Living large while living small

Most of you know I love tiny homes and the freedom they offer. Freedom from stuff, freedom to move locations and freedom to use your finances for experiences instead of debt! While Real Estate is the way to wealth in the traditional fashion, there are plenty of opportunities to grow your wealth in Real Estate while living small through investing and helping others by providing housing for those that can’t, or don’t choose to own.

I have lived in small spaces and always enjoyed the simplicity of that lifestyle. The freedom to spend more freely on events, trips and growth far outweighed not having more room. Having lower expenses meant I could buy services and higher quality goods all around, that improved my lifestyle too. I’ve also experienced the closeness in my family during those times, living intimately together offers more opportunity for interaction and sharing love. My happiest small space was an 8 x 10 room at my daughter’s, it wasn’t the space, it was purely location, location, location! Directly across the small hall from my almost 2 year old granddaughter Lucy. Providing nightly bedtime tales, slumber parties to snuggle me in my tiny bed, with her monstrous dog Maple and my little furball Vegas, like a jigsaw puzzle we would fit. Massive snow storms trapped us for days at a time in that tiny house that winter. We barely all fit in the kitchen at one time, though there were numerous sessions of bake offs, deliciousness and memories that occurred there, all priceless!

I’ve also lived in sprawling spaces where I actually would visit places in my house when I finally got home from working. These rarely used rooms I paid to furnish, heat and cool were just dust collectors.  Yes, it felt good to pull into my exclusive neighborhood, see my name on the mailbox saying I belonged there. Driving up the long driveway, providing that lifestyle to my family, and occasionally enjoying the space with friends was the rationale I told myself. Looking back, it was an ego driven move, wasteful of my resources and personal time working to pay for it and maintaining it. Later, when my Dad passed, he lived in an impressive looking home, with a grand gated entrance, land with a pond in a very urban location. When I moved in there, I was astounded at the state of the property. It looked good from the street, but nothing worked correctly, the systems were all dated, and the features were broken. It was heartbreaking to experience, he had so much, it was too much. I’ve learned it’s hereditary, and as I’ve done with other traits in my genes, I’m going to work to break the cycle. I suppose, I’m gaining that wisdom that was promised to me from the University of Life, and shared by my Dad way back when. The old man told me when I was slightly wild in my teens, that you only get so many fun tickets, use them wisely. I don’t believe that literally, however on another level, I understand the message. Especially now, as I feel the aches and pains of my daring and adventurous ways, it only took 40 years!

Then there is the stuff! You know what I’m talking about, the inevitable collections of crap that fill our spaces. It’s like it multiplies in dark spaces, put one sweater in the closet and then find three while you’re looking for the only one you thought you had! I delighted several peeps with recycled treasures I found in the closets of my average size house here in Pikesville, this past Christmas. I wasn’t being cheap, just frugal. It was also stuff they really wanted and I didn’t. I’m also planning a downsize this year and I’m really excited about it! I’ve only been here a few years and the amount of stuff I’ve gathered is just laughable! Being an upcycler doesn’t help, I may need it I tell myself.

I’ve attached a link to an article in the Baltimore Sun about the development of tiny homes being considered in Baltimore, check it out. I’m glad the city is looking into these options for it’s citizens. The freedom from chores, expenses and maintenance would do wonders for so many, especially those just getting started and also for the elderly on limited fixed incomes. I’ve investigated creating tiny home communities in MD and came away with a lesson that my pockets weren’t deep enough for the long road to permits and hearings and restrictions that are the opposite of what I was trying to create…a lifestyle of freedom. With more of the public showing interest, growing understanding of the concept, hopefully the regulations will become more feasible. I’ve developed neighborhoods, I would love to develop a tiny home community!

Our experience is the ticket to your dreams!

Becky Hammer Real Estate wheelin n dealin, Gypsy Souled, Rock n Roller


#RockstarRealtorsofKWLegacy #tinyhomesinMD #freedom 

Baltimore Sun / Tiny Homes

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Creating a Vision Board

This is a great time to evaluate what you want for the coming year in life and how your business is going to fund the life of your dreams. Having a plan to create that life is critical! We all have dreams we wish would come true! Creating a vision board will add an element of focus to those wishes and your plan.

You can create a vision board many ways, I’ll share how I create mine using Pinterest and a few art supplies. You can also use magazines, photos and your own drawings if you feel inspired.

First, there are some questions you need to ask yourself to get clarity on what you want in your life.

  1. What do I want my life to look like a year from now?
  2. Who is in my life?
  3. Where will I have been, what places or things have I seen?
  4. What actions fueled my career to make this dream a reality?
  5. How do I feel?
  6. Why are these dreams important to me?
  7. Dream BIG!
  8. Always ask “How can it get better than this?”

