Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sleigh bells ring...are you listenin?

One of my favorite family traditions includes bundling up our family, along with my mom and dad, and heading down to the Plaza for a carriage ride and hot chocolate. I can't put my finger on whether its the familiar smell of the horses (I grew up riding), the jingle of the sleigh bells, the sounds of their hooves clip-clopping, the squished Irvine kiddos' eyes beaming out from beneath their scarves & hats, the taste of the peppermint chocolate latte, or the sight of my mom & dad holding hands and giggling as they listen to my kids' chatter.....maybe its the combination of it all that defines exactly what makes the tradition magical to me.

When I was little, I remember trying to be the first to see our small town's courthouse angels from the backseat of the mini-van as we drove to our family's Christmas Eve party. Tradition back then was defined by the excited tummy to hear Santa coming down the stairs after we sang Christmas carols, the 57 cups of red punch that mom & dad didn't keep track of, the ping pong tournament, the nip of the air & the smell of wood burning stoves when we left the party headed back home to snuggle into pj's and dreamland: that was magical to me.

Phillipsburg, KS courthouse

Time marches on and naturally, traditions change. Many of my clients will be experiencing Christmas and the holiday season for the first time in their new homes. Where will the tree go? How many lights can we hang and how late into the night should we leave them on (without offending the new neighbors)?  Who will host Christmas this year? 

Our beautiful courthouse was magical to me growing up and I hope that my kids find magic in the Plaza lights. 

Irvine & Co wishes you a season of magical moments....usually found in the smallest details of the day or night...(like the sounds of sleigh bells or the ding-dong of your new home's doorbell signaling the arrival of family & friends).

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#BeRoyal #BlueOctober #GoRoyals

Dear Royals, 

I am forever indebted to you. You are the reason my husband moved to KC from Florida. You hired his best friend to come play for you, years ago....and my husband tagged along for the major league ride. 

You are also the source of countless fun memories over the years. We can't imagine raising our kids without the game on TV in the background most evenings throughout the season. Our almost 5 year old son has every player memorized by jersey number. Our almost 3 year old daughter is already talking about what it will be like when she gets to take her first trip to "The K" next season. 


You provide common conversation ground for families, friends, and neighbors throughout our great city....and this year, conversation is electric with excitement toward your achievement of a #BlueOctober. 

You honor our country's service men and women at every game in a prideful way that brings tears to my eyes every time. Thank you. Thank you for honoring not only them, but also their families. As a big sister to a brother who is serving, its a BIG deal. 

And lastly, your success gives our city a unified reason to chant "We Believe That We Will Win" over and over...last night was unforgettable. 

I am grateful to be a loyal Royal. 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"No Place Like Home"

 My childhood Home:

Every time I go "home" to western KS...I am reminded of how precious HOME is. 
Its where you roots are. Its where your family lives. Its where your memories still live. 

This j-o-b I have of helping folks buy and sell their homes, is not just an everyday occurrence or a business transaction. There are deeply rooted memories, big dreams and plans, and families under construction in the spaces we call HOME. 

It is my honor to share some of my roots through photos here...yep, everyone is famous in a small town. We put cheerleaders on fire trucks and drive tractors down Main Street under the title "parade." We host Kansas Biggest Rodeo annually and we gather around pot-luck dinners (which is actually lunch) to catch up with family and friends. 

My son rode a mutton for all of 2 seconds, my daughter chased and ate at least 25 suckers at the parade, and we all took in another year's worth of Rodeo. 

I am grateful for my job of helping families find their next home or move out of their current home. I am grateful for the Home I grew up in and the Home I now have filled with my own family...because when you return from wherever you have been...
There is No Place Like Home. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

S - T - R - E - T - C - H

Stretch: My "Word" for 2014. This is the image that sits on my desk each day to remind me to stretch my goals, stretch my comfort zones, stretch my legs & arms, stretch my heart....
Eli on Grandpa's Combine
So today (when I have stretched my limits of patience in waiting for my family to return home from 2014 Wheat Harvest in western KS) --- I decided to stretch myself. 
Ruby Kate on Grandpa's Combine

I listed a home this morning, showed a new family a home at noon, delivered over 25 bottles of celebratory "bubbly" to some of my favorite past clients to share excitement in the growth of Irvine & Co., negotiated an offer on a home listed 2 days ago, & went for a 2 mile walk. Here is the sky I was greeted with at the closing of my STRETCHED day. Ironic? I think not.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Need for Seeds

Where I come from, we NEED seeds. Seeds turn into wheat; which turns from green to gold, before being sold (at the grain elevator).

