Jun 252011
 

This is a cannon demo at Civil War Days in Danville event in 2011 from the Hendricks County Historical Museum. They did it for a little boy in a wheel chair (he pulls the trigger). Really made his day! And yes, I almost dropped the camera!


 

May 022011
 

We often are told by potential homebuyers, “We want to find a really great deal”. Well that makes sense, you’re shopping for the most expensive item you’ll buy during your lifetime, why not get a great deal too.

So in today’s market, that usually starts them looking at the homes everyone thinks are steals, foreclosed homes. Lets look a little deeper on what these deals are all about.

First, we break these into 2 categories, foreclosed homes and pre-foreclosed homes.

Pre-foreclosed homes are commonly referred to as short sales, possible short sales, or even pre-foreclosed homes. In general what this means is the owner is unable to pay the note holder of the mortgage (typically a bank) and the property is worth less than the amount owed. Various rules apply to what the homes status is depending on the note holders requirements are for short sale but often the owner must be behind on at least 3 payments and be able to document why they cannot pay the mortgage. This is known as a ‘hardship package’. If the requirements are met then the home is marketed as a short sale. For buyers these can be good deals, but the purchase process requires a lot of patience. There is a lot of back and forth negotiations with the purchase of a short sale and for a REALTOR it can be a challenge to get everything to work out, and each bank handles these completely differently. But it is doable and the federal government is working on ways to smooth this out. Short sales could be a long topic on their own so for now lets just say if you are not in a hurry, these can be a deal.

Foreclosed homes fall into a few different categories depending on who was the note holder of the home. The most common are listed as HUD’s, Homepath’s , & REO’s.

HUD homes were financed via a federal entity such as FHA, VA, USDA, etc. When the property is foreclosed the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development takes over the home and it is then listed for sale with a processing service that works with a set of rules on how to sell the home. But the basics are it’s sold with a bidding process, kind of like the Ebay of home sales. These properties can be really nice or a total mess. But once you find one the purchase process can be pretty straightforward.

Foreclosed homes that had mortgages with Fannie Mae are now usually marketed as Homepath homes. These can be similar to HUD homes (Fannie & Freddie are quasi federal entities). Lately the Homepath homes are often marketed towards first time homebuyers with deals such as $100 down and escrows allowed to do repairs to the home. These homes can be very affordable and easier to purchase than HUD properties.

Finally there are the Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. (Nothing to do with the great rock band REO Speedwagon). These are listed like normal homes except the owner you negotiate with is the bank that was the mortgage holder. These can range from really nice homes to those referred too as “distressed”. Because you are negotiating directly with the owner, the purchase process is similar to a normal home sale. The question of how good a deal this can be depends on the status of the banks inventory and how bad they need to unload the home. But generally these will be sold for less than the general area market value so these can be a good deal for a buyer to consider.

This is a general high level overview of what deals a buyer can find. Each of these are more complex subjects so you want to make sure and have a professional REALTOR help you with these purchases as the respective sellers will pay their fees. But to summarize each, short sales require patience, bidding on HUD’s can be like playing the lottery, Homepath homes can have great financing options, and REO’s are more like normal deals that often are discounted, depending on the banks situation.

Ready to get a deal? Give The Derrick Team a call today and we’ll help you find the best fit for you.

Apr 262011
 

When you are shopping for homes, you are looking at things such as the local area, number of bedrooms & baths, yard size, etc., things you deem important depending on your life style. You may even look at certain architectural styles, building levels, or if there is a basement. But beyond maybe the difference between a gas and electric stove, not many pay attention to the home’s mechanicals. We’re referring to heating / cooling systems, water heater, water source (well / municipal) waste systems (septic / municipal), etc. This is where the home inspection is important tool to utilize in the home buying process.

So you searched the internet and toured a dozen or so homes that fit your criteria, finalized your selection, and made an offer on the best one. Your REALTOR should have encouraged you to make your offer contingent on the home passing a Home Inspection by a certified Home Inspector. You will be paying this inspector to check the home for defects, including those mechanical systems you may have not paid much attention to during those many home tours. View this as a mechanic looking at a used car before you purchase it. Only this used car is very expensive so you really want everything looked at thoroughly.

