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November
30

December Holidays - Daily Calendar National, World Days

About December Holidays

It's hard to believe, but the December holidays are upon us. You could say that December is one big holiday. It includes the big ones like Christmas, New Year, Hanukah, and Kwanza. It also includes a plethora of December National holidays and, December International Holidays for us to enjoy. Many of them are seasonal holidays like "Festivus for the Festivus" and "Christmas Card Day" and "Hum Bug Day". Make sure to take a little time from your busy holiday shopping and preparation, to thoroughly enjoy all of the December holidays on our calendar.

December Monthly Celebrations

  • Bingo Month
  • National Fruitcake Month
  •  Safe Toys and Gifts Month
  • World Food Service Safety Month
  • Write a Friend Month

December Weekly Events

  • National Handwashing Awareness Week –  first week of the month

  • Human Rights Week – second week in December

  • Thank a Soldier Week – the week including Christmas

Santa Baking

2022 December Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

December 1

 Eat a Red Apple Day

World Aids Awareness Day

December 2

 National Fritters Day

December 3

 National Roof over Your Head Day

December 4

 Santa's List Day – we hope you are on the "Nice" list

 Wear Brown Shoes Day

December 5

 Bathtub Party Day

 Repeal Day – The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition. I'll drink to that!

December 6

Bartender Appreciation Day – in Europe

St. Nicholas Day

Mitten Tree Day

Put on your own Shoes Day

December 7

International Civil Aviation Day

Letter Writing Day

National Cotton Candy Day – would you like some fairy floss?

Pearl Harbor Day

December 8 

National Brownie Day

Take it in the Ear Day

December 9

Christmas Card Day

National Pastry Day

December 10

Human Rights Day

Nobel Prize Day

Santa with Boy

December holidays include many International and National Holidays

Christmas Tree

Hang Up Your Stocking

November
21

National Stuffing Day

Stuffing is a major player in the world of Thanksgiving. Let's face it: chicken and turkey can pop up at any time of the year, but when we want to dress those birds up, there's just no substitute for some good ol' carbyfilling. Even better, stuffing comes in all shapes and sizes. There are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes it—it can be bread, any kind of bread, rice, quinoa, and even matzo. There's only one hard and fast stuffing rule: mix some ingredients, stuff it inside a cavity of another food item, and voila! Make no bones about it—it's delicious. That's why, on November 21, we celebrate National Stuffing Day!

NATIONAL STUFFING DAY TIMELINE

2nd century B.C
Much Ado About Stuffing

A chef named Apicius created recipes for stuffed rabbit, chicken and even dormouse in his cookbook "Apicius de re Coquinaria."

1836
Turkey Traditions

Stuffing Turkey became a regular staple for the Thanksgiving Day meal.

1972
Making Thanksgiving more delicious

Ruth Siems made life easier and Turkey more delicious with 'Stove Top Stuffing.'

November 21, 2005
National Stuffing Day

National Stuffing Day seems to have started in 2005 as a promotion for stuffing, and is now observed annually with great zeal.

NATIONAL STUFFING DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Have a stuffing tasting party

    Invite friends or family to come for a stuffing tasting party. Not only can others pre-test their stuffing, but also a whole group of people can benefit from it! Plus, who ever argued with getting to try lots of stuffing varieties? Who knows—one of your friends might have your next greatholiday recipe.

  2. Make a stuffing you've always wanted to try

    There's a whole world of stuffing out there, and yet, we only tend to make it for the holidays. Today's the day to stray away from that boring turkey stuffing and try some of the other varieties. If anyone in your family turns up their noses, tell them you made it all for yourself and you're not sharing!

  3. Get inspired

    Go back into vintage Julia-Child-Land and watch her make stuffing. Go to your favorite food blogger's page and see what heor she has kicking in the recipe department! There's no shortage of places to look for stuffing inspiration. So get onto that internet and go crazy.

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL STUFFING DAY

  1. It's a practice session

    With Thanksgiving just around the corner, today is the day to perfect your stuffing recipe. Making a traditional apple and onion stuffing? Use today to hone your ratios of caramelized onions to tart apples to thyme. Or, if you're hosting a holiday for the first time, test that fabulous stuffing recipe before it's too late.

  2. There's an endless variety of stuffing recipes

    Do you want a simple formula for making stuffing? Here it is: Start with a grain, add liquid and/or fat, spices and herbs and something with flavor and texture. For example, start with cooked rice, add chicken stock, season with thyme, garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper and add dried cherries and cranberries with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. Stuff the whole mixture into pork chops and you have stuffed pork chops! Are you more of a traditionalist? Start with cubed stale bread, add turkey stock and melted butter. Throw in some rosemary and parsley, and cube some apples for texture. Mix together and stuff the entire mixture into your favorite member of the fowl family. Roast and relax until dinner is ready!

