From Beach To Bay| Beach Rentals and Real Estate Sales | Dana Hammele | RE/MAX By The Bay

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It's all in the numbers, and the math works on this one!

9/7/2018

Seawind 1901 is a corner unit, and because it is, it rents better than interior units.

Here is the math on this beautiful condo.  Easily could generate 42k+ in rentals for the right investor and property manager.

View Virtual Tour Here

 

11 Reasons Why Your Home Isn't Selling

7/24/2018

By Charles Muotoh

When you first put your house on the market, you might be hopeful for a quick sale—especially if you've put a lot of money into improving the house over the years and if the neighborhood is one that has historically attracted a lot of buyers. While you shouldn't panic if the house doesn't sell the moment you list it, you should begin to worry if the months start flying by without any real offers. If this is the case, here are 11 reasons why your house may not be selling.
 
1. You overvalued your property. If your house is overpriced, it's simply not going to sell. Compare your property to similar properties that recently sold within your area to get a better idea of its true value. An experienced real estate agent can give you an accurate value of your home. Additionally, don't make the mistake of tacking on the cost of any renovations you made. You can't just assume that the cost of a renovation translates to added value.
 
2. Your listing is poor. If the listing of your home includes a poorly written description without any images, a lot of buyers are going to skip over it. Make sure you and your REALTOR® put an effort into creating a listing that attracts the attention of buyers. Make sure to add high quality photographs of both the interior and exterior of your home. Don't forget to highlight unique features, as well.
 
3. You're always present at showings. Let your agent handle your showings. Buyers don't want to have the seller lurking over their shoulder during showings, especially during an open house. This puts unwanted pressure on the buyer, which will make them uncomfortable and likely chase them away.
 
4. You're too attached. If you refuse to negotiate even a penny off your price, then there's a good chance that you've become too attached to your home. If a part of you doesn't want to sell it, or you think your house is the best house in the world, odds are you're going to have a lot of difficulties coming to an agreement with a potential buyer.
 
5. You haven't had your home professionally cleaned. A dirty house is going to leave a bad impression on buyers. Make sure you have a professional clean your carpeting and windows before you begin showing your house.
 
6. You haven't staged your home. If you've already moved out, then don't show an empty house. This makes it difficult for buyers to imagine living in it. Stage your house with furniture and decor to give buyers a better idea of how big every room is and how it can be used. You want the buyer to feel at home when they are taking the tour.
 
7. You kept up all of your personal decor. Buyers are going to feel uncomfortable touring your house if you keep all of your family portraits up. Take down your personal decor so that buyers can have an easier time imagining themselves living there.
 
8. Your home improvements are too personalized. You might think that the comic book mural you painted for your child's room is absolutely incredible, but that doesn't mean potential buyers will agree. If your home improvements are too personalized, it can scare off buyers who don't want to pay for features they don't want.
 
9. Your home is too cluttered. Even if your home is clean, clutter can still be an issue. For example, maybe you simply have too much furniture in one of your rooms. This can make the house feel smaller than it is.
 
10. Your home is in need of too many repairs. The more repairs that are needed, the less likely a buyer will want your house. Many buyers simply don't want to deal with the cost or effort of doing repair work, even if it's just a bunch of small repairs, such as tightening a handrail or replacing a broken tile.
 
11. You chose the wrong real estate agent. In my opinion, choosing the right real estate agent is simply the most important decision you make in selling your home. A good REALTOR® makes all the difference in selling your home within a reasonable time.
 
All these things can be fixed once you realize your mistake; however, the longer your property stays on the market, the less likely it will sell at listing price. One of the best ways to avoid making these common mistakes is by working with a professional real estate agent.

Millennials Search for Unconventional Down Payment Funds, but at What Cost?

7/18/2018

By Liz Dominguez

Student loan debt and rising rental prices are standing in the way of millennials who want to buy their first home; however, these challenges are being overcome via some unconventional methods. Millennials are getting creative and finding sources for their down payment by any means necessary. But are these methods hurting the millennial generation financially? These options are often a last resort as they can be costly...and can even have an emotional toll on those involved.

