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.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

3-2-1...Ka-blam!

Eleven years ago this week, I went on my first date with the man who is now my husband.  I remember walking into his house for the first time a couple of weeks after this momentous occasion to find him scrubbing his bathroom on his hands and knees to try and impress me.  Little did I know that all of those pretty little lies would go by the wayside once he had me locked down in marriage. 

Perhaps every household is like this, but a hot mess follows my husband wherever he goes within the four walls of our home.  Does anybody else's husband use the stovetop as an extension of the countertop??  Literally, within 10 minutes of cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom, my husband can make it look like a bomb has gone off in there.  I am constantly in awe of how he can possibly make such a huge mess!  Clearly, our cleaning styles are 100% opposite because this is the same guy who lovingly wipes down the tools he uses each day with a shop towel to make sure he doesn't get any grease in his toolbox.  What about the lump of stinking coal he burned onto the large front burner of the ceramic stove top?!  I mean, c'mon, dude!  You have your tools and I have mine, but the stove is like everyman's tool of the trade.  He thinks I'm crazy because I "wax" the stove top twice a week. Don't even get me started on the order in which he does dishes (by the way, pots and pans before Tupperware is not the right order, and rinsing with cold water does not "remove the soap suds more effectively").  Plus, he doesn't swirl the water when he drains the sink, so a lump of dried soap scum and tiny food particles can greet me the next morning.  Yummy.

I know, I know, many of you are thinking, "Well, at least he DOES the dishes."  And, you're right.  Everything we do at home has to be a team effort.  With both of us working full time, we don't leave much room for error when it comes to household chores.  That being said, I'm not telling you all about his flaws to belittle his efforts.  On the contrary, these are the goofy little things that really tell me he cares about doing what he can to help (as crazy as it makes me sometimes). Most days, we are dog tired by supper time. Most days, we have two hangry boys voicing their opinions over the meal. Most days, we eat in shifts while we deal with upset juice glasses or requests for seconds. Most days, we let the Hamburger Helper boil over between calls from work or family or friends who also need a little piece of us.  Most days, I'm impressed that the hubs will put up with as much guff from me as he does and still keep coming back for more.  Most days, I'm just glad to have someone who will help me with the most menial tasks in life, even if it leaves the kitchen looking like Kim Jong-un's nuclear testing grounds.  Life isn't all real estate and roses.  I love hugs, and I love kisses, but what I love most is help with the dishes!  Welcome Home!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

A Few Dry Days

I needed to take a moment this morning to thank everybody for their kind words and prayers as I underwent follow-up tests last week for my late April eye exam.  Several of you took time to check-in personally and for that, I am very grateful!  I culminated last week's events by undergoing a spinal tap to measure the pressure of my spinal fluid and take some samples for analysis.  Essentially, they attached me to a tire pressure gauge to see if my head was going to explode.  Fortunately, I won't be splattering up anybody's walls anytime soon.  The best news is that I do NOT have a brain tumor as was suspected.  I also have not been in any pain or discomfort (except the anxiety).  The bad news is that we are still in search of a cause for the pressure surrounding the nerves in my eyes (which is a significant indicator of a tumor and increased spinal fluid pressure).  I have been referred to the eye gurus at the Med Center and will be visiting them next month for further testing.  Thanks for giving me a couple of days to get through the preliminary tests and ease my worst fears.

For now, we are back to business as usual.  I am trying to get used to my glasses, which has been a struggle, especially when a certain 2-year-old always wants to smear his smudgy fingers on them!  How is it that a $6 pair of sunglasses from the local dollar store can fit perfectly, but I have to be constantly adjusting a custom pair of Kate Spades? My apologies to all of my friends who have been wearing glasses for years.  I now feel your pain and will be eternally empathetic!

If things are meant to be a certain way in life, I would have to say that all of this has played out favorably considering that the rains came last week when I needed some help from my family with driving, child care, and appointments.  The few dry days we have had this week has kept everybody on their toes planting corn and beans, fertilizing, and spraying.  I'm not much for running the heavy equipment these days, but I can provide ground support for the hoard of hungry children my family has produced in the last several years.  Each one is good for about 30-60 minutes in the tractor, but that is about all the longer we can keep them in one place unless they are asleep.  Good thing there are chores to do, baby kittens to harass, sand piles to play in, and Big Wheels to race.  A head count every ten minutes gives assurance nobody has snuck off to try to make the golf cart do a Tokyo drift. 

