Sandy Bliven - RE/MAX South County



Posted by Sandy Bliven on 10/3/2019

Everyone needs to exercise for health, but when you move to a new city, many things get in the way of regular workouts. After all, you have a new commute to learn and a new job with new responsibilities. Calculating the timing of getting the kids to school and still getting yourself to work on time takes extra trial-and-error effort. At home, you are busy unpacking boxes and figuring out where things go and how to organize your new home. Now that you have the family organized, you can spend a little time thinking about yourself. Do you join a gym, or figure out how to work out at home?

Why a gym membership makes sense

At least at first, getting a membership in a local gym might be the best gift you can give yourself. Not because you do not have the willpower to work out on your own (although that could be a factor) but because of the intangible benefits of joining something in your new home city.

When you join a gym, you automatically meet new people. Of course, you are meeting new people all the time: at work, at your childís school, and your new neighbors. However, when you meet people at the gym where everyone is in workout clothes rather than their workplace attire, and where you are on your own, not with your child, you connect differently. People that you might otherwise pass by, or never even meet, have the same or a similar goal to you for their fitness, and you connect over the shared struggles to get there and wins when you (or they) do.

When you take a class at the gym or health club with a group at your same level, you cheer each other on, watch each other improve, and form a different sort of bond than you do with coworkers. If you take the time to learn more about each other between machines or reps, and before or after a class, you can enrich your experience in your new home city. Making new friends with shared physical goals opens a different world where you can learn about those little hole-in-the-wall restaurants, hidden jazz clubs, secret running trails, and other locals-only information by merely mixing up whom you spend time with.

Should you join a gym? Probably. If not for the workouts themselves then for the variety of people you will meet and how much they can enhance your life in a new city. If you need recommendations for local gyms or health clubs, talk to your real estate professional. They know the area and can help you locate just the right place for you.




Tags: fitness   home exercises   family  
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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 9/26/2019

Grilled foods taste much better and are healthier than foods cooked using most other methods. With a few grill marks, meats look even better and more appealing to devour. Are you uncertain as to whether you should have a BBQ grill at home? You surely do need them and here are some reasons to convince you:

  1. Less fat. With a BBQ grill, you are sure to have less fat in your meats compare to frying or even baking. As you grill, the fats drip off the food, without affecting its juiciness and flavor. Healthy eating is one of the significant health benefits of having a BBQ grill at home.
  2. Fun parties. If you have a BBQ grill and a pool, then your party is good to go. You can have an instant party with these twos. The feeling of grilling outdoors and swimming is just terrific. The adults can have a barbecued chicken while they watch the kids play in the pool.
  3. Lower electricity bills. When you cook in your kitchen, the air heats up, urging you to tune up the air-conditioner, thereby using more energy and cost. With a BBQ grill, you donít need to worry about all that. You can grill outside and save yourself the huge bill that comes at monthsí end.
  4. Great taste. Well, this is one of the top reasons people own a grill, to have the most magnificent tasty meals. There is a unique flavor that meats get when they are cooked over a grill.
  5. Flexible cooking. You probably know that meats and vegetables taste amazing when grilled. Do you also know that fruits, pizza, and avocados taste even more insane when grilled? With a grill, the sky is merely your starting point. You can cook virtually anything over a grill. Get creative, gather your friends and family and have a great time together.
  6. Clean kitchen. For most people, this is the ideal reason to get a BBQ grill, to take nights off from scrubbing pots and pans. Although you will have to scrub down your grill periodically, however, it is nothing compared to the kitchen. There isn't much work there, brush off the grates after use and you're done.

There are huge reasons why a BBQ grill is a must-have in every home, tons of them. If youíre yet to find a hobby, then get a grill and start preparing meals for your family. Order a grill today, and you won't regret it.




Tags: kitchen   family fun   Cooking  
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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 9/19/2019

Many people shy away from this topic; they think itís something way out of their league. Deciding to buy a home requires a lot of planning and saving, itís not a decision made over the night. Remaining a tenant is not bad especially if you canít afford to buy a house just yet. However, deciding to stay a tenant forever without any plan to get your property is not a great idea.

Buying a house and continuous mortgage payment especially during the first year is capital intensive, but over time, you would begin to enjoy the benefits of the decision to buy. Living as a tenant has its advantages; however, becoming a homeowner has more advantages. Below are reasons why you should buy rather than rent.

Allows You Save Over Time

When you become a homeowner, the word Ďforced to saveí comes to play. For you to be able to make your monthly mortgage payments, you would keep a certain amount aside which would go into your home. Economically, this is a wise decision as it helps you build ROI and equity unlike when you pay for a rented apartment.

Creates Stability

Becoming a homeowner gives you a sense of balance and security. If you decide to get married or if you are already, owning a home eliminates the burden of moving from one location to another. When you become a homeowner, your kids grow up in a stable and secure environment.

Freedom Of Activities

Living in rented apartments limits what you can do. Many landlords have rules they put in place to keep their property running smoothly. When you decide to take a mortgage, it gives you the freedom to customize your space the way you like; it allows you to decorate, you can choose to invite guests over or even get a pet. 

Allows You To Get A Second Stream Of Income 

Deciding to take a mortgage allows you the opportunity of having a second stream of income. The property is yours, and you can choose to let out a room, rent out the garage, rent out a part of your yard or your driveway. The whole idea is that you can monetize your property without having to report to anyone.

