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It’s Time to Own Your Hustle

Do you have a retirement plan? Can you imagine living beyond closing-to-closing? Are you ready to transition your business from surviving to thriving?

A panel of experts will be ready to help provide you tools to do just that on Thursday, August 1; 1-5 p.m. at the CCAR Headquarters in Plano.

Pre-registration is required, so reserve your spot now at www.ccar.net/event/own-your-hustle and prepare to own your hustle!

Learn from Expert Panelists: 
How to Transition Your Business from Surviving to Thriving 
The Basics of Accounting, Record-Keeping & Write-Offs
Setting Up Systems for Efficient Day-to-Day Operation
Financial Goal-Setting & Effectively Working the Long-Term Plan
Building Internal and External Teams as you Network & Negotiate
Types of Business Structures: LLC, Sole Proprietorship, & Corporation
and more…

Apply Now: TREPAC Trustee Applications Accepted through July 31

Texas REALTORS® is looking for a TREPAC Trustee to serve our region beginning January 1, 2020. If you would like to be a nominated candidate to serve as TREPAC Trustee and go through the interview appointment process, please review the following criteria, as well as the So you are considering becoming a TREPAC Trustee…now what?” document:

1.    To be eligible to be an Elected Trustee, a person must be a REALTOR® member of the Texas REALTORS® and be nominated by the Nominating Committee.

2.    To be eligible to be nominated by the Nominating Committee to become an Elected Trustee, a person must: A.) have contributed at least $110 a year to TREPAC in 2 of the 3 years prior to the time of the nomination, including the year of nomination; B.) have a history of political involvement and a commitment to working within TREPAC in a non-partisan manner; C.) have demonstrated the ability and importance of TREPAC fundraising and served at least one year on a local association’s TREPAC or Government Affairs committee; and D.) be endorsed by: A local association of REALTORS® in the Region in which the nominee resides or maintains the nominee’s principal place of business; or a voting member of the Board of Trustees.

3.    Meet the “Mandatory Requirements and Duties” of a Trustee.

If you are interested in serving as a TREPAC Trustee, please review all of the above information closely, and complete your “Nominating Committee Profile” form prior to July 31, 2019. All forms should be submitted via email by July 31 to Deb Garen at [email protected].

Begin your Certified International Property Specialist Certification Process at CCAR

Recently, Texas REALTORS® analyzed data from April 2017 to March 2018 and published their findings in the “Texas International Homebuyers Report” for 2018. The report shows that international homebuyers added a whopping 10.89 billion dollars to the Texas economy.

The Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan statistical area was eighth most popular among homebuyers nationwide. No doubt diversifying your everyday clientele.

In response to the growing diversity in our area, CCAR is excited to offer our members a chance to complete two of the required Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) certification courses.

Occurring only once a year at CCAR, the core CIPS required courses will take place July 22 and July 23 at our Plano office. Members will also have a chance to complete “At Home with Diversity,” one of the required CIPS electives on August 9 at CCAR’s Plano office.

Registration is limited and must be completed individually for each course.

CIPS Instructor, Candy Cooke, believes “Every Texas REALTOR® should be taking these courses. It will help each agent to be successful. The information given in these classes is fascinating. We have so many people moving in that we help to find homes and we do not understand how each culture differs. CIPS gives you the info to be able to work with anyone.  It also makes sure that you reduce your risk.”

Cooke notes that the knowledge learned at CIPS courses is not only fascinating, but also a key factor to an agent’s ongoing success, “…because of our state’s location on the border as well as foreign companies coming in.”

Jamuna Thill, Chairperson of CCAR’s Global Diversity Committee, echoes the powerful pull Texas has for international buyers.

International homebuyers relocating to Texas is not a fad, and will continue as an ongoing trend. International homebuyers will continue to be attracted to Texas due to our location, climate, education, affordability, jobs, infrastructure and economy,” Thill explains. Noting that when agents take time to “…understand what an international homebuyer’s criteria is and why…[they] prevent headaches for everyone.”

Thill acknowledges, “Real estate agents may experience international buyers that request reduced commissions, seem disloyal, or present low-ball offers that make us cringe. It is important to remember international buyers often come from parts of the world where negotiating and stretching their dollar is a way of life. While their requests may seem strange or illogical, our role is to help the consumer find what they want and protect them by using the right forms and treat them with the same respect as you would any other client.”

