Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Free for Kindle: 7 Days to a Byline That Pays by Michael Ray Smith

In my other life, I am a writer and blogger. I'm always open to learning more about these topics.


This book is your secret weapon to writing articles and blogs that pay.

7 Days to a Byline that Pays explains how to tell stories that audiences will read and editors will pay you to write. Delivered in a breezy and compact manner, this book will help you work fast, smart, and get paid for your work.

"I've worked with writers and editors across the country to compress the salient points in an easy-to-grasp approach that you can tackle," says author, Michael Ray Smith. "I'm convinced you can accomplish your goal of writing a salable article in seven days by using the ideas in this book."

File Size: 1113 KB
Print Length: 244 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (August 31, 2015)
Publication Date: August 31, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B013XRNOKO


Order here!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

July Real Estate News



Today I emailed out to my clients my mid-year real estate update that talks about July numbers and how our local real estate market is fairing. Here is some of the information I shared:


The country saw existing home sales lose momentum in July as we continue to struggle with not having enough houses on the market for all the eager buyers who are looking. Despite fewer sales, median price rose 5.3% from the same time last year. In the Pioneer Valley, single family home sales dropped for the first time in 18 months as inventory continued to slide. Median price, however, rose 8.2% in July. As you can see, locally we are experiencing the same trends as the rest of the country.

While experts predict the year will end on a high note--thanks to a strong spring, the housing market is undershooting its full potential because we don't have enough houses to sell.


If you would like to be added to my email list, please email me at ccmalandrinos.realtor(at)gmail(dot)com.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Preparing Renters to Become Home Owners



Recently, The National Association of REALTORS® wrote an article titled "5 Things Renters Should Know About Owning," which met with a few critical comments suggesting renters would be discouraged to pursue home ownership as a result of reading it.

As a REALTOR, I feel it's important people who have never owned a home before enter into their search with eyes wide open. Perhaps taxes, regular maintenance, and the impact of neighbors on home value haven't occurred to them.

Let's discuss each point brought up in the article.


Renters need to understand how their financial investment is changing.

This is why it's so important to sit down with a lender prior to looking at homes.Talking to a lender to discuss your financial situation avoids disappointment later on. Taxes, association fees, insurance, and other fees must be taken into consideration prior to putting an offer in on a home. I've also actually had some clients who discovered they could afford more of a home than they originally thought. That flexibility allowed them to find a home they truly loved.


Renters need to be happy with their location for the long-term.

This is so true. As a former renter, the greater ease of moving to a city or town with a higher ranking school district or better crime stats was appealing. Once you have a mortgage, it's not so simple. Homeowners are living at the same place an average of seven years. That's a long time if you're not happy with where you live.

Renters may need to abide by new rules.

All of the associations I work with for rentals require tenants to abide by the same rules as owners. What could happen, however, is that the owner's association fees increase--a  cost they may or may not pass along to the tenant. When renters become home buyers, they will need to budget for those potential increases and keep abreast of changes in the rules and regulations governing the association.

Renters need to get into the mindset of an owner.

This mostly comes down to learning how to budget your money. It's a discussion for future homeowners to have privately, but I think the lender and, in some ways, the REALTOR can focus attention on that in the beginning when they start talking about the home search and some of the fees involved in purchasing a home. A REALTOR will also have a list of contractors to share when repairs do arise.

Renters should know their neighbors can affect their value.

This is actually a point current homeowners need to be aware of too or they become aware of when there are issues. Price is not the only factor to consider; though it is a very important one. This is one of the reasons we encourage buyers to drive by a neighborhood before requesting to see a property.

Honest, it's not because we're lazy.

Driving by will allow you to see what the rest of the homes in the neighborhood look like. You'll see if the outside of the property is being kept in good condition--a requirement if you finance your home, as it protects the banks' investment.

This truly saves everyone time during your home search. I've been to more than one property that my clients immediately knew they weren't interested in because of the house next door or across the street.

Keeping these points in mind will help renters as they transition into home ownership.

Foreclosure Starts Up in Some Areas



The National Association of REALTORS® reports that while nationwide foreclosure starts have declined, some pocket areas are seeing an increase in the number of foreclosures. Close to us:

Massachusetts - up 3%
Connecticut - up 50%

To read the entire article, visit realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/08/19/foreclosures-rise-in-few-pockets

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mailbox Monday - August 15



Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday, everyone! This is looking to be a great week. I have three closings. Yes, three. Awesome!!!

Not a ton of reading happening around here but, in all fairness, I was a bit tied up last week with work and family.



The Lil' Diva--who is not so little anymore--turned 15 last Thursday. It was a low key birthday with dinner out followed by a small cake at home with presents. A member of our church family also had a surprise birthday party, which we attended.

We are gearing up for school already. Some supplies and clothes have been bought, but I think the bulk of the shopping will occur in a couple of weeks. This coming week we have three days of vacation Bible school.

As for my mailbox, there was only one book; but it's one I was eagerly anticipating.




As the year draws to a close, the brand-new colony of Promise Lodge is thriving, a welcoming community that offers three Amish sisters a fresh start. And as Christmas approaches, gifts big and small are given with love . . .

As Promise Lodge’s first wedding arrives, the evidence of a community building a foundation for the future is a cause for celebration. But the bishop’s narrow-minded wedding sermon doesn’t sit well with the Bender sisters, the town’s courageous founders, especially widowed Mattie Schwartz. She believes marriage and family aren’t the most important of God’s gifts—even if she suspects her tender feelings for Preacher Amos Troyer run deeper than simple friendship.

Amos hasn’t given up hope that stubborn, spirited Mattie will change her mind about taking another husband, but when an accident threatens to change the course of his life forever, he wonders if the Lord has sent him a message. He’ll need faith, hope, and charity to find the right path—and a Christmas blessing to convince Mattie to walk it with him.


What was in your mailbox?

Friday, August 12, 2016

Americans More Upbeat about the Housing Market




Looks like people are feeling better about the housing market. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that the share of consumers who said they would buy if they were going to move climbed to 67 percent. The number who said they would rent dropped to 26 percent. Moreover, many consumers are expecting home prices to rise over the next 12 months.

For additional information, visit http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/08/11/home-buyers-most-confident-ever