Your Home’s Personality and What It May Be Saying

I love my home and how I have it decorated. But I am certain it may not appeal to most folks looking to buy a home. From window coverings and paint color to faucets and knickknacks, your home definitely has a personality that comes across and speaks to potential buyers.

What type of personality do you think a home should have when trying to attract a buyer? In my opinion, you should take into consideration the neighborhood and what type of buyer may be looking at your home when answering this question. Do you want it to say, “I offer value” or “I like to party” or “I offer privacy and peace” or should it say “I will let you do your own thing”? I don’t think any of these is a wrong question or answer.

However, in an upscale neighborhood where you are trying to get the most money, your home should at least say, “I am worth just as much and maybe more than the home that just sold down the street.” In a first-time buyer neighborhood, it should say things like, “I will make your life easier”, “I am in pretty good shape and won’t cost extra money to fix,” “I am a pretty good value and will attract a lot of buyers, so get me while you can!”

How you get your home to say things like that may take an experienced eye like mine to help get you there. Call me! 949.525.5905


Keep the Warmth Inside When Staging Your Home to Sell

When you are selling your home, you want to make it as attractive to as many buyers as possible. You may decide to incorporate some staging. But that doesn’t mean you remove all aspects of yourself in an effort to make your residence look like a model home. In fact, it may work against you.

I do believe you should remove as much clutter as possible and make sure the decor is pleasing and does not take away from the beauty of the home and its location nor distract the buyer. The goal, after all, is to help the buyer see all the best aspects of the home and picture themselves living there. That leaves a lot of room for aspects of the homeowner and the livability of the home to remain and be highlighted.

For instance, in a living room, you can still use your favorite colors, decorate with a favorite theme and perhaps use some favorite pieces of decor. It’s all about moderation! You don’t want a buyer to walk into a stark and empty room and feel cold and unwelcome.

I would suggest to try and keep a theme throughout the home if you wish to keep your own decor. Perhaps implement a unifying color palette throughout, utilize approximately the same amount of decor in each of the major rooms, etc. This will appeal the most to a buyer’s senses and help them feel relaxed as they tour your home.

Thinking of selling and want to know how your home may benefit from my staging and other marketing techniques as a listing agent? Call me! 949.525.5905

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My Mother’s Homemade Gravy Recipe for the Holidays

It’s that time of year when most people gather with family and friends for a feast. The feast my family enjoyed every year, for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, was one centered around a turkey, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green beans and home made gravy. I was able to witness my mom make that gravy many many times, and have made it for my own family. I would like to share it with you here. And, yes; that is my mom and my siblings and her mom and dad and her siblings gathered around the table.

mom-xmas-sweaterIt is nothing super special or fancy nor hard to make (necessarily). What is special about it is the memory of my oldest brother always being the one to taste it, and another of the five kids being the one to strain the milk mixture. It is also special because her mom taught her how to make this gravy. Don’t be scared; we no longer need to strain anything since flour is more refined these days. Keep in mind, this is not all science; some art is involved!

What you will need: turkey, turkey neck and giblets, water, milk, flour, salt and pepper.

As you cook your turkey, you will need to create the stock for the gravy:

  • In a medium saucepan, place turkey neck and all giblets and add enough water to adequately cover all the pieces; saucepan should be about three-quarters of the way full or a little more. Add a teaspoon of salt and pepper at this point. You can add more later. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Cover. I usually simmer for about 3-4 hours. If you think you will need more gravy, use a larger saucepan.
  • Some water will usually boil off, leaving the pan about half full. Turn off the heat from under pan. Remove neck and giblets and set aside. Let the pieces cool. Once cooled, you can easily remove meat from neck. I like to put these thin bits of turkey in the gravy. If desired, you can also cut up the cooked giblets and place in the gravy, too. Your choice, but I highly recommend at least the neck meat.
  • As the turkey is setting after you remove from oven, you can make the gravy. It’s not that tough, but may take some trial and error. Remember, you can always make the gravy thinner, but it can be harder to make thicker.
  • You will be bringing the stock to a boil and then adding the milk/flour mixture, stirring constantly, to make the gravy. Let’s make the milk/flour mixture first.
  • In a medium plastic bowl with seal, you should place milk approximately equal to the amount of water remaining in the saucepan. Okay to be less. Add about 4 heaping spoonfuls (I simply use a regular tablespoon and really heap it) of flour to the milk. Seal the plastic bowl tightly, and shake vigorously to mix the flour with the milk. Should be smooth with as few lumps as possible. If you are using a larger saucepan to make the gravy, add a couple more spoons of flour to the mixture.
  • You can add more salt and pepper to the stock if you like at this point. I usually do. I like it to be a little peppery. I think it tastes better with more salt and pepper. I also like to add some of the turkey drippings from the pan before I add the milk/flour mixture. If you want giblets, add the giblets at this point.
  • To the boiling turkey stock with turkey meat and giblets, slowly add the milk/flour mixture, stirring constantly. It will thicken as you boil and stir. You can add more milk and/or water or more turkey drippings if it gets too thick. But most likely it won’t.
  • You don’t have to add all the milk mixture if you like a thin gravy. You can add more milk or water if you like. If you like it thick, add another spoonful of flour to the milk mixture BEFORE you shake it up and before you add to turkey broth.
  • Once the gravy is thickened, you can remove from heat and let sit while you carve the turkey and finish other prep. It may thicken a little more when standing. Before pouring gravy into serving bowl or boat, stir it up, taste it, etc. to make sure it is perfect.
  • Enjoy!

I hope all your family gatherings and feasts are loving and memorable ones. My mom is the beautiful lady all the way to the right.






Flexible Living Space – What People Want

People usually want a deal and want value whether they are shopping for cereal, a car, a power tool, a car or a home. The more use you can get out of something, usually the better value it is. I think that is one reason why the open floor plan is so popular. The homeowner can get more use out of each room if the flow of a residence is more organic.

You may notice that in newer family homes, the formal living room or dining room may be non-existent. People don’t formally entertain as much as they used to if at all. A formal room would be wasted space. The open floor plan melds the living, dining, kitchen and possibly other rooms together so the family can easily flow from one activity to the other and perhaps spend more time together.

Flexible space can also be found in outdoor rooms or patios, bonus rooms, lofts, mud rooms, offices or dens, sometimes located just off the entry door. A homeowner can create flexible space by removing an entire wall or widening a doorway from one room to the other; like from a family room into the kitchen. Something like this will instantly modernize a home and perhaps make it more desirable or easy to sell.

Flexible space allows you to enjoy more of your home, more of the time and in your own way!