Wow…it’s the end of 2013!

So what did you accomplish in 2013?  I had my best year to date in Real Estate and am moving into 2014 with 4 active listings, 2 pending sales and 2 active buyers!  My volume as a single agent was $2.5 million in homes sold!  I want to double that in 2014…anyone want to take a bet on it?

The biggest deal for me personally is one of the pending transactions (and one I’ve mentioned several times) and that is the sale of my Grandparents farm.  The last few weeks have been challenging as we remove my family‘s stamp on the farm and ready it for the new owners…the main reason I’m so excited about this is that it removes a worry from my Dad and Uncle Bob and takes a responsibility off their already full plates.

This year has been challenging in other ways, I found out that I’m going to be a Great-Aunt…yeah, I already know that I’m a great aunt, but my beautiful niece Jordan Pyles is expecting March 25…we have a family pool going for date, weight and length…hope I win!  Jordan also completed her high school education in December and will go through graduation ceremonies with the rest of the class in June.

I’m working on selling my home, haven’t quite accomplished it yet, but I know I don’t want to carry the burden of that too big house for another year.  I’ve paid off debt and am working through the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover…by the end of 2014, I will be debt free and living a cash based lifestyle – so excited about the next chapter in my life.

What’s amazing to me is that I will turn 50 in August of 2014…I remember when 50 seemed so old, now it feels very young!

2014 is going to be an amazing year for all of us and for the first time in a very long time, I’m babysitting on NYE – well, they aren’t babies, they are 11, hanging out with Riley Ray tonight and one of her friends while my sister and brother-in-law go out for a few hours!

So for 2014, the family will have a new baby, 2 high school graduates (Allyson is graduating too!), my 50th birthday and my Dad’s 75!  Sounds like a good year already and it doesn’t start until tomorrow. Happy New Year everyone, I hope your 2013 was great and your 2014 will be even better!

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Vicki Reed

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Ah…memories…

Many of you know, I’m in the fortunate position to be the Realtor who sold my Grandparents farm recently and as any full service daughter would do, I’ve been working alongside my parents and uncle to clear out the house, garage and barns for the new owners, looks like we might be ready to close in early January!

I know I’ve written before about the tears and memories, and the weekend before Christmas was especially exhausting because we were just getting started, but today was the first time I didn’t feel like crying most of the day.  It’s been a lot of work and we have so much more to go…but I thought I would share of few of my favorite memories with the next few posts…since it’s Christmas, let’s start with a few Christmas memories…

Growing up, our Christmas followed a very strict routine…Christmas Eve at Aunt Ruth and Uncle Loren’s…with the entire McKay side of the family.  For most of my youth, that meant a big brick house painted red on Main Street in Vevay and later a much smaller home overlooking the river – boy did that house ever seem small with so many of us crammed into it!

Dad worked 2nd Shift most Christmases, so Mom and my sisters, brother and I would go for dinner and gifts then come home and watch the Sound of Music on Channel 3…for you youngins out there, that was before we were able to get satellite out in the country and we only got 2 channels!  Then off to bed with us!  A lot of the time, we would all sleep in the upstairs bedroom that belonged to Paula and I…then it was Christmas morning!  So much fun!  Mom always worked really hard to get us each exactly what we wanted, heck she still does!

After a quick breakfast, it was off to Mamma and Pappa Reed’s for Christmas lunch, gifts and and our annual picture of Dad stretched out on the couch asleep…we added a Christmas bow for an accessory and took a picture…we have one for every year up through 1988…He was always exhausted because he never got enough rest at Christmas.  It was always a great time, my favorite year was when the “old” pond was frozen over and Pappa dug out his ice skates and we all went ice skating – he was really good!  So much fun, then back to the house for hot chocolate and pie!

Then after a great afternoon there, we went back home and Mom’s parents – Granny and Pappa Howie would come up to see what we had all gotten…I have a picture somewhere of Granny sitting on our bean bag chairs we had gotten one year – a better pic would have been her trying to get up!

Bear with me, more memories to come…let’s talk about Easter next time!

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Vicki Reed

Recap of 12 Wishes of Christmas from last season….

It seems like yesterday that I was writing the 12 Wishes of Christmas series, hard to believe it’s been a year!  I thought it was time to run through them again and see where we are in 2013…

Wish # 1 – I wish for my family and friends to find happiness and success in their everyday lives….let’s see…we’ve had a few job changes and promotions, a pregnancy (slightly unexpected), a wedding (no it’s not the same one), a couple of deaths and a more successful year in real estate for me.  All in all, things improving or at least moving in the right direction…

Wish # 2 – My second wish is that everyone feel loved and valued…I found that over the last year, I have made an impact on a number of lives of friends and even the new agents in our Keller Williams office…I simply do what I do and several have graciously shared with me that I have had an impact on their lives…makes me cry tears of joy, but I’m weepy at this time of year anyway!

Wish #3 – Everyone remember to be human, not just during the holiday season, but all year long.  I have tried to pay more attention to those around me this year, held doors for others whose load was greater than mine, taken the time to speak when in the past I might have been caught up in my mind (or my phone!) and not paid attention.  I intend to continue this trend, it gives me a warm feeling inside and I’m sure it translates to my outside!

