A home is typically the largest single investment you’ll ever make, and you’ll likely spend a lot of time and energy searching for the perfect place. By the time you're ready to buy, you'll already know a lot about the house. However, it's a good idea to do a little more detective work and get answers to a few investigative questions. It will deliver you additional peace of mind in your purchase.
A conversation with the seller, the seller's agent, and a review of the public records can fill in detail blanks that will help you make a better decision. Contacting the county's property appraiser for the home's location are great starting points. Here are the ten investigative questions to ask a home seller.
There are many reasons why people move, including job relocation, desire to get into a smaller/larger house, life events (marriage, the birth of a child, death of a spouse, or other reason), and retirement. While you may not always get a truthful answer, asking why the seller is moving can be helpful in determining how much room there is for negotiating.
Depending on the reason for moving, the seller may be willing to accept a lower offer if it means they can be out of the home faster. Of course, if the seller is in no hurry to sell, there may be little room for negotiation.
One of the primary reasons a house ends up staying on the market a long time is that it was priced too high to begin with. This mispricing is often a function of a poor strategy.
The longer a house stays on the market, the harder it becomes to sell since the listing becomes “stale,” and buyers think there must be something inherently wrong with the property (otherwise it would have sold by now, right?). If the home has been on the market for a long time, the seller may be motivated and more willing to negotiate.
Knowing how much the seller paid is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, it tells you if values in the local market have gone up or down since the seller purchased the home. Second, it may help you determine how open the sellers may be to negotiation, and here’s why: If the sellers bought the home at rock bottom, they may be more willing to move down on price since they will still make a reasonable profit. If your sellers purchased the home for close to or more than the asking price, however, they probably won’t be willing to move much—if at all—on price.
If the sellers won’t tell you what they paid, you can find out by checking the public records. They are available at the Register of Deeds (or a similar office, such as Recorder of Deeds) in the county where the property is located.
Anything that is permanently attached to the home (for example, faucets, cabinets, and window blinds) is considered a fixture and is generally included in a home sale. Sometimes, legal definitions determine what is—and what is not—included in the sale, but sometimes an item can fall into a gray area.
When in doubt, and to avoid disappointment, ask what’s included in the sale and get it in writing. Pay close attention to items such as outdoor play equipment, sheds, lighting fixtures, appliances, window treatments, wall-mounted sound systems, and anything else you would be upset to find missing if you moved into the home.
In many real estate markets, a light fixture is considered a part of the house, and if the seller is taking it—because it's an expensive chandelier, for example—they must replace it with at least a basic fixture.
Neighborhoods can be affected by any number of nuisances including speeding on community streets, traffic congestion, noise (from traffic, neighbors, barking dogs, and/or nearby businesses), crime, bothersome odors (including cigarette smoke), litter, poor maintenance, bright lights, and problem neighbors who cause disturbances. While you may not get a particularly detailed answer, it’s a good idea to at least try to find out about any problems before going through with a purchase. In addition to asking the seller about nuisances, you can visit the local police department to research crime statistics for the neighborhood.
Disclosure statements serve to inform buyers about a home’s condition and help protect sellers from future legal action if problems are found. While disclosures vary by state and even county, sellers must make disclosures about such items as existing liens, lead-based paint, natural hazards (e.g., floodplain), termite problems, history of property-line disputes, and defects in major systems and/or appliances. In fact, there are eight disclosures sellers must make; it makes sense to ask about all of them, just in case.
Because there may be problems with the house that the seller knows about—but is not required by law to disclose—it can be helpful to ask point-blank: Are there any potential hassles with this house? You might find out about problems ahead of time and be able to negotiate repair costs. Of course, you should still get a comprehensive inspection before buying the house since there might be issues the seller doesn’t know about or won’t willingly share.
While disclosure rules vary from state to state, home sellers generally must tell you about any current problems with the property—but they don’t have to tell you about any past problems that have been corrected. If it’s already fixed, why is it important to know? Because it might lead to another problem in the future.
A leaky roof might have been repaired, for example—but what was done about the water that ended up in the attic? Ask if the seller has had to fix any problems with the house, and how well the solution worked. It’s also helpful to find out who did the work in case there is a similar problem in the future.
