Tuesday, December 15, 2009

50 million blinds recalled due to child deaths and close calls

We've always heard that the cords of blinds can be a danger to small children. Due to a recent string of deaths and close calls, a 50 million unit recall has just been issued.
Check out the full story http://bit.ly/6OiypF

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

But that doesn't seem to be stopping the house buying here!
When listing a home, the question I get asked most often is "How long do you think it will take to sell our home?" My response is usually that my crystal ball is in the shop. Timing is everything and although I wish I could give an exact answer, all I can give is what the comps show me.
Two things to keep in mind when listing your home. First, there is always someone looking for a house just like yours. It just depends on if you are selling when they want to buy! Second, if your house is well-maintained and well-priced, the chances of you selling are far greater than if you had one but not the other. If you have a cute house but you are trying to recoup 100% of the money you put into your upgrades, prepare to sit. If you are well-priced but you are priced that way for a reason like you need new carpet or your house is a clutter haven, buyers will pick up on that.
I had two listings recently that could have sat for months but they were both priced competitively and very nicely done.
Keep that in mind and then give me a call. I'll even sell your house for free!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Are YOU eligible for the tax credit?

It's nice to know that current homeowners are now being looked at as valuable! Did you know that you can qualify for up to a $6500 tax credit until April 30, 2010? Have you owned a home for five of the last eight years? That's one of the stipulations. Find out more here and let me know how I can help!
Oh, and don't forget that I will also sell your house for FREE!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Funny Website

I was watching Nightline on ABC News last night and thoroughly enjoyed the program spotlight. If you don't think that first impressions are important, take a look at the website called Lovely Listing. It shows photos of homes in less-than-desireable light.
That's why we hire a professional photographer to take all of the photos of our listings! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lots of Activity

Who knew that all of this nice weather would make people think it was spring and time to leap into the housing game?! I have several new listings coming on board in the Flower Mound, Highland Village and Lewisville areas if you or someone you know is interested. All four are priced between $170-350,000 and are great homes. Two of them have pools!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Meeting tomorrow!

Any business professionals or self-employed folk who want the chance to network over lunch are welcome to come! Premier Network Group meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month at Salerno's in Flower Mound from 11:30-1. You have the opportunity to meet other like-minded members of the community who have a true interest in getting to know you and supporting your business.
Lunch is $10 and includes tip and a drink. Can't beat that for Salerno's fine cooking! See you there!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is It Any Wonder People Don't Vote?

I am proud to say that I have voted since I was 18 years old. I would get my absentee ballot while in college in Iowa and have voted in every presidential election.
I haven't, however, voted in all my city and local elections mainly because of ignorance. I don't want to vote on something I don't feel educated about and to be honest, I didn't really take the time to learn what the issues were and what the consequences would be.
But, I did vote in this past city election in Highland Village. The current city council makes me wish I had voted in previous years. With what has been going on the past few years, mainly speaking of the dismantle of our quiet community to make way for a 4-6 lane highway right through our neighborhood, it's a wonder people even vote at all. For a city of 15,000 people to only have just over 1100 voters turn out is pretty sad. No, not pretty sad...SAD. We have early voting for over a week and the regular voting is from 7am-7pm on a Saturday! Can't stop by at some point?
The major issue in our city for the past 7+ years now is the extension of 2499. There was overwhelming displeasure for this to go through. The Marcus HS gym was stuffed to the gills and people waiting outside to let their displeasure be heard. Even though there was so much support to block this, the Council went forward with it. Vested interest in the project completion? What else could it be? No right-minded person wants to see hundreds of mature oak trees replaced with concrete walls and Hummers!
So with an over 80% of approval of the communities to do something to keep traffic to a minimum on this 2499 expansion, what does the Council do? Sends an attorney out with the results that sorry folks, we don't care what you think. We are going to do what we want. Thus, my argument. Even at the lowest level of civic government, there is more than meets the eye. Do council members truly care about what their citizens want? I am not on a witch hunt nor do I think that EVERY city is like this, but with two glaring examples of flat out not listening to concerns for safety, security and continued low crime, what else can you say? Maybe low voter turn out isn't just apathy...it's disgust!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Weather is always a talking point

Whether it's the once a year snow storm we get in North Texas, the blazing hot weekend coming up, or the spur-of-the-moment storms that plague us, weather is always a topic of conversation.
I was watching an old episode of Family Feud (I know, GSN is a guilty pleasure of mine) and the question was "What is a topic of conversation that you think is boring?" Surprisingly enough, the number one answer was weather. I admit, weather isn't that exciting to really talk about. Doesn't everyone mostly agree? "It's hot". Yep. "It's cold today." Uh huh. "Boy, that wind sure is rough today." Sure is. It's pretty much a topic that isn't off limits at parties like religion or politics.
I remember the looks of amazement and confusion when I was in college in Iowa that I was from California. "Why the heck did you come to Iowa?" Believe it or not, I was sick of the sunshine and 70 degree Christmas mornings.
I found it funny that on Wednesday night when we had some killer storms roll through the Dallas area, that any of my North Texas friends that updated their Facebook status mentioned something about the weather. Maybe it isn't so boring after all!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What is Value?

