Top Ten Best Housing Markets Across America
Forbes’ Top Ten Best Housing Markets Across America
By Lani Rosales on February 25, 2010
Forbes.com released their list of Top 10 Best Housing Markets based primarily on the stability of each metro area as measured by affordability rankings and foreclosure rates as an indicator of a lack of excess inventory, making the top cities what they call the best opportunities for home shoppers. Lists are a dime a dozen, but Forbes is pretty reliable with their data analysis and take a big picture view of the market.
Here are the top ten best housing markets:
8.St. Louis, MO
9.Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
Interestingly enough, this top 10 doesn’t have any cities in common with Zillow’s Top 10 Cities for a Bargain list also released this month (which names Naples as the top city).
Here are some ways to obtain
the extra cash you will
need for a down payment.
|Money Saving Tips|
1. Use your Savings
2. Follow a Strict Budget
3. Ask your relatives or friends for help. If they don't have any money, maybe they will agree to co-sign the loan.
4. Borrow from your 401k retirement plan (if you have one through your job)
5. Get a second job
6. Look into leasing options: Some sellers will let you rent the house now and buy it after you save enough for the down payment (like leasing a car)
7. Change your withholding taxes; your net-income will increase, giving you more funds to put toward a down payment.
8. Look into foreclosure properties that require little or no down payment.
9. Take your lunch to work and use the extra savings for your down payment.
10. Pay off all your debts so that you aren't losing money on high interest rates.
Put rinsed fresh black-eyed peas in a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker.
Cook bacon in a large skillet until softened; add onions, peppers, and celery and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker along with the water. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, or until peas are tender. Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 1 to 2 hours longer.
Serves 6 to 8.
The Enchanted Forest has been a Memphis tradition for nearly 50 years, with the first forest exhibited in the basement of Goldsmith's Department Store downtown. Today's Festival of Trees features automated teddy bears, elves, penguins and more, plus a Gingerbread Village, Holidays Around the World, and Penguin Pond. And of course, there are dozens of beautiful trees sponsored and decorated by area businesses, churches and other volunteers. At the conclusion of your journey through the Enchanted Forest, you will be greeted by Santa who will be available to take photos with the children. Proceeds from the Enchanged Forest support Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center.
Enchanted Forest Festival of Trees 2008 Information
Location: Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111
Dates: November 23 through December 31, 2008
Hours: Monday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.
Fees: Admission to the Enchanted Forest (only) is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and children (ages 3-12).
Santa Claus: Santa will be available to meet and greet visitors and pose for photographs. Pictures with Santa are $10.
Special Events at the Enchanted Forest:
Contact: For more information, call (901)287-6308.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a deep skillet or a Dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons oil over high heat. Add meat and break up with a wooden spoon, season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning.
Place sweet potatoes in a pot, cover with water, cover pot, bring to a boil, add salt and cook 15 minutes until tender.
Add onions, carrots and celery into the turkey. Stir, and cook for 5 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and whisk 1 minute. Whisk in stock and season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Cook a few minutes to thicken.
Stir peas into meat and turn heat off.
Drain potatoes and return pot to heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and melt over medium heat. Peel and slice banana and add potatoes to the pot. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and a few dashes hot sauce. Mash potatoes and banana to combine, adjust seasoning. Top the meat with the potatoes. Cover potatoes with cheese and place in the oven to melt cheese, about 5 minutes.
For dessert, warm the apple and cranberry sauces in microwave or in a small pot over low heat and season with cinnamon and orange zest. Place a little cran-applesauce in the bottom of a sundae dish, top with 2 scoops ice cream, more sauce and whipped cream, garnish with chopped pecans.
The Jason Gaia Team would like to extend a special thank you to everyone that came out to join us for Prudenial Collins-Maury Photo's with Santa. We had a wonderful time seeing everyone....especially Santa.
Each year during the holidays we take great pleasure in setting aside our regular work and sending a heartfelt message to all our friends and customers.
How joyful we are that this time has come again to extend to you our sincere gratitude because it is good friends and customers like you that make our business possible.
May your holiday season be filled with joy!
Many people believe what the analysts and the national media are screaming about the Real Estate Market, but hopefully you know better than to believe everything you read and hear in popular media. One fact is Real Estate is localized so you can't believe what the national media reports, especially since they are not reporting from Memphis. Another fact is that the Real Estate market is cyclical. There are certainly times when earning potential is higher, however if you invest smart, there has never been a time when Real Estate was a bad investment.
Over the course of the next few weeks we will take a look at many different facts and reasons why now is actually a smart time to buy. So check with us each week to see what is happening with the market, interest rates, inventory and more.
This week we will take a look at interest rates. Interest rates are low today, but they are expected to rise. According to the National Association of Realtors, interest rates are expected to increase by the end of 2009 from where they are today. Discussing your financing options with a lender is a good way to prepare for your home search.
While on the subject of what may happen next year, right now homes are the most affordable they've been but aren't expected to remain that way next year. Also, the inventory to choose from is plentiful. Increasing inventory means more options, giving you a great opportunity to truly find your dream home. One word of caution, the higher inventories are not expected to remain. Construction on new homes has declined which will create fewer homes after the current inventory is absorbed. So don't wait to find the home of your dreams, go get it now.
Let's face it, we all love spooky stories and urban legends. But here are some that are homegrown!
1) Liberty Land Theme Park
This legend is a little gruesome. Years ago the man who operated the carrousel in the park was trying to retrieve a balloon for a little girl and was accidentally decapitated. Of course, he died, but the question we have is...does his ghost roam the grounds with or without a head?
2) Old Raleigh Cemetery
Built back in the 1800s, this cemetery is the resting place for many of Memphis's wealthy landowners. We know that doesn't sound spooky, but the thing is, these landowners aren't exactly resting. According to Memphis Paranormal Investigations, the area is extremely active and you just might see a few floating apparitions wandering around.
3) Chase Mansion
At wedding ceremonies we say "until death do we part", but in this case the couple is together for eternity. The Chase Mansion is located near Shelby Forest State Park and apparently the couple who lived there used to drive each other crazy --literally. In fact, the woman got so angry with her husband she killed him and then chopped up his body and threw the pieces into the Mississippi river. But she wasn't free of his bickering yet. People now see both ghosts walking around the property ..and, get this, they are still fighting.
4) Lyle's Lake
This urban legend could be a horror movie --or at least a Friday the 13th sequel. Lyle's Lake, which is located in Shelby Forest State Park, is said to be haunted by all the children who drown there and by Mr. Lyle himself. If that doesn't give you the shivers, we dare you to take a boat out on the water. The lake is almost black and even the people at Memphis Paranormal Investigations admit that its a creepy place. Just be careful. If a skeleton hand reaches out of the murky depths and pulls you under, don't say we didn't warn you.
Memphis Paranormal Investigations
Wondering what to do this evening for Halloween? Take a tour of Elmwood Cemetary. Elmwood is Memphis' oldest active cemetary. Its name was drawn from a hat and was originally situated on 40 acres. The present-day Elmwood occupies 80 acres in Memphis. There is a wide assortment of people that call Elmwood "home". Generals, mayors, otlaws and everyday folks are all buried there. Elmwood is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Memphis. With its breathtaking statuary and rich history, it is not to be missed.
Flashlight Tours of Elmwood Cemetery.
Elmwood Cemetery. 824 S Dudley. 774-3212. 10pm. $20. The staff of Elmwood Cemetery will lead a flashlight tour of the grounds.
One of the things that can make our homes less enjoyable to live in is disorganized closet space. It's quite depressing to look in your closets every morning and not be able to find what you need.
And if you are selling your house, having a cluttered closet will damage your chances of getting the best price, because people will view cluttered closets as a sign your house doesn't have enough storage. So here are some tips to organize your closets.
Invest in a closet organizer
Imagine how you (and potential buyers) would feel to see your closets tidily organized! A closet organizer is probably the best way to achieve the look you are going for — and it doesn't have to be expensive either.
You can buy ready-made units that fit into most closets. Most use a modular system that allows you to mix and match units and fit them together as you wish.
You can choose between units made of solid panels or wire systems. Alternatively, you can mix and match them both to meet your needs.
Closet organizers should include shelves for bulky items such as sweaters, drawers for smaller items, and rods for clothing that needs to be hung up. Consider also storage for shoes, such as a rack that hangs on the back of a door.
Getting it organized
When designing your system, make sure you consider things such as the length of the clothes that are to be hung, and how much space you need to devote to items such as sweaters. Consider which items you need to access easily on a daily basis and which can be stored out of reach.
This is also a good opportunity to go through all the items in your closet and get rid of those you don't need — perhaps some things you didn't even know you had!
A closet that isn't packed with useless stuff is easier to keep organized and will keep your clothes from getting crushed.
Home sales do slow down the closer we get to the holidays. Over the years, I have spent an enormous amount of time studying this trend. A couple of external influences have not been taken into consideration. First, more national holidays mean fewer business days in which to conduct closings. Depending on the holiday schedule, we can lose up to 3 business weeks when you include the down-time and catching up. Second, many agents simply take an extended vacation for a couple of months, usually from November to January. The National Association of Realtors has published numerous articles about Top Producers setting themselves apart from the average agent by still working during the holiday vacation. While my competition takes a break, December and January are often some of my highest producing months. If you measure the number of transactions broken down to an individual agent level, you will discover that the number of closings per agent actually goes up. There are still buyers, just not as many agents working them. As a result, fewer agents mean fewer sales. This applies to the mortgage industry as well. So, what does this tell me? The buyers looking during the holidays have a tendency to be more seious. They also often have a shorter time span in which to purchase a home. Many buyers are moving because of job relocations during this time. Prudential Relocation, Inc. reports that their corporate clients make the most relocation moves during the 4th and 2nd Quarters of the year. I recommend taking advantage of the opportunity. Because of holiday decorations and parties, most sellers already have their house in top showing condition. And finally, it is the basic rule of supply and demand. Your neighbors will be taking their propery off the market and you will now have less competition for that serious buyer.
Your efforts to sell your home this fall season can be aided by some simple decorating that reflects autumn and/or the popular holiday of Halloween. Some effective touches can not only 'round out' your staging; they can also encourage potential buyers to imagine decorating the home themselves by creating a warm, inviting atmosphere.
The first rule of Halloween decorating is: don't go overboard! You're staging your home, not throwing a Halloween party. No skeletons, NO fake blood and nothing that is meant to jump out and startle people! You want people to enjoy their tour of your home; not have a heart attack when the fake bat drops onto their head.
A fall staging theme can be as simple as warm fall colors being featured in the decor. Or, it can be tastefully elaborate, with some kind of decoration in every room that 'ties' the rooms together.
In homage to the holiday, you can use pumpkins and the small pumpkin-like gourds to accent your porch, tables and mantelpieces. Pumpkins are definitely an attention getter, both in terms of size and color. Use them wisely.
If you decide to carve your pumpkins, make sure that they are carved in harmless, "happy" expressions, if they have faces. One idea is to use your jack-o-lanterns to highlight the numbers of your address. Or, you could carve a tiny house into one.
If you do decide to go the jack-o-lantern route, use candle substitutes. The last thing you want is to find the perfect buyer, only to have your home burn to the ground because a candle fell over. Flameless flickering lights are available cheaply from local stores, especially around Halloween.
Flowers and plants are popular with home stagers and you can make them work for you. Chrysanthemums and dried leaves are good fall choices for the home stager. A vase of these in a room can provide some attractive natural color that calls to mind the crisp warmth of fall. Planting hardy fall flowers like mums can also add some color to an otherwise fading garden.
Halloween and fall provide you with a great decorating scheme to bring your house together with warm, inviting colors and decorations that reflect the fall harvest/Halloween season. This can help prospective buyers imagine decorating your home for their seasonal celebrations and encourage them to think of your home as their own.
- Understand the real marketplace. To negotiate effectively, you need to know up-to-the-minute sale prices-not just what your neighbor’s house sold for last year-and the deal-making behind them. For example, two homes may each have sold for $400,000, but if one owner gave a 3% credit for deck repair and a new furnace, that’s a $12,000 reduction. Your agent should be knowledgeable about the details of sales in your area and be nimble enough to revise the marketing plan for your home to reflect changing conditions.
- Sweeten the deal. Sellers are reportedly offering some unusual sales incentives-plasma TVs, cars, boat slips, vacations and golf carts-but cash may still be king. For example, some sellers have agreed to pay condo maintenance fees for the buyer. Other ideas include covering moving expenses or a month’s mortgage payment.
-The Price is Right. Sellers say, "But I don't want to give away my house." Of course, not. You want to sell it. To sell your home, the price must be right. Don't "test" the market or ask an inflated figure because if you do, your home will probably sit on the market and the number of days on market will continue to tick. Dated listings don't generally sell for list price.
-Check out your competition. If 90% of the homes in your market are not selling, then your home needs to outshine the top 10%. Look at the homes that are pending sales because that's your current indicator. Sold comps could be two to three months in arrears of market movement. You want to know what is happening right now, and pending sale data will tell you which homes are selling.
More and more people are switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs (compact fluorescent lighting) to save money and protect the environment. These new bulbs last eight times longer than an old incandescent bulb, save about $30 in energy costs over a bulb's lifetime and generate less heat, making them safer to operate.
But it's difficult to choose the right one because the packaging can be confusing. Here are some tips.
1. Choose a color temperature that suits your room. "Warm White" or "Soft White" give out a light that's similar to that of an old-style lightbulb - slightly yellow in tone. These would be great for rooms where you want to maintain a cozy environment. On the other hand, "Cool White," or "Daylight" bulbs give off a cooler, bluer tone - ideal for task lighting.
2. Choose the correct "lumen" rating to make sure it matches the wattage of your old bulb. The higher the lumen, the more light you get. For examle, a 40-watt incandescent bulb gives off up to 450 lumens, a 60-watt bulb gives off up to 900 lumens and a 100-watt bulb gives off up to 1,600 lumens. You'll notice that energy-efficient bulbs require fewer watts to produce the same amount of light as an old-style bulb.
If you want to use an energy-efficient bulb with a dimmer or three-way switch, make sure it is designed for that use. And if you want to use your light in a recessed fixture, choose one specially designed for that situation.
Now everyone can go mobile with Trulia! Whether you've got a BlackBerry, Blackjack, Sony Ericsson, Nokia or many more, you can find all homes for sale near you or just search for open houses -- and see the results on a very cool interactive map. Get the photos and details on every home. Change your location or search criteria to see new results. Designed specifically for phone screens, this is a great way to find the homes you want when you want them, all for free. View a list of supported devices.
Just set your location and find the homes for sale you're interested in.
Results are automatically mapped close to your location
Quickly scroll through the results by selecting the numbers on the map
Get a preview of every home (also called POIs) and easily see more results
You get all the important details that you need.
See a color photo and read the full description
Get the Open House times and dates
Compare properties by flipping through the results in the POI detail view
Other features include.
Change your search criteria on the phone and do a new search
Email properties to a friend directly from your phone
Save the properties you’re interested in to your phone
Life is full of decision-making opportunities, and few are more important or complex than deciding the best route in selecting your home. A multitude of options abound. In analyzing your options, developing and following a process will begin to weed out what you shouldn't do and help focus on the proper path.
Renting vs. Buying may be a largely financial decision, but realistically it is finding out what is right for your situation at a specific time in your life. For instance, do you need a single-family home, a multiple-family home or even a modular home? Remember that all of these can be owned so you must delve deeper into the process.
Keep in mind if you feel you gain an advantage by renting, you may be giving up something by not owning. Renters don't have the long-term investment opportunity; are limited in what you can do to improve the property; as a renter you don't have control in scheduling repairs and maintenance.
It is extremely important to access your particular situation, your needs, your lifestyle and your financial situation...and make the best decision for you. There is no one solution that is the universal "right" thing to do. Do your research, consider all the consequences-the emotional, financial and personal impact-then make your decision for the right reasons.
Finding your dream home is easy, but obtaining a competitive home loan is not. Thankfully, with sufficient planning, you can obtain the best mortgage possible – providing you with significant financial savings in the long run.
Check for Credit Score Errors
The most important element of obtaining a competitive loan is your credit score. Even if you have stellar credit, obtain a copy of your credit report from the three reporting agencies to check for any reporting errors. Considering that 40% of credit reports have errors, it is important to resolve these problems before you apply for your mortgage.
Raise Your Credit Score
Generally, it takes six months to one year to improve your credit. The earlier you begin, the better your score will be. However, if you plan on applying for a loan within the next two months, you can still improve your credit. Reduce your debt-utilization ratio by paying down your credit cards and staying well below your maximum credit limits.
Show Your Savings
During the mortgage application process, the lenders will scrutinize your financial health. Do not keep your savings in a checking account. Instead, open a savings account or CD to demonstrate your ability to save money. Remember, the more you have for your down payment, the better your mortgage rate will be.
Becoming pre-qualified for your home loan locks in interest rates, protecting you from fluctuations. In addition, being pre-qualified demonstrates that you are a financially serious buyer, which aids greatly during your closing negotiations.
Planning ahead increases your probability of obtaining the best mortgage possible for your dream home.
Here are some amazing before and after pictures of our listing at 2736 Green Mill. Schedule your appointment with a member of the Jason Gaia Team today.
If you've got cracked or peeling paint, you'll certainly want to repaint before you put your house on the market. Tired paint makes buyers think the house hasn't been well maintained.
Tone down your color scheme
While the colors in your home might appeal to you personally, it's important if you are selling your home that they appeal to the widest market possible. So that means avoiding bright, unusual colors and changing colors that were fashionable a few years ago but now look dated.
The safest bet is neutral tones. Avoid white in most situations, as this color can look clinical, and instead choose beiges and earth tones. Don't feel the need to use the same color throughout — choose shades that match with your furniture and fabrics.
Types of paint
If you have imperfections in your walls, choose a paint with a flat finish, as this will conceal them.
Make sure you use washable paints in bathrooms and kitchens — an interior flat enamel is good for this
· The first automatic teller machine in the United States was installed in Rockville Center, New York, on September 2, 1969.
· Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on September 7, 1998.
· Marilyn Bell, at the age of 16, became the first person to swim across Lake Ontario, from Youngstown, NY, to Toronto, ON, on September 9, 1954.
· The Pentagon was rededicated after repairs were completed on September 11, 2002, exactly one year after the attack on the building.
· The Wheel of Fortune game show was created by Merv Griffin on September 19, 1983.
· The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened in New York City on September 23, 1962.
· Concorde made its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic on September 26, 1973.
· Washington National Cathedral was finished on September 29, 1990.
If you are staying in town on this long weekend it is a great time to create a downtown adventure. This weekend is full of great music, art, craft, food and exhibition. Enjoy a weekend of music including great artists like Billy Gibson, Reba Russell, Jason D. Williams, Billy Lee Riley, Blind Mississippi Morris, Preston Shannon and many more. You can even catch big names like Paul Thorn at The New Daisy and Chaka Khan at the Orpheum. Savor the taste of the Mid-South with cooking exhibits as part of the Memphis Music Heritage Festival and purchase arts and crafts from some of Memphis' local artists.
The Memphis Music and Heritage festival is centered around the Center for Southern Folklore and has been a tradition for more than 20 years and has grown to include a diverse environment of exhibits. Learn about the heritage of the region's folk art and music while being entertained by traditional craftspeople, dancers, and storytellers or attend the many workshops that are offered including cooking with some of downtown's premier restaurants.
Download a printable and complete schedule of events for this years festival.
|8 ears corn |
BBQ Butter, recipe follows
Herb Butter, recipe follows Heat the grill to medium.
Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.
Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels. Serve with the BBQ Butter and/or Herb Butter. Spread over the corn while hot.BBQ Butter:
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper Heat the oil in a medium saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the paprika, cayenne, cumin and ancho powder and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook until the mixture becomes thickened and the water reduces. Let cool slightly.
Place the butter in a food processor, add the spice mixture and Worcestershire sauce and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, scrape the mixture into a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Bring to room temperature before serving.Herb Butter:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (basil, chives or tarragon)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper Combine in a food processor and process until smooth.
The most visited landmark in Memphis? Everyone knows. Many have been. Graceland. Graceland visitors come from all walks of life, all ages, all musical tastes, all income levels, all educational backgrounds, and all parts of the world. The demographics are broad. Over half of Graceland's visitors are under the age of 35. Graceland is a must-see for visiting dignitaries, touring Broadway show casts, touring rock stars, and people of virtually every description coming to Memphis.
Once owned by S. E. Toof, a publisher of the Memphis newspaper, the 13.8 acre estate was named after his daughter Grace. Years later the property was given to a neice and in 1939 the colonial style mansion was built.
Elvis purchased the estate in 1957 for $100,000. Elvis died at his Graceland Mansion on August 16, 1977 and is now buried with his mother, father and grandmother in what is called Mediation Garden.
Graceland has become the mecca for Elvis fans. An annual procession on the anniversay of his death, The Candlelight Vigil, hosts as many as 50,000 fans. Need information on the Vigil? Click Here.
Take advantage now of down payment assistance programs before they go away! The "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008" will prohibit the use of downpayment assistance programs funded by those who have a financial interest in the sale. This will take effect beginning October 1, 2008. Also, after the October 1st deadline, for FHA loans, the buyer will be required to make a downpayment of 3.5% of personal funds. To obtain information regarding the extensive changes being made, contact our office.
Many of our listings are taking advantage of the time left before these programs go away. The following homes are offering down payment and closing cost assistance.
Please check with The Jason Gaia Team at 901-751-4357 for additional properties that are offering assistance.
More will be added daily!!!!
Though times and tastes have changed in what can help sell a piece of real estate, one of the current hot items is granite countertops. These countertops give your home a modern, updated feel and will often speak volumes to an interested buyer that you have put time and effort into updating your home. This, more than many other things you can do to a property, can increase a potential buyer’s likelihood to purchase your piece of real estate.
Though updating and renovating your home may not make sense in a hot seller’s market, for those that are trying to sell a property in a bit of a buyer’s market, simple steps can make a world of difference in setting your home apart from all the others. Setting yourself apart is really the core tenet of selling a home and anything you can do to achieve that should be pursued vigorously.
While you may not be able to do much about improving the location of your home, you can do much to improve the way your home shows to a prospective buyer and that is where things like granite countertops can make a difference. Interested buyers often pay special attention to a home’s kitchen as it is the nerve center of most homes.
Give yourself every advantage. If you know that a kitchen is something that will motivate a potential buyer to go through with the purchase, spend extra time and money renovating that area. Spend the most energy on what will ultimately benefit you most and if you have the funds to do so, granite countertops can help you accomplish that goal.
Is a granite countertop the only thing that can help you sell your home quicker? Of course not. The key here is to keep in mind that you should walk through your home as a potential buyer would. For every bullet point on your home that makes a buyer want to purchase it, there is probably a negative on the list that might make them think twice. Eliminating as many of these negative bullet points as possible will help you sell your home much quicker.
When a typical buyer hears the words “new granite countertops,” they will immediately put that on the pro side for your property. For a seller that hears the words “new granite countertops,” they will probably first think of the cost involved. This can be true for any home upgrade and sometimes investing in your home can pay off through a quicker sale or slightly higher sale price.
Granite countertops especially have come down in price over time and there is certainly no harm in getting an estimate on your property. However, if that kind of upgrade is out of your price range, perhaps think about taking a fresh coat of paint to the kitchen. Maybe your cabinets could use a little work or updating. Maybe the flooring in your kitchen could use a few touch ups.
No matter what you ultimately determine about the state of your home, there are always ways to improve it. Remember, in a buyer’s market you are in direct competition with every other home on the market. To get the quickest sale possible, do more than the home down the street. It’s that simple.
Sure, granite countertops can be one way to make a big splash with your home, greatly increasing its sale value. However, don’t remain limited to big-ticket items like that. Every home has a few things here or there that can be improved and while there might be obvious ones like new countertops or new cabinets, never underestimate the value of a little paint.
The Overton Park Shell has been a popular venue for local artists and concerts since the 1930's. It was the stage for what music historians have dubbed "The First Rock-n-Roll Show" describing Elvis' first paid appearance on July 30, 1954 when he opened for Slim Whitman. After many years and an uncertain future, the Overton Park Shell will once again bring quality entertainment back to Overton Park and The City of Memphis. Due to the involvement and support of the Mortimer Levitt Foundation, a charitable group that is dedicated to restoring outdoor arenas, the Shell (now named Levitt Shell) will open its Fall Season in September. Check out the line-up below...
|09/04/08||Free Music Series- Amy LaVere|
|Levitt Shell in Overton Park|
|09/06/08||El Conejito Verde ( The Green Rabbit)|
|09/11/08||Bill Evans' Soulgrass|
|09/19/08||Trampled Under Foot|
|09/25/08||Stonehoney with Susan Marshall|
|09/27/08||Sones De Mexico|
Fire up the grill
By Jay Weinstein, Forecast Earth Food Correspondent Posted Fri Jun 6, 2008 4:22pm PDT
Summertime, and the grillin' is easy. But is it clean? Which is a cleaner choice for grilling: gas or charcoal? The subject has been hotly debated, and seems unlikely to end this summer.
From a culinary point of view, smoking wood gives grilled foods the best flavor. A sprinkling of water-soaked hickory or mesquite chips thrown onto the grill (gas or charcoal) will provide better grill flavor than any amount of briquettes or lump charcoal. The smoke that comes from dripping fat as it burns on hot coals gives acrid, unpleasant tastes.
But that still doesn't settle the gas vs. charcoal controversy. One scientist was cited in The New York Times Magazine as saying that, while burning charcoal produces more carbon emissions than natural gas or propane, the carbon was offset by the carbon-consuming properties of the tree used to make the charcoal during its lifetime.
But by that logic, the green plants that existed millions of years ago, which are now being mined as fossil fuels, should offset the burning of petroleum.
Charcoal and wood grills definitely put more carbon into the atmosphere during cooking than gas grills. Gas is certainly the cleaner choice.
Charcoal devotees can still make a difference by choosing charcoal made from wood certified as sustainably-harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council, a forest protection organization (FSC). The FSC has also certified Char-Broil brand products, but they don't seem to sell charcoal, so I'm at a loss as to what exactly the FSC is certifying. But the certified coal is guaranteed not to have come from the destruction of endangered rainforests and mangroves.
Another way to make a difference is to skip the lighter fuel, a petroleum product that produces a great deal of pollution when it burns. Instead, use a chimney-type charcoal starter and a balled-up piece of newspaper, which lights the coals more quickly and evenly than fluid. You'll be eliminating the waste associated with buying can after can of lighter fluid, and re-using spent newspaper at the same time.
For the truly carbon-neutral believers out there, nothing can beat the zero-emissions rating of a solar grill. Since most outdoor grilling is done on sunny days, this is the perfect choice for barbecue aficionados who want to cook their food, not the atmosphere.
Setting The Perfect Price
Pricing a home is perhaps one of the most controversial steps to the real estate process and can often become a point of contention between home owner and realtor. The difference between the time and money you've poured into your home and what the market says you home's value is may be far apart in your mind and that can lead to a lot of confusion and hurt feelings.
The balancing act here is clear. If you price your home too low, it will sell very quickly but you will lose some of the equity you've worked so hard to build up in your property. If you price the house too high, your home could sit on the market for an extended period of time and while you may end up getting more than a low ball offer for the home, you will have to go through months of waiting to do so.
Establish Your Needs
By telling your realtor exactly the kind of real estate transaction you are looking for, you can make the pricing process much easier on your agent. If you are looking for a speedy transaction above all else, your realtor may feel a bit better about pricing the home aggressively. You may not get as much as you could for the property, but the pricing technique would fulfill your primary objective.
Conversely, if you are more than prepared to wait out a better price, tell your realtor that this is the case. The default strategy for many realtors is to set the price of your property a little higher than what the market would really dictate with the knowledge that it can always be lowered later if interest is not sufficient. You can support this strategy if you make it clear that you don't mind the wait.
Keep Your Competition Close
Pricing a home is most often an exercise in determining where the property fits amongst all of the other homes on the market. If your home is a little bit nicer than one priced at $300,000, maybe your realtor can use that as a basis to price it at $320,000. The actual process is much different, but the idea is basically the same.
However, when your realtor does this comparative market analysis, make sure that all factors are taken into account. It is of course possible for a home near yours to be overpriced and if you put too much credence on that one comp, you could similarly overprice your property. Make sure that your agent is doing the proper homework to include not only homes on the market but those that have sold and those that have been withdrawn while paying attention to the time spent on the market for each.
Have You Kept Up Your Property?
Does your home look great for prospective showings or does it look worn down? Does your home convey the sense that is solid and will last or does it seem shaky or look like it might need a lot work? While your home may have all the amenities of the comparable homes you have used to set your price, the overall condition of the property can greatly modify that price.
It can sometimes be easy to look at the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and then set a price from there. Square footage, for example, is important, but it means less than in other homes if it is not used well or looks run down. Always make sure to keep in mind the relative age and condition of your property when pricing as that's exactly what a buyer will keep in mind when it comes time to make an offer.
Pricing a home can be a difficult task, but doing so from the right foundation can give you the exact transaction you are looking for. The condition and general area of the home can greatly alter the price, so work with your realtor to make sure that you not only tailor the transaction to your needs but that you also do adequate homework to ensure that you have priced your property accurately.
This is another original article by Joe Lane, co-owner of The Lane Real Estate Team at http://www.joelane.com/. Are you looking for an experienced Tri City WA Real Estate agency? With 20 years of service based, business experience, Joe and Colleen Lane work hard to serve home buyers and sellers for Tri Cities WA Real Estate, Kennewick Real Estate, Richland WA Real Estate, Pasco Real Estate, and surrounding areas. Website and SEO by 1stPageSEO.com
We hear the term “buyer’s market” almost constantly, but does anyone really know what it means?
Plainly put, once an available inventory of properties surpasses 7 months worth, it is called a buyer’s market, meaning the buyers have a lot of choices, and some negotiating power. Sellers are challenged by lots of competition and pricing pressure, having to offer something better than the other houses, be it many upgrades to the house or sales incentives, the likeliness of extended time of the market, and more than usual negotiating. There is some challenge to the buyers too because when a really good deal presents itself, there is usually competition and instead of the planned low to start offer, a highest and best is needed.
Misinformed buyers hungry for a deal interpret it to mean that every house is in a distressed situation, therefore the sellers are desperate to give their homes away at almost any price. Some buyers are so passionate about this belief that they get indignant when the seller turns down their low offer. The simple fact is that not every house for sale is a short sale or a foreclosure. There are many people who just “want” to move and have the luxury to wait for a reasonable buyer or a shift in the market. The smart seller does, however, realize that he can let the house go for less than he would in a more stable market because he is going to make up the difference in price when he buys his new house. So in that case, the buyer is getting a good discount on the house and that would be a good example of a buyer’s market. Unfortunately, the buyers have been led to believe that they will be able to get much greater discounts than is actually realistic.
Another simple fact is that even in the buyer’s market there are certain areas and neighborhoods, that are still selling like hotcakes and demanding top dollar. They will not accept your offer of 30% less no matter how you try to convince them that the market dictates they should. Their sales are hot and they have no reason to accept low ball offers.
The best way to proceed with your offer in this market is to decide whether you are shopping for your dream home or a deal and bid accordingly because, although it may work out that way, you can’t aim for both.
First off, you are buying a used home -- not a new one. Even if it was open only 18 months, some areas of model homes endure much more intense use than do most conventionally occupied homes over the same period.
Your model likely saw greater-than-normal use of air-conditioning and heating systems for touring comfort and unusually heavy wear patterns on flooring from hundreds of people who were, unlike most homeowners, always wearing their shoes. So unless you're buying "as-is," you should insist on credits for all wear and tear, and maybe even a repainting or new carpeting.
Also, make sure the home warranty on those structural and workmanship elements will be effective from the date of purchase, not the date of construction. Moreover, models are sometimes built hastily to jump-start sales in a subdivision, so you should have it inspected in case there are hidden construction defects.
Those issues aside, there are many positives to buying a model home. Models are typically larger than average homes and are always equipped with extras such as custom build-ins, better exterior walkways, tasteful landscaping and more expensive carpeting -- items that are already written off by builders as marketing costs.
So don't be too awed by all those throw-ins because they have already been written off. There's probably a lot more room for negotiations than you think -- especially in this market.
If you are worried about your down payment and the solvency of the company, I suggest you insist on a purchase-leaseback arrangement where you buy the home outright now. In this kind of deal, you accept a monthly "rent payment" from the builder for that six months while the builder pays the interest, insurance, taxes, maintenance and utilities, of course. You may also benefit from the tax advantages of being a "landlord" for that period.
Make sure you get all this -- the financials and (or) refinancing arrangements, agreed-to repairs, what's to remain with the home, closing costs, etc. -- in explicit detail on your sales contract before you sign on the dotted lines.
Purchasing your first home is a big step, that comes with some very serious decisions. Many homebuyers are intimidated by the process, and continue renting much longer than they should, or need to. However, if you break the homebuying process down into these simple steps, and follow these important tips, you will find the process less intimidating, and much more manageable.
1) Before You Begin, Ask Yourself One Question
Will you live in your next home for at least 3 years? If the answer is "Yes," you should probably purchase, rather than continue renting. With average appreciation, you'll break even on your closing costs after 2 years, and start making money at year three. Every year after that will put more money in your pocket! The most expensive aspect of real estate is buying & selling, so the longer you can live in the home the better. However, purchasing makes sense if you can make as little as a 36 month commitment.
2) You Don't Need a Down Payment!
It always surprises me how many people want to purchase a home, but don't because they believe that a hefty down payment is required. Zero down programs are very common, and are quickly becoming the norm, rather than the exception to the rule. Because your new home is collateral for the loan, there are many banks that will jump at the chance to loan you 100% of its value. Perfect credit isn't a requirement, either. Because real estate typically appreciates in value, it's often easier to be approved for a 100% mortgage than it is to borrow 100% for a car!
3) Get Pre-Qualified
Pre-qualification is a very important step, and the step that first time home buyers dread the most. Qualifying to buy a home is pretty easy and requires relatively little work for you. Pre-qualification is what gives you buying power and allows you to make an offer on your dream home when you've found it. More importantly, pre-qualification will let you know how much your new home will REALLY cost - in monthly payments. A $150,000 or $300,000 home doesn't mean a lot to most buyers - but $1200 per month and $2500 per month are tangibles that everyone can understand. After your lender pre-qualifies you, ask them for a "payment table" that shows you a rough estimate of TOTAL monthly payment based on purchase price. Pick your payment, and you know the price range to shop in.
4) Consult a Real Estate Professional ASAP
Many first time home buyers avoid contacting a Real Estate Agent because they dislike high pressure sales. However, Real Estate Agents have an advantage over traditional salespeople because they have access to the Multiple Listing Service, which is a database that lists roughly 99% of the homes for sale in a given market. This means that your Real Estate Agent doesn't have to sell - he/she merely presents your options. The most important qualities to look for in your Real Estate Agent are his/her knowledge of your specific market and their willingness to help. Interview a few agents and choose one that will help guide you through the process. You'll find the help & insight will be invaluable - and you'll be glad you contacted your Real Estate Agent sooner, rather than later.
5) Make a List of "Must Haves" & "Wants"
Many new home buyers mistakenly think that they will "just know" when they "walk into the one." While some buyers DO fall instantly in love with a home, this is not the norm. You'll find your search is easier, and you will be more confident in your decision, if you take a systematic approach to your search. The best way to organize your search is to make two lists: Your "must haves" and your "wants." Your "must haves" are the absolute necessities in your new home - in fact, you don't even need to view a home if it doesn't have every "must have." Great examples of your "must haves" are price, school district, size, etc... Your "wants" are the qualities that you would like for your new home to have, but it's not a necessity. Great examples of "wants" are color, flooring, kitchen appliances, surround sound, and type of exterior. By taking the time to articulate what you need and want in your new home, you will know exactly what to look for when viewing prospective homes.
6) Pick Your Favorite Neighborhoods
You can always make changes to your house, but you can never change its location. Most home buyers already have a good idea of where they would like to live because of school districts, work, or other factors. However, neighborhoods can be pretty different, even in the same area of the city. Ask your Real Estate Agent to email you a list of homes in the specific area of town you're interested in. Take a drive through the different neighborhoods on the list your Real Estate Agent sends you, and choose your favorites. Pay attention to area amenities, how well the yards & common areas are kept, and if you see a lot of "for lease" signs - which can be an indication of a heavy rental area, and lacking in "pride of ownership." After you have picked your favorite neighborhoods, and you know your "must haves" and "wants," you can literally make a list of EVERY home available that meets your criteria, and view those homes.
7) Make Your Decision!!!
Homebuyers often hesitate after they've found the right home because they're not confident about their decision, or their decision-making process. Your home is probably the largest investment of your life, and it's normal to feel butterflies in your stomach before putting your first home under contract. However, if you do your due diligence - and you have if you followed the steps above - then you will have your bases covered. If you've found a home that meets all of your "must haves," most of your "wants," is in the right neighborhood, and in your budget - it's the home for you! Don't wait and let another buyer take YOUR home!
Buying your first home can seem very intimidating, but can be extremely exciting. If you think that buying a home is right for you, it probably is. Make sure and follow these important tips and you'll know you made the right decision when you find your first home.
In Memphis, soul food is as deep in tradition as the blues. Secret recipes are passed down like a dead man's legacy. So for your Memorial Day picnic, while you are enjoying the sounds of the Four Tops and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, fill your basket with a southern favorite.....fried chicken.
Gus's Fried Chicken - 310 S. Front Street - 901-527-4877.
Gus's chicken is always perfect, crisp golden-brown on the outside, moist and succulent on the inside and seasoned with just enough spice to let you know it's there. This family restaurant has served up some of the region's best chicken for years.
When it comes to barbecue, speed is anathema. Barbecue is stalwart. Barbecue is slow. More descriptively, barbecue, as savored in the South, is usually pork that has been smoked over a hardwood-stoked pit for hours, sometimes days at a time, before being doused with sauce and served alongside a variety of dishes like potato salad, cole slaw, and baked beans. Contrary to the contentions of our northern neighbors, barbecue is a noun, not a verb. Barbecue is the end result of a time-intensive marriage of smoke, meat, sweat and sauce.
Memphis is the center of everything barbecue. The long-standing tradition of smoked pork in this town on the river explodes during the Memphis in May Barbecue Contest. If you can't make it downtown to enjoy this delectable event there are plenty of halls of smoke and sauce (as well as a few neighborhood secrets) around town. So check out these pieces of hog heaven that just can't be found anywhere else. That heaven includes the places, the pork, the signs and, of course, the sauce.
Check out some of these favorites around town and of course, let us know your neighborhood secrets too! Visit our newsletter for great BBQ recipes!
Neely's - 670 Jefferson, 521-9798
Central BBQ - 2249 Central, 272-9377
Rendezvous - 52 S. Second, 523-2746
Cozy Corner - 745 N. Parkway, 527-9158
Corky's - 5259 Poplar Avenue, 685-9744
Who says Memphis isn't full of great places to take a culinary excursion? Here is my hand picked selection of local restaurants that will offer a special brunch, for your special person, this Mother's Day.
Skyway Brunch at the Peabody Hotel
Enjoy a Mother's Day brunch at the Peabody Hotel. The feast is served from 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. and champagne is available after 12:00 p.m. The Holiday Brunch is $45.00 for adults and $17.00 for children ages 5-12. Prices do not include tax and gratuity. Call 901-529-3668 for reservations.
Mother's Day Brunch at Grill 83
Grill 83, inside the Madison Hotel, will be hosting their annual Mother's Day Brunch on May 11, 2008 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. This elegant brunch will be served buffet style.
