My Blog

Andrea Clendening

I hope you all have  a safe and relaxing time during your vacation this summer.  It’s crucial that we all have time to recharge and recognize what’s important in life.  We only go around once, so it’s important to savor what we have.

 

Before you leave town, I thought you might be interested in a few precautionary safety tips to keep your home and your possessions safe while you’re gone.  Often in the run-up to a vacation, people neglect to take simple steps to protect themselves from becoming a victim of theft or vandalism.

 

 

You’ve probably covered your bases, but just in case, here are 10 basic precautions you can take:

 

 

1.    Have someone collect your mail and newspaper daily.

2.    Leave shades and blinds in normal positions.

3.    Put at least two lights and a radio on automatic timers.

4.    Have someone leave trash at your curb on garbage collection day.

5.    Have someone park a car in your driveway occasionally. If you leave your car outside, arrange to have it moved every so often.

6.    Leave a key with a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency. Let the neighbor know where you are going and when you are expect to return, also leave them a way to get in contact with you in case of an emergency.

7.    Lock all windows and doors before you go. Do not forget to double-check basement and garage doors.

8.    On extended trips have someone to maintain your landscaping, (grass mowed, leaves raked, etc.)

9.    Consider turning off your home’s water main to prevent damage from a burst pipe.

10. Be careful how much you check-in on social media while on vacation. If your privacy settings are incorrect you might reveal to strangers your home is vacant!

 

 

Be safe and have a blast...

 

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Is it really possible that the year is more than half over? It seems that not so long ago we were turning the corner into the new year, the chill of December still with us. Now of course, that chill has long faded. Summer is here.

 

Sam Keen, an American author and professor, once said of the season: “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”

 

When the hot weather comes, it’s a reminder for all of us to slow down and locate a little of that respectable laziness. According to James Dent, “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”

 

Though schedules are often filled with family vacations, road trips, and plentiful yard work, I hope you discover a slow afternoon somewhere in there. May your deep summer contain a hammock and a good book or a clean pool and a cold drink (or maybe all of the above!).

 

For me, summer doesn’t necessarily mean a slowdown in business. Lots of families are eager to get into a new home before the school year starts, and now is a good time to sell.

 

I’d love to hear how you plan to spend some of your free time this summer. Take time for yourself and celebrate these months in the middle of the year. Feel free to comment on this post, or contact me directly.

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Real Estate’s Potential for the Greatest Good

 

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.”

 

-Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881); Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

 

What does it mean to reveal a person’s riches to themselves? What is the mechanism by which you can even accomplish such a thing? And what does it have to do with your real estate agent?

 

Quite a bit, I would argue. I think a real estate agent has the power to reveal their clients’ self-possessed riches.

 

One, a good agent will help clients see how a home is an investment in their future. That they are investing in themselves, and the decision to do so is a mark of their own wisdom.

 

Two, a good real estate agent helps guide clients through an emotionally fraught transaction, which often shows they have deeper reserves of self-confidence and strength that they may have overlooked in the past.

 

Three, a real estate agent helps foster a sense of trust and interdependency -- that we can, in this world, rely on others to represent our best interests, and that we are not in a perpetual state of “king of the mountain” and abject self-reliance. A client with a good agent has both a friend and a professional ally.

 

Whether you’re buying your first house or selling your home, there’s both a tangible, bottom-line difference when working with an agent, as well as valuable intangible benefits. For me, it’s a great privilege to be a professional part of that process!

 

I’d love the opportunity to “the greatest good” on your behalf. Now is a great time to make your next move.

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How to Become a Morning Person

When you are your business, being a morning person gives you a big advantage in life. Mornings are super productive times for me, but you don’t have to be in real estate to reap the benefits.

 

Mornings also set the tone for the day. You feel great knowing you’ve paid yourself first... there’s no procrastination guilt. If you’ve ever suspected you’re squandering your time at night, just keep a time journal. Write down how you spent your hours. That alone might motivate you to make a change!

 

You have way more willpower in the morning. During the day, exercising your willpower wears it out. By the time night rolls around, how often are you charged up to get down to work on your next big project?

