Archive | June, 2011

Clever Kitchen Remodeling Tips

29 Jun

Planning to remodel your kitchen? Then you need to consider a few factors so you can make sure that your remodeling project is a HUGE success. Obviously, deciding one day to remodel your kitchen, rushing to the nearest hardware store and beginning remodeling right away might not be a good idea. The overall results may not be as perfect as you wish it would be.

So, before jumping in to the remodeling work, try to sit down first and plan deliberately. This guide will help you strategize on what exactly you want for your new kitchen.

Here are some of the smart strategies during kitchen remodeling:

  1. Know your priorities first – Prior to deciding to remodel your kitchen, you need to sit down and figure out WHY your kitchen needs to be remodeled in the first place. These factors are your priorities – so get set on these factors during planning. Make sure these are placed on top consideration before anything else. After all, these are what pushed you to remodel the kitchen. You might want to consider also the safety of children. Ensure that your new kitchen is always safe for any of your kids or kids of friends who may come to visit.
  2. Be practical with your kitchen appliances – Yes, the new model of refrigerator would look perfect in your kitchen, or even the new microwave oven but face it- if you can’t afford it, don’t push it! Also, if you can have the old ones running smoothly, then what’s the point of taking those away? One ideal goal of remodeling is never to spend a single cent on anything you don’t have to.
  3. Retain what can be retained – As stated previously, retain those that still run smoothly. This does not only apply to your appliances but also to your walls and flooring. If those look great and effective still, keep it that way. After all, as the saying goes – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
  4. More storage is much better than more space – prioritize storage over space. Although a kitchen would look good with more space throughout, it will look and work best with as much storage as you can manage to put in. Your kitchen is not the same as your living room or hallway, it is more practical, therefore create storage for yourself and the kitchen necessities you will need.
  5. Enhance your lighting – Since you will be working in your kitchen at various times of day… yes including those late night meals, you need all the light you can get. Always enhance the lighting especially in the area where you work the most. During the day, make use of natural light to save energy. This will be possible if you will have a window that allows full daylight.

Edmond Council Requests Changes In Bus Routes

28 Jun

The city council of Edmond is considering a change in two of the city’s bus routes. The Edmond Public Transportation Committee wants to get rid of the two bus routes in the city. They plan to combine the two routes into one new route for the Citylink bus service.

The Committee wants to eliminate the Citylink’s routes 3A and 3B since both are said to be inefficient. According to Shannon Entz, the community development manager of Edmond, the routes 3A and 3B are operating less regularly since they run every hour instead of the ideal 30-minute intervals. Entz said that there is a split service midday which will obscure passenger trip planning and thus slows down potential ridership.

On average, the routes can carry 382 passengers for free per month. Both routes are costing the city $80,756 every year to operate.

If the said modification takes place, the annual cost would be $159,606 with the additional expense of $78,850. However, the committee claims that the new modification would improve efficiency and that the new route 3 will be able to run every 30 minutes.

Entz said that the 30 minutes trips of the new route will improve the routing and will then enhance the dollar value of the service. A subcommittee comprising of four members are now exploring development of a local, revenue-generating partnership program for the additional grant funds.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Real Estate Agent Obligations to Sellers

27 Jun

When a real estate agent accepts a listing, he or she is accepting a fiduciary relationship with the client. This includes several obligations that the real estate agent should comply with. In the event that the real estate agent fails to conform to such obligations which will lead to loss or damage in the part of the client, it may lead to a poor or even fraudulent transaction.

I think it is important for everyone to know upfront what to expect when working with a realtor so there is no confusion and everyone has a pleasant transaction when buying or selling their home.

One of the obligations is to acquire the best terms and price for a property. A real estate agent acts as a representative or mediator in favor of the client. This means that the transactions by the real estate agent must also come in favor of the client. If his or her client is a buyer, the agent must provide the lowest price possible and the most convenient terms. On the other hand, if the client is the seller, it is the duty of the agent to obtain the most favorable price for the property being sold.

Avoiding personal interest is another obligation of a real estate agent. No agent should ever show personal interest to the property being sold or purchased by the client. However, if the real estate agent develops a liking for the property and is interested in buying the home from the client, the said relationship of agent-client should be terminated to avoid any sorts of misunderstanding especially when it comes to pricing. The agent should also inform the client of his or her intention to purchase and work out the details outside the professional relationship.

It is an obligation of the real estate agent to conform or follow whatever instructions that his or her employer directs within reason. Following such obligation requires the real estate agent to also be honest if such decisions will place harm to the client or his or her end. The agent must always inform the client of what will work best for the transaction to commence successfully. In case the client engages in any form of unethical or illegal activity, then the real estate agent reservers the right to promptly termination of the listing agreement.