Don’t miss your only chance this year to begin your CIPS certification process at CCAR, register today!

Summer Dreams of the Perfect Home

This article was originally published May 2019 in North DFW Real Producers Magazine

North DFW is growing at a rapid pace, giving buyers the opportunity to break ground on their very own dream home. What will be on the top of their wish list this summer? We spoke with industry leaders in North DFW to hear what is in high demand and what has lost its luster.

1. Buyers are bored with white on white on grey

This summer buyers are seeking to personalize their space with pops of color on back splashes, painted personal rooms, and islands. Trending colors will range from “ice cream cone” shades such as blush pink or mint green to moody deep jewel colors like emerald green and sapphire blue.

2. Personal preference and self-expression has spread to the exterior

Hillwood Communities recently conducted an extensive survey with over 800 participants, yielding a surprising result: Buyers’ ideal exterior is highly diversified. 36% of the participants desire “English Romantic” exteriors (the traditional brick/stone exteriors commonly found in North DFW), 30% sought Craftsman exteriors, 25-30% wanted a Mediterranean exterior, 22% a home reminiscent of the French countryside, while 21% wanted their dream house to be a “Modern Farmhouse,” and 16% wanted a transitional exterior. Furthermore, buyers are willing to pay for their ideal exterior, with 71% of survey participants willing to pay 5% premium for upgraded exterior architecture.

In response to the survey, Hillwood Communities launched a new community, Pecan Square, where buyers will have various exterior styles to choose from when building their dream home.

Meanwhile, at the Light Farms development in Prosper, K. Hovnanian homebuilders have seen an overwhelming demand for neutral brick tones and messy mortar. A happy blend of the long lasting, traditional brick exterior of North DFW with farmhouse flair. A trend that is sure to surge in 2019.

3. Out with formal in with flex

Unless a multi-generational homebuyer, buyers are not interested in formal dining rooms or sitting rooms. Instead, they are seeking flex or auxiliary spaces that they can use for their varying needs. A family with young children may use the space as a playroom, a professional working remotely can enjoy the space as a home office, or the space can become a home gym for the fitness conscious owners.

4. Mudrooms are required

A space for hats, jackets, bags and messy shoes when entering the home has remained in demand for so many years and proven its functionality that mudrooms will be standard in new builds this summer.

5. To tub or not to tub, that is the question; and the answer is up to the buyer

Some buyers are opting to go without a tub entirely in favor of walk-in showers in secondary bathrooms and a large spa shower in the master bath. Still other buyers desire a large soaking tub in the master and a functional shower/tub combo in the secondary bathrooms to accommodate bathing small children.

6. A great room with vaulted ceilings is only growing in popularity and shows no signs of slowing

Buyers continue to seek open layouts with a kitchen that opens to a larger space for dining and lounging, highlighted with high, preferably vaulted, ceilings.

7. Smart use of space is expected in 2019

Due to land shortage, financial limitations, and resource conscious buyers, builders have demanded ingenuity from their architects. Buyers are delighted when they find a one story that has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a flex space under 2,300 square feet.

The trends of 2019 make this summer an exciting time to build a new home. A time when personal preference is king; from exterior design, use of color, to the formation of a bathroom. The biggest question from builders to buyers now is, “What do YOU want?”

Is Collin County the Tortoise or the Hare?

PLANO, Texas — The Collin County Association of Realtors (CCAR) reports that slow and steady really does win the race as slow growth rewarded sellers with record-breaking profits and buyers with increased ability to purchase their home along with strikingly high inventory levels in May 2019.

Seller’s increased profits were due to the median sales price hitting $326,500 in May 2019. A mere 2% increase from May 2018, yet resulting in the highest median sales price ever recorded for the  CCAR Pulse area. The same percentage of original listing price was received in May 2019 as the month prior (96.5%), signifying that the median sales price increase was a result of higher original listing prices in May 2019.

While an increase in sales price was good news for sellers, it was not necessarily bad news for buyers. In May 2019, the Housing Affordability Index increased 2%, matching the 2% increase of median sales price; indicating that the median household income is 103% of what is necessary to qualify for a median-priced home under prevailing interest rates.

Additionally, the CCAR Pulse area had a substantial 16.3% increase in inventory in May 2019 than May 2018 (13,983 vs. 12,020), providing buyers with ample homes to purchase. The increased inventory resulted in 3.5 months of inventory in May 2019, a 20.7% increase from May 2018.

