WHERE IS THE LOVE?

This blog will not have anything to do with real estate, but it will have everything to do with people. There is so much negative energy going on in the physical world as well as the virtual world that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. Where is the love?

I’m really not even going to comment much on this post. I just want you to read these lyrics, listen to this song and think. Every time you see something you disagree with, think of this before commenting negatively. Think of this before “defending” yourself by bashing on someone else. Think of this every time you are being offended and you feel the need to retaliate.

“Divide and conquer.” This is plan and it is working. They are taking our power away. Love your enemy and conjoin to build an undeniable and powerful force. A force that will change the world. Make a difference. Love.

Love conquers all and the only way to get away from this worldly & national drama is to love. Love thy neighbor, love thy family, love thy enemy, love your world, love your country, love all other countries, love yourself, love every living creature that walks this planet. 

 

“I think the whole world’s addicted to the drama
Only attracted to the things that’ll bring the trauma”

“But if you only have love for you own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate”

“Madness is what you demonstrate
And that’s exactly how this angle works and operates
Man, you got to have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love y’all”

“People killing, people dying
Children hurt and you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach
Or would you turn the other cheek”

“It just ain’t the same
All ways of change
New days are strange
Is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don’t belong”

“Nations dropping bombs
Chemical gases filling lungs of little ones
With ongoing suffering as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin’ really gone
So I can ask myself really what is going wrong”

“In this world that we live in
People keep on giving in
Making wrong decisions only visions of the dividend
Not respecting each other
Deny thy brother
A war’s going on, but the reasons undercover
The truth is kept secret
It’s swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love”

“I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I’m getting’ older
Y’all people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin’
Selfishness got us following the wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids want to act like what they see in the cinemas”

“Whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love
We spreading animosity
Lack of understanding
Leading us away from unity”

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Modern Living | The Millennial Guide to Living on Your Own

“For whatever you want, rid yourself of any conception of how you’ll get it.” – Mike Dooley

 

Upon popular request, here it is – a guide to living on your own for all of us at that have found ourselves at this awkward age (Millennials) stuck between not giving a f*** and also trying to get our life together. Pay attention.

Okay so as you may or may not have realized already, moving out is a lot harder than we initially perceive it to be. We had this idea of ourselves going to school, graduating, getting a place on our own, and never looking back. However, unfortunately, most of us find ourselves exactly that, back. Back to the same place we left 4 years prior. So how do we now move forward, how do we take the next step in life? Living on our own…

STEP 1:  Figuring Out Your Finances

Unless you majored in finance, and even if you did, you may have trouble keeping track of your personal finances. I mean, I’m sure you know what you have to pay, when you have to pay it, and how much you’re making. But do you add up your expenses, subtract your expenses from your income and decide what you have left over every month? This is CRITICAL for deciding whether you can live on your own or not. Lucky for you I have attached a simple Google Sheets spreadsheet to this blog that you can download and fill in. You need to know if you can truly afford to live on your own. You’re welcome.

>> Access spreadsheet here.  <<

The other critical part of this step is having a job. Having a job in your field of study isn’t as important as having a job that consistently pays. If you have a job in the service industry, this can be a little tricky because what we make isn’t always consistent. What I have found to be helpful is taking the average of your tips for a month. To do this you must:

  • Track how much you make every night (I’ve used apps like TipSheet and TipTraqPro)
  • Add up all your tips/ shift
  • Divide that number by how many shifts you work
  • Now you know, on average, how much you make per night.
  • Multiply that number by how many shifts you work per week
  • Multiply that number by 4 (4 weeks in a month)
  • Now that number is how much, on average, you make per month.
  • [MY SUGGESTION] Do this for a few months (I would say 3) and then take the average of that number to really know how much, on average, you make per month.

You will also need a couple thousand dollars to enter into a lease so if you don’t have any savings, your first step into this process is to save! Most apartments require first month, last month, and a security deposit to enter into a lease. If your place to rent is $1500/ month, that means you will need $4500 to move in (if you have roommates, you will usually be able to split this cost.)

[Side Note]

Room mates will make it easier for you to move out. Find some friends that are serious about moving out or go on websites like Roommates.com and Roomster.com to be matched with someone who is similar and will fit into your life. Craigslist is okay but you just really don’t know what you are getting into. If an apartment is $1500 for 2 bedrooms, now you pay $750/month in rent and pay $2250 to move in – way more do-able if you ask me.

STEP 2: Figuring Out Your Projected Expenses

Here is a list of thing you will now have to pay for living on your own: (Price estimates based on Waltham, MA 2 bed, 2 baths, 1300 SF apartment | Prices also represent cost for entire apartment, not separated between roommates)

  • Rent ~$2600
  • Cable & Wifi ~$160
  • Netflix ~$8
  • Electricity ~$80
  • Heat ~$80
  • Water & Sewer ~$100

Keep in mind you will also now have to buy groceries for yourself. If you don’t have a washer and dryer in your unit you will have to pay for that as well. You may also need to pay for parking depending on where you are.

