Monday, September 22, 2014

Olbrich's Crackle, Fire & Froth

School has started.  Football is underway.  Leaves are beginning to turn.  It is time to usher in Autumn. 

One of my favorite events to begin the season is Olbrich's Crackle, Fire & Froth.  This annual event, scheduled for Friday September 26th from 7-10 p.m., is the prefect way to spend a crisp autumn evening wandering the outdoor gardens at Olbrich, sipping local Wisconsin beer and tasting local food prepared by Food Fight restaurants.

A relatively new event for Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Crackle, Fire and Froth has quickly become one of the highlights of Fall in Madison.

The Great Lawn at the garden is transformed into a Fall festival grounds, complete with huge bonfires, hundreds of carved pumpkins, live music by the Wheelhouse and of course the beauty of the outdoor gardens with fall foliage beginning to show it's true colors.

The other surprising element of the evening is the ability to wander the garden and enjoy the beautiful landscape lighting that displays the garden in an entirely different light!

Fall has definitely arrived!  Time to enjoy the season.  Olbrich's Crackle, Fire and Froth is a great way to start!  I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Home Grown Flowers

Turning leaves are what comes to mind for most people as Autumn settles in.  But Fall is also a wonderful time to enjoy the remaining flowers of the season.  Burgundy and gold mums and Black-eyed Susan's are in abundance this time of year, as well as bright-colored branches from native shrubs.

A wonderful, local source for bouquets, centerpieces or to dress up an upcoming event is Home Grown Flowers in Madison.  The owner, Caroline (a client of mine!), prides herself on unique arrangements where Mother Nature and local availability determine what flowers to use.  This philosophy allows Caroline to create wild, natural-looking arrangements that are anything but ordinary.  So committed to finding just the right foliage to use, Caroline has been know to tromp through the woods or knock on a strangers door to provide her clients with just the right arrangement.  She also partners with local growers for annual flowers and blooms she doesn't grow in her own half- acre garden.

Inspired by nature, a love of beautiful plants and the unique combinations that can be created and a desire to make each of her clients' events or occasions special make Home Grown Flowers a truly wonderful place for your next flower decorating needs.  You won't be disappointed!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Three Keys to Selling a House

While the calendar still says summer, the start of school and the shortening daylight remind us that Fall is here.  While the hustle and bustle of the spring season house-selling season has passed, fall can be an excellent time to make your move. Fewer homes on the market can actually help make for a faster sale….and it is well known throughout the real estate industry that the homes that sell fastest, sell closest to the asking price.
That said, there are three items which remain static as to importance in selling irrespective of the time of year. These are:
1. Proper Pricing. This is the most important step to realizing a successful sale. Via the Internet, we all have access today to more real estate information and data than has ever been available in the past. Locating the information is the easy part. Interpreting that data is the challenging part. I would suggest that while part science, pricing is also an art.  It is also the part  I work hard to get right.  And Dane County clients of Restaino & Associates, the company I work for, enjoy the highest average sale price of any of the top 10 full service real estate companies in the South Central Wisconsin MLS*.
2. Marketing. Having a good story to tell is only part of the equation. Getting your message out to potential buyers is another critical piece of the puzzle. The  website is kept in a state of constant upgrade not only to improve visual aesthetics for physical users, but also to improve digital desirability in the eyes of the search engines to keep your message at the top of the charts.
3. Great Pictures. With over 90% of home buyers having their first interaction with your home via a smart phone, I-pad surface or even an (old fashioned) computer terminal, having pictures taken from the right angle with the right equipment is a prerequisite of gaining a buyer’s interest early on. Photos help sell houses and at the very least, get people in the door.  Identifying the right shot from the right angle with the right lighting to show your home at its very best, is an integral step in the process.
If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, either this fall or in the spring, its not too early to 
contact me to get started. I'd be happy to give you an up to the minute report on the local real estate market to help you and your family get where you want to be, when you want to be there. Thank you for your confidence and trust: current, past and future.

*Source SCWMLS 1/1/2014 - 8/31/2014 sales as reported 9/2/2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Meaning of Labor

As another Labor Day has come and gone, I am reminded that for many, Labor Day is a last hurrah to the end of summer; a final long weekend before the beginning of another school year.  But in actuality, Labor Day is so much more.

I have clients who embody the meaning of Labor Day.  They do not belong to a Union nor do they labor in a factory, but their labor is no less worthy.  He is a contractor who is the epitome of perfection.  He listens.  He is meticulous to details and the work he performs with his hands is always a delight to his clients.  I have, and will continue to, refer him to friends and clients.  His work is excellent!

She labors in another way.  She works with people to get the results they want, need and require from heath care providers. She listens. She reacts. She gets results for her clients.  She cares.

I recently sold the house that belonged to these people.  It was a wonderful home that included acreage which would require a special buyer. These clients wanted to move closer to town for their two daughters.  Admirable reasoning.  They were patient, welcomed advice and …did I say patient?  The house sold.

They were kind enough to include me on the purchase of their new home, although they had found the property on their own.  The transaction was uncomplicated and they have since moved in. Although they have found some issues, post closing, there have been no complaints.  No nasty e-mails.  No mean phone calls.  No “I wish …” comments.  Truly upstanding people.

So as another Labor Day has passed, I am humbled to have helped these clients who work hard every day, don’t complain about what they can’t change and work hard to change the things they can.  They work for their two daughters, to make a wonderful life that they will cherish.  And they work to one day retire to own another piece of property in the country to enjoy and relax.