Need to Move DOWN(stairs) to a Single-Story Home?

A two story home may simply no longer meet your needs!

And yes, there are equally as many upsides to choosing a two-story home.   A two-story home seems to “hide the mess” that just naturally occurs with a young family. Having an upstairs sometimes can separate the youthful noise-level or energetic game-room activities from refuge seeking adults in the lower level. Also a two-story affords more basic privacy, especially if there is an office area downstairs or master suite. There are many reasons that choosing a two-story home is right at the right time!

There are many reasons why a two-story home may no longer meet the needs of the occupants.

  • changes in your health or health of others

  • fear of falling down stairs

  • lack of mobility

  • addition or loss of family members

  • changes in marital status

  • changes in income or financial status

  • desire to economize on heating and air-conditioning

  • difficulty maintaining  either/both inside or/and outside

Are you experiencing any of these changes that might make you rethink moving to a one-story house?

Stairs can pose problems for older adults,  temporarily disabled family members, or even our aging pets. Laundry rooms whether up or down can be an added burden to the one responsible for gathering dirty or disbursing cleaned and folded items. A simple mishap or unplanned surgery can suddenly catapult a person into a immobile situation for a indeterminate period of time. A one story home might serve you better than turning your dining room into a recovery room!

Obviously here in Texas we love our pets. They hold a special place in the hearts of many, and of course, pets are not “disposables” to be carelessly tossed aside. Therefore, sometimes it is necessary to adjust our living situation to accommodate them as they age.

One of the more commonly expressed reasons  by “younger people” for needing a single-story home,  is that the aging parent may be joining their living situation. Even a split-level with only a very few steps up or down, to a person with ambulatory issues or to their assistant or caregiver, can seem like an insurmountable “mountain” to climb. And when traversing that “mountain” several times a day, it can be exhausting and stressful to both the one being cared for and the caregiver.

Nothing is more frustrating that thinking you will do a quick cleaning of the downstairs only to discover that all your cleaning supplies and or the vacuum, are upstairs. (invariably!) Supplies always seem to be down when you are upstairs, and always up when you are needing them downstairs! (But maybe that is just me!)  That never seemed to be a problem when  young and spry, abounding with energy, and in optimal health! However, when the superhero phase of our life is passed, heading up the stairs for a sponge or bottle of this or that  can be a “chore” in and of itself!


Most newer two-stories have a minimum of dual climate control. The more modern home can be made comfortable by regulating the temperature and only cooling or heating as it is needed within specific areas; however that is not necessarily the case in older non-updated homes. Many of them only have one heating/cooling unit and no way to manage the inside targeted  areas except by closing off doors (or hanging a sheet or quilt). In the winter, the heat rises and while everyone upstairs may be overly heated, the ones downstairs may claim they’re “freezing”! Likewise, the summer is similar. People downstairs are cold and those upstairs claim they can “hardly breathe”! Temperature variance in a two-story home is often a deal breaker and a stress maker. It can add a lot of frustration  for folks perhaps trying to manage a budget.

It is always better to prepare for future needs while there are less pressing circumstances. There is nothing worse than that sick feeling that you are now in a panic to find, close and renovate a home to meet your physical or financial needs.

If you want to investigate a single-story possibility, let’s start the process sooner rather than later.

And, if you feel this has been helpful to you or has at the very minimum caused you to stop and consider either your own circumstances or perhaps the living arrangements of a parent or other loved one, then I would love to meet and chat with you.

I will show you  all the possibilities and options, search for you and present available properties for your consideration. I will help you with lenders, title companies, surveyors, appraisers and inspectors if we need them. I am here to work for you if you want to buy and/or sell in order to make this change.

My goal is to assist you with an easy (hopefully stress-free) transition. After all this is what I am trained to do!

