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October 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

When your search leads to a property in which you want to make an offer your realtor can create a comparative market analysis (CMA report). The CMA will help determine that properties current value. A CMA requires a through knowledge of the dynamics of property sales in a specific ares to make judgments based on the information available. When conducting your CMA your realtor will identify comparable properties whose sales prices will help determine the probable value of the property you want to buy.

Even within groups of comparable properties there will be important differences. Your realtor will consider difference in lot or acreage size, as well as, feature differences such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms. They will also look at financing differences that could have influenced sales price. A well researched CMA will give you the confidence to submit a viable offer on your dream home. 

There is a lot to know about owning a home. A Realtor is always your best source of information for all your real estate needs...

If you have not reviewed my monthly Housing Trends Newsletter - you could be missing out. Everywhere I go, people are asking me about the housing market conditions - it's on everyone's mind. Staying abreast of local and national market conditions and factors that can affect the future sale or purchase of your home can make the decision process less daunting. I always tell my clients that in order to make the best decision they need to have all the information they can upfront. My Housing Trends Newsletter is just one of the tools in my arsenal to make sure you keep informed.

The October 2012 Local and National Housing Trends has just been released. This month's newsletter is packed full of local and national housing market statistics and news you need to know to stay current with today's changing housing market.

This month's housing trends issue features:

Consumers Save on Mortgage Closing Costs

Seasonal Changes Remind Us to Prep Home for Winter

Teach Kids Energy Saving Tricks

Halloween Light Ideas

You can view the newsletter here.

If you wish to receive FREE Housing Trends eNewsletter e-mailed to you monthly, click here to Subscribe.

If you are considering selling your house or buying a home and need more information, I am never too busy to help, please contact me for more information.

Failing Forward!

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"People fail forward to success."

~ Mary Kay Ash

FAILING FORWARD!

It's been observed that although experience can be the best teacher, you get it by taking the exam before you've actually taken the course!

Quite expectedly, many of us don't perform well initially when attempting something new. While there is such a thing as a "natural talent" in just about any field of endeavor, it's probably safe to assume that most people working (or playing) at anything, from the practice of law to the game of tennis, have a long road behind them paved with what they considered (at the time) to be failures.

Every experience we have, however, should be a learning process. And our so-called "failures" are in fact the “experiences” from which we learn the most. Early on in life, the way we gain our sense of balance is from falling down when we first attempt to walk. Every fall, every "failure," eventually led to success.

It's a rare individual who does well in his or her first attempt at anything. Despite Yoda's philosophy in the Star Wars saga that "there is no try; there is only do," most of us ending up "doing" after repeated attempts at "trying." Eventually, we “do” manage to succeed.

So perhaps what Yoda was saying, after all, is that when we finally achieve our goals, it's only the end result that matters - because of everything we previously considered, failure simply becomes part of the process of success. Then we have indeed "failed forward!"

Fall Forward!

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

~ Unattributed

FALL FORWARD!

With the arrival of the fall season, life’s pace picks up a bit. With the dog days of summer behind us, we look toward the seasonal shifts in business and the approaching holidays. Our “To Do” lists start to get longer, and our enthusiasm sometimes wanes.

So as the days get shorter, how do we increase our productivity? The short answer is “a little bit at a time.” Specifically, just fifteen minutes at a time, according to REALTOR Magazine “Sales Coach” John D. Mayfield.

The argument is simple: you get more done by organizing your day into small chunks of time, instead of devoting three hour blocks to a project. It’s only when we’ve fallen too far behind that we force ourselves to spend so much time and effort on an unfinished task. Then we burn out and can’t seem to get anything done at all.

Take something as routine and unexciting as catching up on phone calls or email messages. Put it off all week, and suddenly you’ve got thirty calls to return and ninety messages in your Inbox. But just fifteen minutes a day spent on each of these two tasks adds up to two and half hours of quality work during the week. Extend that concept to other things like exercise and reading, both of which improve the rest of your day and your labor.

Devoting fifteen minutes isn’t difficult, and once you’ve begun, you might find yourself working even longer. Maybe you’ll feel that the project at hand isn’t so overwhelming after all, and once it’s behind you, you’ll feel renewed enthusiasm for the next item on the “To Do” list.

