Why the name? We love dogs and whippets stand for what we are: loyal, friendly, intelligent . . . . and we will run full speed ahead to find the right property for you! We will "whip it good!"

Barbara's Blog

Many people don’t understand what probate is, why it is necessary or what the procedures are.  Basically, someone owned real estate, they died, and in order for the rightful heirs to have title to the real estate to sell or transfer, the heirs have to go through a formal court process with an attorney to officially transfer title.  

There are many reasons or situations that require a probate process. If a decedent has left a will, it will name an executor. But if the decedent died intestate, an administrator will be appointed by the court to act as the personal representative and an attorney will be selected who specializes in this field.  

The attorney will file the will (if there is one), identifies the property and assets, determines any claims, assesses taxes owed, provides for the evaluation of the property and ultimately distributes the property and assets to the heirs.  

I have now completed training as a Certified Probate Real Estate Advisor (CPREA) to assist any personal representatives in preparing and listing probate property and successfully completing the process.  

I offer personal services necessary to assure a smooth transaction and coordinate with the PR, attorney, buyer and lender throughout the entire procedure.  I have a list of professional service providers who can assist with the removal of personal belongings, plumbing or electrical issues, painting or any other small jobs or repairs needed to prepare the property for sale.

So, if you or someone you know is in need of a realtor who knows all the steps in probate real estate, please contact me.   I would be honored to represent you or them!

For further Probate information, click on Probate Real Estate from our Home Page!

 

 

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on January 18th, 2022 9:41 AM

We just left 2021 behind, not much better than 2020 in many ways.  I went into 2022 on New Year’s Eve with great hope and positive expectations that a much better year is on the way and all the negativity, stress and anxiety will subside to lead a path of positive energy and affirmations.   Well, just 11 days into the new year I have already experienced stress and anxiety, mostly pertaining to my business, and I have had to hold onto positive energy like my life depends on it.  Because actually, my business does.    

I made a promise to begin writing a daily journal, read motivational books, attend life coaching workshops and network with positive people.  Because it isn’t what happens to us, but how we “react” to what happens that is truly what matters. Many small businesses are struggling to survive and I personally feel their pain.    So, with that said, we need to follow these lyrics and JUST WHIP IT GOOD!   

“Crack that whip!  Give the past a slip:

When a problem comes along, you must whip it!

When something’s going wrong, you must whip it!

When a good time turns around, you must whip it!

You will never live it down unless you whip it!

Now, WHIP IT:  into shape, shape it up, get straight, go forward, move ahead, try to detect it, it’s not too late to WHIP IT, WHIP IT GOOD!”

In spite of all the hurdles and roadblocks, all the backtracking and losing ground, all the disappointments and failures, we WILL go forward, move ahead, shape it up and WHIP IT GOOD this year!   Otherwise, I will never live it down.

 

Lyrics by DEVO from the song, “Whip It”

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on January 11th, 2022 3:13 PM

New Year’s resolutions actually go back to ancient times, when the Babylonians resolved to return borrowed farm equipment to medieval knights who would renew their vow to chivalry.   In 2000 B.C. the Babylonians celebrated the New Year during a 12-day festival called Akitu.  This was the start of the farming season to plant crops, crown their king, and make promises to pay their debts.  

The Babylonian New Year was adopted by the ancient Romans but the timing shifted with the Julian calendar in 46 B.C., which declared January 1st as the start of the new year.

January was named for the two-faced Roman god, Janus, who looks forward for new beginnings as well as backward for reflection and resolution.  The Romans would offer sacrifices to Janus and make promises of good behavior for the year ahead.  

Janus was also the guardian of gates and doors.  He presided over the temple of peace, where the doors were opened only during wartime.   It was a place of safety, where new beginnings and new resolutions could be forged.   

So, New Year’s Resolutions are still a tradition but the type of resolutions have changed a bit.  Resolutions have migrated from denying physical indulgences to general self-improvement, like losing weight. The problem is KEEPING those resolutions!   But you can’t open new doors with old keys.

So, set realistic and attainable goals, be persistent, be dedicated, have accountability and go forward with a positive frame of mind.  We have left behind so much negativity, it is time to make good things happen.  WE WILL!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on January 4th, 2022 4:04 PM

When you are finally closing on your dream home, it’s time to wire your funds to the title company.  You follow the directions of an email that came to your inbox.  However, the email was fraudulent and you have just lost all of your downpayment and your dream home! 

 This is called wire fraud, and it is happening all over the country.  Criminals comb through sites looking for pending home sales.  Once identified, they will find contact information for the parties involved in the transaction.  Then they hack into a real estate agent’s or title company’s email system, monitor communications, and at the right time, send a fraudulent email that looks like it’s from a trusted advisor.  That email will offer falsified wire transfer instructions to steal mortgage payoff funds, a downpayment or closing costs.  

Here are some ways you can avoid becoming a victim:

  1. Be skeptical.  Beware of any changes in wiring instructions that is not the same name as the title company.
  2. Ask for phone calls.   Ask for all wire transfer instructions to be delivered to you via phone with the number listed on the title company’s website.  If you do receive fraudulent instructions, never call the number that it contains.
  3. Verify all communications.   Call the title company after you send any funds via wire transfer to verify it right away.  This will give you confirmation that the funds were sent to the appropriate account.
  4. Confirm the details.  Ask your bank to confirm the account number as well as the name listed on the account before sending a wire transfer.  
  5. Learn to spot a fraudulent email.   Look for misspellings, poor grammar and mistakes in the content.  The property address could be misspelled, dollar figures are missing dollar signs, or the return email address doesn’t match.  

Whippet Properties of Florida has its own wire transfer disclosure that is given to both sellers and buyers to educate them on this kind of fraud.   We will guide you to a safe closing with the title company.  

Should you be a victim of wire fraud crime in Florida, call the Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at (866) 966-7226.  You should also file a complaint with the FBI at the nearest field office.  Locations are listed at fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on January 4th, 2022 4:02 PM
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Today, due to the internet and online marketplaces, anyone can be an investor in real estate, even commercial.  Commercial real estate is the procurement and management of commercial properties, such as retail buildings, office spaces, warehouses, storage buildings, just to give some examples.  But there are many different rules and regulations as well as documentation, disclosures and procedures to a commercial real estate transaction as compared to residential.  That’s why it is very important to have an experienced realtor who knows all of these details.

Any kind of a real estate purchase is an investment, but there are special benefits for commercial:

  1. You can get a faster return on income (ROI) due to the influx of rental income. You can also increase the rent higher as compared to a residential structure.
  2. There is less risk because you can secure long-term lease contracts for as long as 3-5 years and this ensures profitability regardless of economic swings.
  3. The IRS offers tax incentives to owners on expenses related to upkeep and maintenance.
  4. You will have conscientious clients who take pride in maintaining their image for their products and services and will keep the premises in good condition.
  5. Commercial establishments have set hours of operation, so there is no need for “middle of the night” calls or emergency visits like in residential.
  6. There is less competition and there are different “niches” you can specialize in to set yourself apart.
  7. Commercial property appreciates over time, especially if located in a prime area and you can always add a new amenity or feature to add value.  

Investing in commercial real estate is a huge undertaking but it offers many benefits and fewer risks than residential investments.  The most important thing to remember is that you will need expert advice and guidance by a realtor who is experienced in this field!   We have an experienced commercial real estate agent on our team.  Let us help you!

 

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on December 28th, 2021 3:07 PM

Although this year has been better than last, it has still held much sadness and many changes for families.  Personally, we have lost several close friends and neighbors this year and it has been difficult adjusting to their absence.  But we must move forward and remember to acknowledge the tremendous blessings we do have.

If we have family to help celebrate the holidays, food on the table, a warm place to call home, we are blessed.  If we have good health and can care for ourselves and our families, we are blessed.   If we have financial stability and all the necessities for a good life we are blessed.  There are so many who have lost family members, their homes, all of their personal belongings, their income, and their way of life due to unforeseen disasters, tragedies and illnesses.  What they have left is faith and hope that the days ahead will somehow get better and most try to be positive. 

This Christmas season, let us remember to count our own blessings and reach out to those who need to see theirs.  It isn’t the gifts under the tree that count, but those around the tree who are with us.   

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, filled with joy, love and good health.  

Barbara and Allen 

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on December 21st, 2021 11:09 AM

A mortgage the Federal Housing Administration backs is known as an FHA loan. These loans are unique as they are helpful for first-time homeowners because they offer a combination of a lower down payment requirement and lower credit score standards.

The minimum credit score for an FHA loan approval is 500, which is much lower than lender requirements for traditional mortgages.  But a lender may still have higher standards for qualifications since these loans are not from the government directly.  

The minimum down payment depends on the credit score.  It can be anywhere from 3.5% to 10%, but still lower than conventional loan requirements.  Also, debt-to-income ratio and total mortgage payment income ratio are considered.  The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a measure of your income before taxes that you spend on your debt payments every month, such as rent, credit cards, car payments, etc.  The highest allowed for approval is 50%.  The PTI ratio is the measure of the potential monthly mortgage payments compared to your monthly income.  That can be as high as 40%.  

There are some income requirements such as at least two credit accounts established and in good standing; no delinquent federal debt or judgments; and verification of any cash gifts from family members or friends for down payment.  

All FHA loans must be for a primary residence and cannot be used for an investment or flip property.   But it can be a single-family, multifamily if you occupy one unit or a manufactured home on a permanent foundation.   

You do not have to be a first-time buyer to qualify for an FHA loan which is what many borrowers think.  There are many creative loan packages for different circumstances so it is wise to work with a realtor who can help you connect with the right lender to fit your personal needs.  We are ready to help you!!  

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Posted by Barbara Doeringer on December 14th, 2021 11:02 AM

I was born in a little town that everyone knows thanks to Groundhog Day’s Phil:  Punxsutawney.  I didn’t live there, however.   Shortly after I was born, we moved to another near-by small town called Reynoldsville, where everyone knew who you were, no one locked their doors and neighbors chatted from front porches.  I remember riding bikes all over town, saving glass “pop” bottles to cash in for penny candy, and going to 25 cent movies within walking distance.  We had our own known treasures such as the “tickle belly bridge” and The Blue Angel dance hall for teenagers.  We saw such teen idols as Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Paul Anka in our tiny little town. But my quiet little life was upended on my 11th birthday, when my brother of 16 years was killed in a tragic car accident with another teen.  My older brother and sister were soon graduating from high school and getting married, so instead of the four of us, I became an only child in a matter of months.   My life as I knew it was over, with many challenges ahead, but I never gave up. 

As a 20-year old newlywed, I moved to Indiana, PA (home of Jimmy Stewart and Indiana University of PA) since my new husband (also from Reynoldsville) was a civil engineer for Penn DOT.  This would be my home for the next 32 years, as our two children were born there and we became very active in the community.  After our son and daughter were both in school, I began working at a local bank and worked my way up from a part-time clerical position to branch manager and ultimately an Assistant Vice-President.  There were many difficulties along the way:  both of our children were in a serious car accident; I had a large tumor removed and other surgeries; my husband had three major heart attacks, then quadruple open heart by-pass surgery.  But I never gave in, gave up or quit.

After our children both graduated from Penn State University (yes, our whole family is Penn State proud), they both found positions at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, a place I wanted to live for many years.  So, we followed to the Disney area, settling in a manufactured home community called Vista Del Lago.  I was hired as a sales representative for Palm Harbor homes, selling brand new homes on leased land, where both my son and daughter decided to live.  I loved the homes so much and the unique community on a lake, we decided to build one ourselves to be completed within 6 months of our arrival.  I thought we had left all the bad times behind, but two weeks after we moved into our brand new home, we were faced with the news of my husband having terminal cancer.  Just 22 months after we left Pennsylvania, all of our friends and support system, my partner of 32 years passed away.  It was a crushing blow but I was determined to go forward and never give in.

While working at Vista Del Lago, I had met a great friend who helped me through this traumatic time, with encouragement and support.   I have no doubt this person was destined to be my “rock” and guidance, put in my life to erase much of the pain.   I married him almost 20 years ago.  We both earned our real estate licenses, have worked together all these years, and have had a beautiful life with our combined families, full of love, fun, travels and new experiences.  And though I don’t know what the future holds, I know I have the strength to face whatever comes because this small-town Pennsylvania girl has already gone a long way.   I have accomplished more goals than I ever thought possible and am proud to now have my very own Real Estate Brokerage.   I hope to train, mentor and lead all my agents to great success and I hope you will trust us to represent you!

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on December 7th, 2021 11:19 AM
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An escalation clause is something that can be included in an offer when attempting to purchase a home.   This clause helps to win a home when there is a bidding war or heavy competition for it.  In the current crazy real estate market, this clause has been used more often than ever before.

An escalation clause will state that if another offer is made on the property, your bid will automatically go up by a certain amount so that your offer remains the highest.  It can state that you (as a buyer) are willing to pay a particular price, but you will go up to a pre-determined limit if competing offers are received. As an example, you can offer a set price, then state that you will go up to $10,000 over any other offers, in $5,000 increments.    However, this is still no guarantee that you will be the successful bidder.  

You should always use a real estate agent or attorney if planning to use this clause in a contract in order to figure out whether your situation needs it as well as your amount and ceiling in the offer.  Also, in order for this to officially go into effect, the seller must prove the competing offer so that the escalation clause cannot be used to simply get you to pay more for the home.  

There is a downside to consider when using this clause as you have to tell the seller right away how much you are willing to pay for their house.  That means their counteroffer can be your ceiling price.  So, you might also want to include an appraisal contingency that will protect you from paying more than the market value of the home.  

Use an escalation clause only when you are genuinely in love with a home in a very competitive market.   Also remember that not all sellers prioritize the highest price when accepting an offer.  They may consider a lower cash offer or there may be other conditions of the contract that better meets their needs.  

A professional realtor can guide you every step of the way.  Let us know how we can help!  

 

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on December 1st, 2021 12:26 PM

What a year to give thanks:   so much tragedy, so much division, so much hate in the world.  And yet we can all come together on Thanksgiving Day and truly be  thankful for what we do have.  

Our country is still blessed with so much more than what many foreign countries have; we still have an abundance of freedom and choices, and in spite of the pandemic, we have continued to persevere and move forward with grace and hope for better days to come.  

I saw this Thanksgiving week “To Do” list on a social media post and decided to adopt it as my own:

  1. Count my blessings
  2. Let go of what I cannot control
  3. Practice kindness
  4. Accept others for who they are
  5. Listen to my heart
  6. Be generous with others
  7. Be thankful for all that I have

If we practice just a few of these, not only will we be happier, but we will also make someone else feel loved and appreciated.  No matter how hard life can get, always go to bed grateful for all that you have.  Tomorrow is not promised, so be thankful today!

“As you travel through life, whatever your goal, keep your eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole.”    Author unknown

 

We wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day filled with joy and blessings!  

 

Posted by Barbara Doeringer on November 24th, 2021 9:40 AM

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