Just some of what Boomerrrang answers:

        8 “Why’s”…a “How”… and a “When”

  1. Why it might be best to buy a new condo in an already built community, rather than one you choose from a builder’s model.
  2. Why a flush Capital Fund is especially important in older condominium complexes… (Sadly, it’s one of the items most buyers ignore.)
  3. Why it’s best to buy in a complex with high ownership (as opposed to one whose many units are vacant and “For Sale”)…
  4. Why it’s best for seller to turn over keys after the deed is recorded—not merely after the closing (where buyer/seller sign documents)…
  5. Why buyers should tour proposed region of choice both day AND night…
  6. Why buyers should enlist a Buyer Broker whose fiduciary responsibility is to them. Know the different realtor designations (Buyer Broker, Selling Broker, Transactional Broker, Dual Agent)….If not possible to get Buyer Broker, know the questions to ask regarding your intended property purchase. (This book tells you these.)
  7. If you self-sell (FIS-BO, in the trade—For Sale By Owner), why it’s critical to offer a buyer broker commission on par with what most Buyer Brokers get from realtor-represented homes in the region….
  8. Why it’s important to list ALL appliances in the sales agreement…
  9. How you can protect yourself against buying near a Superfund site…
  10. When you (as seller) can refuse to honor your stated Buyer Broker commission on Zillow.

***So, go out on your journey but first strap Boomerrrang to your hip in the same way the 70’s American Express card ad told everyone: “Don’t leave home without it.”

And give a copy to a friend.

You’ll ALL be the richer for it.

What You’ll Get in Boomerrrang!

Boomerrrang begins with a crash.

And then there’s an explosion.

After Paul’s horrific accident, his broken neck, his “death” due to choking, post-surgery, his ending up in ICU, and his frightening cognitive changes, I had simply endured all I was going to take from his very arrogant neurosurgeon. My women friends (some with Southern accents) cautioned me:  “Shhhhh…. Be nice, Colleen. You’ll get far more with honey than with vinegar.”

Well, people had been telling me that my whole life, and frankly, I never found that to be the case. No, my experience has been that women get pushed around if they don’t stand tall and insist on certain things. And so I took my almost 5’9” frame and did just that, and I’m sure that hospital neurosurgeon will never forget my heated delivery that day in that hospital room. Nor will the nurse witness. But I did get the results I hoped for.

That accidental lesson (to speak up against authority) might be one of Boomerrrang’s best, hidden values.

You see, most of Boomerrrang, is an invaluable guide for those buying and selling real estate. Especially those going out of state…and most especially, those going South. But its many tips can be applied to property purchase/sale anywhere.

In this book, I share my knowledge as highly successful realtor and warn of the pitfalls for the uninformed. But I share that knowledge in a fun and humorous manner, by painting vignettes of our search for the perfect retirement home and our 9+ years, living in one of America’s top retirement towns—Asheville, North Carolina.

A famous advertising phrase in the 70’s: “American Express (credit card): Don’t leave home without it” applies to this book.  If you’re gonna buy property (anywhere), strap Boomerrrang to your hip (hence the comical pic of the gunslinger) and use it as a reference.

Or give it to a friend who will benefit from its tips.

Boomerrrang will discuss our many year search, the value of using a realtor’s professional help, how we chose the state…the town…the model we ultimately selected (ours was a studied approach), the pro’s and con’s of townhome/condo ownership, over single standing homes.

I tell how we ultimately sold our retirement home, ourselves, saving thousands, a prescriptive any seller might follow– no matter where he or she lives (even in Rhode Island.)

As Boomers enter their retirement years and become the largest mobile population the United States has ever experienced, tens of thousands will head off into new territories they consider for their later years.

Some will buy; others will rent. Many will be oblivious as to how much risk they take on, by buying real estate unaware.

And some unfortunates may lose lifetime earnings, as with those who buy near Superfund sites, a topic little recognized by buyers for its potential impact.

Boomerrrang will help people avoid that.

Our chosen town, Asheville, will remain a welcoming beacon for many who don’t wish the homogeneity and frenetic pace of Florida or other deep southern enclaves.

It will remain a quirky town that keeps its rustic edge due its proximity to the glorious Blue Ridge/Smoky Mountains.

In other words, Asheville will ever fly under the banner of individualism.

Most of our years there were filled with enrichment and wonder. As such, we recommend Asheville for its diverse character, its artistic community; its commitment to preserving the earth (it’s a green region); its wondrous food; its skilled and handsome medical personnel (even if they’re too few); its gorgeous natural beauty that finally allowed me to know the meaning of ‘purple mountains majesty’ from “America the Beautiful.”

Some say: “You don’t choose the mountains; the mountains choose you.”

If that is true, Paul and I are eternally grateful for being two of the chosen ones.

In conclusion, we loved Asheville for our time there, but in the end, stronger forces (we couldn’t have foreseen) called us back to our home state.

The reasons may surprise you…..

 

 

Where will you retire? (we found our perfect home where we least expected it)….

My book–Boomerrrang (2 Boomers Find and Leave Their Dream Retirement Home) will be ready soon. I’ve had a couple of readers get back to me with their impressions. It’s being formatted properly. And some people are patiently waiting–folks who asked “When’s it going to be ready, because we’re going on our own retirement home search soon? We’d like to use your journey as a guide.”

All readers will merit from the advice I offer as two who lived almost ten years in a town consistently named one of America’s top retirement towns. We didn’t just casually choose it, either; we spent years searching for the place we felt was “just right.”

Now, I offer my advice as a six-figure realtor for those who want to buy wisely….not like some who bought blind and lived to regret it. Some lost their entire nest egg–the money they saved over a lifetime.

Where’d we end up? I think you’ll be surprised to hear.

So, stay tuned. I’ll be doing public talks, too, designed to inform you before you buy. best-shot-white-squirrel-brevard-on-limb

See the little buddy in the photo? One of the remarkable aspects of the western North Carolina region we settled in–white squirrels. He and his buddies live at the music school in Brevard, NC. It would appear that North Carolinians (of all stripes) have good taste.

In this book, I’ll tell how we chose our community; what to watch out for, when buying; particular challenges in the South for Northerners; how we sold by ourselves (saving approximately $17,000); on and on. There’s lots of humor in the mix, as well.

The biggest plus:  You can use my tips for buying and/or selling anywhere–even in Rhode Island.

Our Japanese Nights, Wheat Fronds, and a House That Was Meant to Be…

kerry in geisha gearA Letter to my grandchildren (one of many in my campaign to keep connection, while they’re so far away….)

Dear Luke, Sam, and Finn…

Our home is light-filled and it  just seems “happy.” I’ve lived here for 27 years and Grandpa has lived here for 16 years (he moved in and took care of me when I became sick.) But Grandpa and I have been together for 26 years in all….

I love my house…the back gardens where we put the troll house, the arbors, the plants…the trees…the bird feeders…the pool—the scene of the “Great Dolphin Races.,” when you boys came to visit and race the inflatable dolphins in the pool.

Anyway, I think the house is magical because I think it was “supposed” to be my house. I’ll tell you why….

When I first bought this house, I was told I lost it—that another person had come in with a higher bid—AFTER the realtor told us our offer had been accepted (two other people wanted this house.) I was so angry. We had offered full price- with no conditions.

After a couple of days of bitter disappointment, I got the call that said this house was ours after all. An amazing thing happened. The guy who tried to buy couldn’t get financing (the money.) So, we won the house.

When we moved into this new house, my mother (remember—the one whose grave I brought you to last summer– your Mom’s Nana) gave me a fancy plate she’d bought in an antique shop. The plate had wheat fronds in the background.  There were two children in the picture—one a girl of about 16 and a smaller child of about 6 (so—a ten-year gap in ages of siblings. Sound familiar?). The wheat fronds on the plate were identical to the wallpaper all through our new house. Another thing? I’d never seen wallpaper like that anywhere but in this house.

Occasionally, in the house where your Mom grew up (and later Amanda, too), we used to have “theme dinners” such as Japanese night, etc. That’s when the kids HAD to dress like the ethnic group whose food we were celebrating. On this occasion, I believe Mom’s friend Rachel joined us (she was at our home a lot). Your Mom (in pic at top of this post), dressed in a floral sheet, wrapped around, with her hair and face done up like a Geisha. Amanda was dressed as small Asian child, too….And we all had to use chopsticks.

