Political Correctness vs Fair Housing. The PC People are Taking it Too Far.

I once posted a rental ad on Craigslist, stating the apartment was “close to downtown” and had the ad blacklisted because of the implied anti-poverty bias.  Horse puckey…  so absurdly annoying.

Read the following and tell me your thoughts!

http://m.washingtonexaminer.com/you-cant-say-that-…-in-a-real-estate-ad/article/2542179

You can’t say that … in a real estate ad!

BY: Gabriella Morrongiello January 15, 2014 | 4:00 am | Modified: January 15, 2014 at 4:51 am

Looking to sell your family-friendly, two-bedroom condominium within walking distance of the local grocery store? Don’t expect your real estate agent to advertise it as such.

The push to eradicate words and phrases from commercial vernacular that might be considered remotely insensitive has appeared once more with the folly of political correctness now spreading to real estate advertising.

The regulatory impact on marketing in real estate became apparent last April when a Washington Business Journal survey revealed that major homebuilders in the Washington, D.C. area had ditched the term “master bedroom” due to its racist connotation and replaced it with the more neutral “owner’s suite.”

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act banned the use of discriminatory phrases like “whites only” or “Jewish community” and was amended in 1988 to include families and handicapped individuals on its list of protected classes.

The 1988 amendments also enabled individuals who found an ad offensive to take legal action by filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The obvious cases of race and class discrimination that the FHA once targeted for elimination have now been replaced by a level of censorship that borders on the absurd.

“You can say ‘family room,’ but not ‘family home.’ We avoid anything gender-specific like ‘his-and-her’s closets or baths,” said Beth Brody, a licensed Realtor in Marin County, Calif.

According to Brody, her agency has “mandatory risk management three or four times a year” during which appropriate advertising is occasionally addressed. Furthermore, her agency now has its own advertising department that monitors the language of its Realtors’ listings.

“When I decide to place an ad, if there’s something offensive, he’ll give it back to me and say ‘you’re not allowed to use that,’ ” Brody said.

Brody said the list of potentially offensive buzzwords has expanded over the years and partially attributes this to the FHA’s addition of disabled persons as a protected class and “the many changes in what defines a family.”

Although a memorandum issued by HUD in 1995 listed phrases like ‘bachelor pad’ and ‘mother-in-law unit’ as non-violations of the FHA, political correctness and hypersensitivity now indicate otherwise.

This past August, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a ruling and awarded the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center a new trial in a federal discrimination lawsuit over an Ohio apartment listing for a “bachelor pad.”

According to the most recent Annual Report on Fair Housing for Fiscal Year 2011, “HUD charged the highest number of cases (55) in a single year since FY 2002, despite a 25 percent reduction in its fair housing staff during the previous two years.”

“We have become an extremely litigious society. People will find anything to create a suit and there are attorneys out there who are more than happy to accommodate them,” said Randy Haak, an agent with the national real estate agency Better Homes and Gardens.

Lesley Walker, associate counsel at the National Association of Realtors, believes that since “our culture and society are now more in tune with the sensitivities of more groups of people,” the room for interpretation has certainly increased.

“I think we’re more aware and educated and so [we are] taking more precautions not to inadvertently or expressly discriminate against a specific class of people,” said Walker.

Although HUD has never issued an official list of terms to avoid, the Northwest Multiple Listings Service — an online portal of property listings available to real estate agents — issued a list of “potentially offensive words” developed by its attorneys that provide further examples of the aforementioned “precautions.”

Some of the words and descriptions that “should never be used in a listing” include, but are not limited to: newlyweds, country club nearby, handyman’s dream, safe neighborhood, secure, and walking distance to.

“We have an agent in town who will get up at MLS meetings and challenge someone who has listed something as being “close to the plaza,” because one person’s idea of close is not the same as another’s,” said Haak, adding that “agents have now been trained to say, ‘three blocks to the plaza,’ since ‘walking distance’ could be prejudicial against someone in a wheelchair.”

Additionally, some real estate agents are now advising their clients to remove the American flag when photographing a listing.

“For my company, that’s a precautionary action. We want to neutralize the house to appeal to the greatest pool of buyers, so we want to keep the focus on the house and not be distracted by anything political and an American flag could be political,” said Brody.

Should we really be removing the stars and stripes when homeownership has always been central to the American dream?

Gabriella Morrongiello is a former Washington Examiner intern.