  3. It's a great way to use up leftovers

    With the holidays on the way, you're going to need some serious refrigerator space. Stuffing is a great way to use up some of the leftovers taking up valuable refrigerator real estate. Take those croutons left over from last week's salad, a little butter, those sad looking celery stalks and half an onion and mix it together using a little hot water and stuff them into those red peppers that are going to go bad if you don't use them soon. Pop the whole the whole thing into a casserole dish with a little oliveoil on top and bake in a hot oven and no one will ever guess that last night's leftovers have become tonight's dinner. You're a culinary superstar!

NATIONAL STUFFING DAY DATES

Year Date Day
2022 November 21 Monday
2023 November 21 Tuesday
2024 November 21 Thursday
2025 November 21 Friday
2026 November 21 Saturday
October
31

Halloween 2022

Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2022 will occur on Monday, October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.

Ancient Origins of Halloween

Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago, mostly in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1.

This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.

In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes.

When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, the Roman Empire had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the 400 years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple, and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of bobbing for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

All Saints' Day

On May 13, A.D. 609, Pope Boniface IV dedicated the Pantheon in Rome in honor of all Christian martyrs, and the Catholic feast of All Martyrs Day was established in the Western church. Pope Gregory III later expanded the festival to include all saints as well as all martyrs, and moved the observance from May 13 to November 1.

By the 9th century, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands, where it gradually blended with and supplanted older Celtic rites. In A.D. 1000, the church made November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It's widely believed today that the church was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, church-sanctioned holiday.

All Souls' Day was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels and devils. The All Saints' Day celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the traditional night of Samhain in the Celtic religion, began to be called All-Hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.

Halloween Comes to America

The celebration of Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the rigid Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was much more common in Maryland and the southern colonies.

As the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups and the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge. The first celebrations included "play parties," which were public events held to celebrate the harvest. Neighbors would share stories of the dead, tell each other's fortunes, dance and sing.

Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and mischief-making of all kinds. By the middle of the 19th century, annual autumn festivities were common, but Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the country.

In the second half of the 19th century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.

History of Trick-or-Treating

Borrowing from European traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Young women believed that on Halloween they could divine the name or appearance of their future husband by doing tricks with yarn, apple parings or mirrors.

In the late 1800s, there was a move in America to mold Halloween into a holiday more about community and neighborly get-togethers than about ghosts, pranks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes.

Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything "frightening" or "grotesque" out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century.

Halloween Parties

By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide Halloween parties as the featured entertainment. Despite the best efforts of many schools and communities, vandalism began to plague some celebrations in many communities during this time.

By the 1950s, town leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween had evolved into a holiday directed mainly at the young. Due to the high numbers of young children during the fifties baby boom, parties moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be more easily accommodated.

Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats.

Thus, a new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

Halloween Movies

Speaking of commercial success, scary Halloween movies have a long history of being box office hits. Classic Halloween movies include the "Halloween" franchise, based on the 1978 original film directed by John Carpenter and starring Donald Pleasance, Nick Castle, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tony Moran. In "Halloween," a young boy named Michael Myers murders his 17-year-old sister and is committed to jail, only to escape as a teen on Halloween night and seek out his old home, and a new target. A direct sequel to the original "Halloween" was released in 2018, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle. A sequel to that—"Halloween Kills," the twelfth film in the "Halloween" franchise overall—was released in 2021.

Considered a classic horror film down to its spooky soundtrack, "Halloween" inspired other iconic "slasher films" like "Scream," "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13." More family-friendly Halloween movies include "Hocus Pocus," "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Beetlejuice" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." 

All Souls Day and Soul Cakes

The American Halloween tradition of trick-or-treating probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling," was eventually taken up by children who would visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given ale, food and money.

The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry.

On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits.

On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.

Black Cats and Ghosts on Halloween

Halloween has always been a holiday filled with mystery, magic and superstition. It began as a Celtic end-of-summer festival during which people felt especially close to deceased relatives and friends. For these friendly spirits, they set places at the dinner table, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the road and lit candles to help loved ones find their way back to the spirit world.

Today's Halloween ghosts are often depicted as more fearsome and malevolent, and our customs and superstitions are scarier too. We avoid crossing paths with black cats, afraid that they might bring us bad luck. This idea has its roots in the Middle Ages, when many people believed that witches avoided detection by turning themselves into black cats.

We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred (it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe). And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.We try not to walk under ladders for the same reason. This superstition may have come from the ancient Egyptians, who believed that triangles were sacred (it also may have something to do with the fact that walking under a leaning ladder tends to be fairly unsafe). And around Halloween, especially, we try to avoid breaking mirrors, stepping on cracks in the road or spilling salt.

