August Market Update

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Wow, what a year we are having in Northern Virginia real estate!

Inventory remains low – 13% below last year’s inventory levels, yet sales year over year are up 7.7%. We still have low interest rates and new loan programs – including grant programs – that are becoming available to help more people buy homes. Additionally, days on market are down to just 32 days which is unreal. As a result, we only have a two-month’s supply of houses in all of Northern Virginia. These factors, coupled with strong demand, has prices up over 2%. This is very moderate growth in housing prices, which is sustainable, so there is no fear of a bubble here. The projections for housing prices in our area are an increase of nearly 6% from June of 2017 to June of 2018.  If you are considering a move, now would be the time!

In July, our sales pace was very comparable to last year sales numbers which were strong – we would like this momentum to continue for our sellers. Historically, August inventory levels have stayed relatively flat, but sales do trend down. Let’s keep an eye out to see if this trend continues.

The one other area to keep an eye on is distressed inventory. Short sales are creeping back into the market. Many people who purchased homes back in 2006 and 2007 did so with interest only loans for 10 years, then they adjust to fully amortized loans over the remaining 20 years. This results in big monthly payment increases. Some of the home values are not back to the original purchase price, so refinancing is not always an option for the owner, hence the increase in short sales. It is a tough situation for many people – let’s see how this impacts the market going forward.

School starts early throughout our region this year, so I hope you are able to take advantage of the few remaining weeks of summer.  As always, if you have any specific questions about your situation and the housing market, please feel free to call me anytime.

703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

June Market Update

Summer is here!

Wow, that was one of the fastest months ever, in my opinion. Memorial Day weekend came and went in a blink of an eye, so it must be the height of the Sandbridge Beachdynamic spring market! Median days on the market in Northern Virginia is just 8; the average days on the market is 42. So, houses are virtually selling immediately (often with multiple offers) or they are taking a little while longer to sell. Right now, we are seeing very demanding
buyers in the marketplace. If the house is priced a little high or isn’t updated or staged, they are getting a lot of activity in the first week, but then showings fall off tremendously after that time frame.

So, what is fueling all the activity? There are a few factors, first there is a lot of demand – in certain price points, more on this shortly. Second, interest rates are still great – right around 4% for a 30-year fixed mortgage. Some people are taking advantage of adjustable rate mortgages too. Third, we continue to experience a strong local job market with many people relocating into the area for this reason. Fourth, prices are beginning to increase slightly, so many people are wanting to buy while it is still affordable for them to do so. Lastly, people have equity in their homes and can sell today to move into a larger home or closer to the city to reduce their commute. This is all good news for both buyers and sellers!

What is the situation with pricing I mentioned earlier you ask? The under $500,000 price point for houses and townhouses is on fire, representing a great majority of the median days on market. Yet, homes priced in the $650,000 -$800,000 range outside of the beltway are slow which is causing an increase on the average days on the market number. The upper price points (above $800,000) are seeing activity and sales which is always good for our local market.

I expect to see more of this type of activity and sales at least through the 4th of July. So, if you are considering selling or buying a home, please feel free to call me to discuss your situation in more detail.

Now, go enjoy this beautiful weather!  Happy Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

Scott’s Market Minute 6/2/17

Do you plan on selling your home soon? If so, get comfortable… and watch this week’s Market Minute message for more details…

If you’d like to talk more about your specific situation, give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email me at scottmacdonald@remax.net

Have a great weekend!

March Market Update

The real estate market in Northern Virginia continues its roll into the Spring selling  season. Inventory on resale homes has risen slightly, but so have sales. The slight rise in interest rates have not slowed things down and we don’t expect anything to change. The nice thing if you are looking to buy, you now have more selection – but if the house is in great condition, you will be in a competitive situation. You will definitely want to put your best foot forward in this type of buying scenario.

