Category Archives: For Renters

Always “Room” at Home for Love


(Photo Source: Google Image)

(Photo Source: Google Image)

It’s true –  home is where the heart is. It’s a place where we retire for the evening after a long day of work or school. It’s a place that’s safe, comfortable, and familiar. It also serves the purpose of providing a lifestyle and within its walls you’ll find love and purpose in each room.  One could say that home ownership is a sensible investment as it provides many opportunities to come together as a family.

Welcome Home

The Foyer.  We greet our loved ones at the door with a smile.  Welcome home from your day – from school, work, or that long list of errands.  Come inside, take a load off, hang your jacket here on this stand, and leave the worries of the world behind. Here – all the comforts of home await you and the rest of the world – behind you.

“Let us always meet each other with love, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~Mother Teresa

Let’s Eat and Be Merry

The Kitchen. Known as the hearth of the home, perhaps the kitchen is most important.  At the kitchen table, we gather our families together for three meals per day.  And it’s during that time, we get to know one another a little better.  We connect as a family by sharing our goals for the day or events that have transpired during our meanderings away from home.  Not only do we share great meals, but we share stories that add to our character.

“A meal is about civilizing children. It’s about teaching them to be a member of their culture.” ~Robin Fox, Anthropologist, Rutgers University

It’s Family Time

The Family Room.  Family movie nights, board games, homework time, and the big football game can bring parents and children together for much-needed quality time.  Most of my family’s time here is spent doing homework and watching movies.  It has good lighting, offers a variety of  books and magazines, and provides comfortable seating.   This room has been blessed with lots of laughter, tears, memories, and good lessons that will follow us far into our futures.

“Youth who communicate, do activities and have close relationships with their parents are less likely to engage in violence.” ~Chris Knoester, Sociology, Ohio State University

Sweet Dreams

The Bedrooms.  It’s the end of the day!  But before the day quickly fades, we read bedtime stories, say nightly prayers, remove the boogie man from the closet, and tuck our children in for the evening.  This time is perhaps the perfect time to reflect on your child’s day and soothe away their fears of tomorrow.

  “Families who tell stories report higher levels of happiness, closeness and adaptability.” ~Jody Kellas, Ph.D, Family Communications, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Home Ownership Enriches Family


English: An icon from the Crystal icon theme. ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a mother of 3 beautiful and talented children, I’m always looking for ways to enrich and foster the lives of my children and to enlighten myself as a parent so I’m always researching and reading. During my reading time I ran across some information about children and home ownership that I wanted to share since I am a mother, real estate agent, and homeowner.

While this information isn’t necessarily my personal opinion, I found it interesting to share so take from it what you will. I believe that whether you rent, own, or live in a box, great parenting and communications skills (and other factors) greatly affect our children’s future as well. However, when you have to decide whether or not which route to take – renting or owning – consider the enrichment of home ownership.

There are so many positive attributes that home ownership has on family, especially children. Not only does a home provide safety, security, and meets our basic need of shelter, but studies (one in particular by Donald Haurin – Retired Research Scientist from Ohio State University) show that home ownership increases the likelihood of children obtaining higher levels of education, improved self-esteem and confidence, and lower teen pregnancy rates.

The living environment of the home played a key factor in this conclusion. The results were measured by a survey given to a group of parents. Homes usually have better quality lighting, more educational materials available (a variety of magazines and books), structured family activities, a well-organized play room, a study, etc. Not only did these improved benefits affect children, but also homeowners have more stability and live in homes longer than rentals or other living arrangements. This stability allows for children to stay in the same schools longer and to build strong community relationships.

BOTTOM LINE

Owning your own home (coupled with other factors) adds value to your family and the future of your children. Choose wisely when thinking about whether buying or renting is the best option. It’s a fact that no one knows your situation better than you. No matter where you live (if you’re unable to own a home), make sure your living environment secures and enriches the child.


Decking the Halls Safely


English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the passing of Thanksgiving, it’s now time for us to focus on Christmastime.  In my home we’re putting up the Christmas tree and decorating, getting into the Christmas spirit.

I always love how our home looks and feels after all the decorations are put up.  However, it’s quite a hassle to bring everything down from the attic, check, untangle and test the lights, sort the bulbs, and plan where to put the tree and other decor.  But to protect my investments (family and home), it’s worth it.