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From MaineListings.Com – Maine Real Estate Sales Up 5.86 Percent in October

SOLD

http://www.mainerealtors.com/Statistics/2013PressReleases/MaineHousingReport-October2013.pdf

PRESS RELEASE FROM MAINELISTINGS.COM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MAINE REAL ESTATE SALES UP 5.86 PERCENT IN OCTOBER; PRICES INCREASE 3.37 PERCENT
SOUTH PORTLAND (Nov. 20, 2013) — Maine’s existing home sales and prices continue to move in a positive direction, even during fall’s cooler temperatures.

According to Maine Listings, Realtors across Maine’s 16 counties sold 1,246 homes in October—an increase of 5.86
percent from one year ago. The median sales price (MSP) rose 3.37 percent to $176,250.

The MSP indicates that half of the homes were sold for more and half sold for less.  Nationwide, sales were up 5.2 percent last month, according to the National Association of Realtors. The national MSP reached $199,500, an increase of 12.7 percent. The regional Northeast experienced a sales uptick of 11.7 percent and the regional MSP jumped 7.4 percent to $247,300.

“Inventory continues to climb, and prices are appreciating; many sellers are now more comfortable entering the market,” said Bart Stevens, President of the Maine Association of Realtors. “A majority of the distressed properties have left the market, and things appear to be moving back toward a more normal real estate environment.”

Stevens, owner/broker with Century 21 Nason Realty in Winslow, said lenders have capital available for borrowers, and those with steady jobs and good credit scores should take advantage of “historically low interest rates and favorable affordability. Now continues to be a good time to purchase real estate for personal use or investment purposes. For many, owning is more affordable than renting due to the tax benefits over time and the accumulation of
equity.”

For rest of article and accompanying charts, please click on link at the top of this column.

2013 Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers: Technology Trends

2013 Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers: Technology Trends.

From the National Association of REALTORs.

2013 Profile of Home Buyer and Sellers: Technology Trends

The 2013 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was released on November 4, and as it does each year the report examined the demographics, preferences, motivations, plans, and experiences of recent buyers and sellers.

One recent trend discussed is how much consumers now embrace technology during the home search process. Did you know that…

  • Fifty-six percent of buyers start their home search online, 43 percent found the home they ultimately purchased online (edging out all other sources), and 92 percent used the internet at some point during their search process.
  • Forty-five percent of recent buyers used a mobile or tablet website or application during their home search and among those who did 22 percent found the home they purchased online.

Check out the link above for charts from the Profile that highlight the growth in technology usage over the years.

 

I Can Do It Myself! (Famous Last Words)

Non Sequitur comic strip, November 12, 2013 (click on picture for larger version)

Non Sequitur - REALTOR

If you’ve ever been tempted to buy or sell a property without the help of a licensed real estate agent, my advice is DON’T!

I’ve been a landlord for more than 30 years, and was a real estate agent for 4 years, and there’s no way I’d buy or sell without a REALTOR…. in large part because I know what can go wrong.   Real estate agents must – by virtue of their license – stay on top of all the laws and their various changes and permutations that affect real estate transactions, and believe me – there are a lot of them.

Sure, you can save a few thousand dollars by not using a licensed agent, but it’s not worth the risk.

Years ago I knew someone who decided that plumbing couldn’t be all that hard, so he decided to fix his toilet all by himself.  A week later, I finally called Jerry the plumber.  Jerry took one look, slowly shook his head and said in that very Downeast drawl he had… “Linda, don’t ever let that guy near a toilet again”.

A half hour job had been turned into a week of no toilet and a two hour fix.

It’s sort of the same with real estate, except the risk is oh so very much greater.

——————————–

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog
To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group
To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.
To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group
To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management
To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!
To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder
To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder
To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

Want to Learn About Bedbugs or Renters Insurance or Sprinkler Systems – Without Having to Sit Through a Formal Class?

Come talk to our exhibitors for FREE!

The Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conference is tomorrow – Friday, November 8 – at the Ramada Inn and Conference Center in Lewiston.

Along with the conference, which offers CEUs for real estate agents and land use engineers, as well as workshops for landlords, will be a small vendor fair with some very cool exhibitors.

To get into the conference  – which includes a hot buffet lunch with keynote speaker speaker Jim Bennett, sponsored by Bathfitter, and a presentation by our Designated Non-Profit, John F Murphy Homes, Inc – there’s an $89 fee.

However, we’ve just decided to open the mini vendor fair up to the public – for free – because we want to give our exhibitors the opportunity to talk to as many interested people as we can bring in for them.

