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Monday, May 27, 2013

Celebration of Life and Love

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.  No one appreciates that more than the men and women who served with these great heroes and, by the hand of God, were spared to continue the mission and return home to the warm embrace of loving family.  

Recently, during some genealogy research, I found a trail on my mom's side of the family that kept me up all night.  One of the coolest things I found was this:  My grandfather is the second guy from the right in the first row.  Isn't he a looker?  And look at all that hair!  My grandmother just adored him.

When I was 13, I was on the balcony (where I could be found tanning every clear day of summer that year) and she came out to sit with me.  This particular day, she just wanted to reminisce about her husband.  She gave me a picture of the two of them that was taken during The War.  They looked so happy and in love.  The way her eyes twinkled when she talked about him, how romantic and good looking he was, how in love with him she was, is something I will never forget.  It isn't often that someone mentions their love and you are immediately and thoroughly convinced of their romance.

The above photo was taken after his rescue on 6 Apr 1945.  Apparently, he was in the Pacific aboard the destroyer, USS Bush during WWII when three Japanese Kamakazi pilots dive bombed over a period of two days in Okinawa, Japan.  The ship sunk and the survivors were rescued by the heroic efforts of the LCS64.  I can't even imagine the horrors these men suffered through and the sheer terror that must have been in their hearts as they did the work they were trained to do to defend our great country and the ideals for which we stand.  I am told that my grandfather watch many good friends die a horrific fiery death that day about which he refused to speak for the rest of his life.

The men who fought in WWII were like no others.  They had a clear vision of purpose and knew exactly what they were fighting for.  The life and country they loved, their family, wives, children, neighbors were to be protected and defended.  These men endured stresses and saw the ravages of war, and yet, many came home, happy to be alive and free, feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride that was well deserved as they threw their arms around their mothers, wives and children, and took their place again as providers and protectors.

Many of these men came home and, in a spirit of reunion with their beloved wives, grew their families exponentially.  Thus, the baby boomers were born.  My grandparents were no different.  Thanks be to God, my grandfather survived the attack on the USS Bush and came home to to my grandmother and their two children.  As I calculated the math, I realized that my mother, who was born in Feb 1947, is the direct result of their post-war celebration of life and love!

My family was fortunate to have been spared the pain and tragedy of the loss of my grandfather.  Yet each of us has been touched, in one way or another by the loss of a loved one, neighbor, friend, church member, or co-worker.  May we remember today with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.  God bless the American Soldier.

Friday, May 17, 2013

FAQ 1 - Should I Lease With an Option to Buy?

I am often asked by buyers if my listings are available for lease option or if I would help them locate a lease with an option to purchase.  First, for those who aren't familiar, a lease with option to buy means that a prospective home buyer would identify a property where the seller is willing to defer the purchase until a later date, usually one to two years, at a pre-negotiated price and terms.  During the one to two year waiting period, the buyer will lease the home, usually after making a sizable deposit and will occupy it as a tenant until the sale closes at the end of the lease term.

While our current market conditions have produced a few of these properties, I generally do not recommend this type of purchase.  Here is why:

Usually, if a seller is willing to do a lease with option, it is often because they have overpriced the property and cannot or will not sell it at market value.  A buyer agreeing to purchase a property this way may be committing to overpaying for the home.  Typically, a deposit of several thousand dollars is required, and would be lost if the buyer doesn't go forward with the purchase at the end of the lease term.  I am told by a lender friend that, statistically speaking, less than 2 out of 10 buyers are able to qualify for a mortgage at the end of the lease term when the reason for the choice to lease with option is that the buyer is trying to find a way to buy a home with bad credit.  In addition to these risks, your selection of properties is greatly limited to the small number of sellers who are willing to lease with option to buy. 

I generally recommend to my clients who are either working on credit repair or saving down payment to commit to renting for a year or two while working with a reputable credit repair specialist, such as Credit Repair Resources and get credit back on track to buy a home.  After a period of several months, if the client follows the plan and does the work that they are instructed to do, they will have cleaned up their credit profile and will be able to obtain mortgage pre-approval.  At that point, the client will be in a position to choose any home that suits, within their budget.    

If this recommendation doesn't fit your current situation or if you have more questions than this post addresses, please contact me directly at or (440) 391-1304.  I am always happy to answer your questions and am available to help you locate a property to lease or buy.