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#116119 - 10/14/05 10:10 AM Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
In the rush to build new homes & rebuild damaged ones, what building codes will states have in place for their coastal areas--current codes or stronger codes?

I am assuming Florida's updated codes are now the strongest and wonder if other states will adopt them for their coastal regions or spend time trying to decide what is best for their area.

Stronger building codes make safer, but more expensive homes. While these new codes will have some impact on the price of housing, the shortage of housing will have a much bigger impact. I'm wondering if people will pay the price and stay, or choose to move away from the coastal areas to where homes may be more affordable and life less stressful during the hurricane season.

If long-time residents move away to look for a new life & others choose not to return, their places will be filled by people moving in to help with the rebuilding phase. These new residents may want to take a good look at the construction of the home they are going to occupy. The Gulf Coast has begun its transition, and I'm thinking the life of the real estate agent will be filled with uncertainty for a long time.

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#116120 - 10/15/05 02:51 PM Re: Rebuilding the Gulf Coast
slick2908 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/11/05
Posts: 49
Loc: Texas City
Sound like a very good idea. smile
_________________________


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#116121 - 03/03/06 11:36 AM NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I'm quoting NAR's email to Realtors today regarding the upcoming conference to be held in New Orleans this November:

"...the vibrant, historic core of the city remains intact, both physically and spiritually. Restaurants and stores are open, tourism is returning and the positive energy in the city is growing every day! You will help revive the economy just by having fun in historic New Orleans."

Speaking for myself and many people I know who live within a day's drive of New Orleans, most all of us have some emotional tie to this great city. For myself, I lived there when I was a teenager, and have been back there over the years when the opportunity arose. I am planning to attend the conference and am looking forward to my next visit to Cafe du Monde. I once went 35 miles out of my way just to have a quick cup of their coffee. If any of you have an opportunity to visit this city during the NAR conference, I hope you will think about doing so. It's not so much about us having a good visit, as it is about us supporting a part of history that we want to see continue. New Orleans is more than just a party town--there are many things to do in New Orleans for the family. If possible, let's all go and spend our money there. The entire city will appreciate it. Here's the web address for the best coffee you'll ever drink: (www.cafedumonde.com) Please read their story. It's very moving.

One last note--this conference will help the New Orleans area, but let's not forget the other areas that were damaged from Katrina, nor the fact that we will be in another hurricane season soon.

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#116122 - 03/14/06 11:41 AM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
WestMIRealtor Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/06
Posts: 57
Loc: Michigan
I am planning on attending and I cant wait either. I have never been there and I there is so much I want see and do. I'm almost disappointed I have to go do the conference thing. Any good eatin spots there you would like to suggest?

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#116123 - 03/14/06 11:46 AM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
They have probably all changed since I was there last. Lots of great places should be lining the streets in the french quarter. A little closer to the conference, we can google some good spots so we will be sure they are all open. They are still opening up a lot of the places which were damaged during Katrina. In fact, I think the NAR site has a list of what is being opened back up and the projected opening dates for even more places.

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#116124 - 03/14/06 12:03 PM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Does anyone remember the name of the sandwich shop somewhere near Jackson Square? All the sandwiches came with German potato salad or gumbo on the side. It was the best, and a couple of years ago I heard it was still there and still served the same potato salad and gumbo recipes.

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#116125 - 05/06/06 06:55 AM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
ggwwttre Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 06/15/04
Posts: 1187
Loc: Watsonville, CA, USA
Is Cafe du monde the place with the square donuts and you sit on a patio??? I was there when I was 14...even then I knew that was good coffee... if that's the place.

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#116126 - 05/06/06 09:24 AM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Yes, go to their web site. It will certainly bring up a lot of good memories. I'm going to make the conference if I have to crawl there and stay in someone's storage shed. laugh

You can buy the Cafe du Monde coffee and square donut mix in the grocery stores around the country, but the aroma is much better when you are sitting on the patio in the French Quarter. You are quite a distance away, Gary, and I know that the National Conference is a little broad in their agenda, but still--remember how good those donuts were?

Heading out for a couple of BPO's. Now that I am thinking about donuts, bet I make Dunkin' Donuts while I'm out...a pitiful substitute, but readily available.

Sandwich shop is a faint memory now. Guess it is gone.

Have a good day.

Darlene Bitner
Houston Realty

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#116127 - 05/06/06 12:29 PM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Gulf Winds Offline
REO Slave
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 1715
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Darlene B:
Does anyone remember the name of the sandwich shop somewhere near Jackson Square? All the sandwiches came with German potato salad or gumbo on the side. It was the best, and a couple of years ago I heard it was still there and still served the same potato salad and gumbo recipes.
Central Grocery and/or Cafe Maspero!!!
_________________________
"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.." - James Lovell- Astronaut

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#116128 - 05/06/06 04:03 PM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Ah, it could be Cafe Maspero! Is it still there? If so, I'll visit it during the conference. Also, I will google it to see if it rings any bells. Thanks, Scott.

Darlene

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#116129 - 05/07/06 03:02 PM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Dee in Austin Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/04
Posts: 2198
Loc: Austin, TX
I wasn't going to go, but may try to make it to support the city.
_________________________
Dee Copeland, ABR, ASR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SRES
Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty
http://www.CopelandGroupRealty.com
http://www.TexasRealtyBlog.com

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#116130 - 05/07/06 03:07 PM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Fantastic - at least we can all shake hands.

It will be a real walk down memory lane for me. Both the places Scott mentioned are on the open list. I hope people realize that this town has lots of family activities, too. Can't wait to check on some of the Home and Garden homes to see if they made it through.

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#116131 - 05/08/06 03:36 AM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Gulf Winds Offline
REO Slave
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 1715
Loc: USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Darlene B:
Ah, it could be Cafe Maspero! Is it still there? If so, I'll visit it during the conference. Also, I will google it to see if it rings any bells. Thanks, Scott.

Darlene
Yes, they are still there. Best Bed Beans & Rice I've ever had! Muffalettas are awsome too!!!

Cafe Maspero
601 Decatur St
New Orleans, LA 70130-1029
(504) 523-6250
_________________________
"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.." - James Lovell- Astronaut

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#116132 - 05/08/06 08:04 AM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks! This is shaping up to be a good conference. Hope NAR understands why most agents will not be attending any of the events. So many restaurants, so little time.

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#116133 - 09/17/06 02:34 PM Re: NAR Conference in New Orleans this November
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I've been a little negligent in posting about the conference because NAR is doing so much to keep all agents on top of it.

If anyone is for sure that they are going, you might want to start sharing with each other so you can make arrangements to meet up at the conference and at least shake hands. I'm trying to buy a house, so I am hoping that does not interfere with me attending. It's getting close for reservation, but I have a high school pal who has invited me to stay with her. Her family left Houston about 20 years ago to settle in Louisiana and are now converted "Cajuns", so I'm looking forward to at least one good home cooked meal.

I'm going to post this in Agents and Brokers, also.

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#116134 - 08/31/05 09:59 AM NAR's Gulf Cost relief fund & efforts
Jim Lee Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/01/99
Posts: 4785
Loc: Knoxville, Tennessee, Knox Cou...
There's a lot that can and needs to be done right now........today.... to help out along the Gulf Coast.

NAR has set up a fund and is picking up 100% of the administrative costs so that all the money gets to where it's needed.

One of our local radio stations filled up an 18 wheeler with bottled water and it's on it's way as of about 2 hours ago and they're working on a second one.

My local title company set out yesterday with a U-Haul type trailer full of bottled water and canned foodstuffs.

Our office has a huge stack of bottled water in the lobby that we're putting on the next truck heading south.

"REALTORS® Relief Foundation Provides Funds for Katrina Relief Effort

WASHINGTON, DC (August 30, 2005)­The REALTORS® Relief Foundation is spearheading donations to REALTOR® associations in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi this week by contributing $50,000 to each of three state REALTOR® associations impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

REALTORS® Relief Foundation President Pat Kaplan said the initial contributions will help fund the establishment of state relief funds. “However, much more will be needed to help the many who have lost their homes or businesses,” she said.

"There are so many on the outskirts of New Orleans who have lost everything," says Sandy Lash, an executive at the Louisiana Association of REALTORS® in Baton Rouge. The storm left 6-7 feet of water in areas around New Orleans, including Metairie and Kenner, where virtually every structure sustained damage. "It will be weeks or months before full power is restored to these areas, and the entire water system in the area has been compromised," says Lash.

In Alabama, communities around the Gulf, still recovering from Hurricane Ivan a year ago, are once more digging out. "We have thousands who lost everything in Ivan and had built their homes back up only to have them destroyed again," says J. Danny Cooper, association executive at the Alabama Association of REALTORS®.

NAR CEO Terrence M. McDermott is calling on REALTORS® to reach out and help their colleagues in this time of tremendous need. "We would probably all like to run down and pitch in and help, but since that's not possible, we should all pray that our REALTOR® community finds the strength to make it through this trial," he says. "We ask that you send whatever you can to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and we will pass your donation along in a rush."

All administrative costs of the project will be absorbed by NAR; 100 percent of all donations will go directly to aid the victims. Contributions can be made online through the following secure site powered by NAR’s e-commerce system: https://www.realtor.org/relief . Contributions are tax deductible. To make contributions by mail, checks should be made payable to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and sent to: REALTORS® Relief Foundation, Attn: NAR Finance Division, 430 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611.

For those who would like to make donations directly to the states, in Alabama please send checks payable to the Alabama REALTOR® Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 4070, Montgomery, AL 36104. Donations can be made by credit card by calling the Alabama Association of REALTORS® at 334/262-3808 or by going online to www.alabamarealtors.com/relief.cfm .

For Louisiana, checks payable to the Louisiana REALTORS® Association Relief Fund should be sent to P.O. Box 14780, Baton Rouge, LA, 70898, or to Regions Bank, attn: Louisiana REALTORS® Association Relief Fund, 5353 Essen Lane, Suite 150, Baton Rouge, LA 70809."

BuyingDenver.com wrote: "After a quick look, there are about 4900 members on Agents Online, at $25 a person just this board could send down over $120,000 to some people that are in desperate need."

TODAY, right now, is a good time to send NAR or the Red Cross your $25.00 donations.
_________________________
Jim Lee, REALTOR®, CRS, ABR, e-PRO
[url=www.KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com]www.KnoxvilleHomeCenter.com[/url]
[url=www.KnoxvilleTennesseeRealEstateBlog.com]www.KnoxvilleTennesseeRealEstateBlog.com[/url]
I am not an attorney & I am not giving you any legal advice.

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#116135 - 09/10/05 05:58 PM Re: NAR's Gulf Cost relief fund & efforts
stevertr Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Shrewsbury, MA
Quote:
Originally posted by James Lee:


[b]TODAY, right now, is a good time to send NAR or the Red Cross your $25.00 donations.
[/b]
I did my part!


I just spent the last 4 days, working on virtually no sleep, arranging for the donation of over 20,000 pounds of relief supplies and thousands of dollars. I've obtained 2 moving vans as donations, and they are shipping out monday with nearly 40 pallets of clothes, baby formula, diapers, and supplies.

The photo below is of ONE THIRD of what we collected. We had to split it among three driveways to palletize the loads.

So in short... we can change thwe world...we just have to take action.

As Lincoln said "Those who swear that something cannot be done are always amazed by people actually doing it."

Regards

Steve


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#116136 - 09/11/05 06:30 PM Re: NAR's Gulf Cost relief fund & efforts
realestatex2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 31
Loc: Troy, MI USA
Jim Lee & Stevetr

God bless and God speed...

I am trying to do the best I can also. Got my local Rotary Club to donate supplies to rescue workers as well as a neighboring Club, and asked our Association to pass on donations as well. Tomorrow I go before my Club to see if we can designate funds from out next fundraiser to relief funds as well...

My hope is that everyone reading this can do just a little part as well. Every little part does add up!

Do unto others...

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#116137 - 12/27/05 03:22 AM Re: NAR's Gulf Cost relief fund & efforts
LindaTx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 6
Loc: Austin, Tx
Way to go STEVE!!

I have been finding homes for many of these people, its so Sad for all of them. Everyone is so lost, all they ask for is peace and a place to call home again. So many stories, I laugh with them and cry with them. So many feel blessed they are still here. I brought a gift basket to a man for his pets, he cried..but they were his only family he had left.

Touch a life and your touched forever!
What great rewards..its not just about the money we give, give of your time and it comes back 10 fold..
_________________________
LindaTx
"Straight Talk -
Solid Personal Service"

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#116138 - 12/27/05 08:21 AM Re: NAR's Gulf Cost relief fund & efforts
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Welcome to the Board, Linda. How wonderful that these people are being helped by someone so caring.

Where are most of these people from? Being so close to Louisiana, I worry that the southern part of Louisiana will lose it's identify--so much wonderful culture down there just washed away. We still have people here in Houston living in hotels. It's just "wait and see" as to what they are going to want to do.

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#116139 - 05/06/06 08:51 PM Restaurants open for business in New Orleans & other good info on this web site
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
http://www.nomenu.com/RestaurantsOpen.html

"The New Orleans Menu Restaurant Index" is a great web site. Apparently the site is maintained by Tom Fitzmorris, who has a food show, food club, cookbook, restaurant reports, top 10 list, and more. I did not have a chance to explore it too much, but what a lot of great info it has. I believe he uses subscriptions (you choose the amount of the donation) to keep it going. He has lists of opened restaurants by name or neighborhood, plus tons of good stuff. People can check to see if their favorite has been rebuilt, cleaned up, opened back up. What a valuable service this must be for people in New Orleans, especially the visitors.

Don't forget to print this list out and take it with you to the NAR conference. You can find some great places if you go out on your own.

I'm not trying to turn this forum into a vacation forum, but since the conference is coming up, I thought this might be good info.

Darlene

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#116140 - 10/12/05 05:15 AM www.sunherald.com excellent source!
Ms Gulf Coast Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 292
Loc: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Rebuilding issues--

If you visit, be sure and read/write Letters to the editor as well as "sound off". Also, recent-past issues have had some great articles regarding experiences of real estate agencies post Katrina.
_________________________
The Truth will set you free...

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#116141 - 10/17/05 09:44 AM Re: www.sunherald.com excellent source!
Ms Gulf Coast Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 292
Loc: Mississippi Gulf Coast
This is for BuyingVirginia and anyone else that needs a laugh.

1st--understand that the Sound off and Letters to the Editor are the "hottest" things going as far as communicating (ha) citizen to citizen in our region.

2nd--Of course EVERYONE here as a vested interest in the rebuild.

3rd--as I recently learned, Mississippi folks can be very sensitive about the RailRoad.

