November 30, 2016

Front room Christmas sneak peek!

Hi y'all! 

In case you're new around here, we are currently 9.5 months pregnant and waiting anxiously on our baby boy, Landon Joseph to make his wonderful appearance! Christmas is extra exciting this year and extra tiring for this mama so we really have kept the decorations simple, sweet and classic. 

Something last year that I really enjoyed was teaming up with Shutterfly and creating a few custom pieces for our home for Christmas! This year was no different! If you'd like to read last years post, you can do so by clicking here! I just wanted to give you a quick peak and snap some pictures of this super cute pillow I received in the mail this week! I loved it so much I have another style on the way!

I seriously love the fact that you can make virtually anything you want and customize it to your style, decor or family.  You can upload personal photos or free printable from the internet too, which is what I decided to do. I gave the free printable link at the end of this post. Just go to home decor > pillows > upload your own design > select your size > then personalize! They have so many options and you can even add a cute little pattern to the back like I did or even to the front, the possibilities are endless! I enjoyed creating these because they are true to us and no one else will have them.

Hope y'all enjoy this little peak into our front living room& into our custom decor this year! If you're interested in this printable, you can find it for free by downloading Lolly Jane, here! I can't wait to order new Christmas cards of our little man! You can find all of those options by clicking here! Let me know what you think of the pillow I designed. I'm super happy with it and really think it fits well with the rest of the look this Christmas! Xo

**All opinions are honest and all my own**

October 23, 2016

Landon's Nursery Reveal

This post has definitely been a long time coming but as we approach my 33rd week of pregnancy today, I thought it would be a great time to finally show Landon's nursery that we have worked so hard on. We really wanted a quiet space that was calm & a little retreat for little man & I as well as his daddy. We knew since we will be moving we didn't want to put to many ultra personal touches on it so we tried to keep it as classic & simple as possibly. Get ready for lots of pictures! We can't wait to meet you baby Landon! Mama & daddy love you so much already! Daddy worked so hard to help mama finish this space & it truly took the both of us!

We are so excited to welcome Landon into our family and we hope that you continue to keep us in your prayers for a safe & healthy delivery. We appreciate all of the love, encouragement & support thus far. It means more than anyone will ever know!

Source List:
Crib: Wayfair
Monogram flax linen quilt: Pottery Barn
Monogram: Accomplished by Embroidery Stitches & More here locally. You can find her info by clicking here! I highly recommend Sheron!
Crib sheet: Target
Crib Bumper:
Crib mobile: Target
Crib skirt: Serena & Lily
Wooden monogram: Etsy
Dresser: Antique
Lamp: Target
Dresser hardware: antique glass pulls off Ebay
Rug: Lowes
Glider/chair: Ikea with glider attachment
Ottoman: Target
Toy box: Custom made by Seaboard Furnishings. You can find his info by clicking here! I highly recommend Dave for anything you need built or custom!
French mattress bench seat: Pier one Imports
Blanket ladder: DIY by me!
Bookshelves behind door: DIY by me!
Closet doors: DIY by the hubby!
Velveteen Rabbit quote sign: Vintage fair
Bible verse small frames: Minted (Custom ordered)
Diaper bag: Pottery Barn Kids
Mirror: Target
Baskets: Ross, HomeGoods, etc.

September 4, 2016

The evolution of our sunroom & future plans

Our sunroom has seen a lot of different looks, that's for sure. I really haven't shown y'all much on our house in sometime because I've been so busy with real estate and being pregnant :-) Today marks 26 weeks and I can't believe in a week, I'll be in my third trimester. All of these new and exciting things are happening so fast and I am just trying to soak up every minute of having this sweet baby boy in my tummy. Nothing beats him reminding me that he's in there, even if its 2am. :-)

Today I decided to show you what our sunroom looks like as it sits today. I get a ton of questions from readers and friends, what things are looking like, have I changed anything and why we don't see other parts of our home... Well, I'll try to be better about that in the coming months I hope at least. We haven't really been broadcasting our business and future plans for sometime now just in fear of change and plus, it is nice to still keep some things to yourself. With that being said, Ryan and I have both decided some time ago that Ryan will be leaving active duty military to pursue a career in the National Guard & we will be moving back home to North Carolina shortly after the new year. 