The second thing to note with having your potential new home inspected is it’s also an education for you about the home. A good home inspector will show you the function of the homes mechanicals, such as how to change the furnace filter, shut off the water supply, check the electric panel, etc. So it’s best to view the inspection as good education on taking care of the home, while looking for major defects. A typical inspector will probably find something wrong (he’s trying to earn his money), but you really should only worry about addressing major defects (like a safety issue with electrical wiring or structural issue with the roof). Your REALTOR should be able to help you address any issues in the Inspection Response if a major defect is uncovered.

And in the case a really major defect is found (foundation is crumbling), you may find paying the Home Inspector and walking away from the deal will have saved you thousands of dollars in the future. That’s the best money you’ll have ever spent for something you didn’t buy. Any good REALTOR should recommend you do a home inspection on a home you are buying, and if they don’t, they’re not looking out for your best interest. The Derrick Team always recommends home inspections for our buyers, and I (Dennis) will usually be there with you to help you understand the process. Call or email us with any questions you have in the home buying process today!

Apr 112011
 

So you are starting to think about buying a home. Here are the basics to get you stated.

1. Organize your finances.
Look at your current income, bills, savings, etc, and organize this into something you can easily reference. If you are handy with a spreadsheet this is the best way to get everything in one place. What you want in the end is an accurate document of your current budget.

2. Contact a lender.
The best place to start may be where you bank. But be aware that not all lenders are the same. They all have different options for loans; some have more for first time homebuyers, others for low interest rates for people with outstanding credit ratings. So don’t get discouraged if a lender acts like they cannot help you. Another one may have the perfect plan for you. Your REALTOR can help you find one too which leads to the next step.

3. Hire a REALTOR.
Actually you find one to represent you. We are paid buy the seller with the home you ultimately purchase. But we still represent you and you only so you are really hiring us to help you. Most agents will ask you sign a Buyers Agency form that formalizes that we represent you in real estate transactions. Once you choose one, use them exclusively because if you jump around from one to another, none of them will be that interested in really helping you. So remember, loyalty is important!

4. Start looking for your new home.
Now you have your team assembled with your lender and REALTOR working together with you so now you can start looking for you new home! Your REALTOR will talk with you on your needs and desires and help you in your search. Then when you’ve got a list of possible homes, they will take you to see them, pointing out items of interest in each home based on previous discussions. When you find that perfect home, they’ll guide and represent you in negotiations with the seller. They’ll be there to work with you on the inspection, providing lender information on the home, all the way to the completed purchase (known as the closing).

For more information call The Derrick Team today at 317.563.1110, even if you are still at step 1!

Apr 082011
 

Hendricks County Historical Museum is located in the old county sherrif’s home / jail in downtown Danville. There’s lot’s of interesting items to see along with the old jail cells, used up until when the current county jail was built in the 1970’s. For more information about the museum check out the web site here: http://www.hendrickscountyhistoricalmuseum.org/

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Apr 012011
 

These are several videos of the fun I shot at this years Dogtona on March 19th. As you can see it’s a great day for the dogs and the owners who tag along. We love being a part of the great event in Hendricks County.

Mar 302011
 
What were they thinking?

What were they thinking?

While I am a fan of some shows on HGTV in real estate we often see houses with a condition I like to call ‘HGTV Syndrome’. Sometimes it is done in moderation and with good taste. But more often it is more of good intentions gone badly.

What is ‘It’ you ask? ‘It’ is the trendy ideas that come from some shows on HGTV (and other channels as well), that give the homeowner the idea that they know how to make their home look like the one on TV. It doesn’t help that we have stores full of stuff to sell homeowners to do these ‘ideas’ like Lowes, Home Depot, etc in every major metro area that of course also promote ‘It’, and the fact that anyone can do it.

In most cases the worst damage is in the form of wild paint jobs, which will just take someone, sometimes a professional, to undo. This would be a house with a mild case of HGTV Syndrome. In the worst cases, you’ll find the home will do very badly in the home inspection. Home Inspectors find things all the time that are obviously a DIY job and in some cases very dangerous such as bad electrical wiring work.

So when showing homes to our buyers, The Derrick Team will always point out when we see the home is suffering from HGTV Syndrome. The question at that point is how hard will it be to repair the damage.

