Blogging - My Thoughts About Real Estate

Location, Location, Location...But Where?


My family and I went on vacation over the winter break. There were 13 of us. Meaning, we had 13 different opinions, needs, and wants.  We had 13 different schedules. We had 13 of everything.

Each morning I would go down to the pool area to carve out space for my family of 13. I would do "battle" with other vacationing families. Each of us precariously placing books, hats, and towels in just the right position to lay our claim on lounge chairs. 

The first couple of days were tough. People had their established territories. How was I going to fit 13 people into this area? How was I going to find morning sun (and shade), afternoon sun (and shade), lounge chairs for 12, upright chair for 1, near the snack bar, near the drink bar, beside the pool, and out of the way of splashing kids? Each one of us had an ideal vision of the perfect place to sit. Yet, we all wanted to be together.

The morning of the third day I found the solution. Dapple sun for some...strong rays for others. Proper chair configuration. Near the food and drinks. Ankle dipping and full swimming. And, a hammock for me to swing in while I read my book. The answer...LOCATION!

How does my family vacation apply to your home buying? I'll take the time to help you find your location. I'll help you find the perfect sun/shade needs. Find a home near the places you need and visit. (But, I can't promise you a hammock.)

Put Away, Give Away, or Throw Away


I've always been fascinated by home organizers. I've watched them all - The Amandas, Clean Sweep, Hoarders. Once I was invited to a lecture about organizing your home. Her policy was every thing falls in three categories - Put Away, Give Away, or Throw Away.

It doesnt' matter if you are buying or selling a home. You must deal with your stuff. A buyer doesn't want to see a seller's collection of toy cars. A seller shouldn't want to adverise their hobbies because it may not fit in with the style of a buyer. Both the buyer and the seller needs to move their personal belongings once the sale goes through. So now is as good a time as any to apply the three categories to your belongings.

  1. Put Away - Do the books belong on the floor? Or on the bookcase? OR in a box to be moved? Now it the time to tidy up to make a Lasting First Impression on your Buyer - OR - To make your packing an unpacking easier for you.
  2. Give Away - Do you need it anymore? Moving is the perfect time to think of charties or those in need. Is the pressure cooker from 1974 with the broken valve really functional? True story: I had to pry my Mom's out of her hands. I saw it a junk; she saw it as a soup box.  We comprimised and gave it away. Or, have a garage sale! It's kind of like giving away...but there is cash involved.
  3. Throw Away - With each of my personal moves, I was surprised as to the amount of items that just needed to be thrown away. I'm not a huge fan of putting everything in the dump. However, sometimes that is exactly where it belongs.

So, start your move to your new home by working with these three steps. You won't regret it. While you are filling up those boxes, contact me to help you find your new home.

~Mary Austin Darden, 757-477-1599



The Search for the Perfect Home


Buyers and Sellers alike ask me "How do you search for the Perfect Home?" My answer is simple - We don't look for the perfect home. We look for the perfect home for YOU. Everyone's intrepretation of a home is very different. Believe it or not, the perfect home can change while looking for homes. The key is:

1) Be pre-qualified. It's important to know what you can afford before you start looking.

2) Identify what you want in your home. Do you want a great kitchen? Can you explain what your interpretation of a great kitchen is to me - your agent?

3) Identify what you don't want in your home. Can you live with the small closets? What is a small closet?

4) Be open minded. Each house we view together has the potential to be your future HOME. 

So, take the time today and think about what YOUR PERFECT HOME looks like. Then call me so I can help you find it.


Happy Tuesday,

Mary Austin

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