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Archive for July, 2016

Keep Your Kids Happy and Yourself Sane During a Remodel: 5 Tips

Posted on: July 27th, 2016 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

1-1By: Jamie Wiebe

Living through a renovation with kids at home can be done. Here’s how — from families that have survived it.

Your 3-year-old hasn’t slept through the night in two weeks. And you’ve just gotten a second note from your daughter’s first-grade teacher about disruptive behavior and missed homework.
You’re so frazzled you forgot to brush your teeth this morning. That’s when you ask yourself, “Is this remodel worth it?”

Given the alternative (waiting a decade or two when the kids are grown), parents with children at home can hardly be blamed for biting the psychological bullet and diving into a project that can take weeks — even months. The good news is that you really can have that amazing new kitchen without losing your mind (or custody of your kids). It just requires a fair amount of finesse — and these expert tips:

1.  Don’t Skip Self-Care

Keeping your kids sane through a remodel starts with keeping yourself sane. Children pick up on your emotions. If you’re stressed, exhausted, and anxious, they’ll reflect those feelings right back at you.

“When you’re in an airplane, they say put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then you can help the person next to you,” says Dr. Eugene Beresin, executive director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a father of four who survived his own renovation with newborn twins in tow.

“You can’t take care of your kids, set routines, or think about how the kids are reacting to change if you’re stressed,” Beresin says.

“Check in with yourself and make sure you, as the parent and caregiver, have a self-care plan in place for your own construction sanity,” says Lisa Bahar, a California-based marriage and family therapist. That plan could be as simple as regular date nights with your spouse or sticking to your workouts.

2.  Disrupt the House, Not Your Routines

Your home might be in shambles (literally!), but you’ll still need to maintain a sense of normalcy.

“Children rely on familiarity, routine, and structure,” says Beresin. “Knowing your children and how they react to change, you can actually prevent stress by using preventative measures as opposed to just reacting to their reaction.”

An example might include eating breakfast at the same time every day — even if it happens in the living room.

Keep in mind your children’s developmental levels, strengths, and weaknesses. For school-aged kids, knowing where they can sit down and do homework every evening goes a long way. Teenagers need a private space to relax, no adults or siblings allowed. And toddlers, who don’t understand why their home is in disarray, might need more cuddling and play.

3.  Put the Kids In Charge (of Something Small)

No, you don’t have to hand over the decorating reins to your teenager (unless you were already planning on turning your foyer into a One Direction shrine, in which case, shine on). But allowing them to pick small things, like their bedroom paint color and duvet, or their own stool for the new kitchen island, helps them feel more connected to the renovation.

“If they’re invested, they’ll feel more a part of the whole process,” Beresin says. “The last thing you want is for your kids to feel like hostages.”

4.  Model Good Behavior

“It’s inevitable arguments will occur, so you and your spouse or significant other should learn ways to take the discussion away from the children,” says Bahar.

This might mean taking a few deep breaths and escaping to the garage for a meltdown after the contractor tells you he needs two more weeks, or that there’s a structural problem that’s going to cost extra to fix.

5.  Explain the Unexpected

For young kids, explaining precisely what a renovation entails can be a struggle. After all, six months feels like an eternity to them.

“Young children work out difficulties through play,” says Beresin. He recommends using Lego sets or building blocks to walk through the renovation process with your kids. Try building a house and knock part of it down, making something new or different with the fallen pieces. “It may not seem like a direct correlation, but it is for a first-grader.”

When Beresin renovated his historic home in Acton, Mass., he was juggling a teenager, toddler, and infant twins.

“One event scared the hell out of my 3-year-old,” he said. “We were in the kitchen and a guy literally fell through the ceiling. We hear this crash and see two legs sticking out.”

That’s some scary stuff for a kid. Beresin recommends reassuring your children that “these events aren’t going to be the way the world is.” Something scary happened, but you still have some control over your home. They’re still safe inside.

After explaining exactly what had happened and that no one was seriously hurt, his 3-year-old still harbored some residual fear whenever she entered the kitchen, but it didn’t take long before the event became a running joke.