We personally talked to a homeowner that purchased a home in Avon used in Trading Spaces. He said it took a lot of work to cure that home of its HGTV Syndrome. So beware if you get the urge to decorate after watching a TV show. You might end up making your home worth less or even too sick to sell!

If you are thinking of doing some updates, give us a call or text today at 317-563-1110. We’ll be glad to come take a look at your ideas and let you know how that might effect your homes value. It’s what we do for our clients, for free!

Mar 232011
 

You’ve talked to a lender and now know what your price range is for purchasing a home. You’re working with a REALTOR to find that ‘just right’ home you’ve always wanted.

While your doing the search, and especially when you’ve found one and made an offer, there are very important steps to make sure you still qualify at the closing (purchase) of the home.

First things first:

You absolutely should not take out any additional credit or even have an inquiry into your credit report from the time you start the loan application until after you have completed the purchase (closing is when you sign all the documents and make it official).

Make sure you don’t:

  • Go on a spending spree for new furniture, new window treatments, etc., and raise your credit balance above 30% of your limit. Revolving credit balance (credit cards, store accounts, etc.) is acceptable if it stays below 30%. Also watch and make sure your CC holder doesn’t drop your limit on a card thus pushing you over that percentage.
  • Get ANY “Buy now –Pay later” type of financing, this really hits your credit report as maxed out credit account (as in %100!).
  • Co-sign on a loan for anyone else as his or her credit then becomes part of yours (which may be really bad, why else would you be co-signing?)
  • Go shopping for large purchase items such as a car, truck, or fishing boat, even if not ready to buy yet. The dealer will pull your credit and that will result in an additional inquiry on your credit report.
  • Miss or pay late ANY payments!

Best if you do:

  • Carefully document all deposits into your bank and investment accounts. Lenders want to know where you get additional funds once the process is started (making sure your money is legit). This includes any items you sell for a few hundred dollars to your friend or neighbor. Check with the lender if someone is offering a cash gift to help, sometimes that’s not allowed or can only be a certain amount or percentage.
  • Keep an eye on mortgage rates. Banks are competitive and if you see a better deal at another lender, negotiate with your lender and they will probably work with you to keep your business.
  • Keep your down payment money intact, or add to it. More available cash can sometimes help at negotiations with a seller.

We’ve seen deals fall apart more than once when the buyers didn’t follow the ‘Don’ts’ from the list. You should always be smart with your credit but it’s VERY important when getting a mortgage from a lender. Ask your lender about these items and watch them nod their head (except the part about getting a better deal). If you really feel the need to spend, at least wait until the day AFTER closing!

Mar 092011
 

Leave-it competition – The dogs are not supposed to eat the hot dog!

Feb 142011
 

IMG_20150212_165246So you contracted with a real estate agent to sell your home, and it didn’t sell. Why?

Well that’s not always simple question. Many factors could have impacted this so we’ll just look at the basics.

1. Did you price your home for the current market?

Your agent should have given you a Comparative Market Analysis report when you first put your home on the market. Did you look it over carefully? The Derrick Team will give you a report with a range. Based on your personal motivation, you start with a price in the range of what the CMA shows. For example, if you are highly motivated, set the price in the low range. Good pricing gives you an edge over the competition in the market. Your agent should have kept giving you reports on area activity. But it’s up to you to determine your motivation. If your home didn’t sell, this is the first thing to reexamine before putting your home back on the market.

2. Did you properly prepare your home to show?

Your agent should have suggested how you should prepare for open houses and showings. The rule of thumb: Clean and Neat. If your home shows great, you’ll have a much better chance of getting offers.

3. Did your agent aggressively market your home?

Were you happy with how your agent advertised to attract buyers? Some agents will tell you putting your home on the MIBOR Broker Listing Service (BLS) and a sign in the yard is all you need. Occasionally this does work. But you have a much better chance of attracting more buyers and getting better offers if your home is actively marketed. The Derrick Team excels in Above and Beyond Marketing.

If you feel you are OK with # 1 & 2, then examine if you think your agent did # 3 to your satisfaction. If not, check out what The Derrick Team can do for you. Look at our web site: http://derrickteam.com/ for more details. Then give us a call at 317.563.1110 or shoot us an email at DerrickTeam@DerrickTeam.com.

