In Real Estate every transaction is unique. Sometimes hearing that a property is unique can be problematic, but sometimes it is a great thing! In the case of my newest listing in Norman located at 4601 Augusta Drive being unique is fantastic! Located just a few minutes south of the University of Oklahoma campus it manages to feel like a getaway outside of town. Backing up to the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course (which is currently being managed by, and soon to be owned by The University), and having several upgrades and amenities this house was designed to entertain. You’ll honestly just have to see it for yourself to really appreciate it. My personal favorite part is the amazing back porch that has a TV case, wet bar, fire pit, and multiple sitting areas. So go ahead, grab your agent (and if you don’t have one feel free to give me a call), and schedule an appointment to see this beautiful home!
This fantastic split bedroom home was built for getting away, and entertaining! It is located on the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course, and has a grand outdoor entertainment area equipped with: a partial kitchen, fire pit, and 3 sitting areas that back up to the golf course! The owners have taken great care of it and upgraded a litany of items, including: huge patio (with a TV, cooking area, extra lighting, and wet bar), extra large driveway, sprinkler system, water softener & water purifier, invisible pet fence, mosquito system, attic decking+shelving, and landscaping. The master suite is large with a very big walk-in closet and bathroom. If you are looking for a place to get away in town, we’ve got a deal for you! The home just appraised for $350,000, and the seller is simply asking for the appraised value, so come and take a look for yourself!
HOA includes: Golf Course, Pool, Club House, and Maintenance for Neighborhood Entry.
One thing about the housing industry is that you deal with all kinds of people, and thus you’re sure to have varying experiences. So when you encounter someone who is extremely helpful it is worth noting and mentioning to others.
Recently I had some sellers who were in an emergency situation looking for someone who could put on a new roof on a virtually impossible timeline. Well, I had heard good things about Scissor Tail Roofing & Construction based out of Norman, OK and thought I’d suggest giving them a shot at bidding the job. Well, not only did they give a very reasonable bid, and do a great job when it was all said and done, they truly went above and beyond to make this deal and a domino deal waiting on this deal, close on time. I am truly impressed, and I just couldn’t go another minute without sitting down to write this to say – thank you Matt & Joey! If you are needing a new roof in Central Oklahoma I would highly recommend that you give them a chance to bid your next roof!
For several years I found that this topic was too “controversial” to bring up in a professional or even in a personal setting sometimes in Oklahoma. With so much of our industry being based around the energy sector I found that people just really didn’t want to talk about this. To be frank, this rhetoric seemed to be coming out of the far left, and we are a very (perhaps the most) conservative state. However, over the last few years it seems that Oklahomans regardless of political ideology have found themselves becoming more and more afraid that this storyline that came from the liberal media might actually have a leg to stand on – but ironically a less stable ground for that leg to stand and build homes on.
As I am no expert on seismology, or plate tectonics, or energy that isn’t coffee, I will refrain from too much speculation on what exactly is happening. With that said, I do know that I have been hearing on a regular basis in the Real Estate industry that we have a problem on our hands, and that insurance companies are declaring these quakes to be man-made and thus homeowners are likely to have no options of insurability against them… Most of my friends, family, clients (who are also my friends) seem to avoid politics and their dirty influences altogether – but potentially facing foundation problems that they won’t be insurable might be something worth at least having a conversation about. Having been a part of renovating and buying/selling houses over the last few years I can say that one of the big ticket items that has caused a lot of people to spend money that they aren’t able to get back on resale is foundation repair – buyers assume that the house wouldn’t be sinking into the earth, but maybe that will be changing in Oklahoma…
Again, I am not intending to lead a revolution, but the lack of a meaningful conversation has caused me to ask what I’m going to do when my home has damage, or whether or not this could affect my job security. I feel like the risk of tornadoes is plenty to worry about, and many homes are adding tornado shelters, so I’d really prefer that we not have to deal with earthquakes if we don’t have to… Since I’m not the expert on earthquakes maybe I’ll just keep trying to read and converse with others about what should happen, but I am not sure that most of us can afford to wait much longer on this conversation about needed changes to begin. If you know something that I don’t know about this please do fill me in.
Late on a Saturday evening in November 2011, Sandra Ladra was reclining in a chair in her living room in Prague, Oklahoma, watching television with her family. Suddenly, the house started to shake, and rocks began to fall off her stone-faced fireplace, onto the floor and into Ladra’s lap, onto her legs, and causing significant injuries that required immediate medical treatment.
