Friday, January 27, 2012

The Return of the Garden in Real Estate

A few months ago, as I was analyzing & reflecting on my past year's real estate business, I saw a trend I hadn't identified earlier.  Perhaps it's been there for some time, or perhaps it's because I've been working with similarly-minded people, but the importance of a garden or the space for a garden was a common theme among my clients.

In our fast-paced (and let's face it, pesticide & gmo-filled) society, the home garden, le potager as the French call it, has been making a strong comeback.

This is a French friend's own potager in the Bretagne region of France.  It is so neatly organized I think he would faint at the sight of my overgrown garden! (Yes, those are hot air balloons in the background.)

It doesn't have to be the sprawling gardens of yesteryear, but the desire to grow our own food is strong, and for my clients it appeared to be a definite check in the pros columns when looking at homes.

Cheers to a greener world!

Monday, January 9, 2012

GREEN Deals

Thanks to having to pay a slew of new real estate fees (education & membership fees) right after the crunch of the holidays, I'm finding myself feeling very thrifty again.  (A lot of people don't realize how expensive it is to be in real estate - especially when you're advertising in the New York Times!)  I'm also keenly aware of how much it will cost for us to go on vacation this year and with next summer's big trip... well, let's just say I need to keep saving up :)  (Oh, and if my financial advisor is reading this, of course I meant to say that I'm going to put extra into my retirement account this year.  The first week of real estate for the year was slamming - yay! - and the 2nd week is starting out pretty amazingly as well!)

Thrifty me noticed that there's a nice deal on organic cotton sheets at Target this week!  


Thrifty me also took a moment to look up Free Parks Days at US National Parks.  They are:


  • January 14-16
    Martin Luther King Jr. weekend
  • April 21-29
    National Park Week
  • June 9
    Get Outdoors Day
  • September 29
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 10-12
    Veterans Day weekend


I've mentioned it before, but my kids loved it when we visited national parks.  We even got them the parks passports which they get to stamp at the ranger stations and they go nuts over it.  I figure this year we could use a few more stamps in those passports before they outgrow the novelty of it.  


I also searched my free museum options through the Bank of America "Museums on Us" program which offers free entry into the listed museums on the first full weekend of each month.  How are the museums GREEN, you ask?  Well, some of them are museums of natural history or science, anthropology or archaeology.  I file learning about nature as GREEN.  The kids loved the mineral & geology exhibit, the great mammal hall & the zoological galleries at the Harvard Museum of Natural History last weekend.  




On the plus side of all the new fees I'm paying, they relate to new business I've been working on and will be announcing shortly.  2012 is going to be an exciting year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

The holidays were such a flurry of activity that I feel like my head is still spinning, so Happy New Year a few days late!  With the 1st of the year dawning my phone was already ringing with real estate buyers, sellers, and renters.  I have no idea where some of them even got my name, but I am happy to jump into 2012 with both feet and very much grateful for such a busy start to the new year!

One of the first things I do at the beginning of every year is take inventory of what business supplies I'll need to stock.  While I'll all set with things like 100% recycled printer paper and environmentally-friendly writing supplies, I always seem to need postage this time of year.  Good timing too because I hear the price of stamps is increasing again later this month so it's a good idea to stock up on some forever stamps.  A quick visit to shopusps.com and I found some forever stamps that are PERFECT for me!
These get my "stamp of approval!"