Halloween Matchmaking and Lesser-Known Rituals

But what about the Halloween traditions and beliefs that today's trick-or-treaters have forgotten all about? Many of these obsolete rituals focused on the future instead of the past and the living instead of the dead.

In particular, many had to do with helping young women identify their future husbands and reassuring them that they would someday—with luck, by next Halloween—be married. In 18th-century Ireland, a matchmaking cook might bury a ring in her mashed potatoes on Halloween night, hoping to bring true love to the diner who found it.

In Scotland, fortune-tellers recommended that an eligible young woman name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and then toss the nuts into the fireplace. The nut that burned to ashes rather than popping or exploding, the story went, represented the girl's future husband. (In some versions of this legend, the opposite was true: The nut that burned away symbolized a love that would not last.)

Another tale had it that if a young woman ate a sugary concoction made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night she would dream about her future husband.

Young women tossed apple-peels over their shoulders, hoping that the peels would fall on the floor in the shape of their future husbands' initials; tried to learn about their futures by peering at egg yolks floating in a bowl of water and stood in front of mirrors in darkened rooms, holding candles and looking over their shoulders for their husbands' faces.

Other rituals were more competitive. At some Halloween parties, the first guest to find a burr on a chestnut-hunt would be the first to marry. At others, the first successful apple-bobber would be the first down the aisle.

Of course, whether we're asking for romantic advice or trying to avoid seven years of bad luck, each one of these Halloween superstitions relies on the goodwill of the very same "spirits" whose presence the early Celts felt so keenly.

October
14

After the strong rebound for the U.S. economy in 2021, growth in 2022 has slowed in the face of rising inflation, the household incomes squeeze, and geopolitical events. While the economy continues to deal with elevated inflation, there is a slowdown in the growth of commercial real estate. 

Multifamily and industrial properties were the leading sectors in 2022. With healthy balance sheets, consumer demand boosted retail, multifamily, and industrial asset classes. While the industrial boom continues to show no signs of stopping, multifamily absorption and rent growth are decelerating. Multifamily absorption in the last four quarters was below the pre-pandemic levels, in the range of 60,000-70,000 units. In the meantime, rents rose year-over-year at a slower pace, by less than a double-digit percentage. However, multifamily housing demand remains relatively strong. Considering rising mortgage rates and home prices, people may be forced to rent for longer due to decreasing affordability.

As consumers cut back on spending due to elevated inflation, the net absorption of retail store space decreased to 16 million sq. ft. in the third quarter of the year. However, neighborhood retail that offers in-person services continues to advance. Net absorption for neighborhood centers rose by 35 percentage points compared to the second quarter of the year.

As the country navigates hybrid work, the office sector continues to struggle. Although more people return to their offices, after four quarters with positive net absorption, demand for office space dropped as net absorption turned negative again.

Inflation, interest rates, supply chain, and geopolitical events are the main factors that will determine how commercial real estate will perform in the following months. The National Association of REALTORS® will keep you informed monthly about the developments in commercial real estate.

October
5

10 Tips for Home Buying and Selling

Follow these steps to save the most on one of the biggest transactions you'll ever make

Buying or selling a home for the first time is like learning to play chess. There are terms to master, skills to learn, strategies to grasp, competitors to outmaneuver. These home buying and selling tips can help you capitalize on strengths and play down weaknesses:

Buyers: Edge Out the Competition

Establish a price range. Use Redfin's home-affordability calculator. This home buying tool considers not only your income and down payment but also total recurring monthly payments such as car payments, student loans, and credit card minimum payments.

Clean up your credit. If your credit reports are accurate, the home buying process is likely to go more smoothly. Read "Are Mortgages Now Harder or Easier to Get?" for more for information.

Get preapproved. Usually, that means a mortgage lender has checked your credit reports and determined how much it could lend you. It's one step better than prequalification, in which a lender just gives you an idea of what you can afford. Lenders use different terminology, though, so make sure you ask for clarification. For instance, EverBank, based in Jacksonville, Fla., uses the term "preapproval" for what other banks define as prequalification. And what most banks call a "pre­approval," EverBank terms a "credit only approval."

Sweeten the deal. Cash offers or large down payments get attention in a competitive bidding situation when you're buying a home. But other considerations, such as flexibility with the closing date and shorter inspection periods, can sway sellers.

Shop for mortgages. Online sites such as Bankrate and HSH make it easy to find a variety of lenders. Investigate several. Find local credit unions at culookup.com. New standardized loan estimates mandated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should make it easy to compare terms.

Sellers: Put Your Best Square Footage Forward

Get the best deal from your broker. The traditional 5 to 6 percent sales commission isn't carved in stone. Our 2015 survey of real estate brokers found that 63 percent negotiated their fees at least half the time. Almost half of agents charged 4 percent or less. An agent may be more amenable if you've sent him or her referrals, or have done some legwork, says Lee Williams, an agent with Level Group, a New York City residential brokerage firm. That might involve obtaining property surveys, original floor plans, or tax records.

