Greetings of the Season!

 Posted by at 7:46 am
Dec 212013

XMOOSEThe holidays are a great time to say “thank you!” I’ve enjoyed your confidence and friendship this past year and it is satisfying to know that a lot of people—buyers, sellers, colleagues, affiliates and students—have achieved success as a result of our work together. As we near the start of a new year, this is also a great time to look back and ahead.

You’ll recall last year I announced my intention to increase the emphasis on the training and education aspects of my work. I also announced that I would be substitute teaching kindergarten through grade six at Piscataquis Community Elementary School.

A few weeks ago a fourth grader came to “my” classroom to visit after a day of subbing. In the course of chatting he informed me that “pre-k and kindergarten” were the best years of his life. When I asked why he replied “Because there wasn’t really that much I had to do…” I managed not to chuckle.

I suppose it could be considered cool that at nine or ten years old (going on forty) he’s figured out what’s important to him, but I really want to tell him “the best is yet to come.” At least that’s been true for me—while my life has been good, I can’t recall a period of time that was more fun and more satisfying than these years I am living.

A big achievement this past year was the release of my book, Small People—Big Brains: stories about simplicity, exploration and wonder. In the obligatory about the author section, I noted, “I’ve effectively started a new career as a substitute elementary school teacher. The kids haven’t run out of things to teach me. They may be small people, but they really do have big brains.”

In support of the book and my future direction, this year I created “Abbot Village Press,” with the idea that we’ll be “Maine’s number one publisher in Maine’s number one town” by publishing books and blogs with purpose. Several publishing projects come to mind and I suspect there will be a volume two of Small People—Big Brains. Perhaps I should issue a warning: “I’m a writer. Anything you do or say may be used in a future article or book.”

I have, of course, continued to offer real estate courses in association with the Arthur Gary School of Real Estate. Class enrollments continue to climb. This may well reflect a growing confidence in the future of real estate. While it’s not a focus, I also continue my affiliation with Mallett Real Estate and work with select clients on a somewhat limited basis. Do not hesitate to contact me if you are going to be involved in a real estate transaction as a buyer or seller.

This fall, the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative invited me to develop and teach one day classes for others who want to substitute teach! The class was offered in Milo and Guilford and we will be repeating it in January in Dover Foxcroft and Dexter. RSU 19 Adult Education (Nokomis) has asked me to offer several courses. I’m also having a lot of fun helping out with the Piscataquis Secondary School Pirate Specials Program designed to connect middle and high school kids with community resources and individuals who will help them explore career options.

One of the stories that didn’t make it into the book happened a few years ago when a second grader became exasperated with me and told me, “Mr. Boomsma, you need to focus.” It helps if you picture her with hands on the sides of her face mimicking the blinders horses wear. At the time, I thought I was very busy. She rightly recognized I wasn’t busy. I just wasn’t doing such a good job of handling multiple priorities. (You can read the entire story on my brain leaks and musings site.)

Unfortunately, I’ve lost a cartoon I had that showed a fish climbing out of a lake and saying to an animal standing on the shore, “Outta my way, pal. I’m evolving.” I’d like to think that while these are some very good years, the best is yet to come. I’m evolving!

Thanks for your confidence and support. Do let me hear from you… and have a meaningful holiday and a new year filled with health, happiness, and prosperity — make these the best years of your life! Evolve!

Merry Christmas,

(aka “Mr. Boomsma”)


Here’s a lead!

 Posted by at 7:03 am
Dec 062013

But don’t get too excited…

My name is Begenc Gundogdyyew from Turkmenistan, I want to buy a family living home in your country, please let me know if you can assist me. What i need is a single family home, a big kitchen, a car garage that can content up to 3 cars, a flower garden and also a pool. I will be happy if u can put the pictures together and sent it to me for me to make selection with my wife and children. I am ready to purchase a house that will not be more than $2,000.000 (Two Million US Dollars).

The life of my family is no longer safe here in Turkmenistan, the government and my political opponent want to assassinate me and my family, they have several time tried to assassinate us, but the Almighty God has always been with us. You know when you are against the wrong doing and evil acts  of the government you are bound to have a lot of enemies.

Please I want you to assure me that you will assist me and my families relocate to a very safe and gated area in  your city,  i want you to keep this plan of mine very confidential let it just be between you and me please, this is due to my present situation in Turkmenistan.

Waiting for your quick reply.


Begenc Gundogdyyew

money bagsI’ll provide the email address to licensed agents who have completed a course I’ve taught and will agree to pay my agency a 25% referral fee. No, wait… for a limited time I’ll give the referral for a mere 15%.

I’d suggest you sign Begenc up as a client fairly quickly as that would invoke the fiduciary duty of confidentiality he seeks. Unfortunately, the world already knows his motivation and his price range–a mistake he might not have made if he’d seen the Real Estate Brokerage Relationships Form prior to having a substantive communication with us. He hasn’t, however, disclosed his time frame for completion and students from my courses will probably recognize the need to “qualify” him on that point. “If we find a property today that meets your family’s needs, are you…?”

You also probably noticed he hasn’t mentioned whether or not he’s been to a lender and pre-qualified for the requisite mortgage to purchase the property. However, given the nature of this potential transaction it would probably make sense to get a client agreement before suggesting that or asking for proof of funds.

I might also suggest that you clarify his cap of two million. He may not realize there are closing costs, transfer tax, etc. (You do know how to estimate those, right?) If he’s working close at two million, it might make sense to reduce that top end–or at least be prepared to negotiate a closing cost concession with the seller.

In the interest of fairness to those considering a client relationship with Begenc, I should probably also point out Begenc wishes to be in a “gated community” in a city, thereby eliminating much of the Maine Market. Of course we also don’t know how he defines “city” and that should probably be a point of clarification in preparing a buyer representation agreement.

Since it sounds like this will be more than an “arm’s length” transaction done without a showing, it probably wouldn’t be necessary to have a disclaimer that your company is not including personal protection services.

There. Now tell the truth… how often do you get offered a referral like this (only 15%!) AND some advice for getting started? What a change from the “Have you got any good foreclosures under $20,000 that I can buy and flip…? I must have the Christmas Spirit to be this generous!


What do you think?

 Posted by at 9:33 pm
Dec 032013

An item on the list of “maybe future projects” is a workbook covering real estate math. Students often say they “get it” when we do it together but have trouble when working on their own. A book with explanations and samples might be just the ticket!


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