Angela Sells DFW

Journey with me through my real estate, motherhood and Texas adventures

Archive for the month “May, 2013”

If you’re wondering where I’ll be Thursday…

If you’re wondering where I’ll be Thursday…

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” ~ Arthur Ashe

I love when people ask me if I like working for Keller Williams.  It is something that I’m passionate about and who doesn’t love to talk about their passions? (Okay, the G-rated passions, here people!)  I could go on and on for days about what a great company KW is and what their greatness has meant for me as a small business owner, Realtor, individual, Mom and wife but in the favor of time I am focusing on one of those reasons today: Giving back.

Once a year Keller Williams worldwide puts their entire business on “pause” to give back to the communities that we live in.  A whole company.  Worldwide.  Giving back.  Are you with me here?  That’s a big deal!  (For those of you mentally discounting this, Keller Williams also does year-round giving back with grants & donations with not only national tragedies but personal circumstances within our company’s agents, teams and offices so we aren’t a one-trick pony here when it comes to giving back.)

We call this day, Red Day.  Renew, Energize, Donate.  Each year on the second Thursday in May we celebrate Keller Williams Realty’s year-round commitment to improving our local communities.  By devoting our time to renewing and energizing our local communities, we participate in a wide-range of activities from rehabbing houses, updating local shelters, helping to revitalize public parks and helping Meals on Wheels participants with home maintenance that they’re no longer able to do.

We don’t just volunteer ourselves either.  We spend each year raising money to help fund these projects for people and non-profits who otherwise wouldn’t be able to reinvest in themselves or their efforts.

This event is just one of the many aspects of our company culture.  If you’ve worked with a Keller Williams associate before, you can testify about how we run our daily businesses but our company culture doesn’t just end there.  We put this culture and way of thinking on the forefront of our personal lives too and it becomes a passion that we care deeply for.

As Mark Ozman, associate with the Indianapolis/Carmel market center, wrote:

“RED Day isn’t about cleaning up a park. It is a one-day expression of what happens 24/7 in the Keller Williams culture. It is seeing a need, discovering who can meet that need and then getting it done.”


View some of the success stories from around the country here:

In 2011, we learned that there is no local shelter in our area to keep families together, and there are over 1800 homeless children in our county alone. Last year “60 Minutes” did a story on this tragic situation including Pathways to Home, which places homeless families and children of Seminole County in a house. Pathways also help these families get back on their feet through education and job opportunities.

So many people at our Market Center were touched by the cause that we decided to partner with the organization for Red Day 2011. So, last May 12, we set up a home for a family of 10 who had been separated in shelters for many months–two parents and eight children aging from two to 16. The house is a 3/2, 1200 square-foot home with an added room on the back, no garage and a nice yard.

As you can imagine, many weeks of preparation and planning took place to make this happen. Our agents reached out for donations–money, furniture, food, cloths, etc. We went to many stores and small businesses asking for support. And, it was amazing to see it all came together with donations of time and materials.

To see over 40 agents and volunteers come together to put up a fence, furnish the home, stock the cabinets with food and supplies, install blinds and landscape with almost 100-percent donated goods was an amazing experience.

The finished project is a happy family in a beautiful home. And, it is hard not to cry every time we watch the video of the family coming together to see their new home for the first time.

But, our project does not end here! We have committed to helping this organization throughout the year to get other families into homes as well. We are currently working on three more homes, setting up furniture, getting donations, supplying food and reaching out for help from our local business owners. There will be many more stories and memories to share and our agents are looking forward to making a difference in the lives of these local families.

Red Day is not just one day in May for us, but an ongoing effort to reach out and help others in need.

Sincerely, Alexandra Cope, Realtor Keller Williams Advantage Realty 1351 Alafaya Trail Suite 100 Oviedo, FL 32765

RED Day News

Kids Come First in Doylestown

Children ruled Red Day 2011 in Doylestown, Penn., as the Bucks County Central Market Center galloped onto Rainbow Ridge Farm. The farm, a non-profit program, that provides individualized equine related therapeutic activities to children with physical, developmental, social and emotional disabilities, was in need of some sprucing and general maintenance, noted Committee-Member Eileen Smith. “Over 35 participants showed up at 8:30a.m. to paint, clean and fix barns, garage doors, jumps, kitchens and more.”

Though the day was challenging, Eileen said Red Day draws a crowd and holds a special place in her heart every year. “Giving back to the community we service and knowing that you are impacting the lives of those in need in a good way is priceless.”

This year, Bucks County Central will be back on the Red Day saddle, but its focus will be Veterans. “In light of all who served during the Iraq/Afghanistan War, we are using this Red Day to say thank you in a special way,” Eileen explained. Keep your eye peeled for more specifics as May 10 draws nearer.

RED Day News

West Haven looks to Trump Red Day 2011 by Making it Green

The West Haven Market Center in Northern Florida is turning Red Day 2012 Green. Aiming to top the 50-plus participants who literally gave sweat, blood and time at last year’s event, West Haven is teaming with the Green Bag Project to hit the pavement and get local homeless children fed and off the streets.

“This year we are really looking forward to making our efforts bigger and better,” says Holly Nilges-Spivey. And, they’re literally planning to talk the talk and walk the walk.

“We will be hitting the streets handing out recycled green grocery bags throughout the neighborhood and asking the community to fill them with groceries to donate to the Green Bag Project,” Nilges-Spivey explains. West Haven hopes to grow awareness, educate and improve a less-than-desirable reality through face-to-face interactions and special-made fliers. And, all proceeds and food will go to local children in the community.

