Reporter in New York


WOW! I can’t believe the attention this case is getting! Here is the bottom line. This girl did not deserve the harsh criticism she has been getting for reporting New York Jets players that made inappropriate comments to her. Some say she dressed too provocatively, that her jeans were too tight, shirts were too low cut. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE? That is like saying a woman deserved to get raped because she was not wearing a bra!

Reporters, men and women, interview NAKED players every game (notice you only get the head shots on the news). What if a woman was interviewing an NFL player in the locker room and grabbed his butt and used the excuse “well, he was NAKED and was standing right in front of me”?

Come on guys! This is 100% wrong. This Reporter may have been a swimsuit model or a nude model. It make no difference. She should be treated with respect. The players need to respect those reporters as well and equally to the men. They are supposed to be role models for our youth and set examples, not acting like teenage boys without parental supervision.


A Case For Real Estate / The Great Depression

This is not the first real estate bubble we have had “burst” and it will not be the last. It is my opinion that the government got us all into this mess and it is their obligation to get us out….NOW.

The government is constantly meddling in the real estate business. “First time home buyer tax credit” of this year was just one in a long history of our political “leaders” trying to drum up business for the real estate industry.

In 1919 The National Association of Real Estate Boards (Now NAR or National Association of Realtors) was promoting real estate via the “Own Your Own Home” campaign. This was a industry based program run by Realtors. Herbert Hoover (the then secretary of commerce) encourage the United States government to take over this program to increase home ownership. And the cycle of real estate was forever altered. Since then, it seems like the government has had a hand in real estate, trying to make it more and more affordable so “every American” can live the dream and own a home. This of course so the banking industry could stretch loans out over 30 years and rake in insane revenue on those 30 year loans!

After our country went into the “Great Depression” in the 20’s, how did the country get out of that mess? 25% of Americans were out of work and most of those jobs were construction related! Reigniting the real estate market back then was a great way to create jobs and get the economy rolling again! Talk about a “Stimulus Package” on steroids!!!

So what does America do in 2008 and 2009? We repeat what history taught us and get the real estate industry back on track, getting value back up, getting those construction workers, surveyors, roofers, plumbers, electricians, lawn service companies, painters, Realtors, lenders and everyone related to our field! WOW, what a TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT could do for the economy………….. except Obama flushed that toilet when he blew the trillion on HIS ego driven Stimulus package that has clearly and unequivocally FAILED the American people.

The government dug the hole. Now the CAN’T get out of the real estate game…. can they? I say YES they can…… eventually. If they eliminate the capital gains tax on real estate across the board, no matter how short of a time a person has owned the property, we would clear out of this mess sooner rather than later. Further, property taxes like we have in Florida are BULL _ _ _ _!!! Every state that has property taxes could raise the sales tax .02 per dollar and the revenue created would more than offset the income generated by the loss of property taxes. Now (in Florida for example) the tourists can pay some of that money to rebuild our roads, etc. (since they help destroy and use those roads now) This will reduce the overall cost of home ownership (total payment) by 1/3 in many cases. Buyers who can’t afford to buy, now will be able to and as they buy those starter homes, everyone can move back up the food chain!

After the market gets healthy again, we can only hope that the government can stay out of the business of trying to get every American to own a home. (How did that work out for you President Clinton?). The TRUTH IS, some people will NEVER own a home and will be lifetime renters. America, there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone does not need to buy or own a home for America to be great! We just need responsible leadership that understands economics and how the system works. 2012 seems really far off to me, but November 2010 is just a few weeks away! I can FEEL the market recovering now!

Football Season Tampa Bay Style!

Am I the only one in Tampa dancing today? The Tennessee volunteers’ LOST yesterday and everything is getting RIGHT about football again! I used to pull for Tennessee because we have family that lives in Cookeville and they were fans. That was until Lane Kiffin decided to wreck the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. First, he tried to be an NFL coach. Al Davis saw that Lane was not a high caliber coach and promptly FIRED him. The, he got a job in Tennessee. HOW? He tells the athletic director that he will bring his “daddy” in to help him.

His dad was defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buc’s were 9-3 and right in the hunt for a Super Bowl shot. With 4 games left in the NFL season, Lane Kiffin decided to “leak the word” to others in Tennessee that Monte would resign from the Bucs at the end of the season and join his boy at Tennessee. Well you can imagine what happened in Tampa! The Bucs defense threw in the towel and the Bucs lost four in a row to end the season.

