Selling Your House This 2015? Now is the Time!

Selling Your House in 2015? Don’t Miss this Opportunity | Keeping Current Matters

Every seller wants to get the best price for their house. We learned in high school that the best price for any item will be determined by the demand for that item relative to the supply of that item. We have reported that the inventory of houses for sale is well below normal numbers. There is historical evidence that the demand for housing is about to increase dramatically. Each year, more homes sell in May, June, July and August than any other four months of the year. Here is a graph of homes sales last year by month: 2014 Home Sales | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

You want to make sure your house is available for sale during peak selling season. If you are thinking of selling this year, contact a local real estate professional today. 

Every seller wants to get the best price for their house. We learned in high school that the best price for any item will be determined by the demand for that item relative to the supply of that item. We have reported that the inventory of houses for sale is well below normal numbers. There is historical evidence that the demand for housing is about to increase dramatically. Each year, more homes sell in May, June, July and August than any other four months of the year. Here is a graph of homes sales last year by month: 2014 Home Sales | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

You want to make sure your house is available for sale during peak selling season. If you are thinking of selling this year, contact a local real estate professional today. 

 

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Yonkers, One of the 10 Most Healthiest Cities

Yonkers, NY Named One of Livability.com’s Top 10 Healthiest Cities, 2015
Inaugural list identifies and ranks America’s healthiest cities        
There are two parts to every great healthy city. The first is access to quality and affordable health care. The second is promoting and enabling a healthy lifestyle for its residents through infrastructure and amenities. With this in mind, Livability.com has named Yonkers a Top 10 Healthiest City, 2015. Yonkers provides residents with exercise opportunities, good food choices and strong support networks to help live healthy lives.
 
Our editors looked at data compiled by the County Healthcare Rankings as well as spending data from Esri to find places with quality and affordable health care. They analyzed several measures of healthy communities such as the adult obesity rate, the percent of residents with access to healthy food and other stats. Also factored in were the number of hospitals, ratio of doctors to residents and more.
In addition, our editors looked into city infrastructure to promote healthy living, like access to farmers markets and parks, walkability, man-made amenities such as golf courses, as well as natural amenities. Additionally factored in was data from the EPA about the environmental components of a healthy city such as clean air and water.
     
“The link between cities and health is increasingly clear,” says Livability Editor Matt Carmichael. “It’s not enough to have a great hospital to take care of you when you’re sick. The city itself can help you lead a healthier life.”
 
Yonkers fosters healthy living with many walkable neighborhoods and a collection of parks that encourage residents to get outside and get moving. Approximately 98 percent of the city’s population has access to exercise opportunities, which include yoga studios, fitness centers, sports clubs and golf courses. City officials recently launched the Yonkers Green City initiative, which includes programs to replace street lights with brighter LED bulbs, a styrofoam recycling program and rooftop solar panel installations. When it comes to ratio of doctors, dentists and mental-health providers to residents, Yonkers ranks well above most cities.
Top 10 Healthiest Cities, 2015
  1. Minneapolis, MN
  2. Cambridge, MA
  3. Madison, WI
  4. Miami, FL
  5. Bridgeport, CT
  6. Arlington, VA
  7. Santa Ana, CA
  8. Honolulu, HI
  9. Fort Collins, CO
10. Yonkers, NY
 
original article here: http://bit.ly/1Oa8U68

 

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15 Keys To Workplace Happiness

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Happy Home in the Bronx

 

We spend a huge portion of our lives at work. Even if you only work the traditional 40 hours in a week, you’re still spending nearly 1/3 of your life at work. This can be a scary fact for some to face.

But if, with the right conditions, you derive a sense of joy from your work, feel a sense of connection, and believe that you create a positive impact on some portion of the world (however small) through your work then work becomes much more than just a paycheck.

Because so much of your life is spent at work, a huge deciding factor in your well-being is whether or not you’re happy at work. This can manifest in a number of ways, but the basic ingredients are the same in all types of work. Here are 15 keys to workplace happiness:

1. Freedom

The last thing you want is to show up to work with people looking over your shoulder telling you to, “change this,” or “do this another way.”

If you’re asked to design a portion of the company’s new website, and if you’re given creative freedom and the company lets you do your thing, then you’ll derive a great sense of confidence and joy from your work, feeling like you’re really making a difference.

Freedom is a fundamental ingredient in workplace happiness not only because you’re an adult and would rather not feel like you’re back in the classroom with a teacher hanging over your shoulder, but also because you want to feel that you’re trusted to do the job you’re asked to do and that the company believes you can create work to the quality standard it demands.

