Sunday, March 29, 2009


If this doesn't convince you of how much technology drives the marketplace, I don't know what will. Internet, text messages, Facebook, Google, it is just the beginning. Sony played this at their Executive Meeting this year........
Talena Floyd 361-3404

Is 2009 THE Year to Become a Homeowner??

So, you're thinking of becoming a homeowner. That is a big step to take! There are certain responsibilities to consider when making this decision. Of course, you want to obtain a home with a mortgage you can afford. You also need to factor in the costs of upkeep, repair and maintenence. You still want to have a little extra money in your pocket each payday for the occaisional dinner out or trip to the mall.

Have I scared you off yet? No? Good. Please read on.......................

Reason # 1 to buy a home this year: Interest Rates. Lower interest rates mean that you can afford more home and remain within your budget. Interest rates are near an all-time low right now, so it is a good time to take advantage of this and get more for your money.

Reason # 2 to buy a home this year: Home appreciation. Homes in the Tulsa Metro Area generally increase in value at a rate of 3-4% a year. We HAVE NOT had the housing crisis that you read about in the papers or see on television. Our market has always increased at a slow and steady rate, rather than rapidly shot up in price like some other parts of the country. Our job market here is traditionally stable as well, so our market is currently very healthy.

Reason #3 to buy a home this year: Tax Deductions. Mortgage interest and property taxes are generally tax deductable.

Reason # 4 to buy a home this year: $8000 tax credit. Yes, that's right, $8,000 or 10% of the home's value (for less than $80,000 homes). What could you do with $8,000? Improve the home, buy some furniture, take a vacation, save it......the possibilities are endless.

Allright, now that I have your attention, please give me a call and we can discuss whether home ownership is right for you. I can give you information such as: downpayment information, the names and phone numbers of lenders, how the home buying process works, closing costs, etc. I look forward to hearing from you!

Please call me, Vicki Pearson at (918) 812-8338 or visit

Friday, March 27, 2009

BOK Center and the Jonas Brothers

It was bound to happen. Today I was told of the upcoming concert of the year for tweens coming to the BOK Center in June- The Jonas Brothers. Since the BOK Center has opened, Tulsans have been privy to the talents of The Eagles, Janet Jackson, Brad Paisley, Billy Joel, Elton John, Carrie Underwood, Celine Dion, ACDC and on and on. The talent Tulsa and the BOK Center is attracting is phenomenal! We have our own Reunion Arena. The stars just keep coming. And, now for the first time, I have a parenting decision to face involving concerts.

I have to confess. I'm not a big concert fan. Personally, I enjoy pouring myself a glass of wine and popping in a DVD versus driving somewhere to fight for a parking space, walking a mile to the event center, finding my seat and then having just about every beverage there spilled on me during the event. And, it never fails, I inevitably have a 7 ft man with a hat sitting directly in front of me. My track record is just not been good at these things.

But, now it's the Jonas Brothers, and I have a 7 year old (going on 17 yr) daughter who LOVES them. In a million years, my mother would have never dreamed of taking me to a concert, especially a 7 year old me! Yet, I find myself in a quandary. Do I or don't I? This is a big question. A lot of her friends are going. I'm going to ponder on it, and hope like heck the concert sells out before I make a decision. Then, I can go buy the DVD and pop open a Kool-Aid with my daughter, and we'll let loose in the comfort of our own living room! I bet I still get spilled on!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Existing Home Sales Jump 5.1 %

A real estate group says sales of existing homes rose from January to February in an unexpected boost for the slumping U.S. housing market as buyers took advantage of deep discounts on foreclosures. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that sales of existing homes grew 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.72 million last month, from 4.49 million units in January. It was the largest sales jump since July 2003. Sales had been expected to fall to an annual pace of 4.45 million units, according to Thomson Reuters. The median sales price plunged to $165,400, down 15.5 percent from $195,800 a year earlier. That was the second-lowest drop on record. Prices are down about 28 percent from their peak in July 2006.

