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Here are my top three real estate don'ts: by Tara-Nicholle Nelson, a real estate broker, attorney and the author of two critically acclaimed books on real estate. Tara also speaks and writes on the art and science of life transformation at RETHINK7.com.
1. Buy too soon. As I see it, the drive to buy a home before your finances, your family and even your personal development are truly ready (and the complicity of lenders who were all too happy to make loans to borrowers, prematurely) is to blame for much of the real estate mayhem we saw in the recent real estate recession.
If you have no money to put down, no cash cushion, poor spending, saving and debting habits, or uncertainty about how stable you and your household will be in the next five or so years, geographically and otherwise, buying a home is a move that is highly likely to end in a tale of woe.
As strongly as I believe in the power of homeownership, I have seen time and time again that it is better deferred until you are truly ready than rushed into and regretted.
2. Take it personally. Whatever it is. Buyers who get overly attached to a property, emotionally speaking, put themselves behind the eight ball when it comes to negotiations, and are also likely to panic and make bad decisions when it comes to responding to inspection reports and borrowing mortgage money.
Know that there are literally hundreds, possibly thousands, of prospective homes in your area that might fit your needs, so beware of allowing any single one to get you too worked up, before you have it in contract, have your inspection reports in hand, and have made it through appraisal and underwriting phases.
For sellers, the potential to take things personally is exponentially greater, given that your home is both your largest asset and the place that has been good enough for you and your family to live in for, perhaps, years. It's very easy to get offended by everything from the real estate agent's estimation of what your home is worth, staging and property preparation advice (which can feel like your taste and lifestyle are under attack), lowball offers, appraisals -- you name it.
The very best practice is to find and work with professionals you trust, six months or even a year in advance of when you want to make your move, then be open and attentive to their advice, even if it hurts. Do not allow your emotional attachment to your home to get in the way of the financial and personal progress you seek from trying to sell it.
3. Avoid discomfort. As a general rule, many of the best things in life require us to go through some discomfort or small, recurring pain to get them. To get fit, you have to get up and exercise when you might feel like curling up and snoozing. To get ahead in your career, you have to exercise discipline in your work habits, putting in hours and ideas even when the going gets tough.
It is no different with real estate; in fact, the nature of the real estate game is so foreign to what most of us consider our zones of comfort and competence that making a series of informed, smart real estate decisions can actually require a series of uncomfortable commitments, several months or even years of agreement to endure little pains to reach your goal.
Whether your personal discomfort zone is triggered by one or all of the following:
My last "don't" is this: Don't avoid any of these uncomfortable processes, practices and moments. They are each an essential element of the process of buying or selling or mortgaging a home with wisdom and long-term sustainability.
This means 20 left for shopping!!!Â
Help fulfill the Christmas wish of a local child in need while you shop. The wishes of dozens of local kids will adorn a â€œTeddy Bear Treeâ€ at Lakewood Centerâ€™s Center Court on the weekend of December 8 and 9. Shoppers are asked to stop by the tree, choose a wish and fulfill it.
Sponsored by Lakewood Center and the Rotary Club of Lakewood, each bear ornament on the tree lists the holiday gift wish of a child from a Lakewood family facing tough economic times. Without help, that child will probably go without gifts this holiday season.
Bear ornaments, along with their accompanying gift, can be returned to the Rotary booth in the Center Court on that same weekend, or be delivered to any City of Lakewood facility by Tuesday, December 11.
Rotary volunteers will help mall visitors choose a paper bear from the tree and will accept the affordable gift items returned to the booth. The gifts go to individual children registered through Project Shepherd, which is Lakewoodâ€™s homegrown charity to assist Lakewood families in need.
The Teddy Bear Tree program is part of Project Shepherd, which is operated by the Rotary Club of Lakewood and the City of Lakewood. Rotaryâ€™s efforts carry on a Lakewood Project Shepherd tradition. Since 1995 kids have hung their holiday gift wishes on Teddy Bear Trees in the hopes of having them filled by an anonymous â€œSanta.â€
Additional Teddy Bear Trees can be found at most City of Lakewood facilities and a variety of Lakewood businesses. For more information about Projects Shepherd, call 562-925-7512, or visit www.lakewoodcity.org/ProjectShepherd.
Center has several holiday events underway: Holiday Canned Food
Drive, Photos with Santa, Adopt and Shop â€œSanta Pawsâ€ pet photo
sessions with Santa, the CHIPS4Kids Toy Drive and more. Check out their website for additional information.
Holiday Canned Food Drive
Help families in need this holiday by donating items that will benefit families in our community. Drop off can goods items at Guest Services through December 11. All donations will go to support Project Shepherd.
Photos with Santa
The mallâ€™s Center Court features a chance to visit Santa and create a lasting memory with a photo with Santa! Each child will receive a free gift with each visit. Hours: Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Christmas Eve schedule: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Adopt and Shop â€œSanta Pawsâ€ pet photo sessions with Santa
Three Tuesdays: November 27, December 4 and 11, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Photos with Santa arenâ€™t just for kids anymore! Bring your furry friend for special photo nights with Santa and receive a free goodie bag from Adopt & Shop!
CHIPS4Kids Toy Drive
The California Highway Patrol helps local kids in need each holiday. You can help by donating a new unwrapped toy that will go to local kids that could potentially not have toys this holiday if not for your help. Bring toys to the Lakewood Center Guest Services office located in the Center Court (near Macyâ€™s).
As the December holiday season quickly approaches, we are reminded of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. Over 2,000 individuals living in Lakewood, many of them children and seniors will not be able to enjoy the holidays without the food, gifts and toys that many of us take for granted.
Project Shepherd is a combined effort of the Rotary Club of Lakewood and the City of Lakewood. It is entering into its 40th year of community service, makes the December holidays a bit more comfortable for those who are low income or unemployed. Since 1973, Project Shepherd has brought the gift of Lakewoodâ€™s care and concern - along with a bundle of holiday gifts - to families in Lakewood.
A Project Shepherd box of staple food items and the makings for a traditional holiday dinner come with simple gifts--a toy for a toddler, a warm sweater for a senior, or a CD for a teenager facing a bleak Christmas. Donations of food and toys are needed and can be dropped off at Lakewood City Hall and most parks and community centers.
If you would like to make a financial contribution, please send your donation to: Lakewood Project Shepherd, c/o The Rotary Club of Lakewood, 5050 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712. For more information or to find out about volunteer opportunities, please contact the Burns Community Center at 562-925-7512.
Donations can be dropped off at the Burns Community Center, 5510 Clark Avenue, are Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Closed Sunday.
Donations can be dropped off at the Palms Park Community Center, 12350 E. 207th Street, are Monday through Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Tell me what you love about Lakewood
AsÂ the holiday season approaches,
itâ€™s a perfect time to stop and reflect a bit on all
that weâ€™re fortunate to have in our lives, including
what weâ€™re grateful for right here in Lakewood. Tell me at
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Quote of the day:
Birthday Celebrations:Â You share your Birthday today with
Walt Disney & Little Richard
If you feel you are ready to start the home buying process, give me a call.Â It would be my pleasure to offer you my services and have the opportunity to serve you.Â
Lourdrie â€œLouâ€ McNameeÂ
Coldwell Banker Â Â