February, 2020 Cliff’s Notes on real estate…

Posted on: February 5th, 2020 | By Cliff Keith | Blog, Cliff's Notes on Real Estate | No Comments

February 2020

February 2020

Dear friend,

There is red and pink everywhere with Cupid hanging out near boxes of sweets in most stores.  Although this newsletter does include an interesting article on the origin of chocolate as we know it, there is plenty more for you to consume on the topics of communication, communication, and (did I mention?) communication.

Some of the “assorted treats” in February’s newsletter are:

  • A reminder that how we talk to ourselves matters.
  • Why kids need to do chores (Hint: It isn’t for the clean socks.)
  • A challenge to give out more compliments than usual throughout this month.

These cold weeks are prime time for organizing closets and rearranging furniture, as we tend to stick to the great indoors in winter and make the house more into a home. If you find that you’re mulling over a more significant change or thinking about selling in favor of a home that better suits your current lifestyle, I’d be happy to think through the possibilities with you. Whether you’re mulling over numbers or smiling as you collect paint swatches, I’m here for you and hope you’ll give me a call when you’re ready.

In the meantime, stay warm and keep your eyes peeled for the first signs of spring!

Your friend in the real estate business,


Cliff Keith

650-346-7366 Cell/Text


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Inside This Issue


*•      How Do I Love Thee?

•         Fight the Good Fight

*•       Probate Services

•         International Beans

*•      Complimentary Colors

•         Tell a Story, See Results

*•      Communication 101

•         Be Your Own Friend

*•       Post Haste

  • Chores Work

How Do I Love Thee?

Robert was an unknown writer. One day, he ran across a volume of poetry that moved him so much, he wrote to the author: “I love your verses with all my heart, dear…”

The author of the poetry, Elizabeth, was flattered, but let him know she had survived a childhood disease that left her unable to breathe correctly. She spent most of her time at home, and her strict father did not want her in a relationship. She had plenty of money, but no love in her life.

Although Elizabeth remained distant, she fell in love through Robert’s poetry. He painted a picture of the two of them on long walks; he described their home, their children. Letter by letter, he created a relationship with her through his writing.

So what did Elizabeth do? …

One winter afternoon, Elizabeth sat at the window seat, reading her dear friend’s love letters yet again when she glanced outside. It was a cold day, but sunny, with a snap in the air. Without a second thought, she pulled on her boots, grabbed her coat, and walked straight outside.

She continued down the road, and as she walked, she recited her beloved’s poetry, long since learned by heart. The walk changed her life.

When she got home, she wrote to Robert that she was ready to take action and within the year, they had a small wedding, then left for Italy on a honeymoon that never ended. Although they called each other husband and wife, we know them as the famous poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning.

For the next 15 years, they worked together and produced some of the most romantic poetry ever written. Truly, love conquers all. ~Cliff

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.

Fight the Good Fight

Have you ever gotten into a fight, and then wondered whether it was worth the bother? Being an adult means choosing your battles carefully. One of the hardest aspects of maintaining healthy relationships is deciding when to fight about something and when to simply let things go.

There are many times that letting go of something is the right thing to do – for everyone involved. However, if someone is violating your space or assaulting your integrity, you need to defend your territory. Listen to your anger without giving in to it.

Psychotherapist Paula Hall gives these tips on the BBC Web site for keeping the peace and fighting fairly:

  • Develop your self-awareness. Be ready to assume responsibility for that which is rightfully yours. Check your conscience for reasons you might be fighting and be honest with yourself. Make sure you’re just not protecting your
  • Believe the best about the other person… until you have a real reason not to. Giving your opponent the benefit of the doubt is the right thing to
  • Consider the effect of other influences. Are you stressed, tired, sick, or hungry? How much do you believe these factors have to do with the fight?
  • Stay calm. Don’t fall into the trap of sulking, blaming, or being overly
  • Truly listen to what the other person is saying. Admit when the other person has a valid

Costs to Buy a Million Dollar 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

Psst!…    It’s that time of year again… Time to check and/or change out the batteries in your smoke alarms. Still think there is a little life left in the old ones? Use them in a less crucial device to save money without risking the lives of your friends and family.

