Monday, September 1, 2014

fruits of our labor

Choose a job you love, and you will 
never have to work a day in your life.
Confucius, Chinese teacher, philosopher, editor, and politician

I have recently started re-reading The Happiness Project  by Gretchen Rubin and the focus of September is to find your passion!  As I sit and ponder what work I do effortlessly with passion, it has always been that of mother and nurturer.  Whether it was orchestrating a big party for friends, putting a band-aid on a wound or whipping up 300 cupcakes for the PTA (yes we did that once!), my roll as mom has always been my second skin.  My kids are my passion and today I celebrate them--the fruits of my labor (literally)--and all that they are becoming!  
It is so fun to see them blossom and grow.  
What is your passion?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

sacred spaces

Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.
Joseph Campbell,  The Power of Myth

This is one of my sacred spaces in my house...a place where I can view the early morning sun, snuggle with kids or Benji, hear the birds sing...take a rest.  It is a place of ease and quiet.  In my work, I travel through many homes and each one has a "vibe" or feeling that comes from the lives and items within.  Creating a sacred space is an ancient tradition which weaves those treasured items we have and makes a place where we feel safe, honored and connected to the life around us.  It doesn't take a lot of fact clutter can block the natural flow. I have been to extremely harmonious homes which were quite simple and to others that we struggling under the burden of it all.  What is the vibe of your home?  Ask yourself what makes it sacred for you?  If you come upon something that doesn't fit or which you've outgrown...let it go...and make space for that which will reveal itself to you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

what would it feel like?

Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you will find.
Are you a dreamer...unrealistic...pollyanna...pie in the sky?  What would it feel like to have exactly what you wanted?  What would it feel like to have the house of your dreams, extra money in your pocket, your ideal health, your soulmate, a life that fits you?  And why do we settle for less?  What are we waiting for if it isn't now?  Why do we easily believe that life is a challenge and find it a challenge to believe that it could be easy?  Does this at all shape how we perceive our world?  Albert Einstein said one of the most important questions we have to answer in our lifetime is whether or not we believe this to be a friendly Universe. 
How is it for you? 

As a child, one thing I had looked forever for was a full conch shell on the beach.  Growing up on the Great Lakes, I always thought I would find one...never realizing that it was nearly impossible.  But dreams, even small ones can may take have to keep looking.  I found one just a short time ago in Bethany Beach, Delaware while walking with my friend, Susan.  She exclaimed, "See!  It took a hurricane, but you got your whole conch shell!"  It is a treasured item in my room...a reminder to stay focused on my dreams...keep searching for that treasure.  It is there for all of us every single day if we are willing to seek. 
What treasure are you seeking?

One of my favorite YouTube videos on this topic is here:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