It all started with a family day. We were shooting the breeze on the way to visit the Alabama Gulf shores beach because we are still not permitted to visit the beach 6 blocks away from us. So, as a family and a MSGC concerned citizens we came up with ways to get what we want as well as have the community investment pay for itself.

Next keep in mind that a letter to the editor from an old timer, was in my opinion, ludicrous.
He took a large space in the paper to whine about missing the trains going by at night and that now he couldn't sleep because the trains were no longer running. ...Well, the trains interrupt my sleep and give me migrains. Right there we should realize again, that one persons trash is another persons treasure. Also, after all that we've been through here, whining about missing the trains seemed bizarre to me.

So, on impulse I sent a letter to the editor, that was published on Friday or Saturday, I forget which. In part I was gesting with Mr. Koonse, but some concerned citizens did not realize that.

In an intended spirit of humor, I mentioned in my letter that "Should the rail road be moved North, then our property values would likely appreciate (It did not occur to me that some citizens would be alarmed that the their property value would decrease if the rails were moved to their vicinity.)

I did not realize that my letter had published until I started receiving emails.

Following are some replies to me:

You said

• If the train tracks were moved, it's possible that the property values of the homes still standing on either side of the track would appreciate. Most important is that the trains are re-established in a safe area, in a safe manner to decrease the likelihood of productivity again being interrupted by a hurricane.

Where do you think they are going to relocate them too???

They did a study http://makingtracks.org/ and discovered there is no VACATE land to move them too.

One of the routes goes right thru my house. As my family worked hard to save money to buy a house in a nice area I am sure you can understand that I DO NOT want it taken away from me. Neither do my neighbors want a train for a neighbor. We have a nice safe neighborhood that we paid top dollar to live in. It is unfair to move a train to our community and drive our property values down. Not to mention there is a housing shortage at the moment. Where do you expect us to live if our homes, homes that survived Katrina are taken from us?

Overpass or underpasses at the trains present location is the only fair thing to do. The overpasses and underpasses would allow traffic to flow smoothly and prevent accidents.

Here's another:
Now is not the time to move the railroad. Apparently those people who live South of Interstate 10 never bother to travel NORTH of Interstate 10. Our homes survived Katrina, our business are thriving, and we DO NOT WANT YOUR STINKING RAILROAD!

And Hal Hardaman's letter is full if misinformation
First he says IF they moved the railroad North they wouldn't need any bridges.

Ever hear of river's Mr Hardaman???? They will still need bridges.

Then he maintains that lives would be saved. Hate to tell you this Mr. Hardaman, but we have traffic up here too. Building an overpass/underpass and installing crossing gates at the railroads present location would save lives too and cost a lot less.

Why not make Highway 90 (at it's present location) a six lane highway, it makes a lot more sense then taking peoples homes away from them in order to relocate the railroad, and there is nothing scenic about a bunch of casinos.

As for SUZI (my) letter. The people who have built/bought homes North of the Interstate paid a hefty price to live in a nice neighborhood. We do not wish to see our property values plummet because you want to relocate the railroad to our community.

Here's another:

Since I don't know when the Sun Herald will get around to printing my letter, I am sending it to you so maybe you will understand why the tracks should not be moved. You can also visit my blog for more info. http://donotmoverr.blogspot.com/


Rebuilding Mississippi
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4952962

I am appalled the relocate the tracks crowd continues to use Hurricane Katrina to push their agenda. Apparently they do not care that peoples homes, homes that withstood the wrath of Katrina would be destroyed in the process.

The presence of endangered species in the area of Latimer makes relocating the tracks to our area environmentally unsound (see Red Cockaded Woodpecker, Non-Migrating Mississippi Sandhill Crane, Gofer Tortise, and Quill Wart Grass).

Here is my letter to Governor Haley Barbour asking him to rethink his support of relocating the tracks.

Dear Governor Haley Barbour,

It was with dismay I heard on NPR that you support relocating the tracks North of Interstate 10.

Perhaps you are unaware that there is a petition with a 1,000 signatures on it objecting to having the railroad relocated North of Interstate 10. Jackson County is opposed to relocating the railroad, as are the Ocean Springs aldermen. Senator Trent Lott has said publicly that he opposes relocating the tracks any further north than Interstate 10, and that the cost (an estimated $2.2 billion) for such relocation, was cost prohibitive and he could NOT SUPPORT SUCH A COST TO TAXPAYERS!

The residents of Latimer have offered help to the communities of Biloxi, Gulfport, and Long Beach; we do not deserve to be repaid by having our homes destroyed by the relocate the tracks crowd. Homes that for the most part survived Hurricane Katrina with minimal damage. Rather then allowing MDOT to take peoples homes away from them by eminent domain I request that you suggest the railroad build overpasses at their current location.

Many people live North of Interstate 10, and would be adversely impacted by relocating the railroad to their communities. Communities we moved to because we wanted to enjoy the peace of the countryside.

I voted for you. Please do not make me regret that decision. Even though I am opposed to gambling, I can recognize the need for casinos to help Mississippi's economy. But there is NO REASON that will justify demolishing peoples homes and destroying the peace of our countryside, just to relocate the railroad tracks.

To End: I made apologies, explained the simple purpose of my statement and that had they read my referring letter they would have realized it was a subtle humor.

Suzi,
I am sorry you received nasty emails. I think people are just scared. I know I am. We evacuated for Katrina, and there was a period of time when I didn't know if I had a home to come back too. When I was able to watch the news, which wasn't often. We evacuated to Meridian and Katrina hit there too so we didn't have power where we were staying, it made it sound like everything was GONE. Then we came home and lived without electricity for awhile (I am sure you did too) and the first thing I read when we got the Internet back was an editorial in the Sun Herald saying they wanted to relocate the railroad North of the Interstate. And all I could think about was I may lose my home to the "relocate the tracks" crowd. And at this point we have a ton of friends, co-workers etc. who are homeless because of the storm surge. They are living in Fema trailers, tents are with friends/relatives. It really makes you value your home more when so many people have lost theirs. We have a group of RV's in a lot next to our house of workers who have come down to help with storm recovery and had no where else to stay. And the one thing I hear over and over are there are no houses to buy, there are no apartments to rent, there are no vacate hotel rooms, so it's really scary to think your home may be taken from you and you may have nowhere to go.

I have enjoyed getting to know you. ~Sandra


At 10:00 AM 10/17/2005, you wrote:

You are super! What a great way to bring me up to speed. Meeting you was well worth some of the nastier emails I received. Suzi

-----Original Message-----

From: SRA

Sent: Monday, October 17, 2005 8:56 AM

To: Suzi

Subject: RE: Why the tracks should not be moved


Let me guess real estate............


To make it short in 2000 Congress appropriated funds to fund a study about moving the railroad (a ton o money was spent). They came up with 4 routes. Route A, was along the interstate and the Engineers claim it is impossible because the railroad has to go in a straight line and the Interstate curves too much. Also it would cost to much to buy out the business along the interstate. Route B, goes thru my home and many others, Route C is a little North of my home and destroys many of my friends houses, and Route D (which is in the most rural location) CSX will not consider because it is too far away from their customers. Also spurs would have to be built running North-South in order for the RR to continue serving it's present customers along the current tracks, so those people would also lose their homes. They hadn't decided where the spurs would go that would be up to CSX. The majority of the meetings were held in locations that would NOT be affected by the RR relocation. When they finally held a meeting in Latimer the Engineers stated that they did not realize that many people lived up here and that their cost projections for B & C were off as they had not factored in having to buy out that many peoples homes. In 2003 the study was put on hold.


................................And then Katrina came along.


It has been nice talking to you, good look on your exam. ~SRA

At 11:19 PM 10/16/2005, you wrote:

Nice to hear from you, Sandra. I can't do a lot of extra research and writing at this time because I am studying for a state exam. You'll REALLY get a kick out of this when you find out what my exam is for:) .
-----Original Message-----
From: SRA
Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2005 1:22 PM
To: Suzi
Subject: RE: Why the tracks should not be moved


Unfortunately the Sun Herald has already gotten rid of the link to the October 8th letters, I was looking forward to getting my laugh for the day. I am really getting frustrated because I thought this "issue" had been killed September 2003 http://makingtracks.org/, and now it is rearing it's head again. ~SRA


At 05:26 PM 10/15/2005, you wrote:
SRA--apology accepted with joy. I think in our miscommunication we discovered the true mission. Education through information. Really, for fun, look up Mr. Koonse's letter and you'll see where I'm coming from.
Regards, Suzi and the rest of the family
-----Original Message-----
From: SRA
Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2005 5:00 PM
To: Suzi
Subject: RE: Why the tracks should not be moved


I feel I owe you an apology. I always assume that the people who advocate moving the railroad attended the meetings and are familiar with the routes, and realize entire neighborhoods would be destroyed.
Beach Blvd suits me or out in the Gulf. I do think that IF more people understood how many families would lose their homes they would not be in favour of moving the railroad North of the Interstate. Unfortunately as you can probably tell from the Sun Herald's editorial they are in favour of moving the railroad and so they never print the cons.
I'll have to go back and see if I can find Mr. Koonse's letter. I think I may have missed it. Saturday's are usually pretty hectic for me. Today was an exception.
Apology accepted.
~Sandra


At 04:19 PM 10/15/2005, you wrote:
Thank you for explaining patiently to me. I was assuming there was land available, not neighborhoods. Actually, I am used to the rail road and would be willing to continue to accept that burden to your neighborhoods and wildlife would be undisturbed. I was partially in gest speaking directly to Mr. Koonse and his letter of October 8th. If you re read that letter you may actually be a little amused. Mr. Koosne was whining and belly aching about NOT being able to sleep because his railroad was "no more". My point was that rail roads do the same work wherever they are located. They don't have to be located by us to accomplish the work that they do, and, IF, the rail roads were moved I was sure Mr. Koonse could find someone to swap homes with, so he could continue hearing the trains at night, and the new people would not have to hear them.
Yours was the kinder of letters I have received. I understand fully where you all are coming from. I advocate moving the railroad , how about to Beach Blvd., or why can't they build a railroad bridge from Louisiana to Alabama and spare us all. Any way, I hear you and apologize for stepping on your toes
-----Original Message-----

Subject: Why the tracks should not be moved
********************************************

Anyway, it was funny to me because I stepped into it so innocently. As a citizen, I would love for the tracks to be moved, but I bought my property here knowing the train ran (not how often) so we could be close to the beach but in a safe flood zone. It was a trade off for us. So, since we have so much influence, "We'll Keep our STINKIN rail road. :rolleyes: wink

As usual, I came through the fire with no blisters. I have a new friend, and excellent sources regarding rail road issues when I get "out there". I know I really have to watch what I say, and that some people, especially if they don't have a point of reference--may lack a sense of humor.

To top off the irony-- My newbie original posts included the train avatar. The reason was of course because of the trains that run through our town splitting North and South. There are/were some gorgeous homes close to the train tracks. Figuring those could be difficult to move because of the tracks--though that also meant they were close to the beach, it would require a lemons to lemonade approach (turning a negative to a positive).

So, I visualized starting a rail road property campaign, appealing to train enthusiasts. I know from prior research that there are many obsessed train enthusiasts out there (Mr. Koonse would be a great member).

Anyway, my campaign ideas are on hold. Especially since we do not know what we are doing with our beach and our railroads.

I have thoughts that I certainly would not mention to anyone in Mississippi because of the sensitivity.

Many individuals are planning to rebuild their beach front property. Their hearts and souls are in it. What if the government chose to condemn and acquire through eminent domain? Is that a possibility?
_________________________
The Truth will set you free...

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#116142 - 10/17/05 10:59 AM Re: www.sunherald.com excellent source!
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
We have a similar issue going on here north of Houston regarding a new freeway, called the Grand Parkway. Very strong emotions on both sides. When I read "move railroad further north", I guess the impact of that statement just did not occur to me. I was just thinking--less damage when a hurricane comes, so less interruption in goods being transported. Seemed like a good idea, huh?

It's sad to see an area change, whether by hurricane damage, railroad tracks, or anything else. In ten years, my town has gone from being a quiet small city to boom box city. Now I have to move out of the town I grew up in just to get some peace & quiet. It's that bad. Believe me, no one wants to see your home town change. I'm sure real estate agents would starve if everything stayed the same, though. By the way, MS Gulf Coast, have you looked at the 5-day forecast for TD #24. Tell me it isn't so. Truly, you have been through enough. It's October 17, for goodness sakes. What is going on with our weather. confused

On a lighter note, a hugh medical complex bought my grandmother's neighborhood years ago. In her 80's, she stubbornly refused to sell. Finally, they found her an old, but nice little house with a front and a back porch very similar to hers, and agreed to dig up and transplant every single plant and flower for her. She agreed, and was happy in her new home for some years after that. It wasn't about the money--it was about hating change.

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#116143 - 10/17/05 11:47 AM Re: www.sunherald.com excellent source!
Ms Gulf Coast Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 292
Loc: Mississippi Gulf Coast
Darlene--I don't know what forecast you are speaking of. Do you want to share with me?

Also, great story about your Grandma and the changes your home town has gone through.
_________________________
The Truth will set you free...

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#116144 - 10/17/05 11:54 AM Re: www.sunherald.com excellent source!
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

If this takes you to site with small graphic boxes, click on top right box for 5-day projection. If it does not, can I send better link to your email address? I'll check back in 5 min.

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#116145 - 09/04/05 10:28 PM Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
buyingallhouses Offline
Member

Registered: 09/26/04
Posts: 245
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm finding it really hard to think about work right now.

My eyes are glued to the TV and the internet and I'm focused way too much on this tragedy unfolding in the Gulf.

I'm just not in the mood to kick butt, put on the happy Realtor face, and shake the money tree.


I remember once having a 'motivational trainer' say - "Don't read the newspaper or watch TV News because all news is bad news and it will keep you from being positive and making a difference."

I managed to detach myself from the Tsunami tragedy of last December and never let myself once watch a TV image


...but this is too close to home
...this is in my country
...this tragedy has been too botched up by whomever will end up getting blamed
...it's too depressing to contemplate, yet too amazingly real to ignore.

Anyone else with a comment?

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#116146 - 09/04/05 11:35 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
rwilson99 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/05
Posts: 479
Loc: Tampa, Florida
Find a good volunteer opportunity.

I spent 4 hours yesterday loading a tractor trailer with water and soda heading out to the gulf. It was an uplifting experience.
_________________________
Robert Wilson
Keller Williams Tampa

I am not a laywer, and I can't even spell very well.

