Come Join Me March 9th to Help Some Cancer Patients Win Their Battle

Come Join Me March 9th to Help Some Cancer Patients Win Their Battle

Second Annual Pedal for a Cure – March 9, 2013 – Benefit for the Angel Trust Fund

We’re at it again.  This March, you have a chance to do something good for your body and something good for a cancer patient at the same time.  On March 9th, from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm, the Valley Healthy Wellness and Fitness Center in Winchester, VA will be hosting 10 Hour Pedal for a Cure event to benefit the Angel Trust Fund at the Winchester Medical Center Foundation.

Angel Trust Fund is one of a number of funds at the Winchester Medical Center Foundation that offers assistance to patients who need some sort of assistance with their care.  Angel Trust Fund is cancer specific.  Their support might be treatment related, or it might as simple as providing transportation to treatment.  The Angel Trust Fund makes sure that those who have specific financial needs during their treatment are able to have those needs met during those the scariest days of their lives.

My challenge to you is, “What can you do to help?”  I’m glad you asked.  You can sponsor a bike for the 10 hours.  You can build a team of riders who will ride each hour during the event.  You can participate by recruiting others to participate in the event.  You can give a donation to the Angel Trust Foundation, or you can help at the event.  We’d love for you to do all of the above, but whatever you can offer this great event will be appreciated.

Bikes are reserved for the event at $200 each.  Teams can be 1 – 10.  New classes start every hour on the hour.   There will be opportunities to drop by, donate and ride on a availability basis.

Recording Artist – Ted Garber

This year, we have a very special treat for the riders.  Ted Garber, an amazing musician, songwriter and performer will be dropping by to entertain the riders during the late morning period.  If you haven’t hear Ted before, you’re in for a treat.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, you can mail a check to Winchester Medical Center Foundation, Attn: Angel Trust Fund, 220 Campus Blvd, Suite 402, Winchester, VA 22601.  You can also drop into the center and reserve your bike, drop off a check and/or get more information.  The sign up sheet is at the front desk.

Please plan to come out and join us for the great cause and get a healthy dose of exercise in the process.  You may never know exactly who you helped, but know that someone, in the process of beating cancer, is thankful for your support.


“Hi. I’m from the real estate office, and I’m here to help you.”

“Hi. I’m from the real estate office, and I’m here to help you.”

“Hi.  I’m from the real estate office, and I’m here to help you.”  That line is reminiscent of the “I’m Slick Salesmanfrom the government, and I’m here to help you” line of the 80s that drew laughter and a healthy skepticism from most Americans.

I took a young couple out over the weekend who are looking to buy their first home.  They were excited and scared to near paralysis.  During our time together, they shared their most recent story about the agent they had just fired.  He was trying to push them into a his listing that would make him a quick sale, a nice commission and nightmare for the buyers.  They liked it, but on further inspection, they found that the house had foundation problems.

The agent encouraged them not to worry about it, it was only a $20,000 repair.  No problem.  Sign here, and when you get settled in, have the repair made and you’ll have a great house.  They nearly did it because they are so green, but sanity took over and they dropped him like a hot potato.

I trust that most of my colleagues look at their role as a Realtor as a helping profession.  Far too often, young buyers like this are at the mercy of their agent.  I know many of us dread a pack of parents, friends and family helping a young first time buyer, but if the agent assisting them is willing to steam roll them into a purchase that will cause them harm, they need the back up of other more experienced homeowners.

Friends, I hope you treat these young inexperienced buyers the same way you would want an agent to treat your kids.  This couple was able to place a contract on their first home on Monday.  They are excited, nervous and ready to take the next step toward adult level experience, and I am thrilled to hold their hand through the process.  I really am from the real estate office, and I will definitely help you.

2nd Annual Tails and Trails Non-competitive 5K & 10K Fun Walk/Run

2nd Annual Tails and Trails Non-competitive 5K & 10K Fun Walk/Run

The Briggs Animal Adoption Center is at it again.  It’s time for the 2nd annual Tail and Trails non-competitive 5K & 10K Fun Walk/Run.  The event benefits the Spay Today program at the center.

The run/walk takes place at the Blandy Farm State Arboretum in Boyce, VA.  The Arboretum is a beautiful place to visit any time of year, and it’s a special place to visit when you can assist Briggs in their mission to help every pet find a forever home.

The Spay Today program is a collaboration of 24 veterinary hospitals and spay/neuter clinics in 3 states.  They provide 5,000 reduced cost spay/neuters procedures every year.  The Spay Today program benefits more than 30+ humane societies and rescue operations by providing them with low costs services.  Over the past 12 years, Spay Today has provided 38,068 procedures.

Briggs is a no kill shelter providing care and services for both dogs and cats.  It’s a great operation to support with your time and energy, and this is just one more way you can help them while helping your self.  Pre-registration (entry form attached) is $25.00 per participant.  You will receive a T-shirt, a course map, support, snacks and drinks.

Registration after March 15, 2013 will be $30.00.  Registration begins at 8:30 am on the day of the event, and the event starts at 10:00 am.  There are door prizes awarded after the event.  Please come out and join the good folks at Briggs Animal Adoption Center for another great event.  BAAC is located just outside of Charlestown, WV along route 340. You can contact them with any additional questions at 304-724-6558.

Homeowners, don’t renovate without permits. It will save you money.

Homeowners, don’t renovate without permits. It will save you money.

Dear homeowner, when you decide to finish your basement or any unfinished space in your Contractorhome, get a permit.  It will save you aggravation in the future, and it will make sure that the work is done in a professional and safe manner.

When I do an MLS search and see that a house is listed as a 4 bedroom / 3 bath house, that’s what I expect to see when I get there.  When I look at the tax record and it says 3 bedrooms / 2 baths, a red flag goes up.  Also, when it says the property has an unfinished basement, but I arrive and it has a finished basement, I get suspicious that the renovation was done without including the local inspection departments.

There are a lot reasons to have your renovations inspected:

  • Safety
  • Make sure the changes are up to code.  This is critical in all areas of construction: framing, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, even drywall (remember the Chinese drywall and Quest plumbing pipe, GFIs, adequate lighting?)
  • To make sure you get what you’re paying for
  • It helps keep the contractors honest and on course
  • Permits will prevent future questions about your renovations

This past Friday, I ran a service call on one of our rentals.  The furnace was not working.  The igniter in the gas furnace had cracked and would not ignite the gas, rendering the furnace useless.  It was 12 degrees outside.  No problem.  An igniter is a 10 minute repair.  That is unless you had a jack-leg finish off your basement.

This furnace had a wall built right in front it.  There was about 8″ gap between the front of the furnace and the back of the wall studs.  My head is bigger than 8″, not to mention I need to get both hands in the furnace at the same time to replace the igniter.  So, trying to contort my wide shoulders in such a way that I could get my head and both hands in the furnace was miserable.

Oh, I forgot to mention, the code requires a light and receptacle by the equipment.  Nada.  So, I had to hold a flashlight and contort myself to get the igniter in the unit.  The igniters are extremely fragile.  A sneeze in the same room will break one before you get it installed (OK, that might a slight exaggeration, but only slight).  I broke two before the third one was installed.  That cost the homeowner an additional $100 for a typical $100 repair.  That doesn’t even count labor.

What would have been a $100 repair will be closer to $250 or beyond because a previous owner didn’t bother to have professional contractors and inspections when he finished his basement.  Please, please get a permit and have inspections.  It will save you money (because contractors servicing a situation like I ran into will charge you double, triple), it will keep a future home inspector from giving you an encyclopedia of repairs that have to be made before you can sell your house and it will make your home more valuable and safe.