Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Major Art Events Coming - Art Basel & Art Miami

I would like to share some of my favorite people on the outside of my associates here, as in the next few weeks we have two MAJOR Art Events! In Staging we are always utilizing Art!! I am always for the local art shows & artists...such as the Delray Affair & Las Olas Art Festivals. They inspire my creativity. These events however, kick it up to another level, & are exhibitors that you will only find either privately collected, in galleries, museums, or Sotheby's or similar auctions. The two events coming are Art Basel & Art Miami.
These events are timed just prior to the holidays when traffic is at its peak. Art Basel is an outstanding gathering of International Artists. Art Miami’s focus is modern, emerging & contemporary art of all ranges with a wide appeal to art dealers, curators, and collectors. I feel that Art Basel has a slightly varied international component, it consists of some rare pieces that are museum worthy, as well as the same (or more diverse) collectors, art dealers, galleries, artists, & curators pieces. These exhibits feature many prestigious artists & galleries across the world. Both events share dates, so I do encourage making a weekend of it, and a visit to both.
You will find our collaborative exhibit of a few of our artists at Art Miami 2000, when I was co-owner/founder of our former business Kaleidoscope Images. These artists were/are like our family, truly. We had approximately 50 artists of diverse style & passion. Kaleidoscope Images originated from my husband’s passion of his fine art photography when he traveled as a ship’s captain. I will blog about Kaleidoscope in the artist series of blogs in the future.
My purpose of this post is to help others mark the dates for these two wonderful events. Art Miami is November 30 - December 4th (their 22nd anniversary in Miami) & Art Basel is December 1-4 (the 10th year in Miami). These two events are similar to Art Expo New York, which we also have participated. It was when my husband convinced me to convert to a mini van.... so we would be able to accommodate all of our artwork for the drive up there. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about it until we made the trip...needless to say it was one of three that I owned before downsizing again. Chrysler can definitely make a comfortable car!
I urge anyone that is interested in art, or may be in town, to visit these two exhibits. I am sure that you will be amazed at the superior talent & creativity that you will be able to experience.
I previously had blogged about my friend & fine art photographer Alan Maltz. His studio & gallery are located right on Duval Street in Key West. (Alan shown below)

You will see in these photos below the former Peter Von Artens, we miss him tremendously.

Helen Morse (shown below ) (now residing in Arlington, MA)

(My Dad is on the right helping us that day, so I could attend to assist the other artists)
and Greg Hills work exhibited below.

(yes that is me above...)

I have few blogs in the makings: Karl Merklein & Gustavo Novoa & Greg Hills & Helen Morse are yet to come.

So, please look out for them later this month, as I couldn’t possibly put their influence on my life for all of those years into this blog. The main purpose is to give notice so you may put these two important & beautiful events on your calendar :)!  Thank you for visiting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Time In A Bottle & Elf On A Shelf Elevator Speech

Hi, I’m like your “Time In A Bottle” & “Elf-On-A-Shelf” all-in-one. My name is Pam Hills, founder of Innovative Artistry. I am a “Comfort Stylist” for Your Property & “Event Engineer” of your valuable milestones.

Elf of the House Harry Potter

(hand shake & you are?) (ask for mutual introduction & description) (give two or three cards) (hopefully they will offer a card)
Hand Shake
My goal is to 'assist' you & your Realtor with making the sale of your home as painless & expeditious as possible.

My job is to help guide you to protect one of your greatest investments, by staging the initial presentation of your home to potential buyers. I go with you & your agent every step of the way to help you prepare for those monumental steps by putting your "best image" forward with the sale of your property & enhance the maximum appearance... I help you "Dress You Home For Success", much like dressing for a job interview.

I set the stage with your property for the sale...or afterward for your comfort. :) I try to save you time in preparations, as well as your hopefully having much less time on the market which saves you money. If you have property, home, office, or vessel.....or know of anyone that may use my services, please give me a call. (pause) I would love to show you results that may save you time, money & stress & go over the creative ways I can be of help. Here is my contact information and website address, so you may see our artistry at work. It was very nice meeting you! (shake hands) I look forward to hearing from you! (smile)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Are Gutters Important to Your Home??

How many realize why Gutters are so important to your home?? While they can be "upgraded" to be more cosmetic, they actually serve a very important function.

  • Gutters help to prevent foundation damage as a result of improper drainage surrounding your home. Too much exposure to water can create mold, cracks, & unnecessary shifting of the foundation.
  • Gutters also help to protect your landscaping, pathway, or nice pavers from floating down the street by not allowing the pouring of the run off go straight onto your plants & hedges or walkways.
  • Gutters help prevent water from going into your basement
  • Gutters help water not accumulate on the roof which would create structural damage.
  • Gutters also protect the exterior paint from water exposure which in turn may cause fading.
  • They also help keep the exterior of your home clean so that you don't have that dirty splash against your stucco or siding chipping away or fading your facade.
  • They can also assist with protecting you from the rain if you are walking on the outside of your home.

