Spread the Love Challenge

On the eve of 4th of July, I was inspired by Central Coast Kind magazine when I read several challenges encouraging kindness:

Challenge #1: Send someone a handwritten thank you for being that person who puts a smile on your face!

Challenge #2: Make an unexpected toast for someone special!

Challenge #3: Plan a family night with board games, sing some karaoke or just have some heart to heart conversations.

Challenge #4: Be a voice for the community. Share a story of kindness with Kind magazine.

Challenge #5: Place an American flag in a Veterans yard to show appreciation.

Challenge #6: Inspire someone with a dish of gratefulness!

Challenge #7: Share kindness with someone, anyone, to make the world better!

Kindness is not an act, its a way of living.

Hard Drivin’ Angel pg 17 of Central Coast Kind Magazine

I hope this encourages you as it did me to spread the love. May these seven challenges help you come up with even more ways to spread the love!

Click on this link if you would like to view this magazine digitally: https://issuu.com/centralcoastkind/docs/final

Enjoy your 4th of July!

Ready to Buy a Home? Part 3

Now that you have found your dream home, and you are ready to make a purchase offer, your Realtor can walk you through the process of completing the purchase contract. Your Realtor will complete the contract with your information including the total amount you wish to offer on your dream home, your down payment, etc. Then you can meet in person to go over contract and sign or you can even digitally sign the documents received by email. My suggestion is going over what a contract looks like when you start the process at the beginning so that by the time you make your first offer, you will have a better understanding of the lingo.

Depending on the type of market you are buying in, whether it be a seller’s market, a buyer’s market and how many people are competing for the same home, will help you determine your purchase price. If you are competing with other offers, be prepared that you may have to find several homes you like over the course of time before you get an accepted offer. In a competitive market, it is not uncommon to make 3-5 offers before you get your first accepted offer. Do not get discouraged. It does take time sometimes and is very normal.

Your Realtor can help you determine your best purchase price range by showing comparables of the home you are interested in making an offer on. You want to make sure you have your prequalification letter as well as proof of funds for your down payment in hand to give to your Realtor along with the purchase offer as that helps make the strongest offer possible and the listing agent will confirm that information before they present the whole package to the seller. After all, getting an accepted offer is the ultimate goal.

I hope this three part series has been helpful to you on buying your first home. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions. Next time, we will talk about the accepted offer and the process to close on your new home.

**Please Note: I am a licensed Realtor in San Luis Obispo County, California with Century 21 Hometown Realty. CaDRE License # 01972834. This blog is not intended to solicit anyone who is currently working with a real estate professional. This blog represents my experience, but may not apply to all homes or locations, please check with a real estate professional who is familiar with your specific market before implementing.**

Ready to Buy a Home? Part 2

Now that you have been pre-approved for a mortgage loan and you have found your Realtor, you may be asking what is next? First, I would like to share with you an article I found that is a good resource for proper buyer etiquette. It helps set expectations up front and will establish a good solid working relationship with your Realtor from day 1. Please click on the link shown below the quote.

Real estate agents love working with people, but there are always clients who may unintentionally cross the line. Here are a few simple protocols you can use while shopping for a home that will keep you out of hot water and on good terms with real estate agents. Especially your own agent.

Elizabeth Weintraub of https://www.thebalance.com/rules-for-working-with-agents-1798904

One other item I feel important to mention before we move on is that just because you qualify for a loan of a certain amount, does not mean you have to buy at that amount. You can choose to stay well below that number if you feel that would work best for you. For example, I am currently working with first time home buyer’s who were pre-approved for $300,000. They decided what was best for them was to stay around $230,000 and so we focused strictly on homes around $250,000 or less. Then I was able to focus in on what their dreams and desires were, and I was able to find them the exact home they love and adore. You have choices and many options to consider such as saving for retirement, buying an investment property, or saving for your kids’ college fund with the extra money.

With your pre-approval letter, price of a home you wish to stay below, and your Realtor, you can now start searching for that perfect home of your dreams. You can search for homes yourself, have your Realtor search for you or combine both methods. It is always wise to stay near to your target price, so you are not disappointed when you fall in love with a home that is out of your price range.

Once you find the homes you are interested in, it is now time to tour those homes with your Realtor. It is also a good idea to drive by those homes first, and preview the neighborhood at different times of the day and also different days of the week. That will give you a good idea of what the neighborhood is like. Once you have driven by those homes, your Realtor can then set up appointments for viewings.

