Well Said…

If you are shopping for a home, whichever house you end up buying, make sure it makes you feel like this…

Tolien Home Quote

Image: The Inspired Room/Pinterest



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Beyond the pale…a dog hotel in a home?

Not too long ago I wrote about a new trend I spotted where homeowners were putting doggie shower/clean-up rooms in their houses.

As I mentioned, while I love my dog Edgar, we are not renovating for him!

Also, as a Realtor, I would think dedicating precious square footage to a dog would be a bit of a re-sale “limiter”.

Well, this morning, while I was looking for something else, I happened upon a Zillow blog post that said Denise Richards (ex of Charlie Sheen) had just listed her house for sale.

That’s not the point of this post…celebrities list their homes for sale everyday. More intriguing to me was the fact that she had a dog hotel in her home that was used for rescue dogs. Take a look…

Denise-Richards-dog hotel

Wow…that room is nicer than most people’s homes.

Again, I ask, is America going to the dogs?


Image: Zillow
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Mortgage rates since the 1970s…

I have been focusing on mortgage rates lately for a variety of reason…for both my clients and myself.

Money is so cheap and has been for a while. I thought rates would have risen by now, but they really haven’t.

It can’t last…can it?

I hope it does!

Here is an infographic from the blog Keeping Current Matters that lays out mortgage rates since the 1970s.

Veddy intahresting when you look at mortgage rates over time…


Mortgage Interest-Rates

Image: Keeping Current Matters



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Weekly Home Sales Snapshot – 6/12/15

Source: Greater Fairfield County CMLS,  HOUSES Sold = Single Family, Multi-Family, Condo/Co-Op


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Don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer! One Realtor’s Opinion.

Spoiler Alert!! If you are not looking to read an angry post today, skip this one :-)


ask a question

Here’s a hypothetical situation…

Let’s just say you are looking at houses to either rent or buy on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com or any of the other syndicated listing websites…

AND then, while looking around, you use the very convenient feature “Click here for More Info or an Appointment”…

AND then, you take the time to send an email to inquire about the property to the Realtor representing that property…

AND then, that Realtor gets the message and responds back with info or times to view the property…


Why people? I ask you,why…why would you take the time to inquire about a property and then NEVER follow up.

Did you change your mind?

Did you push the inquiry button accidentally?

Is it just fun to waste a friendly, neighborhood Realtor’s time?

What is it that accounts for the lack of response?

Can you tell this frustrates me beyond belief?!?

I recently had a small rental listed on all the syndicated sites. I would say I got about dozen email contacts a day from people requesting to see the property from some of these sites. I responded to each and every contact, as well as managing the showings coming in from the MLS. In some cases, I would respond immediately because I was sitting at my computer when their request came in.

I would LITERALLY respond in minutes to their request and yet, all I received back was…crickets…yes that’s right…absolutely no response…all I would hear was crickets.

Did they change their minds in mere minutes? Where they just goofing around?

I don’t know, but I will tell you, it’s just plain rude. When you get the Realtor’s responding email, simply say you’ve changed your mind or you have something else, or you are no longer interested…whatever…just let them know. You took the time to send the email and they also took the time to respond.

OR…better yet…don’t send emails if you have no intention of following through.

And, if you are sitting there thinking that this type of thing is just part of the real estate business or an occupational hazard for Realtors, let me be clear in saying…NO, actually it is not.

Wasting people’s time, no matter what their occupation, is not okay. It’s just not okay.

I am done with my rant…

Don’t ask a question if you don’t want the answer! One Realtor’s Opinion!


Image: Realtor.com



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The power of a beautiful front door

This post is copied from my other blog, Front Door Freak because I thought it applied here.

If your house is on the market, seriously consider how your front door looks. It has great power to lure buyers in…


Just by looking at this front door, can’t you just tell what the rest of the house looks like inside?

It totally makes me want to go inside and look at the other beautiful spaces this house surely must have.

So simple, so stunning.

Oh, the power of a beautiful front door!


Nantucket Front DoorSource - Franceseattle/Cottages of the USA/Flickr



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Which countertop is best for a rental house?

counters_quartzI was recently discussing with my husband the fact that we need to zhoosh our rental houses.

This year’s “zhooshing” might be new countertops.

When we bought both houses, we rehabbed the kitchens, but we put in standard issue formica counters.

Our thought was that we were spending so much money on everything else, we needed to cut back in some places. Counters were one of our “cut back” list items.

Well, five years later, I have to say those counters still look pretty good, BUT, as I look at other rental properties on the market, those with more “deluxe” kitchen appointments such as granite or stainless steel seem to rent for a bit more money.

So, I was considering adding quartz countertops to each house. I eschewed granite because it chips. I have granite at my own house and I have a ton of chips in it and I’m careful. I can’t imagine what happens to granite in a rental house!

Anyway, I just saw an article on PureWow about selecting the proper countertop. The pro and cons of each countertop material were discussed.

Quartz is definitely a fine material, but the article says it may not stand up to heat…hmmm, may not be so great for a rental.

Oh well, perhaps I am back to the drawing board as I look for things to zhoosh in my rental houses.

You can find the PureWow article here.

Image: PureWow


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House flipping in an expensive market

I have written about my overwhelming desire to flip a home herehere, here, here, and here.

I am a huge fan of ALL the house flipping shows like Flip or Flop, Rehab Addict or Flipping Out. I don’t think there is a flipping series that has aired in the last 10 years that I have missed.

Well, my house flipping itch has flared again. Not sure why, it just has.

Finding flips in my area (Fairfield County, CT) is particularly difficult as housing here is among the most expensive in the entire country. It’s like trying to find a bargain at Tiffany’s. It’s possible, but not probable.

Every time I watch one of those shows my husband is ALWAYS ready to contribute that the shows are very unrealistic and no one makes as much profit as quickly as they portray AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, they are not trying to flip houses in the most expensive area of the country.

All good points, but I don’t care, I still want to do one.

The video below shows a much more realistic version of events.

My one new take away from the video is that this is not a part time hobby…this flipper has to constantly be sourcing hundreds of houses just to find one to flip. That’s good input.

I wonder how many homes I’d have to look at just to find one to flip in Fairfield County?

Ahhh well, hopefully I will be writing about my house flipping adventures soon!


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Weekly Home Sales Snapshot – 6/5/15


Source: Greater Fairfield County CMLS,  HOUSES Sold = Single Family, Multi-Family, Condo/Co-Op


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Decorating tricks for renters



Since I wrote about the rise in rents and the number of renters yesterday, I thought I’d continue the theme with some decorating tips specifically designed for renters.

Call it “temporary” decoration, if you will.

The other day I realized the blog, Apartment Therapy, had SEVERAL terrific articles on decorating solutions for renters. If I were a renter, I’d be looking at their website all the time!

Here are a few:

6 Rental Updates That Won’t Break Your Lease or Piss Off Your Landlord

5 Easy, High-Impact Rental Decorating Ideas (That Can Move With You)

10 Temporary Ways to Dress Up a Rental Like You Own It
10 Ways to Customize a Rental
10 Ways to Customize a Rental Bathroom
6 Rental Updates that Won’t Break Your Lease or the Bank
7 Ways to Rescue a Rental Kitchen

If you are a renter, you might pick up some good tips!

Image: Home Depot


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