Lane and Monte relocated to Tennessee and left Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen to deal with the MESS Monte and Lane created. The Glazers did not want to spend any money in the free agent market, Jon is already frustrated, pops off a bit and gets fired! Now we have Rakeem Morris, a 32 year old defensive backs coach who was at the right place at the right time. Overnight he is now head coach. He revamps the team, lets some veterans go, fires his offensive coordinator ten days before the season starts and as expected, the Bucs open the season by getting hammered by a slightly above average Dallas team.

It will be a long, long season in Tampa Bay and I wish the Volunteers the exact same record as the Bucs (since college plays fewer games, I will say the same winning percentage). Had Lane handled his new job as a MAN and not a boy, the Buc’s win the NFC South last year, they run deep into the play-offs, Jon Gruden is still here and the Bucs make another run in 2009. THEN they could have announced Monte was leaving and Buc fans would have supported them. We deserved better. I hereby put the “foo-foo olay” curse on Tennessee and vow that they don’t win enough games to get a Bowl until the Buccaneers are a play-off team again!

The HOA in YOUR Community?

As the real estate industry in Florida (and the country) is in the process of trying to find it’s way to their feet again, there is an issue that hinders property values in many communities. The HOA or Homeowners Associations that regulate the rules and regulations (and deed restrictions) of PUD’s (Planned Unit Developments, a.k.a.: subdivisions). These organizations are run by property owners in those communities. You know, the guys who send you all the hate mail that you have a spot on your driveway, or that your home needs to be painted, or your grass is too high and needs to be cut. In most cases, there is a Property Management firm that HOA dues are paid to. The problem with many, and in my almost 20 years experience in this business, MOST of the HOA’s is that they DO NOT operate as designed. You have people serving on those Associations who have regular jobs, usually not at the top of the food chain at their company or who have a spouse who they are afraid of at home, or they are frustrated by life. Who do they take it out on? YOU, the person they are supposed to be representing.

The delivery of the message is key. As in ANY REPUTABLE BUSINESS, the first message received by one person sets the tone for the exchange. In most cases, the HOA sends a very strong letter to the homeowner, who in most cases are not even aware there is an issue until they get the letter from the HOA. Instead of a friendly reminder, they immediately go on the “attack” and threaten litigation, liens and sometimes foreclosure! They have WAY too much power. They are unregulated, there is way too much EGO involved.

As in many communities, it’s all about who you know. I usually “farm” or market the community that I live in heavily. The members of the HOA are constantly getting my “Just Listed” and my “Just Sold” postcards. I know it must irritate many of them. But it always seems that top Realtors are targets of the HOA. The more outspoken you become of their negative tactics, the more “hate letters” you will receive.

My next door neighbor cuts his own grass and maintains his own yard. The is a M.D. so his time is limited. His yard shows it. The grass gets very high, the bugs eat sections of his yard, he never edges the common areas. He SHOULD be getting letters weekly. He does not. Has never received one as far as I know. I purchased one of the biggest eyesores in the community. I had the home professionally renovated and updated. My yard is cut by the finest landscape company in Tampa Bay (Rusty’s Lawn 813-404-1114). I try to make certain my home is better maintained than all my neighbors because of my “target” status. I still get letters more often than I can open my mailbox! It’s like an HOA member’s wife kicks his ass for not taking out the trash, he goes to the office and his boss kicks his ass for doing a poor job. He gets mad, comes home and wants to get the HOA to kick somebody’s ass in the community so they can feel better. Why else would they do the job (unpaid?). NOT because they care about the community or their neighbors, because if they did, they would use better bedside manor to deliver their message. They deliver the message with too much Mojo, Macho authority in my opinion.

The problem is, they create more problems than they solve. Potentials Buyers get wind of these cantankerous Associations and avoid these communities. They hear that a community dues check was lost, or the property owner forgot to pay that month for whatever reason. They get a foreclosure threat by the association’s attorney. Again, those attorneys’s LOVE those HOA’s because they get instructions to send the hate mail to property owners and THEY GET PAID! And guess who pays them? You guessed it, the property owners!

So who is a fault? Those HOA mamebers usually go up for re-election on a yearly basis. The problem is, the most capable, knowledgeable individuals available, don’t want the job (who wants the unpaid position). Nobody good wants the job! I for one would rather keep fielding the letters and washing the one inch speck of discoloration off my mailbox. Who gets burned the most for their immature actions? The homeowners in that community because their homes become more difficult to sell.

When I get a Buyer who calls my office and says “don’t show me any homes in subdivisions that have an HOA”, I completely understand. That needs to change. It seems like the IRS is teaching the class on bedside manor and the biggest client they have is your HOA!