Finding homes you are interested in, driving by those homes, and then touring may be an instant or ongoing process depending on the length of time it takes for you to find the home that you love, and also dependent upon if other buyers are bidding on the same home. Your Realtor will be a wealth of information and knowledge to help you navigate every step of this process, so you can enjoy the journey along the way.

Next time, we will continue this discussion as we look at what happens when you make an offer. Look for part 3 soon.

Remember to make every moment count!

**Please Note: I am a licensed Realtor in San Luis Obispo County, California with Century 21 Hometown Realty. CaDRE License # 01972834. This blog is not intended to solicit anyone who is currently working with a real estate professional. This blog represents my experience, but may not apply to all homes or locations, please check with a real estate professional who is familiar with your specific market before implementing.**

Ready to Buy a Home?

Have you been thinking about buying your first home and wonder where to start? First, I would like to congratulate you on taking that first step and that is getting serious about home buying. It is important to take time to prepare yourself in every aspect so that you can make your home a blessing, rather than a negative experience. Make sure that you are ready and that the timing feels right for you and not because family and friends are pressuring you into it.

Also, financially, it is important to have your credit cards paid off, an emergency fund saved, and that you have cash set aside for the down payment and closing costs. However, there are loans out there that have little or no down payment particularly for first time home buyers and veterans. A lender will be able to guide you on preparing for the financial aspect, and all the lending options available to you. Shop around as lenders fees can vary. A mortgage broker will have several different loan companies available to find you the best rates, while a small local bank or credit union may have options that can save you money. Your lender will then provide you with a pre-approval letter specifying your maximum loan amount. This is a powerful tool to help you get an accepted offer on the home(s) you choose to make an offer on. Plus, it will not set you up for heartache on looking at homes above your price range.

Lastly, find a good Realtor and one that has your best interests at heart. A good Realtor listens to your wants and needs and can then make recommendations based on your desires and total purchase price.

As a Realtor, I pride myself on providing the ultimate client experience. Here is a testimonial of my service:

“Kari went above and beyond to be there for us through our search and purchase of our home. She was very knowledgeable and gave us her honest and helpful opinions during a somewhat complicated negotiation. She is a warm and welcoming person to deal with in what could have been a stressful time!”

Troy and Janette of San Luis Obispo

Thank you to each one of my clients who placed their trust in me. I am grateful for you.

Next week, I will continue to discuss this topic and what happens after you find your Realtor.

Contact me by email if I can be of service at kari.schultz@c21home.com.

Have a great rest of your week!

**Please Note: I am a licensed Realtor in San Luis Obispo County, California with Century 21 Hometown Realty. CaDRE License # 01972834. This blog is not intended to solicit anyone who is currently working with a real estate professional. This blog represents my experience, but may not apply to all homes or locations, please check with a real estate professional who is familiar with your specific market before implementing.**

Everyone Has a Voice

For those of you who may not know, I was thrown into a new world when my son was diagnosed at age 6 with Becker muscular dystrophy. As a parent, this is not a diagnosis you ever want to hear. But the truth is, every day, a parent hears a diagnosis whether it be autism, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, blindness, deafness, leukemia, or a myriad of other diseases. But the child should not be defined by their diagnosis and should be treated the same as everyone else and not just because they win a talent show. Don’t get me wrong, I am so for a child or adult winning a golden buzzer for their talent and because of their inspirational life. But as my son said at school, children who have a disability get treated way differently than if they are on a television show. He should know for the way other kids bullied him because he could not run in PE. This started in elementary school and amazingly, in spite of, he has just completed his first year of college and I am so very proud of him making the best out of what he has been dealt. He truly just wants to be just like everyone else.

This was not the topic I planned on talking about today, but when I saw Kodi Lee win the Golden Buzzer on America’s Got Talent, I was inspired to put words to paper and pour my heart out so to speak about people with disabilities.

As I am writing this, my first thought that struck me is how we label people with disabilities, and what is the politically correct way to do so? Even though I worked in special education before I became a full-time Realtor, there is still a lot to learn and consider on this very topic. Here is a great quote and article on this very subject:

As champions of diversity, we have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to set standards for how our people, organizations and society speak and think about people with disabilities. By shifting our language, we can help shift perceptions and promote the culture of inclusion that is the backbone of healthy diversity in all aspects of life.

Lori GoldenEY, Abilities Strategy Leader https://www.diversityinc.com/diversity-leaders-6-things-never-to-say-about-disabilities/

Secondly, I am thankful for the wonderful opportunities available to volunteer and support organizations that create an enabling environment and inclusive culture for people working or going to school with disabilities. When I was a full-time para-educator who was introduced to an organization called “The Ranch”, I immediately jumped into helping with fundraisers and being a part of the board to help bring about these opportunities. That was about four years ago. As a result, I have been introduced to UCP (United Cerebral Palsy), the parent company of “The Ranch” and just recently learned about “Arts for Living”. If you would like more information on these organizations and volunteering, here is the link: http://ucp-slo.org/volunteer-now/. If you are not in San Luis Obispo County, you can google chapters in your area for further information.

Now for the reason that brought me to this blog today, my muse and inspiration, here are some videos of Kodi Lee for your enjoyment. May you be inspired by his talent as I have been.

Everyone has a voice. We just need to take time to listen.

Would love to hear from you regarding this topic or any other.

What Makes a Good Life?

During the Great Depression back in 1938, scientists began tracking the health of 268 Harvard sophomores in 1938. They were hoping to learn what leads to happy and healthy lives. At the beginning of their lives, most think fame and riches are the answer. But over the years, quality relationships with family, friends, and community are what keep people happiest. Hear the history from Robert in this Ted Talk who quotes at the end of his presentation from Mark Twain: “There isn’t time – so brief is life – for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. there is only time for loving – & but an instant, so to speak, for that.”

Color: Energized or Chill?

Image result for pantone living coral

I am in love! Today I came across this featured article in the spring edition of “At Home with Century 21”, highlighting ways to incorporate the color “living coral” into your life. Now all I see is this color in my mind as I think about various ways I can integrate this beautiful hue of pinkish-orange in my life.

First, you may ask who is Pantone? Here’s the simplest explanation I could find, and you might enjoy reading this short article for more information:

Pantone got its start in 1963. Founder Lawrence Herbert created a system for identifying, matching and communicating colors for consistency across the print and textile design industries. His initial work led to the Pantone Matching System, a book that standardized colors across these fields.

https://people.com/home/what-is-pantone-all-about-the-company-that-chooses-the-color-of-the-year/

For more in-depth knowledge about Pantone, head over to their website at
https://www.pantone.com/. There are many unique features to explore on their site including finding colors to please any palette. I can picture using their colors to help me find the right hue of color to paint my home.

Speaking of color, do you think color affects mood? Click on the link below for specific thoughts on that topic and interior design ideas:

In today’s color post, we focused on interesting shades such as coral, teal and jade. Because not only does the strategic use of color result in the interior mood of your choice, it can showcase some truly intriguing hues that make your interior an enticing one. And when you create visual complexity, your home is a work of art. Which can be truly inspiring and invigorating!

https://www.decoist.com/2013-11-15/colors-mood-interior-design/

As much as I love the bright color of living coral, I would not paint a whole room with it. Instead, I would incorporate an accent wall, pillows, textiles, lamps with a blend of neutral tones. One important consideration though is when you decide to sell your home, you might ask yourself which colors will affect the resale value. However, trends change from year to year. If you are not planning on selling your home for years to come, why not make every moment count? Find a color on Pantone’s website and go for it!

If you are preparing to sell your home, google current trends that show which colors can increase or decrease your home value. Choosing attractive interior colors in your kitchen, bathroom, and front door, as well as the exterior can make a difference.

One last thought appeared as I was researching Pantone’s Living Coral, and it’s how climate change impacts our planet. Let’s keep color in nature by taking part in healing our planet. Here is a snippet of the article as well as the link to read the entire article for yourself:

If we can’t get a handle on climate change, we’re not going to have real live living coral anymore. Not to mention the problems of coral-killing sunscreen and plastics. In the meantime, we’re seeing a whole lot of wan colorless coral that has nothing to do with Pantone 16-1546. Future conversations might go something like this, “Mom, why does the color called ‘coral’ look pink when we all know that coral is really white?” Or even worse, “See this color called ‘coral,’ honey? The oceans used to be filled with it before we killed it all!”
Pantone says, “Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity.”
Which is great … but here’s the TreeHugger, take: “Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages climate change activism.”
Let’s work to ensure that swatches of Living Coral don’t end up in some sad future compendium of colors that once existed in nature.

https://www.treehugger.com/culture/sad-side-pantones-color-year-living-coral.html

I hope that you are inspired to add color in your life and to preserve the color on our planet.

If you would like a free digital copy of the spring edition of “At Home with Century 21”, please send your email to kari.schultz@c21home.com.