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by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

How to Strengthen your Personal Relationships

pinky swear

1. Call, text, or email one friend or family member a day. Staying in touch has never been easier, but it’s all too easy to only connect with the people we see at work or the ones who just won’t stop showing up in our Facebook feed. Reach out a little further than that to stay connected with the friends and family members you value. It only takes a few minutes to invest in a relationship, with the result that you have a strong network of people around you, both near and far.

2. Write a thank you note every week. This can be an exercise solely for you: write a thank-you note to someone who’s passed on but impacted your life, and tell them all the things you wish you could say in person. Or write a note of thanks to someone who is or was part of your life and send it to that person.

3. End your night with a word of thanks or encouragement. This is the kind of simple habit that can make or break a lifelong relationship . You don’t have to be elaborate: “I love being with you,” or “Thanks for being there for me,” sends the right message. If you’re not in a relationship, give yourself a word of thanks or encouragement.

4. Pause before you answer or respond to people. Train yourself to listen well, by giving yourself time to think up your response in that pause, not while the other person is talking. This not only shows that you value what the other person is saying (which communicates acceptance and respect) but it also gives you time to weigh your attitude and words. In a high-tension situation or stressful conversation, a  simple five-second pause might be what keeps you from blowing up and ruining a relationship.

5. Give yourself a time out. Life happens. You’re going to hit points when you feel stressed, frustrated, angry, or impatient. That’s okay, because if you can give yourself a time-out then you can keep things in perspective. You can’t expect yourself to be a non-emotional robot, but you can train yourself to take a five-minute break from humanity when things are getting to you. Walk around the block, lock yourself in the bathroom, take a quick drive with the windows down and the music blaring. Find the “time-out chair” that works for you, and use it.

by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

Apple’s Newest Feature (I’m Already a Fan)

Do Not Disturb While Driving: This safety feature turns off notification while you’re driving by using Bluetooth, location, and Wi-Fi data to determine when you’re behind the wheel. It not only blocks notifications, but sends text messages back to the sender and prompts them to enter “urgent” if the message is important. If deemed important, the message will break through, thus eliminating the fear of missing out most of us would typically suffer if we disabled notifications entirely.

Apple Do Not Disturb

You can disable the feature if you are a passenger in a car.

I think this will make the roads safer. It is estimated more people are killed by distracted drivers than drivers under the influence. I personally can wait until I reach my destination to find out I got three likes on my latest social media post; how about you?

by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

Some of My Favorite Kitchen Tips

ice cube trayWine Cubes

Pour a bottle (or the remainder of an open bottle) of wine into an ice cube tray and freeze. This is great for recipes that require wine, and saves you from opening a new bottle when you may only need a couple of ounces. For white wine drinkers, I have discovered when you do not have a chilled bottle handy and want to enjoy a glass of wine, you can add these ice cubes to room temperature wine without watering it down with regular ice cubes. After the wine cubes freeze, throw them in a freezer storage bag. I use this silicone tray because I can make ¼ cup cubes in it.

 

Avocado Slicing

Egg slicers can be used to slice avocados. Cut avocado in half, remove skin and pit, and slice in your egg slicer. Fan it out over a salad for a great presentation.

 

Parchment Paper

I discovered parchment paper decades after I discovered my passion for cooking and now I don’t know how I lived without it. I line cookie sheets with it and never have to clean the pan, and the paper also keeps bottom of cookies from burning. I use it to line pans almost anything going in the oven, meatloaf, stuffed chicken breast, a batch of brownies, you name it. When it comes time for cleaning, you will thank yourself.

 

Soft Cheese Slicing

Regular dental floss (not the minty type!) is great for slicing soft cheeses. To grate soft cheese, stick it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before grating.

 

Buttermilk

I recently needed buttermilk for a recipe and when I went to Ralph’s, I discovered it only comes in ½ gallon cartons. With a quick google search on my smartphone, I learned adding a few drops of lemon juice to regular milk is the perfect substitute.

 

Invest in a Good Pressure Cooker

You can get rid of your rice cooker that takes up so much space. Besides steaming rice and vegetables, you can braise, brown and even reduce sauces in a pressure cooker. Did you know that you lose about 30% of the vitamins in vegetables boiling them and around 25% of the vitamins steaming them? No more than 5-10% of the vitamins escape in pressure cooking. You can get a 4 ½ quart pressure cooker at Target for around $25.