Also, with all the twinkling lights, ladder-climbing, cords, and extensions everywhere, we must always keep safety in mind.   During the holidays thousands of people are treated at hospitals and other emergency facilities for cuts, shock, and falls from hanging lights, and insurance companies report millions of dollars in property loss due to fires involving Christmas trees.

How Can We Reduce the Risk?

Here are a few tips that will reduce and minimize emergencies in our homes.  When purchasing an artificial tree, make sure that it is flame resistant (won’t burn easily) and keep extinguishers nearby just in case.  If you are purchasing a live tree, look for a fresh, green tree that won’t lose many of its needles.  Also, location of the tree is very important.  Keep them away from radiators, fireplaces, and avoid blocking exits.

Lighting, such as Christmas lights and candles, can pose problems as well.  Strung lights that have loose or frayed cords or broken bulbs should be thrown away.  If you’re not at home or going to bed for the night, all lights need to be turned off and candles blown out.  It’s very important to note that all lighters or matches should not be within in reach (or sight) of children.  Not only should we secure our lighting, but our ladders as well.  Use a hefty, sturdy ladder and have a spotter nearby for added safety.

While doing all these things, have a good time with family and make memories to laugh and smile over.  Avoid making memories that leave us with regret.


Thankful for My Clients


(Source of Photo: Google Image)

It’s Thanksgiving Eve, and I’m reflecting on all that I’m thankful for – wonderful, loving family and friends, great health, and so much more. With this blog, however, I would like to focus on my great clients.

I have been so blessed over the years as a real estate agent to work with and to get to know lots of great, deserving families. I can attest to the fact that with each transaction, relationships have been built that will last a lifetime. I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with great people, helping them achieve their real estate goals and dreams.

I’ve watched your children grow and graduate and treated them as if they were my own. Likewise, you’ve watched my children grow because not only were we in a business transaction, but a relationship – with each family like my family. Thank you for choosing me to share in the purchase of your biggest investments. I’m also grateful for the many referrals that you’ve sent my way. I cannot thank you all enough as they account for the biggest portion of my business. Your referrals are the lifeline of my business and I couldn’t have been successful this year without your partnership and support. With that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! May God continue to bless each of you richly.

Thessalonians 5:18

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”


National Open House Weekend


Logo of the National Association of Realtors.

Image via Wikipedia

Hello everyone!   This weekend, June 4 and June 5, is considered National Open House weekend, declared by NAR.  Today and tomorrow are good days to drive your favorite neighborhoods and see if the homes you would like to view/buy are open.  Please feel free to visit my website to search tons of homes!

Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend Opens Doors to Home Ownership

Washington, June 02, 2011

Nearly half of all home buyers visit open houses during their home search. This weekend, those numbers may swell as buyers across the country take advantage of the Realtor® Nationwide Open House, June 4-5.

“Realtors® bring value to home buyers and sellers, and this weekend, Realtors® are bringing them together through the Realtor® Nationwide Open House,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “The event will give consumers the chance to find out more about home ownership, allow buyers to pursue their dream of owning a home, and give Realtors® an opportunity to connect with consumers about the housing issues that matter most in their area.”

During the weekend of June 4-5, Realtors® will hold open houses in local neighborhoods throughout the country, as well as across the globe. Over 300 Realtor® associations are participating in the event, along with NAR global partners in Canada, Denmark, France, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. During the weekend Realtors® will be on hand to provide guidance and insights into the social and financial benefits of home ownership.

According to a recent nationwide Pew Research Center survey, eight in 10 adults agree that buying a home is the best long-term investment a person can make. In addition, a strong majority of renters – 81 percent – said they would prefer to one day buy a home, demonstrating the value Americans continue to place on home ownership.

“There’s a reason owning a home is called the American Dream,” said Phipps. “Home ownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy. We hope that everyone who aspires to become a home owner will come out this weekend, not only to learn about the homes for sale in their local market, but also to find out more about how current and future public policies may affect their ability to achieve and sustain home ownership, now and in the future.”

To find open houses in your area, visit www.Realtor.com and search for open houses in the Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend box on the home page. The special search function will be available beginning June 3.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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Making an Offer on a Home? Negotiating the Deal:


Buying a home is by far the biggest financial decision you’ll make, and it’s also the most stressful one.  It isn’t an easy task; so how willing are you to do the work?  It can be a long process.  You can spend years saving for a down payment, many months looking for a home, and several weeks trying to find the best mortgage.  However, after all is said and done and you find the home of your dreams, the work is far from over!