The first tremor that shook Ladra’s home was a magnitude-5.0 earthquake, an unusual event in what used to be a relatively calm state, seismically speaking. Two more struck the area over the next two days. More noteworthy, though, are her claims that the events were manmade. In a petition filed in the Lincoln County District Court, she alleges that the earthquake was the direct result of the actions of two energy companies, New Dominion and Spress Oil Company, that had injected wastewater fluids deep underground in the area.
Ladra’s claim is not as preposterous as it may seem. Scientists have recognized since the 1960s that humans can cause earthquakes by injecting fluids at high pressure into the ground. This was first established near Denver, Colorado, at the federal chemical weapons manufacturing facility known as the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Faced with the thorny issue of how to get rid of the arsenal’s chemical waste, the U.S. Army drilled a 12,044-feet-deep disposal well and began routinely injecting wastewater into it in March 1962.
Less than seven weeks later, earthquakes were reported in the area, a region that had last felt an earthquake in 1882. Although the Army initially denied any link, when geologist David Evans demonstrated a strong correlation between the Arsenal’s average injection rate and the frequency of earthquakes, the Army agreed to halt its injections.
Since then direct measurements, hydrologic modeling, and other studies have shown that earthquakes like those at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal occur when injection increases the fluid pressure in the pores and fractures of rocks or soil. By reducing the frictional force that resists fault slip, the increased pore pressure can lubricate preexisting faults. This increase alters the ambient stress level, potentially triggering earthquakes on favorably oriented faults.
Although injection-induced earthquakes have become commonplace across broad swaths of the central and eastern U.S over the last few years, building codes—and the national seismic hazard maps used to update them—don’t currently take this increased hazard into account. Meanwhile, nagging questions—such as how to definitively diagnose an induced earthquake, whether manmade quakes will continue to increase in size, and how to judge whether mitigation measures are effective—have regulators, industry, and the public on shaky ground.
Surge in Seismicity
The quake that shook Ladra’s home is one example of the dramatic increase in seismicity that began across the central and eastern U.S. in 2001. Once considered geologically stable, the midcontinent has grown increasingly feisty, recording an 11-fold increase in the number of quakes between 2008 and 2011 compared with the previous 31 years, according to a study published in Geologyin 2013.
The increase has been especially dramatic in Oklahoma, which in 2014 recorded 585 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater—more than in the previous 35 years combined. “The increase in seismicity is huge relative to the past,” says Randy Keller, who retired in December after serving for seven years as the director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS).
Yesterday, Oklahoma finally acknowledged that the uptick in earthquakes is likely due to wastewater disposal. “The Oklahoma Geological Survey has determined that the majority of recent earthquakes in central and north-central Oklahoma are very likely triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells,” the state reported on a new website. While the admission is an about-face for the government, which had previously questioned any link between the two, it doesn’t coincide with any new regulations intended to stop the earthquakes or improve building codes to cope with the tremors. For now, residents of Oklahoma may be just as vulnerable as they have been.
*This live-updated map shows all earthquakes magnitude 2.5 and greater for the last 30 days.
This surge in seismicity has been accompanied by a spike in the number of injection wells and the corresponding amount of wastewater disposed via those wells. According to the Railroad Commission of Texas, underground wastewater injection in Texas increased from 46 million barrels in 2005 to nearly 3.5 billion barrels in 2011. Much of that fluid has been injected in the Dallas area, where prior to 2008, only one possible earthquake large enough to be noticed by people had occurred in recorded history. Since 2008, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has documented over 120 quakes in the area.
The increase in injection wells is due in large part to the rapid expansion of the shale-gas industry, which has unlocked vast new supplies of natural gas and oil that would otherwise be trapped in impermeable shale formations. The oil and gas is released by a process known as fracking, which injects a mix of water, chemicals, and sand at high enough pressure to fracture the surrounding rock, forming cracks through which the hydrocarbons, mixed with large volumes of fluid, can flow. The resulting mixture is pumped to the surface, where the hydrocarbons are separated out, leaving behind billions of gallons of wastewater, much of which is injected back underground.
Many scientists, including Keller, believe there is a correlation between the two increases. “It’s hard to look at where the earthquakes are, and where the injection wells are, and not conclude there’s got to be some connection,” he says. Rex Buchanan, interim director of the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS), agrees there’s a correlation for most of the recent tremors in his state. “Certainly we’re seeing a huge spike in earthquakes in an area where we’ve also got big disposal wells,” he says. But there have been other earthquakes whose cause “we’re just not sure about,” Buchanan says.
