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by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

"All that Adam had, all that Caesar could, you have and can do . . . Build, therefore, your own world." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Picture a builder hiring a new framing carpenter to help construct his new homes. The first day on the job, the new carpenter shows up without a tool belt . . . and without any tools . . . and asks, "Where do I begin?" How much progress do you think would be made by the end of the first day?
Most of us at some point in our lives are like the unprepared carpenter. We show up, but have no tools, and haven't the slightest clue what we want to build. Within us, we have the power to build any life we choose, yet at day's end, nothing has changed.
Oh sure, we actively pursue the day-to-day activities of our chosen career, yet we don't take time to visualize the finished product - our life. Thoreau said it best: "Live the life you've imagined." Steven Covey said it this way: "Begin with the end in mind."
To "build your own world," begin by deciding what that world will be like. Next, gather the tools required to begin construction. Finally, begin practicing until you are an accomplished master.
If you want to be a renowned musician, choose an instrument, take lessons, and practice eight hours each day. If you want financial independence, determine a method, learn how others have achieved wealth, and mimic their approach and techniques.
Just remember, the world you get is the world you chose. It's an awesome responsibility - knowing that what you become is the result of the choices you have made. It's also an awesome opportunity to enjoy all the peace, contentment, freedom and riches life has to offer.
Carpe diem! Seize the day!


by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly." 
~ Henri Bergson 
"All things change; nothing perishes." 
~ Ovid
The changing of the seasons presents several opportunities throughout the year to consider how life itself changes and how it remains the same. Hearing the first frog calls of spring feels at once reassuring, and also just a little unsettling. 
It’s consoling to know that the spring will always follow the winter, that autumn will always follow summer, and so on. But of course, the pattern also points to the fact that another winter has got behind us, and while we enjoy the offerings of spring, that winter season is now gone forever, and there is one less winter in the seasons of our lives. 
But the flowers and birds of spring also remind us of the futility of dwelling on seasons gone by. “Be here now,” they tell us, “because the party’s just starting!” The vestiges of the past year haven’t really disappeared, they’ve only morphed into something different and new (again). And the memories don’t vanish; they persist, unchanged, for as long as our minds can hold them. 
It’s a basic law of physics that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, so “turn yourself in,” and allow yourself to be subject to the rules of nature. Everything that you can be, you already are. You just have to make the change, like the butterfly from the chrysalis. Then summer will be here before you know it! 


by Lorna Calder

Monday Morning Coffee

"Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance." 
~ Samuel Johnson 
How many times have you heard it? "Don't work harder, work smarter." This modern cliche has almost become an annoyance - its meaning seems so obvious that we don't even pay attention to it anymore. But such simple sentiments often bear closer consideration, especially since they become cliched because of their inherent truth. 
You see, sometimes it really isn't how hard you try. Think back to high school: some students studied for hours for an exam and did poorly, while others studied a few notes and highlights for thirty minutes and got A's. Sometimes it just came down to smarts, but often it came down to how well prepared and organized the students were. Performing well on an exam or project doesn't necessarily reflect higher intelligence - it reflects ability to apply intelligence or strength efficiently. It's qualitative instead of quantitative. 
Expend great effort inefficiently and you may well end up farther behind than if you expend less effort in a more resourceful manner. The whole goal should be progress, not the total expense of your resources. It's those folks who can analyze and implement an approach that requires less effort who enjoy the greatest success. We all want to minimize our investment and maximize our returns, right? 
If you find yourself trying so hard and not getting anywhere, you're probably experiencing a deep feeling of discouragement. Help yourself out by looking at changes you can make to help you focus more on the solution to the task. Eliminate energy spent that isn't producing results. 
Apply a little effort on a consistent and targeted basis, and you'll achieve the progress you're seeking. Jacob Riis observed, "When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before." 

April 2014 Houston and National Housing Newsletter

by Lorna Calder

This month’s featured video discusses what financial obligations come with purchasing and owning a home. Some of the obligations to consider is the payment on your mortgage and interest, home owner's insurance, property taxes, utilities and more.

A Realtor will always negotiate on your behalf to get you the best price for your new home and help take care of all of the closing paperwork, and closing procedures. 

There is a lot to know about owning a home. Remember a Realtor is always your best source of knowledge for all of 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 2014 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:

Existing-Home Sales Remain Soft in March

Vacation Home Sales Surge in 2013, Investment Property Declines

9-Step Guide to Open Houses

8 Things to Avoid Before You Buy a Home

6 Most Cost-Effective Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund on Your Home

Will the Home Your Buying Have Good Resale Value?

What Contingency Should Your Home Purchase Offer Have?

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.

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