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, July 27, 2012

Put a Jacket On!

Morning temperatures in the 60s??  Feels like jacket weather today!  Despite the fact that we have not received any measurable rain since before Memorial Day, the cooler days are a wonderful relief from the 100+ temps we have been experiencing.  The crops, the trees, the lawns, and the people are all just a little perkier today! 

Quite a few of you have been asking me what effect the drought conditions are having on buyer and seller confidence in our local real estate market.  In all honesty, buyer traffic has been high during the past few weeks.  We tend to see a lull in activity in mid-July due to the heat and other activities that typically take place this time of year (i.e. Chicken Days and the Wayne County Fair).  Nonetheless, showings have been consistent throughout the month of July, which is good news for sellers.  The homes pictured below have become pending sales during the past two weeks.

1021 1st Avenue

206 Wilcliff Drive

1407 Linden Street

 
408 Douglas Street




As you can see, a wide variety of homes have sparked interest in buyers from ranch-styles to multi-levels and two-stories to townhouses.  In fact, several buyers have inquired as to whether or not we anticipate new listings in the next few weeks/months.  Our home inventory is down considerably from where it was three or four years ago which is somewhat limiting the selection we have available for move-up and first-time homebuyers.  Investment properties have also been moving throughout the spring and summer.  If you are contemplating a move, it is a great time to list your home!

As for the current weather conditions, it is hard to guess what effect the drought will have on the local market at this point.  The most glaring hold up to purchasing homes during hot spells is simply the heat itself.  Let's face it, who wants to move when it's 110 degrees in the shade?  The distinctive "crunchiness" of the dried lawns around our homes this year is a little discouraging.  In any given year, heat generally prohibits both buyer traffic and seller traffic.  Psychologically speaking, the weather can significantly influence buyer confidence and the  willingness to purchase homes because of the long-term impact it might have on our local economy.  With a largely agricultural base, Wayne is positioned to be heavily affected by a prolonged drought and poor harvest.  Water and energy concerns also factor into buyer decision making and can impact their interest in acreage properties and other properties with private well systems as well as homes that are not energy efficient.  Planting shade trees and installing high efficiency air conditioners are important things to consider when trying to cut back on cooling bills.  Many buyers today are requesting energy usage figures when they purchase a home of any shape or size.

For the time being, we will continue to look to the sky for precipitation in hopes that we can measure the next rainfall in inches rather than in drops.  Whether you farm, work in construction, or have an office job, the prospect of rain can help all of our attitudes and improve our confidence in the local housing market.

As a side note, all of us at 1st Realty welcome everybody to Wayne this weekend for the Wayne County Fair, and we hope you take advantage of the cooler weather to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the fair.  Welcome Home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Grimace

The excessive heat and drought conditions are having a physical effect on the area crops and landscaping as well as a psychological effect on us human beings.  As we continue to hope and pray for rain and cooler weather to relieve our weary souls, I thought I would share a couple of photos from around my home to help take your mind off the conditions (if even for a minute).

Those of us who are children of the 1980s remember the lovable purple character known as Grimace in the McDonald's commercials.  At our house, we have a Grimace of our own.  Take a look at the photos to see if you notice a resemblance... 




Grimace the Ornamental Bush is strategically placed right in front of the outside water spigot on the front of our house, so I have to battle for turf whenever I need to fill my watering can.  You'll notice that I became frustrated with the little guy earlier this spring while trying to mow, so I took the hedge trimmer to him and knocked off a portion of the bottom branches.  I assumed they would fill in, but the bush is still sporting a large bald spot several months later.  On the other hand, the rose bush that you see on the right hand of this photo is clearly out of control again and does not hesitate to grab anybody that walks too close with its thorny branches.  It has made me bleed profusely on a few occasions despite being trimmed down to the ground this spring. As you can see, our landscaping is in need of an overhaul, so what you see now will most likely have a date with a skidloader this fall.  The weed barrier (where one was installed) is no longer working and we started out with a serious wild lettuce, Creeping Jenny, and Morning Glory problem in some areas around the foundation.  I know many people do not consider these weeds, but my background has taught me that any sort of invasive plant such as these must be destroyed for the sake of the crops.  All of these plants can be brought under control by using any product containing 2, 4-D to spray the unwanted weeds. 

For the time being, I will continue my struggle with Grimace to water my flowers.  Now that the majority of the inside work is complete, it seems that our plans have spilled over to the outside.  By this time next year, I hope to have a whole new landscape and a new look to the curb appeal of the house.  I'm pretty good with a hedge trimmer!  Welcome Home!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Free Labor

As childless newlyweds, my husband and I might be a bit naive about what it takes to raise children.  About a month and a half ago, we had the opportunity to have a sleepover with the newest addition to our family, our 9 year old step-nephew, Anthony.  We soon learned how much energy it takes to keep up with a 9 year old.  I figured since everything was so "boring" at our house, the best thing to do would be to work outside in the yard and catch up on some fertilizing and weeding.  Anthony was excited by the idea of fertilizing the lawn once he saw the fertilizer spreader.  I was excited to have some free child labor helping around the house.

We filled the hopper up with granules, placed it in the start position and showed him how to operate the trigger to release the granules.  Little did I know that he didn't let the trigger go after the lesson was over, so the rotary spreader filled with granules, which were spread in a heap at the starting point.  The damage did not show up until about 2 weeks later when I noticed the grass was burning a strange circular pattern.  I thought the aliens had landed and were producing some mysterious lawn circles.  Burned spots showed up here and there on the edges of the front lawn, but nothing appeared in the back lawn.  My husband and I had fertilized the back lawn because Anthony soon grew tired of this "hard job."  He was mad because we hadn't disclosed how "hard" it would be prior to him taking the controls of the spreader.  However, the puzzle pieces soon fell together.  The burn spots were all in a circular pattern and all in areas where Anthony had stopped to take a break from manually propelling the spreader forward.  Exhibit A represents the consequences of free child labor.  Be careful about the rate of application for nitrogen based lawn fertilizer products.  "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (English Translation-Burns, 1785).  Welcome Home.

Exhibit A: Mysterious lawn circles appeared a couple of weeks after fertilizing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Meaning of "Home"

This past weekend was a proud moment for the Hansen family.  My great uncle, Dale M. Hansen, was honored for his service during WWII at a special ceremony organized by the American Legion Riders on Sunday at the Wisner, NE cemetery.  The following is the citation he received upon being awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 1946:

Medal of Honor citation of Private Dale M. Hansen, USMC (as printed in the official publication "Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy", page 200):

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company E, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain, 7 May 1945. Cool and courageous in combat, Private Hansen unhesitatingly took the initiative during a critical stage of the action and, armed with a rocket launcher, crawled to an exposed position where he attacked and destroyed a strategically located hostile pillbox. With his weapon subsequently destroyed by enemy fire, he seized a rifle and continued his one-man assault. Reaching the crest of a ridge, he leaped across, opened fire on six Japanese and killed four before his rifle jammed. Attacked by the remaining two Japanese, he beat them off with the butt of his rifle and then climbed back to cover. Promptly returning with another weapon and supply of grenades, he fearlessly advanced, destroyed a strong mortar position and annihilated eight more of the enemy. In the forefront of battle throughout this bitterly waged engagement, Private Hansen, by his indomitable determination, bold tactics and complete disregard of all personal danger, contributed essentially to the success of his company's mission and to the ultimate capture of this fiercely defended outpost of the Japanese Empire. His great personal valor in the face of extreme peril reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service."

From the riders to the flags to the reception afterwards, it was quite a spectacular event to witness.  My husband and I had the privilege of offering our home as a gathering place for not only our family, but the riders who gave their time and talents to a soldier and a family they had never met.  The experience was humbling.  Without a doubt, it made me proud to be a part of this ceremony, and it made me proud to be able to offer our home to those who gave so much to my family.  If only for a little while, everybody was able to come together, cool down, and visit with family and friends whom they had not seen in ages.  It was a wonderful experience, and I only hope that you have such memories to share with your family in your own home.  Welcome Home.