Diagnosing an Earthquake
Buchanan’s uncertainty stems in part from the fact that determining whether a specific earthquake was natural or induced by human activity is highly controversial. Yet this is the fundamental scientific question at the core of Ladra’s lawsuit and dozens of similar cases that have been filed across the heartland over the last few years. Beyond assessing legal liability, this determination is also important for assessing potential seismic hazard as well as for developing effective methods of mitigation.
One reason it’s difficult to assess whether a given earthquake was human-induced is that both types of earthquakes look similar on seismograms; they can’t be distinguished by casual observation. A second is that manmade earthquakes are unusual events; only about 0.1 percent of injection wells in the U.S. have been linked to induced earthquakes large enough to be felt, according to Arthur McGarr, a geologist at the USGS Earthquake Science Center. Finally, scientists have comparatively few unambiguous examples of induced earthquakes. That makes it difficult to create a yardstick against which potential “suspects” can be compared. Like a team of doctors attempting to diagnose a rare disease, scientists must examine all the “symptoms” of an earthquake to make the best possible pronouncement.
To accomplish this, two University of Texas seismologists developed a checklist of seven “yes” and “no” questions that focus on four key characteristics: the area’s background seismicity, the proximity of an earthquake to an active injection well, the timing of the seismicity relative to the onset of injection, and the injection practices. Ultimately, “if an injection activity and an earthquake sequence correlate in space and time, with no known previous earthquake activity in the area, the earthquakes were likely induced,” wrote McGarr and co-authors inScience earlier this year.
*waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colorado.
These criteria, however, remain open to interpretation, as the Prague example illustrates. Ladra’s petition cites three scientific studies that have linked the increase in seismicity in central Oklahoma to wastewater injection operations. ACornell University-led study, which specifically examined the earthquake in which Ladra claims she was injured, concluded that event began within about 200 meters of active injection wells—closely correlating in space—and was therefore induced.
In a March 2013 written statement, the OGS had concluded that this earthquake was the result of natural causes, as were two subsequent tremors that shook Prague over the next few days. The second earthquake, a magnitude-5.7 event that struck less than 24 hours later, was the largest earthquake ever recorded in Oklahoma.
The controversy hinged on several of the “symptoms,” including the timing of the seismicity. Prior to the Prague sequence, scientists believed that a lag time of weeks to months between the initiation of injection and the onset of seismicity was typical. But in Prague, the fluid injection has been occurring for nearly 20 years. The OGS therefore concluded that there was no clear temporal correlation. By contrast, the Cornell researchers decided that the diagnostic time scale of induced seismicity needs to be reconsidered.
Another key issue that has been raised by the OGS is that of background seismicity. Oklahoma has experienced relatively large earthquakes in the past, including a magnitude-5.0 event that occurred in 1952 and more than 10 earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or greater since then, so the Prague sequence was hardly the first bout of shaking in the region.
The uncertainty associated with both these characteristics places the Prague earthquakes in an uncomfortable middle ground between earthquakes that are “clearly not induced” and “clearly induced” on the University of Texas checklist, making a definitive diagnosis unlikely. Meanwhile, the increasing frequency of earthquakes across the midcontinent and the significant size of the Prague earthquakes are causing scientists to rethink the region’s potential seismic hazard.
Is the Public at Risk?
Earthquake hazard is a function of multiple factors, including event magnitude and depth, recurrence interval, and the material through which the seismic waves propagate. These data are incorporated into calculations the USGS uses to generate the National Seismic Hazard Maps.
Updated every six years, these maps indicate the potential for severe ground shaking across the country over a 50-year period and are used to set design standards for earthquake-resistant construction. The maps influence decisions about building codes, insurance rates, and disaster management strategies, with a combined estimated economic impact totaling hundreds of billions of dollars per year.
When the latest version of the maps was released in July, the USGS intentionally excluded the hazard from manmade earthquakes. Part of the reason was the timing, according to Nicolas Luco, a research structural engineer at the USGS. The maps are released on a schedule that dovetails with building code revisions, so they couldn’t delay the charts even though the induced seismicity update wasn’t ready, he says.