When Things Go South…

Perfect Stress Free Transactions…LOL

Everyone hopes to simply “sign” a contract to purchase or sell and just wait out the time and experience an event free closing. In a real estate transaction,whether you are the buyer or the seller, the possibilities of something going wrong are endless. But take heart, most of the time everything is “fixable” given enough time and “rolling up sleeves” on the part of everyone involved. This is where a good agent is of the utmost importance. Your agent will be the driving force to push through these little (and sometimes gargantuan) snafus and snags. Your agent will be the “coordinator” pushing, pulling (and possibly dragging) outside parties to sign missing papers, track down out of area persons, find missing information, diplomatically approach and smooth ruffled feathers of uncooperative parties and this is just the tip of the iceberg! The value of a knowledgeable, balanced and seasoned agent cannot be underestimated! Another absolutely essential quality of a great agent is the ability to maintain open communication with not only the lender, the title company, the different inspectors, but also the agent on the “other side” of the transaction. If either agent is confrontational, openly aggressive, and measures their own self worth by being a bully and a know-it-all they will hinder, stall or possibly stop your transaction. Team-work makes the dream work! Yes, the other agent represents the best interest of the other side of the transaction, but a hostile agent on either side can actually make the entire small snafu become mountains and minor difficulties become impossibilities. Each agent should be able to negotiate and present aspects of negotiation to their client and to the other agent. Communication is key!

Drama Queens Not Welcome!

Closing very difficult deals where the other agent is easy to communicate with and where the opposing representing agent realized we were all working to a common end makes for smoother endings. Good cooperating agents are willing to go  over and above their job and will do what needs to be done! There is not greater show of teamwork than when a problem arises, when the agent on the other side says “I am on it” and takes the bull by the horns. Time is of the essence in any real estate transaction and a good realtor on both sides, is also of the essence! There are enough issues to overcome without dealing with a drama queen! Empathy and cooperation is welcome, but there is no place for self-serving dramatics!

What could possibly go wrong?

The world of buying or selling is not always joyful. Bad things can happen. Some examples of what can go wrong, are encroachment, missing signatures on documents, arguing multiple heirs, last minute lender issues, bad inspections and negotiated repairs, changes in marital status, appraisals come in low, and the list is ongoing. Most things are fixable if approached with a positive outlook. Your agent needs to reassure all parties that this is just a hurdle we are figuring out how to get over. Once again, TEAM-WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!

And if it totally falls apart?

Well, it CAN happen! However, there is always plan B. Nothing happens by accident. You have to believe that there is a better deal, a better buyer, a better seller, but hopefully not a better agent. Your agent should literally jump on finding you a new contract. Hopefully, you have seen the value of your agent through all the bumps and potholes you recently encountered and can trust your agent to find you a new if not better contract.

After all, we all want the same end result – deal DONE!

A clean, uncluttered home SELLS!

Your listed home needs to be decluttered!

A home in total chaos or simply over-crowded can knock thousands of dollars off of your profit as well as “turn off” potential buyers.  Simply applying a bit of elbow grease and putting in a little time has the potential to raise your selling price by thousands.

Cleaning and decluttering is perhaps one of the greatest payoffs! 

No one wants to 'buy' your dirt and clutter.

They have their own to deal with!

Buyers often pass on a home that is not cleanly presented or because they cannot get past the clutter;

BUYERS need to be able to have a clear vision of HOW THEY COULD MAKE YOUR HOME – THEIR OWN! It is often overwhelming!

If you can't see the walls between pieces of furniture, or walk openly among the furnishings then you have too much clutter.

It's not just about being tidy, it's about space. Space is what you are selling; space for their sofa or dining table, room for their TV,  a spot for the desk!

It can be overwhelming, especially if you have lived in a home for many years and now need to attack all the nooks and crannies. It's going to have to be done anyway (at some point) for you to move, so begin! (OR even before you list your home).

Remember, you only have one chance at a great first impression!

Neatly stacked boxes in the garage just prove you are getting ready to move. (Or rent a storage building)

Determine to tackle one thing today, no matter where you are in the selling process.

Simply enter your email to download or print out this straight-shooting FREE TIPS LIST!

This is just the tip of the iceberg on what steps you, the seller, can do to help your real estate agent sell your home.

  • Painting the front door,
  • sprucing up outside trim paint,
  • keeping a neat and tidy yard,
  • making some obviously needed repairs,
  • and straightening the garage

We are a Team!

These small (or big) efforts all help to present an appealing possible purchase for the buyer. After all, you would not have listed your home if you did not intend it to sell.

Your agent is busy working in the background, promoting, showing, pre-screening, and often (in my case) praying for your home to sell and sell quickly. Team-work makes the Dream Work!

If you have some other great tips, please submit them below; We love to share ideas!

Buy, Stage, Sell – or FLIP IT FASTER!

