Tuesday, November 26, 2013


A few weeks ago, an envelope arrived in the mail from one of my clients.  We had closed on their new house a month earlier.  It was a thank you card.  Wow!  When you work with clients to buy or sell a house, you really get to know them.  We spend lots of time together in person as well as electronically.  By the time the closing arrives, we have developed a relationship and gotten to know each other well.  While I’m always happy that my clients have reached their goal, I’m always a little disappointed, too.  The weekly, and sometimes daily, communication slows down and in some cases stops all together.

So imagine my delight when the card arrived in the mail.  The card read “thank you so much for guiding us through the process of buying our first home.  It made such a difference to have a familiar and trustworthy partner in such a monumental step in our lives.  You were patient and accommodating and we thank you for that.”  Wow again! 
As we near Thanksgiving, the one day of the year set aside to reflect on the blessings in our lives, I am thankful for good health, a happy family and good friends.  I am reminded by that card that I am also deeply grateful for all of you, for reading this blog and reaching out when you read something of interest to you.  I am appreciative of your comments and suggestions.  But mostly, I am thankful to you for including me in your life, even if just for a short time. 
All the best for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!  Gobble, gobble!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

EVP Expanding

EVP Coffee Company will be opening another location in the coming weeks.  The new store, at the corner of Whitney Way and University Avenue will add to University Crossing, the new health/dental/retail campus.

EVP Coffee Company began in 1997.  Originally called "Etes-Vous Prets?!" (pronounced "et-voo-pray"), the name was later shortened to EVP Coffee to help customers with remembering the name and pronouncing it!  "Etes-Vous Prets" means "Are you ready?!" and is the traditional starting command of rowing races. 

The current EVP stores are located at 1250 East Washington Ave., 3809 Mineral Point Rd., the VA Hospital location and 555 S. Midvale Blvd. (Sequoya Commons). 

Join me at the Mineral Point Rd. EVP location on Wednesday mornings between 8-9 a.m. for a cup of coffee and good conversation.  I look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Strengthening My Faith in Humanity

My parents are elderly.  It's hard for me to say that outloud, since it ages me, too!  My mom and dad still live in the house I grew up in on the near west side of Madison.  The kitchen has been remodeled twice and I can't count the number of times the exterior and interior have been painted.  For 46 years they have mowed grass, shoveled sidewalks, and raked leaves.

Such was the case recently when I stopped at lunch time to find my dad in the front yard tending to fallen leaves.  An endless job for him with the large silver maple tree that drapes over the front of the house and seems to hold her leaves far into the autumn.  Happy for the break, we stepped into the house for a quick visit.

As I was leaving and he was preparing to return to the leaves, I noticed a woman raking leaves in front of their house.  I ventured out to find out she was a neighbor who was just out to help.

"Your parents always have such a nice looking yard," she explained.  "It's a shame to see it covered with leaves."

I picked up a rake and she and I finished raking the front yard while my dad bagged the leaves to take to the city drop off site.

It was so refreshing to know that there are neighbors who look out for neighbors.  People who lend a helpful hand just because.  People who dive in for no reason other than it was a beautiful day and leaves needed to be raked.  It strengthened my faith in humanity.  It also made my day!  I think it made my dad's day, too!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Market Slow Down? Not Necessarily!

We have begun the final chapter of 2013, moving toward the holiday season and the year end.  As of today, there are only 57 days left in 2013.  Traditionally, this is a slower time in the home buying market.  But does it have to be?

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac announced on Halloween that the average rate on 30 year loans declined to the lowest level in four months.  It wasn't a huge decrease.  For most lenders in our area, the result has been a 1/4% to 1/2% decrease.
Will the interest rates continue to decrease? As long as the Fed continues to flip flop on adding to or subtracting from the stimulus, the longevity of current favorable interest rate levels remains anyone's guess.
The important thing for buyers to realize is that this time of year when rates are low and the inventory is also light, is when some of the best Real Estate deals are available.  
So, what is the best course of action at the moment? Buyers need to get going now. Doing so could provide the best pricing of the year combined with the best interest rates since the 4th of July.