25 Tips for Better Living

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484107_10151636179908298_1837024443_nLiving a beautiful life doesn’t have to be complicated. Better still, it’s often best the less complex we try to make it. There is no one main key thing to guarantee success in any venture, and it’s much the same here – try to incorporate even half of these items into your routine to see the best results! Here are just a few quick, easy things you can keep in mind to help you build a more beautiful existence!

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. Exercise is nature’s own antidepressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

3. When you wake up in the morning, before your first worry can cross your mind, take a moment to be thankful.

4. Eat more foods that grows on plants and less foods manufactured in plants.

5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds. They are rich in anti-oxidants

6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip,  issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

8. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper – eating in time with your natural rhythms just makes sense.

9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

10. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything !

11. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

12. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

13. Don’t let your past spoil the present.

14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

17. Help the needy, be generous ! Be a Giver!

18. What other people think of you is none of your business.

19. Time heals everything.

20. However good or bad a situation is,it will change.

21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

23. Each night before you go to bed,Pray to God and Be thankful for what you’ll accomplish, today !

24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

25. Make the most of every moment – tomorrow is never guaranteed.

I hope these simple inspirations will help make you smile, stop and make you think, and in the end enrich your days to their fullest! Helping people find their place in this world is one of my biggest passions, but it doesn’t end at the closing table – I love helping others live fuller lives by sharing the light I’ve been given. I’d love to hear from you on my Facebook fan page, or via my real estate website, feel free to visit me there!

Find Garage Sale GOLD!

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treasureSpring time is coming up quick in Idaho, and that means Spring cleaning AND garage sale time!

Most people don’t even think about all the things they have collecting spider webs in their garages that could be making them money – having a dusty old Picasso moldering in the garage does absolutely no good for anyone, but these handy tips on garage sale success are solid gold!

For Those Selling:

Sort stuff weeks – or even months – before the sale. You have to know what you have before you can sell it!

Spend a little, make a lot – go to the dollar store, spend that dollar or four on price stickers, and sign making supplies for the sale.

How do you know what needs to go? Assuming it’s not tax or job related, if you haven’t even seen it in 2 years, or used it in 5 years chances are you won’t miss it – so sell it!

Now, for others, Spring time is a whole other ball game; it’s not about selling, it’s about buying! Garage sales are an awesome way to find unique, rare, or interesting items, usually for a great bargain. Before you hit the sales consider these tips.

For Those Shopping:

Dolla dolla bills ya’ll – bring cash! You can’t guarantee anyone will have a credit card scanner on their phone, or take a check. Cash talks; some times it can save you on the cost.

Negotiate – hey, it’s a garage sale, not Tiffany & Co. ! Don’t be afraid to haggle on price – even if you only shave a dollar off the price it’s a savings!

Ask questions – this can be the easiest way to find out why someone is selling something, if the item has any problems or quirks, or if it even works.  And hey, don’t be afraid to ask to plug something in before you buy it – there’s nothing worse than getting that new gadget home only to find out it’s a total paper weight.

I hope you enjoy these little tips and ideas I’ve been putting together. It is my hope to offer great information for homeowners as well as potential buyers – your relationship with your REALTOR® should not simply end after the paperwork is signed. If you are looking to work with a great Boise real estate professional who is dedicated to serving your needs, I’d love to talk with you!

Boise Homeowner Tip: Keep the Clutter at Bay!

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clutterdeskWith the holidays behind us and the new year ahead it’s very likely you still have some of the trappings of Christmas or the Mayan apocalypse celebration making your home look like a war zone. Not to worry! Your dedicated Boise Realtor is here with some great tips to tame the insanity and get you on track for a clutter free 2013!

Doing just a few small things each day is the best way to get results and keep from being overwhelmed. Here are some great ideas to help you keep the hoard to a minimum:

Make the bed – seems like a small thing but it gets the day started and moving.

One Thing at a Time – don’t get overwhelmed. Make sure you do at least one of the big ticket items on the to-do list each day and you’ll be making progress.

Put the Paper Away – stash that newsprint in the recycle bin before bed, even if it’s unread. One less thing taking up space where it doesn’t belong.

One Minute Rule – choose one task, one tiny task that takes a minute or less and make sure to accomplish it first in order to move on to bigger things quickly.

Don’t Keep Broken Stuff – if it’s broken fix or replace it right away or toss it. Holding on to items to “fix sometime” generally just makes more mess.

Bed Time Tidy Up – do a quick walk through your home to pick up miscellaneous items and put them in their place. It only takes a couple minutes before bed.

Work With an Organizer – hey, it’s not accepting defeat, it’s defeating it! There’s no shame in getting help from a professional who can help you get things in order.

facebookLike tips like these? LIKE my fan page! I am always sharing great inspirational thoughts and helpful ideas like this post! I’d love to connect with you online and hope you’ll share my page and website with your friends!

Boise Real Estate Is Moving On UP!

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idaho home pricesReal estate in Idaho continues to show signs of solid recovery; has become a major booster for a sluggish economy.

Median list prices in the second quarter of  2012 were 19.58% higher than the same quarter last year;  inventory decreased -29.59% compared to the same quarter in  2011.

Boise itself also has one of the fastest moving housing markets in the country, with homes moving 32.47% faster in 2012 compared to the same time last year. Not to mention, new home sales in Boise increased 52% in June 2012, while existing home sales increased 2%.

One reason for this is the drop in Boise’s unemployment rate – 7.3% which is down significantly from last year, and well below the national average. In addition, despite a rapidly clearing out of inventory, foreclosure rates remain steady. Boise was recently named the second best city for raising a family as well as one of the Best Places to Retire in America.

