Welcome to our blog!

The smart side & heart side of real estate

Silicon Valley Real Estate News, Market Trends...having an investor mindset & a look at what makes a house a home.

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics, property investing, and home values to community happenings. In Silicon Valley many people are concerned about making it financially - our focus is to encourage an investor mindset, even for residential real estate, at the same time we cover what truly makes a house a home.

That’s because we care about the community, your Silicon Valley experience, and want to help you find your place in it.

We also have a little bit of fun here! Our team lead Kelsey Lane has been in real estate 17 years, and this is a forum not only for new clients, yet also for friends, family and the many clients and vendors who have become like friends and family.

Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 16, 2021

What I Think the Market is Actually Doing

Photo of a wood model house next to calculator and money. Kelsey Lane What I think the Market is Actually Doing

 

Written by Kelsey Lane

Lately, armchair real estate analysts like to say "everyone is moving out of the Bay Area" and "I wonder what that will do to prices." While to some extent it's true, I wanted to share what I'm seeing on a day to day basis, while frequently showing homes to clients.

Almost every day I'm on a property tour, showing houses in various parts of the Bay Area. Over the last 6 months or so I've noticed some consistent trends and thought I'd share my birds-eye view.

 

1) The trend to have a home of one's own. With the pandemic creating an out-of-sorts, out-of-control feeling for many people, some find that buying a home is one thing they *can* control. The logic is also that with staying at home more, buying a place that is better than what they are renting makes rational sense. Even people who already own a home are finding some solace in knowing that making a move is something within their power, in a currently powerless-feeling world.

 

2) The trend to have an outdoor space. People who live in apartments with no balcony are buying condos with balconies or townhouses with patios. People who currently own townhouses with patios are buying homes with yards. Everyone wants just a little bit more outdoor space, to create more lifestyle options during a season when the prized outdoor footprint creates some notion of safety, not to mention enjoyability.

 

3) The trend to move somewhere less expensive. The news does seem to cover the exodus from Bay Area to other states, but locally the same concept holds true within California, and even within the Bay Area. Most home shoppers are on the lookout for a variety of areas and options that would give them a larger home, with a larger yard, for less monthly output. For example, a Sunnyvale-ite may decide to move to Fremont, or a Palo Alto-an may decide to move to Livermore. Any give house hunter might be looking in Pleasanton, Morgan Hill, and Berkeley, exploring all their desirable options that make financial sense.

 

4) The trend to make decisions now and deal with ramifications later. Whenever I ask clients what they'll do about commute after the pandemic blows over, I almost always hear the same response. Clients are making decisions now for where they want to live, regardless of where their company is located for the most part. There is a high degree of confidence of continuing to work from home in the future, and that the worst case scenario is going to the office 2 days a week. People are factoring the possibility of a 2-day commute into their decision-making - other than that, they're charting their own course and figure they'll deal with upper management on the subject later. 

 

Most homes that I'm helping clients to offer on are having multiple offers - 10 to 20 offers in most cases. These offers are highly competitive, with home shoppers waiving all their contingencies, buying As Is, and going "all in" with no chance to back out. I'm not seeing a reduction in prices, but I am seeing a different distribution of prices - areas that are further out, with a bit more bang for the buck, are starting to see more of an uptick as traditionally high-priced areas are holding steady.

We're happy to help with market insights and statistics for areas you're considering, or home valuations if you are contemplating selling. Any question is welcomed.

---

Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Silicon Valley Realtor DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.

 

March 16, 2021

Bringing Spring Into Your Home

Bowl of Lemons on Kitchen Counter. Heart of the Home Brining Spring Into Your Home

Written by Jamie Price

Decorating with Color for Spring

Aww, Spring is Here!  Here Are Some Ways to Bring it Inside Your Home

 

I love the change of the seasons. Each brings something special to my home.  Nothing feels more like spring than pops of fresh color that draw the eye around the room.  

 

Ways to Sprinkle Color Around the Space That are Easy and Inexpensive

Have you ever considered having two sets of pillows that you can alternate throughout the seasons?  Switch out moody colors of autumn and winter to lighter colors for spring and summer.  Adding a nice light throw would just be the right thing to encourage you to take a quiet moment in your space with your favorite morning beverage before you get ready to embrace the day.  How about alternating drapery panels that would coordinate with the sets of pillows?

