Be a CASA Volunteer & Empower Children with a Voice


Darryl speaks with CASA volunteer Bridget about what CASA is and how they help deprived children through court proceedings.

CASA. Chances are you’ve heard the acronym but aren’t sure exactly what it stands for. You may know that CASA works with children but don’t know what they do. As such an important organization for the community, it’s my goal to help spread the word of what CASA is and how you can help. As a CASA volunteer, I can say this is truly the most amazing, life-changing experience I’ve had, where I’ve also made a positive difference in the lives of some children in great need of support.

CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, are volunteers whom, with special training, are the voice of deprived children dealing with situations through our court system. Life isn’t always full of cherries and an easy road. For many children, there are serious challenges they must face in or out of the home, such as neglect, abuse. These children, deprived of safety and comfort for whatever the reason, often find themselves a ward of the court as the world of adults takes on the challenge of where and how to care for them.

These children deserve a voice, someone to speak up for them when they may not have the capacity to do so. Without a specific support person within court proceedings, doing what’s best for a child can be much more difficult. Within our court system we have judges who need to make informed decisions to help deprived children get the support and care they need. Lawyers, police officers and the Department of Human Services are there to help, but only within the capacity of the laws and regulations they must follow. They are the macrocosm aspect of the court system, but children sometimes need a microcosm of support, a person they can trust to go to bat for them and give them a voice to be heard.

This is what CASA does. CASA volunteers take specific training to learn how to work with children, what questions to ask and things to take note of in interactions with deprived children in a court case. Sure, safety is key to finding a new home for someone whose parents aren’t able to care for them. But does this automatically mean a foster home or a relative? Which is better?  The answers depend in large part in what the child needs which is unique to each one. A CASA helps the judge to understand the specifics for an individual child, providing a better likelihood of a positive future by giving the child a voice.

CASA is always in need of help. No special degree is required, you’ll have training and support along the way. CASAs are assigned one case at a time, so you’ll be empowered to empower these children in need. This is one way volunteering can truly have a significant and positive impact for both the one being helped and the volunteer directly. Find more information at their website as well TulsaCasa.org. For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com.

How to Save 1% and Lose 3% When Selling Your Home

Darryl talks about why it’s important to have a Realtor® at your side as well as the importance of interviewing.

When hiring a real estate agent, many people only consider what their commission rate is. However, when interviewing agents, there’s more you need to consider. You should be sure to choose a Realtor® that has the right fit of expertise, works in the right neighborhood, understands how to interpret the market, is available to help you, and has a system in the background that takes the chaos out of home sales. While paying a higher commission doesn’t always make a difference, paying less can often hurt your situation.

Let’s compare a real estate agents commission to something else. I have a personal experience when I hired an accountant that charged less than others. I thought I was saving money by doing so, but for 3 years, I was paying a large part of my profit back in taxes. Finally, I listened to my friend, and spoke with their accountant. He charged 3x as much as mine. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to afford him and the enormous amount of taxes I was paying at the end of the year. But, this gentleman knew how to do taxes, properly allocate funds, and he was a financial planner. I ended up hiring him, and I received 6x what I’d been paying in. This is why it’s important to analyze the level of skill a professional has when looking at their fees.

Why is it important to have a Realtor® by your side? They serve as a communicator between the home buyer and seller. This is good to have due to the emotional ties we have toward our homes. They help with issues that occur, such as the appraisal comes in lower or a maintenance issue. They can tell you out of X amount of sales, X% accepted an issue that came up during the home inspection. Of course, they get you to the ultimate goal – the closing table. As well as getting everyone to agree to the terms and have the terms be adequate to seal the deal. When hiring be sure to hire someone with the right experience and knowledge as well as someone you trust.

How is your listing price determined? This price is determined by more than looking at what your neighbors home sold for, or what someone said your home is worth. It’s determined by what the buyer thinks, which is more than a standard Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) does. It’s also the job of the Realtor® to educate both the buyer and the seller of the facts and data that determine this amount. This takes the emotional aspect out of the equation to allow each party to make a better decision.

What is the difference between making your house perfect vs. cutting corners? When preparing your home for the market, you may be unsure of how much money you should spend when making repairs. Covering things up instead of fixing, is cutting corners, which I’m not an advocate of. However, there are some individuals that feel if they don’t fix an issue perfectly, they aren’t being fair or honest with the home buyer. But, today’s buyers are looking for homes that are a deal, one with no structural damage. They would prefer an issue being fixed enough for them to be worry free for the next 5-10 years. Otherwise, if you spend an enormous amount of money, the home would be priced out of their market, and not affordable for most. An agent will help you understand the best option for any home maintenance issues that need to be fixed.