Now, that's nationally folks... Tulsa is in even better shape!

Call me for a complimentary market analysis of your home today!
918-289-7065 cell

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

April 15th is not a holiday

It's almost April, the month of dreaded income taxes. If you're like me, you put off thinking about it until the last minute. And then you scramble to get all your tax information in order.

Do yourself a fovor and start thinking about it today. Your accountant will appreciate it if you work a little bit each day on getting your documents, your check stubs, and other records together.

If you have any questions regarding tax laws as they apply to your real estate holdings, or any question about buying, selling, or moving, don't hestitate to call upon me. I'll have my taxes done and be ready for your call.

Congratulations Chinowth & Cohen

I'd like to share with you a recent press release concerning an invitation our company's owners, Sheryl Chinowth & Lee Cohen, received to join a small group of influential independent real estate CEO's from across the country. This group meet to exchange business ideas and market information. The group is called The Leadership Council.

For Immediate Release:

(Tulsa, OK) – March 24, 2009 – The Leadership Council, a prestigious real estate CEO exchange group recently voted to induct Chinowth & Cohen Realtors as a new member. The Leadership Council was founded in 1987 and has a total of 15 market leading real estate brokerage members from various markets across the United States. Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is among the fastest growing realty firms in Tulsa as well as across the country. The firm is owned and managed by Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The focus of The Leadership Council is to exchange information and knowledge regarding best practices in the realty services industry and focuses on methods for improving service to consumers and growth in the business. The Leadership Council meets twice per year for an idea sharing session and comprehensive review and critique of the host member’s company.

Steve Murray, editor of REAL Trends, Inc. and executive director of The Leadership Council said “Lee and Sheryl are examples of the leadership of businesses who constantly strive to improve both their companies and the professionalism of their practice through the exchange of ideas with peers from around the country. Everyone in The Leadership Council is excited about having Sheryl and Lee joining our group.”

The Leadership Council is comprised 15 leading independent residential realty service firms from across the country. The members handled over $8 billion in residential real estate sales in 2008.


I find that I have to explain the difference between a short sale and a foreclosure rather often. In the MLS the homes that are on the market and are short sales will have words like "subject to lender approval" in the public comments. These homes are not bank owned.

What is a short sale? It is when the bank agrees to accept less money than what is owed on the home. The sellers still own the home, but the offer is subject to the lenders approval. The home owner also has to approve the offer.

What is a foreclosure? It is a bank owned home. The owners did not pay their mortgage, and the bank went through the foreclosure process and now owns the home.

When a seller lists a home they agree to a certain price for it and put it on the MLS. In the case of a short sale, the seller has agreed to a certain price and put the home on the market. When an offer comes in, it is subject to bank approval. The "loss mitigation" department at the bank has to get a price opinion on the property and then who ever is in charge of the file has to get approval before the offer can be accepted. That means that the price you see on the MLS may not be what the bank will accept. We don't know what the bank will accept. The person who has the file usually has a few hundred other files on his or her desk, and it is just a file. Buyers can wait over 30 days for any kind of an answer. Sometimes with the short sales the home is listed for one price, but the bank has not agreed on that price. Sometimes they list it for a low price and collect offers over a period of months. Usually the buyers give up long before they have that yes or no answer, and sometimes the home is foreclosed on while we are all waiting for the answer.

With foreclosures buying them isn't always easy, but it isn't as hard as buying a short sale. A foreclosed home is already owned by the bank. Each transaction has been far more work than buying a home from an individual seller, but they frequently get worked out and go to closing.
If you have any questions about either process, give us a call for more information.

The Butler Team 918.740.1000
Tina & Mike Butler

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Every Saturday in the Tulsa World of Homes there are pictures of all the open houses we are offering to showcase the amazing opportunities available to you. Check them out and come see them!

Call me if you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way.

Have a great weekend!

