Farewell to Summer

img_0587

img_0588

img_0589

Today was the first day that was chilly in the morning, and in my opinion it is still a little cool outside. Some people love when the weather changes. I love when it starts to get warm in the spring. I’m not a big fan of the colder weather, but there are a couple of things that make a tropical soul like mine happy. My flowers on the back porch reminded me that there are some upsides to fall. See the pictures above.

I thought I might share the start of a new playlist I have been working on in my mind. This playlist will be named “End of Summer Songs.”

1. “Anything but Mine” by Kenny Chesney – this song is about the end of a summer romance. This was the first song by Kenny Chesney to hit my radar.
2. “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire – this song has the best jam. I don’t really care what the song is about, I just like to dance around to the great beat.
3. “When the Coast is Clear” by Jimmy Buffett – this is a great song about introspection. For me the new year is September 1 not January 1.
4. “Endless Summer” by Eric Stone – “What a bummer, I need an endless summer.” Just a song about being a surf bum. Eric Stone is a Texas singer-songwriter that you need to check out.
5. “Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season” by Jimmy Buffett – I know I already put a Buffett song on the list, but I really like his music. This one is sort of about being hung-over. I also hear a song about a guy who knows changes are coming, but decides to cope with the inevitable as best he can.

I know this is not an all-inclusive list, but these are just some I like. Let me know which ones I might have forgotten.

Cheers ya’ll,
Allyn

Five Tips for the Jimmy Buffett Tailgate Party and Concert:

Jimmy Buffett Concert 2014

Jimmy Buffett Concert 2015

If you have not heard by now, Jimmy Buffett is coming to Frisco, TX for his annual kick off to summer fun on May 28, 2016. I’m going to be there, and I hope to see you there too. We always have a good time at the show. I have never meet anyone there but friends that I did not know I had. They were strange, but not strangers for long. I don’t think I need to remind you to bring food and drinks. Make sure you have plenty of water and all those other parent things.
1. Get to the tailgate early so you can decorate your spot. I love to have my tailgate spot decorated. We have fake tiki décor and inflatable parrot for our tent. Since you can’t stake the thing in the ground, I attach ratcheted tie downs to 5 gallon buckets with sand bags in the buckets. I saw people doing this at the beach where the sand would not hold stakes and stole the idea. We also have beach chairs and a big beach blanket for the ground.
2. Wear a costume. Come on the least you can do is wear a Hawaiian shirt. Since I wear one daily that is not a costume for me. I wear my grass skirt, leas and parrot hat. Yes, I am literally a Parrothead at the show. You don’t have to be tropical, being a pirate is fine too. I can’t really think of a time when being a pirate is problem, but you never know. I wear flip flops and have never had a problem.
3. Watch for beach balls in the front. Last year I had a party fowl and spilled beer all over the dude in front of me. I felt bad, but he did not seem to care. He did not even give me a dirty look. This year, I am going to take a cheap beach ball to throw.
4. Bring your music. I always warn the people next to us that we like Jimmy Buffett music. Most just laugh and say “us too.” However, by four or five o’clock and hearing “Margaritaville” at least three times, I think they wish I would listen to something else. Some just play the car radio. That’s cool if you have Sirius XM and put it on channel 24.
5. Learn the music. You know the man is going to play that beach song for which he is famous. In fact, I would be mad and want my money back if he did not play “Margaritaville.” Jimmy Buffett has been making great music for over forty years. There are the big eight or ten songs that he plays at every concert, some of them you know by heart. My favorite songs are not the ones you know by heart. I love those songs, but they are not my favorites with one exception. “A Pirate Looks at Forty” is my song if only for the line, “I feel like I’ve drown, but I won’t wear a frown.” It reminds me that sometimes we all feel down, but if we smile through it we will get through it. Another way to put is “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” I wish I knew who said it, but I do try to live it. That reminds me, I hope he plays “Cowboy in the Jungle” this year. I think my favorite of the big ten is “One Particular Harbor.” That however is a topic for a whole other post.

Tips for first time home buyers:

Sixteen years ago, my wife and I bought our first house together. I was a school teacher in El Paso, Texas. To say that it changed me is an understatement. My self-esteem increased by bounds. I suddenly felt that I could do anything. I was 37 years old, but I finally felt like a grown-up.
That is just it – purchasing a home is a grown up thing to do. You are a part of the community. You are a better employee. Dare I say – you are a better citizen. The American Dream is still alive. Owning a home is a BIG DEAL and CHANGES YOUR LIFE.
Well through all the changes in my life, now I get to help others get that same feeling. I have worked with a couple of first time buyers now, and I have noticed (maybe remembered) that they make some assumptions about working with me and the whole home buying process that aren’t always right. The whole process is scary and challenging. I put together a few tips that might help:
1. Home buying is a process: Nobody expects you to know how to do it. That is why you work with a Realtor. They can guide you through the process and help answer questions. That is a topic for a whole other post.
2. Get pre-qualified with a local lender: Let’s keep stuff local. Guess what – that is a good practice. Nothing is more frustrating than calling a 1-800 number when you have a question or a problem. Also, let the Realtor know who are using. Different lenders have different rules, and your Realtor does not want to waste time looking at houses that you can’t buy. Plus, what if you LOVE one of those homes. You will hate on your Realtor and your lender if you can’t buy it. Life is too short for hate.
3. Look at a few homes and then make a criteria list: Looking at a couple of really different places helps you see what is on the market. Also, you might see a great place you would never have seen otherwise. For example, when my wife and I moved to Fort Worth, we wanted a garage. That was non-negotiable. Our Realtor (who is now my broker), found a great house without a garage. The short of the story is we bought that house. It was a great house and we lived there until my daughter was 9 months old and the house was just too small.
4. Be patient: If you fall in love with the first house you see then you are a schmuck! Even in a seller’s market there are choices. Don’t get mad at your Realtor just because they have not found you a house. Do your homework too. I set up a portal so that my clients can see houses that match their criteria the day they come on the market. If you see something you like, let your Realtor know. He or she is NOT TOO BUSY TO SHOW YOU A HOUSE. If they are, you need a new Realtor and should call me.
5. Use a Realtor: You might think – “how else would I buy a house?” Let me tell you a quick story:
When my wife was in law school, we were watching the news one night. They had a consumer report about a young woman who was taken advantage of by some crook. She owned a small business and was having some success. She wanted to buy a home. Rather than use a Realtor, she looked in the local “Thrifty Nickel.” The guy had her pay him as a “rent to own,” but she could not take possession of the mobile home until she paid him off. She paid him a couple of months and then he skipped town with her money. I felt so sorry for her. Using a Realtor costs the buyer no money, and gives them a professional to look after the buyer’s interests. All it really costs you is loyalty, but you get the same in return. Plus, when something at your perfect new house breaks, call the Realtor. They know all the good contractors.

Introduction to my blog and a little about me:

This blog was created to promote my Real Estate business. SURPRISE! Were you actually surprised? I hope not. Yes, I am a Realtor, and yes I want to promote my business. I am more than a real estate agent, and I wanted to start a blog for a long time. I just never felt like I had much to say or promote. Now I have a business that needs promoting, but I also have other interests that are just going to be a part of the blog too. If you want real estate advice, I am happy to provide you with my experiences. If you like a good cocktail, then I might can help with that too. My plan here is to give you the reader five things to know about a subject.
So, let’s get started with five things to know about me, your humble writer, beach bum, parrothead, Realtor:

1. I live in Fort Worth, Texas, and my heart is on the water. I was born in Fort Worth, Texas at Harris Hospital just like my two youngest children, but I have the soul of a sailor. Fortunately we have some great lakes. My family keeps a boat at Eagle Mountain Lake. We are out there most summer weekends and then some into the fall. In Fort Worth, summer weather starts in May and ends in October. We are so lucky. I’m happiest on the water, even in the cold weather.
2. Maybe it just goes with the water thing, but I listen to Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney and Bob Marley music all the time. One of the biggest bummers is that I never got to see Bob Marley play. I started listening to reggae music when he was still alive, but I never got to see him play. On the positive side, I have seen Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney play live. In fact, this year will make the sixth year to see Buffett at the Frisco show. I’m pretty pumped for the concert. Great tailgate scene in Frisco. If you make it to the tailgate, stop by and say hey. I would love to meet you.
3. I love Mexican food. I love to make it and eat it. I love Mexican food so much I lived in El Paso, Texas for twelve years where I taught school. When I lived in El Paso, I met the most wonderful woman in the world and married her. She makes awesome enchiladas. I mean truly cosmic. We love to eat Mexican food when we go out too. Everything from standards like Joe T’s to smaller places and taco stands. I am always up for a dining adventure. The best part of that is I don’t have to leave Tarrant County to do that. That said, I got a list of places to hit in Parker and Johnson County too.
4. Being a Realtor is my third career change. Life is what happens when you are making plans. I was a petroleum geologist until the market went down in 2015. I saw this a great opportunity to start my own business. I am a self-starter and independent thinker. I have my own ideas about how to get things done. Fort Worth has a history of people like that. Being a Realtor makes me an independent contractor representing my broker. My broker was my realtor when I returned to Fort Worth in 2003. I love the slogan at Wilco – “Grassroots starts at home.” Its got that Fort Worth proud attitude.
5. I like to look at houses. I know that I have not been doing this long, but I do like to shop for houses. I love looking at how other people live. I love seeing what others have done to their homes over time. Some people are wildly creative, and have great senses of style. I would like to think that I am like that, but sometimes I think I just like weird stuff. For example, I love mid-century modern tiki décor. The more hideous and campy, the more I love it. I am searching Fort Worth and the surrounding area for a tiki inspired rumpus room. Care to join me for the search?

Cheers ya’ll,
Allyn