Tips for Financial Success this New Year


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

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What Are the Pros and Cons of Staging a Home for Sale?

When deciding if staging your home is the right move for you, you need to evaluate the pros and cons before you make the budget and time commitment to do so.

Statistics show that staging a home enables it to sell faster and for a higher price. The return on the investment in staging can be fourfold. Your home will have better visual appeal without the influence of your personal lifestyle. Marketing photos of a staged home will increase buyer interest. Buyers are more motivated to buy because they can better visualize themselves living in the home.

Cost will be the biggest disadvantage of staging a home. This is especially so if you have a large home and need to include some outdoor living spaces. A conservative cost to stage is $300 to $600, but expect to pay as much as $3,000 per month for a 2,000-square-foot or larger home if furniture must be rented. If you need to declutter and store your belongings during the marketing period, there is the additional cost of storage.

4 Ways to Set Up Your New Year for Financial Success
New year, new you? Make sure that your resolutions for a positive fresh start also extend to your monetary situation with these four tips for a successful financial new year.

Don’t live beyond your resources.

Think intelligently about your spending. Just because you can afford something, do you really need to spend money on it? You could find your finances being sapped by unimportant instant gratification, whereas you’ll thank yourself later if those incremental savings help you make a down payment on a new house.

Have multiple savings pots.

It’s all well and good to add to your savings, but splitting it up into different pots will help you keep track of what you’re saving for and how much more you need. For example, have one pot for vacations, one for shopping and one for that house down payment.

Prioritize saving.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t spend anything, but when your paycheck comes in, allocate your savings amount before you consider how much you’ll spend on other things. Doing this will help you keep your finances in shape and ready for the important payments instead of accidentally frittering them away too soon.

Keep tabs on your spending.

There are many apps and tools that help you look back on what types of things your money goes to each month and how much. Many online banks also have the feature built into online accounts so you can properly budget and keep track of where you might want to pull back or have leeway to increase.

Want to Sell Your Home Fast? Get My Free Guide

Preparing your home for sale can make the difference between getting the price you want – or ending up disappointed. Discover some easy things you can do by requesting my free guide, “11 Essential Ways to Get Top Dollar for Your Home.”

Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

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The Walking Tool for Tuning Up Your Creative Senses
We’re often told that if we’re feeling uninspired or at a creative dead end, the simple act of taking a walk can help get the juices going again. But what if your mind just can’t escape the mundane patterns even during your walk? Or the scenery around your local block seems just as uninspiring as the four walls of the room you just got out of?

Enter Street Wisdom, the brainchild of entrepreneur, author, speaker, and corporate leader David Pearl. It’s an initiative designed to bring an extra level of inspiration to those mind-clearing jaunts outside through a number of practices that help you to heighten your awareness of what’s going on around you, become more in touch with your senses, and coax out those moments of inspiration and new ideas a walk can generate.

Exercises include prompts such as examining your surroundings and making a mental note of things that particularly attract you as well as those that don’t; or trying to find something beautiful in every single thing you see, even those things that at first glance seem objectively unattractive in every way.

It’s completely free and is delivered through podcasts, or “tune-ups” in Street Wisdom lingo, that the listener can take on their walk with them. They have also hosted live walking events around the globe so that people searching for inspiration can find those creative sparks communally, and Pearl has released a book for would-be wanderers. They’re excellent tools for creative soul-searching.

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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Creamy Lemon Cabbage Pasta
This easy-to-prep dish will be a delicious addition to any summer time meals.
Serves 6


6 tbsp olive oil
4 large handfuls fresh breadcrumbs
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2-3 cups fusilli pasta
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
lemon zest
1 cup crème fraîche
1/2 savoy cabbage, thinly sliced

Heat oven to 400°F. In bowl, mix half the oil with breadcrumbs and two garlic cloves and season well. Spread out on large baking tray and bake for 8 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove and set aside. Cook pasta in large pan until al dente. Save pasta water and set aside.

Pour remaining oil into frying pan, add onion and garlic, cook for 4 minutes until golden, then add wine and lemon zest. Reduce, then add crème fraîche. Remove from heat but keep warm. Add cabbage to pasta water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and return to pan, add creamy sauce to pasta and toss together. Dish up and top with the crumbs. Serve.

Get Your Decluttering Started with These 5 Easy Tips
If you’re preparing to put your house on the market, it’s good to begin with a declutter. It will help to make it as presentable as possible to prospective buyers and give you some calming peace of mind as well. Here are some helpful tips for decluttering.

Neaten up your counters. Go along your kitchen counter and get rid of everything that really shouldn’t be there, whether it’s pans that have a cupboard to call home, left-out cups, or spices you know you’ll never actually use.

Spruce up the fridge. While you’d hope home viewers won’t go into your fridge, giving it a good thorough clean can prevent unwanted smells from dissipating through the house. Clear out any out-of-date, forgotten foodstuffs lingering at the back and create more space for fresh ingredients you’ll actually use.

Get that entry hall decluttered. It’s the first place prospective buyers will see when they come to view your home, so having it nice and clutter-free will help create a good first impression. Put stray shoes on the rack, shred old junk mail lying around and hang up coats and hats.

Organize your living room. You may have accumulated way too many cushions, throws, or wall hangings over the years without even realizing it, unwittingly giving a slightly claustrophobic feeling to the living room. Go through each item and decide whether you could do away with it without sacrificing comfort.

Keep the bathroom tidy. Stick to one of each essential toiletry item to keep your bathroom countertops neat and tidy rather than having multiple brands of shower gel and numerous different deodorant options. This will keep your bathroom nice and presentable.

If you are selling your home, call or email me for ideas on what to declutter that will make the most impact.

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Want to Take Up Photography? Here’s a Beginner’s Guide
Taking up a new hobby is an excellent New Year’s resolution, and with everyone having a camera at their fingertips these days, you might have an itch to try properly taking up photography. Becoming a good photographer is more than just point-and-shoot, though. It’s all about composition, framing, and understanding space. Here are three top tips for getting started.

Get to grips with the rule of thirds.

This rule is a staple of good photography in which you split the image up into nine imaginary boxes using two horizontal and two vertical lines, all equally spaced across the frame. Placing the subjects of the photo in the cross sections with background elements such as sky or sea aligned with the lines helps to create the best possible framing for your picture.

Make use of empty space.

If the subject of your photo is in an interesting or awe-inspiring environment, the background is going to be important in drawing the viewer to your photograph. Zooming out and allowing your subject to take up a smaller space in the picture can bring focus to the beauty of the image and help create a story as well as taking the pressure off the subject to draw focus.

The frame can be within the picture itself.

While a slightly tricky technique to pull off, sometimes the environment itself will provide you with a stunning extra frame for your subject within the frame of the photo. This could be an obvious one like a car window or a doorway, or it could be beautifully created by objects in the shot, such as gaps in trees in the foreground or fortuitously placed shapes in the background.

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.