Property Lines

Where are the boundaries of your property?

To accurately answer this question you should order what we call a survey. Survey’s are wonderful, detailed, professional maps that you can order and record with your deed at the time of purchase. You may also use surveys to help understand your land’s boundaries and establish the placement of fences.

Recently, I ran into an issue with an un-surveyed property where the boundaries of the land were not 100% clear and the maps available did help but could be off by up to 30 ft. Those 30 feet can indeed make a difference.

If you are obtaining title insurance on a property then you will be required to purchase and a survey. However, if you are paying in cash for a property and you have optioned not to order a survey then you should take note that in order to really be clear about the boundaries of a property that a survey is a vital tool.


Newest Trend For The New Year: What to Expect In Real Estate 2019

What to Expect In Real Estate 2019

2018 was a great year for real estate! Many property owners were able to exchange real estate that they had been holding onto for many years. Additionally, many new first time home buyers entered the market! In fact, according to recent statistics from NAR, millennial home buyers( those aged 37 and younger) made up the largest group of home purchasers.

The second largest group of home buyers was Baby Boomers ( those aged 53-71.) Inventory rose throughout the year an uptick in homes hit the market. However, the demands of the market still outpaced the amount of homes available. Thus, home values in many segments of the market increased in line with the steadily rising demand set forth by purchasers.

This year left many of us wondering, “What is in store for real estate in 2019?” I do not have a crystal ball to help you answer this question. But, I do have experience in the market, and an understanding of the current trends.

  1. Shifting Values – Market values are shifting. Many segments of the market are showing signs of slowing and yet others are still very strong. Expect to see more sifting values in 2019 as the market responds to rising interest rates and other changes in the market.
  2. Moving Onward And Outward – One trend that picked up pace in 2018 and is expected to continue in 2019 is the expansion of growth in smaller cities. In the Big Bend, this translates to growth in small towns and rural areas surrounding the capital city.
  3. Affordable New Construction – With tight inventory, new construction has become an increasingly popular option to home buyers. We fully expect this to continue in 2019. Affordable new construction options will be especially popular with home buyers in 2019.
  4. Interest Rates Rise – Market experts fully expect interest rates to rise in 2019. This will have a direct effect on buyers entering the real estate market.
  5. An Uptick In First Time Home Buyers – Buyers will likely have an easier time in most markets in 2019. In 2018, millennial home buyers dominated the market. This number is expected to rise in 2019 as new Millennials increase their incomes and grow their families. Additionally, some home buyers who were previously frustrated by low inventory in 2018 may re-enter the market as inventory rises.

TOP 3 – Best Investments To Make The First 5 Years In Your Home

apartment cabinet chairs clean

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you live in your forever home? For most homeowners these days, the answer is no. So, whether you plan to live in your house for the next 15-30 years or just plan on staying for the next 5-7 years, you benefit from updating your home in ways that will give you the greatest return.  Check out some of our favorite upgrades, remodels and renovations that pack the best bang for the buck listed below!

Kitchen Remodel

Everyone knows that the kitchen is the heart of the home! It is also one of the most important rooms for creating a liveable (for you) and sellable space (for future home buyers.) A simple kitchen update can change an entire home! Some things you may consider updating include the cabinet doors, countertops, wallpaper/paint, and appliances.

Curb Appeal

Making your home and yard look appealing is a great step to take in your first five years. Studies show that this update is the single biggest return on investment that any homeowner can make!  You’ll be happier with your house, and when you eventually sell, buyers will get a positive first impression of your property. Pressure washing, adding a fresh coat of paint, or putting up new siding can make a huge difference to the house overall. Planting some greenery on either side of a freshly painted door can also add to your curb appeal.

Go with Energy-Saving Options

Your washer, dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher, toilet, and even light bulbs can cause a higher than necessary power bill. Replacing non-energy-efficient appliances early will save you money down the road. You may also want to look into energy-efficient windows. Additonally many rebates are avilable for energy saving updates you make in your home. For more information about rebate programs contact Talquin Electric or the City of Tallahassee Utilities.

Don’t forget, before you can start investing in your new home, you have to find it. If you or someone you know is ready to find their next home, give me a call!