This means a lot of things. For once, if you're in the local area, you'll be able to see the entire house tour because our house will be going on the market. We plan to list it in late January and I am so anxious to see what the feedback will be and which family will make this their "new" forever home! Alittle about our house... it's a 3/2 with an over-sized one car garage, built in 1957, formal living room with additional family room/sunroom area. Original cove ceilings with wide open floor plan. All new low-e double pane windows & impact windows along our sunroom. We also added our beautiful leaded impact front door as well as hurricane shutters for the entire house. We have real hardwoods throughout, except in the wet areas & bedrooms. We have great neighbors, a fully landscaped yard, plenty of room to grow & a lot of upgrades! Those are only a few things and I will compile an entire list of upgrades once we get closer to listing it. We've put a ton of sweat equity and love into this place and I hope the next family enjoys it as much as we have. 

I'm looking forward to being able to cook dinners with my mama & watch our baby boy grow up with family around. There is no feeling that is better than being with family and we have learned that, through our time being away & life events, good and bad. I will certainly miss Florida, my friends I've met here who also have become family and this house but I am really looking forward to new beginnings for us and our growing family.

Ok, so, now after I've blabbed too long, here are some photos of the sunroom today. 

The sunroom is by far and always has been my favorite room in the house. We have been eyeing the desk from World Market for quite some time and bit the bullet a few weeks back. Something that is important to me as we grow into our style, is where function meets style. We recently made our old "office" which was the second bedroom back into a bedroom for guests since Landon took bedroom three. This left us with getting creative for a work space for me for real estate. Thankfully, our front room & the sunroom are both plenty large spaces so we took full advantage of that. I really think it speaks volumes when you walk into a room and the furniture is not all up against every wall. It gives the space dimension and really creates more a natural flow to the room. 

I've been toying with painting this room. (Again.) It gets so much natural light & with the tongue and groove planks, it definitely is a bright room. I've experimented with a lot of colors but right now, I'm just craving easy, simple and fresh. And I think that speaks in all the design aspects in our home currently. I've found that less really is more and I really am not enjoying an "over-crowded" or "over-done" room. I appreciate the things I love that I have out & they all have a story behind them. I don't really have anything in here that is just here for the photos and that's what I want our home to be. More true to us and full of things that we love. Until next time, y'all take care! 

July 1, 2016

10 things you should know...about real estate.

Something I always have in the back of my mind when I encounter some not so nice folks in our industry or I've been tested to my wits end for the day, I think about writing this post. I never really realized how uneducated the general public is about real estate agents and how we get paid, how our job works and the things we do behind the scenes. Generally and I really do hate to generalize everyone, most folks think its just like HGTV and we show three houses and get this 3% fat check. Man, wouldn't everyone be doing this job if it was really that easy? I WISH for my clients sake sometimes it WAS that easy because I want to make the process for them as painless and simple as possible with as little worry and stress as possible for them.

But then I have these thoughts and I think even if I can help educate one person on this subject, then this post is worth it. Ten things that every real estate agent secretly wants you to know.

1. This is not HGTV. 
As most HGTV shows, (which I watch and love but secretly shake my head at the tv!) the couples have generous budgets, long wish lists and only choose between three houses. In reality, finding your home in three showings or fifty will depend on your local market, the housing that is available and your budget. Unrealistic expectations lead to unrealistic results and no one likes disappointment so it's better to prepare and educate before you house hunt with a local real estate agent and/or do some research on your own.

2. We are not all millionaires & no, I don't make six figures either.
Although I can think of a handful of shows right now where most agents featured drive Mercedes, Range Rovers, etc. that doesn't mean the majority of agents do the same. In all actuality, the average real estate agent makes just $40,000 or less per year, depending on if they are full time or part time. This however can vary dependent upon their expenses for the year as well as many other factors. 

3. The "big, fat" commission check.
Most folks get their final statement at their closing and think we take home that huge lump sum. If we did, can you imagine how many MORE people would be doing this job? But just so you are educated, let me break down an average agents expenses & costs for a regular old listing. 

