Coronavirus is everywhere it seems and while I don’t want to be a broken record, I want to share important news with you how about how coronavirus is impacting the housing market, ways to protect yourself, how you can help and ways to stay sane during your extra hours at home.

Live Charleston and live well (and don’t forget to WASH YOUR HANDS)!

NAR Advocacy Team Takes Measures to Help Homeowners

The National Association of REALTORS® federal advocacy team is taking measures to help the real estate industry such as mortgage payment deferments, moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, and electronic notarization in all states. While much of the legislation being considered thus far is fairly specific, I expect legislation affecting the broader economy to be considered in the coming days and weeks. Find more information about resources available to property owners here.

Local Resources

With so much information coming from so many sources, how do you know what is accurate? Here are local resources I rely on for the latest, most trustworthy information.

Take Out is the New Normal

You don’t have to give up restaurant meals due to the Coronavirus. From casual meals to fine dining, a wide variety of restaurants are offering pickup and delivery options for your dining pleasure. Try an old favorite or a local spot you have been meaning to check out. Here is a substantial list of options to choose from. Your local restaurants appreciate your support as they try to keep their doors open and their employees working.

Real Estate News You NEED to Know

Keeping Current Matters is an online resource for real estate agents and homeowners to get up-to-date information on how the virus is affecting our industry. Here is some of the latest and greatest news.

To put this in perspective, the following chart from the same article shows how average mortgage rates by decade have impacted the approximate monthly payment of a $200,000 home over time:

Clearly, when rates are low, qualified buyers can benefit significantly over time. Keep in mind, if interest rates go up, this can push many potential homebuyers out of the market the National Association of Home Builders notes.

Bottom Line: You certainly don’t want to be priced out of the market this year, and waiting may mean a significant change in your potential mortgage payment should rates start to rise. If your financial situation allows, now may be a great time to lock in a low mortgage rate to benefit greatly over the lifetime of your loan.
Articles courtesy of Keeping Current Matters.

Houzz Offers Good Tips for Cleaning

Proper cleaning is essential to keeping your family healthy. Here are great tips to keep your home clean and safe.

Ways to Help

If you want to help, here are local organizations in need of support today and every day. Before donating, always check organizations out here to see how they stack up against other charities.

Don’t Forget Fun for Your Furry Friends

The Indoor Pooch Playground

You’ll need: Your dog’s favorite treats, broken into small pieces. Basic household items, such as: a sturdy chair, throw pillows, empty boxes, a laundry basket, a rolled-up blanket.

Important Note: Just be sure your playground materials are sturdy, and that there are no sharp edges or things your dog could easily knock over.

Step 1: Set up your playground using your household items. Be as creative as you like!

For example, you can place rolled-up blankets on the floor as little “speed bumps,” or position your sturdy chair next to the sofa so your pup can safely jump from the chair to the couch. To create “platforms” for your dog to hop on, simply flip your laundry basket upside down.

BONUS TIP: Empty boxes from your recycling bin are perfect for making tunnels. Just punch out the bottom and encourage your dog to crawl through.

Step 2: Invite your pooch to play! Call your dog into the room and introduce them to their new playground. Use bits of treats to encourage them to jump over obstacles and crawl under things.

Keep in mind, you can play any games you want. For example, tell your furry pal to “stay” on one side of the room, while you stand on the other side. Now, in your most excited, encouraging voice: tell your dog to “come” and show them a treat. Then watch as they explore their playground on their way over to you.

If they’re hesitant, show them how it’s done by guiding them through the playground yourself, using treats as motivation. And be sure to give them tons of praise along the way!

Step 3: Change it up. Pretty soon, your pup will discover how fun this “indoor playground” can be. And when they start to get familiar with each obstacle, you can rearrange things so they don’t get bored.

All you have to do is, simply grab your pup’s favorite ball or rope toy and try a game of fetch. Toss their toy across the playground and watch as your pup figures out how to retrieve it. This game challenges your dog physically and mentally, so it can really help them burn off excess energy…While keeping you both entertained.

Of course, if you can, try and continue walking your dog for at least 15-minutes twice a day… (Just remember to keep at least 6 feet of distance between you and other people like the CDC recommends).

In the meantime, give this activity a try. It’s a fantastic way to have some fun, burn off your pup’s excess energy indoors, and entertain you both.

BONUS: Did you know, playing with your pup can release mood-boosting hormones — like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin? In other words: regardless of whether you’re indoors or outside…

Play time with your furry best friend can make you BOTH happier and healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

To you and your best friend,

Dr. Marty Goldstein