fairfax

BigJohnsonHow did your brackets do?

For most of us, the early Duke loss created havoc in our Men’s NCAA Basketball bracket. But there were a ton of upsets in other games too that brought everyone back to the middle. And then there was the Women’s NCAA Basketball tournament which wound up pitting the undefeated Notre Dame Irishwomen against the similarly undefeated UConn Huskies. If you were in the Big Johnson – my free contest – you had to enter BOTH of these and bite your nails all the way through lat night’s game.

Who came out on top after the UConn Men’s and Women’s teams won their respective tournaments?

basketballThe Big Johnson Champion for 2014, compiling 2290 points from the two tournaments, is Kevin Burns of Norman, Oklahoma – who won an Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display! Coming in second and winning a small token of appreciation was Joel Rosen.

The winners of the separate Men’s and Women’s brackets respectively were Geoff Young of Chantilly, Virginia (well, he works there) by 30 points over Brendan Hannemann (one of mine) and Chris Hannemann of Berkeley, California (also mine) by 20 points over Jed McClellan. Geoff and Chris each won an Apple iPod Nano!

Congratulations to all of them, and to me as well – after a horrendous start, only Kevin, Joel, Jed and two others topped my score:  Mike Merrick of Alexandria, Virginia and “Jonno623” who has not yet identified himself to me. All these folks won $10 Amazon gift cards.

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Bad Photos Phriday

March 21, 2014

This is the second in a series of posts about stupid photos taken by real estate agents and actually posted to their local MLS. I know they were taken by agents because professional photographers certainly wouldn’t allow such trash to sully their equipment. I’m not the only one to post the photos – some call them Bad Real Estate Photos or Bad MLS Photos. While the photos come from a variety of sources (submissions from you are gladly acknowledged!), one of the best is terriblerealestateagentphotographs, which is anonymous, and his/her captions are understated but hilarious and hard to improve on.

Today’s photos “highlight” one of my many pet peeves, the Tilt-O-Matic home photo. Without further ado:

Would it look less unbalanced with an equal number of windows on each side of the entrance?
Would it look less unbalanced with an equal number of windows on each side of the entrance?
This house recently developed a slow puncture, but may not be totally beyond repair.
This house recently developed a slow puncture, but may not be totally beyond repair.
I strongly recommend immediate viewing of this property, before it slides down the road into the neighboring somewhat more unsavory school district.
I strongly recommend immediate viewing of this property, before it slides down the road into the neighboring somewhat more unsavory school district.
Modern building techniques now allow completed houses to be dropped into position from a great height - with variable results.
Modern building techniques now allow completed houses to be dropped into position from a great height – with variable results.

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ScamDeedNotice
Example of Scam Notice

Attorney General Mark R. Herring is warning Virginia property owners to be cautious of companies offering to sell them a copy of the deed to their home. Homeowners throughout the state have been receiving official looking letters, often titled as a “Deed Processing Notice,” that offer to sell homeowners a copy of their deed for $83. The letters include language that may result in the homeowner believing he or she must comply by a specific date.

“Even though these letters look like official notices, they are actually solicitations and should be treated as such,” Attorney General Herring said. “Most home and property owners will receive a copy of their deed at the time of purchase, but if a deed is lost or needs to be replaced, county clerks can often do so at a much lower price. Consumers should read these letters carefully and know they are under no obligation to take action by any artificial deadline.” Or any action at all, for that matter.

Herring said homeowners should know that they are under no obligation to pay these entities or to purchase a copy of their deed. In fact, copies of deeds are usually available from the local clerk of court at a much lower rate than offered in these letters. For example, copies of deeds (typically 2-3 page documents) are available from some local court clerks for as little as $0.50 per page, plus $2 if a certified copy is desired. Consumers are encouraged to check with their local court clerk for pricing information.

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How Much Tougher is It to Get Approved for a Mortgage?

March 20, 2014

A raft of new mortgage lending rules that went into effect this year change the way consumers borrow and pay back home loans. Designed to put behind us the irresponsible lending that disrupted the housing market and badly damaged the U.S. economy, the changes are designed to protect you from bad mortgage lenders and set […]

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Win An iPad! No, Really!

March 11, 2014

It’s once again that time when people all over the country stop doing what they are doing and feverishly consider their picks for the NCAA Basketball Tournaments so they can enter the TWELFTH Annual Big Johnson COED College Basketball Tournament Classic, sponsored by yours truly, on ESPN. Yes, it’s 100% FREE! Here’s your chance to Stick It To The Man – yet again! A new Apple iPad Mini RETINA DISPLAY (yes, I […]

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Bad-vertising

February 21, 2014

I am planning a series of posts about stupid photos taken by real estate agents and actually posted to their local MLS, supposedly in furtherance of their intention to sell a home. I know they were taken by agents because professional photographers certainly wouldn’t allow such trash to sully their equipment. I’m not the only […]

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Removing Wallpaper

February 19, 2014

I don’t know about you, but as Harry Homeowner* I have hung – and removed – all the wallpaper I ever will. I’m over it. I don’t care if it’s “coming back” in style or not – it’s never coming back in my house. That said, there is still wallpaper in my house to be […]

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