Do you have a tray on your large ottoman or coffee table that has a place for a vase of flowers that you can pick up at any farmer's market that represents colors that make YOU smile when you come into the room?  Some of my favorites are tulips, daffodils, and blue irises.  

 

Easy Kitchen Colorful Additions

Add a bowl of lemons and limes in the kitchen as a wonderful splash of color that also serves a handy purpose.  How about crisp Granny Smith apples?  A vase of your favorite flowers?  Also, consider colorful hand towels that make you happy being in the room.  

 

Declutter and Deep Clean Your Home to Get Ready For Guests

Declutter and deep clean surfaces and be sure to wash your windows so that you enjoy the view outside when you’re in the room.  

Enjoy!

---

Jamie Price is the Principal Designer at Design Compass. She consults in remodeling, interior design, and redesign for both residential and commercial projects.  

Posted in Heart of the home
Feb. 12, 2021

FAQs When Selling a Home

FAQ's When Selling a Home. House model with a sold sign.

Written by Kelsey Lane

 

FAQs When Selling a Home

 

What do I need to do to get my house ready to sell?

The more cleaning, packing, and sprucing you do in your house, the higher price you'll get. That said, if due to personal reasons you need to sell your house without doing much prep work, that's possible too... the price you get will just be lower. Most good Realtors who are full service will help you coordinate getting it ready, and help find solutions for paying for the work to be done if needed. Our team includes these services in our commission which is a typical commission for the area. The most dramatic impact you can make in getting ready is to pack 1/4 to 1/3 of your stuff and find a place to store it while you're in the moving process so your home shows to its fullest. Your Realtor can coordinate scheduling professional cleaners to come in right before you go on the market so the deep cleaning (home, carpet, windows) is fresh and sparkling when the first visitors are coming through. For sprucing and remodeling, generally basic repairs and updates are best - high end remodeling will usually only break even so there's not much point to it unless you want to enjoy it for awhile prior to selling. Anything that's broken may give buyers the impression that there are problems with the house (even if small - so these items should be addressed). Updates such as paint, lighting, and hardware can quickly bring a property into the current timeframe's trends. Our team puts together a customized list of prep items, and helps you determine a budget to maximize your sales price.

 

How long will it take to sell my house?

The average current days on market is right around 3 weeks, and of course this fluctuates. This timeframe represents days until your property gets into contract. Once in contract, expect a 21-60 day escrow in order for it to close. From the time our clients decide to sell their house, the average is 2.5 to 3 months until it's closed. This includes time for getting the home ready to go on the market.

 

Do I need to move out before I sell my house?

If you can move out before you sell, you'll get a higher price for your home. The reason is that buyers like to envision their own life and their own things in properties they become motivated to purchase. If you elect to stay in the house during the selling process, good professional staging with your furniture and belongings can certainly help. Once de-cluttered, spruced up, staged, and cleaned, here's what to expect while on the market: if you're living there, you'll need to make a list of tasks each morning to return the house to showing condition so any potential buyers will see it at its best.

 

As a seller, am I obligated to accept an offer that comes in?

No, not until you've signed and ratified a contract and then those terms apply.

 

Can I buy first before I sell my house?

Depending on your financial situation, this may be possible. In most cases, you'd need to sell first in order to buy - however, we often do concurrent closes (e.g. our clients find their new home as soon as they know they have a buyer for their current home). They're able to move from one to the other directly. Some lenders have special programs for buying first then selling. Our team helps you find a customized solution for your situation.

 

When is the best time of year to sell my house?

Late spring and summer before it gets too hot in August. Then it picks back up again mid September until before the holidays. So the short answer is late spring, early Summer, and Fall. Holidays, rainy season, and heat (and vacation season) tend to see less buyers out in the market although the ones who are tend to be highly motivated and ready to close soon.

 

How do I know how much I'll be able to get for my house?

A good Realtor will provide you with nearby comparable sales (called comps) to show recent sales prices. These will give you a good idea of what you'll be able to ask for your home, especially by looking at the level of remodeling in the interior photos.

 

How is the real estate market?

Our site has specific pages for the market's activity and update for Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Mateo County and cities such as San Jose, and Sunnyvale. These are updated monthly. If you'd like a customized report for your city and area, even zip code, please let us know and we'd enjoy preparing that for you with no obligation.

 

----

Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Bay Area Realtor DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.