Ask about the age and condition of key components of the house so you are prepared for any big expenses you could be facing. Start with the roof: newer ones may last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, depending on the roofing material. An asphalt roof lasts about 15 to 20 years, so if it’s already 15 years old, you might be looking at a fairly immediate large expense. Also ask about the heating and cooling systems, appliances, water heater, septic, plumbing, and electrical systems.
Bad renovations, sketchy plumbing, and mediocre construction can end up costing you both financially and emotionally—and even in terms of your health. It’s important to ask if any major repairs and renovations have been done to the home and who did them: was it a licensed contractor or a DIY project?
See whether the seller can produce a building permit for repairs and renovations that require one. Such improvements include any structural additions, installing a new roof, adding/relocating electrical outlets, adding/relocating plumbing fixtures, and installing/replacing an HVAC (heating, venting, and air conditioning) system.
If the seller doesn't have the building permits (perhaps the work was done by an earlier owner), double-check with the local building department, usually through the county or city authorities.
If a permit should have been issued—but wasn’t—the building official may have the authority to force the current owner (which could be you, if you buy the house) to obtain the permit and satisfy the current code requirements. This could turn into a very costly project.
This question might put the seller on the spot, or seem a touch personal. But it can get the person talking about the home, neighborhood, and community. You might learn something positive that you might not have known otherwise—the tight-knit community, the short walk to the library, the way the sun shines through the living-room windows in the afternoon, the low heating bills, or the wildflowers that grow in the summer on the hill behind the house.
Listing and marketing materials include lots of details about a house (the number of bedrooms and baths, and the square footage, for example) and the showing lets you see it firsthand. But talking to the seller can help you learn exactly what you could be getting into. If you have difficulty being able to connect with the seller, try to get some of these questions answered through your real estate agent.
R. Michael Cassidy, Law School
Marla DeRosa, English
How do societies define justice, and what role do lawyers, authors, and dramatists play in illuminating the many complex issues underlying this concept?
In this course, we will explore the range of experiences of law for its ministers (lawyers, judges, law enforcement agents) as well as for its recipients/ supplicants (citizens, plaintiffs, defendants, and victims). We will first begin with the question of what is “justice” and approach that issue from the standpoint of political theorists. What does justice mean? Is it fairness? equality? morality? maximization of utility? We will use Michael Sandel’s Justice: A Reader as an introductory text to major political theorists on the justice question, from the ancients to the moderns. We will then examine how the law is mobilized and deployed by professionals as an instrument of justice.
What do we mean by the “rule of law,” what roles do lawyers and judges play in safeguarding and promoting the rule of law, and what, if anything, does the rule of law have to do with justice? A set of syllabus has been selected to develop an understanding of the situational and systemic demands under which legal actors perform their roles in the United States. For this part of the course, we will use Lord Thomas Bingham’s reader The Rule of Law. The course concludes with an investigation of where lawyers stand in American society today, assessing whether they have succeeded or failed in their larger ambitions to protect the rule of law and to serve as architects of a just society. If not, how might they better serve both society and themselves in uncertain times? For this latter part of the course, we will examine the work of two lawyers, one a criminal defense lawyer and one an environmental litigator, in the texts Just Mercy and A Civil Action.
These course lectures meet
Reflection will be held 4 times in the semester
Imagine you approached someone you admired, and boldly asked that person to mentor you. And the answer was “Yes!” But a year into the relationship, those monthly mentoring sessions might not invigorate you like they used to, and aren’t quite as energizing for the mentor, either.
4 Types Of Questions To Ask A Mentor
To break the ice, have your mentor tell a story from his or her own career. Hey, everybody likes to talk about themselves! For example, you could inquire: “How did you get to where you are today?” or “How did you land your current role?” But you could also ask more specific questions that address your career objectives and concerns. Some questions to consider:
• Was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back?
• How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
• Tell me about a recent business setback. How did you recover?
• Think back to five years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today?
• Was there ever a role you applied for and landed, but weren't 100% qualified to do? How did you proceed?
• What do you wish you had known before taking your first management role?
• Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop?
• Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? How did you handle the situation?
• What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?
• How did you develop the skill of speaking so engagingly in front of groups?
Now that the conversation is flowing, get more granular in your requests and bring a specific situation to your mentor--one that you’d like help navigating. For example:
• I tried to delegate a task last week and it did not go well. Can we work through what to do differently next time?