 
Borrowing from family: Sure, gifted money doesn't sound bad. But what if the families don't have the cash to give? Instead, buyers are asking that their parents' home be refinanced, using the home equity as a way to fund their own home purchase.
 
Of course, this can be beneficial in multiple-offer situations to get a competitive edge with an all-cash offer, but borrowing from a relative can go south fast. Not being able to pay a bank back can have repercussions like lowering a credit score, but missed payments to a relative can damage familial relations. Is it worth the risk?
 
Crowdfunding: There are new crowdfunding platforms being introduced every year, and more of them are tapping into the real estate industry. This can be a great way to amass gifted money from friends and family, but not everyone may see it that way. Instead of crowdfunding for their honeymoon, newlyweds are asking their wedding guests to donate toward their first home.
 
In the eyes of more traditional guests, this can come across as rude or greedy, so millennials need to tread lightly before deciding to blast friends and family with a link to their crowdfunding account. This method can also get complicated in the lending world. Buyers will need to look into gifting regulations before accepting any gifted money. There are strict rules on where down payment funds can come from, especially if a large sum has been given as a gift.
 
Withdrawing from retirement funds: Millennials are withdrawing or borrowing from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or 401(k) account as an easy way to get quick cash. But not so fast—there are strings attached. While account holders may be able to withdraw up to $50,000 or half of their vested balance from their 401(k)—depending on the company—that cash comes with exorbitant fees that will dig deep into their retirement reserves. This option can lead to penalties and tax payments, and the money must be paid back within five years (or the company's own time restriction).
 
Borrowing from an IRA is also being considered as a down payment option, but that money would have to be paid back within 60 days before the penalties kick in. There's also a difference between borrowing from a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA. Withdrawals for first-time homebuyer expenses (up to $10,000) don't have an early withdrawal penalty when it comes to both of these accounts. But with Roth IRAs, five tax years must have passed from the initial contribution in order to receive these funds and only earnings can be withdrawn. Roth IRAs are also a more complex option as there are more restrictions attached for opening an account. It's never a good idea to mess with retirement funds, but this is being used as a last-ditch effort to afford a home.
 
While first-time buyer programs may come with higher interest rates or higher monthly mortgage payments, they're typically a more secure way of purchasing a home without requiring a large down payment.
 
Before going the route of alternative down payment methods, millennials should consult a mortgage lender to go over options.
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com

High-Resale Value Weekend Projects You Can Take On

7/16/2018

By Megan Wild

"There's no place like home," as the old saying goes. That's especially true when it comes to an investment.
 
You live in and love your home, but there might come a time when you have to leave it. And when that time comes, you'll want to get as much money as you can for your property so you can move onward—and upward.
 
In order to increase your abode's value, you might think you have to put in a ton of time, effort and money, but that's not entirely true. Instead, you can take on weekend projects over time to spruce the place up so when it's time to sell, you have a completely updated property that'll end up selling itself.
 
Ready to get to work? Roll up your sleeves and start on one of the following five weekend projects.
 
1. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets
When it comes to smart investment in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Buyers expect kitchens to be updated. Stone countertops, stainless appliances and sleek flooring all make a space feel modern. Obviously, these changes require a lot of money and, sometimes, a lot of time. That's why you can tackle it in bits and start first with your cabinets.
 
Old wooden cabinets with equally dated hardware—think oak doors with shiny brass handles—don't require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting them a more neutral hue. Finish the project off with new metallic knobs and pulls to complete the modernized look. 
 
2. Make the Eye Go up With Crown Molding
Most homes have roughly the same ceiling heights, but there's a little trick to make yours look bigger: crown molding. Yes, that white line at the top of your painted walls will draw eyes upward, making the room appear airier than it may very well be.
 
The project is easy enough to complete, too. You might not be able to install molding throughout your entire home over a single weekend, but you can certainly tackle the project on a room-by-room basis. Again, start with the spaces likely to draw in the most moolah:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedrooms 

These tend to be the make-or-break rooms when it comes to a big purchase. Crown molding adds a bit of detail—a feeling of luxury that'll certainly add to the bottom line.
 
