Category Archives: Inspections

Deal Breakdown: Quick $1k in OKC

Hi all, I thought I’d check in to tell you about our first deal of 2014!  It was a thin deal (hence the $1k), but it’s pretty great it worked out, especially as I was a helpless sicky in bed during half the process.

The seller was part of a small probate campaign,  which was actually over a year old (something I know my friend Sharon would like to hear, since she often talks about perpetual marketing). I’d sent him only one letter, in January of 2013.  But last month I was going through old leads and decided to resend to my probates – and it was worth it! That campaign only cost me about $60.

Once he emailed me, things went quickly – I made an offer (by email) of $44k and he accepted. I used my free version of HelloSign to email him a contract that I uploaded, which he electronically signed on January 30. Due to (another!) snow storm, we had to delay the inspection a few days, but when my inspector-friend did go, boy howdy, it was worse than I thought.

It had been vacant for 3 years and there was more deferred maintenance than I realized.  I had to go back and re-negotiate the purchase price, and we almost came to an impasse.  I offered $29k, but he wouldn’t do less than $40k. I explained that I didn’t think it would sell for that, and that he had a much better shot at finding a buyer if he would at least go down to $35k.  He agreed to $37k, and I told him I wasn’t sure it would sell, but that I would try. That was February 6, and the next day I caught the worst stomach flu I’ve ever experienced – I was in bed for 5 days. 5 days! With a property under contract!

Thankfully, my husband was willing to try out dealing with buyers (something I don’t like anyway). I moaned out instructions about which buyers to call, what to say, and the selling parameters. That same day he got an acceptable offer from a buyer we knew, and it was under contract the next day!  I was so grateful for his help – and pleased to discover he has a knack for doing the job that I dislike.  🙂

We had a few hiccups with the contract, but the title company opened escrow on February 14th and we closed on the 24th – one of the fastest I’ve found so far in Oklahoma (one of the few remaining abstract states).

It was good to get some quick cash to help with marketing, confirm the value of follow-ups, and to see that the probate timeline can often be years.  Plus, I ended up with this testimonial, which not only helps my business, but is very rewarding personally:

“I want to also thank you and your group for working with me on the sale of the house in OKC. It was a pleasurable experience in a not so pleasurable time for me. The electronic filing was seamless and really helped to expedite the sale as well as the title group being on top of everything helping me to meet the close date. I wish all transactions were that easy. I would be glad to recommend you anytime for your future customers if you would like.”

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Filed under Deals, Inspections, Marketing, Probate

Guest Post: Surviving Mesothelioma Cancer

Hi friends!  Today I have a guest post from Mesothelioma cancer survivor, Heather Von St. James.  Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, and in this post Heather shares her story and explains the facts about asbestos, which were surprising to me.  As an investor, this information is critical as we inspect or renovate a house.  But her story also touches on something I deal with as well: fear.  Learning to face fears, seek community and find hope is something all humans must do, especially if you are trying to overcome an obstacle.  I encourage you to head over to Heather’s blog to hear more about her story.  She is inspiring!

Surviving Mesothelioma Cancer

A cancer diagnosis is one of the scariest things that anyone can deal with, and I first heard those words when my life was going perfectly. I had an adorable 3-month old baby, and suddenly, I had malignant pleural mesothelioma, a cancer which was typically caused by exposure to asbestos.

I was confused when I first heard it, as were the people around me. I thought it was banned, and no one understood how I could have gotten exposed. The truth of the matter is that asbestos is not banned, and I had received secondary exposure through my father. Asbestos fibers were clinging to my father’s clothing when he came home from his construction job, especially his jacket which I wore outside frequently.

Construction sites aren’t the only place asbestos is found. Asbestos is commonly found in old homes. Some of the most common places for asbestos to be found in a home is in the ceiling, floor, roofing, and siding. Before you completely renovate your home, you should always have an inspector come to check if your walls, ceiling, or any other area of your home contain asbestos. That way, you know if you need to take special precautions when renovating. If you do have asbestos in your home, you should contact a professional to remove it, keeping you and your family safe from any possible exposure.

I was 36 when I was diagnosed; the Mayo Clinic had only heard of one other case with such a young victim. Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer are older, male, and have worked for years in a trade like plumbing, heating, or electrical engineering. These people have received primary exposure, but then there are their wives. Their wives did their laundry, shaking out the fibers into the air. There were also women who had worked in schools where asbestos was often used. These victims of secondary exposure were just coming out of the woodwork, and instead of being an anomaly; I was at the start of a disturbing new trend. There are now more and more young people who are being diagnosed with this disease, and they are not alone.

The more time I spend in the mesothelioma community, the more I hear these stories, and the more young patients I know. Age is no defense; I’ve seen women and men in their twenties and their thirties who are just starting their lives and are afflicted with this disease. It brings them to a crashing halt, and suddenly all of their resources are spent trying to beat this insidious issue.

There is hope, however. Science is advancing every day, and there are more and more survivors from all walks of life.

A cancer diagnosis often feels as if it is the end of the world. I know I felt that way when I first got my diagnosis. However, there is also hope. I have continued to hang on to my hope and to find home in the community. The mesothelioma community is a diverse one, and it is a place to share, to help others, to weep and to celebrate.

I share my story over and over again to make sure that people know that there is hope. Awareness is key! Check out this short video for an explanation of what exactly mesothelioma is: What is Mesothelioma?

Thanks  to Heather for sharing with us.  And again, to hear more of her story or about mesothelioma cancer, visit her blog: http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/.

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Filed under Fear, Inspections