Clear Clutter

Only Keep what brings you joy

Are you ready to downsize but not even sure where to begin?! 

When we look around our homes to begin the process of organizing and/or downsizing, we tend to get caught up in the “what if”.

️- I better keep this just in case…..

-️ What if I need this for…

-So and so might be interested in this….

– If I lost 10 pounds and poodle skirts come back in style I would FOR SURE miss this….

-I have no use for this in the foreseeable future but I paid good money for this and I am NOT giving it away…

-If I were to just get more organized I am SURE I would start using this juicer, exercise ball, piano, fill-in-unfinished- project-here….. Old kitchenware

– I don’t really care for this,  but Grandma Beth brought this over on the Mayflower and I can’t bear to part with it….

– I will save this to sell on E-Bay, Craigslist, garage sale…….

Do any of these sound familiar?   I am sure many of us could think of other phrases and thoughts that we have heard from others,  or even from ourselves. All kidding aside, clutter tends to hold us back in multiple ways- physically, mentally, and even relationally.

First, let’s look at the definition of clutter according to the dictionary:

As a noun, it is said to be a disorderly heap or assemblage; litter; a state or condition of confusion. As a verb it means to cover or fill (something) with an untidy collection of things.

Think about this…

If you were moving to another country, what would you take with you???   Pretend for just a moment (or a day…a week…a month) that you’re de-cluttering and organizing because you’re moving someplace exotic and you only need the minimum. 🌎

We really only need the basics and the things that bring us joy- definitely a lot less than what we’ve accumulated.  So, are you ready to get started?

-Challenge yourself but keep it fun. Take a picture wearing your favorite prom dress or outfit from the 70’s. Declutter your lift

-Work in small increments of time and reward yourself often.

-Enlist a buddy.

-Make sure you take regular breaks and get fresh air.

-Take out the monetary aspect and remember that your safety and well-being are priceless.

-Allow yourself time to grieve as you feel feelings or say goodbye to items from a different time or special person.

Above all else, give yourself grace,  and remember that those we hold close,  and the experiences we share with them are way more fun than all our stuff.  ❤️❤️❤️

Ready 〰️ Set 〰️ Go!  And don’t forget to have fun! 

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Will the Housing Market Bloom This Spring?

Will the Housing Market Bloom This Spring? | MyKCM

Spring is almost here, and many are wondering what it will bring for the housing market. Even though the pandemic continues on, it’s certain to be very different from the spring we experienced at this time last year. Here’s what a few industry experts have to say about the housing market and how it will bloom this season.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economistrealtor.com:

“Despite early weakness, we expect to see new listings grow in March and April as they traditionally do heading into spring, and last year’s extraordinarily low new listings comparison point will mean year over year gains. One other potential bright spot for would-be homebuyers, new construction, which has risen at a year over year pace of 20% or more for the last few months, will provide additional for-sale inventory relief.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, Zonda:

“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021. Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed. This suggests more inventory will be for sale in late 2021 and into the spring selling season in 2022.”

Freddie Mac:

“Since reaching a low point in January, mortgage rates have risen by more than 30 basis points… However, the rise in mortgage rates over the next couple of months is likely to be more muted in comparison to the last few weeks, and we expect a strong spring sales season.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American:

“As the housing market heads into the spring home buying season, the ongoing supply and demand imbalance all but assures more house price growth…Many find it hard to believe, but housing is actually undervalued in most markets and the gap between house-buying power and sale prices indicates there’s room for further house price growth in the months to come.”

Bottom Line

The experts are very optimistic about the housing market right now. If you pressed pause on your real estate plans over the winter, let’s chat to determine how you can re-engage in the homebuying process this spring.

Are we in for a repeat of 2008?

Are we heading into a bubble? Sources say No.