According to Nilges-Spivey, the team is consolidating its resources this year into one large project, as opposed   to last year’s three – Habitat for Humanity home build, local blood drive and a bowl-a-thon to raise money for KW Cares. “It’s always nice to pull everyone in the office together for one great cause. And, by combining forces we will be able to make a larger impact and help more of our neighbors.”

Keep an eye on West Haven Market Center’s Facebook page for KW Cares stories that inspire the group to do more.

A Look Back at RED Day 2011: KW Referred Realty in Toronto Paints the Town RED!

Toronto RED Day

On Thursday May 12, 2011, associates with Keller Williams Referred Realty celebrated RED Day by helping two local charitable organizations: Wychwood Open Door and Humewood House. Wychwood Open Door has been providing homeless and socially isolated people with guidance, food, friendship and support since 1986, and operates out of St. Matthews United Church. On RED Day, Keller Williams Referred Realty associates and friends painted St. Matthews kitchen and dining hall to provide a clean and welcoming environment for those who frequent the space. Humewood House is a Young Parenting Resource Centre, which offers young moms and soon to be moms residential services, life skills training, childcare, education and counseling. RED Day volunteers painted, cleaned and gardened at Humewood House to make the gardens and buildings beautiful for the young moms and babies that come to the Parenting Resource Centre for help.

How To Buy a House

I recently held a home buying seminar for not just first-time home buyers but second, third and fourth-time home buyers. The feedback that I got was that while most homeowners currently owned their home, they had forgotten how to buy a home and weren’t sure what to do with their current one. The other feedback I received was that first-time home buyers just didn’t know where to start. While the internet has a wealth of information available at our fingertips, it can sometimes be overwhelming so I thought I would break it down for you.

There are an infinite number of variables that come into play when purchasing a new home.  These variables are why it’s important to hire an experienced, seasoned agent with an eye for detail.  My PSA for the day: It costs you nothing as a home buyer to work with a REALTOR.  The Seller pays for your agent and their agent.  Don’t make the mistake that a lot of people do by not hiring your own representation.  Remember, the Seller hired their agent to work for their best interest and you should hire yours too.

Without further adieu, here are the steps to purchasing your new home:

1. Decide to buy.

Sounds easier than it actually is.  The truth is there are a lot of reasons decide to purchase a home.  There is never a wrong time to buy the right house.  Often times, by purchasing a home you create accidental financial leverage.  Did you know that the average worth of a renter is $8,400 and the average net worth of a homeowner is $184,000?

All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold onto it for the long run.  The most important rule for keeping your stress to a minimum is that you don’t have to know everything- leave that to your real estate agent!

2. Hire Your Agent.

Real estate agents can make or break your home buying experience.  Be sure that you feel 100% good (or awesome!) about your agent.  Purchasing a home is often times the biggest investment we make so be sure that you’re choosing a great leader to help you with that investment.

I recommend asking your agent questions about their knowledge and experience in your area and in your price range. A few simple questions will easily convey their ability. Client testimonials are also a great jumping off point!

3. Secure Financing.

Finding out what kind of financing works best for you, is very important.  By knowing this information up front, you will be positive you’re looking in the right price range but more importantly your agent will you know how to negotiate the contract in your best interest.

Whether you’re going VA, FHA, USDA or conventional it’s important to know the numbers up front.  Sometimes if you’re going through a first time home buyer program, you may have to attend classes ahead of time so it’s important to know about that upfront.  Have I mentioned how important is this?!

If you’re not sure where to turn to find a great lender, ask your agent!  We work hand-in-hand with lenders day in and day out so we can point you in the right direction.

4. Find Your Home.

Your experienced, seasoned agent will sit down with you and go over exactly what you’re looking for. We call this a Buyer Consultation. Your agent will know what questions to ask in order to help you define what it is you’re looking for. Once that’s complete, get out there and see some houses!

5.  Make an Offer.

When you find your dream home, it’s time to make an offer. This is where all of those important numbers come into play. Your agent will know how to write a “bullet proof” contract to help ensure it’s in your best interest.

6. Perform Due Diligence.

This is a critical step! This is when you should be getting your home inspected (it’s not required, but I HIGHLY recommend it!), talking to homeowner insurance companies about their rates and requesting any pertinent repairs. Your experienced agent is going to point you in the right direction of licensed individuals for inspections and awesome vendors for everything needed to complete your due diligence.

7. Close.

Once you have performed due diligence, it’s time to close. Prior to closing you will receive a HUD-1 which is a closing statement. This statement will outline what you should bring to closing in a cashier’s check (or wire). This amount will include your down payment and any closing costs associated with the purchase. The closing statement will also have your monthly payment amount and an outline of your loan terms in an easy to read (and understand) format.

8. Maintain Your Investment.

This is the fun part of homeownership! This is where it’s important to properly maintain your home by ensuring it’s always water tight, free of wood destroying organisms, free of debris and overall well kept! The fun part comes in updating different aspects of your home to suit your tastes and improve your home’s value!

In a nutshell, that’s how to purchase a new home. As I previously mentioned, there are a lot of different aspects to each step but that’s why it’s important to hire an experienced professional who can anticipate problems before they start in order to protect you and your future investment. If I didn’t answer all of your questions, please feel free to ask! I would love to hear from you!

For a FREE, e-book that goes a little more in-depth, click here.

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