Word Wednesday: Urban

 

Word Wednesday: Urban

 

Urban:

1.of, relating to or designating a city or town.

2. living in a city

3. Characteristic of our accustomed to cities; citified.

 

I’m tossing today’s word, urban…because really, I’m a suburb person. I’m suburban, not urban.

Except, interestingly enough, being suburban doesn’t mean you can’t be urban too.

Turns out urban, suburban is housing’s hottest trend. There’s a name for it: Surban

What’s surban? Surban is a suburban area that looks and feels urban, a blend of both. Surban has particular characteristics: 

Found in suburban areas, not urban.

Schools are highly rated.

Low crime.

Dominated by a variety of housing options.

Shopping and entertainment areas within walking distance of housing.

Why is surban significant?

Two interesting things to note:  The Urban Land Institute estimates that surban areas will draw at least 80 percent of future households in the next decade. And they won’t all be homeowners as housing experts predict homeownership is going to decline, some predict a national rate of 60.8 percent by 2025 the lowest point since the 1950’s. Surban areas will offer households a variety of housing options including single family homes, condominiums, and apartments.

To meet the demands of future households communities would do well to consider the surban trend.

How cool is it that Orland Park is sure to capture some of the 80 percent of households drawn to surban areas?

Because if you look around Orland Park you can see they’ve been on the forefront of what is and will be one of the biggest trends in real estate. I think former Mayor Dan McLaughlin deserves much of the credit. He was talking “surban” before surban was even a word. Mayor Dan spoke for years about the need for Orland Park to develop a downtown, an area pedestrian friendly with mixed use of residential and commercial. The Mainstreet Triangle, Orland Park’s comprehensive plan in 2010, it was all in there…surban. He caught so much flak, not all of Orland Park approved of the downtown triangle. But Mayor Dan McLaughlin and Village Board were on the right track. 

Orland Park is surban!

A variety of housing options…

Shopping and entertainment within walking distance…

 

We’re sure to see continued development; a theatre is still in the works.  But Orland Park is already ready for those drawn to surban living!

 

Thinking about a move…surban or otherwise? The Amy Curtis Group is here to help. Give us a holler!

Has the Spring Market Sprung in Orland Park?

 

Has the Spring Market Sprung in Orland Park?

Joe and Mary sold their house in December. They’re ready to buy. They’re looking for a ranch. They’d like a ranch with at least two and a half baths, basement doesn’t need to be finished and they’re not opposed to doing some updating. We’ve seen the few that have come on the market, but there have only been a few and none of them have been quite right.

Joanne is on the internet all hours of the day searching for townhouse possibilities. Joanne wants to downsize, she’s looking for a ranch townhouse with a basement, preferably a three bedroom but if the layout is right and has enough space she’d settle for two. But even if Joanne finds the townhouse of her dreams, Joanne still has a house to sell.

Don and Alice have a gorgeous house that’s ready to go on the market but they’re waiting to hear from the builder with the target completion date for their new house that’s being built.

Bob and Shirley are ready to jump on a house in the community they’ve been scouting for months. As soon as they find it and buy it they’ll put their perfect location house on the market.

This is a partial picture of my spring market. Orland Park is just one town, I am just one agent but from my vantage point, the spring market hasn’t sprung.

The numbers tell the same story. The market’s been steady, but we are a seasonal market and it’s still early. This year from January 1st until February 17th 104 properties have gone under contract. Compare that to the 182 properties that went under contract from March 1st through April 17th of last year and you see our spring market isn’t in full swing. We’re at least a couple of weeks away.

Maybe the weather needs to warm up some, maybe a daffodil or two will push us along…or maybe…

The spring market needs Pink so we can get this spring market party started.

 

Who’s Pink?

Do you have an Orland Park ranch with two and a half baths that you’d  like to sell this year?  If you do, you’re Pink and if you’d get your house on the market, I’ll be over with Joe and Mary in a jiffy.