So come on over to the Ramada between 9:30-12:00, or 1:15-3:30, and pick the brains of these great businesses. We’ll also give you a copy of the Conference Program to take home with you.  (And of course, if you decide you want to take the workshops, we’ll gladly accommodate you, for that $89 fee – or even a pro-rated portion.)

Bathfitters Logo Our Keynote Speaker Sponsor.  Jeff will be glad to talk to you about your bathroom renovations.

JFM Homes  John F Murphy Homes, Inc is our Designated Non Profit.  They offer comprehensive supports for people with intellectual disabilities.  Leslie would love to tell you about them.

A_H_Logo_Resized A & H Properties’ owner Teague is prepared to tell you about the kinds of things you should inspect for when buying a foreclosed home.

AHI Logo Dan, the owner of Accurate Home Inspections, is also teaching a class for real estate agents (and other interested people) on the HUD 203k loan program… which allows for construction costs to be wrapped in as part of your mortgage.  There are rules, but it’s very do-able.

Advance Fire Protection Services Want to learn more about sprinkler systems, wet or dry?  Dean is ready to tell you what you need to know!

BuggyLogo12  Bedbugs… gaack!!   Dale deals with bedbugs in every manner possible; and there are several ways to do it.  Come pick his brain!

healthy androLead paint is a major issue in Maine buildings and remediation can be very expensive.  However, Dana is ready to offer some less expensive solutions to the problem.

liberty-mutual-insurance-logo-287x73  George can come up with a great price for your insurance needs if you bundle them all together… I know, he gave me a very competitive bid.  Ask him for information!

Maine Housing Search Want another resource for advertising your rentals or finding a quality apartment?  Ask Scott from Maine Housing Search dot org.

Mardens Years ago I bought carpeting from Marden’s for a conference room that was going to see a lot of traffic… man did that rug last!  Talk to Ken; he’ll give you good advice on inexpensive but quality flooring.

MastrogiacomoHow often do you get to pick a lawyer’s brain for free?  Well, you won’t be able to here, either, but Attorney Matthew will be offering a workshop for anyone who signs up for the conference… at $89 for the entire day, including picking his brain, you’ll spend less money than you ordinarily would for half an hour of most attorney’s time.

Michals Insurance LogoMedical marijuana…. marijuana for personal use (in Portland, anyway).  Dangerous dog breeds.  Insurance companies are struggling with these issues and the answers aren’t easy.  Matt will fill you in.

OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square In the morning, John will be busy teaching his “So You Want to Be a Landlord” class, but after that, he’ll be available to talk about property management, engineering issues, or even two of his passions: fostering dogs through local rescues, and playing keyboards.

Perfect BasketCeleste makes the most beautiful housewarming and other gift baskets in town.  No time to shop? She’ll take care of it for you.

SafeAirBruce teaches our 8 CEU courses for real estate agents and engineers – and keeps people entertained while he’s doing them.  If you’re just stopping by, you may not be able to meet him as he’ll be off in class, but one of his guys will be on hand to answer questions about radon, weatherization, lead paint and asbestos.

US Mortgage  Bob wants to get the word out about Reverse Mortgages as a vehicle for buying 2-4 unit properties as well as single family homes.  Let him tell you about it!

203Ks as a Team Sport – HUD/FHA 203K Loans (2 CEUs for Real Estate Agents)

Join us at the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conference on November 8, and earn 8 CEUs approved by the Maine Real Estate Commission for real estate agents.

Two of those CEUs can be earned by taking this class designed by Dan Link of Accurate Home Inspections and 203K Consulting Services to make you more valuable to your real estate clients.

The narrative below was taken directly from Dan’s website.

203k Consulting

203k Consulting, HUD FHA Certified 203K Consulting, accredited classes for realtors, mortgage companies and real estate professionals in Portland ME, Southern Maine.

A 203k Loan is one of the most exciting and misunderstood loan products available.  The popularity of this product has exploded around the country but the 203k is not being utilized to its potential in Maine.

I am Dan Link, a certified 203k Consultant certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (HUD)  I teach classes to realtors around Maine on the subject of 203k loans.  It is really a simple concept but most realtors are afraid or feel it is too difficult.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Many Realtors will not hesitate to help their clients to finance a home using a traditional FHA loan.  HUD calls that a 203b type loan.  A 203k loan (also an FHA type loan) is virtually no different than a 203b loan except that it has a construction component.  That means you have to get a quote from a contractor to do the work and submit it to the lender.  Otherwise they are the same.  The extra paperwork associated with the loan is mostly associated with the contractor and his bid.  If a buyer qualifies for a traditional FHA mortgage, then they will have no problems qualifying for a 203k loan.