Wish #4 – we, as a society, remember the victims of senseless acts of violence and make changes in how we treat ourselves, our loved ones, and one another.  This was written immediately following the Newton school shooting.  I struggle with our media as it creates a “psuedo-celebrity” of those who commit the crime and doesn’t focus enough on the victims.  They are looking for their “15 minutes”, let’s not give it to them!

Wish # 5 – is that society curb their consumerism.  I don’t know about you, but I truly need…nothing.  I have clothes, furniture, shoes (way more than I need, but love them all!), bags, accessories, well, just everything!  in 2013, I bought 2 long-sleeve white t-shirts (on sale total was $21) and a pair of black sandals on sale for $20 – mine broke in the middle of my day and Payless was closer!  That’s it…what did you buy?

Wish # 6 – goes along with Wish # 5 is that we as individuals work to reduce our debt on a path to eliminating it.  I have!  I can say that I no longer carry any credit card debt!  I do still owe my Dad for a few things, but he will be taken care of by the end of 2014…on thing at a time.  I’ve also working on The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – the man makes sense, wish someone had introduced me to this years ago!

Wish # 7 – that we turn off  the television more often and lessen the constant bombardment of advertising, noise and a 24/7 news cycle.  I’m the first to admit, I am a TV junkie…but only for the noise! I am one of those people who have the TV on all the time, I am likely not really watching it, but it is on while I’m reading, working at home, or cooking, eating…I’m still working on this one!

Wish # 8 – that I would win the lottery…I’ve won about $12 this year, haven’t been able to make a big change with this, but I’m still wishing!

Wish # 9 – that we open ourselves to receiving help from others when we need it and not being shy about asking for help from our family and friends.  This can be humbling, but sometime necessary…be grateful that you have people in your life who are so willing to share what they have and be ready to share with them in the future.

Wish # 10 – that we curb our excess eating and drinking and work toward a healthier lifestyle.  I have failed miserably on this one…my 2013 has been very stressful, the hope is that 2014 will be easier and I can get myself together!

Wish # 11 – that we allow ourselves more spontaneity in our lives and be more lighthearted, it is important to see the joy in your life.  I have continued to enjoy this aspect of my life as a Realtor – if I have a “break” in my schedule…I love the ability to pop in and have lunch with a friend or stop by a clients home…try to find it for yourself next year!

Wish # 12 – I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and my wish is that all your wishes for positive change come true.  Ditto for 2014!

Christmas

Vicki Reed

Indianapolis Symphony Yuletide Celebration

In its 28th year on the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage, the Yuletide Celebration is still considered Indiana‘s greatest holiday tradition. Five-time Grammy Award-winner and Indiana favorite Sandi Patty returns to take the stage with Jack Everly, the ISO and a cast of Broadway’s best singers and dancers.  For those of us who are fans of The Sound of Music and to story of Captain and Maria von Trapp…The von Trapp Family Singers, the great-grandchildren of Captain von Trapp, performing a Sound of Music medley and other classic holiday music.

Other highlights include a Holiday Motown Medley, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and of course, the Tap Dancing Santas! And as always, you can enjoy pre-concert holiday cheer with cookies and wassail for sale, the magnificent Christmas tree in the main lobby, and live reindeer in the front of the theatre.

There is still time to see it this year and I highly recommend it!  I had the opportunity to attend last night with my friends as well as clients, the Denkers and a great time was enjoyed by all! Below are the dates and times of the remaining shows this season…you really don’t want to miss this!

December 14, 2pm & 8pm
December 15, 2pm & 6pm
December 17, 7:30pm*
December 18, 7:30pm*
December 19, 7:30pm
December 20, 8pm
December 21, 2pm** & 8pm**
December 22, 2pm** & 6pm**
December 23, 2pm** & 8pm**

Click here for more information…heck there is still time to go tonight!

2013 yuletide

Vicki Reed

You look good for 197!

Indiana turned 197 years old today, as it was admitted to the Union on December 11, 1816.  Though we often think of something or someone having a birthday, this occasion is called Statehood Day.  Governor Pence hosted a day of events and speeches at the Old State Capitol and birthday cake at the old governor’s headquarters in Corydon yesterday.

The Old State Capitol program included historical impersonators portraying debating delegates to Indiana’s first constitutional convention, as well as Elizabeth Pennington, the wife of convention delegate and future state Senate leader Dennis Pennington.  Pennington wrote the resolution which moved Indiana’s territorial capital to Corydon from Vincennes in 1813. It remained the capital for the first nine years of statehood.

Today, Governor Pence will host a program at the State Capital in Indianapolis.  Fourth-graders will also gather for Statehood Day observances in Indianapolis at the statehouse, Indiana State Museum, Indiana State Library and Indiana Historical Society.  Click here for today’s agenda of events.