Fix the big things. Prior to listing your home, get inspections for roof damage, termites, and other hidden concerns, says Aaron Drucker, a Redfin Realtor based in Miami. Make sure certificates of occupancy are in order.

Declutter, depersonalize. Remove family mementos from the main living areas. Clear surfaces of daily detritus. Clean out closets, too. "Overstuffed closets, no matter how large, give the impression of a lack of storage," says Christine Lutz, director of residential brokerage for Kinzie Brokerage, based in Chicago. Taking those simple, cost-free steps could add 3 percent to a home's value, according to Bree Al-Rashid, a managing broker for Redfin in Seattle. For an edge, hire a home stager. Prices vary, but a 2-hour consultation can cost about $300.

Post lots of images. A survey last year by Zillow found that listings with fewer than nine photos were 20 percent less likely to sell within 60 days than those with 22 to 27 photos. More than that, the study found, didn't help much.

Get squeaky clean. Shampoo rugs, change burnt-out lightbulbs, replace broken switch plates and outlets, and exorcise pet odors, recommends Ann Ferguson, a New York City broker with Klara Madlin Real Estate.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the March 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

October
3

Expert Tips for Buying and Selling a House at the Same Time

Buying or selling a house can be a monumental task. Doing both at the same time takes the complexity to a whole new level.

If you're buying and selling a house at the same time, you'll need to navigate a hot seller's market as both the seller and buyer. You'll benefit from a seller's market on the one hand, but could also face challenges as a buyer. 

With fewer homes for sale than there are buyers, there is greater urgency and competition in the market. However, there are signs the housing market is beginning to cool down

There's no way to make the process of buying or selling a home totally predictable, but thinking through your preferred strategy will help you navigate the ups and downs a little bit more easily.

While you can't control the market, you can plan ahead to minimize the impact of any potential challenges that may arise. 

Here are some expert tips to address some of the questions that could arise when buying and selling your home at the same time.

Advice for Buying and Selling at the Same Time

When buying a new home and selling an old one at the same time, one transaction always goes first. Sometimes one happens first due to personal preference, while other times, it's a matter of finding the perfect home before you're ready to sell. With such a hot market, each of these moves should be considered carefully and a qualified real estate agent can help strategize based on local market conditions.

No matter which path you choose, these expert tips can help you have a successful transaction and minimize the stress of buying and selling at the same time.

Buying a House Before Selling 

While some buyers are able to buy a new home without waiting to sell their current home, many don't have that luxury. 

For people who need the proceeds from one sale to move forward with an offer on a new house, that's where an offer contingency comes in. It essentially means the homebuyer has a set amount of time to sell their current home to help finance the new home purchase. While "contingent offers are not as strong," there are still ways you can help yourself, says Shelby Osborne, CEO of Five Pillars Team at eXp Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina.

For homebuyers who plan on making a contingent offer, consider the following:

  1. Request an extended closing. While most buyers want to move into their new home right away, you still need time to sell yours. As part of your purchase offer, request an extended closing of 60 days to have extra time to find a buyer.
  2. Have your current home ready to go on the market. By preparing your home for listing ahead of time (fresh paint on the walls, decluttered, and spacious staging), you'll be ready to publish your listing and attract a buyer as soon as you get your new home under contract. Osborne recommends "talking to your agent about how to prepare your home to sell."
  3. Make an offer that is contingent on selling your current home. Having this contingency in your purchase contract allows you the option to back out of the purchase if you are unable to sell your home. This contingency allows you to cancel the purchase without any legal consequences and can save you from losing your deposit. 
  4. Make an offer with a home inspection or appraisal contingency. Contingencies are clauses meant to protect the buyer and seller to formally signal their interest assuming certain conditions can be met. 
  5. Using a HELOC to fund your down payment. Homeowners with an established HELOC can use their credit lines to fund the down payment on a new home. When the home sells, the HELOC balance is paid off from the sale proceeds. Just make sure that you can afford the extra monthly bill that comes with borrowing this money.

Pros of Buying First

  • Ability to take your time finding the right home
  • Guarantees that you have a new home to move into when your old home sells
  • Only have to pay for moving expenses once

Cons of Buying First

  • May need to make two mortgage payments at once if your old home doesn't sell
  • Harder to qualify for the new loan while still making payments on the old mortgage
  • Financial strain may lead you to accept a lower offer on your house

Selling a House Before Buying

In some cases, it will make sense to sell your home before you have your next move in mind. "Some sellers are selling and moving into a rental property or leasing back from the buyer" to lock in profits and cash out their equity before deciding on their next move, says David Lee, owner of the David Lee Group with Keller Williams in Yorba Linda, California. Some sellers are waiting for lower prices before buying again. Others are considering moving to a lower-cost area.

