#ForgetMeNotFriday March 10, 2017

  Pretend You Are Selling Your Home!

I think it would be a good idea to pretend you’re putting your home on the market in the next two weeks. I know that the season is Fall, but Spring is not the only time to clean!  This will be a huge undertaking. Just ask any seller who has properly staged their house for resale.  I’ve compiled a list of areas that need to be addressed when preparing your home for the market.

1. Empty clutter from each room and consider removing some furniture to open up the space. The idea is to make it look and feel large and spacious.

2. Consider the wall hangings – do you need all of them? Is it time for a change? I recommend some de-personalization because we live in a small town and the buyers can become distracted with whether or now they know you.

3. Touch up painted services – repair and repaint. This is really economical and easy to do, however, it is very important to the first impression. I also like to suggest painting near the front door because the fresh smell of paint makes a great first impression.

4. Perk up the front porch – If you have seating – clean and make it useable again. Consider putting seasonal flower near the entrance. You really have only one shot at a good first impression so make it count!

5. Make windows sparkle! – Clean windows inside and out. If your windows on the 2nd & 3rd floor, consider hiring a professional. Windows allow the sunshine to come in this is a small thing that makes a big difference.

6. Empty the “junk/clutter drawer” or misc. drawer (you know you have one of those!) You might be surprised what you find in there … a missing key or screwdriver. It helps to stay on top of what you have in there.

7. Clean out the pantry and donate to the local soup kitchen or Salvation Army canned goods that are still in date, but you don’t plan to use. This will also help make the pantry look more spacious.

8. Have carpets professionally cleaned and make all the floors shine like money! The floors are really important and can help each room feel fresh and clean.

9. Deep clean each bathroom and pay special attention to the showers – work at getting all the stains out! This is where people often notice how a house is cared for. It’s also important to simply be clean – don’t mask smells with strong fragrances.

10. Make sure each light has a bulb that is burning. This is an important detail that often gets overlooked.  It’s a cheap and easy thing to remedy.

11. Add some outside lighting! Too many lights might make it look like a runway, but it needs just the right amount to feel safe and friendly. A few well-placed accents are important.

 

After making this list, I must confess that this list is certainly not exhaustive;  but it does make me tired thinking of doing all of them. I don’t want to miss anything I could share with a seller.  I would appreciate additional suggestions of things to do if you were really moving! You can connect with one of excellent agents via email: info@mwestrealty.com.

The Reality of Real Estate

By Kristen Hicks

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My Dad has this vision. He has always loved community and the people that make it up. Being in real estate he gets to meet a lot of different kind of people looking for a lot of different kind of things. When a person or family is looking for a house they aren’t just looking at the structure itself, they are looking at it from a lifestyle point of view. “Can we see ourselves living here? What would our life be like? What would our friends be like? How would this effect our day to day routines?”

There are so many questions that go into this decision making process.

So here is the vision. Let’s shine light on the communities itself. Let’s show people what the different communities have to offer and not only sell them a house itself but give them the opportunity to see the lifestyle that they could have within the community.

I am a Christ follower, and one of the most profound things that Jesus taught was the idea behind community. In the early church, they met together daily, they listened and put into action the apostle’s teaching, and they gave to anyone as he had a need. In a shorter version, they had community, they shared life together. Now regardless of if you are a Christ follower or not, community means something to you on some kind of level. It has an impact on you whether you want it to or not.

Let’s even take some popular TV shows, for example, New Girl, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, any superhero show you can think of…I could probably keep going but there is an underlying theme to all of these that keeps us wishing we were a part of their lives…community.

So here is what we are going to do. We are doing a 12 week project, starting March 5th, that we are going to call “The Reality of Real Estate.”  In these 12 weeks, we will have a theme for every day. We will talk about buying and selling your house, managing your money, answering questions, and shining light on the different communities around our area.

WE WANT YOU TO INTERACT! Community is only worth what its people put into it!So feel free to make comments, post questions, or tell your own stories. Looking forward to interacting with all of you!!!

Safe & Secure

LKR032459I have a security system in our home that will warn us audibly if there is an intrusion into our home. It works well we our brain skips a synapse and we forget to turn it off before going outside. The alarm is a serious violation to my ear. I originally installed the alarm so that my wife would feel safe when I’m away traveling. I should confess that over the years I’ve gotten used to having the security system in place when I lay down at night.

Security and safety are important to me. I feel responsible to protect my family and keep them secure. I’ve learned that the Lord has a way better protection/security plan than a simple alarm system. Check this out…

1 Keep me safe, my God,

    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;

    apart from you I have no good thing.’

7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;

    even at night my heart instructs me.

8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.

    With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;

    my body also will rest secure,

11 You make known to me the path of life;

    you will fill me with joy in your presence,

    with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Psalm 16:1-2,7-9,11 NIV)

There is something about this passage that relaxes me. I find comfort knowing that I have protection and security with me all day every day. It’s not simply a physical protection, but spiritual protection as well. The spiritual threat feels way more significant to me than the physical threat.

