Oklahoma City Real Estate and Community News

Aug. 7, 2018

Improve your credit with 7 simple steps.

 

  1.  Always pay your bills on time.

  2.  Keep your credit card balances low.

  3.  Get rid of debt faster.

  4.  Do not close your current account or open a new one.

  5. Order a free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com and dispute errors.

  6. Study your FICO score

  7. Keep the debt to credit ratio less then 30%

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 3, 2018

To store or NOT to Store?

To Store or Not To Store: That Is the Question

Selling your home while buying another one introduces unique challenges. In addition to preparing for a move, you also need to get your current house ready to show to potential buyers. If you’re trying to accomplish these two big goals at the same time, a storage unit may sound like a helpful way to work through the transition. But is it?

Ideally, moving to another home is a perfect opportunity to remove clutter from your life, by selling, donating, or throwing away whatever you don’t need. It’s hard enough to pack up and move the essentials. Why add to your load?

That said, you may be under time constraints that make it impossible to tackle all those decisions. Everyone does whatever is needed to survive a move!

While sorting out alternatives, here are a few considerations to help you determine if using rental storage to facilitate your next move is your best option:

To Store: Advantages of Using a Storage Unit

  1. You can pack up everything that’s not essential to your life now.
  2. It will simplify “staging” your home.
  3. Storing the extra stuff will make your house appear larger, which will help it sell faster.
  4. You can keep your personal stuff personal, while potential buyers are looking through your house.
  5. Out of sight, really is out of mind, and YOUR mind is quite full right now – thank you very much!
  6. You won’t have to make more decisions right now; just put everything in storage and sort it out later.
  7. You can try different pieces of furniture in the new house before making final decisions about selling or keeping furnishings, among other things.

Not To Store: Disadvantages of Using a Storage Unit

  1. It’s yet another moving expense.
  2. It means double-handling all your items, instead of taking things straight from your current house to your new location.
  3. It’s not necessarily secure. Most storage units don’t guarantee your things will be safe, so you may need additional insurance to cover items placed in storage.
  4. Storage encourages delaying decisions about what to keep and what to take, which may result in more procrastination in the future.
  5. People tend to store things they don’t really need, then forget about these items, while continuing to pay monthly rental fees.
  6. When the storage unit is full, you can’t reach the things in the back.
  7. If you have more stuff than you can fit into your new house, either you have selected the wrong house, or you need to pare things down.

A Third Option: Portable Storage Units

In recent years, “moveable” storage units have become popular. Companies such as PODS®, SmartBox®, 800-Pack-Rat, Units® and U-Box® offer moveable storage units that you can pack at your old house, at your desired speed. Once everything is loaded up, ask the company to move the unit to your new home, then pay a daily/weekly/monthly fee until you’ve unpacked everything. 

Some of these units are designed for long-term storage, either at your location or in a secure warehouse. Others are intended for temporary use during moves.

Compared to traditional storage space, a portable unit offers the distinct advantage of packing and unpacking everything once. It eliminates the process of hauling your stuff to a remote location, then hauling everything back to your new home.

On the other hand, portable storage units don’t usually instill the same degree of urgency and rush to get things unloaded that you experience with a self-moving truck or a moving company. The longer it takes to empty the unit, the more you’ll add to your moving expenses.

Moving from one home to another is hard work with very few “perfect” solutions. Whatever you decide, good luck with your move and congratulations on your new home!



































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Posted in moving
July 14, 2018

Create an Outdoor “Living Room”





Create an Outdoor “Living Room” at Your House

It's summertime! Now is the time to enjoy the great outdoors, leave the indoors behind, and start living and entertaining outside. Creating an outdoor “living room” is one of the best ways to extend your living and entertaining space.  

Here are a few tips to get started!

Floor It

Great outdoor living areas begin with a great foundation. Rather than merely setting your lawn furniture out in the yard, create a room by defining it on the ground first. If you have a patio, gazebo, or a back porch, your floor is already finished.

