Happy holidays. I hope your Thanksgiving was memorable. I had the good fortune of spending it with my husband and BOTH our boys at our cabin at Fallen Leaf Lake. it was the perfect setting and a rare opportunity to share time and space with my immediate family. (Why children insist on growing up and moving on is beyond me.)
As we wrap up 2021, I thought it appropriate to give thanks for good health, for my boys, for a husband that still makes me laugh, for a business partner that's beyond AMAZING, for clients that cheered us on and supported our growth, for a sister who has my back at every turn and remains my best friend, for a community that knows how to come together, and for making it through the last two years not only unscathed but professionally better off. I recognize that good fortune wasn't the journey for everyone in the midst of a pandemic, so I'm beyond GRATEFUL.! (It doesn't appear that we're out of the woods just yet so please get that booster.)
Of course, good fortune doesn't come without a cost.
Jill, Sarah, and I have worked incredibly hard the last 20 months. Consequently, it's nice to be winding down if only for a few weeks, and putting our properties to bed. It's given each of us some time to reboot, to schedule time away, to plan for next year, but also to hit the road to deliver English toffee to our clients - past, present and future! This year, we'll hand deliver more than 400 boxes of this delicious treat, which takes the better part of two weeks to get them all out. (If you haven't received yours yet, it's on its way).
Aside from sharing this little box of perfection, the best part of the delivery is running into clients who often invite me in to see the work they've done on their homes. It's incredibly gratifying to know that I've not only helped them secure a house they love, but to witness the evolution as they make it their own.
This year, I toured a house that had completely rearranged the second floor. I visited a stunningly smart and enviable kitchen remodel (I'm going to steal some of those ideas for my next update). I met a friend who's on her second renovation which includes modifying nearly every room in her large house, and I walked through an outdoor space that provides seamless indoor-outdoor living. All of these improvements make great sense (and cents) when it comes to our homes; think of them as investments in the future.
In case you're wondering, BIG open kitchens with attached family rooms, luxury primary suites with dedicated bathrooms and large walk-in closets, and expansive gardens with abundant lawns top the list as "must haves" when it comes to today's younger Buyers. Not surprisingly, formal dining rooms are essentially "non-essential." They take up a good deal of space and are rarely ever used. (Guilty as charged.) In fact, many Buyers are turning their dining rooms into family rooms and that's a smart use of them, given that our kitchens have become the center of our homes. Kitchens are where all the good stuff happens, and where friends and family tend to congregate.
Don't make the mistake of thinking you can't push outside the boundaries or the walls that currently exist. You absolutely can and probably should. (But do so with a licensed architect and engineer. Removing walls is NOT a DIY project.) Older homes tend to have a lot of small and separate spaces, which often include a kitchen behind closed doors, an adjoining breakfast nook, a butler's pantry, or a laundry room. When you start putting these spaces together, you get better flow, and a more modern aesthetic that's far more desirable to the buying public. Think next generation!
And if you're wanting a second set of eyes on your home before your potential project gets underway, feel free to give us a call. We're only too happy to show up and walk through your plans with you (no strings attached). Conversely, if everything is done to perfection and you'd now like to know the current value of your home, we're happy to provide a complimentary market analysis. We can also recommend contractors, architects, designers, landscapers, and a host of other professionals to give you a hand. In short, whatever you need, we can probably hook you up.
I'll grant you that a CMA is not as tasty an offer as the toffee, but it's just as sweet to be sure.
How can we help you?
Julie Gardner, has been writing The Perspective for 18 years and has published more than 670 essays on life and real estate.