Archive for March, 2008

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Dog Day Architecture

March 31, 2008

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You know I couldn’t resist this one….as the owner of three precious rescued dogs, I thought this was absolutely one of the cutest things I have seen on the market in a while. For the luxury or upscale homeowner, you can now have a beautiful piece of furniture that also serves as a dog crate for your luxury pooch. This is fine furniture for Fido and can be found on their website. These cute furniture finds are great end tables and accessories for your dog-friendly home. They are absolutely the most adorable furniture pieces I have seen for dogs to date. Check it out…our dogs have never had it so good!

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Front Porch Wisdom

March 29, 2008

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It’s that time of year and the weather is just stunning here in Central Florida. Orlando greets spring with wind and warmth and oak leaves falling everywhere…it’s truly a breath of fresh air. But what spring always reminds me of is front porch living. When I was growing up – our front porch was a happening place. It is where all serious family discussion went down, it is where boys and girls held hands and fell in love, and it’s where life blossomed. My grandmothers, my aunts, my own home all had front porches and they were such a source of stability and of harmony and of hope. Sitting on a front porch swing is similar to having a welcome mat to the world. It harkens back to a time when people slowed down, when families sat down for dinner and when TV was not the center of the universe. Nature and swing-time on the porch was quite simply the best time of the day.  I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter and they taught us in Lamaze to go back  in our minds to the most relaxing place in the world and all I could think of was that swing. Hours, and I mean hours of sitting with my Dad or Mom (or both) talking about everything in the world. Hours watching the leaves fall, the cars go by and the dogs sit in the yard. It was glorious indeed. I hope all of you will find time to sit on your front porch this spring and take a break. Believe me…it’s time well spent! 

PS: Front porches are STILL great selling features for any home!

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Where is Real Estate Going?

March 25, 2008

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What is going on in real estate in Orlando? I must get asked this question about a hundred times per day. I’m beginning to think I need to whip on my swami turban and cart around my “8” ball and start coming up with some snappy retorts. Where is it going? Well I think it’s going UP! Lord knows…we have been down long enough and it can’t go any lower. Good people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure, bad people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure, smart people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure…it’s an epidemic. Good news is that for most epidemics, there is a cure. It’s just sometimes the cure is as bad as the disease. Will we see many more months of price declines, will we see more foreclosures, and will we see more rentals? What will we see? I wish I knew. But this I do know…it WILL rebound. The market will turn. Real estate is a life force and you can not stop it. Everyone STILL wants to own a home. Many people are returning to the thought process that it’s actually a HOME and not JUST an investment. Everything points to the good. The paper (and this is totally shocking) actually reported some positive news about real estate and the fact that it looks like the bottom has hit. Heck, even Donald Trump is buying, buying and buying real estate. Why not? It’s a great time to buy. What is going on in real estate? It’s all a gamble but it has ALWAYS been a gamble. But one thing I know. It’s worth owning a home and it’s still the greatest job on the planet. I love real estate!

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Buyer’s Market?

March 17, 2008

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ARE THESE THE DOGS DAYS OF REAL ESTATE? On the contrary, it’s A GREAT TIME to buy a home. Why…because buyers hold a lot of power right now and if used properly today’s buyer can become very successful at buying a home at the most opportune time in over a decade. Like it or not, buyers have a big advantage in this market because sellers are now more willing to negotiate. There are also more homes for sale on the market and the lenders are begging for qualified buyers. Buyers rule the world. However, buyers need to be careful. Why? Because things are getting a little ugly in the real estate industry and EVERY BUYER seems to think that all Sellers are DESPERATE for an offer, any offer. I have lost track of how many transactions have not only come in $5,000 under listing price but sometimes almost $500,000 under list price. Buyers need to understand that not EVERY SALE IS A SHORT SALE and not every SELLER is in panic mode. But what you do have…Sellers willing to make some good “deals” out there and you are missing the action. Why are buyers hesitant? I have no idea. I do know this…if buyers wait around for the PERFECT time to buy a home they will miss their chance. He who hesitates… So think about it, go out and look. Find a good REALTOR and get an offer in on the home of your dreams. It’s still a good buy, but even better, it’s good to come home each and every night to your “OWN” place and have a little slice of heaven here on earth.

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Say What?

March 8, 2008

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THE LOST ART OF LISTENING…

One of the best pieces of advice that was given to me when I started this business can be summed up in two simple words (although not very eloquent) and they are “shut up”. When you work with clients, they need to be THE focus. It sounds simple but too often sales executives want to talk and they can simply talk too much. I practice the art of questioning and then paying attention to the answers provided. It is so important to really pay attention to the client’s responses instead of thinking about the next question you wish to ask…our client wants to know that we comprehend and are paying close attention to their verbalized needs, wants, and desires. The skill of listening is truly an art form