Archive for June, 2011

Cashon & Co. | Lived In Luxury Done Right

I wanted to take a moment and bring your attention to a great blog- Cashon & Co – in Dallas who recently designed a close friends’ kitchen. Our friends’ kitchen in the University Park area of Dallas was featured in Better Homes and Garden magazine this month and it is the perfect example of making new construction feel “lived in yet luxurious.”

Please check out the site, and check out the magazine! It really is fantastic design work.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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To Buy An Old House Or A New House?

When it comes to buying a home, there are MANY factors to consider. One of which is whether to buy a new house or settle in with the charm of an old house. These two houses offer various advantages yet they can also be a drawback for some people.

Here are the pros and cons of buying an old house/new house.

Pros of an old house:

  • Closeness to the downtown areas – Usually older homes are much closer to downtown areas since these homes are established in a time when there were ample lots to build near the downtown areas. These are usually near to metropolitan areas and thus probably closer to your work and other business establishments.
  • Larger properties – Most of the older houses were built in larger lots so you can have the advantage of a huge property if you select an older home.
  • Full-grown environment – Landscaping is already fully established in the property so you can see full grown tress, blossoming flowers and much more beautiful scenery that new homes really lack.
  • Better quality of construction – These old houses have already been through a number of storms and other disastrous weather but they still stand solid and strong!
  • Charm – It is already a given that old houses are very charming, especially when combined with old styles of home fixtures, furnishing and interior design.

Cons of an old house:

  • Additional expense for remodeling – You may need to remodel some areas of the house like upgrading the bathroom, the kitchen or even the lighting of the house
  • More frequent maintenance – Often old houses needs regular maintenance since some of the materials have been used for a very long time
  • Less space when it comes to storage – People in the old days simply did not have as many things as we do today, so they set their storage space to their needs before- which can create some issues for our needs today.

Pros of a new house:

  • Lots of space and storage – New homes conform to the needs of today’s occupants, hence they are equipped with more spaces and storage for the increased needs of today’s generation.
  • Low maintenance – Since most of the materials and features of the new house are basically new, these do not need frequent maintenance and are under good repair from the start.
  • Modern facilities – Of course, any new house would include modern amenities like dishwashers which when buying some older homes – the counters were set too low to accommodate dishwashers size today.
  • Innovation – Those who wants a new house can enjoy everything new and often selecting finishings to their taste.
  • Observance of the new code in safety – New houses are established under the new code of home quality and safety.

Cons of a new house:

  • Less mature environment – Since new houses are built recently, you can assume that the environment is not yet thriving. Flowers are still maturing and trees are young.
  • Distance to metropolitan areas – Most new homes are built away from the city or the urban areas so you need to drive a long way to go to work
  • Higher taxes – New Homes pay a higher tax compared to the older houses

When it comes down to it, the final deciding factor is YOU and what you like. But hopefully these points have given you some food for thought.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Lighting Ordinance Approved in Norman

The outdoor commercial lighting ordinance is now approved in Norman, Oklahoma, despite heavy protest. The City council members voted 6-2 in favor of passing the ordinance.

The members of the city council in favor of the ordinance are claiming that the new lighting will not will be able to cut down energy waste and therefore enhancing the quality of life. The opponents are saying that such ordinance will be expensive for business owners and will still be unsafe and over regulated.

Attorney Sean Rieger of the Builders Association of South Central Oklahoma said that the new rules in lighting are unclear. This will only lead more property owners to be penalized unnecessarily or be found guilty of violating the ordinance.

According to business owner Greg Mattoon, he fears for the safety of his family given the type of mandate in lighting. He also added that this lighting ordinance will only cost him in his business. However, Architect Dave Boeck said that after building his business with the integration of the new standards of lighting in mind, he did not acquire any more expense as compared to the traditional lighting.

The rules accompanying the lighting ordinance will only be applied to new construction. These will address the type of light poles outside as well as other outdoor light fixtures to be used. This will help in addressing the light spillover of many commercial properties to residential areas.

The new Norman lighting ordinance will exempt the University of Oklahoma, public schools, public athletic fields and OG&E. This will take effect next month.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Myriad Botanical Gardens Summer Concert Series

Throughout the summer, the Arts Council presents free concerts at the Myriad Botanical Gardens for all to enjoy – the Devon Energy Sunday Twilight Concert Series! Families and friends gather, bringing picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs, listening to the sounds of talented local performers as the sun sets on the Oklahoma City horizon. A huge thanks to Devon Energy for sponsoring this year’s concerts.

The 2011 Devon Energy Sunday Twilight Concert Series will be held on the Grand Lawn in the Myriad Gardens on Sunday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m.

June 26 Riders Ford Red Dirt/Country
July 10 John Arnold Band Country/Swing/Jazz/Rock
July 17 Brother Summit with Kerry Wayne Old School/Jazz
July 24 Edgar Cruz Classical Guitar
July 31 Sherree Chamberlain Singer/Songwriter
August 7 Shortt Dogg Variety
August 14 Flatland Travelers Funk/Blues/Folk/Reggae
August 21 OK Chorale Choral
August 28 Tekumbe Latin Fusion

The entertainment line-up is subject to change.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Buying a House: Are You Already Prepared?

Planning to buy a house? You may have all the enthusiasm to get up your seat and start scouting for the perfect house for you and your family. But, one question remains to be answered first before you buy your dream house, “Are you prepared to buy a house?”

There are certain guidelines in understanding whether you are already set to buy a house. These guiding principles will aid you in deciding if you are capable of buying the house you want to live in.