STEP 3: Figure Out WHERE You Can Afford to Live

Now, this is tough. Where you want to live has to do with mainly 2 things; where you work, and where you like to hang out. If you answered “the city” to both of these questions then that increases your rent prices dramatically. If you would rather choose to stay close to your hometown on the outskirt of the city then rent will be more affordable. Essentially the further you are from the city, the less you are going to pay in rent. Also, the cost of living is going to cheaper as well. You may even want to consider moving somewhere where the cost of living is cheaper but you will get paid close to the same for your line of work. Do some research. I wrote a post about the cost of living in different areas not too long ago, click here to view it.

STEP 4: Asking For Help To Find the Right Place for You

Sure you can look on Zillow and Craigslist for the place that you want to live, and you will most likely find one, eventually. Another option is asking for help from a real estate agent. People think that real estate agents only deal with home buyers and sellers but we can help with finding apartments too. Working with a real estate agent makes the process easier. They will be able to help you gather your paperwork, get a credit check, and fill out your tenant application the best way possible in order to be accepted for the place you want. They will walk you through the process step by step so it is less for you to stress about. If you need help finding an apartment, click here to contact me directly. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

STEP 5: Deciding That You Are Ready to Live on Your Own

This is BY FAR the most important step of the process. You need to convince yourself that you are ready to live on your own. That you are ready to cut the cord from mom and dad and take on the world by yourself. It’s okay if you’re not ready. The worst thing you can do to yourself is to pretend you’re ready when you’re not. Take some time to really consider all the pros and cons of living on your own and truly decide that you are ready for that kind of responsibility. This article from the Huffington Post had some really good points about things you don’t learn until you live on your own. You need to picture yourself there. You need to believe in yourself and know that you will make it work. Trust that things will fall into place the way they should. Once you decide, you need to then take action. You need to do at least one thing, every single day, that is getting you closer to your end result, moving out. Whether it’s putting your extra cash in a separate account for a down payment or doing research to see where you want to live. Every little action counts, you just have to do it. 

I hope this was helpful to my fellow millennials and if you have any questions about anything, please reach out! 

Pro’s & Con’s of a High Real Estate Market

Without a doubt, we are currently experiencing a “high” real estate market. A high market represents that housing values are up and/ or expected to increase. Now, most people see that as a positive, which it can be. The economy is rising, homes will continue to appreciate, and everything is great and dandy! Although a high market may be a good thing for your local real estate agents, closing attorneys and mortgage brokers, is it the best thing for you, a hardworking citizen, looking to buy their first home?

I’m here to give you both sides to the story and a little insight to how good and bad our current real estate market is.

First, let’s talk about mortgage rates and being approved for a loan.

PRO:  Low-Interest Rates 

According to Forbes.com and Bankrate, we hit record lows for mortgage interest rates in 2016 with an average 30-year loan holding an interest rate below 4%.  As expected, after the election of Donald Trump interest rates rose to above 4% for the first time in 2 years. Now, mid-2017 we see an average interest rate of 4.12%  compared to a 3.37% rates we saw in July 2016. Now don’t get me wrong, 4% is still a low rate, therefore still making it a good time to buy in the eyes of many people.

CON: Higher Home Values

In response to low-interest rates, there is a higher demand for inventory.  If there is a high demand and a low supply, this makes the values skyrocket. This is true for any market you look at, not just real estate. If home values are rising then you may not be able to afford your dream home, which may have been in your budget 5 years ago. Ultimately, I’m saying you may end up paying way more than a home is truly worth strictly because the way the market is when your choosing to buy. The real estate market fluctuates so dramatically and quickly that it is essentially impossible for inflation to keep up.

Speaking of inventory;

PRO: Influx of Inventory 

Now I am not saying that there is a lot of inventory on the market right now because there simply is not. I am saying that there is a higher turnover rate for real estate inventory. Considering the high demand for homes that all these newly approved buyers are looking for; builders, developers, and sellers are all in a great spot. Properties sell quickly and for a higher price.  Properties don’t stay on the market for long, so if you’re looking to buy and your dream home is gone in a day, don’t worry, chances are another couple dream homes will become available soon, just don’t wait too long to act.

CON: More Competition 

Because inventory is short, competition on the “good” homes is extremely high. By “good” home I mean a newly renovated, entry level, suburban home. This is what the majority of people are buying. Everybody wants that 3 bed 2 bath acre lot on the corner of a cul-de-sac road and they will go to great lengths to get it. People are emotional when buying a home and sometimes nothing will get in the way of them getting that house. Not $50,000 above asking price, not a home inspection, nothing. People are bidding up homes by offering way above asking price and winning bid wars by waving their home inspections. Yes, this is really happening. My advice: don’t conform to this behavior.

Now let’s talk about what a seller’s market is.