If you're planning to sell your house before buying a new one, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Request a lease-back to provide extra time. A lease-back allows sellers to "rent" their home for up to 60 days after selling it. Lee says that a lease-back "provides sellers extra time to locate a property or if something delays the purchase."
  2. Place personal items in a storage unit. Sellers should declutter their homes before taking pictures and listing their property. Storage units can hold additional personal items if they need to live someplace temporarily until finding a new home.
  3. Buyers without contingencies make stronger offers. If you don't have to sell your home first when making an offer on a new house, a seller will consider your offer stronger than others. When you've sold your home first, you know exactly how much your down payment will be, which can also strengthen your offer.

Pros of Selling First

  • Prevents two mortgage payments while waiting for your old home to sell
  • Easier to qualify for the new home mortgage without the existing mortgage payment on your credit report

Cons of Selling First

  • Could make you stuck without a home for an extended period of time
  • Additional storage and moving costs for all of your items
  • Home values may continue to increase before you can get an offer accepted
  • Interest rates may rise before locking in a rate

Why Knowing Your Market Matters 

Knowing what type of market you're in can help you set the right expectations before you shop for a home or list your property for sale. Here are some characteristics and trends to help you understand what type of a market you're in, and what it means for you:

Characteristics of a Buyer's Market

  • Buyer is more likely to negotiate on price 
  • Sellers are generally more willing to discount their sales price, approve requested repairs, and accept other buyer-friendly terms 
  • Homes are sitting on the market longer
  • You will see drops in list prices 
  • There isn't a noticeable rush of people lining up to check out every Saturday morning open house 

Characteristics of a Seller's Market

  • The seller might ignore bids below the list price 
  • Buyers will need a stronger purchase price and a larger down payment to make their offer more competitive 
  • Buyers might get creative with their offers, such as by sharing a personalized letter to make an emotional appeal to the sellers
  • Buyers more likely to overbid or stretch beyond their homebuying budget
  • Buyers might overpay for a home that needs considerable work or upgrades
  • Buyer are more likely to remove contingencies

Be aware that removing contingencies reduces the opportunity to back out of the transaction if something bad happens. For instance, removing a home inspection contingency could mean that you don't learn about expensive repairs until after you've bought the property. 

September
30

Important Days And Dates In October 2022

Every month has some important days and events to celebrate and honor the things which happened. October has some of the important events and days to celebrate and honor the cause and raise awareness on different diseases, events and remember sacrifices that were made in the past. some of them are:

1-October: International Day of the Older person  

Why &When: To honour older people who made significant contributions to society and raise awareness of challenges of ageing and problems faced by them in old age 

2-October: Mahatma Gandhi birthday, International day of non-violence

Why &When: The International Day of Non-Violence is marked on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the strategy of non-violence and his crucial part in getting independence to India.

3-October: World Habitat Day

Why &When: observed on the first Monday of October of every year to show the state of our towns and cities and the fundamental right of all to a fair shelter.

4-October: World Animal Welfare Day

Why &When: protecting and providing shelter towards animals and taking care of them.

5-October: World Teachers Day 

Why &When-World Teachers day: to honour the teachers around the globe and their work towards the development of society.

7-October: World Cotton Day

 Why &When: reflecting the importance of cotton as a global commodity and it's in the textile sector 

8-October: Air Force Day

Why &When-Air Force DayEstablishment of Air Force in India.

9-October: World Post Day, World Migratory Bird Day

Why &When-World Post day: the anniversary of the  Universal Postal Union which was established in 1874 in the Swiss CapitalBern

Why &When-World Migratory Bird Day: global campaign devoted to raising awareness of migratory birds which comes from different parts of the world.

10-October: World Mental Health Day 

Why &When-World Mental Health Day: raising awareness of mental health problems around the world and maintaining good health.

11-October: International Day of the Girl Child

Why &When: the challenges girls face and to promote girls' empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

12-October: World Arthritis Day

Why &When: to raise and promote awareness of the symptoms connected to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs)

13-October: International Day for Disaster Reduction, World Sight Day

Why &When: to encourage a global society of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.
Why &When-World Sight Day: awareness of blindness and vision impairment.

14-October: World Standards Day, World Egg Day

Why &When: rewarding the collective accomplishments of specialists worldwide who develop the voluntary technical standards that are published as International Standards.

Why &When-World Egg Day: it is celebrated on the second Friday in October each year. For ages, eggs have played major part in sustaining families around the world.

 15-October: World Student's Day

Why &When: To acknowledge the birth anniversary of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and his works towards the students 

16-October: World Food Day

Why &When: the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945

17-October: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Why &When: to raise awareness about poverty and its eradication by mutual help to one another.

