Tracy Tidwell Real Estate Commercial

Monday, February 20, 2017

Be a Happier Business Person: Here's How

What are the keys to happiness? Research reveals how you can be happier in your personal and professional life.
“Bad things happen to everyone, including happy people,” writes Travis Bradberry, co-writer of “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” and co-founder of TalentSmart. “Instead of complaining about how things could have been or should have been, happy people reflect on everything they’re grateful for.” Happy people tend to find the best solution to a problem and then move on, refusing to dwell on negative events.Stay positive.
Surround yourself with the right people.
You’ll build confidence and stimulate creativity by surrounding yourself with other upbeat people. Negative people, on the other hand, can zap away your energy.
Exercise more.
Even moving for as little as 10 minutes can help release a neurotransmitter that helps soothe your brain and keep you in control over your impulses. Schedule regular exercise into your daily life.
Slow down.
Don’t be so caught up in a routine that you forget to appreciate the little things in life. Enjoy a conversation or take a step outside to enjoy a fresh breath of air.
Have deep conversations.
Avoid gossip, small talk, and judging others. Have meaningful interactions by engaging with others on a deeper level and seek to build an emotional connection, Bradberry writes.
Help others.
Employees who helped others were 10 times more likely to be focused at work and 40 percent more likely to get a promotion, according to a study conducted by Harvard University. Those helping employees also were more likely to be happy during stressful times. “As long as you make certain that you aren’t overcommitting yourself, helping others is sure to have a positive influence on your mood,” Bradberry says.
Source: “10 Habits of Incredibly Happy People,” (Feb. 14, 2017)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Saving for a Down Payment? This is How Long It Will Take

Depending on where you live, saving for a down payment can take several years of financial planning. For example, in some markets, it may take the average person nearly a decade to save enough to buy a home. In California, that especially rings true.
SmartAsset scanned the data on median home prices and median household income in the 15 largest cities in the U.S. From there, researchers calculated how long it would take for a household to save enough for a 20 percent down payment if consumers saved 20 percent of their incomes. (Note: Buyers are not required to have 20 percent down for a mortgage. It’s often recommended, but buyers can take advantage of several other low-down payment loan offerings.)California is home to four of the five cities on a recent list by SmartAsset of the places where it takes the longest to save for a down payment: San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego.
Here’s how many years buyers can expect to wait to save enough to afford a 20 percent down payment in these cities:
  1. San Francisco, Calif.: 9.84 years
  2. Los Angeles, Calif.: 9.38
  3. New York, N.Y.: 9.27
  4. San Jose, Calif.: 7.20
  5. San Diego, Calif.: 7.01
  6. Chicago, Ill.: 4.59
  7. Austin, Texas: 4.17
  8. Philadelphia, Pa.: 3.80
  9. Phoenix, Ariz.: 3.45
  10. Dallas, Texas: 3.09
  11. Jacksonville, Fla.: 2.92
  12. Houston, Texas: 2.85
  13. Columbus, Ohio: 2.83
  14. Indianapolis, Ind.: 2.82
  15. San Antonio, Texas: 2.50
Source: “Years of Work Needed to Afford a Down Payment in 15 Cities,” (Jan. 31, 2017)

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Safety Checklist for Moving Into a New Home

Your clients have a lot to think about on moving day, but it's important that they have more than just organizing and unpacking on their to-do list, according to The Red Cross. The group recently featured several items home buyers should think about when settling in to a new house.
Create fire escape plans and meeting places.
The plan should include two ways to exit the home and set two different meeting places for family members. One might be a meeting area right outside of the home in case of a fire, while another would be a meeting place outside the neighborhood, in case the area is blocked in an emergency.
Create a survival kit.
Have enough food and water for each person for three days. The embedded video offers more tips on building a survival kit.
Identify your severe weather shelter.
Locate the safest spot in the home and designate it as your emergency weather shelter. The basement is the best spot.  If the home doesn't have a basement, designate an interior spot away from windows on the lowest floor of the home, such as a bathroom or closet.
Update your app alert locations.
Weather and safety apps may need to be notified of clients' new location details. For example, the Red Cross Emergency App offers alert preferences for all the locations and types of disasters users may want to monitor.
Decorate with earthquakes in mind.
This is not just a California problem anymore. Avoid hanging heavy items above seating areas, beds, and cribs. Secure furniture that could fall in a quake, such as bookshelves and televisions.
As clients are unpacking, they should be placing all flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. Make sure they know not to run wiring under rugs or overload outlets and extension cords. Also, don’t forget to check the smoke alarms and make sure they’re working.
Assess your fire risks.
As clients are unpacking, they should be placing all flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. Make sure they know not to run wiring under rugs or overload outlets and extension cords. Also, don’t forget to check the smoke alarms and make sure they’re working.
Source: “Checklist for Moving into a New Home,” the American Red Cross (Jan. 26, 2017)

Monday, January 30, 2017

Smart Sellers Will List Early This Year

Have you heard from clients who want to delay listing their home until the season begins? Because sales and prices tend to peak in the spring and summer, it's a common request in many markets.
However, this year is different. Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist, stresses in his latest column that the conventional wisdom isn't correct this winter.
Here’s why: At the beginning of 2017, inventory levels plunged to multiyear lows. Sellers are currently facing very little competition, he says.
Mixed with that, buyer demand is “abnormally strong for the off-season,” Smoke writes. “The climb in mortgage rates that started in October and accelerated in November and December has created a sense of urgency among buyers.”
With interest rates largely forecasted to move higher this year, buyers are more in a rush to lock in a low rate sooner. Plus, your sellers may have to worry about lending rates as well; Smoke estimates that 85 percent of sellers are planning to buy another home after they sell.
So here’s the best tip for your sellers, Smoke says: “If you are thinking of selling and buying in 2017, the early bird may get the worm. And the best new nest.”