• Who are the people I need to align with in this organization to achieve success?
• My boss said I need to be more strategic. What does that mean?
• How can I let my boss know that I don’t need to be micromanaged?
• How can I stay connected to key influencers who do not work in same office or geographical area?
• When trying to gain buy-in to implement a new program, what tactics have worked for you?
• My performance review is coming up. What type of preparation do you most appreciate seeing from your employees?
• I have two very different career path options available to me. Can you weigh in to help me make a final decision?
• I'm considering a career transition. What are some other areas of the business that might be a good fit for me?
• I’ve heard that taking a stretch assignment could help my career trajectory. What are the pros and cons?
One of the greatest gifts you can deliver yourself is the gift of self-awareness, meaning the ability to see yourself as others view you. That way, if you like how you’re perceived, you can embrace it and take steps to strengthen that positive perception. If you don’t like how you are currently perceived, you can take steps to shift that perception to a more positive one that supports, rather than undermines, your career and leadership goals.
After starting with the obvious question: “How do you think others perceive me?” become more specific, so your mentor can assist by “holding up the mirror” and providing detailed feedback on how your actions and communication are impacting the way others see you. Ask questions such as:
• How am I viewed? In other words, what's my personal brand in our organization?
• Where do you see my strengths?
• What do you see as some of my blind spots and how can I improve?
• How I am viewed by leadership?
• What do people say about me when I’m not in the room?
• Could you offer feedback on ways to Excellerate my executive presence?
• Do I come across as strategic or tactical in my day-to-day communication?
• Am I viewed as high-maintenance when I send my boss weekly status updates?
• How could I have communicated my idea more clearly?
• When I presented at the last meeting, how did I do? Did my communication style support the message I intended to deliver?
Is there a skill you’re currently working to enhance, such as project management, long-term strategic planning, delegating, or public speaking? Use questions like these to ask your mentor for advice and resources to help you polish that skill:
• How can I become a more assertive negotiator?
• Can we role-play asking for a raise and a promotion?
• How can I become better at managing people who do not report to me?
• Do you have any quick tips for re-energizing an overworked team?
• Can you recommend a book or resource for dealing with difficult conversations?
• What practices can you recommend for dealing with nervousness when speaking to groups?
• I have been asked to facilitate a team-building activity at a staff retreat. What are some keys to success?
• What’s a good methodology or tool for project management and tracking team commitments?
• Do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning?
• What new skills do I need to move ahead?
With these four types of questions and their accompanying examples, you’ll never sit through another mentoring conversation wondering if the other person is finding the discussion useful. And deliver this list to those whom you mentor, encouraging them to use it to maximize the value of the time you spend together.
The following sections address the miscellaneous questions that may develop as you use SAS/CONNECT.
|DOWNLOAD and UPLOAD Procedures|
During a PROC obtain or a PROC UPLOAD step, you receive the following error message:
ERROR 200-322: The symbol is not recognized.
This problem occurs if the remote file that is being referenced by the INFILE or the OUTFILE option begins with a special character and is specified as FILEREF(filename), for example:
PROC UPLOAD INFILE=pcflref OUTFILE=hstflref($filname); run;
To avoid the problem, put single quotes (') around the filename, as shown in the following example:
PROC UPLOAD INFILE=pcflref OUTFILE=hstflref('$filname'); run;
You transfer a variable block binary file that has a record length (LRECL) greater than 256 bytes, and SAS/CONNECT segments the file into multiple 256-byte records. For example, downloading a binary file that has an LRECL of 1024 results in four 256-byte records.
The data is not lost when the file is segmented by SAS/CONNECT. Using the LRECL option in the remote or the local FILENAME statement does not avoid this problem. To avoid the problem, follow these steps:
FILENAME VFILE 'VARIABLE.BLOCK.FILE' RECFM=U;
NOTE: 1231 bytes were transferred at 1231 bytes/second.
You transfer a fixed block binary file that has a record length (LRECL) greater than 256 bytes and SAS/CONNECT segments the file into multiple 256-byte records. For example, downloading a binary file that has an LRECL of 1024 results in four 256-byte records.
