Abilene, TX Real Estate News

By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
1. A HOME STAGER  WILL BRING A FRESH PERSPECTIVE  and view your house through a different set of eyes.  A home stager will determine and draw up a plan to make and show your house to be more appealing to prospective buyers. 2.  A home stager will use experience to make your house ready to sell  in the current real estate market.  A home stager will plan to maximize the best features of the house and to maximize space. A home stager will be staging to show the purpose of each room,  (for example a dining room being a dining room)draw the eye to the rooms' focal points, and to ensure that buyers can easily walk through each space. 3.  A home stager will use proven technqiues  of oganization, arrangement, balance, proportion and style. Organization - A proven technique of organziation is p...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
SNOW SCENE, ABILENE TEXAS ALONG SAYLES BOULEVARD, PRIOR YEAR.   Yesterday it was peel off the jacket down to shorter sleeves, today it is bundle up to ward off the damp chill and  there is a chance of snow in the air for tonight or tomorrow. Tonight was the Chrismas parade downtown Abilene, but I decided to stay in and blog with a cup of hot chocolate!  I'm sure the arrival of Santa Claus occurred without a hitch and didn't miss me too much.  I'll just tell Santa in a blog what I want for Christmas!    On Sayles Boulevard, the oldest boulevard in Abilene, the lights of Christmas  already appear. and the house on Sayles famous for the line of cars slowing to view all its Christmas decorations and Santas is already lit up.  Historical older homes on N. 3rd just down the street from where ...
Comments 4
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE,  $6,500 TOWARD MOVING COST, OR $6500. TO DO ANYTHING  YOU WANT IS  BEING OFFERED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR MOVE UP, MOVE DOWN, MOVE RIGHT SIZE BUYERS! Where is this money coming from?    It is the NEW tax credit that was signed into law 11/06/2009.  A tax credit up to $6,500. for current home owners who have lived in their home for five years in the last eight.  The deadline for a contract is 04/30/2010 and the closing must occur by 07/01/2010. All you have to do is move! and you get a tax credit of up to $6,500 to make it easier!  The best part, is that there is no requirement for you to sell your current home unless you want to.  What this means, you could let your friend, your relative, your tenant live in your current home and move into the home you want, ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
   1. $$$$$ -  First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit up to $8,000.   Move Up Buyer Tax Credit up to $6,500 for current homeowners,                               FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS - The tax credit which was to have run out on 11/30/09 was extended by Congress to 04/30/2010.  A first time home buyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last 3 years. The tax credit money is all yours and no there is having to pay any money back  when you live in the new home for three years. Another change is that contract written by 04/30/2010 has until 07/01/2010 to close.                                                       MOVE UP BUYERS - THIS IS THE NEW PART OF THE TAX CREDIT and this tax credit will also run out 04/30/2009 for contract, but must close by 07/01/2010. The limit is up to $6,500 ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Ktchens are so easy to stage if they are already empty.  That means vacant homes are a stagers dream when it comes to the kitchen. For sellers still live in the home, the kitchen is the nightmare room.     The expectation of the buyer is that the kitchen counters are clean and clear at all times and the sink is shiny and water spot free at all times.  Any one w ho  has children big or little knows what a dilemma this is. There is always somebody, who goes off and leaves a dish in the sink!   Kitchens no doubt about it  can be challenging.   That is why you need a kitchen vignette for your counter that is only for the house showing.  Say what? Just like many people have towels in the bathroom that no one ever uses, they are for show.  I didn't really believe that people did this, because...
Comments 9
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Drama Free Home Selling begins before any hint of a sign in the front yard.   Home selling REQUIRES preparation NOT drama.  The tasks include repair, clean,  declutter, and home stage prior to listing the home and prior to placing a For Sale sign in the  yard.   Keep the drama on the stage of the theater and keep home selling Drama FREE! Stage It First!   Dorothy & Toto from the drama "The Wizard of OZ" The hard work of selling is done long before any sign goes in the yard.   The most traffic to a house for sale occurs in the first 30 days.  Don't take my word for it.  This is based on information from the National Association of Realtor Website information. To be drama free, wait on the sign until the house is totally ready for showing.  To get DRAMA FREE, a seller must want to sell, s...
Comments 8
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
After having staged a few houses 35 of them since 2007, but whose counting?!  I picked this before and after as my favoite before and after for now.   This is a sun room bonus room living area before. As you can see it was being used for exercise, except as you may expect not much exercise really got accomplished in the space. Here are the before and afters. See what you think.  I think you will see a difference!!  BEFORE FULL OF EXERCISE EQUIPMENT.   AFTER, SUN ROOM FULL OF DELIGHT!  
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
With cooler weather, it's time to make hot chocolate and enjoy warmth of the fire in the fireplace.  Staging the Fireplace when the house is for sale makes the Fireplace a desirable selling feature of the home.  Nothing is more appealing than warm firelight on a blustery day.               This fireplace is in the dining area and the place for romantic firelit dinners.      PLAIN JANE BEFORE STAGING!   BEING STAGED   Staging Complete:       More Fireplace Staged Photos!       FIREPLACE STAGED!   ANOTHER FIREPLACE BEFORE STAGING:     AFTER STAGING!  WHAT A CONTRAST!   This fireplace is in a modest three bedroom  home that could have benefited from an updated fireplace screen, but  hey, the house is sold!!!!  A fireplace is a natural focal point of a living room and should be shown to be ...
Comments 11
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Anybody else noticed that one day it was Halloween and the next day it was Christmas in all the stores? I have three houses with staging in them, one of them is under contract, yippee!   I have a lot of pumpkins in one, real ones, fake ones, little ones, big ones, okay okay I got a little carried away!  The table setting in one is  even orange and black.  Now that it's seem the right  time to bring out Christmas decor, the orange just doesn't feel right. Thus, I did it.  I brought out some Christmas decor  and added Christmas to one house.  I feel like maybe I am letting Thanksgiving down.  Thanksgiving is all about pumpkin pie, so whats this uneasy feeling with all the orange.  Is there some sort of genetic decor DNA that says the time for orange is past  and one must now put out somet...
Comments 10
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Lets admit it, there's nothing too exciting about vacant homes.  The other day I was in a vacant home that actually echoed,  it was spooky and wasn't even Friday the 13th or Halloween.  This most recent house that I staged for another Realtor is a newer  2 story home with great curb appeal, but was vanilla bland inside.  I think I helped it a bit at least enough for a contract!  The owner recently changed the kitchen counters to granite which  helped immensely as well. EXTERIOR PHOTO : ANOTHER EXTERIOR PHOTO       THESE VACANT ROOMS WERE VANILLA BLAND AND BORRR...ING IN DIRECT CONTRAST TO THE CHARMING APPEAL OF THE ROSY TWO STORY BRICK EXTERIOR. LIVING   DINING                   . AFTER STAGING LIVING/DINING                                              Photo from 2nd fl. Dining Room Aft...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
The Paramount Theatre, is one of my all time favorite places to go in Abilene.   It was first built in 1930 so it's older than me and that is a good thing! In 1987 the theatre was totally restored and it is truly one of the sights to see in Abilene Texas.  The theatre is on a national registry of restored theatres.   I went and saw "ET" last night.  ET is about an alien child who wanders away from the mother ship and gets left behind on earth and then is befriended  by a human child and his family.  Even though ET becomes friends with the human family, he is dying of homesickness,  ET wants to go home.  The plot revolves around the adventures of ET and the obstacles to going home. Fortunately, this is a feel good movie unlike some science fiction, ET has a happy ending and ET goes home...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
 JUST A LITTLE STAGING AND IT'S SOLD! A little while back, a Realtor Friend asked, Can you do a little staging something for me?   Of course I could and  I took a package of  decor items out to the house to dress the fireplace, for some enhancement of the dining/kitchen area,  and some bath decor.  The fireplace is the main event in this modest 3 bedroom 2 bath. The house closes next week, so from a staging point of view, it must have worked!   BEFORE STAGING - THE "PLAIN JANE"  FIREPLACE   AFTER STAGING!  MUCH MORE APPEALING - EXACT SAME FIREPLACE!   Now that it is supposed to be cooler weather next week, I would take the green stuff off the hearth and put a container of logs perhaps to ground the hearth.  A staging tip is to place 3 logs on the grate inside the fireplace opening to be...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
The day was all set first a ten o'clock appointment with a Realtor about staging their listing.  At exactly ten minutes prior to the appointed time,  I pull out of the driveway and hear a little rumble and immediately think oh,oh, the engine light that  has been on three days, now, is now talking to me, hope it doesn't really mean anything, then the sound got rougher and by now oh, no, I realize I have a tire going down, SURE ENOUGH, GOT A FLAT TIRE.  I call my appointment and reschedule and then call road service.  Road Service arrives and changes the tire to the donut,but oops the donut is flat!  After a little negotiation with the road service guy took the donut to a nearby air station and put air in the donut.  Then  I take my car to the nearest "tire fixing place"  and the guy says...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
IT WAS A HAPPY DAY! I met my first time home buyer at her soon-to-be NEW house at 8:45 a,m. this morning  to complete a buyer walk through and follow up on a home inspection repair.  At 9:00 a.m. my buyer began signing the stack of many forms required to complete a FHA home loan.   Then the moment of pure joy.  The selling Realtor handed my first timer a key to her NEW HOME.  Oh, Happy Day!  It was big smiles all the way around.    It all started a few months ago when I gave a speech at my local Toastmasters Club on the $8,000 tax credit.  My buyer who is raising two grandchildren on her own and works full time for the state of Texas has never owned a home before.  She confided in me that  she really didn't know how to get started.     As a REALTOR, I knew how to help my first time home...