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#116147 - 09/04/05 11:40 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
DCRealist Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 21
Loc: Wash/DC Metro Area
I'm wondering if Louisiana is completly rebuilt (In many years to come) will the low income people that lived there all their life be able to afford the property @ that current value?? Also, whats going to happen to land that was already owned by people? Will this land escheat to the gov't for rehabilitation & then be re-sold?

So to answer your question of is it bothering anyone else, YES its bothering me, & its going to bother me for a while! Im not trying to sound pessimistic but I wouldnt be surprised if within the next 10-20 years, maybe sooner, aggression is showed by one group of people towards another group of people!!!!! Just my 2 cents.....

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#116148 - 09/05/05 07:59 AM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
ky realtor Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 1879
Loc: kentucky
Yes, I am bothered. I don't watch a lot of Tv, am not a news junkie, but this thing has me obsessed with watching, and channel surfing the news channels for new information. And, like a lot of people, New Orleans is my favorite city to visit. All of this has put a lot of things into perspective for me. All the little things we take for granted every day suddenly have new meaning. See www.firstpreston.com., as Hud has some idea of using their repossessed homes for the homeless. We will see how this turns out, since I can't imagine them giving up their bureaucratic ways for anything, I hope they can help. I don't want to hear any more excuses from George w., FEMA, Homeland Security, Red Cross, or any of them. They failed. Plain and simple. I hope after this is over that a lot of heads roll. If CNN and the other news media got in, food and water could have gotten in. Thank you for letting me vent, cause nobody else I know wants to hear it.
_________________________
Comments made are my opinion, and not intended to be legal advice of any kind.

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#116149 - 09/05/05 08:31 AM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Olena Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 38
HUD took their listings off the market for TN, KY and OK to assist with the relief efforts. Hopefully they will allow the victims to get housing if not for free, at least at a significant discount.

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#116150 - 09/05/05 04:06 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Jenny2005 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/05
Posts: 17
Loc: Georgia
Hi! I am actually taking the Real Estate course, hoping to pass my State License Exam next month. I came across the Forum and decided to join. I seen this topic and had to reply to it.

The devistation that was caused by Hurricane Katrina, was massive. I have tears come to my eyes every time I think of all those people having to go through what I could not even imagine going through. I pray for them all and I pray for the deceased, that God has grabbed each person into his arms while comforting them. I pray for the deceased's family memebers and those that are still trying to survive. I pray that help is on the way to them at this very moment.
I truly could not imagine having to go through what they are having to indure right now. I truly wished that they were some way for the government to get to them quicker. I am unsure how they could do it, since they have technology that I am sure, that I am unaware of, but I pray that no more lives are taken.
It truly bothers me to see all this on Television and to hear what all is going on over there. It seems as if it is a dream or something off a movie, all though I know it is not.
They will be in my prayers.
_________________________
Have a wonderful day!

Jenny
Realtor
Dallas,GA

***I am not a lawyer, so I do not pretend to be one. Any advice give is only my opinion. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer if that is what your looking for.***

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#116151 - 09/05/05 04:13 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Dee in Austin Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 12/03/04
Posts: 2198
Loc: Austin, TX
I think many of us are bothered, but we do have clients to serve. I've been working and taking care of my clients.

Gary Keller has asked all KW agents to contribute $100 to a hurrican victim's fund and I believe many of us are also contributing to NAR's fund and the Red Cross, etc. I'm doing my part to contribute and give help, but my clients also still need me.
_________________________
Dee Copeland, ABR, ASR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SRES
Broker-Associate, Keller Williams Realty
http://www.CopelandGroupRealty.com
http://www.TexasRealtyBlog.com

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#116152 - 09/05/05 07:16 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
GailSusan Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 507
I am still carrying on with my business as usual, but definitely not my usual upbeat self. Katrina hit me personally in three ways.

First, my granddaughter was in New Orleans when the evacuation occurred I was able to make contact with her and spent from 7:30 AM that morning until 1 PM helping her figure out a way out of the city. Her credit card had to be cancelled that morning due to fraud and she didn't have enough money for a taxi to get to the airport. It took all of her wits and mine to figure out how to get her to the airport and onto a plane before the airport shut down.

Second, my most important listing client was in Mississippi (where she and her husband were trying to buy a home in Waveland on the water) and we were in the last critical stages of negotiation on the sale of her home back here on the East Coast. The agent on the other side of the negotiation had no empathy for my client whatsoever. The negotiation was completed successfully and my clients are now on their way back home, but the stress of this negotiation as my clients communicated over their cell phone in a hotel without electricity or water while I dealt with this demanding, insensitive agent took its toll on me.

Finally, my faith in the American system is shattered. Even my granddaughter said to me, the people in New Orleans did not get help because they are poor and black. If they were white and middle-class, the National Guard would have been there right away and airlifted food. I knew the divide between the rich and the poor was growing, and I knew that racial discrimination exists despite all the laws, but I never, ever dreamed that people would be left to die in full view of the TV camera. This is not the America I knew (or thought I knew).

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#116153 - 09/05/05 07:42 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Guest
Unregistered


When the very system that we depend on all our lives for life, liberty and happines is compromised, smart people begin to question perception and reality.

We are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight hatred against Americans in Iraq ( so they say ), I wonder how much they will spend to help the thousands of homeless people and orphans in this country?

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#116154 - 09/05/05 08:45 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Safarion Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 56
Loc: Arkansas
Man, I was terribly sad in the same time mad. I couldn't beleive that this tragedy happened in the US. whenever there is a crisis abraod the goverment rashes to help and show generousity but when it happened here everybody it took them one week to start resquing the victims that's BS. I donated what I could and pray for the best.

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#116155 - 09/06/05 07:00 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
GailSusan Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 08/19/04
Posts: 507
Well, if you really want to get disgusted by our government's response, just take a look at what one animal rescue organization was able to do in terms of preparedness and then regrouping after their preplanning efforts were wiped out www.noahswish.org If a pet rescue organization could do this, why couldn't our federal government? The stuff about logistics is BS. Once they decided to mobilize you saw how fast the federal government came in and how fast they got folks out.

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#116156 - 09/10/05 05:32 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
stevertr Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/05
Posts: 59
Loc: Shrewsbury, MA
Quote:
Originally posted by buyingallhouses:
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm finding it really hard to think about work right now.

My eyes are glued to the TV and the internet and I'm focused way too much on this tragedy unfolding in the Gulf.

I'm just not in the mood to kick butt, put on the happy Realtor face, and shake the money tree.


I remember once having a 'motivational trainer' say - "Don't read the newspaper or watch TV News because all news is bad news and it will keep you from being positive and making a difference."

I managed to detach myself from the Tsunami tragedy of last December and never let myself once watch a TV image

Anyone else with a comment?
I have a comment....
For those who want to make a difference... "JUST DO IT!"

It's so easy to "talk" about it...but realistcally we can all change the world.

I just spent the last 4 days, working on virtually no sleep, arranging for the donation of over 20,000 pounds of relief supplies and thousands of dollars. I've obtained 2 moving vans as donations, and they are shipping out monday with nearly 40 pallets of clothes, baby formula, diapers, and supplies.

The photo below is of ONE THIRD of what we collected. We had to split it among three driveways to palletize the loads.

So in short... we can change the world...we just have to take action.

As Lincoln said "Those who swear that something cannot be done are always amazed by people actually doing it."

Regards

Steve


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#116157 - 09/10/05 07:34 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
rwilson99 Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/05
Posts: 479
Loc: Tampa, Florida
Quote:
I have a comment....
For those who want to make a difference... "JUST DO IT!"

It's so easy to "talk" about it...but realistcally we can all change the world.
Nice work, Steve. If everyone invested more time doing things rather than complaining, the situation for the people effected would be better.
_________________________
Robert Wilson
Keller Williams Tampa

I am not a laywer, and I can't even spell very well.

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#116158 - 09/11/05 10:11 AM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Houston Agent Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/05
Posts: 2125
Loc: Houston
I agree with the others that have said to channel your energies into volunteering. I've been working with my church and using my license to help those that need more permanent housing.

There is so much that still needs to be done and it's only a matter of time before it drops off the front page and the volunteers drop off in numbers. If you really want to make a difference, help out and don't become one of those that fades back into the scenery.

I'm seeing these poor people on a daily basis and just a friendly ear can make a huge difference to them.

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#116159 - 09/11/05 10:37 AM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Safarion Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 56
Loc: Arkansas
Steve you are the man. Keep up the good work bro. Here is what amazes me in this tragedy, is the roll of the churches and general public. Man it gives you pride to be an American. Despite our diversities in culture, race and religion, we all stood like one body to help.

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#116160 - 09/11/05 03:09 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Houston Agent Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 01/26/05
Posts: 2125
Loc: Houston
Quote:
Originally posted by Safarion:
Steve you are the man. Keep up the good work bro. Here is what amazes me in this tragedy, is the roll of the churches and general public. Man it gives you pride to be an American. Despite our diversities in culture, race and religion, we all stood like one body to help.
I'm very proud of my church and its denomination as a whole. They donated $1M for food at the shelters alone.

In service today, they were actually telling people to stop bringing in some items, because the shelters were becomming inundated with items, like clothing for example.

My city has shown an amazing outpouring of support and it makes me proud to be a native Houstonian! Not something I can say too often!

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#116161 - 09/11/05 04:18 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
Guest
Unregistered


Finding it hard to show houses..I am not showing unless I have a buyers agreement, Also been turning down low paying bpos as Gas is so expensive.

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#116162 - 09/11/05 05:50 PM Re: Is Katrina Affecting You on the job?
ky realtor Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 1879
Loc: kentucky
Good work and good luck to you. I am volunteering for Red Cross work and hope to go down when they call.
_________________________
Comments made are my opinion, and not intended to be legal advice of any kind.

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#116163 - 09/18/06 04:48 PM Post here if you are attending the New Orleans Conference
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Here is a thread for those of you attending the conference who want to meet for a cup of coffee.

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#116164 - 11/05/06 06:13 AM Re: Post here if you are attending the New Orleans Conference
Gulf Winds Offline
REO Slave
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 1715
Loc: USA
I'll be there.
_________________________
"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.." - James Lovell- Astronaut

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#116165 - 11/05/06 10:54 AM Re: Post here if you are attending the New Orleans Conference
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
A few months ago, there was a movement to have a meeting of all the A/O people--for coffee or lunch or something. I have not heard any more about it.

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#116166 - 09/28/05 10:29 AM Adjusting BPO values for Gulf Coast
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Has anyone in Gulf Coast Area noticed new listing values and active values being adjusted downward since Katrina/Rita. Many BPO agents feel they can't put the same value this week on Galveston Bay homes (for instance) as they would have before Katrina, yet the sold comp prices will remain the same, so the active comp prices have to come down before they can justify lower BPO values in this area.

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#116167 - 10/19/05 08:36 AM To all Virginia agents!
RealHomes4You.com Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Shen Valley Va
To any one living in Northern Virginia and concerned about Katrina victims, I am announcing a HUGE fair/carnival/yard sale/bake sale in Manassas Va on sat Oct 29 in the K-mart parking lot. ALL proceeds go directly to Katrina victims. There will be a lot of stuff for sale, a lot of games to be played. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!! And if any one would be able to give a hand with manning a bake sale table for an hour, please send me an email.
This is sponsored by Keller Williams, K-mart, Pizza Hut, and many other companies are pitching in. This is going to be huge. I know there are many people on this site in Va, so if any one can show up and make a donation or make a purchase, the more the merrier.

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#116168 - 10/20/05 08:39 PM Re: To all Virginia agents!
RealHomes4You.com Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Shen Valley Va
'pop'
yeah, we'll be selling some of that too.
No Kangaroos though, sorry.

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#116169 - 10/28/05 09:59 AM Re: To all Virginia agents!
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Good luck to you and everyone involved with your fundraiser tomorrow. Wish I could come up from Texas & help y'all out, especially with the BAKE SALE. laugh Take some pictures and post here if you have time. ENJOY!

P.S. Tell the K-Mart people we really do miss them in the Houston area. frown

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#116170 - 11/06/05 07:36 AM Re: To all Virginia agents!
Kassie Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 1154
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
real, i hope you had wonderful results! ours here in fburg went awesome! we sent down two huge trucks filled to the brim with things! darlene, the kmarts here suck!! i don't walk in them unless i know that it is something decent that i'm looking for.

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#116171 - 11/06/05 07:50 AM Re: To all Virginia agents!
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
You can both be proud of being a part of something so helpful. Kassie, from now on, I'm doing all my shopping at fundraisers. That'll teach 'em. smile

Things are a little quieter here in Houston now. Lots of help still being given, but it's not "T.V. news". If I lost my house, car, job, plus lost track of all my neighbors, I don't think I could recover in two months, especially with the holidays right around the corner.

I'm very proud to know people who are so concerned about others. Down here in Texas, I may be one of those others one day.

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#116172 - 11/06/05 11:13 AM Re: To all Virginia agents!
Kassie Offline
Member

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 1154
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA, USA
yes darlene i completely agree. i don't think i would have near as much aide as this. i know if i lost my house to a fire, it would make local news, and that would be that. nothing else. anyway, i'm just glad that poeple helped. what goes around comes around is how i see it.

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#116173 - 11/06/05 11:25 AM Re: To all Virginia agents!
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
We are just going to hope & pray that our time never comes. Guess where I am going? You guessed right - to take BPO pics. Haha

Have a good day, Kassie.

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#116174 - 11/06/05 04:44 PM Re: To all Virginia agents!
RealHomes4You.com Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Shen Valley Va
over $4000 was raised on that one day. not bad for the very windy weather and considering that it was done with about twenty volunteers. The money will be dispursed through kwcares, kw's own non-profit company. the left over yard sale stuff is being sorted through by a local church that will be determining what can be sent down to the gulf area. I would call it a success.

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#116175 - 11/06/05 06:26 PM Re: To all Virginia agents!
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I would call that a HUGE success. That money will go a long way. Plus, some of these people down here in apartments don't have enough kitchen items or enough toys for the kids. And I might as well say it, these ladies want to replace their knick knacks so their new place will seem more like a home.

Texas has received a lot of praise for all we have done, but these people were our next-door neighbors. Virginia is a long way away for people to feel the need to help, but look have much you have done.

If we had a cold, windy day here, the entire festival would have shut down and everyone would have gone home. We don't deal well with the cold weather. shocked

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#116176 - 11/06/05 06:34 PM Re: To all Virginia agents!
RealHomes4You.com Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/05
Posts: 163
Loc: Shen Valley Va
I have good friends in Austin and in Galveston, and I grew up in Denver, so it is a little closer to home for me. We're all also connected as Americans, though some may not agree with that as STRONGLY as I do. I also visited New Orleans for the first time back in Feb. Stayed just off Bourbon at the Prince Conti hotel, loved it. So that is just a little of the reason I wanted to do a small portion to help out. just wish I could do more.