 

Posted in Home selling
Feb. 2, 2021

Decluttering Your Home for Maximizing Space

Hands holding a basket of neatly folded and organized clothes. KonMari method by Marie Kondo

Written by Carla Whyte

 

Decluttering your home for maximizing your space

 

Spring cleaning season is almost upon us! And there's nothing wrong with getting a head start. Spring cleaning is such a wonderful way to breathe fresh air into your home, and release the clutter that's been weighing you down! With almost 10 years of organizing experience, I've developed my own effective process for doing this, and I've also incorporated parts of Marie Kondo's process too (author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Netflix host of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo). Kondo calls her method for helping people let go of clutter the KonMari Method.

 

After reading her book and KonMari-ing my own home with the help of another organizer, I find I agree with these certain aspects of her method:

  • First step is to discard as much as you can
  • Focus more on what you're keeping than on what you're discarding
  • Hold each item in your hand and decide whether or not it "sparks joy" for you. By doing this, we surround ourselves with items we love - beautiful decor, pictures, and clothes that fit.

Doesn't that sound wonderful? I love this idea! This actually makes it easier to let go of things. Also, while we are letting go, she asks us to thank each item for serving us well, and say goodbye to each of them. A bit silly, but what's the harm in trying something new?

During the discarding, she recommends we look at one category of items at time, and in a specific order, starting with clothing. She says to gather every piece of clothing from around the whole house into a big pile, and then focus on which pieces spark joy. I find this step can be a bit unrealistic for most of my clients while organizing, because it can be hugely overwhelming, time consuming, and few people have the stamina for it. Even I felt exhausted after each 4 or 5 hour session, and I LOVE organizing. But if you feel like giving it a try, you can decide for yourself if it's helpful.

 

The KonMari order for purging the rest of the items in your home is as follows:

  • Books
  • Papers
  • Komono (Miscellaneous)
  • Sentimental items (Memorabilia)

 

In my own experience, tackling one room or small area at a time, works great. My method is to sort items into bins labeled Donations, Trash, Recycling, and Another Room -- then I go to work organizing the items to be kept. My clients see visible progress in a short amount of time, and it keeps them from feeling overwhelmed. This keeps them motivated to keep going! A worthy endeavor -- take advantage of spring and begin your own de-clutter process today

 

---

 

Carla Whyte, Organizer and founder of Embracing Your Space, is a regular contributor to the Heart of the Home category on our blog at Kelsey Lane & Team Real Estate. Visit her website at www.EmbracingYourSpace.com

 

Posted in Heart of the home
Feb. 2, 2021

This Valentine's Day, Connect with the Seasons

Pink Heart surrounded by flowers. Symbolizing embracing nature and spring rituals during valentine's day.

Written by Nicole Kleemann, Creative Leadership Coach

 

This Valentine's Day, Connect with the Seasons

 

This February, my husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. For nearly two decades, I’ve had a special reason to connect February with romantic love. A few years ago, however, he was away traveling, so I decided to date myself and enjoy a beautiful outdoor lunch.

As I sat observing my surroundings and reminiscing about life while waiting for my food, I became aware of the cooler temperature. Without my partner by my side, I closed my eyes and allowed the chilly air to waft over me.

At that moment I was reminded that, despite all of the happy couples nearby, Valentine’s Day is not about expensive chocolates or drugstore greeting cards. It’s not even about romantic love.

 

Valentine’s Day Reminds Us That Spring is Coming

While the exact identity of St. Valentine is still up for debate, the holiday has its origins in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia and the Pagan holiday Imbolc, also known as St. Brigid’s day. The background of these origins was to mark the halfway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox. Cultures worldwide engage in similar celebrations this time of year - incorporating music, dance, food, dress and ritual to remind us that spring is right around the corner.

But these days it’s very easy to forget that. Covid has made large gatherings next to impossible. In the northern hemisphere right now days are short, sunlight is scarce, and you may be inundated by rain or snow. 

However, there is an answer if you're looking for an antidote to what feels like an endless winter.

 

Spend Valentine’s Day in Nature

Writer Katherine May explores what it means to truly be with the seasons in her excellent book, Wintering. Part memoir, part quest to understand winter’s power, May’s book is a treatise on how to use the colder months to prepare for a fresh start in spring.

But winter isn’t just about hibernation. While it might feel like nothing is growing right now, nature is fully alive in the winter months. Everything around you is growing, mating, and falling in love.

