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June 2013 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month’s feature video will discusses the importance of having a property inspected prior to purchase. A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspectors report will include an evaluation of the condition of the homes heating system, central air conditioning system, interior pluming and electrical systems, the roof, attic and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure. Why do you need a home inspection? The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy so you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.

 How much does a home inspections cost? The inspection fee varies geographically. The fee may also vary depending on the size of the house, its age and possible additional services, such as septic, well, and radon testing.The knowledge gained from the inspection is well worth the cost and the lowest priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain.  Though it may be natural to wonder if you can do it yourself even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with all the elements of home construction, their proper installation and maintenance. More information about licensed professional inspectors can be found at www.trec.state.tx.us/inspector/levelsandpaths.asp .

You may wonder if a house can fail an inspection, the answer is no.  A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house but rather describes it’s physical condition and indicates what may need repair or replacement.  

So now you have learned why it is so important to always have a property inspected as part of the purchase process. 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 June 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:

What Homeowners' Insurance Discounts Are You Missing?

What Goes With You When You Sell Your Home?

Punch Up Your Porch for Under $100

How to Sell Your Home & Buy Another at the Same Time 

Celebrity Rentals

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.

Fast Forward!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." 
 
~ Yogi Berra 
 
FAST FORWARD! 
 
The past … the present … the future. What if you could make changes in any one of them? Well, obviously, you can’t change the past. Try to change the present, and you’ll discover that it’s suddenly in the past, too. Try to change the future and … who knows? 
 
But … your best bet is still on the future, even though your “best laid plans” may produce unexpected results. The past and the present are great tools for formulating your goals, and here’s a simple exercise to work on. 
 
Before you start worrying about the future, consider how far you’ve already come. Look back five years – were you working hard toward your future, and did you accomplish your goals of five years ago? 
 
If you could possibly have known then where you would be today, would it have thrilled you? Maybe you haven’t done as well as you expected, but I hope that this part of the exercise will show you just how far you’ve come already, and inspire you onward and upward. 
 
Now turn your goggles forward and imagine your personal and business goals for five years from today. Chances are a lot will change between now and then. Your goals may or may not remain the same, but you’ve got to “go with the flow,” and avoid disappointment if you end up in a completely different place than you expected. 
 
Now revise that list of goals, imagining you have just six months to live. Scary, yes, but you may suddenly realize that if you really had so little time to achieve your goal, you’d really bust your butt to get it done. 
 
Finally, apply that “six month” mentality to your long-term goals. Determine what steps you can take this week to speed you toward your destination, and get packing!

Take Five!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity." 
 
~ from the Tao Te Ching by Lao-tsu 
 
TAKE FIVE! 
 
Today we’re pressured to do more, want more, get more. But really, it all leads to having less time, less energy, and less money. Putting more into work leaves less for private pursuits. Acquiring more valued possessions creates more debt and yet more work. 
 
“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.” You don’t have to have it all and have it right now. Allow some room for development; give yourself space to grow. Don’t assume you’re accomplished because your bowl is already full. 
 
“Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.” Don’t overwork yourself. Focusing too hard and too long on any one thing dulls your senses and wears you out. If you’re at the top of your game, why would you need to do better? 
 
“Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.” Anyone obsessed with wealth probably doesn’t offer compassion or service to others. Those who always seek safety always fear risk. Do what you love, accept risks, and the rest will follow. 
 
“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” Do you work to satisfy yourself or others? Can you ever find happiness if your only concern is pleasing everyone else? Take pride in a job well done, then let it go. Your enthusiasm about your work will show, and anyone who doesn’t like it isn’t worth worrying about. 
 
“Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” It’s easier to see where you’ve been than where you’re going. The journey to happiness begins by stepping back and releasing your endeavors. Let them go and free your mind for other pursuits. Good or bad, put it all behind you and look forward. 
 
Shun the fear of not having enough and not doing enough. Concentrate on one of these lines each day this week, and then have a fantastic weekend!

Prediction VS Production!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"If you keep on saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet."  
 
~ Isaac Bashevis Singer 
 
PREDICTION VS. PRODUCTION! 
 
If you’re familiar with many “motivational” speakers and writers, you’ve probably heard or read a hundred times that you must make a “declaration.” It seems that without uttering your deepest desires, they will not come to fruition. Want a better job? Then you must declare that it will be so. Want a fitter body? First you must affirm you will have one. 
 
But be aware of the definition of motivation, “the reason one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” Just stating that something will happen is not enough – you must “act” or “behave” in a very specific fashion to make that dream come true. 
 
Declarations comfort us, enthuse us, and even energize us, but only for a short period of time. After the initial emotional rush of acknowledging our desire to pursue something, our energy wanes, other issues become more pressing, and we lose sight of our goals. Unfortunately, when the outcome we visualized doesn’t happen, we feel disappointed and our self-esteem takes one on the chin. 
 
The vicious circle completes itself when we make our next declaration, recalling previous shortfalls, and losing our enthusiasm even more quickly. We say, “Ah, these affirmations don’t work. Just saying it doesn’t make it true.” EUREKA! 
 
Now you realize that success doesn’t come from motivational “tricks,” but from a profound effort to produce the desired outcome. Of course you must acknowledge (if only to yourself) what you want in this world, or you’ll just drift aimlessly. But be sure to follow through with a solid plan that anticipates plenty of detours. 
 
Want a better job? Declare it will be so, and then start taking courses in that field, find a mentor, polish your resume, and apply for the positions for which you have qualified yourself. Want a fitter body? First affirm that you will have one, and then sign up for a fitness club membership, actually go to the club regularly, stock your shelves with healthy food, and eat less of it. 
 
So, become a prophet of positivity! Go ahead, predict your future success! But make sure your prophecy is self-fulfilled! 

Perfect Bacward Vision!

by Lorna Calder

    Monday Morning Coffee

INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
 
"Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you've made it again."
~ Unknown
 
"Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."
~ Barry LePatner
 
"The trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes first and then the lesson." 
~ Unknown
 
PERFECT BACKWARD VISION!
 
The reason there's so much humor in the "experience" we gain from our mistakes is that we all share in making errors - some of us learn, and some of us don't! That's where "good judgment" and "bad judgment" come in. When we make mistakes, and learn from them, we develop "good judgment." However, a lot of those mistakes that we have the opportunity to learn from are made because of our "bad judgment"! 
 
Are some of us doomed to repeat history? What if we make the same mistake twice, but realize that we've done it? (You know, "Admitting you have a problem is half the solution"?) It's hard to "study" for the problems that life throws at us, but even if we had a lesson plan, we'd still wing it! As the last quote above illustrates, we have to actually go through the experience, hoping we don't fail, before we really learn the answer to how to handle the problem! 
 
As Bobby McFerrin so popularly expressed it several years ago, "Don't worry, be happy!" If you're successful in your endeavor, congratulations! If you fail (or succeed with some degree of error), congratulations on your opportunity for further improvement! Chances are that life is not going to throw anything at you that you can't ultimately rise above, on your own or with some assistance. 
 
Try a light-hearted approach to problem-solving. You really shouldn't treat this topic too seriously, or you'll get depressed and never try to accomplish anything out of fear of failure. So, it all boils down to this point: love your mistakes! Embrace your errors! They are one thing you can truly call your own!

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