Purple, Passion, and a Prayer

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Tips for Newlyweds Buying your 1st House

5 Tips for Newlyweds Buying your 1st House

5 Tips for Newlyweds Buying your 1st House


Life is exciting, you’ve just tied the knot and now are combining households. You need to decide what to keep, what to throw away, and how and where you want to live. These 5 tips will guide you through the home buying process.

  1. Be Realistic-  You aren’t moving into your parents’ home that they saved a lifetime to buy or build. You are moving into your 1st starter home. Prioritize your needs and wants.  Make a list with must haves and likes, the areas you like, size of home you need now combined with room to grow for potential children.  
  2. S-CocktailChecklistYour Credit Report- When you marry, your credit reports also join together. Make sure you both check your credit reports, have an open discussion, and work together to fix any blemishes before you start house hunting. Work with your creditors to raise your credit score. Planning for the future? There are 7 simple ways to raise your credit score.
  3. Shop your Lender- Do your research with different mortgage companies, banks, and credit unions. Ask about rates, 1st time homebuyers tax credits, incentives, and closing costs. Check the lenders reviews and sit down with them for a face to face meeting. This is a big step and you want to know with whom you are working and how the loan program works. Be wary of internet based lenders with possible hidden fees. Before you start looking for your first home, get pre-approved. A pre-approval lets you know how much home you can afford and allows you to lock in the lowest interest rate.
  4. 4. Don’t tie the knot and then plan to swing the hammer. In other words, don’t buy a complete “fixer-upper”. Fixing a house together puts a strain on both your marriage and finances. The only reality on HGTV are the surprises that homeowners face when remodeling and fixing up a house. HGTV never tells you how and where the homeowners come up with all the extra money to remedy the surprises. A “fixer upper” is costly and can deplete both your finances and energy when you should be focusing on building a life together. Homeowners need to budget for taxes, insurance, maintenance, and the occasional emergency such as the water heater or furnace failing.
  5. Hire a Real Estate Agent- Homebuyers need professional guidance when making big decisions. Emotions and excitement may get in the way blinding you to possible downfalls in different homes and neighborhoods. A professional real estate agent that works with first time Buyers will guide you as they would their children, helping you buy the best home for your money while negotiating the best dollar amount for your purchase.

The Moving Experience


The Moving Experience- I am an expert. In the last 37 years my husband and I personally moved 9 times. We also moved our children multiple times, more times than I want to count, and my parents once. We spent Thanksgiving weekend moving our daughter to her first home as a homeowner; thus the reason for this post.

Moving is a pain. I’ll admit it, I hate moving. But as a new home designer, all of my clients need to move. And no, those of you reading this post will not benefit from my physical skills at moving. But I offer free advice. I won’t even lament on how difficult it was to move my daughter as I want to save her any embarrassment and would like her to be there for me in my old age.

The first rule of thumb in moving is to declutter all your belongings. I personally am not a saver. Given our numerous moves, I tend to keep our belongings streamlined. I try to live by the motto of, “if you haven’t used something in the last couple of years than it is time to consider getting rid of the item.” Albeit, that is somewhat difficult with wedding presents and family heirlooms. Before you start packing sort your things into groups:

1. for keeping

2. for donating

3. for selling

4. for throwing away.

Take pictures of the things you need to sell and post them on the many Facebook selling sites. Choose your charities and don’t worry about the multiple trips you make as others benefit from the donated items.

If you tend to be a pack rat or haven’t moved for many years, the task may seem daunting. Set yourself a schedule and start with one closet or one drawer. Work your way through them and around the room. Finish one room before starting on another. It can actually be somewhat fun going down memory lane.

Next, as each box gets packed make sure it is labeled well. This can be done right on the box or with a typed up list inventorying the contents of each box. If you employ a mover to load and unload your household items, this is an excellent method of ensuring nothing gets lost or damaged. Also make sure to mark the box on several sides describing the room in which it belongs. Make sure to keep important items such as checkbooks, passports, and closing papers in an envelope or safe place.

I’ve noticed that many people are self moving rather than using a moving company. If that is the case, plan ahead by gathering all the needed supplies. Boxes and often packing paper can be found for free by posting on Facebook or looking at Craigslist. If you ask ahead you may acquire boxes at local grocery stores, Kwik Trips, and liquor stores. Make sure you purchase plenty of packing tape and good markers. Survey your larger decor such as pictures and mirrors to decide what kind of packing material to use. Most importantly, do not plan to pack everything one weekend. We sold our condo at the end of last November and moved December 18th. Knowing we were going to move soon, I started packing unnecessary items early. Even for an expert, packing up a whole house can be overwhelming.

Bottom line when moving- plan ahead. Keep it organized to make the whole process easier for both the move out and the move in. Change your address early on subscriptions, contact the utility companies so you have power upon move in, decide on internet and TV services and schedule the appointments for the day after you move in to your new home. Don’t be afraid to clean out, toss, sell, or donate old unused item. Take it from someone who hates clutter and disorganization, by following these simple suggestions the moving experience won’t be so traumatic.