Here are a few tips to consider when looking to buy a home:

  • Offer at least full price with an escalation clause or go REMAX FOR SALE SIGN SOLD
    in with your highest and best – usually above list price to secure the home.
  • Put down a large Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) – if you are putting a down payment of 5%, make your EMD 5%.
  • Have a very short finance contingency timeframe and have your lender call the listing agent to discuss your qualifications.
  • Waive the appraisal if and only if you are confident in the value, you have the cash available to make up the difference and it is a home you absolutely cannot live without.
  • Conduct a home inspection for informational purposes only with the right to void if you discover anything you were not expecting to find or if a repair is costlier than you expected.
  • Determine the seller’s timeframe and add that date as your settlement date. If they need a longer timeframe to close, consider adding free rentback period with an early close so they are not worried about a long, drawn out closing.
  • Cover all your own closing costs.
  • Do not ask for a home warranty paid for by the seller.
  • Write a personal letter to the seller explaining why you want to be the next home owner.

These tips won’t guarantee you will get the house, but they will help.

If you are thinking of buying, please call me to discuss your situation in more detail and how we can make these suggestions work for you. If you are selling, I have strategies to discuss with you on pricing, staging, and how to handle multiple contracts when they come in on your house – if you don’t want to wait until next month.

Happy Spring!

You can reach me at scottmacdonald@macdonaldhomes.com or 703-652-5777

Scott’s Market Minute 2/17/17

Great weather this weekend makes for a great time to buy a home!  Look for lots of buyers to be out “shopping” this weekend!

Contact Scott MacDonald, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Gateway for more information and a personal assessment to meet your goals.703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

February Market Update

So Far This Year…

Nothing can stop the real estate market here in Northern Virginia; not the rising interest rates, not the pull back of the FHA mortgage insurance premium reduction, not lack of inventory, and especially not this cold weather we are experiencing.

Sales are strong and we appear to be headed for a robust spring housing market.  In addition to the group of buyers we are currently working with, we are getting lots of online leads from additional buyers asking about houses; both new builds andrrg-logo_small resale. Typically, this group will become home buyers in three to nine months – stay tuned for more details as we get down the road with these leads.

Today’s buyers are looking in all price ranges and in all locations throughout Northern Virginia. As you would imagine, the lower price points are in very high demand, but so are higher priced properties in areas like McLean and North Arlington.  We have some soft spots (lowering of prices and accumulation of days on the market) in the Great Falls area, but typically, if houses are priced right, in good condition and have been staged, they are selling quickly!  Thus, inventory is at a four year low with just over 3,900 existing homes currently for sale. We expect properties to come on the market in February, but with the demand we are experiencing now, they too should sell quickly.

So, what are the lessons we have learned so far in 2017?  If you are a buyer, act quickly! If you find a home meets your criteria and suits your lifestyle, make an offer, don’t wait.  Many properties are receiving numerous offers; therefore they are selling quickly.

If you are a seller, get your house “right” and get it on the market sooner rather than later – there is a strong appetite for housing today.  Buyers are out there and ready to make a move.

If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail, please feel free to call me today.  I would enjoy meeting with you to determine which is the best option for you to pursue.

Stay warm!

Scott can be reached at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net.

January Market Update

Happy New Year!2011-new-year-resolution

It is truly hard to believe that a new year is upon us; welcome to 2017! It seems that the years fly by faster as we get older. This is an exciting time in so many respects, so it would be nice to be able to enjoy these great times longer.

Anyway, it appears as if we will have an exceptional year here in the Northern Virginia real estate market.  Consumer confidence is at a 13-year high which typically bodes well for housing. Additionally, though the mortgage interest rates have risen slightly since the election, we still have many buyers out in the market looking for and in many cases buying homes today. Online activity as well as calls from our great clients like you have picked up recently.  Also, all indications point to the continuation of high paying jobs here in Northern Virginia. Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis shared with us that employment in the Professional and Business services along with Retail Trade and Health/Education will all continue to grow into 2017. He predicts that 2017 will be “the year” of the decade for housing in Northern Virginia.

