Posts Tagged ‘atlantic’

Mother/Daughter–Parallel lives

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

It’s uncanny how lives can be so similar at times.  Two people who live in two different states, going through so many of the same things.  My daughter and I both just moved to new houses and new lives in new towns.

10360244_10152160368227844_3007280055751781245_nMy daughter Jill just graduated from Wayne State College in May.  She and her husband (they just got married last June) picked up and moved to Cambridge, Nebraska.  Cambridge is a small town in western Nebraska with a population of about 1000 people.  Jill’s husband, Dexter, took an Industrial Tech teaching position there at the high school.   Jill, an Elementary Ed teacher, will be substituting this year while waiting for an anticipated opening next year in the same school system.    They just got done moving and unpacking into a cute rental house in town, and are meeting new neighbors and friends as they discover their new surroundings.   Jill is also writing a blog about her moving experiences and trials and tribulations of beginning a new life chapter (like mother, like daughter).   Here is the link to her blog: http://improvisethislife.wordpress.com/.

And of course I just moved to Atlantic last September and started blogging my journey through it.  And just a few weeks ago, Mark and I bought a new house here.  We decided that to truly begin this life together as a couple we should make a fresh start and leave the past in the past.   We are making this new house ours and I love it!   So… the past several weeks have been spent packing, moving and now unpacking just like Jill and Dex.  No wonder I haven’t written a blog post in over a month!    A big shout out to the young men who helped us actually move our stuff from one house to another.  Mark lined up about 6 college-aged guys to do the heavy lifting and they worked hard all day.  We are so grateful for their strong backs and hard work!   It’s still a transition and we will be unpacking for the next several weeks I’m sure, but when I get stressed I just look at the view from our deck and it calms me.

backyard

Jill and I also compare some of the small town-isms and new couple-isms that we both notice.  Dexter is also from a small town, like Mark.  We both notice that the men need ‘meat’ in all of their meals.  Jill and I would be completely content to eat mac and cheese for lunch and call it a meal, but both Dex and Mark would want ham, sausage or at least a hot dog with it!    And Jill was surprised that the grocery store in Cambridge said she could put items ‘on credit’ and pay them off later.  That is unheard of in the big cities we are used to!  Mark does the same thing here at the local hardware store.  Crazy to us city girls and wonderful at the same time!  🙂

It’s fun to have someone going through the adjustment of small town life at the same time so we can compare notes and giggle about it together.  It’s great to know that my daughter understands my life changes and adventures as much as I understand hers.  It’s good we have each other.

Julie

Discovering Iowa One Town at a Time

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Real estate business is picking up this spring, and I’ve shown several homes to potential buyers. Many of the homes I’m showing are out in the smaller towns in Iowa surrounding Atlantic. I’ve been to Harlan, Irwin, Kimballton and Elk Horn recently. I’ve shown farm houses on small acreages with barns, hog pens, chicken coops and stables. I’ve learned about well water testing, septic system operations and propane heating. Rural life is new to me, and yet so normal and common place to everyone in these small towns. I think some people here get a kick out of my questions, assuming that everyone knows how a farm operates. I’m the ‘city girl’ asking silly questions these days, but I’m learning!

Harlan, Iowa downtown square

Harlan, Iowa downtown square

I DO enjoy seeing the different towns. I think Harlan is a really nice ‘bigger’ small town with a lot going on. They have a quaint town square downtown, but the outskirts are growing and developing with several beautiful housing areas and newer business parks.

Kimballton and Elk Horn are communities with a deep Danish Heritage. Kimballton has a replica of ‘The Little Mermaid’ a statue made famous in the harbor in Copenhagen, Denmark which honors the H.C. Anderson fairytale, “The Little Mermaid”. Elk Horn has a Danish Museum and a real operating Danish Windmill. I sold a house in Elk Horn to a woman moving here from Denver. She fell in love with the feel of the town and the community. I have to admit, I did a bit too!

Danish Windmill, Elk Horn, Iowa

Danish Windmill, Elk Horn, Iowa

The Little Mermaid statue in Kimballton, Iowa

The Little Mermaid statue in Kimballton, Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also noticed that while going to these towns I was driving on the Iowa Western Skies Scenic Byway. I googled it when I got home and discovered that Iowa has several ‘scenic byways’ throughout the state. Here is the link to them: http://www.iowadot.gov/iowasbyways/IowaBywaysTravelGuide.pdf.  Mark and I love to get on the motorcycle and just explore for an afternoon. I’m looking forward to checking out some of these routes and new small towns.

downtown Atlantic, Iowa

downtown Atlantic, Iowa

And of course I am loving Atlantic. I love the beautiful downtown with its many trees and shops, and the recreation areas and the organizations I’ve joined. I have come to know so many wonderful people and have been welcomed into the community with open arms.  This is truly my home now.

The Atlantic Golf and Country Club

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

atlantic_golf_small Just about two years ago I made my first trip to Atlantic for Mark’s 50th birthday party. He had his party at the Atlantic Golf and Country Club.  Mark has been a member there for about 30 years, give or take a year or two.  He went there as a kid and teenager to swim at the pool.  He took his children to the same pool while they were growing up, and he’s played many rounds of golf on the 18-hole course.  He and his family have enjoyed countless meals and social engagements at the bar and restaurant.  It’s been a place where life time friendships have been built.   And he invited me in.

I met about 100 of his closest friends that night of the party.  These were people he’d grown up with, his high school buddies, his parent’s friends, and his daughter’s friends.  The country club was the meeting place, the glue that bound them all together over the years.

Over the past two years I’ve grown to know many of these people through activities at the club.  I’ve played in a Pitch card tournament.  I’ve played Friday night 2-ball golf.  I’ve watched the golf “Tournament of Champions.”  I’ve had many meals and Friday night get togethers with others in the bar. I’ve become friends with the bartenders and wait staff.  This year I celebrated my own 50-year birthday with several new friends there and I’m going to be golfing on the women’s league on Thursday nights this spring.  They might regret that decision later!

I feel incredibly grateful for the wonderful new friendships I have developed through my association with Mark, his past friendships and the Atlantic Golf and Country Club.  I know they are running some new member specials this year.  I joined as a member with Mark and I’m looking forward to many years of new memories!  Call Sheryl for questions about joining.

The club is located at 102 West 29th Street, Atlantic, Iowa 50022.   The general manager is Sheryl Dusenberry.   Phone number is (712)-243-3656.

Website: http://www.theagcc.com/Home_Page.html

I hope I see you out there!

Julie

Atlantic_Golf_Country_Club_238425 agccinside

 

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