3. Boost Curb Appeal—and Backyard Bonuses
No one will come in your home unless the first impression is stunning. Another DIY project should be a landscape overhaul of your front yard. It can be something as simple as adding a path of pavers to your front yard or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms. All of this will catch the eye of potential buyers—and fatten up the bottom line of the offers they make.
 
Another easy fix: your garage door. If it's street-facing, it's another area for prospective buyers to look at, and it has a great return on investment
 
You don't have to stop with the front of your home. If you live in a climate that permits lots of outdoor activity, you'll want a backyard to match. Some projects may require you rent or buy tools for landscaping and other applications, but imagine the payoff from, for example, the beauty of a functioning fire pit in your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy it while you're still living in your home, but potential buyers will easily be able to envision themselves sitting around a fire.
 
4. Beautify the Bathrooms
Bathrooms have a big effect on buyers. They expect clean, modern updates, just like in the kitchen. Overhauling your powder room is an easy weekend task that might require small swaps, such as a new modern light fixture over the vanity or a new vanity altogether.
 
Your full bathrooms will require a bit more attention if you want them to be up to snuff. Again, look in the familiar places:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Tile 

You don't have to shell out a ton of money to have someone else re-tile a wall or backsplash in your bathroom, either, if you have the patience to demo and tile the space yourself.
 
5. Out with the Really Old
Some accents once considered fresh and fashionable now give your home a dated appearance. You probably already know what in your home screams '70s, '80s or '90s. Whatever it is should go in due course.
 
The list of outdated design elements is truly endless, but some of the biggest offenders are old school wallpaper, the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or may not be actual wood, and, of course, popcorn ceilings. By removing these three offenders alone—a popcorn ceiling doesn't take much effort—your home will snap right into 2017.

Once people start envisioning themselves living in your home, you won't have to envision offers pouring in—they'll start coming thanks to your hard work. You go, weekend warrior. 

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at dana.hammele@gmail.com or on my mobile phone at (251) 269-0950. 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

Confidence in Housing at New Peak

5/15/2018

By Suzanne De Vita


Confidence in housing is at a new peak, with enthusiasm among sellers soaring, according to the April Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI). At 91.7, the Index plowed through its previous record, climbing 3.4 percentage points month-over-month and five points year-over-year.
 
"The latest HPSI reading edged up to a new survey high, showing that consumer attitudes remain resilient going into the spring/summer home-buying season," says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae.
 
What is driving the lift? Americans are optimistic about their prospects for selling, with 45 percent believing now is ideal to list—a high point since the start of the survey. By the same token, almost half (49 percent) of Americans believe home prices will rise—conditions that, for sellers, translate to an upper hand.
 
Confidence can dissipate, however, if inventory remains sparse, according to Duncan.
 
"High home prices and good economic conditions helped push the share of Americans who think it's a good time to sell to a fresh record-high; however, the upward trend in the good-time-to-sell share seen since last spring has done little to release more for-sale inventory," Duncan says. "The tightest supply in decades, combined with rising mortgage rates from historically low levels, will likely remain a hurdle for mobility and a persistent headwind for home sales."
 
Despite constrained inventory, sales are strengthening, with both existing and pending sales squeezing out wins in March, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported—and, according to the Commerce Department, new-home sales tracked up. 
 
The HPSI is derived from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey® (NHS).
 
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia's online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

Selling Your Home this Summer?

5/10/2018

By John Voket


To everything there is a season - even when it comes to home staging. For those selling your home this summer, you will be thrilled to learn that Megan Morris from professionalstaging.com recently released her top successful home staging trends for the summer.

According to Morris, folks planning to stage their home should pay attention to the following:

Warm Textures. Throughout 2016, Morris says she saw rustic textures and surfaces rising in popularity in home staging and design. Textiles like reclaimed wood and cork bring a lot of character to a space while remaining neutral - an important aspect to home staging. Add some warm, natural textures to your home staging to create the perfect balance and make buyers feel at home.

