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Five Affordable Ways to Maximize Your Curb Appeal

Photo courtesy of Thomas Lynch

First impressions matter - especially in real estate.

Award-winning Maine landscape designer Thomas Lynch outlines five affordable ways to increase your home's curb appeal. This is especially important during the selling process, when you want your house to shine!

 

1. Trim Trees and Shrubs

Removing dead and diseased trees and limbs along with proper trimming and pruning of shrubs instantly improves curb appeal.

Your property will appear well maintained, which is a big plus for buyers considering purchasing your home.

 

 

2. Clean Garden Beds

weeds-in-a-bag

Well maintained garden beds also highlight the care you've given your home. Remove weeds and other unwanted plant materials from beds, cut a crisp new edge, and apply a fresh layer of natural mulch (not dyed).

If you have a hose connected to an outside spigot that simply is sprawled out in the garden bed, consider buying a hose reel or decorative hose hider for it. There are a wide variety of options, both simple and ornate.

 

 

3. Manicure the Lawn

Mow, trim and edge your lawn regularly, and especially before showings! Even if your lawn has a few weeds here and there, it will look much better to buyers when it's neatly mowed.

 

driveway-washing4. Freshen Walks and Driveways

Pressure washing your front walkways and putting a fresh coat of sealant on asphalt driveways, or a fresh topcoat of aggregate on your gravel driveway, is a cost effective way of refreshing your hardscaping.

 

 

5. Add Color

 

Planting flowering annuals offers a quick and inexpensive way to make your home look bright and inviting. Add color around the mailbox, lamp posts, as well as some planters on the front entrance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home.

 

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Kittery Maine Restaurants - Looking Forward to 2021!

 

 

Williams Realty Partners realtor Halley Smith doesn't just know the Kittery Maine real estate market, she also knows the restaurants in Kittery from an inside vantage point.

Halley's husband Jake is the executive chef and co-owner of one of the many outstanding dining choices in the area, The Black Birch, as well as Chapel & Main in nearby Dover, NH.

This dynamic husband-and-wife pair of foodies are both enthusiastic supporters of the Kittery dining scene and their fellow local restaurant owners.

Anticipating a happily busy spring and summer after the severe emotional and financial stress on restaurant owners from last year’s pandemic, we checked in with Halley and Jake for the inside scoop on some of their favorite restaurants in Kittery as they prepare for 2021.

Halley says to make a full day experiencing Kittery, try the abundance of Thrift/Consignment shops and funky little boutiques along Route 1A on the way into Kittery Foreside before or after lunch or dinner.

Another fun thing Halley does with the kids in the summer is go out to eat at "daddy restaurant” (The Black Birch)  and then walk or bike across the Memorial Bridge to Portsmouth New Hampshire's beautiful Prescott Park, where there are often concerts and theater programs. The kids (and grown ups too) get a kick out of this adventure - eat in one state, catch a concert in another one later on!

By no means is this a complete list. In fact, Halley says there are so many more Kittery Maine restaurants to review that we're calling this Part 1 - Kittery Foreside! Stay tuned for Part 2...and as always, check ahead with each restaurant for a schedule of times/days. 

Check out homes for sale in Kittery Maine, or give Halley a call at 1-207-332-4794!

 

KITTERY FORESIDE

The Black Birch, 2 Government Street, Kittery Maine

Start with the deviled eggs, then move on to the duck poutine and an ever-evolving menu that showcases local farms and seasonal varieties. With an art gallery next door, 24 beers on tap, a modern take on classic cocktails and a curated collection of records that are always spinning, The Black Birch is always a great dinner experience!

 

Festina Lente, 1 Government Street, Kittery Mainefestina-lente-kittery-maine-restaurants

In Italian, Festina Lente translates loosely to "make haste slowly". Chef/owner Sam Ostrow absolutely embodies Italian cuisine and culture. His rustic Italian menu merges simplicity with elegance in a very special way with an emphasis on making guests feel right at home (if your home includes superbly handcrafted Italian food, delicious Italian wines and skilled servers to wait on you, that is).

