Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13

Tips for Holiday Travel if You’re Flying ✈️

by Lorna Calder


 

Many people use the Holidays as a time to get together and go visit family, making it one of the busiest times for Travel. If you plan to travel by plane, here are some very helpful tips to make it a bit less stressful!

 

TIPS FOR FLYING

Research, Research, Research! It helps to do your research, regardless if it’s a last minute trip or one planned weeks or months in advance. If you can, you may want to consider choosing flexible travel dates to help you nab the best prices. If your airport is a busy hub, consider flying out of an airport nearby, you may save time and money!

 

Plan Carefully. There are factors that can delay your flights like inclement weather with flying in the winter or holidays like Spring Break and Thanksgiving. Unless you have some quick feet, you may want to avoid short layovers so you don’t miss your next flight.

 

Pack Light. This is a hard one for some, especially us ladies, or if you are packing gifts to bring to your destination or back but most airlines are now charging for checked bags. You can save money by sending those gifts ahead of time or generally packing lighter and dong laundry at your destination.

 

LEAVE EARLY. This goes for flying AND driving! Leaving early will allow a buffer for things like traffic, security and parking. If you can take a light rail system, public transportation or something like Uber/Lyft, that can help save time and money.

 

Stay on Top of Flight Changes. You can download your Airline’s app and stay up to date on changes to your flight like delays, cancellations or early arrivals.

 

STAY HEALTHY WHILE YOU TRAVEL

Not only is it the Holiday Season but it’s also Cold and Flu Season! With the close proximity of other travelers to you in the airports and on the plane, it’s important to consider these tips to keep the germs at bay.

 

Stay Hydrated. Bring an empty plastic or reusable water bottle to the airport to refill after you get through security. The cabin pressure tends to dry out eyes and nose and staying hydrated will prevent this from happening and keep germs at bay. It may also help to prevent blood clots from sitting too long.

 

Bring You Own Pillow and Blanket. Some airlines still may provide these for you but you cant be sure that no one else has touched them. Be safe and bring your own to reduce the risk of coming in contact with germs or viruses. Those handy little neck pillows are also SO MUCH MORE comfortable than the flat limp pillows they provide.

 

Bring Some Healthy Snacks. Make it easy to tote items like nuts or dried fruits!

 

Move Around to Prevent Blood Clots. When flying, blood clots can be a major concern especially if you have a long flight overseas or cross country! Get up and walk around the cabin as much as you can, when it’s safe. Or when you are sitting down tap your feet or move your legs in a small bicycle motion to get that blood flowing. 

 

Enjoy your Holiday Season! 

With Love, 

The Lorna Calder Team

How to Host a Holiday Party Without Breaking the Bank!

by Lorna Calder

The Holiday seasons are upon us and now is the time to start planning for your Holiday party. Doesn't matter if you are a veteran at Holiday Parties or a first-timer, here are some great tips to help you plan a party that is fun, festive and budget friendly. 

Set a Budget. Map out all of your expenses, such as food and drink costs, entertainment, invites and decorations. If you are not sure how much any of these cost, do a little research online or ask friends and family. If you have hosted a party similar to this or the same as last year, you can get an idea of what it may cost from that experience. Also, there are programs you can use such as Party Budget Estimator from Evite, it will calculate your costs based on the information you type in, number of guests and the length of the party time. 

  • Prioritize the spending of your money. What is the most important part of your party? Is it the food or the entertainment or enhancing the decor? If you're on a tight budget, setting your priority list will help you to estimate how much things will cost.
  • Choose a venue carefully. If you plan to host at a restaurant or a venue outside of your hme, make sure you reserve it FAR in advance. Most of us host it in our own homes, that can save LOTS of money right there. 

 

Create That Guest List. Your budget may dictate the size of your party but there are other ways to cut cost so you can entertain more people. Is it a sit down type or party or something much larger? Kids or just adults? If you do decide to invite children you will want to keep their interests in mind like different types or foods or fun activities like cookie decorating, gingerbread house building, crafts or holiday movies.  

  • Send invitations. Be sure to send paper invitations as soon as possible. Everyone starts to fill up their calendars with Holiday activities pretty quick so you want them to get the invites ASAP. 
  • Save money with email invitations. Email invitations are FREE to send and allow you to have more management over who responds. You can also use Facebook and make an event page to invite guests and send reminders of the upcoming event. This can be especially helpful if you are having a potluck style, that way you can keep track of who is bringing what in the Comments below your event page. 

 

Plan Your Entertainment. You always want your guests to have fun at your event! You can use a digital music service like Pandora or Spotify to create a Holiday Playlist to stream through Bluetooth speakers or an entertainment center or TV. 

  • Do your guests like to sing? Rent or buy a Karaoke machine.
  • Encourage your guests to dress for the event. Make sure to let them know on the invite. Is it formal? Ugly sweater? Have fun with the theme.
  • If you are having kids there, hire someone or ask a family member to dress up as Santa Claus and pose for photos with the kids. 
  • Again, if you are having kids at your party, hand out goody bags filled with Holiday themed crafts, cookies or toys. 
  • If you plan to do a gift exchange or White Elephant, make sure you give a budget for guests to stick to. 

