7 Ways to Reduce Stress During a Move…

Having just sold my home last year, I remember the hair pulling stress of packing and moving and working and living.  Enjoy this article from Trulia.  And always get a friend to help you pack your kitchen!

 

7 Ways To Reduce Stress During A Move

 

Congratulations! You decided to accept that new job offer in another city, found the perfect apartment or finally closed on the home of your dreams. And while you’re excited about taking that next step, you’re facing a huge frustration: You need to pack all your belongings into boxes, and lug it into another home.

Moving is crazy and stressful. But there are ways to survive the process without prematurely growing (more) grey hairs.

Here are seven ways to manage your stress before, during, and after you’ve boxed up your whole life.

#1: Purge.

Clutter is stressful. Minimize the junk that’s clogging your closets, and you’ll automatically breathe a sigh of relief. Clear the clutter from your home by organizing things you no longer need into three piles: Sell, Donate, and Toss.

Put big-ticket or valuable items in the “sell” pile. Then snap some photos and list them on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook. (Alternately, if the weather’s nice, hold a massive yard sale.)

Score a tax deduction by donating non-saleable items to Goodwill or any other local thrift stores. Or brighten a friend or family members’ day by giving them your old hand-me-downs.

Throw away or recycle any items that are so far gone, even thrift stores wouldn’t accept it.

Here’s the most fun part: Eat through the contents of your refrigerator and pantry. Spend the weeks prior to your move creating “oddball” meals based on whatever happens to be in your cupboards. And don’t forget to drink all your booze!

#2: Clear Your Calendar.

The most stress-free way to tackle the rest of your packing is by blocking off a chunk of time in which you can focus exclusively on that single task. Find a babysitter who can watch your children. (Or save money by asking a friend or family member to watch your kids, and promise to return the favor in the future.)

Request a day off work, or clear your schedule for the entire weekend. You’ll achieve more by packing continuously for several hours than you will by packing in short bursts of time.

If possible, bribe some of your friends to help. Promise that you’ll buy them dinner and drinks, or offer some other treat, if they’ll donate a few hours of their time to helping you pack and move.

#3: Accumulate Boxes.

For several weeks prior to your move, start accumulating a stack of newspapers and boxes. You probably read your news electronically, but don’t worry – print newspapers still exist, and you can usually pick up free copies of community newspapers outside your local grocery store. (Think of those tabloid-layout weeklies that list what’s happening around town.)

Ask your friends if they have any extra boxes from their previous moves. Or visit local grocery stores and retail outlets, walk to the back (where the employees unpack the inventory), and ask if you can walk off with a stack of boxes. CostCo and Trader Joes’ both keep a steady supply of boxes in-store.

If you’re willing to splurge, however, you might decide to buy boxes from shipping and packing stores, or your local home-improvement store. The benefit to buying boxes is that they’ll all be a standard size (they’re usually sold in 3-4 sizes, ranging from small to large), which makes them easier to stack and load.

#4: Plan.

Don’t start packing without a strategic plan. One of the most efficient ways to pack your belongings is to methodically move from room-to-room. Pack everything in the family room, for example, before moving onto the bedroom.

Keep one suitcase per person in which you store the items that you’ll need to immediately access, such as clean underwear, socks and a toothbrush. In other words, “pack a suitcase” as if you’re going on vacation, and then pack the rest of your home into boxes.

Clearly label each box based on the room from which it was packed. This way, when you unload boxes into your new house, you know which room you should deposit each box into – “bedroom,” “kitchen,” etc.

#5: Protect Your Valuables.

The last thing that you need is a nagging concern in the back of your mind that you can’t find your wedding ring and passport. Those worries will stress you out more than almost any other aspect of moving!

Store your valuables in a well-guarded location, such as on your person (inside of a money belt that’s worn around your hips, as if you were traveling), inside your purse (which you’re already trained not to lose), or in a bank safe-deposit box.

#6: Build Yourself Ample Time and Deadlines

Nothing is more stressful than knowing that you can only start moving into your new home at 8 a.m., but you need to be out of your apartment at 12:00 noon that same day.

Avoid this situation by building yourself ample time to make the transition. Yes, this means you may need to pay “double rent” or “double mortgages” for 2 weeks to one month. But this will allow you the benefit of time — and that will work wonders on your stress levels.

In addition, though, create mini-deadlines for yourself. Promise yourself that you’ll pack up one room per day, for example, or that you’ll unpack for 2 hours per night after you move into your new home. This will prevent you from lingering in limbo for too long.

