Date Archives: April 2021

Fivestar Lakeshore Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Buying A Home | 2 Posts
Holland, MI | 20 Posts
Home ideas | 6 Posts
Mortgage | 36 Posts
Uncategorized | 113 Posts
West Michigan | 6 Posts
April
14

Real Estate Tips for a First-Time Home Seller

tips for a first-time home seller: stage your home, ask about your agent's commission, have professional photos taken, host an open house, and review your listing online.

Selling a home is very different from buying a home. Buying a home generally involves emotions and feelings, but selling a home typically centers on what listing agents like to call maximizing profit potential. The tips here apply to first-time homesellers, or any seller needing a real estate refresher.

Price Your Home Accurately

You don't want to create the wrong impression by pricing your house high and then reducing it. Nor do you want to leave money on the table.

A reputable listing agent  can help you here. Don't choose your cousin's sister-in-law who only dabbles in real estate. You'll fare much better if you select an experienced real estate agent who sells a fair number of listings, preferably in your neighborhood.

Your agent will analyze comparable sales and prepare an estimate of value—often called a CMA—for comparative market analysis. It is OK to compare this to the Zestimate at Zillow, but note the variances your agent will point out because your listing agent should have the experience and education to provide you with a more accurate opinion of value.1

Home Staging Boosts Selling Power and Appeal

Ask your agent to advise you on preparing your home for sale. Most homes show better with about half of the furniture removed. If a buyer walks in the door and wonders if anybody lives in the house, you've done your job correctly. Consider home staging to boost your selling power and appeal.2

Painting is the single most effective improvement you can make. Don't let dings in the woodwork or scrapes on the walls make your home reflect deferred maintenance.

The Best Day to List Your Home

Choose the best day to list your home. This time period will vary depending on your local community, the weather, time of year, and a host of other factors, including the state of your present real estate market. You basically get one chance to present your home in its best light the first day on the market.

Ask About Your Agent's Standard Real Estate Commission

If the agent's standard real estate commission seems reasonable, consider the big picture and benefits to you to hire this individual. Check track records for performance. Don't expect a full-service agent to discount. Getting into a contract is only the beginning; you need to make it all the way to closing.

Your home will not sell itself, despite what you may read or hear or the propensity of real estate websites to make the process appear as easy as the click of a mouse. It's not. You don't know what you don't know. To get the most money from the sale of your home, you will most likely rely on the professionals you have hired to sell your home. Do not try to pit agents against each other to compete for commission or you'll increase the chances you'll end up with a weasel. You don't deserve a weasel.

Be Flexible With Home Showings

Be flexible with showings. If home showings are too much of an imposition on your life, consider going away the first weekend your home is on the market. It can feel a bit intrusive to allow strangers to trek through your home and check out your soft-closing drawers in the kitchen.

The best way to sell your home is to let a buyer inside with their buyer's agent to tour in peace and quiet. Leave the house when buyer's agents show up. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Plus, buyer's agents prefer to show without interference.

Host an Open House

Allow an open house if your home is conducive to an open house. Not every home is a viable candidate for an open house. If your home is located in an area close to major traffic, that is generally indicative of a reasonable expectation the open house signs will pull in visitors. Ask your agent if they advertise the open house online. Many a home buyer has had no desire to buy a home until they spot an open house and subsequently fall in love.3

Insist on Professional Photography

Of course, if you have hired a top-notch listing agent, your agent most likely already provides professional photos. It's not enough to just get the angle right in the photo.

The most popular photos are rich in color and depth, and they entice. Ask to approve the virtual tour or photo tour before it publishes.

Review Your Listing Online

Look at your home listing on various websites to make sure the information conveyed is accurate. Agents do their best to ensure accuracy, but since it is your home, you know the details better than anyone. If you spot a feature that is missing, contact your agent immediately and ask for an inclusion.

Respond Promptly to a Purchase Offer

Try to respond promptly to a purchase offer. Many purchase offers contain a date by which the offer expires. Notwithstanding, it can drive buyers crazy if they are forced to wait for a seller to decide whether to accept their offer or to issue a counteroffer. Remember, if you are selling because you need to buy a new home, you are no different when you are a home buyer yourself.

Line Up Movers Early

Line up your movers early. If you are thinking about moving at the end of May, for example, which is the busiest time of the year for movers, you might find it is impossible to locate movers for the day you want. You can start packing before your home hits the market, which will give you a head start on the process. It will also give you peace of mind to be prepared. Selling can be stressful enough.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, CalBRE #00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

April
12

Is Easter Monday a Public Holiday?

Easter Monday is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

What Do People Do?

