Archive for February, 2014

Snowstorm Reflections

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

snowsnow3

 

I love the snow!  Yes, I’m really tired of the cold just like everyone else, but this snowstorm is beautiful!  I’m sitting indoors today, warm and cozy in my new home, looking outside and feeling very blessed to have the life I have.

Life is about the choices you make.  I think back on some of the choices I’ve made in my past and how those choices brought me to where I am now.

I chose to take a trip to Europe in high school instead of getting a car and that trip sparked my love of travel and acceptance of cultural differences that has stayed with me throughout my life.

I chose to follow a a man in his military career, moving 6 times in 20 years.  Each time we moved I had to start over, meet new friends, build a comfortable home, take care of my children and be independent while my husband was away with work.  This has led me to be a strong, independent woman who can handle conflict and change when it happens.

I chose to be a stay at home mom even though I am a driven career person.  I was lucky enough to be able to do it financially and  I truly felt it was the right thing to do for my family.  I believe my time spent with them when they were young molded them into the successful young adults they are with independent, driven lives of their own.

I chose to get into Real Estate once my children were all in school, a career that allowed me my independence to be successful or not depending on how hard I was willing to work.  It also allowed me the freedom to travel and set my own hours.  It allowed me to be the driven career person, as well as the parent I wanted to be.

Together, my husband and I chose to move out of the marriage that wasn’t right for either one of us anymore.  We chose to put our children first and not argue or put each other down.  We were both good parents.  We chose to respect that first and to love our children above all else.

I chose to live independently for several years, raising my teen children and enjoying their successes.  I wanted to make it on my own, both financially and emotionally.  There were a few difficult years but in the end it’s about the decision to choose how to handle those difficulties.  It’s up to us to make a change, or a connection or a move.

I chose to move to Iowa for a man.  Yes, I said it.  It sounds cliche’, but in life… love and happiness are powerful things.  Isn’t that what everyone is looking for?

The choices I made in my life shaped who I am today.  They will help me make the choices I’ll need to make in the future. I’m still the driven career woman who is going to do her best to make an impact in this market.  I’m still the mom who will always love her children.  I’m still independent and love to travel.   My choices have made me who I am, where I am… and I don’t regret any of them.

All this from staring out the window at a beautiful snowfall.  🙂

Have a great day.

Juliesnow2

I Can’t Find a Home to Rent!

Monday, February 17th, 2014

imagesCAS4ZWL8I’ve been working lately to find a family of 4, two adults, two kids and a small dog, a place to rent here in Atlantic.  I don’t normally handle rentals (A Realtor doesn’t get paid to help someone rent a house), but I know these folks want to buy a house here within the year.   So I have been making phone calls, calling on signs that I see as I drive around town and asking everyone I meet if they know someone who knows of any homes for rent.  I am truly surprised that there isn’t much available!  There are a limited number of apartment buildings in town, and although I didn’t call on the apartments, I have been told that it’s hard to find a vacant one of those as well.  Who is living in all of these rental properties and why aren’t they buying?  I’m just not sure.

So I’m thinking to myself…maybe I should buy some of these homes that have been on the market (for sale) for awhile, and become a landlord myself.  There is obviously a need here for rental homes.  I could create some cash flow to supplement my income!  But…I’m just not sure I want to be a landlord again.  My ex-husband and I took a stab at it in Omaha about 12 years ago and neither one of us cared for the late night phone calls about plumbing or heating issues.  Nor did we care for collecting rent when it wasn’t paid on time, or feeling awful about evicting a tenant with children.  Being a landlord just isn’t a fun job.   No…it’s not for me.  Maybe more people should jump on that bandwagon though.  It’s a lesson of supply and demand.  Supply is low and demand is high, at least here in Atlantic.

I got off track … so back to my clients coming into town wanting to rent a home.  How am I going to find them a home?

There are several homes to purchase in town.    You can buy a house of say $100,000 and have a payment of about $700/month, but you will need money to put down and to use for closing costs, etc.  You also need good credit scores and a solid employment history.  Long gone are the days when anyone could apply for a mortgage loan and get it.   But, you’ll get tax benefits, you’ll have ownership of the home and over time, gain equity.  You can rent that same house for about $700/month or more and never build any equity…basically throwing your money away each month.  But for those who don’t have stellar credit scores or money for a down payment, or for those people who won’t be staying in the area for very long, renting may be the best option.

I don’t have an answer for this family coming to town.   I will try to find them a rental house for the time being.  They may have to stay with friends or family for awhile until something becomes available.  They could borrow from family to put a down payment on a house and buy one of the available homes in Atlantic.  It’ll be a decision I’ll help them through and hopefully they’ll find a great family home.

I would love feedback from anyone on this topic!  Please let me know your thoughts on the rental vs. buying housing market here in Atlantic or any parts of the US!

Julie

Atlantic Eye Doctor

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Family Vision Center in Atlantic

Family Vision Center in Atlantic

Once again I was in search of a local professional to work with.  When you move to a new city it’s like starting all over again with the everyday things, like finding a new eye doctor.

Throughout my life I have always has 20/20 vision, but then I turned 40 and things started going downhill in that area.  I started out with cheaters, buying several inexpensive pairs of reading glasses to leave all over the house,my car and office.  But… it quickly became inconvenient to be showing houses, needing reading glasses to read the details of the house on an MLS sheet, then not needing them to walk around and look at the house.  Glasses on the top of my head became the norm and I didn’t like it.  I decided that would try bifocal contacts.  Now, this isn’t something that is easy to get used to.  At first I hated them, feeling like I was giving up some of my distant vision (which is still pretty good) for the ability to read up close.  My doctor at the time said to give it at least a month to allow my eyes to get used to them.  So I did.  And I have to say that after a year of wearing them, I would find it hard to not wear them now.  They allow me to read a menu or a text message without having to put on reading glasses and I can see far away as well.

I needed a check up recently to make sure my prescription was still what I needed and to order new contacts.  So I called Dr.Tom Thomsen, a licensed Optometrist, of Family Vision Center in Atlantic.  Tom was very professional and gave me a full eye exam and prescriptions for contacts and new glasses for when I was at home.  Then I had Jan Namanny help me find the perfect frames for my face and she got me set up with the right lenses.  All in all, it was a great experience with knowledgeable, friendly people helping me.  I would happily recommend them to anyone looking for a new eye doctor.

Family Vision Center is located at 4 West 5th Street, Atlantic IA  50022.  Their phone number is 712-243-1965.   Website is: http://visionsource-fvcatlantic.com/about-us/

Family Vision Store

Family Vision Store

Jan Namanny

Jan Namanny