Real Estate Still Considered the Best Long Term Investment

Across all age, groups, real estate is still considered the best long term investment.  Whether you are a first-time home buyer, starting your investment portfolio, or a long time homeowner, or investor, having real estate in your portfolio not only adds  value, but tax advantages as well.  Consult your financial adviser or accountant for more information on the benefits of owning real estate.

When it comes to buying or selling real estate, be sure to talk to a real estate professional, one that can handle your sale of purchase of a home or land with knowledge, expertise, and finesse.

When it’s time to think BIG…..think SMALLEY!
Linda Smalley, South Tulsa Office   918.630.8431

Right Size Your Home

If you are house hunting and looking to down-size or right-size and don’t want to spend as much time with yard work, a zero-lot line home could be for you. Typically a zero-lot line home can be a home with a shared common wall with the home constructed on a lot line. A home built along the property line allows maximum use of indoor space and outdoor living of a smaller lot. A focal point of the layout can feature a large private outdoor courtyard with minimal lawn or garden yet have space for a decorative water feature and plantings with hardscape. Baby Boomers and Young Professionals alike find attractive such a casual relaxing lifestyle. Sometimes called Garden or Patio Home these homes could offer just your type of home ownership.

Find Your Home

Prevent Foundation Damage by Watering Your Foundation

With temperatures in Tulsa well over 100 degrees for several weeks now (just look at the local KJRH Channel 2 forecast), I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone about the importance of watering your foundation to prevent future foundation damage and costly repairs.

kjrh weather forecast

Why should you water your foundation?

Because the soil underneath your home expands and contracts constantly every year. Most of the time it isn’t enought to cause any severe damage to your home, but in drought like temperatures the lack of water can be hazardous to your foundation. As the soil gets extremely dry, it will contract and leave less support for you foundation and the weight of your home.

The best way to keep your soil moist is to use a soaker house and place it about 6 inches away from your home’s foundation. Let it run long enough to not just soak the surface, but to penetrate enough to soak the soil well beneath the surface, keeping in mind that your foundation is about 2 feet deep.
water your foundation

While you may see a big increase in your monthly water bill, the cost to keep your foundation in tact is well worth the cost. Keep in mind that recently, a client of mine made an offer on a home and backed out after inspections revealed that the home needed $9,000 worth of foundation repair.

How to Drop a Pin on your iPhone

How to drop a pin on an iPhone

For anyone who has ever tried to give directions to a house or anywhere else, typing those directions and trying to give them to someone else can be a hassle.

There have been many times in the past when I spent way too long trying to text directions to someone else who also had an iPhone. I recently learned a shortcut that will not only save me lots of time, but it will also be more helpful for the person receiveing the directions as well.

Maps has now made it easier to get directions to and from anywhere that the GPS can locate. First, type in and search the address you’re trying to give directions to. Sometimes this may be the same location you are currently at.

After the address is found, tap the bottom right hand of your screen, and a purple pin will drop.
This will give you the option of getting directions to the pin or from the pin, or even sharing your location via e-mail, text or Tweet.

If you want to drop a pin anywhere, click the bottom-right corner and hit “Drop Pin” (or “Replace Pin,” if you’ve already got one on the map). That way, you can drop a pin anywhere on the map, not just where you’ve searched.

So there you go. A faster way to give someone else directions Happy Searching!

New USB Wall Outlet for iPad, iPod and other Devices

If you’re anything like me, I am always moving my iPad or iPhone adaptors from one place to the other throughout my house. Then somehow, one half of the adaptor seems to always disappear. I’ll have either the usb cable or the wall jack, but not both. There is a new item that has hit the market that will now eliminate the need for me to have any usb cables or bulky square chargers. Its a USB charger that’s built into your wall outlet.

It’s called the Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet.

It’s an easy do-it-yourself installation for anyone who knows how to turn off a circuit and use a screwdriver. Just remove the existing outlet from the wall, switch out the two leads, and screw it back into place.

USB Wall Outlet

The original plug in still works and it gives you the option to charge your devices faster, and you no longer have to worry about keeping track of any cables.

The outlets are UL-certified for use on a 15 amp 125 volt circuit. The outlets are compatible with iPads, iPhones, iPods, Android tablets and phones, tablet computers, cellphones, game systems like Nintendo, Sony and PlayStation, Bluetooth headsets, digital cameras and GPS devices that charge through a standard USB plug.

The outlets are available in white. The list price is around $30 an outlet, although they can be found for less at online stores such as Amazon.

Two Quick Fixes for Making a Small Kitchen look Larger!

Generally, the kitchen is one of the first rooms a buyer will check out. The larger your kitchen appears the better your chances of a quick sale. Here are two quick fixes: Change the backsplash by adding stainless steel, paint,or my favorite, the fake tin that comes in rolls and a variety of colors. It will completely change the look of your kitchen! You can also add an island, which requires only 30” between counters and the island to pass through comfortably. Many come with wheels making your island portable. One of the most important thing to do to make any room appear larger is to de-clutter! Remember, less is more when it comes to staging your home for a quick sale. If you are looking to sell your home, give me a call today for a free market analysis. Robin Beene 918-906-9525
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Is it a Gift or Inheritance?

Transferring the title of a home from one person to another may seem simple but it could have a significant tax implication.

When a person inherits property, the basis is “stepped-up” to fair market value at the time of the decedent’s death. On the other hand, a gift has a carry-over basis which means that the recipient receives the unrealized gain also.

As an example, let’s say an elderly parent, in an attempt to get their affairs in order, gives their home to their adult child. The rationale might be that they are the sole beneficiary and will get the property eventually. In an effort to settle things early, unnecessary income tax may be incurred.

