Dia de los Muertos

It is a Mexican tradition that honors the dead. It takes place on November 1st and 2nd.  It is a reminder that we are all going to die, that death is part of life, and we should celebrate it.

An essential part of the day of the dead is the offerings (ofrendas), also known as “Altares” which are full of elements and symbolism. The most crucial element to me is the image of your loved ones. I have been honoring my grandparents for many years.

Papel Picado represents Joy, Happiness, that’s why it is very colorful and comes in different shapes.

Velas, Veladoras (Candles) are considered as a guiding light in this world.

Flor de Cempazuchil:  It is a symbol of the sun’s glow, which was considered the origin of everything. It serves as a guide for the souls of our loved ones to indicate the path to get home.

Photo: heraldodemexico

Water: Reflects the purity of the soul, the endless cycle of the regeneration of life; a glass of water serves for the spirit to quench his/her thirst after the journey from the world of the dead.

Pan De Muerto: represents the skeleton of your loved ones. It is a moment to bring joy and you display their favorite foods and drinks at the altar. I discovered so many dishes my grandmothers liked, that I didn’t know and I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for this tradition, I also found out that one of my grandmothers used to smoke, she quit when my sister and I were born.

Photo: pinaenlacocina

Copal and incense: Copal is a pre-Hispanic element that cleanses and purifies the energies of a place and those of those who use it; Incense purifies the environment. And it also serves as a guide to our dead, so they can find their way home.

Photo: sagegoddess

I really enjoy putting the altar together as a family and while we are doing we share good memories of our daughters’ great grandparents and get to know them a bit.

It is a way to keep your ancestors and loved ones remembered, who already left this world, in your heart and your mind, you keep them alive while you remember them.

Any questions about Dia de los Muertos? #CallCristobal now!

Halloween Safety Tips

To have an amazing Halloween with your children, I want to share 4 safety tips with you. Let’s get started:

1. Costume Safety

Choose costumes that are bright and reflective, choose the shoes that fits well and use costumes that are short enough to avoid tripping. Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries to light the way for your children and escorts.

2. Safety on the Trick or Treat Trail:

Young children should be with a parent(s) or a responsible adult. Encourage your children to be careful with crossing at intersections and have them use designated crosswalks to avoid accidents. Visit only homes that have a porch light on. As not everyone celebrates Halloween.

3. Treat Distribution

Replace any outdoor burned-out light bulbs and remove any obstacles like garden hoses, toys, bikes, that could cause a child to trip. Have your treats ready by the door, remember to keep your pets away from the front door so they don’t jump or hurt a trick-or-treater. Believe me you don’t want to get sued!

4. Healthy Halloween    

Having a good meal prior to trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from eating along the trick-or-treat trail. All Candy should be inspected. Throw out any candy that appears to have been tampered or that it is not in the original wrapper. Small, hard candy should be removed, as it can b a choking hazard to small children.

This is Cristobal Jimenez with Coldwell Banker let’s make Halloween a fun, safe and happy time for kids.

Any questions? #CallCristobal now!

Recession

Again, lots of talk about the recession. 

The Yield curve has inverted, if you’re not sure what that is, look it up, but over the last 50 years when the yield curve inverts it is one of the most consistent recession indicators.  That coupled with the stock market dropping 800 points in August and bouncing up and down since, has caused a lot of talk about a recession being closer than we thought.

So, what does that mean for the U.S. Housing market? 
Interestingly enough homeowners in the U.S. have over 6.3 Billion dollars in equity in their homes.  Only 4.1% of homeowners have negative equity.  Back in 2010 homeowners had 25.3% negative equity. 

So, as we think about a recession and how it relates to the housing market, we need to look at factors like this. With 6.3 billion dollars of equity in homes, homeowners aren’t going to bail out. Also, according to the Urban Institute over 37% of homes don’t even have a mortgage on them. During the last crash, people were taking equity out of their homes and buying boats and cars.  They were using their homes as an ATM machine.

Now, they are keeping their money in their homes that’s why 37% of homes are mortgage free and we have 6.3 billion in equity. Let’s see what CoreLogic thinks, they break down their anticipated increase in appreciation.  If you look at this graph, ALL states with the exception of Texas are seeing an increase in appreciation. 

According to the Home Price Expectations Survey, all the analysts are saying that we are going to see appreciation between the next two and four years depending on how far each organization makes their predictions. The reason I feel it’s important to talk about this is because with all the hype of a Recession, we need to truly know what that means about the housing market and not let the fear of what happened in the last recession control our thoughts and emotions about what we should or shouldn’t do. 

As Ali Wolf the Director of Economic Research says “As people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.” But we need to know the differences between 2008 and now.  As Jeff Tucker, Zillow Economist states “The housing crash during the Great Recession left a lasting impression… But as we look ahead to the next recession, it’s important to recognize how unusual the conditions were that caused the last one, and what’s different about the housing market today. Rather than an abundant home, we have a shortage of new home supply.  Rather than risky borrowers taking on adjustable rate mortgages, we have buyers with sterling credit scores taking out predictable 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. 

The housing market is simply much less risky than it was 15 years ago.” 
Bottom line is that we are in a totally different time and many of the economic indicators as well as how easy it was to get a loan and the types of loans that were available back then, are totally different.  So, let’s not make this something that it isn’t. 

I just feel it’s important we know the facts, as many times the media is NOT telling us everything and they love to get those negative headlines out there because they sell more!!  Please reach out to me as I want to help be your knowledge base. 

Questions? #CallCristobal now!

4 Tips to Winterize Your Home

Winter is coming, and even though it is not as cold as other parts of the country, there is a possibility that we may get a lot of rain this year, and we need to be ready when it comes.

1. Making sure that your eaves, your gutters, and your drains are cleared out of any debris. We want to make sure that there’s no flooding and that there’s no damage that can go up into your eaves.

2. We want to caulk cracks around the property, and we want to seal windows and doors to keep the heat in and the winter out.

3. We want to make sure that you turn off your sprinklers for the winter. Right now is not a time to have the sprinkles on. We save ourselves money, especially with the water being so expensive in San Diego County. We make sure that we shut off our time clock, at least until February.

4. We want to make sure that all our outside furniture is covered, or put away in the garage. No doubt, there are storms, windstorms that can damage this furniture and also even damage our property. So let’s put away our furniture and store it for the winter.

If you have any other tips that you could share with us, please let us know. I would like to know what are other ways you get ready for winter.

Any questions? #CallCristobal now!