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December 2013 Houston and National Housing Newsletter

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses what your home is worth.  If you want an accurate estimate of what someone will be willing to pay for your home you need to ask your realtor to conduct a comparative market analysis, known as a CMA. This is yet another situation of when you want to work with an experienced realtor. 

A thorough knowledge of the dynamics and property sales in the specific area is required to make judgments based on the data presented for a good CMA. In performing calculations the realtor will add or subtract value for differences in lot or acreage size and do the same for feature differences such as bedrooms, baths, garage spaces, etc.

They will also look for financing differences that could influence the sales price.  For example, seller financing can at times result in a higher price paid for a property that is not related to its true value. With a solid, well researched CMA in hand you are now one step closer to understanding the value of your home and listing it for a price that will generate immediate interest. 

Remember a Realtor is always the 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 December 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:    

Neighborhood or House?  How to Set Your Priorities

Rent-to-Own Agreement Can Benefit Buyer and Seller

5 Resolutions for First-Time Home Buyers

Do You Buy or Sell First When You're Ready to Move?

Pros and Cons of Living Within a Homeowners Association

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.

 

 

Small World!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
Today's true story is all the inspiration you will need! 
 
Small World!
 
The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in urban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.
 
They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc. and on Dec. 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On Dec 19 a terrible tempest - a driving rainstorm - hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
 
His heart sunk when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 6 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.
 
The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.
 
One of the items was a beautiful, hand-made, ivory colored, crochet table cloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
 
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers etc. to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.
 
Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor," she asked, "Where did you get that tablecloth?" The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.
 
The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. She was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.
 
The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home - that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.
 
What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood, continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to the one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike?
 
He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety, and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a concentration camp. He never saw his wife or his home again for all the 35 years in between.
 
The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door, and saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine. 
 
A true story

Spread The Table!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy - if not less of it - doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do."
 
~ Terry McMillan (Cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES)
 
SPREAD THE TABLE!
 
Here we are in the midst of the holiday rush - buying gifts, attending parties, decorating, sending cards, and preparing for the feast of the season. We're doing all this for whom?
 
We tell ourselves it's for the ones we love. We want to make them happy, fill them with joy, and make their world bright. We want to make everything perfect for them at this special time of year.
 
In a way, that's like preparing the holiday feast for those who matter most to us, then eating it for them and commenting on how tasty it was. Truth is - we can't "make them" do anything, we can only spread the table before them.
 
Whether they choose to consume the feast, or be happy doing it, is their choice - not ours. We can give the presents, offer our own good holiday spirit, or bake the cookies, but we cannot "make" anything happen.
 
Epictetus once said, "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. If you think that you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, or if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your pursuits will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious, and fault-finding person."
 
Why not take a little of the pressure off yourself this holiday season? Feel free to give whatever gifts, energy, creativity, or love you have to offer, but let go of the desire to control the outcome. The gifts that will make the most difference are those that arise from the heart with no expectation of reward. 
 
My wish for you is the joy and freedom that results from giving. Happy holidays and best wishes to you and yours!

Return This Gift, Please!

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"There are two ways to look at life. One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is."  
 
~ Albert Einstein 
 
RETURN THIS GIFT, PLEASE! 
 
One major holiday down, at least one more to go, and then it’s the New Year. At this time of year, it’s very easy to get caught up in expectations and to lose sight of reality. Some are trying to squeeze an entire year of visits with friends and family into a one-month time frame, while others may be experiencing that certain melancholy that attends the circumstance of not having friends or family with whom to share the joy of the season. 
 
Why do we feel so overwhelmed during these last months of the year? Partly, it’s the impression that society has commercialized what should otherwise be an opportunity to gather in love, fellowship and gratitude. Regardless of the warmly glowing lights and the gifts wrapped in glittering paper and bows, the magic is absent. 
 
Skeptics of the season find that “nothing is a miracle,” because they feel that the significance and majesty of our holidays have been sucked dry by high prices and higher expectations. However, there are those lucky folks out there who have found that everything is a miracle, not just at the holidays, but also throughout life. 
 
It’s time to put on your “miracle goggles” by shunning the exchange of piles of presents and avoiding the bright and shiny department stores. Those things simply confirm our worst suspicions, and rob us of the joy we’re supposed to feel and share with others. 
 
This year, your gifts to friends and family could take the form of donations to charitable organizations, given in their name. If you give it some thought, you’d recognize that everyone you know has some cause for which they feel strongly. 
 
Remember that Philanthropy always comes in the right size and color, and never needs dusting or ironing. If you’re lucky, this gift just might be returned! 

Make A Wish!

by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." 
 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
MAKE A WISH! 
 
Remember when, as a kid, you took the wishbone from the Thanksgiving turkey, set it aside, and let it dry for several days? You probably argued with brothers or sisters about who would get to make the wish. Then, finally, you took one end, made your wish, got the bigger piece and . . . nothing happened. 
 
On a recent news interview, someone made the statement that "Hope is not a method." Neither is wishing. On a cold autumn day, you can hope or wish you were warm all day long, but until you turn up the thermostat or build a fire, nothing will change. Action always produces results. 
 
So we just “gave thanks” last week for all our blessings. Chances are good that what you call "blessings" did not occur as a result of wishes and hopes. You probably reached out and worked hard - you took action - to allow them to come into your life. If you did - good for you. 
 
Not everyone can do that. Unfortunately, a great percentage of the population lives only on hope and wishes. They just do not have the ability to comprehend the concept of cause and effect. Nor do they possess the motivation or skills to act on their circumstances. The result? Their blessings are fewer than most. 
 
Since you are blessed with the ability to make things happen, why not reach out this holiday season to those who aren't. Don't expect anything in return, and whatever you do - do it anonymously. You'll be twice blessed! 

November 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses homeowners insurance. Home insurance also called hazard insurance or homeowners insurance is the type of property insurance that covers private homes. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections which can included loses occurring to ones home, its contents, lose of its use or lose of other personal possessions of the homeowner as well as, liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home.

 

It generally requires at least one of the people listed on the policy occupies the home. The insurance policy itself is a lengthy contract that names what will and will not be paid in the case of various events. Typically claims due to floods or war are excluded. Special insurance can be purchased for these possibilities including flood insurance. Fire insurance requires a special premium charge plus the additions of smoke detectors and on site fire suppression systems to qualify.

 

The home insurance policy is normally a term contract that is affective for a fixed period of time. The payment the insured makes to the insurer is called the premium. The insured must pay the insurer the premium each term. Most insurers charge a lower premium if is appears that the home is less likely to be damaged or destroyed. For example, if the home is situated next to a fire station or if the house is equipped with fire sprinklers and monitored fire alarms.

 

Most mortgages require a homeowner to carry this insurance during all times that the mortgage remains in effect. Anyone with an insurable interest in the property should be listed on the insurance policy. 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 November 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:

How to Choose the Right Home

5 Biggest Moving Day Mistakes

How to Buy a Home in Foreclosure or a Short Sale?

Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Detroit, Santa Barbara, Reno Lead Housing Markets' Rebound

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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