Gutters are definitely way over looked for their importance they serve in the upkeep & preservation of our homes. I personally love some of the creative aesthetics that they have now. However, I think that the "seamless" gutters take the lead for practicality & elegance.

PictureModern Seamless Gutter

Gargoyle Gutter spoutDecorative Gutter Systems

I just love the simplicity & cleanliness of "seamless"versions.

Seamless Gutters

When I went looking today for the value of Gutters, to further present the case, of which I found several comments from Real Estate professionals on Trulia, when the question was posed ~

"Does installing gutters add value to the home or is it something that buyers don't care about because it's not "fancy and shiny" ?"

I loved the comparison(s). It certainly helped me to bring home the necessity.

I have since found the source here in Miami for Gutters & if anyone is need of Gutters, I suggest Surfside Seamless Gutters (305) 552-9495 or 305) 382-2526 Albert Perez is a wonderful person & he will be more than happy to assist you with your needs!

Okay, I wanted to share my findings regarding various gutters & the expanded knowledge I gained, of just how much they are an intricate part of our home. I could go on & on with the really creative downspouts...but I will close with the link....there is a fairy, a horse & cowboy, & some very historical ones as well. I look forward to your feedback on any other information on this (or any subject) :)


Friday, October 21, 2011

What A Difference - A Tile Story of a Realtor's Business - Meet SaniGLAZE® Miami

I have been wrestling with a flooring problem. It was more than just an issue of needing new grout or grout restoration, as it had just been partially re-grouted the year prior, but it was also a matter of ease of upkeep, cleanliness, & maintenance with a home here in Miami. Many of these homes have this tile in the surrounding subdivisions, as it was the era they were constructed & with limited funds available for some homeowners, I sought a possible solution.

I called Sergio Barrero, C.B.S.E. who was kind (& patient) enough to give me a demonstration for a proposed project....This demonstration lasted approximately 1.5 hours & I am hopeful it will present many more projects of working together in the future. I guess it will depend on a few factors to come with the viability & the test factor. He says that longevity should be at least 2 years in a residential environment for the protective coating & the glaze should last for a lifetime.

Sergio's company offers a proprietary product with a franchise located here in Miami, Florida. Their headquarters are located in Jacksonville, Florida. I didn't know it at the time I made the appointment, as I came to him when I found his franchise product, but Sergio also is an Agent. He was previously with Keller Williams. Sergio presently works with his Uncle's Brokerage Office. He had just finished taking a continuing education class before our appointment. So he can first hand attest to the value in this product in the resale market. I did invite Sergio join our Active Rain network and family :).

Their product does give the "Wow" factor of almost being brand new without the daunting tasks of tile replacement. If anyone has ever had tile taken out...then they know what a messy task it can be. SaniGLAZE® helps overcome the dirt getting embedded into the grout which causes your tile to age & accumulate dirt in a short amount of time. It assists by making the maintenance of a home, apartment or office that much easier.

These are the images that got me to make the appointment, as you can see what a difference. I already knew what re-grouting & restoration could do, but the constant battle is what weighed on my mind. I searched for a solution & it seems to fit the needs. As I mentioned, I am small potatoes to Sergio's business of Hospitals, Apartments, & Extended Living...but I am hoping to bring him another channel with staging the hope of many Home Owners as well as the Hotel Industry.

This process also gives a home a "fresh" look when placing it on the market either for sale or for lease. I was very thankful that he took the time with me today & I feel that there could be a great benefit to others in today's climate. Sergio's primary bulk of his business comes from Property Managers & Commercial Developments such as Hospitals, Extended Care Facilities,and Apartment Buildings all over the State of Florida.

I have the below photos of a small area in an entrance & a bath as an example & then there is a slide show below from their International Facebook Site.

I strongly suggest anyone needed such services give Sergio a call or I will be happy to coordinate.

Before Shot Sergio Barrero, C.B.S.E. Applying the Cleaning Product

He carefully masked the area off to show prep for the polymer glaze that was applied to the right

The left is the doorway after the glaze & hardened sealer & the right is the bath just after cleaning

This bath, believe it or not, had just been re-grouted less than a year prior.....a challenging area, lifestyle, & traditional sealing hadn't helped. Please feel free to contact Sergio or myself to schedule any appointments for his team's demonstration & I would love to get any feedback of anyone who has experienced this product.

Sergio Barrero may be reached (305)300-5393 or (305)396-1021 http://sgmiami.saniglaze.com/

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Love A Story Of Hope & I Feel This One Will Warm Your Hearts

Hope is such a magical word. We all exist on "hope" whether we admit it or not.... In these times hope is more important than ever to share & spread inspiration. Today was an unusual story of hope; I stumbled upon, as it was very unique and right in my own native state.

