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Archive for January, 2011

I’m Back – ready to entertain my fellow bloodhounds again

I’ve  been absent for a bit.  2010 was the year I decided to move my life and business from Wisconsin to Florida.  Bascially, I was tired of selling homes for $125k, tired of freezing cold winters, and tired of not living the dream.  I’d always dreamed of buying a retirement  home in Florida.  Today however, I can tell you I’m writing this blog post from my family’s small 2 bedroom apartment.  We sold our house, and moved to Florida. 

In short, the past six months have been filled with setting up a real estate brokerage, all while studying a 400 page book for the state brokers exam, all while my wife is pregnant and going to give birth 1-6-11, all while running a business in Wisconsin, and all while trying recruit agents, and start a successful real estate business in Florida.

I can confidently say that never ever again will I attempt to go to the extreme of moving a business, although moving a business is a 4 to 5 part blog post just in itself.  Greg Swann can no longer write about the how nice the weather is in Arizona while I used to be jealous, envious, and wishing for his Arizona weather year round.  Although Florida is not Arizona, it’s the paradise I currently live in and plan to enjoy till the ticker stops ticking.

Most of all, I’m glad to be back in the saddle again.  I’m glad to be reading posts from bloodhounders, instead of picking up that state exam book.  If any of you reading this post right now are thinking of moving your real estate business, there is much work involved.  Geeez, maybe in five years, I can tell you if it paid off or not for me.  Either way, I’m living the dream!

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A new year and the looting of the American people continues unabated.

BofA Settles GSE Buyback Requests for Pennies on the Dollar

According to this MND article, Obama appointee, FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco just handed Ally bank, formerly GMAC Bank and Bank of America potentially a total $300 billion windfall. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, wholly owned subsidiaries of the US Treasury Dept. are foregoing the opportunity to put hundreds of billions worth of  mortgage backed securities  back to these banks in return for $3 billion cash which, no doubt came from the TARP and shadow earnings as a result of regulatory forbearance. The mortgage backed securities have a refund clause by which the originator is obligated to repurchase the securities if there were specific deficiencies in the origination of the underlying mortgages. As we saw in “foreclosuregate”, even the chain of title for some of these securities is defective. I think we can safely assume that there is probably more than $3 billion of refunds to be had with aggressive defense of the taxpayers’ interests.  Why does this matter?  Bonuses, baby.  Every dime coughed up by Ally or Bank of America reduces profits which shrinks the bankster bonus pool.  Apparently the Administration cannot stand the idea of those nice banksters riding in last year’s Maybach.  Especially after they made all those generous campaign  donations.

Maybach Laundalet

Wells Fargo, CitiBank and Chase have yet to cut their pennies on the dollar deals with Mr. DeMarco.  As the article points out, there are many purchasers of these same mortgage backed securities such as public and private pension funds and insurance companies who will probably go to the mat for a lot more than a couple pennies on the dollar.  The pension trustees and the insurance companies have a fiduciary duty to recover as much as possible for their beneficiaries.  It is a trillion dollar shame  that the administration doesn’t take its obligation to the taxpayer as seriously.  It will be interesting to see if there will be any Congressional oversight forthcoming in the new Congress regarding the Obama Administration’s magnanimous gift to the banksters.

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Time off for good behavior

My husband Jamie took off work for two solid weeks over the holiday, but even then, today he shared a rather startling revelation with me: He still lost 60 hours of vacation time in 2010. I was in the middle of creating a weekly schedule for myself in order to practice time blocking in 2011, and I had asked him about vacations, suggesting we schedule time off together- early and often. We’ve got kids in college and young critters at home, so a tight budget and an undisciplined puppy mean we won’t be taking any two week trips to Paris but still, we could easily schedule a morning off on that day, an overnight trip to Indy or Columbus this day, a day trip to watch the ponies run in Kentucky on yet another day. It would be fun just to try to use up 60 hours and not really go anywhere at all.

We had 7 major family celebrations since Thanksgiving. Add a handful of office parties and friends gathering together, and dammit I’m looking forward to Monday. Our obligations to other people pushed hard into our relaxation time this holiday and we all have a bit of holiday fatigue which is really unfair to those people we love, but also it is not a healthy way to begin the trek through the long winter months.

So as I was working out a weekly schedule for real estate related tasks, it occurred to me that I have no option but to combat fatigue of any sort by scheduling some goof off time. The whole reason for creating a schedule is to help me to meet goals and some of my goals are personal. I want to paint again. I want to spend time with my husband and my friends, nurturing some relationships that have gotten a bit weedy lately. I want to poke around some boutiques that I pass by on a regular basis and try out some new coffee shops.  In other words, I want guilt-free time that is mine alone to decide how to use and likely the only way to do that is, ironically, to schedule it into my calendar. Surely I’m not the only one who struggles with this, although today it occurred to me that I probably just need to get over myself. Geez. The world turns without me- so go ahead Lussier, take a day off.

I’m not talking about time for church or the gym or to coach the kid’s soccer team, those seem to be obligatory to most of us. I’m talking about time set aside for yourself for nothing in particular. I know you pros who have been in real estate for years can probably attest to benefits of scheduling time off and vacation time. I was hoping you would share some of the things you do- the big and small things- that help you recharge your batteries on a regular basis. Do you only return calls during certain hours? Do you schedule a weekly date night? I’m wondering, how do you maintain your balance?

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