 

 

Tulsi, 20 Walker Street, Kittery Maine

Chef Rajesh Mandekar showcases his native northern Indian cuisine at Tulsi, which has rightfully earned a reputation for some of the finest Indian cuisine on the Seacoast. You'll find me in line at Tulsi's Sunday buffet just as soon as it's safe for them to begin again!

 

The Corner Pub, 4 Wallingford Square, Kittery Maine

Recently reimagined, yet still a classic. The Corner Pub offers great pub food, COLD beer, Frito Pie, pool tables and darts. Always a great time!

 

Lil's Cafe, 7 Wallingford Square #106, Kittery Maine

Lil’s Cafe is a staple among the restaurants in Kittery. Grab something from the bakery and a cup of coffee and sit out on the patio to enjoy the sunshine and breeze off the ocean. Halley takes her kids as a treat after going to the Rice public library just a few steps away; it always makes for a fun family activity. Bonus -- the Maine Squeeze is in located on the same patio with made to order smoothies and fresh juices! Quick, delicious, simple!

 

Anju Noodle Bar & The Wallingford Dram, 7 Wallingford Square, Kittery Maine

Anju is a delicious noodle bar! Big bowls of ramen, pork buns and all kinds of tasty treats, a great stop for lunch or late night.

The Wallingford Dram

Sister restaurant to Anju Noodle Bar, the Dram is a great place for a pre-dinner cocktail or night-cap. Fancy cocktails and a fun speakeasy atmosphere, combined with a menu of sandwiches and funked up hot dogs. 

 

AJ's Wood Grill Pizza, 68 Wallingford Square, Kittery Maine

ajswoodgrillpizza

 

According to Halley, AJ's has some of the best buffalo wings around. They are committed to supporting sustainable agriculture, environmental responsibility, and their community as well. With yummy organic pizza dough, gluten-free pizza and toppings, cherry and applewood in the wood-fired grill, and homemade sauces and salad dressings, AJ's offerings are distinctive and tasty!

 

Rudders Public House, 70 Wallingford Square, Kittery Maine

Any time you're looking to catch a beer, a meal and game on TV when you're in Kittery Foreside, head to Rudders. Football Sundays are very popular during the season, and you can always bring man's best friend with you to Rudders. Woof! 

 

Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home.

 

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    Walking For Weight Loss - Use This One Easy Tip To Amp Up Your Workout!

     

     

    The days are getting longer, it’s getting warmer, and the beach or mountain trails beckon. If you love to walk for weight loss and general fitness - or hike  - we’ve got a suggestion for you that’ll increase your pace, your calorie burn, and your overall fitness. Pick up a pair of Nordic walking poles!

     

    Not originally created for weight loss, Nordic walking began in Finland as a way for cross-country skiers to keep in shape during the warmer months. As a technique for walking for weight loss, however, it is substantially more effective.

     

    The cardiovascular workout using Nordic walking poles is stronger than without them because it works all major muscle groups, not just the ones in the lower body. Even chest and abdominal muscles are activated during a typical workout.

     

    Recent studies by the Cooper Institute in Dallas showed that Nordic walking burns 20-45% more calories than normal walking and increases oxygen consumption. As an added bonus, Nordic walking is far easier on your joints than jogging or running and you can easily tailor your speed and intensity to suit your own needs.

     

    By using walking poles, you increase your heart rate on average 10-15% more than normal walking. This means you can burn well over 400 calories per hour, much more than normal walking, which only burns around 280. How many calories you burn will be dependent on your pace, whether you're on a smooth surface vs. more rugged terrain, and whether you include hills during your walking session.

     

    walking-for-weight-loss-nordic-walking-poles

    All you need for gear is a pair of comfy walking shoes and walking poles. Nordic walking poles come with rubber tips for walking on asphalt, which can be removed when you want to use the metal tips on the trails. The poles can be purchased as telescoping, so you can easily change the height, or the lighter and stronger one-piece version. 

     

    If you like to socialize while you exercise, then Nordic walking is still a great pick. Many areas have Nordic walking clubs that meet at parks or beaches.