Contemporary Glamour. Morris says this look takes the clean lines of contemporary design and accents it with some luxurious touches like faux fur, and metallic or glass surfaces. Contemporary glamour creates comfortable but upscale spaces that are simple but lavish - and buyers love how it makes them feel like they are somewhere special while still capturing a modern sensibility.

Taupe. Sherwin Williams named it their Neutral Color of the Year, as it offers a warmer neutral cross between gray and brown that fits with the overall desire for a cozy, yet contemporary space. Pair it with white and black to create some beautiful contrast that is perfect for home staging.

Green. Pantone announced their 2017 Color of the Year to be Greenery, which Morris calls a fabulous choice for both home staging and residential design because it is "nature’s neutral." It pairs wonderfully with taupe, which is ideal with rustic touches like wood and cork. She suggests incorporating the color in textiles, like pillows or a throw, or using it in a more subtle way by placing some actual greenery in the form of plants around your home.

Copper Accents. Morris says copper has an antique look to it that brings a lot of character to a space and is completely timeless. Not only can it take on a glamorous vibe, it can also look more rustic and masculine, depending on the sheen and how you use it. Another great thing about copper is its health benefits: it reduces more than 99.9 percent of bacteria, making it perfect for high bacteria areas like the kitchen sink, faucets, and hardware.

8 Ways to Make Your Backyard a Summer Paradise

5/8/2018

By Sage Singleton

Summer is the season to be outdoors. It's the perfect time for backyard barbecues, neighborhood socials, and late-night evenings on the patio. You don't need to travel to a luxurious and exotic location to enjoy spending time outdoors. Make your own backyard a summer paradise with these eight simple suggestions.
 
Inspect and Update Wooden Decks
To make your backyard a summer haven, take some time to inspect and update your deck. Wooden patios and decks can be warped by cold weather, so you'll want to replace loose or missing slats as needed. Sand, stain, and seal your deck once you've made sure it's structurally sound. If you have a stone patio, check for missing pieces and update as needed. Once this is complete, you'll have a shiny and appealing deck you can decorate with patio furniture—creating a relaxing sitting area for summertime. 
 
Purchase Patio Furniture and Essentials
Once you have a designated patio or deck space, you'll want to add some patio furniture so you can sit down, mingle with friends and family, and relax. Consider purchasing weatherproof patio furniture that is both comfortable and durable. Patio furniture can be exposed to harsh, seasonal weather, so you'll want to make sure it lasts for years. 
 
Get the basics, including some lounge chairs, an umbrella, a hammock, and an outdoor table so you can enjoy meals or games outside. In addition to patio furniture, you may want to buy or build an outdoor fire pit. It's a simple feature that adds so much to your backyard. Sit around the fire and socialize, roast marshmallows or even cook dinner on your own backyard fireplace. 
 
Add Colorful Cushions and Pillows
You'll want to add a splash of color to your patio so it's eye-catching and sings of summertime. Buy some bright-colored, comfortable throw pillows and cushions to spice up the furniture. The bright colors and fun patterns will entice people to sit down, relax, and enjoy your backyard paradise.
 
Get a Rug for the Patio
Consider adding a rug to the patio or deck area to make the space feel cozier. Outdoor rugs vary in material, size, and shape and are generally made to last in all types of weather. They make a great addition to your space, and can also protect your deck. 
 
Install Outdoor Lighting
Nothing is more magical than twinkling lights against a royal-blue evening sky. Add strands of tea lights or other innovative lights to create a fairytale effect in your backyard. In addition to the decorative lighting, you'll want to consider adding sensor or smart lights to your backyard for added security. Smart lights are a great way to ensure the backyard is lit—you can even control smart lights with your smart phone. 
 
