Do These Before Decorating for the Holidays

SA Realty Watch Group
Option One Real Estate
210-232-2310 Cell
License # 525639

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Ask the Agent
How Do I Choose between Multiple Offers on My House?

When you receive several offers on your home, there are several things to evaluate other than the price. You want to be able to accept, reject, or counter any offer once you have vetted all these details for each offer.

The amount of earnest money submitted should be 1% to 3% of the purchase price. A higher earnest money amount gives strength to an offer and is a good indicator of a serious buyer.

A good offer will have fewer contingencies. Loan-related contingencies are to be expected, as is a home inspection contingency. An offer that contains a contingency regarding the sale of a current home may not hold up against other “cleaner” offers.

The type of loan and amount of down payment factor into the strength of an offer. Bigger down payments give support to a buyer’s ability to close on a deal.

An all-cash offer that is close to the asking price and has few contingencies should be given utmost consideration. A closing date that is 30 to 45 days from acceptance is also most desirable.

Do These 5 Things Before Decorating for the Holidays
The holidays are upon us, and it’s time to get those boxes full of decorations down from the attic. Before going wild, though, here are a few tips to take note of to make adorning your home a calming experience.

Vacuum thoroughly before putting anything up. Once your floor space is taken up by a tree, gifts, and other holiday ornaments, vacuuming will become a bit of a logistical nightmare. Save yourself the stress by doing it now to minimize the need later on.

Dust off your tables and surfaces. Similar to floor space, you’ll likely find clear surface space to be at a premium over the holiday period. Getting these as sparkling as possible beforehand will reduce the hassle once all the decor is up.

Put your regular decorations into temporary storage. It can be tempting to start decorating now and work out how to reposition your current decorations afterwards. Instead, before putting up a single garland, get your current decor items out of the way to make space.

Sweep your front porch. A nice clear entrance to your home will make your holiday wreath look even more beautiful on your front door. Put away any unnecessary signs or unseasonal plants to help give your house the full holiday feeling.

Only bring down one decoration box at a time. Don’t get so overexcited that you cause chaos with your decorations. Be methodical and take out one box at a time to keep the decorating experience as stress-free as possible.

Thinking of Buying a Home? Get My Free Guide

Buying a home is a complex process with many factors to consider. Prepare for the decisions you’ll need to make along the way by requesting my free report, “10 Easy Steps to Buying a Home.”

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3 Holiday Travel Stories that Will Melt Your Heart
With the holidays upon us, it is likely that you or your loved ones will be making a journey to be with your nearest and dearest. Bring yourself a touch of joy with these three heartwarming stories about holiday travel.

A generous tip. Irish waiter Ben was living in Texas and expecting his first child with his partner. However, with his modest waiter’s salary, a trip back to Ireland for his family to meet his newborn was sadly out of the question. Somehow, during the Thanksgiving period, a stranger eating at the restaurant heard about his story and decided to leave him an overwhelmingly generous tip, $750, to help him make the journey.

Hold the plane. On one occasion in Phoenix, a family was traveling to Tennessee to bury their father when, due to a delay to their inbound flight from Minneapolis, they missed their gate closure. With the plane still taxiing on the runway, the pilot disobeyed orders from air traffic control to take off, instead turning back to pick up the bereaved family.

A new addition to the family. When Wanda Dench tried to invite her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner in 2016, she accidentally sent the text to a wrong number. The recipient was Jamal Hinton, a 17-year-old completely unrelated and unknown to the family. But when the confusion had cleared up, Wanda didn’t rescind her offer. Instead, she began a beautiful annual tradition, with Jamal traveling to Mesa every year since to spend Thanksgiving with her family.

Let’s Connect

Wondering What’s Happening in Your Neighborhood?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

These are all critical questions that shouldn’t be overlooked when thinking about buying or selling your home. Whether you’re curious about prices in your area, whether it’s an excellent time to sell, or just need an expert to answer your questions, I can give you the tools and offer guidance through the entire buying or selling process.

Let me know how I can help by simply giving my office a call at 210-232-2310 to set up a time to connect.

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Spiced Apple Cider
Cozy up to this warm treat this holiday season. Not only is this delicious spiced apple cider recipe easy to make, but it’s also a perfect way to use sweet seasonal ingredients.
Serves 9


1/2 gallon apple cider
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 orange, sliced
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 apple, sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
5 star anise pieces

Put crockpot on low heat. Add apple cider, nutmeg, cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add orange, lemon, and apple slices; then simmer for 2–4 hours. Ladle into serving glasses. Serve.

Optional extras:

Top with whipped cream and caramel while hot.

Cider can be served chilled by removing fruit slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise pieces after cooking and storing in the fridge overnight.

What Is Involved in the Closing Process?
While the settlement is the final step in the closing process, there are a few events that must occur first before buyer and seller can officially complete the sale.

A final buyer walk-through will trigger the closing process. The purpose of the final walk-through is to check the condition of the property and to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been done. This typically happens within five days of closing. The seller should have the house move-in ready with all manuals and operating instructions available for the buyer.

The lender then gives the buyer the final loan estimate with the closing loan fees and the closing disclosure to satisfy the three-day review period.

A title or escrow company will typically be where the closing takes place. Which state the transaction is occurring in will determine which parties will attend the closing. Attendees may include the title or escrow officer, the loan officer, the listing and selling agents, and any real estate attorneys. In states that allow electronic closings, involved parties will execute required documents remotely and digitally.

The buyer must present funds for closing costs and the down payment. This is typically 3-5% of the loan amount for loan fees plus the down payment amount. On the seller side, the net proceeds to the seller will reflect deductions for a loan payoff, real estate commissions, escrow and title costs, and prorated taxes and fees.

For in-person closings, buyers need to bring photo IDs and proof of closing funds. The seller will bring all keys and remotes to the table. Buyers and sellers should have some communication regarding the transfer of utilities and any agreed-upon services.

A successful closing is the goal of every transaction. Please contact me for assistance with any buying or selling questions.

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Shaking Things Up: More Meaningful and Sustainable Gift Giving
Giving gifts to your loved ones is one of the most joyful parts of the holiday season. But an easily forgotten by-product of this is the environmental footprint. To help make the holidays greener, here are some ideas for meaningful and sustainable gifting that doesn’t send waste to the landfill.

Experiences, not objects. Consider gifting an “experience” instead of a physical object: for example, a day out at the theater to a show you know they’ll love.

Stop the stigma around secondhand. A huge driver of environmental waste is the social stigma around secondhand items. If you know something will be a meaningful gift, it really doesn’t matter if it’s secondhand.

Get creative with your ideas. If you have an art lover in the family, a museum pass is a more sustainable gift than hoards of reproduced physical artworks. Or for a budding dancer, consider gifting them dance lessons.

Be open with your loved ones. It’s sometimes difficult to think of what would be really appreciated by a loved one, especially with the added effort of thinking sustainably. Be open and ask what would be truly special for them.

Gift your time. It sounds corny, but time is one of the most precious gifts possible. You could take time off work to join someone in that hobby they’ve always wanted to pursue or babysit so a pair of new parents can have a night to themselves.

Invest in their future. You may have a family member with a debt to pay off or a set of bills weighing them down. It may not have a holiday sparkle, but helping to pay off a debt is a truly meaningful holiday gift.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.