Sunday, May 12, 2019

Professional Photos When Selling Your Home

This is the first time we've had professional photos taken of a home we are selling. 

The weather has been rainy and overcast all week so taking photos required as many lights as possible.

I do believe it's worth the cost to have professional photos taken, but luckily our realtor provides the photographer's photos as part of the service that she provides for her fee.

The photographer's photos show our home so much better than mine! 

I'm inspired by her photos and definitely plan to get a wide-angled lens and take some photography classes when we get re-settled in the future.

Here's her photos of the two guest rooms. I like how she got the rooms in full view, including the vaulted ceilings. All our bedroom ceilings are vaulted to about 16 feet, which makes it difficult to photograph.

The bathroom between the guest rooms has a tiled bathtub/shower combo. I like how she managed to reflect the tile that goes up the shower wall in the mirror while showing off the best view of the bathroom.

She also got the laundry room view in one photo while it took me two photos to get it all in.

So I'm sold on the value of a professional photographer when it comes to selling a home. 

If you saw my photos in the last post, I think you'll agree it isn't just that she used a wide-angled lens, but that a professional has a better eye for details.

If you'll share your opinion, I'd like to hear your thoughts on using a professional photographer and whether you've used one in the past. Did it help your home sell faster?

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms and grandmas out there! I hope you're enjoying your day and letting someone else do all the cooking. 

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, May 10, 2019

House Staging Tips Put To Use

Thank you to all those who commented on staging the mantle in the last post! I saw a trend towards the family painting for the mantle, so that's what we ended up with there.

The lanterns are staying for now, but I'm on the lookout for something smaller. 

Everyday I wish we had left the TV hanging over the would make that area so much simpler! 

But the large TV cabinet and oversized TV are in the room now, and we have no desire to take them with us! We've offered them as a 'negotiable inclusion' in the terms of a future sale.

The entryway kept its bench and rug, but everything else (except an old watering can of florals) got removed.

I watched A LOT of "How To Stage Your House" videos on YouTube over the weekend. 

The best advice was (1) Know Who Is Your Target Market, and (2) Clear Everything 'Not Essential' Out Of Your House for a showing. 

I had just bought a real cute new bathmat that day, and the person making the video said, "Don't go out and buy a new bathmat because you should remove everything from the floor -- including your bathmat!"

The kitchen still has some chickens around, but gone are almost all appliances.

It was an exhausting weekend, but the house is cleared out and simplified, and the photographer came yesterday and took pictures of the house. 

The photos should be ready tomorrow, and then finally we are going up for sale! 

While we were moving "extras" out of the house to storage, we had to buy 2 chairs to turn the dining room back into a dining room. 

We've been using the dining room as a reading room recently with a couch in there. I went a lot of places - real quick - to find some reasonably priced chairs!

Finally I found something that would work (and that was in stock) at World Market. I bought two, round-back gray chairs that we can use in our future home too.

One thing I think we did right was to almost completely clear out the walk-in closet in our master bedroom. 

The photographer said she doesn't normally photograph closets, but did photos of ours since it was all cleared out. I'm so glad I emptied it out as I think a large closet is a good selling point, and I'd hate to have people walking into our "stuff".

When I determined who our target market was, it was more than likely a retired couple like ourselves. Over half our neighbors are retirees so that was a no-brainer!

Outside the master bedroom, there's an office nook. The office area is almost empty now too.

I've found it's easier to see problems when you take a picture and look at an area by photo instead of looking in person. The photo below makes me realize I need to clear out some of those books on the top shelf!

The powder room and laundry room are next to each other near the garage...

Thanks for taking this tour with me...I'm leaving you with the view of the powder room mirror. I just want to say here, the speckles on the mirror aren't dirt! 

It's a reproduction mirror that has an "effect" speckled on to make it look old. It looks better in person, honest! 

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

The Mantle Quandary

I'm going to need your help for a minute...please, please, please.

Putting a house up for sale is exhausting! They say in the first 3 weeks you will get the most traffic, so it's important to "show" well the day the sign goes up.  

For us, the sign goes up this Monday!

With A Large Heavy Mirror

Now that we've decluttered, dejunked, and taken away most of the house's personality, we're trying to decide what to do with the mantle.

The large wood mirror looks kind of plain without some color to it. What would you add for color if we chose to go with that option?

I didn't want to move the very heavy mirror until I was sure we wouldn't be using it on the mantle. Call me lazy...I placed a family painting that I was thinking of using right in front of the mirror temporarily.

With A Family Painting

You'll have to imagine the painting without the mirror behind it. Sometimes squinting helps to block things out!

The other option we tried was this large round clock that has the same whites, grays, and browns as the pillows and furniture in the room. Again, pretend the heavy mirror is not there...are you squinting still?

One problem with using the round clock over the mantle is that it would need to be hung on the wall. A while back we paid someone to repair and paint the wall where a large TV use to hang and I'd rather not mess the wall up again!

With A Large Round Clock

Hey...Don't go yet! 

I'm thinking of replacing the coffee table too, so maybe you can imagine one of these ottomans from PotteryBarn in the room?