Where I am now: I NEED seeds. These kinds of seeds
include families of all sizes on the move. Seeds who want to grow from where they currently reside into something
larger. Seeds who want to shed a layer and downsize into something smaller.

Do you know of any “seeds” on the move this Spring and Summer?

Be on the lookout for seeds to arrive in your mailbox soon...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

C'Mon Spring!

While Spring has sprung in my house -- it seems to not want to stick around outside for longer than 12 hour blips of warm sunshine.

Those of you that know me well have seen my "Season Tree" don its many outfits depending on the time of year you have visited. Eli & Ruby Kate have started "helping" me decorate now and boy does that take all kinds of patience from me. Deep breaths!

Speaking of deep breaths, this time of year can be confusing and frustrating for people considering a move. Is it too early to put our home on the market? Will we miss the rush of buyer traffic if we wait for the sun to shine? 

Buyers are will we ever find the right home with so little to choose from? And why are all the "good ones" going so quickly for full price or more?

A little perspective: 

1. NOW is the right time to get your home on the market. You have not missed the rush of buyers and we are in need of quality homes to sell. 

2. The right home for you IS out there. The hunting process has to be more of a sniper approach though with a seasoned professional guiding your tour. 

Pricing is stable. Our economic downturn in 2008 led to 5 years of consecutive home value declines. Our prices are finally starting to rebound and they are moving up at a healthy rate of 5-7% yearly in appreciation. 

You can afford a much larger, nicer home today than you would have been able to without the economic shift. So focus on the Sunshine....I promised Spring is just around the corner.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ice "Dancing"

Meryl and Charlie, USA's gold medalists, left it all on the ice (over the past 17 years in training together) to earn their post atop the podium.

With the snow and ice of early February 2014...I often found myself ice "dancing" in and out of homes while touring with families in search of "the one."

Unfortunately, my balance and charisma on ice lacks luster. One morning, a couple of Saturday's ago, I was headed out to show a handful of homes. With my arms loaded full of stuff (coat, purse, file folders, ekey, water bottle, snow boots...just in case), I went to open my back hatch to get something.

In one flick of an eyelash, my double Lutz turned into a triple fLutz
Every blasted item I insisted on carrying in ONE trip to the car was scattered on the driveway. Every ounce of dignity sprawled out on all fours while trying to pry myself UP off the ice. 

I decided snow boots were no longer optional that morning as I dried my tears, wiped my cut knees and hands, and hustled back out the 10 minutes late. 

I may not be a gold medal Ice Dancer...but I have a heart that seeks gold in others and a work ethic that carries (or drags) me through ice & snow. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If You Are Broken And You Know It; Write It Down (To the tune of "If You are Happy and You Know It")

Our car is often filled with tunes like "Old MacDonald" & "Twinkle Twinkle" in order to get us from spot A to spot B with minimal complaining or fighting between Eli and Ruby Kate.


Naturally, one of their favorites is "If you are Happy and You Know It."

Because my twisted mind is constantly circling back to real estate -- I thought of this little jingle to aid my current and future seller clients while filling out their seller's disclosures.

If you are broken and you know it...write it down. (write, write)
If you are broken and you know it...write it down. (write, write)
If you are broken and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you are broken and you know it...write it down.

Today's buyers do not expect perfection. But they do (and always have) expected honesty.

When in doubt, spit it out. Its a little lesson these monkeys are learning (over and over).

Friday, January 24, 2014

Thank You White House

Here is the White House I spent countless hours and days at while growing up. Within its walls are magical rooms transformed into bed and breakfasts, train stations, and doctor offices.  Card games and Coke floats served with home-made macaroni are staples in this White House. Outside I played tree-house, Little House on the Prairie, rode horses, and hide-and-seek along the creek. Nothing can compare to the childhood memories at Grandma and Grandpa B's White House. 

Here is another White House with cherished memories. Fresh in my mind, as we just returned from Cabo San Lucas where I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean's waves on that top level "pent-house suite." Within the gates of this resort-style home we were treated to kayaking & paddle-boats on a private beachfront, amazingly talented chefs, team dance parties, and star gazing like I have never seen (and its nearly IMPOSSIBLE to top the view of the stars from my childhood home in western KS). This is Kristin's White House - her treat to us for accomplishing goals in 2013. 

Without the ideals, background, and lessons learned throughout my childhood, this second White House would only be fantasy. Thank you family and Thank you KMA for irreplaceable memories and experiences.