Friday, April 27, 2012

How did we choose a realtor

Depending on your personality, choosing a realtor can be one of the "harder" task. Think about it,... you will be working with someoen to find a house. Sometimes, it may take months. You will be choosing a work partner or a team member.. or probably, you'll be choosing someone who can "live"with for a short period.

Well... my hubby and I had to choose a realtor to help us find a house. We had a "bad" experience with a realtor before, so we decided to really look for the right one that fits our work style.. It may sound like "hiring" an employee, but I think it's worth it and. I thought it worth blogging too...

First, we read articles on the internet and formulate some questions to ask when we meet a potential realtor. Other than technical questions like how long have you been working, licensing, if you are part of a group,... we also ask about how are you going to find us house, how many showings, where do you find listings... and on.

As I was shopping for a mortgage, I ask referrals for realtors. By doing so, I have list of names to start with. I also ask referrals from friends.

Then I called them, make an appointment for an phone interview.  During the phone interview, we could narrow down list of potential realtor that we want to interview personally. We also ask for references and interview them.

We narrowed down to 4 realtors and met them at Starbucks or their office. Still, we have lists of interview questions and we also tell them what is our work style... We then narrowed it down to two and this is one of the hardest part.

Knowing our buying habit, we tend to take time and really look at the features we want. I thought it won't much different with buying a house. One realtor tends to be lay back and may fit with our buying habit. The other is more the opposite. She's more structured and organized. We liked both but we can only choose one.

Hubby and I decided to vote. Since there are only two of us, we decided that if we came up with different names, we are going to discuss to make a decision that we both can agree.  We found Kleenex and pen and we voted.

I felt so relieve to find out that we voted the same person. No discussion or debate needed. We chose Dave Ipsen.

We worked with him since August 2011 for about 8 months. He has lots of knowledge about the area we are interested in looking. He takes time to explain every questions we have. He's very responsive with e-mails. He has information in his hands. He's lay back, very flexible. We never felt pressured to make quick decisions. He always take as much time as we needed to see the houses. We knew we made the right choice.

We wrote down important criteria for choosing a house. We saw 5-6 houses almost every Saturday. Since the house orientation is one of the important part, we would bring a compass when we view houses.  In addition to that, I learned about the city, neighborhood, the house structure and some details about how houses are built differently in CO compares to WI.

Even though it took about 2 months for us to decide a realtor, I think we indeed made a right choice.
Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unite 4 Peyton

Bigib is donating a pair of square earrings as an auction item for Par4Peyton, June 1, 2012 at Muskego Lakes country club.

It is a golf outing event runs by Unite4Peyton Foundation, a non profit organization for SMA research. If you are a golfer, it's a good activity while raising fund for good cause.

In addition to that, Bigib is designing a special wrap bracelet made for this event. It's made of hand stamped sterling silver charm, wrap around the wrist and ends with double knot. It needs 2 persons to wrap this bracelet. It's a symbol that it needs more than one person to make this event happen.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flower power: a creative idea to manage TV time

TV....TV.... TV....!
Between my daughter and I, we always argue how much is too much TV time. She still can't read or understand how long is half an hour. I decided I need to create a system that is better than checking at the clock.

We made flowers from streamers and skewer, glue it and tie it with twist ties. I call it the "flower power...." One flower equal half an hour of TV time. Every time she watches TV for half an hour, I'll take it out from the pot. By doing that, she understands how much TV show she can watch and decide a head of time.

This really reduce the arguing and negotiation. E.g She likes to watch Arthur, Martha speaks, George, World word, Cyber space, Kratt brothers. If she watches all, it will take up 3 hours. Her TV time is 2 hours. So in the morning, she will decide which TV shows she wants to watch.

We made it flower because it's beautiful and skewer and streamers were the available materials. I think you can make it something else according to your children's favorite stuff.

So far, it works for me and I think it worth sharing...
What do you think?