#7: Delegate.

Finally, the best way to reduce stress is by outsourcing and delegating. Use online resources like TaskRabbit and Craigslist to search for people who can help you pack and move. Before they leave, ask them to help assemble furniture and get the big stuff done first.

As the saying goes, many hands make light work. And when you’re moving, you need as many hands on-board as you can get.

 

I read this article at: http://www.trulia.com/tips/?ecampaign=cnews&eurl=tips.truliablog.com

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Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

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Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office:  650-365-9200

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

How Generational Differences Are Drive Housing Preferences

I find this information very interesting, the difference between generations when buying their home – enjoy this article I found.

Generational Differences Drive Housing Preferences?

Younger home buyers tend to view their home as a strong investment, more so than older buyers who tend to view their homes as a match to their lifestyle, according to the 2014 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, based on a survey of more than 8,700 responses from buyers and sellers.

The survey provided an in-depth look at the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

The largest group of recent buyers is millennials, those under the age of 34, who comprised 31 percent of recent home purchases, according to the NAR survey. Generation X buyers, born between 1965 and 1979, accounted for 30 percent of recent purchases, and younger boomers, born between 1955 and 1964, accounted for 16 percent.

“Given that millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, it means there is a potential for strong underlying demand,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Moreover, their aspiration and the long-term investment aspect to owning a home remain solid among young people. However, the challenges of tight credit, limited inventory, eroding affordability, and high debt loads have limited the capacity of young people to own.”

The median age of millennial home buyers is 29 and the median income is $73,600, according to the NAR study. They typically purchased an 1,800-square-foot home costing about $180,000.

In comparison, gen X buyers’ median age is 40 and median income is $98,200, and they tend to purchase a 2,130-square-foot home costing $250,000.

Among some of the study’s other findings:

  • 87 percent of buyers age 33 and younger consider their home purchase a good financial investment compared to 74 percent of buyers 68 and older.
  • Millennials were more likely to buy in an urban or central city area than older boomers.
  • Younger buyers tended to place higher importance on commuting costs than older generations. Older generations tended to place more emphasis on energy efficiency, landscaping, and community features.
  • Millennials plan to stay in the home for 10 years while the baby boom generation plan to stay for 20 years.
  • Younger buyers tend to move to larger, higher-priced homes, but “there is a clear trend of downsizing to smaller homes among both younger and older baby boomers and the Silent Generation (those born between 1925 and 1945),” according to the study.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

What are your thoughts on the future of home buying?  I know – the price of homes listed on this article is the national average – NOT the San Francisco Peninsula where nothing is priced that low.  But I did find this article interesting – especially the differences between Generation X and the Millennials. 

I read this article at:  http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/03/12/generational-differences-drive-housing-preferences?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BTII85B84y54x2&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

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Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 01499008

Save Water & Money – Some Helpful Links

Save Water AND Money!

Many counties have rebate programs, provide free products & services and give great tips! Check out the link for your area here:

San Francisco   http://www.sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=136

San Mateo Countyhttps://green.smcgov.org/how-save-water

Santa Clara Countyhttp://www.valleywater.org/programs/waterconservation.aspx

City of Palo Altohttp://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/utl/residents/resrebate/resiwater.asp

Alameda Countyhttp://www.acwd.org/index.aspx?NID=134

 

Hard to Recycle Items?

Questions about what is available in your area?

Check Out these Recycling Resources!

 

For any location and great information about projects and ways to reuse materials: http://earth911.com/

Recyclopedia for the Palo Alto area: http://archive.cityofpaloalto.org/forms/recyclopedia/index.lasso

Hazardous Waste Program for Palo Alto:  http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/pwd/zerowaste/whatgoeswhere/hazwaste.asp

Household Hazardous Waste Facility for San Francisco: http://www.recologysf.com/hazardousWasteFacility.htm

Household Hazardous Waste Program for San Mateo County: http://www.smchealth.org/hhw

Household Hazardous Waste Facility for Santa Clara County: http://www.sccgov.org/sites/iwm/hhw/Pages/hhw.aspx

Household Hazardous Waste Facility for Alameda County: http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=3

 

 

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

Shut Out of the Housing Market? First-Timers Dwindle…

The 1st time buyer is the cornerstone to the housing market.  Enjoy this article – I would love to hear your thoughts!  I added my 2 cents at the bottom.