Egg rolling races are held in the United States. There is a big race held on the lawn of the White House in Washington DC on Easter Monday. Sometimes even the President takes part in the "White House Easter Egg Roll", which was hosted by the First Lady in 2007. Eggs are rolled down a hill or slope and there is a variety of activities, as well as food and entertainment, for families.

The White House Easter egg collection involves a tradition that began in 1994 where each state sends a decorated egg to the White House for display. Artists from across the United States created decorated eggs that represent each state and the District of Columbia. Each year the artists vote amongst themselves to select the artist to create the following year's commemorative egg which is presented to the President and First Lady. The collection is coordinated by the American Egg Board.

Public Life

Easter Monday is not a federal holiday. Most aspects of public life are not any different to any other Monday. Public transit systems usually run their regular Monday schedule in many parts of the United States.

Though not largely observed in the United States, the day remains informally observed in some areas such as the state of North Dakota, where there is no school on Easter Monday, and some cities. Easter Monday was a public holiday in North Carolina from 1935 to 1987. Traditionally Polish-influenced areas such as Chicago observe Dyngus Day as well.

Background

The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

In Pagan times, many groups of people organized spring festivals. Many of these celebrated the re-birth of nature, the return the land to fertility and the birth of many young animals. These are the origins of the Easter eggs that we still hunt for and eat.

In Christian times, the spring began to be associated with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday and the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The idea of the resurrection joined with the ideas of re-birth in Pagan beliefs.

Symbols

For people with strong Christian beliefs, the Cross, on which Jesus was crucified, and the Resurrection are important symbols of the period around Easter. Other symbols of Easter include real eggs or eggs manufactured from a range of materials, nests, lambs and rabbits or hares. Sometimes these symbols are combined, for example, in candy models of rabbits with nests full of eggs. Eggs, rabbits, hares and young animals are thought to represent the re-birth and return to fertility of nature in the spring.

About Easter Monday in Other Countries

Read more about Easter Monday.

Easter Monday Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2016 Mon 28 Mar Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2017 Mon 17 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2018 Mon 2 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2019 Mon 22 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2020 Mon 13 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2021 Mon 5 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2022 Mon 18 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2023 Mon 10 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2024 Mon 1 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2025 Mon 21 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
2026 Mon 6 Apr Easter Monday Observance, Christian
April
9

The Sandlot Turned 28 today so we thought we'd take a stroll down memory lane with some of the best kids movies from the 90's. 

Taken from https://cafemom.com/entertainment/220530-90s-kids-movies


'Home Alone'
Twentieth Century Fox

'Home Alone'

Rated: PG

We definitely didn't try these booby traps at home ... but we definitely dreamed about them!

Macaulay Culkin starred as Kevin McCallister, a bratty kid who managed to take on two dangerous bandits all by himself, after his family left him alone while they went on a trip to Paris. Home Alone spawned so many one liners and prank ideas, it's hard to count!

'Mrs. Doubtfire'
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

'Mrs. Doubtfire'

Rated: PG-13

This film gave Robin Williams a chance to truly flex his comedic and acting chops. We laughed and cried and rooted for him as he desperately tried to spend time with his kids in the middle of a contentious divorce -- even if that meant dressing up like an old lady!

'Now and Then'

'Now and Then'

Rated: PG-13

There are no words to describe how much we LOVE this coming-of-age story! Now and Then had a stellar cast (Demi Moore, Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Melanie Griffith, Gaby Hoffmann, and more) and told the story of four best friends who navigated boys, parents divorcing, and solving their small town's mystery in a summer they'll never forget.

'The Addams Family'
Paramount Pictures

'The Addams Family'

Rated: PG-13

Every day is Opposite Day in the Addams family household. While we aren't too sure about having a walking hand for a pet, we loved dreaming about a mother who let us play with our food, and a dad who was an absolutely amazing sword fighter!

'The Lion King'
Walt Disney Pictures

'The Lion King'

Rated: G

Before this was a live-action film starring Beyoncé, it was (and still is) a beloved animated Disney film that starred Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, and Jeremy Irons -- among a long list of stars. We've been looking forward to this remake, though nothing will ever replace the spot that this film holds in our hearts.

We still find ourselves singing the songs!

'Aladdin'
Walt Disney Pictures

'Aladdin'

Rated:G

Another Disney classic that got the live-action treatment in 2019! Aladdin was the feel-good flick that had us believing in genies and wishing we had a pet monkey for a BFF. While loved Will Smith's take on Genie, Robin Williams will always be No. 1!