PRO: Selling your home 

As you may be able to conclude by now, selling your house right now will be worth it financially. Your home is probably worth more now than it will be in the near future and more than has been in the past. By selling now, given the property is in good condition, (if it is not in good condition and you want to sell click here to see how I can help you) you will most likely be making money on your investment. They say “sell high buy low” right? Well, you will surely be able to sell high but….. well that brings us to the next section.

CON: Buying a new home 

Unfortunately, if you plan on selling and buying in the same market, you will not be able to buy low. You will be selling high and then wrapping all that equity you earned on the sale into another overpriced property. My advice: don’t do this. Sell your property, liquidate your asset, save that cash, and rent until the market goes back down. That way you can truly “sell high and buy low.” To answer the argument of “renting is a waste of money” – yes you may be paying rent to someone else’s mortgage but I personally would rather do that then pay a mortgage on an overpriced property for 30 years and also you can save yourself a few years of mowing the lawn, caring for the pool, and shoveling snow.

Next, I want to talk about real estate professionals and receiving genuine help with real estate. 

PRO: Real estate help is VERY easy to find 

When the real estate market is high, everybody likes to get involved. This is wonderful because everywhere you turn, you can find a real estate agent, mortgage broker, etc. Everybody knows somebody in real estate and they will be more than happy to refer you to them!

CON: Real estate professionals are more eager to make a sale

Disclaimer: this is not a personal characterization of anybody but simply a general observation. As there are more real estate professionals, there is more competition within the field. This makes real estate professionals more eager to make a sale or land a client. Make sure you are interviewing your real estate professionals and are sure that they are in it for your best interest and not because they have to close this deal to make their rent payment. This is also true for any industry. There’s a lot of greed out there these days so look for genuine souls to work with.

Please reach out with any questions, comments, concerns regarding any information in the article or any real estate topic in general.

“When making a decision of minor [or major] improtance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons.” – Sigmund Freud

 

 

Understanding Today’s Real Estate Bubble

Full Disclosure: This article is mostly written from my opinion mixed with some facts. I would like to think I am using an “educated” opinion to elaborate on my thoughts. I do encourage debate and would love to hear your opinion. After all, none of us know what will happen in the future so let’s respect each other’s thoughts. (:

At this point, everyone in my generation (ages 20-30) can collectively agree that the housing market, as well as the economy, crashed in 2008. I think it is also safe to add that we had absolutely nothing to do with it. With that being said, life goes on, the markets got better and here we are today. The scary part: we still don’t know what the f***k is going on! Here we are growing up, expected to do “adult” things like GET A JOB and BUY A HOUSE with pretty much no education or guidance on how or when to do so. (Mind you, all of our adult mentors who should be advising us on how and when to buy a house, most likely had a part in the housing disaster of 2008.) So how do we do this whole “adulting” thing without following the path of our elders? What do we do differently that will stop another disaster from happening? Well, that’s not what this article is about, although I still will share my thoughts on how to do so at the end. All I can do is give you the facts that I know and what I think and how I got to that thought. SO here we go.

Side note: Despite what other generations might think, the way we “youngins” live our lives & think about growing up is not our faults. It’s a series of careless actions from powerful, political, figures (in the older generations) that has made all the difference. 

How the crash happened

So if you’ve seen the movie “The Big Short” you could have a good idea as to what happened 10 years ago. Or you could be just as confused about it than you were before. If you haven’t seen it and are interested in what happened, watch it. It’s on Netflix. I’m going to try to simplify things a little bit for you even more than they did in the movie. Before 1970’s-ish, when you got a mortgage from a bank for you home, that bank basically owned your home until you paid them back. Around the 80’s and 90’s big banks were buying mortgages from smaller banks and grouping them and rating them based on how “good” (unlikely they are to go to foreclosure) they are. 2000’s hit and now investment banks are buying these groups of mortgages and trading them as public stocks based on the ratings they were given. In 2005-2007 there was a craze in the mortgage world and it was in the form of subprime loans. A subprime loan is a loan given to an underqualified borrower. Basically, mortgage brokers were giving loans to people who could not afford them and making tons of money off doing so. It doesn’t end there. Now the small banks were selling these subprime loans to big banks. The big banks were grouping them together and giving them A+ ratings (labeling them as non-risky investments) and investment banks were trading them. Long story short, a lot of these subprime loans eventually defaulted because the borrower was unqualified to pay it back to begin with. This caused a domino effect of devastation leading to the crash of 2008.

Market trends: What they are & how they work

A market trend is a perceived tendency of financial markets to move in a particular direction over time.

Any and every market has trends. The housing market, the stock market, iPhone market, coffee shop market, etc. Usually, all markets have one shape in common and it looks like this. It goes up and down while simultaneously and continually going up in a volatile manner. Think of the picture below as a representation of the housing market from 1950 to now.  There are ups and downs while the line is steadily moving up. It is important to first know that we are currently on an upswing. Now, it’s hard to grasp because time moves slowly and we can’t picture ourselves on this chart through our everyday lives, but we are there. Ask any economist, in reference to markets and they will tell you – what goes up MUST come down. How and why these markets move the way they do unique to each market. So I will fill you in on the factors of the real estate market.

