Susan's Column

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by Susan Koslovsky

February 22, 2015

With so many scares of terrorism all over the world, and hundreds of security issues to deal with, why not forego the European vacations for a while and see the USA. Recently we were invited to our friends’ son’s wedding in Los Angeles so we decided to make a vacation around the wedding festivities. So, we booked our tickets to LAX (Los Angeles airport) several months ago and could not believe how inexpensive the airfare was. Next there were hotel arrangements to make. For the first time in ages, we actually were able to take advantage of points/miles that had accumulated on our account and we could to enjoy a full week “free.” Since our lives are so scheduled all of the time, and we had a few times already set on the calendar with rehearsal dinner, wedding, and after wedding brunch, we decided to let the rest of the trip fall into place one day at a time. We arrived on a Wednesday afternoon at the airport to the most fabulous weather. Never having been in California in February, we did not know what to expect. While most of the Northeast and Midwest were knee deep in snow and freezing temperatures, Los Angeles was enjoying the most delicious weather imaginable. With almost no humidity, and temperatures a little warmer than usual for this time of year, we were the beneficiaries of perfect weather. Just having a week alone set aside out of town was enough of a treat for us. Each and every day we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, followed by an adventurous day out. Days, evenings, nights, all planned as the time came upon us. We had wonderful dinners that never disappointed. Each day was a new experience, filled with beautiful scenery, wonderful sites to see, and relaxing time spent together. We talked about all the places we have never been in the USA and promised ourselves to see more in this country before venturing outside for a while. The trip to California, that started out as a plan to attend a wedding, turned into one of the best weeks we could remember having in our almost 39 years of marriage. Perhaps it was just being together, having the opportunity to spend so much uninterrupted time talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company, or the fabulous place we were in. Either way the time away was magical and there was more of a sense of comfort being in our own country. We both felt it from the moment we arrived at the airport in Los Angeles and checked into the hotel. How great to vacay in the USA.

by Susan Koslovsky

February 15, 2015

What you say, what you do, and how you act is your entrée card in this world. For the most part we are all in control of our voices and our actions. Often times we find ourselves and others for that matter, just speaking out of turn, and saying some of the most inappropriate or mean spirited words one can think of. Compliments and niceties go much farther, but in an effort to have the upper hand and control of a situation, we often times find it advantageous to take a stronger approach which can lead to tough and nasty verbiage. We all should know better, and remember that a few kind words can go farther than a lot of offensive ones. Be it on the phone, in person, via emails over the computer, or just in your everyday lives, how you conduct your thoughts leading to your verbal communication can make all the difference in the world. Say too much, say too little, or strive to say just the right amount in the right way. And remember, the truth always wins out. If you try to conceal that, somehow, somewhere, you will get caught with your “hand in the cookie jar.” The same goes true for what you do and how you act. Many feel that actions speak louder than words and what you do and how you act could have a much greater impact on some than what and how you say it. People’s actions most of the time speak for themselves, as you are judged by others for the behavior you exhibit. Unfortunately, even the best intentions can be criticized and people don’t often look favorably on even the simplest and most innocent deed. It doesn’t take more than watching for a few moments on TV to see how the media, the press, the public and home viewers such as us, can pounce on the actions of celebrities, newscasters, politicians, and everyday citizens. We even have non-news television programs scheduled that are created to pull apart, make fun of, and ridicule the actions of all the above. How sad that so much energy and time is wasted on such nonsense. The money and effort could be spent in so many better venues. But, human nature is just that and we are curious, complicated, and critical creatures who continue to feed on the actions and words of others. Set the tone, set the pace and see if within your own world and your own space you can make some headway. You are the only one you can control and be in charge of. Trying to change others will never happen, and perhaps by example you can make a difference. If not, remove or distance yourself from unhealthy situations and live your life in a more clean, calm and cautious manner. What you say, how you act, and what you do does make a difference, certainly to yourself and those around you.

by Susan Koslovsky

February 8, 2015

On a recent visit to New York City I had the opportunity to wander around the designer shops on Madison and Fifth Avenues. Beautiful stores decorated with impeccable furnishings and showcases that showoff the merchandise for sale. Lovely environments to shop in as well as work hoping to sell as many items as you can and turn a profit. Working in sales can be hard to say the least and customers can be difficult to deal with many times. Salespersons must be accommodating, polite, and as available as possible so as not to lose a sale. Purchasers in designer shops are not any better than those in the basic retail stores, and neither are the men and women who service those very customers. Well, someone needs to rewrite the retail store manual to let those working in the designer stores know they can take the attitude down a notch or two. When a salesperson was not available to assist me, I asked a very well-dressed gentleman standing on the side to help me. He answered, “I am only the security guard.” All of a sudden I shifted my focus from the item I was interested in looking at to the way he described himself. Only, just, merely. I am sure in that instance, all that was meant by that adverb was that he was not a salesperson, and was not authorized to handle the merchandise. I fully am aware of that however, it was the way he said it, even unintentionally, that provoked the outspokenness in me. Why would someone refer to themselves as “only” anything? Only the receptionist, only the maid, only the nurse, only the … any job. To use the words only, just, merely, barely, and simply suggests a reduced importance to your stature in life and the role you play. Quite disturbed by the explanation of his inability to assist me but understanding it was not his job, I asked him why he did not say instead, “I am the security guard and I would be happy to get a salesperson to assist you.” Where did only have a place in telling me that? The elimination of that word in the sentence changed his position, elevated his importance, as well as his opinion of himself and the role he played in that environment. Since that day I have actually noticed how many people have given themselves the “only” lot in life. From all walks of life and employment, from manual labor positions to Moms who use the “only the Mom” line when confronted by children who think they know better than their parents, people degrade and belittle their positions and existence without even giving a mindful thought. If we don’t think highly of ourselves how can we expect others to think differently? Be more definitive, positive, and proud to be who you are because in this case you are the ONLY one who can change that

by Susan Koslovsky

February 1, 2015

Oh, the thrill of finding loose change in pants pockets, underneath sofa cushions, or in your car. Loose change is always good and brings a smile or a chuckle. You gather up your change in a glass jar and take it over to the bank to convert to dollars that you will use for a dinner out, a vacation, or perhaps a surprise purchase. Change in life as an alteration or modification is a different matter. Human nature does not always embrace change as smoothly as the shiny coins we find when we least expect them. Yet those changes also occur often times at unplanned moments in our lives. How we deal with those events is what builds character and tests our spirit. Jobs, life events, and moving can be initiated and planned by us or thrust upon us without our permission or prior awareness. The expression, “change is good,” in its brief expression is not always true. How we deal with any change by making the end result work for us is why we say it is “good.” The real estate market has its own categories for change along with all the other life events that occur. Moving to a new, big house for job relocation, or family expansion, downsizing because children have grown and moved out, or unloading the speculative property you thought would make you rich quick are a few of the scenarios we deal with every day. Adding a second home or condo to your real estate portfolio, investing in commercial income property, or taking advantage of a foreclosure is also what our clients have us investigate for them. In addition to all the above real estate possibilities you might have or are engaged in, PLEASE hear us when we say as others do as well, these times are to be taken advantage of. Supply is low in comparison to the past few years and prices are strong. Opportunities to sell are definitely out there. It is your job to see if selling at this time in your life works for you. Perhaps the added change in your life will be good. Make the decision to do so voluntarily and for all the right reasons. Gather up your loose change, your assets, and your resources and along with the specialists in our office consider the changes you can make in the real estate market.