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March 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses a buyer's potential closing cost.The final step in any real estate transaction is the closing. During the closing all funds are accounted for and distributed. It is during the final accounting process the buyer learns what the ultimate cost and expenses will be.

At some point prior the closing the buyer will receive a HUD-1 form also known as a closing statement. This form will identify the buyers and sellers financial responsibilities and distribution of funds. Here are some of the fees a buyer may be responsible for: lenders points, loan applications fee, cost of credit report, attorneys fees, escrow taxes and insurance and title insurance just to name a few.

Depending on the location, type of property being purchased and other factors the fees may or may not apply. All of your particular closing costs will itemized on your closing statement. While it can feel like they are quickly adding up, the closing costs are a routine part of the buying process and many of the fees paid actually help protect your investment and insure your interests are represented.

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 March 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:

6 Home Deduction Traps and How to Avoid Them

Get Top Dollar with Clean House

Buying? Selling? Moving? "10 Packing Tips"

Celebrity Larry David Lists in Pacific Palisades

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.

Just Ask Dorothy!

by Lorna Calder

 

   Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself." 
~ Hermann Hesse
 
JUST ASK DOROTHY!
 
You've probably seen it a dozen times - "The Wizard of Oz." It's a delightful tale of fantasy, complete with munchkins, a scarecrow in need of a brain, a yellow brick road, a wicked witch and a mythical wizard with the imagined power to send Dorothy back to Kansas.
 
Regardless of the fantasy, the beautiful color, the unusual characters, and the whimsical plot, there is a powerful message that comes as one of Dorothy's last lines as she prepares to leave Oz. She says, "If ever again I go looking for my heart's desire, I won't look any further than my own backyard." It's such a simple statement, yet it carries a lesson for all of us.
 
How often do we look outside our own world of home and family for "our heart's desire?" There are so many distractions that lure us out of our own backyard: careers, shopping, powerful people, sports, clubs, TV, committees, the Internet, and the list goes on. There's so much to do and so little time. Then one day we look and our own backyard no longer seems to exist.
 
We should take time to smell the roses in our own garden, rather than looking over the fence and down the yellow brick road to see the roses of others. We need to let go of the imagined - the tin man, lion, and scarecrow of our own making - and appreciate the real Auntie Em's in our lives. If we don't, we may wake up one day to realize we're "not in Kansas anymore."

It's More Than A Job...

by Lorna Calder

  Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"After fifty years of living, it occurs to me that the most significant thing that people do is go to work, whether it is to go to work on their novel or the assembly plant or fixing somebody's teeth."
 
~ Thomas McGuane 
 
IT'S MORE THAN A JOB . . . 
 
There’s a suggestion that’s commonly offered to people who have suffered some degree of trauma or tragedy. You’ve probably heard or even said it yourself: “You’ll begin to return to normal once you get back to work.” 
 
But why is that, exactly? Why would working make us feel better? Researchers in Sweden have been studying what makes us happy, and they’ve discovered an interesting twist. Working to achieve a goal, even more than attaining that aim, is what makes people most satisfied. 
 
Of course, there is a caveat. Hard work is satisfying, but only if it suits you, by using your particular strengths and skills. Otherwise, it can be downright demoralizing if you’re working at something you don’t enjoy. 
 
A small business magazine recently interviewed Jim Koch, founder and chairman of Boston Beer Company, which produces the very popular Samuel Adams (brewer and patriot) beers. Koch’s choice of career dismayed his father, and others thought he was crazy for trying to craft and market a great American beer. 
 
However, his pursuit of what he loved ended up paying big dividends. While his success story might not be typical, he offers this advice: “I always tell people that if you are going to start a business, the chances that it is going to make you rich are actually very small, almost infinitesimal. But if you pursue something that you really love, the odds that you make yourself happy are really pretty good, and that’s the real prize.” 
 
Hopefully, you love (or at least enjoy) your work, whether it’s writing, managing the household, real estate transactions, or any variety of activity or employment. If not, you might need to reassess, and finally discover and pursue what it is that will make you happy. Don't wait - start now! 
 

 

Immaculate Consumption!

by Lorna Calder

 

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Money often costs too much." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
"That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest."
~ Henry David Thoreau
 
IMMACULATE CONSUMPTION! 
 
