So cool…

So it’s Friday night and I’m sitting here watching…Garth Brooks live from the Wynn in Vegas!  I’ve missed this man, his music and his personality!  I saw him in concert 3 times, twice with his wife Trisha Yearwood…she is my all time favorite female artist and loved it each and every time!  He is a true showman and made enough money from 1989 to 2001 to retire!  Imagine, making enough money in 12 years that you don’t ever have to worry about money again.

Yeah, he made a few missteps…the whole Chris Gaines thing was a little strange, but this guy is amazing! He has many influences and heroes across the genre’s, this show is filled from the beginning with all this amazing stuff!  Tricia joined him and switched his hat and we got pure Garth from there on…so much fun!

One of the most amazing things about him is he still seems humble, despite divorce from his daughters mother, maintained a relationship that allow them to grow up as normally as possible and signed off the show with “thank you for my life”, understanding that without the fans willingness to pay for the shows, cd’s and dvd’s, he has none of what he achieved in these last 25 years.  What an enjoyable 2 hours, they just flew by!

For those of you who know me, I listen to all music, love the 80’s hairbands, the 70’s rockers and all the way back to the 50’s and 60’s as well as the “old” country that I grew up with – Conway and Loretta, George and Tammy, and of course, Elvis – all invokes memories of home and family.  So what music brings it all back for you?

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Vicki Reed

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What are you Thankful for???

Sitting here thinking about the Thanksgiving holiday and feeling grateful for so much in my life I decided I’d share a little with you all, give you something to think about as you prepare your “I’m thankful for…” addresses for the family table tomorrow…

I’m thankful for…

1.  My Family…some here, some passed on, but always on my mind.  I’m thankful for my parents who’s unconditional love and support have allowed me to become the person I am…the world’s greatest Realtor!  All kidding aside, Mom and Dad are simply amazing people who tomorrow will be celebrating 51 years of marriage and while they’ve had their ups and downs, raised 3 very strong, independent women who have followed their own paths regardless of popular opinion.  And then we have my nieces…can I just say WOW an incredible group that I am so thankful to be a part of.

2.  My Friends…They say there are those that pass through your life, only there to serve a need for a short period, then those who stay much longer…Mary, Nancy, Jason and Dan…I am so thankful for your friendship, “group” dinners and the unwavering support I’ve received from each of you over the years…thank you for being my friends.  There are so many others…Tina, you are awesome, Gretchen, I wouldn’t have survived my first few years in the biz without you! and so many more of you that  it would take too many posts to count.

3.  My Keller Williams Family…I’ve never met a group of people so willing to help each other, not just in business, but in life!  Tonya, Staci, Natalie, Patti, Beth, Kris, Ann, Kim, Tony, Stephanie, Amber, actually, just everyone in the Keller Williams Indy Metro NE office…being part of this family has been life-changing and I so look forward to continuing this experience and growing my business.

There is so much and so many more to be grateful for, I challenge you all to really think about your life and those that have encouraged your dreams and stayed with you during your failures….these are those to be truly thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone…

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Vicki Reed

Thinking of Selling in the Spring?

You do realize that if that’s you, you need to think about how you do your final yard clean-up to insure you are ready to go in February/March – before you even get the mower out of the garage!  I know, I know February/March seems early to be part of the “spring selling season”, but that’s when homes start hitting the market and if you are thinking of selling, you need to be ready!

I would love to work with you!  Let’s talk…we can look at a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and see where you are falling now, look at what projects you can work on this winter will increase your homes value and then look at the numbers again in February and get it going!  Now…about that fall clean-up…

Proper fall yard maintenance lowers the risk of plant diseases next spring. Raking the lawn ensures your grass won’t smother under a burden of fallen leaves. Of course, fall yard maintenance means winterizing: putting your plants to bed properly, all the hard work on those perinnials can pay off when spring has sprung and your yard is in bloom.

What needs doing in the fall yard before you can call it a year and start relaxing? Well, it would almost be easier to ask what does not need doing. You have your work cut out for you, especially if you have a big lawn. There’s more to fall landscaping than decorating for the Holidays. Consult this checklist to make sure your yard is in proper shape before the snow starts falling!

Beginners have some vague notion of having to “put the lawn and garden to bed” for the winter, but they are foggy on the specifics. This resource answers some commonly posed queries about fall yard maintenance. For example, how deep into fall do you have to continue mowing? What about watering your grass in fall?

Think about it, when you own a home, you always want anything you do to add value…what better way to make a good first impression as to have the best curb appeal…even in the winter.  Call me…let’s talk!

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Vicki Reed

Girls School Tells Girls ‘You’re not a princess’

I want to congratulate the Mercy Academy‘s new ad campaign created by the Doe-Anderson Agency of Louisville, KY.  This was the article on the Today show Moms webpage and I say Bravo!  Don’t get me wrong, I love the stories, fairy tales, romantic comedies, and romance novels as much as the next woman (and some men) and the Doris Day movies with Rock Hudson, Cary Grant or any other of her many handsome co-stars are still some of my absolute favorites, but let’s get real…it’s time for all of us to understand that anyone can rule the world – girls and boys alike – we all have the ability to do anything we set our minds to do.  Read on for the article…personally, I love it!