Feb 122011
 

The Craftsman style home was a revolution in American architectural design built all over the nation in the early 1900’s. The name comes from a popular magazine published in the early 1900s by furniture maker Gustav Stickley called The Craftsman.

CraftsmanStyleHome

This was supposed to be a Sears catalog order home built in the early 1900’s.

A typical Craftsman style home is characterized by having low, gentle sloping roofs, and while generally being only one story tall many also have upper levels with rooms and dormers like a story and a half house has. The house usually has wide eaves and a large deep porch on the front to enjoy the cool summer evenings. The Craftsman home is designed to be a solid, simple dwelling with some Arts & Crafts styles built in.

In the early 1900’s homes by top designers could be expensive for the common folk, but there were plenty of affordable mass-produced kit homes that allowed everyone to own a piece of the lifestyle. Sears Robuck & Co. sold its own popular kit homes in bungalow and foursquare style that still can be found all across America. Drive through any neighborhood built in the early 1900’s and you’ll probably see some classic examples of Craftsman style homes. The home pictured was built in the early 1900’s by the same person that built the ones to the north and south of its location. Each home is a different version of Craftsman style popular at the time.

Today some builders are offering models that use elements of the Craftsman style in their design, but you know they don’t have that solid, unique structure found in the charming older homes from the original era. For those whom appreciate older homes with style, a Craftsman is a good one to look into for your next home.

Call or text The Derrick Team today with any style home you have and we’ll be glad to answer your real estate buying or selling questions. We work 7 days a week including evenings!

Feb 072011
 

The first settlement of Avon was about the year 1830. It was dense forest everywhere. In small clearings little cabins of round logs sprang up and in a very short time this became a “neighborhood.”

In 1833 the first of many post offices were setup and the area was known as Hampton. Later in 1852 it was called White Lick.

In 1867 a Mr. Smoot ran a store and a headed petition to Washington for a post office but no name was suggested for the new office, so the authorities used the first name on the petition. When the commission, dated April 28, 1868, reached him the listed name was Smootsdell.

When the Indianapolis & St. Louis railroad was being surveyed the man marking the stakes made fun of the name of our post office, and said, “I’ll name the town.” He penciled “New Philadelphia” on a stake and drove it in. When the road was completed the company drove another stake with “Avon” painted on it. The people liked the name and petitioned to have the post office name changed to Avon.

So we really don’t know why Avon came up as a name for the road company but that’s why Avon is the official name now. I do think it has a better ring than Smootsdell (sorry Mr. Smoot).

Information from “The History of Hendricks County” John V. Hadley 1914

Feb 032011
 

While the local Indy Metro area is starting a slow rebound, it’s still a buyers market in this area. Home prices are very slowly starting to recover towards 2007 highs but more importantly interest rates are still pretty low for mortgage loans.

So what’s your first step? Shop for a lender with good rates and offer different options for loans. That’s important because different loans help if there is a special requirement or need for the home you decide to purchase. For example you find the home you want in the perfect location but it needs a little fixing up. An FHA 203K loan can be a great option there.

Little low on cash? Find a lender willing to work with an Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority first time home buyer programs which can help with the down payment and loan rates. Another option for homes that qualify is the USDA no-money down program. This is for more rural homes such as our listings in Bainbridge and Danville. You can check homes eligibility at this web site.

Don’t wait too long. ½ an interest point in your loan can cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the mortgage. And in a buyers market you have the advantage in many homes to select from which could save you money vs. 12 to 18 months from now.

Have a home to sell? Consider selling it at a low price to sell quickly so you can buy your new home and save on the home price and the loan interest which could easily more than make up the difference.

Call or text The Derrick Team with any questions and we can begin to help you find that perfect home today! We work 7 days a week, evenings too!

Feb 022011
 

The Derrick Team ~ Listing Leaders

Give us a call to sell your home or buy a home today!

Jan 172011
 

A deed is a document that conveys an ownership interest in real property from one person or entity to another. The specific type of deed that is utilized to transfer an ownership interest will depend on many factors including: the jurisdiction, the circumstances, the intent of the parties, and the legal capacity of the grantor. Below is a brief overview of several types of deeds and how they are used to convey ownership interests in property.

