Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let Leaning Trees Lean

Let's see, what is weighing heavily on my mind today? Several things come to mind but I could only write about them if I were writing this blog anonymously. There is an idea. I need to start an anonymous blog. I could really get some things off of my chest.

I'll just share this story since it did happen today. I realize that most ex spouses find it very hard to be civil to one another. Usually the only time they use their nice voices are if the children are present. I'm not sure how it happened, but I am blessed with being around my ex and he around me without either of us having an ounce of bad attitude. So many people ask how do we do it. For me, I heard a speaker about three or four years ago that said, imagine yourself standing and you draw a chalk circle around your feet about the size of a hula hoop. Now write the things that you carry around with you every day that causes you anger, sadness, or any overwhelming emotion. Then decide if you can change any of the situations that cause your mental or emotional stress. If you can't change it, thump it out of your circle. On a daily basis there should be very few things that really matter. The well-being of the ones you love and the well being of yourself. Whenever I start feeling agitated I think about what is causing it and I thump it out of my circle. I honestly do a thump in the air and say it's gone and try not to let it bother me anymore.

Back to today's story. Got up this morning and our dog was gone. There was a loose board on the fence and he found it and pushed through and escaped. After taking my son to school, I came back home and searched and then came home at lunch and searched. Then I called my ex who knew our son would be devastated if anything happened to his dog. So my ex and his wife got on four wheelers and started searching. His wife found Jordan. I met them back at my house. His wife and I talked while my ex fixed the fence. He wasn't fixing the fence for me. He was fixing the fence so our son's dog would not escape again. All three of us knew that and all three of us love that boy. It is just that simple. I appreciated what they did, so I was able to overlook the fact that he backed into one of my trees during the ordeal. Now every time I look at my crooked tree, I'll remember the day they saved Jordan.

May you be able to appreciate a leaning tree, there could be a special story behind it,

Michelle Perkins

Monday, September 29, 2008

If You Don't Have A Shovel, Buy One

Now we can talk crazy. Sometimes it is embarrassing to even say I have a degree in Journalism. I'm afraid I'll get lumped into the media category. I'm writing this blog as I make myself listen to the news. The media can put such a spin on any story and send folks running for the hills. Katie Couric, thinking she is the know all end all, is now trouncing on our Republican candidates. Could you at least be a little less obvious Katie? After all, you are to tell the story without bias. Wow those glasses you are sporting tonight are looking all too familiar. You just couldn't have Palin getting all of the attention, could you?

I think the next big investment will be anything that comes in a resealable tin can since we will all be burying our money in the backyard. Maybe I'll even invest in the companies that manufacture shovels while I'm at it. More shovels will definitely be purchased. Either to bury our money or bury all of the folks that are going to have heart attacks from this media circus.

When I first sat down to type, I was going to go with a totally different topic. Then lucky me, the news came on and I actually had the TV turned on. It started with the local news and I am certain our local channel searched all day to make sure they found the most hum drum person to comment on the economic situation. I would have rather listen to someone tell me how to boil water. Enough on that. If you missed it, be glad.

I'll actually get to that crazy blog one day.

May your shovel stay in the shed,

Michelle Perkins

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Edge

What a day for football. Brett won, TO lost, and Aaron didn't do so well. But enough about football. The Eagles are playing now.

I think today I'll talk about all of the folks that are teetering on the brink of insanity. I'm trying to figure out what exactly is sending them to the edge. I'm sure there is a correlation between prices of everything going up and the level of happiness going down. Let's face it. We are all under a great deal of stress right now. What to do? Do I move some of my money out of stocks? I don't think so because I have already taken the blow. How many more blows do you take? I'll just have to hang on to that rope by my fingertips for as long as I have to.

Do I buy some rental property? The prices are low and the folks who will be forced out of their homes due to foreclosure will have to live somewhere. If they follow the advice of a previous blog, and not live above their means, scooping up some more rentals seems like a good plan. It is a great way for those with really young children to pay for college. If you buy a rental property while your child is say five or younger and finance it for 15 years. When it is paid off, and you sell..there is your college money. Of course if you want to buy that rental property in Pitt County, you know to call me. It is a college town with the number of renters increasing each year.