However, high inventory does not mean a  slowing of sales. In May 2019, buyers continued to snatch up new listings at an increased rate, resulting in 15.5% more projected closed sales in May 2019 compared to the year prior (5,935 vs. 5,139).

David Alan Cox, CCAR President, reports that, “Collin County’s housing market is healthy and growing at a sustainable rate. It feels different from two years ago with bidding wars and messy multiple offer situations, but the slow and steady growth of 2019 has continued to provide seller’s with increased profits, while allowing buyers to breathe a bit easier when considering a home.”

Indeed, the tortoise pace of 2019 has removed the frenzy, provided seller’s with confidence their investment is appreciating, and allowed buyers time to consider their purchase. Not a bad way to win a race.

May 2019 Pulse Statistics Update Directed and Produced by Garrett Holton, CCAR Videographer/ Digital Media Editor

Economic Update: Good News, Bad News, and Be-on-the-Lookout News

By Mickey Lynam (NMLS 974623), IBERIABANK Mortgage, Member of CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee

Today’s economy is anything but stable. One day the stock market is up, the next day it falls significantly. Why? Who knows. That’s why I am in the mortgage business!

However, one does not need to know the “why” to know that economic news has a direct effect on the realty and mortgage industries. This is why many home buyers and real estate professionals are keeping a close eye on the health of the U.S. economy.

So, is the economic news report good news? Bad news? Or be-on-the-lookout news? Let’s take a look at all three.

Good NewsMortgage rates are at or near two-year lows

Many feel the Federal Reserve will lower bank loan rates in July; this does not necessarily coincide with lower mortgage rates but all signs and comments by those “in the know” seem to point to lower rather than higher mortgage rates overall through 2019. Currently, the U.S. economy is strong, consumer confidence is high, while unemployment is low; these factors coupled with low mortgage rates are all positive signs for a strong home purchase market (refinances are also on the rise).

Bad News: Mortgage rates are at or near two-year lows

A recent study found that 69% of U.S.-based company CFO’s (the really smart people) expect a recession by the end of 2020. This also plays into the hand of lower interest rates, but also leads job fears and potentially lower home sales.

Good News: Home prices have moderated

Home prices have moderated and are going up in value at a much slower pace than the past few years; with wages increasing this makes homes more affordable. There is more inventory in the higher price segments of the market making the market more balanced.

Bad News: Home price increases have moderated

Home prices have moderated overall, but the lower priced homes ($400,000 and under) are still seeing steady increases as demand outweighs supply. This ongoing issue creates problems for FTHB’s.

Good News: A favorable lending market

Since the financial meltdown of 2008 and the subsequent recovery, the underwriting guidelines in the conventional mortgage market have consistently eased; creating a more favorable lending market.

Bad News: Underwriting standards are tightening

Recently, we have seen that the FHA is paying closer attention to borrower credit scores and debt ratios and have tightened their underwriting standards. FHA loans with 3.5% down payment, lower credit score hurdles, and higher allowed debt ratios are a key product for lenders lending to FTHB’s and those applicants with lesser credit quality than conventional loans.

Be-on-the-lookout: Geopolitical risks continue to influence the mortgage rate market

Trade issues with China and rising tensions in the Middle East affect the U.S. and world economy as the news changes almost daily. As investors move to safety, the demand for U.S. Treasury bonds increases pushing rates lower. When trade tensions seem to ease or resolve, “hope springs eternal” for the worldwide economy, as investors get more comfortable with other investments (stocks) and mortgage rates trend higher.

Summary: The overall economy in the United States and especially the North Texas region is very good

The overall economy in the U.S. and especially the North Texas region is very good and the housing market remains solid. We may not be in the record setting era of a few years back, but overall, it is healthy. However, as the news changes back-and-forth, it is as important as ever to form strong partnerships between REALTORS® and lenders so we can serve our clients with the expertise they deserve.

CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee strives to strengthen those partnerships, allowing us all to serve our clients more effectively. To connect with the REALTOR®/Lender Committee email [email protected].

When a Client Can’t Spring Clean: How to Know if you are Dealing with a Hoarder

This article was originally published March 2019 in North DFW Real Producers Magazine

Agents know to expect the unexpected when entering a home for a listing presentation. But what if every seat is taken by stacks of papers and rooms unable to be entered, blocked by the storage of beloved items? What if the home is located in a highly desirable area, an architectural gem, but reeking of animal urine?