20-October: National Solidarity Day

Why &When: a yearly remembrance of the armed forces which fought against China in 1962.

21-October: Police Commemoration Day 

Why &When: to honour the police which is seen as 'Police Commemoration Day to all Police Forces across the country.

24-October: United Nations Day, Raising day of Indo Tibetan Border Police, World Development Information Day

Why &When-United Nations Day: the anniversary of the UN Charter the founding document of the united nations which entered into force in 1945.

Why &When-Raising day of Indo Tibetan Border Police: The ITBP was meant for deployment along India's border with Tibet and their service towards the nation.

Why &When-World Development Information Day: the call to establish a global partnership to solve development difficulties around the world.

25-October: National Ayurveda day

Why &When: The Dhanvantari Jayanti, The Hindu God Dhanvantari is considered as the propagator of Ayurveda. The National Ayurveda Day is observed on his birthday 

27-October: Infantry Day

Why &When: the first regiment of the Sikh was airdropped from Delhi to Srinagar to liberate Kashmir.

31-October: Rashtriya Ekta Diwas(National Unity Day)

Why &When: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the iron man of India who made unity among the states after independence to Mark this his birthday is celebrated as national unity day 

September
28

National Sons Day

National Sons Day is celebrated on September 28. It is a day to show appreciation for the boys in our lives, and for the parents of boys to reflect on how they are raising their children. All any parent want is for their children to grow up into people they can be proud of, and boys especially need strong role models to look up to and help them grow into confident, well-balanced, adult men. National Sons Day is a day to ensure that boys all over the country are getting the foundations, education, and all the support they need to have the best possible life as they grow up.

There is some debate around the date for National Sons Day. Historically, the date has been marked as September 28th, but since 2018 many also recognize March 4th as the official National Sons Day.

Background

The first attempt to create a National Sons Day occurred in the 1990s, as some people wanted a day that was similar to National Take Your Daughter to Work Day. A group called the National Sons Day eventually did create a National Take Your Sons to Work Day in 1998, but in 2003 the two days were merged into one.

The idea of a day to celebrate sons resurfaced in 2018 by the hand of Jill Nico, who wanted a day to honor sons and the people who raised them, much like National Daughters Day. As such, since 2018 many have also chosen to celebrate National Sons Day on March 4.

As the years pass, more challenges surface when it comes to raising boys. Parents should be aware that bringing up boys in these times takes a great level of guidance and communication, and they should be prepared for that. That is why National Sons Day is so important. There are many stereotypes surrounding the idea of what a man should be like, and many boys will struggle with that. It is the parent's responsibility to guide them through that and teach them values and kindness.

Both parents play an equally important role in the emotional development of boys, and they strive when they have a good relationship with both their mother and father as the maternal and paternal sides bring different contributions, so it is very important to cultivate those bonds. The lack of a mother or father figure can be attributed to developmental issues in later years.

Ultimately, the role of a parent is a challenging and important one. The hard work you put into raising your son won't only serve as a reflection of your parenting skills, it will also help them to become an upstanding and respected member of society.

What to do on National Sons Day

  • This is the perfect day to take some time to be with your sons. Talk to them about their school and life, learn more about them and their ambitions, and try to open the way to always have good communication between you. Make sure they know how supportive you are by letting them know that you're always there for them.
  • You can also show them how much you appreciate them by taking them to do their favorite activity. Whether that is going to the movies, going shopping, playing games or sports, or cooking, just make sure to spend some quality time together.
  • Apart from reflecting on the way that you are raising them from an emotional and personal perspective, you can also take this day to teach them some smaller, practical life skills, such as changing a tire, doing some DIY, and cooking a simple meal. Anything that will help them grow into a better, more confident person.
September
16

National Guacamole Day 

MOLE DAY TIMELINE

1500s
Aztecado

The Aztecs make a spread with avocados called "ahuaca-mulli" or "avocado sauce."

1833
First in Florida

Avocado trees are first planted in Florida and three years later, they're cultivated in California.

1935
The Hass Is born

Rudolph Hass originates the term, "Hass Avocado," after purchasing a seedling from a farmer. Today, Hass is the most popular avocado variety in America.

2014
Avocados for days!

American consumption of avocados jumps from 1 to 7 pounds per capita within 20 years.

NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY ACTIVITIES

  1. Make some fresh guacamole

    You can really get into the celebratory spirit of National Guacamole Day by actually making it at home. Select some ripe avocados at the store by squeezing each one gently. Ripe avocados will yield to gentle pressure. At home, cut your avocados open, remove the stones and spoon the green flesh into a bowl. Smash with a fork or handheld mixer and stir in some onion or a splash of salsa for extra flavor.

  2. Go on a guacamole tour

    Ready for a guacamole extravaganza? Hook up with some friends and try to visit at least three restaurants on National Guacamole Day. Sample the guac at each place to decide which one you like best.

