RSS

What Do Showings Look Like?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and really, I get the sentiment and all. But I’m guessing whoever said that wasn’t in the market for a new home. The truth is listing photos can only take you so far. Sooner or later, buyers wanna get off their smartphones and get inside some homes. ⁣
Enter showings—one of the most thrilling parts of the entire home buying journey! If you’ve never experienced a home showing, here’s what you can expect. First, though, YOU have a little work to do. ⁣
Before touring a home, make your list of non-negotiables. Take the list with you and refer back to it as you walk around. Fight the urge to get carried away by a home that has lots of bells and whistles but doesn’t meet your punch list.⁣
Next, you schedule a time to meet your agent at the home. Take your time and ask your agent any and all questions that come to your mind. ⁣
Take special note of:⁣
Curb appeal and lawn condition: The property's exterior can easily be overlooked. Pay attention to your first impression of the home. Do you love it, or are you less-than-enthused?⁣
Cleanliness and odor. Use all your senses as you enter the home. Do you smell mold or mildew? Cigarette smoke? Does the air feel damp?⁣
Wall and floor condition: Pay attention to warped floors, watermarks, and cracks in the walls which often point to more significant problems with the house.⁣
Integrated systems and fixtures: Don’t neglect checking out the HVAC, electrical wiring, hot water heater, and other pipes and faucets. ⁣
A showing can last from 15 minutes (if the house is a total dud) to an hour or more (Could it be the one??). Just like most things in life, the more showings you attend, the quicker you’ll be able to determine if a home is right for you. ⁣
Are you ready to get inside some homes you’re scrolling through online? Reach out and let’s set up a time to meet up!⁣
Read

7 Tips for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Belongings
When I work with clients who are downsizing to a smaller home, one of the hardest chores they face is letting go of sentimental belongings they no longer have room for. Souvenirs collected during travels, family heirlooms, and your children’s keepsakes can be quite stressful to part with. It doesn’t matter whether the items have monetary value or not; in fact, often the most difficult items to let go of are worthless in terms of money, but priceless in sentimental value.

Here are some tips to help you part with belongings you are attached to but no longer want to keep.

1. Remember that our memories reside within us, not within our possessions.
Psychologists say that letting go of sentimental items can be extremely therapeutic. When we keep things, the items occupy both physical and mental space in our lives. It’s healthier to focus on your memories and not the items that represent your memories.

2. Focus on the present. Letting go also helps to bring your focus to the present. Sometimes things are continual reminders of the past and hold us back from living in the present. Dwelling in the past can make one more prone to depression and can affect our ability to deal with stressful situations in our lives. Realize that while we can always cherish our memories, we don’t need the past to be happy in the present.

3. Let go of guilt. People often hold onto an item they don’t want or need because someone special gave it to them or it represents a special person. Learn to let go of the guilt associated with getting rid of gifts you can’t use. Appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver or the special memory it represents but pass the item on to someone else who can use it or donate it to charity.

4. Don’t save it for your grown children. Times have changed and today more young adults are able to buy their own furnishings. And they aren’t as sentimental about family heirlooms as prior generations were. Talk to your kids now and find out if you are holding onto your china, crystal, and silver tea service for nothing.

5. Compromise with your spouse. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to resent the others’ favorite belongings while holding onto their own special stuff. It’s important to recognize that, while you may not understand your husband’s need to keep a ball cap for every MLB team he’s seen play, he may feel the same way about his hats that you do about keeping every book you have read. Decide together on a reasonable number to keep.

6. Start with the easy stuff. If you have a lot of belongings to sort through, start with the easier decisions and work from there. Often people find that once they get some momentum going it feels good to let go.

7. Write a family memoir. Hold onto your memories with words instead of things by writing your memoir or the story of your family. Writing your story can be very therapeutic and can help you release your hold on tangible items. 
 
Read

8 Ways To Make Buyers Fall In LOVE With Your House

8 Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Home

We all want people to love our home as much as we do, but especially when you are trying to sell it! While it’s impossible to please every buyers’ taste, there are several easy things you can do to make your home more appealing without spending a lot of money. Try some of these tricks and see if your showings cause buyers to swoon.

