Consciously Uncoupling

A blog somehow tying “Consciously Uncoupling” and “Real Estate” together to follow soon. Very soon.

In the meantime, enjoy Tracy Miller‘s take on the matter with her thoughts in the New York Daily News Article, “‘Conscious uncoupling': Gwyenth Paltrow explores spiritual side of divorce on Goop”

Well done, Tracy. Well done.

Pre-conscious uncoupling. Or cosciously coupled.

Prior to conscious uncoupling, Gwyneth and Chris enjoyed happier times while consciously coupled.

The original post signed “Love, Gwyneth & Chris” can be found here in their March 25th, 2014 blog post on Goop.

You can follow Ashley on Twitter at @brokerEXCLUSIVE, Tracy Miller at @MillerTracyL or the New York Daily News at @NYDailyNews 

Thanks for checking out my real estate blog and http://www.ConsciouslyUncoupling.com

“Write a Blog” That’s What He Said

“I want to improve my ranking on Google, but how?”

A common question that many people ask but not sure quite how to do it. Countless webinars, advertising, coaches and social media sites have an overwhelming amount of suggestions and ways for you to increase your visibility, but there’s so much out there – where do you start?!

20131010-160215.jpg

Blogging.

Yes, write a blog. It’s that simple. No one loves a good blog (and its keywords embedded in them) quite like Google.

What is the first thing you do when you are in need of a new recipe or location of a certain place you’d like to go to? How about when you need a phone number or want to know the population of how many polar bears there are in the North Pole? You Google it.

Fred Schmidt Jr, the Director of Technology for Coldwell Banker Great Lakes – Schmidt Family of Companies tells us, “Blog once a week. Google loves blogs.”

With that being said, I am sitting in the conference room. Same seat as I was in an hour ago when Fred drilled us on the importance of “blogs, blogs, blogs”… So here it is, Fred, my first blog on the new website.

Blog as seen on my company’s real estate website: http://www.cbfloridahomes.com/ashley.houseman/Blog

A Community Comes Together, in Honor of Sgt Michael Wilson

There were many heavy hearts this week not only for the officers and citizens of Charlotte County, but for officers all over the state of Florida. A local hero, Sergeant Michael Wilson, was on a call for a domestic disturbance, was shot, and passed away in the line of duty.

Today, thousands of locals lined the streets off the procession route with signs and American flags to show their support as hundreds of officers, firefighters, paramedics and others drove the stretch of Sgt. Wilson’s district.

Our family has known the Wilsons for many, many years, as Mike (as many called him) grew up going to school with my older brother and my mother had all three of his children in class throughout their preschool years. We proudly joined along with thousands of our neighbors, as we watched the procession from the parking lot of HoneyBaked Ham in Port Charlotte.

Our favorite memory of Officer Mike will forever be when he pulled over my Nana for speeding on her way to church. He gave her a ticket instead of a warning, as he didn’t realize that she was the “Hall Nana” as he would called her, at the time. We’d laugh about this incident together for years and Nana would NEVER let him live it down. Needless to say, I think he was forever slightly afraid of this 90 year old woman.

In honor of Sgt. Wilson, here is a video (Sgt Mike Wilson’s Procession) of this overwhelming, yet powerful experience that exemplifies the true picture of patriotism and when people come together to support one another through tough times:

Although it’s an unfortunate time for us all to pull together, it reminds me of one simple thing about this wonderful country in which we live – freedom.

God, I love this country.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has put together a donation fund to help financially support the Wilson Family

For more information about Sergeant Michael WIlson and the Charlotte County Sheriff Office, visit the Charlotte County Sheriff Office Facebook page or the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office official website.

More details on this fallen hero’s tragedy:  Sergeant Michael Wilson – End of Watch – August 5, 2013

Sgt Michael Wilson’s funeral coverage from Fox 4 News, 10pm segment – Stg. Mike Wilson remembered as hero at funeral service

 

NBA Finals 2013, 7 Games or Less (San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat)

James, Wade, Lewis, Allen and Bosh - "The Big 5"

Miami Heat’s “Big Five”, September 2012
(courtesy of @kingjames on Twitter, @brandonweems10 on Instagram,
September 29th, 2012)

Don’t bother me until the Summer Solstice.

