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April 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses the difference between a licensee and a realtor. In almost every state people who wish to pursue a career in selling real estate must apply for and meet the requirements for licensure as a real estate salesperson.

In the state of Texas real estate licenses are administered by the Texas Real Estate Commission more popularly known as TREC. TREC issues real estate licenses to certain individuals who meet certain basic qualifications. The emphasis of course is on the term basic. Every realtor is a licensee but not every licensee is a realtor. Many of the individuals who qualify for licensure in the state of Texas elect to take their careers to a higher level by joining the National Association of Realtors and becoming a realtor. Real estate professionals who elect to belong to the NAR are known around the world as realtors. Every realtor belongs to the NAR as well as the state and local chapters. In this case that would be the Texas Association of Realtors also known as TAR and the Houston Association of realtors also known as HAR.

Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics.  They also participate in a wide range of professional training and knowledge programs that cover virtually every issue faced in today's real estate market. Today knowledge makes a difference in achieving successful transaction. So, now you have learned something on the difference between a licensee and a realtor. It's a big deal and can make an even bigger difference in the most important transaction of your life, the sale or purchase of your 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...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 April 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:

7 Costly Mistakes Sellers Make 

11 Ways To Create a Welcoming Front Entrance for Under $100 

Remodeling: 27 Ideas For Laundry Room

Planning to Move? What About Moving the Auto and Motorcycle? 

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.

Like Rats In A Maze!

by Lorna Calder

  Monday Morning Coffee

 

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?"  
 
~ Charlie McCarthy (Edgar Bergen, 1903-1978) 

 

LIKE RATS IN A MAZE! 
 
 
Today's quote is funny, but also sobering in light of recent studies of hard-working Americans. You see, as it turns out, hard work could actually kill you. Well, it's not actually the work that does it, but the amount of work and the time spent at it. 
 
Most of us consider a full time job to involve forty hours per week. Obviously, for those in the real estate industry, emergency services, and any other number of professions, that number can range much higher. Now a University of California (Irvine) study of nearly 25,000 people reveals that workers who clocked more than 51 hours at the office each week were 29% more likely to have high blood pressure than those who worked 39 hours or less. The likelihood of elevated blood pressure increases tandem to the number of hours worked. 
 
Maybe that figure doesn't surprise you, and maybe high blood pressure doesn't worry you as much as it should. This whole work-stress study was inspired by an interesting phenomenon in Japan. They have a word for it - "Karoshi" - and it means "sudden death from overwork." (!) 
 
As highly charged as the work ethic is in Japan, Americans today actually clock more hours than the Japanese. Then consider that most of the developed world legislates laws to limit work hours - except the United States. What we have so endearingly termed the "rat race" seems to hold no great prize on the other side of the finish line. Like Lily Tomlin once observed, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat." 
 
There is a positive note here, and that is that the highest hypertension was more common among clerical and unskilled workers than among professionals. That figure, too, might not surprise you, but it's comforting to know that more mentally challenging work seems to protect us from other potentially negative effects. Just remember that your body and your mind work their best when you rest your best! 

Know What You Want?

by Lorna Calder

  Monday Morning Coffee

 

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it, you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known."  
 
~ Garrison Keillor
 
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT? 
 
The next time your hope or ambition is thwarted, and you believe that you didn't get what you wanted, think about the quote above. The problem so many of us have is that we're not happy with what we've already got. We believe that there is something or someone else out there, outside of ourselves, that will make us happier than we are now. 
 
It's really so much easier to simply find a way to appreciate what we've got. That's not to say that we should all become complacent. Doing things to make other people happy is a wonderful diversion from trying to do so for ourselves. Just remember that you are the one who is ultimately responsible for your happiness, not the "something or someone" that is outside of you. 
 
While trying to make others happy, also remember that they are ultimately responsible for their happiness as well. Don't blame yourself if you don't think you did enough to cheer up a friend, or you weren't able to give them that gift they really wanted. The greatest gift you can give is to help someone realize that they already have everything they really need. Sometimes this is the gift you need to give yourself. 
 