1. Check your curb appeal. Take an honest look from the curbside. What are buyers seeing first? If your home needs to be painted or pressure washed, consider making that investment. Clean up landscaping by trimming trees and bushes, planting some fresh annuals, and laying new mulch. Clean windows, repair sagging soffit, or porch railings, and have any trip hazards on your driveway or front walk repaired. Finally, consider some attractive, yet subtle decorations for your front porch.

2. Create an inviting entryway. When buyers step inside your front door, you want them to feel welcomed. If you have a foyer or front hall, it is easier to make an attractive entryway, but even if your front door opens right into your living room, you can create the feel of an entryway with a couple of simple tricks. Clear the area of clutter things that tend to pile up at the front door, like backpacks, dog leashes, or shoes. Place a small table or bench beside the door with plants, candles, or another simple décor. A small area rug can help define the space as the entryway.

3. Let the light shine in. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can. Trimming any bushes or trees outside your windows can help immensely. Wash your windows inside and out and replace or remove any worn screens. Make sure to open blinds or curtains before all showings.

4. Add some fresh color. Painting is an easy and inexpensive way to make an older home look new and is especially important if your current wall color is dark or outdated. Choose a light neutral color like a warm grey or light beige and use the same color throughout the house. If your home tends to be dark, this will help brighten it up.

5. Let storage spaces speak for themselves. Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they have a contract to start cleaning out closets. Cleaning out clutter is part of getting ready to show, not just getting ready to move. You want buyers to perceive that there is ample storage in the home, and this doesn’t work if every drawer, cabinet, and closet is stuffed to the gills.

6. Eliminate distractions. Streamline your decorating so your buyers see the house and not your personal belongings. Go ahead and pack up collectibles and family photos and keep decorative touches to the minimum. Too many plants, magazines, or toys distract the buyers from seeing the home as their own.

7. Entice them with outdoor space. The back yard shouldn’t be an empty space of infinite possibility, nor should it be a storage area for neglected toys. Get rid of any eyesores you’ve been avoiding dealing with, spruce up your landscaping, repair irrigation or pool issues, and create an entertaining space with a patio set, or a backyard oasis with some potted plants and a hammock.

8. Make it easy for them. Taking care of minor repairs is another step you can take to help buyers see your home as an easy and comfortable move. You want them to be mentally arranging their furniture as they walk through, not making a list of nicked woodwork, torn window screens, and leaky faucets. The less work involved, the easier it is to fall in love

Read

Banana Bread

I made "The Ultimate Banana Bread" yesterday - since I have had some free time on my hands right now I've been baking ...

This recipe comes from smittenkitchen.com


You’re going to need 5 bananas which I thought was just bananas...Tongue Out


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 slightly heaped cups (about 18 ounces or 510 grams) (updated weight, see why) of mashed banana, from 4 extra-large or 5 medium-large bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) raw or turbinado sugar (on top)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup (9×5-inch) loaf pan (see note up top if yours is smaller) or coat it with a nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


Melt butter in a large bowl and whisk in brown sugar until smooth, then stir in mashed banana. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Sprinkle the surface of the batter evenly with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, and baking powder, and whisk until the ingredients are fully dispersed in the batter, and then whisk 10 more times around the bowl because it’s better to be overly cautious than to end up with unmixed pockets. Add flour and stir until combined. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. It should come to just over 1/2-inch from the top rim. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the raw sugar; it will seem like a lot but will bake up beautifully.

Bake banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes. It is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the bread is batter-free — be sure to check the upper third as well, near the rim of the pan; that’s where I’d find the unbaked pockets of batter hanging out. The bread will get very dark but will not taste burnt.

Let cool in pan. This banana bread is good on the first day but exceptional on the second and third if you can bear to wait.