An owner’s title insurance policy protects the buyer should a covered matter or title problem arise. It is purchased for a onetime fee at closing and lasts for as long as you or your heirs have an interest in the property.

But does he have title insurance?

But does he have title insurance?

General Warranty Deed
This type of deed is typically used to convey ownership in real estate transactions in which the grantor fully warrants good and clear title to the property. The Grantor (seller) makes certain warranties or promises to the Grantee (buyer) including, but not limited to: the Grantor has the rights in the property being transferred, that Grantor has the right to convey the property and that the property is free from liens or claims of third parties.

Special (or Limited) Warranty Deed
A deed often given by fiduciaries that hold property of behalf of others (trustees, personal representatives, guardians) as well as builders, and lenders that typically have owned a property for a relatively short period of time. A special or limited warranty deed only warrants that the grantor has not impaired the title during their ownership of the property. It is not a warranty against defects or claims against the property that arose prior to the grantor’s ownership nor does it obligate the grantor to do anything further once the title is transferred.

Quit Claim Deed
A deed of conveyance that operates as a release, it is intended to pass any title, interest, or claim which the grantor may have in real property, but does not warrant the validity of the grantor’s interest in the real property. A quit claim deed is often used when a family member conveys title to another family member and it is commonly used by divorcing couples where one spouse signs all his or her rights in a property to the other spouse.

Certificate of Sale/Tax Deed
A Certificate of Sale is issued to the winning bidder at a judicial foreclosure sale. The document indicates that the bidder will receive the property’s title once any conditions of the sale are completed and confirmed by the court. A tax deed is an instrument used to convey legal title to property sold by a governmental taxing authority for nonpayment of property taxes.

Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure
A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure is given by the owner of mortgaged property to the holder of the mortgage when the mortgage is in default and foreclosure is threatened. The actual deed utilized is oftentimes a quit claim deed, and it is given to a lender as an alternative to foreclosure.

Deed of Trust
A deed of trust gives a lender a security interest in your home, just like a mortgage. In exchange, you give the bank a deed of trust, which says that if you default in repaying the loan, the bank can foreclose on your home and sell it to pay off the loan.

Trustee’s Deed
The document that is given to the individual or entity that successfully bids at a Trustee’s Sale and purchases the foreclosed property. This document transfers ownership and the sale must be recorded with the county recorder in the county in which the property is located. (A trustee’s deed is also an instrument that can also be used to convey property out of a trust.)

This information provided by Larry Coplen at First American Title Insurance Company in Avon.

The Derrick Team is not associated with First American Title Insurance Company but is providing this information to help you understand deeds for buying or selling property. This information is not provided as professional advice. When you’re ready to buy a house, give us a call or text at 317-563-1110. As a buyer being represented by a Realtor costs you noting!

Jan 152011
 

This is a little video clip of preparing to move a doorway to the kitchen. I had to move the basement stairs so I removed an old pantry. Then I had to remove the wall for the new doorway. The electric wire was disconnected by the way…

 

Dec 272010
 

One of those interesting places in Hendricks County that you may not even know about, the Hendricks County Historical Museum is a great place to check out interesting history about the local area. The museum is located in the former Sheriff’s Residence and jail. Built in 1866 at an approximate cost of $30,000, it served as the county jail until 1974. The building is now owned and maintained by the county. The museum is filled with artifacts dating back to 1866 when the Museum served as the Sheriff’s Residence and jail.

Connie and I have recently joined and I will be helping with updates to the web site and photography in the museum. As a local history buff I find all the stuff in there fasinating! The museum is normally open every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM except for January & February so it is now closed for 2010. During these months certain rooms are chosen for updates and /or remodeling.

The Military Room is slated to be redone in 2011 so I went over the other day and took these pictures of what it looks like now:

The museum reopens March 5th so put that on your calendar to see the latest and greatest of our local history!

Dec 212010
 

If you are planning on buying a home soon, or even a year or two from now, here are some good things to know about qualifying for a loan. This information comes from a certified trainer for “FICO Scoring 101”.