Are you ready to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates, and home prices in Idaho before they disappear? You can find homes in Boise and anywhere else in the Treasure Valley on my real estate website. I am also ALWAYS glad to help – so don’t hesitate to contact me if you are looking for an experienced Boise REALTOR®!

Retire in Boise? YES!

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Boise has been named as one of the top places in the country to retire, and to those who love the City of Trees this is no surprise. Whether you can’t survive without culture and arts or are an avid outdoor recreation nut there’s no doubt that Boise is one of the crowning jewels of the Gem State.

No one will try to hype Boise as being a bustling metropolis, but despite it’s relevantly small size by national comparison it is home to a thriving cultural scene which includes an opera company, several orchestra and theater productions as well as wonderful Art and History museums.

Residents of the Treasure Valley enjoy access to all manner of outdoor activities from trail hiking to fishing, hunting, biking, skiing, rafting and more! Surrounded by mountains and a number of streams and rivers Boise also boasts a mild climate year round making for more chances to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer.

Low cost of living and the number of available amenities are made even better by the low levels of crime in Boise which is about half of the national average and remarkable for a city of it’s growing size.

Here are some vital stats:
Population: 205,600
% over 50: 30%
Median home price: $120,000
Top state income tax: 7.8%*
Cost of living index: 97

Looking for homes in Boise? I can help you find the real estate to fit your needs! Visit my real estate website to start searching now, or contact me to work directly with a qualified Idaho REALTOR®.

Boise: Get Your Home Ready for Winter

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It seems like we were all sweating up a storm and praying for rain just a week ago, but believe it or not winter will quickly be on it’s way. That means it’s already time to start getting your home ready for winter. There are a number of things you can do to not only make your home more comfortable but to also help save you money over the cold months ahead. Here are some of the top ways to get your house ready for old man winter:

No Drafting.
Drafts in your home can waste up to 30% of your home energy use. Fixing this can be as easy as using a good old fashioned draft snake (you can even make them yourself) and placing it at the bottom of a drafty door.

Filters.
Air filters and furnace filters can be easy to forget about but they need to be changed at least once a month during your heating season. Dirty filters can restrict airflow and increase energy use. You may even want to consider switching to a permanent filter for your furnace which can help cut back on waste and hassle.

Turn it down.
If you are going to be out of the house for a long period of time consider turning down your heater. You won’t be home to miss it, and even a couple degree drop can help you save money on your monthly bill. For every degree you lower your thermostat during winter you can save between 1-3% of your heating costs.

Insulate pipes.
You’ll pay less for hot water by insulating the pipes in your home. This can also help keep the pipes from freezing, which can be truly disastrous. First, touch your pipes to see if they are warm to the touch, if so they are likely candidates for insulation. Pre-slit covers from the hardware store are cost effective and generally very easy to install.

Do you have any tips for winterizing your home? I’d love to hear about them! Visit my Facebook fan page and post your winter preparation home tips with me!

Looking for a home in Boise before the snow flies? I can help! Visit my website to search for homes, learn more about the area, and even get great free Idaho relocation info.

Avoid Home Closing Chaos

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Avoid Common Real Estate PitfallsAs it involves the precise alignment of many factors, your home transaction is a fragile thing; even a small item out of place can derail the whole process. Whether it be a clouded title, a bad home appraisal, credit issues, or a rapid change in interest rates – one or any number of these types of issues can turn your closing into a real hassle.

These bottlenecks aren’t just troublesome for the buyers, but also the sellers and of course the agent themselves. Moving plans get jumbled, contingency plans need to be thrown together to cover damage control and your stress levels can go through the roof. You aren’t the only one just ready to be done; your agent wants to help get you there.

80% of the problems in closing transactions fall into three basic areas. Here are some things to stay on the lookout for as steering away from these problems can save you much trouble:

Repairs
Good planning in advance can save a lot of hassle here. State clearly in writing that only lender-required repairs will be done. If this is left open as a seller you may risk the buyer coming back with a laundry list of items that will slow your closing to a crawl. A lender-required note usually limits repairs to structural, mechanical, or health/safety concerns; keeps the nit-picking about little chips in the paint or decor issues to a minimal.

Documentation/verification
Your lender has to assemble a large amount of paperwork, and complete dozens of documents based on the information in your loan application. This includes verfying all information for accuracy by checking the applicants employment status, funds, and income level. This complex process takes time, so make sure as the home buyer you are submitting all the information in a timely manner – returning info in a piecemeal manner is sure to slow this process.

Underwriting
This most tricky of all closing problem areas is tough because the underwriter has the power to approve the loan, approve it with additional conditions, or suspend the file until conditions are met — in which case the borrower starts the entire underwriting process from the beginning. Underwriters check to be certain the loan meets guidelines for debt to income ratio, loan to value ratio, credit score, and other qualifications. The process of underwriting can really be a choke point, especially if the home is in a high price range.

Whether you are buying or selling the best way to avoid any of these potential pitfalls is to work with a qualified REALTOR. Your real estate agent is your advocate in the process and can help make these technical issues a lot less of a problem, and also helps in shuffling the mountains of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction.

If you are buying, the first step is to start finding homes you like. Secondly, go ahead and talk to your REALTOR® about getting per-qualified and finding a lender.

If you are selling, get a FREE comparative home value analysis of your home so that you can price it competitively for the area market you live in. You can get your CMA on my website here.

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Debbie Cleaver

Broker, Integrity Group Real Estate

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Mostly about Real Estate in Long Beach, Lakewood and Signal Hill. Partly about other stuff that interests me.

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