When the housing market is going up, there are multiple factors that are all relative.

  1. Money is cheap. The government controls the interest rates and when they are low, people are approved for higher amounts of money.
  2. Because money is cheap, there are more people able to borrow.
  3. Because there are more borrowers, there are more buyers (higher demand)
  4. Because there is a higher demand, prices go up
  5. When prices go up the market goes up, people think they will continue to go up so they want to buy real estate before it gets too expensive
  6. Because so many people are buying, more people are selling at higher and higher prices.
  7. This process continues until the government intervenes and heightens interest rates.

When the government heightens interest rates, the cycle starts to come down. 

  1. Interest rates start to get higher, money is expensive and people borrow less.
  2. There are fewer borrowers, which means there are fewer buyers.
  3. When there are fewer buyers, there is less of a demand and more of a supply.
  4. To get rid of the excess supply, builders and investors sell their properties for less.
  5. When higher end properties sell for less, it makes all other properties sell for less because the market is based on comparable sales.
  6. When properties sell for less, people that bought their house in a high mortgage are now upside down. Meaning they owe the bank more than their home is currently worth on the market.
  7. When people are upside down on their mortgage, the default on their loan. Otherwise known as foreclosure.
  8. When a home goes into foreclosure, the bank now owns it and sells it for way less than it’s worth. Again, making other homes sell for less because of comparable sales.
  9. This cycle continues until the government intervenes and lowers interest rates again.


The term “real estate bubble” comes from the action of the market going up. It’s inflating. When the bubble “pops” the market will fall down. So on the graph to the left, picture a bubble in the open space below the red and blue lines.

 

My prediction with our current real estate bubble

With factors such as low-interest rates and a high demand of buyers with large loan amounts, it is safe to say that we are in a high real estate market. As we discussed in the paragraphs above, I think it is also safe to assume that we are in a real estate bubble which will surely pop at some point in the future. When and how is the biggest question. Here are my thoughts on when and how I think it will happen. I am 23, and the majority of my peers have just recently graduated college. They have set out to find their careers and hopefully, have some sort of job security. Sadly, it is hard to find nowadays. People are easily replaced in Corporate America by the next generation of cheap, entry level employees. Job security is slowly becoming extinct. So what are all us young adults supposed to do if we cannot keep a job and we also most likely have a heavy burden of student debt on our backs? And now we are also expected to be the next generation to buy real estate? How will we possibly be able to get a mortgage if we can’t pay off our student debt which is affecting our “debt-income ratio” (our income compared to the amount of credit we are currently using)? Also, most of our loans are unforgivable meaning we can’t even look to bankruptcy to eventually be wiped clean of student debt and start fresh.  Our credit score is sunk and we are renting, living paycheck to paycheck to barely survive. As the younger generations graduate college and enter the workforce, I see the debt amounts and cost of living increasing and the job security and entry level salaries staying stagnant. This is where the demand of home buyers will slowly diminish and the supply of homes will outway. As explained above this will cause house prices to drop.

How do we stop this from happening? Stop pushing young adults to take on MASSIVE debts in order to get a degree that will have a slim chance of giving them a reliable career. NOW – I am not saying all degrees are trash and that college and higher education is bad. It is not. Just know what you’re going to do with that degree. Use that degree as a tool, not an answer. Have a plan and set forth looking at all possible paths before choosing one. I said this in the beginning but I will say it again. This is my opinion. Will this happen? Maybe, maybe not. But I have spent the last 3 years studying real estate from all angles and having fresh eyes on the situation, this is my prediction. I would love to hear an opposing idea or opinion simply because I love to learn new things so if there is something I am missing or if you simply disagree, please share. My goal is to simply help educate those who are lost or confused about the subject of real estate at a young age.

Thanks for reading.

 

It’s Not About the Money $$$

Post inspired by “It’s Not About the Money” Audio-book by Bob Proctor. 

 

 

WHAT DO YOU WORK FOR??

Ask yourself these questions and answer them in a comment! I want to know what your heart beats for. 

Why do you work?

Do you like your work?

Are you working towards a career, what and why?

Do you have a passion? What is it?

What does an ideal day look like to you?

What does your future look like?

Why do you want success or wealth?

What does success mean to you?

What does wealth mean to you?

If you acquired a large amount of money, what would you do with it? Why?

What are your hobbies?

Would you rather have things or experiences?

Would you rather have time or cash in the bank?

 

I want to know the answers to these questions simply because I am curious about why people live. I want to know what peoples passions are and I want to help people connect with their passions. In today’s world we don’t give a lot of focus to these very important factors. We sift through life because we have to, not because we want to. When we do this, we build up a lot of negative energy inside of us that is waiting to explode. We get bitter towards the world and the people around us because our life didn’t turn out the way we expected. We develop this victim mentality because we feel like we have no control. We need to know why we live. If all I can do to help you find that answer is write a silly blog post and ask you to answer some simple questions, not for me but for yourself, I feel like that’s a pretty decent ripple to start.