Let's say your client purchases a home for $150,000 with a 3% commission split. Ok, so 3%... is not ours. Actually, most folks don't even get paid until everyone else does. The 3% goes directly to their brokerage where they have what is typically referred to as the "broker split" between the agent and the broker. This can range anywhere from a 50/50 split all the way to 90/10 depending on the agent. Now keep in mind, this isn't something that is cut and dry. Most agencies who offer a 90/10 split which means 90% you keep, 10% to the brokerage, there will be a catch of sorts. You may have to pa a flat fee upfront which I've seen range anywhere from $7,000 annually to $15,000 annually. Yes, I am serious. For an agent with a higher production volume, this may be a great investment up front to get that split but most agents won't be able to afford that split so opt for a lower split to prevent more upfront costs. Just for kicks, we will say we have a 70/30 split for this transaction. So, 3% of $150,000 would be $4,500. But we have our split, so 70% of the commission would be $3150. Not bad for 30-45 days of work right? But it doesn't stop there. Depending on your brokerage, we have desk fees, transaction fees, document fees & preparation fees, etc. Let's just say for this particular transaction, the fees are a good round number of $300. We are now at $2850. Great! But we still have to pay taxes just like everyone else so let's take away 30% because most agents put away around this amount to be safe. That leaves $1,995. Now if the closing took 45 days, if you wanted to divide that up into let's say three paydays, it wouldn't be anything to write home about. Nothing to write home about but still depending on the complexity of the clients, the house & the process, this could be good money. But we are still not done. Subtract your time spent with the client as well as gas mileage, food expenses and anything else you may have incurred. Not to mention thinking of the fees annually that we incur as well as semi-annual fees and monthly fees. We pay to have access to the MLS monthly and we also pay to have access to homes by electronic lock box monthly. Those fees can vary depending on the company and association. We pay for E&O insurance annually, REALTOR association annually, brokerage yearly fees, any other associations you wish to take part in as well as lockbox fees, printing fees, again transaction fees, office fees, etc. If you were SELLING a property for someone, you would also have photography fees, advertising fees, etc. Please keep this in mind next time online you bad mouth agents and that "big, fat commission check" that we don't receive.

4. You can't afford this house.
We can definitely help you find a house, sell a house and buy a house but we can't make miracles happen and we are not miracle workers. If your budget is $200,000 and you want to see a $300,000 house. Chances are, we can negotiate but would you take $100,000 less for your house if you were the seller? I will go to bat for my clients all day long but don't set me up for your disappointment which in turn, makes me look and feel bad.

5. Are you pre-approved?
To put this honestly, you don't want to invest 15-20 minutes to get pre-approved for a mortgage, that you will have to do anyways if you find something you love unless you are paying cash of course but you want me to spent all day Saturday away from my family, using my gas money and my time to show you 20 houses that you want to look at and may or may not be able to buy.

6. For sale by owner is cheaper.
You want to save on listing & selling fees by doing a for sale by owner... but you follow buyers around your house, making them feel uncomfortable and ready to leave. You take your own photos not realizing about 90% of buyers decide if they want to view the home or not, dependent on the photos. Finally, you accept $20,000 under your asking price... but you saved $9,000 by not paying real estate commissions. There is value in speaking with an agent in your area and the job that they offer. Do your research and find someone you can see yourself working and communicating well with. 

7. Third Party websites with their value estimators.
When was the last time that Zillow came over and had some sweet tea? They can't calculate the local market in your area as well as the upgrades and comparables in each home. Only a licensed agent, broker and local real estate appraiser in the area really has that insight to the market, the comparable and pricing for the market you are in. Off subject, did you know the CEO of Zillow just sold his home for 40% less than his zestimate estimated?

8. If it falls through, we don't get paid.
Please don't open a credit card in the middle of establishing your mortgage and before your closing on your home. Please get your paperwork to your lender and please be honest about all of your monthly costs and bills because they will surface. Remember it is just as disappointing to us when a deal doesn't go through for various reasons, mostly because we are disappointed for you. But also, we don't see a dime until closing if we even get paid at closing. This depends on the agent & the brokerage of course & their rules/regulations. So if we searched 6 months for  a house with you only for you to open a credit card or buy a new car a week before closing & everything falls through, we literally lost 6 months of work. 

9. It must be nice to work your own hours.
Sure, if you count working 7 days a week, definitely on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays and being available on a moments notice, even if its your husbands birthday or your kids soccer game. Not to mention, missing dinner, breakfast, lunch etc, eating on the go, taking calls all hours of the day, emails all hours of the day, etc. Remember most of us are taking out multiple clients a day so if you're our evening client, we may be writing an offer at 11pm at night.

10. You won't get everything you want.
Please be realistic. If I could give you the dream house from Pinterest, sure I would! I'd have one myself. But you will have to compromise somewhere. Please don't complain about every single thing wrong with a house because any house, old or brand new will have issues. I guarantee it. And I guarantee that will be something you don't care for about it. Life is about compromise. What is important is your "must have" lists for your daily lives. 

Basically, just respect your real estate agents profession like you would want them to respect yours. Please remember we are people too and we have families too. Be considerate, use your manners and always remember that people who feel appreciated will always do more than expected. 

May 19, 2016

The Reading House

As promised when I announced numerous amounts of weeks ago, I was brought on to help oversee the complete house renovation of a property as well as staging. As some of you know and maybe some that don't, we've had such a busy last few weeks including having some family health scares and problems. Thankfully through the power of prayer and love, everything is progressively improving and we appreciate all of the good prayers and vibes!

Also, something else that is new around here and that we are so thrilled and blessed to announce is that we are expecting a little one! We are over the moon with excitement, joy and thankfulness. We are scared out of our minds, excited for whats to come and nervous everyday. Most importantly we are so thankful to be given a gift that is not easy for some to come by, by the good Lord above and we believe that his timing is perfect, even if it is not in our timing. I cannot wait to begin the nursery and I am really excited to bring something so special into this world! God is good!

Now, onto this post... this house had a ton of hidden work to do. And definitely getting pregnant in the middle of it was less than desirable timing but it was a true blessing and surprise! I never really gave thought to having morning sickness or as I refer to it now as "all day sickness" so it never crossed my mind how my body would handle the new changes. Well, enter pregnancy and I've never been so sick in my life. ER visits, barely getting out of bed & vomiting everything and anything, including all fluids including water, bland foods, etc. Yes, I have tried ginger and saltine crackers I'm basically family with. Toast I've tried, peppermints and all the other recommendations from other mamas. So now I have an entire new respect for mamas and the things we go through...Which means that I haven't been somewhat available since the middle of this so I delegated what I could handle from home and we finished with just some subtle touches on HBA instead of a full blown HBA home.

Nonetheless, this is a great home! The home had a good foot print at just under 2,000 sq ft and really offered so much hidden potential that I didn't think was taped into yet. It had incredibly bright colors which while that is some peoples style really didn't let the rooms breathe and speak for themselves. Same goes for the rest of the home, with general maintenance and  some TLC, this house will speak for itself and I feel like as I walk in each time, it thanks me for letting it breathe again. We worked so hard on this house and it really was a labor of love. I'm excited for the next family who purchases this home and the memories that they will make here.

Just a quick run down, the Reading home is located in SE Palm Bay, Florida. It is a 3/2 with a 2 car garage and get ready...a pool.! The home has been completed repainted inside and out and we have fresh white paint on all the moldings and doors. Did I mention we have all new doors, new fridge, new microwave, new water heater and a new AC unit. We really love the hand scraped laminate floors and the lovely new light fixtures throughout the home. All new faucets, doors, vanities, paint, tile and toilets as well! Water softener system, a family room AND a formal living room, large kitchen with two pantries and oversized island with built in 2nd sink! Storage won't be an issue in this house with multiple linen closets throughout. His and hers master closets as well as such a great size master bath with dual sinks, separate tub and separate shower! Large master, all new window treatments and all new carpet throughout all of the bedrooms. Freshly painted pool deck with a pool...yes, a pool! Fresh landscaping, great architectural features and soaring cathedral ceilings, this home has so much to offer! I'll let you decide for yourself in the before and afters.

Here are only a few before photos as we got straight to work. You should thank me for that ;)

What you can't see is the years of grime on the cabinets, the floors coming apart, doors missing on virtually all rooms, dents, dings, just err bad. 

Obviously, mama let the kids have free reign in their rooms which is deserved ;-) 
But nothing we couldn't fix!

And let's start with the afters....

 Hope y'all enjoyed the tour, it's a cute little house! Let me know if you would like more information by emailing me with the above tabs or leave a comment with your email! It is priced at $199,900 and is available for showings now! XO

Featured Post

We SOLD our home!

Not sure if anyone else realized it but its been 6 months since I wrote a blogpost! Not such a large surprise considering our little man cam...