The real secret to making 203k loans work is to make sure you have the right players on the team.  A good 203k team has a lender experienced in 203k loans, a realtor who understands the process, a contractor who is chosen by the borrower and approved by the lender and a good 203k consultant.  With a team like that, the entire process is smooth and fast.

If you have questions about 203k loans or 203k Consultants, feel free to contact me and I will answer any and all of your questions.

—————

The Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference offers 4 conference tracks: one each for REALTORs®, landlords, housing professionals, and land use engineers.  John F Murphy Homes, Inc is the designated non profit, and Jim Bennett, former Administrator for the City of Lewiston will be the lunchtime keynoter.  BathFitter is the Keynote Sponsor for this conference.

For more information, contact Linda Snyder at 207 740 2247, or by email at LSnyder@regroupbiz.com, or visit the Topics in Real Estate, Housing and Land Use blog at https://realestatehousingandlanduse.wordpress.com.

Registration for the conference can be done on-line at http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com.

_________________________________________

For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email LSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email JSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at JHopkins@regroupbiz.com.

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:    http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://bangorhousingshowexhibitors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://bangorhousingshowprogram.eventbrite.com

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:    http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://androhousingconferencesponsors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://androhousingconferenceprogram.eventbrite.com

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

Why Should a Real Estate Agent Attend the Maine Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conferences?

I Love Real Estate

If you’re in real estate, you know that the myriad of laws governing your business change so frequently it can be hard to stay on top of them all.

And even with all the possible ways of marketing your business – traditional (such as newspaper ads, radio, television, press releases and so forth), social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, Postlets, Trulia, Zillow), and other tools (QR codes, various apps downloaded to your smartphone) – there’s nothing that beats getting out and meeting the people who are also interested in real estate.

Our conferences are designed to meet the educational needs of Maine real estate agents, as well as help to connect you with others in your business who can be good contacts and referral sources… which we hope will help you gain new clients such as the current landlords and potential real estate investors who attend our events.  That’s why we’re developing our conferences to have concurrent tracks for REALTORs, landlords, professionals in the housing business, and land use engineers, as well as opportunities for exhibitors, sponsors and advertisers to meet with you.

We also believe there’s no such thing as too much education.  My master’s degree is in the administration of adult education programs and I’m a major believer in life-long learning.  Even as young as high school age, I was seriously curious about everything around me, and am sort of a nut for learning as much as possible about every possible topic.  In fact, I graduated high school with 29 and a half credits, even though our school (Telstar Regional High School) only required 16 credits at the time!

In real estate, the rules and regulations change so frequently, and the consequences are so severe for an agent who misinforms a client (whether by omission or by lack of knowledge), that agents MUST stay on top of all the latest information.  So although agents only need 10.5 continuing education units per year to maintain their licenses, it really benefits everyone if agents stay on top of all the the changes, updates, and nuances of the various laws… and to do that by taking classes with the professionals who have the most recent information.

We don’t see our conferences as “instead of” the educational classes put on by the local REALTOR boards, but rather as an addition to… more of the kind of good stuff that will help make you the most successful agent you can be.

We want to be a part of your success in your dream job!

Follow That Dream

_________________________________________

For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email LSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email JSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at JHopkins@regroupbiz.com.

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:    http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://bangorhousingshowexhibitors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://bangorhousingshowprogram.eventbrite.com

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:    http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://androhousingconferencesponsors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://androhousingconferenceprogram.eventbrite.com

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

The Business of Landlording: Bedbugs, City Vouchers, Insurance Issues, and More!

“The Business of Landlording: Issues Facing New & Experienced Landlords” will be the theme of the Landlords Track at the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conference on October 31 & November 01 at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

Opening day workshops on October 31st are:

8:00-11:00.  So You Want to Be a Landlord, presented by John Snyder, A.S., President, On the Spot Property Rentals & Building Inspections.  Topics include: Pitfalls & landmines both before & after a tenant signs a lease. Elements of a Good Lease.  Protecting yourself & your tenants. Rules & Regulations Landlords Must Be Aware Of.  Lead paint, CO, Sect 8, GA, non-discrimination/civil rights, evictions, bedbugs & other code issues. Getting the Best from Your Management Company.

OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square

11:00-12:00. How to Think Like a Bedbug, presented by Dale Carlson, President of HeatOnWheels.com and MaineBedbugsandPestControl.com.

