Why is Gift Giving Important

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Photo From RIS Media

Gift Giving is a sign of thoughtfulness and generosity. It’s a way of showing your appreciation and respect. This also can be a reward to a good performance or showing your affection towards a loved one.

Gift Giving has its benefits. As per Realtor.org, there are approximately two million registered real estate agents in the USA. All of which, invest their time and efforts talking to clients, adhere with their request, visit properties, go over the contract process and close the deals. They do this to make sure that clients have nothing to worry in terms of their real estate needs. Simple gifts could build a long lasting relationship between a client and an agent.

Building a relationship is one of the benefits of gift giving. As per RISMediaGiving a gift has a positive effect both on the giver and receiver, and engenders a feeling of gratitude, which is a key element in loyalty management. According to a study, The Role of Customer Gratitude in Relationship Marketing, “gratitude increases a customer’s trust in the seller…strengthening the quality of the relationship and positively affecting seller outcomes.”

Through a Gift, you only not show gratefulness but it also builds trust and loyalty. Gifts build connection, a professional bond that will make them think of you whenever their friends or a member of their family needs real estate assistance.

Choosing the right gift is hard to think of. A gift should not always be grandiose but it should convey thoughtfulness and gratitude. A simple note, a card, a piece of advice, or something for their kitchen or garden may be a good gift for a client. Think of a gift that will make them remember you. It should have something to tell about you and your business.

Gift giving is not always pertaining to a client but also to your coworkers. Giving your co-workers a gift over the holiday or recognizing their effort is a way of having a long lasting benefit. This will encourage them to do more and may improve your professional relationship.

Source: Why Being Generous Pays Off

 

 

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Southern California home sales end 2015 on high note

home-for-sale.jpegPhoto from www.statisticbrain.com

Source: LA Daily News

Research analyst with CoreLogic, Andrew LePage states that Southern California housing market ended 2015 in a high note but with a caution. “December home sales, which were the highest for that month in six years, got a boost from a batch of transactions that normally would have closed in November but were delayed by days or weeks as the industry adjusted to new federal mortgage rules that took effect in October.

A market tracker  says that Southern California has a 10 percent home sales increase, the second-biggest gain of the year.

Sales increased 8 percent from a year earlier to 7,198 properties and rose 8 percent to $500,000 for the media price in Los Angeles county. In November, Sales rise to 38 percent from 5,202 and move up to 2 percent in the median price.

Sales step up to 11 percent from the prior year to 2,413 properties and marked up to 7 percent to $272,000 for the media price in San Bernardino County. Sales are up to 24 percent from November while the median price drenched 2.5 percent.

 

Home Improvements under $1000

green__house_799.jpgPhoto From www.thecascadeteam.com

Maintaining your house condition may give you a great deal in terms of selling. But, this also means spending a lot of money. Here are some ways of upgrading your house without spending too much money. Hover your mouse and read the full article about home improvements under $1000.

Source: 10 Upgrades under $1000 that increases home values

  1. Add a Water Filtration System
  2. Install a programmable thermostat
  3. Add more grounded outlets or upgrade the outlets you have
  4. Update your fixtures
  5. Replace the toilet
  6. Reglaze the bath tub
  7. Install a till Floor
  8. Add new blinds or plantation shutters
  9. Replace the Front door
  10. Add a walkway

Source: 5 Easy Home improvements for less than $1000

  1. Update lighting
  2. Remake your entrance
  3. Modernize the Bathroom
  4. Hire professional cleaners
  5. Decorate the Walls

Source: 5 Home Improvements for under $1000

  1. Door Replacement
  2. Appliance Replacement
  3. Landscaping
  4. Lighting
  5. Bathroom Makeover

Source: Home Improvement for under $1000home-improvements-under-1000-infographic_52b075e41d746_w587

 

 

 

What you need to know about Taxes

original1.1723400.1Photo from www.lazyzebra.com

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is already accepting paper and electronically filed returns. They started processing  last Tuesday – January 19, 2016.

Here is the complete timeline of deadlines for the year 2016.

123Source: Income Tax Deadline

Take note that we’ll be filing tax returns for the year 2015 and so we will be using the 2015 Tax Rates. See below for information about 2015 Tax Rates.