There is just one caveat … we need houses to sell! Inventory levels on active resales was down to just over 4,100 homes in all of Northern Virginia this past week.  We haven’t had this few homes on the market since the first week of February in 2012, when it was barely over 3,900 houses. In speaking with other agents, we will have homes coming up for sale in February, but there is an appetite for houses today! So, it is not a bad idea to put your home on the market sooner than later if you are thinking about it and if your home is in the right condition to sell. The belief is that we will continue to have a demand for houses throughout the year, so if you are considering making a move in 2017, please let me know, we are here to help!

I hope you have a joyful and prosperous 2017!  And please remember we are always here to help you and anyone you know with their real estate needs.

 

The African Experience: What I learned from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

What an incredible event for all of those who attended.  It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.  It is a story that will be shared with my children, grandchildren, family and friends for years to come.  In the end, I am glad that I went and summited the mountain, but unless my children want me to climb with them, my Kilimanjaro climbing days are in the rear view mirror.REMAX Team at Stella Point of Mount Kilimanjaro

We started off our journey through Dubai and then onto Dar el Salaam.  There is perhaps no greater contrast in lifestyles, economic environment and perhaps opportunity.  The opulence of Dubai was over the top in the architecture we saw and were offered in the lounge of Emirates Airlines versus the poverty, lack of paved roads, and the people of Africa trying to sell their goods whether food, clothing, furniture or other knickknacks.  It would leave an indelible impression on me that I won’t soon forget.  Seeing children in the streets with huge smiles and welcoming waves despite their surroundings was uplifting.  As we travelled onto our hotel, we discussed going out to dinner and were told that the food was delicious in the restaurant.  When we said we were looking for a true African dinner, we were told the buffet was quite good.  When we asked if we would be safe leaving the compound, the answer was no…we stayed at the hotel.  The accommodations were nice and the service was great, but when we woke in the morning and saw what was around us, the surrounding area left a lot to be desired.  At this point, we were anxious to get on to Tanzania and join the rest of the group.

On the way to the airport, we took a different route which passed along the Indian Ocean – a new sight for these eyes and it was also more of an urban route versus the back roads route.  Still lots of people hustling and bustling their wears, but we did not see many buyers.  A great indication of a lagging economy with lots of poverty.  The one interesting thing of note was that the “nice” buildings were either banks or tourism buildings.

Once in Arusha, we met up with Vernon and Mary Smith who run a ministry, school and clinic in a very impoverished area – again.  The interesting thing about this area was there were nicer homes – not just mud huts, but a new development that was being assembled by the president’s son.  There was the same hustle and bustle as in Dar el Salaam – same type of vendors, same furniture, same types of markets but there were a few buyers in the marketplace.  Therefore, a slightly better economy in my opinion.  Still lots of poverty, dirt roads, dust, etc., but a little more prosperity.  Although this is the case, it is still an area that makes me appreciate all that we have and do.

We brought the kids of the school soccer balls, Frisbees and candy – wow, were we big hits!  The kids loved playing for and with us and also loved to have their pictures taken.  Scott MacDonald playing with kids
More importantly, they loved to look at them over and over along with the videos we took of them playing.  It was a great time and we had an impact albeit briefly on their lives.  The amazing thing is the kids go to school and get a better education, two meals and a uniform for either $400 per year for the younger kids and $600 per year for the older kids.  In speaking with others, the parent’s goal is to send their kids to school for the education as well as the food because jobs are so hard to come by and they are very low paying.  Someone making $4,000 per year is doing well.  Hard to believe when many Americans have monthly mortgage payments higher than this amount.

Our next adventure took us to our hotel to meet Goddy, our guide, and soon-to-be-friend to learn about the upcoming hike.  We discussed our daily schedule and routine plus a little of what to expect.  Our enthusiasm and excitement about the trip began to grow.  A few of the members have now told me they were actually a little nervous but either way, it didn’t show which is good, as showing confidence is a big deal in situations like this one.