Or the first day of summer.

Or until the Miami Heat wins the NBA Finals, aka June 21st, if it takes that long. Until then, I’ll be watching my boys double up on their championship status.

For those of you who haven’t bookmarked the NBA Finals game schedule for the match up between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat, your resource is below.

Looking forward to an ever-so-exciting finals and back-to-back (White Hot!) championships.

GO HEAT!!

For instant info on the latest on the #NBAFinals, follow @MiamiHeat and @Spurs on Twitter along with your fav players: @KingJames@ThisIsUD@chrisbosh@DwyaneWade and @mchalmers15.

Game 1: SAS at MIA | Thu., Jun. 6, 9:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 2: SAS at MIA | Sun., Jun. 9, 8:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 3: MIA at SAS | Tue., Jun. 11, 9:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 4: MIA at SAS | Thu., Jun. 13, 9:00 PM ET | ABC
Game 5: MIA at SAS | Sun., Jun. 16 | ABC | If Necessary
Game 6: SAS at MIA | Tue., Jun. 18 | ABC | If Necessary
Game 7: SAS at MIA | Thu., Jun. 20 | ABC | If Necessary

What Does a Tornado Sound Like? (Give me a break, I’m from Florida)

I had a rude awakening at 3:59 this morning. It sounded like an ambulance siren making its way through my master bedroom.

Tornado Warning "Siren" Received Via Cell Phone at 3:59am

“The Siren” Tornado Warning, extreme alert received via cell phone from the NWS at 3:59am, June 6th, 2013

The following message was displayed on my screen, “Tornado Warning in this area til 4:30 AM EDT. Take shelter now. Check local media. – NWS

Needless to say, I’ve been up since 4:00am.

I’ve lived in Florida my entire life (and will probably never leave), lived through countless hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. I’ve had my roof cave in from a hurricane and lost most of my childhood belongings. I’ve camped out with no power for ever a week. I’ve walked up and down the streets of historic Punta Gorda asking friends and neighbors if they needed supplies. I (stupidly) dislocated my shoulder while catching waves during a tropical storm. I’ve seen a lot… but tornadoes… they scare the living life out of me.

On and off all day, my phone has continuned to receive these “siren” warning messages, as has my television through the National Weather Service updating me on Tropical Storm Andrea and the fact that we’ve been under constant “Tornado Warning”.

Just a few moments ago, there was an update that a tornado may have touched down in Suncoast Estates, which is a subdivision made up of 1-5 acre properties just 2 miles away from my home. It wasn’t until then that it hit me, maybe I should really prepare for a worst case scenario?

Naturally, like most obsessed Googlers, I entered: “What does a tornado sound like?”

I truly don’t know, so I figured it may help. In case you’re as clueless on the subject as I am, here’s a snippet to let you know what it’s like, courtesy of The Weather Channel:

http://www.weather.com/video/what-does-a-tornado-sound-like-36983

A step further, here’s some useful information provided by The Weather Channel about tornado preparedness. The link below has articles on how to prepare, how to take action during, and what to do after a tornado strikes.

http://www.weather.com/life/safety/tornado/tornado-safety_2011-11-03

No matter what you and your loved ones plan on doing during this and the storms to come this season, be prepared and be safe.

More updates on Tropical Storm #Andrea can be found at http://www.weather.com or by following @weatherchannel on Twitter

Pimpin’ the iPad (first of many video blogs)

It finally happened. I caved. I’ve now joined the the Apple-loving world of obsessed iPad users.

Thanks to help from hubs and iMovie, here’s the first of many iPad video blogs to come. Enjoy, this is just a snippet of our wonderful (& often quite random) marriage.