The state museum and the state bicentennial commission are already working with Harrison County tourism officials on plans for the state’s 200th birthday in 2016. Convention and Visitors Bureau interim president Jeremy Yackle says subcommittees are floating ideas for arts, education, and agricultural observances, as well as a bicentennial ball or other community celebration.

As for all birthdays…at least as an adult…it becomes a day of reflection…where you’ve been, where you are today and where you are going.  So here are a few things about where we are today:

Credit Rating:  Governor Mike Pence announced on December 5 that Indiana has maintained its AAA credit ratings from all three bond agencies: Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch Ratings. Indiana has held AAA ratings with all three agencies since April of 2010.

From the press release:  “Fiscal discipline is the foundation of our prosperity,” said Governor Pence. “Today’s news is a testament to the hard work and discipline of State employees at every level and the fiscal leadership of the Indiana General Assembly. In the years ahead, our administration remains committed to maintaining a fiscally stable environment within our state for the betterment of both Hoosier families and businesses.”

And what about Hoosier jobs?  From a November 22, 2013 release:  Indiana’s unemployment rate is more than one percentage point below where it was in January, which is definitely significant” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “The steady private sector job growth the Hoosier State has been experiencing for some time now is finally beginning to be reflected in the unemployment rate, which many businesses and individuals rely on to make important economic decisions.”

With the Pacers win over the Miami Heat last night…and of course, the IU win over Oakland…kinda feels good to be a Hoosier.  Happy Birthday Indiana…

Indiana

Vicki Reed

Who should be Time’s 2013 Person of the Year?

Today, time released the finalists for their 2013 Person of the Year…The award is given to “the person who’s had the most impact on events this year for better or for worse,” Time Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs said Monday…I’m not sure that explains why Miley Cyrus is included with Pope Francis.

Have we become a society that is more interested in psuedo-celebs (Yes, I’m talking about the K’s) and the misbehavior of a brat, no matter how talented?  To name them Person of the Year?

The tradition of selecting a “Man of the Year” began in 1927, with Time editors contemplating newsworthy stories possible during a slow news week. The idea was also an attempt to remedy the editorial embarrassment earlier that year of not having aviator Charles Lindbergh on its cover following his historic trans-Atlantic flight. By the end of the year, it was decided that a cover story featuring Lindbergh as the Man of the Year would serve both purposes.

Since 1927, individuals, classes of people, a “Machine of the Year”, and “Planet of the Year” have been selected for the special year-end issue. Despite the magazine’s frequent statements to the contrary, the designation is often regarded as an honor, and spoken of as an award or prize, simply based on many previous selections of admirable people making an impact of society.  There has also been such controversial figures as Adolf HitlerJoseph StalinNikita Khrushchev and Ayatollah Khomeini have also been granted the title.  

In 1999 to become more “politically correct”, the title was changed to Person of the Year. However, the only women to specifically win the recognition have been “The Whistleblowers” (Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins, in 2002) and Melinda Gates (jointly with Bill Gates and Bono, in 2005). Before then, the title was changed four times and these ladies were granted the title as individual “Woman of the Year” – Wallis Simpson(1936), Soong May-ling (1937), Queen Elizabeth II (1952) and Corazon Aquino (1986).

I’m saddened by our collective fascination with celebraties, the truly talented live their lives well, want respect for their privacy, work as hard as most of us do daily and just try to live their lives.  Those like Miley…simply show that we have become a society with little self-respect and a need to be in the spotlight.

Who do you think should be this year’s Person of the Year?

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Vicki Reed

Well…this wasn’t something I thought about before…

I’m working with a great couple, newly married in October….in Jamaica no less…and we’re shopping for their first home!  Their lease ends at the end of February, so we are getting a great start on the search, pre-qualification…done and the home search is on!

Clients always start the search with location, number of bedrooms/baths…you get the picture, but this client has a special need…he’s 6 feet 7 inches tall and a former college football player!  This is a big man and he needs big rooms.  I’m finding myself thinking of a lot of things that I really hadn’t thought about before…the width of the hallways, the height of the ceilings, even the height of the doorways.  We were in a home on Friday that was great, they both really liked and then we went upstairs…he had to duck to go through the doorways to the bedrooms and closets…ceiling height was about 10′, but doorway height was about 6’4″…and the shower…he’d have to sit on a stool to get under the spray!

The client prefers remodeled, older homes of the Old Northside and Fall Creek Place area, most of which have tall ceilings, but small bedrooms – a king size bed it a must for this couple so I’m taking more time in selecting listings to send for their review…have to make certain that master bath isn’t in a converted attic space with slanted ceilings…that just won’t work!

I have another other active buyer client right now, he is 5’4″ and 12 foot ceilings and huge walk-in showers make him feel really small…talk about the other end of the spectrum!

As I grow my business and my client base, I’m constantly changing the way I look at homes for my clients, I care enough to take the time to really make certain the time we spend looking at homes is not wasted by looking at properties that simply won’t work for them…and my clients are so appreciative!  Each of their needs are taken into consideration, I listen as they walk through homes, make notes and then look for what they said…sometimes we are so far away from what they originally said they wanted, it’s kind of funny!

So what are your special needs in a home?

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Vicki Reed