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October 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses what your home is worth. It's simple. It is what someone is willing to pay for it. The challenge may come in determining what amount this may be. For an accurate estimate of what someone would be willing to pay for your home, you need to ask your realtor to conduct a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA. A thorough knowledge of the dynamics of property sales in the specific area is required to make judgments based on the data presented.

Your realtor will add or subtract value based on lot or acreage size, bedrooms, bathrooms, garage space etc. It will also look at financing differences that could have influenced the sales price. Keep in mind that a CMA is not an appraisal. A solid well researched CMA will allow you to list it for a price that will generate immediate interest.

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 2013 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:

Buy a Home Now or Pay More Later?

How to Choose the Right Neighborhood

When Should You Put Your Home on the Market?

6 Ways to Slash Moving Cost

Make the Most of Your Home Inspections

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.

Puzzled By The Details?

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs." 
 
~ Henry Ford 
 
PUZZLED BY THE DETAILS? 
 
Ever felt overwhelmed by the details? Like there are just too many little things to be done on the way to something big? If you haven't tried one recently, think back to the last time you tackled a 1000- or 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle. 
 
Pursuing your goals is like opening up that box and dumping out all the pieces. You concentrate on that picture of the completed puzzle on the front of the box. You start sorting out the pieces according to what part of the puzzle they'll complete. You spend endless hours diligently working, but you know you'll never finish it unless you are enjoying the process of piecing it all together. 
 
Small successes inspire you to continue. Maybe you have a "team" of others who help you put it together, or maybe you enjoy working alone. If you have a lot of responsibility at work, and are expected to run the show and perform without constant supervision, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. But remember as you work that you carefully place one piece at a time, and you know that you are in charge and that you will enjoy the fruits of your labor. 
 
Taking care of the little things can be extremely satisfying, especially when you know that's what it takes to keep the operation going and progressing toward your goals. A study published in Human Kinetics (Orlick, 1998) actually showed that "life satisfaction" is 22 percent more likely for those with a steady stream of minor achievements than those who express interest only in major accomplishments! 
 
So keep at it - one piece at a time - with an eye toward the big picture. Enjoy the pleasure from all of your accomplishments, remembering the unattributed phrase, "True worth is doing each day some little good, not dreaming of great things to do by and by." 

Put It In Writing!

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy." 
 
~ Brian Tracy
 
 PUT IT IN WRITING! 
 
“How do you get there from here?” A common enough question when you don’t know where you’re going. If you were planning a long trip, you would certainly check MapQuest or a road atlas to verify and write down the directions. 
 
But what about your life, your dreams, your expectations? “How do you get there from here?” Have you bothered to write down the directions? Do you even have a starting point and a destination planned? Here it is – the most important journey you face, and you probably haven’t even written down your thoughts or plans on how to travel. 
 
Writing down your goals and ideas helps to make them more concrete, more real. It helps you realize and take the necessary steps toward achievement. By defining what you want, and your ideas for getting it, you increase the chances that you’ll actually pursue and accomplish your goal. 
 
Don’t know what you want to do? How about thinking of what you “need” to do? Most people have even less of an idea of what they need than what they want. But often, our career choices have more to do with necessity than desire. Yet we all hear that we’re happiest when we’re doing what we love. 
 
A study on “journaling” showed that people who keep some kind of written record of their aspirations are 32% more likely to feel they are making progress in their lives. If a daily entry is too much commitment, at least sit down once a week and write something, anything, whatever comes to you. Thoughts about work, family, food, politics, whatever. 
 
You’ll begin to see patterns and discover things you might have forgotten (or not even known) about yourself. The notion of what you “need” to do will begin to show itself, and then you can begin drawing that road map. Happy motoring! 

 

On-The-Job Straining?

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

 
INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome trying to succeed." 
 
~ Booker T. Washington 
 
 
ON-THE-JOB STRAINING? 
 
Ever get that “burned out” feeling? You’re operating at maximum capacity and doing a darn good job of it, but the inspiration and the motivation start to wane. Don’t feel badly about it – after all, you can only really hit a slump when you’ve been experiencing a streak of success! Slumps do not happen to “losers,” because frankly, they’re always in a perpetual slump! 
 
So what can be done when you hit a bump in the road? Dr. Robert H. Schuller once observed that “when you can’t solve the problem, manage it.” Maybe you can’t control whatever outside forces are weighing down on your ability to move forward. You can, however, take a break and take a step back to look at things you actually can control. 
 
If you’re banging your head against a wall, please stop and walk away! If success lies beyond that wall, you’ll have a much better chance of getting there by going around your obstacles and not through them. Walls are not doorways – you need to refresh your perspective and find passage back to your previously winning ways. 
 
Perhaps you’ve just gotten so good at what you do that you’ve forgotten “the basics” of your activities. It’s like you’re operating on “auto-pilot,” and there are a thousand little details that you don’t even think about anymore as you carry on your routine. Take some time to “re-train” yourself. Start by pretending it’s your first day on the job and everything is new. 
 
New employees who have to learn the ropes often bring a fresh perspective that exposes ways to do things more efficiently. Look through your “apprentice” eyes for new ways of working, and it’s a good bet that your performance will improve, and you’ll find yourself operating with renewed enthusiasm. Now, give yourself a bonus! 

Master of the Universe?

by Lorna Calder

   Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man." 
 
~ Professor Scott Elledge on his retirement from Cornell
 
MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE? 
 
Today's quote has got to make you laugh. Professor Elledge had a clear concept of his intelligence and qualifications, but also a sense of humor about his confidence in himself (or lack of confidence in others!). Then his words make us start to think about how we perceive our own talents, and how unwilling we might be to "let go" of some of our control, meaning our control over our responsibilities and tasks - what we are expected to do and how well we are expected to do it. 
 
What happens when the time comes to relinquish some of that control? Perhaps you have finally gotten to the point of needing an assistant or - horrors - to train someone else to perform your duties. Personal confidence is a superb trait, to be sure, but what happens when that confidence makes you feel like you're the only person in the world who can handle what you do? Maybe it's time for a reality check. 
 
If you have these feelings, it's possible that you've already got too much responsibility in the first place. Sometimes it is very difficult to give up some of your responsibilities out of the fear that someone else will just "screw it up." Did you know how to do everything your job involves on the first day you started? A time always comes to let someone else learn how to do things, and allow them to help you if necessary. 
 
Chances are that we all started out as "less experienced and less able," and along the way we surely made our own mistakes, learned and coped and ended up where we are today - Masters of the Universe! So don't worry about relinquishing some control - in the end it often proves to be better for you and for whomever needs to develop the experience that led to your own success! 

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