Adventures in First Time Home Buying (what to look for and what to avoid)

[Blog content featured on Coldwell Banker's Blue Matter, May 16th, 2013: http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/adventures-in-first-time-home-buying-what-to-look-for-and-what-to-avoid/]

There’s nothing more exciting than researching homes on the internet, sifting through hundreds (maybe thousands) of photos of homes listed for sale until you narrow down the possibilities and compile your list of those you’d like to see in person. In most cases, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

On numerous occasions, I’ve had the pleasure of walking through homes with First Time Home Buyers to discover some of the most outrageous and interesting features a house could possibly possess. Some in which you wish the Realtor would have posted pictures of, so you could’ve ruled it out as a possibility and saved yourself the gas and your precious time to see it.

Epic Fail: Roadblock for Resale!

Epic Fail: Roadblock for Resale!
Blog content featured on Coldwell Banker’s Blue Matter, May 16th, 2013: http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/adventures-in-first-time-home-buying-what-to-look-for-and-what-to-avoid/

Homes with holes in the floor (we could see the dirt fill below), bathrooms with the door against the toilet, homes that were previous crime scenes (which I found out later via “Googling” the address), an ENTIRE home that was a dedicated shrine of Dale Earnhardt Jr (I’m a fan, just not an entire house of it) and my personal favorite:  a bidet in the middle of a bedroom, yes, a bedroom.

It’s tough to see yourself in a home when either photos don’t do a good home justice or when a potential home is washed out by clutter or issues that are hard to look past. Here’s a few tips to help you to weed out the bad ones from the diamonds in the rough:

Do Your Homework:
Go online:  Did you know that most Realtors can send you listings via email to check out from the web from the comfort of your couch? Use their services to check out homes! Their MLS will be your most up-to-date source for what’s available on the market. Also check out www.ColdwellBanker.com and their app as well.
Do the Drive-by:  If it’s a good possibility, drive by the home and see if you like the location. This will help you to weed out more homes than you think.

Look Past the Surface:
Good Bones:  If shag carpet and gaudy wallpaper isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it. Those are cheap fixes to a home that may have great bones. Look past the things that are easily replaceable and look at the layout of the home, as adding an addition is way more expensive than that gorgeous granite you’ve been dreaming of.
Don’t Fall for the Bells & Whistles: Quite opposite of the last tip. A home may have some sweet upgrades like solid countertops and stainless appliances, but you aren’t too crazy about the layout. Just remember, you can always customize the home down the road but living in a home with an awkward layout can eventually get annoying. It’s more expensive to do a total renovation (knocking down walls, permits, etc) than it is to buy an entire stainless kitchen on a Memorial Day sale.

Think About the Future:
Resale, Resale, Resale:  That small bedroom that is a decent “office” now may not be a considered good-sized bedroom for a buyer down the road when you’re trying to sell, as this personally cost us 10+ buyers when selling our home!  Don’t compromise on things that you think may hinder your chances of selling the home in the future.
Replacement Costs:  Buying a home is an investment, especially if you have to replace a ton of stuff inside. Take a closer look at things like the roof, air conditioning unit, pool pump, and other high ticket items that could be in need of replacing. It’s good to budget replacement costs into your yearly budget, but you don’t want to take on a home that needs everything replaced all at once.

A Home Fit for a Family:
Busy Streets:  If you have or plan on having kids, that’s great, just make sure the house accommodates them! Any parent of a toddler will tell you that living on a busy street is one of the scariest things in the world as you watch cars fly by your driveway. Consider an area that has less traffic and will be safer for the little ones.
A Tub:  As silly as it sounds, you will want a tub in the guest bathroom. Unless you want your sweet munchkins taking over your master every night until they can bathe themselves, save yourself the insanity and make sure there’s a tub in the guest bathroom for the little ones.

These are just a few things to think about when you’re looking to buy a home for the first time. When in doubt about certain things, always consult your Realtor, as they are your best source of information in the home buying process.

No matter what your first time home buying adventure is like, just remember, you could always have a bidet in the middle of your bedroom.