Make the Backyard Private
You may love your neighbors, but that doesn't mean you want them always peeking into your backyard. Be creative when thinking of ways to ensure better backyard privacy. One easy way to create a private, secluded backyard paradise is to install a fence. Not only does it ensure privacy, but it is an essential safety measure. Install a strong, secure fence to create a private and safe backyard. 
 
Update Your Landscaping
Landscaping can make or break your backyard. It's essential to take time to update your landscaping to create an outdoor paradise. You don't need extravagant plants or trees to make your backyard grand. Take some time to cut back unruly trees and bushes, pull the weeds, water and trim the lawn, and plant flowers around the yard. These simple updates will make a world of difference. You'll have your own secret garden in no time! 
 
Secure Outdoor Belongings
Once you've created a magical backyard space, you'll want to take the necessary precautions to safeguard your belongings. Make sure your garden tools and supplies are in a locked shed—away from kids, pets, and burglars. Take time to assess the backyard for any security breaches. This will keep your family safe and protect your backyard, patio, and deck from major damage.
 
Summer is a wonderful time to relax and enjoy being outdoors. Update your own backyard and you'll have access to a private paradise any time you want.

Top Energy-Efficient Upgrades That Buyers Are Looking for in 2018

3/8/2018

By Kaitlin KrullEditor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall.

As a real estate professional, it's imperative that you keep up with the latest housing trends. After all, the features that buyers are looking for are constantly changing. If you want to stay relevant in a competitive real estate market, you'll need to keep your ear to the ground and understand how your buyer works. In 2018, buyers are looking for homes that have been designed with the environment in mind, specifically with an increased capacity for energy efficiency and sustainability. Here are the energy-efficient upgrades that buyers are looking for this year:
 
Smart Tech Upgrades
Home automation has finally reached mass distribution for residential consumers. Many homes are now equipped with smart technology, such as home hubs, smart lighting systems, energy meters and thermostats, security systems, and other appliances. Because these devices learn your individual preferences and can be linked together for peak performance, they can actually help homeowners save money on energy bills. In 2018, buyers want homes equipped with the latest smart tech devices.
 
New and Updated Solar Panels

It's no surprise that homes with solar panels sell for more than homes without, but the latest developments in renewable technology mean that just having rooftop panels isn't good enough anymore for eco-conscious buyers. However, by upgrading existing units to incorporate a more streamlined look and efficient performance, homeowners can make their already eco-friendly properties more enticing for potential buyers. This can be done by investing in integrated solar roof tiles or battery storage systems (both of which were introduced by motoring company Tesla in the past few years) in order to prepare a solar-clad home for the future and attract buyers.
 
Natural Materials and Furnishings
As far as interior design is concerned, the simplicity of Scandinavian design is still trending. Here are some of the hallmarks of this minimalist style:

  • Natural elements such as untreated wood, bamboo, wicker and other natural textiles
  • Chemical-free paints and fabrics
  • Sustainably-sourced materials like FSC certified wood

The most eco-friendly homes are better for the environment in nearly every way. Buyers with a vested interest in design trends and a serious passion for the environment will go to great lengths for a home with these kinds of features.
 
Ultra Efficient Windows and Doors
Although windows and doors aren't exactly the most exciting part of a property, they make a difference in the minds of environmentally-conscious buyers. New energy-efficient windows equipped with two or three panes of glass offer added insulation, security and soundproofing for a home. They can also substantially lower energy bills. These multiple layers of glass—when coupled with low-emissivity coatings and insulating gases—can prevent heat from entering the home in summer and escaping in winter. This is a particularly useful upgrade for older buildings, and you can bet that buyers will notice when a period home has had its windows tastefully upgraded. 
 
Sustainable Design
This applies more to new builds, but it's worth noting that the design of a home can affect its energy efficiency rating in a significant way. Homes that have natural shade, for example, will generally stay cooler in the summer than homes that have no surrounding trees or shrubbery. A home's exterior can also affect privacy and noise pollution levels. Although eco-conscious buyers have embraced the idea of passive design for new buildings, they will still be interested in existing properties that take steps toward increased sustainability in other ways (i.e., by improving landscaping to add shade and privacy or installing shutters and awnings to minimize solar heat gain).
 