Sit down today and try counting your blessings - list things like family, friends, pets, mobility, a satisfying job, shelter, financial independence, food in the fridge - any and all things great and small. Stand back and take a look at the "Big Picture." No matter what you think you want, you'll realize that you've got it pretty darn good right here, right now. Anything else is just icing on the cake! Enjoy the sweetness! 

Keeping (on) Track!

by Lorna Calder

 Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."  
 
~ Lily Tomlin
 
KEEPING (ON) TRACK! 
 
You've heard it a million times, "Less is more!" If less really is better, then maybe it's time to start giving yourself, and even your family, an "allowance." This isn't about money, per se, but more about the other things that either drain our resources or over-complicate our lives. 
 
This “allowance” idea got rolling in light of rising fuel prices. Instead of a monetary gas allowance for the family vehicle(s), consider enforcing a weekly "mileage" allowance. By combining trips and walking or biking whenever possible, there could be enough miles "left over" for the extra trip to the mall or concert hall. 
 
This works with a host of activities, and improves life by simplifying it. How about a television budget? Are there really three hours of television worth viewing every night? One hour a night during the week would leave oodles of time to watch a favorite movie or sports event on the weekend. Or just hit the "Record" button, and watch when there's a better time. 
 
The same could go for time spent surfing the net or sending funny emails. It's easy to convince ourselves that we're "working" when we're on the computer, but often we're just passing time that could be spent more industriously. Leave as much "real" computer work as possible at the office, and try to limit the time spent in front of the screen at home. There is such a thing as becoming too wired! 
 
Likewise, if you're trying to lose weight, you've probably encountered the concept of the "food allowance," or calorie budget. Like everything else, you have to keep track of how much you're consuming, how much is left, and when to stop. Many of us are moving so fast these days that we neglect to tally our activities against our need for "down time." We don't realize that we've maxed out our time and need to stop. 
 
Whether it's driving, watching tv, or net surfing, we could likely benefit from a reduction in any or all. We forget to put "Relax!" on our list of things to do. Work it into your "budget" by using less of your time "allowance" on other things. You don't have to stop completely; you just need to come into balance. 
 
Enlighten yourself this week by keeping a journal of how much time you spend on all your various activities, and look for somewhere to make a cut. By next Monday, you'll be glad you did!

Keep The Ball Rolling!

by Lorna Calder

 

  Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"The only people to get even with are those who have helped you." 
 
~ Anonymous
 
KEEP THE BALL ROLLING! 
 
Most of us can probably look back over our lives and careers and recall people who have either helped or hindered us along the way. Which group do you think is more worthy of your consideration? 
 
Unfortunately, many people spend too much time worrying about how they’ve been wronged. The bad stuff tends to stick in our minds, and we’re less inclined to recall the positive deeds and actions. While we may LEARN from our negative experiences, we can actually TEACH by demonstrating our positive attitude. 
 
Instead of focusing on those around you who make decisions that set you back, or whose incompetence is driving you nuts, try to take some inspiration and guidance from those who have mentored you or shown an exceptional level of performance. Fight back against those negative influences by raising yourself to the next level. 
 
The most successful and inspirational people around us generally achieve their accomplishments for a greater good. They’re unselfish in their success. They work hard to promote the strength of their company, not just themselves. They volunteer by helping to feed the hungry, visit the lonely, and support those in need. One is not selfish for pursuing one’s own good – selfishness comes from neglecting the good of others. 
 
John Andrew Holmes said, "The entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." No matter how much you focus on your own goals and achievements, you’re not a fully developed individual until concern for others starts to become more important than concern for yourself. 
 
So don’t worry about “getting even” when you’ve been wronged – it’s a waste of your time, and can’t produce any positive results. Think more about getting even when you’ve been done right! Then you’ll find more and more good things coming your way! 

 

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