Blog :: 05-2013

Getting to Know Your REALTOR

There has been a lot written and said about choosing the right Realtor. Whether you're buying or selling it's vitally important that your REALTOR is someone with whom you can work effectively. Intelligence, ethics, strong communication and negotiation skills, and local knowledge are just a few traits to look for when getting to know your REALTOR. At a conference a while back, a speaker was discussing ours is one of the few professions where potential clients decide to work with us based on whether or not we're someone they'd like to hang around with. That got us thinking; we're pretty great! We're intelligent, funny, strategic, self-effacing, and knowledgeable. We are good listeners and strong speakers. Above all we advocate, advocate, advocate. We actually do have lives away from Real Estate that shape our opinions and guide our advocacy. We champion causes and belong to the PTO. We're wives, husbands, sons, daughters, and parents. We thought it would be helpful for you to get to know us. And maybe hang around with us?

This week, we're launching Getting to Know Your Realtor, a chance for members of our team to stand up and blog a little about ourselves and our lives in and out of Real Estate. Today, we'd like you to meet Jacqui Curtin.

Jacqui On May 3rd of this year, The Winchester Friends of VNA Hospice Care celebrated its 19th year of fundraising by generating over $100,000 in at the annual Dine Around event held this year that the Winchester Country Club. The Dine Around is known for its auction hosted by radio & TV host Billy Costa featuring spectacular items, services, and destinations contributed by our generous community of local businesses and residents. Mr. Costa entertained over 250 guests facilitating the auction off featured items including a trip to Paris & a pair of diamond earrings! Net proceeds of Dine Around will help to provide Open Access to our neighbors in need of End-of-Life care. VNA Hospice Care has been providing care, comfort and support to patients and families since 1979. VNA Hospice Care provides patients with the opportunity to live their life to the last moment with dignity and free of pain. Family members and friends VNA Hospice Care provides comfort and guidance to accompany their loved one on this ultimate journey. Along with comfort and care, they provide expert Pain & Symptom Management and specific programs for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, Alzheimers/Dementia, Cardio & Pulmonary diseases, and Cancer. As a REALTOR, we often highlight the tangible features of Winchester, such as our charming downtown, proximity to Boston with convenient commuter rail options, and of course the great performance of our schools. While these features are an integral part of Winchester, it is the intangible attributes of our community that make us great. But thats not what makes Winchester great. It is the intangible traits of our community that make us want to raise our family, establish roots for generations, and make us so proud to say Im from Winchester. Events like Dine Around give us the opportunity to highlight these intangibles. When youre buying a home, youre really buying into a community. The Winchester Friends of VNA Hospice Care is just one of many organizations that make Winchester the unique town that it is.. A small town with a big heart. As co-chair of the Dine Around event, I am thrilled to know that this annual event will make a real difference in helping a person without insurance to be able to receive a $1,000 chemo treatment, or a $170 basic in-home daily care service. Blog Post by REALTOR Associate, Jacqueline Burke Curtin Contact Jacqui at: jacqui.curtin@shanahanre.com

Our Mother's Day Wish

For our friends, the someday moms: May you learn lessons from the moms around you. What to do and what not to do. For our friends, the gestating moms: May the first and last trimesters go by with ease. May you take the sleep when you can get it. May you savor the miracle. For our friends, the laboring moms: May your OB be on duty when you go into labor and free with the drugs. May your coach know his place is to shut up and shovel the ice chips. For our friends, the brand new moms: May your baby sleep in long stretches. May you shower most days. May your husband have a great paternity leave policy. For our friends, the mothers of newborns: May your child find a schedule. May he take a bottle, when necessary. May you be there for her first smile. For our friends, the mothers of infants: May your child sleep through the night. May she be allergy-free. May he be an "easy baby". For our friends, the mothers of toddlers: May your child not figure out how to open the child proof locks. May she not share food with the dog, then put it back in her mouth. May he not hit the terrible twos before his first birthday. For our friends, the mothers of preschoolers: May potty training last days, not months. May she not suffer from separation anxiety on the first day of preschool. May he always like you better than his teacher. For our friends, the mothers of kindergarteners: May your child adjust beautifully to big kid school. May the teacher recognize the uniqueness and individual gifts of your child. For our friends, the mothers of elementary schoolers: May your child neither bully nor be bullied. May she love learning in all its forms. For our friends, the mothers of tweens: May your child find his own moral compass. May friends, music, and the internet not steal the precious years of childhood innocence. For our friends, the mothers of high schoolers: May your children's deeds make you proud. May you be their mother first and their friend, second. For our friends, the mothers of college students: May your children remember your lessons as they take their first fledgling steps to independence. May they make good decisions and know their own minds. For our friends, the mothers of adults: May your children grow to be intelligent, loving, kind, good, hardworking, humorous parents. And may they take good care of us as we grow old. For all of us: Though the days are long, the years are short. May we treasure the good ones and run down the clock on the bad ones with humor and love and friendship.

Moving With School-Aged Kids

I am a Realtor. At this particular juncture, I'm also a home buyer and seller, a wife, and a working mom. Moving with school-aged kids. I know this process and I've been here before helping others through exactly this transition. This time, I'm just a wee bit anxious. Cause this time, it's personal. There are two schools of thought regarding moving with school-aged kids:
  1. Move over the summer so they're not walking into a new school in the middle of already established friendships, groups, and cliques.
  2. Move during the school year and you're instantly introducing your school-aged kids to a ready-made set of potential friends who, at a minimum, share a classroom and an age.
In our case, we are moving just a few towns away - and have an amazingly creative Realtor (ahem), who was able to coordinate our sell and buy to coincide with the end of the school year. I like to think we've done at least a few things right in preparing our kids for "The Move." Moving with School Aged Kids In the beginning:
  • Let them know why you're moving - Do you need a bigger house? More land? Are you interested a particular school system? Is the move job-related?
  • WIFM - what's in it for me? Talk to them about their wish lists and try and incorporate those into your own.
  • Don't be surprised when "POOL" repeatedly comes up as the kids' number one priority.
  • Take them with you (occasionally) to open houses or out with your buyer's agent so they better understand the process.
  • Ask for their input.
Validate their feelings and work to lessen their anxieties (and yours):
  • Let them know it's a little scary for you, too - but also exciting!
  • Make sure they know that although you're moving, they'll still have their friends - if it's a relatively close move, plan some playdates!
  • Find out about your new town. Look into extracurriculars, sports, clubs, and camps where they can meet future classmates/BFFs.
After you've found The House
  • Make an appointment to see the house again. Show them which rooms will be theirs - or ask them which they'd like. Let them get sense for what the house will feel like when it's just your family at home.
  • Point out any features which are particularly appealing - the finished basement that can fit a ping pong table and the 'sledable' area of the backyard were big hits for us!
  • Think features and benefits - with a bigger room, won't it be great to have sleep-overs?
  • Take drives around the neighborhood (don't feel weird; we all get a little stalker-ish during this period), point out basketball hoops, kids playing, bicycles, and other obvious signs of kid-dom.
  • Make an appointment to see the school and possibly have your child shadow another kid to get a feel for how the building looks and sounds when school is in session.
Once you're in:
  • Step out of your own comfort zone. Go out of your way to chat up your new neighbors and get the lay of the land. The sooner you feel comfortable, the sooner they will as well.
  • Last but not least, a little bribe never hurts. Remember when you brought your first child to the hospital to meet your second? Remember there may have been a wonderful little 'big brother/sister' present waiting from the baby? Same deal. It doesn't need to be big- something as simple as a cool, fun sprinkler to play with in the new yard.
Around here, we're still in negotiations about a trampoline.