Shred Your Documents to Prevent Identity Theft! Check this event.

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Something useful… and free.

The public is invited to stop by AAA’s free paper-shredding event on Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. to noon on the parking lot of AAA’s headquarters office in Tulsa at 2121 E. 15th St., just west of Lewis Ave. on the north side of 15th St. [/or_column_text][/or_column][/or_row][or_row][or_column width=”12/12″][or_column_text animateswitch=”no” animateevent=”onhover”] Documents will be shred on-site. There will be no need to worry about paperclips, staples or soft spirals. The machine will deal with all of those items.

Bring all materials to be shred in grocery sacks.

Meanwhile, when you consider real estate, call me with your real estate questions and when you are considering a buy or sell.

A public service announcement presented by Wayne Barnes – (918) 645-1470 Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker Select.


Time To Shred

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?How do you know what happens to your documents when you put a piece of paper in the trash? It can be difficult to know who is seeing it and what they are doing with it. It isn’t very common to burn trash anymore; therefore you can be sure that your paper garbage or recycling is likely to pass through several hands on its way to a landfill or recycling center.


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Top Ten Reasons Why You Need an Amortization Schedule

 Top Ten Reasons Why
You Need an Amortization Schedule

1. Verify the interest factor used in your mortgage.

The interest factor is a number that is used at the end of each payment period to perform an interest calculation of what you owe in interest. The interest factor is also used to calculate the effective interest rate. The effective interest rate is the only way of comparing a mortgage to another financial vehicle, such as a GIC or mutual fund.

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Poll: 9 in 10 Americans Value Home Ownership

Poll: 9 in 10 Americans Value Home Ownership

While nearly one-quarter of home owners owe more on their home than it’s currently worth, Americans still see the value in home ownership and still consider it part of the American dream.

Nearly nine in 10 Americans say home ownership is an important part of the American dream, according to the latest New York Times and CBS News poll conducted June 24-28 of 979 adults.

Overall, the majority of Americans polled also said the government should do more to help improve the housing market, and they mostly blame financial institutions for the sluggish housing market.

Here are some of the findings from the poll:

54 percent of those polled say the government should be doing more to improve the housing market. Only 16 percent say the government should be doing less. In fact, support for helping people who are facing financial distress from housing is higher than support for helping those who have been unemployed for several months.

▪ 53 percent say the government should help in providing financial assistance to those who are having trouble paying their mortgages.

Nearly no one surveyed was in favor of discontinuing the mortgage interest tax deduction, which government leaders have been eyeing as part of budget cuts. (Learn more.)

42 percent of respondents blame lenders and 29 percent blame regulators for the housing crash.

About 66 percent of Americans say strategic default that is, when underwater home owners stop making payments on their mortgage even though they have the means to keep paying is not justified. Nearly 30 percent of those surveyed say strategic default is justified.

Source: “Despite Fears, Owning Home Retains Allure, Poll Shows,” The New York Times (June 29, 2011)

Five Deadly Mistakes Home Sellers Make

Sooner or later, most homeowners will be in a position to sell their home. This report summarizes the top five mistakes that home sellers make, simply because the experience of selling a house is new to them.

Mistake #1.  Using a Real Estate Agent Instead Of a Realtor

When you’re looking for help buying or selling property, it’s important to remember that the terms “real estate agent” and “Realtor” are not synonymous.

–         To be a Realtor®, you must be a member in good standing of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  The equivalent organization in Canada is the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).  Both are non-profit trade organizations that promote real estate information, education and professional standards.

–         National Association of Realtors members adhere to a strict code of ethics founded on the principle of providing fair and honest service to all consumers.  Realtor business practices are monitored at local levels.  Arbitration and disciplinary systems are in place to address complaints from the public or board members.  This local monitoring keeps Realtors directly accountable to the individual consumers they serve.

–         The National Association of Realtors also has earned a strong reputation for actively championing private property rights and working to make home ownership affordable and accessible.

Mistake #2.  Failing to Maximize the “Curb Appeal” of Your Home

When you’re preparing your house for sale, remember the importance of first impressions.  A buyer’s first impression can determine whether they’ll choose to look inside.  It’s estimated that more than that 50% of shoppers decide to purchase a home even before they get out of their car.  With that in mind, be sure to stand outside your home and take a realistic “fresh look.”  Then ask yourself (and your Realtor) what you can do to enhance the “curb appeal.”  It could make a significant difference in your final sales price as well as the speed of your sale.

Mistake #3.  Not Appreciating the Buyer’s Point of View

Unreasonable though it may be, a prospective buyer would like to see a perfect home from top to bottom and inside and out.  To improve the likelihood of an easy, fast and profitable home sale, we suggest that you attend to the following items:

On the outside

  1. Sweep the front walkway.
  2. Remove newspapers, bikes and toys.
  3. Park extra cars away from the property.
  4. Trim back the shrubs.
  5. Apply fresh, clean paint on your home, wooden fence, and outbuildings.
  6. Clean windows and window coverings.
  7. Maintain sprinkler systems.
  8. Maintain sealants around windows and doors.
  9. Make sure roof and gutters are clean and in good condition.
  10. Mow the lawn frequently and plant flowers.
  11. Keep pet areas clean.
  12. Take down out-of-season decorations.

On the inside

  1. The kitchen and bathroom should look and smell clean.
  2. Vacuum rugs and carpets (and have them professionally cleaned, if necessary).
  3. Place fresh flowers in the main rooms.
  4. Put away dishes, unless setting a formal display for decoration.
  5. Make all beds and put away clothing.
  6. Open drapes and turn on lights for a brighter feel.
  7. Straighten closets.
  8. Put away toys.
  9. Turn off televisions.
  10. Play soft music on the radio/stereo.
  11. Keep pets out of the way and pet areas clean and odor-free.
  12. Secure jewelry, cash, prescription medication and other valuables.
  13. Consider removing unnecessary furniture and appliances from counter tops to create a greater sense of space.
  14. Consider baking cookies or lighting scented candles to create a homey atmosphere.

Mistake #4.  Thinking You Need To be In the Home to Provide Details to Prospective Buyers

Allow your Realtor to do his or her job without you on site.  Most potential buyers feel more comfortable if they can speak freely to the real estate professional without the owner present.  If people unaccompanied by an agent would like to see your property, refer them to your real estate professional for an appointment.

Mistake #5.  Over-Pricing Your Home

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct price.  It’s one of several areas where the assistance of a skilled real estate consultant can pay for itself versus trying to sell your home yourself.

If the listing price is too high, you’ll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the range where your home should be priced. Some people think that if they leave some “wiggle room” in the price, they’ll always have the opportunity to negotiate and accept a lower offer.  However, chances are the offers won’t even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home have been scared off by the price, and won’t even take the time to consider it.  By the time you correct the price, you’ve already missed exposure to a group of potential buyers.

The listing price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or falling.  It’s critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is moving – both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer.  An experienced, well-trained real estate consultant is always in touch with market trends – often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on what a property is worth if sold as is, right now.

This report courtesy of

Wayne Barnes

Contact me.

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