Real Estate Information Archive


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EL Paso Independent School District!

by Dan & Patti Olivas


Trust in the community, worried employees, financial shortfalls and above all student results that are less than stellar.  As you can see, the new Administration and the appointed Board of Managers have multifaceted challenges.  While these challenges have existed in many cases long before they came along, they are now theirs to own and to solve.

Apparently the previous administration, for whatever reason, presented a budget using overstated revenues and understated expenses.  The budget seems to have been predicated on inflated enrollment numbers.  In fact, all of their graphing information clearly showed that enrollment was decreasing and the district was on a downward trend. A drop of 1600 students equals a shortfall in revenues of 8 to 9 million dollars.  When you couple this with budgeting expenditures of teacher’s raises and increased health benefits that were based on that non existing revenue you have created a multifaceted challenge if not a downright disaster.  Spoiler Alert - You can’t spend money you don’t have! (That is of course unless you’re our Congress, but that’s another blog).  But there was money spent that did not exist.  Teachers were hired that there were no positions for.

Why didn’t the new administration or the Board of Managers catch this glaring overstatement of revenue?  The reason, I guess, could be as simple as: when they came in to office the budget had already been set and they did not have the luxury of time to go over the budget in detail.  We will go with that until it’s proven otherwise.  At this point, it matters little what the reasons are.  This problem now sits squarely in the lap of the new superintendent Juan Cabrera and the Board of Managers.  They have to stand up, own it and put forth their proposed solutions to fix it.

So how do you take ownership of a multifaceted down right disaster you didn’t create? The first thing is to be truthful about the problems and their scope.  Each issue needs to be addressed.

1. Trust: you combat lack of trust by being forthright; saying what you mean and meaning what you say, you do what you say you will do.

2. Worried Employees: It’s my understanding the over hiring of teachers will not result in anyone losing their job, that through attrition (The natural reduction of teachers due to retirement, resignation etc.) this problem will be solved.  If in fact they are not going to lose their jobs, then tell them so!  And this assurance should come directly from Mr. Cabrera.  This starts a culture of trust and loyalty that is sorely needed. 

3. Fiscal shortfalls: State how and why this occurred without belaboring the point.  Emphasize your intentions to fix the problem, and how these fixes will also improve the culture and efficiencies at EPISD.  How about doing what some other schools out of this area have done?  Have programs where 4 year olds attend school on a full day schedule, this would increase enrollment wouldn’t it?  Or how about something bold like cutting salaries by 5 or 10% off of administrators at the top of the food chain, talk about sending a strong message!  Come up with novel ideas that don’t include tax hikes.

4. Poor student results: This one is the overarching issue that needs to be fixed at all costs even though it has existed for years, in fact decades.  Today is the time to draw a line in the sand and say “No More”!  The community would be relieved and energized to hear a superintendent stand up and speak frankly to the fact that the results of this district are not acceptable.  And let’s be clear, 'this-fixing', this problem has nothing to do with the improvement of scores on those State mandated tests.  It has all to do with developing teaching criteria that motivates, stimulates and invigorates kids to want to learn. It allows good teachers to teach from that point of view “ I can make a difference” and “every kid can learn failure is not an option”.  This inspires kids to want to stay in school!  All of this has one aim, to insure that we end up with kids that are truly college ready.

From here on out this administration and the Board of Managers must convey, not only through their statements but by their actions, to the community that they understand that their responsibility is to be laser sharp on what’s best for the kids and their future.  I also say no bond issues- not until you demonstrate results that prove our kids are getting a first class education that is preparing them for the future. 

Everyday every person that has anything to do with EPISD should be able to answer the question “what have you done today to insure that my kids are prepared for a successful life and are college ready?” 

 I believe this Administration and the current Board of Managers can have an enormous impact in setting EPISD on the right course, but they are going to need the communities support, and that goes back to the trust issue.    

Parents also need to elevate their role in the success of their children. Without Parental involvement the likelihood of a child being successful in school and in life is very low (This sounds like the subject for another blog).

The success or failure of this administration and Board of Managers will rest on these simple words: "What policies have you put in place that will insure a change in the efficiencies, culture and afford our children the best opportunity to be successful"?