Which Of These Would You Pick?

The cream and metal ottoman on the bottom left in the photo is the one I'm leaning toward -- but we also have some leather in the room so the tufted leather ottoman in the upper left corner might work too.

Leaning Towards This Ottoman

This photo from the PotterBarn website shows the cream ottoman with a sofa similar in color to our love seat and chair. 

I kind of like the idea of adding a little pink to the mix like they show in the catalog photo. Any ideas? 

If you have any opinions on what to do, please leave a comment below...I'd honestly love your help.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, April 27, 2019

True Customer Service At PF Chang's

We had an early afternoon dinner at PF Chang's the other day. If you love Chinese food, PF Chang's is the place for you.

Believe me, if anyone loves Chinese food, it's me! I even worked my way through my last 2 years of college (and the whole menu) at an excellent, small Chinese restaurant in Sonoma California back in the early 80's. 
PF Chang's Restaurant

So, back to PF Chang's...Chang's serves the best Won Ton soup! 

The soup is part of my "go-to" meal at Chang's. I always order a cup of Won Ton soup and an order of Chicken Lettuce Wraps. The Lettuce Wraps are actually an appetizer, but I eat the wraps as my meal.
PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps

Wild Bill decided to have a cup of Won Ton and an appetizer for his meal too. He ordered the Mongolian Pot Stickers. 

Mongolian Pot Stickers Yummy Photo From The Menu

The Mongolian Pot Stickers looked great in the photo on the menu, but when he tried one he said they were terrible! You know I had to try one...being a self-proclaimed expert and all

I took one bite and had to agree with him. They were mushy and...and...let's just call them "Not Good!"

The waitperson, Katie, was a great server. I hate to complain at restaurants because I remember what it is like to be caught in the middle between the customer and the kitchen, but when Katie saw Wild Bill had barely touched his Pot Stickers, she asked if they were okay and offered to get him something else. 

Bill tried to be kind and said he just didn't like them. I told Katie I took a small bite and wouldn't recommend them.

Later, I asked Katie for a box for my leftover Lettuce Wraps, and she went off to get it and our check. It took longer than normal for Katie to return, and when she brought the check she had taken the Pot Stickers off our bill. 

Next the manager came to our table and apologized for the Pot Stickers. He said he'd cut into one and thought they were undercooked, so he went to the chef to show him and the chef said he thought the whole shipment they had received was a problem.

The manager said the Mongolian Pot Stickers were usually excellent, and he hoped we would try them again the next time we came in. Then he provided us with a $10 gift card to pay for an appetizer on our next visit! 

He even encouraged us to post about the problem with the Pot Stickers on PF Chang's website so other customers would feel comfortable discussing problems with the food to Chang's management!

This action on the part of the server and the manager was above and beyond what we have come to expect these days. I am reminded of a saying that restaurants used to have on their menus:

"If you think our food is good, please tell everyone. If you think our food is not good, please tell us!"

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Adorable Easter Tablescape At LeCultivateur's Blog

This is possibly the cutest Easter tablescape I've run across!

I'm trying to store away all but the "necessary" stuff as we get ready to put our house on the market soon, but I've "pinned" this post to Pinterest so I'll be able to make these little bunny silverware sacks next year.

You can find this post HERE at LeCultivateur.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Words Of Comfort - A Time To Heal And Rebuild For Us All

Over at Joey's Pad I was fortunate to read his words today. Although he was speaking primarily of the fire at Norte-Dame cathedral in Paris, I will carry his words in my heart for a long time to come.

The thing about blogging just never know where inspiration will come from or whose words you need to hear at the exact time you run across them.

If you have time, I recommend a quick stop to Joey's blog post HERE.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

House, Health, Happiness Of Letting Go

We've been gone awhile. Wild Bill and I took a trip up to the chilly north to see Middle Daughter and family, then we went down to Tennessee and looked around a bit.

It felt good to get away for a little while. Chemo starts again this week for Bill, and we will be putting the house up for sale soon. 

Our House In Winter

We had planned to put it up for sale sooner but then the house next door, AND the house across the street, AND the house down the street all went up for sale at the same time! 

We decided to wait a bit until at least one of the three other houses sold. Thankfully, two of them have sales pending, so we feel better about putting ours on the market now.

Our House In Summer

It seemed heartless to add another house to the mix so we spent the time boxing up what we wanted to keep and donating/giving away the stuff that no longer brings us joy.

Hopefully waiting will benefit us too. I think our house is much more attractive in the summer with the grass all green and the planters with flowering plants to liven it up. 

How about you? Does your house have a season it seems to favor?

The flagstone patio we put in the front, on the east side of the house, comes alive when the potted fig tree bursts out in green and the sun beats down on Texas. 

The patio is a great place for a cup of tea in the early morning or a cool drink in the afternoon when the sun goes over the house and it's shady all the rest of the day.

We'll miss the house, but we're ready to move on. I personally dread the process of selling the house. Maybe that's another reason why we've put it off until now...

Tell me...Do you remove everything but the absolute necessities? Do you live in the house while it's up for sale or do you move out? 

If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them please. 

Thanks for dropping by!