Second, create a new board on Pinterest, you can name it whatever you like, I use “Visions of 2016” for this coming year. Search for pictures of those things, affirmations or quotes that resonate with your dream life and photos of family, friends and those who fill your heart with joy that you identified in the questions and add them to your new board.

Third, you will need a posterboard, glue, a printer, I use Sharpies to add quotes, words and drawings of my own. I also like to add embellishments like stickers,  gems and glitter, cause I am all about the sparkle!

Fourth, print out the pictures you have saved to your board and attach them to your posterboard, creating a collage of your new life and dreams. Add your embellishments, let yourself be creative & have FUN!

Fifth, hang your vision board at your work area, over your desk, take a pic of it and post it wherever you need inspiration to keep reaching for your dreams! In your planner, on your phone, computer, or wherever you want to be reminded what your working for!

Here is a picture of what my 2015 Vision Board looks like:

20151211_092433

I have mine over my desk in my home office on my chalkboard wall. So much of this board has become my reality! What hasn’t, I can add to 2016 or I can just let it go, if it no longer works for my dreams. You can also add to your board as you go because life changes and new dreams are created everyday as we learn new skills, meet new people and grow into our potential!

One of my favorite parts of using Pinterest is sharing! Team members family & friends can send pins that encourage your dream. The momentum of others collaborating with you on creating your dream life could push you, your life and business to the next level! Here is the link to my Pinterest boards if you would like to get some ideas how to use it:

Pinterest.com/thegypsie

I also use Leonie Dawson Amazing Life and Biz Planners to gain clarity on where I want to go and creating the map to get there. You can get yours here:

Leonie Dawson’s Amazing Life & Biz Planning Workbook

Leonie Dawson’s Shining Academy

Would you like to have a Vision Board Workshop? I’d love to work with you! Contact me at 443-467-1147

ENJOY!

 

How to choose an agent to sell your home…

We’ve all seen the shows with the TV Real Estate agents happily putting the SOLD sign on someone’s house. While those agents were easily able to list, sell and relocate the owners in 30 minutes to an hour, that’s not how this works. Selling and or buying a home, takes planning and preparation. There are many decisions to be made when selling your home.

First, you need to consider the options and your BIG why, does this make the most sense for you at this time? Where do you want to move, to a bigger/smaller home, a new area or just a different house for any number of reasons? Is your house ready to sell? Who are you going to trust to help you during this time? Selling property is one of the biggest decisions most of us make, choosing wisely will determine your future and your financials.

The best time to hire a Real Estate agent is as soon as you think you want to sell your home. It’s never too early to start getting ready to put your house on the market. Real Estate agents have seen everything, don’t worry about the kids toys piled in the corner or all over the floor. we are here to share with you what’s important, things that need attention and how to get to show ready. Hiring an agent early can earn you BIG $$$ by addressing the details buyers are going to be looking for, you may be able to add equity in the most prudent ways.

Who are you going to call? Do you call the agent that has been sending you refrigerator magnets for the last 5 years that you have never met? Maybe a relative is in Real Estate? Most people have very limited experience in this area and choose the first agent they speak with. My question to you is, would you hire this person to run your business? Selling a house is your personal business that will impact your life greatly! Hiring the biggest team in the world is a good bet, they have proven systems and results. However, the personal aspect of selling your home may be lost after the initial appointment. Choosing a relative is definitely close to the heart, however may not be in your best interest due to being too close. My solution is to interview agents, choose who you feel comfortable telling your most personal business to. Really, did I just say to interview other agents? Yes I did, we are not the perfect fit for everyone, yet, our experiences are so vast I’m totally confident in our services! Real Estate agents touch your life in the most personal of ways, your life happens at home, how, where and when are all in their hands, choose wisely.

Where do you find agents to talk to? Look around your neighborhood, is there a consistent sign you see that gets results? Ask that relative for an appointment, to talk business. Also, ask friends and family about their experiences selling and buying Real Estate. Did you know there are two types of agents? All agents can sell or help you buy property, however, most specialize in one or the other. The duality of our team allows the best of both worlds, a world class marketing expert to sell your home, and a treasure hunter to assist you in finding a new one.

During the interviews you will become familiar with each agents style, experience and personality. I recommend selecting an agent only after you have weighed the information from all. Yes, I just said that too!

Which agent do you choose? The agent that had all the charts, numbers and statistics presented on their digital presentation? Your relative who knows most about you? Or, the agent that listened to you and your needs to learn how they can help you? We’re the last one, we specialize in getting to know you, your circumstances, your life and where you are going! We will interview you as well, asking questions, defining your dreams and strategically assist you in reaching home.