Rest assured, I haven't quit my day/night/weekend job.  The real estate market is still very active in and around Wayne, and it has been exciting to meet new people moving to town as well as help past clients make new transitions.  I'm so glad I'm able to have my cake and eat it too when it comes to helping out at the farm...even if it means we have supper at 9:30 p.m. followed by temper tantrum filled mornings because I didn't have time to wash the only two pairs of short pants that my 6-year-old will wear (even though he has 14 to pick from).  Two more days of school and then summer "break." (I think we have more scheduling issues and plans for June than we have had for any other month this year!  Looks like I better go buy a couple more pairs of "slick" shorts so I don't have to do laundry every other day!  You know, because the pockets on jean shorts hurt your bottom when you have to sit on them. Kindergarten logic.)

Thanks again for the many kindnesses shown to me and my family as we power through the stages of life.  Life might not be all real estate and roses, but we have much to be thankful for, little to complain about, and a whole lot to look forward to.  Welcome Home.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

M R...Eye?

For years, my dad has told us kids that you get one perfect day when you are 17 years old when everything in your body works right, looks good, and feels perfect.  It's all downhill from there.  I would have to say that my downhill slide started more around the age of 23, but who's counting? My eyesight decided to take its downhill slide this year.   I hobbled through a couple of months with some cheaters from the local dollar store, but my husband grew concerned that I was doing more damage than good after trying them on.  Two weeks ago, he finally convinced me that it was time to visit the eye doctor.  Much to the dismay of Dr. Hopkins, I had not had a routine eye exam since they were offered in grade school!  Thankfully, a divine power prodded me to get this checkup.

So, on April 25th, I was sitting in Dr. Hopkins' exam room as he reviewed by retinal scans and he started raising his eyebrows and saying things like, "Hmmmm, interesting" and "Oh, that's not good."  I laughed thinking he was pulling my leg, and it took some time to convince me that what he was seeing really wasn't good.  For crying out loud, all I wanted was a simple eye exam and a $350 pair of glasses to carry around in my purse!  Turns out things weren't so simple, and I was being sent on to my medical doctor to more tests.

Last Friday, I was scheduled to have an MRI of my head performed to pinpoint what is going on in my noggin'.  I had myself completely convinced that this machine is like a jacked up tanning bed.  Both ends are open, it makes a consistent humming noise, and the lights are on the whole time.  I was ready.  The technician inserted my IV on the first attempt (a piece of medical hardware I despise) and took me around the corner into the MRI room.  All was good.  She had me insert the ear plugs, lay down on the table, and then she showed me the halo that fits over your head.  Oh, that's cute, I thought.  Then, she packed my head in the positioning mechanism like she was shipping me to Abu Dhabi, and started screwing the halo down to the table.  You ain't moving now sweetheart. Oh boy.  Nope. No way. Get me out of here.

So, I'm psyching myself back into this thing and telling myself I can do it.  I laid back down on the table, halo-less, and ask her to simply insert my body into the MRI machine so I can see what that is like.  I'll tell you what it's like.  A coffin.  A torture chamber.  A suffocation room.  Turns out I am indeed claustrophobic and the gig was up.  Big, tough Trish was going to have to come back another day because she needed to be knocked out for this test.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I spent the whole weekend waking up in cold sweats about this MRI machine eating me alive and nobody being able to hear my screams.  I was the first patient at the outpatient clinic, and Nurse Gretchen took me back into the bowels of the hospital to prepare me for the day's events.  Considering my blood pressure was like 347/120 at this point, she did a wonderful job getting my IV started on the first try.  In walks my anesthesiologist, Todd, and he asks me why I'm having this procedure done.  Trying to make a joke, I say "the doctors are finally trying to figure out exactly why I am the way that I am." Todd, who only laughs at his own jokes, says, "No seriously, why are you here." To which I reply, "we don't know yet, but this test is hopefully going to give us some answers." Good enough. Onward we go.

It's a little after 7 a.m., we are back in the room with the beast, I've got my earplugs in and my arms/torso are strapped down to the table.  Someone asks if I'm doing OK, I give the thumbs up, and all goes black.  Sometime during the next two hours, I entered the belly of the beast and made it back out alive.  A much better experience.  Except the twelve hour hangover afterwards.  I could have done without that.  Thanks a lot, Todd.