At this time, my coughing and wheezing began to really flare up – it would turn out to be a pretty big deal as we got further into the climb.  While at the clinic in Arusha, I met with the doctor and received medication, unfortunately I was misdiagnosed and the meds didn’t do anything for me.  Stay tuned for more on this.

Day 1 on the mountain turned out to be an initial hurry up and wait.  Every group scaling the mountain who had porters carrying their belongings needed to have their things weighed and then get permits, which were necessary to be allowed to enter the grounds and begin the ascent.  This process took nearly 2 hours which had me walking around like a caged lion.  Taking photos can only pass so much time.  Once we were granted our permits, we were off.  The first day’s climb was cool as we walked through the tropical rain forest – moss, ferns, flowers and tons of porters passing us by made the climb interesting and engaging.  The climb was a steep ascent – 4,100 feet to over 9,000 but it wasn’t difficult.  As we made our ascent, the bonding of our group really began to take shape.  Jokes and nicknames started to emerge which would last throughout the entire trip.  Unfortunately, Mike was not keeping up and the group had to eventually separate as it was explained to us the right speed was critical.  Too fast and we would burnout due to lack of acclimation, too slow and we would become exhausted from the slow pace.  We all eventually made it to base camp Machame Hut and discussed the first day’s adventure, how everyone was feeling and what was next.

Day 2 At this time, Mike decided not to pursue the climb.  He was not feeling well and didn’t feel he was going to be able to make it any further.  After much consultation with Goddy, it was determined it would be best to send him down with two porters.  One mistake was he took a tent which meant Kevin and I had to bunk together for the remainder of the trip – too bad for him as my coughing and wheezing was picking up, especially at night.  I really enjoyed our climb on day 2.  There was a rock scramble, a decent ascent up the mountain – not as dramatic as day 1, but still good and the temperature was pretty decent.  All in all, it was a good day.  Once were in Shira Cave base camp, I found out others were not as excited about that day, but I enjoyed it a lot.  We also took an additional hike to the cave and went atop a ridge to scope out our next day’s climb.

Day 3 A big day on the mountain.  Lots of hiking and a huge ascent/descent.  We went up to 16,100 feet on day 3.  There was a short rock scramble, mostly uphill even though we were told it was going to be flat – more on this later and a long wait at the top to get acclimated.  As we waited atop the ridge we discussed how everyone was doing.  Chris and Sarah were having issues with the altitude, Melissa had a slight headache, but the rest of us were doing fine bar my cough.  We were then headed to the Moorings.  It was a cool experience but disappointing as we gave up 3,100 feet in elevation gain from earlier in the day – I knew we would have to make it up.  The camp at Baranka Wall was tight as the space was not as large as some of the others we had stayed at previously.  This would make sleeping difficult as there was a lot of chatter, singing, card playing, etc. that night that we could all hear.  Also, Becky was feeling a little nauseous this evening – luckily it was her only time feeling the altitude.  At this point, Kevin, Mark and myself all had no effects of the altitude – Diamox was working for us.  My issue continued to be an increase in my coughing and wheezing.  There was no relief as the cough was unproductive bar a few times when I was throwing up blood from excessive coughing.  I believe everyone’s spirits were ok, not great but ok.  It was a quiet night in our mess tent from what I recall.  Looking at the Wall was exciting for sure – I was looking forward to attacking it in the morning.

Day 4 It was a rough night sleeping for me and my condition was getting worse making it more difficult to breathe because of the bronchitis.  Additionally, it was going to be a long day – especially prior to the summit because we were scheduled to leave at 12:00 AM.  The climb up Baranka Wall was very fun and delivered as expected.  It wasn’t until a few days later that we found out that a porter had fallen off the wall and passed away.  Good thing as it may have scared a few people away.  Once up the wall we hiked uphill for several more hours to reach our final destination at the base camp for the summit.  On our way there, I was blessed to run into doctors treating climbers for various aliments – mine included.  The young doctors from the UK gave me a look over and decided steroids and antibiotics were the right course of action to make me better.  I immediately took the meds to get me better.  Unfortunately it wouldn’t be a quick fix, but a few day process.  We began our prep for the big summit by relaxing prior to dinner and discussing our plan of action for the morning.  Once we ate dinner, we laid down to try and sleep prior to our ascent.

