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    American Fighter vs American Dream

    This American Fighter Just Secured The Title of Homeowner!

    It started with a pizza and ended with… uh, pizza???

    Rewind to this past February and you’ll find me sitting on a bar stool on a Thursday night at one of my favorite downtown spots, Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill. In true fashion, I’m on my laptop toggling back & forth between reading business articles and browsing the week’s newest real estate listings. One of the Hotshot’s girls had just delivered my favorite pizza when I felt somebody playing with my ears from behind… it was Matt Pulliam, a local car enthusiast and MMA fighting fan. Matt has trained and fought in various local and regional mixed martial arts matches in the past and apparently has excellent taste for casual clothing as he shares my affinity for American Fighter t-shirts, lol.

    Train and prepare for your day

    We began discussing the current real estate climate while annihilating that pizza. Matt had already taken several important steps to get a jump on the process and was ready to get started. He had just met with a loan officer at his bank earlier in the week to get an idea of his borrowing parameters and his pre-approval letter would be ready the following Monday. Over the next weeks he would continue to shop lenders in order to compare loan products as we began our search for his target property. Matt began identifying potential houses that he’d found on various websites but it didn’t take long to realize that LiveLocalListings.com offers cooler features and a clearer view of the local market without the hassle and disappointment of sold & expired ads that typically linger on other platforms.

    Keep one eye on your target and the other on opportunity

    Although Matt qualified to borrow a respectable amount, he conveyed to me that he preferred to buy into the market well below his borrowing cap and not get caught up in any hype or emotion that would deflect from his goal. Over the next 3 months we toured several handfuls of properties that fit his criteria on paper, typically gleaning one potential contender from each batch. Matt exercised great restraint in the face of some really tempting properties at the top end of his buying spectrum. Eventually we whittled the list down to the final 4 which included a “diamond in the rough” that we had decided to keep an eye on. All indicators suggested this one could be an awesome buy if all of the dynamics happened to align within Matt’s purchasing timeline. We were gearing up to take a swing at another house when out of the blue Matt spotted the price drop flag and in one click of a mouse this home had emerged as the new challenger!

    FOR SALE by Tracey Miller, Realtor - About Me

    Be prepared to strike…

    Photo of Brandon Wooley, USA Mortgage
    Brandon Wooley, USA Mortgage

    Matt had taken all the steps that allowed him to be prepared to act quickly and pounce on this deal before the price drop exposed it to a whole new crop of potential buyers. Ultimately he decided to secure his financing through USA Mortgage, which offered him the best loan option compared to the other quotes he received. Brandon Wooley jumped in the ring as Matt’s loan officer and together they tag-teamed the loan process from start to finish.

    …and a team player

    Logo for TWL Inspections
    Tim Lappe, TWL Inspections

    I mentioned in a previous post about spotting signs of termite activity (in the form of mud tubes on the foundation) during a walk through of the property. Although my construction and real estate investment experience allows me to spot issues that many Realtors might miss, I remind my clients that I’m not a home inspector or licensed contractor and I strongly suggest obtaining professional inspections during the buying process. Matt took that advice and tagged in Tim Lappe of TWL Inspections who took a couple swings at the property with a pest inspection that ultimately confirmed my suspicion of termite activity at the home and ended up saving Matt over $1,000.

    How a $75 termite inspection saved Matt over $1000

    FOR SALE by Tracey Miller, Realtor - About Me

    Ding! Ding! Ding! Oh, the sweet sound of victory!

    Matt delivered the roundhouse knockout after a series of right jabs with an ink pen to a seemingly endless stack of documents pinned down by Metro Title closer Joy Baldwin thereby conquering the American Dream and closing the deal. At the end of closing day everything came full circle and we enjoyed a free celebratory pizza provided by our friends at Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill… thanks guys!

    Photo of Tracey Miller & Buyer at recent sale

    Efflorescence…Bubbles, Band or Bummer?

    Efflorescence – Bubbles, Band or Bummer?

    Mention the word efflorescence and most people instantly think of the early 2000’s rock band Evanescence… or the fizzy effervescence of Alka-Seltzer. Trust me, while efflorescence may end up causing you to pop an antacid, if you own a home or building made or trimmed with brick or stone this word is definitely nothing to sing about as it can end up spelling trouble for your investment…
    The issue starts with rainwater soaking into masonry. It dissolves natural salts that recrystallize when the surface dries. The salts build up in the masonry pores from repeated wet/dry cycles. In cold weather, water freezes and expands inside the masonry pores. At first the cracks and fractures from wet/dry and freeze/thaw cycles are microscopic. If left untreated, brick deterioration and cracking will start and eventually lead to other masonry problems! One of the best preventative measures is to clean and seal your masonry, which can help prevent issues for years to come. I strongly suggest that if you have not protected your brick do so immediately before larger problems have a chance to develop. If you attempt to do the project yourself just be sure to do your research and know what materials your property was built with as different cleaners, tools, and sealers react differently to various surfaces.
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    The time is closing in!! Wash and seal up your house before the harsh wet winter months damage your brick/stone! Call for free estimate!! 573-225-5514

    Posted by The Mason Medic on Tuesday, December 1, 2015


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    Full Article

    Termites… Tiny Equity Eaters

    Termite Inspections in Southeast Missouri & Southern Illinois

    Picture of active termites | 63701 termite inspection

    How A $75 Termite Inspection Could Save You Big Money

    I was recently helping a client narrow his top 3 property list down to the target home we’d be making an offer on. While walking around the exterior of his #1 choice, I spotted something that might go unnoticed unless you’ve had experience dealing with the issue… mud tubes. At just over 10 years old, this house is relatively new and located in a nicely maintained subdivision right here in Cape. This just goes to show that practically any home in the area can be targeted by these destructive little critters.

    I tout my construction experience and eye for spotting defects as an asset for clients looking to exclude properties outside various scopes of repair; however I’m not a home inspector and always encourage scheduling professional home inspections when a contract has been secured on the target property. In this case a $75 termite inspection will allow my client to officially present this issue to the seller to be addressed before closing the deal. I’ve included a link below to more information on this subject by a local home inspection company that has performed termite inspections for several of my clients in the past.

    *Update: The termite inspection confirmed a minimal level of live termite activity at the residence which was remedied by the seller at a cost of $1,008 via professional treatment. Read more here

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    Photo of Tracey Miller Realtor Spotting Termites

    4 VA Home Loan Myths

    Like most government programs, the intricacies can become so confusing for the people they’re intended to help that the program eventually takes on a reputation of being a hassle to even mess with. One common misconception that seems to resurface with clients I’ve worked with is the perception that VA loans are a one time perk for veterans trying to purchase their first home, when in fact the benefit can be used multiple times in various ways. This article from Zillow addresses 4 more myths relative to VA home loans.
    4 VA Loan Myths That Hamper Veteran Home Buyers | Zillow Porchlight

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