The FICO score is based on five different weighted factors:

▪ Payment History: The record of your on time and late payments
▪ Amounts Owed: Your credit limit minus the amount you owe for each account
▪ Length of History: The average length of time of all open accounts
▪ New Credit: Records of inquiries, new account openings
▪ Type of Credit: Mortgages, installment loans, revolving accounts etc

Easy Ways To Improve Your Credit Score:

With all the different kinds of information that credit scoring models incorporate, numerous tactics for improving scores are available. However, any action to improve a score must be taken judiciously: some actions aimed at improving your score may actually make it worse. Precision Credit Group can help you determine which steps will help your credit the most, without doing harm.

Many individuals reap significant benefits by properly employing these simple FICO score improvement techniques:

▪ Make payments on time, especially to installment and revolving accounts, as these report to the bureaus monthly
▪ Do not apply for any new credit cards or loans
▪ Pay credit card balances down to 30% of your credit limit or less
▪ Make sure your credit card company reports a limit
▪ Keep 3-5 open and active accounts in good standing on your credit report
▪ Review your credit report every year

This information provided by Ryan D. Keip, Owner of Precision Credit Group

The Derrick Team is not associated with Precision Credit Group but is providing these tips to help you get ready to buy your home. This information is not provided as professional advice. Consult with your lender if you have any questions on your FICO score and what you need to do to qualify for a loan as not all lenders follow the same guidelines.

When you’re ready to buy a house, give us a call. Being represented by a Realtor costs you nothing!

 

Dec 052010
 

We just received the first real snowfall in central Indiana, 2 weeks before the official start of winter, but in Real Estate we are already thinking spring! And if you are planning on putting your home on the market next spring you should start working right now.

First let’s explain the real time frame from which real estate works. Most people know that annual property sale transactions peak during the spring. We can verify that as springtime is typically real estates busiest period. But actually buyers start looking seriously soon after the first of the year, in the middle of winter. Sitting around on cold snowy days, searching available homes on the Internet, and getting ideas what to look at as soon as the weather is a little warmer, as in maybe the January thaw we often see here in the Midwest. So the best bet to get those early buyers is to have your home on the market no later than the third week in January. The earlier the better!

The reason you need to get started today is you probably have a few things to do to spruce up your home before you get it listed on the market. And what better time for indoor projects than the cold days of winter. Maybe a room needs a quick paint job. That loose railing you’ve been meaning to repair. A broken light fixture that needs replaced. You want to have all those things done before the first showing. It is hard to explain to buyers that this or that will be done soon, as they base everything on what they see right in front of them. And in some cases what they see can be potential deal killers.

So if you are planning to sell your home, your spring season starts right now. Feel free to contact The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 with any questions. We’d be happy to come by and look at your home and offer suggestions on getting it ready to show. We’ll also do a Free Comparative Market Analysis of your home with no obligations to use us when you’re ready to sell. But we’re sure when you see The Derrick Team Marketing Advantage, you’ll realize we can do the most for you to give your home the exposure it needs to find buyers looking on those cold winter days in January.

Also be sure and download our free booklet Some Tips For Preparing Your Home To Sell

Nov 132010
 
Edison & his light bulb.

Edison & his light bulb.

On a cold night on January 9th, 1896, the switch was thrown in Danville and the streets lit up with electric street lamps. Danville Electric Light Company was the first power company in Hendricks County and that night the snow covered ground reflected the light and lit up the town like never before, even though a section of lights north of Main Street failed to light up.

In addition to the street lights the power company provided power for lights in businesses and more affluent homeowners who could afford the new fangled “light in a bottle”. In March of that year the company ran and ad in the local paper, the Danville Republican, to explain to consumers that they were to turn off the lights during the day as no one had used lights before. Many people thought the power company did that for them (at the time meters were not used as consumers paid a flat monthly fee per light).

Initially most power was provided in towns by smaller local power companies. As the electric interurban and the Indianapolis & Eastern Traction Company had commuter train lines in Hendricks County with power plants to drive the electric trains, they often sold excess power to communities as well. Around 1935 a group formed the Hendricks County REMC to provide power under the Rural Electrification Act to those too far from towns to be serviced by local power companies.

Eventually all the private companies were bought and sold and today most of Hendricks County homes and businesses either receives electric power from Duke Energy or Hendricks Power Cooperative (the REMC). And today’s savvy consumers know to turn off those lights to slow down the meter!

Some information in this post from “The History of Hendricks County 1914-1976”.

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