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#116177 - 09/24/05 02:43 PM Waiting for Katrina Insurance
Guest
Unregistered


Hi .
I'm working with a retired couple from Buloxi who have lost thier home. They want to put an offer in on a home here in GA. Thier insurance adjuster should be going to thier home sometime within the week. How should I write this contract? Contingent upon insurance settlement coupled with ability to get a new loan? ( they will still have to pay off whatever they owe on land)
Help!
Also , does anyone know anything about the HUD 203K (?) loan?

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#116178 - 09/24/05 03:20 PM Re: Waiting for Katrina Insurance
Gig em Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1245
Loc: Texas
Don't worry about the insurance. Make it contingent on getting the loan. If they don't get the insurance proceeds, they can't get the loan, they don't have to purchase the house.
_________________________

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#116179 - 09/24/05 03:37 PM Re: Waiting for Katrina Insurance
ky realtor Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 1879
Loc: kentucky
I have no idea how this insurance will work, or how fast it will be processed. I sincerely hope these people who have been through this heartache don't have to jump through government red tape forever to get what they deserve, but My bet is that it will be slow. Your buyers don't know how much or when they will get their settlement, right? A contract has to have a beginning and ending, or closing date. If this is handled like most insurance settlements, the proceeds will probably be made payable to the owners and the mortgage holder. The owners will get what's left over after the mortgage is paid. From your post, it sounds like your buyers don't know how much that will be. I would send your buyers first to a lender to get qualified. When I am working with buyers who are expecting a settlement of some sort and don't know how much it will be and don't know when it will be, I usually wait until the money is in the bank.
A HUD 203K loan is a FHA loan, which is a loan that is insured by HUD. Typically they have a lower down payment and more liberal debt/income ratios. A FHA loan, however usually involves repairs that need to be made to the home, so you have to keep that in mind when writing the contract,who is going to pay for repairs, and how much. The lender can tell you about that.
Good luck.
_________________________
Comments made are my opinion, and not intended to be legal advice of any kind.

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#116180 - 09/25/05 10:36 AM Re: Waiting for Katrina Insurance
Delores Offline
Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 235
Loc: TN
expanding on 203k loans...these loans are specifically for fixer-uppers. The borrower is given x-amount of money to buy and fix up. They must occupy the property.

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#116181 - 09/25/05 12:35 PM Re: Waiting for Katrina Insurance
ky realtor Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 04/21/05
Posts: 1879
Loc: kentucky
Quote:
The borrower is given x-amount of money to buy and fix up. They must occupy the property.
On a 203K loan the borrower is not "given" the fix-up money. The repair money is borrowed, and has to be paid back. Repairs can be done after closing, and funds are escrowed. A 203b loan is a regular FHA loan, and any needed repairs have to be done before closing.
_________________________
Comments made are my opinion, and not intended to be legal advice of any kind.

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#116182 - 02/05/07 11:52 PM All is quiet on the Gulf Coast
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
...and in the Gulf Coast Forum. Since this forum was started primarily to deal with issues surrounding the Hurricane Katrina/Hurricane Rita events, it has remained rather dormant lately--except for the posts revolving around last November's NAR Conference held in New Orleans. When it was started, it did serve a good purpose--providing a place for posters to express their sorrow (and hope) surrounding these two awful storms. Frankly, I certainly wasn't emotionally prepared for the devestation these two back-to-back hurricanes brought to my neighbors...few were, in fact.

Just wanted to put a little life back into our forum by reminding everyone that spring is just around the corner, and we know what that will be followed by...hurricane season. So let's get a jump start now on scanning those precious family photos and storing them on the internet, as well as any photos we will need for insurance purposes should anything happen. We have plenty of time to buy hurricane supplies, but it takes a lot of time to organize your photos. If you lose everything in a storm some day, you will one day need those photos to remember your kid's birthday parties, your favorite pot plant, your husband's baseball trophy, or your wife's first Thanksgiving dinner...and if you have stored them safely, you will have them to show any future family members...where you lived and what your life was like before the storm. I know most of us won't have that awful experience, but we will all sleep better if we know our photos are safe...from fire, flood, theft...as well as hurricanes.

There are a lot of professionally prepared hurricane preparation lists out there...grocery stores, insurance offices, television stations. Most of us have several stuck in file drawers around the house. If you don't, pick up one early in the season and go over everything with your family. I hope it will be years before we have another serious post on this forum, but this post is just a reminder to us all that it could happen...in fact, it did happen. Also, it's a reminder that I have not deserted the forum. laugh

If anyone thinks it would be a good idea to talk on here about Gulf Coast real estate issues not related to hurricanes, that's fine, too. Just start posting. Most, however, seem to prefer the larger forums which gives us an opportunity to learn from a larger group of people.

That's all for now.

Darlene

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#116183 - 08/26/06 10:09 AM Hurricane Ernesto
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Those of us who live on the Gulf Coast have come to understand that these hurricanes are going to be coming much more frequently than they did in the past. It's going to be serious business every hurricane season from now on.

The last info from all my various hurricane sites seems to put Ernesto just outside New Orleans later in the week as a Class III hurricane IF IT SURVIVES THE SHEAR. If the shear only slows it, it may adjust it's route and threaten someone else. I can't imagine what will happen to New Orleans, especially all the homes in the framing stage, if a Class III hurricane strikes them.

Some say don't worry until it happens. That is not even practical when you reside on the Gulf Coast. The emotional roller coaster that these hurricanes put people through will eventually start impacting families to the point of being a primary reason for relocation for many from the Gulf Coast area. Our water sports, recreational activities, and warm winters will still draw new people to this region and life will still go on. But, sadly, many will always be looking out at the Gulf wondering when the next surprise will come.

My prayers go out to the people in the path of Ernesto. We won't have to wait much longer to see if it will weaken from the shearing.

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#116184 - 08/27/06 07:19 AM Re: Hurricane Ernesto
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
It appears the Texas Gulf Coast as well as Louisiana have must to be thankful for. It's a bitter victory because of the severe damage that this storm is going to leave behind after it passes over the islands and hits what is now predicted to be the Florida Keys. After that, of course, is anyone's guess. So for my end of the country, life goes on.

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#129325 - 03/18/07 01:59 PM Investing in Biloxi
CarolinaSongbird Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 144
Loc: Charlotte, NC metro area
Hubby just visited and fell in love with Biloxi (and its casinos!). I'm an investor as well as an agent in the Carolinas, so we're considering the possibility of buying something down there onthe Gulf Coast that we could visit as well as rent out. On Carolinas beaches that's pretty straightforward -- buy unit, get a property manager, make money. Has the vacation rental market returned in Biloxi and surrounding areas? Is it mostly weekly or monthly? Summer or snowbirds?

He was also surprised by the amount of ground-level construction. In the Carolinas, almost everything oceanfront is up on stilts. Even the hotels use ground level for parking, so any storm surges go through. Obviously in a Katrina-style storm, that makes little difference, but a coast brush-by can still bring lots of water onshore. Hurricanes don't scare us overly -- my first memory is of evacuating for one -- but we respect them and their power and believe in taking all the proper precautions! Anyone know if there's a reason behind this down-to-earth construction?

Anything we should be especially aware of as we start exploring the area for a potential purchase?

Carolina Songbird


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#139088 - 05/06/07 05:45 PM Re: Investing in Biloxi [Re: CarolinaSongbird]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Carolina, I know just the person you need to talk to. But first, two things: I love the Carolinas and spent several vacations in New Bern, near the Brice & Trent rivers, fishing off a pier. Secondly, my apologies for not responding sooner to your post. I am in the process of moving and either I did not get notification of the post or somehow overlooked it. I'll make sure neither happens again. Anyway, Gulf Coast agents prefer to hang in the other forums where agents from other states post because they get a lot more input there. We kinda, sorta use this forum for hurricane related issues, so as not to clutter the other forums when we have a scare which only impacts the Gulf Coast. Of course, Katrina and Rita impacted the entire country because of their severity.

The agent you need to talk to posts under "MS Gulf Coast". If you can't find her on here, let me know and I'll locate her for you. Many of her posts are in this thread. Also, if you have not already done so, you can go to the Agents and Brokers forum or any other forum you think may suit your needs, then ask for any Biloxi area agents to respond to your questions. But before you do, you can finish reading threads in this Forum, since a lot of area agents did post here. Any of them will be happy to help you. But the search forum, using "Biloxi" or similar search words, may produce some good info about the area--and those posts will be the agents who work in that area, usually.

My favorite memory of wonderful Biloxi was in the late 70's, when I spent some vacation time there. Pasadena (where I live) had a restaurant called Lum's, if I remember correctly. They served hot dogs steamed in beer. I wasn't a beer drinker, but those hot dogs was fantastic. It closed, and I thought they went out of business until I went to Biloxi and found one of the restaurants. I ate a lot of hot dogs during that vacation, but saved a lot of money. It's a wonderful area and it will take a lot more than one hurricane to crush the spirit of the people who live around there.

Thanks for the post, and again--sorry that it took so long to find your post and inform you that this forum is mostly inactive with the exception of hurricane info.

It's great that people like you are interested in helping restore, little by little, a part of our country that was taken from us in less than 10 hours. Hope you make a nice bit of money in your investing.

Excuse any typos. I'm knee deep in wrapping paper and have been at it all day.

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#139108 - 05/06/07 07:46 PM Re: Investing in Biloxi [Re: CarolinaSongbird]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Yikes, I should practice what I preach. I just checked your old posts and saw you have been posting in those forums I recommended for a while. Sorry--I can see where you thought this forum was the best for your question, but by now you are an ole' pro. Anyway, Gulf Winds is also a very active member, but can't remember what part of the Gulf.

BTW, if you ever want to invest in Galveston, let me know. I'll check a few things out for you and connect you with an agent down there. My broker is selling his beach house in Tiki Island, there are lots of other places on the west beach, and some very beautiful older homes just waiting for someone to restore them. Lots of opportunity down there. Galveston has a brand new bridge from the mainland and a very bright future.

I'll probably catch you on one of the other forums.

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#140024 - 05/10/07 06:19 PM Re: Investing in Biloxi [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Gulf Winds Offline
REO Slave
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 1715
Loc: USA
Darlene & CarolinaSongbird:

I'm over in Alabama (Gulf Shores, Orange Beach) along the Gulf of Mexico. We're located in between Mobile, AL & Pensacola, FL (about 45 minutes to either city).

I'm only 100 miles away from Biloxi & visit the casinos frequently. The Beau Rivage gets plently of my $$$! wink As a matter of fact, I just got a birthday card from them with a free night stay hotel voucher.

Our fellow forum member MS Gulf Coast, I believe, is located in Hattiesburg (just north of Biloxi) but she works in Biloxi as well.

As far as the vacation rental market, primarily the casinos are filling that void until other properties are rebuilt or repaired. I know that our rental market took a serious dive after Katrina damage. Many vacationers had no choice here and as a result, they discovered new places to stay. It's taken over a year to begin stabilizing.

The long-term rental market is VERY strong in Biloxi, Gulfport and surrounding areas. You can realize much higher than average rates due to supply and demand. Many are still renting until their insurance pays or are construction workers needing a place to live while they work in the area.
_________________________
"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.." - James Lovell- Astronaut

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#150282 - 06/25/07 04:48 AM Two tips for protecting electronics during storm
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I recently purchased my first box of space bags - original brand - and noticed the word "Waterproof" on the box. Well, it is probably asking too much for them to be totally waterproof, but they would be some help. I do know the big bags will hold a printer, a computer, laptop, scanner, or a whole lot of long cables. Faced with a situation like we had here in Houston with Rita bearing down on us, not knowing she would turn at the last minite, I would have been under a lot less stress had I had some of these bags. In that situation, a window blowing out or a major roof failure would be enough to take out a lot of electronic equipment. I would probably not trust just one bag...I think anyone's computer is worth a double bag, but they are very expensive. In a situation like Katrina, I doubt anyone would expect to see a computer survive if it had been sitting in water for any length of time. Water has a way of finding a way in. My best idea so far to have a quick and easy way to put things away if a storm is coming is the plastic trash cans with lids, preferably with 2" lips. I will put a liner in the trash can, put in the stuff, put on the lid, then cover the entire can with another trash liner, then wrap duct tape around the middle of the can just to help hold the liner that is covering it. Best part--I then can roll it into whatever room I need to, whatever closet I need to. After the storm, I can roll the trash can into the room the stuff goes in and unload it.

I know some will think this is a bit drastic but each person's fear level is different. I'm terrified of these things--way past a healthy respect. I've now been in three (and worked civic defense during Alicia in 1982) and it is difficult to know ahead of time just how much damage the wind will do. Not far from my home a huge oak tree was uprooted during Rita and fell over on a house. This oak had been there for years and just crushed the end of the house. And we were just on the skirts of Rita...barely hurricane force winds if that.

It's hard for anyone to understand if they haven't watched a weather condition coming at them--hurricane, tornado, water - either rushing or rising, earthquake, whatever--and knowing there is not a thing you can do about it--you are out of time and you better be ready. So scan your family photos and photos of your possessions for insurance claims, put up everything you have the time, money, and energy to protect, and follow the storm on the radio or TV for instructions on how to take care of yourself.


Edited by Darlene B (11/18/09 02:26 AM)

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#150292 - 06/25/07 07:52 AM Re: Two tips for protecting your electroncis during st [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Gulf Winds Offline
REO Slave
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 1715
Loc: USA
Hey Darlene!

I use the bags that are made for kayakers & white water rafting called "dry bags". They have a zip lock type closure and then you roll it over and snap it. I first started using them for wet scuba diving equipment in the car, but I have a few extra for just what you're talking about. Now, if you want the ultimate in protection and dryness, get a pelican box! Those things are military grade and can withstand a lot of force from impact.

Drybags: http://seallinegear.com/

Pelican: http://pelican.com/case_category.php?CaseSize=%&New=%
_________________________
"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.." - James Lovell- Astronaut

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#150410 - 06/25/07 02:29 PM Re: Two tips for protecting your electroncis during st [Re: Gulf Winds]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Pelican Bags - now I won't get anything done because I'll be over there checking out those bags and the sizes and colors and styles. So people carry whatever they need to survive in those suitcases, I guess. Those are the ones in the movies when disaster is everywhere and someone opens the suitcase and pulls out the phone, the gun, or whatever he needs? I knew they would be good when I saw the word "O-ring"...a whole lot better than the zip lock seal. Now I'll check out the Drybags.

