The Inspiration Behind Home Improvement: FRIENDSHIP

"He Said, She Said"
“He Said, She Said”

Nearly four years ago, the caveman part of this duo and I got married in a simple private ceremony in our front courtyard right at home. We had a great local Beatles cover band Fab Fever on our lower back deck, where the hot tub once was. Today, that area is landscaped with pea gravel and stepping stones with water-saving shrubbery and a new fence surrounding the entire lower level deck. A perfect place for a DJ set-up!

Fast-forwarding several years to this week, we find ourselves excitedly fixing up the house for our friends Allison and Michael. They will be celebrating their wedding reception at our home with a Batman theme laced with pink. So, as I type this, the landscapers are at our home planting pink flowers in the courtyard. I hope Allison likes them.

It is friends like Allison and Michael that make living worthwhile. Because of them being our inspiration, our butts are in gear this past year to make the house as beautiful as possible. New paint, new driveway, new landscaping, freshly stained deck, new fence, new roof, new ambiance! Now to make that call to the house cleaners, window washers and pressure washers at Guss Service Agency…

We look forward to Batman and Cat-woman’s wedding reception this weekend!

Engaged and Still Looking?

Checking Out the Goods

English: Photograph of Australian speech thera...

Last night we had a great conversation with a newly engaged couple looking to make their first big purchase together. They asked this question:

“Can we still make offers on other property while we’re in contract on a purchase already?”

My question back was, “Would you ask someone to marry you if you were already engaged to someone else?”

Being in contract to purchase a property indicates that you’re committed to purchasing that property. Much like a fiance is committed to his fiancee, there may be an expectation that one not go out for the purpose of committing to another.

Similar to being engaged for marriage, a home purchase contract can include a contingency period when the buyer has the opportunity to “check out the goods” of the property to make sure it’s sound enough to make that final, lasting commitment.

We had a lively conversation about which circumstances might justify the submission of several offers at once. Here are a few things we discussed:

  • Only make offers on multiple properties if you can afford to purchase them all.
  • If you are waiting for a response from one seller and decide you want to buy another property instead, withdraw the offer on the other property first! (Same concept  as NOT asking someone to marry you if you’re already engaged!)
  • Work with a reputable agent who can exercise some important controls. Remember, in order for a buyer to be taken seriously, their agent has to be taken seriously too.

By the end of our meeting with this lovely couple, they committed to working with us for the purchase of a HUD-owned property. Since we are approved by HUD to assist our buyer clients, we’ll enjoy knowing that our clients reached out to us already knowing we’re qualified to help them. We can consider it a successful first date!

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Change That Will!

Several years ago when I was experiencing some dark lonely days, I put together a will and bought a cemetery plot. (Yes, I do own land!)

That same will is now sitting on my desk at home as a reminder to revise it since I got re-married last year. My husband (Greg) and I have been walking by that desk every day for the last few weeks. He’s patient with me. He knows I’ll get it done. In fact, when we put aside some time soon, we’ll both work on the revision together.

When I put together that will years ago, I was still legally married to my still-good-friend and former husband Francis Luke, with whom I co-owned the Rickshaw Express restaurants and other Rickshaws around the bay area for many years. Francis is still listed in the will as being the beneficiary of everything. In the will, it says that even after our then-marriage is dissolved, it was my wish that he remain the beneficiary of everything save for a few thousand dollars for my brother and sister.

However, a lot has changed in the last few years:

  • My sister has since given me two beautiful little nieces. Pressley (the Happy Baby) is 18 months old and Gia (the Moody Baby AKA “Gia Pet”) is 3 years old.
  • I got re-married to Greg, a wonderful man who’s given me more than just his heart.
  • Francis is now Greg’s friend too. (Side note: When I first told Francis that Greg and I started working together, his response was “poor, poor Greg!”)

I better not get hit by a bus any time soon!

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