The DEAL – 10-26-18


The DEAL! Today in Tallahassee! We are so excited to show you some amazing new homes that just hit the real estate market. Based on our experience, these are the homes that won’t last long. If you are looking for the best deals then contact us immediately.

Looking for a home?

Check out Ann’s Short List of Homes For Sale!



2281 Tallahassee Drive – Updated home in the Ghilchrist School zone for under $200,000!

Photo of 2281 Tallahassee Drive (MLS # 299694)



The DEAL – 9/28/18

This week on THE DEAL! We have a lot going on! There are many new amazing #homes on the #TallahasseeRealEstateMarket! But are you seeing them? Don’t miss this! #TheDEAL#KELLERWILLIAMS #EHT



There are some amazing DEALS this week in Tallahassee!!! We are so excited to bring you some information about our favorite new homes to hit the Tallahassee Real Estate Market!

Please Watch the Video for more information or check out the homes on Ann’s Short List below!



1464 Ox Bottom Road – There are very few 6 bedroom homes that come up on the Tallahassee real estate market. This is one of those rare homes. With 6 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, and one/half bath this home includes 4221 square acres of sprawling indoor space with two luxurious bathrooms with their own master ensuites! Located in the Northeast part of Tallahassee, this home is zoned for Chiles, Deerlake, and Hawksrise on 4 ACRES!!! The large home is rare enough but this is all for a unbelieveable price of $475,000. Trust me, this is a rare gem!



249 Wildflower Lane – Another home on lots of acreage for a uneblieveable price! This peaceful country home, with a Southern Front Porch, has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. With 5 sprawling country acres and multiple outbuildings, this 2005 home is a stunning find for only $158,000 list price!!!



The Deal – Tallahassee Real Estate


We are back this week with The DEAL ! We bring you the best and newest deals on the Tallahassee Real Estate market. Do you feel like you are missing out? Then, this is for you! You can’t afford to miss this!

We bring you the best and newest deals on the Tallahassee Real Estate market. Do you feel like you are missing out? Then, this is for you! You can’t afford to miss this!

For a free market consultation or home buying education, please call or text 850-212-1982. We are available to answer all your real estate questions.



The DEAL – Last Week Of August 2018

The Deal is back!!! We are bringing you some very special homes today! Our top picks this week include renovated homes with great prices and newer multi-acre estates with ample privacy.

Watch OUT! We will soon be launching our podcast on ITUNES and Google Play! We will be bringing you even more real estate information and the DEALS you Love!





$50,000 Price Reduction

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Our award winning Friends at Tallahassee Homes have just issued a large price reduction on a spectacular new construction home!

4520 Cavendish Court – Located just off Velda Dairy in Northeast Tallahassee, this home is in the highly desired A+ school districts of Roberts, Montford, and Chiles. Tallahassee Homes is known for their award winning designs, green / energy efficient homes, and attention to detail.

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Longwood 2469 Model – 4 Br/3BR open floor plan. The floor plan is the 2017 Parade of Homes GOLD Medal Winning, Realtors Choice Winner and Consumers Choice OVERALL Winner. Built by Tallahassee Homes, 2018 Parade of Homes BEST IN SHOW WINNER. Great quality and price, 4 sides brick home w real wood floors, granite countertops and farm sink in kitchen, tank less water heater, stainless appliances, custom cabinets, 2 step crown moulding, picture framed windows, big fenced yard and more. In Tallahassee’s popular Cavendish Cove off Velda Dairy Rd.

For More Information Click Here: 4520 Cavendish Ct.


The DEAL – August 17, 2018

Happy Friday! We started our weekend by creating a short list of our favorite new Tallahassee real estate deals. Watch out because we may have the one for you!


Don’t forget to check out Ann’s Short List!


4775 Stoney Trace – https://bit.ly/2ONlf60 – Immaculately kept 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms craftsman style home sits on a half acre and a cul-de-sac road. Open kitchen with bar seating overlooking living room with gas fireplace and built-ins on each side. Beautiful wood floors and finishes, trim for days, and high ceilings, 2-year-old ‘Ultimate’ fence. Master bedroom features large his and hers walk-in closets and HUGE master bath with shower, tub and double vanity. 20 foot back porch plumbed with gas & ready to grill.

1504 Chocksacka Nene – https://bit.ly/2L61G6E – New England Style Saltbox on a large private lot in Indian Head Acres. Nestled in a serene natural sanctuary with a creek along the back and side AND adjacent to just one of the lovely neighborhood parks. New Roof. Original hardwood newly refinished throughout downstairs. Newer stainless steel appliances. Walk-in pantry with wall to wall shelving. Downstairs Master Bedroom and bath. Energy efficient natural gas stove, heater, and water heater! Private backyard patio for outdoor entertaining.


The DEAL – August 10, 2018

We are BACK!!! The Deal this week features several in-town/ mid-town properties, new home builds for unbelievable prices, multi-family homes, and properties with income-producing potential.

Keep Scrolling To Find Out What Made Ann’s Shortlist Of Real Estate Deals



7563 Mill Pond Loop – Listed for only $250,000, this home is located off two acres in a quiet neighborhood on Buck Lake Rd.


1338 Branch Street – Recently remodeled on the corner of 7th and Branch. This mid-town home has new HVAC, newer roof, and newer siding. Wonderful home for those who want to live in the heart of mid-town or for investors looking for a home with great short-term and long-term return.


1331 Gibbs Drive – Energy efficient, modern updates found throughout this remodeled home on the corner of 7th and Gibbs. Bamboo floors, custom cabinetry, and custom tile-work in the heart of mid-town for an unbelievable price!



Neighborhood And Community Improvement

Do you have a vision of the community that you want to live in?

Perhaps, you love your current neighborhood but know of ways that it could be better. As a REALTOR®, I am always looking for ways to improve and strengthen our community and neighborhoods. I have compiled a list of ways that you can help make your neighborhoods and our community a better place to live!

The number one way to improve a neighborhood and community is by encouraging homeownership!

There have been countless studies that show the positive effect that homeownership has on a community. These studies show that benefits such as higher educational achievement, increased civic participation, improved health, lower crime rates, and an increase in property maintenance/ improvement are all linked to increased levels of homeownership within a given area.

You may be wondering, “How can I encourage homeownership?” The easiest way to encourage homeownership within any community is by supporting the local REALTORS®. The largest and most effective proponents of homeownership in the United States is the National Association of Realtors (NAR.) From their headquarters,  located steps away from the United States Capitol in Washington, NAR advocates every day for federal policy changes and initiatives that strengthen the homeownership.

There are also several local programs in place to improve upon Tallahassee’s existing neighborhoods:

Code Enforcement Rehabilitation Program
This is a program that assists low-income homeowners in eliminating exterior code violations while improving and preserving our local neighborhoods.  

More information can be found at: https://www.energy.gov/savings/city-tallahassee-utilities-grant-programs

Storm Damage Mitigation Program
This program is designed to assist low-income homeowners in repairs and improvements that mitigate the risk of storm damage.

More information can be found at: http://talgov.com/neighborhoodservices/housing.aspx

Emergency Home Repair Program
The goal of the Emergency Home Repair Program (EHRP) is to improve the living conditions of low-income homeowners by removing health and safety hazards and/or architectural barriers from their homes.

More information can be found here: http://www.talgov.com/neighborhoodservices/housing-emergrepair.aspx

Community Gardening
The City of Tallahassee encourages citizens to work with their neighbors to build, cultivate, and maintain gardens on public lands by offering the use of city lands for public gardens. You may contact the Tallahassee Food Network with any questions at  (850) 891-8465.


Glam Up Your Home With Crown Molding

Installing crown and other types of molding is an easy upgrade that can give a classy, traditional look to your home and add to its value. A good miter saw, which can make cross-cuts at various angles, and some patience make this a feasible do-it-yourself project. Not up on your molding lingo? Let’s start with the basics: Molding is a strip or block of wood that has been machined at a mill into any of a variety of designs, dimensions, and styles. It is used as decorative trim.