Source: 2015 Tax Rates

2015 Tax rates 22015 Tax rates 1

If you’re looking for 2016 Tax Rates, Click Here

For other things you need to know about taxes, Forbes Staff Kelly Philips Erb  have enumerated these 10 important reminders:

  1. You may not have to file a federal income tax return
  2. Even if you don’t need to file a federal income tax return, you may still want to take advantage of tax breaks and credits
  3. You don’t have to itemize to take advantage of certain deductions like the student loan interest deduction
  4. if you’re self-employed, you likely need to make estimated payments
  5. You should file a return even if you can’t pay your tax bill.
  6. Due dates matter
  7. An extension of time to file is not the same as an extension of time to pay.
  8. Once the year-end passes, you still have one more opportunity to reduce your tax bill
  9. If you fail to file and pay, the government can take some pretty drastic measures – even seizing your passport
  10. A good tax preparer doesn’t have to break the bank

To read the full article, click here.

Here are some good reads about Taxes:

Now that you have take note of the deadlines, remember the tax rates and know some important reminders, Its time for you to get ready and prepare your tax returns. You would not like to miss the deadlines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Trends in 2016

Source: Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016

Emerging Trends in Real Estate have studied and analyze the US Real Estate returns and Economic Growth.

 

As per the book, for real estate, We will see investors, developers, lenders, users, and service firms relying upon their offensive and defensive game plans.

Graph 3

Due to globalization and technology, Real Estate adapts into a networked world. Everything is connected and you just can’t ignore improvement and developments.

Here are the Top Trend in real estate which emphasizes the change, capacity if the economy, real estate flexibility, resilience and innovation.

  1. 18-Hours Cities 2.0 – The 18-hour cities have been consistently making headway in replicating pieces of what makes the gateway cities so attractive. The development and application of technology make it possible for these markets to offer the benefits of a larger urban area at a significantly lower cost. In addition, a number of the markets in the top 20 rankings of this year’s survey are consistently tagged as “cool” markets that are expanding on their own unique culture.
  2. Next Stop:  The suburbs…What is a suburb? – “The suburbs are a long way from dead,” said one interviewee emphatically. Another industry veteran counseled, “There are only about ten dynamic downtowns in the county; the rest of the areas, people are in the suburbs.” As prices have risen in the core gateway markets, it is apparent that a fresh look at suburban opportunities is gaining favor.
  3. Offices:  Barometer of change – The office property sector offers a direct insight into how technology disruption, generational transfer, workflow reorganization can impact real estate.  Space per worker has been steadily declining, but it hasn’t been just a drive to cut costs.  New space design must be attractive to the workers who companies hope to attract.  This has resulted in new layouts that cater to the demands of the millennial worker, who are quickly becoming the largest percentage of the workforce.  But this new space isn’t just appealing to the workers, it also addresses the way work is being done.  Technology is allowing workers to be much more flexible in what they can do and where they can do it.
  4.   A housing option for everyone – The market has been waiting for the single family housing market to return to an ownership percentage near the 66% long-term historical average.  Changing demographics and household preferences are moving in a direction away from traditional homeownership.  This is creating opportunities for a wider set of housing options.    The single family market continues to improve in a number of markets, but first-time buyers have been slower to return to the market.  Single family rental continues to develop as a preference for a number of households, who like the lower cost of entry and flexibility.  Going forward, the housing market will see demand from aging baby boomers who will be looking for homes where they can age in place.  While younger millennials will look for affordable options in higher cost urban areas.
  5. Parking for change – the search has been how to provide enough parking.  That trend is changing to how do I profitably repurpose the parking I have?   Tenants who once required a set number of parking spaces per employee are reducing their demand as workers expand their use of alternative commuting methods.  Mass transit, bicycles, ride sharing, and walking are becoming more popular ways to get to and from work.  Another issue is how to provide parking to tenants who have a large number of workers with alternative work arrangements, but who may be in the office at the same time.  Building owners will need to find alternative ways to generate revenue from resources currently devoted to parking.
  6. Infrastructure:  Network it!  Brand it! – Infrastructure solutions in the U.S. have traditionally been allocated to large government sponsored projects.  With the number of infrastructure needs in markets across the country becoming more numerous and varied the opportunity exists for private investment to become more involved in providing solutions.  These solutions are good for the community, and if designed appropriately can be profitable for investors.
  7.   Food is getting bigger and closer – What is the solution when you have a generation that clearly expresses a desire to eat fresh more nutritious foods but chooses to live in large urban areas?  One way to meet this need is with urban farming.  Not only does urban farming utilize rooftops, it is also bringing new life to obsolete urban industrial properties.
  8. Consolidation breeds specialization – The real estate market continues to experience consolidation as market participants look for greater market share and operating efficiency through acquisition.  The market, however, has realized that there is still room for those who specialize.  This specialization reminds us that real estate is still a hand-on investment that benefits from local expertise.   Specialization allows developers, owners, service providers, and operators to provide that expertise to a growing variety of real estate investments.
  9. We raised the capital, now what do we do with it? – Domestic and global capital continues to flow into the U.S. real estate market.  Global uncertainty and financial market volatility continue to enhance the attractiveness of hard assets in relatively stable markets.  The big six markets that have been the number one choice of many investors have seen prices reach a level where investors are now seriously considering expanding to a wider market set and alternative investment choices.
  10. Return of the human touch – Technology, big data, and increased market transparency has led to the perception that real estate investing can be done using an algorithm.  While these tools have made it greatly enhanced the ability of investors to target specific investments and increase confidence in underwriting assumptions, it still takes the human touch and experience to make it work.
    Note: Excerpt from Top Ten Trends in 2016 and Emerging Trends in Real Estate