If you are starting with a yard, and don’t want to build a deck or pour a concrete pad, consider creating patio space with terracotta, stone, or concrete pavers. If money is a concern, you can outline the area with pavers or landscape timbers, then fill the interior with pea-gravel or mulch.

Shade It

An outdoor living area with the hot sun beating down all day won’t be as enjoyable as a space that offers a few shady spots. Place the room under an eave of the house, under a shade tree, or a retractable shade on the side of the house, to use as needed. You can also use patio umbrellas to create enjoyable cool, shaded areas.

Make It Private

If your outdoor room is open to the world, you may want to add a fence, a hedge, or even a wooden or wire trellis covered in quick-growing vines to offer some visual privacy for you, your family, and your guests.

If you select the right plants for your area, you might be able to train them to provide walls as well as a ceiling for your outdoor room (with an overhead trellis). For quick and dense wall coverage, consider plants in the bamboo family. (Be sure to contain them though, since they tend to spread quickly!)

Furnish It

Be as simple or as elaborate as you like in your outdoor living room. Essential items are comfortable places to sit, and surfaces to hold drinks, books, or a table to enjoy meals.

Beyond that, and depending on your budget, you may want to add a bar, a grill, an outdoor sink and refrigerator, a fire pit, or even a fireplace with a hearth.

Decorate It

Outdoor living areas are the perfect places for beautiful potted plants and trees. Statues and massive art pieces (so long as they will tolerate the weather) offer significant impact in outdoor living spaces. 

Water elements are also a popular option, including a koi pond, a water fountain, a water wall, or a bird bath. Water is a great way to decorate outdoors, enhancing both the sights and sounds of your outdoor space.

Light It

Unless you only plan to enjoy your new space during the day, consider the best ways to light it at night. Be creative! You can install permanent light fixtures, or stick tiki torches in the ground. You can light candles that rest on the table, or hoist up a candle chandelier, as a fabulous centerpiece to your outdoor room.

Don’t forget there are many affordable solar-powered LED options for low-level lighting around the edge of your room, plus solar- or battery-powered string lights to wrap around posts, trees, and plants. You may even want a "wall" of light, created with strands of LED bulbs, for an impactful addition to your new space.



















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Posted in Outdoors
June 25, 2018

Want to save on your water bill this summer?

Trim Your Water Bill This Summer!

Swimming, boating, and other water sports are among the great joys of summer. However, on the home front, summer is a time when water bills can spike! It’s a good time to think about ways to reduce your usage.

For most homeowners, a smaller water bill is simply a matter of awareness—paying attention to a few steps that will reduce costs, without sacrificing summer fun.

Outdoors

In the summer, most households use between 30 and 70 percent of their water outdoors. An estimated 50 percent of that use is wasted to evaporation, wind, or runoff from overwatering, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (link is external).

Start by rethinking your approach to lawn care. To make the biggest dent in your water bill, consider replacing water-hungry lawns with drought-resistant landscaping plants. Also, add mulch to any bedding areas, to help plants retain water better.

To maintain a lawn with less water:

  • Don’t cut your lawn too short. To reduce water evaporation, put your mower on the tallest setting.
  • If you water your lawn, consider using soakers rather than sprinklers—another way to reduce evaporation.
  • If you use sprinklers, do so when it’s cooler—either early in the morning, or late in the evening. During the heat of the day, more water will evaporate before soaking into the ground.
  • If your soil doesn’t absorb water well (including clay and other compact soil types), short watering cycles twice a day may be more effective than one long cycle.
  • De-thatching and aerating your lawn will also help with water absorption and prevent wasteful runoff.

Other ways to save on outdoor water use:

  • Have a pool? Keep it covered when it’s not in use, to reduce surface evaporation.
  • Consider collecting water in a rain barrel or a cistern, for watering outdoor plants.
  • Check for any leaks in your incoming water lines and exterior faucets, and replace the washers in your hose each spring.
  • Sweep off driveways and sidewalks, rather than “spraying” them clean with a hose.
  • Run your car through an automatic carwash. Typically, this costs less than the incremental increase in your home water bill—and you don’t have to do the work!