Day 5 We began early on day 5, midnight.  Not that we got much sleep as other groups began their ascents at 10:30PM and the cough continued to be persistent keeping me and my tent partner Kevin up most of the night.  The day before we saw a ridge, we had to climb that had a plateau but could not see beyond that point.  Looking back, I believe it was a strategic location to have us stay because once we reached the plateau and looked up, we saw hikers as far as the eye could see.  Initially, we thought the dots were stars but as we watched longer we found out they were hikers.  My belief is if hikers had been able to see the heights we needed to climb, many may not have made the hike.   It was a psychologically strategic location.  As it turns out, it was virtually a straight up ascent for 7 hours.  On the way up, we saw others coming down, we saw others collapse and we saw others being rushed down the mountain for various bouts with altitude sickness or illness.  It added to the mental challenge of the climb for sure.

The sheer monotony of the climb, the thinning altitude, the length of the climb and sleep deprivation definitely made it a mental challenge like none other I have ever experienced in my lifetime.  As we climbed, we prayed, we recited affirmations, we spoke with loved ones and let each other know we could beat this mountain by making it to the summit.  The mental challenge far exceeded the physical challenge of the climb for me.  The weather conditions, altitude, or my condition were never an issue.  The sickness I had was the greatest challenge for me which lead to the sleep deprivation that added to the mental aspect of the climb.

Finally, after 7 hours, we reached the summit!  It was a relief, it was exciting, and it was a great accomplishment for those of us who finished.REMAX Team Jumping on Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro  There were odds each of us had faced over the previous days on the mountain and I was proud of all of us for attaining such a great feat.  Each day, I appreciated it even more.  You stay at the top for about 10-15 minutes then head down to base camp for a quick rest then on to another camp.  The initial decent was two hours back to base camp – big difference from the 7 hours up.  After a break, we headed back down another 4 hours to base camp to sleep in one last time on the mountain.  It was here where I really began to have a bad time with my bronchitis – coughing, wheezing and having difficulty catching my breath.  Goddy, our guide convinced the park ranger to allow me to sleep in the ranger hut with him for the night.  There were several episodes I encountered that night while in the hut and Goddy actually thought I had died twice due to my breathing patterns.  He said had he known my condition was as bad as it was, he may not have allowed me to climb to the summit.  The interesting thing was it was my best night’s rest/sleep and it scared him.  Prior to sleeping in the hut, we had a few conversations about me going to the hospital but it would have required a 3 hour hike, in the dark to meet an ambulance.  After the last two days of hiking, there was no way I was going to hike 3 hours in the dark to go to a random hospital in Africa, separated from my crew.  It was a kind gesture, but one that I would not be taking advantage of that day.

Day 6 – After the best night’s sleep on the mountain, we began our descent.  Spirits were high, we were all joking and were ready to get back to town and off the mountain.  Some climbers outside of our group were running down, others were being taken down in a stretcher – very scary, but all seemed to be happy with their efforts on the mountain.  Goddy had arranged the ambulance for me although I was doing much better than any other day on the mountain.  I made sure that Chris went in the ambulance with me as his knee was in rough shape and he had lost his two big toenails on the descent from the summit.  Once at the last gate, we enjoyed a cold Kilimanjaro beer as a reward for a job well done.

It was nice to get back to the hotel and get a shower.  It had been 6 days, a lot of dust but just one shower wouldn’t get us clean unfortunately.  Clean clothes, cold beer, bottled water and food at a table and not in a tent were nice to enjoy.  We had a fun celebration to give everyone their certificates of accomplishment, receive a song from our crew and spend quality time with them.  We invited them back for dinner and continue our celebration.