This blog post is inspired by an audio-book I recently purchased. I bought it because I have felt really caught up in life the past few weeks and I felt like I wasn’t giving myself enough time to focus on my me, my mind, my heart, and my soul. After all, the best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself.

This audio-book is called “It’s Not About the Money” by Bob Proctor. I chose this specific book because as a real estate agent/investor, I do not get paid on a regular bases. I am a bartender on Moody St in Waltham part-time to make ends meet financially. I also make traveling a priority at this time in my life (because money will never be an excuse for me to miss out on an opportunity). So as you can imagine, money get’s tight sometimes. People may say, why do you work at your office full time if you aren’t getting paid? Why don’t you get a full time job and do real estate part time? My answer: it’s not about the money. Although money was one of the motivations to get involved in real estate, I have come to realize that the fulfillment I get when I see a home go from old and outdated to new, when I find someone their dream home, or give an investor an opportunity to make money, that is enough for me. I know that by rendering my services to society and becoming the best I can at my service, I will succeed. So, why do you do what you do? Does your work fulfill you are you solely working for money? Do you just want cash or do you want all the things that cash can bring you?

Bob Proctor talks about adapting a “wealthy mindset.” This means taking your mind out of the normal mindset of making money (getting a job, trading time for dollars, working long hours to be productive, etc) and changing it to a mindset of the wealthy.

Here are 5 steps to take to adapt a wealthy mindset: 

  1. Dispose of all limiting beliefs about money.  

    Think about the general attitude towards money. People say things like “money is the root if all evil,” “money isn’t everything,” “the rich are greedy,” etc. In some situations this is true. Money tends to bring out your personality more. If you are a greedy stingy person, more money will make you more greedy. BUT if you are a generous, compassionate person, money will only escalate that personality. Write down you limiting beliefs about money and then write down all the good things you would do if money wasn’t a factor. 

  2. Decide you want to be wealthy and justify why.

    One of the corollary of the Law of Abundance states “People are poor because they have not yet decided to be rich”.

    Your why is your biggest motivation. It is the reason why you want to be wealthy. I can almost guarantee you don’t just want to stare at a 7 digit bank account or bath in a tub of gold. You want all the things that money can buy. You want the freedom of not having the responsibility of a job. You want to not worry about money ever again. Whatever it is, know your why and focus on it. Write down all the reasons why you want to be wealthy. Think deep. 

  3. Determine how much you want 

    So obviously we can’t pin point the exact amount of money we need to live a financially free life, right? Well we can start with rough numbers. How much do you live off now? How much more do you need to be comfortable in your life now? Maybe an extra $2-3,000/ month, maybe an extra $200-300,000/ month. Who knows, all you have to do is figure it out and write it down. 

  4. Brainstorm on how to get there

    There are so many angles you can take to being wealthy. The best thing you can do is start multiple sources of income. So what if you wanted to get from point A to point B? There probably multiple routes to get there. When you’re planning your route, your mind starts considering all the options and may cause you to act on one. During that time, your wealthy mindset may attract different opportunities, encouraging you to change course and go through a unique and exciting situation. Write down all your ideas on how you can start to earn money, ideas for a new business, services you can provide, etc.

  5. Imagine as if you already have it

    Imagination is one of the most powerful tools we have as humans. We are also the only species on Earth that has an imagination. People may think that this only something we use when we are young. Wealthy people use their imagination ALL the time. They first saw their life the way wanted it in their imagination before it was reality. Bob Proctor always says “believing is seeing.” When you can believe something, only then can it become a reality. Visualization puts your emotional wavelengths on a level that will attract you thoughts into reality. Believe or don’t, you life will reflect accordingly. Make a vision board and, putting a collection together of pictures reflecting the life you want to live and look at it every day until you can close your eyes and imagine yourself already living there. 

Whatever you do, just remember; IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY. 

The Power of Personal Development

What is “Personal Development” per say and how do you do it? Well, the term itself is pretty self-explanatory.

Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.

With this definition, doesn’t it seem like everyone should personally develop at least at one point in their lives? It does to me. So why aren’t we taught this? Why isn’t there a personal development class in high school? Or even college? Why are that these small things that make dramatic changes in our lives left unsaid? I don’t have the answer to those questions. All I can do is share the videos and mentors that I have been shown and who have helped me develop a mindset for success.

Here ya go.

  1. Bob Proctor

2. Robert Kiyosaki

3. Jim Rohn

 

I hope this helps anyone who is feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed with life, etc. Life isn’t supposed to be stressful. It’s supposed to be beautiful. So how do we make it beautiful? Develop yourself into a beautiful person.