 

The morning is when you’re least likely to be distracted. Being a morning person means you get to pay yourself first every day. Exercise? Writing a novel? Learning a new language? The morning is a perfect time. Ask yourself: How many “emergency” phone calls are you likely to get at 6AM? Now what about 1PM? (It’s funny how emergencies tend to happen during business hours.)

 

 

 

Here are 3 tips to help you make the “morning person transformation”:

 

1. Picture your personally productive morning. Imagine it, see yourself doing it. Smell the coffee, as it were. What will you do?

 

2. Plan your morning. Determine how much time you’re going to have and plan what you’re going to do in that time. Do as much as you can the night before to make the path easier for yourself: Lay out clothes, get the materials ready, and set that coffeemaker!

 

3.Train yourself to rise early. Roll back your alarm 10 - 15 minutes a day for as much time as you need.

 

 

Don’t let the world spend your time for you! Make the morning person transformation!

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Recently I’ve spoken to a number of clients who have concerns about their home as they age. You (or someone close to you) may be facing similar questions.

 

As we all age, our thoughts inevitably turn to the question of the quality of our lives in the future. Where we live is an important part of that equation. I know I’ve thought about it, and I’ve definitely worked with people who have dealt with the uncertainty.

 

How will I know when maintaining my home becomes too much? How can I remain comfortable, safe, and independent in my own home? If my home becomes to big for me, how do I find one that meets my needs? Who will protect my interests when it comes time to sell my home?

 

If you find yourself wondering about these issues, or worrying about them on behalf of an aging parent or friend, I would be glad to offer my assistance. As a real estate agent with a special interest in senior clients, I’ve had the privilege of helping seniors and their families navigate this phase of life.

 

Please reach out to me if you’d like to chat. I’d be happy to help, even if you don’t necessarily need the answers to these questions for some time yet.

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Graduation parties, BBQs, neighborhood parks, open houses...  All present opportunities for conversation. While entire books have been written about how to be a great conversationalist, a few short tips on what to avoid can also improve your game.

 

Here are three common “bad habits” you can lookout for during your next conversation:

 

 

Rule #1: Don’t share too much too soon.  We all know that person. You’ve been chatting for two minutes and you already know she’s got Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is upside down on her car, and is thinking about divorcing her second husband. Yikes! Mind how much (and how intimate) information is you’re sharing.  While longer conversations tend to lend themselves to greater degrees of intimacy (and that can be great!), pacing is they key.

 

Rule #2: Don’t be the “one upper.”  Using other people’s shared stories to showcase your own achievements is tedious and reveals your insecurities.  Just because you did run the New York Marathon in 3:45, don’t bring it up right after someone’s just revealed they finished their first 5K.

 

Rule #3: Don’t focus all of your attention on one person in a group. Sure, you may know that agent at the party from the five deals you’ve done together, but don’t freeze out the others by reverting to inside jokes and personal history.  Give and take with many in the group; open up the conversation!

 

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Living next door to someone doesn’t make you a neighbor.  It makes you the stranger next door! One of the great opportunities we have in our communities is the chance to build real, meaningful relationships with the people who live closest to us.

 

While I understand the desire for privacy, I think it’s important we realize that regular, helpful communication with our neighbors makes us both safer and paves a smooth road for difficult conversations we might face with our neighbors in the future.

 

It doesn’t take much to start off the right way.  Consider leaving a nice note in their mailbox, a small “thank you” gift for looking out for the neighborhood, or some other “olive branch” act that will build rapport. 

 

Small gestures such as a nice note about landscaping, an invitation to a potluck, or an “all hands on deck” community improvement project allow us to get to know our neighbors. This is vital when you consider the people around you are the most likely to spot smoke in a fire, clue you in to suspicious activity, and have the opportunity to share vital local information.

 

What’s more, if you build a positive base with your neighbors, when the time comes to have a difficult conversation (such as a nuisance dog, kids running amok, or intrusive lighting issues), you’ll have a buffer of mutual respect and goodwill to draw on. 

