Touch my Heart

Touch my Heart

heart in hand

One wouldn’t consider a blog post on touching my heart real estate related, but since real estate reflects on heart and home, this article is appropriate.

Living in a small community such as the Fox Cities offers plenty of benefits, both those related to life and those related to giving to others such as cancer benefits. Having attended and helped with different benefits prompted me to write this article, not necessarily because these events are particularly different than the ones helping the victims of Irma, Maria, or Harvey, but because they really touch home. I firmly believe that inherently, there are good caring people all over this world. What sets the benefits apart in our communities, is that we often personally know the people on the receiving end.

For example, this summer I had the opportunity to spend the day at the  Spierings Rock Cancer benefit at Doyle Park in Little Chute. Believe it or not, I tried to volunteer but they were full. Imagine that! We decided to attend the benefit with our very good friends because they are living and unfortunately eventually dying with cancer. Our friends were recipients of a donation courtesy of all the people attending, sponsoring, and donating to the Spierings Rock Cancer Foundation. This donation touched the hearts of my friends, consequently touching my heart.  We also saw the names of others we know or knew who also benefited from the generosity of our small community with a big heart.

Another local non profit touching my heart is .B.A.B.E.S.,INC . My “friends” got me involved in B.A.B.E.S. Hats Off! 2017 and now 2018. As a former teacher and Big Sister/ Big Brothers,  I experienced child abuse several times, breaking my heart. B.AB.E.S. does so much for  the young parents and children in our community through education, respite care, and counseling to help alleviate child abuse in our community. On Facebook, I see so many young moms calling out for help. B.A.B.E.S., Inc is a wonderful free resource helping parents get on their feet so they can support themselves and their children in a positive environment. Unbeknownst to me, when I attended last years event, I discovered that a friend of mines daughter used B.A.B.E.S., Inc so she could go to school, get a degree, a job, and take care of her young child. How heartwarming that I got to volunteer for an organization that helped someone I knew. The money donated and the time volunteered stayed right here in our community.

So in ending, how is this real estate related? I enjoy selling homes to people in a community where you can see that people’s hearts’ are in the right place. I like to be able to tell newcomers stories about how our community steps up not only to help people in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, but right here in our community. Plus,organizations such as B.A.B.E.S., Inc helping parents get an education, jobs, ultimately allows them to buy a home in which to raise their happy family.

heart in hand

Purple, Passion, and a Prayer

Purple, Passion and a Prayer- Realtors® usually share horror stories with friends, clients, and associates. I personally do not have any horror stories in my back pocket but would like to share some success stories; thus the title Purple, Passion, and a Prayer.

I love purple, as do some of my past and present clients. I love purple flowers, pens, clothes, and have even decorated some former clients’ homes with various shades of purple and lavender. But, as a Stager® and Realtor®, I try to limit the purple passion.

A few years ago, I met with some Sellers relocating back to their hometown where I had recently lived. The Sellers, deeply religious people, met with several agents and wouldn’t commit to any until they prayed for an answer. I apparently was the answer to their prayers. The house was in great shape, including the VERY purple bathroom. After much discussion, persuasion, and the over -used term, “trust me,” I convinced Mrs. Seller to paint the bathroom a neutral color. When selling  home you are displaying it as a product on a shelf and want it to be as neutral as possible so the Buyers can visualize putting their own stamp and passion in the house.

My Sellers had a few other caveats; they wanted to stay so their children could complete camp but move before school started.

As I mentioned, I was the answer to their prayers. I sold the house on day 1 and was able to negotiate all their terms.

Staging a home to sell, even in a Sellers market, brings a higher price and a quicker sale. I’ve many more success stories in my arsenal to share including the pink teddy bear castle and the pink bathroom, six refrigerators, and papers piled to the ceiling home. Contact me at Susie@starservicerealty.com or (920) 659-0556 to hear more and find out how we can work together to sell your home more quickly and for top dollar.

Miles and Milestones

Our lives are full of milestones and mine is really no more special or better than others. But my husband and I have reached major ones and we decided that we needed to celebrate by putting on the miles.

We all hit milestones in our lives, we learn how to walk and talk, go to kindergarten, learn to read, graduate high school, go off to college marry, have kids, and watch them go through the  same milestones. But this year is special and frankly hard to wrap my mind around. Not only did my husband, best friend, partner in everything and I celebrate 38 years of marriage (wow almost 40), we celebrate BIG birthdays. Lee turned 65 at the end of May and I’ll be 60 next week. Holy cow! Where did the time go? Except for really bad knees and the grey hair I cover up, I’d never know I’m 60, unless I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Of course, if I say so myself, I really don’t look 60.

Since, with a summer birthday, I’m one of the younger ones from my high school graduating class, I’ve been watching others celebrate their 60th on Facebook and thinking, “wow, look how old they are”, but wait a minute, so am I. So what does turning 60 mean to me? First of all, when I look at my family’s lifelines, it means I could potentially live another 25-30 years. So maybe, I am not so old after all. But you never know what will happen tomorrow. So my plan is to start having more fun and enjoy the miles I’ve yet to travel. My husband and I started celebrating our big birthday year by getting in the car, traveling over 1300 miles, and checking some items off our ( well mostly his) bucket list.

We planned a trip to Colorado Springs and Santa Fe, New Mexico. We put in a lot of windshield time and are still happily married. Our trip was full of awe and wonder. This was actually our second time we driving out west as Lee dropped me off in Tempe, AZ. for my senior year in college. We camped in a pup tent on our way out but don’t remember being as enamored with the scenery as we were this time. Most likely the difference in age and maturity makes a difference as the first time our love was newer, we were heartbroken at being separated, and our eyes were mostly on each other . Now in our mature years with a deeper love for each other, we took joy in sharing the beauty of the world together.

We drove to the top of Pike’s Peak with our hearts beating so loudly we could almost hear each other’s. I thought I’d lose Lee right there and wondered how I would ever be able to drive down the mountain myself. We visited charming Manitou Springs, people watched, picnicked by a fresh mountain creek, and enjoyed the best iced coffee and raw cacao candy. We dined in Old Colorado Springs with some cousins and checked out the local shops. We visited the Garden of the God’s and ogled the natural geological sculptures. We then traveled to Santa Fe, where we visited galleries, met the nicest people, ate the locals’ favorite spots, went hiking through cliff dwellings, and visited some turquoise mining towns. Our days were filled from 8 am to 8 pm, when we would finally collapse at our adobe VRBO and watch the beautiful sunsets and twinkling stars over the clear mountain skies.

My husband always wanted to go white river rafting in the west so I agreed even though I was sure I would die of a heart attack. ( I admit, I am not the bravest person in the world.)  Obviously I survived or I wouldn’t be writing this  long blog. It was AWESOME!! The spectacular scenery along the Rio Grande enthralled us as did the quickly flowing river full of rapids and boulders. The guide and our fellow rafting partners made the trip even more enjoyable as they assured me I wouldn’t fall out. Again, I survived.  We hit a Class III rapid and I slid slightly into the raft off the side. As I tried to right myself we hit a huge boulder on my side and I went over. I couldn’t grab onto the rope on our raft and went right by them. I tried to grab the next raft but missed that too. I still held onto my paddle for dear life and tried to hook it onto the paddle of the guy trying to rescue me since I couldn’t reach his paddle with my arm. That didn’t work and eventually they got close enough that I could grab his paddle and he pulled me into the raft. Once in the raft, I raised my paddle and yelled with elation “Happy Birthday to me.” I celebrated another milestone and lived to tell the story which was caught on a Go-Pro by my rescuer. The whole rescue was merely a matter of a few minutes.

I don’t feel that turning 60 made me wise or privileged, except for the senior discounts I now receive. Age made me more mellow and I don’t sweat the small stuff. I find that each beautiful sunrise and sunset add joy to my day as do the flowers in my yard and others, my dog greeting me at the door, my husband selflessly doing me favors, and the sound of the children playing. I look forward to more fun and traveling miles with Lee as we explore our world, near and far. Oh, and apparently age gives me the right to babble.

Enjoy a few of our pictures.

Honoring the Red, White, and Blue

 

DiemThe 4th of July is upon us and we all look forward to celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately today, we seem to have lost sight of honoring the red, white, and blue.

The 4th of July is all about BIG sales, hot dogs and hamburgers on the barbecue, circus peanuts, boating, neighborhood parties, and fantastic firework displays. Lest we forgot, the 4th of July is also about celebrating our independence. On July 4th,1776 13 colonies claimed their independence from England, eventually forming the United States. Believe it or not, fireworks were originally part of the first Independence Day celebration which took place on July 4th, 1777, mandated by John Adams. The 4th became a federal holiday in 1941, celebrating the birth of American Independence. John Adams, as one of the originators of the Declaration of Independence, envisioned celebrating with,”Pomp & Parade… Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, And Illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.”  

We are not so far off in our celebrations but I urge you to take a moment to reflect on the origins of our July 4th celebrations, bless our country, and pass down the story to your children and grandchildren. 

Happy 4th of July to you and your family

.God Bless America

Simple Things

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The old saying, ” Home is where the heart is,” rings true for myself and others who’ve experienced moving; especially numerous times. No matter where we live, we put down out roots, literally by either planting a tree, bushes, flowers, or volunteering within the community.

Moving and changing communities makes it difficult to form new relationships, especially as an older couple without children. That is why it is so important to take a few moments each day to take joy in the simple things. Take time to play tourist in your new community and share your finds with the natives. And don’t be afraid to ask about their favorite spots.  I’ve learned that long time members of a community often become so complacent that they overlook the little things their community has to offer.

Today, I’m keeping this post short but wanted to share a few pictures of the “simple things” that add joy to my daily living. It seems lately, that no matter where I live, I have native visitors. Living in Appleton, I love to walk along Apple Creek listening to the birds during the day, the frogs at night, and watching the carp as they mate. I also take great pleasure in the flowers and plants that we have so lovingly planted to beautify our yard. I hope that you also find pleasure in my simple joy.

YOUR HOME ON STAGE

“Setting the Stage for your Next Move” As a Realtor® in Madison, that was my slogan. As a Realtor® and professional Stager®, I feel it is very apropos. When you are getting ready to move, you want to make your home look like it is on the stage in a beauty pageant. Think about when you go shopping, the neat store with a beautiful display draws you in vs the store with items strewn about.  Of course, you do not want to overdo your decorating but rather have everything clean, repaired, touched and freshened up.

I was going to write an article about getting your home ready but then this one titled       8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home popped into my mailbox. Thus, I thought, why write a new article when someone has done it for me? I encourage you to read this article and contact me if you have any questions.

I also recommend adding a nice outdoor seating area that says welcome to our house. It makes people feel very comfortable.

If you or anyone you know is thinking of selling your home, please give me a call and we can discuss listing and staging your home so you can maximize on it’s potential and sell for more money. I’ve plenty of more tricks to welcome your home’s new owners.