'Hook'
TriStar Pictures

'Hook'

Rated: PG

We aren't even halfway through this list, and this is Robin Williams' third movie mentioned. Safe to say he was king of the '90s kids movie, and his role as an aging Peter Pan in Hook definitely solidified that! He portrayed Peter, a guy with two kids of his own, who forgot about Neverland long after he left. When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, Peter must remember his past and reconnect with who he really is -- The Pan!

'The Mighty Ducks'
Buena Vista Pictures/Walt Disney

'The Mighty Ducks'

Rated: PG

We love a good underdog story, and this one features many of our favorite child actors of the '90s -- including Joshua Jackson, Elden Henson, and Brandon Quintin Adams, as well as '80s and '90s star, Emilio Estevez as retired former child hockey star who's forced to coach this team of misfits!

'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids'
Buena Vista Pictures

'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids'

Rated: PG

Rick Moranis plays off-beat scientist, Wayne Szalinski, who accidentally shrinks his kids to the size of insects. The kids get transported to the front yard and try to get back to the house to alert their father. But at their size, there are many dangers along the way!

'Beethoven'
Universal Pictures

'Beethoven'

Rated: PG

The Newton family adopt an adorable St. Bernard puppy, only to have him grow into a massive, slobbering dog, in this fun film. The kids love him, but their dad, George (Charles Grodin), not so much. But the family comes together to save Beethoven after an evil veterinarian kidnaps him!

'Matilda'
TriStar Pictures

'Matilda'

Rated: PG

Matilda is based on the book of the same name by legendary children's author Roald Dahl. Mara Wilson starred as the titular character who's not only a genius, but a little girl with some huge powers. She is misunderstood by all the adults in her life, except for her teacher, Ms. Honey. Eventually, the two of them rid themselves of Matilda's parents and the evil school principal, Ms. Trunchbull, and set off to live a happy life together!

'Drop Dead Fred'
New Line Cinema

'Drop Dead Fred'

Rated: PG-13

"Snotface!"

How old is too old to have an imaginary friend? Drop Dead Fred attempts to answer that question when Elizabeth, played by Phoebe Cates, is going through a rough time, and Fred, her imaginary friend from childhood, reappears. It's an zany film that encourages belief in oneself!

'My Girl'
Columbia Pictures

'My Girl'

Rated: PG

Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky) is smart little hypochondriac. Her mother died in childbirth, and her father owns and runs a funeral parlor right in their own home. My Girl follows her one summer when everything in her life changes: She's on the edge of puberty, experiences her first crush, the pains of growing up, and a potential new stepmom. Plus, her best friend Thomas J. Sennett, played by Macaulay Culkin, is allergic to just about everything, prompting another tragedy in young Vada's life!

'The Sandlot'
Twentieth Century Fox

'The Sandlot'

Rated: PG

"You're killing me, Smalls!" is something every '90s kid has said at some point in his or her life -- and it's thanks to this movie. When a group of small-town boys try to recover a ball they lost, signed by none other than Babe Ruth, they come face to face with The Beast, the local dog that's more ominous than a superhero villain. Eventually, they get the ball back, and make some lasting memories in the process.

'Jumanji'
TriStar Pictures

'Jumanji'

Rated: PG

Jumanji stars Robin Williams as a man (well, kid technically) who's been trapped inside a magical board game for decades. When he's forced to play the game again, all hell breaks loose on his town, and the new people who are playing and it can't stop until the game is finished. Bonnie Hunt and Kirsten Dunst also star.

'Toy Story'
Walt Disney Pictures

'Toy Story'

Rated: G

This movie really needs no introduction. The fourth iteration was released this summer, and fans -- old and new -- still can't get enough of Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toy gang. The first of these heartwarming Toy Story movies introduced us to the characters we would ultimately love well into our adult years!

'Free Willy'
Warner Bros.

'Free Willy'

Rated: PG

When young Jesse (Jason James Richter) gets caught vandalizing his local marina, he's sentenced to community service there. He ends up creating a special bond with the orca that lives there, and when he learns that the whale is set to be put down, Jesse risks everything to free him!

'Space Jam'
Warner Bros.

'Space Jam'

Rated: PG

Michael Jordan plays himself in this mega hit of the '90s. He helps the Looney Tunes attempt to win a basketball match that will guarantee their freedom! Space Jam is packed with all the hilarious hijinks Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and crew are known for -- as well Jordan's unbelievable basketball talent!

April
5

How to Organize an Easter Egg Hunt in 4 Easy Steps

The American Easter tradition of an egg hunt dates back to the 1800s, when it became custom to incorporate children's activities into religious holiday celebrations. Nowadays, it's almost impossible to imagine Easter without a group of kids running around the yard looking for brightly dyed eggs. Whether you're hosting the big Easter brunch this year or simply having a few friends over, it's easy to plan an Easter egg hunt in your own backyard. We've got all the tips you need for decorating, hiding eggs, and other family-friendly holiday activities. If there aren't any children in your crew, use one of our creative ideas to plan an Easter egg hunt for adults instead. No matter who will be egg hunting, don't forget to buy or make your own Easter baskets for everyone to put their eggs in.

Hop This Way: Make a Colorful Easter Egg Hunt Sign with Our Free Printable  | Easter printables free, Egg hunt sign, Coloring easter eggs

Step 1: Hang Easter Decorations

The first step: Get your house ready by hanging pastel balloons outside your home and an Easter decoration on your door so everyone knows where they're going. You don't have to go overboard decorating for the egg hunt! One of our favorite cheap Easter egg hunt ideas is this festive printable sign—it's cute and costs under $5 to assemble! If you plan on serving snacks, decorate a few tables with pastel-color tablecloths and streamers. If your hunt is in the morning, gather the crowd for a kid-friendly Easter brunch as soon as all the eggs have been found!

Step 2: Prep Easter Eggs

You can hide plastic or real eggs at your Easter egg hunt, just make sure you get the supplies far enough in advance. If you're decorating and hiding real eggs (like our colorful oil-marbled eggs), get a few small prizes to hand out in exchange for each egg at the end. You'll want to boil and dye them about a week beforehand so you don't stress about them being ready (and keep in mind that they are not safe to eat).

Plastic eggs are easier to prepare ahead of time, and are generally better if you're hiding them outdoors in warm weather. Fill them with small toys, candy, or numbers that correspond to bigger prizes, such as stuffed animals, chocolate bunnies, or gift certificates (our Easter basket stuffer ideas also make great prizes, if you need more inspiration). If you're hosting an Easter egg hunt for toddlers, make sure the eggs are filled with items that don't contain small parts or choking hazards. Estimate about a dozen eggs per guest so everyone has a chance to find and collect a good amount of eggs.

kids-with-easter-eggs - With love from Lou

Step 3: Hide the Eggs

If your Easter dinner celebration is a large family gathering, chances are you'll have a wide range of ages, so it's okay to plan separate activities for older and younger kids. If you're hosting an Easter egg hunt for kids and a separate egg hunt for teenagers, divide the backyard into two zones so you can organize based on age groups. Go easy on the smaller children by leaving eggs on low branches and in open places. If you're hosting a hunt for toddlers, try hanging balloons instead of eggs for easy searching! Make it more difficult for the older participants: Hard-to-find spots, such as under leaves, in drain spouts, in the mailbox, or atop car tires are perfect challenges for older children in your group.

Easter Egg Hunt Tip: The hunt doesn't end until the last egg is found, so count the eggs before you hide them and keep track as each one is found.

Step 4: Play Some Easter Games

The fun doesn't have to stop when the last egg is found! We have creative Easter games and activities for all ages; choose a few and set them up before your guests arrive. Play outdoor Easter games like bunny, bunny, hop (duck, duck, goose with a holiday spin) or a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt. Or, opt for indoor Easter games like egg bowling, pin the tail on the Easter bunny, or have our free printable Easter coloring pages printed out and ready to go.

April
2

NATIONAL BURRITO DAY

National Burrito Day – 1st Thursday of April

National Burrito Day on the first Thursday in April celebrates the tasty and versatile Mexican dish wrapped in a tortilla. 

A burrito is a heavy tortilla wrapped around meat, cheese, tomato, rice, beans, vegetables, and sauces. Like many other tortilla dishes, the burrito is flexible. The cook chooses the meat fillings from ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded beef or shredded pork. The same applies to the bean choices, often ranging from black, red, whole or refried beans. Once again, the flexibility of choice applies to the vegetables allowing the cook to grill the vegetables or keep them fresh. Spices such as cumin, chili powder, and oregano give the burritos an authentic Mexican flavor. For added crunch, chimichangas are burritos that have been deep-fried.

The word burrito first appeared in the Dictionary of Mexicanisms in 1895. The Guanajuato region of Mexico uses the term and means little donkey in Spanish. It is possible that it stems from the appearance of the packs and bedrolls donkeys used to carry. In other regions of Mexico, similar types of food are known as flauta.

The burrito was introduced in the United States in the 1930s at the El Cholo Spanish Café in Los Angeles.  Since then, the burrito has found its way to menus all across the United States. Home cooks serve the burrito because it's a crowd-pleaser and filling, too. 

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder