Staycation – Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

Staycation – Be a Tourist in Your Own Town

  Nashville has had an influx of tourists over the last several years. Every time I talk to a visitor, they have so many wonderful things to say about our city. They talk about the night life, the pro sports, the celebrities, the convention center, the hotels, the budding development, the cleanliness, and ALWAYS how nice everyone is. My other team members were born and raised in Nashville and I have been here since 1997 so we have seen a lot of changes. We also have taken for granted all that Nashville has to offer and, honestly, have a hard time keeping up with it!   We were inspired to take a day to be tourists in our own city – a staycation of sorts. We walked around downtown Nashville for the afternoon. We wanted to experience our city the way tourists do. We hit some honky tonks, listened to some live music, had lunch with a tourist from Maryland, drinks with an Illinois native, had pralines with folks from New York, stopped in the Johnny Cash Museum, made a souvenir at Hatch Show Print, watched every kind of tour bus go by, waved to bachelorette parties on Pedal Taverns, and cheered for some cyclists who just made a 7 day trek from Joplin, Missouri for a great cause.     There are so many events, many of them free, going on each week in Nashville and surrounding cities. There are charity events, concerts, new restaurants opening, sporting events, festivals, and celebrations of every kind. There are parks for people and parks for pets. Places to hike and places to rest. You can eat everything from biscuits to dim sum, vegan to carnivorous. You can visit a vineyard or a distillery. We have museums and libraries to get lost in and local theaters to lose yourself in while enjoying a play or musical. You would be hard pressed to be bored. I am glad I took the time to stop and realize that. Every day on my way into the office I pass by beautiful farms – even one with two longhorns! On any given day you may have breakfast alongside Tim and Faith, be in an elevator with Taylor,stand in line for coffee with Keith and Nicole, be in the school drop-off line behind Sheryl, sit by Ben at the movies, attend a neighborhood potluck with Jack, get your nails done next to Dolly, or choose your oranges while Steven is picking out avocados. And, as great as that all may be, the ongoing theme is friendliness. I just made Nashville sound pretty great – well, that’s because it is. We welcome you to visit Nashville anytime, but...

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Making Memories

Making Memories

  Dream On by Aerosmith, I Wish by Stevie Wonder, Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears. Old Spice, moth balls, bonfires. These are things that remind me of something in my life or have special meaning. Isn’t it funny how, when a song comes on the radio that you haven’t heard in years, your brain takes you back to a time and place? If you’re like me, you can also remember all the words to the song you haven’t heard in 15 years. To this day, I call “I Wish” “The Tornado Song” because I remember it playing on the radio when I was down in our basement for a tornado warning. Every time I smell Old Spice I think of my grandfather. Significant events are the same way. Most of us remember where we were, who we were with, and what we were doing when we heard that the twin towers had been hit by airplanes, that Princess Diana was in a car accident, or OJ was “running” from the police.   Triggers can be associated with positive or negative. Are there any names that, when you hear them, you think of that one kid in school that bullied you and put cream cheese on your locker? Yeah, me neither (Crystal). Anyway, we encounter people and situations every day that become memories. I want to be creating good memories and positive experiences. Right or not, the words “used car salesman” are typically used to describe someone who didn’t exactly leave a great impression on the one who uttered them. There are several professions that can get a bad rap for some bad apples in the bunch. Realtor is sometimes one of those professions (and since I am a Realtor, I am using this as an example).   First, let me remind you (if you read 10 Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Agent) that there is a difference between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent. Millions of people have two eyes, two ears, a nose and a mouth and we all look different. Similarly we do business differently. We have different visions, different systems, and different reasons for doing what we do. For some, it is a way to put their children through college. Others have loved real estate since they were kids because their parent was a Realtor. Whatever their reasons, visions, or systems, they need to be educated and make the experience a great one for their clients. We have all encountered people that we just don’t want to be around. We leave them and find ourselves feeling negative or exhausted. Then there are the ones that we are drawn to...