Shut Out of the Housing Market? First-Timers Dwindle

First-time home buyers are particularly being hit hard by rising prices and tougher credit standards — and their decreasing market share proves it.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports that first-time home buyers accounted for 26 percent of purchases in January, down from 30 percent a year earlier. It’s also the lowest market share for first-time buyers that NAR has recorded since it began measuring it in 2008.

The falling number of first-time home buyers has the potential to slow the pace of the recovery, Bloomberg reports. The decline of first-time home buyers is hampering home sales, which dropped 5.1 percent in January compared to a year earlier, NAR reports.

“It’s a huge problem,” says Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Association of REALTORS®. “We have a ladder of home ownership and need first-time home buyers beginning the process of owning, building equity, and trading up to have a healthy housing sector.”

Some housing advocates are blaming investors for pushing out home buyers, particularly where first-time home buyers are being outbid by investors offering all-cash offers. Nearly 80 organizations are calling on federal regulators to address investors pushing potential home buyers out of the market, reports the California Reinvestment Coalition. They argue that federal housing agencies conducting bulk sales of foreclosed homes and distressed mortgages have heightened the problem.

“We’re ringing the alarm bell now and asking regulators to act,” says Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. “Wall Street and other cash investors are making it harder for families to buy their first house, for renters to stay in their communities, and for neighborhoods to recover.”

The housing advocates are asking for greater oversight from federal regulatory bodies, such as with more oversight of new investor landlords and ensure that banks aren’t favoring investors over home buyers with FHA loans in REO purchases. The group is also asking for greater research on the disparate impact of REO properties on various communities, particularly the impact to minority communities. Read more about the housing advocates’ stance at the California Reinvestment Coalition website.

Source: “Americans Shut Out of Home Market Threaten Recovery: Mortgages,” Bloomberg Businessweek (March 5, 2014) and “80 Organizations Ask Federal Government to Address Investor Cash Flooding Into Neighborhoods,” California Reinvestment Coalition (March 4, 2014)

Read More

Study: Student Debt Holds Buyers Back, But Doesn’t Need ToNew Low for First-Time Home Buyers

My 2 cents.  When prices were as low as they were going to go – I remember contacting all the buyers I met 10 years ago to let them know there were homes in their price ranges.  Sadly, offer after offer, the 1st time buyers, with loans, were being outbid by investors – or underbid, but out timed by cash investors.  I watched homes sell so darn low to investors, foreign and domestic, my heart hurt.  Here was the opportunity for 1st time buyers, who planned on staying put for 10 years and working on their home – and they couldn’t buy because of the competition.  Now there are plenty of rental properties, but here in the Bay Area the rents are just as high as the mortgages.  I’m sad to see 1st time buyers forced to move away just to buy a home.  And that is no good for growth or our area or our housing market.  Without a first time buyer – there is no second time buyer and so forth.  It will be interesting to see how this effects us.

I read this article at:  http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/03/06/shut-out-housing-market-first-timers-dwindle?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BTGMphB84q$cpc&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office:  650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttp://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

What Are the Changes in Flood Insurance?

Just a quick update on the changes in Flood Insurance…

What Are the Changes in Flood Insurance?

Property owners in flood zones in San Mateo County are likely to get relief under a bill recently signed by the President. Under the bill:
(1) sales will no longer trigger immediate premium increases.
(2) properties that complied with prior flood map requirements will be grandfathered, which would likely mean that insurers may not require elevation certificates at sale to obtain flood insurance.

In response to homeowners around the country experiencing large increases in flood insurance premiums and to the increased costs at sale due to the Biggert-Waters (B-W) Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (“Biggert-Waters”), both the House (H.R. 3770, The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act) and the Senate (S. 1926) passed bills rolling back some of the B-W provisions. Although the Senate bill was broader, the Senate agreed to go along with the House version.

Other provisions of the House bill are:
(3) it limits yearly premium increases to 15% for nine FEMA property categories, no individual policy increases of more than 18% for most properties built after 1975 and 25% for older properties.
(4) it provides refunds of premiums to homebuyers after Biggert-Waters effective date.
(5) it provides for an annual $50 surcharge for residential policyholders and a $250 surcharge for businesses and second homes.
(6) it strives to reach a goal where most residential policy holders have a premium no greater than 1% of the value of coverage (i.e. $2,000 for a $200,000 policy).
(7) and it establishes a Flood Insurance Advocate within FEMA to, among other things, answer current and prospective policyholder questions about the mapping process and flood insurance rates. 

