We're Getting Older

I've been on several listing appointments this year where the sellers, like me, are getting "up there" in age. They want to downsize and move to a smaller, one story home. So far, they've changed their minds about selling. The reason: They don't know what do with all their things and they don't have the energy or strength to deal with it.

Years ago, I wanted it all.....and I got a lot of it. My son tells me to sell or give it away. He just wants a few things. This is becoming a common problem.

Now, I try to regularly pack things to throw away or give to the Senior Center. I not only tell friends and family I don't want presents, I tell them I won't accept any....and I don't.
It took getting older to realize possessions are chains holding me down.

​​​You Just Bought a Brand-New House

Here are a few things to do or think about whether your home is brand new or not.

Foundation: Set up a soaker system 18 inches away from the house. If your foundation cracks the warranty company will send an engineer to try to determine if you’ve been watering properly. Inspectors have told me you should also have gutters to take water away from the house.
 Trees: Trees are very important for resale. Plant some in the back as well as the front but not too close to house or waterlines.
HVAC: Builders save money here by often getting a cheaper model. Research the kind you have. Find out its life expectancy. Make sure you change the filters every month. I buy a year’s supply and put the month for use on them. Regularly put ant poison around the outside unit.
Landscaping: Plant perennials front and back. Drive around different neighborhoods to see what you like. Pick some with flowers.
Water Heater: Draining your water heater is easy. Read the directions. Do it at least once a year, twice is better. It will extend its life and save you money.

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

The homes that sell the quickest and for the best price are super clean, needing no repairs, and ready for immediate move-in. If your house is older, consider getting an inspection done so there are no surprises and make recommended repairs.

 1. Start a list:

Get a friend and walk through each room judging your home from a buyer's perspective. With pads and pens, take notes as you go. Ask your friend if she smells any odors because you won’t notice this.

2. Clean and Declutter

Thoroughly clean the entire home.
Scrub tile, wax hardwood floors, get carpets professionally cleaned.
Repair holes in the walls.
Paint walls with a light neutral color if needed.
Remove some furniture to make rooms look larger.
Clear out closets. Those things you’ve been wanting to donate, now’s the time!
Remove all things not used on a daily basis.
Remove family photos, medicines, and valuables.
Remove mounted animal heads, etc., and store out of sight.
Change the A/C filter.

3. Maximize Curb Appeal

The front door should be in good condition, the key turning easily in the lock, doorbell working, and address number visible.
Get a new doormat. Since we are in the Bible Belt, I like the one that says: “Bless All Who Enter.” That’s friendly. Remove “No Soliciting” signs. That’s not friendly.
Mow the lawn, trim shrubs and trees. Be sure plants don’t grow over the sidewalk, especially ones with thorns or spikes.
Plant some colorful flowers.


4.  Kitchens and Bathrooms

Mop and wax/polish the floors.
Clear the countertops.
Replace outdated hardware. Caulk sinks and tubs if needed.
Clean the oven.

5. Make Your Home Light and Cheery

Turn on all lights and lamps when showing.
Open curtains or blinds to let in natural light.
Hang fresh towels in the bathrooms.
Use home freshener sparingly. Buyers will wonder what you’re hiding.

People have a dream when they buy. They may be naturally messy, have 7 dogs and 5 cats, extra family members moving in with them, but they want to see themselves living in a clean, serene and beautiful home. For a quick and smooth sale, make this happen.

Facing Foreclosure

In my newsletters I always say at least once a year: If you’re facing foreclosure, call me. One Friday morning I got the call. I asked when the bank was going to foreclose:

“They said they were going to change the locks on Monday.”

I asked him to call the bank immediately and give them permission to talk to the lender. The lender agreed to give me a month to sell the house. This was not much time but I listed the house way below market, got a cash buyer, and he even walked away with over $3,000. He was happy…………

If he’d called me earlier, we could have sold the house for much more. He didn’t want to move and just kept refusing to face reality. His very nice house was not packed at all; he would have had such a problem if he’d been locked out. All his possessions would have been taken to the curb and 24 hours later hauled to the dump.

Like many people who are foreclosed, he’d been laid off. He had a beautiful house full of nice things. He had a lot of equity in the house.

I know it’s horrible to be in this position but if you are missing a house payment and about to be missing another one, call me.

​If you have news to share send it to Vivian Furlow.

NEW SUBDIVISION    Park Ridge Estates

​As I own two homes by the new sub division off County Line Road between N. Ranch  Estates and Cornerstone, I was upset by the form sent from the city showing no roads into Park Ridge Estates from County Line Road. About 8 years ago a group of us went to the public hearing and got then current developer and everyone to agree to put in a street from County Line Rd. as the main entrance was going to be from N. Ranch Estates. I talked to Benjamin Campbell from the city this morning and he assured me there would be an entrance from County Line Road, they just weren't showing it on the plat yet.

Getting to Know Your Clients

One of the great things about being a Realtor is all the interesting people you meet.

I just talked to man, 87 years old, still very active, and telling me how to play "pickle ball." I want to play Pickle Ball!

He told me where it's played in and around New Braunfels and said if I would come out, he would teach me. I'm going to do this.

Yesterday a talked to a quilter. This is what I want to do someday. She had for years made art quilts for her church to give away. Now she's ready to move to live with her daughter. I'll be going to see her soon .... and her house and her quilts.

Your Tax Appraisal

This time of year we get calls from people who wish to fight their tax appraisal. Home prices really have come up. The tax office is right! (Probably) Your home is worth that much. If you live in Guadalupe County, you may be in luck. They have a history of giving a little off if you ask.