Such changes, however, may take years to implement. Luco notes that the building code revisions based upon the previous version of the USGS hazard maps, released in 2008, just became law in California in 2014, a six-year lag in one of the most seismically-threatened states in the country.
Instead, the USGS is currently developing a separate procedure, which they call a hazard model, to account for the hazard associated with induced seismicity. The new model may raise the earthquake hazard level substantially in some parts of the U.S. where it has previously been quite low, according to McGarr. But there are still open questions about how to account for induced seismicity in maps of earthquake shaking and in building codes, Luco says.
McGarr believes that the new hazard calculations will result in more rigorous building codes for earthquake-resistant construction and that adhering to these changes will affect the construction as well as the oil, gas, and wastewater injection industries. “Unlike natural earthquakes, induced earthquakes are caused by man, not nature, and so the oil and gas industry may be required to provide at least some of the funds needed to accommodate the revised building codes,” he says.
But Luco says it may not make sense to incorporate the induced seismicity hazard, which can change from year to year, into building codes that are updated every six years. Over-engineering is also a concern due to the transient nature of induced seismicity. “Engineering to a standard of earthquake hazard that could go away, that drives up cost,” says Justin Rubinstein, a seismologist with the USGS Earthquake Science Center. A further complication, according to Luco, is that building code changes only govern new construction, so they don’t upgrade vulnerable existing structures, for which retrofit is generally not mandatory.
The occurrence of induced earthquakes clearly compounds the risk to the public. “The risk is higher. The question is, how much higher?” Luco asks. Building codes are designed to limit the risk of casualties associated with building collapse—“and that usually means bigger earthquakes,” he says. So the critical question, according to Luco, is, “Can we can get a really large induced earthquake that could cause building collapses?”
Others are wondering the same thing. “Is it all leading up to a bigger one?” asks Keller, former director of the OGS. “I don’t think it’s clear that it is, but it’s not clear that it isn’t, either,” he says. Recalling a magnitude-4.8 tremor that shook southern Kansas in November, KGS’ Buchanan agrees. “I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that these things are going to magically stop at that magnitude,” he says.
Coping with Quakes
After assessing how much the risk to the public has increased, our society must decide upon the best way to cope with human-induced earthquakes. A common regulatory approach, one which Oklahoma has adopted, has been to implement “traffic light” control systems. Normal injection can proceed under a green light, but if induced earthquakes begin to occur, the light changes to yellow, at which point the operator must reduce the volume, rate of injection, or both to avoid triggering larger events. If larger earthquakes strike, the light turns red, and further injection is prohibited. Such systems have recently been implemented in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Texas.
But how will we know if these systems are effective? The largest Rocky Mountain Arsenal-related earthquakes, three events between magnitudes 5.0 and 5.5, all occurred more than a year after injection had ceased, so it’s unclear for how long the systems should be evaluated. Their long-term effectiveness is also uncertain because the ability to control the seismic hazard decreases over time as the pore pressure effects move away from the well, according to Shemin Ge, a hydrogeologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Traffic light systems also rely on robust seismic monitoring networks that can detect the initial, very small injection-induced earthquakes, according to Ge. To identify hazards while there is still sufficient time to take corrective action, it’s ideal to identify events of magnitude 2.0 or less, wrote McGarr and his co-authors in Science. However, the current detection threshold across much of the contiguous U.S. is magnitude 3.0, he says.
Kansas is about to implement a mitigation approach that focuses on reducing injection in multiple wells across areas believed to be underlain by faults, rather than focusing on individual wells, according to Buchanan. He already acknowledges that it will be difficult to assess the success of this new approach because in the past, the KGS has observed reductions in earthquake activity when no action has been taken. “How do you tease apart what works and what doesn’t when you get all this variability in the system?” he asks.
This climate of uncertainty leaves regulators, industry, and the public on shaky ground. As Ladra’s case progresses, the judicial system will decide if two energy companies are to blame for the quake that damaged her home. But it’s our society that must ultimately decide how, and even if, we should cope with manmade quakes, and what level of risk we’re willing to accept.
Washer, dryer, and water heater, get ready to meet smartphone, tablet, and app.
Hooking up time-honored home equipment to the Internet is the latest trend being touted by some of the biggest names in the appliance industry at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
This spring, Whirlpool Corp. will roll out Wi-Fi-equipped laundry machines that can download custom cycles, alert you if a load is unbalanced, and spot mechanical problems before they get out of hand. The new appliances, on display at Whirlpool’s CES booth, communicate wirelessly with a dedicated app that will also let you start them remotely, offer instructional YouTube videos, and even make a charitable donation when you begin a new load.