I just started at point A and ended up at point J. I guess I felt more like blogging about real estate than the folks going insane.

Stay sane and buy some real estate,

Michelle Perkins

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm Back

I took a little vacation from blogging. Since you have been calling and wanting to know why I'm not blogging, here goes.

For some reason, I will have this blog almost finished and then all of a sudden it is all deleted. Now this is making me a bit agitated but I'll keep at it.

Holy smokes, did you see that Carolina game today? Just watch the ESPN highlight reel and it will be there because it was one for the books.

Last night was the first Cotillion for sixth graders. Having a son, it was a battle of wills. After enduring more sighs than one mother should have to hear, he had on his "church" clothes. Who ever knew having to wear a belt could cause one so much agony. Since he is only 11, I could not possibly go down the road of why don't you just try wearing a bra every day. Then there was having to say, buddy tuck your shirt tail in please. He certainly must have thought I said, now we have to put 100 fire ants in your pants. He would have probably opted for the fire ants now that I think about it.

So we get there. I'm totally worn out by this point. He gets his name tag and goes in. Gosh, he looked handsome. I did get pictures before we left the house, since according to him, I could not take the camera with me.

It was time to go get him. He didn't realize I saw him talking to other kids and laughing before he saw me. On the way home, well before we were even out of the parking lot, his shoes were off and the shirt tail was out. Although he didn't want to let on to me, I'm quite sure he had fun.

Now, once a month, I know what is in store for me. The dreaded getting ready period prior to Cotillion followed by the oh so proud moment when he shakes his host hand and says thank you for having me. I'd endure fire ants in my pants for that moment.

It's always worth the trouble, when a child is involved.

May you all have those proud moments; whether of your child or some one else you love,

Michelle Perkins

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Day to Remember

Today was a huge day for me. Although I have been a realtor for 2 1/2 years I have always worked on a team (I worked under someone else). I learned more in those few years than most people would learn in a lifetime. She is one of the best in the business and I was fortunate to observe how she ran her business. I recently moved to a new firm where I am on my own.

Now it is time to build a business of my own. Today I did my first listing under my name and my picture will be on the sign. It was a great feeling of accomplishment. So for today, no bashing of the latest topic that has a way of unnerving me. It is simply a day of smiles. Despite the blustering rain and the fact that somehow our dog escaped from the backyard. What do you know? The blustering rain has stopped and the dog ended up on the front porch. What a beautiful day.

Never mind the rain - just smile for today,

Michelle Perkins

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Did President Bush Read My Blog?

Have you ever heard the saying "don't beat a dead horse"? Well, I'm one of those people who find it necessary to beat a dead horse. Not literally of course. Donna and I have discussed the fact the we both have that quality. According to her, the stench alone would make most people run for the hills. Not us. We say, was that a dead horse? Let's turn around a take another look. That would not be enough. Let's get out of the car and look closer. Thus, yesterday's blog continues.

I really think President Bush read my blog yesterday. As I was listening to his address so much of what he said I have pondered. So if you didn't catch the Presidential address, just read my blog from Tuesday.

New thought for today. My friend Hannah and I were talking about the book "A Million Little Pieces". That was a controversial one. It was written as a true story and then after the author, James Frey, was on Oprah; it was uncovered that some of the book was untrue. Ok so some of it was not true. That did not take away from the fact that we thoroughly enjoyed the book. Enough so, that we even bought the next one titled, "My Friend Leonard". Actually I gave it to Hannah for her birthday that year. We loved that one too. If you haven't read these books, and have some time on your hands, go pick them up. Both can be a bit choppy, but once you get into the style of writing, it flows very well. Then again, I'm a bullet-point kinda girl.

