Service For Life Newsletter-La Paz Update April 2014

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Omni Services S.A. de C.V. Gordon Herpst’s…
Service For Life! ®

Inside This Issue…

 Avoid The ‘One-Ring’ Cell Phone Scam…

  • Think Twice Before You Make These Home Renovations…
  • Fun Facts and Laughs: Legal Information Websites, Trendy Social Media, And More…
  • Trivia Challenge:
  • Real Estate Corner Q&A: What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Selling My Home?…
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photo Omni Services S.A. de C.V. 
Alvaro Obregon 460-C
La Paz, B.C.S., 23000,
Phone: 52(612)123-4888
April 2014

Dear Subscriber,

There are lots of scams out there but there’s one in particular that’s been catching people off guard lately. If you miss a cell phone call and automatically call the number back to see who called, it may cost you a big fee on your next bill. You can learn more about the “one-ring” scam (and it may be more than one ring) and how to avoid it in this month’s Service For Life!® Free consumer newsletter.

A couple tid bits from La Paz.  Carnaval is over for this year and the Grey Whales with their babys are starting their trip back up to the Alaska area for the summer.

You’ll also learn some do’s and don’ts to think about if you’re planning a home renovation, what social media teens are now using instead of Facebook – plus fun facts, a trivia challenge, and lots more.

 Gordon Herpst

Omni Services S.A. de C.V.

P.S.  When you notice people talking about real estate in the next few weeks, can you tell them about the free consumer information I provide?

They may be people getting ready to retire soon and looking to buy their retirement or second home.  You’ll be helping them save time and money by avoiding costly mistakes when buying their DREAM home in sunny Mexico.  email me at

Today’s Brain Teaser . . .

You may enter, but you can’t come in,
I have space, but no room,
I have keys, but open no lock.
What am I?

(see answer below)

Avoid The ‘One-Ring’ Scam

When you miss a cell phone call, do you automatically call the number back to see who called? If you don’t recognize the number or it’s “unknown,” it may be a big mistake. If the phone rings once (or sometimes more than once) and you return the call, you may be charged a $19.95 international fee plus $9 a minute for the duration of the call on your next cell phone bill. Here’s how to avoid being a victim:

    • Look at the area code. These calls are primarily coming from Antigua and Barbuda (268), the British Virgin Islands (284), the Dominican Republic (809), Grenada (473), Jamaica (876) and Turks & Caicos Islands (649). If you call back, you’ll be asked to “hold for the operator,” incurring more charges.
    • Search the number online to see if there are scam reports.But when in doubt, don’t call back.
    • If you do return the call, notify your cell phone carrier immediately. Tell them you’ve been a scam victim, give them the details, request a refund, and ask if you can restrict “third-party billing” on your account. Verizon, for example, offers a free service called “Bill Block,” but you need to ask for it. Get it for both your cell phone and landline.
    • Monitor your phone bills. These costs may show up as “premium services.” You should also check your mobile phone carrier’s policy on refunds for fraudulent charges. Some carriers may have a 60-day period for refund requests.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Go and click on the FTC Complaint Assistant icon. While the FTC can’t resolve individual complaints, they use the information to crack down on scammers.
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Save Thousands When Buying A Home!Did you know there’s a free e-book to help people avoid costly mistakes when buying a home? It’s called “Margarita mind” and it’s great even if you’re not planning to buy soon in Mexico. To request your copy, enter your request here.  If you have a problem  email me at

Learn how it is SAFE to own a home, live, work and play in Mexico.





Think Twice Before RenovatingIf you’re planning a home renovation, do it for your own enjoyment. But if you might move in a few years, know that some projects won’t generate the return you hoped for. Here are some do’s and don’ts.

Do consider these upgrades: 

    • Replace your kitchen countertops with stone or granite(check material cost calculators at Paint your cabinets and add new handles.
    • Modernize the bathrooms. A total renovation can cost thousands, but just replacing the vanity in one bathroom with a granite top and dark-wood cabinets will make a huge difference. For example, you can find one at Costco for about $600.
  • Make your home more energy efficient. Buy energy-efficient appliances, insulate your attic, seal air leaks around the house, and install a programmable thermostat. While these upgrades may not be obvious, they will save you money and buyers will appreciate them.  Also consider instaling a solar hot water system. Saves a lot long term on gas or electricity.

