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This is Why I RE/MAX

by Lorna Calder

THE Holiday Party Checklist 🎄

by Lorna Calder
The Holiday Season is right around the corner and if you are planning to host a party it can become stressful! But don't let it be! Here is a great checklist you can use to plan a fun and budget-friendly party that everyone is sure to LOVE!
Click HERE for a PDF version to print out!
 
 
© 2017 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK NOVEMBER EREPORT S
 

Why Sell? Why Buy?

by Lorna Calder

Are you thinking of Buying or Selling? 

WHY BUY?

1. It is a part of your financial plan this year. To make the property your home, you have the freedom to make the move and are financially ready.

 

2. Your circumstances are correct. Your circumstances may have contrived you to buy, whether it was a relocation for your job or you may have just sold your home.

 

3. There are many homes for sale in your desired area. If it is a buyer's market in your desired area of town then now would be a great time to make the move!

 

 

WHY SELL?

1. You have outgrown your home. It may be time to sell your home and move to a larger one if you have a growing family or an adult child or parent has moved in with you. 

 

2. You want to live closer to family and friends. If you desire to be closer to your friends or family then it may be a good idea to sell your home and move closer to them.

 

3. Job relocation is moving you. If you have found your dream job or your current job is transferring you, that may cause you to list your home for sale. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Reasons you need an Agent to help you Buy or Sell a home!

by Lorna Calder

Whether you're selling your first or fourth home, buying  an existing property or building a new home, there;'s one thing you need: a reputable agent. While some may say you can buy or sell a home on your own, if you're not familiar with the whole process, it will lead to more frustration and aggravation than it's worth. Why go at it alone when you can have an experienced professional by your side to help you every step of the way?

 

 

1. An Agent will represent you.

When you buy a home, you may be tempted to work with the seller's agent, but that agent is loyal to their client - the seller or builder. A buyer's agent will keep you best interests in mind. They'll explain the process, negotiate with the seller or builder and help you purchase the home of your dreams. Likewise, if you're selling, make sure you're working with a trustworthy agent who can expertly represent you with the buyer's agent.

 

2. An Agent will guide you through the process.

Since agents deal with the buying and selling process every day, they understand its nuances. They can explain often complicated contractual language, handle requests from the other side and spot potential issues before they become problems. 

 

3. An Agent knows what to look for.

They'll see things you may not know to look for, such as wear and tear, issues or the condition of the roof or wiring. If you're buying a home, they'll help you assess the state of the home you're viewing. If you're selling a home, they'll help you decide what updates to make before you list. 

 

4. An Agent is objective.

If you're selling your home, an agent can offer advice about how to position your home in the local market to attract the right buyers. If you're buying a home, they can offer objective insight into the homes you're viewing and help you find the one that's right for you. 

 

5. An Agent is an expert in your local area. 

If you're moving to a new area, an agent can give you the scoop on the best schools and neighborhoods, as well as warn you about areas prone to flooding, located near busy roads or are future hot spots for city redevelopment plans. Similarly, they understand the local market and can give you tips to help your home stand out and sell quickly. 

 

6. An Agent offers advice based on experience. 

Agents rely on their experience to give you tips in regards to inspections, price reductions and other issues that may arise during the course of the transaction. 

 

7. An Agent works on your behalf. 

Whether it's negotiating the sale, handling challenges or objections that may arise, or acting as a liaison, an agent uses their expertise and skill to communicate your best interests with the other party. 

 

8. An Agent will continue to serve after closing. 

Sometimes issues arise in the first year following a home purchase, An agent will help you resolve these issues and connect you with reputable tradespeople in their networks. 

 

9. Going at it alone may end up costing you!

Sellers often make a big mistake when trying to sell their own home by pricing it too high. A home that's not priced well will sit on the market for weeks. Enlisting the aid of an agent will help you price your home to sell so that it piques the attention on the right buyers. 

 

Click HERE to download PAGE1

Click HERE to download PAGE2

 

 

 

8 Ways to SAVE money on your home's energy bill this winter...

by Lorna Calder

As we enter the colder months, you may notice something: an increase in your energy bill! Having less daylight makes us want to switch on those lights earlier than we would have and the cooler weather has us turning up the heat! The summer and winter months tend to be the most energy-invasive times of the whole year, as we try to maintain a comfy temperature indoors, despite what he thermometer says. 

 

 

1. Set the thermostat to 68 degrees when you are home. 

Studies have shown that you use 3-5% more energy per every degree the thermostat is set above 68 degrees.Try putting a sweater or a blanket on to stay warm instead of increasing the heat. That one of two degrees you keep it down will really help that bill look a little less frightening!

