Happy 47th Anniversary to Mom and Dad!

Happy 47th anniversary to Mom and Dad (Rick and Rose).

Congratulations!

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About Larson Educational Services:

Utilizing 40 years of real estate training and professional education experience, Florida real estate school Larson Educational Services is the premier provider of Florida real estate licensing, exam preparation, post-licensing, CAM licensing, mortgage loan originator licensing, and continuing education in Southwest Florida. Classes are available in Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, and online. We are an approved Florida Real Estate School (License #ZH1002299), Florida CAM School (License #PRE31), Florida Insurance School (License # 370501) and NMLS Approved Course Provider.

Larson Educational Services

13040 Livingston Rd. #12,

Naples, Florida

34105

239-344-7510

LarsonEd.com

The Long Way is the Shortcut

Florida insurance school

Have you ever tried to buy something cheap (like clothes) and had to replace it after only a few uses?

You probably bought the cheap item because you didn’t want to (or couldn’t) spend more money on its more expensive counterpart. You find yourself buying the $20 cotton jeans that wear out after a year rather than the $45 denim jeans that would last you 5 years.

Why do we do it? Sometimes it’s because we don’t have the money to buy more high quality items.

Other times, though, we’re looking for the quick solution—the shortcut.

That’s why I cringe when I see articles like this: https://www.zillow.com/blog/blue-kitchens-sell-for-more-216631/

It’s a breakdown of which colors in which rooms raise your home value and by how much. (Periwinkle blue adds $5,440 to home value? Who knew?!)

So what are you meant to do with this information about paint colors? I agree, it’s tempting to share this as viable information—a simple change in paint color seems like an easy shortcut to more money—but there are so many X factors we don’t know.

Most importantly, do these more profitable color schemes translate to Southwest Florida, where earth tones dominate?

If you followed this one-size-fits-all shortcut for paint colors, you might spend more time and money in the long run than if you put in the real work.

The same way that buying cheaply made clothes isn’t an efficient way to spend money, trying to improve your sales with a panacea is usually less efficient than putting in the work.

Holding your business together with a series of short cuts is as sustainable as buying cheaply made clothes—you’ll wake up one day and the soles of your shoes will be flopping off like the lapping tongue of a dog and your pants will bust at the seams like a plumber.

Take the long road—it’s the only sustainable route you have.

the shortcut

About Larson Educational Services:

Utilizing 40 years of real estate training and professional education experience, Florida real estate school Larson Educational Services is the premier provider of Florida real estate licensing, exam preparation, post-licensing, CAM licensing, mortgage loan originator licensing, and continuing education in Southwest Florida. Classes are available in Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, and online. We are an approved Florida Real Estate School (License #ZH1002299), Florida CAM School (License #PRE31), Florida Insurance School (License # 370501) and NMLS Approved Course Provider.

Larson Educational Services

13040 Livingston Rd. #12,

Naples, Florida

34105

239-344-7510

LarsonEd.com

#TBT to the Mysterious Construction Guy with the Golden Arm

This #ThrowbackThursday goes back just a few years to 2015, when we expanded our offices into “The Crow’s Nest” on the second level of Royal Palm Square in Fort Myers.

Our mom, LarsonEd’s resident interior decorator, was running errands up and down between our main offices on the ground level and the upstairs Crow’s Nest, which is on the other side of the Royal Palm Square complex.

Before one of her trips downstairs, co-owner Dave Larson said, “Mom, can you grab me a few sugar packets for my tea while you’re in the main office?”

Being the good mom that she is, she agreed, proceeding to grab a handful of packets from the main office kitchen, securing them into a compact package with a rubber band, and walking outside toward the open window of Dave’s second-floor office.

Now, mom wanted to make things a little interesting, so she said screw it to hand-delivering the sugar package to Dave, and instead opted for throwing it up through the narrow opening of his window.

She immediately enlisted the help of a husky construction guy wearing a white tank top. 

“Hey,” she said as he walked past, “can you throw this sugar packet through that window?”

