Junior Achievement Bridges the Gap for Tulsa, OK Students

Darryl speaks about one of his favorite places to volunteer–Junior Achievement, and how much they help the community and our future.

Communities thrive when businesses, individuals and organizations work together to support the various needs of the populace. One group, our children, need a range of different tools and resources throughout their school years to help them grow into confident, educated young adults, ready to create a life they want. When our kids understand how to take care of the daily business of life, and how they can achieve their own goals towards success, their futures are bright. Having a younger generation prepared for the real world with positive, successful tools-at-hand enhances the future of our community as well.

This is the overriding goal of Junior Achievement, OK. This organization is wholly dedicated to teaching children, from Kindergarten through high school, real-life skills which everyone needs to succeed in creating a happy and fulfilling life. Many kids in today’s world lack the one-on-one support of a personal role model to teach them how to manage their finances, or why certain decisions we make when young can significantly impact our lives when we are older. JAOK is a nurturing hub which provides these all-too-important role models and experiences to learn from.

So where do all these role models with JAOK come from? From the community, of course. This is one of my favorite places to volunteer; working with kids in the classroom is truly a rewarding experience. This month I get to head into the classroom again with a peer or two from eXp Realty. Most of JAOK’s volunteers come from the business community. When employers support their employees in volunteerism, a positive work culture is the result. When people with experience in a field volunteer with JAOK, the rewards are two-fold; the kids learn things they may not otherwise be taught, and the volunteers experience the gratification which comes from doing something good to help others.

JAOK is the organization which bridges the gap between our children and the business community, providing valuable opportunities to help kids face their future with confidence; and that’s a bright future for all of us. If you have been considering being a part of this great organization, now is a great time to get started. Contact Erika Irvine at JAOK to find out how you can help by emailing her at eirvine@jaok.org, or calling her at 918-660-2158. Find more information at their website as well jaok.org. For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com

What’s the Tulsa, OK Planned Teacher Walk-Out Really About?

Mark Holben and Dan discuss just what’s at stake with the possible teacher walk out planned for April 2nd; chances are it’s more than you may realize.

Special guest, friend and colleague Mark Holben took to the mike with me on my latest show to help shed some light on the reasons and impacts of the potential planned teacher walkout set for April 2nd amongst Tulsa, OK teachers. Many make the assumption that it’s about teachers wanting a raise; this is not the case says Mark, who’s a middle school teacher in the Muskogee district.

While it’s true teachers in the Tulsa, OK region haven’t seen a cost of living increase in close to 10 years; this is just one “would be nice to have” aspect at stake. The primary focus is to restore Tulsa school funding. Last year, voters didn’t approve the latest proposed school budget; and Capital legislators have not done much to help push through long-needed funding for many basics such as new text books and basic repair needs.

Our teachers, parents and other community members who support the potential planned walkout are fighting for our children, and the future of Tulsa community. Without a properly funded school budget our campuses are missing vital services such as counselors and nurses at each school. Many of the text books are over 20 years old, and computers are in real need of being updated. Many buildings are also in need of serious work, such as leaking roofs to be repaired.

Regardless of how you feel about the local political climate around Tulsa, OK, teachers and other community members such as myself want to encourage the start of meaningful dialogues between people. Taking some time to attend school board meetings and meeting with teachers, students and parents of students is perhaps the best way to really find out and understand what’s at stake with our school system needs and the lack of a formally approved budget.

Another way to think about the impact of school funding is to think about the value of your home. Local education has a direct connection to the Tulsa economy and real estate market. With well-funded schools and growth in graduation rates for example, businesses are more likely to want to invest in a community. With company investments comes a stronger job market and economy, which in turns also adds value to our residential real estate market and better investments for Tulsa homeowners.

Listen to the full discussion in detail on our March 17th Future of Real Estate episode and make an informed decision about how you want to support our schools. For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com

Choosing Tulsa Neighborhoods

Choosing the Best Tulsa Neighborhoods

"Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net".

“Image courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.

