Real Estate

Families who eat together, stay together. by: Mirele Mann

9 Scientifically Proven Reasons to Eat Dinner as a Family

Families who eat together, stay together.

Family having dinner together

The dinner table is a sacred place for a family to come together (Shutterstock)

Courtesy of almost every family sitcom made in the last 60 years, the family dinner as we know it is an occasion for meatloaf, mashed potatoes, at least one fight over the salt shaker, and a few failed attempts at finding out how school was. Though cliche, this familiar scene highlights an important part of being a family, a meaningful gathering, a sacred time - dinner. With family dinners on the decline and 59% of Americans reporting that their family today has fewer family dinners than when they were growing up, perhaps it’s time to turn the tables. These nine science-based reasons are proof that, meatloaf or not, family dinners are important. 

1. FAMILY DINNERS MEAN BETTER FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Eating meals together has the potential to strengthen family bonds as it provides a daily time for the whole family to be together. For younger children, routine family meals can provide a sense of security and a feeling of belonging in the family. Older children and teenagers, too, prefer eating together as a family. In a recent Columbia University study, 71% of teenagers said they consider talking, catching-up, and spending time with family members as the best part of family dinners.

2. FAMILY MEALS LEAD TO HEALTHIER FOOD CHOICES

Eating family dinners is associated with healthy dietary food patterns. A 2000 survey found that the nine to 14-year-olds who ate dinner with their families most frequently consumed more fruits and vegetables and less soda and fried foods. Their diets also had higher amounts of many key nutrients, like calcium, iron, and fiber. Matthew W. Gillman, MD, the survey’s lead researcher, noted that family dinners allow for both "discussions of nutrition [and] provision of healthful foods."

child eating healthy foods

Eating dinner as a family promotes healthy foods choices (Shutterstock)

3.  EATING AS A FAMILY LEADS TO BETTER GRADES

Studies have proven that there’s a significant link between family dinners and academic performance. A report by CASA found that teens who have between five and seven  family dinners per week were twice as likely to report receiving mostly A’s and B’s in school, compared to those teens who have fewer than three family dinners per week. In addition, only 9% of teens who ate frequently with their families did poorly in school, according to the report.

4. FAMILY DINNERS ARE A CHANCE TO EXPLORE NEW FOODS

Family meals have proven to be perfect opportunities for parents to expose children to different foods and expand their tastes. In a 2003 study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children were offered sweet red pepper and asked to rate how much they liked it. Then, each day for the next eight days, they were invited to eat as much of the pepper as they wanted. By the end of the experiment, the children rated the pepper more highly and were eating more of it. 

5. FAMILY DINNERS LEAD TO GREATER HAPPINESS

Research examining 5,000 teenagers has shown that when children eat with their parents regularly, they are more likely to be emotionally strong and have better mental health. Teens who ate regular family meals were also more likely to be adjusted, have good manners and communication skills. This effect is not restricted to the children - mothers who ate with their families often were also found to be happier and less stressed as compared to mothers who did not.

father and son making dinner together

Eating and prepareing homemade meals strengthens the family bond (Shutterstock)

6. HOMEMADE MEALS PROMOTE PORTION CONTROL

The average restaurant meal has as much as 60% more calories than a homemade meal. Combine the fact that portions served in restaurants are continuing to expand with that fact that when we’re presented with more food, we’re more likely to eat more food, and it becomes clear that eating at home is simply healthier.

7.  FAMILY DINNERS EQUAL HEALTHY KIDS

When families eat together, young children are less likely to be overweight or obesebecause these children are eat regular, nutritious, home cooked meals, and also help in making or serving those meals. 

8. FAMILY DINNERS RELIEVE STRESS

If you have a demanding job, finding time to eat with your family may actually leave you feeling less stressed. In 2008, researchers at Brigham Young University conducted a study of IBM employees and found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office.

mother eating dinner with family

Sharing a meal with your family reduces stress, especially after a long work day (Shutterstock)

9. EATING AT HOME SAVES MONEY

In 2007, the average household spent $3,465 on meals at home, and $2,668 on meals away from home, according to the national Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Per meal, that’s about $8 per meal outside of the home, and only about $4.50 per each meal made in your own kitchen.

