Archive for July, 2012

Blue Leaf Realty Educates Real Estate Consumers in Tarrant County
July 26, 2012

Getting educated about the process and the marketplace is the most important step in the real estate process.  Scott and Liana Oram, Realtors and founders of Blue Leaf Realty, take educating consumers and clients to heart.  Both are former educators and both hold master’s degrees in education and master’s degrees in real estate.  They have designed real estate workshops for people in North Texas who have never purchased a home before as well as workshops for people who are investing in real estate to grow their net worth.  At day’s end, Blue Leaf agents believe that an educated client is one who ultimately makes smarter real estate decisions.  Whether you are buying or selling, please check out BlueLeaf’s website that outlines the FREE  Real Estate Workshops offered by Blue Leaf Realty and don’t miss out on this great resource.

Texas HOA Powers are Curtailed by 82nd Legislature
July 24, 2012

Are HOAs in Texas too powerful?  Many people think so, and apparently the 82nd Texas Legislature agrees.  As a Texas Realtor, I understand the value that HOAs bring to the table but too much power leads to abuses.

Fortunately, Texas has passed new laws that will keep the power of HOAs in check.  In Texas, a property owner’s association can no longer impose on a home owner’s right to:

Display the US or TX state flag (certain guidelines apply)

Install a solar energy device (certain guidelines apply)

Display religious items (certain guidelines apply)

Install shingles designed to be wind/hail resistant or energy-efficient (certain guidelines apply)

The 82nd TX Legislature also curtailed the power of the POA or HOA to foreclose by mandating judicial foreclosure except when the property owner waives the requirement in writing.  HOAs or POAs are an asset to a community but too much power corrupts.  As with any law or deed restriction, there are nuances.  Please check with your HOA and review the new laws for details on how these changes may affect your rights as a property owner.  Hopefully, these new laws will promote a more harmonious balance between POAs and the citizens that reside in affected subdivisions across Texas.  This is also a great victory for those who want to make their homes more sustainable and energy-efficient.  Good job 82nd Texas Legislature!

Rockin’ The River at Fort Worth’s Panther Island Pavilion
July 18, 2012

Panther Island Pavilion

What do good music and inner-tubes have in common?  On the Trinity River, it means fun for everyone.  For years, the Trinity River in Fort Worth has been an underutilized and often maligned natural resource, but positive change is underway.  For the 2nd year in a row, the Trinity River Vision Authority and its sponsors are brewing up a great time along the banks of the Trinity River at Panther Island Pavilion.  With four concert dates remaining this summer, it’s not too late to join in the fun by checking out a free concert and, if you like, going tubing on the Trinity.  Don’t forget your float and your sunscreen!

Jimmy Ramey Reaches Next Real Estate Milestone
July 8, 2012

Blue Leaf Agent, Jimmy Ramey, figures out the recipe for success in real estate – delivering service that is so remarkable that people tell friends and family about their experience.  Referrals are the centerpiece of every successful real estate agent’s story and Jimmy’s story is no different.  As a result of earning his client’s trust and garnering referrals, Jimmy expects to exceed his goal for 2012.  As the real estate market in North Texas continues to heat up, Jimmy is positioned to take his real estate business to the next level.  Coming from the restaurant industry where great service is crucial, Jimmy understands how important it is to WOW each client with remarkable service.  “It’s always great to get a referral from a past customer — it lets me know that I’ve done my job,” says Jimmy Ramey.  “Many thanks to all my past clients and others who have referred me – referrals keep me busy and being busy is what I love!”  To learn more about how word-of-mouth marketing can take your business to the next level, check out one of Blue Leaf Realty’s favorite authors – Andy Sernovitz.

Self-Reliance in America
July 4, 2012

The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson understood the true meaning of self-reliance.  On this July 4th, I’m wondering what it means to be self-reliant in America today.

Does it mean that I am entitled to live in a big house and drive a new car?

Does it mean that I swear allegiance to one political party or the other?

Does it mean that I follow a trail that others before me have made?

Does it mean that I am entitled to wealth and prosperity?

Or, does it mean, like the founding fathers believed, that I hold certain virtues to be so important that they are inalienable such as the ones mentioned in the Declaration of Independence – life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

I’ve always tied these inalienable rights closely to the idea of self-reliance.  In fact, I believe the founding fathers were filled with self-reliance when they drafted the Declaration and the Constitution.

To me, self-reliance is the underbelly of work – the side of work that seldom gets much credit anymore in America.  It’s not the flash of genius moment; it’s the moments leading up to the flash of genius where an inventor or scientist works at discovering something that has the power to change the world.  It’s not the moment when a business makes a profit for the first time; it’s the moments where the owners devote countless hours getting there.  It’s not the moment when a child walks for the first time without his parent’s help; it’s the moments leading up to that event where the child spends hours crawling in order to strengthen his muscles to the point where he can walk without help.  It’s not even the single moment when a team wins a championship by only a few points; it’s when the individual players realize that all those moments spent practicing have finally paid off.  Single moments in time are exciting, of course, but they are not the embodiment of self-reliance.  Instead, self-reliance is best expressed by the moments we don’t see.  The ones of failure and heartache that lay behind the moment of victory where a person simply refused to give up, refused to quit.

Ever wonder why an Olympic athlete cries when he wins the gold medal or sets a new world record.  Rest assured, it’s not the applause of the crowd or the promise of fame.  It’s because in that brief instant, in that single moment, the winner realizes and reflects on all the hard work that has led him up to that single event, that single moment in time when he uncovers his personal best.

In America, we too much cherish the event.  Instead, we should focus more on the sacrifices and hard work leading up to the event.  This is why self-reliance is no less important today than it was when our founding fathers created our beloved Constitution or when Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence.

Without a doubt, the Declaration of Independence is probably the single most important American document ever written and it’s always good, in my opinion, to review at least the first few paragraphs now and again, especially on the 4th of July.  In doing so, I always wonder about the ‘pursuit of Happiness’ part and how that is interpreted.  Although it sounds good, I’ve often wondered whether happiness was the best choice of words.  It sounds very literary, of course, but I wonder if what Thomas Jefferson really meant was the pursuit of Self-reliance. not the pursuit of Happiness.  Today, happiness is generally used to refer to a temporary state.  Obviously, this meaning of the word is probably not what Jefferson had in mind when he chose the word.  Read on and determine for yourself:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Self-Reliance.

I agree, it simply does not roll off the tongue as well, but for me at least, it completes the thought much better. On this 4th of July, think about how America could be a better place if self-reliance became a virtuous virtue once again.

Blue Leaf Agent Derick Townsend Sets Record…
July 2, 2012

Blue Leaf agent and military veteran, Derick Townsend, sets Blue Leaf single month new homes sales record in June by helping military personnel utilize the VA benefit.  We congratulate him on his accomplishment and wish him continued success in helping people from the military who want to become home owners.  VA loans are one of the few opportunities left whereby a home buyer can finance 100% of the sales price.  Of course, to be eligible for the VA benefit, you must be active or retired military from any branch of the armed services.  In light of the July 4th holiday, we are delighted to have an agent like Derick at Blue Leaf Realty who is dedicated to helping soldiers purchase a home.  On behalf of Derick and everyone else at Blue Leaf Realty, I would like to say thank you to those in the military for their service!