As a Tulsa Realtor I am always being asked about choosing the best Tulsa neighborhoods.  When helping clients choose a neighborhood I start by asking questions.

  1. Why my clients are moving?
  2. What do they need/what is important in their new home?  Do they need a good Tulsa area school district? Are they concerned about crime, desire walkability, want to live in the country?
  3. How in demand is the neighborhood?  What is on the market now?  What has sold recently?  Are homes in that neighborh0od selling?  Sometimes the contrast of what the demand is, is not always very clear.
  4. How does the future look?  We often fail to consider our future needs.  Although we can’t predict the future, we can thin ak ahead and be wise when we make our purchases now.  Consider what the demand will be for the neighborhood in the future.  Also, remember to think about what you might need in the future?  Is it possible that you might need room to care for a loved one?  If you are older, is it possible that you might need a handicap accessible home?

These types of things can be a challenge for a buyer, but can also be a challenge for a Realtor. When you hire a Tulsa Realtor with experience, they can help guide you in a good path and help you remember important facts that you might otherwise forget.  For help in choosing the right Tulsa neighborhoods, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists. If you prefer to schedule a call to avoid phone tag, use this link.

Junior Achievement of Tulsa Teaches Students Financial Responsibility

To hear more about Junior Achievement of Tulsa on The Future of Real Estate, click here

Junior Achievement of Tulsa, OK, is a non-profit program which teaches students, kindergarten through twelfth grade, age appropriate finance programs. Through this organization, students learn about world economy, the stock market, budgeting, and how to write a check.

Darryl Baskin, of Baskin Real Estate Specialists, is a volunteer with Junior Achievement. He recently spent a few hours volunteering at “Finance Park”. Finance Park is one of the programs offered by Junior Achievement, and was developed to give students an idea of how their education affects family planning choices.

Students participating in Finance Park utilize a program running on an iPad and are presented with a simulated career and salary. The student makes real-life choices based on their virtual income, such as selecting a car, house, health insurance, and budget for childcare. If they make a mistake, such as choosing the wrong health insurance, they receive an error and have to re-do it. Once they are complete, the program then gives them a real life situation, such as “you just got a flat tire”. The student must work out a solution to the problem.

Junior Achievement puts together a framework for students and teaches how to adjust to financial issues. The program educates kids by applying what they learn in school and demonstrating how to be realistic with finances, including groceries, bills, and insurance.

The programs are run by volunteers who teach life appropriate materials. The volunteers have an opportunity to show the students they have the power to change their life. If you have any interest in volunteering, or for more information on Junior Achievement, contact them at jaok.org

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


The Future of Real Estate Discusses Smoke Detectors and Your Tulsa Home

Smoke Detectors And Your Tulsa Property–  The current code in Oklahoma requires that smoke detectors be hard wired with a battery back up.  In the last 5-7 years Tulsa EMP inspectors will flag the detectors if there is more than one wire in the breaker for your smoke detector.  We recommend people change their smoke detector batteries in their Tulsa home once per year. A good time to remember is to change batteries during Daylight Savings Time or some other time or holiday that will help you remember every year to change your detector batteries. Don’t wait until you hear the chirp from your smoke detectors in the middle of the night.

Also remember that smoke detectors do expire.  The material that is used to detect the smoke has a life expectancy.  The lifespan is usually 5-7 years.  When this time comes, or if you haven’t changed them in 20 years, throw them out and have them replaced.  A good idea if you are changing them out in your Tulsa home is to go with the dual detectors that detect smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (is usually found in heat and is deadly and has no smell).  Any wood or oil based product will produce carbon monoxide.  The code in Tulsa now says you have to have 1 smoke detector for every bedroom and 1 for any common area or hallway outside the bedrooms as well as 1 on each floor.  You can add more than 1 but that is the minimum.  For all your Tulsa electrical repairs and remodeling, contact Murray Electric at 918-835-9605 or www.murrayelectric.com.