John Sawyer

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

918-289-7065 cell

Thursday, March 19, 2009


NEW YORK ( -- Mortgage rates slipped last week, according to a weekly survey released Thursday.
The average 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 5.37% for the week ended March 11, according to Rates were little changed from four weeks ago, when they averaged 5.34%.
The average jumbo 30-year fixed rate rose to 6.99% from 6.77% in the prior week.
The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage slipped to 4.88% from 4.94% a week earlier.
Adjustable-rate mortgages were also mixed, with the 1-year ARM rising to 5.58% from 5.43%; the 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage decreasing to 5.34% from 5.39%.
If you have any questions, feel free to call me anytime!

FHA Loans - The Lowdown - Fact vs. Myth - Forget what your friends told you!

If you are considering a home purchase in the near future remember knowledge is power. Don’t fall for these myths about FHA loans.

MYTH #1:

FHA is only available to First Time Buyers. NOT TRUE!
FHA Loans are available to home buyers whether it is their first, second or fifth home purchase. The truth behind this is you can only have 1 FHA loan at a time. Also, you are able to have a co-signer on an FHA loan. Only one borrower needs to be an occupant.

MYTH #2:

FHA Loans are more difficult to obtain. They are a painful process and require more paperwork and special inspections. NOT TRUE!
FHA Loans require a different set of paperwork for lenders but not necessarily more paperwork. Also, there are no “special inspections” required. HUD requires an appraisal to be made which is common with home loans.
In conjunction with the appraisal, the appraiser will inspect the home for serious issues that need repair and may require the issues to be remedied. Some of the things your FHA appraiser will look for are…
Missing floor covering, fixtures, outlet covers, and/or exterior siding
Rotten wood
Defective lead based paint if built prior to 1978, chipping or peeling
Dysfunctional windows. (not opening or closing/ broken glass)
No bars allowed on windows without a safety latch to open
Roof with less than 2 years of economic life
Roof with missing or damaged shingles
Crawl space must be at least 18 inches
No water or debris in the crawl space
Attic must have insulation and access if there is an attic
HVAC & plumbing & electrical must function properly
Electric garage door must have a reverse stop
Garage must have drywall on any wall adjacent to living areas
Any safety and security issues

MYTH #3:

FHA Loans are impossible to qualify for. NOT TRUE!
If you are considering a home purchase ask yourself the following questions.

1. Do you have steady employment?

2. Do you have excessive debt: if so, you may not qualify if your debt is too high compared to the amount of money you are bringing in each month.

3. Do you have a down payment: Down payment amounts are much lower for FHA loans, but some money to put down is necessary. Currently FHA requires a 3.5% down payment. In Oklahoma you may qualify for down payment assistance with Community Action. Also, FHA allows the down payment to be a gift from family.

4. Do you have good credit or better: Those with very low credit scores may not qualify for a home loan right now. If your credit score is below 580 it may be more difficult to obtain a home loan.

MYTH #4:

FHA Loans are only for small loan amounts. NOT TRUE!
In Oklahoma the FHA Loan limit is $271,050.

If you have questions on FHA loans please contact me and I will put you in touch with a qualified FHA loan officer. Only a few Mortgage brokers are actually FHA approved.

Talena M. Floyd
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors
"Make My Hometown, Your Hometown"

(918) 361-3404

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why Buy a Home Now

If you're renting and wondering if you should buy a home, consider what bestselling author, David Bach, says, "The average homeowner is worth 35 times more than the average renter."
He advises renters to take action immediately and start saving part of their paycheck every month to help accumulate a down payment. He also encourages renters to borrow 10-20 percent less than what the bank is willing to lend; that way they're only buying as much home as they can afford.

The longer you rent, the longer it may take you to eventually get into homeownership. If the market conditions have scared you, perhaps you're not looking at the other side of the coin. Owning a home becomes part of your investment portfolio, provides tax benefits, allows you to build equity (it still exists), and, if you buy now, you may get an excellent deal.