Take a walk outside, and you’ll notice the first flowers breaching the earth. In Germany, snowdrops are about to burst forth. Here in North America, crocuses may be popping up within the next few weeks. Try opening up your senses in the following ways:

  • Smell: Ask yourself what smells you associate with this time of the year, then recreate those smells inside your space. 
  • Taste: Go to the farmer’s market and buy what’s in season. Depending on where you are that might be winter greens, citrus, or root vegetables. Ask your farmer for a recommendation and suggestions on how to prepare what you buy.
  • Feeling: The most beautiful way to explore touch is to go out early in the morning. Tune into the difference between the coolness of the night and the warmth of the day.
  • Sight: Look for the first buds pushing out of the ground and the blooms starting on trees. Pay attention to the changing colors or how your regular hike is shifting as the weather changes.
  • Sound: Open your windows and listen to the birdcall. If at all possible, make your way to a body of water and listen to the waves. You can also put on music that calls to mind this time of year.

 

Celebrate the Emotional Rites of Spring

Just as the seasons clue us into physical changes we need to make – like packing up the Christmas ornaments, getting  gardening supplies out of the garage, etc – they also remind us that we need to tend to our emotional house.

In a recent meditation I gave to a group of women last month, I posed the question “What did you cherish in 2020, and how can you bring that into the new year?”

This question is worth revisiting on Valentine’s Day. Ask yourself what you want to keep and what you can afford to let go of as you move into the next season and beyond. 

 

Remember, spring cleaning isn’t just about opening the windows so you can see the dust on your furniture. It’s about letting light into every corner of your life. 

 

------

Nicole Kleemann, Leadership Empowerment Coach, is a regular guest blogger in our Heart of the Home series. She can be reached at https://www.nicolekleemann.com/ -- and other inspiring blog posts can be found there as well.

Posted in Heart of the home
Jan. 29, 2021

5 Ways to Manage Overwhelm This Year

Managing stress and overwhelm. A wooden post with three signs ready mind, body, and spirit with a cloudy and hilled background.

Written by Kavita Melwani, M.Ed.

 

5 Ways to Manage Overwhelm This Year

 

We are moving through a time with so many unknowns. As a result, letting go of expectations of yourself and from others by respecting your mental, and physical health and well-being is essential. Overwhelm and stress have become the norm for many people, although it doesn't have to be that way. Overcoming stress is possible, even during a global pandemic. Although we can’t control what is happening around us, we are in control of how we respond to our surroundings. We don't have to allow it to impact us at a deep level.  

One tangible part of managing overwhelm is learning to respond (vs. react) to physical stimulation, so that you can stay grounded. In this blog, I give you tips to do just that. 

 

These 5 ways delve into setting boundaries, and making self-care activities a part of your normal routine. Try different options from these categories and use what works for you. 

 

How to Set Boundaries 

Maybe you don't know what a boundary is or have heard this word so many times but don't know how to begin. 

Let's start with defining boundaries, simply put, a boundary is what you are willing and not willing to do.  A great place, to begin is to ask yourself "How do I want to feel this year?" First get clear on this, then brainstorm all the things you end up saying yes to. Next, decide what you want to let go of. Be clear about what you want and don't want to do. If you aren't sure, ask yourself if doing that activity will bring you the feeling you desire. If it doesn't, let it go. 

Once you are clear, communication with your loved ones is an essential part of setting boundaries. When speaking or writing to others make sure you take ownership of your feeling by using "I" statements. For instance, "I feel ____ so I won't be ______ this year." 

You are in charge of our own experience. Now that you have set your boundaries, make sure you keep them. Next, it's time for self-care, with simple strategies below. 

 

Self-care Activities: 

 

Working out regularly 

This doesn’t have to be extreme exertion. Doing right by your particular body whether through yoga, weight lifting, running, or whatever exercise is right for you will get your body moving and endorphins pumping. This is a great way to help relieve stress and anxiety which tend to be heightened during the stressful times. 

Exercise/movement also moves energy through your body. If it is hard to get started you can hire a great trainer, or even enlist a friend to take walks with you. 

We are not designed to sit all day, so move your body even if all you do is turn on music and dance. 

 

Meditation  

If meditation seems daunting, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Find a guided meditation and follow it for a few days. Start small, even 5 minutes is better than no minutes, and build your way up. A quick tip: make sure you schedule the same time of day for your meditation, and even find a consistent place for your meditation practice. This will help you get in the mode faster over time. 