We don't have any answers yet as to why I am the way that I am, but we will soon have some results.  I do want to take this time to thank all the doctors, nurses, and staff who work so diligently to take care of us each and every day.  We are very fortunate to have this level of care available in our community, and to have an outpatient clinic that provides the kind of services it does.  Let's take the time on this National Nurses week to honor these special caretakers who make such a huge difference on a daily basis, even with difficult patients like me.  Life isn't all real estate and roses, but they do all they can to make a bad situation just a little bit better.  Welcome Home.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Big & Little Brothers

Any successful person will tell you that a strong support team is essential to their achievements.  In my case, a strong support team is essential to my survival and my sanity.  I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by a network of very talented people.  The ones I lean on the most include my family members.  For example, I have a little brother, Dale, who can fix anything.  Car broke down on the side of the road?  He can get you towed home and then have you back up and running the same day.  Have a plumbing leak?  He'll bring some PEX tubing and fittings over and have you doing a load of laundry in minutes.  Need a light fixture installed?  He has a roll of electrical wire on hand to get you going. Need a tree trimmed for a closing?  Here he comes with his bucket truck.  Those who know him, know he's always willing to lend a hand when a project needs done.

The guy is as handy as they come.  Even though he is my little brother, he has taught me a thing or two.  I guess it's payback for all the proofreading and school work I helped him with during grade school and college.  (Not to mention, dressing him up like the little sister I so desperately wanted a time or two!)

Then, there's my big brother, Tom.  Have a tax question?  He'll have an answer for you in minutes flat.  If not, he'll be doing the research to get you the answer.  This guy has more information stored in his head that you could write into the entire tax code each year.  Want to depreciate something?  Although his answer is usually a firm "no," you can rest assured that he didn't miss the legitimate items that can indeed be depreciated.  He is coming off of a hectic tax season filled with new tax code.  In fact, even the IRS encouraged the American public to file an extension because they didn't have all of the information out to preparers in a timely fashion.  There are two things in life you don't mess with: the Federal Government and Tom Hansen, CPA. 

(Speaking of which, my mom asked me the other day if I had my book work all up to date for my accounting appointment this year.  After a brief pause and some quick calculations I determined I am about 13 months behind on bookkeeping. "Give me three solid nights of nothing else to do, and I'll have it knocked out," I told her.  She laughed and simply said, "Good luck. Don't make your brother angry."  Bookkeeping is the curse of the small business owner.  I enjoy doing it, but finding the time can be the real challenge.  Just ask Tom.)  

With National Siblings Day being last week, I thought it worthy of a post to toot my horn about my brothers.  They can walk you through a engine diagram in nothing flat or talk you into a major purchase to keep the tax man at bay.  Life isn't all real estate and roses, so we have our moments just like any family does.  As long as you don't show up unexpectedly while we are working on a major project where we all want to be the boss, you probably won't see that side of us too often.  Welcome Home.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Muddin'

Two days ago, my brother decided to work with our yearling calves now that the weather is finally cooperating a bit.  I didn't mind heading out to the farm for a little fresh air on what was a very nice day in town.  I figured it would be a pretty muddy, so I threw on my boots, loaded up the kids, and headed down the highway.  Muddy was an understatement. Thanks to the recent rains and the winter thaw, the cattle yards are giant soup holes.  The yearlings are rambunctious too, considering we haven't had much nice weather to speak of.  Couple this with the fact that Penguin the giant farm mutt decided to follow us down to the lower place and you can about imagine how our project started out.  Seeing the dog and a few extra warm bodies in places where they usually don't belong set the calves in a dead sprint around the yard.  Imagine the sound of thousands of suction cups taking hold and letting go as each pounding hoof bogged down into the the heavy Nebraska clay.  Now, imagine a human walking through that mud and muck with nothing more than a thin rubber boot between you and imminent disaster.  Within the first five minutes, everybody had expressed their feelings toward the land and the livestock as well as each other.  My sister-in-law was the unlucky winner of the mud lottery by being the first to lose her boot in the yard.  It was evident that man and beast were getting a run for our money that day. 

We were finally able to get the herd up in the processing pen after one bovine genius decided to wriggle its way behind the gate versus going through the gate hole.  That trick cost everybody a third trip through the yard to round up the stragglers who managed to escape. No level of training or athletic ability can prepare you for mud season on the farm.  Walking through a mile of mud is better than any workout you can get at the gym.  It might not show, but it takes a high level of aerobic and calisthenic mastery to dodge anxious 800 pound calves and keep a steady marching pace so you don't get stuck in place at a critical time.  My brother asked if we wanted to invest in a concrete plant when we got done so we could at least have a solid surface to do this kind of work.  I'm thinking he might be on to something.

