Downsizing and Rightsizing

Down Sizing vs. Right Sizing – Making more space – How to Let Go of Unwanted Things You’ve Inherited


Down Sizing vs. Right Sizing – Making more space – How to Let Go of Unwanted Things You’ve Inherited

Reposted from RealtyTimes

Whether you’ve inherited a large collection of items or a single bulky piece of furniture, it’s OK to let it go if you don’t need or want it.

A dear friend of mine recently inherited a large collection of books. And by large, I mean over 1,000, many of them the bulky hardcover variety. He was, of course, touched by the gift – from a longtime mentor and fellow avid reader – but feels overwhelmed by the sheer size of the collection because he’s downsizing his own home. When anyone suggests that he perhaps cull the collection a bit, he feels guilty, as if that would dishonor the memory of his friend.

This reminded me of past clients who insisted that we work around a big, bulky piece of furniture they didn’t especially like or use, but felt obligated to keep because it was a gift from a loved one.

My father-in-law is fond of pointing out that when a funeral procession goes by, you never see a moving truck or armored car full of cash as part of the procession. In other words, you can’t take this stuff with you when you go. So I say that instead of putting emotional energy into things, why not redirect it and instead cherish our thoughts and memories of those we’ve lost?



Several years ago, I unexpectedly lost a favorite uncle and, soon after that, my grandmother, followed by my grandfather. I adored these three immensely and felt much grief upon losing them, especially within such a short span of time. What helped me most in dealing with the loss was to sift through old photos and find one that perfectly captured each of them and their fun personalities. I keep those framed photos on display in my home, and whenever I walk by and glimpse their images, I’m reminded of them and, no matter what my current mood, they make me smile.

Personally speaking, after I’m gone, I’d rather that my surviving family and friends keep a photo of me around to occasionally remember our good times together than feel saddled with my stuff.

I should point out that I’d never advocate getting rid of items that have sentimental or historical value to you or your family. By all means, keep the pieces you hold dear. But if you don’t want the items and are looking to lighten your load, you have options for dealing with them.



1. Keep one or two (or a few). If you, like my friend, are gifted a large collection of items, perhaps hang on to a small number and give away the rest. I encouraged my friend to keep the books that are most interesting to him, or that most remind him of his friend, and then donate the remainder. I think this honors the memory of his friend without creating a burden for my friend.

If the inherited item is something like a large dining room set, perhaps keep one chair as a reminder of the person you lost and then find a good home for the other pieces.



2. Keep but modify it. Let’s say you’re given a large dining room set that you could use in your own home, except that some pieces are in rough shape or the style doesn’t quite work with your decor. Instead of tossing or donating the set, you may be able to restore or update it with some elbow grease and a new stain or paint job. Or perhaps all it needs is new upholstery. Don’t be afraid to modify an item to make it work for you.

Of course, I wouldn’t recommend doing this if the item is an antique or otherwise has value being kept in its original condition.

3. Donate it. If you simply can’t use or don’t want the item, give it to someone who can use it and will appreciate it. That large and dated dining set may not work in your house, but I guarantee that there’s a family out there who would love, use and cherish such a set. I think that’s a pretty great way to honor the deceased. Rather than the item sitting unused and collecting dust in your storage unit – and you feeling guilt or resentment about it – someone who can’t otherwise afford to purchase such an item gets to have and use it.


4. Sell it. I believe that if someone gives or leaves an item to you, it’s yours to do with as you wish. If it’s something you can’t use or don’t want to keep, and it has monetary value, go ahead and sell it. Before selling it to the highest bidder, though, you may want to see if a friend or family member of the deceased wants to buy or trade for it.

If it doesn’t sit well with you to profit from the transaction, you can always donate the item – or the money you make selling it – to a cause championed by you or your loved one.

Your turn: Do you think it’s OK to get rid of inherited items? How have you handled this sensitive situation?


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Relaxing on a Beach

25 places to buy a vacation home on a budget

25 places to buy a vacation home on a budget

Reposted form USA Today

you’re dreaming of a vacation home but also have a budget to manage, there’s some great news for you. Throughout the U.S., there are plenty of places where a vacation home can be accessible and budget friendly. If you can afford it, these locations are definitely worth looking into for a summer vacation home. Remember, when buying any house your credit plays a huge role. 

Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of ATTOM Data Solutions, leading provider for real estate data, calculated the best places to buy a vacation home for 2017. Variables include median sales prices, crime, five-year home appreciation, average summer temperature and the percentage of good air quality days. Here are some of the best and most affordable areas to buy summer vacation homes.