This fictional client has checked the clinical markers for diagnosing a hoarder and, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), is more common than you might think. The APA reports up to six percent of the population struggles with hoarding, translating to as many as 408,000 people in the DFW area alone. The APA defines the condition as one in which the patient “excessively saves items that others may view as worthless. They have persistent difficulty getting rid of or parting with possessions, leading to clutter that disrupts their ability to use their living or work spaces.”

Nathan Peterson of OCD and Anxiety Counseling in McKinney, Texas has worked as a licensed clinical social worker for five years and in the social work field for 11 years. He emphasizes that, “A hoarder will exhibit anxiety or stress when asked to depart with items. Messy people can throw things away but lack motivation, hoarders can’t due to the emotional distress it causes them.” While reality TV has led to increased fascination with hoarding, it is important to view hoarding as the severe mental illness that it is. The condition is even traceable down familial lines, genetically passed down with other hoarders or sufferers of OCD in previous generations.

So how likely is it that a hoarder will need to sell their home? Peterson acknowledges that it is unusual for a hoarder to allow outside individuals in, but he has had numerous patients discuss a desire to “move and start fresh” and a few have successfully done so. Other times, a hoarder is forced to sell due to an inability to pay for the home or repair the home before it is condemned by the city. This can be appealing for some agents, as the majority of hoarder’s homes have been inherited, and many are in desirable historic locations.

Although the hoarder may desire or need to sell their home, there is still a question if the potential client is capable of selling their home. Peterson suggests that in order to evaluate a hoarder’s capability to prepare their home for the market, “determine if they can keep a deadline, ask them to clean out a room by the time you come back next week and see if they can do it.” It is likely that although the client has good intentions, or a looming financial reality that requires them to sell their home, they simply find it too difficult.

When Peterson enters a hoarder’s home for a clinical session, he will spend three hours discussing why a pen, sitting next to a mountain of other pens, should be thrown away or kept. The task is tedious and lengthy, but the breakthrough that occurs when a decision is successfully made is the foundation for the journey ahead. That journey does not fit with the typical listing preparation timeline.

An option for those who are unable to part with items themselves is to hire a de-junking company, but this must be done with care. The Health Department in Nantucket, Massachusetts rolled out a program that allowed social workers to require and supervise forced cleanouts. Neighboring homeowners were delighted; it meant less rodents, pests, and mildew for them. However, the Health Department quickly abandoned forced cleanouts when three consecutive hoarders died shortly after being returned to their cleaned-out homes.

“Hoarders often have the same level of connection to items in their home as they do people or their family members,” Peterson explains, so to see their home stripped of their most prized possessions is truly devastating.

This is why most homes owned by hoarders are not sold, or sold as-is. If your client or loved one struggles with hoarding, help from a mental health professional is imperative. The process will be difficult, and will not fit the typical listing time line, but at the end there is freedom.

Got Buyers Who Can’t Get Approved? A New Generation of Mortgage Loans Provides a Solution

By Alexandra Swan (NMLS 117371), Willow Bend Mortgage, 2019 Chair of CCAR’s Realtor/Lender Committee

According to the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, 30% of Texans are self-employed. Fueled by a strong economy, a swelling population in North Texas, and a new tax law that rewards small business ownership- self-employed Texans are a growing part of our society.

As these entrepreneurs earn more money they often want to purchase real estate, but for the self-employed, buying a home or investment property can create a lot of challenges. The same tax advantages that allow the self-employed to keep more of their income by writing off their expenses become disadvantages at loan application.  Traditional underwriting requires that buyers qualify off the adjusted gross income—after netting out claimed expenses. Traditional underwriting also sets  limits on the number of financed properties an investor can own—making it more difficult to build wealth through real estate acquisition.