 

 

 

 

Tips in Buying A Home

Source: Forbes

tumblr_inline_nupye4pc281tcibbc_1280.jpgPhoto from Homes for sale

 

Having our own home is one of our goals in life. We wanted our own place that we can share with our loved ones.

In buying a home, you have taken considerations your long time goals, Your plans and your purpose. Investopedia listed down 5 questions to ask yourself when buying a home. Source: Top Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

  1. What type of home best suits your needs? 

You have to know what type of house you wanted to buy. It could be a single-family home, a townhouse, a condominium, or a multi-family building. Take note that each type has its advantages and disadvantages. You have to choose a type of home that will help you meet your goals.

    2.  What specific features will your ideal home have?

Lists down all the ideas you have in your mind including your desired neighborhood, the bathroom and kitchen layouts, the furniture and the appliances.

3.  How much mortgage do you qualify for?

And now that you have listed down what your ideal home will be, you have to check how much  mortgage will you have. You may think that you are qualified for a higher loan but the lender may see it otherwise. Factors to consider are your monthly income, expenses, and your other loans or debts like your credit card purchases.

4.  How much home can you actually afford?

In contrary to the number 3 question, In here, The lender may give you a higher loan approval. But, that doesn’t mean that you can afford to pay it. You have to consider factors like the maintenance fees, Real Estate Taxes, Insurance, your monthly amortization and your downpayment.Also, you have to include some economic issues, family expenses, and  other financial issues.

5. Who will help you find a home and guide you through the purchase?

One very important guide in buying a home. You have to get a realtor. Someone who could help you in the buying process and will help you to negotiate with the seller.

To further help you when buying a home, Below are guidelines from Forbes article 10 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Buying A Home 

  1. Use a trusted realtor
  2. Remember that a house purchase involves a contract
  3. Don’t necessarily buy for the life you have today
  4. Think about commitment
  5. Look beyond paint
  6. Buy the house you know that you can afford
  7. Don’t fixate on the purchase price
  8. Consider your student loan debt
  9. Don’t get carried away by the home mortgage interest deduction
  10. You don’t have to buy a house

You may also list down this 6 must do’s before buying a home by Bankrate.com

  1. Strengthen your credit score
  2. Figure out what you can afford
  3. Save for down payment and closing costs
  4. Build a Healthy Savings Account
  5. Get Preapproved for a mortgage
  6. Buy a House you like

As you notice with the tips and guidelines, they have something in common and similarities. Those bits of advice would only like you to be smart, careful and be vigilant. It’s your life whose at stake and you just don’t want to put your hard earned money into nothing.