Best places to buy a summer vacation home

25. Venice, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $225,000

5-year home appreciation: 67%

24. Sun City Center, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $154,000

5-year home appreciation: 86%

23. Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $450,000

5-year home appreciation: 76%

22. Kissimmee, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $174,000

5-year home appreciation:  87%

21. North Fort Myers, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $180,000

5-year home appreciation:  93%

20. Sun City, Ariz.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $151,425

5-year home appreciation:  81%

19. Palm Coast, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $178,000

5-year home appreciation:   59%

18. Lake Placid, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $125,000

5-year home appreciation:  56%

17. Jackson, Ga.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $120,000

5-year home appreciation: 56%

16. Green Valley, Ariz.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $149,900

5-year home appreciation:  20%

15. Medford, Ore.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $238,450

5-year home appreciation: 62%

14. Berlin, Md.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $206,600

5-year home appreciation:  9%

13. North Port, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $175,000

5-year home appreciation:  90%

12. Fort Pierce, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $144,000

5-year home appreciation:  100%

11. Satellite Beach, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $253,000

5-year home appreciation: 49%

10. Cape Coral, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $205,000

5-year home appreciation: 82%

9. Beverly Hills, Fla.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $80,900

5-year home appreciation: 50%

8. Ocean City, Md.

YTD 2017 median  sale prices: $230,000

5-year home appreciation:  0%

7. Delray Beach, Fla.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $175,000

5-year home appreciation: 123%

6. Deerfield Beach, Fla.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $140,000

5-year home appreciation:  109%

5. Weaverville, N.C.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $265,000

5-year home appreciation:  33%

4. Asheville, N.C.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $259,500

5-year home appreciation:  40%

3. Port Charlotte, Fla.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $150,500

5-year home appreciation:  115%

2. Waynesville, N.C.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $195,000

5-year home appreciation:  30%

1. Crossville, Tenn.

YTD 2017 median sale prices: $87,500

5-year home appreciation:  34%


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Your Resistance to Change When Buying or Selling Your Home

Your Resistance to Change When Buying or Selling Your Home

Resistance to change is common for buyers and sellers. This may seem surprising since both buying and selling mean seeking out a move with many related changes, but resistance is common none the less.

Buying and selling real estate involve many complex decisions packed full of real estate terminology, all of which are new territory for most buyers and sellers.

Add the pressure of time-sensitive decisions and the stress of dealing with huge amounts of money (much of it borrowed) and most buyers and sellers are way out of their comfort zones.

Does resistance in buyers and sellers make more sense now?

Too often, making no decision or a “no” decision may seem less stressful for buyers or sellers than agreeing to the significant changes related to entering into a real estate transaction. Fear of making the wrong decision can result in resistance and indecision which could cost thousands:

  • Sellers who receive their first offer — especially very soon after the house is listed — may worry they are selling too cheaply. Resistance can lead to the seller wanting “to wait and see” if a higher offer will appear. Sellers may second guess their decision to sell. Resulting stubbornness can materialize as illogical resistance to offer price, move-in date, or to giving up light fixtures or other items a buyer includes in their offer to purchase.
  • Buyers who have seen a property which meets their wish list must-haves, may still be resistant to making an offer, especially if it’s their first offer or one of the first houses they view. Resistance leads to wanting “to see more houses” as if there’s a magic number of viewings before a dream house appears. Resistance may also materialize as stubborn refusal to increase their offered purchase price for a seemingly-ideal property a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to meet the sellers half way. Buyers have been know to walk away from deals if the appliances, lighting fixtures, or other “must haves” they ask for in the offer are denied them by the seller. Ask your real estate professional about their experience with deal-breaking battles over furnishings and details.

Resistance is common under stress, even the best stress.

Real estate professionals will do their best to help buyers and sellers face their fears and overcome their resistance. Closing or decision-making techniques can help buyers or sellers realize where true value lies for them. In the hands of trained, ethical professionals, closing techniques can be communication and decision-making aids. (Caution: Unscrupulous individuals can use these simple exercises to manipulate or mislead — care is essential!)

For instance, one closing technique involves reducing a small disputed difference in purchase price like $1500 to its cost per day over a year. In this case, $1500 is $4.11 a day. Compare that amount to common purchases like a cup of coffee to put the financial decision in perspective. Or, relating that dollar difference to the cost per month on the mortgage payment, rather than cash out of hand, may also help.

Resistance leads individuals to “I’d like to sleep on it” reactions. It’s not that they expect to win the Lottery overnight. This stress-related stall provides mental breathing room but unless issues are addressed, clear thinking does not automatically result. The problem is usually lack of confidence in decision making, not in the property.

Unfortunately, in real estate, delays can cost buyers a “dream” property or sellers a dream offer. Decisive buyers and sellers will snap up opportunities while others hesitate.