my world in 24 x 72 inches

Stories are the landscape of our lives. 
If the gods can commit acts of frailty,
then humans can have acts of the divine.
Alanna Kaivalya, teacher of yoga
This weekend I participated in a yoga seminar with Alanna Kaivalya...of course it was a weekend when I had about fifteen irons in the fire that I would schedule one more thing. 
It was absolutely life changing. 
It was tough to get there on a busy weekend...I felt moments when my core was being rubbed raw by my own frustrations and limiting thoughts...breathe through the pose...initially there were teardrops on my yoga mat because it was too much all at once. Moving through the postures (asanas) and the sacred teachings (sutras), I realized that despite all the searching and yearning to find the answers...all the time my truth has been within me. Freedom!  Profound! Exhausting! Enlightening!  What a joy to discover such gifts (presence) inside!  Here are some threads of wisdom to share with you...
Yoga is an mystical practice that teaches you to go internally and seek the eternal truths.
Every fear boils down to a fear of death.  Realize this is the way to release yourself into fearlessness.  There is a piece of us that will never is our spirit or that which animates the body.
Suffering occurs in the mind.  Pain is inevitable. 
Suffering is optional.
Follow your bliss, go with what speaks to and inspires you
...this is what will free you.
What are the myths by which you are living?
What is it that inspires you, enlivens you
and connects you to your story?
Yoga does not look outside for solutions.  It goes inside where there can be a shift in perception where the problem becomes an opportunity...the revealer of possibilities.
Whatever I want to change in the world,
I can do it by changing one  -Byron Katie
The most valuable sources and resources come from within.  How about upgrading yourself to new thoughts instead of replaying those from the past or those of your worry?
The Source is in the heart...a little fire in the center or right side of the heart. 
It has been there all along and will not leave you. 
There is no need to go outside of ourselves because everything we need is within us.
Our best friends will be able to see without a doubt that we are capable of doing anything...
it is only when we believe in ourselves that we become the hero of our own story.
We are here to negotiate the relationships between heaven and earth--feet are on the earth, head is in heaven and the heart is where the negotiation happens.
Bad things happen in life...
this is the time to become the warrior.
A yogi explores both the light and the dark...
it is in the dark that we discover who we are.
You have to learn to lean into the sharp the yogi who lays on a bed of being fully there and balanced, there is no pain.  When we go into it gingerly,
we cannot do it and we feel the great pain.
When you do not bring forth the desire of your heart,
it will destroy you.
The stretching and bending in yoga tells you where you are tight and restricted in life as all the body has corresponding Chakras or energy centers which brings forth knowledge of our lives.
Yoga is the natural state.
There is no where to go, no where to be, and nothing to do. 
There is no graduation.
Yoga is the awareness of the present moment and
that all your power is NOW!
 Enlightenment happens for moments at a time and after awhile of practice it is always there.  But it is no big deal--you just finally realize who you are.  You still have to pay the bills and take out the trash.  It is becoming awesomely aware of everything and being okay with it.
Rip off all the layers, patterns, habits, guilts and judgments of yourself...
the more you peel off the easier yoga can come forth. 
Ignorance is believing that
we are anything other than divine.
We all have a thought train racing in our brain.  Yoga practice allows you to see the spaces in between the cargo, then to remove the cargo, and to slow down the train so you can see the world beyond your thoughts.
All animals are intrinsically afraid of fire and run away from was when man ran toward the fire and harnessed it to make something useful that the world evolved.  Don't run away from the fear; go into the dark will see who you are.  You cannot be destroyed. 
Matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
Breathe in even patterns and bring yourself to balance.
Enlightenment isn't pulling yourself away from the challenges of just stop letting things bother you and by doing this, you attract that which you dream and desire.
Enlightenment isn't special or exclusive but about the way you address the things that happen to you.  Change the patterns of your thoughts and change your world.
When disturbed by disturbing thoughts, think the opposite. 
When the event is done, it is done. 
Stop thinking of it and be free!
The answer is already there for you when you
come with the question.
To know and not to do is really not yet to know.--Buddha
And my million dollar question...did any of the enlightened masters have children?  The answer was very if you have children like me, there is our work and  there are our teachers!!  Like Alanna's dog Roxie, they will speak to keep us on the path! Namaste!!

P.S. 24 x 72 is the size of an average yoga mat!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

how do you know it's time to move on?

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Walt Disney, American creator of Mickey Mouse
I was sitting at one of my favorite coffee houses this morning getting geared up for the week, when I was visited by an acquaintance who asked--how do you know it is time to move on and go someplace else? 
For me, it was time to move when the call to return to the country was so intense, where I longed to see an unobstructed sunrise and sunset, have room to breathe and a house with space for the imagination.  We had been dipping a toe in the water for years, until one day it hit me like a ton of was time to go, and I felt it to my core. Our house was ready because we had been maintaining it all along, and it sold immediately.  It was relatively easy. Buying our next home was a different story, but I discovered when the timing is right, things just slide into place.
With selling your house, you have to be ready to go and not "kind of want to go someplace else."  It won't work unless you are fully in and committed to the journey--in your mind can you see your new house? in your heart are you ready to let go of the attachment? and in your body are you ready to move your life?  Of course there is a bit of physical work to be done--have the house in good condition so that someone else would want to buy it.  But by being ready in a holistic way, you make the process so much easier on yourself.  
So if you are wishfully looking to move and aren't sure about when, start looking and listening for the signs within yourself that it is time to move on to your next adventure.  Then take a deep breath,  set your intention, take a leap of faith and give me a call! :)   Then start packing because it sets the right energy in your home that you are leaving.