 

If your opening conversation with a neighbor is a complaint, you’re setting yourself up for a long, antagonistic relationship.  Who wants to live next to that?

 

I think a civil community depends upon our connection to our neighbors.  We all benefit when we depend on and trust one another.

 

If you like this blog post, sign up for my neighborly newsletter which includes even more helpful information.

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Clutter driving you nuts? Did you move in with someone only to find you have duplicates of everything from headboards to can openers? Here are 7 tips to help you make the most out of small spaces:

 

 

1. Weed out the extras. A yard sale will alleviate some clutter and a trip to the local Goodwill even more. A good rule of thumb: Anything you haven’t needed in a year can go.

 

2. Bookcases are for more than books! Your walls are your vertical friends for storage, and good book shelving can include plants, valuables, artwork and more.

 

3. Wall-mount entertainment systems. Television / cable / DVD cabinets are so pre-2000! Free up floor space by going with sleek bolt-in mounts. (Just make sure they’re anchored properly!)

 

4. Don’t pile it, hang it! This is especially true in kitchens where you can use pot racks, hanging baskets, and even wall-mounted shelving units.

 

5. Maximize cabinets and closets with organizers. Poor use of cabinet space can easily waste more than 30% of usable “hidden” space. There’s great hardware out there to tune up the interior of your cabinets and closets.

 

6. Go below. A raised bed is a great way to free up storage space equal to the square footage of your bed. Using baskets and drawers can ensure the below-the-bed storage remains tidy as well.

 

7. Paint light. Dark walls make small rooms feel smaller. For those rooms that feel a little too close for comfort, dial up the brightness with a fresh coat of a light colored paint.

 

 

Remember: Organization and smart storage can turn a tiny home into a cozy abode.

 

Of course, if you’re ready to upgrade your home rather than squeeze the last few inches out of your existing space, get in touch! I’d be happy to help you search for a new home today.

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•  1 1/2 story - $95,000

 -  Busy boutique cake/cupcake shop in the prime downtown location of Paris Ontario. 5 successful years in business with an established clientele. Supplying custom cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake and cookies all decorated professionally and with care. Perfect small business for an energetic entrepreneur. Lots of room for growth in this business. With the addition of longer store hours and more product this business could easily double it's revenue within a year.
Owner is ready to move on to her next adventure and is looking for a dedicated, creative and talented individual to take over the great business name and reputation that she has built. Business extends well beyond the town of Paris with many customers coming from Brantford, Cambridge, Kitchener and Simcoe to name a few.
This store has secured 4 other restaurants to supply their delectable goodies to as well.
Training/Support:The current owner is willing to stay on for 2-3 months to provide training and support.

Property information

Pinteresting Ways to Inspire Your Home Ownership Dream

 

 

What’s with Pinterest? Is it just one more social network you don’t have time for, or could it be a powerful, fun tool in your life? When it comes to the dream of home ownership, many of my clients have found it super helpful.

 

Here are X ways my clients and friends have been using this rapidly growing social network to “pin” their dreams:

 

 

1. It helps you track what you like about homes. Like a scrapbook, Pinterest is a great way to keep track of houses, places, and views that remind you what you like when you’re home hunting. Snap with a smart phone and pin with the app and just like that, you have a record.

 

2. It keeps a conversation open with friends, spouses, family, and even your real estate agent. I’ve heard of husband and wife teams using Pinterest boards to share what they want in a home and get feedback from others. It’s even useful at the outset of the home hunt, when I ask clients what sort of homes they love. No need to describe it! I can quickly browse their shared boards.

 

3. It keeps renovation project ideas on the radar. Clever ideas, killer style, gardening go-tos, luxury lifestyle touches, and awesome accessories can be gathered for when the time comes to make those rewarding upgrades.

 

4. Finally, it inspires you to save. For a lot of first-time buyers, the willpower to save for a down payment can quickly wane when the number seems so large. Pinterest boards are a great way to help boost flagging motivation along the way. Those images can get you excited about your future!

 

 

How are you using Pinterest? Do you have a board for your next dream home? I’d love to see it! Share it with me and get in touch today.

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