|Posted on May 29, 2019 at 6:05 PM||comments (2018)|
The year is half over. Are you keeping up with your awareness of the energy in your living and work spaces? If you feel that it’s a good idea to be “out with the old” or even time to create space for something new, clear the invisible energies to allow the newness in. One of my favorite space-clearing rituals is a salt burn. Give it a try!
Here’s what you need and how to do it:
You need: 1 coffee mug that you are willing to throw away, a fire-safe place to sit the mug, some Epsom salts, an unopened bottle of high-alcohol-content alcohol, and a match.
Place the coffee mug on a brick, the fireplace hearth, in a skillet, or even place it in a shallow pan of water. (We’re doing these things for fire-safety.
Center yourself by doing a few mantras if you know them or deep breaths – or do whatever it takes for you to create full focus.
Fill your palm with the salt and place the salt in the mug (three times.)
Open a new bottle of very high-proof alcohol (regular rubbing alcohol does not usually have a high enough percentage of alcohol to burn is why I suggest the drinking kind.) And pour in just enough to cover the salt.
Light a match and drop it in the mixture.
While the mixture is lit, visualize any negative, sluggish, or inappropriate energies for you going into the fire and being transformed into positive energy or simply being taken away. You can add any mantra, mudra, or prayer that you feel is necessary. When I am doing a one-on-one consultation for a client, I usually say “Anything negatively affecting my clients be transformed into positive energy, or released from this space now.” If nothing else, use that sentence switching “my clients” to “me” or whomever.
When the salt burns out, let it cool a bit and then flush it down the toilet or simply throw the entire mug and all in the trash out of the home.
There is a wonderful book by Denise Linn that has a ton of great space clearing methods. If this one doesn't strike you as appropriate, it is called Sacred Space. https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Space-Clearing-Enhancing-Energy/dp/034539769X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1547833745&sr=1-1
Woo-hoo! Let’s rock the second half of this year now that we’re all cleared out and intending new opportunities to come our way!
Karen Signature First Name.png
Karen Rauch Carter
Best-Selling Feng Shui Author, Consultant & Speaker
|Posted on May 17, 2019 at 12:45 AM||comments (6623)|
I know it seems odd to post this with the weather this week, but now is the time to take care of your HVAC system.
Keep cool this summer and don’t forget to perform annual maintenance on your air conditioning unit now, before the real heat hits!
Here are a few things most homeowners can do themselves to help maintain their air conditioner:
• Ensure the filter is clean or replaced regularly. Disposable filters are inexpensive and should be replaced once a month during high use periods.
• Trim back plants so there is at least one foot of clearance from the A/C unit to allow proper air flow and reduce motor strain.
• Sand, dirt, and other debris can get sucked into the condenser coils. To clean the coils, first disconnect the power to the A/C and then use a garden hose to spray the coils clean.
You should also have annual maintenance service performed by a professional air conditioning technician. Always ensure the following items are included in the maintenance service:
• Condenser – check pressure, oil motor bearings, and current electrical draw; tighten all hardware and visually inspect wiring and condenser coils.
• Air Handler/Evaporator – Visually inspect wiring and oil motor bearings; clean or replace filter, tighten all hardware, inspect condensation drain, pan, pump, and auxiliary pan; clean drain system, and check that evaporator coils are clean and free of damage.
With proper maintenance, an air conditioner should run smoothly for years. However, should the unit break down due to normal wear and use, your home warranty plan may repair or replace the covered parts and components to keep homes cool during the heat of summer!
Thanks for the reminders Old Republic!
|Posted on May 10, 2019 at 12:30 AM||comments (658)|
Found a great article about why we have the perfect situation to put your home on the market. With a lot of uncertainty in many areas of the news lately, THIS is GOOD NEWS! Call, text or email me if you'd like to discuss selling your property - or buying. Leandra Carr 775-690-2591
Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2019
Housing markets may not be as hot as previous years but selling now could be your best bet.
By Devon Thorsby, Editor, Real Estate |March 7, 2019, at 9:42 a.m.
Few people are predicting that 2019 will be a record-breaking year for home prices.
But relatively speaking, 2019 might be the best time for you to put your house on the market. Especially if you’re on the fence about selling this year or next, Nick Ron, CEO of House Buyers of America, recommends going with the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t.
“I think it’ll be better than 2020 and 2021 – who knows what’s going to happen in those years,” Ron says.Home price growth slowed in the second half of 2018, with fewer buyers entering the market, at least partially due to rising interest rates issued by the Federal Reserve. In 2019, consumers shouldn’t expect homebuyers to flood the market again and drive prices through the roof, but it’s also unlikely to be a crisis for home sellers.
If you bought your house in the last year or two, still love it and don’t want to part with it, go ahead and wait another five years before revisiting the thought of selling. But if you’re weighing your options to sell, considering selling this year or maybe the year after, don’t play the waiting game.
Here are four reasons to sell your house in 2019:
• New buyers are still entering the market.
• Interest rates are still on the lower end.
• You have high equity.
• Selling now will be better than waiting till 2020.
New Buyers Are Still Entering the Market
As interest rates rise, some buyers will hesitate to make an offer on a home or apply for a mortgage, so be ready to see occasional drops in buyer activity. And if your house is at the higher end of the price range in your market, you should expect less buyer interest than before. Ron notes the combination of rising mortgage rates and home prices exceeding buyers' budgets are what has caused the slowing of homebuyer activity in recent months.
But with available housing inventory remaining low, even with rising interest rates, buyers who are ready to make a purchase will still shop for homes. The biggest wave of new homebuyers will be among millennials, who are mostly first-time buyers. In a Harris Poll survey of 2,000 U.S. adults commissioned by real estate information company Trulia, more than one-fifth of Americans between ages 18 and 34 said they plan to buy a home within the next 12 months. Already, millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers at 36 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors, which released the number in March 2018.
The bottom line: While houses may sit on the market for a few more days on average compared with 2017 when the market was white-hot, buyers remain active and it’s still possible to profit from your home sale.
Interest Rates Are Still Low-ish
Mortgage interest rates have been on a bit of a bumpy road over the last few months. Interest rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage reached their highest level in over seven years in November 2018, when they hit 4.94 percent, according to Freddie Mac. As of the end of February 2019, however, interest rates are down slightly to 4.35 percent, according to the mortgage loan company. While it’s reasonable to expect mortgage rates to continue to climb gradually throughout the next year, they’ll remain much lower than the historic high of more than 18 percent in 1981.
It’s important to keep in mind that while mortgage rates tend to mirror the Fed’s interest rate activity, mortgage rates are based on the market in that moment, your financial status and the property you’re looking to purchase.
Just because the Fed raises rates at one meeting doesn’t mean mortgage rates will follow that exact pattern. “Not every Fed increase is passing on (to) a mortgage rate,” says John Pataky, executive vice president and chief consumer and commercial banking executive at TIAA Bank.
A sudden leap in mortgage interest rates is unlikely in 2019, though Pataky notes that you should be ready to see rates continue to climb. “We do expect over the next 12 months that mortgage rates will continue to drift higher,” he says.
If you’re looking to get the lowest interest rate possible on your next house, try to make a deal sooner rather than later.
You Have High Equity
Homeowners who bought during the recession or shortly after benefitted from historically low interest rates and, up until around 2015, lower home prices that were still in recovery mode. If you fall into that category, your home equity has risen with nearly every mortgage payment, each renovation you made to the house and all the other houses on the block that sold for a higher price.
The higher your equity in your home, the more you net from the sale, which can easily go toward the down payment on your next house. The larger your down payment, the better you look to lenders and the lower your interest rate will be, and the less likely you'll need to increase monthly payments with private mortgage insurance.
Selling in 2019 vs. 2020
If not selling your home in 2019 means putting your house on the market in 2020, the sooner option is the best one. In a survey of 100 U.S. real estate experts and economistsby real estate information company Zillow, released in May, almost half expect the next recession to occur in 2020. Another 14 percent believe the recession will hold out until 2021, while 24 percent of panelists expect the recession earlier – sometime in 2019.
Whether you believe the recession is imminent or a long way off, current real estate patterns indicate a sudden upswing in activity or prices is unlikely in the near future. Real estate markets tend to operate on a cycle of their own, the length of which varies by market but can be between 10 and 16 years total and flow from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market with a period of balance in between.
“It doesn’t look like there’s anything on the horizon that’s going to cause a big spike in home prices or increase demand dramatically,” Ron says.
|Posted on January 28, 2016 at 12:20 AM||comments (774)|
wow, just lost a listing appointment over my not upfront agreeing to discount my commission. Wow. She called yesterday and the first question, as usual, was "How much is the commission?" I explained it is 6%, half of which goes to the buyer's agent. She immediately asked if I would do it for 5%. I asked her what she wanted me to not do.
I am a professional. My job is to use data to assist the homeowner in setting a reasonable price that will attract attention and still maximize what the homeowner gets for the home. I am pretty good at it. the process starts with a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA. I have seen other CMAs, many agents just pull a couple of properties and put in the info given, call it good. A good CMA includes parameters to make sure the home is similar. There are also adjustments given for lot size, square footage, amenities and other things.The adjusted price on several recent sales as well as current listings is used and finessed to find the right range in price, which the seller then sets. Having good information up front helps avoid issues when the appraisal comes in.
This is how I earn a living. If I don't negotiate for my own money, how well do you think I am going to negotiate for the seller's money? A discount on the first phone call indicates that the agent does not believe they are worth a full commission, or they intend to do a discounted job and just don't mention that upfront. No wonder people have such a low view of real estate agents.
Another thing to consider is that if a buyer's agent is looking through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for properties to show their clients, they are going to show the properties offering a 3% commission to buyer's agent before they show a 2.5% commission house. That is just reality.
This fall I had an owner ask if they ought to lower their price to get some activity on the listing. It was priced well, just a slow time. What we did instead was offer a higher commission to the buyer's broker. An extra $1000 as a bonus to the agent cost $1000. A price reduction would have cost several thousand dollars.
Once a house gets listed, a good agent earning their commission will guide the seller in preparing the house for showings by staging, making recommendations about what to remove or add, how to keep it show-ready. The seller's agent will also follow up with buyer's agents to get feedback about the house - how it showed, comments from the buyer (good and bad), the pricing, etc. We encourage the seller to incorporate those comments into the process and make adjustments as needed to get the house sold.
An offer comes in. A good seller's agent will advise the seller what costs are normal and customary in the area and whether the offer falls in line. For example, if an offer comes in lower than asking price, is the buyer paying more of the closing costs to make it up? Are they saying upfront that they do not intend to ask for a repair allowance? Are they asking the seller to pay all title costs? A good seller's agent advises their seller how to analyze the offer, accept, craft a counter, or whether to counter at all. We also know how to handle multiple-offer situations and can offer guidance to help the seller avoid legal issues.
Once escrow is open, a good seller's agent is an excellent resource for movers, cleaners, repair personnel and other people who may be needed during the process. We attend inspections, appraisals, make sure deadlines like inspections and repairs are met, make sure the loan is moving along as it should.
As we approach closing, I am there to answer questions and follow up with the various parties involved. I review the closing package and help overcome any hiccups that happen. I go over the closing paperwork with my sellers and attend their signing if they want me to be there. I make sure their questions get answered. When its all over, I keep their final closing statement to send to them at tax time so they don't have to search for papers packed away and get all available tax deductions.
This past year, I worked with a discount listing agent. Egads, so frustrating. He never answered his phone, and did not return phone calls for days. He put a sign in the yard, a lockbox on the door and put the property in MLS. As the buyer's agent, I tried to get the information for current flood insurance, since the buyer would have to have it for their loan; the seller's agent did not know and did not offer to check with their seller. The garage door openers were missing and he could not be bothered to ask the seller where they might be. It was a full two weeks after closing that he asked for the signed disclosure I had sent him in week two of escrow! I guess the sellers saved a little on his commission, but the sale almost fell apart more than once because of his absence and absolute lack of caring. It seems you get what you pay for.
As for me, I am happy she cancelled the appointment. If she wants a sign in the yard and a box on the door and to go through the process on her own, good luck. I have a buyer this week who is looking for a house just like hers. If they were to put in an offer and it was my listing, I might discount my commission. However, if I end up showing her house, I will ask for full commission, since I know I will have to be doing the other agents job as well.