So, look at the plate my Mom bought as house gift before she’d ever seen our new home..The figures on it look like your Mom and Amanda and the wheat fronds look like  the wallpaper of the new house.

I swear:  when I saw this plate, it gave me chills.

Today, the wallpaper is gone and the walls are painted. But I will always remember how this house came to be mine and how it reflects your Mom and Amanda.

I believe houses can be happy and spirit-filed, just as I believe some houses are sad and they take on the troubled personalities of their inhabitants. In fact, I even think some houses are evil and that doubtless is the theme of many a horror story (I’m thinking author Stephen King here cuz he’s written that type of thing in his books.) By the way, your Mom tried to meet the horror writer once, when we were on vacation at Key West and he was staying at the same resort. She had just won a big award in our city—the top essay contest, and since he was a writer, she wrote him a short note, asking to meet him. He never responded.

That was a pretty interesting trip, for your Mom and I were out (she was 12 or 13), walking along a street in Key West when all of a sudden, a torrent of rain came down from ???, a storm that cause flood waters to rush down the street, and the bamboo blinds in the restaurants swung out in the wind. We took off our shoes so they wouldn’t get destroyed and we waded through knee-high waters. We were laughing. It was quite the time.

In fact, I bought a Japanese silk jacket on that trip that I still have today (it’s in pic) it. It looks like the one the girl is wearing on the plate.

Look closely at the plate…Do you see the child searching in the field of wheat fronds? (Maybe it’s younger sister Amanda? While Kerry looks on. )

jacket--japanese

plate--asian

P.S. Your Dad is below in one pic, holding one twin in front of wallpaper wheat fronds. Whose top of a little head is in front of first photo of Mom, pg. 1? Clue….She’s got red hair and is pretty young.jim sweeney, twin, and wheat frond wallpaper

The Monster Beneath: What You’ll Learn in “The Asheville Experiment”

contamination at CTS--visual graphHow many of you (honestly, now) know what a Superfund site is? And how many of you know that Rhode Island has 12 designated sites (the “Dirty Dozen.”) But 200 more are named as “toxic sites.”

Yep, that’s the big, scary elephant in the room, in all real estate transactions…..The one that most would-be buyers of property do not even know about. Buyers confront even more risk if they buy out-of-state or in regions of even their own state which which they’re unfamiliar.

Picture above shows a a toxic underground plume heading towards residential area, right out of Asheville. The EPA has done testing that shows high levels of TCE, a substance known to cause cancer. People in the area most at risk? Those whose water is from wells. But the air shows sign of vapor toxicity, too.

The nearby,gated community of $700,000 homes suffer from what’s now general knowledge. Why? They’re right next door to that Superfund site.

Will it affect their ability to sell? You betcha, for people like me do know about Superfund sites. And I am most concerned with the health of my family, friends, and myself, as well as my investment.

In my book, “The Asheville Experiment,” I show how Paul and I could have been hapless victims like those who lost life savings, because they didn’t realize. It happens all the time–across the nation.

So, get ready. I’ll give you lots of useful tips from my years as highly-successful realtor. My book, “The Asheville Experiment,” will be the best bang for your buck–I guarantee it.

Sign on to get advance notice for a copy and get one for friends/relatives who will move. You couldn’t give them a better book to protect them in what is arguably their biggest investment–their home.

And pls., consider coming to my TedTalk at Salve Regina University, on March 25th. I post the link to facilitate you in getting tickets.

http://tedxsalveregina.salvereginauniversity.com/

 

My TedTalk Info (to be held at beautiful Salve Regina University)

Here it is–the information several of you have asked about, and thank you for your colleen kelly mellor cropped face sidewaysinterest. Along top row of the site, you’ll see “Purchase Tickets” and also a “Speakers” category, too. By the way, some were confused at the phrase ‘by invitation only’ on some websites. Let me be clear:  All are invited, provided they buy a ticket. The link is as follows.

http://tedxsalveregina.salvereginauniversity.com/