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The Latest Quarterly Market Prices for Your Area

by Samia S. Morgan
In today's market everyone is asking the question - What is my home worth in today's market?  Know you can get the latest quarterly median home price for your market, and its percentage change from the previous quarter by clicking here.

When looking at the value of your home in today's market you need to look to an experienced real estate agent in giving you the true value of your home.  You can know have a Home Value Market Analysis completed and emailed to you by visiting http://www.buyandsellhomes.com

Keep A Grateful Journal and Give Thanks

by Samia S. Morgan
The point of Thanksgiving is to remember the things we have to be grateful for. It's our special time to give thanks... not just for the obvious, like food, but for the thousands of fortunate moments, the multitude of blessings that we receive each year.

That's not always as easy as it sounds. We tend to remember the bad things much more easily than the good. That's where this article comes in. using the tips below, you can make thankfulness an everyday habit. It's a skill that will benefit you throughout the year.

Begin by keeping a gratitude journal. Don't write down negative things; only positive ones. For example, "I'm grateful that I made it through that heavy rush hour traffic safely." "I'm grateful that I got to see a beautiful sunset." "I'm grateful that I have a class at school that I really like."

Think of all the good things that happened because something bad happened first. For example, "If that slow driver hadn't pulled in front of me, I would have gotten a speeding ticket." "If I hadn't tripped on the playground, I would never have met such a nice person." "If I hadn't experienced unemployment, I would never have acquired the skills that got me a more fulfilling job."

Don't focus on what you don't have. Focus on what you do have. For example: "I'm so fortunate to have a warm place to sleep in the winter." "I'm so fortunate to live in a safe neighborhood where I can take walks." "I'm so fortunate to be able to see the beauty around me."

Think about people you've known that have made you thankful for their existence. They can be family, friends or simply people that you've read about or seen on television. Imagine how many other people there are who might be equally as wonderful. You just haven't met them yet.

Think about people who have made life hard for you. Now think about the things you accomplished because of them. Did you finish something because they said that you couldn't? Did you get better at something because they made fun of you when you did it badly? Did their cruel actions make you vow never to treat others that way? Even the negative forces in your life can be hidden blessings, worthy of your gratitude.

Think about the animals that have given you joy: Dogs that love you with every inch of their hearts, cats that think your lap is the best place to nap in the whole world, birds whose songs uplift your spirit, squirrels whose antics put a grin on your face and so on.

Think about the places that make you smile: A favorite hangout, a wooded trail, an exciting city, a great spot from which to view the sky, a hill that you once rolled down. Give thanks for all these things.

Now pass it on. True gratitude involves action. Lend a hand. Pitch in. Make a gift. Give your time. Listen. Give back as often as you can. Even a friendly greeting can make all the difference in the world.

Create your own opportunities for gratitude. Do you know someone who never seems happy? Be ready with a smile and a kind word each time you see them. It may require patience, but eventually, they'll smile first when they see you. Your interactions with them will be much more pleasant. Guess what? You'll have a new reason to be thankful!

Let others know when they've done something that you're thankful for. For example, "I'll never forget how you stuck up for me. It meant a lot." "That email you sent really made my day." "You make shopping here a pleasure." An attitude of gratitude spreads like ripples from a tossed pebble, benefitting all it touches.

Remember that hard times make good times sweeter. Also keep in mind that obstacles and challenges not only make you stronger, but they force you to explore outside of the comfortable routine that you've settled into. Without challenges, there can be no progress. Without obstacles, there can be no achievement. Be thankful for the opportunities that they provide.

In conclusion, giving thanks is a powerful tool that can dramatically improve your life and the lives of those around you. Start by embracing gratitude's special day, then make it a habit!
   

Environmentally Friendly Movers

by Samia S. Morgan


It seems that everything and everyone are 'going green' these days-and that is a good thing! You may not have thought however that you can be environmentally conscious  when you make a move to a new home. Every year over 20 percent of the American population packs and moves each year- generating massive quantities of waste, that ultimately ends up in a landfill. It’s a huge problem but now we have options. There are multiple companies that now market services that will help you do just that.  These companies promote everything from bio-diesel to recycling packing materials. 

It seems that everything and everyone are 'going green' these days-and that is a good thing! You may not have thought however that you can be environmentally conscious  when you make a move to a new home. Every year over 20 percent of the American population packs and moves each year- generating massive quantities of waste, that ultimately ends up in a landfill. It’s a huge problem but now we have options. There are multiple companies that now market services that will help you do just that.  These companies promote everything from bio-diesel to recycling packing materials. 

Bio-Diesel is one way you can be assured that the company that is helping you move is doing it with an eye on that carbon footprint.  Bio-Diesel is a renewable resource created by splitting vegetable oils into methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin (a valuable by product usually sold to be used in soaps and other products).     Companies like Green Moving promote the advantages to Bio-Diesel and use it exclusively in their trucks.

Aside from Biodiesel, how else can you green your move?  Take Part has suggestions with their Top 10 ways to move greenly. Some of their suggestions include using boxes that stores are throwing away rather than buying new ones.  Using green cleaning products when doing clean up and recycling items rather than discarding the things that aren’t going to move with you.

While boxes can be recycled; what about packing peanuts and the likes?  Wait!  Before you fill your boxes of precious fragile items with Styrofoam peanuts, check out your local Uhaul.  A number of moving companies now carry biodegradable packing supplies.  These foamy-looking puffs are made of cornstarch or other starches that start breaking down when they get good and wet!

There are other things you can do yourself to go green.  Rather than wrapping everything in bubble wrap, try newspaper and then recycle it when you get to your destination.  Use blankets and towels that you are going to be packing anyway, to protect fragile items.  This way they both get packed and still save a tree or two.  Not to mention less plastic in a landfill somewhere.  Good luck on your move and Go Green!
 

Considering a Reverse Mortgage?

by Samia S. Morgan

A reverse mortgage provides a way for seniors to borrow against the equity in their home with no repayment due until the homeowner dies, moves or sells. Any remaining equity after repayment goes to the borrower or the estate.

A reverse mortgage may be of benefit if:

  • You need cash assets or income and have no other source available.
  • You are unable or unwilling to sell your house.
  • You do not care what the costs are to get the income or assets you need. (Recent law has helped limit the outrageous costs of reverse mortgages.)
  • You have no concern about which assets are left to your heirs.

    Make sure you thoroughly scrutinize all costs and provisions.

    Other possible solutions to increase income or get to assets are selling the home to family members or establishing a home-equity credit line on the house.

    — Drew Tignanelli, president of the Financial Consulate in Lutherville, Md.

    Yes, if your sources of retirement income (savings, investments, pensions, Social Security) no longer cover your spending. But using the equity in your home should be a last resort after all other resources have been exhausted.

    The payments to the homeowner from a reverse mortgage can be received in the form of a monthly annuity, lump sum or revolving line of credit. Compared with a typical home-equity line of credit, establishing a reverse mortgage carries significant fees, so the decision to obtain one should be extensively evaluated.

    You should make sure it is a reverse mortgage under the Federal Housing Administration Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program so that mortgage insurance will cover the lender if the proceeds from the eventual sale of the home are not sufficient to pay the amount owed.

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    Photo of Samia S. Morgan, Inc. Real Estate
    Samia S. Morgan, Inc.
    dba Samia Realty Group
    BRE# 00967165
    San Mateo CA 94403
    650-678-3633