He stopped. The guy looked at Mom, looked up at the window, looked back at her, and wordlessly grabbed the sugar package to line up the shot.

It was clear from the outset that this wasn’t Construction Guy’s first rodeo. With eyes fixed on the second-floor window, he glided to the side in search of an optimum angle, sizing up the opening like a sniper lining up his target.

After finding his desired shot, Construction Guy brought his arm back and in one fluid motion whipped the sugar package forward, sending the precious cargo sailing through the middle of the narrow window opening.

Mom and Construction Guy heard a holler of excitement from Dave’s office. Of course the throw itself was enough cause for celebration, but the whoops were slightly more emphatic than expected.

It was Dave and our dad, Rick. “We got it!” they called down.

It turns out that as those two sat speaking in Dave’s office, Dad just happened to see the sugar package flying in through the window like a lost dove. Being the natural athlete that he is, Dad had reached up in a moment inspired by pure instinct and snatched the sugar package out of the air.

Dad came to the window laughing and explained what had happened. Outside on ground level the construction guy walked away in hysterical laughter, having never said a word to anybody.

We salute you, mysterious Construction Guy. Dave’s tea that day tasted just a little bit sweeter thanks to your throwing prowess.

Do any of you have a connection to the Southwest Florida Historical Society? We need to get in touch with them about putting up a commemorative plaque or maybe even a statue of the construction guy with the golden arm.

About Larson Educational Services:

Utilizing 40 years of real estate training and professional education experience, Florida real estate school Larson Educational Services is the premier provider of Florida real estate licensing, exam preparation, post-licensing, CAM licensing, mortgage loan originator licensing, and continuing education in Southwest Florida. Classes are available in Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, and online. We are an approved Florida Real Estate School (License #ZH1002299), Florida CAM School (License #PRE31), Florida Insurance School (License # 370501) and NMLS Approved Course Provider.

Larson Educational Services

13040 Livingston Rd. #12,

Naples, Florida

34105

239-344-7510

6 Tips for First-Time Home-Buyers

When people are faced with the unknown, they will often choose inaction.

Why?

Because inaction is the default–it’s inside your comfort zone to do what you’ve always done.

That’s why so many potential first-time home-buyers often bite on the first house in their price range or simply choose to continue renting. 

Here’s how you can handle the unknown of buying your first home.

1. Decide if buying is right for you

So often, people talk about renting as “throwing money away.”

Is it really?

You need a place to live, don’t you? So you pay money in exchange for a roof over your head.

Just because you’re not building equity with a rental like you would with your own property doesn’t mean the rental is a waste of money.

Think about it this way: it might be cheaper to grow your own food rather than buy groceries every week, but does that mean you’re “throwing money away” at the grocery store?

Does that mean you should buy a farm? 

Consider your long-term goals and ask yourself if owning a home fits with your personal, professional, and financial future.

And try out this excellent interactive “Rent Vs. Buy” calculator from the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html

2. What you’re approved for is not necessarily what you can afford

If you’ve decided that home ownership is right for you, then getting pre-approved for a loan should be one of your first steps you take.

A mortgage loan originator will look at your financial situation and determine your buying power.

You might be pre-approved for, say,  a $350,000 mortgage, but does that mean you need to find a $350,000 home?

Absolutely not.

And not every loan originator will be created equal. They are an integral part of the home-buying process, so you should shop around for the best one the same way you would for your real estate agent.

Your agent and her brokerage may have a relationship with a loan originator, but do your due diligence and see if there are other options in the area.

3. Find a great agent

The agent who comes recommended by your aunt or your best friend may not be the best agent for you.

Your needs in an agent may be different from the people who recommend them. 

And the best agent may not be your friend. It’s a nice thought to help your real estate agent friend by giving him your business, but a lot of friendships have ended when money came into the equation. 

Working without an agent is an even more treacherous road to wander down.

An individual may sell their own home as a for sale by owner listing (FSBO) in an effort to save on the agent commission.