Before Rita, our Mayor (actually, Houston's mayor) went on TV and bragged that Houston would not make the same mistakes as New Orleans if Rita came because we were ready for the evacuttion...it was a major relief to many here to know we had a workable evacuation plan. Unfortunately, it was a nightmare...cars out of gas and broken down, no promised gas along the route, people out of water and food, even had a fire on a senior citizen evacuation bus and almost everyone died. Those people were stuck on that freeway for two days...then Houston would not let them come back into certain areas...I can understand that but we would think that would have ruined some political careers. We made our own Katrina just because of the arragance of our elected officials. The people were not prepared financially, emotionally, or any other way for the problems that storm caused, and it never even hit us...it was more like it skirted us.

As long as we are looking at survival gear - I found this small drum that you put a few clothes in - maybe 3 pieces - and fill with water and just a very small amount of soap, then crank it around like an ice cream container, then drain it and refill it again to rinse a few times. Looked pretty easy to operate and the seal was similar to a butter bowl. Very elementary but if you had water, you could wash clothes in an emergency. I guess after the last rinse, you would keep cranking to get as much water out as possible, so you could call that a spin rinse. Anyway, $50 to fix what could be a major problem. Would not have helped with Katrina, since they had no fresh water, but would help if you are living in your station wagon after your roof blows off the house.

Thanks for the hints on those great bags. Without our office equipment, we are pretty much out of the real estate business--at least temporarily...as I was a few days back when my computer went down. Norton got me back up, but nothing can get a computer back up if it gets water.


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#150444 - 06/25/07 03:17 PM Re: Two tips for protecting your electroncis during st [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Gulf Winds Offline
REO Slave
Major Contributor

Registered: 02/04/06
Posts: 1715
Loc: USA
Hey Darlene..

Buy the clothes washer and then drink the left over waste water! This thing filters out almost everything! They last for a year & are cheap too!!! I have 4 of them just in case.

http://www.lifestraw.com/en/high/maincont2.asp

_________________________
"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.." - James Lovell- Astronaut

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#150649 - 06/26/07 06:44 AM Re: Two tips for protecting your electroncis during st [Re: Gulf Winds]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Something like that might really make people very uneasy just thinking about it...until they are in a desperate situation. Living among the chemical plants and on the Gulf Coast - we always have that survival instinct in the backs of our minds.

It looks so simple...but think how much better off those kids are to have those things. Had no clue anything like that existed. They probably wanted to have their picture taken using them. I'm going to read up on them tomorrow.

I have MCS, one of the environmental illnesses, specifically VOC's and any fragranced products. I wouldn't go in a shelter unless I knew it was a life-death situation. I would just have to stand outside and hope a piece of sheet metal didn't have my name on it. LOL. After 15 years of adjusting to it, it is now just a minor inconvenience because I practically live outside, which isn't that much better, I suppose. But when I saw all those people on those evacuation buses and stuffed in those shelters...Yikes, I knew that would be major trouble if I were in that situation. Anyway, point is...that is what put me onto the survival thing so strongly. Given the choice of NO WATER or the lifestraw...I am pretty sure I would be using the straw, drinking what was available and being happy to have them.

Those are a great idea. As my father used to say, "Thanks - What else ya got?"

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#155152 - 07/13/07 02:32 AM Re: Two tips for protecting your electroncis during st [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Here's a space bag update. When you pull the air out of the bags with a vac, the bags and contents wrinkle up like a prune. The pictures on the box show the bag laying flat, but that is hard to do. I tried to hold the corners while I used the vac but that didn't work, so now I am going to get some thin plywood and put on top of the bag, then hold it down to see if the bags stay a little flatter while I use the vac. The contents do take up a lot less space when in the bag, but when you put the bags in a storage container, it is like filling the container with a bunch of basketballs with half the air out of them. The air pockets cancel out the air removed from the bags...so you are able to get inside the container only the same amount of stuff that came from the container originally. If you are going to stack the bags on a shelf in the closet, no problem. But to put the bags in a container--disappointing. I can't use a rolling pin to remove the air because most of my bags are bigger than a rolling pin. I may try the wooded pole in my closet that will fit all the way across them. Maybe it is a practice-makes-perfect thing. At any rate, electronics in space bags--I'm standing by that idea...you won't be stacking your printer on top of your computer, and then on top of your scanner. So the bags may be great for our office stuff if we do have another storm somewhere.

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#164289 - 08/19/07 02:12 AM Hurricane Dean
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I'm checking it every time there is an update, on the NHC site and on www.wunderground.com, which I consider the best hurricane site out there. I just saw the 2 AM track, and it looks like it is crossing the Yucatan Peninsula a little lower than originally thought. That should weaken it so that it makes final landfall as a Cat 3 rather than a Cat 4 or 5. Good news for Texas, but we still need to pray for those folks down there and be ready to help in whatever way we can.

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#164894 - 08/21/07 09:28 PM Re: Hurricane Dean [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I'm happy this forum is dead right now. Hope it stays that way the rest of the summer.

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#175957 - 10/17/07 05:36 AM We aren't completely out of the woods yet, but...
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
According to my interpretation of comments by my weather guru, Dr. Jeff Masters, co-founder of The Weather Underground (where I get all my spaghetti maps during hurricane season), we can start to breathe a little easier. The waters won't start cooling off as fast as they would in an El Nino year, but they are getting cooler, which usually means we see decreasing activity.

According to info on http://www.wunderground.com, Jeff wrote much of the software that ingests and formats the raw NWS data. He knows a lot about hurricanes, but all I know is...when I go to his site, I can find whatever I need for anything out there that has a name or number...and I can follow it till it gets to my front door if it comes to that. And while I realize there is nothing I can personally do to make it go away, it does make me feel like I have some control in the situation...which of course we all do...we can control how prepared we are for a storm. I'm just happy I did not have to prepare for anything this year. I hope we finish out this year without any major weather disasters of any kind on the Gulf Coast or anywhere else.

So it's October 2007 and I can only say, "That's two down."


Edited by Darlene B (10/18/07 01:03 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#175960 - 10/17/07 06:50 AM Re: We aren't completely out of the woods yet, but... [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
We were lucky this year despite all of the predictions for a record breaking year.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#176250 - 10/18/07 01:00 PM Re: We aren't completely out of the woods yet, but... [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I always have to remember that people in the paths of these things at least have some notice to pack a few things and get out. Unlike a tornado or an earthquake, at least you know where your kids are when it hits.

Sometimes, like with Katrina, you can't prepare for all the surprises. Even a small one like Rita has it's aggravations--when it passed thru Houston right after Katrina missed us, a huge tree fell over on someone's house...a tree from their neighbor's yard. I'm sure that frustration lingered long after the damage was fixed. So even the smaller ones can be more involved than just missing work and cleaning up the debris in the yard when it's over.

Anyway, all I have to worry about for the next six months is whether or not my apartment will turn the heat on BEFORE the temperature drops into the 30's. Now our friends up north have to start worrying about the snow storms and having supplies in their car if they get trapped in one. Mother Nature is always trying to catch us off guard. And she's pretty dang good at it, too.

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#197438 - 01/26/08 11:05 PM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: Darlene Bitner]
BayAreaTexan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 106
Loc: SFBayArea, CA
Darlene I've still dealing with my wind storm carrier related to Rita. In 2004 the last tenant fell asleep with a cigarette. Once the place was rehabbed with a new roof Rita came along an really ruined my day.

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#197468 - 01/27/08 03:51 AM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: BayAreaTexan]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Having to fight with the insurance company after a major loss is just adding insult to injury, I guess. It has to be especially distressing to have something happen AFTER a rehab.

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#197498 - 01/27/08 10:22 AM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: Darlene Bitner]
BayAreaTexan Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/08
Posts: 106
Loc: SFBayArea, CA
Darlene you can't imagine the half of it. Being an absentee owner, having a decade old relationship with a property manager and finding out when I'm on the ground that the work isn't the way it was represented. I flew in with one home sold based on pictures emailed to me only to find things like the exterior of some doors were painted but the interiors were not painted. The central a/c was repaired but not cosmetically appealing even though I paid well above market for quick work.

No fun firing someone when you don't have a ready replacement and your plan was to salsa with Consquayla and her seester not talk to lying contractors with no insurance or bonds. Can't tell you how many times I went out to my rental car because if I staying in the home I would have done bad things to the contractor giving me a bid. When they knew I was from California and had a plane to catch most of those guys couldn't spend my money fast enough. They truly didn't understand I grew up in Texas and would have paid someone to clean up what I fixed up on them before I let them steal my hard earned money...

I paid $39K just to get things going only to have morons try to take advantage of the fact that I wasn't local. Don't get me started about the insurance companies. The problem is that most of those guys shoot quail together, golf together so you have to way out to find competent legal representation. Its a friggin nightmare.

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#197744 - 01/28/08 12:20 PM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: BayAreaTexan]
trush Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 159
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
Darlene B,

This is storm-related but not Gulf Coast-related. May I chime in anyway? I'm wondering how it is for y'all down there...

Here on the NC oceanfront the hurricane seasons have been relatively quiet lately (except for Isabel) but historically it's the off-season storms that sneak up on us (strangely--often on holidays) that can really chew up our coastline, dump torrents of rain, cause storm surge from ocean and soundside, and cause damage.

The winter and spring nor-easters can be almost worse that the hurricanes because we can plan for the hurricanes (evacuation is mandatory for vacationers, etc.) but we never know when an "unnamed hurricane" is bearing down on us until it hits.

One happened about three springs ago that brought 110mph winds and significant soundside flooding on Ocracoke Island--it was during a big fishing tournament so tons of non-locals were in town and about 200 vehicles were ruined. It was bad!

How's Gulf Coast weather in the winter and spring?
_________________________
What's in your backyard? Outer Banks vacation home sales Get a piece of the beach!

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#198124 - 01/29/08 01:56 PM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: trush]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I was just reading BayAreaTexan's storm--with his proprty management situation. It is so hard to find someone you trust these days. I know a lady who does property management and trust me, she could not care less. It's just getting worse, it seems. BayAreaTexas, you need someone who will quake in their boots when they see your name on caller I.D. Those people are usually conscientious. They don't like disappointing their boss. An individual may be more loyal than a property management company, but how do you even know. Craigslist, I guess, should be your next stop. You have my sympathy. It is rough out there...real estate is hot right now, but still...no excuse to not do what you promised someone. This is just another reason why I say that real estate is not for the faint hearted. I hope people appreciate what risks some people take in this business. It is just not something most could handle. I am waaaaay past having the nerve for some of this stuff, that's for sure. It takes a lot of focus. If you want me to find a few property managers for you to check out, let me know. I don't know any, but I could pass on their emails and/or phone numbers to you after I chat with them a few minutes to see if they claim to meet your requirements.
Trush, I spent three vacations in New Bern, where I had friends who lived in a small trailer near the Trent & Brice Rivers (that's correct, right???) All I remember is the fun we had, crabbing and watching the kids jump off the small pier. Every time you folks have a storm up there, I hate to watch it on TV. I always thought North Carolina was the most beautiful state I had ever been in. Sorry, my fellow Texans...but if you haven't been, you can't argue with me. It's really God's Country. And unless things have changed in the last 20 years, the people there are very warm and friendly. A great place to visit or live, in my opinion.

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#198131 - 01/29/08 02:03 PM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Trush, nice web site. I clicked on a few things and saw that NO TITLE COMPANIES ARE IN YOUR AREA--YOU USE ATTORNEYS. We would be like fish out of water if we switched jobs. Ha, ha.

I forgot to answer your question. Gulf Coast in the winter is slightly cooler than the spring. And it rains sometimes. And it's warm in the daytime and cool in the evenings, so we always take a light jacket. Sometimes it gets cold. In short, nothing much going on in the weather area except the anxiety of knowing hurricane season is around the corner.


Edited by Darlene B (01/29/08 02:07 PM)
Edit Reason: Left something out

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#198138 - 01/29/08 02:22 PM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: Darlene Bitner]
trush Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 159
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
Hey Darlene B--thanks for the kind words. We're about 3 hours northeast of New Bern, driving around by inland or by ferries.

The site is bigtoe's realm, I just work the leads and do the selling.

At least y'all get a break of sorts during the winter. I hope you have a happy remainder of winter and spring, and a completely uneventful hurricane season '08!
_________________________
What's in your backyard? Outer Banks vacation home sales Get a piece of the beach!

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#198988 - 02/01/08 12:24 AM Re: All is quiet on the Gulf Coast [Re: trush]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I couldn't ask for a better wish, that's for sure. Right back at you on the good weather thoughts. Tonight it's 33 & windy here, and we are going to be gripping about it thru spring. Ha, ha.

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#242305 - 08/04/08 03:17 PM HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Here it is...three days to prepare but it will be mild compared to Rita and definitely to Katrina. My guru, Jeff Masters, is at wwww.wunderground.com, has all the great maps. I hope your local TV station has available hurricane information without having to fill out your personal information first, then confirming it, then...I do understand them requiring that data to get non-emergency information, but I was surprised they would put a banner up for the lastest on Edouard and then require that. One click and I was off their site and onto www.wunderground.com to see the maps you don't even get on the Hurricane Center site.

Anyway, we'll see how the new builder homes along the coast hold up to minimal hurricane winds. In all fairness, this one may spawn a few tornados, so I'll wait till I know for sure what caused the damage before I post about this topic.

Don't leave anything out that might blow away or cause damage. Good luck...hope nobody floods or loses their electricity for too long.

One more quick item...I bought rolling plastic trash cans, then put two trash bags inside them as a double liner. Then put stuff in them, put on the lid, and have another liner ready to cover them just in case we lose the roof. I am not expecting anything like this with this one, but this was a trial run. My apartments did lose a roof during Rita, so it's not always flooding that ruins your personal property. It's easy to do if you have no shelf space to put things up. If your home floods, this is a great option...$15 or so for rolling carts at Home Depot, plus grab a couple of sacks of trash bags. This is definitely overkill for this storm (hopefully) but it was a trial run.



Edited by Darlene B (07/25/10 03:17 AM)

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#244720 - 08/15/08 04:53 PM Re: Let's use this for our hurricane posts, starting with Edouard [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Eduardo turned, so I missed it...but many got a lot of water and some wind damage. But nothing that would test the new builder homes that have sprung up all over the area since Rita.

Today I am looking at Tropical Storm Fay, originally thought to come across Cuba, then turn and go up through Florida. Now it looks like it will be turning later, so it will have more than 90 miles over water before it reaches the Florida panhandle. Of course, the longer it waits to turn, the closer to New Orleans it gets...and Houston. Nobody wants to be in the Cone of Uncertainty when a big storm is predicted..and this one just might turn out to be big. I doubt if New Orleans is ready for another big storm. Visit www.wunderground.com to track all tropical storm computer models.