Ultimately, just remember that fifteen minutes a day is better than nothing at all, and in one hour you can begin to attack up to four different responsibilities. John Mayfield reminds us of the old Chinese proverb: “A minute of time is an inch of gold.” Invest just a few minutes and discover your reward!

Good Housekeeping?

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work."

~ Aristotle

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING?

Aristotle’s quote seems pretty straightforward: If you like what you're doing, chances are you'll do it pretty well, and will find your work satisfying.

But what about the dozens of smaller jobs that we do on a regular basis and do not particularly enjoy - chores we consider robberies of time, but necessary? You know, housecleaning or mowing the lawn or grocery shopping or washing the car.

The fact is that most of us have too much on our "To Do" lists, and much of our “free time” is spent on what we consider menial work that we often begin to actually resent. Viewed objectively, however, how many of the items on your list of chores have self-imposed deadlines and subjective requirements?

Are you setting standards that are unnecessarily high or that are interfering with your enjoyment of time with your family and friends? When you lament "having no time," stop and consider to what extent that is due to your own personal sense of priorities.

You might re-evaluate what is truly essential. Chances are that duties to which you're giving up your entire Saturday are not as important to others as having time to spend with you. After all, how many of us are introduced, "This is Joe - he really keeps his lawn looking great...” or, “This is Mary - she's a wonderful housekeeper…"? How many of our children tell their friends, "You'll really like my mom and dad. They keep all the windows in our house clean…"?

Put down the car wax and the mop and get out and enjoy some time with friends or family, or - here’s a novelty - just yourself. It’s quite likely that the sun will still rise the next day, and your To Do list will wait for you!

Give Yourself A Lift!

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."

~ Epictetus

GIVE YOURSELF A LIFT!

Have you ever aspired to be deeply depressed? On your list of major life's achievements, have you included becoming an itinerant ne'er-do-well? Does your daily task list include hanging out at the local pub, gossiping over the back fence with nosy neighbors, or spending time with a loser who does nothing but grouse about how the world has dealt him a lousy hand?

Did that first paragraph seem to pull you down? Did you say, "Ridiculous! Who would want to do those things?" If so, congratulations, you've already received this week's message.

Now, let's give this message a lift. Have you ever met someone with a bright inspiring spirit about them, and thought to yourself, "Wow, I'd like to know them better!" Have you noticed that when you attend a community education course, you leave with many fresh new ideas and a powerful boost in your attitude?

A well-known quote says, "You are what you think about all day long." If you hang out with the losers, your thoughts are likely to be dark and depressing. Spend time with those who possess magic in their attitude and enthusiastic vitality in their work ethic, and your thoughts are likely to soar.

Take a close look at your list of goals for this year. Have you included the addition of positive new personal relationships in your work and play environment? Remember that "to have a friend, you must first be a friend." Consider expanding your sphere of contacts to include those who would inspire you to greatness!

Go Retro - Simplify!

by Lorna Calder

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take . . . but by the moments that take our breath away."

~ Unattributed

GO RETRO - SIMPLIFY!

You've heard that it's good to "take time to smell the roses." You may have also read how Steven Covey encourages you in "Seven Habits" to take time to "sharpen the saw." You no doubt have also experienced the frustration of trying to find even a spare moment for yourself.

Why do so many sources advise taking time off for yourself for thoughtful introspection? Don't they know it's impossible in today's fast-paced world of money, soccer games, career challenges, family responsibilities, church & school activities, and so much more?

In fact, our society is totally preoccupied with all of the above. For those living in a big city, or even the suburbs, the pressure is even greater. Those who live in the country at least enjoy a little peace and serenity at the end of the day.

How did this happen? It's simple - or at least it was in the 1950's. Back then there were two kinds of soap - Lifebouy and Ivory. There were four automakers - GM, Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors. There were no computers or Internet, and long-distance was used only to inform relatives of illness or death. A schoolteacher's most serious behavior challenge was passing notes in class. Families watched "I Love Lucy!" together. There was no MTV. Divorces were rare.

Today the choices that face us each day are awesome. Which of many Internet providers or long-distance services should you use? Which cell phone or notebook computer should you have? Where will you find the money for the special dress, chauffeur, and professional photograph required for your daughter's fifth-grade "Prom"?

The world is spinning so fast, and isn't likely to slow down soon. As usual, relief must come from within. While you can't change the world's pace, you are free to change and simplify your own life. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Most importantly, take time to create those special moments that "take your breath away."

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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