Great Reasons to Dig into Real Estate in 2012! Wednesday, Dec 28 2011 

LINKS:
John Herreid is an experienced Residential Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams. For a look at his listings & blogs, take a look at: www.JohnHerreid.com.

Kristen Hagopian is a Radio Talk Show Host, Personal Finance Author, Wealth Building Columnist and Motivational Speaker. For more information on Brilliant Frugal Living, take a look at: www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com
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Will Rogers is known for his quote: “Buy land, they’re not making it any more…”. A generation or two later, it proves to be as true as ever. Tough to believe, but we’re in the midst of one of the best economies ever for getting into the real estate market. If ever there was a silver lining in this economy, the real estate market is probably it.

Courtesy of a vicious economic trifecta of high unemployment rates, a high foreclosure rate and regular folks just trying to sell their house under the most ordinary of circumstances, there is currently a glut of properties on the market that some experts estimate will take at least a decade to stabilize. In the meantime, prices nationwide have dropped to levels absolutely unthinkable just a few years ago. Yet the question remains: with personal savings at all time lows, and economic confidence a solid notch lower than that, how can anyone benefit from the market today?

On my “Brilliant Frugal Living Show” on 1180AM WFYL (this week at 11:00A on Tuesday & Saturday), I have the pleasure of interviewing John Herreid, an experienced Residential Realtor with Keller Williams Real Estate, who has recently enjoyed his best year in business in the last five, even in this current market. In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably note that he’s also my Dad. That being said, I have to tell you, there’s nothing like growing up watching your parents thru the decades as they make each and every economy and real estate market work in their favor – it’s highly motivating. On today’s Show, we discuss strategies to utilize the current Real Estate Market and make it work for you, including:

Renting – With record home foreclosures driving throngs of people back to the rental market, the demand for quality rental properties has never been higher. Investing in one or more of those foreclosure properties (at the right price), will not only make you a hero to the neighbors, but a godsend to a family who is looking for a good house in a good neighborhood to call home.

Flipping – Is there still a market for flippers? Absolutely! The key is in the buying price and knowing up front what it will cost to repair. Rule of thumb: never underestimate costs, and never overestimate your renovation skills. Being a “This Old House” DVD junkie does not a contractor make. When factoring costs, put together a “Plan B” in case it doesn’t sell as fast as you’d like, including renting it out for a solid monthly supplemental income.

Owning – Trust me gang, the dream of homeownership is still very much alive and well. If your income and/or saving skills over the last few years have allowed you to save the substantial down payment banks are now asking for, then the American Dream of home ownership is all but jumping on your head and shrieking “buy, buy, buy!” as you sleep. Connect with a quality realtor to find the properties that fit your needs in your price range. If you are part of the beloved demographic of potential buyers that has actual – dare I say it? – SAVINGS put away for a down payment, the real estate world is literally your oyster. Dive in!

If you’re interested in making today’s Real Estate market work in your favor, tune in today at 11:00A for more in-depth discussion with an Experienced Realtor who can show you what to look for, and a Radio Show Host who has a few frugal strategies up her sleeve that can help you save up for it. Frugal On!

John Herreid is an experienced Residential Realtor with Keller Williams, and can be reached via his website at www.JohnHerreid.com.
Kristen Hagopian is an Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker and Radio Talk Show Host with WFYL 1180AM. “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” airs Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11:00A. She lives fabulously & frugally just outside Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. Log onto www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com for more information.

This Christmas, Think Inside The Box Saturday, Dec 17 2011 

Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of connecting with The Chester County Food Bank’s Program Director, Phoebe Kitson, on my “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” on News/Talk 1180AM. I knew from past experience that any conversation with The CCFB would be informative and entertaining (and it was), but this interview unintentionally became one of the biggest heartstring-tugging chats of all time, leading to loads of email feedback from listeners, and giving me some new thoughts on gift-giving in general.

One of the most touching segments of the interview was Phoebe’s description of an anonymous Middle School student in our area, who broke down in his School Counselor’s office because he wasn’t sure if his house was still going to be there when he got home (at imminent risk of foreclosure), much less if there would be food on the table for dinner that evening. Thanks to The CCFB, his family, and hundreds of others like it, were able to create a Thanksgiving dinner that otherwise would have been impossible. With new studies confirming a staggering number of children (1 in 4) now run the risk of going to bed hungry, this was a story that really hit home.

During the interview, emails and texts started pouring in: “How can I help, what types of food do they need?” (Answer: Just about anything, but peanut butter, canned fruits, vegetables and meats are a great start.), “Does the CCFB take credit card donations?” (Answer: They do!), “Does The CCFB accept food stamps in exchange for food?” (Answer: The food is FREE, there is no need for currency), and so on.

Here’s the statistic that really stuck with me: This holiday season, a box of food, comprised of all the staples and basics a household depends on (see earlier mentioned peanut butter, canned goods, etc.), can be put together to feed a family for a week, for $25. Think about that – for the price of an average holiday gift (NYT bestseller, music box, sweater), you could feed a family desperately in need this holiday season for an entire week. It got me thinking – we all love Christmas for the family times, laughter, fun food, and memories created. Honestly, when it comes to receiving gifts, I’m blessed in that I have just about every single thing I need, and there are probably many of you out there who feel the same.

This Christmas, give some thought to donating a $25 food box to the CCFB, in the name of someone you love (Mom, Dad, Spouse, etc.), and in your loved ones’ Christmas card, try something along the lines of: “Mom & Dad, I remember when I was young, I never went hungry a day in my life, thanks to you. This Christmas, a hungry family in our area can also say they have food on the table, thanks to you. Merry Christmas, love Kris”.

For more information on how you can easily donate to The Chester County Food Bank, please log onto their website at http://www.ChesterCountyFoodBank.org, stop by their Warehouse at 1208 Horseshoe Pike in Downingtown, or give them a call at 610-873-6000. Merry Christmas, everybody!

Kristen Hagopian is an Author, Columnist, Motivational Speaker and Radio Talk Show Host with WFYL 1180AM. “The Brilliant Frugal Living Show” airs Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11:00A. She lives fabulously & frugally just outside Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. Log onto http://www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com for more information.