I read this article at: http://www.samcar.org

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

Home Values Expected to Rise through 2018

Home Values Expected to Rise through 2018 – Great Article I had to share…

A majority of more than 100 forecasters says they expect large-scale investors to sell off the bulk of homes in their portfolios in the next three to five years, boosting inventory and potentially contributing to a smoother market ahead, according to the latest Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey. On average, panelists also say they expected nationwide home value appreciation of 4.5 percent this year, with a steady slowdown in appreciation rates each year through 2018.

The survey of 110 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists asked panelists to predict the path of the U.S. Zillow Home Value Indexi through 2018 and solicited opinions on investor activity and federal monetary policy. The survey was sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. and is conducted quarterly by Pulsenomics LLC.

Throughout the recovery, large-scale investors have purchased thousands of homes nationwide, particularly lower-priced vacant and foreclosed homes, fixing them up and keeping them in their portfolios as rental properties. This investor activity helped put a floor under sales volumes during the depth of the housing recession, but also created competition for many would-be buyers and contributed to rapid price spikes in some areas.

Panelists were asked to assess the impact to the market if these institutional investors were to significantly curtail their activity this year. Among those panelists expressing an opinion, 79 percent says the impact would be significant or somewhat significant. Panelists were also asked when they thought these investors will have sold the majority of homes in their portfolios. Among those with an opinion, 57 percent says they expected this to occur in the next three to five years.

“Real estate investors, both large and small, played a crucial role in helping to stabilize markets during the darkest days of the housing recession, but a decline in investor activity now isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and could have real benefits for buyers,” says Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “Buyers entering the market in the next few months will not be competing with cash-rich investors like they were last year which should be some small solace given the higher prices and mortgage rates that they will encounter. The gradual decline of investor activity should be viewed as another sign of the market slowly returning to normal, and I agree with the panel’s expectations that there will not be a rush for the exit by institutional investors.”

Panelists were also asked when the Federal Reserve should end its ongoing stimulus efforts, known as “quantitative easing.” Since September 2012, the Fed has been purchasing tens of billions of dollars worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage securities each month, which has helped keep mortgage interest rates low and stimulate demand. The program is now being wound down.

“Mortgage rates have been riding a rally in U.S. Treasury securities caused by volatility in emerging markets in recent weeks, so the impact of Fed tapering on the housing market has been minimal thus far,” says Pulsenomics Founder, Terry Loebs. “More than 70 percent of the experts want to see the monetary stimulus reduced to zero before the end of this year, and the current pace of tapering will get us there. Of course, whether Janet Yellen’s Fed will maintain the current pace as new economic challenges arise remains an open question.”

Appreciation Expected to Normalize through 2018

On average, panelists says they expect nationwide home value appreciation of 4.5 percent through the end of this year, a pace that exceeds historically normal annual appreciation rates of around 3 percent. This appreciation is expected to slow to roughly 3.8 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent by 2018, rates much more in line with historic norms.

Based on current expectations for home value appreciation during the next five years, panelists predicted that overall U.S. home values could exceed their April 2007 peak by the first quarter of 2018, and may cross the $200,000 threshold by the third quarter of 2018.

The most optimistic groupii of panelists predicted a 5.6 percent annual increase in home values this year, on average, while the most pessimisticiii predicted an average increase of 3.4 percent. The most optimistic panelists predicted home values would rise roughly 10.6 percent above their 2007 peaks by the end of 2018, on average, while the most pessimistic says they expected home values to remain about 4.5 percent below 2007 peaks.

What do you think the Real Estate Market will do?

I read this article at:  http://rismedia.com/2014-02-16/home-values-expected-to-rise-through-2018/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

Law Requiring Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures is in Effect

Law Requiring Water-Conserving Plumbing Fixtures is in Effect

Just a re-reminder, state law calling for the replacement of older plumbing fixtures with water-conserving ones went into effect on January 1 of 2014. The law says that when improving a property (based on certain standards and thresholds), new water-conserving toilets, showerheads, faucets and urinals must be installed before the local building department will issue a certificate of final completion and occupancy. The plumbing fixtures that will need to be replaced are: any toilet manufactured to use more than 1.6 gallons per flush; any showerhead manufactured to have a flow capacity of more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute; any interior faucet that emits more than 2.2 gallons of water per minute and any urinal manufactured to use more than one gallon of water per flush. Homeowners with questions about their individual fixtures are urged to contact their city or county building department.

 

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Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900