Read
RSS

What Do Showings Look Like?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and really, I get the sentiment and all. But I’m guessing whoever said that wasn’t in the market for a new home. The truth is listing photos can only take you so far. Sooner or later, buyers wanna get off their smartphones and get inside some homes. ⁣
Enter showings—one of the most thrilling parts of the entire home buying journey! If you’ve never experienced a home showing, here’s what you can expect. First, though, YOU have a little work to do. ⁣
Before touring a home, make your list of non-negotiables. Take the list with you and refer back to it as you walk around. Fight the urge to get carried away by a home that has lots of bells and whistles but doesn’t meet your punch list.⁣
Next, you schedule a time to meet your agent at the home. Take your time and ask your agent any and all questions that come to your mind. ⁣
Take special note of:⁣
Curb appeal and lawn condition: The property's exterior can easily be overlooked. Pay attention to your first impression of the home. Do you love it, or are you less-than-enthused?⁣
Cleanliness and odor. Use all your senses as you enter the home. Do you smell mold or mildew? Cigarette smoke? Does the air feel damp?⁣
Wall and floor condition: Pay attention to warped floors, watermarks, and cracks in the walls which often point to more significant problems with the house.⁣
Integrated systems and fixtures: Don’t neglect checking out the HVAC, electrical wiring, hot water heater, and other pipes and faucets. ⁣
A showing can last from 15 minutes (if the house is a total dud) to an hour or more (Could it be the one??). Just like most things in life, the more showings you attend, the quicker you’ll be able to determine if a home is right for you. ⁣
Are you ready to get inside some homes you’re scrolling through online? Reach out and let’s set up a time to meet up!⁣
Read

7 Tips for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Belongings
When I work with clients who are downsizing to a smaller home, one of the hardest chores they face is letting go of sentimental belongings they no longer have room for. Souvenirs collected during travels, family heirlooms, and your children’s keepsakes can be quite stressful to part with. It doesn’t matter whether the items have monetary value or not; in fact, often the most difficult items to let go of are worthless in terms of money, but priceless in sentimental value.

Here are some tips to help you part with belongings you are attached to but no longer want to keep.

1. Remember that our memories reside within us, not within our possessions.
Psychologists say that letting go of sentimental items can be extremely therapeutic. When we keep things, the items occupy both physical and mental space in our lives. It’s healthier to focus on your memories and not the items that represent your memories.

2. Focus on the present. Letting go also helps to bring your focus to the present. Sometimes things are continual reminders of the past and hold us back from living in the present. Dwelling in the past can make one more prone to depression and can affect our ability to deal with stressful situations in our lives. Realize that while we can always cherish our memories, we don’t need the past to be happy in the present.

3. Let go of guilt. People often hold onto an item they don’t want or need because someone special gave it to them or it represents a special person. Learn to let go of the guilt associated with getting rid of gifts you can’t use. Appreciate the thoughtfulness of the giver or the special memory it represents but pass the item on to someone else who can use it or donate it to charity.

4. Don’t save it for your grown children. Times have changed and today more young adults are able to buy their own furnishings. And they aren’t as sentimental about family heirlooms as prior generations were. Talk to your kids now and find out if you are holding onto your china, crystal, and silver tea service for nothing.

5. Compromise with your spouse. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to resent the others’ favorite belongings while holding onto their own special stuff. It’s important to recognize that, while you may not understand your husband’s need to keep a ball cap for every MLB team he’s seen play, he may feel the same way about his hats that you do about keeping every book you have read. Decide together on a reasonable number to keep.

6. Start with the easy stuff. If you have a lot of belongings to sort through, start with the easier decisions and work from there. Often people find that once they get some momentum going it feels good to let go.

7. Write a family memoir. Hold onto your memories with words instead of things by writing your memoir or the story of your family. Writing your story can be very therapeutic and can help you release your hold on tangible items. 
 
Read

8 Ways To Make Buyers Fall In LOVE With Your House

8 Ways to Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Home

We all want people to love our home as much as we do, but especially when you are trying to sell it! While it’s impossible to please every buyers’ taste, there are several easy things you can do to make your home more appealing without spending a lot of money. Try some of these tricks and see if your showings cause buyers to swoon.