Being given the freedom to do the job you know you can do without being questioned every step of the way gives us confidence in our ability and makes us feel better about ourselves. Freedom is key in every aspect of life, and work is no exception.

2. Positive relationships

Every day you show up to work, you interact with people. These connections are unavoidable, and so it goes without saying that the quality of these connections has a significant impact on our workplace happiness.

In a survey done by Virgin Pulse, it was found that nearly 40 percent of respondents identified their co-workers as the top reason they loved their company.

In addition to that, 66 percent said these relationships positively impacted their focus and productivity at work and 55 percent said these relationships positively impacted stress levels on the job.

If you enjoy your co-workers, especially if you work with friends, you’ll truly enjoy coming into work each day and the time you spend at work will be joyful and rewarding.

3. Stimulating work

If all you do is go in to work each day and do manual entry, it’s going to be difficult to find happiness at work.

There’s certainly more to enjoying what you do for a living than that, and by no means does that keep you from finding happiness at work, but whether or not your brain is stimulated while you work is one of the most important factors to workplace happiness.

Your work doesn’t necessarily have to be challenging. If you simply find it interesting then that can lead to a great sense of enjoyment as well.

Just so long as your brain is being stimulated in some way, whether you’re being challenged or you simply find your work interesting, you’ll be far happier at work.

4. Seeing your work as a calling

Moving on from the last point, more than just being stimulating, if you believe your work is downright your calling in life then you’ll find much greater joy than if you believed your position is “just a job.”

If you believe your work is just a paycheck then you’ll treat it as such. If you believe your work is your calling, that you were truly meant to do what you go to work each day to do, you’ll not only find joy in your work, but you’ll derive a deep sense of meaning as well; both are factors that lead to being happier at work.

Seeing your work as a calling doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re an astronaut or a professional basketball player though. If you see the positive impact you create from the work that you do and the way that it helps the world around you then just about any type of work can be seen as a calling and something which you gain a deep sense of meaning and purpose from.

5. Positive communication

Positive communication can make a huge difference not just in your individual happiness but in the entire company you work for, which turns back around and further promotes greater happiness in your work.

Barbara Frederickson, a University of North Carolina positive psychologist, visited 60 companies with a team of researchers to study the language used during their business meetings.

After tracking every conversation and parsing every sentence for positive and negative words, they deduced that the companies with the greatest financial performance had a greater than 3:1 ratio of positive to negative communication.

Furthermore, a ratio of 6:1 identified companies with consistently extraordinary levels of achievement.

As time goes on, the old notion of “success, then happiness” has begun to wither away, and we’ve started seeing that our well-being is directly connected to our happiness in any endeavor, especially at work. As Shawn Achor says, “It’s not success that equals happiness, but rather happiness that equals success.”

6. Transparency

To know you work for a company that does the right thing is a big factor in workplace happiness.

In the 21st century, we’ve quickly realized the importance of transparency on the corporate level. It’s becoming increasingly more important to people to work at a company that is open about their inner workings.

This varies depending on the type of company, but, in general, knowing what the company you work for is about, where they’re going, how they intend to get there, and how you fit in are all very important points which can lead to greater workplace happiness.

Large companies have had their fair share of hiccups in recent years, and we don’t want to work at a company we feel is any less than transparent. We’re all in this together, and that includes large companies. By owning up to their responsibility of being transparent, we feel we’re a part of something positive and as a result are happier at work.

7. Flexibility

Flexibility isn’t just important with regards to unexpected events: emergencies, pregnancy leave, etc. It’s also important with regards to your workflow itself. To be able to work remotely, even if it’s only partially, can be a great contributing factor to workplace happiness. What’s more enjoyable than being able to avoid the workplace altogether?

Of course, this isn’t always possible. But in the 21st century, there’s countless positions that make working remotely a reality, which includes essentially any job that has to do with working online, and so, when applicable, it can be a great source of workplace happiness.

8. Knowing your company makes a difference

This may or may not have been a contributing factor to workplace happiness in the past, but it’s definitely something that the new workforce of the world is looking for in a company.

Achieve conducted a study, titled the Millennial Impact Study, which attempted to find out if a company’s social consciousness could affect the quality of the employees it hires. A significant 39% of Millennials surveyed said that a company’s volunteer policy affects their decision to apply. On top of that, 55% said it affects their decision to take a position.

As we grow as a society, we are becoming more conscious of the effects that we have on everything around us. And the more conscious we become to this, the more important it will be to us to find work, or at least a company, that truly makes a difference.

To know you’re with a company that cares about helping the community and giving back to the world at large can be a great source of happiness, as well as a great way for companies to retain their best employees.