Framing a doorway

Front doors are a natural place for moldings. The decorative additions allow you to create a sense of grandeur for people entering the house. You can use moldings around both the outside and inside of the door. An architrave, or header, is the horizontal molding on the top of a door. Two common styles of headers are Craftsman and fluted (grooved). A keystone, or an angled block, placed in the center of the heading would give your door an even more ornate feel. The sides of the door can also be trimmed with fluted or plain casings. Interior doors can be dressed up with moldings, too. A narrow molding placed in rectangles gives a plain door a higher-class look. Wider moldings along the door frame can add style to almost any room.

Injecting flair to upper walls or cabinets

Crown molding can add flair to kitchen cabinets. It softens the transition from vertical wall to horizontal ceiling. Two or more shapes of moldings or profiles can be combined to create an individual, distinctive look. Cornice moldings project horizontally from a wall—”cornice” comes from the Italian “cornice,” meaning “ledge.”

Adding distinction to lower walls

In the dining and living rooms, panel molding and wainscoting are common wall treatments. Panel moldings come in a variety of shapes and dimensions. Wainscoting is paneling that has evenly spaced vertical grooves. Both are applied to the lower portion of interior walls. Chair rail is molding applied along the wall at the height a chair back would reach in a formal dining room, to protect the walls from being scraped.

Moldings can be used to add detail to baseboards and around window and door casings. A plinth block is used where the baseboard meets a door casing. Moldings are also helpful in older houses to cover gaps where the floor and wall do not meet or where a window jamb and the wall are not aligned. Moldings are a wonderful way to upgrade your home. Even if you need to hire a contractor for the installation, moldings are still a relatively cost-effective way to infuse your home with style.

+ women's history

The History of Women In Real Estate

There are few industries remaining today that have not seen a drastic change in the role that women play, and real estate is certainly not immune to these changes.  Women have long been involved in the history of real estate. In fact, the involvement of women in the industry can be traced back to its inception in 1794 and  its further establishment as a legitimate business in the 1840s.

In the early days of real estate, women were commonly seen in administrative and supportive roles. However, by the 1880s there was already a noticeable shift with more women moving into the roles of agents and brokers (albeit at a rather slow rate. ) 

When the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was founded in 1908, the membership was 100% male.  In fact, the original charter stated that the purpose of the trade organization was to “unite the real estate men of America.” 

Despite this, the organization has never had restrictive gender or racial requirements for membership. Although, NAR did not restrict its membership based on gender or race, many local boards did. Just like today, one of the primary requirements for membership to NAR was acceptance as a member of a local real estate board.  At the local level  boards decided who was qualified and who was not, restricting access to many women and people of color. Many local boards, particularly older, well-established boards and those in major cities, did explicitly ban women from membership in their bylaws, which effectively prevented them from becoming members of NAR. 

As new local boards emerged, so emerged many qualified women. Newly established boards and those in suburbs and rural areas often didn’t have oppressive and outdated restrictions, as they needed all the members they could get.  Additionally, In the 1920s, a number of local real estate boards established special women’s divisions catering to female brokers . 

These early pioneering real estate women often came from one of several groups : 

  • They were daughters or widows of real estate men. 
  • They were part of a family team ( mother-son or husband-wife ) 
  • Or, they were women in supporting positions who were pressed into service during an emergency, and learned to sell.

Unfortunately, The Great Depression halted women’s progress in the industry for a decade.  There are accounts that estimate about two-thirds of female brokers left the field between 1930 and 1940.

However, in the 1940s, women  reemerged as a guiding force in the real estate industry.  Women held fast to the ideal that only women had the “established role as guardians of the virtue of the republic through protection of the homes,” thus justifying their claim as home sellers. When many women returned to domestic work after the end of WWII, women in the real estate industry held onto their professional positions post-World War II.  Additionally, during this period, women began  taking advantage of the influx of new single family homes being built in the suburbs and the corresponding increase in homeownership following the establishment of VA-loans. (Sadly, women real estate agents were also a major lobbying driving force against widespread public housing!)

Post WWII, Despite the decades of advancement in the real estate industry , women primarily were found in the ranks of sales agents, not brokers as much, and since NAR’s membership base was restricted to brokers, women remained in the minority for decades.  NAR’s first member profile survey was conducted in 1949, which found that 98% of members were men.