BuggyLogo12

1:00-2:00. Case History & New Legislation that Impacts Your Landlording Business. Speakers pending confirmation.

2:00-3:00. General Assistance & City Vouchers, BRAP & Shelter + Care.  A discussion led by Orinda Fogler, City of Bangor and Sandra Kimball, Rental Services Supervisor, CH&CS.

Bangor logoCHCS

3:00-4:00. Best Practices in Background & Reference Checks.  Speaker pending confirmation.

4:00-5:00. MaineHousingSearch.org – a free online rental housing service for landlords and tenants, and MaineHousing’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.  Presented by Maine State Housing Authority Staff Joe Locke, Program Officer, Homeless Initiatives and other staff

Maine Housing Search

Workshops scheduled for Friday, November 01 are:

8:00-9:00. Maine Business Advocate: Functions & Supports for Your Small Business. Peggy Schaffer, Maine Business Advocate, Secretary of State’s Office.

Secretary of State

9:00-10:00. What Every Landlord Should Know About Insurance, presented by Dale Bartlett of Allen Freeman McDonnell Agency.  Topics include: Property & casualty insurance for landlords; common misconceptions, carrier expectations, how to get the most cost effective coverage.

Allen Freeman McDonnell

10:00-11:00.  Floor Buying 101 – Ideas to Reduce Your Total Cost of Apartment Ownership.  Presented by Ken Clark, Mardens with professionals from Shaw Carpetry and Metroflor Engage.

Mardens

11:00-12:00. Small Business Fraud – It Can Happen to You. Pending final confirmation from the speaker.

12:00-1:00.  Resources for Help in Addressing Lead Paint Issues. Presented by Andrea LaFlamme, Lead Prevention Educator, City of Bangor.

Bangor logo

Fill in presenters for the workshops listed above “pending confirmation” are being actively sought.  Please contact Linda Snyder at 207 740 2247 to pinch hit.

The Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference offers 4 conference tracks: one each for REALTORs®, landlords, housing professionals, and land use engineers.  OHI is the designated non profit, and Maine Traditional Karate will offer a self-defense demonstration.

OHI  Maine Traditional Karate

For more information, contact Linda Snyder at 207 740 2247.  Registration can be done on-line at http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com.

_________________________________________

For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email LSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email JSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at JHopkins@regroupbiz.com.

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:    http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://bangorhousingshowexhibitors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://bangorhousingshowprogram.eventbrite.com

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:    http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://androhousingconferencesponsors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://androhousingconferenceprogram.eventbrite.com

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

The Business of Landlording: Bedbugs, City Vouchers, Ask the Lawyer, and More!

The Business of Landlording: Issues Facing New & Experienced Landlords” will be the theme of the Landlords Track at the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing and Land Use Conference on November 8 at the Ramada Inn & Conference Center in Lewiston.

Planned workshops are:

8:00-11:00.  So You Want to Be a Landlord, presented by John Snyder, A.S., President, On the Spot Property Rentals & Building Inspections.

Topics include: Pitfalls & landmines both before & after a tenant signs a lease. Elements of a Good Lease.  Protecting yourself & your tenants. Rules & Regulations Landlords Must Be Aware Of.  Lead paint, CO, Sect 8, GA, non-discrimination/civil rights, evictions, bedbugs & other code issues. Getting the Best from Your Management Company.

OTS Logo - Rentals & Inspections - Square

11:00-12:00. How to Think Like a Bedbug, presented by Dale Carlson, President of HeatOnWheels.com and MaineBedbugsandPestControl.com.

BuggyLogo12

1:15-2:15. Building a Vibrant Membership Organization, a panel discussion with Chip Morrison, President, Andro Chamber of Commerce, Jonathan Labonte, Executive Director of the Androscoggin Land Trust, and Larry Marcoux, Director of Community Impact, United Way of Androscoggin

androscoggin-chamber-logo Androscoggin Land Trust United Way

2:15-3:15. General Assistance & City Voucher Programs, a joint presentation by Dot Meagher, Director of Health & Social Services, City of Auburn and Sue Charron, Director Social Services, City of Lewiston.

Lewiston - largeAuburn

3:15-4:15. Simple Steps to Save Money & Avoid Lead Abatement presented by Dana Leeper, Healthy Androscoggin.

Healthy Androscoggin

4:15-5:15, Landlord – Tenant Relations: A Legal Perspective (Ask the Lawyer) presented by Matthew Mastrogiacomo, The Mastrogiacomo Law Office.