 

Prioritize Sleep 

This in itself can be difficult for anyone on a regular basis, but getting the proper amount of sleep is essential for optimal health and mental well being! You should make it a priority to be getting 7-9 hours of good rest each night. Try doing a guided meditation before bed to help clear and rest your mind. 

If getting the right amount of sleep is challenging, then ask yourself why? Is it the idea that you have to work hard to be worthy? Ask yourself what gets in your way and if you are not sure, try journaling. 

 

 Journaling

Journaling is a great method to use to work past what is blocking you and any feelings that have built up and are causing you distress. Start by writing down whatever comes to mind. Allow yourself time to read over, process, and acknowledge your feelings, then release any of those thoughts or feelings that aren’t serving you and your desires. 

You can also ask yourself a question like "why can't I sleep?" and freely write the answer. 

Other great self-care activities could center around: eating healthy food, connecting with others, and taking time off. 

Most importantly, focus on any activity that brings you peace and joy (e.g. you name it: being creative, cooking, or baking, etc.).  Setting boundaries with your loved ones will help this year to be a time of joy instead of overwhelm, anxiety, and stress. 

You are worthy of setting healthy boundaries that serve you and your family. You are worthy of finding positive, creative ways of self-care that allow you to put your best self forward. 

If you need further support please reach out! I would be happy to help support you along this journey and come up with different ways you can practice self-care during this exceptional time.  

---

Kavita Melwani, M.Ed., who is a contributor to the Heart of the Home blog category from Kelsey Lane & Team Real Estate, is a certified empowerment coach and hypnotherapist with many years experience supporting HSPs (Highly Sensitive People) and Empaths. You can reach out to her at https://theenlightenedheart.as.me/claritysession

To read the full piece and other similar articles, please visit Kavita's Blog

 

 

Posted in Heart of the home
Jan. 15, 2021

Leaving Home

Home sweet home sign next to a bouquet of lavender

Written by Kelsey Lane

The Leaving of Home

 

For a year we've been staying at home at various levels, depending on our careers. The message has been to consider others and remain at home whenever possible. As Realtors, we have delved into the topic of home and love discussing what truly makes a house a home, that can be embraced.
But there will come a day, though hard to believe, when covid will be transitioning out of our lives. We'll be beckoned to rejoin society and to leave our nests. And while many of us think we want this, lately I've been pondering the totality of what this means. I feel like we'll need psychologists, therapists, and coaches to help us with re-entry. Because secretly, I wonder if we like our cocoons.
I've started to develop a plan for emotionally dealing with "going back into the real world" even though it may be six months, a year, or longer, and may happen in tiered stages.
The first part of my strategy is to start making a list about what I like about being at home. From this list, my idea is to begin narrowing my priorities of what I'd like to keep in my life. This will involve crafting a way to incorporate home and what I like about it into my schedule.
The second part of my strategy is to start making a list about what I miss from life before, what I potentially was taking for granted. It's almost like a re-bucket list of activities I'll be happy to enjoy again when able.
And finally I'll make a list of new things I'll want to do once the world begins to re-open and then fully re-opens.
By taking the time over the next upcoming months to write things down as I think of them, I believe I'll be better prepared for making the transition. My heart will always be home, of course, but I'll find the fullness of my heart's connection interacting "out there."
------
Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Silicon Valley Realtor DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.

 

Posted in Heart of the home
Jan. 15, 2021

10 Steps to Buying a Home

Written by Kelsey Lane

 

Tips for the Home Buying Process

 

Don't let anyone tell you that buying a house is easy. In fact, living in a home that is new to you is just on the other side of a precipice-flanked gorge that can seem daunting. While the house is not going to buy itself, and while you will need to expend a large amount of effort, the following nine steps outline how to bridge the gap of that gorge and make the home buying process possible. 

 

1.) Do one sweep at getting your financial house in order. It's never going to be perfect, but if you're almost done with your taxes, finish them and get them filed. If there are some credit cards that are almost paid off, pay them off. This will create less headaches later on with your lender. 

 

2.) Have exploratory conversations with a couple of loan agents. Start with your bank or credit union and get some referrals but don't let anyone pull your credit rating just yet. Eventually you'll want a pre- approval but for now just dip your toe in the water to find out the general price range of your qualification. Also have some preliminary conversations with friends who are Realtors (or referrals of friends) to let them know you're starting to look. 

