connie vallone

How to Survive the Post-Holiday Blues

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Selling, Houston Real Estate, Texas, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on January 17, 2017 at 8:16 am

The gifts have been unwrapped, the songs have been sung, and the cookies have been baked and eaten – the time has come to pack up the holiday mementos and move on.

But for some, moving on is simply not as easy as it sounds. The holiday season can be an emotional roller coaster, and stepping off at the end of the ride can leave you with a case of psychological whiplash. Whether it’s caused by feelings of guilt from overindulgence, unmet expectations, or loneliness, depression after the holidays is a common condition. So common, in fact, that there is even a name for it – the ‘post-holiday blues.’

Feelings of sadness, guilt, and anger can kick off genuine symptoms of depression ranging from mild unhappiness to more troublesome symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, inability to eat or overeating, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and anxiety. But you don’t have to let the post-holiday blues get you down. Here are some helpful suggestions to survive the blues and get back on track for the new year.

Expect some letdown. The holidays create busy-ness – gift shopping, decorating, social gatherings, travel – then it seems like the next day it’s back to your usual routine. It’s normal to feel a little bummed that the holidays are over, but you don’t have to let those feelings consume you. That’s why you need to…

Make plans. Give yourself something to look forward to so that you feel better about leaving the holidays behind. For example, map out your training for a spring 5K, book a mid-winter weekend away, or call a friend that you didn’t get to see over the holidays and schedule a lunch date.

Make healthy choices. Even if you feel like you are just going through the motions, make a conscious effort to eat well and get a little exercise during this period. It will do your body and your mind a world of good.

Be social. After all of the socializing of the holidays, it’s common to want to hide out when you feel the post-holiday blues approaching. But staying connected with family and friends will help you move on from the holidays and once again enjoy your day-to-day life.

Seek help. If the post-holiday blues have really got you down, do not be afraid to seek help, either from your inner circle of loved ones or from a health care professional. While it may have a cutesy name, the post-holiday blues is a very real condition, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Call your mom or dad, your best friend, or your doctor and let them know how you are feeling. Sometimes, just knowing someone is there to listen can go a long way to improving your mood.

Adapted from a blog article by Jenn Savedge on Mother Nature Network www.mnn.com. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com .

Four Trends to Shape Real Estate in 2017

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Design Trends, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Sellers, Selling Your Home, Texas, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on December 20, 2016 at 10:30 am

2017 promises to be an interesting year in real estate. Facing the millennial effect, interest rate questions and economic changes, it’s important for REALTORS® to devote time investigating both their state and local real estate trends, as well as the national factors, determining 2017. Below are four promising trends that will shape the market this upcoming year.

Millennials Rising from the Basements

As millennials get older, they are increasing homeownership rates faster than in previous years, according to research from Fannie Mae. Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. and many of them entered their post-college years during one of the toughest economic periods in decades. For years we have heard the joke about the number of them living at home with their parents. For a while this was true, but the economy has improved now and with jobs seemingly more abundant, millennials are coming to the real estate market.

First-time buyers are a driving force for a healthy real estate market and millennials are starting to buy homes. They are starting to age into a group primed for homeownership and many of them are in better positions financially because of years of saving and living in “the basement.” This influx of new buyers and increased demand is likely to lead to a strong 2017 market as they seek to take advantage of low interest rates.

Interest Rates Rise

Will rates go up? This question will push many people into the buying decision. The reality is, this has been the same question at the end of each of the last three years, but eventually they have to go up…right? Not necessarily. In fact, we may experience low rates for many years to come. They may rise, but the rise is likely to be gradual overall to keep the economy from hitting another recession. The fear of high rates will continue to create a sense of urgency as many people look for a better option. The low rates mean it is still cheaper to buy than rent in many large real estate markets.

To Move or Remodel, That Is the Question

With so many homeowners locked in extremely low interest rates, many are choosing to remodel their existing homes instead of move. That has also meant a lower supply of homes available for first-time buyers. The question many people are facing is whether or not they should spend the money remodeling, or take advantage of their increased equity and buy their long-term dream home. Space and location are typically the deciding factors when considering a move. The biggest increase in prices has primarily taken place in “starter homes,” or homes more easily financed for first-time or middle-income buyers. Higher-priced homes and luxury homes in many parts of the country have not experienced as large an increase in prices. This gives many homeowners the increased financial leverage to purchase their dream home with a larger down payment, low rates and a payment they are comfortable with.

“But I Don’t Want to Be Homeless”

The tight supply of homes in many hot markets is making the stress of buying and selling higher than normal. The limited number of homes and a competitive environment means that many homeowners are afraid to sell for fear of having no home to buy. Many sellers are looking for non-contingent offers, meaning the buyers do not have a home to sell. Even if their home is under contract, they might get passed over for a buyer without a home to sell. This increased pressure makes many potential home sellers decide to stay put. This gap will likely keep inventories low and continue to push prices higher.

There are so many factors—nationally and locally—that can affect the real estate market. Considering all factors for your real estate market and larger trends will help you make the best informed decision.

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com

New Homeowners: Ready to Knock Down Walls? 3 Projects to Knock Out Instead

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Investment, Marketing your home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on December 15, 2016 at 7:44 am

You just became a homeowner—congratulations! In between the oh-my-gosh-I-have-a-mortgage feeling and the pile of empty pizza boxes (you have yet to unpack your cookware), you may be making a mental list of all the things you’re going to do to make your home your home—projects you plan to knock out the first few weeks as king (or queen!) of your castle.

But tackling too much, too soon is a recipe for regret. The fact is, even though all of those projects seem necessary (they seemed necessary when you walked the home, too!), many of them aren’t.

A full-blown kitchen remodel, for instance, is a wise investment—but only after you’ve determined your needs as a homeowner (and how long you plan to stay in the house, as well). Ditto for the bathrooms—both projects are disruptive, expensive and time-consuming.

So, what should be addressed right out of the gate?

Appliances

You may be one of the select new homeowners who gets to inherit the former owner’s appliances—another congratulations is in order! Head to Home Depot sooner rather than later for new, ENERGY STAR®-rated appliances. Replacing even just one with an energy-efficient and/or smart alternative, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), can save you $50 and 100 hours each year 

Insulation

Make it a priority to check the insulation in the attic—installing more where needed can cut costs your first year as a homeowner (and every year after). It’s well worth the expense: according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, fiberglass attic insulation recoups over 100 percent of its cost at resale.

 Landscape

Money doesn’t grow on trees…but home value does. If your new landscape’s lacking, start planting trees as soon as possible—you’ll not only see lower energy costs over the long term, but also an average 18 percent boost in value, according to the Arbor Day Foundation.

 That’s it—just three tasks. If you’re in your forever home, you’ll have more than enough time to finish these, and the rest on your list.

 Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

 

This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Visit the blog daily for housing and real estate tips and trends. Like Housecall on Facebook and follow @HousecallBlog on Twitter. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com .