According to a MarketWatch news article, buying a home now can provide some real negotiating power to request improvements, price reductions, help with closing costs, and more. "People can get a lot of what they need and almost all of what they want today," said Jay Papasan, one of the authors of "Your First Home".

While poor market conditions have created a troubling situation for some homeowners, the downturn has made the buying market ripe for others. The affordability of homes is better than ever. The National Association of Realtors' housing affordability index concluded that homes in December of 2008 were more affordable than at any other point since 1970 (the start of the index). And with numerous foreclosures on the market and prices dropping in many areas, now is a good time to buy. But in order to make your purchase profitable, here are some things you should consider.

How long will you be in the home? Some experts advise that if you are planning to move within a year, buying may not be the best option because of the expenses associated with moving. However, if you're searching for a place to live for, at least, several years, buying now could be a good choice for you.

How much you can afford. Don't let tighter lending regulations scare you off from making a purchase. Instead, understand what you truly can afford. Don't get caught up in buying too much home. In fact, these days, the trend is moving toward smaller homes -- simpler living.
Mortgage rates drop to historical low. How much home you can afford is affected by mortgage interest rates that, right now, are highly appealing. Good credit, documenting your income, and a substantial down payment will make you a better candidate for the better mortgage rates.
Freedom to choose.

Now, unlike several years ago, the market has a large inventory in many areas. The market time to sell a home has increased which creates a large inventory of homes, everything including new, existing, and foreclosures. Buyers can peruse the market and have the freedom to select the home they really want. If you're interest is in a new home, know that many developers are getting more competitive with their pricing because they also have taken a hit by the ailing economy.

Quality of life. Buying a home can create a higher quality of life, giving you pride of homeownership, and something to enjoy improving and developing over the years.
Tax credit benefit. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides for a $8,000 tax credit that would be available to first-time home buyers for the purchase of a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009. The credit does not require repayment. Most of the mechanics of the credit will be the same as under the 2008 rules: the credit will be claimed on a tax return to reduce the purchaser's income tax liability. If any credit amount remains unused, then the unused amount will be refunded as a check to the purchaser.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Living in Jenks!

Jenks is a place to call home. Quality houses, outstanding schools, safe streets, area attractions, economic opportunity and sense of community are some of the major reasons that Money Magazine ranked Jenks as the #43 Best Places to Live in the United States.

Money recognized that a growing number of families in America are choosing to live in suburbs for the enhanced quality of life aspect. Being only minutes away from Tulsa, residents can thrive in the area’s abounding employment opportunity while retreating to a peaceful community at home.
Residents enjoy an enriching living experience within their neighborhoods. In this progressive, emerging community, Jenks has been successful at maintaining its small town charm while integrating upscale neighborhoods and lifestyle centers.

Affordable home lots, low interest rates and a nationally recognized school system continue to make for a strong housing market in the Jenks and the South County area. Residents praise the high quality of life and convenience to the metro area.

Average commute times are 15 minutes to downtown Tulsa and less than 30 minutes to Tulsa International Airport. Jenks connects with several major highways that make for easy access anywhere in Tulsa metro or with other parts of the state.

With construction and sales of new homes within the City of Jenks remaining close to 300 each year, new developments are being planned to ensure that vacant lots within the community remain between 800 to a 1000. This level of new lot inventory has proven to protect home values and offer a solid variety of housing choices. National, regional and local developers and home builders remain confident as demand for new home construction remains high in the Jenks and Bixby school districts.

Neighborhood amenities include walking trails, parks, swimming pools and spray parks, playgrounds and clubhouses. Mandatory Home Owner Associations are established in all new subdivisions.
The original townsite of Jenks is now seeing the development of townhouse living. Planned re-development sense of place grounds and clubhouses. Mandatory Home Owner As of the “Original Townsite of Jenks” is moving towards lifestyle community concepts and quality of life enhancements.

