General

Lets cook turkey

Tomorrow is thanksgiving and there isn’t much that is easier to prepare and cook than roast turkey. I should be keeping that a secret because the news media loves to spend the week before thanksgiving making the whole turkey cooking process sound difficult and look like magic. Yes I know they can be deep fried or put on the grill but turkeys cooked that way won’t be as tasty as my slow roasted never over cooked bird.

Is there anything more disgusting than a cold raw turkey in the early A.M.?   For those of you who have never cooked the bird this is what it looks like:

raw turkey
raw turkey

Turkeys are very easy to cook.  You just roast them, which involves putting them in the oven or electric roaster and setting a timer.  Where most people go wrong is by not using a meat thermometer and or by cooking the bird too long and at too high of a temperature or by listening to the talking heads on the morning news.  Use the Betty Crocker roasting chart.  I won’t tell you how many years that has worked for me.

Please don’t overcook your turkey. If your turkey is dry it is because you over cooked it. I don’t care if you deep fried it or put it on the grill or cooked it in the oven. Read my lips. If the turkey is dry you over cooked it!  Please use a meat thermometer and keep an eye on it.

Turkeys can be cooked rapidly at 450 or so, but the easiest way is to put it in an electric turkey roaster or in the oven at 325 to 350 and just ignore it. I like to start with a fresh turkey, never a frozen turkey and cook it in an electric roaster because it frees up the oven and requires almost no effort on my part.

Clean up is simple too.  The only challenge is finding a place to store the electric roaster but as a Realtor I can help you find a bigger home with more storage space if needed.

The FDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 165 . . if you don’t want to risk food poisoning.  personally I go for up around 180 degrees.

roast turkey
roast turkey

Have a happy thanksgiving and don’t stress over the turkey.  Worry about the stuffing or the pies or the rolls.

For Boomers

Mom’s refrigerator

Two_kids_and_a_Hotpoint____Flickr_-_Photo_Sharing_My parents lived just three blocks away from me until a couple of months ago when we needed to move them. Their decline was gradual and because they lived close by I was able to keep an eye on them and help them stay in their home.

Many of my friends have parents who live far away and they don’t see them  often but they go home for thanksgiving or their parents come for a visit or they see then during the holidays.  The holidays are a great time to check up on mom and dad. I can give you a list of things to look for. I like to start by peaking in the fridge. You can tell a lot about a persons overall health and well being by the amount and type of food that is on hand.

My parents always told me they were fine and they never needed any help. I always had to make excuses to help them. I would tell them that I had to go to the store anyway and that they should come with or I could just drop a few things off for them.

As their health started to decline their home got messier and they more or less stopped cooking and ate bowls of cereal or ice cream. Meals-on-wheels helped but on the weekends if I did not cook or bring food they did not eat much. It helped to have house cleaning services for a few months, but they mostly could not tolerate outside help and would only allow it for two hours a week.

They  stopped cleaning and eventually stopped doing laundry. Since they did not need any help I would let myself into their place early in the morning, tidy up a bit and remove the dishes from last nights dinner and wash them and then start the coffee and maybe make a little breakfast. They didn’t need to have me make breakfast but always ate the eggs I left for them.

If you spend time with the elderly people in your family this thanksgiving pay attention to how they look and act. Are their clothes clean? Are they dressed appropriately? Are they wearing socks? Are they having any trouble remembering words or names? Have they gained or lost a noticeable amount weight in the last few months?

If you are visiting them open the refrigerator and maybe peek into the waste basket in the kitchen and open a few cupboards.  Check for prescription drugs too and look at the dates on the bottles.

I respect my elders and I respect their privacy but I know from personal experience that sometimes people need help but they won’t ask for it and they can even reach a stage where they can no longer live independently. Sometimes they forget how to pay the bills or maybe they are alright but they just can’t maintain a home anymore.

Maybe no one ever died of a dirty house and cleaning is a choice but when someone’s blood pressure is sky high because they have decided that taking prescription drugs is optional or when they can no longer dress themselves or put on their own socks it might be appropriate to step in and help or find them some help.

For Home buyers

Non-business days

CalendarFor me it is almost always a business day but I don’t work on Thanksgiving unless you call cooking a turkey and making some pies and serving a meal for ten or more people work.

