Top Tech Tips for iPhone 4s

Who isn’t inspired by an Apple TV Commercial with all their high tech capabilities?  I’ve owned their products for 9 years and can’t imagine life without them. With the introduction of Siri, on the iPhone 4s, Apple has changed how we live, work, and play. Several agents in our office are new to Apple and have asked me to help them become familiar with their products. Specifically, the iPhone 4s. Out of 44+ Siri tips and Tricks….here are my top ten.

1.How to make Siri compose and read emails

2. Ask a question. “How many ounces are in a cup?” “How many square feet are in an Acre?”

3. Check your schedule. “What do I have scheduled for Friday?”

4. “Make Phone Call”  This is extremely helpful while driving.

5. “Send text to …….” Then speak your message.

6. “Reply to my new message” for text messages and email.

7. “Correct Siri’s Definition”. If Siri doesn’t know the answer, you can help. This tip will make Siri smarter and thus more effective.

8. “Siri turn off all my alarms” now it’s Siri’s fault you over slept and missed your appointment

9.  Send Tweets and Facebook Status updates

10. How to Add Phonetic Spellings to a Contact. (Siri my not speak Southern)

The step by step guide for these tips can be found on TecHow’s Website. (www.techow.net/iphone)

Apple IPhone & IPAD

Will one product rebuild consumer confidence in the Housing Market?

Will one product rebuild consumer confidence in the Housing Market?

Interest Rates are at an all time low and home prices have fallen to levels not seen since 2001. All economic signs indicate NOW is a great time purchase a home. Brokers across the country are scratching their heads, tossing in their bed at night, trying to crack the Consumer Confidence Code. They are asking themselves, “What else can I say or do, to convince buyers, that they are passing on an opportunity of their lifetime?”

When considering purchasing a product, what triggers your decision to buy? Are you attracted by the warranty, service plan, 20% off sales tag, financing terms or  the lifestyle and image owning this product offers? Most Americans’ largest asset is their primary residence, and from the late 90’s through 2006, it was marketed and used as an investment, not a home. So it’s easy to understand why consumer confidence in the housing market is at an all time low.

Ted Rusinoff, President of Equity Lock Solutions, has created an insurance product that covers the risk of home ownership. (hyperlink equity lock solutions)  With their product, homeowners can protect their home value in a declining real estate market. A wonderful article was just written in RISMedia’s Real Estate Magazine and their website explains the benefits, as well as the costs of their products.

I pulled this example from their site, to give you an idea of the concept.  But definitely check out their site to get all the facts.

In 2008, Mr. Jones purchases a home for $300,000 and an EquityLock Home Price Protection contract for $4,500. The local index at the time is 100. In 2011, Mr. Jones sells the home under one of the following potential scenarios:

Scenario 1 –  Mr. Jones sells the home for $350,000 and the local index in his area is 105. Mr. Jones sells his home for a profit and the Home Price Protection contract terminates with no value.

Scenario 2  – Mr. Jones sells the home for $290,000 and the local index has fallen to 90. EquityLock Financial pays Mr. Jones $30,000 at the time of sale (the local index fell 10%; therefore a payment of 10% of the original purchase price is paid).

Scenario 3 – Mr. Jones sells the home for $350,000 and the local index has fallen to 90. Mr. Jones receives a payment of $30,000, even though he did not lose money on the home. (The local index fell 10%; therefore, a payment of 10% of the original purchase price is paid.)

Are Americans’ becoming over insured? Do we need policy’s to protect us from our own poor decisions? What message will this send to our children? Jim Rohn

Should I buy/sell a home during the holidays?

My favorite season is Winter! The day after Thanksgiving all the tire kickers and weekend lookers turn their attention to Black Friday and start decorating their home for the Holidays. But for someone who is serious about selling or buying a home, the decision should not be chanced on the flip of a coin. Buyers in the market will often tell their REALTOR, “let’s hold off until the New Year” and Sellers “can we wait to list our home until January?” So the question is, “Should I buy or sell a home during the Holidays?

I want to first start off by saying this, if you are unable to prepare your home before December 1st, it’s in your best interest to wait until January 1st. Enjoy another Holiday Season in your home, but make a New Year’s Resolution early in December to have your home ready by January. Buyers will be more interested and motivated to purchase at the beginning of a new year, then during the last 2 weeks of the year.

Now for those in the market, who are buying or selling before the holiday, you should plan on missing some Holiday Parties, if you don’t have a good strategy. This is because the 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and the 2 weeks after is your window of opportunity to write or accept an offer. Finding an Attorney, Lender, REALTOR, Buyer, & Seller who are all available for 1 hour before December 24th, can be very challenging depending on which day of the week Christmas and New Years Day fall on, banks will be closed and you can forget about squeezing it in before the new year.

As a seller, you must make sure your house is ready for prospective buyers at a drop of the hat and that your pictures and description showcase the best qualities of your home right from the start. This is extremely important, because upwards of 85% of all buyers start their search online, so they will see what your home looks like before scheduling an appointment to view it. Make sure your REALTOR is marketing the best aspects of your home, whether it’s online or in person, potential buyers are interested in know what you the owner love about this property.

Buyers who are shopping during the holidays, are typically very serious and motivated about purchasing a home. They are anxious to view new inventory as it becomes available, and their offers are very reasonable, as less time is available for negotiating an offer. Sellers should ask their Broker “if the inventory in our market is traditionally lower during the holidays, will I benefit by listing my property now, when there is less competition?”

Now most Brokers will tell you Real Estate is seasonal, and it is for the buyers and sellers whose move isn’t time sensitive. But with the advancement in technology of Smartphones,Tablets and “Real Estate Apps”, this may soon change our seasonal perception.

There are positives and negatives for both sellers and buyers during the holiday season, and every case is different. Make sure you discuss the impact of this process with your REALTOR, as all real estate is local.