Flipping house is a heck of a lot of work, great fun and very rewarding. The downside is you sometimes have to wait for a return. A couple of mini-tips for flipping are:

  • Buy cheap
  • Think of the end result. A house with good bones is what you are looking for. There might not even be a ceiling or even a roof.
  • Don’t get attached! You are not going to live in it!
  • Do repair and restore based on the best bang for your buck. In other words, don’t over-do but do it nice. Nice does not and probably should not be expensive.
  • Focus on Kitchen and Bathrooms. These two rooms sell your flipper. A honey of a kitchen (even if they never cook) and a updated gorgeous bathroom are what buyers want.
  • Stage it to Sell it!

Remember too much furniture and staging make a home seem smaller! Also some buyers have absolutely zero vision on their own so staging correctly to encompass the “decorating genius”, “the minimalist” as well as “the visionless” is the key! Sound difficult? Follow our tips and ideas below to do it right.

Offer great curb appeal

Pulling up to their potential new home should be a joyful experience for buyers. Whether a first time home buyer or seasoned purchaser, curb appeal is the first and most lasting impression, Give them the great first impression they’re hoping for with curb appeal that conveys a genuinely warm welcome.

Little things can really beef up the exterior. Think of replacing or adding stylish house numbers, updated porch lighting, and placing a cheery welcome mat.  Fresh painted front door in a classy color. Charming outdoor seating topped off by flowers or pillows in bloom may seem extravagant but make all the difference.

When a house looks cared for on the outside, it lets buyers know the inside has been maintained, too.

Create ambiance

Once potential buyers step inside, give them a personal, heart-string connection to the house. Remember to address all five senses:

  • Sight. Use flattering lighting throughout the house to brighten dark corners and create playful shadows. This includes canned lighting, floor and table lamps, hanging pendants, and under-counter spot lights.
  • Smell. Create a very subtle, pleasant scent throughout the house by lighting scented candles or plugging in an aromatherapy diffuser. Citrus, vanilla, and lavender as well as a home-baked kitchen scent are perfect choices. Make sure the smell is subtle, not overbearing.
  • Touch. Incorporate texture through fabrics that entice touching, which promotes a personal connection to a space. T-towel in the kitchen, soft throw over a chair, bath towel placed in bathroom.
  • Sound. Turn on quiet but peppy music, hang wind chimes, or install a water feature to relax anyone touring the house. These little noises also helps relieve the awkwardness.
  • Taste. It never hurts to have some cookies or a candy bowl ready! Also be sure to offer chilled bottled water. Place a note that invites endulgence.

Buyers are motivated and seduced by different senses. By appealing to all five senses, you’re sure to help potential buyers connect to the house.

Enhance floor space

If there’s one thing every buyer is looking for, it’s square footage. Play up every inch of it for them!

To make the house feel spacious, put breathing room around monochromatic furniture, and hang mirrors to reflect windows and room openings. Hang drapes high (or don’t use them at all), place large artwork on the walls, and lay down oversized area rugs. Do not block walls and windows.

Choose furniture on legs to create a sense of lightness, and use decorative knickknacks sparingly to increase surface space. Create a distant focal point, such as a plant at the top of the stairs or a beautiful pendant light at the end of a hallway.

Architecture: Don’t hide -Embrace

Even if your house flip includes some quirky architectural details, it’s best to show them off rather than try to hide them. After all, a house’s personality is part of its charm. And there is a buyer for every single house!

You haven’t flipped it till you’ve actually sold it, so hopefully these staging tips will help you in your endeavors. Selling your house is going to be so FLIPPING FUN!




So You Want To Sell it By Yourself (For Sale By Owner)

It is normal and understandable that as a seller you want to get the most for you home and come away with the best profit possible. There is no debate that homeowners do have the right to market their own property. The debate seems to be whether or not exercising that right is the best option. There are some facts that need to be taken into consideration before embarking upon this FSBO mission.  Below is a graph of some of the things your agent would typically do for you, that now will be your responsibility. If as a homeowner, you have plenty of time to be available for these duties, it should be manageable. It can be overwhelming, but it is doable. (And, we have a team in place and will attempt to help you if you find you cannot do it all.) And remember your agent negotiates on your behalf. WHEN YOU HIRE A REAL ESTATE AGENT TO SELL YOUR PROPERTY, YOUR AGENT REPRESENTS YOU AND NEGOTIATES ON YOUR BEHALF AS WELL AS DOING ALL THE FOLLOWING!