Also, a real estate agent must maintain confidentiality especially when it comes to the personal or private information of the client. No information should be divulged unless approved by the client about any matters not directly dealing with the house.

A real estate agent should also be loyal to his or her client which means that the interest of the client should be protected above all else.

Lastly, one of the apparent obligations of a real estate agent is to inform all details to the client at all times. This means that all necessary information should then be notified to the client especially those that may affect the value of the property or the overall transaction.

Keep these obligations and privileges in mind when working with your realtor, and you will have a very pleasant and well communicated home buying/selling experience!

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Finding the Right Neighborhood For You

22 Jun

Buying a home does not end at choosing the perfect kind of house for you. It is not enough to simply have the ideal house right in front of you but you also need to look to your left and right and ask yourself, “Will I be living in the right neighborhood?’

When you decide one day to start scouting for the right kind of house, the first thing you need to do is find the right neighborhood. After all, you will not live inside your house for the rest of your life! You have to get out, enjoy the neighborhood and interact with your neighbors.

So, how do you find the right neighborhood for you?

  1. Before hopping to your car and driving to numerous neighborhoods in your prospect cities, you need first to have a picture of the perfect neighborhood for you. This way you already have an idea what you want for your new community.
    1. Think of what you like the most in a neighborhood

Try to list things that you want to have in your new community. Do you want a school nearby or are you willing to drive your children or future kids to school every morning? Are the shopping centers or markets within walking distance? Is there are coffee shop nearby? Is there a park or recreation center nearby?

By imagining the kind of community you want will give you a guideline on what to consider when choosing your neighborhood.

    1. Think of what you do not like in a neighborhood.

Also try to list the things that you do not want in a neighborhood. This will also give you a good consideration when you come across such things in a certain community. It is often just as important to know what you do not want as it is to know what you do want.

  1. Filter possible neighborhoods. You can easily do this by considering the part of the city you want to move in. Try to write down the communities within the city/area of interest and go from there.
    1. Is the neighborhood near your place of work?
    2. Will you need to drive just to get to places you usually go or is walking also an option?

By filtering the communities, you will a list of communities that will possibly qualify for your criteria. That way, you will only have to check out good neighborhoods and skip the rest.

  1. Gather more information on your selected communities. You can check out school information in the area, parks, community events, amenities in the area and even the crime rate. Check out the internet or call the community association for more information. You can even call the local police for more data about the crime rate in the area.
  1. Visit possible neighborhoods. Gathering information is never enough when searching for the right neighborhood. You also need to check them out yourself. Schedule a visit during the weekend and drive around the community.
    1. Are the houses well built and maintained?
    2. Are the streets clean?
    3. Is there any sign of crime or danger within the area?
    4. Are there abandoned buildings or vandalisms?
    5. Are there any forms of foul smell in the area?
  1. Experience the neighborhood.
    1. Go to a nearby restaurant or coffee shop and try what they offer. Does it fit your liking?
    2. Interact with your future neighbors. Are they friendly or not?
    3. Try to walk in the streets. Is it safe?
    4. Go to parks and other recreation centers. Are the amenities satisfactory for you?
    5. Visit shopping centers or the market. Will you find everything you will need every day?

These guidelines will aid you in finding the perfect neighborhood for you to live in. But, just remember that bottom line, you still need to see yourself living in the area and if you can find it suitable to your taste and kind of living, then go for it.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Edmond Aims To Become More Business-Friendly

21 Jun

Edmond‘s local government is finding ways to make the city friendlier to all incoming businesses! Mayor Patrice Douglas had already appointed the Small Business Task Force in July 2009 to facilitate in improving the communication between the small businesses in Edmond and the local government.

The move to make Edmond more business-friendly was opened during the meeting between the citizen task force studying small businesses in the city as well as the city officials. The city council members claimed that they want businesses to come to Edmond.

Such move was also backed up when the mayor was confronted by a person claiming that Edmond ‘did not want any businesses’ during her speech at the Oklahoma City Kiwanis Club. Councilwoman Victoria Caldwell said that she was receiving several comments as well. Caldwell said that the views about Edmond are actually as bad as what is the reality and that it will take time to change it.

Jim Feist, the chairman for the Small Business Task Force said that the city does not have a good reputation but they all welcome businesses and that they must never stop in promoting the enthusiasm the city has in bringing in new businesses.

The Task force recommends on having a small business advocate in the city that will assist the businesses in their dealings with the local government most especially during the process of securing permits. The council members likewise favor such recommendation that the advocate must assist businesses, developers and builders in all process until their projects are complete.

Businesses are finding the council members are very stern in their decisions over building aspects like the paint colors, the awnings and other aesthetic details that leave business owners frustrated. However, Douglas said that the city is never to apologize for their high standards. They are all proud of their high standards and let people understand that it should not deter them from joining the city, quite the contrary.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent