You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘columbus dispatch’ tag.

Last week there was a great article in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper, “Independent Title Agents Sue”.  A group of small, independent title agents is petitioning the Ohio Supreme Court to STOP real estate brokers, banks, mortgage companies from steering business to affiliated title companies.

In a nutshell, the independent title agents are suing the Ohio Department of Insurance for failure to protect the consumer and to enforce state laws against what it calls “the spread of kickbacks and referral schemes in the real estate industry” (aka, affiliated business relationships).

Good news, Ohio law prohibits banks, real estate brokers and mortgage companies from being licensed title agencies.  But, since 1974 the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) has allowed affiliated business relationships.  In my opinion, overall RESPA has been great legislation that has helped protect the consumer.  But, RESPA really dropped the ball in regards to affiliated business relationships.

Let’s hope the independent title agents will be successful with their lawsuit.  I will keep you updated with future blog posts.  “Affiliated business relationships” are really bad for the consumer.  These relationships raise the cost of many title company fees with no benefits to the consumer.

In my opinion, if this lawsuit wins it could really open an “ugly door” into our state departments and agencies that are set up to monitor and regulate many industries, such as real estate, lending, financial securities and insurance.

The “average Joe citizen” would think these agencies are set up to protect the consumer.  But, in many times, the actions and decisions of these agencies have worked to protect the industry that they are monitoring more so than protecting the consumer.

We have been mixing “big business industry” with politics for years.  This has fostered an environment of “sleeping with the enemy” and/or “the fox is guarding the chicken coop”.

This is a dangerous mix of power, control and greed that has been dormant for a long time.  If this lawsuit is successful, hopefully it will expose other agencies and open up a lot more questions.

If you can’t tell by now, I am no proponent of “one stop shopping”.  The problems of affiliated business agreements are just a smaller component of the entire “one stop shopping” farce.

There is only ONE reason why big banks, insurance companies and/or real estate firms offer you the convenience of one stop shopping and that is profit and greed.  It will almost never be in your best interest to make a major financial decision on one stop shopping.

If you need to buy or sell a home in Central Ohio and you are thinking about using the largest real estate broker in our market to help with everything (real estate transaction, new loan, home warranty, title services, etc.) then you need to be really careful.  As Dr. Phil would say, “You need to get REAL” (or not real, if you know what I mean).

You need to do research and work to be a smart, informed consumer.  Shop around, make phone calls, get multiple estimates or quotes.  If you do your research you will make the best informed decision and you will be better off financially.

In my opinion, there has always been a public perception that the real estate industry has been notorious for kickback schemes and unethical referral arrangements.  Eliminating or better monitoring of affiliated business relationships/agreements will be a good start toward improving our public perception.  Let’s hope the Ohio Supreme Court can do the right thing! 

After we fix affiliated business relationships we will move onto stopping one stop shopping. heh, heh, heh!

Here are some related links:

Ohio Department of Insurance

Ohio Department of Commerce (Real Estate, Mortgage & Financial Securities)

Division of Financial Institutions

Division of Real Estate

Division of Securities

Be careful out there!

Home Buyer Advocate Mike

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Last week, The Homebuyer’s Advocate Blog was used as a reference for a  good article in the Columbus Dispatch by Jim Woods – Moldy Home Cost Builder $3 Million.

 

Jim put out a thorough follow up article about the moldy Maronda house and resulting lawsuit that has been in the news for the past few months. 

 

Our very popular blog post (over 500 views) in late February reported on the same Maronda issue – Maronda Home Verdict Cost Nearly $3.2 Million.

 

I especially liked the way Jim “touched” on the Reynoldsburg Building Department signing off the home.

 

The house passes all building code requirements, but yet the south side of the house was not attached to the foundation and was inadequately attached on the other three sides.  This was hilarious and sad all at the same time.

 

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person reading this article and saying “hmmm, how does that happen?”

 

How new homes pass building inspections & get occupancy permits is a mystery to most consumers & home owners.

 

I think the Columbus Dispatch has the start of whole other investigative exposé

 

I’ve heard many stories from experienced home inspectors that talk about the same problems and issues with homes passing building inspections.

 

For example, a home can pass plumbing & electrical inspections but yet have water leaks and no working lights.  There are two main reasons why these problems sometimes happen with building inspections.  First, many building inspectors just check to make sure homes are built to the correct specs, materials, items, hardware, clearances, etc.  As long as a home is built to the correct specs and material it could possibly pass a building inspection.  The second main reason why bad homes pass building inspections is human error.  This happens even in spite of pressurized plumbing checks and other tests on mechanical systems.

 

I think it is about time to stop beating a dead horse.  It is time to move past the issues of some new home builders in Central Ohio, like Maronda and Dominion homes. (Another Builder Casualty)  The last few years, their issues have been thoroughly documented in every type of media & press publication.  If you are an informed home buyer in Central Ohio then this is all old news.

 

The key phrase above is “if you are an informed home buyer“.  I’ve been an Exclusive (true) Buyer Broker since 1996.  I only represent residential and investor buyers.  I’m sorry to say that the definition of a truly informed home buyer varies greatly.  In most situations, a home buyer will spend only a few minutes researching the home buying process on the Internet sandwiched in between their favorite TV shows, American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.  In one short evening a potential home buyer thinks they have thoroughly researched everything they need to know about the home buying process.

 

The reason this occurs so frequently is because researching on how to find the best representation possible for a home buyer is not fun and feels too much like work.  Home Buyers just want to look at beautiful pictures of fabulous homes.

 

The first and most important decision a home buyer needs to make is who will represent them, NOT which home they buy or what builder to use.  An Exclusive Buyer Broker (EBA) is the highest and best representation possible for any home buyer.  Would an EBA been able to protect the buyer that purchased the moldy Maronda home.  Maybe, yes or no.  There are no 100% guarantees in life.  A  true Buyer Broker (EBA) isn’t  always going to be a “Knight in Shining Armor”.  But, we are the best base or foundation of having a successful home buying transaction.

 

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Forbes.com just released their top 10 “up and coming” tech cities in the USA.  Columbus, Ohio was ranked as the #1 up and coming high technology city in the USA.  I’m sure many people were surprised to see Columbus at the top of the list.  Two major reasons why Columbus leads this list.  Number one, Columbus is home to one of the largest universities in the world – The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!).  Number two, Battelle Memorial Institute has been based in Columbus, Ohio since 1932.  Battelle Memorial Institute is the state’s largest research center.  This is great news for Central Ohio.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Another “somewhat” good article about buyer’s agents popped up over the weekend in the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.  Buyer’s agents work on clients behalf, using one can help bring a better deal on home purchase.  This story was written by Mary Ellen Slayter of The Washington Post.  Mary has a decent history of writing informative articles (for example, Watching Out for You, the Buyer) that help educate home buyers and explain the virtues of using a buyer’s agent.

But, like many writers, Mary’s articles fall  short of providing accurate information.  Mary’s main sources and references in her articles are mainly tainted by traditional  real estate agents and organizations that are trying to promote the real estate industry in general, and NOT really promoting true buyer advocacy.  The most important issue for any potential home buyer is to first find a qualified Exclusive (true) Buyer Agent (EBA).  Articles like Mary’s do more harm than good because they don’t clearer state the important differences between a traditional real estate buyer agent and an Exclusive Buyer Agent.

Many traditional buyer agents will sell homes and take listings.  This creates a huge, conflict of interest to any home buyer and exposes them to being “sold” properties by their so called buyer agent instead of their buyer agent being their advocate and adviser.  Almost all Exclusive (true) Buyer Agent have access to all homes in their market but they do NOT SELL homes or take listings at all!  An Exclusive Buyer Agent is the highest, best representation possible for any home buyer.

Many traditional buyer agents are just using the “title” to try and capture business.  Mary’s suggestion for finding a buyer agent, “Another way to find a buyer’s agent is to visit open houses” is probably one of  the most negligent and craziest suggestions that I’ve ever heard.  Home buyers should start at the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) if they are trying to find a good, qualified buyer agent.  Good luck!

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

How are our schools doing? Not too bad, according to the latest data from the State of Ohio Department of Education. All the public schools in the State of Ohio were given a “solid B” (effective rating) based on state tests results from the 2006-7 school years.

Small Report CardAll of our local central Ohio schools did fairly well in the latest test results. For the first time, all central Ohio school districts were rated a “C” or higher. The Columbus school district (central Ohio’s largest school district) improved to “continuous improvement” over “academic watch”.

The main web site for the Ohio Department of Education is a tremendous resource for statistics, data and information on our schools. If you like to review statistics and data then you will love this post. You can research every imaginable statistic (proficiency test results, enrollment, student disciplinary actions, attendance, graduation rates, etc.) that deals with your local school district.

Survey results from our clients have shown that the condition of the school system is always one of the homebuyers top “biggest fears” when buying a home.

Below are some good links to review:

I hope this information helps.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

*You will need to “uncheck” the match case box to utilize the power users reports section.  This section is also incredibly slow.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Buyer's Resource Realty Services 7100 N. High St. Suite 204 Worthington, OH 43085
614.321.9577

Michael Marshall – Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013!

Get Informed Now!

Hip & Cool Counter

  • 99,787 Satisfied Customers!

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike


Representing People, NOT Property in Columbus, Ohio. If you are a home buyer, then you need me to protect you. I can help you get the best price and terms for your next home purchase. You must use a true Buyer Broker! 1.614.805.7607

SEARCH HOMES!

Categories

December 2018
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  
Zillow Home Value Index

Archives

Follow Me on TWITTER!

%d bloggers like this: