Make Moving Easier

1. Lighten Up. Whether you're hiring movers or renting a truck and getting help with the heavy lifting, it pays to lighten the load of stuff you plan to move. Now is the time to go through your belongings and be intentional about your goal-if it's broken, underused or you don't see yourself needing it in the future, it's time to donate it.

  • Sell or donate unused items that are still in good condition. Sites like Craigslist and eBay , or apps like Letgo allow you to sell your items easily. Start the process at least a month before your moving date.
  • Recycle items that are broken or worn out.

2. Take breaks. One of the reasons people find moving so stressful is they're overwhelmed by all the tasks that need to get done. While trying to stay on top of everything, it's easy to forget to take breaks and eat. Taking a break will give you the energy you need to recharge before you tackle the next room or task.

3. Pack smart. Be mindful of what you are packing and when you pack it to ensure your valuables are not lost or broken.

  • Start Early
  • Pack by room and number your boxes
  • Pack valuable items yourself
  • If you need certain items right away, pack them in clear plastic bins

6 Major Mistakes Buyers Make In A Seller's Market

1. Not making your best offer

The motivation to buy what we want for as little money as possible is deeply engrained in us. So when most people see the listing price of a home, they naturally wonder what they can really get the house for. Offering lower than asking price is a reasonable strategy, especially if the house is overpriced compared with other similar homes in the area, or if it's a buyer's market with lots of available inventory. But trying to get a deal when you're in a seller's market might not be the best tactic.

2. Over-Analyzing the Purchase Price

Just as impulse-buying a home is risky, over-analyzing a home purchase in a seller's market is ill-advised as well. Once you've determined the type of home you want, the location you desire, and your price range, and finally find a home that meets your qualifications, don't wait to make an offer.

3. Working with an inexperienced agent

In a seller's market, it benefits buyers to get all the help they can. If you have a seasoned agent on your side, you'll probably have a better chance of getting the home you want.

4. Not being pre-approved for a loan

You might know that you'll be approved for a mortgage loan based on your steady income, your low debt-to-income ratio, and your high credit score-but the seller doesn't know that. The only way to prove to the seller that you're a qualified buyer is to be pre-approved from a lender.

5. Not being prepared for a bidding war

If there is ever a time when a bidding war could be imminent, it's during a seller's market. No buyer wants to be involved in such a battle for fear of possible going over budget. Search below your max budget to leave room in case of an over-asking bidding war.

6. Not learning from your mistakes

There's no shame in learning that your offer has been declined, but it's easy to get frustrated if your offers are declined repeatedly. Learn from your last transaction so that you can move in to your dream home.

Spruce up Your Space with New Paint

Choose the Right Color

1. Paint makers offer new color options each year based on the most current design sensibilities, and their cues are commonly highlighted on company websites and in home and garden media. Trends aside, the color you choose should reflect your family's tastes and personalities.

2. It also helps to keep the room's purpose in mind. For example, a relaxing green or blue hue suits a bedroom or bath, and a deep red adds sophistication to a room that's intended for entertaining. Furthermore, light shades can make a small space seem larger, while dark ones may be used to create a warmer feeling in a large room.

3. Ultimately, it's usually best to select a shade that will balance out the room. If most of your furnishings are bold, go with a subdued look on the walls so they won't compete. When the big pieces in the room are neutrals, consider adding a punch of color that is pulled from the decorative accessories or artwork.

All About Finishes

Flat: Matte finishes are good at concealing flaws but more difficult to maintain; flat paints work best for old walls and low-traffic areas.

Satin or Eggshell: Versatile and attractive satin finishes are great for the walls in high traffic areas and family spaces because they are easier to wipe clean.

Semi-gloss: With its visible shine, this durable finish is suitable for trim, woodwork, and high-moisture areas in the bath or kitchen.

Gloss: These are the shiniest finishes and are sometimes used to draw attention to doors, mantels and other special architectural features.

Are You Planning to Sell Soon?

Don't feel the need to neutralize a nicely staged interior if you already have custom paint colors that coordinate well with your furnishings. However, if your home's décor is dated or the walls are in rough condition, it's best to create a blank canvas for potential buyers by applying a popular neutral color such as white, cream, or beige.

7 Ways to Invest in Yourself

1. Take a class or seminar. Learning doesn't need to stop once you've graduated.  Signing up for a class or seminar, either on-line or in-person, gives you the opportunity to learn and grow outside of the traditional confines of school. Websites such as Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare allow you to learn new skills and improve the ones you have.

2. Read. The most successful people carve time out of their days to read. Not only does reading increase your knowledge, it also improve your memory, vocabulary and focus, while sharpening your analytical skills and reducing stress.

3. Watch a video. Optimize your time and watch a video from a leading personal development expert, or expert in your field, and you'll not only learn, you'll also become motivated to make lasting positive changes in your life and at work.

4. Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are a popular way to listen and learn anywhere, whether you're getting ready for work, driving to the office, or jogging on the treadmill at the gym.

5. Join a group or organization. Connect with other like-minded people who are committed to growing personally or professionally. In addition to networking, these organizations also provide opportunities to take work-shops and classes.

6. Get a mentor. If you want to get ahead in your career, a mentor can help you improve your self-confidence, tap into your potential and find balance in your life.

7. Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while refining skills and traits, such as teamwork, empathy and communication.

Why commit to personal growth? It helps you to discover your purpose, gain clarity and focus, become more resilient, and improve your attitude!

The Three-Step Method for Success in Buying a Home

Follow these three-steps to successful homeownership:

Step 1: Get pre-approved for a mortgage!

a. Speak to a legitimate mortgage loan officer.

b. Understand the components of obtaining a mortgage, like down payment and closing costs, income, assets, types of credit, credit repair, debt to income ratios, co-signer, and gift letter.

Step 2: Work with the RIGHT real estate company and agent!

a. Someone who cares about YOUR goals.

b. Someone who's competent, experienced and  knowledgeable about the market and technology.

c. Understand the relationship (the law of agency).

d. Use a major firm that offers plenty of resources.

e. Choose ONE agent to work with.

Step 3: Choose your advocates carefully!

a. Home inspector

b. Real Estate attorney.

c. Insurance agent.

Happy House Hunting!