If you are buying or selling a home during the holidays you need to factor is some non-business days. This becomes especially important for the financing component of a home purchase or sale. Talk to your lender before making an offer and make sure the lender has enough business days to complete the loan underwriting process on time for your closing. I like to add a week to everything,

Most of my clients are in a hurry and don’t always take my advice which is why I consume more antacid tablets during the holidays than I do during the rest of the year. If it doesn’t work out because there were not enough business days for the lender to get the job done I never say: “I told you so” but I think it. I am a “can-do” kind of person but unfortunately the rest of the world is full of people who just “can’t” get the job done.

Be kind to yourself and to others and recognize that people take time off during the holidays to spend with their families and may struggle to make closing in less than 30 days or might not make the deadline at all.

Buyers who are making offers this week on homes for sale and who are not paying cash should be asking for a January closing.

Uncategorized

Getting it in writing isn’t enough

cleaningI once saw a purchase agreement where the buyers agents asked that the seller clean the home before the closing. I see a lot of homes and this particular home was cleaner than average. I advised the seller to say no to cleaning the home.

The buyers agent said she wants to make sure the home is clean for her client and so she put it in writing. Putting things in writing is a great idea but what does clean mean? What if the seller cleaned the home but the buyer decided that it wasn’t clean. How would we resolve the situation.

In this case the buyer will be doing a final walk through as all buyers should before the closing. If the place is a total mess the buyer would have recourse because the closing can not happen without him.  If the seller does clean the place before the closing and believes that it is clean that might not be good enough because “clean” is kind of vague.

Right now my husband would probably say that the kitchen is clean. I would disagree with that. There are no dishes in the sink, the floor is swept and the counter is free of crumbs or anything gooey but  I wouldn’t call the room clean but he would and neither one of us are right or wrong.

In general sellers should clean before they leave and most buyers should plan on cleaning before they move in. When putting things in writing they need to be as specific as possible. Sometimes we ask to have carpet shampooed by a professional carpet cleaning company and sometimes we ask that the windows be professionally cleaned or that the cleaning cycle on the oven be run or that the fireplace be left free of ashes and pieces of charred wood.

There once was a home buyer who asked to have a furnace cleaned. They put it in writing. The home seller used his shop vac to remove dust inside the furnace and then cleaned the outside with some rags and a little windex. That isn’t how a professional cleans a furnace. The agent who put it in writing should have asked that the furnace be inspected and certified by a licensed heating contractor.

Be careful out there and if you put it in writing be as specific as possible.

Friday fun

Make your fruitcake this weekend

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. There are a lot of people who do not like fruitcake. In fact we could even say most people don’t like fruitcake. I am not most people. There is a lot of bad fruitcake out there that is dry and mostly inedible. My mother made fruitcake and we all liked it. She would soak it in sherry and then in rum for weeks before Christmas. I believe she got the recipe from my grandmother.

My mother can not make fruitcake anymore. It is too hard for her to do anything that requires several steps because she would likely forget what it is that she is doing before she gets to the second or third step which is OK because I found the recipe. I will just add that it is best if the cake is soaked in the sherry for five days and then kept in a rum or sherry soaked cloth for a month or so. It is actually better if the cake can be cured for a few months but it is probably too early to make one for the 2015 holiday season.

I also found an article about how to soak the fruit in run ahead of time and then making the cake and soaking it.  This fruitcake is for the grown up pallet and makes an excellent gift.

Fruitcake

Fruitcake

General Real Estate News

Rich Vs Not Rich

I got some career advice yesterday and that was that I should only work with rich people and that because they can afford to buy several houses I should try to sell them more than one. People in the top 1% shouldn’t have any problem buying a nice home in each county of the metro area and I would be happy to help with that.

We live in a country where the top 1% controls over 35% of the wealth and the government too but no one really cares because people just figure if they work hard enough they will be in the upper 1% too. I am sure it can happen to me. I just need to work harder. :)

Chart

Pew Research

The chat was taken from an article by Pew Research [5 facts about income inequality]  If we look at some actual numbers income looks like this:

Top 1%: $380,354

Top 5%: $159,619

Top 10%: $113,799

Top 25%: $67,280

Top 50%: >$33,048

The economic recovery has not been equal across the board. The wealthiest Americans have made the greatest gains. The data is from 2010.

Contact

Teresa Boardman
Realtor®, MN,
Licensed Broker
Saint Paul Home Realty
651-216-4603
teresa(at)tboardman.com
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