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#245229 - 08/19/08 08:12 AM Re: Let's use this for our hurricane posts, starting with Edouard [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Invest 94 is heading toward Florida's east coast, but don't know what it will be when it gets there. They may get double punched again this year. Florida has had their share of hurricanes in recent years. We'll watch this one and see how the newer builder homes hold up.

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#245716 - 08/22/08 04:44 AM Re: Let's use this for our hurricane posts, starting with Edouard [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Jeff Masters on www.wunderground.com (weather underground) called Fay "The Joker" and I guess he nailed it. I just saw a lot of unfortunate folks on TV who had no clue their houses could flood. This storm is developing a cruel personality. New home construction did not get tested by Fay...flooding is the problem with this one.

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#246684 - 08/27/08 05:19 PM Re: Let's use this for our hurricane posts, starting with Edouard [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I was surprised to see Gustav's cone of uncertainly move to the right to the extent it did in the last 24 hours. I'm trying to learn a little about these eddys of warm water that are out there waiting for a T/S or Cat 1 hurricane to pass over them and kick off the rapid intensification.

Looks like the most likely target for landfall is the New Orleans area right now--Houston is just slightly out of the cone. I can't enjoy that good news because New Orleans may still be very vulnerable. I don't know what their temporary housing situation is but I feel sure there are still lots of folks living in housing that will not be safe. Plus, lots of people in Mississippi are not ready for another one this big this soon. Not much change in the track since 11 AM today, so this may be a more accurate track, but only time will tell.

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#247039 - 08/29/08 05:02 PM Re: Let's use this for our hurricane posts, starting with Edouard [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Gustav forecast still iffy. New lightweight products and fasteners for window protection are out there, but finding them, then cutting and fitting them--all that takes time. Whatever happens with this storm, people have no excuse not to do whatever they have the means to do. Lack of money, lack of transportation, health issues...those kinds of problems hinder preparation and/or evacuation and can be major obstacles when a hurricane is approaching. Just hope nobody waits till the last minute when they have the ability to prepare ahead of time. I'm waiting on the 5 PM forecast before getting back to packing.

Wherever this hits, there should be lots of feedback on how the new builder homes held up, most importantly the windows and roofs.

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#249140 - 09/11/08 05:14 AM We need shelters, not evacuation routes
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Ike will be here in Houston starting tomorrow night or early Saturday. Ike will come ashore as a Cat 3 or 4, pushing the water up Galveston Bay to the Ship Channel with a good sized storm surge. My car will finally get the wash it needs so badly right now.

Pray for Galveston, since the storm doubled back and many did not have time to evacuate. All they can do is evacuate the west end of the island, where there is no sea wall.

I'll finally get to see how these new builder homes will stand up to a major storm.

It's 5:04 AM and the news is coming on with the latest forecast. I get that off the wunderground web site, so I am going to get some sleep. Then, I'll get up about 9 AM and start putting the rest of my things up high. Stay safe, everyone.

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#249146 - 09/11/08 06:46 AM Re: We need shelters, not evacuation routes [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Adier Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 191
Loc: n/a
You get a free car wash!

Keep us posted of your situation there Darlene if you can, yeah stay safe.

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#249223 - 09/11/08 01:01 PM Re: We need shelters, not evacuation routes [Re: Adier]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thank you so much. I just can't wish these things would go away because that means I am wishing them on someone who may not have been expecting a hurricane and aren't prepared. Just watching TV now I see where Houston may have learned a lot from the Rita snafu...which was in my opinion a disgrace. Now, one day away, traffic from the west enders in Galveston is said to be moving smoothly, gas is available, tow trucks are available, and price gouging will carry a fine that nobody can pay off in a lifetime.

This major storm will test any new hurricane products that may have been used since Katrina.

I'll be taking my computer down tomorrow and depending on electrical service, may be able to come back up the first part of the week.

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#249733 - 09/14/08 07:35 PM BPOS IN HOUSTON AFTER IKE
Mic1127 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 5
Loc: Tx
I was wondering what will the BPO orders be like in Houston after ike? Will it be more busy, as I have heard that FEMA uses BPOS. Or will it be slow. I would like your opinions on this. I am relatively new to the BPO business and am not sure.Thanks!!

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#249909 - 09/15/08 06:27 PM Re: BPOS IN HOUSTON AFTER IKE [Re: Mic1127]
Alabama Offline
Member

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 171
Loc: Alabama
I previously worked for SBA, which is the actual lender when there is a disaster loan. At that time we used Loss Estimators who were government employees, not contractors to determine vaue before and after the disaster. So I am not aware that FEMA will be a source of new BPO volumne.
_________________________
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." Abraham Lincoln

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#250362 - 09/17/08 07:23 PM A MESSAGE FROM DARLENE B
Kuntryhart
Unregistered


I just got off the phone with our friend Darlene, and she wanted everyone to know she is OK. She does not have internet at the present time, but has promised some informative posts about her experiences with IKE once she has internet up and running again. She wasn't sure how long that might be, but could be as much as a month from now. I know I'm not the only one that has been concerned about her, so hope this news will put your mind at ease. Please don't forget to remember everyone in that area in your prayers.
Donna

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#250442 - 09/18/08 03:59 AM Re: A MESSAGE FROM DARLENE B [Re: ]
Adier Offline
Member

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 191
Loc: n/a
Good to hear Darlene's safe, looking forward for her own side of the story.

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#251498 - 09/24/08 02:30 AM Re: A MESSAGE FROM DARLENE B [Re: Adier]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks to you both. I'm posting some info on how to survive a hurricane. It will be very embarrasing for me, but it may help someone.

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#253250 - 10/04/08 05:35 AM My personal encounter with Hurricane Ike.
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I am still completely upside down after this storm.

Our apartments were hit hard, and many lost everything when the roofs of their apartments were peeled off. A last minute decision on my part to stay in my apartment instead of with my Mother and son turned out to be smart, since the driveway where I would have been parked was filled with limbs.

I rode the storm out in the hallway of my apartment with my bottled water, flashlights, and cell phone, sometimes barely able to hear the wind. Occasionally I would go into the living room and look out the window but it was pitch black. Opening the living room door produced a very eerie sight. My 4-foot porch overhang protected me long enough to see that Ike was in no way winding down. Then back to my chair I went. I did have a small problem in that my comfy chair would not fit in the hallway with my "hurricane" supplies, so I had to sit in a hard straight-back chair all night. Sometime during the night I heard a horrible scream and made my way to the door. Apparently, the eye was passing over us but winds were still strong. But people were outside under the carport. The "Oh, no...oh, no...oh, no" I was hearing was one of the men in my building who discovered a piece of someone's roof decking blew into his beautiful van and smashed the side, then flipped into the windshild and crushed it. He didn't have long to feel sorry for himself because the winds came back. At this point, those of us outside didn't stick around to see the damage because we thought the plywood came from someone's boarded up window...we had no idea that the following morning would reveal four out of nine of our buildings were now uninhabitable and that our neighbors would be without their possessions, including our manager. That plywood was roof decking off one of the buildings.

The following week was a nightmare for me. I ran out of gas coming home from trying to find gas and had to walk a mile in the dark carrying my camera bag and my purse filled with bottled water, since I had none at home. I was so discouraged that I didn't even think about it...I just kept putting one foot in front of another. My Mother's favorite quote, "This too shall pass", was big on my mind during that walk. A police officer drove by with a spotlight and flashed it on me and I waved. He waved back but just kept on driving.

The next day began what was to be one of the most expensive weeks of my life, transportation-wise. By that I mean that I had to pay everyone to take me places to look for gas, to check on my family, to buy groceries. I paid one man $75 to drive me around...and he made every gas station in a ten mile radius, so he earned it. But no gas. Finally, a Realtor friend of mine told me he had 5 gallons of gas in a new gas can and I was welcome to it. I paid a lady $25 to drive me about 6 miles and back to get the gas, but it was worth it. I wasn't even upset when she dropped me at my car and didn't even wait to see if I would lift the gas can. A homeless guy came by heading to the free ice and water line that had backed up for six blocks. He needed a funnel, so I held up a sign to the cars in the long ice lines that said "Need Funnel". One man rolled down the window and said, "How much money do you need". That was a first for me...and a last, I hope. The homeless man made a funnel out of cardboard and poured it in. I took him to a small corner store that had opened with a generator and loaded him up with "cool" drinks and some canned sausages and cookies, then droped him at one of his friend's houses nearby. Then I doubled back to my Mother's and took her some cold drinks. All she really wanted was some ice. By this time, I had electricty but my Mother did not...not for nine days. Her electric service was ripped from the house by her neighbor's tree and he was out of town. She had to pay to have them both repaired (his came off, too) before lights could be restored. Her roof leaked and damaged the kitchen and living room ceiling. Her yard was filled with branches, her storage building met it's last day, and a big portion of her fence is down...but she had supplies. She did run out of batteries by the end of the nine days, but all she wanted was air conditioning.

In all the confusion, I stepped on a rusty nail from the roof debris and went to the emergency room to get a tetanus shot. This is interesting. The hospital was the only one that was open in the area and people came from all over SE Harris County. I was there 11 hours. The hospital was in lockdown with a kind of "strike team" running the show and keeping law and order. They made all non-injured/ill people wait outside...aparently the families are a source of unrest in these situations...seriously. These "strike team" guys are retired police officers, most from NY or so I heard, and looked like they just stepped out of an episode of "The Shield". However, they did their jobs very well and with a good attitude. Stuck in the back waiting on my turn, I had a chance to talk to a few of them. Nice guys, doing a tough job for hours on end. They travel all over the country for this hospital chain protecting the hospital staff and the patients. The doctors and nurses and the strike team had run out of food during the storm. They were living off junk food in the vending machines. Some hopsital families and a few pets were sheltering in at the hospital. But everyone got treated. My foot was x-rayed to see if any rust was still inside and I went home to wait for the bill, having a new appreciation for medical personnel. The only bad highlight of the evening...I spent 5 hours in the hallway, with a very tall bed to sit on...so tall I would not get in it. So I became the "door lady" for the staff, having nothing else to do. One orderly lady came by with a gurney and said "Get in that bed or get out of here" and I said, "Why don't we see if you can make me get in it." She went on by and that was that. I was already friends with the Strike Team and she was a mean, rude...never mind. The doctor frowned when he started to write me an Rx just to be sure my foot did not get infected and I jumped in and asked for a $4 Wal-Mart Rx. It's actually true...I took it to Wal-Mart and it only cost $4.

After all that, my nerves were a little raw. The next day, at my Mother's, I was making a second trip out to my car but couldn't find my key ring. Yada Yada Yada...it was never found. Yes, I had a spare car key but when I ran out of gas and had to leave my car in front of an automotive repair place (coincidence...just happens that is where I coasted into), I dropped my spare key in the night drop slot because I was blocking their bay and figured they could push it out of the way. Well, the owners lived on the coast and were shut down for two weeks. So, I have to pay another neighbor $50 to drive me to the dealership for another key...a very expensive key.

Also on the key ring was my apartment keys. Yes, I made two sets of those a while back but neither fit. So the office gave me the only remaining set of keys. Our apartrment air conditioner did not make it through the storm, so the manager bought everyone a window unit. They were put in today but I did not get one because I had the only key to my apartment. I've been using the world's smallest window a/c borrowed from my Mother and now I guess I am stuck with that, although it is a far cry from nothing.

Everyone who lived in the damaged buildings were moved into the good buildings in available apartments, and some were scooped up by family and taken away with the small amount of personal items they had left. We lost the "bird man" to another complex (he walked to the mail box everyday with his parrot on his shoulder, thus the nickname.) We lost Rosie, but I got a free dresser out of that...appears Rosie had a dresser that perfectly matched my chest of drawers and vanity. She is moving in with her brother and did not need it. She refused to let me give her anything. I still can't believe it.

One lady who had to be moved in next door to me does not speak English. But she managed to offer me a case of bottled water. Now that was just generous and unselfish. I thanked the man from Columbia for being so quite while moving in upstairs, and I apologized for making noise because I did not realize he was up there...the apartment was not in good shape but any port in a storm, I guess. He misunderstood and thought I was telling him that he made noise. There was a one-sided conversation that did not need interpreting before his son came to the rescue. This nice old man is the best upstairs neighbor I have ever had...sadly, he too is moving out in a few weeks.

As things were getting back up and running (grocery stores, gas stations, etc.), I prepared to look for a new place because the cable box had been ripped off and we were told we would not get cable until they knew we were going to stay open. (That's how bad our complex looked before the debris was picked up). Then, I came home and someone yelled "We've got cable" and bingo...I'm back in business. But before I could get a job, my car stopped running and I had to have it towed to the shop. Seems the fuel filter was messed up, probably from bad gas. Not all bad news, though. The mechanic found the radiator leak I had been chasing for months. That all cost $615. Then, yesterday I paid the maintenance helper $15 to hand wash my very dirty car, fill up the tires to the correct pressure and screw on my new valve stem caps, and pull off the ugly black duct tape that I put on the outside mirror (loose for months now) to keep Ike from blowing it around. After he got the residue off the paint, he retaped my mirror with the good CLEAR tape and nobody can tell unless they look closely. $15 was not enough for all that work. He also put in my Mother's small window unit for $10 and a sandwich. These apartments would not do without this fellow.

I am almost done unpacking the things I packed away and nothing was damaged. So Ike did not really do me any damage. I did it to myself.

Why does this surprise me? Because I had planned on riding this hurricane out and not having any loss...right down to the last detail, which is why I was able to switch locations at the last minute without any problems. And then I pull some of the stupidest moves ever...thinking a gas station would be open the day before Ike hit, laying my keys down at my Mother's and not remembering where, walking around looking at debris and not watching where I was stepping, and not thinking my transportation issues through to consolidate trips.

Did I mention my key to my locking gas cap was on the lost key ring? Now that was a stinker to get off...thank you, O'Reilly Auto Parts on Southmore, for not charging me and only accepting donuts, to be delivered soon. BTW, the new locking gas cap is not a good fit for my Grand Am and is making my car run a little rough.

I have seen very little news since Ike. Volunteers are still searching Boliver Island for people who are not expected to be found alive. People lost everything, including their jobs and cars and pets. My apartments could not have protected themselves from what most believe was a small tornado spawned by Ike, but the deaths in Boliver are very sad...sad because people do not heed warnings about these horrible storm surges and high winds. After the Rita snafu on the freeways, many decided to stay this time. I guess Ike's legacy will be that he taught us to get out...and next time, everyone will. Some won't wait for a hurricane.