In some rare cases, these FSBO sellers may request that you purchase without an agent, just as a way to keep agents out of the transaction.

Not a good idea.

Find an agent you trust and who can serve as your expert on a potential neighborhood or a certain property type. 

4. Try to be objective

Of course you should have some sort of emotional attachment to the home you eventually purchase. However, there are a handful of factors that can emotionally sway your decisions.

For example, you might be in a pinch for time and need to move in fast on a purchase. Or maybe a certain property just hit the market, or there are other offers on the property.

Utilize your agent in these situations. They will be able to provide you with more objective information, such as recent purchase prices on comparable homes.

5. Consider the true cost of ownership

When considering the monthly costs of home ownership, there’s more to it than just insurance, taxes, and the loan.

Routine (and not so routine) maintenence can add up quicker than you think. And deferring maintenence costs a lot more than routine maintenence.

There’s no landlord or property manager to save you now: it’s all coming out of your wallet.

Set aside money every month for maintenence–not only for routine fixes, but for emergency stuff as well, so these extra costs don’t come at the wrong time.

Also, consider how much will your utilities cost. Find out if there is reliable internet and cell service in the home as well.

6. Don’t bank on funding your retirement

When you buy your home as a place to live, it’s best not to think of it as an investment.
It’s not important what your home is worth at this moment, all that matters is that you’re happy with it in this moment.

When it comes time to sell, all that will matter is how much it will be worth then.

And even if you take a loss on the sale, consider the years of use and happiness you got from the property.

Sign up for classes by visiting us at LarsonEd.com.

Larson Educational Services

13040 Livingston Rd. #12,

Naples, Florida

34105

239-344-7510

LarsonEd.com

Is loyalty dead?

Is loyalty dead?

The Oakla–sorry–the LAS VEGAS Raiders, who have called Oakland home since their last relocation in 1995, are ditching one of the most fervent fan bases in the NFL and moving to the Sin City.

Some are calling the move soulless on the team’s part–a slap in the face of Raider Nation.

That may be true.

However, we at LarsonEd want to assure you, our fans, that we won’t be skipping town on you. We wouldn’t be the company we are if it weren’t for our students, so we want to say thank you for coming to us for your real estate and insurance educational needs.

We promise to continue reciprocating that loyalty right back to you.

Photo courtesy of Raiders Twitter.

Sign up for insurance and real estate classes in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and online: https://www.larsoned.com/

Larson raiders

Photo courtesy of Raiders Twitter

#TBT to King Ricky the Merciful!

This #TBT goes back to 1951, during the reign of King Ricky the Merciful.

Elk River, Minnesota–the Larson family’s home town–was holding a contest to crown the king or queen baby of the area.

All over town, the local merchants posted pictures of babies in their shop windows–so many babies you would’ve there was a town-wide missing baby epidemic.

Once they’d surveyed the pictures, people then stuffed the ballot boxes inside the shops to vote for the best baby.

Of course Ricky Larson, barely one year old, put his hat into the ring with this classic picture.

And who could resist that toothless smile? Those jean coveralls? He even had his hands out front in ready position, like he was about to go work on the family farm.

“It was a great photo,” Rick says now. “Really compelling.”

The town of Elk River apparently agreed, as Ricky Larson won the “Stuff the Ballot Box” contest. (“That was kind of an ass-kicking,” he says.)

He was awarded a little four-inch trophy (long since lost to the ages) that declared him King Ricky of Elk River.

So the next time you have Rick teaching your class, don’t forget to call him by his true name: King Ricky.
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About Larson Educational Services:

Utilizing 40 years of real estate training and professional education experience, Florida real estate school Larson Educational Services is the premier provider of Florida real estate licensing, exam preparation, post-licensing, CAM licensing, mortgage loan originator licensing, and continuing education in Southwest Florida. Classes are available in Fort Myers, Naples, Sarasota, and online.

Brad Larson

Larson Educational Services

13040 Livingston Road #12

Naples, Florida 34105

239-344-7510

LarsonEd.com/Insurance

info@larsoned.com