There goes a saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Sometimes you just need to schedule some flex time to give your work travel a little boost and sight see. It might mean arriving a day early or catching an earlier or later flight home after your meetings have ended. Why not? You came all this way after all. We feel very privileged each year to participate in our company’s annual Family Reunion for Keller Williams Realty. Each year the destination changes and this year we just got back from New Orleans. We enjoyed not only learning new ways to refresh and re-energize our business but had time to enjoy the culture of this city. What’s your favorite travel destination? What made it an amazing experience?
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Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff - put it in storage.
Creative New Year’s Resolutions that
Could Enhance Your Life in 2019
Countless people use the beginning of a new year as an opportunity to set goals for their health, careers, and relationships—hence the age-old concept of New Year’s Resolutions. As you think about what you want to achieve this year, consider the following unique resolutions that could potentially enrich your life:
- Have lunch with someone with whom you disagree—and vow to keep an open mind. Whether you’ve sparred with a friend about politics, philosophical issues, or you’ve simply had a rift, the first step in healing the relationship is to have a truly open-minded conversation. If you know someone whom you used to value, but whose differences you have been unable to see past, consider inviting them to lunch. Agree that neither of you will attempt to persuade the other; instead, maintain a sense of curiosity and strive to simply have a conversation. Even if you both hold steady to your beliefs, you should be able to establish the mutual sense of respect that is essential to rekindling your relationship.
- Schedule time to be bored each week. From smartphones to streaming television, many people never feel bored in today’s hyperconnected world. But did you know that occasional boredom can benefit your brain? When your brain has “off time” as it does when you are bored, it becomes better equipped to solve nagging problems, connect disparate ideas, and gain a sense of clarity about your personal journey and goals. While you may find it difficult to relax, resolve that you will schedule some electronics-free time each week to simply do nothing.
- Seek out rejection. Most people are terrified of rejection—and this fear holds many...
When you are looking to purchase a home, it's a good idea to get it inspected first. Think of it as a test drive before you plunk down your life savings and most likely, commit yourself to lengthy mortgage. You want to make sure you're getting a quality home. Below is everything you need to know about getting a home inspection.
Why get an inspection?
A home inspection is the examination of a home, from top to bottom. Just like a routine physical that will alert you to any hidden health problems, an inspection will reveal if a home's structure or if any of its systems are in need of significant repair. Purchasing a home is a big investment -- you're likely to be spending thousands of dollars to buy your new home -- so, you'll want to be sure that your purchase is a smart one. (And that you don't buy the real estate equivalent of a lemon.)
In fact, 99% of all agents counsel their clients to have a home inspection performed of homes they are looking to buy.
Hire a professional
When you hire an inspector, look to hire the best -- it only make sense, since buying a home can be an expensive endeavor.
Look to get a professional who's knowledgeable about a home's system -- that person is likely to be a licensed professional engineer (PE). You can search for a PE in your area on Nabie.org, the website for the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers. You may also want to check up on inspectors you're considering on sites like the Better Business Bureau and Angie's List.
What does a home inspector check?
A home inspector will...
What a day! Back to school AND a solar eclipse?! I think that's a good sign for all of our brilliant young minds - a sign from the stars that this school year, 2018-2019, will be the best by far!
We're here to make it better. Are you looking to downsize now that your high school seniors are off to college? What are you going to do with all that extra space upstairs? Or, is your family growing and you need another room or 2? We would love to help you find what you are looking for, so please don't hesitate to call us anytime! We have an abundance of resources for you!
Talk to you soon!
Thinking about mortgage refinancing? You’re not alone, with some of the best mortgage rates available in history many people are debating whether they should spend the money and refinance.
The benefit of refinancing comes from borrowing at a lower mortgage rate so you can either lower your payments or reduce your loan term, either way saving thousands of dollars over the life of your home loan.
However, there are some pitfalls to watch out for; here are some of the mortgage refinancing mistakes you will want to avoid:
1. Paying high closing costs.
When you refinance, you are essentially getting a new mortgage to replace your old mortgage. This means fees; origination fees, administrative fees and other closing expenses.
Many people simply pay them, adding them to the cost of the loan and reducing the savings benefit of refinancing your home. Instead, shop around and compare costs between various banks and credit unions. Check out this article on how to lower your home loan closing costs.
2. Not getting a big enough discount on the rate.
Many people refinance because rates have dropped but then find that the difference in the interest rate wasn’t big enough to really save them money. If there is only a small difference, the closing costs can erode the savings you are getting.
If you don’t stay in your house for five to seven years after you refinance, this small difference can actually result in you losing out over all. The generally accepted rule of thumb is that the new rate should be at least a full percent lower than your current rate, and you should be planning to stay in your home for a few years....
From paying off student loans to saving for retirement.
For grads who are stressed about the numbers in their bank account—take a deep breath. This week's "Adulthood Made Easy," with host Sam Zabell, breaks down the most important issues young adults need to worry about, as well as the savings plans that will set them up for the future. Zabell is joined by Donna Rosato, a business journalist and senior writer at MONEY, who shares her wisdom on the major money issues most grads will face upon graduation. Below, some of her advice on the most important topics:
1. Student loans: Rosato's best advice is to increase how much you're paying when your salary increases—it might seem like a big financial commitment initially, but dragging it out over a standard 10 year plan can mean that you pay a lot in interest. If you need help deciding on a payment plan that's right for you, she suggests using the government's Repayment Estimator to help map it out.
2. Budgeting: Think of it more as a "spending plan." Everyone...
If you get a flat tire, your car battery dies, or severe weather forces you off the road, will you be prepared? You may already keep essentials such as your owner's manual and proof of insurance in your car, but what else should you have on hand? Even if you pay for a roadside assistance service, here are some essential items to keep in your car in case of emergency.
1. FIRST AID KIT
You can buy a prepackaged kit or assemble your own. Be sure to include bandages in multiple sizes, gauze, an antibiotic cream, over-the-counter pain relievers, allergy medicine, hand sanitizer, and cotton swabs. To be even more prepared, consider packing a thermometer, heating pad, battery-powered radio, and any medications you and your family might need.
2. WATER BOTTLES
Whether you store a case of water bottles or a few jugs in your trunk, water will do more than quench your thirst. You can also use water to clean oil off your clothes or pour into your radiator if your car overheats.
You can use your cell phone as a light source, but you’ll definitely want to preserve your battery in an emergency. A heavy duty, waterproof flashlight will allow you to take a look under the hood and make a nighttime car emergency less scary. Just make sure you have extra batteries.
4. WARM CLOTHING
Keeping blankets, sweatshirts, and other warm clothing in your trunk can be a lifesaver when the temperature drops and you’re stuck in your car without a working heater. If you live in a colder part of the country,...