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August 2014
One Brick At A Time
My People
  Brought to You
William Clark

William Clark, a leader of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, born August 1, 1770.

145 Tupelo Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540

(800) 936-5478 x7001


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Are You a First-Time Buyer?
Buying a home is a complex process with many factors to consider.

Get ready for the decisions you'll need to make along the way by asking for my free guide, "10 Easy Steps to Buying Your Home".

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Each month I'll give you a new question.

What was the first breakfast cereal to be commercially made?

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Fresh Berry & Ginger Granita
This sorbet-like dessert is refreshing on a hot August day.

Serves 4
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
  • cup fresh raspberries, chopped
  • tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil until sugar dissolves. Remove pot from heat, add ginger root, and set aside for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup into a blender and add the berries and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large shallow baking dish and cover with foil. Place in the freezer and scrape the mixture in the baking dish with a fork about every hour for at least five hours to get a more even mixture.

To serve, let the mixture sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes then scrape into chilled bowls.

How do I find the right home in a new city?
Moving to a new city can be scary for many reasons, but house-hunting doesn't have to be one of them. Here are the six Rs of house-hunting in a strange city:

Rent or buy - is your move to test the waters or make a permanent change? Know what the future holds before deciding.

Research - look to your network first; someone may know someone who lives in your future locale. If not, there's lots of information available online.

Real estate agent - a good local agent will know the neighborhoods, schools, and prices. Again, ask your network for recommendations.

Realistic - don't expect to find a clone of your current home.

Roadtrip - make at least one in-person visit before you buy. Walk the neighborhoods you're interested in.

Relax - the house to call home is out there; you just need to know where to look.


Published: July 15, 2014

What constitutes a "good location," and why are some areas particularly attractive to buyers and/or investors?

Inherent in the concept of a "good location" is the idea of a place where people want to live. This is probably close to shopping, top schools, recreational facilities, cultural amenities, restaurants, and transportation. In addition, it's likely safe and will have well-run public services. But while good locations may be more convenient or more attractive than others, this isn't always the case. They're not always newer (or older) either.

Following are some factors that contribute to the value of homes in a particular area. Some may surprise you.

  • Public image: Properties located in popular, prestigious, or historic locales are often valued highly because of their perceived status or reputation, or simply because there is a narrative about the area.
  • Starbucks: Buyers are usually willing to pay more for homes that have a good "walk score." That means they are within walking distance of shops, recreational venues, cafe and restaurants. People are choosy about what they want to walk to, however. Many buyers identify a nearby Starbucks (by name) as one reason to purchase a home in a particular neighborhood. The other top pick: parks.
  • Proximity to transit: Today's home buyers don't want to spend hours commuting to and from work. Gen X and Gen Y buyers, in particular, will often forgo a 3500-square-foot home in the suburbs for an 1800-square-foot property located downtown. These groups place their priorities in the ability to live closer to work, and social and cultural attractions.
  • Schools: Buyers with children prefer a location close to schools, but, interestingly, the home's value may decline if it is located too close to one.

Buyers can be a fickle lot, and today's top neighborhoods may be tomorrow's also-rans. But that said, it will still always be about "location."

Published: July 20, 2014

They say laughter is the best medicine, and sometimes that comes from innocent medical miscommunication. Take, for instance, the elderly woman whose allergies were printed on her medical wristband. Later that day, the woman's son called and complained that his mother had been labelled "bananas."

Nurses face another sort of communication problem: Excuses from patients and colleagues.

The most common excuse for missing a long-postponed appointment is a grandmother's death. As one nurse confided, "This was (the patient's) sixth grandmother to die within two months." Interestingly, they also hear an equal number of excuses from doctors, who are usually stuck "on a boat" in the middle of nowhere and therefore can't make rounds.

Published: July 1, 2012

This is the most complete REALTOR MLS data collection tool in the industry all for a Flat-Fee.