When experiencing resistance, ask yourself why you’re having this reaction to put these feelings in perspective. Often the bigger the decision or resulting change, the greater the resistance:

  • What are you being asked to let go of or to release?
  • What must you face in its place?
  • How real are related fears?
  • How real are perceived benefits of proceeding with the transaction?

Enlist the expertise of your real estate professional in assessing the true benefits and weaknesses of the decision to buy or sell a specific property. Question their responses. Ask for market statistics and analysis of area trends.

  • Spend equal time and energy analyzing what is gained by not buying or selling the real estate in question. How special is this property anyway?
  • How much of the hesitation is related to uncertainty in your personal life or relationship? Is this really the best time to buy or sell? Don’t just ask these questions. Get to work and decisively tease out answers.

Usually, this deep, clear thinking reveals the true value of benefits and gains in taking the plunge to buy or sell.

More than one experienced real estate professional has suggested the 51% rule can make sense when homes are involved. That is, “more sure” than “not sure,” with slight but exhilarating uncertainty regarding the adventure ahead. That’s real estate ownership.

Written by PJ Wade

Reposted from RealtyTimes


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Home Just listed

The Critical First Two Weeks of Marketing Your Home For Sale in Hunterdon and Somerset County

The Critical First Two Weeks of Marketing Your Home For Sale in Hunterdon and Somerset County

Brokers share their listings with other brokers in the multiple listing service (MLS) under certain rules of cooperation and compensation. One of the rules of cooperation is that each broker and agent make a new listing available to other MLS members within 24 or 48 hours of signing the listing agreement with the seller.

This is to give you, the seller, the greatest chance of selling your home during the first two weeks of marketing. This critical two-week period is your best opportunity to sell your home.

Several key events happen quickly:

1. Your home will be entered into the MLS showing system with your showing instructions, so that other agents can bring their buyers to see your home. While your listing is being prepared for marketing, your agent will contact his or her buyers and inform colleagues of the new listing.

2. Other data such as mapping, satellite image, neighborhood information, tax roll data, school information and other data will be added to your listing so that buyers can get the full picture of what it’s like to live in your home.

3. Your agent will either take photos, or schedule a videographer to help market your home with photos and video. This enables buyers to walk through your home and property virtually, so they can choose or eliminate your home when deciding which home to buy.

4. Your agent may create virtual or printed “feature” sheets that showcase your home’s features to advantage, so buyers can remember it was your home they liked best when it’s time to do side-by-side comparisons.

5. Your agent will schedule your home on the MLS tour for other agents to see, and ask for feedback. The agents who see your home in person are important, as they will be able to report your home’s features and condition to their buyers. Homes in top move-in-ready condition sell faster and for more money.

6. Your agent will distribute your listing data to his or her website or blog, accounts such as Twitter or Instagram, the broker’s website, and third-party sites like, Zillow, or Trulia.

7. Your agent will put a sign in your yard announcing your home is for sale.

8. Your agent may advertise your home in a number of places, including the local newspaper and homes magazines. Your agent may also put your home in their personal marketing tools such as e-magazines, newsletters, or email alerts to prospective buyers.

Anyone who is interested in homes in your price range and area will know your home is available for sale within the first two weeks of marketing.

If you don’t get many showings or offers, chances are good that your home may be facing stiff competition from other homes on the market. They are in a better location, or superior condition or they’re priced more aggressively.

If you don’t have showings within two weeks of listing your home, consult your agent. Perhaps you can do a little more to spruce up your home’s curb appeal, or perhaps stage the interior to better advantage.

Give your home a little more time before you adjust the price. You may be in a buyer’s market with many homes for sale. If so, buyers need more time to sort through the homes on the market.

You don’t want to take chances when marketing your home. Your best chance of selling your home is when it’s new to the market and exciting to buyers. Don’t lose your advantage by overpricing or underpreparing your home for market.

Reposted from:
Written by Realty Times Staff
June 30, 2017 


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Buying a Home

75% of Homeowners Think Now is a Good Time to Sell in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties !!!

75% of Homeowners Think Now is a Good Time to Sell in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties !!!


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released the findings of their Q2 Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. The report covers core topics like, “if now is a good time to buy or sell a home, the perception of home price changes, perceived ability to qualify for a mortgage, and [an] outlook on the U.S. economy.”

The survey revealed that 75% of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, compared to 70% last quarter. This is a considerable increase from more than a year ago when 66% agreed.

Even though homeowners believe that now is a good time to sell, many have not taken the step to list their homes, as inventory shortages still exist across the country. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say:

“There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy…

As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”

Bottom Line

If you are wondering if now is a good time to sell your house, let’s get together to discuss the opportunities available in our market.


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