This story is of a young man that has served our country & endured incredible battles.

Discouraged Soldier

Humbled by the fact he had returned home & felt lost, only to find that he retraced his roots to the home he had "rebelled & left from" when he enlisted...as many youth do. This was where the story took a turn..

The path he takes after is a remarkable renewed appreciation for his roots & how he uses this to

help others find the hope that was gifted to him by his parents following his return. I have to thank Parade magazine for sharing this story today for me to share with you.http://www.parade.com/news/2011/10/hope-grows-here.html

This story led me to share it with my father, who in turn is going to share it with his American Legion post for support efforts. I also am sharing with you as who knows what other inspirations may stem from your reading & thoughts.

A Salute In Honor

I hope you enjoy & it warms your heart as it did mine! There are never enough ways to help our veterans & the "productive therapy" & "camaraderie" this shared was so moving emotionally. We often stretch our wings when we can be ourselves with nature. I have seen that happen even again recently with my daughter's move to a more "country" or nature zoned area of our region.

There is a tremendous message here in helping our veterans....but I also found that these veterans sent another message home (in my mind or JMHO) on what is a healthier way of life in considering the future....at least may be for my family.

I am grateful to them in so many ways, but this article just gave me another & my father another volunteer effort to explore!

These are the "many" efforts I found today:






I actually saw 'at least' 17 Farming Veteran organizations listed on the www.farmvetco.orgsite.

I am just so proud of Sgt. Adam Burke for what he has done right here in the state of Florida. I am wishing him an abundance of support.

I know I am a bit early....but I find this to be appropriate "every" day!! I am not going to wait to share this story.

Veteran's Day Flag

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Fun Impact ~ Part 1....

Just thinking of a few inexpensive tips that may be I could pass on to make it even "more" of a Happy Halloween & something that comes from my home. There is at least a Part 2 to this series....but we will start with Part 1 :)!!

Halloween has always been pretty big in my home....not because I like scary (I won't go to horror movies...) but because it was always something I thought I needed to make special for the kids. Especially when we moved into our "new" neighborhood while my daughter was growing up.

I found there were infinite options. I have 'alway's had to set limits, but I wanted to pull out a few that were of minimal investment for this year that may be helpful.

There are certain things that you may find that I focus on that put an "imprint" & this is one of them.... The rest of the "imprint" series will follow, but for now it is HALLOWEEN :)

My daughter became engaged on Halloween, as that was one of her most favorite times of year....I am not fully sure how that came about...but I guess it was "fun enough" growing up that it made her happy :)!

So, I wanted to try to spread some cheer & see if they may be of help to others that are of minimal expense, but have an impact in the community.

We have done many things....from stuffing small plastic grocery bags with leaves & then stuffing clothes with them to make scarecrows & people....to monsters....to foggers & noise w/ video. I wish I had more photos, but that was before this stage in life & if you are greeting you can't be photographing!

These two are at the top of my list though....Flags.... Full Size, Garden Size, or Wind Socks...all make a difference :)!!!

I used to always buy Windsport® Flags by Gantz - They used to be more plentiful, but the went out of business. I think their quality was so high that it made it difficult for the 'average' person to purchase, but they were the coolest flags & so dimensional. They had a product that was of amazing quality. I use www.justforfunflags.com to try to locate what I am able to of similar value now in quality.

You can sometimes find them on ebay like this one for summer or anytime for fun


If you can chase down the Windsport® Flags then these little garden ones will do nicely....your local Lowes usually keeps some in stock. I LOVE the people at Just For Fun Flags....so nice & the ship it in a flash.


The next thing that I usually do regularly is a fog...now I noticed this year that Lowe's has a very reasonable fogger for $29.95 (now 20% off) but you can also use dry ice to accomplish much of the same effect. Dry Ice runs about $1.25-$1.50 per pound & can be pre-ordered through your local grocer (Publix, Winn Dixie, Kroger, Walmart (super w/grocery)) I find that 5-10 pounds should more than last the few hours of trick or treating & nightfall.

If you follow the instructions you should be in good shape...just be careful as you could burn yourself with it. I has restrictions for transport, etc. as well. However, there are some links below that should be helpful for this GREAT Halloween use. If you have a fountain then even better. I used to put it in our waterfall by our front door as the guest arrived at the porch & I also had a larger fogger as they approached.

You can add vanilla or a scent to the water to make it have a smell if you wish. We have used this with hot towel delivery.



There is a webbing & tiny spiders, that is glow in the dark with a black light. The black light can screw in to a spot light or other light & then adds further dimension to the web ;-)!! The light is less than $5.00 & the webbing from Lowes is less than $3.00.

They have dremel adapters & templates for Pumpkins....