Do you have a spacious two or three bedroom townhouse with a basement? If so, you’re Pink and if you’d get your two or three bedroom Orland townhouse on the market that would light a fire under Joanne’s butt to get her house on the market.

Are you a builder with a presold house under roof? If so, you’re Pink and if you’d call those buyers with a target completion date then they like Don and Alice could get their gorgeous sell in a blink Orland Park house on the market.

Do you have a great house in a fabulous high demand community? If so, you’re Pink and if you’d just get your house on the market Bob and Shirley would jump on it and then they’d be ready to put their perfect Orland Park location house on the market.

Are you Pink? If so, everybody’s waiting…the spring market will not have sprung until you arrive.

Are you Pink? Give the Amy Curtis Group a holler…let’s get this party started!

Word Wednesday: Window Treatments

win-dow treat-ment

Noun

Interior decoration for a window or window frame

 
When we went under contract on the house we were buying, that’s when the dreaming began…

What furniture would go where what colors we’d paint each room and lots of dreaming about window treatments.

 

I collected all sorts of ideas on a Pinterest board.

 

I was dreaming about window treatments because the window treatments that were staying with the house were less than my heart’s desire.

Some houses have beautiful window treatments.

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Some houses have such lovely window treatments buyers want them included in their purchase of a house.

So how exactly does it work with window treatments when it comes to the sale of a house? What window treatments stay? What window treatments does a seller take with them?

On the contract I use it looks like this:

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The contract is clear. “All window treatments and hardware”

And with most of the window treatments in a house, it isn’t a problem because…

Realistically, would a seller remove mini-blinds? Plantation shutters? Would they remove the vertical blinds from the sliding glass door? Probably not.

How about an elaborate cornice and drapes in the dining room? The removal of a cornice and elaborate drapes attached to the wall would leave holes a seller would need to patch and paint.  Given the elaborate window treatment was custom made with the exact measurements of a particular window, what would be the sense in taking it along? It’s not going to fit any other window as perfectly as the window it was made for. So a seller probably has no intention of removing it, it stays not because the contract says it should, but because removing it doesn’t make sense.

The second bedroom with the Thomas the Train curtains that match a child’s comforter? Does a buyer care whether the seller takes those? I’m thinking no, because really what are the chances the buyer had Thomas the Train curtains in mind for the windows anyway…what the are the chances Thomas the Train curtains are the window treatments the buyer has been dreaming about and pinning on their Pinterest board? Pretty slim.

In most cases, with most windows and their treatments there isn’t a problem.

Problems can happen with the beautiful window treatments. The window treatments the buyer and seller both think are beautiful and both want. The buyer wants them to stay and the seller had no intention of leaving them behind.

A real estate transaction is stressful, even a smooth transaction has its stresses and bumps along the way. The last thing anyone needs is a bump that could have been avoided. The last thing anyone really wants is a real estate transaction to get derailed over some window treatments. It can happen, but it shouldn’t.

Window treatments are avoidable bumps. The contract is clear: “All window treatments and hardware.” Any interior decoration and the hardware holding it up, according to the contract, stays. If, as a seller, there are window treatments you want to take with you it’s important to make that known to prospective buyers from the beginning. Remarks in the MLS can express your intent. “Dining room panels do not stay” “Curtains in the second bedroom do not stay,” Or to avoid any possible window treatment bump you could remove those window treatments you want to take with you and replace them with something you’re happy to leave behind.

Window treatments.

We closed on our house without such a bump…

They aren’t my heart’s desire, but I’m glad they left them behind. I’m still dreaming.

 

Window treatments.

The Amy Curtis Group is adept at avoiding bumps and reducing the stress of real estate transactions, give us a holler.

This is Where You Belong

I was born and raised in Orland Park. I know Orland Park like the back of my hand. I know it’s neighborhoods, I know the shortcuts in and around town to avoid the traffic on LaGrange. I know it’s restaurants and parks. I’ve been to oodles of village events…Concerts in the Park, Taste of Orland Park, Orland Days. I’ve spent hours on summer days hanging out at Centennial pool. I know many of the village trustees and count the former Mayor among my friends. Orland Park is my hometown. I have a fondness for my hometown and feel a connection to it.

I moved to Lockport a couple of years ago. I didn’t intend to move here but a house found me (I’ll have to tell you the story sometime, it’s a pretty good one) and now I live in Lockport, Illinois. I like it here very much, but I don’t know Lockport like I know Orland Park and I don’t feel connected to Lockport like I still feel connected to my hometown. Maybe I haven’t been here long enough…but I’d like to have some of that same attachment, feeling of connection to Lockport that I feel for Orland Park. 

Is that possible?

I bought a book a while back…

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This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick.

I’ve only started reading it and skimmed the chapters but with interesting research and a personal story it explores falling in love with where you live:

“The average restless American will move 11 times in their life. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered: How does the place we live become the place we want to stay? In This Is Where You Belong, Warnick dives into the research around our attachments to place and travels across the country to find out what draws Americans to where they live, and what makes them want to stay. What she learns will inspire you to embrace your own community-and perhaps discover that where you live now…is home.”

In the book she identifies what she calls “Place Attachment Behaviours” those things that people attached to their community do and then creates love where you live experiments around those behaviors:

  1. Walk more
  2. Buy Local
  3. Get to Know My Neighbors
  4. Do Fun Stuff
  5. Explore Nature
  6. Volunteer
  7. Eat Local
  8. Become more political
  9. Create something new
  10. Stay loyal through the hard times

I bought the book, I’ve started reading it…I’m going to finish reading it…and then I’m going to put it into action…

The book offers ideas of things to do for each of the behaviors. Some things I’ll never do. I can’t ride my bike to work, introverted me isn’t going to host a dinner block party, and I know I’m not going to hike…anywhere. But there were lots of ideas I can do, things I think I’d like to do. So I’m going to give a bunch of them a whirl and see what happens.

And if Melody Warnick is right, the doing of those things will foster the connection I seek. Valentine’s Day might be over, but I’m going to try falling in love…with my town, Lockport IL.

Join me in my journey or begin one of your own, a journey of connection to a community and finding home wherever you are.

The Amy Curtis Group is committed to helping each client find their “This is Where You Belong” home.  We’re here when you need us, give us a holler.

 

 

Word Wednesday: Love

Love – noun

10. Strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything: her love of books

9. Affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor

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Photo by Laura Briedis on Unsplash

You can’t tell clients… “ I love you.”

I mean how weird would that be???

A professional relationship involving a big real estate transaction, one with legal documents and financial ramifications, a commission paying for services rendered…

“I love you” doesn’t fit.

Start dropping “I love you(s)” and a real estate agent might quickly find herself doing no realestating at all. Because “I love you”? That’s just too darn weird, right??

Love.

I am fortunate to love the work I do. Yes, being a real estate agent is hard and can be stressful, and unless you’re a super big producer the erratic income can add to the stress of the job. But I love the work…”strong predilection, enthusiasm, or liking for anything”…I love being a real estate agent.  I once wrote a post explaining why…

Top 10 Reasons I Love My Job

Love.

Anyone that knows me knows I am a person of feels…sometimes it feels like a curse, but it’s just the way it is. I am a person of feels; people move me. Their joys, sorrows, dreams, disappointments, fears, hopes…I can see them and feel them.  

Puts me in quite the predicament doing this real estate gig, because real estate is personal business. I mean, I sell houses but those houses are attached to people and their personal stories, and those stories are filled with the joys, sorrows, dreams and disappointments, fears and hopes I can see…

Young couples in love, starting their journey together, finding their first home…

Retired couples selling the home they’ve lived in for 30 years, the bittersweet process of letting go and moving on…

The still grieving adult child selling the home of the parent that’s passed away…

The family of four soon to be six busting at the seams of the house where their family began…

They slay me.

And I’m just there to do a job…get a house sold or help them buy the new one…but being one cursed with the feels, in the process of getting the house sold or finding the new one, those clients of mine get under my skin and make their way into my heart. My clients move me. You could say I feel affectionate concern for their well being.  

And that, according to the dictionary…is love.

Weird, isn’t it?

Love.

What to do?

On any other day I’ll bite my tongue, keep my weird hidden from view…but it’s Valentines’ Day so…I’ll just go ahead and tell the truth…

I love you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The Amy Curtis Group is skilled at big real estate transactions, we are professionals, we also get choked up and hug at closings, we won’t weird you out by saying “I love you” but we do. When we can be of help, give us a holler.

Organization

I’m in a blogging group. This week we’re supposed to be writing about “Organization.”

This is not a topic I can write about with much credibility because I struggle with organizing. Closets, drawers, big projects. Somehow my brain can’t break down the tasks or envision the way to completion.

When the subject of organizing comes up two things come to mind…my sister Lisa and my Bullet Journal.

When I want to organize something, I call Lisa. She’s awesome at organizing things.

When it’s time to organize my closet, switch out the winter for spring summer clothes…I call her. She helps me sort through clothes and accessories, helps me decide what to keep and what to give away. With her help, a closet becomes organized in a couple of hours…left to my own devices? There’s just no telling. When I’m trying to figure out how to make my laundry area in the basement more organized, cuter, more efficient, it’s her counsel I seek. She has that organizational eye for things. She sees an area in need of organization and she knows what to do.

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So, I don’t have it in me to write a blog post on the subject of “Organization” I can’t do it…not with a straight face anyway. And it would be a rather short post…Need Something Organized? Find your Lisa.

Instead, I’ll  give a plug to my favorite, best ever, changed my life organizational tool…

The Bullet Journal.

A bullet journal is the single best thing I ever started using to get and keep myself organized.

Heard about the bullet journal?

It takes a little time to wrap your head around the bullet journal, but it’s worth it. In a nutshell, a bullet journal is an all in one analog system and tool to keep track of anything and everything. Bullet journaling? It changed my life!

Things I Love About My Bullet Journal (that you might like too!)

The index

Who knew that an index on the first page of a notebook would be the key to opening the endless possibilities of a notebook’s use. An index in the front of a notebook…brilliant!

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Fewer Notebooks

I got to throw out all those notebooks I was hanging onto. Notebooks hung onto forever because there were notes from a conference I attended in one, someones’ address I might need, brilliant ideas, a book someone mentioned, all buried in the pages of notebooks. With a Bullet Journal, you don’t need the notebook, Books To Read, People I Met, Brilliant Ideas are collections you can include in your bullet journal. I still always have a notebook handy, but once the pages are filled I give it a look through once. Anything worth “keeping” is transferred to a collection in the bullet journal and the notebook can be tossed. Yeah!
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It can be Adapted to Individual Use

My bullet journal is my calendar and to do list, it’s also my book of lists, books I want to read, ideas for blog posts, it’s where I keep track of projects I’m working on too. I can track anything, do anything…all from the 240 plus pages of a Moleskin notebook. A teacher’s bullet journal? A stay at home mom? A project manager? College student? The bullet journal can and does work for anyone and the way they want to use it.

It’s Paper

I’m a pen and paper person. I remember more of what I write by hand than what I type, and too, paperless is out of sight, and for me,  out of sight is “out of mind” The bullet journal is tangible, and tangible works better for me.

Bullet Journal frees up mind space

The creation of my “Brain Dump” collection was mental bliss. To clear mental clutter, to get stuff out of my head? Aaaah. All that stuff I tried to remember? My bullet journal remembers for me.

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Things on my to-do list? Bills I need to pay when? Birthdays? Tasks? Events? Notes? The bullet journal offers the way to manage all of those things. I’d like to read more, write more, and drink more water? A simple tracker in my bullet journal reminds me to do the things I’ve decided are important to me.

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Lisa is my go-to organizational guru…my bullet journal is the place where I keep the list of things that need organizing and the reminders to call her for help. Does it get any more organized than that!?

When it comes to organizing, the Amy Curtis Group really does have you covered…Lisa in her ways, and me in mine. Need help organizing? Give us a holler. Want to move? We can help with that too…we’re organized!

Word Wednesday: Simplicity

sim-plic-i-ty:  noun

  1. The property, condition, or quality of being simple. 2. Absence of luxury or showiness; plainness. 3. Absence of affection or pretense.

 

I wonder if my mom used a Simplicity© pattern to make these summer short sets for my sister Lisa and I.

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That’s me on the left…get a load of those shorts!  And the fancy fringe around the hem of the top? It’s so crooked! And the center border down the front of Lisa’s top? That’s not straight either…Bless my mama’s heart, she tried.  She really tried…but somewhere along the line, she must have messed up and not followed the pattern.

Simplicity makes me think of my mom…and not just because of the pink summer outfits.

You wouldn’t know it by her initial sewing skills but my mom was an amazing woman with many gifts. She was a great prolific writer and an incredible cook. She was an artist, she could paint, knit and eventually became quite a seamstress.  She had an eye for design.

She was gifted and she shared her gifts with an absence of luxury or showiness, without pretense. She shared her gifts to enrich the lives of those around her, to care for and love on her people. She was simplicity.

Her writing, her beautiful writing was letters. Letters filled with stories well told, articles and recipes shared. Words were written, not to be published but written to stay connected to the people she cared about who were miles away.

My mom wasn’t a renowned chef but she had lots of people to feed and fed them well. When we’d sit down to dinner my dad would say, “I wonder what the rich people are eating today.” It was his highest praise. He was certain the most luxurious dinner tables had no better meal before them.

My mom was an artist. She took a watercolor class and painted for pleasure. When her four-year-old granddaughter took an interest in painting she pulled out the sable brushes she’d spent a fortune on and taught her granddaughter to paint.

My mom had an eye for design.  When I would come home from college for Christmas break,  there’d be red tapers glowing in the holiday candlestick holders on the kitchen table.  Lamps were decorated with the green and red ribbon, the Christmas tree in front of the living room window was bright and festive, touches of holiday everywhere, perfectly placed. There’s not a house in the pages of Home Beautiful that was as beautiful and welcoming as the home she decorated.

She was simplicity. She poured her gifts into the ordinary moments of life…no pretense, not for show. Not tied to a desire to be a writer, or a chef, an artist or a designer, shared only to enrich the lives of those around her, to care for and love on her people.

Simplicity.

I can neither cook nor write a letter as well as my mom did. I can’t paint and don’t have the patience to teach a four-year-old how to paint either.  At Christmas time I tie bows around my lamps but my house isn’t nearly as pretty. I am not my mom. She had her gifts. We all have our gifts. I have mine. But I am inspired by her.

Inspired to share what I’ve got, to share my gifts in the everyday moments of life…to use what I’ve got to make the world a little better, to enrich the lives of those around me, to care for and love on my people. She inspires me.

She is MY Simplicity pattern.

Sometimes I get messed up; sometimes I concern myself too much with show or pretense. Sometimes I concern myself too much with outcomes and worry about what others might think. Like my mama, I try, but I forget to follow the pattern and the execution of my simplicity ends up as crooked as the fancy fringe hem on that pink summer top…

But I need only remember my mom…just share gifts, follow the pattern.  MY Simplicity pattern.

Simplicity.

As corny, cliched, pie in the sky as it may sound, simplicity is the goal of the Amy Curtis Group. To share our gifts and knowledge of all things real estate to take care of the people we’re privileged to work with. Give us a holler.