Friday, August 10, 2012

a vision for a little house

The question is not what you look at,
but what you see.
Henry David Thoreau, one of my favorite American Authors
We have this cottage house listed on 250 Old Kennett Road just outside of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania that is surrounded by beautiful country is all potential.  Over the last several years, it has been neglected like Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House (one of my favorite childhood stories).  It would be easy to see what is on the surface and be afraid to take a chance.  However, this is a house that will love you for every little improvement you make upon it.  It is has been standing for over a 100 years and is not going anywhere.  With a bit of imagination and of course an investment of patience and some money will yield a great home.  I wish I could adopt all the homes such as this...for I see their charm, warmth and beauty just waiting for the right person to uncover it.  Want to take a tour?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

lights are on but nobody's home

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Alva Edison, American Inventor

Over the last months, I have been immersing myself in the works of great inventors and dreamers of the past 100 years.  Theirs are the tales of trial and error and looking for the opportunity in the present moment despite their circumstances.  Risk taking to reap the rewards, they were able to make great strides for humanity. We look back and say those were the "good old days" but I am convinced that we are in a similar time...when things are ready to change and advance...and yet we are focused on the pain of that growth. 

In my work as a Realtor, it is easy to get in step with the drumbeat of "it's a challenging market" but flipping that coin, I can get excited for my clients because it is a time of fabulous opportunity...interest rates are low, housing prices are low, and it is a great time to move.  "Well, that's fine and dandy if you don't have to sell your house" I am told.  However, look at it this way...we are all on sale and the house you want to buy is lower too.  Add to that the increased purchasing power resulting from low interest rates...the lightbulb should turn on.  So if you think big picture, and you know you would like to send your kids to college or have money invested for your future, purchasing a house makes incredible low, rent it if you need, and sell later on when the market recovers.  This is just one idea, but imagine what else you could do by investing in the opportunity of today.  This could be the key to making your dreams come true.

Photo: Source

Monday, August 1, 2011

painting my debt ceiling

Never spend your money before you have earned it.
Thomas Jefferson, American President
Watching the decision-making process (or lack thereof) in Washington these past weeks has caused a lot of contemplation on the issue of spending. Earning an income to provide for our essentials and well deserved treats is a huge driving factor in our society. Whether it be eBay, Pottery Barn, the mall or Sally's home show, we love the excitement and freedom we derive from getting something new. Our power to choose and wheeling-dealing become a sport. Any homeowner could tell you that most of the fun of having a home is making it our own with cool items and one-of-a-kind finds.

But what happens when our purchases begin to infringe on our freedom...from debt, from worry, from not being able to get what we need? How high will we go to reach our own debt ceiling?

I have had my own challenges with this issue...a really good sale done one too many times leaves me with anxiety when the credit card statement arrives or realizing that all those "great deals" added up to a trip I have always wanted to take. Furthermore, challenges in spending causes stress in our relationships and ultimately can really make us feel powerless. The worse part of my job as a realtor is hearing that someone can't afford to move but can't afford to stay in their home by choice or by chance...our individual decisions end up costing us a lot. 

We can take this national debate and use it as a gift for our personal development. It can be a time of reflection on goals and our spending habits. Perhaps it is helpful to make a budget of wants and needs as well as room for savings. Sometimes it means honest to goodness window shopping where your hands stay in your pockets and away from your pocketbook. I tease my kids that it is like going to the art museum, "Admire, but don't touch!" We can take time to uncover the real needs of our souls...which is often nurturing or expression that doesn't cost a we can stop filling our lives with more stuff. Maybe we can find lasting freedom by not having a debtor on our back and knowing we have the power to live our lives as we choose.