 

2. Lower the thermostat when you leave the house.

Why would you heat your house when no one is home to enjoy it? You can save 5-15% a year on your energy bill by lowering the thermostat 10-15 degrees! PS. Having a programmable thermostat will save you to 10% a year on heating and cooling costs.2

 

3. To keep warm air from escaping close your curtains and blinds at night and when you are out of the house. 

You can also go the extra mile by investing in blackout curtains. These curtains can help keep the warm air where it belongs, inside your home!

 

4. Check for drafts around doors and windows.

When you see cracks or gaps, caulk them to prevent heat from escaping.

 

5. When you're not using your fireplace, close the damper. 

This little mindful act will keep your home noticeably warmer! PS. One of the largest energy expenses in a home is actually Space Heating, accounting for 45% of energy bills.2

 

6. Insulate, Insulate, INSULATE!

Small cracks and holes around your house can amount to up to 25% of heat loss. When your walls, floors and attic are properly insulated you can save up to 10% on your total energy costs.1

 

7. Replace those old windows!

Depending on your climate, windows can account for 20-50% of a home's heating and cooling needs.2 By replacing your old windows with high performance, energy efficient windows you can make sure you're not losing precious heat! What's the added bonus? These windows not only regulate the amount of heat that is absorbed, they can also help block outside noise.

 

8. Maintain your heating and cooling duct system!

You can avoid sudden and costly repairs that could leave your home without heat by keeping your HVAC system in great shape, that will save you money on your energy bills. 

 

Download a copy of the informational PDF with extras HERE!

 

 

Sources: 1. PG&E 2. Energy.gov 3. EnergyStar

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK DECEMBER MF S

What it takes to get your Home ready for Listing Photos!

by Lorna Calder

 

 

Let's get your Home marketed the best we can with these simple tips!

See below!

                                     

Below is a great comprehensive list for what a Seller can expect to be asked to do when it comes time for the Listing photos. We market your home with the utmost care and consideration. In turn we ask that you help us to get your Home seen as many times as we can by doing these simple things. 

 

Inside

General Areas of the House

  • Have all light bulbs working and turned on prior to the photographer’s arrival
  • Turn all fans off
  • Blinds down and open/window treatments pulled back
  • Hide pet related items including bowls, kennels, beds, toys, etc.
  • Place pets in a separate room or garage
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

Kitchen

  • Remove all magnets, photos, etc. from refrigerators
  • Hide garbages
  • Empty the sink and remove dish soap and cleaning supplies
  • Turn on lights above the sink, stove and under cabinets
  • Clear the kitchen counters, less is more

Bathroom

  • Hide all toiletries (shampoo/conditioners, soaps, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • Hide robes, dirty clothes and scales
  • Remove all rugs in the master bathroom

​​

Outside

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house so they can’t be seen from inside the house
  • Absolutely no contractors can be working outside or inside the property at the time of the shoot
  • Mow grass and remove all debris from the sidewalks and driveways
  • Remove pet waste
  • Remove children’s toys including larger items such as trampolines, playhouses, sandboxes, etc.
  • Put garbage and recycling cans inside the garage
  • Roll up or store hoses
  • Hide any pet related items like chains, bowls, toys, etc.
  • Neatly arrange patio furniture
  • Remove and store pool cleaner, nets and chemical bottles
  • Cover or clean exterior of grills
  • Make sure water sprinklers do not run for two hours before (we need driveways and patios dry)
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

 

Twilight Photos

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house
  • Turn all lights on inside and outside the house including pool and spa (no flood lights)
  • Turn all fans off on the inside and the outside of the house
  • Spa and water features on
  • Outdoor fire areas lit

 

Approximate times for photo shoots

Under 2,000 sq ft: 30 to 45 min
2,000 – 2,999 sq ft: 45 min
3,000 – 3,999 sq ft: 45 min to 1 hour
4,000 – 4,999 sq ft: 1 to 1.5 hours
5,000 – 5,999 sq ft: 1.5 to 2 hours
6,000 – 6,999 sq ft: 2 to 2.5 hours
7,000+ sq ft: 2 to 3 hours

 

When you are ready to put your home on the Market, please give us a call. We are ready to help you sell your home quickly and for the most money. With great photos, it will only make it easier! (281) 361-2280

Do you DIY or Hire a Pro?

by Lorna Calder

 

To DIY, or not to DIY, that is the question!

For good reason, DIY projects are in! They can save you money, be resourceful and give the "Weekend Warrior" a feeling of satisfaction from completion. With that said, DIY can go wrong, very wrong! Below are some things to consider when deciding if DIY is for you!

