Hi. My name is Tom Caruthers; I am the president of Federal Energy Services, Inc.
I would like to tell you a little about me, so you can get a feel for who I am, what our company does, and the value we hope to bring to your experience here.
I have a general contractor’s license, a California real estate broker’s license, and a private pilot’s license, with an instrument rating. I have so many licenses and certificates on my wall that my wife says I’m certifiable… I wonder what she means by that?
And, I play golf.
I grew up in Redlands, California and went to school in San Diego. In early 1973 I was working for a small securities firm that had a chance to buy an office in Las Vegas. I transferred to Vegas to develop that office.
Within six-months our firm closed its doors and I was stuck. I pawned the IBM electronic typewriter and went to dealer’s school. Three weeks later I was dealing blackjack at the Four Queens downtown. Within a year I had a job at Circus Circus on the Strip. Another year past and I went to work at the Holiday Casino; a casino with a Mississippi River Boat motif, which sat directly across the street from Caesar’s Palace Resort. A better location could not be had.
The 1970s was a fun time to be a single-guy in Las Vegas. But, after almost five-years, I’d had enough. I packed up all my stuff and headed for Newport Beach.
God has a place in Newport Beach somewhere. There is no better weather any place on earth; I’m convinced. And, they have very pretty girls. In fact, one day I bumped into a very pretty girl in a grocery store. Actually, I didn’t bump into her so much as she cut in front of me in the checkout line. The checker rang her items and said, “Twelve dollars and thirty-nine cents”. Guess what, she only had a $10 bill in her pocket. Single guys don’t get opportunities like this every day, right? I quickly stepped-up and offered to pay the difference. After attempting to refuse, she graciously accepted. We began to see each other; it became clear, very quickly, that we were a match. One year later, to the day (September 28, 1979), we were married in Las Vegas. Her name is Lee; she is my soul mate and my partner for life.
Most of my professional career has been in and around residential real estate. I’ve listed and sold real estate, and spent several years in mortgage lending. I am fairly well rounded in the industry.
My heart is in residential energy conservation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a tree hugger and I don’t read Mother Earth News. For me, energy conservation is all about the money. Utility companies enjoy a legal monopoly. Anything one can do to counter the monopoly of a utility company, should be explored.
Energy conservation is not warm and fuzzy; it’s not something that we can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell. But I’ll tell you what is warm and fuzzy: when you open a utility bill that is $60-70 less than it was last month, because you made an investment in your house. That’s warm and fuzzy. And those savings will only go up because the utility companies never lower rates.
Over the next couple months, I’m going to share with you what I think you should know if you decide to buy a house; it’s what I would have liked to know before I bought my first house. I’m going to cover ways you can make energy upgrades, affordably.
I’ll give you some tips on how to find a good mortgage lender and real estate agent. They all look the same on the outside but, believe me; many are completely different on the inside. I’ll share some statistics that will probably shock you; they did me.
Whether you are preparing to buy your first house or not, it doesn’t matter. If you’re going to sell an existing house to move up, or down, the rules have changed drastically in the last decade. What you may have been able to do before the recession, you may not be able to do now.
Some of what I have to share is obvious; some may be less so. For instance, shop the neighborhoods first; know where you want, and can afford, to live. If you see a For Sale sign, write down the address and look it up on Zillow, Trulia, or my favorite, Realtor.com
Next, get into the “buy a house” mindset. Watch what you spend. Your mortgage lender is going to go over your bank statements like a homicide detective. Your spending habits speak volumes about your credit worthiness. It may not dictate whether you can get a home loan but, it certainly will affect the interest rate you will pay.
Stay tuned; I’ve got a lot more good stuff.
We have a Facebook page and I tweet on Twitter. If you have the time, and are so inclined, please find the links on this site and join in the conversation.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
All my best,