QUICK TIP–   Homestead is an exemption of $1000 off the millage of your Tulsa home.  This averages $90-130 savings each year. It also lasts every year you own the home.  Also realize that this can be beneficial in some instances of financial problems. You have until March 15th to get Tulsa county homestead filed.   Go to  assessor.tulsacounty.org to fill out application for Tulsa county homestead exemption.

Common Last Minute Mistakes on a Tulsa Title and Abstract.  One common problem we find in Tulsa closings is mistakes with name spellings.  We must make sure we get all names correct.  The names must match on the abstract and deed.  Another problem is getting the correct signatures when closing on Tulsa property.  One signature to buy, two to sell is a common phrase used in Tulsa real estate.  For example, you buy a property when you are single but then get married.  Generally we will ask for the spouses signature at closing.  This can be confusing but is very important to get right to avoid further problems.  These things revolve around the marriage laws in Oklahoma.  For more information on Tulsa Country Abstract and Title, contact Guaranty Abstract at 918-587-6621or www.guarantyabstract.com.

Court Appointed Special Advocates are volunteers that go into the courtroom to give neglected and abused children a voice in court.  When a child is removed from the home due to allegations of abuse or neglect a judge can appoint a CASA volunteer.  Parents in most cases have to prove that they can get the kids back.   Judges must make a life altering decision based on papers and in a short amount of time.  The CASA Volunteer will speak with the child, parents, attorneys, case workers, foster parents, teachers, doctors, therapists and will relay this information to the judge so that they can make a well informed decision.  To become a CASA volunteer, contact tulsacasa.org.

Tulsa Homes for Sale

The Entire Tulsa MLS on one site- One Address, Thousands of Homes- Home Guide Tulsa

6726 South 91 East Avenue, Tulsa- $165,000- large lot, convenient location, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms

North 214th West Avenue, Sand Springs- $28,000- approximately 3.5 acres near Keystone Lake.

1510 Lake Ridge Drive, Sand Springs- $435,000- beautiful view, decks, 4 bedrooms, 4 full 1 half bathrooms

10716 South 66th East Avenue, Tulsa- $499,000- backs to pond, over 6000 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 full 3 half bathrooms

For more information on these properties or any Tulsa area real estate for sale, contact Darryl of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or www.homeguidetulsa.com.

Insurance for College, Do You Need It?

Insurance For College- Do You Need It?


insurance for college

Image courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net




Do your kids needs insurance for college?  It may seem a little too late to think about that now that school is in session, but it’s not too late to protect your valuables!  Did you know that an estimated $5,000 to $10,000 worth of stuff is taken to college by each college student.  Consider not only clothing and books, but also cell phones, laptops, and all the other things that are packed and moved each year.   Depending on your students location, school, and degree, there may be even more value in those things needed to complete their degree.  The average homeowners policy allows for 10% of the contents to be off premises.    That is typially coverage C- contents.  This is the same coverage that would be used when you’ve had items stolen while on vacation or if you’ve had items stolen out of your car. So remember that if you and your spouse take things off the premises and your kids do as well, you could easily be over that 10% limit.   Consider the value of the items that your student has taken off your property (and remember to include all the other items taken off as well.  If it is more than the amount allowed in your policy then consider additional coverage.  Also, remember to consider what you would do if the item was damaged or stolen.  Could you afford to replace it?   Renters insurance is another possibility if your student is living off campus.

A couple of final tips.  First, educate your kids about identity theft. Identity theft can cause serious damage to their credit report and can be very difficult to clear up.  The more educated your students are, the better they can protect themselves against identity theft.  Second, remember that auto insurance generally goes with the car.  That means that if your student lets their friends borrow the car, those kids are essentially borrowing your insurance. Finally, consider adding an umbrella to your policy.  This will provide excess liability to your policy in case of harm or damage to persons or property above the coverage of your policy.  Insurance for college can be very important but remember, as with all your other insurance decisions…. do your research and talk to your insurance agent about your policy and any additions needed.  For more information on protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings, call Tedford Insurance at 918-299-2345 or www.tedfordinsurance.com.