In the 60s, and 70s – as women in the workplace gained political clout through the women’s liberation movement, they also gained more opportunities in real estate. 

In 1973, the situation rapidly began to change when NAR opened up membership to sales agents (REALTOR-Associates), many of whom were women.  At the end of 1973, NAR  had 118,000 members, with women making up roughly 17%.  By the end of 1975, NAR had ballooned to 435,500 members, and women made up nearly a third of  its total membership.  Women surpassed men as a percentage of total membership three years later, in 1978.  

In 1996, four years after the induction of NAR’s first female president –  Dorcas Helfant, women represented the majority of broker licensees for the first time.

Sources: Progress of Women in Real Estate, 50th Anniversary, 





Chilling True Life Tallahassee Tales & Real Life Haunts

The White Witch

Tallahassee like any charming Southern City has its fair share of ghost stories, and one of the most famous is that of the “White Witch.” The large burial monument of Elizabeth “Bessie” Budd-Graham is less than conspicuous in its westerly facing position within Tallahassee’s oldest public cemetery.  The curious grave is as unique as the legend that memorializes the woman who lies there. 

The Old City Cemetery, established in 1829, represent a cross-section of Tallahassee during the 19th century. Its inhabitants include governors, merchants, war veterans, victims of yellow fever, slaves and plantation owners. In 1889, Elizabeth Budd-Graham, a beautiful 23-year-old wife and mother, was buried beneath an elaborate headstone in the public cemetery. Immediately following her death, tounges began wagging and stories sprang up around the ornate memorial.

Elizabeth was born in the dark days of the month of October where the supernatural reigns supreme. Unlike the rest of the cemetery markers, and contrary to Christian tradition, the gravestone faces West.

Most mysterious of all is Elizabeth’s epitaph, an excerpt from Lenore, Edgar Allen Poe’s ode to a dearly departed young love:  “Ah! Broken is the golden bowl. The spirit flown forever! Let the bell toll! A saintly soul Floats on the Stygian River; Come let the burial rite be read The funeral song be sung; An anthem for the queenliest dead That died so young A dirge for her the doubly dead In that she died so young.”

The Tallahassee gossip mill circulated rumors that young Elizabeth had put a spell on her wealthy husband, betwitching him into marrying her. Legend has it that the lovely young women  was a “good witch”  who only cast spells of love and protection. However, there is no documentation that Elizabeth practiced witchcraft.  

To this day, many curious visitors, psychics, and witches visit her grave. Many of those who visit leave gifts for the white witch. It is said that if you visit, she will show up in your dreams that night. 

A Protective Spirit

Few know that located in the Arbor Hills community adjacent to Killearn Estates are the remains of a once massive Prehistoric Native American Village. Known today as the Velda Mound, A chain length fence, a smattering of benches, and a thick covering of trees cloak the ancient mound. 

Originally the site was home to the prehistoric peoples of the Fort Walton Culture. Later, the site became the location of a large Apalachee Village. Abandoned in approximately 1625, many say that the mound has a strong supernatural force that protects the mound. Once the site of the most important spiritual and political activities for the village, the mound would have been a sacred space.

The mound takes its name from the Velda Dairy. A once working Dairy Farm, the Velda Dairy was an expansive farm in the early to mid 1900s that overtook much of the area that is today known as Killearn. At one point, the Dairy farmer drove a bulldozer into the large mound (not knowning what it was.) They stopped almost immediately as they uncovered what looked to be important artifacts and remains. 

After the dairy farmers uncovered the important historic site, Archelogists were called in to survey the area. While the project was underway, fortune seekers/ looters wandered onto the site hoping to steal some of the artifacts. Unfortunatly, one of the looters sunk into the earth as a chasm opened beneath her. Her companions attempted to save her, but were unable to. 

There have been sightings of ghostly figures sitting by a fire at night, and a white, glowing wolf that prowls the premises (perhaps a spirit gaurding the mound?) Locals swear they hear it howling, night after night.



Tallahassee Parade Of Homes

– Make The First Impression Count – Online, It’s where buyers start.