     

    So get yourself a pair of Nordic walking poles and a good friend and give it a whirl right here on Long Sands beach in York, or any of Maine’s fine beaches. Walking for weight loss the Nordic way is efficient, inexpensive, accessible to most people, and fun, darn it.

     

    If you'd like more information about walking for weight loss using Nordic walking poles, visit https://www.americannordicwalking.com/

     

    Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home.

     

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    Raised Bed Gardening & Hugelkultur

     

    Outsmart Those Rocks!

    Raised bed gardening is extremely popular right now, particularly in New England, and with very good reason. New England gardeners digging in their yards sometimes feel like they’re not really digging in soil, they’re digging in rocks with a little dirt thrown in to hold it all together.

    Once built, a raised bed or hugelkultur mound (we’ll get to hugelkultur in a moment) placed on top of all those backbreaking stones turns gardening from work to joy.

    Raised bed gardening also hugely increases where you can garden. Heck, you can even build a hip-high container, put all terrain wheels on it and pull it wherever you want!

    But wait, there's more!

    Raised beds also have several other advantages. They drain better and the soil is leraised bed imagess compacted, which makes it easier for roots to grow (just don’t walk in your raised bed!).

    Gardeners aren’t stuck with whatever soil they happen to have in the yard, either. It’s common for gardeners to add topsoil, moisture-retentive compost and other nutrient rich matter to their raised beds, ensuring healthy, high-yielding vegetables or flowers.

    Need another reason to love raised beds?

    In the spring, soil in a raised bed warms faster than the cold, thawing ground. With a raised bed and the addition of a landscape cover over your plants, you can begin the spring growing season early by a month or more, and extend it well into the fall.

    Raised Bed Materials

    There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to raised garden beds. A raised bed can be as practical and homely as a simple heavy-duty black plastic garbage bag filled with soil, or a work of art made out of sculpted cedar that would look right at home at Martha Stewart’s next garden party. They can sit on the ground or be raised up on stilts, which is a godsend to those who love to garden but have some physical limitations.

    Raised bed kits made of wood, plastic, or metal are easy to find at a local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s or through an online retailer, often under $100. DIY versions include hollowed-out hay bales, pallets, or even a simple mound of soil.

    Hugel-what?

    And that simple mound of soil brings us to hugelkultur.

    Hugel is “hill” in German, and hugelkultur is the practice of cultivating plants on a hill or mound that is composed of layers of decomposing wood, branches, leaves, grass and plant clippings, topped off with soil. The decomposing wood from the logs and branches at the base attract earthworms and other beneficial soil life, which in turn provide aeration and nutrients to the plants grown on the sides of the mound. Decomposing wood is also wonderful for water retention, meaning less watering. Once a hugelkultur mound is built, plants can be grown in that rich environment for years to come with little further effort.

    We hope we’ve convinced you to give raised bed gardening or hugelkultur a try, because they certainly make growing your own vegetables and flowers a heck of a lot easier, and the ways you can use these beds is practically endless.

    For more information about Hugelkultur:

    https://extension.umaine.edu/gardening/2019/09/01/maine-home-garden-news-september-2019/#article-1

    Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home.

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    Recent Homes Sales for February 2021

     35 Barefoot Cottage Unit 157 in Wells, Maine

     Sold for $220,000

     

     

     

     

     202 Maple Street in North Berwick, Maine

     Sold for $285,000

     

     

     

     

     428 Jug Hill Road in Milton, New Hampshire

     Sold for $260,000

     

     

     

     

     

     90 Blackberry Place in Kittery, Maine

     Sold for $59,000

     

     

     

     

     

     37 Raynes Neck Road in York, Maine

     Sold for $1,795,000

     

     

     

     

     

     17 Carlton Street in York, Maine

     Sold for $350,000

     

     

     

     

     2 Coopers Way in Kittery, Maine

     Sold for $625,000

     

     

     

     

     

     364 Clark Road in Wells, Maine

     Sold for $755,000

     

     

     

     

     

     TBD Wentworth Road in Berwick, Maine

     Sold for $275,000

     

     

     

     

     186 Wells Highland in Wells, Maine

     Sold for $355,000

     

     

     

     

     

     488 Main Street Unit 7 in Ogunquit, Maine

     Sold for $225,250

     

     

     

     

     

     14 Nils Lane in Wells, Maine

     Sold for $1,250,000

     

     

     

     

     

     15 Organug Road in York, Maine

     Sold for $475,000

     

     

     

     

     

     16 Detullio Lane A in Wells, Maine

     Sold for $775,000

     

     

     

     

     

     60 Beech Ridge Road in Eliot, Maine

     Sold for $575,000

     

     

     

     

     

     23 Caswell Drive in Greenland, New Hampshire

     Sold for $535,000

     

     

     

     

     

     165/167 Manson Avenue in Kittery, Maine

     Sold for $376,800

     

     

     

     

     

     377 Diamond Hill Road in Berwick, Maine

     Sold for $250,000

     

     

     

     

     6 Kings Road in York, Maine

     Sold for $925,000

     

     

     

     

     

     116 Shore Road in York, Maine

     Sold for $275,000

     

     

     

     

     

     85 Charlie Loop in Wells, Maine

     Sold for $345,900

     

     

     

     

     

     10 Kirk Street in Sanford, Maine

     Sold for $263,000

     

     

     

     

     

    Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home. 

     

     

     

    Reducing Volatile Organic Compounds

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A simple way to reduce potential toxin exposure in the home is to choose your paint carefully. Paint is a commonly used product that may contain volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. It’s the VOCs in paint that make it smell like paint.

    According to the EPA, VOCs are chemicals that are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. Some of them may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher!) than outdoors.

    Ordinary interior paint used to contain higher levels of VOCs than today’s choices, but many manufacturers have reduced the levels of VOCs in their products in response to stricter federal and regional standards.

    The next time you’re painting a room in your home, consider one of these options for low to zero VOC paint:

     

    • Benjamin Moore Aura, low VOCs

    • HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams (Lowe’s): low VOCs

    • Benjamin Moore Natura paint: no VOCs, zero emissions, certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

    • Behr Ultra (Home Depot) - no VOCs, self priming, Behr Ultra is GREENGUARD GOLD certified for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage

     

    For an excellent guide to reducing volatile organic compounds in your home, please visit: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/air/toxins/voc.htm

    Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home. 

    WRP Welcomes Three New Agents to Our Team

    It is with great excitement that Williams Realty Partners (WRP) announces three new Realtors have joined the team; Anne Pope, Halley Smith, and Tanya Campbell.

    “As WRP continues to expand, we are happy to bring three new agents onto the team who epitomize WRP’s core values of excellent service, loving the community that we live and work in and giving back, “states Troy Williams, Owner of WRP. “Anne, Halley and Tanya all bring different knowledge, interests and backgrounds to the table and this strengthens the team and opportunities for our clients.”

    Anne Pope has been active in the Maine and New Hampshire real estate communities for the last 16 years. During this period she raised two children in Greenland, New Hampshire and was involved in supporting school athletics and coaching. With grown children, Anne continues to volunteer for various community activities encouraging outdoor activities for fun-seeking clients.

    “After several transactions with Williams Realty Partners it became obvious to me that the teamwork and support was just what my clients deserved. Having concierge type service coupled with the team support was the part of my business that was missing. Also knowing that WRP had community reach was very appealing to me. I found what I needed in WRP! I am happy to be onboard,” Pope exclaims.

    A York native, Halley Smith and her husband reside in town with their young children where they love to spend as much time outdoors as possible! Together, with their business partners, they own Black Birch in the Kittery Foreside and Chapel+Main in Dover, NH.

    “Joining the WRP family was a natural transition into the next phase of my career with a business model that aligns with my core values and standards that go above expectation to create a quality, efficient experience. Lasting relationships are my goal by making down to earth connections and building on developed trust with my clients that evolve into friendships that last well beyond the closing table,” Smith states.