Remember the first time you tasted an extraordinary dish, or a unique, exciting new wine or cocktail? Circa by Chef/Owner John Bragg recaptures those special culinary moments with contemporary regional American cuisine executed with classic French techniques and sauces. Circa's "Wall of Wine" consisits of strictly the most innovative, cutting-edge, food-worthy wines made today, including over 50 wines by the glass listed with fun, friendly descriptions. The dining room is sleek and sexy, and you can also enjoy a smallplate "Cravings" menu, along the handcrafted beers, original cocktails and virtually every adult beverage possible, in Circa's bar and tree shaded patio areas.
119 So. Main St., Ste 100
All American cuisine in an upscale setting. Prime steaks and chops in the Grill Room.
170 Lt. George W. Lee Ave.
Melange appeals to locals and out-of-towners alike. The word melange means “mixture” in French and here you’ll enjoy a mix of both casual and fine dining. The M Bar featuring tapas, Up-Drinks, cocktails, an extensive wine offering, and more than 30 beers, is open 5pm to 3am. “The Dining Room” showcasing Chef Scott Lenhart’s classically-inspired occidental cuisine offers a completely non-smoking environment. Open for lunch Tues.-Fri. Dinner nightly.
948 S Cooper St
Chef and author Felicia Willett brings her brand of American cuisine with Southern influence to downtown. One specialty is striped bass on creamed potatoes with haricots verts and almond/butter sauce. Closed Sunday and Monday. Located in the , Brinkley Plaza, Suite L1. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
80 Monroe Ave
Interim Restaurant is owned by Fred Carl, founder of Viking Range Corp. We serve fresh seasonal cuisine with upscale service. The atmosphere is very comfortable and prices are affordable.
5040 Sanderlin Avenue, Ste 105
A Memphis establishment since 1921 serving fresh-cut steaks and seafood. We offer an upscale casual atmosphere with professional service.
3660 S. Houston Levee Rd., Ste 112
Honored five years with Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence". This centrally located restaurant offers personal, attentive service in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Daily menu offerings are a fresh mix of soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches and creative entrees. Nightly selections feature fresh seafood, rack of lamb, and filet mignon. Private dining available for 10 to 60 guests. Also, the unique wine cellar can be reserved for up to 6 people.
5101 Sanderlin, Suite 122
Upscale, fresh gourmet menu featuring homemade pastas, breads and creative weekly menu changes. Located in the historic Evergreen district. Romantic, comfortable atmosphere. Open for dinner at 5pm Tues. thru Sat.
1545 Overton Park
Honored five years with Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence". This centrally located restaurant offers personal, attentive service in a warm and inviting atmosphere. Daily menu offerings are a fresh mix of soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches and creative entrees. Nightly selections feature fresh seafood, rack of lamb, and filet mignon. Private dining available for 10 to 60 guests. Also, the unique wine cellar can be reserved for up to 6 people.
5101 Sanderlin, Suite 122
Upscale, fresh gourmet menu featuring homemade pastas, breads and creative weekly menu changes. Located in the historic Evergreen district. Romantic, comfortable atmosphere. Open for dinner at 5pm Tues. thru Sat. 1545 Overton Park Ph. 901-726-6628
Upscale, fresh gourmet menu featuring homemade pastas, breads and creative weekly menu changes. Located in the historic Evergreen district. Romantic, comfortable atmosphere. Open for dinner at 5pm Tues. thru Sat.
1545 Overton Park
Our Plate Your Canvas is the tag line to a hip restaurant tucked along historic Main Street in Downtown Memphis. Rosemary Basil Halibut, Pork Dijonaise and Thai Grouper are just a few of Our Plate entrees, and our guests are invited to complete a masterpiece from Your Canvas section. Sauces specializes in Authentic Mojitos, a boutique wine list.
95 So. Main St., Ste 106
What began in 1913 as the Majestic Theatre is now a locally owned 1940's style bar and grille in the heart of downtown specializing in steaks, fresh seafood, flatbread creations & gourmet burgers. Just steps away from Beale Street, The FedEx Forum, The Orpheum Theatre, AutoZone Park & downtown hotels, The Majestic Grille provides an upscale, uniquely Memphis ambience with accessible menu options at reasonable prices. Watch the trolley go by on our lush patio, enjoy a signature martini at our 40-foot granite bar or gaze at the intricate theatre ceiling while dinning with friends.either way you'll enjoy great food and friendly service. Along with the restaurant and bar, we cater to business & convention guests by offering unique banquet & meeting space. The Innovator's Room offers turn-key meeting space complete with projection screens & wireless internet access, while our Mezzanine is the perfect spot for opening or closing cocktail gatherings or sit-down dinners & lunches. Our Certified Meeting Planner will work with you to plan the perfect event for your group.
145 So. Main St.
Fine dining in renovated railroad dining cars, featuring Southern Contemporary cuisine. Located on the South Side of Collierville's Historic Town Square.
123 N. Rowlett
If you interested in a special brunch or dining adventure, check out Cindy's Restaurant Picks.
Mother's Day Indulgences
Day Spas provide a relaxing retreat for busy moms. Send Mom off for a day of pampering at one of these Memphis area spas.
Mother's Day Gifts
Dinstuhl's Chocolate is some of the finest locally made chocolate and always makes a great gift.
Flowers are a classic way to treat a woman and the Memphis area has many florists to choose from.
Jewelry is always a thoughtful and indulgent gift for the mothers on your list. Check out the jewelry and the history of one of Memphis' finest jewelers.
The Memphis in May International Festival is a month long festival that strives to bring cultural awareness to the city by honoring a chosen country each year. In addition, it is a celebration that offers something for everyone, bringing Memphians together for a month of food, fun, and education.
It is only fitting that a city with such musical heritage should have a musical event with the magnitude of the Beale Street Music Fest. This event consists of three days of music on four stages, featuring more than sixty nationally known and local artists.
If you love music or even if you just love to party, you won't want to miss the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival. This annual event features three days of live music featuring rock, blues, gospel, alternative, R&B, and soul.
Below you will find information for the 2008 Beale Street Music Festival. Click here to see the day by day line up.
Tom Lee Park on Riverside Drive between Beale Street and Georgia Avenue in downtown Memphis.
Dates and Times:
Friday, May 2 -- 5:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Saturday, May 3 -- 1:00 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Sunday, May 4 -- 1:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Three Day Pass (through April 30th only): $63.50
Daily Ticket in Advance: $27.50
Daily Ticket - Day of Event: $33.00
Trying to sell your home? The more you know about the types of buyers out there and why they're buying, the better your chances of successfully marketing your home.
Consider the No. 1 reasons people are buying:
Source: National Association of Realtors, 2007.
Among the types of potential homebuyers are two very different species: the first-time homebuyer and the repeat buyer. Repeaters tend to be older, earn more, spend more, make a larger down payment and buy a bigger home. Here's how they stack up:
Not buying as part of a couple
36 percent (more than two-thirds are women)
25 percent (more than two-thirds are women)
1,510 square feet (median)
2,015 square feet (median)
2 percent (median)
16 percent (median)
Source: National Association of Realtors, 2007
Our mascot is back and helping us "Go Green" for Earth Day. When the rains quit, I'm sure everyone will be in their yard working on that curb appeal. Here are some tips to turn that work, yes, Green!
Set your mower blades to high. The minimum height for grass is two and a half inches. Anything shorter is hard to maintain, encourages weeds and disease and requires more intervention. Longer grass also protects the roots, offering more shade and preventing water evaporation.
Also check out these great Earth Day Celebration events at Shelby Farms.
by Dr. Maya Bailey
So many real estate professionals today are wondering, "How can I stay positive in today's market?" Like any discriminating real estate professional, you realize the value of a positive mental attitude. Here are 8 ways that you can create and maintain a positive mental attitude in today's market.
1. Avoid toxic people What does this mean? Who are the toxic people? Toxic people can be well-meaning people but when they talk to you, they are coming from a negative attitude about money, finances, and especially about the current real estate situation.
They may be fellow real estate professionals who want to gather around the water cooler, they may be relatives who are just trying to protect you; they may even be friends and family.
You will know if you've been around a toxic person, because you will begin to feel deflated.
Here's your job: either change the subject or walk away. Better yet, speak up for yourself and mention that you want to think positively about yourself and about your business. If you see one of them coming your way find a way to avoid the interaction because it does not serve your highest good (or theirs).
2. If you've tried everything and exhausted ways to avoid toxic people, then you may have to set an internal boundary.
You can do this very simply by having your own inner conversation if someone is saying something negative to you on the outside.
A great example of an inner conversation when someone is complaining about their business or about the marketplace is to say to yourself, "That may be true for you but it's not true for me." This can become your inner mantra.
3. Avoid the media
Why? Remember that the intention of the media is to sell newspapers and magazines. The more they can paint a negative and fearful picture, the more their sales go up.
In fact there is a saying in the newspaper business, "If it bleeds, it reads." That may seem harsh, but pick up any newspaper and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Why subject yourself to slanted, negative spins on the economy when you can find just as much information to point to the positive?
4. Successful real estate professionals do well in any market.
Were you aware of that? Knowing that fact, none of us can continue to use the excuse about the market being bad.
In fact, I am coaching several clients right now who in the last six months have doubled and tripled their incomes.
In addition to the right marketing strategies and regular lead generation activities, you could help yourself with this empowered belief: "I now draw to me clients who are ready, willing and able to make a transaction in the next 30 days."
5. Look for the opportunity in today's marketplace
There are many opportunities in today's market and successful real estate professionals are taking advantage of them.
Did you know that Donald Trump is buying up as much property as he can? Why do you think that is? He is a smart businessman, to say the least, and knows that this is the best time to buy.
Let your prospective clients know this and then say to them, "Let's get you a deal." Few could resist this invitation.
6. Remember that your success depends on your mindset, not on the outer conditions of the market.
"If you believe you can or you can't, either way you are right," Henry Ford.
What mindset do you choose to nurture inside yourself? Do you want to believe, "I can "or "I can't." Your beliefs create your reality so whatever you choose to believe will become true for you.
7. Remember to engage the Law of Attraction as one of your most powerful tools
The law of attraction states that you get what you focus your attention on. Furthermore, your beliefs create your reality so choose your beliefs carefully.
Here's a tip: instead of saying "I can't possibly succeed in today's market," choose instead to focus one of these beliefs: "I achieve whatever I set my mind to." "I am a money market in any situation." "I attract clients who appreciate and respect my expertise." "My success depends on my attitude, not on any outer circumstances."
8. Be proactive
In any marketplace there are always people wanting to buy and sell homes. They need your help and they need your expertise.
Your job is to become visible to them. In today's market, they are not likely to fall in your lap.
However with a good system of lead generation, you can contact them and use your intention to attract your ideal clients.
Clear out any self limiting beliefs that stop you from picking up the phone.
Follow the suggestions mentioned above and you'll be happy to notice that are only are you staying more positive, but also your income is increasing as well.
April 4 marks the 40th annivesary of the assination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King traveled to Memphis in support of the sanitary public works employees, who had been on strike since March 12. On April 3 King addressed a rally delivering his I've Been to the Mountain Top speech. King was booked in room 306 of the Lorrain Motel at the time of his death. Years later, a memorial foundation was formed to preserve the Lorraine as a historic site. Then on September 28, 1991 The National Civil Rights Museum opened. It has since expanded to include the exhibit, Exploring the Legacy. The museum focuses on the civil rights movement in america through private collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs.
Many people will travel throught the doors of the Civil rights Museum this week, volunteers will rally to support the museum and mourners will pay tribute at the candlelight vigil. Everything in Memphis is so vital to those areas of humankind that are of importance such as music, food, equality and the opportunity to experience history in your city. Click here for tour information.
Below is a schedule of events. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum.
|Name:||Beloved Community March|
|Description:||Sponsored by: The Beloved Community |
The Beloved Community of Memphis will march through Downtown Memphis. and conclude at the National Civil Rights Museum.
|Name:||April 4th Foundation Commemorative Awards Banquet|
|Location:||Memphis Cook Convention Center|
|Description:||Sponsored by: The April 4th Foundation|
This annual event honors some of the pioneers in civil and human rights. This year’s honorees are U.S. Rep. John Lewis, and Harry Belafonte. The banquet’s keynote speaker is Dr. Joseph Lowery and Mistress of Ceremonies is Angela Basset. Tickets are $100.00. For more information, contact Cato Walker at 901-255-0725.
|Name:||Candle Light Vigil|
|Location:||National Civil Rights Museum|
|Description:||Vigil will include special guest speakers and performers including Rev. C.T. Vivian, Dr. Cynthia Griggs Fleming, and Philander Smith Concert Choir. Forty lanterns will be lit by local citizens from diverse backgrounds as a roll call of beneficiaries of the movement and as the names of civil rights figures of the past are read. The lanterns will remain lit for forty days.|
|Name:||Nancy Wilson & She Says She Says|
|Location:||Cannon Center of the Performing Arts|
|Description:||Sponsored by: Cultural Development Foundation of Memphis|
The renowned & incomparable jazz diva, Miss Nancy Wilson, is one of the most respected vocalists of our time, with more than 60 albums and 3 Grammy Awards in a musical career that has spanned over 5 decades; her style is ageless. Miss Wilson will render an evening of jazz, blues and gospel that will leave you spellbound. Her melodic voice of harmony will be the perfect tribute to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. For more information, call Rebecca Edwards at 901-312-9787.
|Name:||40th Commemorative High Tea & Fashion Show|
|Location:||Plush Club on Beale|
|Description:||Sponsored by: The University of Memphis Luther C. McClellan Alumni Chapter |
The Luther C. McClellan Alumni Chapter will host a reunion tea to benefit the chapter’s scholarship fund and will honor the first University of Memphis African American graduate.
|Name:||SCLC Community Unity Commemorative Worship Service|
|Location:||St. Stephens Baptist Church|
|Description:||Sponsored by: Southern Christian Leadership Conference|
For more information, please contact Dr. Dwight Montgomery at 901-948-7915.
|Name:||Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symphony|
|Fee:||$10.00 per person|
|Location:||New Sardis Church 7739 E. Holmes Rd.|
|Description:||For more information, contact Rev. LaSimba Gray at 901- 754-3979.|
Many people see hunge dollar signs flash like neon lights whenever they hear the words "home improvement," but there are many things you can do to spiff up the old place without spending a fortune.
1. Make your kitchen really cook.
The kitchen is still considered the heart of the home. For a few hundred dollars, you can replace the kitchen faucet set, add new cabinet door handles and update old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones. If you've got a slightly larger budget, you can give the cabinets themselves a makeover. Rather than spring for a whole new cabinet system, which can be expensive, look into refacing the ones you have. Many companies will remove cabinet doors and drawers, refinish the cabinet boxes and then add brand-new doors and drawers at price considerably less than new cabinets. Unless the cabinets are mica, a fresh coat of paint can also do the trick.
2. Give appliances a face-lift.
If your kitchen appliances don't match, try ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other. It can be as simple as removing a couple of screws, sliding the panel out and flipping it over.
3. Buff up the bath.
Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. Simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference. You can replace an old, discolored bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or a small piece of sheet vinyl -- often applied right over the old floor. If your tub and shower look dingy, consider regrouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround. These one-piece units may require professional installation but still can be cheaper than paying to retile walls and refinish a worn tub.
New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. And don't forget the ceiling. Paint the trim a contrasting color. Another option: Paint a wall three different shades of the same color. Measure equal sections and use painter's masking tape to mark off each area. Do the bottom of the wall first with the darkest shade. Once it dries, do the middle section with the next lightest shade and so on.
5. Step up your storage.
Old houses, particularly, are notorious for their lack of closet space. If you have cramped storage areas, add do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets. Firms such as ClosetMaid allow you to measure and redesign your closets online. You can also get design details and parts for these systems at many large home-improvement stores. Most closets can be updated in a weekend or less. In the end, your closets will be more functional while you're living in the house and will make your home look more customized to potential buyers when you're ready to sell.
6. Mind the mechanics.
Finley Perry of F.H. Perry Builder in Hopkinton, Mass., advocates spending a few bucks on nitty-gritty stuff. "It's often very worthwhile to hire an electrician and plumber for a couple of hours to look over your electrical services, wrap or fix loose wires, fix any faulty outlets, and check for and fix any water leaks," Perry says. "Those details tell a buyer that someone has really taken care of the home and can really influence its price."
7. Look under foot.
Carpeting is another detail that can quickly update a home and make it look cleaner. A professional carpet cleaning is an inexpensive investment, especially if your rugs are in good shape and are neutral colors. If your carpet is showing serious wear, cover it with inexpensive, strategically placed area rugs. Most real estate agents don't suggest replacing wall-to-wall carpeting right before you sell your house unless it is truly hideous. The new homeowners may want to choose their own carpeting.
8. Let there be light.
If you have boring recessed lights in your dining and living rooms, consider replacing one of the room's lights with an eye-catching chandelier. Home stores offer a wide range of inexpensive, but nice-looking, ceiling fixtures. Add accent lighting, instead of sticking with the two ordinary lamps that flank both ends of the sofa. Spotlights that plug into existing outlets can direct light to features you want to emphasize, like art or plants. If you have a ceiling fan and light, you can also buy replacement fan blades (leaving the fan body in place) to update the fixture's look.
9. Reframe your entry.
It's the first thing you, and your guests, will see. Repaint or refinish that front door and if you have a basic steel front door that has gotten dented, consider replacing it with either another inexpensive steel door or a fiberglass, wood grain door for slightly higher cost. Next, replace that worn, flimsy little knob on your main entry door with a more substantial-looking handle-and-lock set. A nice, big piece of hardware signals newcomers that this is a solid home. Then, place two large planters on either side of the front door, with a profusion of healthy plants spilling out. Look for foliage colors and blooms that complement each other. Go for different heights and textures, mix perennials and annuals, blooming and no blooming varieties. If you want to add another touch, tie it in to the front door with a coordinating wreath.
10. Consider curb appeal.
Although it sounds obvious, a nicely mowed lawn, a few well-placed shrubs and a swept walkway makes a great first impression. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. What buyers see when they first drive by your home is tremendously important. No matter how nice it is inside, they may never come back. If you don't have a green thumb, consider hiring a landscaper to install some new sod, plant a few evergreen shrubs and give your front yard a good cleanup. These kinds of changes can instantly change people's perception of your home and, therefore, increase its value and your neighbors will love you for it, too.
Why Green? Green means acting responsibly. Green means protecting our natural resources for future generations.
Greenandmore.com has announced some great new ways to Go Green this spring.
"There are many practical, energy saving and earth-friendly products for lawn care, outdoor lighting, organic gardening, and water conservation to help everyone turn a new leaf and consider the planet in their Springtime purchasing decisions" says Mercia Tapping, President of GreenandMore.com.
1. Save gas or electricity with a push mower - they cut down on energy usage because there is no gas or electricity required, and maintain a healthy, attractive lawn. And, push mowers are noise-free, lighter weight around 40 lbs, and affordable compared to the energy consuming lawn mower choices on the market.
Reel Push Mowers with available sharpening kit
$129.95 and up
Link for more details: http://www.greenandmore.com/lawn-care.html
2. Save energy with solar LED garden outdoor lighting - these outdoor accent lights save energy and light sidewalks, driveways, and paths by night. They come in a variety of shapes and styles, and they provide safety and a decorative touch to a garden, front yard or back yard. Most of these solar lights offer a soft, pleasant light for up to 10 hours with a one day solar charge.
Outdoor solar lighting - many styles
$44.99 and up
Link for more details: http://www.greenandmore.com/garden-landscape-solar-lighting.html
3. Conserve water with Rain Barrels - When it rains, it stores! Water conservation is easy when using natural resources, and rain barrels can be made from recycled materials such as Olive storage barrels. Simply line up a rain barrel with a downspout from the roof, and all of the rain that would normally drain into the yard gets saved, and used when it's needed to water plants or flowers.
100% Recycled Alluvia Rain Barrels - Rain Water Collection Systems
Link for more details: http://www.greenandmore.com/rain-barrels.html
4. Fertilize without chemicals: Compost - reduce household waste in a nearly odorless way, and put nutrients back into the earth with compost bins. Composters can help a garden by improving yields of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Some composters work in just 3 weeks, and are made of up to 100% recycled plastic, even reused pickle barrels.
Recycled Compost Bins - many styles
$69.99 and up
Link for more details: http://www.greenandmore.com/compost-bins.html
In today's market buyers are more savvy than ever. They demand instant information at their fingertips. Our new text messaging system empowers us to serve these clients better. By using text messaging we info-enable our properties by allowing buyers to receive relevant information via gtext message instatntly on their hone. With this system we provide immediate information, e-mail,& photos directly to the buyer's phone!
To view some of the properties that have been set up follow these simple directions:
Text eprop (then the numerical house code) to 41411
For example, to view 360 New Chulahoma you will text the following
"eprop 352" to "41411" Please do not use the quotation marks when sending your message.
Here are some of the properties we have set up and the house code.
MORE PROPERTIES COME SOON!!!
Yes, that other post was tons of fun, but seriously, we've been waiting for this game the entire season. Whether your team is playing or not, it is always a fantastic event for friends, family and great food and drink. So if you're hosting your own event, here are some "real" recipes that our team has put together to make your day a success. (Check back for more).
Designate a specific area of the living-room floor to throw the rib bones.
Pre-soak all Doritos in beer.
During commercial breaks, make non-stop scarcastic comments about the stupidity of Super Bowl ads (really, you'll be the first person in history to do this).
The Super Bowl is the premier event of the entire sports year. Be sure to use the good chip bowl and your finest inflatable furniture.
Splurge and buy plastic cups in both team's colors.
Provide "dip" into which chips can be dipped.
If rooting for the Giants, remember the Patriots have Jabar Gaffney AND Chad Jackson, (thanks to Cindy for THIS week's Gator update).
Do not wear a jersey featuring the name and number of an actual NFL player. Confused guests will wonder why a famous athlete is at the party, especially if he is supposed to be playing in the Super Bowl.
For some great fun make some great Patriot hats out of Sunday's Commercial Appeal.
Well, we have allowed the media once again to bring the "not-so-positive" news straight to the front page. As a result the confidence of the buyers and sellers is what is really is at an all time low. Yes, it is true that our numbers may be down since last year, however, last year (2006) the Memphis Real Estate Market saw lucrative numbers which means the slight drop truly is not as devasting as the news portrays it,
The national media loves to cover the fall of the real estate market and include such inspirational phrases such as "downward spiral" and "sinking values". The job of the Real Estate Agent has become increasingly more difficult when you constantly have to reassure your clients. We sell Real Estate home by home and neighborhood by neighborhood, the national media can't tell you what market trends are happening in your community. So trust in your agent, they know the pros and cons of each neighborhood and can give you specific market information for that defined area.
The Memphis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) reports that homes sales for 2007 as recorded by Memphis-area REALTORS® in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), totaled 16,791, down 14.9 percent from the record 19,738 homes sold in 2006, making 2007 the fourth-best year on record. Total home sales volume for 2007 was $2.87 billion, down 16.1 percent from 2006. For the full year 2007, the average sales price market wide was down 1.3 percent to $171,000 from $173,200 in 2006. The median sales price showed a similar decline, down 1.4 percent to $136,000 from $138,000 in 2006.
"With the increased negative media coverage of real estate last year, psychological factors continued to play into the weakening results we've seen despite the ongoing strength of our local market and some of the best conditions for buyers in recent history," - MAAR President John Snyder.
The media has been full of stories about the slowing housing market – and although this kind of market normalization is commonplace in the real estate industry, there is no question that in many parts of the country, houses are currently on the market a little longer and there is more competition for buyers.
Hire a Professional
If you want to sell your home fairly quickly, now is not the time to go at it alone.
Price It Right
A house priced at just below market value piques the interest of real estate professionals and buyers, while overpricing chases them away. The longer the property is on the market, the fewer the prospects.
Get Your Home In Show-Condition
Get your home in tip-top shape before any potential buyer views it. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression.
Don’t overlook the outside of your property. You don’t want a buyer to rule out your home based on the outside appearance.
Offering incentives can be just the impetus a potential buyer needs to select your property over others.
Don’t be discouraged if there are competing homes for sale in your neighborhood. Making the right moves at the beginning of your home selling process can give you the upper-hand you’ll need in today’s competitive market.