Photo: Source

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

live passionately

Summer me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Henry James, American WriterOne thing I absolutely love about summer is the way the warmer weather pulls you out-of-doors, away from your to-do lists, and frees you to play. You are invited to experience the world around you! We plunge in as water soothingly relieves us of the heat of the day, and we forget calories as we enjoy frozen treats and juicy melon. We find excuses to avoid set schedules and can take the long way home just to see the sunset. Roadsides are filled with freely growing flowers and farm stands with amazing produce. Little kids become entrepreneurs with lemonade stands, and sidewalks are filled with chalk designs of some budding artist. So wherever you are and whatever you have on your agenda today, lose your self for a little while. Make time to experience the pleasures of this most amazing season...summer is here for a moment.

Photo: Me when I was about three.

Friday, May 27, 2011

neat freak

Nothing comes from without.
All things come from within.
Neville Goddard, 1905-1972, Author Confession...even as a small child, I loved to room, my crayons, my clothes, my toys. Everything was in its place often in rainbow colored order because it just looks and feels better that way. My babysitter calls me the Neat Freak because I am always arranging and tidying. My attachment to order is getting refined by a Universe with a great sense of humor ...sending me three little beings to help me transcend this order thing...pronto!To them order distracts from the creative process...from self-expression...from "being a kid." I wonder about this sometimes...does my need for order curtail my joie de vivre? or is it teaching my children to be responsible to know where their things are? How can our worlds be in harmony when our outer expressions are so different?This weekend I spent hours cleaning out their spaces...finding things like Oreo wrappers, treasures from afternoon excursions, all my missing pairs of scissors, the sunscreen, the Scotch tape, the lost Phillips head screwdriver...they were trying to take down the ladder from their bunk bed...hmm. I had found that black hole in my universe where all things disappeared. In the beginning I was getting really frustrated because they obviously didn't get my gene in this department...but after a while, I had to laugh and try to see it through their eyes. I think it was when I found a pair of underwear tucked inside a small safe...well, you never know when you might need a spare!
When all was sparkling clean, I heard the sounds of excited voices..the kids were back and though they loved their clean rooms, they couldn't wait to play in them. I guess my sense of order sparks their creative process...and that is kind of cool...because home is where you need to feel you have a place and room to create. It is an inner balance of both the harmony of order and freedom to explore the limits. It was time to stop cleaning and join in the fun!

Friday, February 25, 2011

taking it in steps

The distance is nothing;
it is only the first step
that is difficult.

Madame Marie du Deffand, 1697-1780
French host and patron of the artsYou know how they always say "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones?" Well, there is another adage that goes, "impatient people have no business purchasing 300 year old homes." For the last three months, I have been overseeing the refinishing of many rooms in our home, and despite the great progress we have made, I still find myself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated that it isn't the way I want it. I see the image in my mind, I can feel the air, see the light and smell the coffee...but it just won't go fast enough. When I was younger, I considered this the thrill of the chase...but as I "mature," I find the chase less thrilling because I JUST WANT IT DONE!!! No more dust, no more spill clothes, and everything in place. How easy it is to wave aside progress when we have certain ideals in our mind. We miss the little victories and forget to toast our accomplishments. Great philosophers have said we can avoid the frustration by staying aware of the present moment, and when you are creating a home what is more important than those little steps, that become big memories of the great things you have achieved? One thing I have begun to be more attentive to is to take pictures and start to document the before and there is a visual reminder of the road travelled. Believe me, it helps keep you sane! In the same way, we need to look back at the memories of our lives...all those pictures and videos that document who you were...and celebrate all the steps that have brought you to where you are today!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