“There will always be unforeseen events, whether you have twins or a guy falls through the ceiling,” says Beresin. “It takes a fair amount of resilience to cope with the unpredictable, but your kids need preparation and discussion, and need to know it’s only temporary.”

Which Way Should Your Ceiling Fan Turn in Summer? The Cool Way!

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

Replacment-ceiling-fan-light-shades

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Make sure your ceiling fans rotate in the correct direction to cool you in summer.

We’re having a heat wave; so make sure your ceiling fans are spinning in the right direction to move air around the room.

Most fans are reversible: One direction pushes air down, creating a nice summer breeze; the other direction sucks air up, helping you distribute heat in winter. There’s normally a switch on the motor to change the fan’s direction.

Is your fan turning in the right direction for summer?

  • Stand beneath the running fan, and if you feel a cooling breeze, it’s turning correctly.
  • If not, change directions, usually by flicking a switch on the fan’s base.

Typically, it’s counterclockwise or left for summer and clockwise for winter, but the best method is to follow the steps above.

Funny note: We read on Yahoo! that one clever person used bubbles to see which direction his fan was blowing.

Is it TOO LATE in Summer to Sell My Home?

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

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By: Michele Corral

Knowing the best time to place your home on the market can be difficult to discern. For years, experts have told us that late Spring is the best time. Does that mean listing my home in mid-late Summer will condemn me to months of showings before I’ll receive an offer and get my home sold?

Let’s look at some research about the current market.

How Long are Homes Sitting on the Market?
This chart shows that over the last 5 years, the trend is that Average Days on Market (yellow) drops drastically in the summer through June-July. In 2015, the quick shift from Active to Under Contract continued from May-August. This year the Days on Market is average lower already with May and June numbers. If you’re still considering listing your home this year, the sooner the property is available, numbers show that it is less likely to sit on the market for an extended time.

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For June, the average numbers of days on the market for a home dropped to 23!

Will I Get Less Money if I List My Home Now?
Research in the chart (red) shows us that while the Median Sales Price does fluctuate, there is not a specific month that trends over time to net a Seller more. There is a slight jump occurring in most summer months, but it will not necessarily affect your home. The best ways to get the most money for your home are:

  • Curb Appeal
  • Clean Interior Appearance
  • Address Home Maintenance Issues
  • Staging and Organization

As a Realtor, I walk through homes with clients regularly and know what common areas and issues attract and deter a wide range of buyers, causing them to write a higher or lower offer. I always recommend that Sellers use a qualified real estate professional to walk through their home with honest insight to prepare you for what Buyers in your market are commonly looking for.

What’s My Competition?

In the current Oklahoma City market, we have the lowest inventory of active homes on the market that we have seen in the last 5 years. This is excellent news for Sellers. There is less competition and motivated buyers will be more likely to see your home and have the chance to fall in love with it!

 

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Less competition gives motivated buyers more chance to see your home and fall in love Now!

 

If you are ready to put your home on the market, call Crossland Real Estate today and we would be delighted to share a marketing plan for your home!

For more about real estate in Moore, OKC, Edmond, and the surrounding area,
Follow Michele on Instagram:      and Facebook:

 

 

T. Dittmar

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

LaNell was absolutely wonderful to work with. Her customer service was exceptional. She went above and beyond to get solutions worked out and she proved to be a miracle worker! She was just wonderful to work with and very knowledgeable.

Open House Timeline: Countdown to a Successful Sale

Posted on: July 6th, 2016 by Aimee Crossland No Comments

Open House sign if front of house for sale

By: Dona DeZube

An inviting open house can put your home on buyers’ short lists.

Get ready for your open house — stress-free — by starting early and breaking down your to-do list into manageable chunks. Use this timeline of 35 tips and your house will stand out from the competition on open house day.

Four weeks before the open house

  • Ask your parents to babysit the kids the weekend of the open house. Then book a reservation for your pet with the dog sitter or at the kennel. Having everyone out of the house on the day of will help you keep your home tidy and smelling fresh. Plus, no dogs and no kids equal more time for last-minute prep.
  • Line up a contractor to take care of maintenance issues your real estate agent has asked you to fix, like leaking faucets, sagging gutters, or dings in the walls.
  • De-clutter every room (even if you already de-cluttered once before). Don’t hide your stuff in the closet—buyers will open doors to size up closet space. Store your off-season clothes, sports equipment, and toys somewhere else.
  • Book carpet cleaners for a few days before the open house and a house cleaning service for the day before. Otherwise, make sure to leave time to do these things yourself a couple of days before.