The data is not lost when the file is segmented by SAS/CONNECT. Using the LRECL option in the remote or the local FILENAME statement does not avoid this problem. To avoid the problem, follow these steps:
When you use obtain on a print file, the EBCDIC carriage-control character
'F1'x is not downloaded.
To avoid the problem, change the SAS system option FILECC to NOFILECC. The NOFILECC option indicates that the data in column 1 of a printer file should be treated as data and not carriage control. For SAS software Releases 6.07 and 6.08, the default setting is NOFILECC. Earlier releases use FILECC as the default setting, and you must change it to NOFILECC to obtain
'F1'x successfully. In addition, the DCB characteristics of the print file must include a RECFM of FBA or VBA.
The obtain procedure does not translate the carriage-control character
F1 that occurs in the external file that you downloaded.
The OS/390 carriage-control character
'F1'x should be translated to ASCII
'31'x, instead, it is translated to ASCII
'31'x is 1. It is not possible to obtain an external file and convert the OS/390 carriage-control character
'F1'x to the ASCII carriage-control character
'0D'x. The OS/390 EBCDIC value would have to be
'0D'x to convert to ASCII
'31'x is missing, refer to the previous problem.
The first time that you remote submit a PROC statement, you receive the following message:
ERROR 2-12: Invalid option.
The remote AUTOEXEC.SAS file contains an OPTIONS statement that has not been closed by a semicolon (;). To avoid this problem, add the semicolon (;) to the OPTIONS statement in the remote AUTOEXEC.SAS file.
After signing on by using the NOTERMINAL option, which is specified for the remote host, a requestor window appears when a LIBNAME statement that uses the WAIT= option is remote-submitted.
To prevent this window from appearing, specify the NOFILEPROMPT SAS system option on the remote host.
After you start a SAS/CONNECT session by using the NOTERMINAL option, any remote-submitted statements that follow a syntax error are only parsed and not processed.
When a SAS/CONNECT session is started with the NOTERMINAL option, the internal option $SYNTAXCHECK is automatically set. If you remote-submit a statement that follows a syntax error, the statement is parsed but not processed. In the following example,
data a; do i=1 to 10; outpt; end; run; data b; x=1; run;
data set A is not created because of the syntax error that is caused by OUTPT. Data set B is not created because SAS software is in syntax check mode from the previous OUTPT syntax error. The DATA step will only be parsed.
To avoid this problem, add the NO$SYNTAXCHECK option to the remote SAS system invocation options in the script file.
You cannot remote-submit code that uses square brackets because the keyboard on your local host does not support these characters.
The less than (<) and greater than (>) symbols can be used in place of square brackets. Use < for the left square bracket ([) and > for the right square bracket (]).
In OpenVMS Alpha, square brackets are typically used to delineate the directory name in a path name. However, you can use < and > as equivalent delimiters. For example:
libname sales 'disk:<sales.years.1991>';
After remote-submitting a full-screen procedure, you receive the following message:
ERROR: No terminal connected to the SAS session.
SAS/CONNECT does not support remote submission of full-screen procedures.
When remote submitting a JCL batch job under OS/390 when using Release 6.08 of SAS, you receive the following message:
JOB OPTIONS(JOB01501) SUBMITTED ***.
A Break window appears on the local host display and explains that a message was received from the remote host. Press ENTER on the remote host host and select
CONTINUE from the local Break window.
When remote submitting a JCL batch job under OS/390 when using Release 6.07 of SAS, the message does not appear on the remote host; therefore, the Break window does not appear. A beep sounds, but the remote submit continues uninterrupted.
The following is an example of a remote submission of a JCL batch job:
DM 'RSUBMIT'; X 'SUBMIT JOBS.CNTL(OPTIONS)'; ENDRSUBMIT;
Note: If remote submit is not used and the JCL batch job is submitted from either Release 6.07 or Release 6.08 of SAS under OS/390, the message does appear. Press ENTER to continue SAS software processing.
To avoid receiving the above message and the interaction that is required to clear it, you can direct your JCL to the internal reader. The FILENAME statement can be used in place of the TSO ALLOCATE or the JCL DD statement. A demo SAS program that uses the FILENAME statement to write to an internal reader is:
rsubmit; /*************************************/ /* filename to point to JCL code */ /*************************************/ filename injcl '.misc.jcl' disp=shr; /*************************************/ /* filename to internal reader */ /*************************************/ filename outrdr sysout=a pgm=intrdr recfm=fb lrecl=80; /*************************************/ /* data step to submit job to batch */ /* queue */ /*************************************/ data _null_; infile injcl(myjcl); file outrdr noprint notitles; input; put _infile_; run; /*************************************/ /* filename to clear */ /*************************************/ filename outrdr clear; endrsubmit;
Does SAS/CONNECT provide both single and multi-user services?
