by Amber Dawson | Oct 1, 2020 | Real Estate
Phew! This market is still moving FAST! Days on market has gone down again. Buyers are definitely bringing their “A” game as list to sold prices hover right at 101%. The highest I saw in September was 111% of asking. That means that a seller was offered 11% more than the list price. WOW!
If you’re thinking about selling I would say now is the time. Don’t know where to start? I can help! Contacting me before you’re ready will help you prepare for the sale, streamline the process, and set you up for maximum success. Talk soon!
by Amber Dawson | Sep 30, 2020 | Lifestyle, Real Estate
Mama, Realtor, assistant, student, business owner, wife, board member, homeschool mom. These are all roles that I’ve held, most of them simultaneously. So how do I manage to keep everything straight? How do I ever get anything done?
- I (almost) never sleep 💤
- time blocking ⏰
- the four minute rule ⏲️
First, I wake up just after the witching hour, otherwise known as 4:30am, every day. Even when I don’t want to, which is most days. I start my day by feeding the cats (I have too many and they swarm me as soon as my feet hit the floor), starting my coffee, and throwing a load of laundry in the washer.
Having a few hours in the morning to keep up with the laundry, empty the dishwasher, answer emails, prepare for the kids school day and do my own homework is essential. Once my family wakes up it’s very difficult to stay on track.
Next, I plan out my week every Sunday afternoon. I block off specific times to get tasks done. If it’s not on my schedule, it doesn’t happen. I block off time to work, spend with the kids, family time, grocery shop, have coffee dates with friends, even balance the checkbook, you get the idea. I have two planners, one for real estate, and one for everything else. It’s the only way.
Finally, I follow the four minute rule. I have to start this by saying that when I first starting doing this, I thought I was a genius. That is until I read about some guy and his tomato who figured it out way before I did. If you haven’t heard of Francesco Cirillo or the Pomodoro technique, forget the last sentence and trust me, I’m a genius 😉.
The basic idea is that every task should take no more than four minutes. I literally set a timer for 4 minutes and only focus on a task that amount of time (Pomodoro gives you 25 followed by a 5 minute break). This scheduling method stems from the idea that tasks will expand to the time you allow for them. Have all day to write that report? It will take you all day. Have four minutes? You will focus and get it done in four minutes. I carry this through just about everything I do. Of course some things take more than that. Those I usually break into smaller tasks or focus on beginning, middle, and end. For instance washing, rinsing, and drying dishes are three separate activities that get 4 minutes each. Wondering why 4 minutes? That’s how long it takes to brew French-press coffee ☕.
Things that take 4 minutes or less: emptying the dishwasher, making your bed, answering two emails, calling a client, balancing the checkbook (if done every day), paying bills, showering, folding a load of laundry, watering the plants, making scrambled eggs and toast.
It turns out I’m in good company, Elon Musk also uses this technique, he gives himself 5 minutes per task.
How do you manage your time? Is it effective? What tips do you have to be more productive?
by Amber Dawson | Jul 16, 2020 | Community, Shopping
We’ve been homeschooling for the past 7 years. I’ve been working full time for the past 5. It is possible, but you have to let go of all the things you think school looks like. You can have a rich, well rounded education and only “school” a few hours a day. You can school outside. You can make your kids do chores and count it as home ec. You’re welcome 😜.
If you have any questions, please reach out. I’m happy to help with curriculum options, schedules, and resources. You’ve got this. 👊
1. You are NOT going to mess your kids up by homeschooling.
2. Home school does NOT have to look like school at home.
3. You don’t have to do school during “school“ hours.
4. Or “school” days. Saturday and Sunday can be school days too!
5. Keep a good(ish) routine.
6. Pajamas are your new school uniform.
7. Read lots of books.
8. Gardening = science. 🍅
9. Baking = math + chemistry. 🍞
10. Riding bikes/playing at the park = PE.
11. Work outside if you can. ☀️
12. Get a bigger office. (I can help!) I’m laughing in the video about moving your office outside because I just met with our architect to draw up plans for an outside office. #thankscorona 😂
13. Give yourself and everyone else lots of grace.
14. Make it fun! Play in the mud, let your kids take in the dirt, use glitter, waste some glue, bake, dance, tell stories, lineup sticks, stack rocks, it all counts!
15. It will be okay. ✌🏻
You can watch my video about working and homeschooling here 👉 https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=303736984159970
by Amber Dawson | Jun 19, 2020 | Community
For the next two weeks I will be collecting diapers for the Fredericksburg United Methodist Church Food Pantry. The FUMC Food Pantry is one of the only food resources left open. Most of the other area food pantries have closed due to Covid-19. After speaking with them I learned that they have plenty of food for local families but could really use diapers. Specifically they asked for the larger sizes, which are hard to come by. If you would like to donate you can drop the diapers off at my office downtown, Coldwell Banker Elite, 520 William St, 22401 (right across from Sedona), or I can pick them up. Just send me a text or email. ❤️
by Amber Dawson | Jun 18, 2020 | Real Estate
If you were thinking about buying or selling a house this year you’ve probably been wondering if this is really a good time. As a seller you’re probably more concerned with home values. Buyers might be wondering about the stability of the economy. No matter which side you’re on, there is good news in housing.
The spring real estate market sprung early this year (we were looking at a record year) and then got sideswiped by the pandemic. I say sideswiped and not stopped because the market didn’t stop. It kept going with just a little bit of a dent in the side. Not as pretty, but still functional.
The number one problem the market is having right now has nothing to do with a stymied economy, unease in the job market, or the ability to borrow money, the number one problem we have is low inventory. There simply aren’t enough houses for the number of serious buyers out there.
For every well maintained, appropriately priced house that goes on the market there are about a dozen buyers lined up and waiting. I have been seeing multiple offers on almost every listing and my buyers are competing on every contract I write. The competition is fierce!
What that means for sellers:
When the time comes to list you should make sure that all the small repairs are taken care of and your house is staged well. I’ve seen some offers come over “sight unseen” which means that the buyers decided to purchase a house solely based on the online photographs, video, and/or virtual tour. Fantastic, professional photos are a MUST.
It also means that you’ll have some flexibility in the contract terms and buyers are coming with their financing prepared. As far as pricing, home values are up about 8% over last year here in the Fredericksburg and surrounding areas. This is in part because of the low interest rates available for home loans. It’s also because the pandemic has forced some sellers to either pull their listing off the market, or wait to list until the dust settles making the low inventory problem, well, a bigger problem.
What that means for buyers:
BE READY TO MOVE FAST!! I really can’t stress this enough. If you find the perfect (or almost perfect) house and you want to think about it for a day or two, the house will be under contract before you make your mind up.
Being ready to move fast means that: 1. You have your pre-qualification letter in hand. 2. You have your earnest money deposit ready (usually 1% of the sale price). 3. You’ve honed in on what the most important features are for you and what you can do without (for now). 4. You have an amazing agent who is an expert at negotiating. 5. You have clear expectations and know that you’re in a sellers’ market. 6. You understand that this is not the time for lowball offers. Houses are currently selling for an average of 99% of the asking price (some offers are going above asking to get a leg up on competition). Keep this in mind when making your offer.
Just a side note for buyers, interest rates are really, really, really low right now. It’s a great time to lock in a rate we probably won’t see again in our lifetimes.
Have more questions or want to know what your home is worth right now? I have a few appointments left for a 15 minute Zoom meeting to answer questions specific to your needs. You can schedule online here or reach out via text (910.554.2480) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to chatting with you!