1. Check your curb appeal. Take an honest look from the curbside. What are buyers seeing first? If your home needs to be painted or pressure washed, consider making that investment. Clean up landscaping by trimming trees and bushes, planting some fresh annuals, and laying new mulch. Clean windows, repair sagging soffit, or porch railings, and have any trip hazards on your driveway or front walk repaired. Finally, consider some attractive, yet subtle decorations for your front porch.

2. Create an inviting entryway. When buyers step inside your front door, you want them to feel welcomed. If you have a foyer or front hall, it is easier to make an attractive entryway, but even if your front door opens right into your living room, you can create the feel of an entryway with a couple of simple tricks. Clear the area of clutter things that tend to pile up at the front door, like backpacks, dog leashes, or shoes. Place a small table or bench beside the door with plants, candles, or another simple décor. A small area rug can help define the space as the entryway.

3. Let the light shine in. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can. Trimming any bushes or trees outside your windows can help immensely. Wash your windows inside and out and replace or remove any worn screens. Make sure to open blinds or curtains before all showings.

4. Add some fresh color. Painting is an easy and inexpensive way to make an older home look new and is especially important if your current wall color is dark or outdated. Choose a light neutral color like a warm grey or light beige and use the same color throughout the house. If your home tends to be dark, this will help brighten it up.

5. Let storage spaces speak for themselves. Many sellers make the mistake of waiting until they have a contract to start cleaning out closets. Cleaning out clutter is part of getting ready to show, not just getting ready to move. You want buyers to perceive that there is ample storage in the home, and this doesn’t work if every drawer, cabinet, and closet is stuffed to the gills.

6. Eliminate distractions. Streamline your decorating so your buyers see the house and not your personal belongings. Go ahead and pack up collectibles and family photos and keep decorative touches to the minimum. Too many plants, magazines, or toys distract the buyers from seeing the home as their own.

7. Entice them with outdoor space. The back yard shouldn’t be an empty space of infinite possibility, nor should it be a storage area for neglected toys. Get rid of any eyesores you’ve been avoiding dealing with, spruce up your landscaping, repair irrigation or pool issues, and create an entertaining space with a patio set, or a backyard oasis with some potted plants and a hammock.

8. Make it easy for them. Taking care of minor repairs is another step you can take to help buyers see your home as an easy and comfortable move. You want them to be mentally arranging their furniture as they walk through, not making a list of nicked woodwork, torn window screens, and leaky faucets. The less work involved, the easier it is to fall in love

Read

Banana Bread

I made "The Ultimate Banana Bread" yesterday - since I have had some free time on my hands right now I've been baking ...

This recipe comes from smittenkitchen.com


You’re going to need 5 bananas which I thought was just bananas...Tongue Out


  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup (190 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 slightly heaped cups (about 18 ounces or 510 grams) (updated weight, see why) of mashed banana, from 4 extra-large or 5 medium-large bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) raw or turbinado sugar (on top)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 6-cup (9×5-inch) loaf pan (see note up top if yours is smaller) or coat it with a nonstick cooking spray and set aside.


Melt butter in a large bowl and whisk in brown sugar until smooth, then stir in mashed banana. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. Sprinkle the surface of the batter evenly with salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, and baking powder, and whisk until the ingredients are fully dispersed in the batter, and then whisk 10 more times around the bowl because it’s better to be overly cautious than to end up with unmixed pockets. Add flour and stir until combined. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. It should come to just over 1/2-inch from the top rim. Sprinkle the top of the batter with the raw sugar; it will seem like a lot but will bake up beautifully.

Bake banana bread for 55 to 65 minutes. It is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the bread is batter-free — be sure to check the upper third as well, near the rim of the pan; that’s where I’d find the unbaked pockets of batter hanging out. The bread will get very dark but will not taste burnt.

Let cool in pan. This banana bread is good on the first day but exceptional on the second and third if you can bear to wait.


Read