 

3.) Look online at property listings. The large sites like Redfin and Zillow while not 100% accurate can give you a good idea of what's available in your range. Ultimately, your real estate agent can also set you up with a search on the MLS that gives direct alerts. 

 

4.) Make a list of 5 to 10 active listings that you're curious about online to go drive by. This can also become a weekly ritual. It's great research and legwork for being satisfied with the investment you end up making. Try not to rule out too many listings based on photographs - sometimes those that look good online don't in person and vice versa. If it meets your criteria, it's a candidate for the driving tour. 

 

5.) Tell the Realtor you chose which houses you'd like to see inside. Give them at least a day notice, if not two days, so they can look into making a dedicated appointment to view it. They'll need to arrange with owners and get specific entry codes, etc., so last-minute requests can be tough. An optional idea is to also schedule an informational zoom with your new Realtor to get their tips on the housing market and home buying process. 

 

6.) Now's a good time to get your actual preapproval. Give the loan agent you've selected an idea of the amount you'd like to be approved for so that they can maximize your resources and see if it's possible. 

 

7.) View at least 10 properties in person. If you get past 20 you may be looking at the wrong thing. From my 17 years in real estate most people look at between 10 and 20 homes before they purchase. Some get lucky and find the right fit much sooner! During this phase, make sure your Realtor sets you up on a portal with regular property alerts that also allows you to "favorite" and save certain properties. 

 

8.) If you like a home that you've visited in person, ask your Realtor to send you the disclosures and inspection reports, as well as a report of any recent nearby sales prices.  This part of the home buying process will help you feel peace of mind about the accurate value of the home. If there will be multiple offers, this may be your one chance to review inspections to feel satisfied about the condition of the property. If it has been on the market awhile and you're the only offer, you can likely take longer to kick the tires even after your offer is accepted. 

 

9.) After you read the reports and discuss with your agent, if you decide to make an offer make sure your Realtor is clear on your offer structure. They'll need to know how much you're putting down and how quickly your lender can close. Introduce them to your lender so they can work as a team. You may need to make several offers before landing a house, but you'll get better at it every time. 

 

 And the last of the 10 steps to buying a home...

 

10.) Once your offer is accepted let your Realtor continue to take the reigns as a project manager and let you know next steps. Depending on your situation, you may have a contingency period to do more due diligence, or you may not. In any case you'll be communicating regularly with your lender in order to gain final loan approval. Your Realtor and lender will be giving you action items on almost a daily basis and it's important that you follow their lead and get everything turned in that is needed. As a team, it will ensure a successful closing. 

------
Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Silicon Valley Realtor Bay Area Realtor DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.

 

Posted in Home buying
Jan. 15, 2021

The Right Dreams for 2021

A woman sitting on a mountain top looking at the sunset

Written by Manuela Pauer, Career Happiness Coach

 

Making your Dreams Come True

Have you ever wished for something and worked hard to get it, only to find out in the end that it didn’t make you as happy as you thought it would?  This has happened a few times in my life: working my way up in an unfulfilling career, moving to a new neighborhood that didn’t suit me, and even when I’ve made time to take a break from working but ended up just feeling bored… Achieving your dreams is a great thing, but how can we make sure we go for the “right” dreams – the ones that will actually make us feel happier and more fulfilled when we reach them?

Martha Beck has written an excellent article on this topic: “How Three Simple (But Powerful) Words Can Put You On The Path Of Happiness", talking about how she helped two women achieve their goals. One hoped to start a business and the other wanted a baby - only to have them end up feeling more distressed afterwards than they were before.  

Their problem was they hadn’t probed deeper into what they really wanted to experience and how they wanted to feel (in their cases, contentment and being loved.) Instead, they were focused on the situation they wanted to achieve (building a business and having a child.) Unfortunately, reaching their dreams brought more stress and pressure, rather than contentment and love.

Here is the simple 4-step process Martha Beck proposes to help you focus on the experience you want to create:

  • Think about some dreams or goals that have been on your mind – maybe it’s something you had picked as your New Year’s resolution. (e.g., start a new career, lose weight, become a movie star…) and pick your most ambitious one.

 

  • Imagine what your life would be like if you realized your goal. What does it look like? Who is around you? What do you hear and smell? What are you doing?

