Posted On: October 5th, 2016 11:24PM
I had lunch with a very good friend of mine today. She and I get together every few months just to keep up with what is happening in our lives. This seems to be harder and harder to do today because everyone is soo busy!
I was telling her about jumping back into real estate with both feet and how much fun I am having already- then she sprung her dilemma on me- she would love to move and downsize - but her house needs a lot of work - if she picks materials and finishes that she likes, and spends good $ making the changes, will it benefit her in a sale or not! That's really a valid point because she needs to spend some significant money to update the home, but if she goes to sell in a year or two, will someone look at it and just want to rip it all out- money down the proverbial drain!
I'm going through the same dilemma at my own house- but the reality for me is that I don't want to move all this stuff we have, so we are going to stay put and let our kids someday deal with our "stuff" that we haven't sold by then. At the same time, remodel costs are extremely high so it's important to think and research carefully to get the best value for your money. If you are going to live in the house for awhile- pick what you like and enjoy it as long as you are there. Don't always look for the best deal at big box stores- I have found small flooring companies that have given me great deals and excellent service. Bigger does not always mean better when it comes to value and service.
I have spent hours searching Zillow, Houzz and Pinterest for ideas on my remodel. Putting pictures into albums has really helped me narrow my focus and share with my husband my vision of what I want, together we then pick materials and put our plan into place. Our first project is our basement bathroom- we gutted it this weekend, and have picked out everything but the tile for the shower surround - so I'm taking before and after pictures to make the event memorable- maybe I'll post a few pics here to show my progress!
Posted On: August 30th, 2016 11:12PM
We've lived in our home for 11 years. We've periodically talked about something new, but we always come back to - but we LOVE our neighbors. This is really the first neighborhood since our first home, that we truly can say we have awesome neighbors. We live in a cul-de-sac, I think you get to know your neighbors better in a cul-de-sac.
In the 11 years we have been here, one home changed owners, and it was definitely for the better- no more teenager drivers all hours. That was probably 6 years ago now- so we all know each other pretty well. We call each other at odd hours if a garage door is open or a bike left outside, or a strange vehicle in the cul-de-sac. We all have keys or codes to each others homes and garages. Pets and houses always have someone who will check on them. There is always a neighbor to lift a hand or borrow from.
This year will be a year of change in our little cul-de-sac. Our oldest neighbor passed away earlier after a stroke. He was 82 and lived in the neighborhood since it was new. He would always come and visit my husband in the garage - he would do anything for you and had great stories to tell. We have already missed his presence in the neighborhood. His wife is still here, but has been gone all summer to Wisconsin to escape the heat. We hope she continues to live in the house because we love having her here.
And now my next door neighbor has told us they are preparing to list their home. I'm devastated. They moved in the same year we did. We watched their kids grow up- the oldest just entering college. Time for them to downsize. I went with them looking at potential new homes today. I am excited for them and the next phase of their life, but selfishly I really want them to stay.
A home is a home, but a good neighbor makes a home even more special. Be a good neighbor- friendly and helpful. You will find that there are lots of good neighbors near you too!