The majority of homebuyers start their search online, so it is important to make the first impression count! Follow these tips to prepare your home for the best real estate photos possible.

GENERAL: Tips for all areas in the home –

  • Thoroughly clean whole house (vacuum carpet, mop hard floors, clean countertops, clean windows)
  • Turn all overhead lights and lamps ON
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs
  • Use bulbs of the same temperature (ALL incandescent or ALL compact fluorescent)
  • Turn all ceiling fans OFF
  • Turn all TVs OFF
  • Turn all computer screens OFF
  • Open blinds/window treatments to let in outside light
  • Remove personal photographs (or replace with general landscape/object photographs)
  • Make all beds
  • Remove small floor rugs to reveal actual flooring
  • Place all shoes/jackets in closets.


FRONT EXTERIOR: Online “curb appeal” – the front exterior is usually the first photo buyers see.

  • Close garage doors
  • Remove cars from driveway and front of home
  • Clean up landscaping (mow, trim shrubs, clear leaves)
  • Remove empty planters
  • Use broom to remove cobwebs from eaves and door frames
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove toys, sports balls, basketball goals, soccer goals, etc.

BACK YARD: The back yard should be an oasis to relax –

  • Clean porch, tidy up outdoor tables/chairs/cushions
  • Pillows/cushions should be fresh, not faded
  • Clear out kid’s toys, balls, frisbees, etc.
  • Clean pool
  • Remove pool vacuum/cleaner hose
  • Hide pool cleaning supplies
  • Turn on pool fountains/water features
  • Remove visible water hoses
  • Remove trash cans
  • Clear outside of refrigerator of magnets, papers, photos, etc.

KITCHEN: Sometimes the focal point, the kitchen deserves attention to detail –

  • Clear countertops completely. No knife blocks, baking supplies, mail, etc.
  • Leave out max of one small appliance (ex. coffee maker)
  • Hide garbage cans in pantry or closet
  • Remove dishes from sink, place in dishwasher

DINING ROOM / TABLE: Allow buyers to imagine a nice family meal –

  • Clear table, dust and polish the table top
  • Use decorative place setting if available
  • Feature one center piece such as a bouquet of flowers
  • Straighten all chairs and space them evenly
  • Remove child seats/booster chairs

LIVING / FAMILY ROOM: The space to enjoy conversation and spend quality time with family

  • Remove stacks of magazines, papers, mail, etc.
  • De-clutter fireplace mantel/hearth (no more than 5 items, including art)
  • Clean interior of fireplace and re-paint if needed
  • Fluff and arrange furniture pillows
  • Remove kid’s toys


MASTER BEDROOM: A good nights rest recharges the body and mind –

  • Make bed, including decorative pillows/shams if available
  • Press bed linens and bed skirts
  • Clear nightstands of all personal items
  • Store away phone/tablet charging cables
  • Remove all clutter from top of dressers
  • Remove family photos from walls
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

KID/GUEST BEDROOM: Don’t forget about guest bedrooms –

  • Remove personalized names from walls
  • Remove wall stickers/posters
  • Remove diaper genies
  • Clean under bed, removing items that may show in the photos

BATHROOMS: To be spa-like, the bathroom must be clear of all personal items –

Start Room 1:

  • Clear countertops completely. No soap, toothbrushes, medications, deodorant, etc.
  • Put toilet seats down
  • Close closet doors
  • Remove shampoo, soap, loofahs, etc. from showers and tubs
  • Remove dirty towels – leave out only new, unused towels
  • Remove floor mats 

PETS: Pets are loving, but their presence should be minimized –

  • Place food and water bowls in pantry or closet
  • Place pet beds/toys in pantry or closet
  • Use lint roller on furniture to remove pet hair
  • Contain pets in hidden crate or outside
  • Clear back yard of pet waste/toys

NEED HELP? Staging helps provide top dollar and a quick sale –

  • Selling your home is like selling a product – it must be marketed correctly to reach a specific buyer. Although your furnishings and decor are great for your lifestyle, it’s important to optimize your home for the future buyer.
  • All of the tips suggested in the previous sections were approved by professional home stagers from the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA).
  • As a professional home stager, I can provide you with a consultation to help you prepare your home for sale and make sure your home shows at its best online through the photographs.