International Beans

Planning on giving your sweetie a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day? According to thechocolatewebsite, there is international history in that box!

In roughly 1527, Spanish explorer Cortès brought cacao beans, equipment, and recipes for preparing chocolate from Mexico to the Spanish court of King Charles V.

It made a profitable industry for Spain, which planted cocoa trees in its overseas colonies. Conveniently, the Spanish had taken over many Caribbean islands, and on those islands was sugar.

Over the next 60 years, small but noticeable changes were made in how chocolate was prepared. Spanish nuns in Oaxaca, Mexico were the first to sweeten chocolate with honey, cinnamon, and cane sugar, making the drink popular with colonials. For many Europeans, drinking chocolate was an acquired taste.

Around 1641, cocoa was introduced to Germany by a German scientist named Johann Georg Voldkammer, who discovered it in Naples, Italy. The Germans instituted the habit of a cup of hot chocolate before bedtime. By 1657, the first chocolate house was opened in London…by a Frenchman! Coffee houses were already popular; now one could go to a chocolate house to have a drink and talk over cards. Eventually, the chocolate drinks began to include milk and cinnamon.

By the turn of the 18th century, chocolate had made its way back to the Americas. In little more than a decade, Massachusetts sea captains were bringing back cargoes of cocoa beans. Boston apothecary shops were advertising and selling chocolate imported from Europe. In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first known heart-shaped candy box for Valentine’s Day.

How to Be Happy at Work

Most jobs aren’t perfect, but that doesn’t mean you have to be miserable all day. Monster.com offers these tips for making it through the day with a positive outlook:

  • Keep personal problems at home. Concentrating on work will help you remember that you’re capable and competent, which will improve your mood throughout the day.
  • Build a workplace nest. Decorate your office or cubicle with some simple things that make you happy like photos of your family, brochures for a vacation you’d like to take, items that motivate you, and the like.
  • Create a workplace support system. Make friends with co-workers who give off positive vibes. Talk about what you enjoy and focus on tasks that you look forward to completing.
  • Get organized. Eliminate clutter and plan your day so you can succeed and feel good about it.
  • Move around! Get up often for a walk around the workplace to get your blood flowing and say a quick hello to co-workers along the way. Take a walk at lunch for some fresh air. Exercise improves your mood as well as your health.
  • Eat right and drink lots of water. Pack lunches that are high in fruits, vegetables and protein. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Don’t try to change your co-workers. Minimize your contact with negative people and learn what makes your co-workers tick. You might make a friend for life!


Punxsutawney Phil is an average groundhog: he weighs 20 pounds and is 22 inches long.

He has exceptionally strong jaws.

He has supposedly been around for 119 years. (Clearly, he has good genes!)

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See page 7

Tell a Story, See Results

One of the greatest conversational storytellers of all time was Abraham Lincoln. He once explained to a friend why he so often fell to storytelling while holding conversations: “They say I tell a great many stories. I reckon I do; but I have learned from long experience that most people, take them as they run, are more easily influenced through the medium of a broad and humorous illustration than in any other way…”

Likewise, when you want to get your point across to someone, often the best way to do it is to tell a story. Think about when you meet with your friends over a long dinner or catch up at a warm coffee shop, what is it you enjoy? Likely the answer is the stories and the anecdotes about your lives that you share.

Think of that same storytelling scenario the next time you need to explain something in a business situation. That same approach can work in different settings.

If you have achieved any level of success, then pour it into someone else. Success is not success without a successor. ~ T.D. Jakes

Be Your Own Friend

Callie Khouri, the screenwriter of the classic hit film Thelma and Louise, suggests this reality check to see if you are being too hard on yourself.

In a commencement speech she gave at Sweet Briar College, she had this to say: “Would you say to a friend the kind of things that you say to yourself? For instance, let’s say you, like I, perpetually misplace your keys… Do you, when looking for your keys, find yourself saying things to yourself like, ‘Why can’t you just figure out how to put them in one place? I can’t believe how STUPID you are!’

Or do you say, ‘Now, let’s see, where would someone who’s got something important on her mind leave her keys?’

See what I’m getting at? Don’t listen to things from yourself that you wouldn’t accept from a friend. You wouldn’t want a friend who wasn’t supportive, so don’t accept any less from yourself. You’re only human, so learn to forgive yourself the little things, and do the best you can on the big things. No one is perfect and expecting perfection from yourself or anyone else is a waste of time.”


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On how to avoid them when you are an

administrator or executor of a probate.

Learn them in less than 10 minutes by going here: ProbateServicesCliffKeith.com

Chores Work

Kids usually hate doing chores, but it’s an important part of growing up. That’s what Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult and former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, said in an interview that was reviewed on the People magazine website.

Tech Insider also says that children who do chores grow up to be more independent at work. In particular, they’re good at spotting when their co-workers are dealing with tasks that are challenging.

By making them do chores – taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry – they realize ‘I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life,’ ” Lythcott-Haims says.

If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” says Lythcott-Haims. “…they’re absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the sake of the whole.

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong. —Ella Fitzgerald

Complimentary Colors

February 6th is international Pay-a-Compliment day! Sure, it can be embarrassing for some to openly talk to a stranger, but if you think about the extra bounce you feel in your step when someone pays you a compliment, it might give you the motivation to glance around for someone who could use a bit of recognition.

Look for the most introverted person in the room and see how fast you can make them smile. After all, kindness is free, and you can change someone’s entire day just by reaching out to them.

Are you the sort of person who walks right up and talks to anyone? Try to double your kind comments today and hand out a few compliments to people who might not normally be on your list for small talk. Or, hang on to this idea and try to give out a compliment every day in February.

Mistaken Identity…

Even Queen Elizabeth II sometimes goes unrecognized. A story from the Hello magazine website tells of a time when the queen’s car drove up to the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 1991. A guard walked up and told her, “Sorry, love, you can’t come in without a sticker.”

Unfazed, her majesty answered, “I think if you check, I will be allowed to come in.”

He did, and she was.

Old Age Is Great For Creativity

We sometimes think creativity is for young people. Children are endlessly imaginative, but the elderly are set in their ways. After all, we think, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” right? Consider this list of creative accomplishments by people who may have seemed to be past their prime:

  • The famous German poet finished part two of his masterpiece Faust shortly before his death in 1832, when he was 83.
  • Arthur Rubenstein. This concert pianist performed at Carnegie Hall at age 90.
  • Grandma Moses. Artist Anna Mary Robertson, better known as “Grandma Moses,” had her first solo exhibition of paintings in 1940, when she was 80 years old.
  • George Bernard Shaw. The Irish-born playwright remained active until his death in 1950 at age 94, when he published his final play. He was working on another unfinished play when he died.
  • Pablo Casals. The cellist and conductor, born in 1876, continued to perform on concert tours into his eighties.

Food for Thought!

We must respect the past, and mistrust the present, if we wish to provide for the safety of the future. —Joseph Joubert

Our insignificance is often the cause of our safety. —Aesop

As a job seeker, remember this: You only lack experience if they want it done the same old way. —Robert Brault

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. —Howard Aiken

Free Reports!

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

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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February, 2020 Cliff's Notes on real estate...

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The Link Between Stress And Stroke

Stroke is a devastating experience in which blood is cut off from a part of the brain. It can have many contributing factors. One of them, physicians now say, is stress.

According to the journal Stroke, researchers looked at medical records of more than 6,000 men and women who participated in a 16-year study. As part of the study, participants’ anxiety levels were measured. Over the course of time, 416 people suffered at least one stroke. The researchers determined that the risk of stroke rose 14 percent among individuals with higher anxiety levels, as measured in terms of such symptoms as extreme nervousness, tension, and general stress. Participants with especially high rates of these symptoms were identified as having an increased risk of 33 percent.

One possible connection: Stress often leads to unhealthy habits like poor nutrition, smoking and drinking, and lack of exercise. Stress also contributes to higher blood pressure, one of the culprits behind stroke.

Who said that?

Innocence about science is the worst crime today. —C. P. Snow

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. —Jim Rohn

To keep oneself safe does not mean to bury oneself. —Seneca


“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…

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On how to avoid them when you are an administrator or executor of a probate.

Learn them in less than 10 minutes by going here:


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

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