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I was a weird kid, but don’t worry, I grew up to be a weird adult, so it all worked out. Only now, I don’t have random people, who also hold power over me as to whether or not I get to keep writing, judging my writing like a literary agent or publisher – but who won’t pay me any money. Now, I get to keep writing whether I get down-graded or not. Yay!

Back to when I was in middle school: the assignment the teacher gave to the class was a fiction story. There were pretty loose parameters, mostly length, and we were advised, as always, to follow standard grammatical rules, etc. Fine. Well, here’s the deal, I am NOT a fiction writer. Since I had to be, I stepped up and thought of a cool idea.

My story was about a scientist. She was super smart and she had discovered something big about the universe. She was going to present her ideas to some board or panel (not that I knew how scientists actually relayed their ideas at this point, but work with me, I was 12). Anyway, she kept not sleeping well, having horrible nightmares about being choked to death, felt like someone was watching her, but she knew the info to be too important to keep quiet. The day arrived and she was going to present her findings.

What she had uncovered, as only the reader got to find out, was that this universe was actually a portion of a molecule that resided inside some being in another, vast (to us) universe. And, the molecules that we thought so tiny actually contained entire universes. (Side note: when I saw Men in Black, I had the passing thought that, just maybe, they’d stolen my idea, but that’s another story altogether). Please, don’t ask my how she knew, her methodology, or whatever. She was science-y, okay?

Well, when this scientist lady went to reveal all that she had found, she stood up in front of the panel, began to speak, but all of a sudden she was dry in the mouth, saw shadows start to move, and then her throat constricted. It was later reported that she had had a heart attack and died. Mysteriously, all her work had gone up in flames, and no one knew what she was going to reveal. The end.

Now, this may not have been the most gripping story anyone could have written, but my grammar was fine, I met the length requirement, and all other parameters, as requested. But, on my paper, and I kid you not, my teacher wrote that my story was “weird.” I got marked down two grade because of my plot. No joke. I got a “C,” on my fiction paper all because it was weird.

Looking back, that’s not a bad thing. I guess I was just ahead of my time, and she just didn’t have the vision. She’d have called Men in Black “not believable” or something. 😉

 

**Click on the link to the right (or on the title just over there —->) to get my book The Declaration Made Easy!**

The Constitution lays out specific jobs the federal government is supposed to do. Then, it clarifies that it is allowed to ONLY do those things. Both parties have gone way over the line for decades and people have let them do it, probably because the titles of the bills sound good despite their disastrous consequences, and being illegal.

So, what do you call it when the government steps over its limits? It’s called Unconstitutional, no matter the title of the bill.

Click here to listen to Chad Kent lay it out…in just under a minute. Who has one single minute to put toward learning about liberty? YOU DO, that’s who. Click and learn, my friends…click and learn.

In Part II, we ended with me promising to discuss inspection results, pools, and closing costs. Yay!

If there is a problem with the house, now is the time to address it. Your realtor can write an addendum to the offer contract and things can be done a few ways. If you have a VA loan, the addendum will require that the sellers fix the issue(s) before the funding can be given the green light. Depending on your loan type, you might be able to borrow more than the agreed price in order to fund the repairs after closing, or you can buy the house “as is.” If you want to buy a house with foundation and/or roof problems, you’ll likely just need to cough up the entire purchase price in cash. If you are in this position, more power to you!!

At this point, the seller can tell you to take a long walk off a short pier, or they can fix the problem(s). We had an offer on a house that needed about $2,000 of really serious repairs to even be ready to sell. That didn’t include all the cosmetic issues and other problems in the house. Once moved in, IF the seller fixed the major issues, we would have had to replace a sink, re-caulk the master shower, buy new faucets for the master bath, fix or replace some interior doors, etc., etc., etc. We didn’t ask the guy to fix any of that. Just the real necessities, and he balked. Ah, well. I mean, if you are going to put your house on the market, make sure the roof doesn’t leak, the A/C has been serviced (ever), and the drains actually drain. Just throwing that out there…

If the seller decides to cancel the contract because of the request for repairs, you’re out that house. Yup, it can end that quickly. It’s like dancing a really tense tango where you’re not sure if, when your partner dips you, they’ll pull you back up. “Oops! Didn’t mean to drop you, there…” But, I’m assured that most sellers are not interested in losing a sale…except for that one guy.