Learn How to Sell Your Home For More Money: No risk, no obligation


RESA Home Stager

I am a true-blue believer in home staging! It can help your house sell faster and for more money. I have seen the results of this first hand in my own business.

Recently, I have also had the privilege of helping my fellow real estate professionals offer home staging services to their customers. For instance, one of my fellow Realtors had a listing that was on the market for nearly a year. I virtually staged the property and added some soft staging touches to the home in real life. Within weeks, the home was under contract!

I have taken some big steps recently in my own life and business. I am now offering professional staging service to my home seller clients as well as my colleagues! I also am a member of The Real Estate Stager’s Association (RESA.)

Follow my journey as a real estate consultant, renovation consultant, flipping consultant, design consultant, and real estate stager on HOUZZ


Things you wish you knew before buying a home

There are always things that you wish you had done differently. As they say, ” hindsight is 20/20/ But, when it comes to making one of the biggest purchases in your life, as a home buyer, you are better off learning as much as you can from the experiences of others. Read on to see things other home owners wish they knew before purchasing their homes.

  • Shop for a mortgage – Not all loans or lenders are equal. – When you apply for a loan you will be given a loan estimate. It is always a good idea to find a lender that you can trust. Shop around, ask others, and look at the reviews. If you apply to more than one lender, I suggest taking a look at the loan estimates side by side and comparing costs. Every lender will have slightly different estimates based on a variety of factors, including the loan origination fees and other lender charges.
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com
  • Inspections are worth it – Better to find out now rather than later: it’s no fun to move into a home only to discover that you have new and unexpected cost. Sure, inspections can range anywhere from $500-$1,000 in up front costs. However, buying a home with costly issues in some of the major systems can potentially cost you even more. Even if you find that your home inspection only reveals relatively small issues, it is always a better idea to know exactly what you are buying.
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  • Your loan may be sold – Loans are often sold after closing – If your loan is sold to another company to service after you purchase the home then you will be sending payments to a new company. Pay attention to your payments if this happens and make sure that they remain the same. You will be looking to make sure that they do not add additional insurance onto your escrow at this point.
  • You may be eligible for reductions in property tax – Check with the county: The property apprasisers’ website will have information on the tax exemptions you may be eligible for. Huge savings can be found by just applying online. Just make sure that you apply before March 1st for tax exemptions to take effect for the following year.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • RENO Loans: not as hard as you think and a great way to build up equity. There are renovation loan options available for Conventional, VA, and FHA loans. This can also be a great option for a home buyer with a tight budget and little to choose from.
  • Zillow and Realtor.com, get nearly all their information from realtors who enter it into a database. – This means Realtors can often send you the same information before it hits the public sites. It is one of the countless benefits to using a Realtor wen buying a home!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
  • Budget for Inspections and closing costs beforehand – Inspections can range from $500 – $1000 depending upon the property. The closing costs can range from 3-5% of the purchase price. Speak to your Realtor and your lender to calculate the total out of pocket expense for you to purchase a home.
  • You probably won’t have a mortgage payment for the first month. – This can make for an easier transition from renting. This also means that you can have a breather after signing your bug check at closing!


Loan Limits Removed From VA Loans


July 2019 is a month for the history books. Today Realtors and veterans everywhere are celebrating as the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act has just been signed into law. H.R. 299, which eliminates the cap on home loans issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs, is a bill benefiting veterans seeking to make home purchases. Before being signed, it was first unanimously passed by the Senate (earlier this month) after a federal court ruled the VA is required to provide health coverage to veterans exposed to the chemical known as “agent orange” during the Vietnam War. Thanks to the successful lobbying efforts by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Realtors® were able to secure a victory in the bill by limiting proposed VA home loan fee increases.


The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program was established in 1944. Since then, millions of American veterans have been able to receive affordable mortgages and other home buying assistance. An amazing resource for veterans, the VA Home Loan was able to help many Vets and service members obtain homes, but it did have its limits. Like other government backed loans, VA loans had a limit on how much a borrower could spend with the loan.

