Rants from the Grocery Check-out Lane

Accept this as true: No matter which grocery check-out lane you pick, the other lanes will move faster.  So while you are waiting, why not stock up on some patience and compassion? These commodities languish on the shelves because too few people use them regularly. That frazzled check-out clerk didn’t get any sleep last night because she was taking care of a sick child. … [Read more...]

What I Miss About Being A Seller

Selling your home in a buyer's market causes physical exhaustion, inflicts financial stress and delivers an emotional beating.  Sellers who enjoy these circumstances are as rare as cats with insomnia. We sold our place in 2010 after being on the market for what seemed like an eternity.  The next time we sell, it better be because we're moving to a tropical island.   … [Read more...]

Color Conundrums

When it's time to update a color scheme in your home, where do you turn for inspiration?  Traditionally, I looked for great color combinations at fabric stores.  I'd bring home swatches of the most intriguing ones to see how they worked in the room's lighting.  It's a practical low-tech, low cost way to play with color mixtures and textures. I recently discovered a couple of websites that let you experiment with color.   The first website is ColorPicker.com.  Simply move the cursor around the multicolored square and bar until you see a color you like.  Then click on one of four links to … [Read more...]

The Saga of Salton City

Who wouldn’t want an affordable sea-side home in glamorous California?  Those who rushed to buy a lot in Salton City during the late 1950’s certainly thought it was a solid investment.  Sadly, they were wrong. (My Christmas Valley story said that Penn Phillips moved his operation to Oregon after his California business license was suspended  … [Read more...]

Noses Worldwide

While doing research for my recent post "Smells That Sell", I encountered an fascinating article by the Social Issues Research Centre on the scents most prized in non-Western cultures.   Fried onions, manure and rain are highly desireable odors in certain places for reasons making perfect sense in those environments. Many non-Western societies regard smell as "the emperor of the senses."  For them, noses play a central part in communications and local customs.  This sense can be so finely honed that people know who is related simply by sniffing body odors.  The article also explains how … [Read more...]

Smells That Sell

Right now, some Realtor® is saying “If it smells, it doesn’t sell” to a client because their house needs a scent make-over.  Smells bad, that is.  But what about pleasant odors?  There are several schools of thought about which aromas are the most buyer-friendly. … [Read more...]

The Best Cure for a Bad Day

Happy New Year!!!  Are you still sore that I didn't get you a Christmas present?  If so, I'll try to make up by sharing my secret for curing those bad days we all have from time to time.  Even chocolate comes in second to this cure.  It's free and it works whether your awful mood is caused by anger, loneliness, frustration or sadness. When I am having one of those "Mama-said-there-would-be-days-like-this" , I head to the Animal Humane Society (AHS) in Golden Valley.   Once there, I pet cats of all colors and sizes until the blues are gone.  I often visit the dogs too, and the rabbits, and … [Read more...]

Hire this Photographer!

  Since the debut of my remodeled website, I have received tons of compliments on the great photos in the slider showcase.  Those pictures came from the talented young photographer at left, Katie Wamsley. Her portraits of people are equally impressive. I especially like the candid shots.  Besides being talented, Katie is an absolute pleasure to work with – professional, detail-oriented and amiable.  Click here to see more of her work. Then hire this woman while you can still afford her!!! … [Read more...]

12 Reasons Buyers Need Pre-Approvals

If you were ready to buy a house, would you rather be pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage loan?  In everyday usage, the two phrases seem so similar, it's easy to guess wrong.  You want to be pre-approved.  Here's why. Pre-qualified means that a lender did a cursory review of your finances and stated a general range of what you can borrow.  In contrast, pre-approval requires a mortgage application and the lender verifies your assets, debts, income and credit history. This method yields a more accurate estimate of your borrowing power.   Second question: When should you get … [Read more...]

How to X-ray an HOA #9 – Putting It All Together (Conclusion)

Making wise decisions about buying into a condo or townhouse development requires more due diligence than purchasing a traditional single family home.  Once the needed info has been gathered, assigning relative weights to the pros and cons of different places becomes the next challenge.  It’s enough to make you wish there was an “Angie’s List” or a “Consumer Reports Buying Guide” for HOA communities.   Deciding which home is the best choice is a highly individual matter. But there are a few universal principles to keep in mind: Principle No. 1:  The 3 most important things about real estate … [Read more...]

DISCLAIMER: No attorney-client relationship is created between the website owner and the website visitors, no matter what. The owner makes no claims or guarantees about the accuracy or completeness of the website contents and expressly disclaims liability for errors or omissions. No warranty of any kind, express, implied or statutory, is given for any contents, hyperlinks or other internet resources. Those accessing this website assume full responsibility for its use and agree that the website owner is not liable for any claim, loss or damage arising from that use.