    A New Hampshire native, Tanya Campbell, and her husband have lived in Wells, Maine for the past 14 years, where they are raising their twin daughters. The family loves to explore great restaurants in Maine and New Hampshire, and they hit the beach and go camping together whenever they can.

    Campbell comments, “I’m truly excited to be a part of Williams Realty Partners. As a realtor, I wanted to be part of something more than just the average, one-and-done type of real estate experience. WRP’s model is completely client-centered, with systems in place to ensure as smooth a real estate transaction as possible. The focus is on building long-term relationships with each individual or family. With the extensive local resources that the WRP team brings to the table, and my knowledge of the town of Wells and adjacent areas, I am looking forward to helping my clients achieve their real estate dreams for years to come”.

    Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home. 

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      Recent Homes Sales for January 2021

       65 Woodbridge Road in York, Maine

       Sold for $385,500

       

       

       

       

       

       28 Roe Fields Drive in South Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $475,000

       

       

       

       

       

       14 Dory Drive in York, Maine 

       Sold for $160,000

       

       

       

       

       34 Harvest Lane in York, Maine

       Sold for $425,000

       

       

       

       

       

       22 Deering Neighborhood Drive in Sanford, Maine

       Sold for $280,000

       

       

       

       

       

        2 Odessa Avenue in Old Orchard Beach, Maine

       Sold for $857,500

       

       

       

       

       287 Island Beach Road in Wells, Maine

       Sold for $2,750,000

       

       

       

       

       

       6 Montrose Drive in Stratham, New Hampshire

       Sold for $235,000

       

       

       

       

       

       11 Wood Avenue in Eliot, Maine

       Sold for $321,000

       

       

       

       

       

       75 Hubbard Road in Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $198,000

       

       

       

       

       

       42 Raydon Road Extension in York, Maine

       Sold for $389,900

       

       

       

       

       

       38 Waters Edge in Wells, Maine 

       Sold for $706,000

       

       

       

       

       4 Otis Avenue in Kittery, Maine

       Sold for $639,000

       

       

       

       

       

       102 Agamenticus Avenue in York, Maine 

       Sold for $560,000

       

       

       

       

       76 Woodland Hills in South Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $112,500

       

       

       

       

       69 Main Street, Unit B in Exter, New Hampshire

       Sold for $589,900

       

       

       

       

       

       3 Greenacre Drive in York, Maine

       Sold for $435,000

       

       

       

       

       

      Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home. 

      Recent Homes Sales for December 2020

       48 Highland Avenue in York, Maine

       Sold for $490,000

       

       

       

       

       

       9 Snap Hook in York, Maine

       Sold for $667,000

       

       

       

       

       

       27 Pine Street in York, Maine

       Sold for $471,500

       

       

       

       

       

        00 Wire Road in Wells, Maine

       Sold for $135,000

       

       

       

       

       

       381 Ridlion Road in Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $305,000

       

       

       

       

       

       33 Hough Street in Dover, New Hampshire

       Sold for $416,000

       

       

       

       

       

       438 York Street in York, Maine

       Sold for $720,000

       

       

       

       

       

       5 Lori Lane in Kittery, Maine

       Sold for $545,000

       

       

       

       

       

       45 Spinnaker Way in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

       Sold for $360,000

       

       

       

       

       

       209 Kings Highway in Kennebunk, Maine

       Sold for $3,290,000

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       47 Settlement Loop in Kittery, Maine

       Sold for $243,900

       

       

       

       

       

       323 Depot Road in Lebanon, Maine

       Sold for $399,000

       

       

       

       

       

        24 and 28 School Street in Ogunquit, Maine

       Sold for $1250,000 and $600,000

       

       

       

       

       

       337 Long Sands Unit 12 in York, Maine

       Sold for $145,000

       

       

       

       

       

       382 Morrells Mills Road in North Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $515,000

       

       

       

       

        384 E. Shore in Acton, Maine 

       Sold for $384000 

       

       

       

       

       

       3 Olde York Way in York, Maine

       Sold for $538,750

       

       

       

       

       

       660 Pickering Road in Rochester, New Hampshire

       Sold for $310,000

       

       

       