Go to 20questionsforhomesellers.com to download a free home seller report with no obligation. You can also schedule a call with me at askinforbaskin.com.

Featured Properties:

1181 E. 131st, Jenks, OK – 10 acres with an option of 58; over 16,000 Sq.Ft.; This is a beautiful custom design and build home. It completely surrounds a private courtyard and pool. There’s an expansion property and lookout tower. This can be a legacy home, or converted into a business. It’d be perfect to hold wedding receptions.

752 Knobb Hill Dr, Cleveland, OK – Sand Springs – $170,000, Split-level, 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 3 acres with a lakeside view, easy access to 412, flexible floorplan, grand entry suite.

4706 S. 178th E. Ave, Broken Arrow, OK – $259,000, 3,000 Sq. Ft. 2-story home with 4 bedrooms, and optional 5th bedroom or game room upstairs. Has 2 dining rooms, breakfast bar, 3 living areas and a 3-car garage. Located in Stonegate neighborhood. You won’t find many homes with these features for this price.

940 E. College St, Broken Arrow, OK – Very affordable condo ideal for convenient living. $68,000. 2-bedroom, 1.5-baths, 2-level unit in Broken Arrow. Live a more care-free lifestyle close to downtown. The best of urban village living within a home-town atmosphere.

For a complete list of active listings, visit homeguidetulsa.com

For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com.

What is the Difference Between an Associate, Agent, Broker and Broker Associate?

Darryl talks about the different titles real estate agents are called and what they mean.

Real estate agents have different titles they can be called. You’ve probably heard of the terms agent, associate, broker and broker associate. This can be confusing to the public, so let’s discuss what they mean.

Long ago, we were all called agents, but there were certain duties you’d have to perform which created a mess. The law now states that we are sales associates, and this cleared up some of the duties that are required for a broker and the broker’s agents. While, you can still call your associate a real estate agent, our legal title is sales associate. This new title protects home sellers and buyers, by preventing an agent from performing certain duties that could potentially cause a problem. But, you’ll hear most people refer to us as a real estate agent, associate, broker or broker associate. And these names at times can be used interchangeably.

The difference between a real estate broker and an agent or associate, is the broker has a higher level of experience. They’ve also undergone additional testing. These individuals receive a new license to show that they are a real estate broker. They can have their own company with associates working for them.

Brokers report to the real estate commission. When managing sales associates, they are required to make sure everyone is following the rules and regulations of the real estate commission. This is why, if you’ve encountered an issue, your real estate agent may need to check with their broker. This ensures all laws are being followed.

Sometimes, you can have a broker act as an associate, hence the term broker associate. While they have all the experience, skills and the license required to be a broker, they’ve decided to step outside of the management role, and act solely as a sales associate. And, this is what I’ve done. I am a real estate broker, but I’ve decided to focus on helping home buyers and sellers, instead of managing associates.

For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com.

 

Should You Consider Purchasing a Home in Surrounding Tulsa Cities?

Darryl talks with eXp Realtor® Jackie Stokes about Dewey and Bartlesville – two cities outside of Tulsa.

When house hunting, it’s important to think about your commute to work. Unless you work from home, or work only 2-3 days a week, it’s a pretty important factor to consider. However, it’s not only important to look at the mileage, but also the time it takes to travel. There are some areas in Tulsa where it takes a good amount of time to drive a few miles. It may take you the same amount of time traveling from Bartlesville to Tulsa as it does from a house that’s within Tulsa boundaries.

Bartlesville and Dewey are two cities outside of Tulsa that could prove to be a viable option for you. Bartlesville is about 15 miles North of Tulsa and 30 miles South of the Kansas line. If you’re working on the North side of Tulsa, your commute would be about 45 minutes. This isn’t too long of a commute, and Highway 75 is less congested.

What do these towns have to offer? Bartlesville and Dewey have more house to offer for the same amount of money that you’re looking to spend in Tulsa. There are beautiful homes available right on the lake. You’ll notice gas and groceries are cheaper. There’s also less crime, pollution, and traffic. The roads are always cleared during winter, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to get to work.

These are small towns that operate at a slower pace, which means shorter wait times at the movies, and restaurants. You’ll get to know the people in the community, allowing you to feel a greater connection. Running into people you know makes for a fun, social environment. There’s also a 12-mile trail that winds through the city of Bartlesville for you to enjoy.

Jackie Stokes is a real estate agent that’s grown up in Dewey and has commuted to work in North Tulsa. Over the years the cities have seen growth, and there are a lot of new businesses in the area. If you’d like to discuss more about the real estate market in Bartlesville and Dewey, you can call/text Jackie Stokes at 918-337-9293, or email her at stokesjrealty@gmail.com.