 

1. Do your Research

When thinking about a DIY project, do some research first. It may be a bit time consuming but trust me, it will save you a whole heck of a lot more time (and money) knowing that you need to just hire a professional rather than messing up a DIY project and THEN having to hire a professional. There are also factors like; Do I need  permits? Does my HOA allow this? Could it cause structural damage to my home? Yes, the videos and HGTV shows make even the hardest of projects seem so simple but we suggest you ask around to friends, neighbors, family members, or us and see if anyone has experience with these projects. If you are even just a bit confused or lost with the tools needed or the directions you have to follow...you may want to leave it to a Pro. DIY is something that requires full confidence. 

 

2. Think about your Interest and Skill Levels

When tackling a project, this should be the most simple question to ask yourself. You understand what the project is, the steps included, the tools needed but have you thought of the time it may take? Let's take building an entertainment center as an example. You may mess up on an angle, back to the Home Improvement store. You may put too much stain, now you have to sand it down again and re-stain. The stain itself takes a few coats, time needed to dry, the right temp and humidity levels to dry, etc. It can get pretty tricky if you don't think of these things ahead of time and map it out. You may need to preform an honest assessment of your skills (plumbing, electrical, etc), this is critical. You see these DIY projects getting completed in one day; well you may have kids that need attention, dogs or cats that step on your newly paved sidewalk, unexpected rain and other factors that play into time. A project you think will take one day may take 1 week! It is essential to plan and map it out before the project is started. If you can't live in a construction zone, this may need the help of a Professional. 

 

3. Projects cost money!

Again, this will play into doing your research. Research the tool rentals costs, the time away from work, the materials and then get a few estimated from local, trusted contractors (which we have many we recommend) for all of your projects. Then you can get an idea of if you really will save money or not! Also be sure to factor in overages for your DIY project, especially if it is a new project that you have never done, you may mess up, paint something wrong, cut wood the wrong length; then you will need more materials, which cost money. If you are totally confident and have it planned so well that there will be no to minimal mistakes, then go for it! If you think, hmm...I may not be able to do this or this may be to tricky, then leave it to the Professionals. 

 

Trust our Experience!

Christina has done multiple DIY projects in and out of her home, so has Lorna (A LOT) and Shannon has done some outdoor projects. We can give you advice on whether it would be cost and time effective to DIY it or to hire someone. We have a great list of Vendors with everything from Roofers to Bee Removal to Landscapers, that we use with the homes we Sell and Buy for our clients and would love to share it with you for any of your needs! Just give us a call, we are here to help!

 


 

                                                

Lorna Calder with The Lorna Calder Team in Kingwood, Texas has earned the prestigious Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® designation in recognition of her experience, knowledge and expertise in the luxury home market. “Lorna Calder is an example of a real estate professional who has worked to develop market knowledge and the special skills and competencies necessary to provide exceptional service in the fine homes and estates marketplace,” said Institute President Laurie Moore-Moore, upon announcing Lorna’s designation. “Affluent buyers and sellers can turn to sales professionals who have this designation and be confident that they have special expertise and experience in the luxury home marketplace.”

 

“I am committed to providing outstanding service to my clients,” said Lorna “The Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® designation is evidence of my ability to meet the needs of affluent buyers and sellers. My membership in The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing also provides me with marketing tools and networking capabilities that benefit my clients.”

 

Lorna Calder is an award-winning real estate professional who has gone through special training and met performance standards in the upper tier market. She has been in Real Estate since 2008 and specializes in the Kingwood and the surrounding area’s markets.

 

Lorna has also earned the Million Dollar Guild® for her extensive training in high end luxury markets. The million dollar+ transaction requires sophistication and knowledge over and above that of an average agent. Rather than selecting an agent who is using your transaction to learn, consider an experienced professional who not only has the credibility of the CERTIFIED LUXURY HOME MARKETING SPECIALIST® designation, but has also earned Million Dollar Guild® recognition. A smart choice. 

 

“Being an excellent Kingwood Texas Real Estate Agent and Realtor® - involves having integrity, in-depth community and knowledge of the real estate market in Kingwood, Atascocita and Humble TX area. Marketing, effective negotiation skills and a high-quality professional network are all valuable tools for any real estate professional and are all hallmarks of my real estate practice.
 

My focus as a KINGWOOD TX Realtor®, ATASCOCITA TX Realtor®, and HUMBLE TX Realtor® is about putting my clients first. This means staying accessible, listening to the needs of my clients and communicating in a way that is tailored to each client’s needs. Being able to respond quickly to client concerns is a core value of my real estate practice. Bringing forth both competence and caring ensures that I maintain a high level of client satisfaction. Staying on top of the latest real estate technologies allows me to extend the range and quality of services I provide to my clients in Kingwood, Atascocita and Humble Texas.
 

As a true professional, I am committed to continuing real estate education so that I am well positioned in the real estate community. As a Graduate of the Texas Realtor® University, I hold the GRI designation. I have specialized knowledge including legal issues, finance, marketing, real estate investments, professional standards and environmental law, and brokerage. Fewer than 10 percent of 90,000 Texas Realtors have earned their GRI designation. The association is dedicated to increased professionalism in the real estate industry and is affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS®.
 

 "The GRI designation is a mark of excellence that signifies the graduate is a cut above," said Dennis Patillo, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. "It represents the knowledge and professionalism needed to perform successfully in today’s complex real estate field."   
 

Buddy Wall, Broker of RE/MAX Associates Northeast in Kingwood added, "In today’s market, simply being a good agent is not enough. Lorna’s continued pursuit of educational excellence in her field coupled with her non-stop commitment to customer service singles her out "Above the Crowd".”

 

For current information on the upper tier market, contact Lorna Calder at The Lorna Calder Team of RE/MAX Northeast at 281-361-2280 or email Lorna at lorna@lornacalder.com.

 

The Lorna Calder Team

RE/MAX Northeast

2940 Oak Street

Kingwood, TX 77339

(281) 361-2280

lorna@lornacalder.com

www.LornaCalder.com

Buyers CAN help their Agents, here is how...

by Lorna Calder

 

Sure, buying a home is very exciting but there is a lot more than just home tours and paperwork! Your Agent is working tirelessly behind the scenes, day and night, week and weekend to make sure you are getting a great home, for a great price and checking off as much as they can on your "Must Have" list.

 

Here are a few things that YOU as the Buyer can do to help make your Agent's job a bit easier. 

 

1. Try not to get too caught up in aesthetics.

Many items that may bother you as the Buyer are easily fixed! Don't sweat the small stuff, remember that your Agent can always negotiate repairs and the price of the home but most of the things that you want done, can be done in a weekend! Try to look at it in a more positive way, "yes, there are a few things that I would like to have done BUT this home is in the perfect neighborhood and for a great price!" Sometimes separating "wants" from "needs" helps.

 

2. Being too focused on the money can hurt your experience.

Of course money is a very important part of the buying process, we get that but exhausting all of your thoughts on the financial aspect will hinder your ability to focus on anything else. The Seller doesn't always accept the highest offer, most often they will accept the best offer which is a combination of price and terms. Sometimes a Buyer's financial qualifications come into the decision making process as well, for example; cash buyer versus FHA buyer.  You really need to trust your Agent when it comes to structuring a good offer that combines the right mix of timing, price and reasonable contingencies. 

 

3. Don't sit on it too long!

If you're in love with it, you haven't found anything like it, you can't live without it, MAKE AN OFFER. In this market it is VERY important to make an offer if you find the "right one". Houses don't sit long and before you know it the house you fell in love with has been sold to someone else! Not fun.

 

4. Talking to the Listing Agent...probably not a good idea!

The Selling Agent is there to get the most money for the SELLER not the BUYER. For example when calling a Listing Agent on a property, a buyer many sometimes share details about their situation, scenario, possible relocation and financial qualifications that the Listing Agent is duty bound to share with their client who is the Seller. This places the Buyer in a disadvantageous negotiating position. It's best to leave this communication to your Buyer's Agent, they've got this!

 

5. Low-balling offers is a no no!

Take this for instance: The seller declines the first offer and the buyer then makes another unreasonable offer. This is going to frustrate the Seller, cost the Buyer the house and tie up the Buyer Agent's time on a home in which the offer will be refused. Please listen carefully to your Agent, they know best what Sellers likely will and won't accept. After all, you hired them for a reason, they are pretty good at their job!

 

Source: "7 things Buyers Do That Real Estate Agents Hate," realtor.com® (Jan. 18, 2016)

9 Timeless Tips to Develop Better Habits!

by Lorna Calder

 

How many of us set goals in January only to give up a few weeks later? This common problem has nothing to do with the willpower and everything to do with habits - specifically, not developing the good habits that will help us reach our goals. 

 

Nine timeless tips to help you improve your habits so that you can achieve your goals this year!

 

1. Get Motivated

2. Start Small

3. Set Reminders

4. Replace a Bad Habit

5. Get others on Board

6. Have Realistic Expectations

7. Do it for 30 days

8. Take on one habit at a time

9. Reward Yourself for a job well-done!

 

For a more detailed description of these 9 Tips, open these links! Tips 1-5 & Tips 6-9


Licensed content reprinted with permission. Reprinted with permission from Buffini & Company. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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