The Three Things Every Seller Wants

  1. Sell Quickly!
  2. Keep as Much Money as Possible!
  3. Do it with as Little Hassle as Possible! (now and in the future)

Best Way to Sell Quickly

The absolute best way of course is hiring a real estate agent to sell your property. A good real estate agent utilizes multiple avenues of advertising your property. Unless your property can be easily found, it will not quickly sell. Until the last few years, a home-owner could put a picture of their home in a local newspaper and the property hunters would scour the papers to find your home. However, today’s market is geared toward an entirely different type of marketing and it is marketed toward a totally new kind of buyer. Buyers today nearly want to qualify their interest in a particular property thru video tours, virtual furniture display, aerial views and other tech savvy exposures even before they physically make an effort to look at your home. Are you prepared to do these things, and would you know where to expose them? Most home owners do not, but a good real estate agent will. The quickest way to sell your home is to get your home’s availability broadcast as wide and fast as possible.

How to Keep As Much Money as Possible

Typically, a “For Sale By Owner” is an attempt to save on real estate commissions. And that is perfectly understandable.  However, the typical FSBO sells for about 10% less than a home listed with a Realtor, for several reasons. Usually, home owners may not be as savvy about pricing their home, mainly due to the lack of access to current market statistics. Given the fact that sellers think they are saving on the cost of hiring an agent the seller feels they can lower their asking price to be more competitive; hence, often pricing lower than market to begin with. Then usually an agent brings them a buyer so now they are having to deduct that percentage from the profit, which was already reduced. A buyer is not likely to offer full price (lowering profits again) and in fact, has an agent representing their interests and advising them to offer less. Furthermore, since the seller does not have anyone negotiating on his or her behalf, there is the uncertainty of whether or not to let this “bird in the hand” get away. Should we accept the offer? What if we don’t get another? Are we going to regret this later? Without a agent, the seller actually has no representation or a educated person to get advice from.

Is there such a thing as a Stress-Free Real Estate Transaction

The quick answer is NO! From the moment your home is on the market, your life is controlled by the hope of a sale. It took you some agonizing moments to decide to “stick a sign in the yard”, and that was just the beginning. From extra housekeeping duties, grooming of the exterior or curb impression and maintaining both immaculately, you may already feel overwhelmed with stress. Certainly, you will need to decide on internet advertising methods take pictures, make videos and upload them fairly often. “What a hassle”! And that is only the beginning. Buyers who see a sign in the yard “For Sale by Owner” think nothing of showing up without an appointment, during meal times, bed time for the kids, or as you are just walking in from work. There are also (what agent’s refer to as) “professional lookers” that just enjoy looking at homes for ideas and entertainment; and you after madly doing last minute grooming to the house,  will be unknowingly scheduling in valuable time to accommodate “just lookers”. Then there are the ones who call and make appointments and after your already busy schedule is placed on hold for them, they don’t bother to show or even call. Or, they DO show, tell you they want to buy,  negotiate a lower price, and assure you it’s a done deal;  you announce your home is off the market, only to find out they can’t even qualify for a loan. Now the you are back to square one. All the above are even before you start the paper train and inspections, and appraisals and required lender repairs etc. etc.


  • Your agent, first of all represents YOU!
  • Your agent will advise you on the best realistic marketable price for your property.
  • Your agent will fight to get you the most money for your property.
  • Your agent will pre-screen “lookers”.
  • Your agent will only show your home to pre-qualified buyers.
  • Your agent will meet other agents, unlock the door, so you can carry on as usual.
  • Your agent can brag on your house without seeming to be biased.
  • Your agent will take professional pictures, videos, and create eye-catching marketing flyers and ads.
  • Your agent will advertise to other agents who have buyers.
  • Your agent will target buyers at large with very specific marketing.
  • Your agent will provide forms to complete the purchase agreement.
  • Your agent will make certain that forms are completed correctly.
  • Your agent will make sure forms are correctly signed.
  • Your agent will ensure all time lines are met and adhered to.
  • Your agent will coordinate the numerous facets of a potential closing.
  • Your agent will have contacts to get done all that is required by a lender.
  • Your agent will be on a first name basis with most of the lenders and be able to move things along.
  • Your agent will make numerous trips to your home to meet appraisers, inspectors, repairmen etc.

The list goes on and on! Now do you still want to take on the task of selling yourself. If not, we would love to be your agent. Call Peggy Bush.  She will take good care of you!