A big shout out to the people who have friends that are as fabulous and dear as mine are. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

Here's to friends and an upturn in the economy,

Michelle Perkins

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The State of Your Economy

Unfortunately for some that are reading this, I saw Suze Orman on Oprah today. Now I am on a soapbox. I think she is a very intelligent person and she shoots straight from the hip. I am a huge fan of these two qualities in a person.

Now I'll explain the state of your economy in terms that even an 11 year-old could understand. This I know because I have discussed some of these issues with my 11-year old. Don't believe me? Ask him how much a barrel of oil cost?

Here is the plain and simple truth. If you need a credit card to get through the month (meaning you will not be paying the credit card off in full at the end of the month or cannot foresee ever paying the credit card off), you are living above your means. Ole Suze says so what if you think you should wear high-end clothes, drive a high-end car, live in a big house, not look at prices at the grocery store. If your expenses and putting some money in savings is greater than your income; you are living above your means. Get honest with yourself. Your friends and family know where you work and can guess about how much money you make. You are not kidding anyone. Usually they see you and think, "there's Tom, he spends more than he makes". It is time to get real. You are the one that will have to work until you are 110. If money is stressing you out, swallow your pride and live the way you can afford and not they way you want to be able to afford.

My former father-in-law (he's very smart too and shoots straight from the hip) was constantly saying "you won't stay afloat long with champagne taste on a coca cola income".

So you'll know, our country thought we could make good spending decisions and made the money available for us to borrow. What was not factored in was that much of America was like a goldfish that would eat itself to death. Folks sat there and said if someone is loaning me the money, I must be able to make the payments. Come on folks, when you signed the deed of trust or credit card receipt, you knew right then and there you couldn't afford it. Like Suze said, sure you didn't see the fact that you would be laid off coming; but where was that six months of income you should have had tucked away? Did you get a job that made something while you were looking for a job? Okay I'm done.

Always make more than the minimum payment,

Michelle Perkins

Monday, September 22, 2008

Intervention Time

Tonight is the night. On one hand I have Brett and the Jets and on the other I have "Intervention". Maybe it is really time for my friends to gather together and perform an intervention on me because of my addictions. First of all there is my football addiction, which by the way I am not giving up. That one hurts absolutely no one. It may make my blood pressure go up on occasion but in the grand scheme of things, I'm good with it. Second is my addiction to "Intervention". Other than the fact it coincides with Monday night football, I can lead a normal life and still watch the show. Besides football, it is my only "must see tv". Again, no harm, no foul. Next is Starbucks. You know you have a problem when you pull up to place your order and they say hey Michelle. Then they give you your cup and it has your name on it versus what you ordered. That is like Norm walking into Cheers. The way I see it, there is no bar that would begin fixing me a drink before I sit down and I will not be locked up for drinking Starbucks and driving. Until a Starbucks purchase determines if I will or will not be able to buy groceries for my child, I see no problem.

These are all addictions and do not prevent me from working or being a mother. Now there are some character flaws of which I am well aware. The fact that I am aware of the problem areas is a step in the right direction. I will most likely have to handle these one at a time in a future blog.

Do you need some new photos or family portraits? It would make an awesome Christmas gift. If so check out my cousin's website: mistyhudsonphotography.com or her blog mistyhudsonphotography.blogspot.com She has a great eye for detail and is always looking for new places for her shoots.

Patiently awaiting my intervention,

Michelle Perkins

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Corn Hole

I'm back. I had beyond a doubt, the most exciting time this weekend. I found out Friday afternoon I had a ticket to the ECU-NCSU game. This was thanks to my cousin Misty who came through in about five minutes flat after my request to go to the game since she was going. I got to see her friend Kristy again who I think is also fabulous. We'll get to Kristy again in a bit.