SAS/SHARE is the only software in the SAS System that provides multi-user update access to SAS data libraries or SAS files. However, SAS/CONNECT is the only SAS software that gives you compute services, data transfer services, and single-user RLS.
How do I initialize a server?
How are the two servers different?
Why is it that a macro will execute on a local host but sometimes not on a remote host?
This has been observed when a macro does not end with a semicolon, and it is the last line in an invocation RSUBMIT block. A remote submitted macro invocation requires the semicolon, and a locally submitted macro does not. For example, the following macro executes on a local host but not on a remote host:
RSUBMIT; %MACRO MYDATE; %PUT &SYSDATE; %MEND MYDATE; %MYDATE /* semicolon omitted */ ENDRSUBMIT;
During the processing of a remote submit block, SAS/CONNECT software checks the beginning of each statement for the ENDRSUBMIT statement. The semicolon is used to indicate the end of each statement (except comments). If the semicolon is omitted, then the ENDRSUBMIT statement is inadvertently submitted for remote processing. This results in the macro not executing.
During local processing, SAS/CONNECT does not search for the ENDRSUBMIT statement and, therefore, does not require the semicolon.
When processing macros, what gets processed on the remote host, and what gets processed on the local host?
When a macro is compiled, two things are produced: (1) compiled macro program statements or instructional code and (2) text. Only items stored as text are passed to the remote host for processing. All statements and instructional code are processed on the local host.
Items stored as text include:
SAS Guide to Macro Processing discusses each item in detail.
Note: A good tool to determine what is instructional code and will be processed on the local host, is the option MLOGIC. MLOGIC specifies whether the macro processor prints a message whenever the SAS System executes any macro instructional code within a macro. Any statements produced by MLOGIC are processed on the local host and everything else is executed on the remote host.
For example, in the following code, all the %LET statements are inside the RSUBMIT block. The &USER1 macro is assigned in the local SAS session rather than the remote. However, by placing the %LET statement inside a macro, &USER2 is set in the remote session.
%macro client; RSUBMIT; %let user1 = %sysget(LOGNAME); %macro remote; %global user2; %let user2 = %sysget(LOGNAME); %mend remote; %remote data _null_; put "user 1 = &user1"; put " 2 = &user2"; run; ENDRSUBMIT; %mend client; %client
In the macro CLIENT, everything within the macro is stored as text except the %LET statement that creates the macro variable USER1. This means everything within the macro is passed to the remote host except the %LET statement. Because the %LET statement is executed on the local host, the macro variable USER1 is created on the local host. The %LET statement that creates the macro variable USER2 and the references to the USER1 and USER2 variables are both seen as text and are executed on the remote host.
Copyright 1999 by SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC, USA. All rights reserved.
Grab a partner — friend, lover or stranger — and get ready to get intimate.
With this app, drawn from a study discussed in The New York Times and designed in consultation with the study's first author, you and a partner can test if mutual vulnerability brings you closer together.
Before you begin, you or your partner should read the following instructions aloud:
For inspiration, read Mandy Len Catron's Modern Love essay, “To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This,” the study by Arthur Aron, Edward Melinat, Elaine N. Aron, Robert Darrin Vallone and Renee J. Bator, originally published in the Personality and Social Psychology Journal (PDF) and a blog post on how the study came to be.
Those using SuccessFactors Time Sheets (positive or negative time entry) will experience a new Time Sheet starting April 24. Click the SuccessFactors Updated Time Sheet Tour to watch a quick video of the changes. The following resources are available.
Supervisors inform employees concerning work schedules and timekeeping requirements. They inform if completing a timesheet (positive time entry), clocking in or out through the Webclock, is required to document hours worked.
Supervisors and employees can email firstname.lastname@example.org with time-related troubleshooting, questions or issues. Supervisors and employees can contact their college or school Employment/Payroll center for work schedule and time profile changes.
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