Read on for the latest news in real estate in Wayne Nebraska and the surrounding communities as well as useful tips for buying and selling your home. Bonus features include a look into the good, the bad, and the ugly of homeownership as shared by blog author, homeowner, property manager, and real estate broker, Trisha Peters.
Welcome Home.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A Tale of Two Houses

I can't remember a time when I've cried tears of sorrow and joy all at the same time.  Is that even possible?  It happened.  And it was all caused by a house. Well, actually two houses...

Flashback to Tuesday, February 21st at approximately 7:45 p.m.  I was in the pickup driving home from a church meeting and suddenly came to the realization that this was my last commute to our home in Wisner. Seriously, the last one.  We moved to Wayne the next day.  Something I had done almost every single day for the last five years was suddenly going to end that night when I got home, and my life felt like it was spiraling out of control at that very moment.  What was I doing?  What was I dragging my family into?  How would the boys react?  How would my husband adjust?  Where were we going to put all of our stuff?  How were we going to get it all moved?  Why am I just thinking about all of this now?  And then the tears started to flow.  I cried the whole way home, and must have looked a sight when I pulled into the local Pizza Hut to pick up our supper.  The high school student working the cash register didn't say a word.  He was having trouble calculating the change, so he had bigger things to worry about than the rivers of mascara flowing down my cheeks.

Once I got home, I kept it together through supper.  My husband and I discussed our game plan for the next day and tried to keep it civil.  Emotions have been running high on both our parts.  We have been pulled in different directions throughout our married life mostly due to job and family commitments.  A move to Wayne simplifies our life in many aspects, including work, child care, school, and church.  Nonetheless, Tim has strong ties to his family and their farming operation, which lies about an hour in the opposite direction.  My hope is that we will both have more time to devote to that important aspect of our lives now that we are spending less time on the road each day (between the two of us), but I have yet to convince him of the benefits.  He still reminds me that one of his unspoken marriage vows was, "We shalt never live any further north than Wisner."

Bedtime came for the boys, and my oldest son begged me to read him one of his new favorites, Beauty and the Beast.  The tears welled in my eyes as we laid in bed and I thought of all the stories we had read in our Wisner house.  A whole bookcase of children's books was packed up and ready to move the next day.  I just couldn't stop thinking about the fact that this would be the last time we would lay together reading a story in that room.  After all, this was the house to which we had brought both of our boys home from the hospital.  It is a great house, and it has made a great home for us.  I have so much pride in the improvements we have done (and are currently finishing).  The tears of sorrow flowed thinking of bygone days, happy times, and special moments together...

...and tears of joy streamed from thoughts of our new home waiting for us in Wayne.  The new carpet and paint looked so fresh and clean, and the walls just seemed to be begging for us to start moving in.  This move would be a time saver for our family.  Between their mom and dad, my boys will get an extra two hours of time with us EACH day outside of a car seat!  We will be home before sundown so we can go to the park, hit the library, or actually do something fun besides eat a quick supper, take a bath, and go to bed.  No more making five or six trips to the car in the morning to make sure I have absolutely everything I need because I can't run home over lunch to get it.  The commute is over, and it is going to be life changing. 

Tears of joy and tears of sorrow flowing at the same time over two houses.  That, my friends, is the impact a home can have your life.  More fun to follow later regarding our move, the days leading up to it, and the upcoming sale of our Wisner home.  Welcome Home!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pardon Me While I Be Selfish

As many of you know, a special delivery arrived on August 15th about 5 1/2 weeks early for our little family. Little Baby Luke, as his big brother calls him, is as perfect as we could have hoped.  However, he is dealing with many of the issues that accompany a late pre-term infant (labeled as being at a gestational age of 34-36 weeks). Luke was admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) shortly after delivery and has been here eight days now.  The time has gone quickly for us as we develop a "new normal" at least for the time that he will be spending here.  All of the doctors and nurses have advised us to be prepared for him to stay here until his original due date, which means we have at least another four weeks to go.  Seems like a long time, but they keep us so busy, I'm sure each week will go as fast as the first.

If there is one request I can make of my dear clients, customers, friends and family it is this, please let me be selfish.  Right now, my priorities rank in this order: 1. Luke; 2: Me; and 3: Logan & Tim (my 3 year old son and husband).  As much as it pains me to say it, everything else holds very little importance right now.  It pains me because all of you have been so loyal to me, and have provided me with the opportunity to have a career, friendships, and a life that I never could have imagined having without you. I have come in early and gone home late to help others. I have stayed up into the early morning hours working on paperwork at home just to keep ahead while still trying to spend time with my family. I have missed birthday parties, bridal/baby showers, lunch dates, and time with my family to spend it with yours.  And, in 12 years, I have never cashed in a full two weeks worth of vacation.  All I'm asking is that you let me be selfish and cash it all in right now.  What I need from all of you is 8 to 12 weeks to spend with my family, to get Luke home, to make sure he is healthy and to make sure our family is whole again.  Because, you see, without my boys, work really lacks all importance whatsoever.  And, I'm of very little use to you if my head isn't 100% in the game.   