 

 

How I’m Turning My Dream Life into Reality

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A lot of people could say “Oh must be nice to be you.” or “Aren’t you lucky” when I explain that I love my work. That I don’t have a boss telling me what to do and when to do it. That I can work from home (and by my pool once its summer! – so excited) whenever I choose to. That my work is completely fulfilling. That I travel all the time. That I have an amazing boyfriend and best friends that are perfect. That I am happy and fulfilled every single day. – Yeah, I am lucky. I’m lucky I learned how to create the lifestyle I want. My goal is not to brag or bloat but but to share how I did it so that others can feel the same about their life. Here’s how I did it.

 

Step 1:  Decided to be Different 

“Do what most people won’t, in order to live how most people can’t.”

When I was 19 my life changed. I was introduced to an opportunity that opened my eyes to “how the other half lived.” This opportunity wasn’t popular with my peers but for some celestial reason, I was completely attracted to taking the risk and being different. I heard a quote early on in this journey that hit me hard and that runs through my head to this day. “Do what most people won’t, in order to live like most people can’t.” This made me realize that if you do what everyone else does in your day-by-day life, how could you possibly expect a different outcome than the majority? After acknowledging my complaints and breakdowns about my friends, family, love life, and overall lifestyle – I came to realize that I had a choice to make. A very important choice. I could either: A) shut the door on this opportunity, call it crazy, and move on with my everyday life OR B) open my mind to something different that wasn’t popular or encouraged by friends and family, but that felt right in my soul and see what could come of it. Needless to say, I chose option B and that single choice has made all the difference.

Step 2: Educated Myself

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

After I decided that I wanted to change my life and I wanted to be different then the next step was education myself of how. The thing is, we are educated our whole lives right? From preschool up to grad school for some people. We learn all these facts, equations, and stories that may or may not benefit us in real life. Despite learning all of these things, we seldom learn about ourselves. Opinions are forced on us without learning the ability to form our own opinions. Without the opportunity to master our own thoughts, opinions, and feelings. When I say the second step is educating, I mean educating yourself about yourself. Study how to be the best possible version of yourself. The best way to do this is by following and learning from people who have turned their dream life into reality. Take the time to figure out what you want and then learn from people who have what you want. The best motivation speakers I have listened to and that have taught me how to take control of my life and what happens to me are: 

  • Jim Rohn
  • Bob Proctor
  • Will Smith
  • Tony Robbison
  • Eric Thomas

Here are some amazing videos from these speakers:

 

Step 3: Changed Daily Actions & Routines

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

I soon realized that the saying was true. “Nothing changes unless you do.” I could learn all the things I needed to but if I didn’t take action and change my daily routines, then my life would stay the same. Slowly but surely, I changed my surroundings; where I was spending time and who I was spending time with. Unfortunately, it sucks to leave people behind. People who I very much care about. But I had to make a selfish decision and do what was best for me. I started to hang out with people who were teaching me new things everyday versus people who I would hangout with and do the same things with, things that were of no benefit to me. I started noticing what I was eating and my eating habits and slowly chose healthier options instead. I learned how to embrace being alone and how to manage my time wisely instead of looking for peer approval and doing things to fill a void not because I genuinely wanted to. I decided to stop attending college because it didn’t line up with the future I wanted. I changed my job because it wasn’t fulfilling my financial needs. I read self-help books that taught me about the power I held within myself. I started doing yoga consistently. I made a vision board and started visualizing daily. Picturing exactly how I wanted to live my life in the future. I made changes that were necessary in order to follow the path I have always dreamed of. I learned from one of the motivational speakers above that when you put good things into your mind and body, good things come out in the form of what you attract into your life.

You can choose to believe that these things will make good things and opportunities just appear in your life or you can not. But let me tell you. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – your right. So might as well think you can, right? Once I made these changes to my life, my life changed. I got opportunities to travel to different countries, I found the career path I was destined for and the opportunity to start a business where I call the shots on how and when I work. I found the love of my life and formed an amazing relationship. My friendships became stronger and more genuine. I moves into a high end apartment complex in a booming city away from home. My life is amazing and consistently improving and I give all the credit to those small daily changes I made a few years ago. So if that isn’t proof enough, then I don’t know what is.

 

Step 4: Staying Grateful and Positive

“Everything is energy. Your thought begins it, your emotion amplifies it, and your action increases the momentum.”

I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. I get angry over little things. I stress myself out. I fight with the people I love. It’s human to have these emotions and it’s a challenge to overcome these feelings. When I have bad days I notice that my day is more difficult as well. I get stuck in traffic, I spill my coffee, I drop my phone, I hurt myself, etc. I take those things as the universe telling me to cut it out. I found that by taking time at least once a day to really think about all the good things in my life and be grateful for them, it makes all the difference. I try to remind myself every time I feel negative emotions taking over. I remind myself that there is always a silver lining. That my energy attracts my emotions. These small reminders help me stay on track and help me to continue to turn my dream life into reality. You can only be in line with things that have the same energy as you. If you gave a positive energy, positive things will happen and vice versus.

