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Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Happens When a Real Estate Agent Sells Her Own House?

Oh.....I'm so glad you asked!  When a real estate agent who works 60+ hours and has her phone stuck to her ear and is constantly checking email and text messages on her Droid, this is what happens.....

Notice that thirty minutes prior to closing, I just tossed my winter coats over the display case which was the only available space left in this huge rented storage space, which by the way, did not hold all of my furniture!! 

Its a miracle I got it moved by the deadline and it wouldn't have happened without a lot of help from my mom, Kay Van Kampen , my step dad and Doug!  Thank goodness for them!!

I always tell my clients to have a Plan A and Plan B.  If you close on time where will you live, and if you don't close on time, what is your plan?

Well, Plan A is to purchase another home and effortlessly, simultaneously close both and live happily ever after.  Plan B is to move into a short-term rental, RV park or hotel.  My Plan B?  Move in with my mom (pronounced MAWMHH).'s my room!  I just brought a few clothes with me...........

Yes there is a closet in this room and it is so full, everything I pull out is wrinkled and yes, there are two freestanding wardrobes full as well.

So......I will find time this weekend to look for my own home......most likely.....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dress Up Your Fireplace

In our market area, there were many homes built in the late 70's and early 80's with wood paneled walls and native Missouri rock fireplaces.  If you are searching for a home,  don't rule out these homes which can be great values.   Here are some ideas to lighten and brighten these spaces.

Many of these rock fireplaces were constructed using black mortar between the rocks and made the fireplace look very dark and in contrast to today's light and bright modern interiors.

One of my many talented clients considered taking a pry bar and a hammer to her fireplace, but decided that if she lightened up the fireplace it might fit in nicely with her colorful country decor.  She literally went over the black mortar with an off white and really changed the look of her fireplace.  You will also see in this photo that she also painted the paneling which really changed the look of the living space.

What a huge difference! 


If you do opt to completely remove the rock and your tastes run to something more contemporary, in this next photo my client decided to keep the original mantel but replaced the surround and hearth with a beautiful marble.  When my client originally bought this home, the fireplace was not featured in the photos.  We currently have this home on the market and the fireplace is now the focal point of this living room.

The warm colors of this living room are all tied into the fireplace. 

You can view the tour of this home at

Friday, May 25, 2012

I am a Buyer's Agent for Kay Van Kampen in Ozark, Missouri.  Kay also happens to be my mother.  I love my career and love helping my clients find new homes and love, love how they make these homes their own!  I have some very talented clients.  I started this blog to share my story and my clients' stories as well as we all travel through life all looking for a place to call home.

My journey is much like that of my clients.  In a tough economy, many of my clients have reevaluated what is really important in life and many have downsized and then there are some who had the opportunity to take advantage of the market and bought homes that gave them new opportunities to expand and express themselves.

In 2006, I built this house.

This was my dream home.  I spent months planning and researching products and floor plans because both of my boys planned to attend college nearby and I wanted them to have the entire second floor to themselves and give them some much needed "adult" privacy but really wanted them to stay home.

I loved this kitchen!!! It was everything I wanted and so much more.  I went 20% over budget in this one room, but boy it really paid off.

I sold this home in 2008 when I divorced and even though I miss this home (not the exhusband), I was ready to find my "single and in my 40's home" that I could manage all by myself and I was really excited.  I had never shopped for a home that met just my requirements.
So I found this home.....1500 something sq. feet plenty big for just me!  Mom actually shopped with me and we both said "This is it!" at the same time!

Much smaller kitchen, much smaller bedrooms, but so much more manageable and the payment was much more reasonable. 

WELL......I didn't expect to meet Doug.  We have the best time together and we've both been through alot of the same things.....we're different....but we're the same in so many ways.  And now.....everything is better when we are together.  So I sold this home and officially live with my mother.  When this home went under contract, I had planned to move in with Doug who lived on his family's farm until we found "our" home.  Doug's family farm was hit by a tornado and he is now living in an RV.   So goes the story, so goes the beginning of this blog.  Our journey to find a home, and a place to share some of my client's talented renovations.