Hatfield's Home News and Views Newsletter
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Who Determines the Price
For Your Home?

house Many homeowners do not have a full understanding of how the asking price of a home should be established. They either base their decision on what they need to "get out" of the sale in order to buy another home, or they base it on what they paid and adjust for inflation. Another mistaken concept that prevails is that the real estate agent sets the asking price. The truth is that buyers are the ones who establish what your home is worth in today's market.

When an agent comes to your home and shows you a competitive market analysis, they .examine what recently comparable homes have sold for. These numbers represent what buyers were willing to pay for a home similar to yours. If you price your home over what the buyers have recently been willing to pay, your home will most likely not sell.

One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is thinking that they "can always come down on their price." The fact is that in the first 2 weeks that a home is listed is the hottest time on the market. Buyers who have been looking for a home for awhile are always area housesexcited to see a new home listed for sale. However, most buyers are smart enough to have shopped around and know what houses are selling for in your area. If your house enters the market priced higher than all of the rest, prospective buyers won't even bother looking at it. Don't count on the old saying, "if they like it, they will make me an offer."

Later, when you decide to lower your price to what other homes are selling for in your area, it will be too late. You will have already missed the initial wave and flurry of activity from buyers that is a result of a newly property coming on the market. If buyers do look at your home later, they may wonder if you lowered the price because something is wrong with your home or they may figure that you are getting desperate.

Time on the market always works against you. When all is said and done, you may end up having to continue to lower your price even farther than your neighbors homes sold for just to get your home sold.

The smartest way to price your home is to be very competitive in the beginning. Sometimes you will get so much interest in that first wave of buyers that you will end up with multiple offers at the same time. When several buyers are interested in purchasing the same home at the same time it can drive the price up and result in a sale over asking price.

Finally keep in mind that real estate agents should always advise you to price your home at fair market value. You should hire a real estate agent based on their qualifications, marketing plan, and experience - not how high of a price they say they can sell your house for. Remember that in the end, it comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay and nothing more.


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container gardenContainer Gardens

As a supplement to your garden or all by itself, the container garden is a great alternative!

Anyone can grow plants in a container as it is simple to design and plant, and a snap to maintain. Even apartment dwellers can have pots on a balcony or deck to brighten up the view. Containers have the distinct advantage of being moveable to change the look outside your home. They can also be a handy solution for a yard with poor drainage and soil.

They key to successful container gardening is to use a rich soil with manure and peat added. Or, use a bag of ready made peat based growing mixture. Make sure there is plenty of good drainage in any container you use so the plants don't become water logged after a plentiful rain or watering.

Try using a 16 inch terra-cotta pot and add larger plants for an immediate flower show. Start in the center by setting the plants that work well together in the shade or sun. Don't forget some vinca vines or ferns to hang over the edge to add some color and depth.

Some good choices for container gardens are the ever popular geraniums and impatiens, but add some variety by including some dusty miller, salvia, and verbena. geraniumOr, start with a geranium and add some ivy geranium and several Dahlberg daisies. You can even use several small pots within your larger pot to add and remove plants as they bloom so you always have a burst of color. As always, make sure all of your pots have adequate drainage.

Combinations of colors add interest and are pleasing to the eye, so mix and match! Several shades of pink with some purple or plants that carry out a theme will look terrific - use your imagination!

One more tip, don't forget to water frequently and pinch back the spent flowers. Starting a planter garden is a sure fire way to add some color to your life - have fun with it!


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Planning a Family Reunion

Family ties can only be strengthened by coming together. Family reunions are a great method for letting the family convene. But what is involved in putting together a family reunion?

Planning. It takes up to six months to plan a family reunion. The first step is to recruit other family members to help in the planning of the event. Then it is important to contact the family members to make sure there is sufficient interest in attending. If there is not enough interest, consider waiting until next year.

Once you've decided on having the reunion, a place needs to be selected that will fit in with your plans. If it is a multi-day event, you will need to consider overnight accommodations. Outline what is available. Include price, amenities, distance from the event.

picnic basketPlan activities for the group to participate in. Why not have an all-day family style picnic with games and events for all ages. Other considerations might be to go to a ball game as a group, hire a houseboat for a cruise, or even go bowling.

Be sure to plan a budget so things don't get out of hand. Make sure to outline how the money is going to be spent when you ask for money from each family. This will answer questions before they have to be asked.

The family is the pillar of society. Certainly, maintaining family ties is worth the effort. Whether your gathering is simple or elaborate, it is sure to be an enjoyable event.

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Sunday Suppers
From the 40's

All those Sunday Suppers that were enjoyed so much in the 40's are back - big time! Here are a few to serve to your family.

1) Meat loaf with mashed potatoes - slightly lumpy with skins on
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2) Oven fried chicken with green beans and potatoes
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3) Yankee pot roast with vegetables, onions, carrots, etc. (Lipton onion soup with lots of carrots, plus lots of time in a low heat oven makes this a Sunday favorite!)

apple pie
For Dessert...

Why not try an old fashioned apple pie, homemade brownies, or your favorite fresh Toll House cookies? These delicious classic desserts are sure to bring a smile to every face at the table!

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The History of Mothers Day

Mother's Day is set apart every year in honor of motherhood. On the second Sunday in May, many families and churches make a special point of honoring mothers. Many people follow the custom of wearing a carnation on Mother's Day. A colored carnation means that a person's mother is still living. A white carnation signifies that one's mother has passed away.

