Maria Milanes' Blog
The idea of a tight-knit neighborhood seems like an artifact of a simpler time in our country. And, in many ways, it is. Improvements in transportation and technology make it easier than ever to be connected with friends and family across the country and around the world.
However, there are still many good reasons to get to know your neighbors, aside from as a common courtesy. In this article, we’ll break down those reasons for you.
A watchful eye
If you plan on going for an extended vacation, it’s good to know at least one neighbor who you can trust to watch over your home while you’re away. That can include reporting any suspicious behavior and bringing in your mail so that it isn't obvious that your home is empty.
If you have kids, your neighbors are a good way to find out about any neighborhood news and safety concerns you should be aware of, which brings us to our next reason to get to know your neighbor.
Learning about the neighborhood
When you move into a new community, there often aren’t many ways to learn about the local events and places of interest. Introducing yourself to your new neighbors is a good way to learn about the place you moved to. It’s also a way to ask about any concerns you may have, such as traffic, noise level, or road safety if you have children who will be playing outside.
A helping hand
Like we mentioned before, it’s good to have trustworthy neighbors while you’re on vacation for home security reasons. However, it’s also a good opportunity to have neighborhood kids lend a hand while you’re away. You can pay them to mow your lawn, water the grass or flowers, and feed your pets. This makes your life easier and teaches them a lesson in work and reward.
Lending tools and services
It’s good to know a few neighbors with tools that you don’t have so that you can let one another borrow seldom-used tools rather than buying or renting them just for the occasional use.
Similarly, if you have an elderly neighbor, it’s a rewarding gesture to help them out when you see they need help with groceries, shoveling, or other physically demanding tasks. Those small gestures can also go a long way when it comes to gaining a friend in the neighborhood who you can count on for the local news.
No ill-will between good neighbors
Let’s face it, neighbors can be a source of annoyance at times. If it’s late on a school night and your neighbors are being noisy while you and your children are trying to sleep, you’ll have a lot better chance of getting them to quiet down if you have an established, friendly relationship.
Similarly, if you have a family cookout and need to park cars in front of their lawn, they’re more likely to not mind if you’ve helped them out in the past.
So, for these five reasons, and for many others, it pays to get to know your neighbors.
If you've ever read a self-improvement book or attended a motivational seminar, you probably felt charged up for about a week or so, but then slipped back into old, self-defeating habits.
Why does that happen? Is it because we're all born a certain way and have no control over the cards we're dealt? While it may sometimes appear that destiny plays a role in the direction of our lives, habits are often the underlying cause of both problems and accomplishments.
Zig Ziglar, a well-known sales trainer and personal development author summed it up perfectly: “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing – that's why we recommend it daily.”Here are a few ways that good habits can improve everything from family relationships and health to time management and stress reduction.
- Either before you go to bed or the first thing the next morning, write down your objectives for the day. When you commit something to writing and have a visual reminder of what you need to accomplish, there's a much stronger chance it will get done. Whether you prefer to use your iPhone or just old-fashioned written lists, everyone needs some kind of daily system for staying organized and remembering tasks and priorities. As Benjamin Franklin said more than 200 years ago, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
- Your attitudes and expectations often become self-fulfilling prophesies. It's easy to fall into the trap of complaining about things like how messy the house always looks or what a daily struggle it is to get the kids to do their homework. If you find yourself going down this negative path, keep in mind a quote from Oprah Winfrey: "What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it." The opposite is also true, so it pays to choose your thoughts and words carefully.
- Establishing good, consistent habits in children makes life easier, more productive, and less stressful for the entire family. That can include everything from doing homework and chores to personal hygiene and keeping their bedrooms looking civilized.
- Learning to be patient with yourself, your spouse, and your children is easier for some people than others, but when you think of yourself as a "work in progress," you'll have more of a tendency to keep trying and not get discouraged.
When it comes to purchasing a home, there is no need to settle for an "average" homebuying experience. Instead, there are many things that you can do to become an expert homebuyer, i.e. someone who can discover a first-rate house at a budget-friendly price.
Now, let's take a look at three ways that a "typical" homebuyer can become an extraordinary one:
1. Evaluate the Housing Market Closely
The housing market can be complicated, particularly for those who are searching for a house for the first time. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer will be able to identify real estate market trends and plan accordingly.
For example, if there is an abundance of houses available and a shortage of homebuyers, you likely are operating in a buyer's market. In this market, you should have no trouble locating a top-notch house at a price that corresponds to your budget.
On the other hand, a real estate market that features a limited number of outstanding houses commonly favors property sellers. Therefore, you'll need to proceed cautiously if you want to acquire a high-end house at an affordable price.
Of course, you should always check out a wide range of houses in cities and towns where you'd like to live. This will enable you to explore many houses and improve your chances of finding a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Although you'd like to buy a home in the near future, you still need to figure out how you'll pay for it. Lucky for you, many credit unions and banks are available that can make it easy for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Lenders are happy to meet with you at your convenience. These financial institutions can outline a variety of mortgage options and help you make an informed mortgage decision.
With a mortgage in hand, you can enter the real estate market with clear-cut financial expectations. This may help you avoid the temptation to overspend on a home. Plus, you'll be better equipped than other property buyers to narrow your home search, thereby accelerating the process of acquiring your ideal house.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a housing market professional. As such, he or she can help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
For homebuyers, hiring a real estate agent is essential. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new properties as they become available, set up home showings, submit home offers on your behalf and much more.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is available to respond to your homebuying concerns and queries at any time. He or she will even provide homebuying recommendations to ensure you can navigate the property buying cycle quickly and effortlessly.
Ready to become an expert homebuyer? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of acquiring a terrific home that you can enjoy for years to come.
If you want to get the best-possible results during the home selling journey, it often helps to establish goals. That way, you can determine exactly what you want to achieve throughout the home selling process and plan accordingly.
A home selling wish list ultimately is a must-have for any home seller, in any housing market. This list will enable a seller to prioritize goals and take the necessary steps to make their aspirations come true.
Now, let's take a look at three goals to include in a home selling wish list, as well as tips to achieve these goals.
1. To Stir Up Plenty of Interest in a Home
Ideally, a home seller wants to generate substantial interest in his or her house. But transforming this dream into a reality can be difficult, particularly in a highly competitive real estate market.
A home seller who learns about the local housing market may be better equipped than others to differentiate his or her house from the competition.
For example, a seller who examines the prices of recently sold houses can narrow the price range for his or her residence. This seller then can establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her home that corresponds to the current state of the housing market, thereby increasing the likelihood of a fast home sale.
2. To Maximize the Value of a Home
A home seller probably wants to earn at least what he or she originally paid for a house. At the same time, what a seller paid for his or her home is unlikely to match the residence's current value.
To maximize the value of a house, a seller should conduct a home inspection. This assessment will enable a seller to identify any home problems and perform assorted home repairs to increase the value of his or her house.
Also, it may be beneficial to complete a home appraisal. With an appraisal report in hand, a seller can gain expert insights into the current value of his or her house prior to listing it.
3. To Enjoy a Quick, Seamless Home Selling Experience
A home seller likely wants to do everything possible to avoid potential hurdles during the home selling journey. Fortunately, a real estate agent can help you do just that – and much more.
Typically, a real estate agent serves as an expert guide throughout the home selling journey. He or she can help you prep your residence for the housing market. Furthermore, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events and promote your residence to buyers. And if you receive an offer on your house, a real estate agent can help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
When it comes to enjoying a quick, seamless home selling experience, it pays to hire a real estate agent. And if you reach out to local real estate agents today, you're sure to find one who can help you achieve your desired home selling results.