Becky with LoverBoyThe guide Goddy, his assistants Mandey, Tulizaey, and Rayson – better known to us as loverboy for his dotting on Becky with her broken arm as well as Jackson, Samson, and tent man all came back.  At the end of our dinner, we donated a lot of our gear to them.  As I mentioned previously, Africa is a very poor country.  We saw a great deal of poverty everywhere.  Our team of guides, assistant guides, cooks and porters were some of the best people I have met as they were genuine, caring, kind and had our best interest at heart as we ascended and descended the mountain.  Plain and simple they were awesome to me with huge servant hearts and will not be forgotten.
Therefore, we felt compelled to help them as best we could by providing better than customary tips, donating our clothes, boots, backpacks and food to help them and their families.  REMAX tour guides on Mount KilimanjaroWe made a minor dent in what they needed, but they we appreciative nonetheless.  It is amazing what a small gesture that we made that had such a great impact on them.  They hugged us multiple times and even cried at our support of them.  It was an amazing evening where our bond was forged even deeper.  We have even become friends with them on Facebook.

After all was said and done and we were off the mountain, we set out for safari.  We had a great driver, a great group in our truck and had a lot of fun driving the countryside of Africa observing the Masaya, the animals, and of course, the poverty.  It was set to be a 3 day safari, but after hours of driving and seeing all of the animals we could see, we cut our trip short by a day to enjoy a non-buffet lunch, shopping and relaxation.

If you or someone you know is planning an adventure like ours, here are tips to make you more likely to have success:

  1. Training – you need to train in advance, for several months both inside the gym and out. We did weekly hikes as well as hit the gym on a consistent basis.  A few people even hired personal trainers to help them accomplish their goal of summiting the mountain.  Being physically fit makes a huge difference between not finishing and being able to enjoy the journey.  The climb took longer than expected each day, so being in the best shape possible is critical – it helps build your endurance that will be needed.
  2. Eating right – be sure to eat healthy. Eliminate fast food, junk food and poor snacking habits.  We ate lots of protein, vegetables, and fruits and cut back on carbohydrates.  Being lean helped with hiking for sure.
  3. Preparation/education – research training programs, eating programs, watch videos on what you need to do to prepare for an endeavor such as this. Additionally, reach out to those who have been there to seek their advice to help you succeed.
  4. Medication – get the right medication and take as directed. You do not want to be sick like me on the mountain.  Make the doctors in the states get you the medication you need if you feel even just a little under the weather.
  5. Rest – get rest prior to leaving – you don’t want to be tired. Rest when the guides tell you to do so.  Go to bed early to try and get as much sleep as possible.  Sleep deprivation will definitely be a setback.
  6. Water consumption – it was told to us that drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day during the climb was critical. Being properly hydrated definitely is a key to your success as well as help you eliminate the onset of altitude sickness.
  7. Expectations – although our guide and assistant guides were great, they did not help set the right expectations. You will never hike on flat lands, it is either uphill or downhill.  When asking about time, 45 minutes = 3 hours.  These eventually became jokes but remember to have the right expectations.
  8. Adaptability – as “stuff” happens on the mountain with sickness, potential weather changes, people’s personalities, etc. it is important to be adaptable in these situations. Things don’t always go according to plan so make the proper adjustments to make it work.
  9. Perseverance – be prepared to persevere. If you slack, it is not the hike for you.  You need to put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on.
  10. Strong willed – don’t let a little sickness bring you down. You set a goal so go and achieve it!
  11. Determined – be determined to do what it takes to make it. Figure it out ahead of time, make the right adjustments during the hike and ask others how they are making it so you can too.
  12. Push yourself – be prepared to push yourself harder than you expected. The mountain is higher, the air is thinner, and you will hike longer everyday than your expect so be ready to push yourself to new limits.  These elements plus sleep deprivation will make you mentally push yourself if you plan to succeed.
  13. With the high altitude, you had to be efficient. Efficient in your breathing, your steps and conserving your energy.  Becoming efficient on the mountain was extremely important.
  14. Affirmations – they work. Prepare yours in advance so you know what to say to yourself on the mountain as well as what you want to say to your loved ones so you are ready to self-motivate yourself to continue on and make it to the top.
  15. Be like our guides – nice, kind, caring and vested in other’s success.
  16. Complaining – Don’t do it. In most cases, people around the world are worse off than you.  There is poverty, lack of food, lack of clothing, lack of running or even clean water, lack of housing and even more.  You are in the land of opportunity in America.  You have the ability to change your lot in life so do it.  You have many luxuries others don’t have, you just have to appreciate what you do have, be positive and know that things are possible for you.