underground railroads

Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman, leader of the Underground Railroad, Abolitionist, Humanitarian
There is a legend that goes with my new home...that it was part of the Underground Railroad...a stop on the line that led slaves to freedom.  Naturally we are very curious to find out more of the history and of the people who lived in this space.  We like the idea that they were freedom loving people who chose to quietly and secretly do the right thing.
It is inspiring to be in their home.
 Currently I am working with the Kennett Underground Railroad Center to research if the legend is true...I will keep you posted on what we find out.  During our "keep" we are collecting bits and pieces, photos, maps, deeds, etc. so that the history can live on...the work of passionate dreamers who lived through some very interesting moments.  This exercise really helps keep things in perspective...especially when times seem extra challenging....
"take heart passionate dreamer and look to the stars!" 
What is the history of your home?  Why not take time this month to remember as much as you can, and if you get a chance, write it down, gather photos, and papers that have details of changes and major never know who may want to know more about it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

seeing our shadow

"Did you ever have de ja vu, Mrs. Lancaster?"
"I don't think so, but I could check with the kitchen"
Phil Conors (Bill Murray) Groundhog Day.
If you haven't ever seen the movie Groundhog's Day with Bill out and get a copy today. In brief, it is the story of Phil Conors, a weatherman, who goes to Punxsutawny, PA to witness if the groundhog sees his shadow. He wakes up to the same day over and again until he learns the lesson of becoming a better man. (That is really a nutshell and hardly does justice to the movie..."Am I right? Or am I right?")
We have been going through our own de ja vu as we have had repeated snow days here in eastern Pennsylvania...each day getting more extreme than the next. We definitely got to see our shadow side as cabin fever set in, and three kids who are dealing with all the pressures of the move let me have it.
Granted, life has changed dramatically for them...we have moved to a new country home that is very much the opposite of our former one, they are taking the school bus, in school with hundreds of kids, routines are different, missing friends...and suddenly we are reliving the same thing every day of "I wanna go home!!"
Moving with kids, much like the story of Phil Conors is about learning something new and becoming better than we were yesterday. At times, it is one step forward and two steps back, but learning to be patient and realizing this is a huge adjustment for everyone helps tremendously. Stop. Breathe. Find a good local restaurant for take-out and eat in the living them that turning the world upside down can be great!
Many of the things we are discovering are the long icy driveway that is the best for skating and the mom-and-pop stores that wield treasures not found in chains, the hopes of spring and warmer we can open the pool!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

only the best

I have the simplest tastes.
I am always satisfied with the best.
Oscar Wilde, Irish Poet & NovelistWith the holidays behind us and most of the boxes unpacked, I am going to start sharing my home with you. The rooms are cozy, but there is much work to be done. Because I love to make a house a home, I am completely inspired by this challenge. Yet, I am waiting and watching for only the best. Why wait you may ask? I am waiting because over the years of redecorating rooms, I developed quite a habit of looking for bargains...great deals whether I needed them or not. When we moved, I realized just how many "bargains" I had collected...many no longer worked in my space. My "bargains" added up to more than one really good piece would have cost.
When we moved to Pennfield, I made a conscious decision to do it differently. Despite the great challenge to start changing and rearranging, I am taking time to learn this house in order to find exactly what needs to be here. It is the type of home that needs more than just the usual. Taking steps rather than "a room in a day" approach is going to create a home that respects the history and feel of this place.
But even with great restraint, there are things that cannot wait. First on the list is to paint all the trim...I can live in any house so long as the trim is in a beautiful soft shade of white. Historic colors are often mistaken as only these dark, dreary ones...but that isn't my style. As we make up the rooms we will show the progress, and I invite you to share your ideas.
And remember long ago when I wrote about my dream of a black and white checkerboard floor in my house? Voila!! Ask and you shall receive! Anything is possible...especially as you seek for the best!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry christmas!!

