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?

Go to the GR Savvy Seniors Website

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

“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.
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Sometimes It’s Less Expensive to Hire a Pro

By Laura Kelso


I don’t know about you, but I love certain commercials. Not every commercial, of course, but the ones that make us feel like superheroes. I might be sitting on the couch with a bowl of ice cream when the Home Depot announcer says, “Let’s DO THIS!” The cool music in the background, and the enthusiasm, make me start to think about what walls need to be painted.  Or maybe I should paint my kitchen cabinets!  Perhaps I should tear them all out and install new ones. Heck, I might as well do the whole kitchen.  After all, I GOT this!

If my husband had a dollar for every time I morphed from a couch potato into a “DIY warrior” he would be a rich man. The truth is, I feel a great sense of satisfaction when a project turns out the way I planned.  As a homeowner, house flipper, and real estate broker, I have also learned that the outcome does not always match my original vision.

The Correlation Between DIY and Your Home Value

 When working with prospective sellers, one of the very first things they ask is, How much is my house worth?” That is a fair question. The answer is, “It depends.” House values in any given area are determined by the price of recently sold comparable homes. While this is a complex process, for simplicity’s sake, we will just say the main criteria for comparison is size, aesthetic desirability, and mechanical updates.

Mechanical updates include things like the age of the roof, furnace, water heater, and electrical systems. When buyers are considering whether to purchase a home, they not only want to know that repairs were done correctly, but they also want PROOF. Some repairs even require permits and inspections by a township official upon completion. The Sellers Disclosure Statement specifically asks sellers to disclose if their home had “structural modifications, alterations, or repairs made without necessary permits or licensed contractors?”  So, if Uncle Henry built his own house and says he can replace your water heater for $200, should you let him? Once again, it depends.

Questions to Help You Decide

  1. Do you enjoy fixing things yourself, or is saving money your only reason to muddle through on your own?
  2. Are you good at fixing things yourself, or will you ultimately need to hire someone to “fix” what you just fixed?
  3. Are you physically able to perform this repair without putting yourself in harm’s way? Serious, even fatal falls often start with a well-intentioned look at the roof.
  4. Could an incorrect repair be dangerous to you or your family? A roof leak is one thing; a gas leak is another.
  5. Will not hiring a licensed professional effect your ability to sell your house? If you have no intention to sell in the near future- who cares! If you know you will be selling your home soon, this is an important consideration.
  6. If you are using a friend who is also a contractor, will they guarantee their work just like they would for any other client?

Use these questions as a starting point when considering the long-term benefits of doing any project yourself. If you have a critical repair you cannot afford, look for assistance resources in your area.   At the end of the day, if you have the time, talent, and drive to complete home projects on your own, grab your tools and get to work!