Three weeks before the open house

  • Buy fluffy white towels to create a spa-like feel in the bathrooms.
  • Buy a front door mat to give a good first impression.
  • Designate a shoebox for each bathroom to stow away personal items the day of the open house.

Two weeks before the open house

  • Clean the light fixtures, ceiling fans, light switches, and around door knobs. A spic-and-span house makes buyers feel like they can move right in.
  • Power-wash the house, deck, sidewalk, and driveway.

One week before the open house

  • Make sure potential buyers can get up close and personal with your furnace, air-conditioning unit, and appliances. They’ll want to read any maintenance and manufacturer’s stickers to see how old everything is.
  • Clean the inside of appliances and de-clutter kitchen cabinets and drawers and the pantry. Buyers will open cabinet doors and drawers. If yours are stuffed to the gills, buyers will think your kitchen lacks enough storage space.
  • Put out the new door mat to break it in. It’ll look nice, but not too obviously new for the open house.

Week of the open house

  • Buy ready-made cookie dough and disposable aluminum cookie sheets so you don’t have to take time for clean up after baking (you can recycle the pans after use). Nothing says “home” like the smell of freshly baked cookies.
  • Buy a bag of apples or lemons to display in a pretty bowl.
  • Let your real estate agent know if you’re running low on sales brochures explaining the features of your house.
  • Clean the windows to let in the most light possible.
  • Mow the lawn two days before the open house. Mowing the morning of the open house can peeve house hunters with allergies.

Day before the open house

  • Make sure your real estate agent puts up plenty of open-house signs pointing in the right direction and located where drivers will see them. If she can’t get to it on the Friday before a Sunday open house, offer to do it yourself.
  • Put away yard clutter like hoses, toys, or pet water bowls.
  • Lay fresh logs in the fireplace.

Day of the open house

  • Put checkbooks, kids’ piggybanks, jewelry, prescription drugs, bank statements, and other valuables in the trunk of your car, at a neighbor’s house, or in your safe. It’s rare, but thefts do happen at open houses.
  • Set the dining room table for a special-occasion dinner. In the backyard, uncover the barbeque and set the patio table for a picnic to show buyers how elegantly and simply they can entertain once they move in.
  • Check any play equipment for spider webs or insect invasions. A kid screaming about spiders won’t endear buyers to your home.
  • Clean the fingerprints off the storm door. First impressions count.
  • Put up Post-It notes around the house to highlight great features like tilt-in windows or a recently updated appliance.
  • Remove shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, and other personal items from the bathtub, shower, and sinks in all the bathrooms. Store them in a shoebox under the sink. Removing personal items makes it easier for buyers to see themselves living in your house.
  • Stow away all kitchen countertop appliances.

One hour before the open house

  • Bake the ready-to-bake cookies you bought earlier this week. Put them on a nice platter for your open house guests to eat with a note that says: “Help yourself!”
  • Hang the new towels in the bathrooms.
  • Put your bowl of apples or lemons on the kitchen table or bar counter.
  • Pick up and put away any throw rugs, like the bath mats. They’re a trip hazard.

15 minutes before the open house

  • Open all the curtains and blinds and turn on the lights in the house. Buyers like bright homes.
  • Light fireplace logs (if it’s winter).
  • Didn’t get those cookies baked? Brew a pot of coffee to make the house smell inviting.

During the open house

Get out of the house and let the REALTOR® sell it! Potential buyers will be uncomfortable discussing your home if you’re loitering during the open house. Take advantage of your child- and pet-free hours by treating yourself to something you enjoy — a few extra hours at the gym, a trip to the bookstore, or a manicure.

Dona DeZube has been writing about real estate for over two decades. She lives a suburban Baltimore 1970s rancher on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound.

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