Anyhoo, let’s presume there is a problem (there will be), that y’all come to an agreement on how to fix it, and things move forward. Now is the time for paperwork! They do things online, for the most part, now, and that’s way cool. My dad, the last house he bought, printed out all the documents to read. He’s old school like that. The point is, the papers, by the end, were literally 3 inches tall when stacked. It’s like reading a bill proposed by Congress, only in this contract, you might get something worthwhile for your money and this agreement is voluntary. Okay! Let’s discuss pools.

If there is a pool on the property, the kids will go nuts. I mean, jumping up and down with glee. And, this is because they don’t have to shell out the hundreds of dollars each month to run the thing (write a check). Nor do they have to pay for the separate pool inspection before closing (write a check). Nor do they have to pay for the repairs on said pool (write a check). After looking for houses, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I’d cross “pool” of the “must have” list and transfer it directly to “reject house upon knowledge of the existence of a pool on the property.” But, then again, none of the houses we looked at seriously had pools, so I was not faced with battling against the long faces of the children upon learning we might not get a house due to the presence of a pool. I may have buckled. But, we’ll never know, so let’s move onto closing costs.

Alright, people, we are getting close to the end of the process. You’ve signed 4,000,000,000 pieces of paperwork, written about 85 checks. and it’s time to make things official, make sure your bank has funded their part of the venture, and you are just about ready to take possession of the house. EXCITING!! What is the one thing you want to do when you are getting ready to get a house? YES!!! Write more checks!

Get that checkbook out and get that comfy pen handy because you’ll be looking at papers that show you thousands of dollars worth of closing costs (fee, charges, surcharges, taxes, escrow account deposits, etc.). Oh, man. You’ll have SO MUCH FUN!!

Okay, maybe not fun, but it’s what you gotta do to get the house. If you have this money, great. If you have a loving parent(s) who is interested in giving you the mother of all housewarming gifts by paying the down payment and/or closing costs, that’s awesome, too. I pray I am able to do that for each of my three kids. Aim high, I always say!

Now, you’ve done the final walk through, written all the checks, and your loan is funded. You get the keys, and look lovingly at your new house. Imagine where you’re going to put everything and which rooms each of the kids get. Then, call the HVAC people because I think your A/C just went out.

 

 

***The craziest thing about the check writing is, while it seems old-fashioned to do so, most items along the way are not able to be paid by credit card, or even debit card. You pay with check or cash. Go figure, in this time of electronic everything else, house buying gets left in the dark ages.***

Last time, we found out that you will either get a home that is totally run down, but in your price range except for the massive overhaul you’ll have to do to make that house a home, or you’ll end up buying a house that is more expensive than you are comfortable with.

You can rejoice, though, because you can QUIT LOOKING FOR HOUSES!! That frees up about 10 hours a day for you to start writing checks! Yay! As it turns out, even if the house you are going to buy is too expensive, revel in the fact that you won’t have to sanitize the entire thing just to move in. It’s a give and take.

Now comes the real craziness that no one prepares a first-time home buyer for. I thought that I had read up on what needed to be done, what would be expected, and such, but there wasn’t really a solid, to-the-point kind of guide, save a Dave Barry book that I thought couldn’t be true because he’s a humorist. He jokes about writing so many checks that they litter the side-walks. That’s crazy. There are only enough to cover the dining room table.

Okay, okay, maybe not that many, but there are checks to be written, and right away.