9. Working mindfully

Are you fully engaged at work, or rushing around only half-present to the task at hand?

Being fully engaged at work with mindfulness is one of the greatest sources of workplace happiness.

In fact, you can often derive a great sense of joy from your work no matter how menial it is by practicing mindfulness while you work. Indeed, it’s one of the best solutions to making menial or manual input work enjoyable!

This can take shape in many different ways, from doing individual tasks while being completely aware of the action your taking in that moment – the lifting and placing down of the keys on the keyboard, the fact that you’re sitting down, the sounds coming at you from around the office, and observing the thoughts and ideas popping into your mind as you type – to having conversations with co-workers while being completely attentive to them and responding with compassion and understanding.

There’s many ways this can be done, but one thing is for certain: to work mindfully, fully aware of what you’re doing in this moment, is one of the most important keys to workplace happiness.

10. Opportunity for growth

In our daily lives, we often want to feel like we’re getting somewhere. We want to know that tomorrow is going to be better than today, and that if we work hard we can make that a reality.

This same principle applies to the workplace, where we can derive a great sense of happiness if there’s opportunity for us to grow and move up in the company.

If we feel we’re in a company where we have no room to grow, and that where we’re at is where we’ll always be as long as we’re with the company, then we can very quickly grow disinterested and lose any joy we derive from our work (not always the case, but often so).

To know that you have a chance to move up, to improve your position, and through that improve the quality of your work life and life in general, is to come to work each day with hope.

Even if you don’t particularly enjoy your work, to know things can get better can sometimes be all we need to keep going and actually find some joy in what we do.

11. The ability to make a difference

We want to feel like we can actually make a difference, however small, in the company we work for. We don’t want to feel like we don’t matter or like the work we do isn’t required for the company to operate.

We want to feel like we can and do actually make a difference.

We want to feel like the job we do helps move the company forward. If you work somewhere that values your contribution and you can really feel how the work you do positively affects the whole, you know that having the ability to make a difference is a major factor in deciding your level of happiness in the workplace.

12. A suggestion box

Back in the day this was a suggestion box, now it can be simply the opportunity for employees to give feedback at regular yearly or more frequent meetings, or could be taken further to a digital suggestion box, e.g. an internal channel via email or something else for employees to communicate and give suggestions to improve the company.

This goes back to the last point. That is, feeling like you can really make a difference. This is a huge factor in workplace happiness for many people. One of the worst feelings is to be at a company that you feel will just continue chugging along whether you were there or not.

We want to feel like we matter, like we can make a difference or at least contribute in some minor way.

While this is in no way required to find happiness in your work, if you have the opportunity to do so then you’ll derive a lot more joy from your daily work. And being with a company you know actually hears you out when you have an idea can make you feel really good about your work.

13. Positive company culture

You’ll likely seen it before – the free beer and wine, the foosball table, or the “bring your dog to work day” at any of Google’s main offices. There’s various ways big companies are attempting to make the workplace also a place of fun for its employees.

This isn’t just fluff though, it’s rooted in the findings of positive psychology and other scientific studies that have begun to show that happiness in the workplace is one of, if not the, greatest factors in deciding employee performance, and as a result, company success.

However a company chooses to make this a reality, a company culture of positivity is a proven path to workplace happiness.

14. Mentorship

This is a less obvious point, but one which is valuable to many Millennials, as noted in a study done by Millennial Branding and American Express. The study showed that the opportunity for mentor-ship is an important factor to Millennial’s workplace happiness.

To know that you have the ability to learn your desired trade from someone more knowledgeable than yourself on one end seems an obvious point, but it’s something not often talked about. This goes back to knowing that you have the potential to grow within a company.

While this doesn’t directly have to do with the opportunity to move up, this does directly have to do with knowing there’s an opportunity for you to grow with regards to knowledge of your desired profession. And that in itself can make going to work each day a joy.

15. Work-life balance

There’s more to finding happiness at work than work itself. Without a doubt, what you do outside of work has a big impact on whether or not you’re happy at work. If your personal or family life is difficult then you’ll feel it across your entire life, including work.

There’s no separating work and the rest of your life. If you think that when you walk into work that fight from this morning is just going to disappear than you’re fooling yourself.

We often carry negative emotional energy from one place to the next – from work to home, from home to work, and everywhere else in between. But this doesn’t mean we’re doomed, it just means we can’t neglect any portion of our lives and think that one part will make up for shortcomings in the rest.

Take care of yourself. Work on you, your peace, and your happiness in your “off-time” and you’ll find greater happiness at work as well as the entire rest of your life.

original article here: http://bit.ly/1OrOSoN

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The Most Expensive Golf Course in America

golf trump

America’s most expensive golf facility is about to open in New York, the first public course in the city for 52 years.