Home buyers can find a wide variety of homes in new and established subdivisions and homes in the original town site. Prices for new homes range from $130,000 to over $1 million. The average lot price ranges from $35,000 to over $150,000.

If you're looking to make your next move to Jenks, call Carrie DeWeese to help you expertly plan this smart investment! (918) 605-6172
Find your perfect Jenks Home here:

Great Places To Eat

If you're worried about a lack of variety in restaurants when you move to Tulsa, let me assure you there are plenty to choose from in our City. Fast food, buffet, fine dining, drive-ins, Mom & Pop, diners, I could go on and on. They are all here.

Today, I'll let you in on some of my favorites, my daughter and I head to when we're in the mood for a meal out. Now remember folks, she's 7 years old. A fine dining review will have to come later.

Zios: Great Italian chain restaurant started here in Tulsa. If you've got the kids and want a quick, easy sit down meal in a fun atmosphere this one's a winner. Their house dressing is great. And, I am a connoisseur of balsamic dressings! Nice big portions, good kids menu, and nice wine list. Two locations in Tulsa, 8112 S. Lewis Ave. and 7111 S. Mingo Road.

Rib Crib: I have never seen my daughter devour ribs the way she does at this place. And, this is a picky eater! When I ask her if she wants barbecue, this is the first place she requests! I personally enjoy the HUGE potato stuffed with chopped barbecue, cheese, and anything else you want. You better wear your elastic pants here!! Rib Crib has 20 locations in Oklahoma. To find a location near you call (918) 712-RIBS (7427) Clever, huh?

5&Diner: This is a fun one to visit. This diner is like taking a step back to the 1950s. The staff is dressed in poodle skirts and bobbie socks, and there is miniature juke boxes at each table with music from the 50s and 60s. They've got great chocolate chip pancakes and don't forget old fashioned malts and milkshakes! They're located right by the Myers Duren Harley Davidson shop on Memorial at 3641 S. Memorial.

Happy eating!!


According to the Tulsa Metro Chamber Tulsa gained jobs in the month of October. Almost twice as many people found jobs as those who became unemployed. Tulsa’s unemployment rate of 4.2% is still considered at full employment. Nationally the rate has risen to 6.5%. The Tulsa area continues to outperform the rest of the country.


It has never been easy to price a home, and these days it's more difficult than ever. Buyers see everything on the market as being over priced and rarely offer full price. They are tuned in to all the negative ecomonic news and assume Sellers are anxious to sell. If a home is priced at or slightly under market value it will attract buyers and have showings, but offers on it will be for less than the asking price by at least $10K on the average priced home. It isn't a good strategy to price a home at $10K over market value to help sellers get their bottom line. Homes that are over priced by any amount do not get many, if any, showings. Without any showings there are no offers and the homes sits on the market month after month.

Market times are a little longer than they used to be, BUT homes are being sold every day! The homes that sell are those that are properly priced. An experienced realtor will spend a lot of time going over comparable solds in the area to suggest a realistic list and sell price. The good news is that once an offer comes in it can be negotiated up. Buyers seldom make their very best offer on the first round and they will negotiate. I like to think of low ball offers as "opportunities." The value of a home is what a Buyer will pay for it and it is Buyers that dictates the value of real estate, not the Seller. Sellers have to be ready to play the pricing game and realtors have to be willing to go that extra mile to recommend a price that is low enough so that Buyers will see the home, but high enough that when an offer comes in it is possible to negotiate it up to an acceptable amount.

The Butler Team (918) 740-1000
Tina & Mike Butler

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Our thriving community is one of the fastest growing cities in Oklahoma! Why are people choosing to move here?

Quality of Life: Make one visit to Bixby and you'll see why it's one of the fastest growing communities. A great quality of life, excellent public education system, one of the lowest crime rates in the Tulsa metro area, and convenient access to metropolitan amenities. Area natives and those new to our community have discovered a diversity of beautiful neighborhoods carved into the rolling green landscape. Residents enjoy raising their family where business owners know your name, and neighbors come together in times of need and celebration. Bixby offers the quality of both single-family residential and multi-family residential dwellings. The cost of new homes range from $150,000 to over $1,500,000.