While many businesses have struggled throughout 2020, the Real Estate industry has continued to see rising home values and record sales.  Families who hunkered down together had lots of time to contemplate whether or not their current home still served their needs.  Many decided it was time to make a change.
With homes receiving multiple offers and buyers scrambling to make quick decisions, prices increased over 10% in most areas.  With no apparent end in sight, these conditions look eerily like those that preceded the market crash in 2008.  Here are the reasons that make this time different.
1.     The demand for homes is far exceeding the supply. 
Prices for all items are driven by the laws of supply and demand.  Real Estate is no exception. When homes are scarce, the prices will rise creating what we call a Sellers’ Market. Unlike items that are manufactured, you cannot just “make more widgets”.  Inventory must be built up gradually by more builders building, or more sellers selling.  In 2008, home values continued to rise despite close to 12 months of available inventory.  Our current inventory is at an all-time low of only 1 – 2 months of inventory.  This situation causes prices to rise naturally.
2.        Lenders have raised the criteria for getting a mortgage. 
Prior to 2008, if you were breathing, you could generally get a mortgage.   The ease of getting a mortgage is measured by the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).   Developed by the Mortgage Bankers Association, the higher the number, the easier it is to get approved.  Around 2006 this number had skyrocketed to over 868 from a previous average of around 400.  Today’s number sits around 122 and buyers go through vigorous scrutiny before receiving their final “Clear to Close.”
3.       Today’s Homeowners maintain a strong equity position.
The fallacy that homes always increase in value, previously led homeowners to treat their homes like a bank account and pull out money for items that did not increase the value of their home.  The truth is, real estate IS cyclical, and values CAN go down.  This usually happens in 7–10-year cycles. Today’s homeowners are better prepared.  Close to 40% of homeowners own their homes free and clear, and many more are classified as equity-rich, owing less than 50% of their home’s estimated market value.
What does this mean for anyone thinking of buying and selling?
While we see no significant market correction looming soon, most homeowners are in a better position for any market fluctuations that may occur in the near future.  Sellers continue to see quick sales, few repair requests, and record profits. Buyers are challenged to find homes, but those who persevere find that historic low mortgage rates still make this a great time to buy.  Without a crystal ball, no one knows just how long these good times will last.  Contact me today if you would like to know the true value of your home, or have any other market-related questions I can answer.
Nice White house

When is the Best Time to Start Thinking About a Future Move?

By Laura Kelso

I hear this question often.   With many Americans reaching retirement age, the decision of whether to remain in the family home is one of significant debate. The answer is complicated and can only be found by asking more questions.

More than 75% of Americans over 50 desire to stay in their current home.1  The reality, however, is that a much larger number of adults end up moving at some point.  Planning NOW for a future move that may never happen is a wise choice.  Here is why.

The Reality Gap 

I like to think of this as more of an “optimist gap” vs. a “reality gap.”   My children understand this explicitly. Each time I tell them, “I’ll be done working in 5 minutes,” or “this project is going to be a piece of cake,” I am not purposely trying to lie to them.  When I say it, I honestly believe it to be the truth. Every. Single. Time. I think this is the same for many older adults.  The homes they live in have served them well for decades.  They rocked babies there, doled out advice to growing children, and hosted numerous holidays.  It is the essence of comfort.  The question then becomes, “Is Aging in Place a realistic option for ME?”

Questions To Ask

  1. Do I still really love living in my home, or just the idea of it? Do I have children, neighbors, or friends close by who could assist in the case of an emergency?
  2. How does my spouse feel? Often one spouse is ready to move, and the other is not.
  3. Is the layout of my home conducive to aging in place? Necessities such as a full bath and laundry on the main level and the ability to accommodate a walker or wheelchair are imperative to safe living.
  4. If my home does not currently have those things, is it possible to renovate? If so, are the changes economically feasible?
  5. Am I caring for my home the same way I have in the past? Are there expensive repairs such as a new roof or furnace that I have been putting off? What could happen if I continue to procrastinate?
  6. Am I keeping up with routine maintenance? Do I enjoy fixing things and keeping up my garden, or has it become a burden? If so, can I hire someone?
  7. How do my kids feel? While this is not the MOST important question to ask, it is a legitimate one. If I had to move or passed unexpectedly, am I leaving others with a mess?
Planning for a future move you may never need to make will reduce your stress today.
Planning for a future move you may never need to make will reduce your stress today.

What To Do Now

  1. Learn your options. Smaller home, a condo, senior community? Current city or somewhere new?
  2. Know your numbers. Qualified realtors, senior housing advisors, and financial advisors can help you evaluate your financial plan.
  3. Know lead times. Houses take time to prep and sell. Some communities have long waiting lists. Be realistic and plan accordingly.
  4. Make a tentative plan. A real estate plan is like insurance.  You may never need to use it, but not having one can be devastating.
  5. Organize your paperwork. Wills, trusts, surveys, loan numbers, and insurance details are often needed and may require an update before closing.
  6. Understand real estate. Markets fluctuate every 7-10 years and have now been strong for over five years. If delaying a move puts you at risk to enter a market where your home might take months or years to sell (remember 2008?), does that affect your plan today?

These questions and ideas just scratch the surface. They are a great place to start discussions with your spouse or friends or to contemplate quietly.   If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life can change in an instant.  Developing a plan for an uncertain future can lessen stress and help you enjoy today.

 

  1. AARP article, Oct 2018