Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tipping The Scale... Life vs. Work Learning The Balance!

Wondering if you will ever grasp the balance of life and work? "Impossible!" you say... well there are a few tips and tricks that I have implemented in my own life and business to try and even out the scale.

For starters...

Structure offers flexibility. Yes, it's true, having a structured day can actually enhance your overall productivity and increase your ability to set and attain goals.

It is okay to say NO.  If you are a notorious people pleaser, adding the word NO to your vocabulary is a must. By realizing you cannot do everything right now you will force yourself to prioritize tasks and commitments which makes you proactive and not reactive.

Making time for you! It may sound cliche but dedicating time for yourself will make you a better person overall. Whether you choose a new hobby, exercises or quiet reading, finding time for YOU is important.

Whether you choose to use my tips or others learning to balance your work/life scale is critical to the success of your career and family. Good luck with finding your balance!

PS. Need more tips? Check out this great video on work - life balance.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Beware of Home Repair! Eight Ways To Avoid Contractor Fraud

At some point home repairs will need to happen. However, going with any regular Joe contractor could leave you in more of a mess than that leaky roof! Remember how diligent and cautious you where when hunting for your perfect home? Well, consider those same scrutinizing principles when hunting for the right contractor. Try using these "8 ways to avoid contractor fraud!"

1. Reducing Your Risk 
Don't be naive! Everyone can be scammed. Do not assume that it cannot happen to you. 

2. Do Your Homework
Make sure to do your own research. Read up on the processes needed to complete the job at hand. By doing just a short amount of homework you can sound knowledgeable when talking to a contractor, making them less likely to provide you with services you don't really need. 

3. Hire Right
Follow the golden rule...  do business with those you "know, like and trust." 

4. The Rule of Three
Get three separate bids for the job, listen to your gut and make contractors compete for your business.  

5. Check References
Make sure you ask and call on contractor references and ask to view their work in person. Home construction can cost thousands of dollars, do your due diligence to see that the quality of work is there before you hire. 

6. Get It In Writing 
Long gone are the days of "you have my word."  Be smart and protect yourself by getting EVERYTHING in writing. Whether friend, family or licensed contractor people can change their mind and having your negotiated price and terms in a hard copy protects both parties. 

7. Pay Your Stock Cost Upfront
Often times contractors will request a deposit or upfront money as "commitment."  It is a wise idea to go with your contractor to pick up supplies and pay for it upfront. If they mark up on their supplies tell them you will gladly pay that separately.

8. Split Up Your Payments.
A third for supplies, a third for showing up to do the work and a third for completing the job. 

Robert Sicilano (CEO of

Monday, August 26, 2013

How to survive your home - " A first- aid kit of homeownership skills"

  Whether you are a first time home buyer or a more experienced homeowner it is safe to say that your home didn't come with instructions when you purchased it. While there is a company to call for just about everything that can go wrong with your home, it proves beneficial to know just a few of the basics. Reading the paper over the weekend, I came across this great article that I think you will enjoy and that every homeowner can appreciate!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Be A Detective.. Ready, Set, Snoop!

Being in the "right" location can be one of the most important elements when considering buying or selling your home. Location encompasses an area's  neighborhoods, schools, population, business growth and can even control  the increase and decrease in home values! Clearly it is a vital component to Real Estate and the X factor in making your home purchase a smart investment.

When considering a location we advise our client's to be detectives. Start with these...

1. Drive around neighborhoods and surrounding areas on different days and at different times.

2. Attend a town hall meeting

3. Attend neighborhood events.

Which ever of the three you decide, doing at least one on our list can give you a better understanding of the area culture you are moving into.

Fortunately for our readers that are currently looking in DeWitt, the Annual Ox Roast Parade and Festival is taking place all day Saturday with the parade starting at 10 am and FREE RE/MAX hot air balloon rides at 5 pm!  This would be a great opportunity for you to do some detective work and see if DeWitt's culture is a good fit for you!

Check out the highlights of last years Ox Roast!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It's All About Strategy Sellers!

Thinking of your home as a business is key to your sale success! While your agent may have the mind set already, it can take time for a seller to remove the emotional ties to their current home. Once a seller is able to detach, showing feedback and  agent suggestions will be the key to selling your home. 

Staging your home appropriately will help you find a buyer FAST! Don't take it personally when your agent picks your home apart...telling you to clean the carpets, add a fresh coat of paint or taking down personal photos ect...what we are trying to accomplish is a space that is fresh, clean and inviting so a buyer can easily picture their life in your home.

I attached a great video with top critiques of buyers and agents. If you're selling your home WATCH THIS!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Our first post and your first steps!

Welcome to my blog! :) I am excited to begin sharing all of the exciting knowledge I have gained in Real Estate over the past 10 years of my career. I will be drawing from my ups and downs with the market, personal development blunders, successes and general valuable knowledge that you may never have exposure to otherwise.

The goal is to provide my audience with a simple view on this complicated business and hopefully provide you with enough information to make the educated decisions necessary to be a smart home owner and investor.

Today I am focusing on buyers. First time or not the secret to attaining the American Dream is owning your money! As a small business & homeowner I can tell you there is nothing more crucial to your success than that! You may know Suze Orman... and if you don't YOU BETTER START! She is one of the most highly respected financial gurus today. Her video on making the most of your money is wonderful and worth a watch. Make this a first step toward your home ownership dreams and watch it now!

Thanks for checking in! If you have questions that Suze didn't answer, I would be happy to help! Send me message on my Facebook Biz page - Greater Lansing Real Estate by Amy Sweet