 

  • List adjectives that describe how you feel in your imagined scenario (For example: Energetic, free, secure, understood, relaxed...) Pick three of these adjectives that describe your feelings best.

 

  • Rather than waiting to achieve the big goal you had outlined, you can start now by focusing on things in your current life that can make you feel that way. Focus on doing anything that can be described with your adjectives. This will give you an instant lift and help make you happier right now.

As you go through these steps, you might realize that your big goal is only one way to get the experience you really desire, and you may find new ways to feel the way you want. Maybe you’ll realize that the goal isn’t as important as you thought. Or you may feel it’s still important to pursue, even if there are drawbacks. Either way, now that you know what it is you really want to experience, you can focus your efforts on what matters most to you. And the beauty is that you can begin right now!

So here are the 3 adjectives I came up with (with my personal definition):

- Valued (I matter. I am important. I am respected.)

- Productive (I am using my strengths and talents. I am competent. I am helpful.)

- Connected (I collaborate. I belong. I am part of something greater.)

I can now choose and focus on activities that make me feel valued, productive and connected!

What are your 3 adjectives?

-------

Coach Manuela Pauer, who is a regular contributor to the Heart of the Home blog category from Kelsey Lane & Team Real Estate, helps mid-level professionals create a career and life they love. Contact her for a free 45 minute Career and Life Strategy session. Get more information on Manuela’s Website

 

Posted in Heart of the home
Dec. 21, 2020

Internet, a refrigerator, and a microwave.

When a Realtor Makes a Move

Last Thursday I started a new relationship. It is one of those where you have to learn the new quirks and unexpected traits. Little unanticipated surprises keep popping up from out of nowhere. 
 
But this time it's not with a man. It's our new house. The exciting part is the larger space, the bigger kitchen, and having a yard. The "King's Problem" that comes with it is that boxes are everywhere and even though they're labeled, it's hard to find what's actually needed at any given moment. Sure, I packed my survival kit boxes and they've come in handy...only simple things like a scissors for opening necessary new packaging eluded named box.
 
That's ok - if you can't find something you can always go buy it, right? But hold on now - some things can't be purchased...like a broadband internet technician to come exactly when you want them to, without having to call in for hours stuck in an infinite automated phone loop.
 
And then there's some things you actually could purchase, but you already have a plan that saves you money...like the microwave you lent your mother for their cottage but now you're getting it back. Except it's not coming until tomorrow.
 
These are the new lessons I'm learning about "home" especially when it's new. You can pack all the survival kits you want, but your best fighting chance in addition to your smartphone are your refrigerator, working internet (ha), and a microwave. (This way you're not reheating a piece of door-dashed lasagna in a sauce pan...trust me...it's possible and edible but turns into lasagna-soup).
 
In all seriousness, when "The Realtor Makes a Move" you'd think it would go smoothly but here were my takeaways from these recent harrying experiences:
 

What went well:

  • Hire a good mover that physically comes to your current/prior home to give an eyeballs-on estimate. The more movers they designate to execute your move the better. Jim's crew with Advance Moving was amazing and I was super grateful for getting this good recommendation. No phone estimates! If an estimate sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • Don't be afraid to ask friends to come help pack for short periods of time. Also, consider hiring friends' teenagers to help as well.
  • Know what to expect at the new house, from thoroughly reading your home inspections so you know what works and what doesn't ahead of time. Go over the inspections with your Realtor.
  • Hire good contractors to make any disruptive changes prior to move-in (flooring, recessed lighting, large painting projects).
  • Hire a handyman to earthquake strap furniture or repair other smaller issues on the day after the move. This facilitates unpacking!
  • Hire friends' teenagers or other young adults to assemble any new furniture shortly after move-in.
  • Don't give up on finding your new refrigerator during Covid! Despite recent appliance shortage challenges, there are refrigerators out there and it IS possible to secure one prior to move in. It may take multiple trips to multiple stores and multiple phone calls (and it did) but hang in there.
 

What I'd do differently

  • Internet plans need to be handled at least a week ahead of time for any technicians that need to be scheduled to come to the new place. Period.
  • Don't give away the large old dinosaur microwave that's at the house before your new microwave arrives. Believe me, the microwave-gap is not pretty.

---

Kelsey Lane has been helping clients with the home selling process (and home buying process) since 2003 as a Silicon Valley Realtor. DRE #01390557. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with real estate tips and steps.