Comments 7
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
WHAT'S MORE FUN THAN A WHEELBARROW OF MONKEYS?   Home Staging is!         HOME STAGING IS FUN FOR THREE REASONS, IT IS PART ART, PART COMMON SENSE, AND BEST OF ALL A GOOD EXCUSE TO GO SHOPPING!  FIRST:  About that shopping! The other day I ran into the bargain of the season... battery operated candles at Walmart, only $3.00 for the small candle and $5.50 for the tall candle. I bought all they had at the northside Walmart ... so sorry to the rest of you.   Before  you go so what,  if you want to spend more for battery operated candles, about $15. each,  go to Target!     NEXT - What about that common sense?   Everybody knows that candles are necessary for romance, but it is not like you can leave a candle burning in an empty house for sale.  That's why the battery operated candles are so...
Comments 6
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
There are 2 kinds of people, those who like cats and those who don't.  There's some property managers that allow dogs, but not cats.  I haven't figured that one out. Cats have many fine qualities. Cats dont chew things up. Cat's are too lazy to chew on things.  They will only chew for fun as in torture rodents, mainly mice.  Since I haven't met a mouse  I really like, cats chewing on mice is my exception to not tolerating torture policy. But I digress.   What good is a cat? you say.  For starters cats don't talk back, maybe meow loudly but they are usually just saying "Feed Me."  or  "Open the Door, Dummy!" In case of a serious "yowl, check to make sure your foot is not on the cat's tail. Cats help you keep the house clean.  As cats are finicky in their toilet habits, they preferr a cle...
Comments 6
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
There are virtual assistants, paperless transactions and now virtual staging. What is virtual staging?     I had to do a little homework surfing the net to make sure I understood virtual staging because you see, virtual staging is not really there.  It is real estate "make believe."  It is more akin to a blueprint to a house.  Everybody knows the blueprint is NOT the house.  It is just a plan.  On the other hand, the MLS photos are guaranteed to look great and there is no heavy lifting of furniture involved. That may be the best part that  there will be no heavy lifting of furniture, no moving  of furniture in and out of the house, no interminable  waits for the rental furniture to deliver or pick up.    No heavy lifting sounds great particularly since I have had a recent onset  of lowe...
Comments 10
By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
Stage them all Big or Small! Realizing my last blog was about the commode, gasp, let me get this blog out of the toilet.  What was I thinking? Last week I had a bathroom apt painted/repaired around the bathtub and liked the paint color (Benjamin Moore)  so well that I plan to use it again in another bathroom.   a        I added some extra black towels and a black throw rug  to stage this bathroom Also, not in the picture, a cellophane wrapped bar of Ivory tied with raffia ribbon was placed on the shiny soap dish.  Then I moved on to the kitchen. I recleaned the kitchen.  Any one who has tenants know that tenant clean is not move in clean! The photo below is the kitchen staged with accessories.  I showed this apt Sunday afternoon and yesterday, the person called back to say they will tak...
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First Time Homebuyer's Tax Credit Time is Running Out...You Don't Want To Miss Out The Government is giving First Time Home Buyers a credit on their 2008 Taxes of 10%, up to $8,000, of the sales price of a new home purchased and closed by November 30, 2009. For example: Sale Price of $55,000=$5,500 Check, or Sale Price of $75,000=$7,500 Check, or Sale Price of $125,000=$8,000 Check, and so on... This credit is a check that you will recieve in the mail within weeks after you file an ammendment on your 2008 tax return, once you have closed on your new home. This money does not have to be spent on the house, but can if you want. The money also does not have to be paid back!!! November 30,2009 is just around the corner, so if you have been considering buying a new home and you just haven't ...
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By Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor
(Carlson Properties 325-721-2429)
It was an unplanned event the purchase of a new commode.     There's no stimulus funds that I am aware of for cracked commodes or cracked pots to use the vernacular.   I was all on my own this time.  The decision to invest in a new pottie was made when the plumber gave me the bad news that the commode  was cracked, now you know the origin of the expression an old crack pot.   I was dismayed to say the least, all the carefully planned dollars  for a little budgeted staging bling or at least gasoline for the car for a quick trip to see the Alva farm  went into the commode literally. The money was gone to a pot and and a few other plumbing repairs.  If I get really desperate, I think I will ask a plumber for a loan!   There is an up side to this flushing story that may leave some of you bl...
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