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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Can Relate

The last two months have certainly been months to remember for my new hubby and I.  For the past three years, we have been going back and forth about where we should live, what we should do with our lives, and who we wanted to be when we grew up.  After getting engaged in July, the reality set in that we really needed to do something or live an hour apart FOREVER.  The biggest hangup is that we both love our jobs and our families and the places where we grew up.  The best solution was for both of us to make a move, give up a little bit of home, and make a new home together.  Simple enough, right?

So, we decided that our triangle of acceptable places to live was somewhere between Dodge, Wisner, or West Point, Nebraska.  We started our home search online through local agents in those communities, but couldn't find anything that we thought would work.  Then, we resorted to the for-sale-by-owner route.  Low and behold, we looked at a house in Wisner and decided that it would work for us!  The price was right, the space was good, and we could make it our own!  Hurray!  The search was over!  Soon, we were on our way to a November 30th closing date.

That was our train of thinking at the beginning of November.  Fast forward to November 21st when the dreaded call came, just days before Thanksgiving and our big announcement to the family that we were closing on a home soon.  The owner of the home we had painstakingly searched for called to inform us that the kitchen faucet had sprung a leak and water had saturated the main floor and basement living area as the home sat vacant.  Our momentum literally came to a screeching halt and we could hear the wind getting knocked out of our sails.  Closing was off for the 30th, and so began process of insurance, adjusters and mitigation/remediation.  (Not to mention we were getting married in just under a month.)  On the bright side, we were getting new flooring and a new ceiling in the basement, and things didn't seem quite as bad then.

So, in between wedding plans, we waited...and waited...and waited....to hear if the house was salvageable for a closing in the near future.  We searched for carpeting...and paint...and ceiling tiles....and countertops...and kitchens...and contractors...and estimates...and did I mention we were quickly approaching the big day??  Finally, the day before the wedding, we received word that the house was "dry" and we would be closing on December 30th.  Without much time to think things through, we agreed that was a plan, scribbled some signatures on an addendum and got hitched.  Life was good!

We spent our short honeymoon making official flooring and paint decisions so work could begin the second we closed (we envisioned all of the contractors lined up in the driveway just waiting for us to call from the attorney's office that it was safe to go in and begin working.)  The day after Christmas, we were allowed to see the house for the first time since the water was dried out by ServiceMaster.  And, our hopes were somewhat dashed again.  Nothing much had been completed except the main floor carpeting had been removed and a less than perfect job installing some new subflooring had been completed.  We saw the paint peeling off the walls, the uneven flooring gaps, and the halfway removed and damaged ceiling in the basement.  And, we were closing in t-minus 5 days.  Through it all, my new husband was a pillar of strength and soothing reality as I melted down into what my dad labeled as a "house-zilla" (most recently deemed from the previous week's "bride-zilla.")

This week has been a flurry of phone calls to the insurance agency about settlement amounts, estimates for repair work (which we didn't know were suddenly our responsibility to provide), and trips to and fro trying to coordinate everything.  And we don't even own the house!  The sellers are pushing us to close on Friday without anything but a handshake and prayer that the insurance will pay out for the necessary repairs.  But, guess what, those checks aren't coming to us as the buyers, they are going to the sellers.  We get the bills, they get the money...sounds like a normal day.

We finally put on the brakes today to try and get some peace of mind regarding the predicament living together as husband and wife created for us (many people have told us that living apart could lead to a better marriage - LOL!)  As I sit here typing this, we have three options:
1) Close on the house with the handshake and a prayer mentality that the insurance will come through.
2) Reduce the price we pay for the house to reflect the damages and close as planned.
3) Pay the price we agreed for the house and have the attorney handling the closing hold some of the money in escrow until the work is complete and the final insurance settlement is issued to protect us and the sellers from unforeseen issues with the insurance and the repair work.

And this is where things stand 2 days before closing.  No resolution, but some viable possibilities are on the horizon.  The reason I am sharing this with all of you is because it has truly opened my eyes to the many stresses that go with buying or selling a home.  It has certainly served as a reminder that a road paved with good intentions may still have several bumps in it.  This is a lesson to me that is already making me a better agent, and it will allow me to provide my customers and clients with the service they should expect.  In other words, I can relate to what you are going through.  The emotions, the paperwork, the glitches, the compromises...we've seen it all in the last six weeks.

We are unsure what tomorrow holds for our first home buying adventure as husband and wife.  We know that whatever happens was meant to be, and we look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.  If anything, it will make a great story to tell our children when they ask us about our first home.

Welcome Home!

The source of all of our problems!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Traditions

The fall decorations are popping up all over town welcoming the onset of cooler weather and little ghosts and goblins that will be parading the streets in just over a week from today.  Many folks are taking advantage of the beautiful weather to do a little "hunting" of their own...house hunting that is!  Our company has seen a variety of sellers accept offers on their homes this fall, and an array of buyers are experiencing what it's like to do their own fall decorating. Check out our most recent new listings, pending sales, and sold homes below:

1004 Aspen Street (New Listing in October and recent Sale Pending)

716 Lincoln Street (a sudden burst of activity on this home during the past week made it our most recent sale pending!)

108 S. Lincoln Street - SOLD 10/17/11

502 W. 1st Street - SOLD 9/26/11 to a great family looking forward to making this large 2-story their official home in Wayne!

420 West 6th Street - Sale Pending

808 Pearl Street - Sale Pending

308 East 9th Street - 3-unit investment SOLD 9/14/11
513 West 5th Street, Wakefield - New Listing for October, great floorplan!

409 W. 10th Street - New Listing for October, cute home & great location!

October has provided wonderful home buying and selling opportunities for clients and customers of 1st Realty.  It is a great time of year to start some of your own fall traditions. Think back to the first time that you carved pumpkins with your family at the kitchen table when you were a small child.  Do you remember how much fun it was to see them lit up on the front step of the house?  How about the first Halloween when you got to go around to all of the neighbor's houses and show off your great homemade costume?  These are the memories that many of us have of our childhood homes, and now is a great time to make some memories of your own in a home that you love.  Welcome Home!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Fall Maintenance Project the Size of a Barn!

Over the weekend, I was informed that my family was going to start on the task of painting all of our wooden barns, hog houses, and sheds at the farm.  This is a project that has not been completed in over ten years.  Weather permitting, it will probably take between one and two weeks to complete, and we hope to be done by the time harvest is in full swing. This project is similar to the ones that stare most of us square in the eye this time of year.  You know, those little things that we have to get done before the weather turns cold and the winter snow sets in.  I found a helpful checklist for fall maintenance projects by following this link:

http://www.servicemagic.com/article.show.Checklist-Fall-Preventative-Home-Maintenance.11701.html

This link covers items regarding the interior and exterior of your house. However, one shouldn't forget about the importance of protecting the garage, patio, and landscaping from winter deterioration.  Some fall maintenance advice regarding these areas of your property includes:

  • Protect and cover lawn equipment and garden tools
  • Drain lawnmower of gasoline and oil
  • Examine and repair the weatherstripping at the bottom of the garage door
  • Cover and protect your patio furniture
  • Trim tree limbs that could break under the weight of snow and ice
  • Fill birdfeeders in time for migrating species, and keep them filled throughout the winter for resident species
  • Add a protective layer of mulch to your perennials, shrubs, and trees
  • Clean flower beds of spent summer blossoms and plants
  • Turn the compost
  • Remove the garden hose and place inside for the winter

These projects sound like a hassle on days like today when the weather is so nice, but you can turn them into a day well spent with your family.  When I was younger, I used to dread projects like this for the simple reason that "I had better things to do."  Believe it or not, I'm actually looking forward to helping paint and improve the integrity of those old barns at home.  My family has a lot of history and memories in those great spaces.  I love reliving those moments with my brothers, and sharing stories with our significant others.  Remember to take pride in your fall projects and the work it takes to complete them.  Welcome Home!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A First-Time for Everything (including closing costs)

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS

512 Nebraska Street

This week I have had the pleasure of closing on two homes with first-time buyers.  On Monday, I handed over the keys to 512 Nebraska Street to a young couple who will be getting married in a couple of weeks.  The excitement of moving as well as the stress of starting a new job and the upcoming wedding were evident throughout the home buying process for Jared and Kristi.  Nonetheless, I could feel their relief for finally having a place to call their own.

208 East 9th Street
 
Today, another buyer, Cody, moves into 208 E 9th Street as he continues his education at Wayne State.  This young man has a great future ahead of him and a great place to spend his college years.  I'm sure he will make lots of memories at his new home! Welcome Home to both sets of new owners!


CLOSING COSTS

Many people have been asking me about closing costs during the past few weeks, so I want to provide some insight into those little buggers for those who have not had the experience of buying a home.  In essence, there are two sides to the world of closing costs:  the real estate side and the banking side.  The real estate side is unavoidable in most instances.  Typical closing costs for purchasing a home include:

-Title Insurance (customarily split 1/2 buyer and 1/2 seller)
-Deed Filing Fee (to give public knowledge of the property transfer) and
-Termite Inspection or other requested inspections (typically paid by the buyer) 

The above costs reflect those involved even if you do not need to get a loan.  A lender's closing costs might include:

-Loan Origination Fee (usually 1-2% of the loan amount - this is how the lender gets paid for their work)
-Discount Points (essentially prepaid interest to lower the effective interest rate throughout the life of the loan)
-Appraisal Fee
-Credit Report Fee
-Tax Service Fee
-Flood Certification
-Insurance and Interest Escrows (3-6 months usually paid up front)
-Mortgage Filing Fee

Remember, these fees are in addition to the title insurance, deed filing, and inspection fees.  This is not an "all inclusive" lists, however, it does cover many of the most common closing costs.  Most buyers can expect to pay between $2,000 to $3,000 in closing costs.

In addition, as a home buyer, you are also generally required to make an earnest money deposit of $500 to $1,000 when you make an offer on a home.  That money is deposited in a trust account with your real estate agent or escrow company until closing.  At closing, it is credited towards the purchase price of the home.  Your lender may also require an application fee to begin the loan application process.  These fees can vary depending on the lender.

For additional information about the true cost of buying a home, feel free to contact me at 1st Realty by calling (402) 375-1477 or e-mailing thansen@1strealtysales.com.  Welcome Home!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

School Daze!

During the next few days, school will be back in session for both the Wayne Public Schools and Wayne State College.  We always experience a bit of a lull in the real estate action from early August through Labor Day as families enjoy last minute summer vacations, school shopping, and schedule changes.  I'm heading back to school myself this fall to finish out my second to last semester as a graduate student at Wayne State.  Not only does this mean that I'll have to extend my evening schedule to cram for tests and finish papers, but it also provides me the opportunity to shape the minds of our youth.  The sometimes daunting task of keeping 80 students involved and in line this semester looms ahead of me as I prepare course materials and integrative lectures.  People often ask me where I find the time to work as both a graduate assistant and a full-time real estate broker, and my resounding answer is generally, "I don't know." 

Believe it or not, teaching courses actually makes me more organized, a better time manager, and it helps me to better assist my customers and clients.  How, you might ask?  Well, it's not because I'm a Blackberry or SmartPhone type of person.  I still use the old pen and paper method for writing notes, appointments, and wedding plans.:)  However, think back to those days when you were in school and your teacher spent hours trying to explain difficult subjects or tolerating unruly students.  That same person also probably helped you through some difficult times or stayed late after school some days to help you with troublesome projects.  Isn't that what real estate agents do?  We are given the opportunity to educate homebuyers and sellers by fielding questions, handling transactions, and ensuring that everything goes smoothly.  My students teach me about understanding, compassion, humor, recognizing personality clashes, and patience, and all I am giving back to them is knowledge about management, marketing, or the world they are entering into after college.  It is an experience that provides me new skills to apply in my life and workplace everyday.  I hope it continues to show in the service I provide to all of you!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back in the Saddle

It has been a while since I took time to write in my blog.  In my defense, the month of July was BUSY in real estate terms...not to mention the fact that I got engaged to my best friend of three years, Tim Peters!  Don't worry, though. I have no plans of changing my name and moving to exotic Scribner, Nebraska after our December nuptials!  I still plan to stay on as a full-time real estate broker at 1st Realty as we make our new life together.

Well, a lot has happened in the month of July.  We have seen between one and two new listings each week and we have also had the pleasure of closing on six homes with a variety of buyers from investment to first-timers.  The most bittersweet closing came at the end of June, though, when my neighbor and friend Shannon moved away after six years.  I have truly missed our talks in the front yard after mowing lawn or watering the flowers.  However, I am anxious to strike up a new friendship with the Ericksons who will be moving in gradually this fall when they sell the acreage they have called home for many years and officially move into town.  

As mentioned, July was a busy month for new listings.  We have seen listings from Wakefield to Wayne.  The home styles include everything from classic 1 1/2-story bungalows to 2-story square frame homes to ranch-styles.  Below are a few of those you have to choose from!

612 Winter Street, Wakefield

108 S. Lincoln Street

208 E 9th Street - SALE PENDING!

408 Douglas Street

903 Hillside Drive

705 West 3rd Street

916 Logan Street



523 Windom Street



In addition, our closings have provided a place to live for a variety of young families that will be making their homes in Wayne.  It was a pleasure to work with Adam Hoffman and his fiancee Ashley Becvar as they purchased 212 West 12th Street as well as Rick and Alyssa Bartek as they made 511 West 4th Street their home. Rosario and Maria Salcedo are also new home owners at 907 Winter Street in Wakefield.  It was exhilarating to see the excitement on all of their faces on their respective closing days!  July has been a great month for real estate in Wayne, and I hope the momentum continues in August!  Welcome Home!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Staged to Sell

Most clients ask me about what they need to do to get their homes sold in today's market.  Many worry about furnishings, floor coverings, and paint being out of date, and others worry about the way their house looks on a daily basis.  Remember, you have a life!  So what if you have a load of laundry sitting in a basket in the bedroom or a couple of unwashed dishes in the sink, who doesn't?  You live in your home and you need to keep things so that they feel as comfortable as possible for you and your family.  Despite these minor details, there are some simple things you can do to help your home sell more quickly.

Believe it or not, my best advice for those of you looking to sell your home is to make sure it is CLEAN AND ORGANIZED!  That's right, you don't have to hire a professional stager or an interior decorator to design a home that looks picture perfect everyday, you just have to tidy up and organize the little messes that life hands us.  All home buyers notice when a home is clean and organized, but few care whether or not you have the latest in designer furnishings.  In fact, I get more comments about how clean or dirty a home might be versus anything else!  Sounds like an easy fix, doesn't it? 

Preparing to list your home is your first opportunity to declutter and downsize before making your move.  Take a look through your cupboards and closets and identify the items that you rarely or never use.  These items should either be thrown away or put into boxes and totes for moving later.  Cabinets and cupboards that are bursting at the seams scream "NO STORAGE!" to buyers.  In addition to the kitchen, don't forget to go through the cabinet under the bathroom sink.  Buyers appreciate having a clear view of the plumbing and any potential leaks that might be covered up by stashes of cleaners and toilet bowl brushes.  In addition, it is a given that we all have a "catch-all" drawer or cupboard in the house, so try to organize this as best you can without misplacing the screwdrivers, tape, pens, fishing line, and checking account statements that get tossed in there when unannounced company shows up! 

The first thing I want you to remember about having a clean home is that it should be clean from top to bottom.  This might mean that you have to dump a few Asian beetles out of the light fixtures and wipe the cobwebs off the ceiling fan blades.  Don't forget to pull out furniture and dust the floorboards after you vacuum the couch cushions (even though your furnishings are not included, they do accentuate a room).  If you have some stains on your carpet, do NOT try to cover them up with an area rug as you will only upset a buyer who discovers them at the final walk-through.  Try to have the carpets cleaned if necessary, and if that doesn't do the trick, leave stains in plain sight so a buyer can make his/her own decisions about floor coverings from there.  Appliances should be pulled away from the wall and cleaned behind, under, and inside.  Trust me, people are going to look in your fridge and in the the oven (especially if appliances are included)!  Don't let last week's kitchen disaster come back to haunt you!

Everybody's least favorite room is the bathroom, but try to devote some time to making it sparkle.  The shower, tub and toilet can be big turnoffs to potential buyers if they are grimy or stained.  Likewise, the vent fan can catch a lot of dirt in those little slats so be sure to vacuum those out regularly (this will also help it operate more efficiently).  Another good idea is to wash all of the windows inside and out.  A clear view of a great back yard can be marred by years of grime on the windows and screens.  Any fingerprints around door knobs and light switches should also be scrubbed before opening your home to the public.  I know this can be tricky if you have children, so do the best you can!  Don't forget about the dust and lint in the laundry area and behind your washer and dryer.  In addition, wash bedding regularly to give your bedrooms a clean, fresh appearance and remove any unnecessary items from night stands and dressers to help make the rooms appear larger. 

Onto the dungeon (i.e. basement)...this can be the hardest cleaning project to tackle when it comes to selling a home, but it can make a big difference.  If your basement is unfinished, take a vacuum or broom and be sure to sweep between all of the floor joists and along the sills to get rid of any cobwebs or built up dirt.  Clear areas around floor drains, the furnace, breaker box, and other utilities so buyers can get a good look at everything.  Again, organizing or packing up items in the store room and furnace room can give the impression that your home contains useful and abundant storage space.  If your basement is a bit musty, run a dehumidifier.  Some people think that dehumidifiers create a stigma that the basement is damp or wet, however few basements can survive a Nebraska summer without one.  If you have experienced previous water problems, make sure to eliminate any items that show evidence of previous water damage or mold.  If you do have a seepage or leakage issue (past or present), take measures to correct the problem and fully disclose this to your agent and potential buyers.  Hiding problems will create more problems for you in the long run--if you don't tell the buyers, your next door neighbor will probably be over during the showing to let everybody in on the dirty little secret!

One final cleaning hurdle to jump over is the family pet.  It can be hard maintaining a clean home when Fido and Fluffy are tracking in grass clippings, snow, mud and rain on their little paws every day.  Try using a disposable mop on hard surface floors before showings or try to prevent your pet from having the run of the place until the house is sold (i.e. confine them to a specific area).  Pet hair and urine stains/smells are the #1 turn off for many home buyers (even if they have a pet of their own).  Every buyer has a sensitive nose when they realize that a pet has been kept in the house.  Take measures to minimize the effect that your pet might have on the sale of your home, and ask someone who doesn't have a pet to give you their honest opinion about pet odors in your home.  This might help you locate some trouble spots.

I hope this advice is useful and inexpensive as you consider your next move.  For more helpful tips, contact me at 1st Realty Sales and Management at (402) 375-1477 or at thansen@1strealtysales.com. You can also find us on Facebook by following this link:  https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/1st-Realty-Sales-Management/154556820402.  Welcome Home!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The "Company" Towels

I was reorganizing my linen closet the other day, and I found myself sifting through the sets of towels that I never use because they have been officially designated as the "company" towels.  I'm not sure why these towels were ceremoniously designated as only being worthy of use when I have company over.  Quite frankly, I have company over that warrants use of the "company" towels about once a year!  As you know, family doesn't count as company and close friends do not count as company.  They get to see the faded old shreds that I use daily.  So why is it that I save these two or three special sets for a 3-4 hour debut every 12 months?  And why do I slap the hand of anybody who doesn't fall into the "company" category who tries to dig down to the bottom of the linen closet to use them?  I rush to the bathroom as soon as the special company leaves to replace them on the towel rack with the daily use towels, and I'm really not sure who/what I'm saving them for!  If I'm like my mother, I will have a set that I absolutely never used because they were just "too nice" for us kids to get our grubby paws on.  That set ended up finding it's way to my house when I moved in 5 years ago because she thought that I would get more "company" in town than they did on the farm.  Low and behold, those towels are still sitting unused at the bottom of my linen closet.  Beware people! If you are coming over soon, those towels will be on display!  But don't touch, because they are only for "company!"

My advice to anybody that is dearly hanging on to the company towels is to let the kids and your other family members use them.  These are really nice towels, and the bottom shelf of your closet should not be wrapped in the plush softness that you could be experiencing daily.  Don't save them for the people you rarely see or your real estate agent!  I'm going to start letting the people that matter most to me use the really nice towels.  Welcome Home!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SOLD! 508 West 7th Street

It has been a busy first half of the year for the new owners of 508 West 7th Street.  I first started working with Jordan and Cassandra in January.  Their first child was on the way, and I could feel their excitement for owning a large home where their family could grow.  They shared a variety of plans at each home we viewed, but they made it no secret that 508 West 7th was the place that they had been searching for the minute we walked through the door.  They talked about how the large backyard was going to make a great place for their new baby girl to play in years to come, and they made plans for each room in the house.  Every time I saw them prior to closing, Jordan jokingly threatened to put the checkbook under lock and key to prevent a spending spree on new paint, carpeting, etc.  Cassandra is excited about refurbishing the interior of the home, and Jordan can't wait to bring in the heavy equipment to give the exterior a facelift.  It has been a fun experience working with this young couple as they continue to make Wayne their permanent home.  Welcome home, Widners!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Farm Living the Life for You?

I've been away from the blog for a few days, and it would be nice to be like a farmer and blame my inability to get work done on the weather (I can stay that because I have a few farmers in my life:)).  It has been a fun week for real estate in the Wayne area!  I had an opportunity to list a great acreage containing between 9 and 10 acres northwest of Wayne (we are still waiting on the survey--the surveyors are blaming the rainy weather for not getting work done, too!)  The owners of this acreage purchased a home in Wayne last fall, and it was a great pleasure helping them find a home in which they could "officially" retire from the farm.  I have really enjoyed getting to know them, and I am honored that they have entrusted the sale of their life's work and family farm to 1st Realty.  As we were sitting at their kitchen table on Monday morning enjoying a cup of coffee and the best rhubarb coffee cake I have ever eaten, I asked them how long they have owned the acreage.  After thinking about the timeline of events in their lives and playfully disagreeing about a couple of dates, it was finally determined that this acreage has been their home for over 50 years.  These days, the thought of owning a home for 50+ years is almost unheard of!  It is fun to think of all of the things the walls of that farm house and those rustic barns have seen and heard throughout the years.  I'm sure if the trees in the grove could talk, they would tell stories of children building forts and whispering secret plans for hideouts during a game of hide and seek.  This is truly the type of place that would make a great home for somebody in the next 50 years to come!

In addition, I made a trip to Carroll this week to list another acreage on the west edge of town.  This property consists of 4+ acres and includes a nice ranch-style home as well as a horse barn that was moved to the property a couple of years ago.  The owners have taken great care of the property since they purchased it through our company over 5 years ago, and it was fun to see all of the improvements they have made such as new vinyl siding, a new roof, newer floor coverings, and a bathroom/kitchen remodel.  The entire property looks absolutely wonderful!  The pride they have taken in home ownership is truly evident in all of their hard work!

If you are thinking that farm living is the life for you, give me a call and see what the next 50 years might have in store!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spring Cleaning (sort of)

At 9 p.m. last night, the mood struck me to clean out the closet in my master bedroom.  At 10 p.m., I said to myself, "What were you thinking!"  Cleaning closets is the type of thing that I have to be inspired to do, and if I didn't do it then, it wasn't getting done at all.  The timing of these moods are few and far between so you can about imagine the task that I was in for!

It all started when I couldn't find ANYTHING to wear on Thursday morning while I was getting ready for work.  It's not that I don't have clothes, it's just that my closet is so disorganized that I literally couldn't find a coordinated outfit.  It's a funny thing because I have had two shoe organizers and a hanging organization system leaning up against my bedroom wall for going on two months now.  Sometimes the best laid plans...

My organizational piles consisted of: 1. out of style; 2. too small/too large; 3. worn to rags; 4. farm clothes; 5. "maybe" I can wear this again and 6. what was I thinking!  My brother will be getting quite a compilation of colorful grease rags during the next few days.  Anybody in need of quilt blocks better get their order in now or it's being shipped out to the shop where the fabric will be destined for greasy handprints, wiping sweaty brows, and plugging holes in engine blocks until there is time to finish the project.  The "maybe" pile (which just might be large enough to clothe a village in Africa) is being transferred into totes where it will reside in my basement until I decide in another three years that I really wasn't going to wear it again after all.  By 10:30, I finally had a sliver of my bed cleared off where I could sleep.

The reason I'm sharing this with you (especially home sellers) is because I feel your pain when it comes to getting your home ready to sell.  It is no easy task to tackle a project such as cleaning out a closet that hasn't been touched in five years.  So, this is my salute to those of you that tackle the tough closet cleaning projects!  On the bright side, you just might find 20 or so clothes hangers for which you have been desperately searching!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

SOLD! 1210 Douglas Street


I had the pleasure of welcoming Tony and Jodene Cantrell to their new home at 1210 Douglas Street yesterday morning.  Their excitement was contagious as they signed their paperwork and I handed over the keys to them after the closing.  One of the best parts of our experience was the first encounter I had with the couple.  It's actually a funny story about mistaken identity that happened prior to meeting Jodene and Tony. 

Some folks in town say that Jodene and I have similar features.  One night while the Cantrell's were grocery shopping, a lady approached Jodene and asked her how her showing went in Carroll.  Confused, Jodene told her that she must have her mistaken for someone else, but the lady persisted that Jodene had just visited with her that day about the real estate market and a listing that she had over in Carroll.  To make a long story short, this sweet lady had confused Jodene with me because of our physical similarities, and she wasn't the only one.  Fortunately, that story provided a great icebreaker for Jodene when she contacted our office to arrange a showing of the home that they now own. I remember her saying, "Well, even if we don't end up buying anything, I just have to meet this 'Trisha Hansen' who everybody is confusing me with!"  And the rest, as they say, is history!  Welcome Home, Tony & Jodene!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's a Crazy Time of Year!

Three new listings are hitting the market this week, and I can tell by the tornado of papers and files laying on my desk that there hasn't been much time for "organization" the past two or three weeks.  Thank goodness our office building has a conference room where I can meet with people!  It has been a busy spring (or did we just jump directly into summer considering the recent temps) between listings and sales as well as Wayne State graduation and student move-out last weekend and Wayne High School graduation this weekend.  There have been many new faces popping through our door which should be encouraging to those on both the buying and selling end of the spectrum.  The pace of Wayne's real estate market in recent months is definitely a sign of many good things to come this year! 

The same holds true for other communities as we have seen strong activity with our Wakefield, Laurel, and Carroll listings during the past few weeks.  On Monday, I had the pleasure of welcoming some buyers into their new home at 713 Cedar Avenue in Laurel.  This 3-bedroom, 2 bath ranch-style home will definitely make a nice landing spot for the couple that purchased it as they relocate into town from the farm.

In addition, it is great to have so many excited home buyers searching for and preparing to buy a home for the first time.  I always enjoy working with first-timers because they have so many fresh perspectives and ideas about home ownership.  I love to see the changes that they make to homes to reflect their own personal tastes.  It is rewarding to hand over those keys and be the first to tell them, "Welcome Home."

Finally, I want to wish all of the area graduates much success in their future endeavors as they prepare to graduate this weekend.  Excitement fills the air as so many plan for what lies ahead.  (Not to mention that many of you may be purchasing your first home before long as well!):)  Good luck!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Home Improvement

I spent this past weekend with my brothers and a couple of friends removing and installing siding on the west side of my home.  Thinking back to the hail storm that we had in March, it seemed like such a daunting task to find matching siding, line up the help and get the work completed.  Honestly, it only took us about five hours total from start to finish, and everybody had a lot of fun doing the work!  There were some points during the day that we had a few more bosses on the job site than construction workers, but that comes with any major project.  At the end of day, we were all able to stand back and say that we had a part in getting the job done.  One of the best things about owning a home is that you can take pride in the work that goes into the property.  Being able to come home at the end of the day and enjoy a comfortable place to hang your hat is a feeling that can only be experienced rather than expressed in words.  I am a proud homeowner and, if you don't already, I hope that you can all share in that feeling someday!

Friday, April 29, 2011

SOLD! 601 Fairacres Road!

It was a lot of fun working with both the buyer and sellers of this home located in the Westwood subdivision of Wayne.  Seeing the excitement on the buyer's face this morning when he got to hold the keys to the front door in his hand for the first time reminded me of why I enjoy my job so much.  He tells me that he is "no spring chicken" anymore, but he also serves as proof that you are NEVER too old to buy a home for the FIRST time.  Congratulations to you, Randall, on the purchase of your first home, and best wishes to the Zouchas as you move from Wayne to begin new careers!  Thank you for the trust you all put in me to help you buy and sell your first home.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

512 Nebraska Street


I had the opportunity to meet the owners of this new listing over four years ago.  At that time, they were first-time homebuyers looking for a home to purchase in Wayne to begin their life together.  In four years, they have added new flooring, installed new vinyl replacement windows, poured a concrete slab out front, added new light fixtures, and painted the home's entire interior.  This was the perfect home in which to start out their family, and they know it will make a great home for someone else just starting out!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome Home

Somebody asked me yesterday how long I had been a real estate agent which made me step back and think about how many years I have been helping people buy and sell homes in the Wayne area.  As of this September, I will have been with 1st Realty Sales & Management for a total of seven years.  It's hard to imagine that I have been a real estate agent this long because it seems like just yesterday I was closing my first home sale.  I guess the old saying is true that when you have a job that you love, it really doesn't seem like a job at all.

I have had the privilege of working with a multitude of clients and customers during the past seven years, and I look forward to the many people that I will meet in the years ahead.  Being a part of one of the most important decisions people will ever make in their lives is the best part about this job.  It is humbling to know that so many people place their confidence and trust in me to help them through the home buying and selling process.  From handing over the keys to a first-time home buyer to helping sellers finalize their paperwork, there is never a dull day in real estate.  I hope that I will someday have the opportunity to hand over a set of keys to you and say, "Welcome Home!"