This does not mean that the self-employed are forever destined to rent. A growing group of loan products help self-employed borrowers qualify without using their tax returns or going through traditional underwriting. These products, broadly known as non-QM, (the QM stands for qualified mortgage) qualify borrowers based on their financial picture rather than narrowly-defined agency underwriting guidelines. To help your self-employed borrowers navigate this relatively new arena of non-QM mortgages, here’s what you need to know:

  1. Non-QM mortgages are not stated-income mortgages—at least not for primary residences and not in the traditional sense of the term. To comply with Dodd Frank the borrower needs to demonstrate ability-to-repay the loan.  Some programs allow as little documentation as a one month bank statement along with a letter from the buyer stating the income, but most will require 12 months of consecutive personal bank statements or 24 months of consecutive business bank statements.  Deposits will be averaged and unusual deposit activity will either be proven as income or subtracted from the total amount of deposits.
  2. No-income verification loans exist only for investment properties—and the property must really be used as an investment. That means that the borrower has to be able to prove that he has a primary residence elsewhere that he is going to continue to maintain after purchasing the rental property.  The appraisal must support the future rental income of the property.
  3. “Reduced documentation” is a misnomer for these loan types. A few months ago, a LO in our company asked me a few questions about a bank statement loan he was preparing to submit.  As I tried to go over the guidelines, he said rather dismissively, “It’s a bank statement loan—how many conditions can there be?”  The short answer is –A LOT.  Non-QM mortgages do not sell to the agencies—Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA or USDA.  They do not have mortgage insurance.  They are portfolio loans underwritten to the guidelines of the lender who is offering them.  These types of loans require extensive documentation and are time consuming and paper-intensive—it’s just DIFFERENT documentation and DIFFERENT conditions from the ones typically seen on a traditional mortgage loan.
  4. Interest rates and fees will be higher. Depending on the product being offered as well as the reason and type of mortgage loan, the interest rate may range from the high 5% range for a primary residence purchase with 25% down to the mid 7% range for an investor cash flow loan.  Borrowers can also expect to pay higher underwriting fees, typically ranging from $1300-$1500.00 and may be charged between 1% and 3% as an origination fee.   Non-QM loans represent a much higher risk to the investor (for the reasons listed in paragraph # 2 above) and that risk is priced into the rate and the fees.
  5. There may be a pre-payment penalty. Prepayment penalties were once common—today they are as rare as a dinosaur’s egg on most transactions.  But non-QM investor cash flow loans typically require prepayment penalties.
  6. The appraisal and the quality of the collateral is REALLY important. The collateral is important on all mortgage loans, but in the case of non-QM loans, the property is the central piece of the loan.  Expect more appraisal scrutiny, additional costs, and requirements for reviews.
  7. Not all non-QM loans are created equal. In fact, they vary pretty widely by lender.  Many mortgage companies are now developing their own, in-house products, which compete with the better-known products already out in the market.  Since these products are portfolio products, each lender sets their own underwriting guidelines and terms.  That means that if one lender turns your loan down, chances are pretty good that you may still be able to find a home for it with a different lender.

Not every loan originator is skilled with non-QM loans.  Likewise, not all originators have worked with multiple types of non-QM mortgages.  If you have a buyer who needs a bank statement or non-QM mortgage, talk to the loan originator about the deal.  Ask how many non-QM transactions he has done and what his comfort level is.  Stay in communication with the loan originator and the borrower to make sure the borrower is furnishing the requested paperwork in a timely manner.  Remember that the LO never asks for documentation for the sake of creating more work for the borrower.  Getting the proper paperwork in on time is essential to a successful closing and funding.

For questions about how non-QM mortgages work, the types of loan products out there today, and the overall approval process, email CCAR’s REALTOR®/Lender Committee at [email protected]

When to Create a Facebook Event and How to Make it Successful

Facebook events are an under-utilized feature that can be a big help to real estate professionals. Whether you are hosting an open house, client appreciation event, networking lunch, family reunion, a summer cook out, or birthday party–Facebook events can help.

CCAR is lucky enough to have our own Social Media Specialist, Kendall Crawford, to organize CCAR events on Facebook. Kendall has unparalleled talent in all things social media and kindly shared her expertise, so that we can plan and promote our summer shindigs with ease.

Let’s start with the basics, what is a Facebook “event?” 

An “event” on Facebook is a separate page created to discuss and give details for an event you have coming up. It is like a chatroom for your event where people can share ideas and RSVP.

How and why do you create an event?

These events are perfect in place of paper invitations and can promote open houses, office grand openings, committee meetings, organize volunteer efforts–really anything you want people to know about. They are also really useful to gauge interest for an event or open house/listing.

An added perk is Facebook reminds users of events they have RSVPed to as “interested” or “going.”