There are so many things....Okay, this is a start as I have to get up at 4am again, but wanted you to be able to order flags & ice if you wish. One lady placed it in a cauldron & then put the candy in it for the kids....for a very spooky experience. The fogger I had to reduce because it did give the tiny ones a start. I just put it to the side, so it was not as intense to scare them.

Happy Halloween :)!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

What Are Your Thoughts On How to "Fix" Us Economically?

This may be my shortest blog ever for me....but what do you think about these two articles...they just happened to arrive after suggesting Vegas Bob's Blog http://activerain.com/blogsview/2550350/i-think-it-s-criminal-for-home-property-values-to-go-down-but-property-taxes-don-t- (you will see my comment there on "this economic issue".

I think that the protests are growing, but what are your ideas on the "fix". My feelings may be controversial to many right now....but I don't have much time to watch television between working both of my occupations, family @ home, "&" my family in the "Rain". I turn it on for the news & a few campaign updates have worked their way in as well.... I have some feelings in a nutshell.

Our problems started long before this term was elected & when this president took office he took office with a freight train coming at him 100 mph. It would have been the case with either presidential candidate I feel.

  • I think more frequent that ever, that "all" new presidential terms should be 6 years, as it takes the first two to get solid footing & find out the overwhelming amount of information that has been kept on the "inside" of who has what or acted on what & to be "briefed". May be a re-election term of shorter duration. It is not like in our professions (present or former) where you may have a 2 week training period or turnover. I think it takes a bit longer to learn the turnover of the US?
  • I do not think that campaigning should be allowed to go almost two years before the present term is barely even up?? When was that decided?? It makes me feel ever more annoyed with the candidates that they can't see the distraction they are creating. It is not a positive light for them in my eyes. It is a terrible distraction from the work that needs to be of "focus" without a mass of outside rhetoric from others in glass houses.
  • I don't ever wish us to have another president that has an interest in a natural resource/commodity that we depend on as a nation. It is no offense...I just think it is too tempting. (I don't care if it is fertilizer....corn, wheat or coffee...but especially I am not comfortable with "oil")
  • Don't you ever wonder why more presidents don't quit since no one is appreciative for what they try to do with all the internal political controversy ongoing amongst them? (I have patience, but don't think many have that much patience)

I vote independent & I am NOT standing for a "party" so much as the position of responsibility of which we have as an elected position.



I do see how the protesters started.... Just my thoughts...to get your thoughts on how do you feel it could be "fixed" so we can begin to find some normalcy??? Some in the protest felt there should also be a "maximum" wage...as there is a "minimum" wage? Should there be more protection for the "golden" parachutes"??

It All Started With "I Love Your Shoes"

I met a very interesting young woman today that was traveling with 5 of her best team members. I wish all conversations started this simple... (Just kidding many times they do).....It all started with "I love your shoes".... Well sounds simple enough right. (Most of the time, I am the quiet type)...but....It can be!!

I know that this conversation may not apply to everyone, but I had to share because it was "just that simple".....& I guess it depends on the person you are engaging, but the results were surprising.

I wound up having over a half hour conversation with a wonderful young woman probably my daughter's age that was going to a conference that was to be the top 100 sales associates in the country.... (What does this mean...well you won't believe it).... She said that there are associates (now she didn't say how many, but the potential is there) & the range is they are making $60k per month.... It doesn't really matter here either what she or others make...it was her "aura" that went with her & ironically her name is


It was not just her shoes....it was her whole demeanor. She just presented herself unlike many I see. I see in my other in a sphere of about 500 people per day....sometimes more & these days are about 19-20 days per month or approximately 10,000.

I don't really pay attention to just your shoes...but at this moment that was the beginning of our journey.

There are probably a few that may not realize that I have two spheres going, for a number of reasons...mostly because of my passion (s) & also of being practical.... It is with this one sphere, that I could easily run across 10,000 or so in a month... (& please don't take this as a boast, as it is NOT...in fact sometimes it has been a difficult in the transition from one to the other.........to the regular way of life when we are off...well the transition is a distinctive transition.

There are a few of my co-workers when they get home...well they don't even go to their mailbox right outside their door for a day...something for another blog another day. This one is to help hopefully all here.

The blessing is there are "all" cultures, countries, & in this circumstance, "uniqueness". I emphasize "uniqueness", as in my world of thousands...that is always a "good" thing because I see hundreds of people in a day (probably close to 10k-11k a month)..."Unique" has to stand out in a positive way. In this case, I am still on her story & sharing to others.... even after 500-600 people today.

I will not go into a lot of writing here, except to give you the highlights.

Auri had a very humble "genuine" charisma that just stood out...It was not her being beautiful, as believe me I have seen beautiful people that were not beautiful. She was internally...& when she was in her row of her friends/associates & when she was standing in line waiting for the lavatory & she was definitely not trying to put herself above. It gave me a moment of pause that I felt I should compliment her, on her shoes, but also her within the group I wish the shoes were here, but they are not in an image here...The shoes here are unique & not because of their value, but because they have creativity....they were fantastic, not too over the top & well just appropriate & actually her whole outfit looked very nice. She thanked me & responded that her husband gave it to her & "he had picked it out for her". (It also was not just her outfit, but that does start the flow of conversation sometimes). It was just so easy & it just was an example when we can open ourselves up in time & in the present it just may be that easy.

Until you know me, then you will understand that it is not common for me to hold that pause....unless there is an instinctive moment. Unfortunately, it is because it is given with our surroundings in my other sphere. In that particular moment I had less than .81 minutes or less than (1) minute to spend with Auri, but yet I spent almost a half hour with her, her team. A conversation my colleague & I had with her, of which we heard how we may connect family members to their group. A relationship that started with shoes may turn into months/years?? Yes, I said "how WE" may connect family members to her group. I also had a friend across the country doing what she does...so it is a small world. She didn't "sell us"...ironically... (Or may be she did?)

We learned of her company & how she has progressed & the gentleman I was working with may be having his wife contact her & I may be forwarding my daughter.

We didn't know at the time, but Auri was the "National" sales director for her team. She was coming to a conference of 100 across the United States, hosted by the person ranked #3 in the US, within her corporation. Auri spoke of some of her representatives and it also gave me a moment.

Her words were "you NEVER know what is within you until you TRY & are out there". She was an Actuary major & she completely switched streams when she heard of her company & now look at her!!

She was so generous as well. She had her entire agenda stacked, but she wanted to connect with the group & I after we arrived to give us some gifts...? You almost 'never' see such. We could not participate as we had to get up at 3:45am, but we assured we would be in touch.

We limit ourselves so much! I know that if there were not those of us that worked for others, well then I am not sure what the economy would be like...as each has their part....

........but I do know that when we are freed to pursue independently, then there is a whole new set of wings & our spirit is happy....& new set of "options" opens up in this great expansive world.

I will dedicate this blog to Auri....it led to many more things than this....but the point was the conversation started with "I love your shoes" & it was just that simple & thus so can "your" conversations. This was an event that sent a dear friend of 20 years & may send a few of my family on a whole new path. You just never know what paths you are going to encounter when you make conversations.

Did I mention that it all started with "I LOVE your shoes"!!?? Her shoes were so unique that I could not find a photo in amongst all of these designer shoes.... (Including these "Louboutin's" & Manolo Blahnik's)

I did not ask her what her shoes were, (they may have been from Payless or Macys)... as it did NOT matter...what was the difference is that there was an irony.... It started with her shoes, but that was "just the beginning of the story"... We "ALL" have a story... our goal is to share the story & make it work to help each other. Our goal is each of "our" uniqueness.

I am not suggesting that you go stand in line of the lavatory...but what I am suggesting is that hopefully others will realize that it can be "just that simple". :)

It doesn't require Manolos or Louboutins to do it....I promise. Okay, more tomorrow. I have to get up at 4am... Happy Saturday/Sunday!!

(images courtesy of Google, Neiman Marcus & Payless)

Nicholas Kirkwood - ROSES PRINTED PUMPS - mytheresa.com GmbHNMF12_X0U2RNMF12_X0V3U

  • Women's Katchy Cross Strap Pump

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Sitting On The Fence"

Well over the past few months of discussion the subject of "Sitting On The Fence" has come up often....well I guess that "often" would be an understatement, but we will keep it at often for my thoughts today....

Fence Sitters

(courtesy of Google)

I have said to myself that I can totally relate to the circumstances, as there have been circumstances in my life where I have felt stuck. I guess others may be could have viewed it as "sitting on the fence", even though I was still making progress & moving forward.

There were a lot of responsibilities at the time. I was busy & with numerous distractions. These changes may not have been as severe, or as "they" (others) would have thought, but they were what was required of me.

There have been other times that obstacles have just stopped me cold. In fact these past few years I have set on a path a couple of times & low & behold it was like someone had put rubber cement on the pavement. When I tried to pull it out it just snapped back...now some of these (or many of these) were "external" factors. As a result though.....

I thought to "self". "What keeps people stuck"?? These were just a few answers that came to mind & not in order of any priority, but are...or could be factors ~

  • Fear (of the present or the future - Professional, Familial, Health)
  • Economics
  • Life Events
  • Health
  • Needs of Family
  • Needs of Professional Obligations
  • Transfers or So Many Places & Options to Experience (in Real Estate or a corporate location, or consideration for our family or a relationship...."do we want to be in this location in 5, 10, 20, 40 years?" As we are no longer guaranteed to sell it quickly or possibly even for what we paid for it if something comes up after we have purchased)

Some of these factors may not have existed before. May be a generation is older now...or may be a new generation just starting & are not sure where they want to "settle" with the big world wide open before them.