Mastrogiacomo

The Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference offers 4 conference tracks: one each for REALTORs®, landlords, housing professionals, and land use engineers.  John F Murphy Homes, Inc is the designated non profit, and Jim Bennett, former Administrator for the City of Lewiston will be the lunchtime keynoter.

For more information, contact Linda Snyder at 207 740 2247, or by email at LSnyder@regroupbiz.com, or visit the Topics in Real Estate, Housing and Land Use blog at https://realestatehousingandlanduse.wordpress.com.

Registration for the conference can be done on-line at http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com.

_________________________________________

For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email LSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email JSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at JHopkins@regroupbiz.com.

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:    http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://bangorhousingshowexhibitors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://bangorhousingshowprogram.eventbrite.com

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:    http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://androhousingconferencesponsors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://androhousingconferenceprogram.eventbrite.com

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

I Heard Someone Died in This House…. A Question Real Estate Agents Are Sometimes Asked

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57608349-71/the-site-that-claims-to-know-if-someone-died-in-your-house/

died_610x319

The newsfeed Digg included the blog above about a website called DiedInHouse.com, which claims – for $11.99 – to tell you if someone has died in a particular house anywhere in the U.S.  The blogger, Chris Matyszczyk, starts to check into the site, then reads the disclaimers – which basically say that you can’t trust the information they’re about to provide you.   Great, huh?  We’ll tell you if someone died in this house, but we don’t have all the information so we may be wrong.  Mr Matyszczyk decides it’s worth the $11.99 to check it out.  (What the heck, it’s a business deduction, right?)

The result?   No one has died in his house.  But of course, they may not have all the information, so it may be that someone did and they just don’t know.

I figured it would be fun to spend 5 minutes checking the site out, although there’s no way I’ll spend $11.99 on this (then again, I’ve lived in some pretty creepy places…).

In any event, they claim to provide…

  • Immediate Results
  • Free follow up in 30-Days
  • Over 118 Million Records
  • Search All 50 States
  • Certified Report
  • List of Previous Residents

Further..

“Diedinhouse.com saves you time and money, by instantly providing you with the valuable information you need to be better informed.

Ask your seller or landlord for a Diedinhouse.com report or discreetly purchase a report yourself before you sign.”

Since the laws vary across the U.S. as to whether a REALTOR is required to disclose to potential buyers if a murder or suicide has occurred in a property, this site purports to help buyers out with the question.

In Maine, as REALTOR Kristen Wheatley points out, “A home seller in Maine does not have to disclose items such as a death in the home, a home believed to be haunted, the known felon living next door, or the state’s plans to put a highway through right next to the property.  Some states have disclosure laws for these “stigmatized property” items, but Maine does not.”   –  (See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/3466357/hauntings-deaths-meth-labs-real-estate-disclosures-in-maine#sthash.zmdTEIOj.dpuf)

So what do you think?  Would you want to know?

_________________________________________

For info on sponsorships, exhibiting or advertising at any of our conferences, call Linda at 207 740 2247 or email LSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

To present a seminar, workshop or activity at any of our conferences, call John at 207 713 0674 or email JSnyder@regroupbiz.com.

For your social media marketing and information in the Conference Program, email Jessamyn at JHopkins@regroupbiz.com.

For the Greater Bangor Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference, October 31-November 01:

To Register to Attend:    http://bangorhousingshowattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://bangorhousingshowexhibitors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://bangorhousingshowprogram.eventbrite.com

For the Greater Androscoggin Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Conference:

To Register to Attend:    http://androhousingconferenceattendees.eventbrite.com

To Sponsor or Exhibit:  http://androhousingconferencesponsors.eventbrite.com

To Place an Ad in the Conference Program:  http://androhousingconferenceprogram.eventbrite.com

Other Sources of Information:

To Follow Our Blog:  Real Estate, Housing & Land Use Blog

To Join Our Group on LinkedIn:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Join our Group on Facebook:   Topics in Real Estate, Housing & Land Use.

To Follow Our Fan Page on Facebook:  Maine Real Estate Investors Group

To Follow On the Spot Property Management & Building Inspections on Facebook:  On the Spot Property Management

To Follow What a Great Event! on Facebook: What a Great Event!

To Find Linda on LinkedIn:  Linda Snyder

To Find John on LinkedIn:  John Snyder

To Visit Our Website:  ReGroup! Business Solutions and What a Great Event!

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