Snow Day…..Reflection Day

New Years Eve at Crystal Springs

Pretty much all the schools are closed due to the snowstorm, and Karen and her hubby are basking in the sun in St. Thomas. Meanwhile,  I’m snug as a bug in a rug working from home,  catching up on paperwork, and cleaning up my home office. Finally making the time for my post-holidays housekeeping, I found myself getting a little emotional as I looked for the perfect place to display a gift I received last night.

I was just overwhelmed with thinking about how much I love what I do, how blessed I am to be in this business, and how fortunate I am to be partners with Karen, who loves what she does as well and who shares my same values.  I believe a person really cannot be successful in this business if they don’t truly care about their clients and their families as well as let them see who you really are during the process. I find myself so sad at every closing fearing I won’t ever see or chat  again with these wonderful people whom I’ve gotten so close to….but for some reason, we manage to stay in contact. This business is all about the people and the rewarding connections we make!

Last night I was at a client’s home reviewing some listing changes. When I got there all five kids came running downstairs to greet me. The youngest just turned seven, and according to his mother, dressed up for my visit (he was even sporting a Bruno Mars hat to finish off his outfit). This beautiful child had the biggest smile on his face as he hid something behind his back. “Go ahead and give it to her,” his mother whispered. Once he got that go-ahead he eagerly handed me a framed picture of him and his brother and sisters that was taken over Christmas during their trip to Florida. I cannot tell you enough how difficult it was to not cry…..I was so touched. I thought to myself, “Dang, it’s a great day to be a REALTOR.”

Watermark Properties Ladies Night Out

Watermark Progressive Dinner

party bus

Last evening Watermark Properties put together an evening featuring a  fabulous progressive dinner via party bus taking in all four of their country clubs. At 5:30 Robbie and I boarded the bus and joined over 30 other lady members and their guests and settled in to socialize as our driver whisked us away to our first stop at Watermark Country Club and their restaurant CORK WINE AND GRILLE. The tables were set, servers awaited with hors d’oeuvres served in a buffet setting which included shrimp skewers, assorted dips, cheeses, pita chips and crackers. FUN!!!

After 30 minutes, happy ladies boarded the bus and off we went to Stonewater Country Club in Gaines Township, home base for the two of us! At Firerock Grille we were seated by a cozy fireplace and enjoyed soups (including my favorite lobster bisque) and salads.

stop #2 Firerock Grill

stop #2 Firerock Grill

stop #3 Sunnybrook Country Club

stop #3 Sunnybrook Country Club









Time passes all too quickly and soon it was time to move on for the main course at Sunnybrook Country Club in Jenison. On our way to our lovely banquet room we went through the main dining room and with the lighting were able to sneak a a bit of a peek of their beautiful views of the course. Feeling good, and already fairly full, we were treated to steak, asparagus and shrimp thanks to their own Rush Creek Bistro. Bon Appetit !!

On our way to our last stop at Thousand Oaks Golf Club, many of us were wondering if we would have any room for desserts?!? Of course we would!! There is ALWAYS room for chocolate brownies, Bailey’s, port wine or Kahlua and coffee. Here we met in one of four heated indoor practice bays and Patti Butcher, the managing director, educated us on their new practice facilities. We discovered later, she was named one of Golf for Women Magazine’s top 50 teachers seven times over. Very impressive Patti!!

Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks practice facilities


stop #4 Thousand Oaks

stop #4 Thousand Oaks

All and all it was a very enjoyable and relaxing 4 1/2 hours and we made new friends, shared life (and golf) stories, and all agreed there should be more events of this kind to bring the ladies of the four clubs together. If Krystal Barron, the membership director who planned this event, and Patti have any thoughts about future events, there were mum, but we could see their minds working. CHEERS!!!


Happy New Year from Karen & Robbie

New Years Eve at Crystal Springs

New Years Eve at Crystal Springs


We are very grateful for our business and all of our clients that we have worked with in 2015, and look forward to helping anyone wanting to buy or sell in the coming year. All signs are pointing to a fabulous real estate market in 2016. Cheers.

Listing your home during the holidays

If you’re ready to make a move you may be hearing, “Wait until the spring market”. What really happens to potential buyers for your home over Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and even DEER HUNTING SEASON?!? When exactly is the spring market?

Festive outdoor lighting

Grand Rapids has been a global corporate relocation area for quite some time with people coming and going from the other side of the state, other states, and from across either ocean. Ask any human resource manager if they’re furloughed in November, December, and January and you will hear a resounding “NO” and an occasional “I WISH”. People still retire, change careers, and accept transfers during the holiday season. Home inventory is low, so there are less homes to choose from and these homes are full of warm and cozy feelings allowing potential buyers to get a real idea of what life could be like for them in any given home. As a seller you have less casual lookers and more serious buyers who mean business and your home is already looking fantastic with greenery, decorated mantles, tinsel on the Christmas tree, and 2,500 LED lights hanging from the trees and soffits welcoming them in the door.


Christmas lights

Let’s talk about the spring market….. 1,613 homes were sold and closed in Kent County during the months of January, February, and March in 2015? This means they were shown and under contract during or shortly after the holiday season. If  you recall, the last two winters weren’t exactly dry and balmy. Compare moving in winter with its crisp dry air and clean fresh snow vs. fall and spring with rain and mud, or summer when it’s so hot you could fry an egg on your washing machine as the movers bring it into your house. Moving is moving. You can use the winter months to unpack boxes and arrange your furniture so that when spring and summer come around you can hang out at the beach while your neighbors vie for the attention of buyers with 2 or 3 times as many homes competing for their attention.

Now then, are you ready for us to pop over with that “for sale” sign?!? Cheers!!! Continue reading