Current trends certainly suggest that eco-friendly living is here to stay, so buyers will only become more attracted by energy-efficient homes as time goes on. Therefore, it is crucial that real estate professionals understand the best ways to make a home more energy-efficient and the ways in which these upgrades can positively affect buyers. Just remember to keep an eye on developments across the industry, since technology changes at lightning speeds.
 
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls, originally from the U.S., now living the expat life in the UK. Her writing is featured on Modernize.com and a number of home decor sites around the web. She can also be found blogging from time to time on her personal blog, A Vicar's Wife.  

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

Mortgage Rates Move on Uptrend

3/4/2018

 

 

By RISMedia Staff

Mortgage rates again moved up this week, continuing an uptrend, with the average 30-year, fixed rate at 4.43 percent, according to Freddie Mac's recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The average 30-year, fixed rate was 4.40 percent the week prior. The average 15-year, fixed rate this week is 3.90 percent, while the average five year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate is 3.62 percent.
 
Mortgage rates are moved, primarily, by 10-year Treasury yields.

"Optimistic testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent Treasury yields higher as Powell stated his outlook for the economy has strengthened since December," says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Following Treasuries, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped three basis points to reach 4.43 percent in this week's survey. The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year and increasing for eight consecutive weeks."
 
Housing has begun to feel the impact of higher mortgage rates, with existing and pending home sales in January tumbling. 
 
"As we documented, historically when mortgage rates surge, housing swoons," Kiefer says, "but we think strength in the economy and pent-up housing demand should allow U.S. housing markets to post modest growth this year even with higher mortgage rates. We really have to wait for housing markets to heat up in spring, but early indications are that housing demand remains robust to these rate increases."
 
Source: Freddie Mac  

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at dana.hammele@gmail.com or on my mobile phone at (251) 269-0950. 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

Experience Matters

3/1/2018

 I received a call from a friend in the lending business the other day.  A buyer was backing out of a deal because he didn’t understand the math behind investing in a condo.  His new, young agent wasn’t familiar with the math, and didn’t know how to guide him through the process of purchasing a condo as an investment.  It was the agent’s first condo sale, and apparently, it wasn’t going to happen.  (It never did, actually.)

In my discussion with my friend, I equated it with buying a Range Rover from a young Chevy salesman.  One wouldn’t make that kind of financial investment without having an education on the product or buying it from an expert. 
 
There are many real estate agents in the marketplace these days.  Do yourself a favor, find an experienced full-time agent that is an expert where you are looking.  You are making a HUGE investment, for some – if it’s a home – it’s the biggest investment of their lives.  You wouldn’t buy a home from someone who didn’t understand the market, process or the structure, would you? 
 
You’d be surprised how just many people trust a friend with no experience to handle a huge investment.  If I have a friend call me to purchase say, a hunting camp, I don’t suggest they use me to purchase it.  It’s not my area of expertise.  I can find the right agent for them though, and in this case, I did.  I knew enough to ask about mineral rights and timber on the camp, and told my friend, that was about the extent of my hunting camp know-how.  Even that impressed him, because he didn’t know to ask that.  
 
Here’s what I do know, and my 20+ years of real estate sales, investing and management have taught me:  Know your product and admit when it’s not in your wheelhouse.  Know the process.  Know the experts who can help out in a multitude of situations from topography to structural.
 
I manage condos all along the beach and invest in them.  All of my condos generate revenue.  I also invest in homes and own homes along the Eastern Shore.  I can sell condos, because I own them, have been on condo boards, and know that the math and management of a solid complex makes a huge difference in terms of an investment. 
 
I understand structure.  I understand the water.  There are many variables when selling on the water that many young agents do not understand from surveys to insurance.   Most importantly, I understand the complete process.
 
When you get me, you get me.  I don’t meet you once then pass you off to my team.  You talk with me, directly.  I do not bite off more than I can chew and I will never be one of those huge teams which has 10 people working for them, all with varying levels of experience.

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