Now what? Analyzing the property, staging and getting your house ready to be seen by purchasers. This is where it so important to choose an agent early. We all have demanding schedules with work, family and fun, selling your home doesn’t have to be a rush to get ready for buyers when we have a plan. In some homes, we could put the house on the market right away. Others, that’s most of us, live fully in our space and have adapted to clutter, the crack on the ceiling and that drip from the faucet. By evaluating these conditions well ahead of time, they can be addressed without panic. OMG! The buyers are coming hide the kids!

We would love to meet with you to assist with every part of the process!

Rockstar Realtors Becky Hammer & April Richards

www.MDRockstarAgents.com

Let me introduce myself…

While this may be the first post to our blog, it comes with many years of experience in Real Estate.
Let me introduce us, I’m Becky Hammer, REALTOR with KW Legacy in Pikesville, MD. I’ve been in Real Estate since I was born, just kidding, but not really. I fell in love with looking at houses on a family trip, when I was knee high to a pony. I remember wandering through the homes and imagining living there, it was magick! My partner, April Richards is my daughter, also a REALTOR. Needless to say, she learned of Real Estate attending open houses, showings and meetings of all kinds with me while she was young. We spent many days riding around looking at homes, her yelling at me for peeking in windows of vacant homes and falling in love with Real Estate too! She became licensed while attending the University of Maryland in 2003.

My career started in Prince Georges County, in Hyattsville, MD, where I became the neighborhood agent of Hyattsville Hills and the Relocation Director for my brokerage. My very first transaction turned into a neighborhood in Upper Marlboro. I learned all about the processes and details of turning a parcel of land into luxury homes. During this time interest rates were 18%, selling homes was no easy task. I attended numerous trainings and networking meetings through my company, and learned from the best. Soon, I was guaranteeing sales in 30 days through some of the marketing techniques that I had learned and adapted to my business. My family had started investing in properties to rehab and flip, and several to buy and hold as rentals. Life happened and forced some changes that took me out of Real Estate for a few years, although I never left the business of watching the market, seeing homes and planning my comeback. I started a new business in the towing industry and soon became involved in the commercial side of Real Estate, with industrial properties and also apartment complexes and major players in Metro Washington area property management. My business became the provider for the new Washington Redskins Stadium parking management program and it seemed my fate was set for success. Once again life happened, I sold my company and went into a corporate position for a year. I excelled however, it wasn’t for me and I decided it was time to do what I love, Real Estate! I went about the classes, interviews and such and got my start. I partnered with another agent and off we were to accolades of achievement and succcess to the tune of the top 20% in the country! I found my niche, I LOVE selling homes, marketing, showing, and networking are my strong points. My partner the opposite, she loved the details, the paperwork and the administration of it all. It was a perfect match till it wasn’t, and we went our own ways. I had relocated to Southern MD, North Beach in Calvert County to be exact. I found that it was a different world of luxury homes, farms and waterfront properties that I just loved working. I also had begun investing in other businesses, owning a womens fitness center, a contracting company, our family property management business, as well as being a regional director for Mary Kay and several personal endeavors that helped others with life. I learned to wear many hats and how to delegate. The market was crazy good, homes were selling quickly for more than list price and loans were easy to come by. This was just before the crash, we saw it coming, still I rode the wave and I too fell hard when it crashed. I took on the contracting business and soon became the lead sub-contractor for a major contractor and developed crews that were rehabbing homes from Baltimore to Washington. I then had an opportunity to re-enter Real Estate in another venue working with an appraiser. Several months into this position my father and son died in a tragic occurance. We were shook to the core, However my daughter inherited the properties that were left, most needing full rehabs by this time. I turned back to the construction business and also, bought a property that was destroyed to the bones by fire. We managed to fully renovate these properties on a very limited budget and get them sold, rented and 1 that’s a whole other article. So, when I say experienced, I don’t mean we have sold a bazillion homes as Realtors, no we’ve lived it! We’ve owned many homes, businesses, invested with the good, the bad & the ugly, had deals that were too good to be true happen, and lost our shirt, pants and ponytail holders in the process as well. The most important part of all of this is the valuable education we’ve earned through our experiences that we can share with you.

We joined the traditional Real Estate market again in July of 2014 in Pikesville at KW Legacy. I had the good fortune of seeing the signs of a top agent in that office and asked for an interview. I have attended numerous training’s of excellence, joined the committees in our office and participate in the incredible culture of a one of a kind organization, that has quickly become family. I’m looking forward to this chapter of my story more every day, Thanks to the incredible leadership of KW Legacy, I have written an achievable business plan, there are goals & BIG why’s, Vision Boards, AHA’s and I’ve learned to be BOLD in my quest to help others with Real Estate. Have you ever thought of a career in Real Estate? We should talk!     I can’t imagine not having one!

If you would like to put our education to work for you, we would love to help! You can call, join our email list, or follow us on facebook by clicking the links on this page. Thank you for taking the time to learn about us! We’d love to learn how we can help you!