May all your dreams and hopes come true on this very special day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

10 challenges of my new home

I always entertain great hopes.
-Robert Frost, American Poet
Now that we have made it through is starting to settle in...buying a 300 year old house does have its challenges. Not that I am one to run from a good challenge, but truth be told, there have been moments when I have questioned whether or not I over-did it this time. While I am absolutely in love and knew this place was the perfect home, there is a slight chance my rosy-colored glasses kept me from seeing the reality of all the work in store. Here are my ten challenges of my new home:
  1. If the picture above didn't scare you away and you are still reading, you can guess my number one challenge...they don't pay the rent or clean up after themselves. Completely cute to their mother I am sure, but there's a reason we scream. Not sure how to evict them because they have been here longer. I have already been forbidden to get a cat since everyone in the house is sure they are allergic...stay tuned.
  2. Chilly...never before have I used my sweaters more...should have been tipped off by all the fireplaces. Unfortunately someone along the line-up decided all the fireplace chimneys should be closed...most likely to keep out drafts, but how toasty would that be to have a fire in every one? Everyone is getting comforters and slippers for Christmas...need I say more?
  3. Two-pronged outlets and having only one outlet in a room...if you are lucky. We have found outlets that must have been put there for status symbols because there is no wiring to make them live...all show and no volts. My very patient father-in-law came to the rescue with a bunch of grounded zen!
  4. Plaster do you hang anything on them and how do you fill in a hole that was a "whoops!"? You do have the benefit of quiet space because the walls are about 18 inches thick.
  5. Period paint colors and windows being painted shut. Although I have done my share of painting, this one is going to be saved for a professional. We are just going to go room by room. Let me know if you have a favorite painter who knows older homes as I would love references.
  6. Fitting my furniture in the assorted rooms sizes. Pottery Barn is a relatively new creation that doesn't necessarily work in the 18th century home, and this is a challenge when your pre-teen wants her room to look like the magazine.
  7. Smaller closets...brings to mind the saying, "Live simply so that others may simply live." There is not enough room to change your mind in these closets...choose fewer and choose the best especially when it comes to shoes. Someone told me that they built them smaller so they would not be taxed for another "room"...I would have paid the tax.
  8. Appliances that passed inspection, but mysteriously are not functioning the moment your pen touches the HUD1. Who was Murphy, and what's the deal with his law?
  9. Cleaning up where someone left off...I am investing in a good vacuum and a good rake. Sometimes when people are moving out, they run out of time to leave it ship-shape for you. Be prepared to get busy right away.
  10. My basement and attic that are the perfect sight for National Treasure 3. Someday they will be beautiful.

My brother said it best when he visited this weekend, "You have a project for every weekend for a 1,000 weeks." We are lucky to be in this home and over time like anything else, we will learn and grow from it. Whatever love we give this house will come right back to us as we transform this timeless space into our home. I'm still a believer!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 Favorite Things about a Country Home

I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand.
-Leonardo da Vinci
A week ago, we packed up our house in the suburbs and moved to the country...something that I had been dreaming of doing for the longest time. We found this beautiful 300 year old home in a small town of Pennsylvania and decided to call it home. It has been part of the landscape for such a long time...we are just keepers of this home, and this is our watch. Our charge is to make it better while we are here.

There are some amazing surprises of living in a country manor such as are my top 10:
  1. Waking to the endless sky...whether it be a spectacular sunrise or an overcast day, there's no hiding from Mother Nature. She's got your number. Clear evenings reveal stars that were just waiting to be discovered.
  2. Well water...I never realized how much chlorine was in the public water I was drinking. We got lucky because our water is crystal clear and fresh!
  3. Windows...not exactly sure of how I will wash these tall beauties, but for now, I am enjoying the light that streams through the wavy panes.
  4. The mystery of who lived here before and wondering what they thinking when they made changes to the house...a positive and a challenge!
  5. The little breakfast spots that make the best French toast and coffee.
  6. Figuring out how to arrange furniture in colonial sized rooms.
  7. Making choices about what to keep. I have made a new for only the best, but get less...there's not a lot of extra storage space in my house and over time, it occurred to me that it is okay to purge. Smaller collections of only the finest have more power.
  8. Exploring the hilly road and spaces.
  9. Not shopping at chains...there is something special when you know the people who make the food you eat and the things you need.
  10. The quiet.

What are the 10 favorite things about your home?