Lessons learned – with determination, will and strong work ethic you can make positive things happen in life.  Complaining gets you nowhere – suck it up buttercup, do it or get out.  It is important to look back to see where you came from and what you accomplished, but you must also look ahead to see what challenges lie before you.   Also, keep your head down, nose to the grindstone and get your job done. Help others, make them feel good, praise them, build them up and help them achieve their goals.  Be grateful for what you have, what you have done and what you have the ability to accomplish going forward.  As you climb, set priorities.  Although you can encourage others, you can’t control them.  Realize how best to communicate with others to help them and you get what you want, don’t become frustrated – learn to adapt your communications to how they best respond.

Now, remember, this was never a bucket list item for me.  I was challenged,Persistence got us to the top rose up to the challenge and conquered the mountain by reaching the summit.  Challenging yourself physically and mentally are things that no one can take away from you.  When you accept a challenge from someone, rise to it and make it happen.  Do all you can to succeed – train extensively, eat right, and do your best.  Also, when doing this, you need to be persistent like Becky was enduring a broken arm just 2 weeks before the climb.  Sarah and her daily asthma and nausea bouts.  Chris and his altitude sickness, knee and toenails.  Lastly, me with my bronchitis, coughing, and lack of sleep on the mountain.

Persistence got us to the top.  Other thoughts would be to live a life of adventure – don’t sit back and wait for life to come to you.  Go out and make exciting things happen.  Enjoy life, do things out of the ordinary and things people would never expect you to do.  Learn from it, teach others what they need to be aware of to make it happen and share what you experienced.  The other challenge was to finish the hike to make my children proud of my accomplishment as well – hopefully it was mission accomplished, but at 13 and 16 I won’t know for a while.  The great thing to remember is that we were all a part of something bigger than ourselves.   We raised over $200,000 for 2 separate charities where people will be helped locally as well as across the Atlantic in Liberia by building wells.  Both climbing the mountain and raising the money, help set a legacy for my kids, family and friends – it truly makes me proud of the accomplishment.

It is interesting to note that many of the lessons on the mountain translate to life and business.  Look into how they affect you and how they can help you.  The question I ask is now that I have accomplished this, what is next?  What is the next BHAG in my life?  What are the next items on my bucket list?  Can one person make a difference with all the poverty that is in Africa and other places around the world?  As I reflect back on our journey, I know there is something else to look forward to in helping others and I will accomplish more and I encourage you to do so as well.

If you are interested in viewing our photos, please check out our Facebook page and our online photo album: https://www.facebook.com/remaxgatewayclimbforacause

Scott MacDonald

Video

Northern Virginia Real Estate Market UPDATE! What You Need To Know To Sell Your Home

House inventory has dramatically increased in Northern Virginia. Buyers have more options. Real Estate Agents & Sellers alike… You need to watch this video blog for tips and tricks to help sell the home. Want to talk about your property in specific? Call Scott MacDonald (703) 652-5777 or email scottmacdonald@remax.net read more… https://scottymacsblog.com/

Scott MacDonald

RE/MAX Gateway