I have been in Carla and Alicia and Rita. But Ike was different. Ike brought back memories of a college paper I wrote...about hurricanes having their own personalities. I made an A on that paper because I worked hard on it--I found the subject facinating back then. Now I find the subject scary and depressing.

I did a BPO on a property last week that was in decent shape except for the yard. However, the next door neighbor's home burned to the ground during the storm and their large tree was uprooted, sending it over into the Subject's driveway. All over this town are downed trees and huge tree limbs. A former Wal-Greens building had been vacant quite a few years but the landscaping trees had been allowed to grow. They were georgous and probably one of the reasons a reception hall had purchased the building and remodeled it. Now the perfect row of trees lining both the front and side streets has a big gap where one of the trees was lost. Ike broke only a few windows but downed so many trees that I fear it will change the entire look our own town for a few years. Strong winds yet very little rain. Ike, your name is being retired and all those who suffered severe losses are glad of that.

BTW, I called FEMA to register in case we were moved and two days later, I got a call saying he would be at my house the next day. A+ to FEMA people trying hard to reach those impacted. Everyone who might be displaced by Ike was told to register.

I will post on another thread about how the builder homes held up. As to KB Homes and Ryland, hard to tell a hurricane went through some of their subdivisions. In the entire Strawberry Glen subdivision, now closing out, only two missing shingles...very impressive since shingles are scattered all over this town.

Thanks for reading my account of Hurricane Ike. If I posted a list of all the people who are out helping everyone, it would be very long. The blue roof program may have some snags because of the lack of subcontractors but I have no concrete info on this yet. FEMA is set up at Wal-Mart...they are really reaching out to people. I have not seen the Red Cross but I hear that volunteers went out with hot meals looking for people with no electricity. They ended up in my friend's neighborhood giving out meals to people who had been up and running for well over a week. Thanks, volunteers...but who charted the route. The people in my complex who were hit hard have not seen the Red Cross out here. The Salvation Army is feeding people at their new complex. But some of the people in my complex are seniors who do not drive. I guess the ten foot pile of debris at our entrance and the huge roofs hanging off the side of the buildings did not catch the Red Cross's eye. Our complex was the worst in this area and on the main street...everyone knows we are hurting over here. In fairness, the Red Cross may very well be pre-occupied with those who chose to live along the coast and have now lost everything, including family members. I can see how they are a priority. As for me, I am not complaining for myself. I still have my vintage punch bowl, my beautiful christmas ornaments collected from the Dickens on the Strand festival held in Galveston every year, and my other keepsakes. Believe me...I have nothing to complain about. Had my building lost the roof, I believe my rolling cart system would have kept my things dry. Still, I am going to downsize big time. It was just a nightmare trying to protect everything.

Excuse any typos and where I may have repeated myself. Trying to proof this post would be time consuming and it's 5:30 AM Saturday. I won't get much sleep tonight.

Update on Novemer 15, 2008.

The plumbers brought in a jack hammer and emptied my walk-in closet. They pulled back the already damaged carpet from the last few trips, then the helper proceeded to tear up my concrete floor in the closet with that jack hammer. How he did that for almost two hours I do not know because the concrete dust made me very sick. Once he had the hole dug, he laid down on the dirty floor and reached under the old pipes and started trying to get them out. After he dug out the old pipes and put in the new stuff, he filled the hole with rocks, then mixed cement, poured it into the hole and smoothed it out nicely. It was actually a one-man operation. The boss just dropped him off and came back to check on him after he had been finished for over an hour. I had to go buy him lunch. Everyone should have this guy for their plumber. He never stopped till it was finished. That was over a week ago and my closet carpet is still pulled back, the closet smells, and I am still finding concrete dust all over the apartment. I guess we were lucky to find such good plumbers to diagnose the problem and fix it so quickly.

This week the rain came and the windows leaks and that is about the end of my personal Ike saga. All that mess and I didn't even have any damage to my personal things. I can't imagine how miserable it would be to have damage to your photos, your nice antique linens and fancy glassware. Remind me again why we live down here near the coast? Uh...now I remember...we can almost always find jobs. Oh, year...after insurance, my bill from the emergency for the nail in my foot was $166. Total bill was over $1900. I received a tetanus shot, the doc wrote a Rx for antibiotic, and they took a few X-rays. Dang, how much would it be if someone was actually sick. I'm going to call and try to get it reduced. That is highway robbery. However, the X-rays were necessary to see if any of the nail may have broken off in my foot. By the time this is all over and done with, we will be nearing next year's hurricane season.

Thanks for reading my story. I haven't heard of any other agents on here who rode out Ike. They may have fared much better or much worse than I did. One thing I learned with Ike is that these new roofs are capable of holding up under some very strong wind.


Edited by Darlene B (11/15/08 03:41 AM)

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#254796 - 10/13/08 02:12 PM Re: My personal encounter with Hurricane Ike. [Re: Darlene Bitner]
REODayton Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 3720
Loc: Dayton Ohio
Some how I missed this when you posted it. Glad to hear you made it through with minimal damage to you self. Hope the foot healed up.

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#256881 - 10/27/08 11:59 PM Re: My personal encounter with Hurricane Ike. [Re: REODayton]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks REO - But, I did not quite make it through after all. It appears the winds whipped the vent pipe in my building back and forth and shook rust loose. That stopped up a pipe and my apartment flooded twice two weeks ago. I had not unpacked from Ike yet, so I'm good. I need to check out my plumbing book to see just what happened. My walk-in closet has the wall torn out and plumbing and insulation exposed. Stuff stacked everywhere. My apartment smells like dirty water. I haven't seen the plumbers in over a week. I think every repairman in a 500 mile radius must be working overtime to put the worst damaged homes back together first.

Galveston moved it's homeless to some old airport hangers a few days ago. That town is a mess but they are working on it very hard. All over the Houston area homes have blue tarps covering roof damage. But guess where there are NO blue tarps or missing shingles...new builder subdivisions. You can't even tell a hurricane came through here last month in most of them. Even the landscaping is back to normal. Galveston new subdivisions...that's another story to be told. No info yet on that.

Darlene

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#298141 - 07/12/09 12:59 PM Galveston Recovery - Hurricane Ike
Dallas Broker Offline
Member

Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 58
Loc: Texas, United States
I came across report the other day that the Fed gov might take away Galveston, Texas distaster recovery funds if certain improvements are not completed by certain time...specifically cutting down trees that were destroyed by hurricane. Has anyone heard of this before? not sure if this would be encouraging for local government or morale. I agree there should be an agenda, but don't see why fed would threaten to take away funds they offered to rebuild an area in turmoil.


Edited by Darlene B (07/25/10 04:18 AM)

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#298206 - 07/13/09 04:26 AM Re: Galveston Recovery - Hurrican Ike [Re: Dallas Broker]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
There are thousands of these dead trees in Galveston, sadly. Here is a link to the progress. It does sound like Galveston is behind on this project, but the island was a mess after Ike, so first things first, I guess.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=acc0ab06200bc5e8

Here is a good article about progress made in Galveston since Ike. I was shocked they were able to proceed with the Dickens festival in such a short amount of recovery time. Good article.

http://blogs.chron.com/galveston/2009/06/memories_of_ike_weigh_on_galve.html

Just read that the funds are running out in September but lost the link. I guess Feds are not actually taking away the funds but instead, the deadline to use the funds is running out in September. Same difference...no money to remove trees after September so Galveston is gearing up to take them down now. After these hurricanes, I guess the city administrators are used to changing priorities. They are all dead but still giving some shade.

Here's another one I just found. Same thing. Talks about the "orange mark of doom" on the trees to mark them for cutting, that residents can ask for another evaluation if they think the tree is still alive. Galveston officials hate this as much as the residents.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?ewcd=270d930ab8c2cd25


After Hurricane Alicia in 1983, I remember the palms being stripped and the long drive down Broadway appearing so barren. It took them a while to come back. Before Ike, it was a beautiful drive. I-45 South turns into Broadway as soon as you go over the I-45 South bridge onto the island, but I'm sure you know that since you are in Dallas. After that, just blocks and blocks of beautiful trees, buildings, flowers. Galveston will look quite different for a while, but the island is very resilient. Anyone visiting Galveston should inquire at the Historial Society office in the Strand area about the film showing the rebuilding of the island after the 1900 hurricane. That film is one of the best documentaries on human courage I have ever seen. Like most disaster documentaries, it will shock you what people went through back them. It is amazing how those old buildings stood up against that storm and some are still standing today.

I too lost a tree to a hurricane. I had a small tree, tall but a thin trunk, that was between the sidewalk and the street...about a four foot strip of grass. I thought the tree had made it through Hurricane Alicia in 1983. A few days after the hurricane, however (or a couple of weeks...whatever it was), I come home from work to find my tree laying directly across the street, blocking traffic. I guess the cars were just driving over it. It had been there for 18 years and was tall but with a very small trunk. I'm just glad it did not hit anyone because my street was only one block long and people liked to cut through to miss the light. Alicia was a bad storm but that tree was my only loss.

Dallas Broker, thanks for inquiring about Galveston. Galveston always seems to call us home, even if we were not born there.

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#335104 - 04/18/10 08:56 PM Galveston Ike issues still cropping up BUT they are ready for next hurricane
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
This link takes you to a 56-page Galveston Disaster Recovery Assistance Guide, 10th edition as of May 2009. Obviously they continued to keep it updated as help became available or as services shut down. When it actually hit the internet I do not know. This book does show that Galveston now have many assistance issues addressed and the city and county will be ahead of the game when the next hurricane strikes. What impressed me is the fact that they included names and phone numbers. Honestly, I believe Galveston officials as well as many in the private sector fought very hard at great personal inconvenience to put their island back into some kind of livable condition as soon as they were able. When we get another hurricane in this area, I will be on the lookout for this type manual from every county impacted.

http://www.help4galveston.org/assistance.pdf

Does that mean the residents of Galveston were satisfied that all their issues were addressed? Probably not...but people cannot be put back the way they were before a disaster. In fact, it usually takes several years for all the problems to crop up and be addressed. Another problem that has arisen is the property valuation issue. The following link is an eye opener for the problems that arise after a disaster just with this one topic alone. We just don't realize the number of years it takes for the people and governments (city and county especially) to fully recover from a hurricane.

http://galvestondailynews.com/story.lasso?wcd=151488

If we substitute the word "fire" or "flood" or "tornado" or any other disaster in place of the word "hurricane", it all applies no matter where you live. I am currently looking at a particular manufactured home floor plan to use as an office. The biggest part of my time has been spent reading about how to tie them down to code in this hurricane prone area...and it ain't cheap, as we say down here in Texas.

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#344760 - 07/21/10 01:21 AM An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I hope you open this link.

I once lived in Buras. I had just turned 13 and my father was working offshore. When my mother took my brother and me to the movies, we would do the "ready-set-go" yell and run like crazy to get our tickets and get inside before the mosquitoes swarmed us. It was a nightmare.

We were in Buras for less than a year. My fondest memories were of my Home Economics class. I bought my pattern and my material at what was probably the only dry goods store in town. I learned to sew in that class and made some friends. Then one day my father came back from the rig and told us, "We're moving to Pasadena, TX". After 17 different schools and many more towns, this turned out to be our last move. I have been here ever since. If my father were alive today, he would be surprised to see this photo of Buras. He wasn't scared of anything but this would grab his attention, I am sure. In fact, when we left Buras pulling a trailer with all our furniture, Hurricane Audrey (I think...but it could have just been a tropical storm) was heading for Texas or Louisiana. We barely made it to Houston before it came ashore near Beaumont, I think.

I know all real estate agents have a deep respect for the weather and what it can do to property. I have seen the same photos you have but never thought I would see something like this one of Buras.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hurricane-Katrina-Buras-Louisiana-watertower-EPA.jpg

I just googled and found this link...the story of Buras after Katrina. Please read this, as it represents what communities suffer after a natural disaster. It is heartbreaking. Sadly, I may have known some of these people so many years ago when I went to school there.

http://www.angelfire.com/la/dwalker/katrina.html


Edited by Darlene B (07/21/10 01:29 AM)

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#344871 - 07/22/10 08:27 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Grampa Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 06/30/09
Posts: 2276
Loc: Margaritaville
Wow. frown
_________________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
Dr. Seuss

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#345004 - 07/22/10 11:01 PM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Grampa]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Yep...a real shocker. It was a mess. I simply don't understand how anyone can afford the insurance in the areas where it is almost a guarantee that a big Cat 3 or more will relocate your living room to the Dairy Queen down the road.

The best source for tracking these storms is www.wunderground.com. Every weather site references them.

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#345005 - 07/22/10 11:28 PM NOAA, NWS, NHC Explained
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast


Edited by Darlene Bitner (08/30/10 10:52 PM)

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#345029 - 07/23/10 07:36 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
Originally Posted By: Darlene B
I simply don't understand how anyone can afford the insurance in the areas where it is almost a guarantee that a big Cat 3 or more will relocate your living room to the Dairy Queen down the road.


It is all in the construction. My house is 8 feet up in the air bolted to pilings which are 8 feet in the ground. The siding and framing is constructed in a manner so that there is horizontal fastening all the way from the pilings to the roof either with metal fasteners or overlapping plywood.

With the horizontal nailing patterns we lose shingles and keep the roofs.

We had a 20 ft wave hit here and the few old buildings on the ground were washed away and the ones on pilings were still sitting there when it was over.

With this type of construction the insurance costs are mitigated.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#345074 - 07/23/10 03:14 PM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I am going to consolidate these threads on hurricane and other disaster construction types because people are going to need to know what their options are even above the code. I have read a lot on why we are having so many hurricanes and they are probably not going away. Is the first floor piling portion of your home enclosed or just supported with these horizontal fasteners or siding? It sounds like a very strong building. Are they all done that way when they go up on pilings or did you add something else--tweak the code to get the results you wanted? To come out of a 20 foot wave with your home still standing is amazing. I can see what you mean about the insuance costs.

I love NC...hope to go back some day. Everyone should see NC at least once. Beautiful beaches, too.


Edited by Darlene B (07/23/10 03:26 PM)

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#345372 - 07/26/10 09:31 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Bigtoe Offline
Major Contributor

Registered: 10/14/07
Posts: 2238
Loc: Outer Banks
NC has had these building codes since at least the 70's that I know of and they have been upgrading them ever since.

After the initial wave hit the beach the water ran across the island 4 feet deep with a current. This is what took the low lying structures away. The water just flowed under the houses on built up on pilings.
_________________________
Your Outer Banks real estate agent. Helping people buy and sell OBX real estate since 1989.