Enjoy these, but you may not get a return on your investment:

    • Installing a pool. A pool is entertaining, but it can be a liability when you sell. Buyers worry about safety and maintenance.
    • Creating a dedicated home office. It’s appropriate if you work at home and use it everyday, but if you just use it to pay bills, make sure the room can also be used as a den or spare bedroom.
  • Over-renovating for your neighborhood. If you spend $25,000+ on a new kitchen, you may price yourself out of the local market when it comes time to sell.
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Great Locations And Prices Available In The
La Paz AreaMaybe you’re just curious. Or maybe you want to know how much a vacation or retirement home costs in the La Paz area or Baja California Sur in general?. Either way, I can help…with no “sales pitches” or run-arounds. Check out our local and state wide MLS to search your wants and needs.  Go to my seb site and click on the MLS link or email me at
Fun Facts and Laughs
Legal Information Websites . . .

• – Get answers to your business and legal questions.

• – Access legal articles, estate planning apps, legal forms and legal calculators.

• – Find a lawyer or watch videos on legal topics.

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What’s Popular With Teens Besides Facebook? 

Teens aren’t using Facebook as much as they used to (probably because so many adults use it). These free mobile apps (for iPhone and Android devices) are what’s popular now:

• SnapChat – Send “snaps” (photos, videos and captions) that self-destruct a few seconds after they’ve been viewed.

• Vine – Create 6-second videos to share with friends. (Owned by Twitter)

• Instagram – Take a picture or video, add a filter to make it look cool, and post it instantly for others to see. (Owned by Facebook)

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Create A Family Health History Online . . .

Your family health history can help your doctor take better care of you. Use the tool at: and share the results with your family members.

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Have A Laugh . . .

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I’ve learned…. That one should keep his words both soft  and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.  

Trivia Challenge for the Month…


Last month’s Trivia Question?

Who holds the record for the most consecutive victories on the PGA Tour? 

a) Jack Nicklaus   b) Tiger Woods
c) Byron Nelson   d) Arnold Palmer

The answer is c) Byron Nelson. He had 11 consecutive wins in 1945! Following him is Tiger Woods with 7 consecutive wins in 2006-2007. So, let’s move on to this month’s trivia question.

Which weekly television series on NBC was the first to air completely in color in 1959?

a) Dennis The Menace
b) The Twilight Zone
c) Hawaiian Eye
d) Bonanza

Brain Teaser Answer:

A computer keyboard!

RETIRING SOON?  Come on down to La Paz for a look around.

One of the best places to retire and we can help you build your
money saving green home with solar hot water, LED lighting and
a PV solar electric system if desired.  A great place to live!

Real Estate Corner Q & A . . .

Q.  What big mistakes should I avoid when selling my home?
A.  There are plenty of mistakes you can make when you sell your home but most can easily be avoided. Here are three important ones:

  • Pricing Your Home Incorrectly. You need to set the right price when you put it on the market. If you start high, you may keep buyers and other real estate agents away. If you lower your price in increments, it may be too late, as the home may already be viewed as “overpriced.”
  • Failing To Stage Your Property. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! Look at your home from a buyer’s point of view: clean it up, clear the clutter and get it in model-home shape.
  • Selecting The Wrong Agent. You need to hire a REALTOR® who understands your goals and will meet your needs.

Don’t forget to download your free e-book Margarita Mind.

Do you have a question you want answered related to real estate or home ownership in Mexico? Feel free to email me at   Perhaps I’ll feature your question in my next issue!

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THANK YOU… for reading my Service For Life!® personal newsletter.  I wanted to produce a newsletter that has great content and is fun and valuable to you.  Help your friends get more out of life by forwarding this email to them…
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Disclaimer:  The information contained in this email is intended for informational purposes.  It should not substitute as legal, accounting, investment, medical or other professional services advice.  Always seek a competent professional for answers to your specific questions. This email is not intended to solicit real estate properties currently for sale.

Copyright (c) 2014 by Forte Communications, Inc.


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Omni Services S.A. de C.V.
Alvaro Obregon 460-C
La Paz, Baja California Sur 23000