 

Plan a Great Menu. It always helps to plan your menu, whether you are having it catered or preparing it yourself.

  • If you are having the party catered then you should hire the caterer as soon as possible because the Holidays are the BUSIEST time of the year and they can book up quick. You can look online for recommendations, post something on Facebook asking for recommendations or ask your family and friends. If your guests have any dietary restrictions or you have a specific menu in mind, talk to your caterer and let them know. 
  • Have fun with it! Look all over the internet like Pinterest or scour magazines to find the perfect recipes. To help reduce stress, make as much of the meal in advance as you can and freeze or store it in the fridge until the party day. Also, if you care to cut down on cost even more, host a Holiday BRUCH, yes breakfast foods are much less expensive and it will be just as fun. 
  • If you are planning to do a potluck then you should supply the main dish and have everyone else bring the sides and desserts. You can manage when people are bringing by putting an RSVP card int he paper invite to send out asking what they are bringing OR if you choose to do an evite or Facebook event page then have them comment what they would like to bring. You can also post a comment on the Facebook event page with ideas of what to bring.
  • Everyone loves a good Holiday drink! But lets not break the bank with it! Serve up a Holiday punch or a signature Holiday drink that way you wont have to sit there constantly making them or making a multitude of different things. 

 

Decorate. In order to save money here, use decorations you already have or borrow from family and friends. If you have kids, get their help to make things creative and crafty. You can also take FREE items from nature, such as pine cones, branches and twigs and dust them with glitter or paint them. Also, discount store like Dollar Tree offer a wide variety of cheap decorations that you can make look great.

 

Biggest thing is to remember to HAVE FUN and DON'T STRESS! 

 

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.

July 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's video from HAR discusses Multi-Family Property Types.  You will learn the positive aspects, as well as the negative, of owning a Multi-Family Property.  If you are interested in owning a Multi-Family Property and/or have any questions about owning a Multi-Family Property please do not hesitate to contact me.

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 2012 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:

Summer Safety Tips

Credit Score Fixes

Stay Cool 9 Ways When Paying Your Energy Bill

Home Fix-Ups More Popular Than Upgrades

Bathroom Storage:  Smart Ways to Stow More

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.

June 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's video from HAR discusses legal subdivisions.  Subdividing means taking a larger lot of land and dividing it into smaller pieces of land to sell or develop.  You will learn about some of the laws that regulate subdivisions to protect consumers.  If you have any further questions about subdivisions after watching this video, please feel free to contact me.  I'd love to hear from you!

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 2012 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:

Maximize Tax Credits for Energy and Medical Home Improvements

Do You Understand Your Hurricane Deductible?

Do's and Don'ts Before Home Appraisal

10 Ideas for Using Your Space Effectively

Dreaming of a Summer Escape to an Italian Villa?

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.

May 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

In this video we will discuss why a consumer should always use a realtor when buying, selling or leasing a property.

Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the buying process and selling real estate.  Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime.  Your realtor can help you determine how much you can afford to spend, and possibly more importantly, how much you should spend.

Your realtor can take that information and refer you to lenders who are best qualified to help you.  Your realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search.  Sometimes the property you are seeking is available, but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some legwork by your realtor to find all available properties.

Your realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.  Agents who are realtors have access to a variety of informational resources.  Realtors can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, etc. 

Your realtor also provides insight during the evaluation of the property.  Depending on the area and property, this could include inspection for termites, asbestos, or roof condition just to name a few.  Your realtor can help you find a qualified responsible professional to do most of these investigations, and provide you written reports.

Your realtor can help you negotiate.  When selling your home your realtor can give you up to date information about what is happening in the marketplace.  This is a key to getting your property sold at the best price quickly and with minimum hassle.

 Your realtor acts as a marketing coordinator, distributing information about your property to other real estate agents through a multiple listing service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc.  In many markets across the country, more than 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sells, meaning a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer.

 Your realtor can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.  The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers.  Your realtor is the best person to objectively help you solve these issues and move the transaction to closing.

So now you’ve learned why you should use a realtor when buying or selling real estate. 

And remember, that a realtor is always the 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 2012 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:

Buying Condo For College Student is Smart Investment

Amazing Restorations Become Dream Homes

Spring Cleaning 101

7 Gardening Mistakes to Avoid

Swimming Pools: Alternatives to Chlorine

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.

April 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month’s featured video discusses the difference between a townhome and a condominium.

They can look exactly alike! What differentiates a condo from a townhome is what property rights come to consumers who purchase them.  

A buyer of a condominium owns his or her individual unit structure, plus a percentage of the surrounding property, including land and any amenities on the property.  Condo owners are responsible for the space inside their own walls, which means they can paint them however they wish.  They don't enjoy that same privilege on the outside of their homes.  However, residents are members of a home owners association and pay a monthly fee to the association in exchange for the maintenance of the common property.

A buyer of a townhome purchases his or her individual unit and well as the ground underneath that unit.  Townhome property lines are generally more consistent with single family homes and common areas are usually still individually owned.  Townhome communities may also have owner associations which maintain certain external structures, security gates, trash service and other common items.  They may also have restrictions about exterior alterations to the property, parking and maintenance.  

Working with a knowledgeable realtor can help you decide if a condo or townhome is right for you.  Now you've learned something about the difference between a townhouse unit and a condominium unit!  

And remember, that a realtor is always the 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 2012 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:

Create an Outdoor Resort in Your Backyard

Have $18 Million Lying Around? Coral Gables has a Home for You

Tornado Storm Shelters: Safe Room Protection When it Counts

Are You Looking for Energy Savings in All the Wrong Places?

What to Consider Before Building a Pool

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.

January 2012 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses homeowners associations.  These entities can be found in almost every housing environment. Consumers must research to determine if a homeowners association (HOA) has authority over any home they might be considering for purchase. When a person buys a home in an area with a HOA, he or she becomes a member of the association and is responsible for membership dues.  By design a HOA has the goal of ensuring that living in the area or on the property is pleasant for all residents.

The first act of the HOA is to establish a set of rules or guidelines to hopefully accomplish that.  The HOA Board of Directors then establishes monthly dues for all homeowners and can restrict the rights of the way a person can use his or her own property or the joined or common property.  For example the rules may govern the number of people who can occupy a house, the colors one can paint a house, or the time at which common areas like exercise rooms or pools can be used.  Fines or fees can be assessed or even evictions for those that don’t abide by the rules.

Many find the HOA well worth extra fees associated with owning property.  When well administered, the HOA can provide certain predictability to owning a home and clearly delineate both the homeowner’s and association’s responsibility.

Remember a Realtor is always the 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 January 2012  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:    

2011 Energy Tax Credits: What You Need To Know To Collect

8 Small Space Solutions for Shared Kids' Rooms

Top 3 Most Common Home Defects to Check For

Home Security Cameras: Peace Of Mind While Your Away

Winter Gardening: Plants That Provide Beauty All Year Round

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.

 

December 2011 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses why consumers should always use a realtor when buying, selling, or leasing a property.  Realtors subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the buying process and selling real estate.  Real estate transactions involve one the biggest financial investments that most people will experience during their lifetime.  Your Realtor can help you determine how much you can afford to spend and possibility more importantly how much you should spend.

Your realtor has many resources to assist you in your home search.  Sometimes a property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market and it will take some leg work by your realtor to find all available properties.  Your Realtor can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.  Realtors can provide local community information and insight during evaluation of the property. Depending on the area this can include inspection for termites, asbestos or roof condition just to name a few. 

When selling your home your Realtor can give you up to date information about what is happening in the market place.  This is the key to getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.  Your Realtor acts as marketing coordinator, distributing information about your property to other real estate agents through a multiple listing service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses, etc.  Your Realtor can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.  The required paperwork along is overwhelming for most sellers.  Your Realtor is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing.  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 December 2011  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:    

San Antonio is Number 1 in Texas and US in 2011 Best Performing Cities

Hidden Treasures Found Beneath Homes

Stay Warm and Keep In Budget This Winter Season

Buying a House at Foreclosure Auction is Risky

7 Tips For Staging Your Home

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.

 

November 2011 Houston and National Housing Market Trends

by Lorna Calder

This month's featured video discusses Homeowner's Insurance, also commonly called Hazard Insurance.  This is the type of insurance that covers private homes.  It is an insurance policy that combines coverage for various personal insurance protections which can include losses occurring to the home, its contents, loss of its use, loss of personal possessions, as well as liability for accidents that may happen at the home.  Most mortgages require the owner to carry homeowners insurance at all times that the mortgage remains in effect.

The insurance policy is a lengthy contract and lists what will and will not be paid in the case of various events.  Typically losses due to floods or war are excluded, though special insurance can be purchased for these possibilities. The insurance policy is usually a term contract that is effective for a fixed period of time and is provided in exchange for "premium".  The insured (homeowner) must pay the insurer each term.  Anyone with an insurable interest in the property should be listed on the insurance policy.  It is important to review the policy coverages and requirements provided by your insurer. To learn more information about hazard insurance, please contact your insurance agent.

There is a lot to know about owning a home. Working with a knowledgable Realtor can help make sure your most valuable investment is protected.  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 November 2011  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:    

Top Ten Reasons to Sell Your Home In Winter

Make Your Home Holiday Hosting Disaster Free

Wall of Glass Not Just for Modern Style Home

9 Ways to Keep Lid on Energy Bills

Three Options for Buying Home After Short Sale

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 1-10 of 13

Syndication

Categories

Archives

 Each Office Independently Owned and Operated.