The municipally owned Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, built on a 222-acre former landfill site in the Bronx, has been 20 years in the making, cost $269 million to build and boasts a Manhattan skyline visible from most of the course.

When it opens on April 1, residents of New York City will pay a green fee of $141 (£95) for a round, rising to $215 for non-residents on weekends.

Property mogul Donald Trump, who took over the project in 2011 as a contractor to the city, told the New York Post, “It’s the best location I’ve ever seen for a golf course because you’re right outside Manhattan. They can have people taking buses from Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue.”

 

trump golf

He told Golf.com, “There has never been a location like this. It’s right off the Manhattan ramp, five minutes from my apartment.”

The links-style course features dunes more than 50ft high and no trees. A temporary club house is expected to be replaced by a permanent $10 million one next year.

It was designed by Jack Nicklaus who has been involved in the project for a decade.

He said: “Ferry Point was created to be a unique public golf experience, and it is our collective hope that the golf course will add to New York City’s global reputation, enhance New York’s reputation for quality golf, and give its proud residents a place to play and call home.


golf trump ny

 

“It had several appeals to me. One was doing a golf course in the heart of New York City,’’ he said. “You don’t get many opportunities to do something in an urban area.”

The city hopes to attract a major championship – a US Open or PGA Championship.

Michael Breed, a teaching professional on the Golf Channel, told the New York Post: “I think it’s the best course Jack Nicklaus ever designed. It has everything you want in a golf course.”


trump ny golf

 

According to a preview of the course from Golf.com its “best attribute is its unique and unforgettable location occupying one of the most remarkable tracts in golf”.

It said the most memorable hole is the 487-yard, par-4 16th, which has 360-degree views.

original article here: http://read.bi/1IN8GPk

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You can accomplish anything

Some people stop moving forward because they don’t believe that they have what it takes to accomplish the next objective. This could happen in many different ways. Some people don’t apply for promotions, for example, because they simply don’t believe that they could possibly get them. Some people don’t even think about starting a business because they don’t think that they are ‘smart enough’ to do so. Some people shy away from volunteering for special projects because they doubt whether or not they have the skills necessary to be useful.

 

These are all relatively common types of thoughts for humans to have… but they are also thoughts that could keep you from realizing your true potential. If you have ever had thoughts like these, then you know how difficult it can be to believe in yourself when the time comes to face bigger challenges. In the end, however, it is important for you to realize two very important truths.

 

 

  1. Sometimes past experiences and technical qualifications matter much less than a drive to succeed.
  2. If you never try to challenge yourself, you will never move forward.

 

When faced with a chance to do something bigger and better, you will always feel at least a little bit of pressure. You might feel inadequate, inexperienced, and doubt yourself. But these are all natural things to feel when you take the next step. What really matters, in these cases, is how you handle it.

 

Sometimes, your lack of technical experience may cause your boss or the person in charge to give the project to someone else… but sometimes, just the fact that you applied for it could cause you to be either seriously considered, or even selected. This thought alone might scare you… but you shouldn’t let it! You can accomplish anything that you put your mind to! Don’t let feelings of inferiority keep you from realizing your true potential.

 

 

One great way to overcome these feelings is to stand in front of the mirror and to tell yourself that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. Tell yourself that you are smart, strong, capable, talented, and ready to succeed. Don’t fall prey to the mindset that tells you that you are not good enough… because you will be if you choose to be!

 

 

Remember that success is a choice, and that choosing to move forward will not present any challenges that you can’t handle.

 

 

 

 

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Make Every Day Count

Make every day count. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers, really did a good job of summarizing this idea when he spoke this quote into existence…

 “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” -Steve Jobs 

 

What are you going to do today? You, just like every other human-being on the planet, woke up this morning with a gift. You woke up with 24 hours to spend in whatever way you deem the best. In a sense, that is all that you have. Time is the most valuable currency, but it is also the great equalizer. Whether you are rich or poor, time still passes at the same rate.  

And when you wake up in the morning, it falls to you to decide what you are going to do with it.

 So what are you going to do today? 

 

Making every day count is a concept that might sound foreign to a lot of people. Some people might say that they ‘have to go to work’ at a job that they hate just because they need to ‘pay the bills’. Some people might say that it is not their fault that they have to do things that they don’t want to do all day… and while it is true that not every moment of every day is going to be pleasant, the question is really one of direction. Do you like the direction that you are going in, or are you headed somewhere that you don’t want to go?