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Big Scary Changes in Real Estate – 5 Tips for a Smooth Closing

Big Scary Changes in Real Estate – 5 Tips for a Smooth Closing

  You may have heard that there are some big scary changes in real estate, effective October 3. The changes involve TRID or the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. In plain English, there are some new forms with new names and consumers will have to receive the Closing Disclosure three days prior to closing. Doesn’t sound very scary, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be, but if you don’t have the right team in place, you may find yourself starring in a nightmare.   The industry buzz has been that closings are going to have to be set out 45 to 60 days because the extra steps will delay processing and closing times. The truth is, if you are working with a lender, title company, and Realtor that have been prepared, you should not see any delays. I, personally, have a team in place that are working status quo. There will be no delays in closings due to these new rules. Delays in closings can happen for numerous reasons, and sometimes, there is no way to catch an issue that may arise. If you work with people that use tried and true processes and systems, however, these delays are very rare. The consumer does have some responsibility in the process so if you are buying and getting a loan, follow these rules to have the best chance of closing on time: 1. Gather tax returns and pay stubs NOW! You get the picture. As soon as you decide it is time to buy, make a copy of your tax returns for the last two years, your last two pay stubs and your most current bank and investment statements. If you are self-employed, be prepared for more documentation. 2. Drop everything! If your lender asks you to provide more documentation or verification of funds, do it right away. Every day you wait could be an extra day you may not have your new home. 3. Don’t move money around without talking to your lender first. It may seem trivial, but moving $500 from a savings account into a checking account can cause issues when the lender is trying to verify funds. This also goes for large deposits into your accounts that are not from an employer or known source. 4. Don’t buy big ticket items. I know you will be excited to buy that refrigerator, couch, or blinds for your new home but it could delay closing or derail it altogether. A good rule of thumb is to call your lender if you are planning to purchase anything more than dinner at Taco Bell. 5. Don’t open up any new credit cards or pay off any outstanding bills. Any change in...

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Being Vegetarian

Being Vegetarian

  A lot of people are curious and ask me about why I am a vegetarian. While you may think this has nothing to do with real estate, I believe everything we do, how we live our life, and what we experience, shapes who we are and how we do business. I will preface this post by letting you know that I do not try to convert others to vegetarianism, nor do I judge carnivores so feel free to keep reading – judgement free! If I can educate others through my answers to their curiosity, I feel that I can have a positive impact and perhaps stir something in them that may cause them to at least give it a try once in a while.   Many years ago, I was in a grocery store around Thanksgiving. I started down my list and read, “turkey” – a staple in my family for Thanksgiving. As I chose my turkey and put it in my empty cart, I got a lump in my throat. What was happening to me? Unlike ground beef, It looked just like the actual animal and I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough. My vegetarian sister gave me a book to read. The book, “Eating Animals” literally changed my life. I love animals. I was, honestly, ignorant to the food industry’s processes and the laws that allow the inhumane treatment of them for human consumption. I also did not realize that, beyond the actual treatment of the animals, the hormones, etc. that are injected, go right into our bodies and have lasting effects, most of which are negative. Our environment also takes a beating because of factory farming and mass meat and fish production.   I followed the first book up with the crass, very direct book, “Skinny Bitch”. This is a vegan book that talks more about the health benefits of not eating any animal products, rather than an emphasis on the unethical treatment of animals. I will warn you, neither book is for the faint of heart, however, they are both very educational.   Most of my family still eats meat, though they are much more conscious of the quality and quantity they are eating and even eating periodic meatless meals. When I am singing in bands, dinner is typically provided for the band members before the event. More than once my band mates have looked at my plate with jealousy as they sat eating their “bandwich” as we call them. Being vegetarian doesn’t have to take a lot of time nor put a cramp in your social style. I have suggestions for those people who would like to try to eat in...

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