You found the home and now it’s time to make an offer.  This part is not to be taken lightly because it’s an investment.  Once both parties agree, you have a binding contract.  Your real estate agent will do his/her research and follow these important tips and make suggestions to you when negotiating.

Negotiating the Deal:

1.  Pull comparable properties.  It’s important to back up your offer with the facts.  Comparable sales data is strong!  If you’re thinking of presenting a low ball offer then you could potentially be making a big mistake!  This drastic action may cut you out on any chances at buying the home, especially if you insult the seller.  You may not hear back from them again.  It just makes sense to be cautious and factual.

2.  Don’t fall in love with the home!  It’s okay to really like the home, but not to the point where it clouds your decision-making skills and judgement. This could cost you tens of thousands of dollars.   Also, be discreet with how you feel because you don’t want the seller to have leverage over you when negotiating.  Remember, even if you do find the perfect home, you want to get it for the best deal.

3.  Research property and owners.  People put their home up for sale for various reasons.  Some like to cash-in on their built up equity while others may need to downsize/upgrade, and some do it out of necessity ~ financial hardship or new job.  You can’t obviously get this information directly; however, a real estate agent can look at the history of the property, which may include how long it’s been on the market, any price reductions or increases, etc.  This information is helpful because depending on how long the listing has been on the market and number of price changes during a given period of time whether short or long, can be clues to the sellers urgency, motivation to sell, or lack there of.

4.  Negotiate more than price.  There are other items that are negotiable in a real estate transaction.  Price is only one of them.  For example, asking for a home warranty, if one is not offered, is a must when buying a home.  You may like the big screen television, the armoire, the playset, or washer and dryer.  Negotiate those items.  When buying a home, make sure you get what you want at a price that’s right!

5.  Put yourself in the sellers’ shoes.  We all want a good deal these days!  However, imagine that you are the seller.  How would you feel if it were your home and you were given the offer?  Is it ridiculous?  Is it lowball?  Is it realistic?  How would you react?  Sometimes empathy allows us to put things into perspective.

To sum it all up, buyers should really put major efforts into placing value to an offer when negotiating.  Once you find the home, you’re just getting started!  Happy negotiating!


NOW is the Time to Buy a Home!


An icon from the Crystal icon theme.

Image via Wikipedia

Now is the perfect time to buy a home!  Inventory is still high and rates are still low.  Buying a home is the American Dream, and it’s the right time to wake up and speak with a financial specialist and a professional real estate agent, me.  I also have terrific mortgage partners, if you don’t have one.  🙂

Naysayers Agree.. Buy Now!

Here’s a great article from The KCM Crew and their blog post, entitled “Even the Naysayers are Saying to Buy Now!”  Read what they blogged below:

Rent or Own?

Business School professors Eli Beracha of East Carolina University and Ken H. Johnson of Florida International University have done extensive research on which makes more sense financially: to rent or own a home. They published, Lessons from Over 30 Years of Buy versus Rent Decisions: Is the American Dream Always Wise?  In their paper, the professors do not dispute the social benefits of homeownership:

“Home ownership is touted as the “American Dream”. It is credited with enhancing wealth, increasing civic pride, improving self-esteem, crime prevention, child development, and better educational outcomes, among other benefits. This paper does not dispute any of these claims.”

What the professors were proposing is that homeownership is not a better investment strategy than renting. The first of the two major findings was:

“After setting the holding period to the average American’s tenure in a residence, renting (not buying) proves to be the superior investment strategy over most of the study period… Individuals, on average, were better off in economic terms to have rented for most of the years in the study period. This first result is strongly dependent upon fiscally disciplined individuals that, without fail, reinvest any residual savings from renting.”

Historically, people do not actually reinvest savings “without fail”.  Check here for the findings of a recent study from The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard.

The second major finding says it all. According to both professors Beracha and Johnson, NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY!

“(F)undamental drivers now appear to be in place that favor homeownership over renting in the near term future…

The second finding might seem unwise to many given the recent crash in the real estate markets around the country. However, rent-to-price ratios now seem to be in place along with other fundamental drivers that favor ownership over renting.”

They conclude their research paper with this sentence:

“Conditions (historically low mortgage rates and relatively low rent-to-price ratios) now seem in place to favor future purchases.”

Bottom Line

Two researchers set out to prove that homeownership is not a good financial decision. After completing that research, they have determined that now is the time to buy. What more needs to be said?


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