Why You Won’t go on Vacation & Why You Probably Should

You could be in Amsterdam in eight hours. In Cape Town in sixteen. You could be scaling the Andes Mountains in Patagonia right now –while  wearing your favorite Patagonia coat. So why are you still sitting on your couch? Why haven’t you left your home state in twenty years? And why aren’t you living the crazy life you’ve always dreamed of? It’s a proven fact that people are happier when they have a vacation planned. It’s often said that a vacation gives you something to look forward to. This alone should be enough to convince you to start saving for a trip. However, it’s not always that easy, is it? If you are anything like me, practicality often gets in the way of adventure. Three of the biggest reasons people don’t take vacations is because of money, time, and flat out fear.

Addressing the “I don’t have enough money” mindset:

Have you ever put new tires before a Las Vegas getaway with friends? Or maybe a new lawn mower got in the way of that perfect getaway to Chicago. Whatever it is that stops you from saving for a vacation, it doesn’t have to take away from the exciting adventure that could await. Sometimes all it takes is a simple shift in mindset to make the unthinkable happen.

When Dan and I were first married we made very little money. I worked part-time while finishing school as Dan started his first year teaching. Our apartment was a one bedroom located in the bad part of Minneapolis. Despite that, we decided that traveling would be a priority for us. But how did we do it? We traded some things for others. So, I want to propose a question. What are the things in your life that you don’t actually need?  Consider dropping your cable to put that money aside for a trip. Do you need the newspaper when many are available to read online? Transportation is necessary, but does it have to be a 2016 model? Just start thinking about it. I could bet that most people reading this article could at least save $10 a month in a vacation fund. It’s a start!

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Addressing the “I’m too busy” mindset:

Have you ever been so busy that the thought of adding one more thing to your schedule makes you feel like you’ll break? I have, and at this point a vacation isn’t just a want, it’s a need. You can only run on low batteries for so long before they run out. If the thought of laying on the white sand beaches of Aruba is cathartic, imagine how healing it would be to actually be there. Between the two of us, Dan and I work over 130 hours a week. Add a social life to that, errands, cleaning house… etc… we aren’t left with much extra time. Our particular schedule may look different than yours, but I know that we aren’t the only ones who have only a precious few hours to spend leisurely. That’s why you need to recharge your batteries. Our lives are so busy, that if we don’t slow down from time to time, we really could break. If you have enough PTO, use some. If your parents said they would watch your kids, don’t feel guilty, take advantage of the opportunity. If you think you’ve got too much going on at work, take care of the things that need attention right away, and leave the rest for later.

 

 

Addressing the “I’m too scared” mindset:

When you are at the end of your life looking back at all you’ve done, won’t you want to reflect on all of the seized opportunities, and revel in the fact that you took control of life? In the short life I’ve already lived, I’ve learned that some of the scariest experiences in life are the best experiences. When we were in the Cayman Islands a few years back, Dan made me hold a stingray while on a snorkeling adventure. I was terrified while I watched others pick them up, but I was also jealous of the life experience they were having. He saw the wistful look in my eye and encouraged me to hold one even though I was scared. I’m thankful for the push he gave me. That will forever be one of my favorite experiences in life. What are the things you have wanted to do, but you let fear stand in the way?

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Can you see the man swimming after the stingray :D!?

 

 

If you are still struggling to justify a vacation, I will give you a few more reasons to just bite the bullet and plan the trip:

  1. It’s a chance to invest in yourself.
  2. It gives you the break you need to recharge your batteries for life.
  3. If you’re married or dating, it’s a chance to invest in your relationship.
  4. It helps you expand your interests.
  5. It opens your world view.
  6. It’s a chance to invest in your family.
  7. It’s a chance to build new relationships.
  8. It can be a spiritual experience.
  9. Because accumulating experiences is better than collecting stuff
  10. It’s a chance to give back (missions or volunteer trips)

 

 

 

  • PS, I want to give a quick shout out to my husband Dan for doing an amazing edit on this post!

 

 

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Guest Blog: What can you do to sell your home this Spring?