       

       

        25 Partridge Lane in Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $330,000

       

       

       

       

       

       40 Perkins Drive in York, Maine

       Sold for $435,000

       

       

       

       

       

       145 Airport Drive in Cape Neddick, Maine

       Sold for $628,000

       

       

       

       

       

       16 Colcord Street in South Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $276,000

       

       

       

       

       4 Rogers Road in York, Maine

       Sold for $535,000

       

       

       

       

       

       16 Nicole Road in York, Maine

       Sold for $840,000

       

       

       

       

       

       Lot 4 Fiddledhead Drive in Berwick, Maine

       Sold for $100,000

       

       

       

       

       6 Weil Lane in York, Maine

       Sold for $505,600

       

       

       

       

       

      Not pictured:

      10 River Street in Berwick, Maine -  Sold for $280,000

      Williams Realty Partners of Keller Williams Coastal Realty is the number one Keller Williams Team in New England. WRP is a full service team collaborating to bring buyers and sellers together. With this structure, our agents get to spend their time doing what they do best: working with clients to provide an exceptional experience whether buying or selling a home. 

      How To Move Your Mom

       

      How To Move Your Mom

       

      For many families, downsizing comes at a time when an older relative is no longer safe living at home. For our family, that time arrived during the summer of 2020. My 86 year old Mom had become unsteady on her feet, and she had started to experience falls. Those falls had happened when Dad - who is 89 - wasn’t home to help, and after a talk with the whole family, they decided to move to a nearby assisted living facility.

       

      But the thought of clearing out the large, 4 bedroom Cape Neddick Maine home they had lived in for over 25 years was both emotionally and physically daunting for them. No worries, said their adult children; just pack what you want to take with you and we’ll take care of moving everything else.

       

      So that left us - the 3 adult kids - with a large, 4 bedroom home to completely empty out before putting it on the market! We were pretty daunted, too.

       

      We had already accomplished Step 1 - Choose what you want to take with you when you move. It turns out that there are only a few of our possessions that, as organizational guru Marie Kondo says, truly spark joy. The rest is just stuff.

       

      Step 2 - Repeat Step 1 with the extended family. Make sure that adult children, their spouses, and the grandchildren all have a chance to choose things from the house that they love, too. One of the most touching things I witnessed was when one of my daughters lifted her grandmother’s painting apron (mom was a passionate oil painter) down off its hook and took it home with her. My other daughter wanted the Christmas village scene that she set up every December with her grandmother. You never know what has the most meaning to someone.

       

      Now that Mom and Dad and the rest of the family has what they want from the house, on to downsizing Step 3 - the rest of all that stuff! My sister did some looking around, and found a man who would stage the entire house and conduct a 2-day indoor estate sale right after the move. We were, thankfully, not involved at all. His cut was 35% of the proceeds.The same person found homes at charitable organizations for the things that remained after the sale, and the rest was dumpster-bound. We didn’t have to lift a finger!

       

      Step 4 is Assess the House. We called Troy Williams and Heidi Hayes of Williams Realty Partners to give us their professional assessment of what was worth doing to the house before the sale, and what wasn’t. We didn’t want to spend money that we didn’t have to spend, and we didn’t want to just guess on our own what needed doing, either. It turned out that painting the peeling front door was a must, for instance, and it’s something that we never saw until it was pointed out, simply because we were too used to seeing that door. We had gone blind as to the shape it was in. Another suggestion that we never would have thought of was for their photographer to take the outdoor pictures while the leaves were still on the trees, since the pictures would show better that way.

       

      Thankfully, Troy and Heidi were able to simply get in touch with their resources and get the work done: their painter, their handyman, and finally, their housecleaner for the finishing touches. 

       

      Times of transition are emotionally difficult enough. In the end, it was an easier-than-anticipated process to clean out 25 years of accumulated “stuff” and get a large house ready to sell because we called in experienced people to help us. Any money that we had to spend, such as for a dumpster, we knew would be recouped quickly when the house sold. And our time was spent helping our parents settle into their new home, rather than exhausting ourselves over their old home.

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