Richard Stephens, CRB, ABR, GRI, CRS, Broker
Rich Stephens, Realtors
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Professional Designations

ABR

ABR, the Accredited Buyer Representative designation, conferred by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council® (REBAC), confirms an agent's mastery of buyer representation. Agents who have earned the ABR designation have demonstrated experience in buyer representation by completing and closing a minimum of five real estate transactions in which they functioned as a buyer's representative. Two key areas emphasized in ABR training are how to identify potential problems with a property and how to negotiate the best price on behalf of the buyer. REBAC is an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors®.

CRS

Less than 5 percent of all Realtors hold the CRS designation.

The Certified Residential Specialist designation, conferred by the Council of Residential Specialists®, recognizes real estate agents for proven experience in marketing residential property. To earn the designation, agents must complete a program of advanced study covering areas such as investment real estate and real estate-related taxes. The Council of Residential Specialists is an affiliate of the National Association of Realtors. It is awarded only to those who complete strict educational requirements, combined with experience and sales results.

GRI

The GRI® (Graduate, Realtor Institute) designation is obtained by attending a specific, intensive series of a minimum of 90 hours of classroom instruction, covering subjects in contract law, professional standards, sales and marketing, finance, and risk reduction. The subject matter has been chosen to educate practitioners about local, state and national real estate practices that affect them, their clients and customers. GRI courses are taught by leading real estate professionals from around the country.

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Tips For Home Buyers

Why A Home Is A Good Investment

As a general rule, homes appreciate about 3 to 5 percent a year. Some years will be more, some less. The figure will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, and region to region.

3 percent may not seem like that much. Other investments such as stocks or treasury bills might offer a higher interest rate.

But take a second look.

Let's look at one example.

If you buy a $200,000 home, and put as much as twenty percent down that would be an investment of $40,000.

At an appreciation rate of 3% annually, a $200,000 home would increase in value $6,000 during the first year. At 5% annually, a $200,000 home would increase in value $10,000 during the first year. That means you earned between $6,000 and $10,000 with an investment of $40,000. Your annual "return on investment" would be somewhere between 15% and 25%. Sounds like a pretty good rate of return doesn't it?

Of course, you will be making mortgage payments and paying property taxes, along with a maintenance costs. However, since the interest on your mortgage and your property taxes are both tax deductible, the government is essentially subsidizing your home purchase.

You have to pay to live somewhere anyway, why not get something in return for that monthly payment?

Rich Stephens, Realtors, 5383 S. Sheridan Rd. Tulsa, OK, 74145 is a licensed Oklahoma Real Estate Brokerage, Richard Stephens, Broker.

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