Photo credit: Suze Moore

Thursday, November 11, 2010

it's not the market, it's your house was perfect, whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking, best, or a pleasant mixture of them all.
J.R.R. Tolkien, English writer and author of the epic tale Lord of the RingsSorry for my absence! Many of you know that I just recently listed and sold my own house...and it went very quickly. Despite the advice that I was crazy for putting my house on the market just before the holidays, we did it anyway...and you know what? It sold the first day of showings! We were so grateful and were asked by did you do it? After months of looking at other homes on the market, I have a little isn't the market, people are moving and looking for homes all the time despite what the newspapers report.
There are two main factors that affect a house in "this market"...price and condition. When a home is not priced properly, it becomes out of reach for the appropriate buyer, and today people are willing to "wait it out" if the price is not where it should be. An important step that a Realtor can do is to analyze other homes that are does your house compare to similar houses? You have to sell a house three times: once to the buyer, once to the mortgage lender, and once to the inspector. Pricing is huge!
The next thing to consider is the condition of your home. Most buyers are not interested in the "needs a little TLC," "handyman special" or "shaggy carpet great for losing small children" look of homes. Question: how much spare time do you feel you have? None? Really? Cool, then you are like the rest of one feels that they have extra time. So why would anyone want to come into a home that is going to be a project for them? There are some of us out there, but believe me, we are a small segment of the population. Your house has to be ready for the market...clean, fresh and uncluttered.Here are some of the things we did to get our house ready:
  • Empty rooms of extra furniture and decorative elements to streamline and make the rooms feel more spacious. Since your goal is to move, start packing away some of those personal items you don't need every day such as photos, tchotchkes, papers & get the picture.
  • Take an honest look at your home. What needs to be cleaned or freshened? You would be amazed of the impact of fresh caulk, freshly painted rooms/trim, clean windows, manicured yard...generally making your home shine. I kept in my mind that I had some competition out there, and we wanted to not only be the best home on the market, but to give the "wow" factor. Having a home on the market a long time is exhausting...spend time upfront to get your house in its best form and you will save time on the sale side.
  • Stay away from the smelly stuff...everyone has different likes and dislikes when it comes to smell. Nothing is better than clean and fresh.
  • Consider doing a pre-listing inspection. Not only will it give you notice of what needs to be repaired, but it also gives your buyers peace of care about this house and did what you could to maintain it.
  • Offer a home warranty to your buyers...this also gives you and your buyers peace of mind for a few hundred dollars. When you consider the things that seem to break on a house via Murphy's Law...this is great coverage to know that things will be taken care of once you are gone.
  • Prepare yourself and your family for this adjustment. It was interesting to experience the feeling of having other people in my space critiquing our style and stuff. Something to keep in mind: "You don't have to be liked by every buyer, just one."
  • If you have children and pets, make plans for how having your house on the market will affect their schedules. Children need to be included in the process because they can be extremely helpful with cleaning up their rooms and keeping the house tidy. I reminded my kids that if we did a good job keeping everything in good shape, we would sell it quickly and move on...they were awesome! Benji needed to be crated or removed each time we showed the house...a bit of a challenge, but it all worked out.
  • Above all, have a positive attitude...I am a big believer that we send out energy all the time, and imagine the impact of walking into a home with good "vibes!" Clear the air with music, chimes, and bells.Now that we have completed all the inspections and negotiations, it is time to pack up this life we have created here and move on to the next stop along the journey. I can't help but bump into memories of bringing home new babies and the great times we had in this space with family and friends. We are truly grateful and have much to celebrate this Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

the return of color

Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions.
Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and artist
The official word on the design street is that color is long to grays and beiges...2011 trends are full of brilliant shades to bring your home to life. This is good news because colors shape our moods and perhaps this is a sign that we are all ready to move beyond the gray of the economy and bleak forecast. What are your thoughts? Still gray or ready for some bold colors?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Come visit my new listing!

Come over to see a sweet house at 104 Bette Road! A fabulous ranch in the desirable community of Lynnfield. Cozy and well-cared for, this home has three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a spacious kitchen, hardwood floors throughout and a fireplace. Whether you want to relax outside on the deck or be in the finished basement, this home has lots of space for entertaining.