For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com.

Optimist International Works to Bring Out the Best in Our Youth, Communities and Ourselves


Ron Whitaker speaks about Optimist International Club – how they help our local community, and how you can help too.

Local events bring people within a community together, whether it’s an activity, or a cause. It’s beneficial both for the community and its members. Connecting people through events allows people to have a sense of belonging, form meaningful relationships and feel inspired to help others in their community. In addition to these benefits, it also helps support local businesses and the local economy.

Optimist International helps communities by creating local activities for our youth. This provides children with positive community experiences, allowing them to develop to their full potential. Volunteers feel more connected with people within their community. They find that they enjoy speaking with local kids, and learning more about what good things they are doing in their lives.

They’re celebrating their 100th year anniversary this year. Optimist International’s vision statement is, “Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential.”

Optimist International of Tulsa, OK unites youth by hosting local community activities such as junior golf and fishing derbies. Other events Optimist International hosts are scholarship activities and Junior Optimist International. They work to teach youth to be kind to others, make others happy, have a cheerful outlook and look at the positive side of things. Sometimes, it’s hard to do these things when life is challenging. That’s why it’s important to have constant reminders to keep a cheerful outlook. Asking yourself, how are you going to positively impact someone this week is a good reminder.

What can you do to help? Optimist International could use help with events, raising money or joining our meetings. While many individuals worry that they’ll sign up for something that they aren’t able to commit to, there are many volunteer opportunities big and small. Many individuals running events need help with simple tasks, such as making sure an event has plates. And, you’re not required to attend meetings nor is this an organization that will be a financial burden to you.

If you’d like to see what Optimist International is all about, join us for our local fishing derby on June 2nd in Mohawk Park. There are also activities being held at Fortune Park and in the surrounding towns – Jenks and Broken arrow. If you’d like more information about the events or volunteering, you can call/text Ron Whitaker at 918-249-8353.

For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com.

Understanding the Risks Tulsa, OK Homebuyers Have to Deal With

Darryl & Stan review a listener question about paying for an inspection as a buyer, and the possible risks involved.

As a Tulsa, OK homebuyer, part of your responsibility is to pay for a home inspection before you can close on the property. An inspection acts like a piece of extra insurance and can be used within the negotiation process of buying your home. If something remiss, such as leaking pipes, comes to light from an inspection, you, the buyer, can renegotiate the sale price or come to an agreement with the seller as to who will pay for the repairs.

In getting specialized reviews of a home done, such as an inspection or appraisal, there is a risk that something will be revealed which could lead to the deal falling apart. For example, if an inspection reveals repairs that need to be done, a new inspection may be needed to confirm the work has been done properly.

Another example is the potential of a seller to reject an appraisal from the buyer’s lender. If the appraisal comes in lower than expected, they may not want to sell to you after all. They could decide to hold out for a buyer with a lender willing to cover the loan for the listing price they have decided on.

Whatever the reason, if an inspection or appraisal doesn’t go as hoped for, having an experienced Realtor® on your side is a valuable resource for any homebuyer, or seller. As a realtor who understands the local market, I use my experience to help my clients know what to expect, to understand the possible risks, and to also help negotiate with the other parties involved. The goal is finding solutions everyone can agree with.

With an experienced Realtor® who has their clients’ best interests in mind, homebuyers can face the risks of the unknown becoming apparent with confidence. My goal is to not only help you but to also educate and give you the resources you need to make the best-informed decisions for you own needs. Before you hire an agent, give this idea some thought, then check out the 20 Questions I have compiled which can help you start the conversation with potential agents.

This in-depth guide is a valuable resource to assist you through the process of finding the right agent. Download my FREE homeseller and homebuyer report,20 Questions You Absolutely Must Ask Your Next Agent Before You Sign on the Dotted Line for a complete list of questions to include in an agent interview when hiring a Realtor®.

 

Featured Properties:

NEW! 314 E 112th St. Jenks, OK  $280,000, 2,751 Sq. Ft. 4 bedrooms, 3-car garage, within Jinks school district. A hard-to-find home for the price and size together!

4706 S. 178th E. Ave. Broken Arrow. $259,000, 3,000 Sq. Ft. 2-story home with 4 bedrooms, 3 of which are on the lower level. Located in Stonegate neighborhood.

940 E. College St.  Very affordable condo ideal for convenient living. $68,000. 2-bedroom, 1.5-baths, 2-level unit in Broken Arrow. Live a more care-free lifestyle close to downtown. The best of urban village living within a home-town atmosphere.

For a complete list of active listings, visit homeguidetulsa.com

 

For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com