I know I overpromised many of you last week when I said we might be home in a couple of weeks and that I can work from the hospital.  I was running on pure adrenaline, a high dose of morphine, and some crazy mom-power that comes with delivering a baby. Right now, my "office" consists of two folding chairs pushed together in a tiny corner of an intensive care unit hospital room where my computer plays music for Luke throughout the day.  This 10' x 10' room also serves as my living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and baby room. And, it also comes with all the custom "bells and whistles" of an intensive care unit.  I do have a temporary housing situation established, and can run back and forth for a shower or relief from the day's activities, but that isn't always practical when 12 hours of the day is dedicated to feeding and the other 12 are dedicated to supporting Luke's behavior and brain development.  This experience has truly opened my eyes to the stresses other families in this situation have endured, and I apologize to anyone who I have not shown compassion to as they were traveling this journey.

So, I beg of you, please let me be selfish.  Please let me help my baby grow and develop.  The few weeks that you must sacrifice now will mean a lifetime of health and well being for Little Baby Luke if we can establish the groundwork needed here to get him running at full steam.  The only way I know how to do this is if we work together with trust, understanding, and patience. Although this came as a surprise, the team at 1st Realty is ready to help, and they have been working hard to fill in during my absence.  They will never know how truly grateful I am for their help and kindness during this time.  It truly does take a village to raise a child, and if you will be a part of my village right now, Luke and I will make sure to find you the houses you need to make it a home when we get back!  Thank you all for your patience, kindness and understanding!  Welcome Home.

Friday, March 20, 2015

At a Standstill...

Today is the first day of Spring.  Warmer weather and more daylight to get stuff done, right? A friend asked me two days ago why I hadn't posted any recent updates on our bathroom remodeling project.  Well, to be honest, progress has been slow.  No, let me rephrase that, progress has come to a complete halt.  We can't even blame the unnamed home improvement store because the materials have been stacked up against the wall in our basement family room since late February.  This photo shows where we are at currently (and have been for some time):
Notice all the glue on the walls
The builder loved glue
Someday we'll be back to fully functional

Don't get me wrong, it's not that we don't want to be working on this, but when it's 70 degrees outside, a wagon ride around the block with an almost 2-year old sounds a bit more exciting.  When I really want to spice things up, my family and I take on a large bunch of rowdy yearling cattle after work to see if we can time the head gate on the squeeze chute just right so we can insert an ear tag before they decide to run straight through.  Laugh if you want, but it's not so funny when your sorting the whole herd for the second time to catch those two lovely ladies who managed to sneak through the first time.

Despite the after work shenanigans, the at work demands have been increasing steadily since the first of year.  We've been working overtime trying to keep up with the volume of new listings, showings, and sales the past few weeks.  So, if the shower isn't getting installed it might be because of this,
1006 Brooke Drive (Sale Pending)
 or this,
719 Hillside Drive (Sale Pending)
 maybe this one too,
1000 & 1002 Sunnyview Drive
 here's another good one,
905 Lincoln Street
 or possibly this,
105 West 4th Street
 this one for sure,
57745 847th Road, Wayne
 don't forget this little guy,
307 West 1st Street
 and you're sure to love this one,
920 Douglas Street
 and this beauty, too!
502 West 1st Street
But don't forget about these moments,
Logan calls baby lambs "pigs." I can't make this stuff up.

Nobody at 1st Realty could have guessed it wasn't spring yet by the volume of home sales and listings we have experienced during this first quarter of 2015.  So far this year we have had nine closings, which is, by far, the most closings we've seen during the first quarter in the last five years.  And, not surprisingly, we have more come (keep watching for updates)!

For the time being, the improvements on our home will just have to wait. My husband and I have more important things to do at our jobs and with our family farming operations at the present time.
Tonight, we get to work with these lovely ladies to get them prepped for baby calves set to arrive in about 12 days (or sooner).  As all of you expecting mothers will understand, these bosses are "nesting" now, so let's hope they cooperate with those of us messing up their typical evening routine.  For me, it's a little needed outdoor therapy.  I'll keep you posted on how things are going, but don't be surprised if we are talking selling, buying, and baby calves rather than remodeling at least in the near future.  Welcome Home.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Here We Go Again

It seems as if homeownership has a certain ebb and flow as the years go by.  Some years seem rather mundane with not many changes occurring in the landscape of life while others seem to hit you with ten projects needing done all at once.  My husband and I started our quest in homeownership with a major remodeling project, and after a short hiatus to start our family, we are back at it again.  This time, we are taking on the basement.

Before Demo
My husband and I have been carefully watching a developing bulge in our basement shower wall for about a year's time. It is a unique shower in that the builders of the home made it partially out of concrete block.  The other half was fashioned out of plain old sheetrock and some sort of laminate wall covering that isn't designed to repel water the way a shower insert should.  Over the last three years, that wall covering has slowly deteriorated and started to absorb and retain water during each shower.  Plus, it is lime green.  All in all, it has seen better days.

Shortly after the first of the year, I mentioned to him that we should do something about it.  His response was, "So long as it's done by planting time.  Once that hits, I'm out!"  Take it from me, if this thing drags on through planting and calving season, I might just be out!

The project started out with quite a bit of internet research on customizable shower remodeling inserts.  Let's just say that options are limited, and the inserts aren't manufactured here in Nebraska.  We found a product that seemed like something a do-it-yourself-er could install and a nearby home improvement store distributed, so that's where we set our sights.  We started taking measurements and making a list of the supplies we would need to get started.

Then, we made our first trip to the home improvement store, which shall remain unnamed, to start getting some more ideas and prices.  The only thing we came home with that night was defeat.  So many things to pick from, yet nothing in a complete package.  Everything would need to be retrofitted or pieced together to work properly due to the abnormal size of our shower and the complicated network of pipes, electrical wiring and duct work hiding in our basement ceiling.  We were back to the drawing board to decide what we needed to do to make the master plan pan out.

By the next weekend, we had regrouped and regained some confidence after going over our options and gathering ideas from our resident handy-people.  Off we went to the unnamed home improvement store to buy our supplies and get this thing started.  Thinking that we had everything figured out, we started in the plumbing and bath section to get the shower ordered.  Fun fact: did you know that a plain white shower insert costs far more than one that is supposed to imitate travertine?  Neither did we.  Our simple plan to buy a plain white shower insert was then turned into a 20 minute debate over which design to special order.  Plus, you have the buy the shower kit.  And, the trim kit.  And, the adhesive kit.  Attention product manufacturers: When something has "kit" in the name to start with, put everything in the "kit" rather than making three other "kits" to go with it!  Ridiculous.

From there, we moved on to the lighting section which killed another hour picking out which type of recessed lighting to put in the basement.  Fun fact: did you know that recessed lights cannot be purchased as a "kit?"  Neither did we.  First you have to pick out the style of cans that you want to use, then you pick out the inserts/trim to go with them, and then you pick out the lightbulbs to go with those.  But, be careful, my friends.  Some of the trim inserts come with built-in LED bulbs these days.

Two and a half hours after arriving, we were forced out of the store by the repeated requests coming over the intercom that the store would be closing in 5 minutes and we needed to head to the checkouts immediately.  The greeter literally locked the doors behind us.  Three things were clear at this point: 1) we were easily going over budget on this project 2) we had a tired, screaming toddler who wanted chicken nuggets and 3) his mother wanted a margarita.  Both of which my husband quickly found.

As a saving grace, we started demo this past week, and my husband is already liking the added space in the bathroom from taking out a large closet that he used mainly to hang up his towel.  Nonetheless, upon opening up the side of the shower showing evidence of the water seepage, we found that the hot water line is leaking in addition to the shower walls.  Removal of the sheeting behind the toilet also revealed evidence of seepage from some secret surprise still buried behind the moldy sheetrock that is not only nailed, but glued onto the studs as well.  It's as if the builder was thinking to himself, "Good luck to the schmucks that wanna tear this wall off. Muahhahahahaha!"  Everytime I remove sheetrock at our house, I feel like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes as she takes a sledgehammer to the bedroom wall and yells "Towanda!"

At this point, I can't make any guarantees the neighbors won't hear some yelling throughout the course of this project, but so long as they hear "Towanda," rest assured everything is going OK.  Welcome Home.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Baby Steps

As we roll into the summer buying and selling season, anxieties are running high.  Severe storms have threatened the area, homes need to get sold so others can be purchased, and a new batch of professionals are moving into town seeking quality rental housing that is in short supply.  As the area battened down the hatches on Tuesday in anticipation of powerful thunderstorms, two home sellers were biting their nails in other parts of the country as the storms raced towards Wayne.  Time moved in slow motion for those sellers.  They were waiting for word that the closings on their homes had officially happened before any storm damage occurred.  On the flip side, two very nervous buyers were accepting the keys to properties that were now their sole responsibility just hours and minutes before the storm hit.  Every other property owner in town was holding his/her breath and hoping the reports of golf ball sized hail were mere exaggerations.  Luckily, Wayne was spared the brunt of the damage.  Our homes, businesses, and personal property are all intact and we are thankful.  Baby steps.

I say baby steps because everything we go through in life, whether it's a storm, buying or selling a home or, quite literally, having a baby, needs a little perspective some days.  In an age of instant answers, we expect fast and accurate results in everything we do, see, and hear.  We expect the weatherman to predict the storm pattern.  We expect to be able to move in to a home or move on from it within our planned timeline. And, we expect past results to predict future performance.  The thing of it is that sometimes the things that don't go as expected are destined to help us experience something else we would have otherwise missed.  Baby steps.

Baby steps.  Had it not been for the storm, I would have missed my son's first steps.  My husband would have missed them, too.  And those would have been some big steps to miss.  The storm brought my husband and me home quite a bit earlier than usual on Tuesday.  We ate supper earlier than usual, and we were glued to the television watching storm coverage at a time of the evening when we are both usually still working on a project.  And then it steps.  Right there between storm coverage and an evening treat of caramel popcorn.  Right there between the recliner where dad was sitting and the couch where mom was sitting.  Baby steps.  The storm that brought grumbles from both of us for bringing unexpected changes to our typically well planned day had also given us this wonderful opportunity.  Baby steps.

That very important moment in our lives opened my eyes to how and why things happen the way they do.  Just like the other events in our lives, home buying and selling is a step by step process that is often carefully planned and calculated just like two tiny feet plodding a three foot distance between living room furniture.  Some homes sell quickly, others take months and even years to sell.  Often times, there is little or no explanation as to why a perfectly sound home takes so long to sell with the exception that the right buyer has not seen the potential that home holds.  And maybe the reason is that the time just isn't right yet for it to happen.  Perhaps you might miss out on something else wonderful that would have otherwise been missed if it had sold immediately.  The baby steps we take to buy or sell a home are for a reason.  We don't always know it at the time, but eventually the reason becomes clear. 

If you feel like you are taking baby steps at this time, don't be alarmed and don't get too anxious.  The spring and summer months are an exceptional time to buy or sell a home, and if you move too quickly, you might just miss out on something wonderful.  Welcome Home.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Inspection vs. Appraisal

If you are in the market to buy a home, you are probably being bombarded with words like "inspection," "appraisal," "prequalification," "assessed value," or "contingency."  But what do they all mean?  People keep spouting them off at you like you buy a home every other day, so just keep nodding your head like you understand what's going on, right?  Buying a home can be very confusing!  Today, I want to focus on two terms that often get misunderstood by buyers when purchasing a home:  home inspection and appraisal.

I have heard the terms "inspection" and "appraisal" used synonymously on numerous occasions.  These two items are very different things.  As discussed in my last post entitled Home Inspections, an inspection is designed to find major defects associated with a home.  A certified home inspector or trusted contractor will perform this task (no license required).  An inspection is also a voluntary part of a home purchase.  Contrary to popular belief, home inspections are not mandatory in the State of Nebraska.  If a buyer elects to purchase a home "as is" (in its current condition) without an inspection, that decision is perfectly acceptable.

In contrast, an appraisal is performed by a licensed appraiser for purposes of securing a loan.  The appraiser is hired by your lender to review the property and determine a fair market value.  The purpose of the appraisal is to support or reject the sales price of the property to guarantee that your lender is making a safe investment in lending you money.  The appraised value is a reliable tool for determining the true market value of your property.  An appraisal is typically a mandatory part of a home purchase, especially if the buyer is securing a loan through a bank or similar financial institution.  Although an appraiser will visually examine the property, he/she is typically not qualified to make a determination about the structural soundness of the property.  An appraiser may comment on specific items of concern in the appraisal report because of the influence they have on the value of the property.  However, he/she will also note that a qualified inspection should be performed for items in question.

One important characteristic that a home inspector and an appraiser should have in common is that neither one should be affiliated with the property or the sale of the real estate in any way.  Appraisers and inspectors should always provide you with an independent, unbiased opinion of the real estate condition or value.

The main differences between inspections and appraisals are as follows:

1.  Do not require a licensed inspector
2.  Are a voluntary part of the transaction
3.  Determine the structural or mechanical soundness of components in the home
4.  Are ordered or arranged for by the home buyer

1.  Require a State licensed appraiser
2.  Are typically mandatory for all transactions requiring a loan
3.  Determine the fair market value of real estate
4.  Are ordered or arranged for by the lending institution

For additional information on inspections, appraisals, and everything else in between, contact me, Trisha Peters, at or (402) 375-1477.  I can help you find the answers and the home you have been seeking!  Welcome Home.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Home Inspections

As we approach the busy spring buying and selling season, it is necessary to touch on an important topic. Most of us have heard or found out first hand that the purchase of a home will be the most expensive purchase we make in our entire lifetime.  According to the National Association of Home Builders (2014), the average buyer will stay in a home for 13 years.  With so much at stake, why do we tend to leave so much to chance?  Many buyers are now opting for a standard home inspection as part of their purchase to ensure that the home they are purchasing is structurally and mechanically sound.  The average home inspector will look for a variety of issues ranging from water leaks and burned out light bulbs to foundation cracks and other structural issues.

There are certain things to look for when selecting a home inspector.  As with any profession, an inspector with years of experience is a plus.  You might want to ask for a resume highlighting his/her experience level, education, training, and references from past customers to determine the inspector's qualifications.  Many states do not require home inspectors to be licensed.  This means that they are not governed by any laws or regulations in regard to the performance of their duties, and they have little or no training in their field.  And, you're going to let this person look at the biggest investment of your life?  Scary, right?

Here's what you can do to ensure your inspector is qualified:

1.  Locate an inspector who is a member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).  Members of those organizations are subject to a code of ethics for certified home inspectors.  ASHI's guidelines have been established as the industry standard and include the following areas of inspection:  structure, extriors, roofing, plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, interiors, ventilation, and fireplaces (you can visit or for additional details or to locate a certified home inspector).

2.  Sometimes a certified home inspector is hard to come by in a small community or maybe you are only looking for certain areas of the home to be inspected (i.e. plumbing or HVAC).  If you're options are limited, try contacting local contractors with a reputation for being fair and honest about repairs that need to be done.  Friends and family can often point you in the direction of a reliable contractor who can provide feedback on the integrity of a structure and its components.

3.  Ask your real estate agent for a list of local experts in the area.  He/she can recommend a variety of inspectors or contractors to get you started.  You should always take the time to contact the people on the list to make sure you are comfortable with them and their level of experience before hiring them to do an inspection.  

4.  Make sure your inspector is bonded and insured.  An inspector who has taken these measures has already taken steps to ensure the buyer and seller are better protected.

Homebuyers are typically encouraged to accompany their inspectors during an inspection so you can ask questions and ensure the inspector is taking the time to look over the components of the home carefully.  Try not to be distracting to the home inspector as he/she may miss items if you try to engage in friendly banter throughout the inspection.  However, don't be afraid to question certain comments or items that are brought to your attention.  Be aware that home inspectors are simply required to "observe" certain items according to the accepted industry standards.  This might mean that your inspector "observes" the roof on the home you are buying from the ground.  Without climbing on the roof, they might not be able to see certain areas of damage that an up close inspection would uncover (Scherzer & Andrews, 2014). 

Although home inspections are designed to find most of the major defects associated with a home purchase, they are often delivered with a disclaimer that the property is inspected to the best of the inspector's ability under the conditions of the inspection.  Keep in mind that purchasing a home in the winter might not allow for a thorough exterior inspection since snow and ice can prevent inspectors from seeing certain defects.  Likewise, if large amounts of personal property are blocking an inspector's view of certain components of a home, the inspector may note that items were blocking his/her view, therefore it was impossible to inspect that portion of the home.  There are certain remedies to help you achieve better results, however, every circumstance is different. 

Inspections are most often performed once a home is under a purchase agreement.  So, what happens if the inspector finds serious defects with a home and you have already agreed to a price?  Most generally, the contract is contingent on a "satisfactory" home inspection.  This means that the contract can be amended to accommodate for repairs or improvements as deemed necessary by the home inspector.  Often times, a buyer and seller might also seek a second opinion on items of specific concern.  The results of every inspection are handled on a case by case basis once the inspection is received.

As you can see, a home inspection can be a very involved process.  It can be difficult to dive into these issues on your own, so trust the advice of a real estate professional to help guide you through the process.  Feel free to contact me at (402) 375-1477 with any questions you might have regarding a home inspection for your next home purchase.  Welcome Home.


Emrath, P.  March 4, 2014.  "Latest Calculations Show Average Buyer Expected to Stay in a Home 13 Years."  National Association of Home Builders.

March 4, 2014.  American Society of Home Inspectors.

March 4, 2014.  International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

Scherzer, L. & Andrews, M.  March 4, 2014. "Ten Things Home Inspectors Won't Say."