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Here’s Why Home Buying Is Easier Today

Here’s Why Home Buying Is Easier Today

Thirty or 40 years ago, in the days when our parents were buying homes, the actual process of researching and calculating wasn’t exactly ideal. With today’s technology and development, the home-buying process is a lot more convenient.

Here are five resources and reasons that prove why home buying is now easier than ever.

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1. MLS Apps

No, not the ones you order before dinner with friends, but on your smartphone! My favorite apps for searching for homes online are Trulia.com, Redfin.com, and Realtor.com. You can even search your area Realtor Association’s database to find tons of homes featured on the MLS without being an MLS member. Though, don’t stop there — there are many many more to chose from.

2. Homesnap

This site/app is amazing because you can snap a photo of any house across the nation to gain instant property info. This includes value, taxes, nearby schools, and more.

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3. Aroundme

This app isn’t just for the homebuyer, but is very convenient when checking out your potential new home. Login to find surrounding businesses and attractions. This is particularly convenient when you’re in an area that you aren’t familiar with. This nifty tool will pull up everything around you!

4. Funding

Long ago (OK, not so long ago), there was a time when to prove worthy to buy a home, you needed at least a 20% downpayment, good credit, a documented income, and it helped to be married, give up your first born, and donate a kidney (just kidding on the last two!). Now, that isn’t the case. With loan programs such as those offered by the USDA, HUD, FHA, and VA, you can close on a house with 100% financing and a credit score under 600. For those of you who live rural, the USDA offers some really great programs with 100% financing and 33-year loans. You can also get agricultural tax breaks for owning livestock. Of course, don’t forget all of the online mortgage companies — just search and you shall find.

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5. Real Estate Agents

Realtors nowadays really know their markets. They are a tremendous source of information and possess larger networks than in years past. They not only help you find your dream home, but also the best title and mortgage companies, exterminators, the best neighborhoods, and more. I highly suggest interviewing several — just because one was good for your mom or BFF doesn’t mean they are the perfect match for you. Make a list of questions, and if you’re not sure what to ask, Google or Pinterest search “how to interview a realtor?”.

These are just five points, though I could really go on and on.  You’ll learn so much online and from industry professionals as you search for your new home. Purchasing a home may not be easy, but it’s easier now given all that is available to us through technology today. Don’t let fear keep you from making the biggest investment of your life.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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