I Love a Fountain

Cool View for a Hot Day
July 20, 2011

Cool waters run at Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park in Chicago

I recently returned from a trip to Chicago. I’ve always loved Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park. It’s one of the largest fountains in the world. It’s another heat wave in the Midwest. Enjoy this visual/virtual relief.

A short video of this beautiful fountain:


Buckingham Fountain-Behind the Scenes



“Do-it-Yourself” Homeowners


I was just reading an article in the New York Times that mentioned the website repairclinic.com. This looks to be a very useful site. Here’s the company’s description of their business:

RepairClinic.com® provides the do-it-yourself consumer market with the resources needed to fix their household appliances, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, and outdoor power equipment. We have an extensive inventory of more than one million parts that we photograph, define, and categorize to make them easier for customers to find and purchase.

To assist more than 75,000 individuals each month with free repair help information, we have assembled a vast library of text documents, diagrams, and high-definition videos. We are continuously updating the library and training our employees with current parts and repair information to offer the best customer service possible.

Our extraordinary return policy allows any part, including electrical parts, to be returned within 30 days for your money back. And with our same day shipping guarantee on all in stock parts, there is no wonder why more than two million customers nationwide have purchased parts from Repair Clinic.

I searched for a thermostat for a range and was able to watch a short video on how to install the product. The video seemed to cover the key points necessary for completing the repair. I also checked the Help Section and read about the possible reasons my oven is not baking properly. Several possible causes were discussed which enabled me to determine which part was needed based upon my oven’s performance.

The site has a “Care For It” section with a maintenance calendar. If the recommended maintenance is done according to the calendar, your appliances should have better efficiency and a longer life.  Check out the “Keep it Clean” section for refrigerator water filters. Are you changing your filter every six months as recommended? They say your water and ice will taste better if you do.

Have you used this site? If so, use the comment section below to let others know your experience.


“How To” Staging Video with Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran discusses how to stage a home.

Barbara Corcoran is the real estate contributor to NBC’s Today Show. She operated a multi-billion dollar real estate business in New York City for many years. This video was made in 2007 and much of what she says is still valid today in our current marketplace.

Staging Tips Summary:

  • The first impression of your home is from the curb. Spruce up your exterior: landscaping, doors, mailbox, hardware, paint, etc. Use three colors for the exterior of your home: one color for the walls, a second color for the trim and a third color for your front door. This provides depth and interest to the exterior.
  • Buyers form an impression upon entering the home. What do they see? Too much stuff or just enough? Or perhaps too little stuff that leaves the room feeling cold and uninviting? I’ve had buyers look at the living room and kitchen and decide they don’t need to see the rest of the house.
  • People respond positively to natural light. Open or remove curtains, trim hedges, use light paint colors on walls if need be. Light sells homes. During fall and winter when it gets dark earlier, make sure you use the brightest possible wattage in your fixtures and that all the bulbs work. Use multiple light sources if possible, especially in bedrooms (ceiling fixtures and lamps).
  • The kitchen is the most important room in a house. Barbara says there’s no reason to make major improvements because you’ll never get the money back. I think this depends on the house, the kitchen and other factors such as desirability of neighborhood and how the rest of the house stacks up. Clearing counters of too much stuff works here just as it does throughout the rest of the house. A fresh coat of paint on the cabinets might be a good thing depending on your cabinets and the condition of the rest of your kitchen.
  • The bathroom can be the second most important room. Both the kitchen and bath tend to be big expense items when it comes to remodeling. A clean and uncluttered bath is, in most cases, all that is needed for selling.
  • Bedrooms should look peaceful and clean. New bedding might be in order to freshen the space. This can be an inexpensive update and you can take the bedding to your new place.
  • Yes, buyers look in your linen closet. A clean and organized linen closet goes a long way. It’s worth the time spent on it.
  • Barbara says to stop smoking. This might be something a smoker can do (smoke outdoors) but if the smoke has permeated the walls and furnishings, more will need to be done. Most sellers aren’t likely to remove pets. The best bet is to keep your house clean and to open the windows (weather permitting). I personally do not care for air fresheners and potpourri. These create an artificial smell and make me wonder what smell the owner is trying to mask. A clean house is best and does not smell. When it comes to air quality, no odor is best.
  • The arrangement of your furniture can make your spaces more or less appealing. This is best addressed on a house by house basis rather than here in this post. I work with my sellers to create inviting rooms using the furnishings they already have. This works most of the time.
  • When in doubt, think these three things for your home: Neutral, clean, and classic.

Do you have more questions about staging or preparing your home for the market? Feel free to give me a call for a consultation.

Kate Walsh
Lakes Area Realty