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The bill, H.R. 299, enables homebuyers using a VA loan to borrow above the current 2019 conforming loan limits of set with each county without a down payment.

Changes brought on by the bill are set to take effect on or after January 1, 2020. However, guidance for lenders will be available earlier on the VA home loan circular page of its website.



Open House in Midtown!

Open House – Sunday, July, 14th from 1-3pm.

Renovated/ remodeled from top to bottom! Enjoy a glass lemonade and walk through an immaculate ranch-style home in midtown with an open floor plan living space and well-preserved classic charm.


Attention is paid to every detail in this 3-bedroom 2-bath home. From the refinished original hardwood floors and moldings to the brand new granite countertops and gourmet kitchen. Just image the entertaining as you peer out over your large granite island towards an airy and spacious living area with a wood burning fireplace and French door walkout. From the living area, you will step out to breathtaking views of a park-like backyard with mature landscaping, and a tasteful covered patio (perfect for that outdoor kitchen.) This house truly showcases the possibilities of indoor AND outdoor living.


How To De-Clutter Your Life Marie Kondo Style!

It is that time of the year, no matter whether you are buying a home, selling a home, or just staying put, de-cluttering/ cleaning  your home is likely to be on your to-do list.

We made our New Year’s resolutions. And, for many of us, that means that we want to improve our living space. For some this means selling your home and moving. For others this means ditching your rental and buying a home. Still for others, this is merely the daunting task of simplifying one’s home and worldly goods.

MARIE KONDO is Amazing!

This is where Marie Kondo comes in! The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up is a number one best seller world-wide. The wisdom from Kondo’s book inspired millions to de-clutter their closets and their lifestyle, and is now the basis of a viral Netflix hit called, “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo.


Illustration by: Amanda Albert  find her @supinternets on instagram – More work and prints available at her shop HERE

Her process is simple, systematic, and life changing. Here I will discuss all that I have learned from Marie Kondo. And, you will soon see just how amazing she is. For all those who are looking to buy or sell homes this spring these tips can be especially useful. Just picture how much easier it would be living in a home that looks like it is staged by this organizational guru! Well, that is how buyers will feel when they see your home staged Kondo style; a definite selling point!

Marie’s system can, at its core, be divided into two steps.

  1. De-clutter – Go through and touch everything that you own.  Ask yourself if your belongings sparks joy within you. If no joy is found then you thank it for its service and let it go.
  2. Organize – Once  your home is filled with only your most joy-giving belongings, you then put every item where it is accessible and easy to find/ grab.

Lesson ONE: Tackle Categories, Not Rooms
It may be tempting to organize your home one room at a time. But, Marie Kondo insists that you tidy by category.  With the Kondo Method, you pile like items until you are looking at all the items in that category at once. This accomplishes several things. First: it allows you to really grasp the amount of  “stuff” that you have in any given category. Second: It forces you to deal with that stuff. Third: it prevents those things from drifting from room to room as they might if you tidied by room rather than category.

Lesson TWO: Respect Your Belongings
An important thing to remember is that you are not deciding what to get rid of. NO, instead, you are deciding what to keep. Marie reminds us that the things that we are letting go of did serve a purpose and should be respected and thanked for their service. The things that we keep should likewise be respected and honored as they bring value and joy into our lives.

Lesson THREE: Fold, Don’t Hang
Clothing is the first thing to be sorted according to Kondo. She believes that it is the thing that most people have the least emotional attachment to. Once sorted and de-cluttered, then one takes on the task organizing the remaining garments. Marie believes that most clothing is happier folded neatly in a dresser. Her methods of folding are amazing and really save space/ help you organize your clothing.


Mortgage Rates Down!

If you’re considering a mortgage rate lock

– Reposted from the Florida Board of Realtors-

Mortgage rates already had been falling when the shutdown began Dec. 22, and they fell more than an eighth of a percentage point in the two weeks that followed. That’s why the shutdown could give you a chance to grab a good mortgage rate.

“Our expectation is that this will be a short-term blip and you’ll be glad if you were able to take advantage of the drop in mortgage rates,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. Her forecast assumes that the shutdown won’t last for months and that mortgage rates will rise this year.