If the home was purchased for $20,000 and worth $100,000 at the time of transfer, there is a possible gain of $80,000. However, if the adult child inherited the property at the time of the parent’s death, their new basis would be $100,000 or the fair market value at the time of death and the possible gain would be zero.

This is meant to be an example and many other variables could be involved. If you’re concerned about a situation, you should seek specific advice from a tax professional and your attorney.

As always, I’m here to help you as your real estate professional. If you find you are in a situation where you wish to sell the property, I can guide you through the process of getting the home ready to sell.  I have a team of reliable, reputable and reasonable resources from cleaning, staging, hauling, repairs and estate sales that can help you through what is sometimes an overwhelming process.

I am always available to answer your real estate questions.

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Tulsa Women CEO’s

Sheryl 3When Sheryl Chinowth first came to Tulsa in 1996, she really just wanted to be an outstanding real estate agent, help clients and make sure they got the best possible service.

She never really envisioned becoming CEO of her own real estate agency.

Today, Chinowth with her husband, Lee Cohen, who is chief financial officer, oversees Chinowth & Cohen Realtors, which has about 330 licensed, full-time real estate agents and another 80 or so who are referral agents.

To get the business to that level has taken long hours and lots of work. In those first few years of starting the company, neither Chinowth nor her husband took a vacation or a day off work.

“To be a woman CEO and to start your own business, you have to understand you’re going to be working 80 hours a week for the first four or five years … You’re not going to get a lot of sleep,” Chinowth said. “To be an entrepreneur, you have to really have a strong drive. You have to have passion for the business that you’re in and really, really enjoy it and just an extremely hard work ethic.”

Looking back at it now, Chinowth jokingly said she wonders if she weren’t a “little bit crazy.” But she has no regrets. She loves people and real estate, and with the combination of the two, “it’s been a great fit.” “When your job is something that you enjoy doing every day, it’s not work,” she said.

She is glad to know that she and her husband helped achieve and build something that will last long after they are gone. If she were to do it all over again, Chinowth said she would have started the company 10 years earlier.

“I really do believe there are no limits. The only limits a person has in life are the limits they put on themselves. If you work hard, there aren’t any limits.” Women don’t hear the term “glass ceiling” anymore like they did when she was growing up, although there are still a lot of men who own their own companies. The playing field is changing, however, and Chinowth sees a society that increasingly values individual talent, skills, knowledge and personal integrity. “Those are the things that will rise you above everyone else – whether you’re male or female,” she said.

Buying Short Sale Houses

First, what is a short sale? A short sale is opposite of what it sounds like…. a short sale does not take a short amount of time, it often take 3-6 months (or longer) from offer to close. A short sale is when the sellers mortgage holder is accepting less than full payoff of their mortgage in exchange for releasing the lien. But if you are long on patience, have an open time frame in which to purchase and are hoping to get a good deal, the short sale market may be a good choice for you.

There are several importants things to consider before entering the short sale market:
Know your market: Not every short sale property is a good deal. Sometimes the banks set the list price of the property and when doing so set a price higher than the true market value. It is important to know the values in the area and the condition of the property.
Work with an experienced agent: There are a lot of potential issues in trying to purchase a short sale and an experienced agent can help you navigate them. It is important to know how far along in the foreclosure process the property is and whether or not there are additional liens or encumbrances on the property that might prevent the sale.
Be prepared to be patient: The banks have been working to streamline their short sale processes, but it may take 3-6 months (or longer) to successfully purchase a short sale, and some of them may go to sheriff’s sale before approval can be reached.
For additional information on short sales, foreclosures, homes for sale in Tulsa, visit my website at
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Susie Genet
Realtor Associate
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Tulsa home sellers ask WHY is my home not selling?

Tired Seller of Tulsa home for saleTulsa home sellers ask WHY is my home not selling after it’s been on the market for any period of time. Some sellers begin to panic sooner than others and look to their Realtor for answers.
One of my listings recently went under contract after only 30 days on market, but we had 20 showings before we got an offer. Feedback from the showings was very positive, but no offer after 20 showings? You can imagine how frustrated that Seller was. Then, as luck would have it, we received multiple offers on a Saturday evening, and are now under contract with a good solid Buyer. So, sometimes it is just a waiting game and patience is required.
Another listing I have has been on the market almost three months, and this morning I pulled comps (comparable properties) to present to my Seller. What we need to evaluate now is what properties are selling and why other properties were chosen over ours.
Although this home is in a popular midtown Tulsa neighborhood, the layout of the home has challenges. There are steep stairs leading to a 2nd level master bedroom that would be okay for a 25 year-old buyer, but not a consideration for a 45 year-old buyer. There is only a half-bath in the master bedroom, so whomever occupies that space will have to go downstairs to shower. Neither of these obstacles are easy or inexpensive to fix, so an adjustment must be made in list price.
When I reviewed the comps, I discovered that eight properties had closed in the past two months and that TWELVE properties are currently pending.That’s a total of 18 homes that were chosen over our listing. So, the inventory is moving and the Buyers are out there. The harsh realism is that we were not picked.
It is better to react to your current market conditions instead of burying your head in the sand and expecting for the best. The Seller has control over whether their home sells when they are provided current and consistent information from their Realtor.
And, as Buyers are more internet savvy these days, the first question they ask is “how many days has this home been on market?” The longer the days on market, the lower the property value is perceived. Buyers wonder, “why has nobody else snapped this property up?”
When Tulsa home sellers ask WHY is my home not selling – be prepared to hear a harsh response. If the condition of your home can not be improved upon, you must lower your price. Consider feedback you’ve received and definitely pull comps to evaluate what has been chosen over your home for sale. 
If you are interested in selling your home in the greater Tulsa area, do please read more about our listing services and give me a call! 918-852-5036
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