MIRELE MANN, EDITOR & WRITER

 

Why does one click on a property get me four phone calls?

The wonderful world of on-line marketing. The big search sites, like realtor.com and Zillow use agents listings, than market these listings to consumers. As a realtor, I (we) can pay Zillow to show up on others listings, therefore getting "leads" or your contact information when you inquire on a property. If we pay these companies enough, we can eliminate other agents from showing up on our own listings. 

This is where the multiple phone calls, emails, and texts come in. When you click on a property for information, 3/4 agents get notified and many times they will reach out to you. Sometimes these agents buy into zip codes or areas they aren't familiar with or even cover. 

If buyers like these sites to search for properties, I think that's great, they can offer some good information. If you want to avoid multiple agents contacting you and you want a dedicated agent looking out for your best interest, find yourself a buyers agent. Click for More Info 

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Do you understand market conditions and it has an affect on pricing and home values?

Probably the second most question I'm asked, besides "How are you", is "How's the market"? Currently it is a sellers market, this doesn't mean as a seller you should over price your house to the point no one looks at it and it also doesn't mean the condition you keep your house in doesn't have any effect on it's salability. And as a buyer this means you need to be patient and have a buyers agent that is looking out for your best interest. When deciding to write an offer, it's important to know your comps, so that you don't over pay. Ok, back on point, please take a look at this chart to better understand how it is determined whether it is a buyers market or a sellers market. This is a simple understanding of how supply and demand work. For more information, please contact Stephen Oates. 

Curious what is your home worth? Click here for an instant valuation:

 

Show me the money....or a pre-approval.

Ok, I don't need to see a bag full of cash, but proof of funds or a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender is important. There are reasons, as a REALTOR™ I ask my clients for this, and it's for their own best interest. Here are a couple of these reasons:

1. We need to know what we are looking for, without a pre-approval, we don't know your "buying power" or comfort level.  This can save headaches, heartache, and everyone their time down the road. 

2. Not all loans are created equal. You may qualify or some types of loans, but not others. Also, all loans don't fit all houses.  Which loan best fits your needs?

3. When making an offer, most sellers (listing agents) will want to see that the potential buyer is a capable buyer and require a pre-approval or proof of funds before showing the property. (I always ask the question when representing a seller)

4.  This also gives you a chance to meet with the one who is going to "show you the money". Building the right team around you makes for a much more enjoyable and surprise free transaction. 

I hope this gives you a quick idea on why a pre-approval letter or proof of funds is important. For more information or some contacts for a local lender, please email steve@soates.com or call 603-777-7908.

 

 

Buying a home and the home inspection.

Most people are familiar with the term home inspection, but what are their expectations? First I'll tell you what I tell my clients, the home inspection is an educational tool, used to give you an overview of the home and it's condition. I tell my clients the inspection shouldn't be looked at as a negotiation tool, but rather a way to learn more about the property. That being said, when surprises are found, which weren't disclosed, sometimes re-opening the negotiations are necessary. 

A home inspector is not there to determine value, they aren't there to give you a quote on repairs, they are there to provide you with a thorough, bias report on their findings after inspecting the property. When I work as a buyers agent, I will attend the inspection with my client, so that we may discuss any findings and how to best proceed with the transaction. 

Looking to buy a home or sell a home and interested in pre-list inspection? Contact me (Steve) and we can discuss. 

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Who Represents You in a Real Estate Transaction?

Knowing who represents you and who has your "back" in a real estate transaction is very important. This can make a big difference in what you should and will say if front of the agent. When you call on a listing directly, you typically speak with he listing agent, this means the agent who represents the seller and looks out for the sellers best interest, not yours. 

As a buyer, working with a buyers agent makes sense. A buyers agent will look out for your best interest and sometimes, like in my case, I do not charge a buyers agent fee, I am compensated through the listing side of the transaction. For more information on agency, feel free to contact Stephen Oates of Bean Group. 

Below is the agency disclosure and definitions for MA & NH:

New Hampshire

Massachusetts 

Stephen Oates, Bean Group

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Curious about some of the expenses you can expect when selling a home in New Hampshire?

