Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk

It’s in Nashville. The temperature in my car today read 103 degrees. And, I am meeting people for coffee. Go figure. So, since I have frequented some local shops lately, I thought I’d share some thoughts. Revelator coffee in Hillsboro Village – small shop with eclectic, seemingly good-for-you coffees and teas. Wraps on the backs of the chairs for those who are always cold (thank you) and free parking for 1 1/2 hours! Order: Avacado toast Crema in Rolling Mill Hill area- in my opinion, quite possibly the best latte in town. Hipsters crowd in this place so you may try an off-time, if there is one. A good amount of space to sit or stand at the bar or table, inside or out. Parking is vast in their dedicated lot and surrounding lots. Order: Cuban latte The Well in Brentwood – If you want to do good by drinking joe, this place is for you. The typically quiet atmosphere and friendly service will do you good while you do good for those you are helping with your purchase. The Well provides clean drinking water to thousands of people around the world. Order: Georgia on my Mind – peach & caramel latte 8th & Roast in Woodland in Waverly. This industrial location has farm tables to sit family style or at a few work tables. I found a seat quite easily at a busy time but the door was revolving with patrons for the good part of an hour. Street parking and a few dedicated spots in nearby lots is available. Order: Iced mocha Frothy Monkey – 12th South This popular coffee shop is a spot to go hang, meet after yoga or finish up your weekly blog 😉 it is always hoppin’ so I suggest headphones if you need to get work done. They have several locations, all with different daily food specials that always look delicious so you may want to make the Frothy rounds to try them all. Good luck on parking most days. Order: The California The Good Cup in the Grassland area of Franklin – You never know who will walk in here. It is small but very popular with the locals. They have a variety of breakfast and lunch fare and is a great spot to unwind with a book over lunch in the winter. Order: Lemon artichoke soup High Brow Brew in Westhaven – This is such a cool coffee hang. Rocking chairs will greet you before you go inside and you will be pleased with the selection of teas and coffee concoctions. You may wait an extra minute but it will be worth the wait. Come for a cup and get...

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Music City, Baby

Music City, Baby

  I live in Nashville – Music City, USA but I did what a lot of people do. I got busy with my career, with my family and my hobbies and failed to take advantage of what this great city has to offer. I looked around and saw all these people coming from out of state to hear great music and I was rarely going out to see my own friends play around town. I used the excuse that I was too tired, too busy or that there was nothing going on when I was available. HOGWASH!! There is a quote that I love that says something like, “If it’s important to you, you make time. If it’s not, you make excuses.” So, I was telling myself that hearing live music was not important to me. NOT TRUE! So, at the end of last year, I put “live music” on my vision board. With such a plethora of live music venues and bands that want to play here, I had no trouble finding a place to start. Funny thing is, I started in my own living room. My friend, Debbie Cunningham, was looking for a way to raise funds for her new album. I suggested a house concert and a couple months later, she and a keyboardist were set up in my living room with people spread out with their wine and cheese, enjoying the sound of her smooth voice as it danced over notes with the ease of an Olympic gymnast. Then I “bumped into” friends playing at a great local venue, 3rd & Lindsley. Great bassists, horn players, keyboardists and singers who are talented enough to have played with people like Diana Ross, Kelly Clark, The Monkees, the list goes on. I have heard rock bands at Marathon Music Works, a Shania Twain cover band, a Journey cover band named Resurrection (twice!), local singer songwriters in the round whose songs are on the radio, Country Gospel greats like Jimmy Fortune, and local bands that play on porches and stages in my own neighborhood! I went to CMA Fest one night and saw some country favorites like Blake Shelton, along with mine – Steven Tyler. I’ve seen 80’s sensation, Duran Duran and adult alternative great, Ray LaMontagne, both at the cool outdoor Ascend Amphitheater. Last but certainly not least – I, yet again, saw Steven Tyler at the Mother Church – The Ryman Auditorium. I have more coming up. Besides friends’ bands, on the calendar is Heart, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, and hopefully, Chris Stapleton. I have learned several things from this: Putting things on a vision board WORKS! Every city can be AWESOME if you open your...

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So You Want to Become a Realtor

