Live Free or Die!

free·dom; noun

The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
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What a glorious concept and one we embrace in the good ole USA.  My question is, “Do you really embrace freedom?”  Do you love your job?  Or are you trapped?  I ask only because for the past 6 months I have experienced freedom in a way I haven’t in a long time.  Real estate is built for freedom.  We choose the  brokerage we affiliate with. We are typically independent contractors so we choose when we work, the clients we work with, and even the type of business we specialize in.  So it’s set up to be free, or at least flexible.
The twist is that at some point we allow it to conume us and the very reason we got into this in the first place is long forgotten.  Clients dictate our schedule. We work all weekend and late at night, often at the expense of our families and social life.  Enough I say!  YOU teach people how to treat you.  You choose.  You decide.
My path in real estate is not typical in that I elected to go down a leadership path.  I have spent the past 15 years running, growing, building real estate companies, and mentoring agents.  Often times acting as the managing broker with hundreds of agents under my license at any given time.  That cuts into your freedom.  Typical bankers hours, 2 weeks vacay, no overtime as it usually salaried work and beholden to everyone all the time.  In my last role I found myself turning right instead of left to go the office, just looking for reasons not to be there.
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Then I got Real.  I decided what was important, and discovered I could truely work from anywhere, at any time.  Talk about freedom. Make the money I need to make, be anywhere I want to be. Still make an impact on my team, family, and industry.  I’m in!  I’m not tied to geography, office hours, or a desk.  I roam where I want, when I want.  Of course I need my mobile device and an occasional wifi connection.  By hey, no problem in this day and age.  Like the quote above says, it just takes a little courage to see things differently…and a little more happiness to creep into your life.  Now conversations with my wife are about how many days we can spend on the road in our RV this summer and what trips we want to take with our kids.  It’s a new world people.  Reach for the sky!
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Where do people want to live?

What season of life are you in? It says a lot about where you might want to live!

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I get asked about this all the time!

Maybe the most asked question I get is, “What are the crime stats in this area?”  That’s a tough one because perception is not always reality.  However, the San Diego Union tribune releases this handy interactive map that shows exactly what is happening and where.  Simply click here to access the map.

 

Proud to serve

The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS (PSAR) recently announced the 2018 Board of Directors.  I was honored to be nominated and elected to serve our members for 2018.  PSAR is an organization that is dedicated to serving our REALTOR and affiliate members and provides a much needed voice to local and statewide matters affecting real estate and home ownership.

According the the PSAR website, “The Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® exists to enhance the real estate profession, to protect private property rights and improve the regulatory environment. The Association maintains a leadership role today assuring each REALTOR® member the opportunity to seek new heights in their professional lives. Being a REALTOR® is a source of pride and prestige.

Congrats to all the incoming Board.  For more information please visit PSAR here.

Summertime…and the livings easy…

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I have always thought of San Diego as, “That sleepy little beach town just south of S. California.”  Let’s face it, we are NOT Los Angeles or Orange County.  San Diego has it’s own vibe and pace.  We are laid back and buzzed on craft beer.  We surf, skate, hike, wander, and do “Local” better than most.  With that said I offer up some of the best things to do this summer in San Diego courtesy of SanDiego.org.

FREE things to do:  Beaches.  It’s no secret San Diego is home to some of the best beaches in the world.  We offer everything from surf beaches to walking beaches.  Kids beaches to adult beaches.  A few of my favs include Law St. in Pacific Beach, Coronado, San Elijo, Ocean Beach, and of course Mission Beach.

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Balboa Park after Dark.  Consistently rated as one of the best urban parks in the country, Balboa Park comes alive at night!  Check it out!

Attractions:  Where to start?  The Zoo and Wild Animal Park?  Sea World?  Del Mar Races?  LegoLand?  Belmont Park?  Birch Aquarium?  Cabrillo National Monument?  OK take your pick!

4th of July:  San Diego has deep military roots and no one does Independence Day like San Diego!  From the parade on Coronado to the massive and synced up fireworks displays, San Diego does the 4th of July right!

Del Mar Horse Racing:  There is literally no better place on Earth then opening day at Del Mar.  Where the turf meets the surf!  Racing starts on July 19th, and in addition to racing be sure to enjoy the several concerts happening as well.

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Real Estate War Stories…Part 1

What if you knew the answer to the most often asked questions when it comes to buying or selling real estate?  Would that give you an advantage and help you make better decisions?  Of course it would!  Well that’s exactly what I want to do for you…share all the best questions and answers.  Along the way I will also provide insight on the top pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Look, real estate is a tricky proposition and no two transactions are alike.  Even seasoned agents come up against things they have never experienced from time to time.  I’ll get it started and I’ll ask you to contribute by asking me anything about real estate you’d like.  I’ll share those in future posts.

Question #1:  What is the first step I should take when buying a home?  

Surprisingly, I get this from both buyers and sellers who have to sell before they buy.  And depending on where you are, the answer can be different.  The simple answer is to contact a Realtor who can help you get started, however it goes deeper than that.  If you are a buyer I would suggest you contact a mortgage lender who can start the pre-approval process and help you understand how much you can afford, what down payment options exist, and what your monthly mortgage will be.

Now here’s the catch, avoid the one-size fits all or loan of the month pitch.  Every borrower is unique and a good lender will ask about your goals, personal financials, discuss options, and tailor a program that meets your specific needs.  This is probably the largest financial transaction you will ever make and you need to work with reputable professionals who really have your best interest at heart.

Now, about that “contact a Realtor first” option.  It’s not a bad idea to reach out and ask a Realtor for a referral.  Contrary to popular belief, Realtors do not get anything for referring a lender, in fact it’s illegal to do so with the anticipation of something of value in return.  We do it because we know everything hinges on the financing and when we can tap into professional relationships with people who have a proven track record of getting the tough deals done, well it just improves the odds of a smooth transaction.

If you need to sell before you buy I would suggest contacting that Realtor, or, if you have been happy with your current lender, contact them directly.  Keep in mind the market and rates may have changed since you got your current mortgage, but be sure to ask about any current client loyalty programs, rate breaks or discounts on loan fees, etc.  At the end of the day your current lender wants to keep your business and may offer you incentives.

Now it’s your turn!  What questions do you have?  Send me an e-mail to smartREsolutions@gmail.com and I will post and answer in a future post.  Thanks!

 

RED Day. Renew. Energize. Donate.

RD1RED Day is Keller Williams’ annual day of community service. Each year on the second Thursday in May, every Keller Williams office shuts their doors and, as a group, gives back to their local community.  With over 160,000 KW Associates around the world, that’s a lot of giving back!

This year KW Chula Vista spent the day at Trolley Trestle.  This organization is overseen by South Bay Community Services and offers affordable, transitional housing for former foster youth and/or homeless youth while they finish school or complete job training. They welcome emancipated youth ages 16-24 and parenting youth.

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KW Chula Vista associates, staff and affiliated vendors, spent the day helping the residents clean and organize their apartments and community spaces.

If you would like to support this amazing organization please click through and make your donation or volunteer!  Trolley Trestle Donations.

You can also check out this short video to learn more.