Title and/or Attorneys Fees. New Hampshire is considered a Title State as apposed to an Attorney State, this means that closing are coordinated through Title companies. I am a firm believer that every seller should have legal representation. This being said, there are different levels cost of this representation and having a good lawyer who represents your best interest is cheap in comparison the cost you could inquire if there are problems in the transaction without representation. 

Fees may vary, and  rough estimate you can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1000. On a basic home purchase fees will be on the lower end of the scale and if the transaction is more complex the fees may be higher.

Preparing a new deed. In New Hampshire it is the sellers responsibility to have a new deed prepared that gets recorded at the registry. The preparation of a new deed is usually done by the Title Company or attorney representing you and should be disclosed in your fees. 

Other miscellaneous costs for mailing, filing fees etc, will be added to your Settlement Statement prior to the closing of your review. The total of these miscellaneous expenses usually amount to a few hundred dollars.

Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT). 

The RETT is a tax on the sale, granting, and transfer of real property or an interest in real property.  The statute imposing the tax is found at NH Deapartment of RevenueCode Administrative .  The tax is imposed on both the buyer and the seller at the rate of $.75 per $100 of the price or consideration for the sale, granting, or transfer.

Mortgage Pay Off.  Any and all balances and leans on the property will need to be cleared (payed off) at or prior to closing. Knowing what you owe will help you decide if it is feasible to sell now or if you should stay put for a time longer. 

Contact Stephen Oates of Bean Group for more information or to set up a FREE Seller Consolation Session. 

Dedication that move you.™

Curious about some of the expenses you can expect when selling a home in Massachusetts?

Curious about some of the expenses you can expect when selling a home in Massachusetts?

Attorneys Fees. I am a firm believer that every seller should have legal representation. This cost of having a good lawyer who represents your best interest is cheap in comparison the cost you could inquire if there are problems in the transaction without representation. A Real Estate attorney in the sale of a home may do everything from reviewing legal contracts such as the standard Massachusetts purchase and sale agreement (P&S), any association documents (if there is an association), right of ways, etc. The attorney will also attend the closing either with you or as power of attorney for you.  

Fees may vary, a rough estimate you can expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1000. On a basic home purchase fees will be on the lower end of the scale and if the transaction is more complex the fees may be higher.

Preparing a new deed. In Massachusetts it is the sellers responsibility to have a new deed prepared that gets recorded at the registry. The preparation of a new deed is usually done by the attorney representing you and should be disclosed in you attorney fees. 

Other miscellaneous costs for mailing, filing fees etc, will be added to your Settlement Statement prior to the closing of your review. The total of these miscellaneous expenses usually amount to a few hundred dollars.

Massachusetts Title V. The Massachusetts Title V Inspection is an expense every seller in Massachusetts has to pay prior to transfer of title, if their property is not serviced by public sewer. You can expect to pay around $800-$1000 dollars for a Title V inspection. The cost may vary do to weather, accessibility to the septic tank or distribution box, and pumping fees.

 A Title V septic inspection is good for two years. The septic certification can also be extended a third year if you pump the system each of the three years. Sellers typically have the Title V done before just before listing the home for sale, once the home is active on the market, or once an offer is accepted. Your realtor can discuss the pros of each. 

Massachusetts Tax Stamps. In most areas of Massachusetts the tax stamp equals $4.56 per thousand dollars of the sales price of the home. For example if you sell your home for $500,000, you would owe the State of Massachusetts $2,280.00  ($4.56 x 500). This fee paid for the tax stamps are forwarded to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Certification. In Massachusetts the seller must have their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors inspected prior to closing. The inspections are done by the  local fire department in the town where the home is located. Inspection and certificate generally range from around $25-$100. New regulations have been adopted which you should be familiar with. More information found at Massachusetts Smoke Detector Regulations. New or additional detectors may need to be installed.

Contact Stephen Oates of Bean Group for more information or to set up a FREE Seller Consolation Session. 

Dedication that move you.™ Covering MA & NH

A Move On The Seacoast, by Realtor Stephen Oates

If you or someone you know is making a move on the New Hampshire Seacoast or in the Greater Newburyport Area, Realtor Stephen Oates in dedicated, determined, and creative. Steve works with buyers, sellers, and investor in MA & NH. Reach out today for a free consolation.