April 12th, 2016
What if I started EVERY day with gratitude and a song reminding me how much I have to love about my life? What if EVERYONE did this? On an off over the years I have found a song that “sings” me to work, gets me ready mentally for my day, reminds me how much I really do enjoy being a realtor. There are times I my brain gets tired, my ability to motivate others and myself is spent, and I just need a break. That doesn’t mean that I don’t still love being a realtor or I no longer love my life and all the challenges as well as the gifts.
I recently found a song that not only brightens my day and makes me smile, but I noticed today as I drove in playing it (rather loudly) with the windows in my car down, people around me were also starting to smile. At first they looked in my direction with a slight scowl and then as the music and then the words started to sink in (at the stop light) I detected a slight head bob and scowl turning to a smile. What if I started every day making someone else smile?
What would the world be like if instead of playing songs like, “Take This Job and Shove It,” on the Friday night drive home, radio stations played songs that reminded people that they have a happy life to go home to? Instead of starting Monday mornings with songs and commentary that reminded people how far it was to the weekend and that they have 5 days of drudgery to go through before the next day off, they played songs that reminded people how blessed they were to have a job to fund the life outside of work? What would our world look like?
I can’t change the world. I can change me. I can make one person smile every morning. And I can play my happy song really loud! So, this is my challenge: What if I Started Every Day with I Love This Life?
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March 18th, 2016
Federal Mandates on Private Residences . . . What??? Sitting at an open house for a new listing, an agent brought her clients through. The home was built in 1974, had some updates and had been maintained extremely well. The house had an old Zinsco electric panel with breakers (not fuses) which was original to the property. As the agent showed the client around, she pointed out both the good and bad about the house.
When she came upstairs she asked me about the electrical box. I told her that it was original to the house and that I knew an inspector would recommend that it be replaced. I also told her that we had priced the home accordingly. A new breaker box would run probably somewhere between $800-1,000 and if it were my buyer I would make sure that they took into account that they would probably need to replace it.
Her response really scared me. She said that she had been told that there was a federal mandate to replace these breaker boxes. That the seller’s were required per federal law to replace the breaker box. As far as I know, we still have rights in this country, state and county. Unless someone is doing work or having work performed, I didn’t think any government could tell a private citizen that they had to replace any component of their home!
There are exceptions which include resale septic inspections in many counties. That goes to public health, and I do understand that. We don’t want raw sewage leaking into our water supplies. And if someone is having their water heater, furnace or a/c replaced there are upgrades and changes that must be made due to government regulations and new codes. On the septic inspection, the county may require that something be repaired or replaced, and it is still between buyer and seller to agree on who is going to do that. The county government officials do not decide the who, just that it needs to be fixed. Furnace and a/c changes come down to a government agency (non-elected) telling the technicians and manufacturers what they can & can’t install and manufacture. Water heaters have to have expansion tanks on them according to many municipality codes if they are installed by a licensed plumber. None of this means that a government official can come into your home and tell you that your water heater, furnace or a/c has to be replaced. And they can’t tell you that an electrical panel has to be replaced. They may require electricians to replace them if they do any work on the electrical system. Buyers may ask sellers to replace them during the renegotiation after inspection period. Sellers may decide that they want to replace them before putting the house on the market.
We are still in America. We still have rights. And as far as I know, there are no federal mandates to change your single pane windows to double pane, to change your wood burning fireplaces to gas log fireplaces, or to change your side by side refrigerator to one with the freezer on the bottom, or to change your electrical panel just because they want to. And if the Federal Government knocks on my door to inspect my windows, fireplace, refrigerator or electrical panel, I don’t have to let them in.
February 19th, 2016
Is There a Market Shift Coming? Yes! Having just returned from the Keller Williams Family Reunion, and listening to Gary Keller talk about the current market and comparing it to historical data, I can with certainty tell you there is a shift coming. We don’t know when because no one has a crystal ball, but we know it is coming.
So, what does this mean for current homeowners thinking about selling? It means it is time to do that! Inventory is low, interest rates are bouncing as the Federal Reserve tests the market to raise the rates, and qualified buyers are plentiful RIGHT NOW! So, you ask, how do we know if there is a shift coming?
We know there is a shift coming because markets never remain the same — they always move. Historically in housing, they move like a pendulum. Right now we are in a Sellers Market. One factor that is driving this Sellers Market is the price of rent which makes owning a home a lot more economical than renting. Low interest rates now that have the real potential to rise before the end of the year are also driving buyers to make the jump into home ownership. There are still a lot of former homeowners who got hit hard during the recession who are now bouncing back and looking for homes. If you look at these factors and realize that this too will pass, you can see why, if you are a homeowner thinking about selling, you need to do it NOW.
Now you are thinking, if the prices are still increasing, and spring is coming, why wouldn’t I wait a little longer before putting my house on the market? This question says that you are trying to time the market. I would counter that question with this one: “How do you know when you are at the top (or bottom) of the market?” The answer is, you only know when you have reached the top or bottom of the curve when it starts moving in the other direction. And if you wait for that turn, you will be competing with all the other people who have tried to time the market creating higher inventories, the the pendulum swing in the opposite direction will move quickly.
Is there a shift coming? Yes. There is always a shift coming. For better or worse, there is always a shift coming. Spring is coming. It is time to act!
If you would like more information about the current market, please call me at 913-322-8301 or email me at SuzieT@kw.com. You can also visit our webpage for a FREE comparative market analysis of your home.
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