Monthly Archives: October 2013

Photo Oct 31, 9 07 50 AMWell, It’s Halloween. Which for me means spending an absurd amount of money to make sure my 2 year old daughter is comparably cute to the other little 2 year old girls out there. It also means rushing to the store and digging through opened packages and “left overs” because my 12 year old son who was “too old” to go trick or treating decides two days before Halloween he has changed his mind. I would love to be a “good mom” and make their costumes, but I’m not going to even attempt to find the time. If I do find a few moments of spare time to myself I would rather do more productive things… like take a shower or pee with the door closed.

Halloween begins it all. The chaos of the Holiday season. Finding holiday outfits for the kids (because if they are not dressed “cute enough” my mother will make sure I know), either preparing to host Thanksgiving or figuring out what you’re going to bring to the family member that is hosting, and telling yourself everyday that you need to start shopping for gifts (but not). You will be reminded every time you walk into a store that you need to begin shopping because stores start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween now… which is great for the first week or two and then you want to take a bat to every store music system (I can’t be the only one).  If you’re married there’s figuring out which holidays you spend with whose family. If either set of parents are divorced that just adds to the fun of it. No matter what… someone ends up insulted and ticked off. Isn’t this fun?!

Kids already start talking about what they want for gifts. I am lucky enough that my son still believes in Santa. However, the Santa he believes in does not have a budget. So, for year number 2 his list is going into the THOUSANDS. Which just means for the second year in a row he will be utterly disappointed (This Santa does not deliver a trip to a Sox vs Yankee game in New York via private jet… seriously).

I had already started to stress weeks ago when my thoughts lead me to this decision… I’m not doing it again this year. By that I mean letting the stress and chaos of it all ruin it. Kids are only small once, and everyday they are a little older. Our parents will not be around forever. Money comes and goes… I’ll be broke in January but it will come back (RIGHT?). I think we all just need to slow down and enjoy it…. Instead of praying for it all to be over. One day, one holiday at a time.

So, It’s Halloween. Whether you’re taking your kids out trick or treating or just handing out candy… take a deep breath, be safe, and enjoy.

LizAbout the Author: Liz Pedrini is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy and enjoys the holiday chaos with her family. You can learn more about her on her website www.lizpedrini.com


ccpicChristopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1451. He was born into what most would consider a middle class family. But like most children of the era, he was expected to begin preparing for a career at an early age. In his later writings, Columbus claimed he first went to sea at the age of 10.

 

Three hundred years passed between Columbus’s discovery of the Americas In 1492 and the first known celebration of that discovery. In 1792, a group called the Columbian Order organized a ceremony in New York City to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the new world. After the Civil War, a group of Italian immigrants in New York organized the first real celebration of that discovery.  In the years that followed, other groups of Italian immigrants did likewise.

Columbus Day originated as a celebration of Italian-American heritage and was first held in San Francisco in 1869.  In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation in honor of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s landing in the Bahamas. Harrison did not, however, make the day a national holiday.  The first state-wide celebration was held in Colorado in 1907.  Colorado became the first state to designate October 12th as a holiday. In later years, other states did the same.  Then, in 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared October 12th a federal legal holiday (the date Columbus first landed in the Bahamas.). It remained such until 1971, when Congress moved the official observance to the second Monday of October, the same day as Thanksgiving in Canada.

There are many local events to celebrate Columbus Day, but the one I like best is the Columbus Day Parade which goes through the North End of Boston.  In odd numbered years (including 2013) the parade kicks off in Boston and winds up going through the North End’s streets, including Atlantic Ave, Hanover Street and Endicott Street. Other events I look forward to are fall foliage tours,  (http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/fall-foliage-tours.html),Boston Duck Tours (http://www.boston-discovery-guide.com/boston-duck-tours.html) and the many entertainers in Christopher Columbus Park.  What are some of your favorite events?

Linda DubeAbout the author: Linda Dube is a Realtor at RE/MAX Legacy in Woburn and has compiled this helpful information about Columbus Day from various web sources. You can learn more about Linda on her website www.lindalistsandsells.com

 


Owning real estate is the American Dream.  Part of the dream is to own income property that will complement your investment portfolio.  Owning income producing real estate with someone else paying for it, doesn’t get any better for you as an investor.  There are many benefits to owning investment property such as growing equity and gaining tax benefits.  But beware and be aware;  there are pitfalls  too.

Income property could be as simple as a two family, owner occupied home where you live in one unit, and the other is occupied by a tenant paying a fair market rent for the apartment.   Perhaps you might be more aggressive and buy a 3 or 4 family home.   It could even be a condo that served as your first home, and you kept it to use as a rental property after you moved out.  These options are a great way to get your feet wet as an investor.

So what can go wrong?  A lot!

No property or component of that property will last forever, so expect that there will be repairs.  It could be simple or it could be major.  You should maintain a reserve fund for these occasions and have a list of “expert” maintenance people that you can call.  “Must haves” are electricians and plumbers, as these are the most common emergency calls.

Vacancy is a part of business.  A tenant gives notice and moves out.  Ideally you want to have a seamless transfer of occupancy but that may not happen.  You definitely need to get the apartment cleaned and you may need to paint it.  You may need to shampoo the carpets or even replace them.  At minimum you may lose that time as rental time.  If you ask too much for the rent, you may not get potential tenants applying for tenancy, so being realistic will help minimize vacancy times.

Bad tenants happen.  Sometimes you can know it ahead of time and sometimes it just happens.  It’s important to make a good choice up front.  Having a qualified real estate agent handle the rental process for you is a good idea.  The agent will screen applicants to determine qualification.   The agent will check credit reports, verify employment and contact previous landlords and other references.  In the end, as a landlord, you want to be certain that the tenant can not only pay the rent on time, but be able to pay the utility bills for their unit.

No matter how hard you try, what resources you use in the rental process, or how strong a tenant might appear on paper, it is inevitable that you, as a landlord, will eventually go through the eviction process.  There are several scenarios that one might go through in this process, but ultimately you could end up in court.  Be prepared to incur legal fees, lost rents and a drawn out process.  Keep good records and notes.  Document everything as it pertains to the problem tenant, gather witnesses as needed, and the outcome, when it occurs, will more likely be in your favor.

So don’t be afraid to invest in income property.  It is a great way to build equity, and expand your investment portfolio.  Start small and grow.  Be patient.  We know what happens to real estate over time, regardless of the corrections that occur.  It moves higher in value!  Be in it for the long haul and you will be glad you did!

About the author: Roland Spadafora is a Broker Owner at RE/MAX Legacy.  Over the years, he has owned a few investment properties with success.  Currently he manages 15 units in Woburn for a Trust.  He is hoping to grow that portion of his business. He can be contacted through his website at www.spadaforateam.com