The new appliances represent “a really exciting opportunity for Whirlpool … to do what we do best, which is helping families care for one another,” said Ben Artis, senior category manager of connected homes for Whirlpool. “You can empower the appliances to offer new benefits that weren’t possible before.”
Whirlpool plans eventually to expand the app-based technology to other categories of appliances, such as ranges, ovens, and refrigerators. The company’s booth at CES features an exhibit that displays its vision for the kitchen of the future, a concept that closely integrates appliance operation with the cooking requirements of specific recipes.
Another appliance maker exhibiting at CES, Robert Bosch GmbH, is also close to bringing wireless connectivity to its products. The German company has developed an app, dubbed Home Connect, that will control and monitor devices such as water heaters, thermostats, and refrigerators. It will be released in Europe later this year. Bosch expects to introduce the technology in the United States as well, but hasn’t said when.
The drive toward linking devices to one another — an accelerating trend known as the Internet of Things — is spawning innovation across the electronics industry and playing a prominent role at CES.
In a packed keynote address at the start of the show, Boo-Keun Yoon, president and CEO of Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., declared that 2015 will be the year when many of the futuristic promises companies have made about getting devices to work together will finally become real.
“These are not pipe dreams anymore,” Yoon said, adding that by 2017, 90 percent of the products Samsung produces — including TVs, mobile phones, and home appliances — will be linked to the Internet of Things, or IoT.
Yoon also said companies must take steps to ensure that the IoT-based products they manufacture adhere to open standards, so equipment from one company is able to work with software and hardware from another.
Yoon was joined onstage by other leaders of the IoT movement who laid out their vision for a world where machines go beyond communicating with each other to responding to — and even anticipating — people’s needs. For example, working in tandem, a user’s smartphone, heating system, and other Internet-linked equipment could learn when that person tends to go to sleep and under what conditions. Then it can adjust the temperature of the user’s bedroom to promote a good night’s sleep.
Many companies exhibiting at CES are developing products that aim to take advantage of the ability of individual devices to communicate.
Engineers at Baintex, a startup based in Valencia, Spain, showed off its unreleased mobile app and an array of related devices that control and monitor a host of home functions. The Sentio system’s capabilities include remotely turning lights on and off; opening, closing, and securing doors; and tracking how much energy is being consumed in various parts of a home, said Alberto Sendra, lead mobile applications engineer for the company.
Meanwhile, California-based Savant unveiled an app by the same name that aims to enable disparate connected-home systems to communicate with one another as well as with the company’s own hardware for linking entertainment, climate control, lighting, and security devices.
If you have time tomorrow (Sunday, December 28th) between 2:00 and 4:00 and you’ll be in the Norman, OK area please feel free to stop by our open house. There will be refreshments, and a beautiful house to see. And feel free to stop by to talk about home renovation even if you aren’t looking to buy.
Grady Carter Realtor®, GRI Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
Do you like nice houses? Why wouldn’t you?! Well here you go! This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house in Brookhaven (a very desirable neighborhood in Norman, OK) is truly a gem. Full Disclosure, my mother renovated this house, but despite my biases I must say that it truly is impressive, and I can’t wait to meet the people who will get to call it home! From the heated floors in the master bathroom, to the bonus room in the upstairs retreat this house is ready for someone to make it their own. The coffee/drink bar has a sliding barn door that can separate the living space if necessary, but if the door is open there is a great flow to the house that makes it very warm and inviting. And if you like to entertain, even just yourself, the surround sound that connects with each living area allows everyone to enjoy some tunes without blowing out the sound in just one room. I could go on (about things like the brand new deck upstairs), but I won’t. I would just encourage you to come see it for yourself 🙂
Feel free to schedule an appointment to see it, even if it’s just for fun:
Contact info: Grady Carter | Metro Brokers of Oklahoma | 405-474-2905
Unbelievable Renovation in Brookhaven!
