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May 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses buyers potential closing costs.  The final step of any real estate transaction is the closing. During the closing all funds are accounted for and distributed. It is during the final accounting process that the buyer learns what the ultimate costs and expenses will be. At some point prior to the closing the buyer will receive a HUD 1 – Form also known as a closing statement.

This form will identify the buyer and sellers responsibilities and distribution of funds. A list of buyers fees may include, lenders points, loan application fees, cost of credit report, attorney’s 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 be itemized on your closing statement. While it can feel like they are quickly adding up the closing costs are a routine part of they 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 but remember 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 May 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:

Storm Shelters in High Demand After Tornados

10 Things to Consider Before Making an Offer on a Home 

Landscaping Can Impact Home Values 

Moving Tips To Help Your Child Through The Big Move 

Deck and Patio Lighting Ideas that Add Livability

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.

 
 

Opposites Detract!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't."  
 
~ Gloria Steinem 
 
OPPOSITES DETRACT! 
 
Don't you just love the irony of today's quote? Steinem implies that simply separating people into two categories is too simplistic, but at the same time, she uses that very same technique to convey her meaning! 
 
Learning what something is by defining what it is not has been an age-long practice in education. It's hard to understand light without knowing darkness. How could we appreciate quiet without suffering through loud and constant noise? 
 
While dichotomies or contradictions help us in our understanding, it's very dangerous to define everything we experience in this way, that it's simply one way or the other. Is every declaration either true or false? If so, what do you make of the next two sentences? 
 
The following statement is true. The preceding statement is false! 
 
Okay, all philosophical joking aside, it's easier to categorize the world into "is" and "is not," but we also realize that there are "shades of grey" between the black and the white. If we always expect people to act in just one of two ways, we're in for some nasty surprises. 
 
This world cannot be divided into two kinds of people, no matter how simply you look at it. Can we say that if you make war, you must hate peace? Or that if you love peace, you must not make war? This isn't politicizing - it's a simple observation that we all have within us the capacity for understanding and appreciating not both sides of a situation, but ALL sides. 
 
By avoiding generalizations that reduce everything said or done into good or bad, we open ourselves up to varieties of interpretation that allow us to make truly educated decisions. Sure, it's more complicated and challenging that way, but it keeps us from morphing into the very stereotypes we’re trying to avoid. Vive la difference!

Play Ball!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"I hit anything that's close to the plate. I don't wait for that one pitch.” 
- Rod Carew
 
PLAY BALL!
 
With the start of the major league baseball season, a simple success formula recently heard comes to mind. It uses baseball words, but contains plenty of success wisdom.
 
Which do you think is more important, a home run or a single base hit? Most of us would choose a home run - even a "grand slam" home run. Most of us were also brought up to believe that someday our "ship would come in" - that all of our success or wealth or whatever would arrive at once, in one grand port call.
 
Funny thing is - more ball games are won with base hits than with home runs. Most ships arrive slowly in port - guided by tiny tugboats - and only after having navigated the wide oceans through a series of thousands of minor navigational corrections.
 
Yes! Big wins and successful journeys occur most often as the result of daily decisions - not life-altering, once-a-year, mega-decisions. Want to lose weight? It won't happen because you vow on January 1 to do it. It will be the result of your daily decision to walk, run, or work out. Want excellent health? Your daily, even moment-by-moment, decisions to ingest only healthy foods and avoid junk are the ones that will win the day.
 
The same holds true for your success in business. While a master plan at the beginning of the year is important, it's really the steps taken each day that produce the results. As you face each of the very small daily decisions, be careful to make only the right choices. By day's end they'll add up to valuable progress both on and off the field.

Not Bed-Time Reading!

by Lorna Calder

 Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
 
"Somebody's boring me; I think it's me." 
~ Dylan Thomas 
 
NOT BED-TIME READING! 
 
There’s been a lot of heated discussion regarding the embellishment of facts in order to make an otherwise “true story” more interesting. You may recall that a "memoir" published within the last few years was scrutinized like a journalistic piece, and its author publicly shamed for previously claiming as fact many of the now acknowledged fabricated details in the book. 
 
So why would someone feel compelled to make up details about their life? If you began writing your autobiography today, would it consist of bestseller material, or do you think your life might not be exciting enough to inspire others? Jot down a possible Table of Contents. Look boring? What’s the solution? Live a more exciting life! 
 
Begin to imagine and act every day as though you knew you would be recounting the details and events later on. If you keep a journal or a diary, you’re already familiar with the idea, although you might not expect others to read it. A journal helps you to identify and solidify ideas for success, while a memoir puts your actions in front of the world to see. 
 
Boring job? Find the beauty in it, revel in the good you really do for others, or begin planning today your climb up the ladder or up an entirely different ladder. Boring relationships? Find new things to do, visit new places to do them, or start nurturing new associations with those whom you most admire. Boring personality? Expand your horizons with travel, exercise your mind with reading, and make a commitment to caring for and helping others. 
 
Start living the life you would be confident to share, and before you know it, your autobiography will go from “bargain bin” to “best seller”!

No Fear!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinions of the things that happen."
 
~ Epictetus  

 

NO FEAR! 
 
A well-known motivational speaker once said, "No one knows enough to be a pessimist." He also quoted statistics showing that a very high percentage of the things we worry about are either A) things that never happen, or B) things over which we have no control anyway. His point? Not only do we not have enough information to justify our worries, we also are virtually unable to alter the outcome of most situations.  
 
Our worst fears are generally of the unknown (not enough information). Our imagination runs wild, conjuring up worst-case scenarios. We become fearful, anxious, and even overwhelmed - yet the source of our fear is non-existent (except in our minds). Consider these oft-quoted phrases:  
 
"Think you can - think you can't - either way you're right." "As a man thinketh, so is he." "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours."  
 
In other words, by your thoughts alone, you control the outcome. Although there exist many risks to our peace-of-mind during uncertain times, we still have the ability to pursue our very best hopes and dreams. We may find that their achievement requires more effort than usual. Doubt may creep in. Nevertheless, as you have heard many times, "It's all in your head."  

Mantra For Success!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:

"Cause change and lead; accept change and survive; resist change and die."
 
~ Ray Norda 

 

MANTRA FOR SUCCESS! 
 
Today's inspiring quote puts a spin on the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. The question is, how do you handle change? Which of the above categories do you fit into? 
 
Some people choose to handle change by creating it. These are the proactive visionaries who aren't afraid of change, who aren't afraid of the challenges that leaders face. Not everyone can participate in this category, and that's alright. Where would the leaders be without followers? 
 
Followers are the survivors in the category of "accept change and survive." There may not be as much glory in just surviving, but those who can work with change exhibit a strength of their own. These are the positive reactionaries, people who make changes within to help them cope with the outside turmoil that they understand they cannot alter. 
 
Finally, there are those who choose to participate in the final category - the negative reactionaries who suffer from ulcers, chronic fatigue, and headaches that result from banging their heads against the wall. While there is value in questioning the changes around you, there is little value in resisting the inevitable. There is little value in having short-sighted vision. There is little value in stagnation. 
 
Some of us have the courage to cause change. Most of us find a way to accept change. A few of us always fight it, ultimately finding ourselves on the short end of the stick. Ally yourself with those successful people in the first two groups. Change is hard, change is challenging, change is the only thing that you always count on to build your strengths and improve your understanding. 
Take control of change and convince yourself that nothing grows without it. Repeat Ray Norda's words like a mantra every morning to remind yourself just how much power you have. 

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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