Nevertheless, we prevailed, and all the calves got treated.  Nobody was physically injured, and, despite our pride, we are all well aware that any words shared under such circumstances are not to be taken personally.  The work that farmers do, particularly livestock producers, is not for the faint of heart.  It is stressful for both man and beast, it is dirty, it can be scary, and it is often thankless.  In that work lies an expectation that everyone knows their part, and they will pull their weight to make sure everything gets done.  The unpredictability of each and every situation involving livestock is what wears on a person.  It makes you lie awake at night, it makes you think quickly on your feet, and it instills a sense of danger that you don't really understand or appreciate until you have something to lose, be it your fencing, your equipment, or, heaven forbid, a life.  In spite of it all, you have to keep muddin' through to make sure you do the job for which you signed up.  I sure do enjoy my days at the farm, but it sure does make me appreciate the comforts of a nice clean real estate office after getting home from a project like that.  No matter what happens in the world of real estate, odds are, the decisions that have to be made are not life and death for man or beast.  No matter what happens, I know that I won't be in a position where I am going to lose my boot in a muddy yard.  And, no matter what happens, we usually have a little more time to figure out a solution than in the time it takes the whole herd to turn tail and bolt out of the yard because we got stuck in the mud and couldn't make it to the gate fast enough to shut it.  It's not all real estate and roses around here, but somedays you just have to keep muddin' through.  Welcome Home.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Great Toothpaste Confrontation of 2019 (1,000 Days of Winter)

I learned last week that my husband takes toothpaste, or the lack thereof, very seriously.  On Tuesday of last week, I witnessed the unfortunate circumstances of running out of "adult" toothpaste.  Bear in mind, we still had plenty of bubblegum Sparkle Crest on hand.  Apparently, that just doesn't do the same job as cool mint gel.  Nevertheless, this led to a 10 p.m. argument about not having any toothpaste.  Luckily, I was able to scavenge for a travelers pack of toothpaste to meet my husband's needs.  Fast forward to Friday.  Still no toothpaste in the house and the traveler's pack is empty.  At this point, the confrontation is boiling down to a battle of wits to decide once and for all who can hold out the longest and exhibit the utmost stubbornness of the two of us.  Turns out my husband won this no-contest, knock-down, drag-out fight by one fall.  I broke down and threw some Crest in the shopping cart while I was out buying groceries in the blizzard to avoid all of the other pre-blizzard shoppers.  He owes me big time, but guess what, he is too stubborn to admit it.

How has your 1,000 days of winter been going?  I would accept false spring at this point even though it will take us into third winter.  Clearly, we all need some fresh air, new perspective, and some Crest toothpaste to fill the void this gloomy, cold, artic tundra has left in our hearts.  By golly, at least the real estate market hasn't been frozen in its tracks by this weather.  I wasn't sure if I was coming or going last week, but I did tell our office manager every time I left that if I didn't see her again by 5 p.m., I would see her the next day.  This is good news for all of you who are anxiously waiting for new listings to arrive on the market.  As our 1,000 days of winter edges ever closer to an end, we will see new listings.  If you would like to be notified of what is coming available, send a text to (402) 518-0675 so I can include you in my early communications!

On the flip side, Sellers be warned!  Your sweet spot for listing properties is not actually the summer months as has long been the industry belief.  The best opportunity for you to command top dollar for your property happens when you list between February 15th and March 15th.  We are almost halfway through this short window, so contact me today if you are toying with the idea of listing.  I can provide initial consultations on preparing your house for sale (including how to use toothpaste for spackle, if needed).  And, don't forget, we have our second Lunch and Learn of the season coming up at Noon on March 13th with everything you need to know about preparing your home for sale, working with an agent for the best results, and surviving the process while trying to make a move.

If you're still not convinced that now is a good time to break up the 1,000 days of winter by listing your home, check out these pending sales that only lasted 24 hours on the market:

315 West 8th Street


1020 Poplar Street












Both of these sellers considered waiting to list their homes until warmer weather.  Nonetheless, getting their homes listed early in the year was a smart move.  Let me help cure some of that Seasonal Affective Disorder by kicking your spring cleaning into high gear and helping you market your home to an anxious pool of buyers. 

Despite recent sales, 1st Realty has a nice selection of homes still on the market!  Right now, we have something for everyone including ranch-style, 2-story, a townhouse, and investment properties to expand your portfolio.  Our team can help find a home that fits your needs!

118 S. Blaine Street

419 West 8th Street

1403 Linden Street

902 Nebraska Street

314 East 4th Street














So, don't let the winter blues get you down!  Go buy yourself a fresh new tube of toothpaste, keep the peace in your current home, and give me a call to help you with your next home sale or purchase.  After all, toothpaste is less expensive than roses, and I love to talk about real estate!  Welcome Home.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

A, B, C, D, E-I-E-I-O!

Since the first of the year, I have been spending a portion of each night trying to inspire my Kindergartener to write letters, numbers, and sight words.  He is my son who takes everything very literally.  He requires all things to have order and make sense.  He sees the world in a very black and white sort of way, which is completely mind-blowing to me most days.  Quite frankly, I can no longer look at the English language in the same way I once did just a few short months ago.  After all, 'A' sounds like 'H,' so why are they different letters?  How can 'two' sound the same as 'to' or 'too'?  The letter 'O' doesn't even make an 'oooo' sound at this stage in the game!  Rather than just learning the very basic concept, his mind wants to know all the reasons behind why we talk, count, and spell the way we do. With all of his newly obtained knowledge, he has lost confidence in his ability to learn the English language, particularly reading and writing.  He requires reinforcement at every level, which requires a lot of time on both our parts.  On the other hand, my 2-year old can sing you his ABC's with a little bridge to Old MacDonald in the middle.  He has been working hard on a quality medley of Baa Baa Black Sheep which leads into Twinkle Twinkle Little Star followed up by Jingle Bells.  He oozes confidence when he sings and dances. Chest out, shoulders back, hips swaying, loud and proud!  Makes me laugh every time!  I just want to bottle up this time with both my boys and save it forever!

These differing stages of learning are very similar to those of home buyers and sellers.  We all start out pretty green by mixing our ABCs of real estate with the E-I-E-I-Os of good credit history, financing options, and downpayment funds. Nonetheless, as first-time buyers, we are confident in our ability to make homeownership a reality, so we approach it head-on, loud and proud, telling all of our friends and family via social media that we are in the market to buy a home.  We are especially good at telling everybody when we are interested in a property on social media.  In doing so, we encourage competition from other buyers and limit our negotiating ability.  This is why you need a good teacher a/k/a real estate agent to take you through what I essentially label as real estate preschool.  I encourage you to attend the Lunch & Learn Homebuyer Workshop on February 13th from Noon to 1 p.m. on the back meeting room of 1st Realty.  F&M Bank is our lunch sponsor this month, and they will not let you go back to work hungry!

Eventually, you learn the ABCs and find it is time to sell that home you purchased.  Maybe you have outgrown the space.  Perhaps you have changed employment, or life circumstances may be taking you on a new adventure.  Whatever the reason, you are introduced to a whole new perspective of real estate.  Like learning the letters, numbers, sounds, and symbols of a whole new language, you have to figure out the why's and how's of selling a home. You have graduated to real estate Kindergarten. Again, this is where a trusted real estate professional can help you master this new language and reinforce your ability to sell the property successfully. (1st Realty's Lunch & Learn Seller Workshop would be a good opportunity for you to learn about what it takes to sell a home in today's competitive environment.  Join us on March 13th for this informative seminar). 

The point I'm driving at here is that we don't send our children out into this world to master the English language without a solid team to reinforce their abilities.  We push them through 15+ years of education and spend countless hours at home teaching them to read, write, and solve problems without even a question as to why we would do so.  By the time you have bought and sold one home, you really have only graduated from real estate Kindergarten.  There is an entirely different realm beyond just buying and selling. It takes a qualified team of professionals to close any real estate transaction.  I'm not just talking about real estate agents.  You need lending professionals, title insurance professionals, escrow professionals, inspection professionals, repair professionals, homeowners insurance professionals, income tax and accounting professionals, and staging and decorating professionals to simply process one single transaction.  Real estate has a language and problems all its own.  It is not something you can learn overnight.  It is time consuming, it is hands on, it is anxiety riddled, and it is complicated. I'm still learning new things and encountering new situations after 15 years in the business.  There should be no question about using a trusted real estate professional to handle the purchase or sale of your next home.  In a world where very few real estate transactions turn out all real estate and roses, the team at 1st Realty can help make it a whole lot easier.  Welcome Home.