 

The best way to make every day count is to stop and think about where you want to end up some day. Where do you want to be in a year, in five years, in ten years, and when you retire? What do you want your life to be like when your kids are old enough to move out? What kind of home do you want to invite your grandchildren into? And most importantly, what kinds of things do you want to be doing when you are at retirement age? Do you still want to be doing what you are doing now, or is there something else that you would rather be involved in?

Keep these things in mind, and use every hour of your day to move you closer to where you want to be. Sign up for college courses… get an internship… or save up to start that business that you have always wanted to start! Don’t shy away from challenges. Success is a choice, and making every day count is as simple as making choices that are going to take you, eventually, to where you really want to be

 

 

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It’s The Location…

Location, Location, Location | Keeping Current Matters

A recent Demand Institute report revealed “nearly half of all American households plan to move at some point in the future.” Seventy-five percent of those surveyed in the report cited one or more ‘location-related reasons’ for their eagerness to move. Here are the top 5 reasons:

1. Safer Neighborhood – 30%

2. Closer to Family – 27%

3. Change of Climate – 26%

4. Closer to Work – 25%

5. For a New Job – 23%

While the majority of Americans (74%) will move within their home state, for the 26% planning to call a new state home, it is important to know that prices in each state are appreciating at different rates and waiting to buy or sell your home could cost you more in the long run. The map below was created using the FHFA’s latest Home Price Index and shows year-over-year price gains in each state. Year-Over-Year Price Gains | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If your plan for 2015 includes relocating to a new state, meet with a local real estate professional in that area who can help you find the best fit for you and your family’s needs.

 

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Best Places To Live in New York!

A Westchester town took top honors in a well-known real estate website’s recent 10 Best Places To Live in New York list.

Movoto.com — a real estate website known for its catchy, algorithm-based top 10 lists — ranked Mamaroneck as the best town in New York state to live in.

In addition, Westchester towns made up 9 of the top 10 spots on the real estate website’s list.

Steve Altieri, Mamaroneck town administrator, said that Mamaroneck’s diverse population, community volunteerism, and coastal location were among the town’s finer points.

“Mamaroneck is a coastal community, only 35 minutes from New York City, so it’s a very convenient town,” Altieri said.

Writer Natalie Grigson analyzed the 2010 U.S. Census data of towns with populations exceeding 10,000 and ranked each on the basis of amenities, quality of life, crime, taxes, unemployment, commute time and weather.

Grigson extolled the virtues of Mamaroneck’s small-town feel — and Sal’s Pizzeria! — as well as Tarrytown’s low crime rate; the convenience of White Plains’ many amenities; Mount Kisco’s low student-teacher ratio and Scarsdale and Harrison’s overall quality of life.

The following towns are the top 10 found on Movoto.com’s list.

1. Town of Mamaroneck

2. Village of Tarrytown

3. City of White Plains

4. Village of Mount Kisco

5. Town of Scarsdale

6. Town of Harrison

7. Village of Dobbs Ferry

8. Village of Ossining

8. City of Rye

10. City of New Rochelle

10. City of Saratoga Springs

Orignal Article: http://lohud.us/1B0HrPG

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Are you having a bad day? Here are 5 Ways to Turn Your Day Around

Don’t be surprised… we all have them. In fact, for most people, a bad day at least once per week is a common thing. It could be caused by any number of things. Maybe it’s Monday and you would rather be anywhere than at work. Maybe you don’t feel good. Maybe you just paid the bills and have barely enough money in your account to cover getting to work and back for the rest of the week. Maybe you are tired of friends who put your down and managers who make it their mission to cause you misery.

Whatever the case may be, the truth is that bad days happen… but that they don’t have to define you. In fact, changing your day from bad to good may be as simple as changing your outlook.

Here are 5 ways to turn your day around:

1… It could always be worse

It doesn’t take much brain-power to imagine things being worse. Consider this, and try to be thankful that the worst-case scenario is not your scenario. It could always be worse, so be thankful that your bad day is not infinitely bad.

 

2… Make a fun plan

Having a stressful day at work? Text your friends and see if some of them want to do something fun later on. Or text your spouse and plan a special date-night. Looking forward to something is a great way to get your mind off of your current woes.

 

3… Talk to someone

Talk to a friend, a family member, your spouse, or even the coworker in the cubicle next to yours about what is wrong. It might be difficult to do sometimes, but talking to other people about your problems can be very therapeutic.

 

4… Read motivational quotes

The internet is full of motivational quotes. Sometimes these little snippets of wisdom can give you the fuel you need to get you through the day.

 

5… Count your blessings

Everyone has things to be thankful for, and making a list of the good things in your life can often cause you to see that, though your day might seem bad, your life is actually pretty good!

 

 

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