to Protect Yourself
You can protect yourself from low appraisals. Here are some suggestions for buyers and sellers.

If you’re a buyer:

  • Tell your lender to find an appraiser who comes from your county, or perhaps a neighboring county. After all, you’re paying for the appraisal.
  • Ask that the appraiser have a residential appraiser certification and a professional designation. Examples include the Appraisal Institute’s Senior Residential Appraiser, or SRA, or member of the Appraisal Institute, or MAI, designations.
  • Meet the appraiser when he inspects the home and share your knowledge of recent short sales and foreclosures that could skew the comps. You can speak with your appraiser; the prohibition applies only to your lender.

If you’re a seller:

  • Get an appraisal before you list a home. Search for a qualified appraiser in your area on the Appraisal Institute site.
  • Use the appraisal to set a realistic listing price for your home.
  • Give a copy of your prelisting appraisal to the buyer’s appraiser.
  • Question a low appraisal. There’s always a chance the appraiser or a supervisor will take into account new or overlooked information.

©2018 Bankrate.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Avoid a Low Home Appraisal appeared first on RISMedia.



Bill Koenig | (859) 372-6072 | Contact Me
4895 Houston Rd Ste 100 - Florence, KY 41042
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