The first and more important thing that you have to realize about real estate is that you have to enter into a binding contract when you start haggling about the cost of the home. Either side can negate the contract within the first 10-days, presuming you don’t have a dolt for a realtor, but it will cost you money to break the contract within this period of time, even if you back out because the house is lemon and you didn’t find it out until you got an inspection.

The contract thing was a little dizzying, at first. I swear, the legalese sound like this, “THIS IS A LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT. IF YOU SO MUCH A STEP OUT OF LINE, YOUR SOUL WILL BE BANISHED TO EVERLASTING DARKNESS!” when it, in reality, is basically saying, “Don’t be a dirt-bag. If you say you’ll buy the house, y’all agree on a price, and you make a deal, then, follow through. Don’t say you’ll buy the house and then back out at the last second because you have cold feet or find another house you like better. These people have taken their house off the market for you, and if you get flighty, they might have missed out on a real buyer.” Makes sense, but it’s still a little intimidating.

My beloved realtor, Willita Thompson, was quite patient with us about being so ill-informed, but she deals with this all the time, and so she just stated, as a mater-of-fact, that we needed this money…today. Well, it’s not just her! Everyone else (including former real estate agents) among our friends never once thought to sit us down and say, “Now, you know, you’re going to have to have thousands of dollars to spend to be able to get a loan, right?” If you’ve never bought a house, you’re thinking, “Wait…thousands?” If you’ve bought a house, you’re nodding your head, knowingly.

I’m presuming that people think we know this because they’d like to think that we’d be well-informed, and on the ball. Well, they’d be WRONG. But, that’s another blog, altogether. I mean, NOW we are. But, before we started this whole thing? Not so much.

If you are in that same boat that we were in, after reading this series of blogs, you’ll be all set! So, if you’ve never bought a house before, you’re wondering what option money is. Well, you are asking the seller to take their house off the market while you haggle. This costs you, the buyer, money…usually around $100. Write a check.

Then, you have to prove that you are not some joker that is just being a pest and really has no intention of buying the house. This is called “earnest money,” a befitting name and is around $1,000. Write a check.

Presuming the seller doesn’t laugh your offer into the trash, you have a deal! But, wait, there’s more! You really ought to get the house inspected. Just do it. It’ll cost you about $500, depending on where you are located. Write a check.

Next time: Inspection findings, pools, and closing costs!

 

For many years my husband was in the Air Force and we lived on base. Before that, we were just young, stupid kids who rented and never thought past our 6 month lease. Ah, yes. Back when we “knew everything.”

Then, he separated from the Air Force and, after a time, we were faced with the *exciting* prospect of buying a house. Sounds fun and easy, right?! WRONG. It’s the most perplexing thing I’ve done…and I’ve learned French and successfully filled out insurance paperwork.

First, you have to find a realtor. Thankfully, though I hear this can be arduous, in and of itself, I knew one who is trustworthy and good at her job. I feel like we won the lottery, we are so happy to have a competent realtor. If you are in the San Antonio, Texas area and looking to buy or sell a house. comment below and I’ll give you her name and number. Okay, first job done…now, we just find a house, right?

No. First, you have to decide what kind of house you want and where you want it to be located. Think of the price you can afford to pay, the layout you want, the amenities you must have, and extras you’d like. Take some time, write them all down, and make sure you know exactly what you want.

Now, take that list, crumple it up, and throw it away. Don’t be ridiculous. You think you’ll get any of those things?? Nope. The next step is to  search for houses in your price range, in areas with reasonable property taxes, and maybe a few of the items on your list. You’ll need about 10 hours a day for a few weeks to really get your spirit broken. Once you’ve snapped, give in to reality.

You’re going to find a house that is more expensive than you’d ever expect, in a decent (but not great) neighborhood, and you’ll deal with that galley kitchen, no fireplace, and small rooms with no closets. No, in fact, by the time you find a house, any house, that isn’t currently condemned, you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible.

Then, just when you least expect it, you’ll find a great house, just in the location you wanted, with all the things you wanted…and it will have sold two days ago. So, you’ll go back to putting an offer on the house you are going to buy and the real insanity begins.