So You Want to Become a Realtor

  During my career, I have had many clients, friends, and referrals tell me they want to become a Realtor. “Great,” I say. Then I ask why. There are a million reasons to become a Realtor and another million not to. I love my career. I love my clients (well, most of them). But, just like anything, there are downsides. I am always happy to educate excited “Realtors-to-be” so they get the full picture of what taking the real estate plunge will actually look like. Here are some of the ideas and possible misconceptions I hear about becoming a Realtor.   “I just love to look at houses!” Me too. The fact is, there is SO much more to being a Realtor than just looking at pretty houses. The scheduling, the driving, the gas consumption, the late clients, the paperwork, the rejection, the people that have no intention of buying because they just like to look at houses too. The list goes on and on.   “I can make my own schedule.” Yes, you can. However, if you want to make money at it, at least in the beginning, your schedule won’t be yours. It will be your client’s. I understand that you want to be at your children’s after school activities and their sporting events on the weekends and church and family dinners. However, when do you think most people have time to meet with you or go look at houses? After work and on weekends – the same time you want to be with your friends and family. Once you are established and have a solid foundation, your boundaries can be much more rigid. You can hire people to work for you when you are not able. Just know that many nights, weekends, and vacations will be interrupted because of the fact that you “can make your own schedule.”   “I know so many people that it won’t take me long to be successful.” That may be true. There are certainly people who are so well connected and respected in their community that no matter what new venture they take on, others will support them. It should also be noted that no matter how many people you know, they know you in your current role. It may take a while for them to think of you as a Realtor. It may take a while for them to trust you when you are new. You also should know that just because people know and like you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will work with you. Think about how many Realtors you currently know. So does everyone else. If you know three in your current circle, now your...

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The Love-Hate Relationship with HOA’s

The Love-Hate Relationship with HOA’s

  More than once I have heard from a client, “I don’t want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA.” Some people love them – some people love to hate them. But why the love-hate relationship with HOA’s? Well, there seems to be some common threads on both sides. Let’s look at both.   Pros Your insurance could be cheaper Help to maintain property values Sanford and his son won’t live next to you Common areas are not your responsibility You may have nice amenities to use at no extra expense They maintain gated entrances and landscaping Neighborhood events Quarterly or yearly HOA meetings   Cons An extra monthly expense Approval is required to make any changes to your property You may receive a letter if your trash can is left out an extra day The restrictions may prohibit an excessive number of items You won’t be able to paint your front door pink They may be hard to reach if you have an issue Possibility of dues increases or assessments Quarterly or yearly HOA meetings   In theory, a Home Owner’s Association is put in place to help maintain or increase property values and to beautify the neighborhood through dues. Some HOA’s are simply in place to mow a small patch of grass and maintain the sign at the entrance of a neighborhood. Some HOA’s are even voluntary and you are not required to pay any dues at all. On the other end of the spectrum, some HOA’s will not allow certain breeds of animals or allow parking on the street. It is very important that you receive and review a copy of the by-laws as well as the CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) prior to purchasing a property that has an HOA. You may be surprised at what they will or won’t allow and you need to be sure you can abide by them. Just because a neighbor says they don’t enforce a certain restriction doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I had a recent client need to sell their house or get a different work vehicle because when they bought the home (Disclaimer: I did not represent them for their purchase) several years ago, they were told they could park a work van in their driveway. All of a sudden, they received a letter from the Property Management Company telling them it was not allowed. If the HOA hires a new Property Management Company or a neighbor decides to turn you in, the rules that were “never enforced” might cause you to need to make an inconvenient change. Be educated and be informed prior to buying and even though you may lean on the side of...

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Top 10 Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions

Top 10 Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions

  As a Realtor, I get asked a ton of questions. I compiled a list of the top 10 most frequently asked real estate questions and my answers. (Disclaimer: These answers are my personal answers. Different agents and different areas may require different things. The best bet is always to ask your Realtor.) How do you (the Realtor) get paid? In most cases, Sellers will pay a commission to the Listing Broker. That Listing Broker will offer compensation to a Buyer’s Agent. Therefore, as a Buyer, you do not owe a commission for the work a Realtor does for you. In cases of For Sale by Owner properties, some Sellers choose not to offer a commission to an agent. In those cases, a Buyer would be responsible for the Realtor’s fee. Can I be at the home inspection? If you are a Buyer – absolutely. You might want to give the inspector some time to inspect before you get there so he doesn’t get distracted. Getting there for the last 20-30 minutes of the inspection is a good idea so the inspector can walk you around and let you ask any questions you may have about what he found. If you are a Seller – stay away! You may have legal liability to disclose anything you know the inspector finds. Talk to your agent, but typically you do not want to know more than you need to. If you are concerned about security, ask that the Buyer’s agent be at the inspection or make sure the inspector is licensed and insured. Do I need to be at the appraisal? No. Appraisals typically take less than 30 minutes. Your Realtor may decide to be in attendance to let the appraiser in and/or give them some comparables, particularly if the property is unique but it is not necessary for you, as the Buyer or Seller, to attend. If you are the Seller, however, you may be at the property if you so choose. You may give the appraiser a list of improvements of the property to help the appraised value. How long does closing take? If you are the Seller, generally, you have very few documents to sign so your closing is about 30 minutes or less. If you are a Buyer paying cash, your closing will be very short as well. If you are a Buyer who is getting a loan, plan to sign papers for almost an hour. Why do I have to be pre-approved? If you are in a Seller’s market, your offer may not even be considered if you do not send a pre-approval letter with your offer. More than that, however, I have had clients that had...

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