Blog: R.E. Tales
(Hey, they all can't be pretty...)
If you’ve been out with me, you’ve seen that big Samsonite briefcase that I lug around. I’ve had it more than 30 years, have worn the skids off the bottom, and now there’s even a small hole in the bottom. If I act like it’s heavy, that’s because it is. What’s in that darn thing?
It has a big bottom compartment. In there are all my listings and maps for properties in the price range you are considering. And there are a bunch of potential listings, places where I have taken all the information for the listing, then the owner decided to “think about it”. You’ll also find booklets on lead paint poisoning that the great State of New York wants me to hand out with every Purchase Contract. And then there are some sheets of vey fine emory paper. I have long forgotten why these were ever put in there and since I don’t know where else they can go, I guess they call it home now.
The rest of the compartments are on the lid area. The smallest ones have things like pens, business cards, a calculator and an amortization table booklet. I bought that thing in 1978 and things are a lot different now. The lowest it goes is 7%, not too useful these days. But it covers everything to 18%, what a day dream (or nightmare if you are paying it). But these were realities in 1978.
The second lid compartment has County maps. They are perennially falling apart. I use them a lot. Scotch tape is my friend, but it doesn’t last.
The next compartment back, far bigger, has contracts in it, all kinds of forms: listing agreements, several flavors of purchase contracts, a co-listing agreement (hardly ever used), Property Disclosure Statements, leases, an income and expense worksheet for diary farms, a lead-based paint contingency document, a blank Power of Attorney, a Buyer’s Agent Agreement, real estate agency disclosures, an Ag District Disclosure, an auction listing agreement, and a credit check form. Basically, these are these are all forms that need to be filled out at one time or another. I made the decision early on to never be without a form. If you are ready to list or to buy, I want to be ready to accommodate you then and there. I used to carry a manual typewriter and carbon paper with me.
The back compartment is more interesting. It has useful information in it: silo capacity charts, rates for custom farming, hunting regulations, weather patterns for the State (rainfall, growing season, frost dates), financing information, soil information, a variety of general financial data on dairy farms, maps of tribal land claims, information on taxes, a list of milk haulers, a way to estimate home building costs, a list of milk co-ops, estimates on the numbers of cattle sheep and hogs (by county), statements on ag assessment, loan information, and general census data. Some of this stuff gets out of date and dog-eared, but it stay in there until I can find something more up to date – or until I get embarrassed by its condition.
In the car are other items that I use: flagging, tons of both current and also old keys (you never know when one of them will fit something), flashlights and head lamps, tape measures of various sizes, lots more maps, aspirin & throat lozenges, a multi-tool, tons of pens & pencils, small candies, marking pens for both permanent & hi-liting, paper towels, 2 umbrellas, a light raincoat, some wrenches & screwdrivers, a towel, some snacks and (when the weather is not freezing) a drink or two, a Fixaflat can, CDs (for when I am by myself), a policeman’s friend if someone gets desperate, lightweight wind pants, another calculator, more business cards, nail clippers…. No wonder the car’s a mess.
What I don’t have is a far shorter list: no laptop or tablet or PDA, no cell phone or smart phone, no GPS, and no blue teeth. Luddites are not allowed to have such items.
Some are merely amusing. some can help you immensely. All are interesting.
After 40 years, I've learned a lot, & acquired unforgettable experiences. Follow these long enough and you'll eventually get the whole book. (Names probably changed, for obvious reasons.)