There are definitely ways to address all of these, but some are easier than others, I think that we "all" can admit that there are times that we "have" to sit on the fence to contemplate our next move.

Today this landed from a friend onto my Facebook page......with the news this evening & the past week, well it struck a chord. I had to share so that others would have "inspiration". I also needed to share the points above so that we/others may have "understanding" & compassion of each other & what may cause us to stay stuck or what may help us find our way. I wanted to see if we can have understanding & compassion for "why" others may be stuck? I think that is a large step towards progress.

"It May Be That When We No Longer Know What To Do, We Have Come To Our Real Work, And When We No Longer Know Which Way To Go, We Have Begun Our Real Journey."(courtesy of Facebook Wall Photos)

Sometimes circumstances "push" us to begin to merge another path, or another journey, or simply modify the journey we are on. However, while we are resetting our compasses, we do sometimes pause on that very uncomfortable (or comfortable) fence. I know that I am trying to fine tune my compass... :). There is another fence I may speak of later this week.

It is a very "profound statement on this Wall Photo posting..."begun our REAL JOURNEY" & ....

there is only one that knows what and where that journey may take us. I feel that there have been many beginnings of which I am forever grateful.

Active Rain Blog to Real Estate Industry Professionals - Just a thought & please don't shoot me for asking....

I read a LOT from all of you, plus see what is happening in my own environment, as well as what is in the news & documentaries. I just have had a thought & please don't shoot me for asking....

What does everyone think about trying to merge the part that is the dreaded lease/rental market with your listing opportunities? I guess I have seen a LOT of properties stay on the market, & people are shy for many reasons about making those commitments. I just have felt that may be a way to bring about a win-win for everyone may be to bring back (or dusting off) a very, very old practice of Lease/Purchase. I know it is not the "immediate" commission that everyone is looking for, & I know that it delays the seller having an actual closing to move on with their life. However, if they are receiving income that can help bridge that time that properties are sitting vacant anyway, & may be it would be a way to realize less of a loss.....

would it not make a way to create yet another level....to your volume of business??

I have had this thought many times in my speaking to friends & my other sphere...we discuss what is going on in the economy & even going on with some of them (my friends) & their homes. Many of these people want to make transitions & they can't.

They can't make a purchase because may be they have had to short sell their home, or relocate & aren't sure of the areas yet.

Not all people out there are not able, or are shy about purchasing, nor are they 'all' dead beats. I don't think they are "all" trying to string anyone along....there may be several for sure, but I "know" for the most part there is a HUGE volume of people that are trying to just re-group after this cycle we have experienced..... and are 'still' experiencing. They are trying to see where they will fall....where they will be able to "fit" now...here and now in the "present" world.

I know that years ago... this practice existed because it gave creativity during a troubled time that many haven't referenced too much. (I am dating myself again...) I will say it was at least 30 years ago, as it was my first house at 21 years old. We didn't have much, but we had our income taxes & a little deposit we were able to put down. Well back then the builders were REALLY hurting. I mean it was incredible the interest rates!!! When I tell you these interest rates, some of you may remember...but they were staggering!! The builders rate was 21% on his construction loan & my home loan wound up at 18%...(as a 1st time homebuyer)....now the prices of homes were MUCH less, but those were the rates.

We were not sure how we were going to do it, but we had been married about 4 years & we felt that before we moved forward with our family growth that this was the wisest planning. We wanted to have a home for our child before we decided to conceive. Well we took upon the task of looking & there was a builder who was willing to do a lease purchase on a brand new home for 8 months. He applied all the payments to the down payment & we closed in 8 months. The basics were (& these principals may not be allowed any longer)...but the bank would allow him to escrow the funds for our closing & down payment. He in essence raised the purchase price to cover the 8 months, but only for the amount of our down payment....& the house had to appraise, which it did without any problem for the increased amount. Shortly thereafter our daughter was born.

The guts of the story is to bring up the question, is there a way to turn these properties that are sitting vacant into lease/purchases for the owners that are in transition for some of the reasons above:

  • First Time Home Owners
  • Relocation or Job Transfer
  • Short Sale/Foreclosure on their prior home...(may be one of the spouses lost their jobs, had a medical hardship, or reduction of income) but were not always in trouble. May be they purchased their prior home between 2004-2009?

I found this program link on line & I don't know much about it, but it looks as if the may be trying to "dust off" a program that I personally experienced over 30 years ago?

Okay, so don't shoot me for bringing this up....but there have been a few times I have calculated the math on vacancies & thinking to myself.....well this may have leased for $_______ say it is smaller $900 - $1100...& it sits for 6 months without income....well the owner has already reduced the price whether he realizes it or not??

I saw one listing that had refused to do a lease/purchase & had previously rented for $850. The unit is still empty after 6 months? The agent lowered the price $250 twice.... I am NOT criticizing the agent, as the instructions I am sure are coming from the owner, but this was the math in my head. My head may be wrong...so again, don't shoot me.

  • $900 x 6 = $5400, plus the owner even if mortgage free has paid association dues on this property @ approximately $400 per month. $1100 X 6 = $6600, etc.

I am just not sure if they have looked at the vacancy for the properties in the area & the time on the market & thought of this consideration?

I just thought that it may be a way to:

  • expand your business market...even if deals close a little later, may be they are more likely to close with you?
  • gain a loyalty in helping people make the transitions that are going on today with "both" sellers & buyers?
  • get more return if you are showing rentals... if you can find properties that have committed that they would consider a lease/purchase offer?

I think I promised the link I found. http://www.self-help.org/neighborhood-stabilization-program/Self-Help%20Lease%20Purchase%20Programforwebsite.pdf

I know that a lot of counties have stabilization programs going on right now. In Miami-Dade County there is one called the Home Buyer's Club. http://www.miamidade.gov/hfa/home_buyers_club.asp The Home Buyers Club walks buyers through the entire step of the home purchase of a home within Miami-Dade County....but is not a lease/purchase plan. I know there are tons of programs, but this is one you don't see much of & I have just wondered, if it were yet another option that may just need "dusting off"?? Or if the masses just felt it would not work??

I know that interest rates are a lot less than when we were looking at trying to purchase, but the circumstances are a lot different still. You can't buy that type of house for $52,000 anymore, it is more like $200,000 even in this market & people can't afford those interest rates & keep the values from going down even further. I am not sure how many have looked at median & starting salaries for your counties?? Ours is very interesting to see....even "if" you double it for a two income household.

I know that it was a common practice with equipment purchased when we had our business. We did lease purchases with dollar buy outs at the end. I am not sure what the feedback will be with property & this practice? It just came to mind as a possible solution for the frustration I have seen with the market & with more clients wishing to lease & their confusion, or lack of commitment. It also seemed viable for the seller who is hoping for an offer...it may be a more gentile way to have someone take over in this bit wobbly market.

Okay, I hope you don't shoot me for the question....but I wondered how many may have considered this with their listings or when they are considering the ones that are out their leasing?? Have a GREAT Week!!

I would also think it would incorporate some loyalty as well as both parties would feel happy to be able that you "rescued" them during difficult times when they were the most vulnerable??

Monday, October 3, 2011

"Ahhhh" with My First Bite

Everyone once in a while you just have one of those ahhhh moments!?! Well, I did late last night. I always try to eat right... I am not able to always. Salads many times are my staple & the regimen that I try to keep up. It helps in many ways health wise.

It was late, late last night & I uttered that "ahhhh" with my first bite!! Welcome to Ice Box Cafe!! I think i have just found my favorite salad!! (Okay, well it is in the top 3 as I have many favorite salads ;-)...) You see, I have a favorite pick in just about any airport you want to pass me through (especially in the US) & many a local restaurants.

Yesterday, when I was on the fly & no time to stop I grabbed a soup that I repeat occasionally (coconut chicken curry soup) (another melt in your mouth moment) & a salad struck my visual radar.... I went back & forth with the salads....about three times...so difficult to make a choice. They all looked Yummy!! I had a wrap before, & it was terrific, but I wasn't in the wrap mood. They also have a lot of hot entree choices. I regret I didn't really have the time to sit & eat.

I had only tried this location a couple of times. Once because I received a gift card for a dessert & did have a slice of carrot cake that was out of this world. Their desserts I had heard were at the top of Oprah's charts. She was right!! ... Any time that Oprah puts her seal of approval on it...well it is pretty much a touch of gold. There are a couple of these places that Oprah has supported right here in South Florida & both times she was spot on. They were the desserts she loves. The cafe I am speaking of presently is “ICE BOX Café”.

http://www.iceboxcafe.com/ib_cafe_lr_home.asp Their food is so healthy!! They also have a very interesting story & Robert Seigmann is the founder.

The salad I had was the Shrimp Mediterranean Salad, & oh my. It had a vinaigrette dressing that was so light & scrumptious, mixed with the peppered or blackened season grilled shrimp. I could not have asked for a better finish to my day. I had eaten the soup on the run, but gave me comfort for the 13 hour day.... & the salad was just what the doctor had ordered, when I was able to finally get in late for my final reward :) before sleep.

I LOVE the soup & have added the salad as my very favorite salad in Miami International Airport, with my Greek favorite as a runner up. The carrot cake is so light & fluffy that you won’t realize that it has any calories. In fact I am convinced it doesn't. You will say it must be healthy as the carrots are so fresh & plentiful & it is so light, definitely worth the indulgence.