It's not surprising that much like good help, good comps are very hard to find! I don't envy appraisers right now.
With our market on the rebound from a small downturn, comps from the past 3-6 months stink. Well, at least for sellers it does. Trying to establish value is difficult because what exactly does a person value? Someone may see improvements as a waste of money because they don't like specific paint colors, granite selection, or magenta carpet. Some people like to be able to make the changes they want and not have the price of the house increased.
One of the interesting things I see being considered is the replacement cost of the dwelling as well as the land. One of the "problems" I have with that is a true value of the replacement cost of land. If your house burns to the ground, you lose the house, not necessarily the land, right? So in the absense of good quality comps, is the value of the land being increased to overcompensate the lower house price?
Over the past year or so, I have seen more and more appraisals coming in right at contract price. How convenient! I even had one deal done that was a desktop appraisal with an older home renovated that wasn't even close to the comps as far as upgrades and it came in right at contract price. So, in essence, the appraisers are allowing homeowners to set the value of their homes by using what they believe is "fair and just" and they are appraising it for that set value. I find that quite interesting! What do you think?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Best Deal in Town

As I sit here anxiously awaiting a buyer for my listing in Little Elm at an open house, I decided to go ahead and take this opportunity to update my blog.
I have sat over 100 open houses in my four years as a real estate agent. I actually have procured a sale twice because of my efforts and picked up one or two clients along the way. They aren't very productive but when a seller wants one, why not do one!? All in the name of customer service!
Now getting to the best deal in town. I don't usually get balloons for my signs for many reasons. Cost, pain in the neck to transport and putting out the sign in the wind with traffic all around is bad enough. Add in some unruly balloons on a windy day and there's a task that has embarrasment written all over it!
A few months ago, I came across a service at Wal-Mart that is an absolute steal! Instead of going to Party City or Tom Thumb for my latex balloon needs at 89 cents or more a pop (no pun intended!), I buy a package of 12 or 15 balloons for $1.35 and they blow them up for me. What a bargain! So before you spend more than you have to, take advantage of Wal-Mart for their hot air and save yours!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

So hard to do!

I am trying to figure out why it's so hard to update my blog. I look around my house and see clothes, shoes, dishes, toys, you know, the normal clutter that accumulates! Work is really busy. Trinity is now out of school. I guess it's not surprising that my blogging life would head down the toilet. Oh, and being pregnant trying to get two baby rooms updated is another project.
I really want to be more consistant with my blogging so if you are reading this and haven't completely given up on me, please feel free to drop me a word of advice or encouragement!

Monday, April 6, 2009

When a House Becomes a Home

Some of you may know that my husband is a soccer coach. This week is a very busy week in the soccer world with the return of the yearly international tournament, Dallas Cup. It doesn't matter what industry you are in, this world is very small. Through an odd turn of events, we had the opportunity to open our home to an Olympic Development Program team of young men who reside on a military base in Germany. It was a lot of fun to meet so many different young men from all over the world. My husband's club soccer team brought the food, the team manager grilled burgers, dogs and chicken and a good time was had by all.
One of the things we have always believed is that our house is a blessing. We wouldn't be glorifying God by keeping people away. We do our best to open our home up as often as possible to not only give our blessings but to be blessed in return. How do you feel about your home?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Exploring New Opportunities

I have branched out. After joining the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce in January, I was invited by a member of that group to try a networking group. Robbie Cox with Nationwide/Dagley Insurance suggested I give the Premier Networking Group a go. We meet every other week at Salerno's in Flower Mound. Do I hear a yum?
One of the greatest things about these two organizations I have joined is meeting people in different industries. So, if you need any recommendations for lawyers, lenders, handymen, painters, car dealers, banks and so on, please let me know. I can put you in touch with highly qualified professionals that can provide you excellent service and save you money at the same time!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

EPA ranks Dallas as "Green City"

In a recent report released by the EPA, Dallas is the 5th best city in nation for the most "green" and Energy Star rated buildings in 2008. What does this mean? Well, Texas businesses have saved $31.7 million in energy dollars. We still have a long way to go to be #1. Los Angeles, CA is more than double that amount at $87.2 million. I think fifth place is OK by me in this situation!
For the full report, visit www.EPA.gov

Monday, March 2, 2009

Are You Self-Employed?

My mom brought something to my attention yesterday. She asked, "Since you are self-employed, are you taking money out of your check and putting it into Social Security?" My response was, "There's not going to be any money in there anyway so what's the point!?" Point taken. But, she did have a point.
I looked back at my 1099 and there is not anything being taken out. I am required to submit quarterly taxes and I assume the IRS doesn't submit some money to my Social Security account. That would be nice, wouldn't it!?
So, just something to talk to your qualified CPA or accountant about. Maybe I would be better off taking that money and putting it into my own account somewhere...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Another way to go Green

If you're like me, you wonder why our household gets five new phone books every year. Hello? Who uses phone books anymore? I will admit that I have used one in the past two years but not enough to warrant five new books each year.
I stumbled across a new service that YellowPages is offering. If you are sick of getting too many phone books on your doorstep or driveway each year, you can opt out of receiving them! Help the environment and your own sanity by opting out at
Share the information with someone you think would be interested!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Go Stimulus Bill!

