Archive for October, 2010

COMMUNICATING

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

I was recently thinking how much communication has changed in just the last few short years. I remember when my grandma just had 1 phone in the house (attached to a cord). It was in the middle of the kitchen and we all loved it when the phone rang. Then, when my kids were little they would be causing havoc about an inch from where I could reach with the wall phone. It was just a great day when I could walk anywhere in the house with the phone (and even outside a little). It was pure amazing to talk on the phone while driving. Now, I can never get anyone to call me back, return a call, letter, or RSVP. I know it is good to have everything documented in email and text but I really think the personal touch is being lost. Our lives are so crazy and busy now. It’s not that I would want to go back to having a ton of phone calls everyday but I do think there is some merit to hearing the emotion in someone’s voice when they talk to you about how they are feeling. I also miss the personal contact that comes with a phone call and the chance to be able to explain what I am thinking and finding out what the other person perceives.

CLEAN IT UP & MOVE IT OUT

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

junky houseThere is so much hype on HGTV now about staging and curb appeal. Does it really make a difference? Well, it depends on how much money you want to net if you are the seller. If you are a buyer, it will make all the difference on how long you will want to wander through a house. Your first impression, even from the outside, can determine the outcome of a purchase.  There is a reason they stage model homes with simple, classic furniture , leave the doors off the rooms, and turn on all the lights.  There is a huge difference in 2 homes that are equal but one smells nice, is spotless and all the lights are on. Our sense of smell can give us an emotional jolt whether it be good or bad.  Everyone loves the smell of cookies (candles) baking but some smells are totally repulsive.  Even as an agent, it is hard to get beyond a house that smells bad.  Not everyone can buy furniture at Pottery Barn or Ethen Allen but if it is shabby, cover it up or get rid of it. I am a firm believer in staging a house but not with junk. More is not always better. If you wonder if it is really worth it, I have seen a $10,000 difference in price between 2 of the same houses-one that is cleaned up and one that has too much clutter and garbage.

When Should I Buy My Dream Home

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

image of a houseDo you have a picture in your mind of your Dream Home?¬† Most people don’t and that is why looking at a variety of homes can be fun and exciting.¬† New and First Time Homebuyers always make me smile.¬†¬† They have a list of 60 or so homes and they want to see 10 at a time.¬† After about 4 or 5 houses, they all run together and the whole process gets way overwhelming.¬† So, I have found that even if I have to be a little firm with people it is for their own good to limit the search to just a few at a time (even if they are on a time crunch).

Home affordability is at an all-time high. The mortgage payment on the median priced home as a percentage of the median household income is lower than it’s been in a generation.

Mortgage rates are at rock bottom. It’s hard to imagine interest rates going much lower.

Home prices are back on the rise. After declining for 30 months, home prices are trending back upward.

Sellers are motivated. This means that buyers have the upper hand! From banks looking to dispose of foreclosed properties to homeowners who are fiercely competing among an excess of housing inventory, buyers have untold choices and negotiating power.

Financing is readily available!  Banks are back in the game and ready to lend to well-qualified buyers.

Owning vs. renting is increasingly favorable. Since 2009, the average principal and interest payment has fallen below the average rental rates, and the gap is now wider than it’s been in the past 22 years.

 Home ownership  is still at the core of the American Dream! Owning a home is critical to financial stability and wealth building. It’s a forced savings account, a place to live and a fabulous tax deduction.

MOVING WITHOUT STRESS

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

stress

I’m kidding right?¬† Let’s face it…moving can be and will always be stressful.¬† When I decided to move to Utah from Nevada where I had been selling Real Estate for 18 years, I would break out into a sweat.¬†¬† Then, little by little, the idea of a new adventure took hold so here are some ideas that helped me make my move happen -Happily!

I took a big breath and then I kept on breathing.¬† I made up my mind at the beginning to make this a good and happy experience (even if it killed me).¬† I love the new George Strait song, It’s not the breaths you take or the breathing in and out ¬†but the moments that take your breath away.

I took an inventory of everything I had to take and what I was ready to part with.  The garage is always a scary zone for me because it is so hard to part with something I am sure I will need in my new residence.

Get Help & Have Fun! If you have never needed help in your life before (does that even happen?) you will need it now.  I was so grateful for grown up kids and friends who pitched in and gave me ideas and helped me with the problems the cropped up along the way. When things got too overwhelming I had to take a walk until I could face it again.

I researched where I was going.  I felt positive with my experience as an agent since 1990 that I would be able to find the right job that would fit my needs and personality. I was so glad to find a place to work where people really matter.

If you are buying or selling real estate, pick your agent carefully.  Make sure he/she is someone who is listening to your needs.

There will always be set backs in life and I definitely had some but for the most part, my move was a great experience that I wouldn’t really trade and especially since I love Utah!