Indoors

Trimming your water bill isn’t limited to summer months, or outside uses. There are many ways to save money year-round, inside your home:

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth, or shaving. (Just run a small amount to rinse the brush and/or blade.)
  • Instead of waiting for tap water to get cold at the sink, keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator.
  • Start a compost pile, to reduce the need to run water for a garbage disposal.
  • When washing and rinsing dishes by hand, don’t leave water running hard. Instead, run a small trickle in the sink, or dip dishes into a small bowl of rinse water.
  • While your shower “warms up,” catch the running water in a bucket, then use it to freshen pets’ water bowls, or to water plants.
  • Don’t wash fruits and vegetables under running water. Instead, use a bowl.

More indoor water savers:

  • Fix any dripping faucets. Believe it or not, within one year, a single drip every two seconds equals 1,388 gallons of wasted water!
  • Consider shortening your shower time by one or two minutes. It will save over 100 gallons a week.
  • Put food coloring in your toilet tank and watch the bowl for any leaks. Colored water leaking through means it’s time to replace the rubber flapper and/or the flushing mechanism, which will save hundreds of gallons a month.
  • Install aerators on your faucets and buy water-saving showerheads, potentially including a quick on-off switch to use while lathering up in the shower.
  • Don’t run your washing machine or your dishwasher on small or half-full loads.

For most homeowners, it’s easier to SAVE money than to MAKE money. When it comes to water use, small savings can add up fast! Evaluate your water use, and make it a habit to “conserve” for you and your family’s future. After all, savings this summer may add up to next summer’s family vacation!



























































































































































































































































































































































































































Posted in Saving water
Aug. 22, 2017

Who are you listing your home with?

Top 10 Website Features Buyers look for in a listing.

 

Percentage of all buyers who used the internet rank photos at 89 percent as the most useful tool. Detailed information about properties for sale at 85 percent.  It's clear that buyers place significant value on each of these website features. So why are so many sellers working with a Realtors who don't work with a professional photograph? Or the details of their home are 3 bed 2 bath. If your Realtor can't give a better description than that, what makes the buyers want to see your property? Work with a Realtor that gives full service. You the seller deserve that. Is your Realtor measuring up?  Buyers ages 52 and older ranked "real estate agent contact information higher than the average for all buyers.  Buyers ages 51 and younger gave above average rankings to every website feature, except agent contract information, virtual tours, and floor plans. 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
June 30, 2017

Happy Birthday America!

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy 4th of July. We think about our Freedom and all the privileges we have as Americans especially around the 4th of July. Celebrating our country's birthday.  As I am writing this blog looking at my dad's dog tags, I am reminded of all the men and women who have given so much to this great Nation of ours. I hope you and your family have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!!

Posted in 4th of July
April 13, 2017

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring is here!

 

Well Spring is here. Time to clean up from winter and get projects done. I love Easter and Spring time.  Everything coming alive again. Baby animals being born. The trees and flowers starting to bloom.  Hearing all the bird singing.  It is also a great time for Real Estate. School will be out soon. This is when people start to think about moving. There is a shortage of homes right now in the $ 120,000 and under range in Yukon. If you are thinking about getting your home on the market, I would love the opportunity help you get your home professionally listed and on the market. 

 

Hope you and your family have a Happy Easter

 

 

Stacy Lyons

Posted in Spring and Easter
May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day and Thank you!

This weekend is more then just a three day weekend. Some of us will go to the lake, cook out, swim, shop.  There are those men and women who will not get to do those things. They will be keeping us safe so we can enjoy all our holiday. I want to thank you for your service. For all the men and who are now serving and have served. You have sacrifice more then what we deserve.  I grew up as a military brat for 16 years.  I want to thank my Father, Max Criser who served in the Army for 20 plus years. As I am typing this looking at his dog tags that he gave me, I am honored to have them and so proud that our family has helped to keep America safe.  GOD BLESS AMERICA!  Please pray for our soldiers and their families.  Have a SAFE, HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!

 

Posted in Memorial Day