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#345445 - 07/27/10 12:45 AM Re: An amazing photo of Buras, LA after Katrina - Unbelievable [Re: Bigtoe]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
One thing we haven't discussed much on this forum is the sound of these hurricanes, I guess because sound does not damage buildings...it just makes the ordeal more miserable for the duration. When I rode out Ike in my apartment by myself...and I still can't believe I didn't head to my mother's house until it was over...I made myself a little "shelter" in the hall with a comfy office chair and foot stool, radio, flashlight, water, cell phone and a few snacks. Honestly, I wasn't expecting it to be so stong. The hall put a room between me and the outside wall but the hall did lead to the back of the living room. With no upgraded windows and extra insulation, I still did not hear much. Several times I had to go to the living room and open the door to be sure the storm wasn't dying down. I have never been able to figure that one out. I did have a long porch across the front of my apartment with a six foot roof overhang. Still, I heard very little until I opened the door. It was surprisingly quiet until the roofs of some of the apartments began to peel back. I am wondering what I would hear up eight feet from the ground and the wind blowing through the pilings. That has to make for an uncomfortable six or eight hours.

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#349963 - 08/30/10 10:50 PM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
HURRICANE EARL: Our east coast and Nova Scotia may be in for some bad times with Hurricane Earl if it shifts any more to the west as it has been continually doing. It's a mean one and property damage will be extensive if we take a hit.

Our good friends to the north in Nova Scotia may be the ones getting the worst of it but all is still uncertain. Let's not forget these wonderful folks took in over 2,000 confused and freightened Americans whose airliners had to sit down unexpected immediately after the twin towers disaster. They fed everyone, helped them contact their families, gave them clothes, gave them clean and comfortable places to sleep in their homes, drove them to their places of worship and helped keep their spirits up in the 911 aftermath. I would hate to see the great people of Nova Scotia suffer through a hurricane like Earl...or anyone for that matter.

If it hits any coastline, we'll have another unwanted test of building materials, building codes, and methods of preparation for these storms.


Edited by Darlene Bitner (08/30/10 10:51 PM)

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#350219 - 09/02/10 08:17 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Let's keep our friends along the east coast in our thoughts and prayers. With Gaston predicted to be a Cat 4 heading to the Gulf, the stress level is rising everywhere. Looks like the estimated higher number of storms for 2010 may come true. Take precautions, everyone, and evacuate if you are told to. Hurricane Ike's storm surge cost people their lives who stayed behind to ride it out, not realizing it would not be possible. Look in the Amazing Video thread to see why you will have your hands full, even with the best constructed home, when the storm surge reaches you.

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#350529 - 09/06/10 10:01 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
We now have two systems in the Gulf to come in around Mexico-Texas border or a little higher, both within the next two days. We have Gaston drifting west, west, west...it won't change...so I guess east coast has a break on this one. Gaston may go over islands and fizzle or may go just under them and give the Gulf another problem or go over them and cross Florida into the Gulf. None of those choices make me happy. Also, rumor (actually, just one of the many sites I am using this year) has it that two more are out there behind Gaston. Truly, this is the most frustrating and tension building hurricane season I have been through. I think a lot of people will rethink where they want to buy or build after this season. I remember sitting in my mother's living room watching Frank Billingsley of Channel 2 Houston suggest strongly that Hurricane Rita was going to turn toward the TX-LA border (well before the Hurricane Center called it) and save Houston a direct hit. I was so hopeful but still very nervous. Well, Rita turned as Frank predicted and made other lives miserable. Where Gaston will go I do not know because nobody is talking with the system that far out. Still, we have to prepare before it gets here in case it gets here. For me, that is moving everything out of the trailer, a job that takes more than three days. I love this trailer but NOT THAT MUCH. I can get another trailer but I can't replace my personal belongings.

The mega-season that was predicted is coming true. Many on the net think these latest storms are not the end of it and we could go into October with some systems. Just pick who you trust and then confirm it with the NHC before making any decisions. There are as many opinions about where a storm will go as there are storm web sites. Just take precautions and be sure to gas up the vehicles. Remember my running out of gas the day after Ike?

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#352681 - 09/29/10 01:45 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
INCREDIBLE PHOTOS OF NEW ORLEANS AFTER KATRINA

Nothing I have seen so far tells the story of Katrina like this group of photos. I never quite realized what was involved in recovery until I ran across this. Just about every aspect of the aftermath and recovery is displayed here. I read that a large majority of the people from New Orleans have now returned. Looking at these photos and the work being done will help us visualize how the city everyone loved to visit will be whole again even if the people who lost their homes and loved ones will never feel like they are. Please look at these incredible photographs and sketches. You will appreciate what this town went through and is still going through.

Also, let's not forget all the families in other countries that were displaced prior to this hurricane season because of other natural disasters, now losing their temporary homes to flooding and high winds.

http://www.google.com/images?q=katrina+homes&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox&oe=&rlz=1I7ADRA_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=0tqiTKLhEcaqlAe76YnIBA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=4&ved=0CEEQsAQwAw&biw=1263&bih=567


Edited by Darlene Bitner (09/29/10 01:47 AM)

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#387759 - 08/25/11 10:39 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
For those in the path of Irene, I can only hope the storm spares you major damage and that you come out of it safely. Dr. Jeff Masters of www.wunderground.com just posted one of his strongest warnings about the potential storm surge with this particular storm. I remember during Ike a family from Boliver called in to one of the stations saying they were riding out the storm and were already trapped. It was too late to rescue them. I am almost certain they were all lost. We have learned a lot from Katrina and other recent storms. One young woman in another state was begging after Ike for any information on her mother, who also chose to ride out the storm...by herself. Her home was completely swept away and months later she had still not been located. At least these evacuation shelters now take family pets. Pets are one of the primary reasons that people stay behind. It's just not smart to call Mother Nature's bluff with these huge storms. Please be safe and know your evacuation options.


Edited by Darlene Bitner (08/25/11 10:39 AM)

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#387777 - 08/25/11 01:10 PM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
VABroker Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 11/02/10
Posts: 1042
Loc: Virginia
I truly don't understand people "weathering out" the storm. You can't fight strong winds, powerful waves, etc.

Always have a used moving truck on hand, pack it and leave!

"Stuff" is not worth dying for.

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#387962 - 08/27/11 08:02 PM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: VABroker]
JackREO Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 09/02/08
Posts: 849
Loc: Massachusetts
Irene is visiting MA. That's one lady I really have no interest in meeting face to face. Most of us will come through this unscathed, but some could suffer damage to their office. I have excess office space complete with internet, computers and staff, and whatever else you may need. To those in Massachusetts that need help, please feel free to PM me here, set up in my building, and you're back in business in a heartbeat. I'm in the corner of Plymouth and Bristol Counties.

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#388021 - 08/29/11 04:23 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: JackREO]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
That's a very generous offer. Hopefully, everyone will be okay but flooding is so unpredictable. Surge at least can be planned for and avoided if you can bring yourself to leave your home behind. I was watching New Jersey's Gov Christi and wondered how Irene had the nerve to mess with New Jersey. I guess we will all wait and see what happens when the bad news is all in. Here is the latest I have read.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/28/tropical-storm-irene-flood-_n_939865.html

Vermont is flooding badly right now, too. I saw video where one of their historic bridges fell into the river...that is heartbreaking for those who live there. It's going to be a mess. Very sad for those who lose their homes and for the loss of life.

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#388054 - 08/29/11 02:34 PM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
CALIF DREAMING Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 08/01/06
Posts: 1304
Loc: Downey, California
Videos I saw earlier today of the Vermont floods were jaw dropping.
_________________________
"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing"....Dale Carnegie

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#388185 - 08/31/11 01:16 AM EXCELLENT MAP SHOWING HURRICANE LANDFALL PAST 57 YEARS [Re: CALIF DREAMING]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hurr-uslandfalling-1950-2007.jpg

I like this map because it is not cluttered. PLEASE NOTE...it needs to be updated for the last four years. If you track this type hurricane info, you can probably add the missing US landfall points yourself. Looks like Camille and Andrew were the only Cat 5's to strike during this period...1950 thru 2007.

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#396512 - 12/09/11 02:16 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
hanoiapartment Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/09/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Vietnam
thank for share

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#411809 - 08/25/12 07:15 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I'm on the Weather Underground, Wunderground.com, tracking what is happening in Florida. We have a lot of agents in Florida. It is really hard for them to shut down their real estate business and just sit and wait for these hurricanes to pass...wondering about the welfare of their relatives, friends, clients, any listings they may have (especially the vacant ones), as well as their own family. Here's hoping everyone in Isaac's path comes out okay. Still a few more days to wait but unfortunately, you can't wait to pack up and evacuate because, by the time you realize you need to get out, it's too late to do so.

I wonder how many self-employed carpenters, roofers and handymen are packing up their trucks and making plans to head down to the storm area to make a little money. Some are packing to go just to help out, if possile. Funny how these hurricanes hurt some of us and give others an income. Out of all the heartbreak of Katrina, people still managed to make hundreds of thousands of dollars...I assume. I fact, I would be surprised if many didn't. That is the way the economy works sometimes.

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#411859 - 08/27/12 06:02 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I've been up all night on the Wunderground, reading the blog posts as fast as the experts can post them. I started the evening fairly confident I would not have to pack and run from this storm, but now many are posting that it is moving west faster than the tracking can keep up. Right now, many are beginning to agree that it will be a Texas-Louisiana event. That will still put me on the cleaner side if it stays near the border. No matter where these things hit and what category they are when they hit, someone gets hurt, someone loses their home or at least their first floor possessions to flooding, and someone for the rest of their life sleeps a little uneasy when a wave moves off Africa. I had been wanting to let the sun set on my travel trailer life by next year and move up to a more "upscale" tiny lifestyle but that may happen a little faster if this storm comes in a strong Cat 1 or more. I haven't had time to get it anchored down properly since I moved to my new spot last month. The tree branches on both sides of my trailer have grown over it and I am almost completely shaded. I face the dog park green spot and the bird feeding area is behind me. It's a little spot of paradise...I'm not ready to float off just yet.

Hope whoever gets this storm is prepared...though many on the Wunderground think it is struggling to reach hurricane strength...but it is full of rain and could be a major flooding problem if it stalls once it comes on shore. One thing for sure, wherever it goes in, someone somewhere will lose their home to some part of the storm and a Realtor will have to help them out. We don't want business this way...it's just sad.

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#415266 - 11/02/12 01:37 PM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Scintillion Offline
Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 437
Loc: Colorado, USA
Haven't seen any posts here about the recent storm. One interesting fact to note is that Sandy caused the largest stock market storm outage since 1888. Our prayers to go out to all Sandy storm victims, their families and loved ones.

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#416662 - 12/08/12 08:52 AM Re: HURRICANE POSTS GO HERE [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Thanks for posting about Sandy. What a mess this storm has created all along the coast. I have been tracking the storm recovery closely. I certainly do not have to tell you what storm recovery entails. Florida likely has that process finely tuned by now. Governor Christi of New Jersey did a good job of keeping his people updated before and after this storm, but Sandy impacted so many people who were new to this type weather disaster. I have had some serous computer problems which have kept me out of the forum. Finally had another agent contact Doug to rescue me so I could get in and address this storm and your post. By now Sandy is old news in the media but it will be months at the earliest before things return to normal in some areas. Some of these folks will not have a home at Christmas. The fire in Breezy Point in Queens was a horrible disaster but from what I saw on television, many of those people are going to rebuild there and try to save their old neighborhood. As always, these type disasters bring out the good in the American people. I'll try to catch up on posting about the recovery and rebuilding in the areas hit the hardest by Sandy as well as the rebuilding in Breezy Point. I will be looking at the temporary housing situation in particular. Again, thanks for the post.

Darlene

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#416832 - 12/12/12 05:57 AM Cost of Sandy [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Last week the President went to Congress for $50 billion (if I read correctly) to help the states rebuild. That is a LOT of damage. Figures that large mean nothing to most of us...we just know that a major weather crisis like Sandy is not an everyday event, that we saw a lot of people hurting when we turned on the television and that these people need help badly. The states wanted a lot more so I am not sure what the final tally will be.

People who suffer such extreme loss in these weather situations almost never are made whole again by insurance or FEMA or any other type assistance. They just do the best they can with what they have available after the checks are all in.

This Christmas I'm sure all of America will be remembering these folks who only had a few days notice that their lives may be impacted by Sandy. Most listened and that kept the loss of life lower than it would have been otherwise.

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#419146 - 01/27/13 02:14 AM Re: Cost of Sandy [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
I guess I am not seeing a lot about rebuilding after Sandy because the holdup in Washington to pass a bill has most likely slowed the recovery progress.

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#419210 - 01/28/13 12:42 PM Re: Cost of Sandy [Re: Darlene Bitner]
75Corvette Offline
Veteran Member

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 1209
Loc: Ohio
Hi Darlene,
I saw an article yesterday that said some of the shore areas affected by Sandy may just be abandoned. I'd link to it if I could only remember where it was...must be old age.

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#421512 - 03/12/13 04:17 AM Re: Cost of Sandy [Re: 75Corvette]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Old age? What is that? I have heard the expression but can't seem to remember...uh, wait...what were we talking about?

This link has a lot of photos of New Jersey's Ortley Beach after Sandy. Many residents did not want the dunes that could have protected some of the homes because it would kill the view for them, one of the most important draws to the area. Still, returning home after Sandy and finding your home gone...that must have been some view in itself.

Scroll down the web site and catch the video of some of the unfortunate residents of Ortley Beach. Sandy is still in their lives every day. It is beginning to look like the cost of trying to restore these type barrier island communities after a hurricane, at least with tax dollars, is becoming a real struggle. It's hard to believe that these areas can disappear until you see the aftermath of a big storm like Sandy, where large homes are gone...just scattered all over the area or washed away. If people can't rebuild, then the area eventually just dries up, I guess. I still remember the distructive photos of Buras, Louisiana, where I lived briefly as a kid...very scary. As memories of these disasters begin to dull, people come back and rebuild...but the building codes are likely to be much more strict. It seems at least we do learn from these tragic events.

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2013/jan/28/rebuild-or-retreat-jersey-shore-after-sandy/

This link tells some of what had to be done before these folks could finally get back in their homes. Talk about stress...hurricanes can have a lasting impact on stress in people's lives.

http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/ortley_beach_residents_may_mov.html

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#423742 - 05/13/13 09:25 AM Re: Cost of Sandy [Re: Darlene Bitner]
Darlene Bitner Offline
Darlene B
Veteran Member

Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 1208
Loc: Texas Gulf Coast
Investing in hurricane shutters is a major expense. This article discusses the DIY approach. While DIY is not an option for most of us, people located near the coastline may find this type information worth reading.

http://www.floridadisaster.org/hrg/content/openings/diy_shutters.asp

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