Against the Cinderella culture, a Catholic high school in Kentucky has a blunt message for young girls.

“You’re not a princess,” Mercy Academy says in a new ad created by Louisville, Ky. agency Doe-Anderson.

“Don’t wait for a prince,” reads another. “Be able to rescue yourself.”

“This message empowers them to move beyond that whole fairy tale idea and to write their own story in life,” said Mercy principal Amy Elstone.

The Louisville girls’ school with 550 students launched the campaign last week, with ads on websites, billboards and bus shelters. Elstone knew it might raise eyebrows.

“We knew it was going to be risky going with this message,” Elstone told TODAY Moms. “Our girls are growing up in a society where they’re told by their parents that they’re a princess, and our message is that they’re not a princess, they’re so much more.”

The theme is also part of the school’s enrollment video.

Elstone doesn’t want students to think they need to wait for their Prince Charming.  

“That’s what TV tells them and movies and Disney tell them,” she said. “We teach our girls to prepare for real life.”

That could include a prince, she said, as long as a student is writing him into the picture, Elstone said.

The campaign, Elstone said, is true to the school’s mission of preparing girls for the 21st century.

“And we think this holds true to the Catholic tradition and our ultimate goal is to produce women of mercy,” she said.  So far, she has received only positive feedback.

“It’s been amazing,” Elstone said. “We’ve been hearing people talking about it in the community. It’s all over Facebook. It gets people talking. People are debating our message and applying it to their own life.”

Mercy students enjoyed the campaign when the school ran it by them last year, she said.  

“They all loved it,” Elstone said. “They said it is exactly what a 13- and 14-year old girl needs to hear.”

A few girls, she said, teared up, she recalled, and said, ‘Yes, I’m writing my own story.”

On TODAY, Natalie Morales credited the school with spreading a “great message.”

“You watch the Hollywood romance movies and you see the happy ending and the guy always comes in and saves everybody and everybody lives happily ever after and that’s not life,” Morales said.

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Vicki Reed

Aren’t we pushing it just a bit?

Well…Thanksgiving as a holiday seems to be fading into oblivion…The Hallmark Channel started running Christmas movies November 1 and now, instead of waiting for the traditional “Black Friday“, many retailers are opting to join those retailers who saw favorable sales last year by opening on Thanksgiving evening and starting their Black Friday deals on Thursday!

Whatever happened to the traditional Thanksgiving?  No stores open for shopping except a few grocery stores so that you can pick up that can of cranberry glob that everyone serves and i’ve never seen anyone eat!  Now Wal-Mart, which is always open, will start their Black Friday deals at 6:00 p.m., Macy’s is opening some stores, Target and Kohl’s as well.  Is it really the wave of the future?  I know there has been some panic because of the late date of Thanksgiving this year (the 28th – Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad – 51 years! and Happy Birthday to my cousin Angie who was born the day my parents married!) only leaves 3 weeks between the holiday’s, but it seems that we are trying to wipe Thanksgiving off the calendar!  Maybe it’s the turkey’s idea…hmm, something to think about!

Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving?  Are the deals really worth it?  Would love to hear from you!  Me…I’ll be watching movies and lounging…in my very best sweats!

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Vicki Reed

I know it’s not sexy…but do you know about the new FEMA Flood Insurance Rates?

Effective October 1, Federal Emergency Management Agency or better known to most of us as FEMA has come out with new maps and rates for homes in flood plains…now did you hear anything about this?  I didn’t and I’m a Realtor!  I have a Seller, home sold the weekend it went on the market, ready to close last week when the buyer finds out from their lender that they are required to have flood insurance…okay, so we’re thinking $1,000 a year or so…no, it’s $5,000 per year and may go up every year!  Are you kidding me???????

This home has not flooded…ever, it’s a beautiful brick Tudor in Irvington, across the street from Ellenberger Park and the homeowner has NEVER carried flood insurance…and suddenly, my Seller’s plans are in jeopardy, the Buyers LOVE this home and now would have to add $416.66 to their monthly payment?  My Seller even offered $30,000 off contract to still take it and they declined!

So now I have this home to sell…again!  I’ve been l looking at what little information is available about these changes…there are people who paid $600 a year now being told it’s going to be $6,000 a year…this will create a huge foreclosure crisis as the average person isn’t able to suddenly start adding $400 – $600 per month to their mortgage payment…these are homes where the mortgage payment was likely only $700 a month, they are nearly doubled…could you find it in your budget to double your mortgage payment?

The good thing about this property is that it is in a very desirable area and since re-activating the property on Friday I’ve had 6 calls and 2 showings, but I’ve had to include information on the flood insurance requirement if the Buyer is going to finance.  But what happens to those people who were carrying reasonably priced insurance suddenly faced with this astronomical increase.

Unfortunately, these changes went into effect October 1…the same time as the new Health Insurance Exchanges went active and all the hoopla surrounding it started as well as the Government Shut Down…where was MIBOR in all this?

I’m hosting a meeting on Tuesday in our office with an Insurance Agent who has graciously agreed to talk to us about the changes and what it means for homeowners who are ready to sell and those Buyers we hope to attract…but check it out before you decide to buy or sell a home!

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Vicki Reed