Next up: Paperwork and check writing…you’ll be an expert in both!

 

To clarify, we don’t need uniform taxes in the essence of taxing uniforms, but by the way of making them equally applicable to everyone. Here is a brilliant synopsis by my friend Rex about how the current high tax rates on corporations really plays out. Hint: it’s not hurting “the rich.”

“Big Corporations have a huge advantage in raising capital because they can take people’s money and give them limited liability. Big corporation executives have huge advantages in tax rates because they can use incentive stock options to defer taxation on capital and tax most of their salaries at capital gains rates instead of ordinary income rates.

If a small corporation borrows from the bank, the shareholder will have to sign a personal guarantee, so the small corporation guy usually doesn’t walk away free when something fails like the big corporation guy. The preferred way for small corporations to raise capital is through prior earnings, but if the government takes half their earnings in taxes, or more, it gets very difficult for the small corporation to control its own destiny without having to resort to banks, brokers, underwriters, public shareholders, and everything else that will limit the way they can use their ideas, which they are usually pretty attached to.

Big income taxes, for those reasons, and others, are not a tax on being rich, but on getting rich. The middle class doesn’t want to stay in the middle class, and that’s the source of a lot of incentive, being able to do things your way and control your own destiny.

That’s what the income tax system is destroying in America, the economic liberty that brings a ton of innovation. That’s why big corporations do all the things to us we don’t like, because big government gives them unfair advantages. Living in a homogenized society may not be the most terrible thing, everyone working in cubicles with a 401k and doing it the way someone else wants it, but that isn’t what made America what it is. It was never meant to be a place where people were stamped out uniformly like postage stamps, standing in long lines at McDonald’s.”

So, high taxes don’t do anything to the already rich, but they sure do keep people down. This is one minor example of how the rhetoric doesn’t match the actual results of a policy. “Tax the rich” equals “keep people down and help the rich.”

Do you want policy that sounds good but hurts the average American? Or do you want policy that delivers?

Know where you stand.

If a principle is sound, and it does not matter if “things have changed.” Lying under oath is still bad, no matter if the lying happens in an email or directly to the jury. The technology involved matters not one whit. The same principles apply in our Constitution. It lays out the principles that are to protect the average person from the government.

For example, the government may not spy on us, or root through our stuff, without probable cause AND a warrant. But, they seem to have missed that part of the Constitution. Listen to The Constitution Revolution with Chad Kent, from March 29, 2014 as heard on The Blaze Radio to see what our government is up to. It’s one minute of clarity. Be sure to listen HERE!

 

 

 

Okay, people, quick civics lesson, and then the commentary:

The President is, in a nutshell, the executive branch of our federal government. Execute means, “to carry out or accomplish,” for these purposes. So, he does not write the law. He makes them happen.

The Congress (made of the Senate and House of Representatives) write the laws. (The fact that they have created agencies that have bureaucrats who write the regulations that go with the laws, thus create more laws, illegally, is another post). They do not make laws happen. For example, they write the laws for how to become a naturalized citizen, and they set aside funds for that to happen, and then the executive branch is in charge of making it happen.

The president cannot, by supreme law – known as The US Constitution, fiddle with the laws. He is not allowed to, say, delay Obamacare, just because he feels like it, or he thinks it’s a good idea.

Well, our current president HAS been fiddling with the law. Not just any law, but a law that he supported the passing of, that he campaigned on – as written, etc, etc. Because of that (and other laws he’s just decided not to enforce), there was a law presented wherein the president would be required to enforce all laws that Congress passed. This sounds good, in theory, but there is already a supreme law that states that. That’s already being ignored, so what makes anyone think this new law would be enforced (which, by the way would be the president’s job to enforce…what could go wrong?). Talk about posturing. These people in office now put peacocks to shame.