I wonder if I'm like most Americans. I want the country to be back on track towards prosperity and a world power. I don't exactly know what to say about all the spending for government agencies that doesn't seem to really stimulate much of anything.
But one thing that is exciting is the potential tax credit that is available for people who buy homes in 2009. This is unlike the 2008 first-time homebuyer credit that was $7500. This was something you had to pay back. Not the stimulus bill of 2009! This is a tax credit that will apply up to 10% of the value of the house or up to $15,000 ($150,000 home). The other great part of this is that it may extend for homebuyers who bought the previous year from the passing of the stimulus bill. So, if the bill passes March 1, 2009, you would qualify for the tax credit if you purchased a home from March 1, 2008-March 1, 2009.
With interest rates being at historic lows, sellers pricing their homes more competitively and Team Nelson selling your house for free, what better time than now to consider buying and selling your home? I'm never too busy for you or your referrals. Contact me today!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I joined an organization!

I am not the kind of girl that joins community organizations, or really enjoys them all that much. It's not that I don't enjoy being social but a lot of these groups aren't really well organized and are frankly, just a waste of time.
The exception to that rule is the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce that I recently joined. My dear friend, Gary Charlton, encouraged me to check out the weekly meeting at 7:45. Now, that's a bit early for me to not only be out of bed, but dressed, with my face on, and on the road. But, it was definitely worth my time! I joined the Chamber last week and have attended two meetings this week. The networking that takes place is great and the people are absolutely genuine. I am excited to see where this relationship goes!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fighting The Man

I don't consider myself to be very political or an involved member of my community. Maybe because I am ignorant at 32 years of age of exactly how involved and emotionally taxing it is to "fight The Man".
I am the point person for gathering petition signatures for 384 households in my neighborhood, Castlewood. Quite the daunting task, but with the help of some brave souls in my 'hood, we are slowly getting this done.
The petition is to close off the side-street exits off FM 2499 that would allow traffic to flow through our subdivision if left open. The road is slated to be completed in two years. A few years later, TXDot is estimating that the traffic will be 35,000+ vehicles per day. The intersection of 2499 and 407 sees over 40,000 vpd. That's a lot of cars! And you want to drive through my streets? I don't think so.
Last night, myself and another resident held an information town hall meeting to disseminate facts, not fiction about the road and gate closure. This was strictly informational and not to decide if this would be closed off since that really isn't our decision. It was pretty well attended, despite the BCS game was on. There were definitely a handful of people opposed, a few who wanted more information and the rest in support.
One thing really chapped my chops. One resident, who is also a board member, was in attendance. He is opposed to the closure and the way he "voiced" his opinion was by bringing in his own petition to have folks sign who were against it. So, thanks for using our informational forum to pimp your own cause. If you want to set up your own "We don't care if 35,000 cars come through our neighborhood and mow down our kids, pets and spouses" meeting, feel free to do so. It's like bringing samples and order forms of Girl Scout cookies to a Weight Watchers meeting. You are sabotaging the efforts of several people who have worked very hard for the past two months at this. It's time to put on my big girl panties and get to work. I have a bunch of houses to visit tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good Deed of the Day

I wish I could say that it was my good deed being reported, but I am happy to say that a complete stranger helped me today!
This weekend, my husband handwashed our cars. There aren't too many things better than your husband selflessly serving you! He even aired my back right tire because it was low. Weird, because I just filled them up last month. We concluded there must be a slow leak.
Today, I had a lunch meeting at Patrizio's at The Shops. When I came out, there was a white piece of paper on my windshield. Great...what did I do?! The above note is what I found. How wonderful! And, yes, it was a slow leak caused by a nail. So, thank you, oh Note Leaver of the Slow Leak. I will do an extra random act of kindness in your honor.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Change For The Better

For the past two months, our living room ceiling fan has had three light bulbs working. That, for those of you who don't know, means that one of our bulbs has been burnt out for the past two months. My husband, David, has put off putting in a new one because of a few reasons. The ceiling in our living room is a two-story height so it's not something you just bring a step ladder for. We are very impressed that these regular old bulbs have never been changed out in over four years. We were certain that it was time for these to burn out. David got out our enormous ladder and started to change the bulbs out to the compact fluorescent bulbs. When he turned the switch off and changed the burnt out bulb, wouldn't you know that another bulb went out? What great timing! So, we now have four new bulbs in our living room. The walls look a bit orange and the light looks a bit blueish but at least they all match and we are saving a bit of money at the same time!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe I have to start writing 2009! Where has the year gone?! I hope this year finds you happy, healthy and blessed. Should you or anyone you know need fantastic real estate service, I look forward to the opportunity to provide outstanding service this year and beyond!