By Gino Blefari

This week my travels find me in Hawaii, recharging, resetting and putting the finishing touches on my 2020 goals while keeping my calls and actual work to a minimum.

In fact, here’s a practice I employ from the book “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done” by Peter Bregman: Set your alarm clock or phone to go off every hour during the day … that’s eight 1-minute check-ins. When the clock goes off, it’s your reminder to pause, reflect, recharge, recalibrate and refocus. And that’s what I’m doing in Hawaii.

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How July’s Real Estate Trends Affected Buyers

By Gino Blefari

In July, the real estate market faced a housing-inventory challenge with several reports showing an increase in home prices and decrease in home sales. For example, CoreLogic Case-Shiller reported home prices rose 5.6%, setting an all-time high for the sixth consecutive month. And the National Association of REALTORS® said existing home sales were down 1.8%.

These numbers may give some pause at first glance, but considering the basics of supply and demand, it’s clear the number of sales have decreased due to a small pool of available homes paired with a high number of potential buyers on the market. This shows us that home prices that steadily increase box many home seekers out of the market.

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An Architecture of Change: 3 Basic Home Features to Be Thankful For

By Crescent Seward

On my ninth birthday I received an oddly mature, mid-century architecture coloring book full of 1960s homes and their intricate landscaping. (This was in the late 1980s well before adult coloring books became all the rage.) I poured over those pages with my colored pencils and imagined what it would be like to live in each one, play in those various backyards – and became thankful for my own sprawling front porch – which hosted many nights of capturing fireflies and laughing with my little brother.

Like most Americans approaching the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m reminded of what I’m thankful for and thought back to those simple days of childhood. While my nine-year-old self thought a big front porch to play on was pretty important, today I value a few other things in a home (walk-in closets, anyone?). I started thinking about how many different types of homes there are and how far we’ve come in architecture and technology. From drafty Victorians, electricity and indoor plumbing, tract housing, double-wide trailers, McMansions and quaint Craftsmans, to the future of smart homes – we actually have a lot for which to be thankful.

We’ve also been changing and evolving our homes well before 1989. Here are a few things I’m sure you’re thankful for, in no particular order:

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Augmented Reality in Real Estate

By Kyle Rank

Watch this video to discover how real estate professionals are using augmented reality to enhance the home buying experience!

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I Shop for Houses Online: Doesn’t Everyone these Days?

By Jake Breen

It’s become a bit of a battle. You want a new home, you surf the web well in advance of actually moving (consumer surveys report you start 17 months in advance of buying) and you believe that you are becoming a real estate expert if you search long enough and hard enough. After all, can’t you find everything you need to know about a house, the neighborhood, the community by “googling”? Well, not exactly. Let’s examine why:

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Does Writing A Personalized Letter For The Buyer Sway A Seller’s Decision?

By Victor Quiroz

A few months ago I helped contribute to a U.S. News & World Report article regarding the use of Snapchat in real estate. I must have made an impression on the writer because she called me again recently to ask if I would contribute to another article about personalized letters from homebuyers to sellers and how they can help persuade a favorable response. I gladly obliged and offered some insight into a practice that is becoming more common among buyers’ agents. Here’s what I had to say on the subject …

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Renting vs. Buying a Home

By Bryn Huntpalmer

Navigating the housing market and rental landscape can be an overwhelming and tricky task. There are so many factors to consider that when you are ready to finally take the plunge and decide, rent or buy, you might not even know where to begin!

I can certainly understand your struggle, so in an effort to help you make the best decision possible I broke down the process into an easy-to-read list of pros and cons for both. Just make sure to invite me to the housewarming party, OK?

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