To create an event, you go to your Facebook page and click “events” from the side bar. You are then directed to a page that has a “+ create event” button. From there, you fill in the details for your event. If you are on a personal page, you have a choice to make the event “private” or “public.” A private event is only visible to those who you add to the event, and a public event is visible to anyone on Facebook.

Business pages do not have the option of creating a private event.

What would you call a “successful” Facebook event? Is it the number of attendees?  

I consider a Facebook event successful if there is a lot of participation and interaction on the page–not the number of attendees at the actual event. For example: If only a few people come to an open house but there was a lot of interaction on the event page with users asking for details about the home, commenting on the gorgeous entry and size of the back yard–I call that a successful Facebook event.

Bonus: Interactions push your event back to the top of Facebook users’ feeds and increase your social media presence–even declined invitations!

Is there something you can do to make it successful? 

I tell people the same advice for posts and events: You engage to get engagement. It is important for you to add to the event page, comment with new details, ask questions to the attendees, and show excitement for your upcoming event. You don’t want to create an event page and then leave it unattended. If the creator of an event page is too busy to interact with the event, attendees won’t prioritize it either.

A huge benefit for business accounts is the ability to pay for promotion of their event within Facebook. You absolutely should. I suggest businesses have a dedicated budget for Facebook event promotions. When boosting your event, Facebook allows you to specify your target audience and can be a tremendous benefit.

How far in advance should you create an event and invite friends? 

If you create it too far out, you risk over marketing and repetition. For big events that you know about far in advance, I recommend three months. For smaller, casual events, a few weeks is fine. And, of course, for open houses one week or a few days prior is all you need.

Do you have any other tips? 

If your event has a flyer created, I recommend uploading that as your event image so users can quickly view all the details. If there is not a flyer, make sure you use something eye catching, fun and related to the event.

Also, it is important to note that Facebook events are exclusive to Facebook users, so it is a good idea to use alternative methods of communication to ensure those without Facebook still receive information regarding your event.

 

That’s everything! You are ready to host limitless open houses and pool parties this summer–just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Residential Pools are High Risk of VGB Safety Noncompliance

Tom Tracy, TREC Professional Inspector (#23433), Blue Sky Home Inspections, CCAR Affiliate Committee Member

As summer approaches and swimsuits start to make their way out of storage it is time to start thinking about pool safety. Texas regularly leads the nation as having one of the highest child mortality incidences as a result of drowning. The grim statistics & information contained in this article are intended to raise the readers awareness because the most effective drowning prevention approach is to have an actively engaged and knowledgeable adult supervisor present.   

-Drowning is the #2 cause of death in children under the age of 14.

-For every child that drowns, 5 other children received emergency medical care.

-Children with autism are five to 14 times more likely to drown than peers without autism. Accidental drowning accounted for 91% of deaths for children 14 & under who have been diagnosed with autism. (Stats care of TXDPA)

In 2002, Virginia Graham Baker (VGB), granddaughter of Secretary of State Jim Baker was just 7 years old when she drowned while being entrapped by a drain in a swimming pool. Congress acted swiftly and a series of regulations were enacted under the VGB laws which were immediately mandatory for all commercial pools but were only required for residential pools that were undergoing major remodels or newly constructed residential pools. This means that there are still a LOT of residential pools that are NOT VGB safety compliant in use today.

Basics to identify and react to a non-compliant VGB pools:
  1. Only One Drain Opening: If you are at an older home (2003 and older) and the pool only has one drain opening it may not be VGB compliant. While the pool may have had a mechanical pressure safety shutoff installed, the presence of only a single drain should immediately raise your awareness level.
  2. You aren’t stronger than a pool pump. The typical flow rate of a pool pump is 40-70 GPM (Gallons Per Minute). Reported entrapment scenarios have indicated that several healthy adult males in shallow water were unable to free an entrapped swimmer. The pressure is so great that evisceration has occurred.
  3. Know where the shutoffs are. Commercial pool/spa shutoffs are in bright red boxes in plain sight for a reason. Ask your pool owner where the residential pump shutoffs are located. Have the pool owner demonstrate how they operate.
  4. Don’t play with drains. Drains aren’t toys. End of story. Redirect children immediately and advise them of the hazards.
  5. For more information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Graeme_Baker_Pool_and_Spa_Safety_Act or http://www.txdpa.com/drowning-prevention

Have a great summer and let’s work together to keep the kids safe.