Here’s the deal, the president could easily be impeached for messing around with Obamacare, but the Senate does not have the votes for it, no matter what he does. The House can vote to have him impeached on a number of things, but the Senate runs the trial and is run by his party. Guess what would be the verdict? So, what’s a country to do? We The People are to vote in people who will impeach a president that is corrupt. We messed that up in 2012, but 2014 voting is right around the corner!

Another point here is this: if you give power to the government, the next round of people who are voted in will have that power, too. Think back to the days of slavery. There were laws, passed by Democrats, that stated that runaway slaves had to be returned to their owners. What if the president, who refused to enforce that law was jailed because there was a lower law that spelled out that EVERY law, no matter what, had to be enforced as written, regardless of moral conviction? The slave owners and supporters would have had the upper hand due to that kind of law. I’m just saying we need to think wisely about laws that get passed in the heat of the moment as a knee jerk reaction.

To be sure, there is a difference between enforcing slave laws that the president vocally disagrees with, tried to veto, were in place before taking office, is clearly awful, etc, and Obamacare where he campaigned on it, happily signed it into law, and now wants to do whatever he wants with it…because, like many of us said beforehand…it’s awful.

The answer to this problem is not to pass a hastily drawn up law without thinking of the unintended consequences. The answer is for each of us to know the issues and to vote in men and women of integrity to lead this nation. For those who shout that the law needs to be altered (I would say repealed fully!), there is a system in place to do just that…the Congress.

If we can’t vote in people who will repeal awful laws, propose laws they’ve thought through, protect our liberty (what’s left of it), and adhere to the Constitution, we’re doomed anyway, hasty law or not. Know where you stand.

Okay, people, this is a fantastic way to take bites of the Constitution without getting overwhelmed. Chad Kent is brilliant about the Constitution. We need everyone in America to be this educated…and it takes time. Thankfully, he helps you get your feet wet before jumping right in.

Have you been wondering if the President can legislate? Can he do whatever he wants with the laws Congress passes? Well, no…not really. I”ll dig deeper into this next week, but for a nutshell…literally in a one minute segment…click HERE and listen to his Constitution Minute.

Chad Kent

Scenario 1:

Let’s say I have a great idea for a business. I want to give it a whirl, I’ve secured appropriate funding (investors and loans), and I am gonna make this thing happen!! I open my business and things are going GREAT! Things start going downhill, and then I get into trouble, financially. I try to sell the business, but no takers. I am done for. The bank and investors get all their money, but I’ve lost the business, my house, my savings, and my family and I are destitute and homeless.

Scenario 2:

The same scenario, except this time, I incorporate, in other words, I become a corporation. This means that I have some protections when going into business. If things go bad, the bank and investors get everything, except my personal stuff. Imagine things go downhill in this scenario. Several things can happen. I can still try to sell the business to someone who thinks they can make it work. If that doesn’t work, I go under, the bank and investors take ALL the business assets and I have to walk away, jobless, without an income, but my family and I are not homeless on the street. If I had 6 months savings, for just in case I lost my job, the bank and/or government can’t take that money. So, I don’t have to go on welfare or whatever, I can look for a job before my savings run out.

Scenario 2 is better for me, better for my family, and better for the country. If everyone whose business went under had everything taken away from them, there would be a ton more people on the public welfare rolls. This is BAD for everyone. Also, without these legal protections, why would anyone take the risk of starting a business? And, small businesses (having under 50 employees) provide 68% of the jobs in America. If no one started businesses, all those other people would be out of luck. It just makes sense to have legal protections that separate business from personal funds.

So, what are corporations? They are people who have legal protections against being destitute. That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell.

Saying that corporations are not people is like saying that workers are not people because they are a group. “Workers” are make up of people, and so are corporations. This business about corporations being people is only an issue because people don’t know what it means to incorporate. Businesses are run by people And, they aren’t wizards behind curtains, either. All the info you need about a corporation is public information. Take advantage of that, and dispel this idea that corporations are run by faceless, nameless entities. Nope. They’re run by real people, just like you and me.

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