The Cost Of Mortgage Remains The Same, Unlike Rent That Increases

Fixed mortgage rates do not increase irrespective of the economic position. Landlords are not bothered about if you got a salary increment or not at your job; they typically tend to increase the cost of your rent yearly. Paying for your mortgage is settling the bulk of your housing payments which helps you attain budget stability. 

If you are in doubt about which decision to make (rent or buy), speak to a real estate agent today to help you assess your readiness to own a home.




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Posted by Sandy Bliven on 9/12/2019

Locating the perfect real estate agent can be a difficult task, as it is usually hard to settle on someone that you can trust with such a big life decision. But, once you have discovered one, it would be useful you make sure your relationship stays sweet.

So, maintaining a professional relationship with your real estate agent tells a lot about your character. After all, a peaceful relationship with them will help you in the future. They maintain a comprehensive network of people that can help you with home repairs when buying and selling homes, or even refinancing your mortgage.

Good real estate agents are busy, so how can you get yours to stick around after the end of the contract? Here are several ways you can maintain a good relationship with them. 

1. Maintain a high level of trust

When you are building a relationship with your agent, it can be easy to focus on trusting them and forget that it works both ways. For an agent-client relationship to stay successful, trust from both sides needs to be present from the start and maintained until the very end.

As a homebuyer, you recruit an agent to work for you and represent you in locating and purchasing a home. They can help you best if you give them complete information about what you are looking for and whether or not you can qualify for the mortgage. They also give you their best advice to help in the decision-making process, but if you are following conflicting advice from someone else, your agent will find it challenging to help you. Your agent needs to be able to trust that you are not going to undermine their ability to get you into the home that is best for you.

As a home seller, you need to be honest with your agent about the amount your willing to accept for the property, and about any liens or issues that might impede the sale.

2. Be respectful of their time

Good agents are busy agents. You are not their only client. So, make sure to meet them at agreed times to look at properties. They may have other showings scheduled for that day, so lack of accountability on your part affects more than just you and them. And if you like a home and are considering making an offer, let them know so that they can be prepared to get your offer in as soon as possible. 

When selling, vacate your property when they have a buyer ready to look at it. Yes, it may be somewhat inconvenient for you, but accommodating the buyer will get your home sold. It also shows your agent you are serious about selling.

3. Maintain open-mindedness

Your agent may present you with options you've never thought about, so keeping an open mind might get you that perfect home you didn't even know was available or it might sell your home in a way you couldn't have imagined. Also, legally, your agent cannot dissuade you from buying in a particular area or making an offer on a specific home, but they can point out the amenities or lack thereof in a neighborhood or suggest that you get a home inspection first. And they can use your checklist to point out if a home meets your stated needs.

When selling, they cannot insist you accept an offer, but they can explain what the market can bear in terms of pricing and give you a realistic picture of what you can expect to receive.

Follow these helpful tips, and you will be on your way to creating a great and healthy relationship with your real estate agent.





Posted by Sandy Bliven on 9/5/2019

Moving can be fun, exciting, and stressful all at the same time. With so many things happening and so much to keep track of, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.

 When youíre stressed and trying to multitask, thereís also an increased risk of personal injury and damaged belongings.

 While it may seem worth it to overlook safety in order to save time or money on moving day, itís important to remember that you and your familyís health and well-being is much more important than saving a few minutes or dollars.

 In this article, weíre going to give you a few simple moving day tips that will help keep you and your belongings safe so you can rest easy on the first night in your new home.

 Ask for help

Many moving day injuries result from one person attempting to lift, carry, or move items that really require more hands. Itís easy to see how this mistake is made. Everyone is busy with their own tasks, whether theyíre packing boxes or cleaning.

To avoid injury when lifting items, know your limits and always ask for help. If you donít feel comfortable moving heavy items, now is no time to push yourself--youíll be needed throughout the day, so depend on your family or hired movers.

Plan your route

Many damages and injuries occur when we havenít properly prepared. Know the terrain of the place youíll be carrying your items to. Plan ahead for the size of staircases, dangerous hills, or ruts in the ground. Put safety cones down in dangerous areas so no one is hurt or drops fragile items.

Load your truck wisely

Whether youíre moving far away or just a few blocks, a lot can go wrong once the truck starts moving. However, even if you donít have many fragile items inside, thereís the risk of boxes toppling on you and your family when unloading the truck if the boxes havenít been stacked wisely.

First, try to keep boxes lighter than what youíre comfortable carrying. Itís easier to move more boxes than to struggle with one particularly heavy one.

For heavier items, utilize equipment like dollies, hand trucks, and furniture sliders to protect you and your belongings.

Finally, practice smart loading and unloading techniques in your moving truck. Load the heaviest items (like appliances) first, and put lighter boxes on top of them. Think of loading like a game of Tetris--always aim for a strong foundation to stack on top of to avoid boxes falling on you or each other.

Take breaks

On moving day you may be on various deadlines, whether itís moving trucks or getting things unloaded before sunset. However, itís important that you take several breaks while loading and unloading, especially if youíre moving on a hot day.

First aid

Sometimes, even if you do everything right, mistakes can happen. Itís important to be prepared for when they do. Make sure you have a first aid kit in your moving truck that contains unexpired first aid supplies.

Be sure to have your cell phone handy and know the location of the nearest hospital in case of an emergency.

If you follow these tips, you should be on your way to having a successful, injury-free moving day.




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