A day for honoring mothers was observed many years ago in England. It was called Mothering Sunday, and came in mid-Lent. Yugoslavs Momand people in other nations have observed similar days. Julia Ward Howe made the first known suggestion for a Mother's Day in the United States in 1872. She suggested that people observe an annual Mother's Day on June 2, as a day dedicated to peace. For several years, she held an annual Mother's Day meeting in Boston.

Mary Towles Sasseen, a Kentucky school teacher, started conducting Mother's Day celebrations in 1887. Frank E. Hering of South Bend, Indiana, launched a campaign for the observance of Mother's Day in 1904.

Mother's Day received national recognition on May 9, 1914. On that day, President Woodrow Wilson signed a joint resolution of Congress recommending that Congress and the executive departments of the federal government observe Mother's Day. The next year, President Wilson was authorized to proclaim Mother's Day an annual national observance.

So you see, Mother's Day was not invented by Hallmark, but by women. Which is as it should be.

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Ways to
Celebrate Mother's Day


Are you looking for some special way to celebrate Mother's Day? Have you done all the usual things? Well, let's look at some alternative ideas on how you could celebrate this year.

A balloon ride would be a wonderful way to celebrate this special day. Join her as she gently floats in the blue sky. The thrill of doing a daring flight as a contrast for the tedious task of repeated household chores.

Another idea would be to have a 'this is your life party' with the family. Surprise her with a photo album filled with pictures of her life, for her to keep.

giftDon't forget a gift for Mom! Mother's Day is not the appropriate time to buy your mother a kitchen appliance, or a new vacuum. The best gifts for Mom on Mother's Day are the kind that make her feel special. Consider paying for a day at the beauty salon, or take her out shopping for new clothes. A new look can really give Mom a new outlook on life. Some less expensive suggestions might be bath salts, perfume, or a new sweet smelling body lotion.

Most importantly, make sure that Mom doesn't have to work on Mother's Day. Do the cooking and the cleaning for her. That's the best gift a daughter or son can give to show their appreciation.

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House Rules:
Words to Live By

* If you wear it, hang it up
* If you lay it down, put it away
* If you eat out of it, wash it
* If you move it, return it
* If you empty it, fill it up
* If you lose it, find it yourself
* If you break it, replace it
* If you borrow it, put it back
* If you turn it on, turn it off
* If you ask for it, eat it
* If you open it, close it
* If you make a mess, clean it up
* If it rings, answer it
* If it howls/meows, feed it or let it out


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The 3 Most Important
Factors on Your Vacation

It's not just a real estate truth. The three most important factors are location, location, location; on your vacation.

giftWhen in Orlando, see Disney World, but what about the rest of the state? Naples and Sanibel are as close to the tropics as you can get, all within a few hours drive. The question is, will it cost $300 a night or more for the family to stay in a safe, comfortable, and 'spacious lodging?' Not if you go exploring.

One family found that by planning ahead and reviewing a few travel magazines they could come upon a private hideaway for less than $700 per week. When the owner asked them how long they were staying, they said that depended on the price.

He asked them how much they had to spend, and when they answered about $500, the owner agreed to let them stay for a week for just $500.

Granted it took a few phone calls and some detective work, but they were prepared to go without, do without, or do different. As a result they discovered a special place that most of us would miss.

They started planning in advance and researched in the local papers to find the destination they wanted to visit. If you're a family that only has a few days and very little flexibility, then starting early is the best bet.

If your time is short, and the trip all of a sudden appears as a possibility, try the 'accidental tourist' approach. The movie by the same name made the point that you should pack a big bag with suitcaseeverything you need, and then a small bag for essential items, then leave the big bag behind. Why? Because they have toothbrushes where you're going, and underwear, and most everything else you'd bring in the big bag.

By keeping your options open, you give yourself the chance to take advantage of little known hideaways and specials.

Another idea to make your next vacation fun is to identify two or three locations, some loose parameters, and to do the most investigating you can. Then 'roll the dice.' Wherever you are, you ultimately are responsible for making your own fun, right? So avoid Minnesota in February, Arizona in July, and the rest will all work out.

One experienced traveler said that by planning trips up to a year in advance, the whole family could plan, anticipate, and become enthusiastic about the trip. Afterward, by sharing pictures, diaries, and favorite experiences; they were able to re-live the trip without leaving home.

Consider these ideas to help you plan a great trip, and don't forget the video camera. Someday these memories will be priceless.

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Coming Soon!

Summer Newsletter Lineup Includes...

  • Rewards of a Rose Garden
  • BBQ Ribs...A Summertime Favorite!
  • Steve's Homemade Barbecue Sauce
  • Add Fragrance to Your Home
  • At Home In The Year 2000
  • Documents To Be Kept Safe
  • Plus a few surprises!
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Steve Hatfield .
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REALTOR® ABR, CRS, e-PRO Certified
CENTURY 21 Curran & Christie.
25636 Ford Road
Dearborn Heights, MI 48127
Office: (313) 274-7200
Contact Steve Now
Michigan Real Estate Salesperson #6501221773.
Licensed Realtor® Since 1987
REALTOR Accredited Buyer Representative Certified Residential Specialist e-PRO
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