Hands-Only CPR

Hands-only CPR can save lives.  The American Heart Association states that “Almost 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die.  CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.”  Most people who survive a cardiac emergency are helped by a bystander.

  1. Check for responsiveness – shake the person and shout “Are you OK?”11700251-250.jpg
  2. Call 9-1-1 – either tell someone to call or make the call yourself
  3. Compress – Push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of 100 per minute.

The victim should be flat on their back preferably on the floor. Place the heel of one hand on the center of the victim’s chest and place the heel on top of the other hand lacing your fingers together. Lock your elbows and compress the chest forcefully; make sure you lift enough to let the chest recoil.

Chest compressions should be continued until the person shows obvious life-like breathing, the scene becomes unsafe, an AED (automatic external defibrillator) becomes available, or a trained responder takes over the emergency treatment.

Alternating mouth-to-mouth breaths is not necessary using this method. Compressions are adequate except in drowning or drug overdose situations where 30 chest compressions are followed by two mouth-to-mouth breaths.

Watch this two-minute video and consider taking instructions from the Red Cross or other qualified provider. Every household should have at least one person trained in life-saving skills.

Til next time… May all your deals be easy ones!
Follow me on Twitter @yourmendorealty

Clint Hanks                                   707-391-6000

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Realtor Safety Training Helps Keep Realtors and Others Safe

Usually, I write columns to inform the public about matters pertaining to real estate and/or property management. However, this time I thought I’d write to Realtors directly about ways to remain safe. Many of these safety tips can be amended for anyone who meets with clients they do not know.

Realtors often work with new clients—people they’ve never met and know nothing about. While most Realtors work in the industry for decades and never feel threatened; occasionally, a situation arises that makes the hairs on the back of their neck stand on end. I’m unaware of any recent problems in Mendocino County, but a recent news story in Phoenix reminded me of the dangers Realtors can face (www.12news.com/news/local/valley/after-brutal-murders-self-defense-training-still-not-required-for-realtors/412356141).

When you think about it, Realtors make obvious targets. They are in a business where both the Realtors themselves and members of the public fully expect them, as lone individuals, to show a complete stranger to a vacant house, sometimes in a remote location. While this happens all the time with absolutely no problems, it could be a recipe for disaster. Both men and women are at risk, because a bullet will go through either, so here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

First, ask prospective clients to meet you at your office before going anywhere with them. This provides an opportunity for you to evaluate them and perhaps eliminate the exposure to danger altogether by declining to go. It also means others in your office have seen and can identify the person, and potentially their vehicle.

If your instincts tell you not to go, pay attention. Ask anyone in law enforcement, and they’ll tell you to listen to that little voice in your head telling you something’s wrong. Ukiah Police Chief Chris Dewey says if the situation feels off, make up an excuse if you must, but don’t go.

If the prospective client seems okay, it’s still better to be safe than sorry: make sure someone in your office knows whom you’re with, what properties you plan to visit, and when you expect to return. Turn on your cell phone’s GPS tracker and be sure to put an emergency contact on speed dial. Also, you should be the one to drive, even if the prospective client offers to. This gives you a little more control over the situation—you determine where to go, when to leave, and you can lock yourself in the car if it comes to that.

If you’ve indicated to your office that you’ll be back by a certain time, be sure to let them know if that time changes. If you do this in front of the client, he or she will know there are people waiting for you and it may deter bad behavior.

Consider taking a self-defense class. It will teach you physical defensive techniques as well as heighten your awareness of your surroundings, like being sure you have unfettered access to the only exit to a room or property. This helps you to expect the unexpected.

On the property management side of the business, we insist that anyone who wants to view a vacant property must allow us to take a photocopy of their driver’s license. In the event that something happens, this makes it easier to identify the individual; more importantly, the individual knows he can be identified.

If you’re the For-Sale-By-Owner type, consider asking a friend or family member to wait at your house with you when a prospective buyer comes to view it. Collect the interested party’s contact information up front and verify that it’s accurate (when you call back at the phone number they provided, do you reach the same person?). If you’d like to avoid this risk altogether, allow me to make a shameless plug for hiring a Realtor.

If you have questions about real estate or property management, please contact me at rselzer@selzerrealty.com or call (707) 462-4000. If you’d like to read previous articles, visit my blog at www.richardselzer.com. Dick Selzer is a real estate broker who has been in the business for more than 40 years.

Must Be This Tall to Ride

Must Be This Tall to Ride

Surely, you remember being a child at an amusement park when after having stood in line with your friends and family, waiting to get on a terrific ride, you discovered the sign that read, “you must be this tall to ride.”  This Tall3.png

Not only was it disappointing, it was slightly embarrassing. You never want to go through that again.

A remarkably similar situation occurs when people are buying a home. After finding the right home and negotiating the contract, they find out that they don’t measure up financially. It’s not something that anyone wants to go through if they have a choice.

Regardless of what you think you know, if you’re buying a home with a loan, you need to physically visit with a trusted mortgage professional before you get serious.

You’ll find out your credit score which will directly affect the mortgage rate you’ll pay.
You might discover blemishes on your credit that possibly can be corrected.
You’ll even get a pre-approval letter that you can submit with an offer which could dramatically affect your negotiations in the current competitive market.

Some rides don’t turn out to be as good as you thought they were going to be. A person certainly doesn’t want that disappointment with a lender. Contact me for a recommendation of trusted mortgage professional.

Til next time… May all your deals be easy ones!
Follow me on Twitter @yourmendorealty

Clint Hanks                                   707-391-6000

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Landscaping and Hardscaping May Prevent Buyers from Escaping


When you decide to sell your house, it’s important to show off its best features: the updated kitchen, the vaulted ceilings, the hardwood floors, and other amenities. However, if you forget to pay attention to the landscaping and other exterior features, prospective buyers may never set foot inside your house. According to recent studies, attractive landscaping can help your property sell faster and increase the sales price.

Most Realtors are aware of situations where prospective buyers have driven up to a house and refused to get out of the car to go inside. Their rationale is simple: if the sellers cannot take care of the outside, why would they waste their time looking at the inside? This reinforces that old adage about only getting one chance to make a first impression. And Murphy’s Law being what it is, those prospective buyers who drove away were probably the ones who would’ve made the highest offer.

Leaving the exterior unkempt is a mistake, but thankfully one that can typically be rectified with a few weekends worth of yard work and maybe a couple trips to Mendo Mill.

While good landscaping makes prospective buyers excited to see more, be careful not to over-landscape. You don’t want those buyers imagining they’ll have to spend every spare moment of their lives trying to keep up the yard. I’m picturing the perfectly manicured flowers that greet you at the main entrance to Disneyland. Are they attractive? Certainly. Would I want to be responsible for their upkeep? Not unless I had an army to help me.

Upkeep is not the only landscaping consideration. You’ll also want to think about water consumption: we’ve had many years of drought and a lawn that requires massive watering may not be appreciated. A low-maintenance yard that employs mulch effectively can reduce maintenance requirements and conserve water while providing an attractive view.

And don’t forget to look at the trees. Are they arranged to provide relief from the summer sun but allow winter sun to add warmth and cheer? Deciduous trees (the ones that lose their leaves) should provide shade in August when it’s 110 degrees but welcome sunlight through its bare branches in January and February. Are the trees too close to the house? When winter storms soak the ground and trees fall, it’s far better to lose a fence than a living room.

Once you’ve got the landscaping attended to (i.e., trees, shrubs, flowers and lawn), it’s time to look at the hardscaping—concrete walkways, decks, fire pits, pools, ponds and lighting. Are tree roots lifting the concrete path to your front door, causing a tripping hazard and looking messy? Is that deck railing that prevents a 10-foot drop sturdy enough to lean against? For safety and visual appeal, make sure your hardscaping is in good repair.

If you like yard ornaments, feel free to use them, but do so sparingly. It’s best if your yard resembles a cover shot from Better Homes and Gardens as opposed to a yard that looks like it was recently attacked by a flock of flamingos. With both interior and exterior décor, it is not the seller’s taste that matters; it is the prospective buyer’s taste. Less is more. Neutrals are better than extreme colors. Provide something close to a blank canvas that the prospective buyer can paint on with his or her imagination.

If you have used your yard as a de facto dog park, it may be worth hiring a professional to spruce things up, or at least create a plan to do so. The elbow grease can be yours, or as some of us have learned, that’s why God invented teenagers.

If you have questions about real estate or property management, please contact me at rselzer@selzerrealty.com or call (707) 462-4000. If you’d like to read previous articles, visit my blog at www.richardselzer.com. Dick Selzer is a real estate broker who has been in the business for more than 40 years.

Would-be Buyers with Student Debt

Would-be Buyers with Student Debt

59% of non-owners are not comfortable taking on a mortgage with their student debt according to the Aspiring Home Buyers 2017 survey. It is estimated that the college graduates have an average of $37,172 in student debt.16522219-250.jpg

Fannie Mae, who has loan programs with as little as three to five percent down payments, has announced changes to how student loan debt is treated that could make the difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

For the 5 million borrowers who participate in the reduced payment plans, actual payments are considered for calculating debt-to-income ratio rather than maximum payment amount.

Non-mortgage debts paid by another party for at least 12 months won’t be included in calculating debt-to-income ratio.  For example, payments being made on a student loan by the parents would not be counted against the DTI ratio for the student.

These changes can make it possible for would-be buyers with student debt to get a home now instead of waiting for years. Being pre-approved by a trusted mortgage professional is the best way to confirm that these changes apply to your situation. Call today for a recommendation of a trusted mortgage professional.

Til next time… May all your deals be easy ones!
Follow me on Twitter @yourmendorealty

Clint Hanks                                   707-391-6000

The post Would-be Buyers with Student Debt appeared first on Clint Hanks, 707-467-3693.