 

Keep your Greens Fresh and Crispy

If you’ve already washed lettuce or fresh herbs, you can extend the shelf life of them by lining a storage bag with a paper towel, placing the greens inside and cover with another paper towel and store in your crisper.

by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

Annual NCL Scholarship Meeting April 2017 Awarded Over $13,000

Katie & Sharon NCL ScholarshipKatie Davidson and I attended the annual NCL Scholarship Meeting on April 27th where 43 deserving girls from our community received scholarships to assist them in achieving their dream of attending college.

Katie is the Chair of Las Amigas and I am the Chair of Las Campanas. Collectively, we awarded two young women over $13,000. This was made possible by our two local community groups joining together and having a fundraiser back in February.

by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

We Care’s 11th Annual “From the Heart” Fundraiser April 2017

We Care’s 11th Annual “From the Heart” Fundraiser was a hit and raised just over $106,000 in April 2017.

We Care continues to serve as a Family Support Center and Safety Net Program. We Care can meet the emergency needs of families and individuals with rental assistance, utility assistance, DMV fees, food, personal care items, clothes and much more. Since 1989, We Care has grown from a small food pantry to a busy family support center serving over 12,000 people a year.

Enjoy this awesome Time Lapse of We Care’s most recent “From the Heart” event.

 

by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

Preparing Your Home for Listing

A messy, cluttered or dirty home leaves an impression on buyers, and most of them can’t manage to see past it. The better it appears, the better price you will get. Here are some helpful ideas to get your home ready for listing.

  • Curb appeal, trim grass and hedges. Replace dull or worn address numbers with new ones.
  • Clean any scuff marks on front door, sweep off the porch and consider buying a new doormat that is bright and cheery.
  • Most buyers will form either a positive or negative opinion with seconds of entering the home, use soft light bulbs and have windows cleaned inside and out to allow more light to come in.
  • If you are planning on buying new furniture for your next home, why not buy it a little early and use it to make the home you are selling look more appealing?
  • Some people have a batch of cookie dough at the ready to pop in the oven just before prospects come to view the house to make the house seem “homey”. You can fake that with an air freshener too!
  • Remove any personal photos and grooming products from plain site, making it easier for prospects to view this as their next home.
  • Organize your closets, buyers will open them. Decluttering is important here, if your closet is bulging at the seams, it will appear as a lack of storage space.
  • Clean the garage, the backyard and the side yards too.
  • If you have dogs, when the house is being shown, it is nice to take them for a walk or arrange for someone to watch them elsewhere, so buyers can see the house without getting barked at or jumped on.
  • Keep the house clean and tidy, If your house is not taken care of cosmetically, the prospects will most likely assume you don’t take good care of it as far as maintaining and keeping up with necessary repairs as well.
  • Consider doing a pre-listing inspection and supply a brief, one page report available to prospective buyers. They appreciate the information. Your house may be in better condition than you realize and you can decide on an asking price accordingly.
by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

2017 Lending Trends that will Most Likely Affect the National Housing Market

  • The Fed’s rate setting board has predicted three more possible interest rate hikes in 2017. While this sounds alarming, it is not expected to not exceed 4.3%, which is still a great rate historically speaking.
  • While interest rates may be higher, the banks are loosening up with lending standards.
  • First time homebuyers should continue to receive lower rates.
  • For the first time in a decade Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin to back larger mortgages, which will help buyers in more expensive neighborhoods finance a home.
  • Tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending would stimulate economic growth. That’s good for housing.
by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

Orange County Housing Market Predictions for 2017

  • Orange County’s housing market is heading for a fifth straight year of rising home prices and increased sales.
  • Orange County home prices are projected to rise 2 percent to 6 percent this year.
  • Southern California home sales will increase slightly from last year. 35,763 homes changed hands in 2016.
  • Construction will increase in Orange County for a seventh straight year, increasing by 3 percent to 13 percent.
by Sharon Anderson, Realtor Sharon Anderson, Realtor No Comments

Rossmoor Housing Statistics from 2016

  • 115 homes changed hands in 2016.
  • Lowest sale price in 2016 was $645,000, the highest being $2,110,000.
  • Average days on market was 78. The quickest sale was on the market 3 days from listing date to closing date and the longest was 309 days. 2 homes closed the same day they came on the market.
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