Perfect Balance: Bixby is close to everything attractive about a metropolitan area, while still maintaining a hometown feel. No matter who we ask, the 'small town' feel along with the beauty of the landscape is one of the top things that our citizens love about Bixby. It's a wonderful place to raise your family and also a great environment for business...large or small!

Leadership: Behind the scenes and in front, you will find a strong contingency of individuals that BELIEVE in Bixby and have a strong vision of making Bixby the premier community in Oklahoma.

We've put together a page on our website that highlights Bixby's parks, festivals, Spirit Bank Event Center, Bentley Park Sports Complex & more. CLICK HERE to learn more about the community we live, work, and play in!

The Butler Team
Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Meeting a Buyer

I'm sitting here at the midtown office waiting on a buyer.
I'm excited, because I think he's gonna get this house!
I love my job.

What Home Values Are Rising?!

Check This Out!!

That's what all us Realtors have been trying to tell you.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's a Good Time to Remodel

Planning now to get in a contractor's pipeline of work orders for the spring can give a homeowner a negotiating edge for home improvements and remodeling work. If there was ever a time to strike a deal on home improvement, remodeling and alteration services for the home, this is it.
A semi-annual survey of 5,000 U.S. homeowners, the "Spring 2009 Remodeling Sentiment Report", from Sunnyvale, CA-based, reveals four times as many homeowners answered "probably not" when asked if they will remodel this year, as compared to the 2007 survey.

In this most recent survey, 68 percent of participating homeowners reported that they probably would remodel this year, down from 84 percent in the fall 2008 report and 92 percent in 2007.
Previous Remodeling Sentiment Reports indicate three times more homeowners than two years ago say that the economy is affecting their remodeling plans greatly, and 82 percent report that the cost of the remodel is a major concern.

The report is inline with research from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, which says, in most parts of the country, home prices are falling, discouraging discretionary home improvement spending and diminishing the amount of equity owners have in their homes.
"Earlier this decade, the ability to borrow against equity created by rising home prices fueled remodeling activity, as well as broader consumer spending," says Nicolas P. Retsinas, director of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. "Now that prices have softened, owners cannot finance home improvement projects as easily. Even those with equity find credit harder to obtain due to tighter standards," Retsinas added.

The good news is that homeowners who choose to remodel their homes could find this is a good time to get the work done. With new home construction at low levels, more materials and labor are available for remodeling than several years ago, resulting in shorter project schedules and often lower project costs.
Planning now to get in a contractor's pipeline of work orders for the spring could also give a homeowner a negotiating edge. What's more, in a market with declining home values, home improvements are a good way to protect the value of your home and position it as a good value when it's time to sell.

The Sentiment Report also found homeowners are:

Excited about remodeling – 52 percent
Dreading remodeling – 12 percent
Planning to hire a general contractor – 65 percent
Homeowners' remodeling plans include:
Kitchen remodel – 52 percent
Bathroom addition – 55 percent
Bathroom remodel – 45 percent
Addition of one or more bedrooms or den – 35 percent
Enlarge or add a garage – 19 percent
Finish a basement – 13 percent

Harvard's Joint Center also suggests the best home improvements can help save money and the planet because they are "green." If we are going to meet the nation’s energy goals, we have to continuously search for ways to improve the residential built environment. The report demonstrates that maximizing energy-efficiency in existing housing may be one of our greatest challenges, but also one of our greatest opportunities given that homes account for almost a quarter of energy consumption in our economy," says Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where attention to green design is a growing focus in the classrooms and studios. "Consumer demand for sustainable design is on the rise," Mostafavi added.

South Tulsa 918-392-0900 | Mid Town Tulsa 918-392-9900 | Broken Arrow 918-259-0000 | Owasso 918-392-9990

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