Sunday, January 24, 2010

Top Ten Tips for Getting Unstuck

1. Clean up some clutter!
Dump out the kitchen junk drawer and only put back what you need and toss the rest. Get rid of all the books you've already read and give them to friends to tidy up your bookcases. Clean out your inbox on your desk. Organize your closet. Pick one area of clutter and get it sorted! According the ancient principles of feng shui, clutter represents stuck energy, so if you are stuck, this is a sure-fire way to get moving again.
2. Get rid of 10 items in your house you no longer need or use.
Toss the meat tenderizer in your kitchen utensils drawer if you haven't used it. Get rid of old mugs, books, clothes that are clogging up your life. You are creating the space for new things and opportunities to come into your life.

3. Make a small change in one area of your life.
If you want to make a big change (new career, new relationship), but can't seem to do it, start with some small changes that you can do. Eat at a different restaurant than the one you usually choose. Or order something you've never tried at your old favorite restaurant. Drive or walk to work on a different route. If you eat lunch out, pack lunch. Start making small changes and that will help create the momentum for the bigger changes.

4. Get rid of or handle one to three things that you are currently putting up with or tolerating.
Fix that tear in your bathroom robe. Replace the glass in a broken window. Everything we tolerate drains our energy, making it hard to move forward to our bigger goals.

5. Get a massage.
Loosening up the body helps to loosen up the mind.

6. Spend some time in nature.
Even if it to lie under a tree in the local park or to spend some time gazing at the stars. Nature has a way of putting things in perspective.

7. Do one thing you've been putting off or postponing for a long time.
Get the dental appointment booked or your eyes checked. Fix the leaky sink. Write an old friend a long letter.

8. Hire a professional cleaning service to come in and give your house a spring cleaning from top to bottom.
This will literally shake the cobwebs off you!

9. Write a list of the 7 negative or over-influencers in your life.
Eg. 1. My boss micromanages me and it drives me crazy. 2. I watch too much TV. ...

10. Take a bath or shower.
Water has a way of stimulating our creativity and you may come up with a new way of looking at things/handling things.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2010 Attitude is Everything

The dictionary defines attitude as a manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind.

How has your attitude been lately? In a recent manager's meeting at Chinowth & Cohen Realtors, we discussed our impression of the upcoming year and agreed "Attitude is Everything." As managers, we are supposed to guide, motivate, empathize, and problem solve for our Associates. In order to do this effectively, a positive attitude is a must. That's why as a group we agreed to follow these principles throughout the year and cultivate the best attitude we could:

MY Attitude..... is Everything!

My Attitude is super fantastic!

I will not let anyone steal my joy.

I will overcome, overpower, and overturn all obstacles.

I will not let anyone or anything impact my positive attitude.

I will look further than my vision, because I walk by faith, not by sight.

I will dream big dreams.

I will move with a sense of urgency and stay committed to my goals.

I will check and re-check, balance and counter balance, measure and be measured to the highest standard of excellence.

I will not give up, give in, or give place to the fear of defeat.

I will never forget who I am, why I am here, and where I am going.

I realize this day, this moment, I control my destiny.

I choose to have a positive attitude.

I will remember, "My Everything!"

from Harrell Performance Systems

Here are a few quotes on Attitude worth remembering:

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes. ~William James

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold. ~Maurice Setter

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. ~Helen Keller

In 2010 resolve to keep your attitude on the positive side. It certainly can't hurt!!!

Today's Announcement from HUD Secretary

Todays Announcements
This was posted January 20, 2010 by David H Stevens, Secretary of the United States Dept. of HUD on Active Rain, a national real estate network, of which I am a member. This office oversees the FHA programs for Single & Multi-Family housing; HUD's Healthcare programs (insurance for hospitals & nursing homes); manages regulatory policy for RESPA, Manufactured Housing, & SAFE.
[Re-blogged with permission, January 21, 2010.]

Via David H Stevens (United States Dept. of HUD):
Today I will be announcing a series of changes to FHA that will affect some of you. As you read about them, please note a few key points.

FHA fell below is legislated requirement to have 2% in excess capital for reserves above and beyond forcasted losses. Being below this 2% requires me, by law, to make changes to get the funds reserves back over 2%. Virtually all of the losses are from 2006, 2007, and 2008 book years. These are the worst years in the housing crisis from an origination standpoint and they contained programs like the SFDPA (seller funded downpayment assistance) that have extremely high default rates.

The changes announced today will get the reserves up and put in place some controls to protect the fund and FHA for the long term, while making sure not to overly, adversely, impact this housing market at a critical time.

You can read about these in any major newpaper today or perhaps tomorrow, but please understand that these are necessary to keep FHA functioning. Without some tightening, we would be under extreme scrutiny and the lack of fiscal soundness could threaten FHA for the long term.

The housing market is slowly coming back to life in many markets across the country. Let's keep working at making this american dream of homeownership be part of a safe and responsible system for the long term.

Thanks for listening and for being a professional in this industry - it's why I post here in active rain - this place is filled with real pros.

Lori is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa area, including midtown Tulsa, downtown Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Bixby, Sand Spring and Jenks, Oklahoma. Please visit Lori's web site, or call 918-852-5036.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Tis' the Season to be Freezin'!

A homeowner's worst nightmare...

You get up on a cold winter morning, go in to turn on the shower, and...nothing. No water. Your water pipes are frozen - what you do next can mean the difference between a nuisance and thousands of dollars in repairs and cleanup.

The problem isn't that pipes freeze, it's how pipes freeze.

First off, ice doesn't burst pipes. As ice forms on the inner walls of a water pipe it takes up space and causes a spike in water pressure. It's the elevated water pressure that actually causes the damage. Don't worry, the rest of the water lines can usually accomodate this slight increase in water pressure, unless...

The situation changes dramatically once a section of pipe freezes solid. When this occurs a section of pipe is isolated and experiences a rapid and extreme increase in water pressure. As the ice plug expands, the pressure gets higher and higher until the point of failure is reached.

The pipe failure almost always occurs downstream of the ice plug. The water line downstream of the plug, between the plug and fixture, becomes a closed system. The water line upstream of the plug, between the plug and water meter, can typically still accomodate the excess water pressure.

The pipe failure may occur in the heated part of the home. Because the entire isolated portion of the plumbing system is under the same pressure, the failure occurs at the weakest point, not necessarily at the coldest point.

How do I prevent freeze damage?

-Insulate pipes in attics and crawlspaces (especially copper pipes).
-Install insulating covers on exterior faucets.
-Close crawlspace vents during a hard freeze.
-Provide pressure relief.

Since freeze damage is caused by excessive water pressure, a simple way to prevent damage would be to install some type of pressure relief valve system. There are several high-tech approaches being researched, like modified faucet washers, special pressure relief valves and expansion chambers.

While technology is all well and good, a simple, easy and cheap (free) solution already exists...

Many homeowners inadvertently create a crude pressure relief valve when they leave a faucet dripping. Although the intention is to prevent the pipes from freezing in the first place, the dripping faucet serves as a pressure relief valve, preventing damage even if the pipe does freeze up.

Warning! The biggest mistake a homeowner can make upon noticing freeze blockage is to close the faucet! Closing the faucet confines the water, allowing for the pressure increase that bursts pipes. As long as the faucet remains open, the likelihood of bursting is remote.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

'Skinniest House' Sells for $2.1 million

A property dubbed New York City’s skinniest house sold recently for $2.1 million.

The two-story Greenwich Village property is 9.5 feet wide and 42 feet long and has two bedrooms and two baths.

The townhouse was listed last August for $2.7 million by Alex Nicholas, senior vice president of the Corcoran Group. It last sold in 2000 for $1.6 million. It is now for rent for $10,000 per month.

Source: The Associated Press (01/13/2010)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Update, clean and improve, but don't OVERBUILD for your neighborhood!

Update, clean and improve, but don't OVERBUILD for your neighborhood!

Many times home sellers cringe when I begin listing what I recommend they do to prepare their home for sale. However, I almost had to “lasso” the home Seller I met with last week. He wanted to build an addition, add a bathroom, plus completely remodel the existing home.

Do not overbuild for your neighborhood if your current or ultimate goal is resale. It does no good to have a $175,000 home in a neighborhood with an average sales price of $120,000.

We struggled, discussed and compromised and finally came up with a list of improvements:

  • Fresh interior paint
  • Updated light fixtures
  • Closet addition to 2nd living area that could be used as bedroom, den or office
  • New appliances
  • Refinished hardwoods
  • Basic repairs
  • Minimal landscaping
This home is likely to be purchased by a first-time homebuyer. As most Buyers, they will be impressed with a sparkling clean, move-in ready home with updated fixtures, newer appliances and no needed repairs.

It was refreshing to see a Seller so anxious to make this a perfect home for the new owners, and he was smart to consult a REALTOR familiar with the area before incurring major expenses.

If you are considering updates or a remodel, I’m happy to advise you, regardless if you are ready to sell your home in the near future or further down the road. I’m also happy to share my list of preferred vendors with you - available on my web site as a resource for current, past and future clients!

Lori Cain is a residential Realtor with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors serving the greater Tulsa Oklahoma area, including midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Bixby, Sand Springs and Jenks. Please visit Lori’s web site, or call 918-852-5036.


Winter Weather: Indoor Safety Highlights
~ Use fireplace, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space.
~ Never use a charcoal or gas grill indoors—the fumes are deadly.
~ Never leave lit candles unattended.
~ Keep as much heat as possible inside your home.
~ Check the temperature in your home often during severely cold weather.
~ Leave all water taps slightly open so they drip continuously.
~ Eat well-balanced meals to help you stay warmer.

Winter Weather: Outdoor Safety Highlights
~ Dress warmly and stay dry.
~ Wear a hat, scarf, and gloves.
~ If you have to do heavy outdoor chores, dress warmly and work slowly.
~ Avoid walking on ice or getting wet.
~ Notify friends and family where you will be before you go out.
~ Avoid traveling on ice-covered roads, overpasses, and bridges if at all possible.
~ I you are stranded, it is safest to stay in your car.
Information from the CDC online resource for Emergency Preparedness & Response.

Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Simple Solution to Searching for a Home

Did you know when you go on you have the ability to save searches based on specific areas, property types, price ranges and features? Or that you can get instant email updates when new properties matching your search criteria come onto the market? Or that you can save an unlimited number of listings on our site, create notes, schedule showing requests or send the listing to a friend via email?

You can! It's a unique feature we refer to as creating a "Portfolio." The portfolio you create is basically a mini-website on our site dedicated to you. And, it's simple to do. You can either click on a specific agent's website page and at the top you will see "Create Portfolio." Click on this and follow the steps outlined. Or, you can create a Portfolio via the front page of our site by clicking on the button in the upper left hand corner labeled "Portfolio." Again, instructions will pop up walking you step by step through the process. It's so simple!

Try it today! If you're thinking about buying a home in 2010 set up a portfolio and let do the searching for you!

South Tulsa 918-392-0900 | Mid Town Tulsa 918-392-9900 | Broken Arrow 918-259-0000 | Owasso 918-392-9990

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