August 2019, Cliff’s Notes on real estate…

Posted on: August 1st, 2019 | By Cliff Keith | Cliff's Notes on Real Estate | No Comments

May 2019

Dear Friend,

Summer is hitting its stride and most of us are enjoying some vacation time. For that reason, this month’s newsletter is devoted to time off! Here are some of the fun articles you’ll enjoy as you sip your lemonade in the shade:

•    A heart-warming story about an Irreplaceable Summer
•   Wilderness Survival Tips
*•  Unique Vacation Ideas
•     A simple and easy recipe for a Summer Pie
•   And an informative article on how to Help Children Gain Perspective

Remember that late summer and fall are excellent times for real estate moves. Home buyers are pushing to get into a new home before winter and home sellers are anxious to make a deal before the start of school.

If you’re thinking about selling, please contact me now, (650) 346-7366 so we can work towards a smooth transition. Talk with you soon.

Your friend in the real estate business,


Cliff Keith

650-346-7366 Cell/Text

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Inside This Issue

        The Seeds Of Friendship

*•*         Do Pets Make Us Happy?

•         Mooove It On Over

•         Throw a Great Summer Bash

*•*        Music and Convergent Thinking

•         How to Get Out of a Slump

•         Starting a Book Club

*• *        A Tingling Idea

•         Dream On

•         What Do You Think?

*•         The Final Note

August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...

The Seeds Of Friendship

Ava was newly married. She and her husband had just moved into their first home and she had decided to plant a garden like the one her Grandma had planted years ago in the house where she grew up. All her life, she’d been the one to help take care of that garden and she was excited to keep the tradition alive in memory of her Grandma.

As part of the garden, Ava planted a little tree at the base of a stone wall in the corner of her garden and spent the entire summer coaxing the seedling into growth. Finally, the baby tree began sprouting green leafy vines that climbed the wall, but to her disappointment, no flowers bloomed.

One morning Ava stood in her garden and wondered whether she should just dig up the tree and start over with something new to bring some life to the dark corner.

Then she heard a voice from over the wall. “Yoo-hoo! I just wanted to thank you for the beautiful flowers!”

Confused, Ava went next door. Her neighbor, an elderly woman, opened the garden gate and showed her into the backyard.

To her surprise, the young woman saw that her tree had not only bloomed, but had also sprouted flowers all along the vines that had crept over the wall into her neighbor’s yard

Her work gave her neighbor so much pleasure that Ava decided never to cut the tree down. She realized that what she had really planted were the seeds of friendship.



Please don’t keep me a secret…

The next time you’re in a conversation with a friend from work, your neighborhood, church, your gym or country club and they mention that they are interested in selling their house or rental property please, don’t keep me a secret. Pick up your cell phone, look up my number, (hint: 650-346-7366) and call me immediately. When you call we can talk about what would be the best way for you to introduce them to me.

Do Pets Make Us Happy?

August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...

Almost 60% of U.S. households have at least one resident dog or cat, reports The Washington Post. Do our pets make us happy, though? The General Social Survey asked questions related to that in 2018. The results may be surprising to dog and cat owners.

Dogs and cats don’t necessarily make us happier, for one thing. The survey found that among pet owners, slightly more than 30% in both groups identified themselves as “very happy,” while the number describing themselves as “Not too happy” was in the mid-teens for both groups.

However, dog owners are about twice as likely to say they’re very happy than cat owners, making dog owners slightly happier than people without any pets. People who are owned by a cat understand that the cat is not-so-secretly in charge and are generally very happy with that situation. All jokes aside, people owning both dogs and cats tend to fall in between the two camps, enjoying the benefit of both pets.

What creates the difference? The General Social Survey notes that dog owners tend to be older, married and own their own homes, which can contribute to overall happiness and satisfaction with life in general.

Cost to Buy a Home…

Do you know what the your costs when you buy a one-million-dollar home with 20% Down? Including what your mortgage payments…

Escrow Fees:

Down Payment    (200,000.00)

Origination Fee       (8,000.00)

Title Insurance        (2,000.00)

Settlement Fee       (250.00)

Escrow Fees          (2,200.00)

Sub Escrow Fees   (125.00)

Loan Tie-In Fee      (100.00)

Recording Fee          (60.00)

Tax Service               (75.00)

Appraisal Report     (350.00)

Credit Report          (250.00)

Monthly Payments:

Mortgage Payment 3,819.32

Hazard Insurance $291.67

Property Taxes     $1,000

TOTAL           $5,110.99

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Mooove It On Over

Two men were seated together on a packed train heading into the city. One of the men remarked on the pretty country scene that stretched out on either side of the tracks.August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...

“What a lovely bunch of cows,” he remarked.

“Not a bunch; herd,” his mate automatically replied. “Heard of what?”

“Herd of cows.”

“Of course I’ve heard of cows.”

Throw a Great Summer Bash

Throwing parties can be fun for the whole family, but they require ample food and beverage planning so everyone can have a good time. Keep these simple hints in mind so there is plenty on the table:

Time the Food: Prepare appetizers ahead of time. Heat up baked snacks just before serving.

Drinkability: Most guests at parties will consume 2½ drinks each. For every two guests, you should buy one bottle of lemonade, soda or whatever else you’re serving.

Keep it moving: Place your serving table well away from walls. Guests will be able to serve themselves from both sides and have room to move around it.

Music and Convergent Thinking

According to an article on the Pacific Standard website, reporting on research conducted by psychologists at the University of Central Lancashire in England, listening to music may help you relax, but apparently it can impair your creativity.

In several studies, participants were given three words, such as “dress”, “dial” and “flower”, and asked to come up with a fourth word that paired naturally with each. For example, “sun” compliments each of those words. Thirty university students did the exercise while listening to a pop song that had been translated into Spanish while the others performed in silence. The group working without music solved significantly more problems. In a similar experiment, subjects listened to instrumental music or nothing at all. Again, those working without music performed better.

The study appears to contradict the results of an earlier experiment, in which fast- paced, uplifting classical music like Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” appeared to enhance divergent thinking— the ability to come up with new concepts or hybrid ideas. That study, however, found no musical effect on convergent thinking, or the ability to narrow down ideas until finding one that works—an important part of the creative process.

Consider putting your headphones away to stimulate creative thinking when looking for innovative ideas.


The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. ~Harriet Ann Jacobs

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See page 7

How to Get Out of a Slump

August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...

From time to time, even the most successful people fall into a slump, like a batter who can’t get a hit or a salesperson who can’t close a deal. Someone dealing with a slump can’t imagine the possibility of

overcoming it. However, ballplayers and salespeople who don’t give up usually manage to work their way out of a slump… and so can you. Try some of these strategies:

  • Take some time off. Instead of increasing your frustration, back away for a while. Go to the movies or visit a museum. Taking your mind off the problem can give it a chance to recharge. Also, you might hit on a new idea when you’re looking at something
  • Talk to people. Don’t isolate yourself. Go out and talk with friends, family members, or even strangers. You don’t have to ask for suggestions or advice. Just open yourself to other conversations and ideas, and your mind will shift out of the rut.
  • Engage all your senses. Approach the problem from a different angle. What would a solution feel like in your hands, sound like as a song, or taste like if it were a beverage? Don’t limit yourself to what you can see. Extend your mind in different directions and you may find a dimension that you hadn’t considered

A Tingling Idea

A mild dose of electricity might improve memory in older people, according to an article on the U.S. News & World Report website. Working memory declines as we age because brain regions fall out of sync with each other.

Researchers at Boston University devised a special EEG cap that delivers electrical stimulation to the neocortex and frontal lobes to synchronize brain waves, which play a big role in working memory. They tested the caps, which produce a slight tingling sensation, in 42 participants age 54–76 who were asked to perform working memory activities on separate days, sometimes with the cap and sometimes without it.

With the caps delivering electrical stimulation, participants’ working memory improved to the level of a control group of adults 20–29. The scientists tracked participants for about 50 minutes after the electrical delivery, but believe the results last longer. Electrical stimulation is already used on patients with Parkinson’s disease, but doctors caution that more research is necessary before anyone can walk into an office and get a dose to the brain to improve his or her working memory.

August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...
Good Ideas

Dream On

Some people think daydreaming is a waste of time, but it can be a powerful tool for sharpening your creativity. Entrepreneur magazine website spells out why:

  • Motivation Daydreaming about something you’d like to do can increase your motivation to go out and pursue your goals, and also helps structure your thoughts.
  • Visualization Use your daydreams to go into detail about your goals so you can identify possibilities and options. You can mentally narrow down ideas.
  • Problem solving. You can’t always attack a problem with logic and brute force. Spend some time letting your mind roam. Daydreaming relaxes you and reduces stress, so it might help you spot a solution you’d otherwise
  • Productivity. This may seem counterintuitive, but daydreams can help you focus. By daydreaming about a problem or opportunity, you give your brain a chance to concentrate on your goal without clutter or pressure from the world around you.

The Final Note

The great composer Igor Stravinsky once wrote the music for a ballet.

According to one story, after the ballet opened, a dancer sent Stravinsky a telegram: “Ballet great success, but if you would allow the violin to play the solo instead of trumpet, it would be a triumph.”

Stravinsky, known for his dry sense of humor, cabled back: “Satisfied with great success.”

August is the happy, lazy Sunday of Summer.

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August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...
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Imagine me as your real estate consultant. What I do for you is invest my time consulting, negotiating, and organizing the details of your transaction because I want you to have a superb experience that will cause you to want to introduce me to the people you care about most.The purpose of my business is referrals, which means I must bring the type of value that makes you feel comfortable introducing me to the people you know that need my help.
After all, a referral is sending someone you care about to someone you trust. Cliff Keith

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What Do You Think?

You may not know for sure what you think you know. Experiments conducted by Swedish psychologist Petter Johansson reveal that a simple sleight of hand can influence someone to change their mind.

In one trial, participants were shown pictures of faces and told to choose one or two of the photos in the series. After their answers were noted, participants were asked why they made a particular choice.
However, in soliciting those answers, Johansson deliberately referenced the photos that the respondents had not selected.

More than 80% of the participants offered detailed explanations for pictures they’d actually never chosen.
When they were shown the original series of photos
for a second time and asked to select their preference, these
respondents selected the pictures they’d been tricked into thinking they’d picked.

More structured research will have to be conducted in the future to determine the validity of this theory. Until then, though, you might want to observe if you, too, show “choice blindness”.

The Final Note

The great composer Igor Stravinsky once wrote the music for a ballet.

According to one story, after the ballet opened, a dancer sent Stravinsky a telegram: “Ballet great success, but if you would allow the violin to play the solo instead of trumpet, it would be a triumph.”

Stravinsky, known for his dry sense of humor, cabled back: “Satisfied with great success.”

August is the happy, lazy Sunday of Summer.

“We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true.” ~Robert Wilensky

Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You Or Someone You Know?

I wrote a great article on Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You Or Someone You Know? Here’s the answer you have been asking yourself or in a conversation with a friend, For the answer to most questions people may have. Please let me know and I’ll pass it on to you so you can read it or  give it to them.

The 10 Do’s and Don’ts on Credit…


Preparing for a Rainy Day

Financial planning experts recommend having an emergency fund in case something unexpected like a layoff or injury interrupts your paycheck. Your safety net should cover at least six months’ worth of living expenses. Here’s how to calculate what you need to save:

  • Gather your financial records for the past 12 months. Include bank and credit card statements, ATM receipts, and canceled checks.
  • Create a 12-month grid. Down the left-hand side note all your fixed monthly expenses: mortgage or rent, insurance policies, car payments, utilities, medical expenses, etc. Then add other major spending categories such as food, entertainment, etc.
  • Do some arithmetic. Use the financial documents you collected to calculate the amount you spent in each category during each month of the past year. Total the expenses for each month and then add them together for a yearly figure.
  • Divide the figure by 12 to determine average monthly expenditures. Then multiply the average by six (or eight, for a more comfortable safety net). This is how much you should put aside.

In addition to your emergency fund, you should also have on hand an emergency credit card with the largest credit limit you can qualify for. Apply for this card before an emergency hits, as credit card companies are less likely to give you a line of credit when you are without income.


Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him. —Booker T. Washington

If you empower dummies, you get bad decisions faster. —Rich Teerlink, chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson

Everybody in life gets the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summer and the poor get it in the winter. —Bat Masterson

If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it. —Bette Davis


August 2019, Cliff's Notes on real estate...
Cliff’s Notes….

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