Do you have a stable financial situation?

This is a very important consideration before you start planning on buying a house. Of course, you cannot buy a house if you do not have the money or the financial stability to own one. You must consider yourself as having the capacity to pay the down payment as well as the monthly payments before searching for a house to buy.

If you see yourself in the next 20 to 30 years as having a steady income, you can now get up on your feet and start scouting for the right house.

Do you have enough cash on hand for a down payment?

One of the major requirements in buying a house is paying the down payment. Buying a house requires a certain percentage (depending on your financier and loan) of the full price for a down payment so always be ready to have such cash, or check, on hand.

Remainder of the full home price will then be settled on a monthly basis via your home loan.

Are you capable of paying the monthly loan for your house?

Although you can now afford to pay the down payment, you must also consider your monthly payments. Monthly payments include mortgage and the property taxes at the end of the year as well as any home repair costs that may spring up when you least expect them.

To have a good idea on how much you would be spending on your monthly payment:

  1. Search for a possible house you want to buy. If you already have the down payment on hand, subtract this amount to the full price. The remainder amount will then be divided to the mortgage terms (i.e. a 30-year mortgage). The quotient plus the taxes and interest will then become your monthly payment.
  2. If you have an agent, you ask for a rough computation on what will be your monthly payment for the given home price.

To give you a lesser monthly payment, you can increase your down payment so the remainder of the full price will also decrease and consequently decreasing your monthly payment. Otherwise, choose a less expensive house.

Do you have a good credit rating?

Having a good credit rating will make you eligible for good rates in your mortgage. See with your agent or lender if you have a good credit rating or is qualified for a good mortgage rate. If not, ask help on how to improve your rating.

Are you ready to pay other expenses and costs?

Buying a house does not stop you in simply paying for the home price. You must also be capable financially in paying for other expenses such as fees, repairs for your new house both inside and out, utilities such as water and electricity and other house essentials you will need for your new house.

Buying a house is not something to be taken lightly – but it can be a really exciting and life changing experience. Go in with your numbers in order and your experience will be infinitely more pleasant.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Ways To Make Your Pool Breathtaking

If you have a pool or are planning to have a pool, you might want to consider giving it a little more pop to take it from functional, to amazing! Yes, it may cost a little more , but hey, for the most part all of these are only a one-time cost and you will enjoy all the luxury of having a spectacular pool for years to come.

So, how can you make your pool look magazine-worthy-incredible? By all means, read the tips I’ve gathered below:

  • Consider landscaping the surroundings of your pool. If there are extra spaces just around your swimming pool, have it filled with smooth grasses and other foliage that is not too overpowering on its own, but adds to the overall beauty of the pool.
  • Add some lighting for a nice effect during the night. Planning for a night swim in the pool will not only be safer but also feel a little more magical when the water is illuminated from below.
  • Choose a unique pool shape. Be creative not only within the surroundings of your pool but also within the pool itself. You can find a shape of pool that fits your space or that will form different familiar outline. This will look more impressive than just a standard rectangle.
  • If your budget and space permits, add a Jacuzzi. Why not make your pool grander just like those you see in high class hotels and well known resorts. Adding a Jacuzzi will give you an option to have a long swim or simply relax on a small and comfortable Jacuzzi. This will also entice friends to have a pool party for a small group on the Jacuzzi or a much larger party in the swimming pool.
  • Pools need not to stay outside your houses. If you have enough space inside your house, try adding an indoor pool. Indoor pools offer the same benefits of the outside pool (minus the sun, of course) but gives you more privacy. You can enjoy swimming anytime of the day, in any kind of weather and at any time of the year.
  • Add an island. If you have a bigger pool, you can add a small island with some plants and trees. This will give a strong immediate impression to your pool and will help to keep it from feeling TOO big.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Showing Feedback: Love/Hate Relationship for Realtors

When it comes to giving Realtor and Buyer feedback after a showing, most Realtors dread taking the time do it. As a Listing Realtor, we greatly appreciate any feedback, especially detailed comments from the showing Realtor.

When homes were selling the first day on the market with multiple offers, feedback had fallen out of favor.  Who cares what others thought of the house? It was sold and usually for list price or more.  The past three years have slowed and been a guessing game for even neighborhood experts on how to price homes to sell but not give them away.  We see more price reductions, more changes in how the homes are presented and that all tells me that showing feedback is more important than ever.

This past year, showing feedback was the main reason listings sold faster than their competition. In one instance, the feedback was consistent that the bedrooms felt too small. Our Seller had gorgeous antique furniture pieces but they were too large for the bedrooms. We took the feedback from the Buyer’s Realtor to heart and the Seller moved the larger pieces to storage the next day.  I was fortunate enough to get another showing from the Realtor and her Buyer after calling and telling them of the change. It made all the difference and they wrote an acceptable offer that night.

Don’t have time to give feedback? I agree that my least favorite way to give feedback is when I receive a call from the Listing Realtor. It always comes at an inconvenient time. Email and texting have been a timesaver in the world of Realtor feedback.  I happy to reply to a text. My favorite is the emails that come from our MLS sponsored Showing Assist with the multiple choice questions and a place for additional comments.  The format is great and takes me less than 60 seconds to reply.

Giving showing feedback is one more way to be a cooperative Realtor. I think it is one of the most important things we can do is help each other get homes sold and for less days on the market and the best price possible. Remember how nice is when your Sellers ask you what kind of feedback we are getting on their homes and we can actually tell them. What a wonderful gift we can give to each other as colleagues as well.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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