A cartoon recently ran on the editorial page: A very large sport-utility vehicle was releasing a large belch while someone's hand desperately reached out from inside the fuel door, a gas pump lying on the ground beneath. This humorous observation on rising gas prices immediately brought to mind the question, "Are we the consumers, or the consumed?" 
 
As the rising cost of fuel forces prices for everything else to rise in tandem, we are likewise forced to consider just how much we're willing to consume and at what cost. As you plan for your future and retirement, forget about all the hoopla surrounding the privatization of Social Security and consider another strategy: Don't spend your money (or at least not as much of it as you have been)! 
 
Think what you might get for $1,000: a new sleeper couch, 2 Super Bowl tickets, a riding lawnmower, a three-day weekend getaway? Regardless of how useful or entertaining any of these options might be, imagine how much $1,000 could really cost you. 
 
Let's say you're thirty years from retirement and are lucky enough to be managing a mutual fund with a steady return of 10%. (That's really not unreasonable if you are highly pro-active and educated in your investments.) If you spend that $1,000, instead of contributing it to your investment fund, you'll have reduced your future savings by at least $17,400! 
 
Do you want that $1,000 now or do you want that $17,400 in the future? Play around with the figures all you want, but the truth will remain constant: wealthy people get that way and stay that way by pinching pennies. Keep your goals well in sight, and avoid the temptation to be consumed by consumerism!

How Do You See It?

by Lorna Calder

 

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world."
~ Arthur Schopenhauer
 
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."
~ John Lubbock 

 

HOW DO YOU SEE IT? 
 
Have you ever wondered why some people never seem to be satisfied? Or why others always have a smile on their face? In both cases, it often has absolutely nothing to do with external factors, but rather how people internalize what they perceive. 
 
A perfect case in point is the story about a gentleman who just moved to a small town where he had recently accepted a job. Pulling into a gas station, he casually asked the attendant, “I’ve never lived in this part of the country - what are the people like here?” 
 
The attendant in return asked, “What are the people like where you came from?” To which the man replied, “Not very friendly. They can be quite rude.” The dismayed attendant commented, “I’m afraid that you’ll find the folks around here to be the same.” 
 
While this little conversation was going on, another car pulled up and the driver called out, “I’m moving to this area soon for a new job. Is it nice here?” The attendant turned to the driver and again asked, “Is it nice where you come from?” 
 
“Well, yeah, it’s great there. The people are nice, and I hated to leave,” the gentleman explained. To which the attendant answered, “Well, you’ll find the same to be true here!” 
 
What the attendant knew - that the first driver didn’t - is that we all see things as we expect to see them. Act positively and expect positive reactions. Act negatively, and . . . well, you get the picture. 
 
If you’re feeling disappointed or unsatisfied, it may not be the result of external forces. It may be time to take a look at your own role in the dynamics of your life. Even if your vision is fine, you might need to correct your lenses!

February 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses the MLS or multiple listing service property status terms. During your selling process your realtor will be frequently updating the MLS system to make sure your properties correct status is reflected. This is critical because this is how other agents know whether or not your property can be shown. To assist you with this process you should know about the following terms used by the MLS to represent the current availability of each listed property.

The term active is used to designated a listed property that is currently active and available for showing. The term option pending is used to designate a listed a property is under contract and the seller and buyer have agreed to use the termination option in the contract. The term pending is used to designate a listed property that is under contract and is no longer available to show. The term pending continue to show is used to designate a listed property that is currently under contract but it still available to show. The term sold is used to designate a listed property that is funded and closed. All sales closed must be reported to the MLS. Sold status should not be used before the actual closing.

The term withdrawn is used when a listing is temporary taken off the market but a valid listing agreement still exists. The term terminated is used when the listing agreement between the owner and the listing agent is terminated prior to the listing expiration date. The term expired is used when the contract btw the owner and selling agent ends up at and agreed upon date in the listing agreement.

The MLS has a language of its own. 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 February 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:

5 Ways to Gain Creditworthiness in 2013

Should you Prepay Your Mortgage or Invest?

Top 10 Remodeling Projects Offer Bigger Returns

How to Protect Your Home From Water Damage Makeover

Relax Beside Backyard Pond

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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