1406 Broad Acres Dr, Norman, OK 73072
KEY FEATURES Year Built: 1981 Sq Footage: 2634 sqft. Bedrooms: 3 Beds Bathrooms: 3 Baths Floors: 2 Parking: 2 Garage Laundry: In Unit Lot Size: 10625 Square Feet Property Type: Single Family House
1. Cleveland Elementary School district
2. 2634 sq feet
3. New roof, texture, & exterior paint
4. Interior paint
5. New Windows
6. All new flooring: tile, wood and carpet
7. New granite in kitchen and a bathrooms
6. New fireplace
7. New surround sound
8. New fence and retaining wall.
9. New tiled courtyard
10. Heated tile floor in master bathroom
11. Dual closets in the master bedroom
12. Sitting room in the master
13. Newly landscaped yard
14. Huge new deck on second story that looks out over valley
15. Great neighborhood
16. New walk through bar
17. New wiring and electric panel
18. Updated plumbing and all new fixtures
19. All new stainless steel appliances.
20. 3 bedrooms, dining, two living areas. Loft and small bonus room.
21. Lots of built in storage
Range / Oven
Stainless steel appliances
Balcony, Deck, or Patio
Heat: forced air
Double pane / Storm windows
High / Vaulted ceiling
Garage – Attached
Contact info: Grady Carter
Metro Brokers of Oklahoma
I love talking with people about Real Estate, often because I love trying to figure out what their home might look like based on their personality. My experience with trying to picture people’s homes based on their behavior has been very hit and miss. I’m sure that many of you would be surprised to find out that I live some of the time with my grandparents (at least while they are in Norman). It has been an amazing year since we fixed up a house for them in Norman so that they can spend more time with us, and about a quarter of the time I get to spend talking with them about American history, and listen to old-timey gospel music with Grandad and Honey.
This is a temporary arrangement, but for as long as it lasts I plan to squeeze every bit out of it that I can. I like to dream about what my next house will look like, and I find myself swooning back and forth between the romance of living in an old mature home near campus in Norman, and finding a new home or a home to renovate and make new in a warm & friendly neighborhood in town. Sometimes I even imagine myself moving outside of town to get more views of those beautiful Oklahoma sunsets. Well, believe it or not there will be 2 separate open houses staggered in time today (so you can go to both if you’d like) which each represent 2 of these different types of homes. The open houses are as follows:
These 2 houses are different in multiple ways, but they are similar in many of the best ways. They are both incredibly charming, and unique. 1600 Classen is near campus in Norman, and about a 2 minute walk south of The Mont, and about a 5 minute walk east of the OU Football Stadium. The Classen home was built-in 1934 (before World War 2!), and it has a very stoic appeal from head to toe. The master suite is definitely a part of the dreams in my head no matter where I choose to live in my life. If you haven’t had a chance to come see this listing, and you like matured campus properties I urge you to stop by.
A very nice wet bar
The Master deck
An unbelievable Master…
If you’d like to read more about the house on Classen click on the picture just below:
The house on Broad Acres is another in a line of fantastic home renovations that my mother (Kelcie Carter) has pulled off! This is the most modern, and top of the line renovation that she has completed thus far, and she has had multiple houses sell at her first open houses, not to mention 2 that sold to the first people who walked in the door… It has 3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and it is getting ready for an open house, so we’ll just share a few of the pictures that we currently have, and then we’ll share more later (assuming it is on the market after today…).
If you’d like to read more about the house on Broad Acres click the picture below
If you are interested in seeing either property I challenge you to get out of your Sunday afternoon pajamas, and come see these wonderful homes! I hope to see some familiar, and unfamiliar faces at the open houses, and if you can’t make it to either of them during these scheduled times please feel free to contact me and we can set up a private viewing whenever you’d like. I hope that you find yourself living where you want to be, and living how you’d like to live. I know that I would love to live in either one of these houses, but since that’s not really an option at this point I’ll just have to dream for the time being. I hope that I get to talk to you homies soon!
*If you are interested in having me help you find your next home in the Oklahoma City metro feel free to contact me with the information provided above, or you are more than welcome to fill in a little information right here, and I can touch base with you on how I might be able to help you.
You’ve maybe heard people talk about “buyer’s markets” and “seller’s markets” if you’ve looked into Real Estate. We are currently experiencing a seller’s market, which means that there are proportionally less people trying to sell their houses than there are buyers in the market compared with other times of the year (giving the seller the hypothetical pricing advantage). While it might seem like the most logical conclusion with fewer options on the market to think that it is not a good time to buy a house I would beg to differ. I believe that this time of year can be a great time to look for houses. Most people will wait for the warm weather to come back before they’ll want to start looking, which can mean that there is less competition from other serious buyers, and you might find yourself getting a great deal on a house! I’ve decided to post an article that describes what you might run into with a seller’s market from Realtor.com. If you are interested in looking for a house please feel free to contact me.
Metro brokers of Oklahoma
6 Keys to Writing Winning Offers in a Sellers’ Market
In a sellers’ market, competition can turn fierce. Standing out becomes a challenge.
In these tight markets, smart strategies can make a big difference. Money helps, of course, but so does some creative and heartfelt communication—and having the right professional in your corner.
Follow these six tips, and you’re going to find success is just around the corner … along with your new house.
1. A good agent
An assertive, experienced REALTOR® will know the market well and will move quickly to present an offer to the seller.
They’ll be able to guide you through options that may seem a little crazy in a slower market—but could prove the difference between success and more house-hunting in a tight one.
A reasonable deposit will be about 3% of the value of the property. A seller usually takes such an offer seriously and will feel confident you are committed to stand by this offer.
This could give your offer a winning edge. Submitting a pre-approval letter with the deposit puts your bid ahead of the others by showing the seller you have serious intentions.
3. Money talks
Of course, the more cash you can offer up-front can make a difference. too.
If you can afford a 30% or 40% down payment (or more), that may tempt sellers. And, in the long run, it will save you money on a mortgage, shortening the length of your loan and the interest you pay.
Few homeowners are likely to dismiss an all-cash sale. But let’s be honest—that’s a lot of dough that most people don’t have access to.
4. Get personal
Appeal to the seller’s emotions: include a personal letter in the offer to the person selling the property.
Explain why you want to buy the house and what you particularly like about it. Be as specific as possible. Appeal to what you may know of the property history.
Perhaps it’s a historic house the sellers lovingly restored, and you plan to keep it that way—tell them. Maybe you’re looking forward to raising your children in the specific community.
Other offers will appear impersonal in comparison.
5. Speed things up
Offer to close quickly. Most sellers want to make a speedy transaction—they’ll like this.
A standard closing period is about 30 days. If you can close in three weeks instead, this could convince the seller to accept your bid—even over one that offers more money.
Another winning negotiation strategy is to waive some of the contingencies usually included in a standard contract. For example, a winning offer can be one which agrees to shorten the period the buyer has to inspect a property for lead paint contamination.
Before you agree to waive any contingencies, however, you should check with your attorney.
6. Be nice
The sellers want a few more days in the house. Consider giving that to them rent-free.
There’s a few things ideally you’d like them to fix—but if they aren’t deal-breakers, consider letting that go.
Be friendly and personable, because if you prove to be someone they don’t mind dealing with, that could tip things in your favor, too.
Confirm Your Commitment
Ultimately, the question is this: how much do you want a new home?
In a sellers’ market, you’re probably going to have to give more, in many ways.
But hopefully your perseverance will pay off—for your family, and your bank account.
Updated from an earlier version by Wendy Dickstein
I recently posted a short blurb about my trip to Egypt with my good friend Gavin. I was the tag along since this was his fourth trip attempting to connect with locals who have been forgotten, as well as those of great stature. Being a minister Gavin had a vision for connecting with people of the Egyptian “Coptic” Church (Coptic just mean Egyptian), but we connected with Christians and non-Christians alike. Meeting people who have little to no notoriety was honestly just as exciting to me as meeting the Coptic Pope. I don’t say that to diminish how exciting it was to meet someone like Pope Tawadros, I was just that excited to connect with all of these people with amazing stories. We did accomplish the goal of connecting with people of many different stripes, much more than I’d have ever guessed we might. This website is mostly intended to provide knowledge about Real Estate, more specifically about Real Estate in central Oklahoma. However, whether it is a perceived to be good business decision or not to insert more human stories on this site I can’t help myself. I decided to start working in Real Estate because it excites me to get to engage and help people with where they will raise their children, or live their golden years. This job is very personal for me, and so I have decided that from time to time I will share personal stories of my own, or of others.
In an attempt not to ramble I’ll tell you about a few of the high points on our adventure. Gavin had patience with me in letting me go do a few touristy things at the beginning of the trip. With all of the attention from protests over the last few years I had to go see Tahrir Square. I just wanted to people watch as long as possible. There was a lot of graffiti / “street art” which I’m very excited to show to my cousin Stephen. You’re going to love it buddy!
Oh, and of course I had to make the signature visit to the pyramids!
I had the chance to do almost everything that I set out to do, but I left a few things that were high on my list incomplete, which will make a return visit all the more exciting! We did of course go see the markets, churches and mosques.
In one of our first few days we had the chance to meet the Coptic Pope! I knew that Gavin had done this before after visiting some of the churches that had been burned about a year and a half ago during protests by the Muslim Brotherhood, but I didn’t expect that we’d be so lucky again. We were, but the Pope didn’t have as much time for us as he had last time. He was meeting with some officials and dignitaries from other countries, so instead of going into his office and talking for 15 minutes we were given a chance to speak outside of his office for a few minutes, and given a handful of candy, and I managed to drop a piece on his foot and when I bent down to pick it up there was an audible gasp… Hey, I don’t waste candy you guys. While we were there we noticed that when people attempted to enter the compound containing the office of the Coptic Pope they had to show the guards their cross tattoo that they were probably given as a young child, or as a baby.
One of the most surprising things about the whole trip was the number of Christians in the area, and the general feeling of warmth between most people despite their faiths. Of course we know that not everyone feels so chummy – we visited churches that had been burned in Suez that were still waiting to be repaired. The churches in the more touristy areas had already been repaired, but some of them are still left in ruins but protected by members of the military.
Here is a short segment that 60 Minutes produced last year about the Coptic Church:
So other than visiting the Coptic Church’s Headquarters we also visited some of the churches in Suez (of the Suez Canal fame) that had been burned about a year and a half ago. Trying to describe this experience feels a little bit more difficult than I thought it might be… Seeing an organization full of love survive such ferocious hatred is genuinely transformative on the inside – I don’t know how seeing this could not change someone.
BURNED CHURCHES OF SUEZ
You’ve probably heard of the Suez Canal, but you probably don’t actually know anything about it. That’s how I was before visiting Suez, and I find that to be the case for most things until you visit them. There is a lot that I could say about this trip, but meeting the people of the garbage village of “Zabbaleen”, and seeing the burned churches in Suez are probably the 2 most impressionable moments for me. A lot of churches were burned in early 2013 in Egypt by a small extremist minority, mostly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. I think these pictures will speak for themselves…
GARBAGE VILLAGE OF “ZABBALEEN”
The 60 Minutes report includes the cave churches at Mokattam (Which is supposed to be the site of a miracle performed by Jesus, that seems to be somewhat specific to the Coptic faith), which are located right next to Zabbaleen. Zabbaleen is a “garbage village”, where somewhere between 50 and 80 thousand people live and work in trash all day, every day… This part of our trip is the main storyline I intend to share, so I’ll actually be writing about that and posting it in the next few days. We spent 2 days connecting with people who have little more than family and faith in their lives, and yet most of them seemed to often be enormously happy. That doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t appreciate some improvements in their communities, or have the taking over of their industry by multinational companies halted somehow, but they did seem to enjoy their day to day lives, maybe even more than I often enjoy my own…
We had the chance to meet a few characters who I wouldn’t have imagined would’ve been a part of my life even a few weeks ago. One of these people is Adham, who lived and went to school in Manhattan, New York for 2 years, but was forced to leave and return to the garbage village after he had trouble getting his visa (not a credit card) renewed to continue his studies… So, I’ll leave you with the following thought and the following video. I have had the chance to meet people from around the world, and I’ve often been very quick to make assumptions about others and their ways of life. I can’t stop thinking however, that the only way to better understand others is to show up. If someone is in a minority of the greater population it might be wise to ask them what it’s like, at least from my experience it has proven to be enormously rewarding. If it wouldn’t have been for taking a chance to walk into Zabbaleen without a translator, because my friend Gavin is a crazy person, I would’ve never met Adham, Tutu, or any of the other people who I’ve newly found a crazy love for. There are things that my new friends surely would love to change about their lives if they could, but one amazing thing about my trip was seeing much of their contentment. Until we realize that our lives will never be perfect we’ll probably never be able to actually enjoy the blessings of life that we do have.
Buying a new home, or fixing your current home won’t fix all of your problems, but maybe it can be a great reset button to live differently. I don’t say this because I have it all figured out, but merely because I’ve been shown that there can be a better way for me to live my own life. With all of that now on the table, I encourage you to find and watch the movie “Garbage Dreams”, about my friend Adham and his community.
Oh, and people have been asking me how I took the jumping over the pyramids picture, and I’m happy to share. I had my taxi driver do a slow motion video, and I paused and screenshot my phone when the timing was right 😉