I have come to realize over the years, that without the Lord – I am nothing. With Him, I am somebody who has value and can bring value to others. He has made me who I am today. It’s been a bit of a crazy journey with some detours, but I’m here now and The Lord is in charge of every area of my life. He leads me through the simplest or the most complex decisions. I can’t imagine my life without Him. I don’t want to try. My role at this point is continuous surrender of areas of my life that I’m still trying to hold on to. The Lord has the best security system on the planet. He knows every threat to me and He’s handling each of them.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Old & Faithful

happy and motivated old people 3dI really admire older people. They have such great life experiences to share. I’ve learned a lot about what NOT to do from the stories of older people in my life. They can usually tell you what won’t work. Before I go too far speaking about older people, I must admit that I’m closing in fast on that description myself. AARP has already started sending me invitations to join. I’ve resisted for now.

Solomon had such a remarkable journey, but unfortunately he didn’t finish strong. He became unfaithful when he got old. He loved women – lots of women. He had hundreds of wives and concubines. He started following their gods and this became detestable to the Lord. While their culture evidently allowed for multiple wives, I don’t believe that was the Creators plan for marriage.

4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. (1 Kings 11:4-6 NIV)

It’s a bit of a bummer that Solomon had followed the Lord so strongly and then when he got older, instead of getting stronger in his faith, he got weaker. I believe that at every age and stage of life, there will be “voices” trying to pull me away from my faith. I believe the enemy will use anyone or anything he can to erode or destroy my faith.   I believe that temptation will always be part of my journey, but the Lord can provide the strength I need to resist temptation.

Today is my 21st wedding anniversary. Tina and I have built a marriage and home centered on the Word of God. We want to follow Him all of our days. My life and my heart had been hurt deeply, but God made “beauty from the ashes”. I am so blessed and so thankful.

As I grow older, I want to be even more faithful in following the Lord. I want to hear from Him daily. I want His Wisdom to trump my experience and my knowledge. I know that every day I need Him to direct my path and speak into my heart. I’m thankful for my wife of 21 years, who also seeks after the Lord. I am blessed.

IMG_4570Pressing On!

Dwayne

God’s Dwelling

Human heart anatomy from a healthy bodyI really enjoy reading history and studying things that happened in the past regarding our country. I was recently in Washington D.C. and visited many significant historical sights. As I study history, it always sheds light on the present. The people who went before us were thinking of us as they were building and leading our country. There is a rich history here for sure, from when the first settlers came from England all the way to today. There are times of pain, embarrassment, suffering and hardship (that was quite an understatement), but the end result of such struggle and challenges is an amazing country to live in.

King Solomon was building upon the legacy of his father King David. It had been a goal of David to build a temple for the Lord instead of the temporary tent tabernacle. The Lord liked David’s idea but wanted his successor/son to build the tabernacle. Solomon became king after David and followed through with the building of the great temple. After the temple is complete Solomon calls all of the leaders together for the dedication service. The service he leads is very reflective as well as calling for personal commitment to the Lord. He asked some hard questions in his presentation as well. Check this out…

27 “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 28 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day. 29 May your eyes be open toward this temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My Name shall be there,’ so that you will hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 30 Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive. (1 Kings 8:27-30 NIV)

I can look back on the history of Israel and see that God did indeed dwell here on earth. In fact, He still does. As I read these historical events through the lens of Jesus coming to earth, they look quite different. God no longer dwells in fancy buildings made by men, He makes His home inside my heart. Check this out…

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (1 Corinthians 4:7-10 NIV)

The Lord no longer dwells in a temple or a particular church house. He dwells in the hearts and lives of His people. He loves walking with me and talking with me. He loves it when I trust Him with the smallest details of my life and work. I was reminded this morning of the Power of His Presence in me. I need to hold my head up and face whatever comes my way today because He dwells in me and together we can walk through anything. He is my strength. He is my purpose. He drives and directs my life as I simply surrender it to His Will and His Way. The Lord God lives, dwells and works in and through my life. #thankful

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Strength In Struggle

 

depression teen girlThere have been way too many times in my life when I felt like all was lost. The pain that comes through suffering is almost devastating. There are times when I find it hard to lift my head because of what I’m facing. I’m still learning that there is ALWAYS Hope because of Creator God. He is NEVER too tired or too weak to help. He is NEVER too busy to listen. He comes to my rescue quite often.

David was in need of rescue. He and his men had gone out with the Philistines preparing for battle only to be sent home because the leadership didn’t trust him and his men to fight against his own countrymen. Upon arrival home the devastation was overwhelming. Check this out…

3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured – Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1 Samuel 30:3-6 NIV)

That last line of the passage jumped right in my lap as I read it. I needed to be reminded that my Source of strength can ALWAYS be found in the Lord God. I don’t always look to Him first – I often try my own way. I’m learning that He NEVER leaves and He’s ALWAYS the best Source of strength that exists. I’m so thankful for His rescue of me.

I immediately thought of this song by Hillsong called: Came To My Rescue.

1 Falling on my knees in worship

Giving all I am to seek your face

Lord all I am is yours

2 My whole life

I place in your hands

God of Mercy

Humbled I bow down

In your presence at your throne

C I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

3 My whole life

I place in your hands

God of Mercy

Humbled I bow down

In your presence at your throne

C I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

B In my life be lifted high

In our world be lifted high

In our love be lifted high

C I called you answered

And you came to my rescue and I

I wanna be where you are

________________________

Pressing On!

Dwayne