Again, you can think this works or you can think it doesn’t but either way – you are right.

 

3 Things You NEED to Know About Real Estate in Your 20’s

5-Reasons-You-Should-Not-FSBO

Isn’t it interesting that one of the most important things we’ll do in our life is a buy a home yet we were never taught about the process in school? I mean sure, I learned about APR’s, interest rates, and amortization in one of my college math courses (which was lucky) but I still didn’t know how to apply any of that information in real life. Plus I forgot how to use all of those equations that day after the class ended. Realistically, the industry of real estate, whether you are buying, selling, or renting is way more complex than just a few equations. Here are 5 things that I wish I learned in school that can prepare you for figuring out your housing situation once mom & dad cut you off.

1. CREDIT is King

So a lot of people say “cash is king” which is true in most situations. However, you can have cash but if you don’t have credit or if your credit is bad then you are still in an unfavorable situation when it comes to getting a mortgage. When you apply for a mortgage the 2 major components are good credit & a good, consistent job. Yes, you will need money for a down payment but there are so many programs out there nowadays that you could possibly qualify to put as little as 1% down. Just to put in perspective for you; if you are buying a home for $200,000 – you would need $2,000 as a down payment…

Tips for good credit:

  • Take out credit cards but only use them for necessities and pay a majority of the balance each month.
  • Never miss or be late on a payment
  • Keep a small balance on your cards (credit card companies don’t like when you don’t have a balance because then they don’t make money on interest so although it won’t ding your credit, it won’t improve it either)

 

2. Renting could be better than Buying 

If you are fresh out of college and don’t know where you want to live or what you want to do with your life, don’t buy a home. Buying a home will put you into a 30-year commitment that may or may not benefit you if you go to sell before then. You may say “well if I’m paying $1500 a month to pay someone else’s mortgage I might as well buy.” Yeah, you are paying for someone else mortgage but you’re also reaping all the benefits and conveniences of living without homeowner responsibilities such as yard work, snow removal, maintenance repairs, depreciation, liability, and more. Plus you can pick up and leave whenever you want to (if you are not violating your lease). Figure out where and when you want to “settle down” and then worry about buying a house. Or if you’re always on the go, don’t worry about it at all.

 

3. The Real Estate Market will ALWAYS Fluctuate 

This is something a lot of people don’t agree with or just don’t want to believe. The general idea is that if you buy a home, in 30 years the property will appreciate and you will make a return on your original investment. As people realized in 2008, that is not always the case. The key is knowing when to buy. I talked about these cycles in one of my former blog posts called “Future of Real Estate & Economic Markets.” I tagged a video called “How the economic machine works” and in it, they explain how an economy built on credit (which is how we buy pretty much buy everything in this economy) must go up and down. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, we just need to know how to ride the waves. Buy low and sell high. If you follow that basic ideology then you will be just fine. How do you know if it’s a high market or a low market? Interest rates. If interest rates are at “historic lows” which they are currently, then that is a key indication that the market is high and property prices are skyrocketing. But as we just discussed, what goes up must come down. As interest rates get higher, spending goes down, which in turn forces housing values to go down as well. If you bought in a high market and then need to sell in a low market, you will not be too happy with your “investment.” BUT if you buy in a low market and then need to sell in another low market chances are the property will still have appreciated at least a small percentage. You can’t really go wrong.

 

These are just some small pointers that some may not know or think about being in your 20’s but one day we will need to figure it out. When that day comes, I’ll be here for you. Keep reading (:

 

 

Understanding “The American Dream” | Do we truly have a fair shot?

I recently watched a documentary titled “Requiem for the American Dream.” Requiem means an act or token of remembrance. This documentary opened my eyes to a lot of things that I already kind of knew but didn’t want to believe. It’s about this idea of “The American Dream” that so many American’s believe in, especially younger generations, and that sadly just doesn’t really exist anymore.

I shouldn’t say that. By definition, “The American Dream” means the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. Dreams do exist. Goals do exist. Hard work, dedication, passion, consistency and positivity will always take you to where you want to be. Opportunity is around you everywhere. You ALWAYS have the chance to change your life and bring yourself to where you want to be in your life to be. Unfortunately, some people will have a longer journey to accomplish their dreams but with enough motivation and ambition, anything is possible. Your dream should be what YOU want to do. 

Now let me ask you this, do you truly think that the definition above is true? Do you truly think that EVERY SINGLE US CITIZEN has the equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative? I honestly don’t really think so. When the idea of the “American Dream” was established it was a completely different time than what we are currently experiencing.

The term “American Dream” was apparently invented in 1931 by historian James Truslow Adams; he was referring to “That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.”