Thou Shall Not!!

by Dan & Patti Olivas

Mortgage Companies many times will update your credit file prior to closing. This is your guide of things that you do not want to do without first checking with your loan officer and your Agent (Dan Olivas and Associates)

1.     Do not co-sign a loan for anyone!  

2.     Do not change your bank accounts!  This will cause you a headache in trying to explain why you did this and could cause a delay in closing as the mortgage company re-verifies your account.

3.     Do not make any large  deposits to your account. Any unusual deposits into your account could be a red flag to the mortgage company and will require further explanation.

4.     Do not do anything that is going to originate an inquiry into your credit.  Again this will just cause you to have to write an explanation.

5.     Do not spend the money you have set aside for closing.

6.     Do not leave  any debts off your loan application.

7.     Do not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.   This will throw a monkey wrench into your home buying process.

8.     Do not let any monthly or revolving accounts become delinquent.  This is a deal killer.

9.     Do not buy a new car, truck or van.  Unless you want to live in it… (Just being funny!)

You have done all the hard work to position yourself to buy a home, don't  let any one of these items mentioned above derail your plans.

The next step is to enjoy your new home!!

If you have any real estate questions, feel free to call Dan Olivas and Associates

 915-584-5430 office

915-241-0735  Dan Olivas

915-241-0087  Patti Olivas

Shoppers Explore The Railroad Box Cars!!

by Dan & Patti Olivas

Driving on Mesa Street between Executive and Festival, you can’t help but see the sprawling and imaginative display of beautiful apartments called Monticello.  What are not yet as noticeable are the quaint shops and restaurants that are next to and in between the Monticello. This distinctive project will add choices in eating and shopping locations on the West side.  The use of old railroad box cars is a clever idea that will certainly add ambiance to the experience.  As I walked along the winding path ways that lead from little shops carved out of converted box cars to the more expansive shops constructed with a whimsical use of concrete, tin and wood, I couldn't help but picture myself in another city distant from El Paso.  The feel was definitely a community minded type of intimacy, if you know what I mean.

The passageways in some places are narrower than in others: some made of concrete others of wood, and if you keep walking you inevitably come across various patios where I assume there will be ample seating. I would anticipate that once this great discovery opens there will be aromas of great food and sounds of people having conversation, laughing, and simply having a great time.  I found at least a couple of restaurants being constructed.  I have no doubt that this shopping center will quickly become a popular place to meet up with friends and to explore all its nooks and crannies, then settle into one of the hot new restaurants to enjoy a great meal, a cold beer, or simply a glass of wine.  This will be a great addition to El Paso. 





Is buying a home a pleasant or frustrating experience?

by Dan & Patti Olivas

So You Want to Buy a Home!

Here are a few pointers to make your experience a pleasant one:

Choose a Realtor that will listen to you, one that understands the importance of this investment that you are making. Make sure your Realtor conveys the message to you that this whole process is about you. You don't need a chauffeur you need someone that knows how to assemble a team of experts in their particular field and are focused on making this a memorable and seamless process for you.

By team I am talking I am talking about the  Loan officer, title officer, Inspector (you will choose the inspector, but your Realtor should provide you with a list of inspectors), your insurance agent is also part of this team and any other expert that needs to be brought into the mix.  Above all your Realtor should be the person that is guiding you through the entire process.  Your Realtor should walk you through this process  starting at the very beginning.

Be clear on what you are  looking for. Example: is your preference a two story or single level home, and is it new or a resale? Have your Realtor explain the advantages.  Do you care if it has  evaporated air or refrigerated air conditioning? Again if you don't know the differences have it explained to you. Be sure you are  being realistic taking into consideration your budget and the realization that there is no such thing as "that perfect house".

When you’re out looking at homes, if you walk into a home that you know immediately isn't going to work for you,do yourself and your Realtor a big favor tell them, "let’s not waste time this one won't work."

When you find the home you want to make an offer on your Realtor will do a  market analysis for you in order to guide you on where to start your offer and then they will do all the negotiations on your behalf.  If you're offering on a new home there will be minimal negotiations on the price, however, most builders will be offering buyer incentives. Your Realtor will attend the closing with you.

Look for more tips in the coming weeks.

Happy home buying!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of Dan & Patti Olivas Real Estate
Dan & Patti Olivas
Dan Olivas & Associates
240 Thunderbird, Suite D
El Paso TX 79912
Office: (915) 584-5430
Mobile: (915) 241-0087