For more tips and guidelines, here are some good reads:

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Inspirational Colors

Some or maybe Most of the homeowners – particularly housewives – would like their kitchen beautiful and is according to their style. They’re giving more effort thinking of its design and its preferred color.

There are a variety of colors to choose from and sometimes It’s giving us a hard time thinking of what color should we use to our kitchen.

To help you think of what color should you paint your kitchen, Here are some inspirational colors to choose from.
Paints

Photo from www.countryliving.com

Blue Kitchen

Blue KitchenPhoto From www.housebeautiful.com Source: housebeautiful.com

Blue is one of the most popular colors in the world. A lot of people likes Blue. It’s the color of the sky and the sea. As per colormatters.com, Blue conveys a sense of trust, loyalty, cleanliness and understanding.

Green Kitchen

112863-Beautiful-Sage-Green-KitchenPhoto from www.lovethispic.com

Green is most often associated with nature. It is the color of the leaves on your tree or the grass at the field. Green gives us a cool and refreshing effect. There are more shades of green to choose from that any of the other colors. To know more about the meaning of Color Green, Colormattes.com have given a more detailed information including its effect to the different culture. For some color green shades for your kitchen, you may visit housetohome.co.uk

Pink Kitchen

pink_decor-hot-pink-e1287999244380Photo from www.earnesthomeco.com

Pink is not that usual color for a kitchen.This color is often seen in baby girls wardrobes. Often used as a theme for an extravagant 18th birthday or to a luxurious wedding ceremony. Well, if those themed pleases your eye, then, you might want to apply it in your kitchen. Pink gives a more pleasant environment. It gives liveliness in the atmosphere. For some pink kitchen ideas, click this link.

White Kitchen

tradition-white-kitchen-island-storagePhoto from www.home-designing.com

With its simplicity and beauty – White may be an ideal color for your kitchen. Though, it is commonly used, It still doesn’t fail to impress every visitor who drops by your kitchen. With white, you can match it with different color and It will still look good and refreshing. It may be simple but with proper execution, it may give you an elegant and sophisticated type of kitchen. For some white kitchen designs, see this link.

Red Kitchen

red-kitchensPhoto from homedesignlover.com

Red symbolizes a strong personality. It is the color for passionate love and also violence. In Asia, Red is the color for Good Luck. For Asian people, having something with color red gives them luck and prosperity. Red Kitchen will give you that extremes atmosphere but it will also show passionate look and romantic aura. Red will bring out the sexy effect in you. For further information about the color Red Meaning, visit this link. For kitchen ideas, click here.

Black Kitchen

black-kitchen-carolskitchenPhoto from www.homedit.com

Black, with its masculine effect, conveys power and authority. It shows a more serious personality. It also pertains to strength and confidence. Authoritarian as it may look, Black could be a desirable color to your kitchen. It is always in style and can go with everything. Mix and match it with different color and it will always give you that elegant look.  For black kitchen ideas, click here.

Those were only a few color ideas for your kitchen. Below are some links you may visit to get more kitchen designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN HOMES SALES THIS YEAR?

photo from grandhomes.blog.com
housegraph
Growing home sales
Source: http://ow.ly/X4Yeh

National Association of Realtors®  Chief Economist Lawrence Yun tells that existing homes sales are to expand in a more moderate pace in 2016. This is because of affordability pressure and meager economic growth. Yun points to pent-up demands, sustained job growth and improving conditions as his reason for an expected gain from 2015.

Based on the article by NAR posted last January 12, 2016,  Yun expects total existing-homes sales to finish the year up 6.5 percent from 2014 at a pace of around 5.26 million —the highest since 2006, but roughly 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 (7.08 million). The national median existing-home price for all of 2015 will be close to $221,200, up around 6 percent from 2014. In 2016, existing sales are expected to grow between 1 and 2 percent (5.30 to 5.40 million) and prices between 5 and 6 percent.

To further understand what to expect in Home Sales this year. NAR has provided an Infographic showing the housing outlook on Existing Home Sales, Median Home Prices, Mortgage Rates and Job Growth. It also shows the GDP percentage and the Potential Speed Bumps.

2016-NAR-Housing-Expectations-Infographic

Provided here is the link to watch the full interview of Lawrence Yun.

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