In 1931-1970’s, the majority of middle-class success was determined by hard work, labor, dedication, and motivation. People with no background had a chance to make something of themselves and be able to take care of their family comfortably. Since manufacturing and industrialization were booming during that time frame, you could literally get off the boat with absolutely nothing, find a job, work long hard hours, and make a good living for yourself. Can we still do that now? Can we make something out of nothing? Like I mentioned before, anything is possible, however, it will cost you more whether cash, time, energy, or passion. It is not as easy to achieve.

Up until the 1970’s financial success was equally correlated with production. The more productive you were, the more money you made. Simple process, right? This kept everything in balance because people who were making money were improving society through production. In 2017, this is not the case.

In 2017, the mass amount of wealth earned in America is on Wall St., in politics, and in Hollywood. This country has turned away from being productive, moving all of our manufacturing and industrialization overseas. This, in turn, takes salaries & jobs away from the middle class and gives that surplus of cash to corporations and Wall St. It’s bizarre to me how we have gotten to this point and think where we are headed into the future.

So what do we do about this? Let’s put our heads together and figure it out.

Watch the video and let me know what you think.

Selling Your Home in ANY Season

four-seasons-layered-cropped

The general idea is that the late spring is the best time to sell your home. Actually, according to the Huffington Post, Zillow just did a recent study and concluded that homes sold from May 1 to May 15 sell on average 18.5 days sooner sold for 1% higher compared to homes not sold during this time frame. We can collectively agree that selling your home in late spring or early summer is ideal.

However, what if you need to sell your home during a different season? Here are some tips I gathered that will help you sell your home at any point in the year.

Sweet winter homeSince we live in New England, we are blessed with experiencing all four seasons, sometimes to an extreme. As I write this blog post it is currently snowing sideways, expecting 18+ inches, temperatures are in the 20’s, and it’s the middle of March. This being said, here are some tips to sell your home in the dead of winter.

  • Keep all snow and ice cleared away from walkways and stairs. Agents and buyers want to see that your home is well maintained and you definitely don’t want a potential buyer to slip and break a leg! I can almost guarantee you will not get the sale.

  • Stage the outside of your home adding to curb appeal. Try to have your decorations appeal to a wide variety of buyers. This means the big blow up Santa’s and reindeer on the of may have to stay in storage this year.

  • Let the light in by opening all shades and curtains. This makes your home look welcoming and pleasant even if there is snow outside.

  • Keep it warm. You want buyers to walk into your home and feel comfortable. You want to make them feel like they could take their coat off and stay a while, considering they are contemplating living there.

home_with_cherry_tree_blooming_in_frontAs we mentioned, spring is the probably the best time possible to sell your home. Here are some simple things you can do to make your home more appealing to buyers.

 

  • Yard work is key. Although it isn’t ideal especially if you are moving because you don’t want to maintain the yard anymore. Cut the grass, make it green, clean up the shrubs. Curb appeal is HUGE to buyers.

  • Do some spring cleaning. Clean up windows and corners you may have neglected the last few months. A sparkling clean home will impress new buyers and you won’t have so much to clean once you sell.

  • Bring spring indoors. Cut fresh flowers like tulips and daisies and add a nice vase on the table or in the kitchen to bring in that fresh spring air.

  • Add color to your space. Bright colors are appealing to people in the spring time. We just spent all winter looking at browns and whites and we are ready to experience some color again! Add some colorful throw pillows and towels to make your home pop with color.

 

Home TourWhen selling in the summer, you want to appeal to what people want/ like to do in the summer. Be outside.

  • Play up the outdoor seating area. Clean up your deck or patio and add some nice outdoor furniture and decorations to get buyers to envision themselves there on warm summer nights.

  • Keep the air flowing. If you don’t have the luxury of central air, use ceiling fans to help circulate the air with windows wide open. You want to avoid hot, stagnant air that may make buyers feel uncomfortable. Try to avoid noisy window fans, standing fans, and window AC units.

  • Mow the lawn twice a week. This may seem excessive but grass grows quickly in the summer and you never know when you will have a potential buyer stopping by for a showing or driving by to check out the curb appeal. Stay on top of your outdoor appearance.

    Energy Certificate conceptIf you’re trying to sell in the fall or if your listing doesn’t sell in the summer and is being carried over to fall, here are some tips to make sure you sell before winter.

  • Update pictures. If your pictures are from the summer but leaves are changing and the overall curb appeal is different, make sure your reflect that in your listing.

  • Clean up the yard. Although fall clean up is a tedious and grueling task, it must be done. As mentioned before, buyers want to know that you are caring for and maintaining your home and if your yard is racked it’s a good indication that the rest of the home is well cared for as well.

  • Check the HVAC. You want to make sure that your home has fresh clean air circulating. When was the last time you changed your furnace filter? If you do need to turn the heat on for a crisp fall day, you want to make sure there aren’t any unpleasant smells coming from the vents.

  • Accent your home with fall colors. Like adding spring colors to your home in the spring, fall colors are comforting. They make buyers feel good in your home and help them visualize their life in your home.

 

Contact me for any tips on when and how to sell your home. Hope this was helpful!