We were “really” fortunate to have “ICE BOX” settle here with us in South Florida. I am extremely fortunate to be able to frequent them fairly often. They also have their home location on Lincoln Road in South Beach. I am not certain, but I believe their position was to expand to other airports in the future. In the mean time we are thrilled to have them in Miami International & South Beach in the South Florida area, so come visit us!! :) I am sure you too will have your very own "aaahhh" moment & look forward to hearing your favorites!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moving such an intricate part of Real Estate & Life

Well this blog came to me today when trying to get my son, daughter-n-law, & grandson moved from their apartment that I wrote about not so very long ago with their unwelcome guests.

I have found value in this truck rental company time & time again. I said well this is information to share that may be everyone can use?? The type of truck I have been geared towards has been the key to my choice in this company. I have decided after one of MANY moves that a "lift gate" on a truck is crucial. Ramps are nice, but when you are moving armories, portable fireplaces, even appliances...well then it gets a bit tricky & really worth the few extra dollars to pay for this feature. I have found there is a catch & that in most cases it has to be a business lease. I am not sure if this is a service that may be could be organized through the closings, but it is worth it to have a lift gate on the truck for the move. I have found a branch that will lease to individuals locally without it being a business, but that may not apply for everyone.

The company that I found has the "best" rates is Budget Truck Rentals. www.budgettrucks.com

16' Truck w/ Lift Gate I believe they also have a 24' w/Lift gate.

They offer GREAT values if you move "during the week" & 24 hours notice (25% off) You can put MID25 in the discount code through December 29th & 20% off if you book on dates that are other than blackout dates (of course being the times of lease change over & heavier volume for them - usually the end & 1st of the month) The code for that is listed on their site but it is DIS20.

I am have had to use them a LOT this year & they have gained my loyalty, just shy of purchasing a truck for us....

Well I just wanted to pass this on quickly before I go up to help them make yet another step. He wanted to do a lease/purchase, but we haven't found one for them yet. So, they are really happy where they are going in the mean time.

I hope that many of you are able to pass this info on, as it is "BACK" saving measure to have a "Lift Gate" with your moving truck, if you are not able to afford movers to do it for you. He is getting some friends together & doing this move after work....so this was the most practical for their move anyway. Have a GREAT week!!

They are so excited!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Out of the Office

out of the office

(Images courtesy of Google - Thank you Google for the fun!) I know, I know, I am "always" out of the office....

no really....I have to go to training for two days..... 9/26-9/27 :-/

funny out of the office

out of the office stitching

I will miss you guys......no distractions allowed or I will have to pass a tin cup...

tin cupso..... I will look forward to 9/28 :)!!

"Graciousness" ~ When did the cross over happen??

On with the track of my positive spirit, I am determined to sustain - I wanted to share this quote today as a remembrance of our impact on each other. The blog started in my head with changes that I had witnessed between generations, as of late, and as a result of an encounter last week.

It was with someone younger than my daughter, in a "very" public setting. The thought then popped in my head, as it had many times before..."when did we cross over the balance beam from "graciousness" to "entitlement" socially?

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." by --Carl Buchner

After these thoughts, plus the information from my friend on a corporate matter, I experienced the encounter. My brother followed up by inviting me to watch a movie that I suggest everyone in this industry (or any other one for that matter) to watch... It is on HBO - "Too Big To Fail".


Seesaw of Corporations

Never, in history, can I remember someone worrying about "if" their real estate/home would wind up being worth less than what they paid for it.

Well that is not what led me to write this story.....

  • it was someone of another generation that showed me her style of "entitlement"

  • as well as another friends news of what may transpire of economic impact in the next few months that also is another display of "entitlement"...

It posed the question to me - "Entitlement" (or may be Narcissistic attitude) & "Graciousness" ~ When did the cross over happen??

"These are two separate issues", I said, but then.....I replied with, "are they??" (Yes, I answered myself)

crazy drawing

I highly recommend the movie!! I do ask the question, when did we cross over the balance beam? How can we correct this for future generations, as I am concerned for my children & now grandchildren??? (Goodness that list is getting so long!....)

I will close on a sunnier note: :)

You may wish to take a peek at this blog - it is not as it seems but I found does have inspiration some really nice thoughts.


How would you like to be remembered?? How can we help change the future to the positive for our children & grandchildren??

(I edited this down quite a bit & the rest will be released if necessary next March / April, depending on the news my friend shared....a difficult week it has been a few fronts) I look forward to your input :)

This is a search that I liked for "gracious"...... Hugs & Night. (images courtesy of Google, as well as the definition)

gra·cious (grshs)
1. Characterized by kindness and warm courtesy.
2. Characterized by tact and propriety: responded to the insult with gracious humor.
3. Of a merciful or compassionate nature.
4. Courteous; indulgent.
5. Characterized by charm or beauty; graceful.
6. Characterized by elegance and good taste: gracious living.
7. Archaic Enjoying favor or grace; acceptable or pleasing.
Used to express surprise or mild emotion.