Monday, January 23, 2017

Please Say You Don’t Use These Passwords!

The obvious password you use for your devices may be making you vulnerable to a data breach. Keeper Security, a password management software firm, analyzed more than 10 million login details leaked online through data breaches that occurred in 2016.

In fact, easily guessed numbers comprised eight of the top 10 most commonly used passwords. Also, passwords like “18atcskd2w” and “3rjs1la7qe” landed on the list. Those may seem unusual but these are commonly used by bots when setting up dummy email accounts for spam and phishing attacks.The most popular password that continues to be used: “123456,” which the firm’s analysis showed was used 17 percent of the time by hacked accounts. The next most common password was the similar “123456789.”
The firm did note one piece of progress on the password front: The word “password” finally dropped from fifth position on the list to now eighth.
Seven of the top 15 passwords on the lists are made up of six or fewer characters, which can make them more vulnerable to hackers, the company notes.
"Email providers could do everyone a favor by flagging this kind of repetition and reporting the guilty parties," Keeper's researchers note.
Here were the most commonly used passwords in 2016, according to Keeper Security. If you find one of your passwords on the list, be sure to go change your password now!
1. 123456
2. 123456789
3. qwerty
4. 12345678
5. 111111
6. 1234567890
7. 1234567
8. password
9. 123123
10. 987654321
12. mynoob
13. 123321
14. 666666
15. 18atcskd2w
16. 7777777
17. 1q2w3e4r
19. 555555
20. 3rjs1la7qe

Monday, January 16, 2017

5 Home Design Fads That Are Out in 2017

Shiplap and white-on-white kitchens may finally be falling out of favor. The two trends have dominated home design in recent years, but® says they'll be fading fast in 2017. Here are some of the home design trends® predicts will fall to the wayside in the new year.
  1. Gray. Once the hottest color, gray is now looking gloomy. "It's been overdone," says Tanya Campbell of Denver-based Viridis Design Studio. "Diversity in the palette will strike a contrast. We may even see a transition from gray color palettes to warmer mochas and taupes."
  2. The glam look. This style's signature is bold whites, bright silvers, and deep blacks, which have been popular in kitchen and bathroom designs. "We're going to leave the glam era behind. That slick, stark, severe minimalism will be replaced with warmer elements," says interior designer Bea Pila. "At the end of the day, we're seeking a deeper comfort level in our personal spaces. That perfect showroom feel we were once into doesn't make this possible."
  3. Shiplap. Shiplap surged to popularity as Joanna Gaines, host of HGTV's "Fixer Upper," turned to it as her go-to remodeling piece. But® notes: “If you’ve ever wondered what 2016's version of tacky wood paneling would be, look no further than this trend that seems to have overtaken TV design shows." It's difficult to remove, and designers now say it often makes little sense to use, particularly in a Colonial or Tudor home style.
  4. White-on-white kitchens. White everything in the kitchen — from countertops to cabinetry and even the floor — is fading fast. "It's just too much," says Sara Chiarilli, a designer at Sarasota, Fla.-based Artful Conceptions. "This trend started to go in 2016, but you will find it completely gone in 2017." That said, Chiarilli predicts that whites will stick around, but they will take on more depth and tones in kitchens in the new year.
  5. Copper. Expect to see less of this heavy metal in 2017. Copper fixtures are another trend on the chopping block in the new year,® notes.
Source: “10 Interior Design Trends That Are So Completely Over for 2017,”® (Dec. 29, 2016)

Monday, January 9, 2017

3 New Year’s Resolutions for Buyers in 2017

New Year’s resolution: Buy a home.
You've heard that plenty from your contacts. So, now how do they get there with their savings?
There are plenty of preparations would-be home buyers can make to put home ownership more within their reach in 2017. Here are three New Year’s resolutions to adopt to get on the path:
I will automate my down payment savings.
Buyers who are trying to save up the often-recommended 20 percent down payment will need to get savvy at saving, stat. First off, you often don’t really need 20 percent down (read: 3% Loans a Game Changer?), but you do need to save. Here’s a way to commit: Automate your bank accounts so that you regularly set aside a small amount of your paycheck into a separate savings account dedicated as your “house fund.” “Amassing enough for a down payment takes discipline and perseverance, but setting up automatic savings can make it easier,” says Marcia Goodman, a real estate pro with RE/MAX Gateway in Gainesville, Va. “If you never see the cash, you won’t spend it.”
I will clean up my credit.
Pay your bills on time. Keep up on credit card, car, and college loans. Mortgage lenders want to see that you aren’t sloppy with credit. You don’t need to avoid credit altogether, however. “I had a client who made $250,000 a year and was denied a mortgage because his credit card payments were always late,” says Alexandra Axsen, a managing broker with Lake Okanagan Realty Ltd. In Kelowna, B.C. It’s also important to establish a credit history. Dean Sioukas, founder of Magilla Loans in Sacramento, Calif., told® that he suggests not using more than 30 percent of your available credit.
I will budget wisely.
Downsize your budget now so you’ll be able to save more for your down payment and pay down any debts. Also, factor in added expenses that come with buying a new home, like furniture and accessories. If you know that a mortgage is going to take a bigger amount of your paycheck, create a budget that factors that in so you can get used to living on less disposable income, says Kevin Lawton of Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates in Yardville, N.J.
Source: “5 Habits to Start Now If You Hope to Buy in 2017,”® (Dec. 29, 2016)