15 Minute ListingThis data collection tool is for posting "For Sale" or "For Rent" property types including the following:

Detached Homes Two to Four Units Business w/RealEstate
Attached Homes Deeded Parking Mixed Use
Residential Rental Multi Family 5 Plus Units Instut/To Develop
Land Office/Technical Industrial

Be sure to have at least 1 front external picture (up to 25 pictures) of the property as well as the room sizes. Your email address can be used to access the information if you are unable to complete the form after starting or need to locate information in order to complete.

Published: July 25, 2014

If you have toddlers, it's hard to imagine a more dangerous area of your home than the kitchen. Knives, stovetops, and potential toxins all pose hazards to your kids, who can and will want to touch.

If you have a small child entering a particularly "grabby" phase, try these tips to childproof your kitchen.

Move things out of reach

Cleaning supplies, glassware, and knives should all be stored where small children can't reach or climb to them. Don't leave glasses on counters where they can be knocked over; store bleach and other household cleaners in a locked cabinet, and leave knives in a drawer that can be locked.

Cover knobs and outlets

Kids can easily stand on tippy-toe to turn oven knobs and dials, or sit on the ground and play with electrical outlets. Purchase plastic knob and outlet covers to prevent disasters.

Lock the fridge

A curious little one may be inclined to open the fridge to root around for a snack. Protect their tummies, your food, and the floor by using a fridge guard to keep it closed when you're not looking.

Ditch the linens

Tablecloths and runners are just begging to be yanked by a chubby little hand. Get rid of them entirely to protect your child's head (plus your nice dishes and glassware).

Change habits

Not every safety tip is a matter of hiding, installing, or removing; being mindful of your own behavior in the kitchen is important. Use the dishwasher at night while children are asleep, so they won't unlock the door and scald themselves.

Give them Alternatives

Take pressure off yourself and your little ones by giving them something to play with when you're in the kitchen. Why not store your plastic storage bins and containers in a low unlocked cabinet? They'll spend hours building and knocking down the containers. And avoid other, more dangerous, playthings.

Published: December 1, 2012

When a property is listed for sale with a real estate agent ("Listing Agent"), the Listing Agent historically offers a 3.0% commission to the real estate agent ("Buyer's Agent") who procures the buyer.

In this case, acts as a Buyer's Agent to assist the buyer in the purchase of a home. As a Buyer's Agent, will receive a commission from the Listing Agent. will share ("Refund") any commission received over 2.0% with our client, the buyer. Our Refund is subject to lender approval, and there may be restrictions with VA or FHA loans. Your Refund cannot be used as part of your down payment or to meet the capital reserve requirements of your loan program.

The Buyer will receive representation during the purchase transaction and, as the Buyer's Agent, will work hard to get the Buyer the home wanted at the best price and terms possible.

Transaction Example:
Place cursor over boxes for a description.

are split...
3% TO
3% TO
Any commission over
1.0% is shared with
you, the Buyer.
1.0% TO YOU
2.0% TO

Published: July 30, 2014

The price of redecorating can be out-of-this-world, but it doesn’t need to be. With creativity, DIY perseverance, and craftiness, you can decorate on a dime...or very close to it. How do you do it? Easy - just use the suggestions below. As you might guess, it’s all about working with what you’ve got.

Find out what you have to work with: Get reacquainted with your own possessions. What do you want to do with the old stuff in your new space-to-be? Keep? Relocate to another room? Store? The inventory process spurs creativity and stimulates planning, and helps you to decide what’s missing and what you will need to invest in.

Repurpose: Determine how you can repurpose items you already have to create what you want. Maybe you’d like a new entertainment center. But wait; you have a nice old sideboard, so you can remove drawers to create space underneath, add a lick of paint, and ...there’s your entertainment center. Cost: paint and some manual labor.

Swap items room-to-room: Just rearranging furniture can change a room’s look dramatically. From furniture, to what you have on the walls, to decor items, re-arrange or swap things between rooms.

Slipcover: Maybe you have a couch or some slipper chairs you’d like to change up. Check online for slipcovers. These days, it’s not about your grandmother’s slipcovers; there are some attractive and affordable options available now, and they can totally transform your space.

Relax and Relish: Relax and relish your new space. You deserve it.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.