  3. Add some guacamole to your food

    Whether you made some fresh or brought home guacamole from the store, you can celebrate National Guacamole Day simply by eating some guac. But why stop there? Guacamole has been a source of inspiration for fusion cuisine the world over, and National Guacamole Day is your time to get creative. Whatever you were planning to make for dinner, find room to add a little guacamole to the meal. Dollop some guacamole onto your chicken or try something truly crazy! Who's ready for guacamole mac-and-cheese?

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY

  1. Guacamole is healthy and delicious

    Whether you like it plain or spicy, guacamole is one of those foods that's easy to love. The avocado is rich in the good fats that help reduce cholesterol and when avocado is mashed, the texture is creamy, bringing out all the amazing flavor. Then, add onion, tomato, cumin and cilantro.

  2. It's not just for Mexican food

    Guacamole originated as a Mexican side dish. Due to its health benefits and great flavor, guacamole has grown in popularity throughout the world, especially in the United States and Canada. Now there's guacamole fusion. Look for it on salads, as sandwich spread and even on pizza!

  3. It gives you a reason to eat guacamole

    Okay, so a lot of us probably don't need a special reason to eat guacamole. But most of us still associate guacamole with Mexican cuisine. Despite a ton of innovative ways to incorporate guacamole into other types of food, we may hesitate to try those fusions at home. But whether you like classic guacamole or you're obsessing over the turkey and guacamole croissant sandwich, National Guacamole Day is a great reason to include this healthy, high-vitamin food in your diet.

NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY DATES

Year Date Day
2022 September 16 Friday
2023 September 16 Saturday
2024 September 16 Monday
2025 September 16 Tuesday
2026 September 16 Wednesday
September
7

Is Professional Home Staging Worth the Cost?

Home staging has become a "must-do" for many sellers, as 82% of buyer's agents said home staging makes it easier for prospective buyers to visualize the property as a future home.1

 Staged homes have also historically sold faster and for more money than those that are not staged.2 Let's dive into the benefits of staging, the costs of having a company stage your home, and why for many sellers it is worth the cost.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Home staging is the curated furnishing and prepping of a home that is for sale on the real estate market.
  • The goal of home staging is to create a believable, clean, attractive living space that buyers can envision living in.
  • Proponents say that staging a home can increase a home's selling price and the likelihood that it will sell quickly as it helps prospective buyers better imagine how they can use the livable space.
  • Staging, however, comes with a cost: you will have to pay the stager as well as pay for the rental for furnishings and home accents while the house remains unsold.
  • While many have benefit from professional home stagers, you can choose to stage your home by yourself or rely on some feedback from your real estate agent.

What Is Staging? 

Home staging is a marketing strategy that temporarily refits your home with furniture, art, and other décor to make the visual space more appealing to prospective buyers. The goal of staging is to flatter the property, accentuate the strengths of the home, and give interested parties the ability to visualize themselves living in the space.

Good staging companies strive to make over a property without being obvious. A high quality staging job is beautiful without being obvious, as the intent isn't to deceive a buyer or have an interested party feel like a staging job is attempting to hide a home's flaws.

Staging is also practical as it allows other people to see spaces and how they may be used. Using furniture and property that you do not own, staging companies can demonstrate how awkward spaces can be used, what pieces go well in what areas, and how to most efficiently lay out a room.

How Home Staging Works

Home staging isn't putting a bunch of fancy furniture in your home. It's a deliberate marketing strategy with specific objectives that drive a higher real estate prices. Home staging may be more appropriate for home buyers that think they may benefit from any of the following improvements. Home staging:

  • makes your home look clean and organized.
  • strives to have rooms look bigger.
  • makes your home feel more welcoming.
  • utilizes all space, adding functionality to each room and corner.
  • modernizes your living space through new, creative furnishings.
  • depersonalizes your home and attempts to have the buyer image themselves in the space.
Home staging companies often have a number of requirements and clauses in their contracts. Make sure you're aware of whether they require all utilities to be connected, what notification periods are needed, and what cleanliness requirements they have prior to staging.

Benefits of Staging

Sellers often pursue home staging for several specific benefits. For one, staging makes it easier for potential buyers to see themselves in the home. Instead of having an empty space, staged homes have dining rooms, bedrooms, and other personal settings set up for buyers to see and imagine themselves in.

Staged houses also have the benefit of appearing clean. Staging companies own a plethora of furniture and goods, and they often ensure all property is maintained and looks professional. A staged home reduces clutter, removes personal items of the seller, and likely involved cleaner furniture than what the seller owns.

A stager can help with your online listing, too, as 93% of home buyers use the Internet during their home search.3 That means your home had better show really well online. Staging and photos by a professional can help create a beautiful digital marketing portfolio that entices buyers without needing them in the physical space.

Staging is used to demonstrate that a home is move-in ready. By demonstrating that the house can be set up and livable, staged homes are often more appealing to buyers as these houses may come across as needing less repairs or maintenance prior to being fully useful.

How Staging Affects Time on Market

The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) has a staging savings calculator that lets you figure out how much time and money (mortgage payments, carrying costs, etc.) you save if you stage your home before listing it. They found that homes that had not been staged before listing sat on the market for an average of 143 days.4 Once these homes were staged, they sold in 40 days. In addition, homes that were staged pre-listing averaged just 23 days on the market.5 Though every market and property is different, a home is more likely to sell faster if it is staged.

Timelines will vary greatly between markets, especially during busier or slower seasons. In general, an average home can be staged in 1-2 days. It's advised to contact a stager at least 2-3 weeks prior to a listing to ensure ideal inventory is on hand for your home.

How Staging Affects Sale Price

Staging a home also impacts the sale price. According to the National Association of Realtors, 23% of buyers' agents said that home staging raised the dollar value offered by between 1% and 5% compared to home that had not been staged. 18% of agents believe home staging increased the dollar value offer between 6% and 10%.6

Downsides to Staging

The obvious downside to home staging is the cost. We'll talk more about the cost below, but it's important to note that whatever you spend, you are incurring an optional expense that is not required to sell your home.

You may encounter the issue of needing to store your belongings in preparation of a stage. Staging companies will often require your items are removed prior to their furniture being brought in. If you're not quite at the stage of having a new home lined up, you may be forced to expedite packing and incur additional costs to have your goods held off-site.

While staging may mask or cover some of your home's flaws, it doesn't fix them. In addition, they may even call attention to deficits of your home depending on how the home is staged. For example, you may have used furniture to cover poor paint jobs or scratches on the walls or floor. Staging companies often use a minimalist approach that may not cover all of the blemishes you once hid.

Staging often gets your house off the market faster. However, it also takes longer to get staged homes onto the market. In addition to removing all of your belongings, coordinating with a staging company takes planning. You may also decide to undertake repair and maintenance based on how a staged product will appear.

The Cost of Staging

The cost to stage a home is very specific to geographical location and specific real estate markets. In addition, staging expenses will vary throughout the year, as companies will be more in demand during the peak selling season. While you might be able to secure a contract, you may be faced with furniture charged a premium.

According to HomeAdvisor, the national average home staging cost is $1,608. Homeowners typically pay between $741 and $2,644, though full furniture rentals for extended periods can cost over $6,000.7

Home staging can be done while you are still living in the house. However, you may be contractually obligated to keep your home clean and responsible for any damages to furnishings while you're temporarily occupying the space.

Other Considerations

Consider the design skills, time and energy that staging will require and be realistic about whether you could undertake the task yourself. Professional companies have expertise and inventory in the field; however, many choose to design the layout of their home themselves and utilize the furniture they already own.

In addition, you can opt for your real estate agent to help stage your home, though it's traditionally not within their role to do so. Your real estate agent is motivated to sell your home as quickly as possible for as much as possible, they so may have recommendations based on what they've seen work on other listings.

Unlike some professions, there is no official licensing entity and no licensing exam for staging. Just about anyone can call themselves a stager, so the best way to find a good one is to get referrals from a seller you know who has used and found success with a particular stager or from your broker. A good broker will have connections to good stagers. 

What Is the Process of Staging a Home?

If you hire a staging company, the company will require you to remove your belongings from the site. They will often take a tour of your property, take measurements, and work with your real estate agent on obtaining information about your home. The company will then deliver furniture to your home, stage your property, and remove the furnishings at the end of your agreed-upon contract.

Is Home Staging Worth It?

For many, home staging results in a higher selling price and a quicker home sale. There are downsides to home staging such as more work prior to listing and ancillary costs like storing your property, but these downsides are often outweighed by the benefits of staging.

Is It Better to Sell a Home Staged or Empty?

Every market and property will have different strategies. In general, it is often best to stage a home to maximize bid prices. If you are looking to sell a property quickly, be mindful that there is considerable planning and coordinating prior to listing, so selling a home empty may be best in some situations.

Am I Required to Stage My Home?

You are not required to stage your home. Home staging is an optional marketing strategy used to maximize buyer interest in your home.

How Can I Stage My Own Home?

Should you choose to stage your own home, it's most often advised that you begin by simply cleaning and de-cluttering your space. This includes performing cosmetic repairs and maintenance on both the interior and exterior of your home. Remove personal items that make it more difficult for buyers to envision themselves living in your home. Consider borrowing furniture from friends or family.

The Bottom Line

The cost of staging by a professional—someone who has a great track record in the business—can mean a higher selling price for your home. For many, having a professional bring in their own expertise and furnishings leads to a more successful home selling experience.

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