Winter is gone and spring has begun!

Spring starts the cycle of seasons, prompting our desires for something fresh and new. Sometimes  that new  thing can be a hair style or wardrobe, but other times it can be something bigger, like selling your home and starting over somewhere new.

You always hear that it’s difficult to sell your home in the winter — No kidding, who want’s to move in 3 feet of snow? — but selling in the spring brings steep competition. I am seeing for sale signs pop up left and right all around my community. Luckily for you, I have an expert available with some tips on how to get your home to stand out from the pack. I am not a home owner myself yet, although I do have an unhealthy obsession with real estate. Seriously, ask me how many homes are for sale in my community and I can not only rattle it off, but I will tell you the price, how much the property taxes are, and what street each house is on. I LOVE architecture and I love houses. When I go for walks each evening with my husband, we pick out our favorite details on the homes we pass, and store them in our memories for when we own one. Don’t feel bad for me though. I may not own a house yet, but I live in my dream historic apartment, which makes me as happy as a clam.

Well, enough of my yammering — Let’s let the expert do his job.

Tips from Spencer Hutton, Realtor with CommonWealth Real Estate Group and TheMLSonline.com, on how to sell your home this Spring!

SPENCER HUTTON | REALTOR®, Lead Agent CommonWealth Real Estate Group Direct: 612-868-4738 shutton@themlsonline.com

Selling in the spring time can be a double edged sword in Minnesota. Buyer’s have been pent up all winter and are excited to get out and look at new inventory of homes, which is a huge win for sellers! However, the curb appeal on our homes can take a huge hit over our harsh winters! So what are the best steps to take to set yourself apart from the competition?

 
1)  Pick Up Trash – You’d be amazed at how much trash gets buried under the snow and pushed into your yard/curbs over the winter months by the plows. Take some extra time to walk around your yard, and even the curbs of your street to pick up leaves, debris and trash. Even if it is out on the streets in the front of the house, it can make your home look shabby. But, if you have taken the time to do this extra step and your neighbors (or competition) have not, your house will stand out!
 
2)  Power Wash/Paint Exterior – Often times, a lot of dirt and grime builds up on the exterior of a home during the winter months. Have someone come power wash the siding or stucco of your home (I recommend a professional to ensure the siding isn’t damaged). Also, if your home needs a fresh paint job, don’t hesitate to invest in this easy way to add instant curb appeal, which is critical area to spruce up before listing your home on the market. You only get one chance at a first impression!
 
3)  New Mulch and Flowers – Spending a little bit of money on mulch and fresh spring flowers will go a long way. In the spring, the streets and lawns of Minnesota can blend into a drab brown color. Set yourself apart by getting fresh natural colored mulch and planting some hardy spring flowers. You can plant the following flowers/shrubs as soon as the ground thaws and they will bloom right around Mother’s Day in May:
  • Lilacs
  • Magnolias
  • Pansies

4)  Replace the Front Door – This is where potential buyers will walk into your home for the first time. It is also where the realtor may fumble with the lockbox for a few moments and the buyers will be glancing at your exterior landscaping, paint job and front door. A beat up and shabby front door will plant in the buyers minds that the rest of the home was not well cared for. On the flip side, a new and stylish front door can sell a home (It’s happened!). Again, you only get one chance at a first impression. Make it count!
 
 
5)  Professional Photography – Make sure your real estate agent is using a professional photographer for your listing. I have a photographer I use on all of my listings. 91% of people start their home shopping journey online (that number continues to rise) and your photos will make or break your listing. You want all of your hard work to jump off the screen for your buyers and a professional photographer with have the right skills and equipment to capture your house at its best. It’s an investment that will pay itself back for you and your real estate agent!
To sum it all up, YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE AT A FIRST IMPRESSION (Did I say that yet?) and in today’s quick click culture, you have to capture your home at its best just to get buyers to the front of your home. When they get there you don’t want to leave them feeling disappointed. A little work will go a long way!
 For more advice or to get started on the home buying or selling process, contact me and my team, CommonWealth Real Estate Group of TheMLSonline.com

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