Now let's talk about the folks from Roxboro. I am accompanying Misty and Kristy on their usual tailgating affair. This was no bring your bucket of KFC tailgating. No sir. This was top of the line, RV, flat-screen TVs, pig on the cooker, all the sides you could ever imagine tailgating. A big shout out to Stan (from Roxboro no less) for his hospitality. I told you I would get back to Kristy. I was introduced to the game of Corn Hole. Not knowing what to expect, I was a bit worried about playing Corn Hole. What you do is toss bean(maybe it's corn) bags into the hole on a wooden platform. It is set up much like horse shoes but you are trying to toss these corn bags into the hole. Being the green corn hole player, I was last picked for a team and Kristy was stuck with me on her team. Call it beginner's luck, but Kristy and I are the corn hole champs. I forget how many games we won. Oh yeah, that's right, we played seven so of course we won seven.

I can only hope that I get invited back to this afternoon of fun!! Now that I know where Roxboro is on the map and how great the folks from Roxboro are, I may just have to road trip to the town some day.

Thanks again to all for such a good time. I didn't even mention the game. What a game! It just doesn't get any better.

May you all have the chance to play "Corn Hole", from one of the champs,

Michelle Perkins

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Saved $12.00 Over the Last Four Weeks

Real Estate is such an interesting, ever-changing line of work. I enjoy looking at homes, selling homes, crunching numbers, taking folks to get coffee and just talking. Today was really busy getting settled into my new routines and reflecting on the many ideas I learned from the Ninja Course I just took. It is going to be interesting doing things differently and in a fun way.

Now, I bet you are dying to know, how I saved $12 in a month. I had this habit of every week while checking out at the grocery store, I would throw into the cart one of those weekly what are the stars doing magazines. I got great pleasure out of reading the magazine. Yeah, I know I could have done other things with my time but it was a way to release stress. I'm not convinced that giving up that pleasure for a month was worth saving the $12. I've checked my pockets and have yet to find the $12. So was it really worth it? What I can honestly say is that I did it and from now on I am not going to be on automatic pilot and look for the magazine while checking out. It became part of my routine. Anything you do for at least 29 days becomes habit. I learned that at the conference. So now I have a different routine. It will be much easier to breeze through check-out without throwing a magazine into the cart.

I'll have $50 more than I would have had by Christmas. Maybe I'll add someone to my Christmas list. That someone could be you!!

Keep saving pennies,

Michelle Perkins

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Bucket List and Other Lists

Wow, I am back home and can't wait to get me new systems in place for my business. Unlike many other "how to" seminars, this one is truly doable. I can't wait to talk to my friends and family. The Ninja system will actual allow me to talk to the people I already like more often and add a jump-start to the business.

Speaking of things to do. As I was driving home today and singing to the top of my lungs, I remembered that I had not yet seen the movie, The Bucket List. I do enjoy Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson and so the movie has to be good. I can also visualize my best friend and I having a list of things we want to do before we die and actually trying to do those things. That made me think of a new show that starts this fall. I think the name of it is The Ex List. From what I've seen of the previews, it could be quite funny. Apparently there is a single woman on the show and she can't find a descent guy (you see why it grabbed my attention). Her friends had her make a list of all of her ex boyfriends and she is to go out with them again to make sure she didn't toss out "the one". Maybe she just wasn't in the right frame of mind when they initially dated and she needs to take another look. You see my ex boyfriends list could fit on one of those little flecks of paper that falls on the floor when you tear a sheet of paper out of a composition notebook. So in my case, I wouldn't have enough material for an entire season of shows. A 30-second ad during the show would pretty much cover it. What is even sadder is the fact that I would have to pay to air it.

Here is my take on comparing the movie and the tv show. One is about the things you want to do before you die. The other is about things you have already done, stopped doing for a reason and for some reason want to do again. This in itself would have qualified as a chapter for that book I started writing with stories my friend Donna and I have discussed about our lives. I'll tell you about stories in the unfinished book someday.

Here's to doing only what you want to do,

Michelle Perkins

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad Date Requirement

I am at a conference and learning tons about the current real estate market. Obviously, I am adding to my wealth of real estate knowledge.

What I really want to know is what is the bad date threshold? I'm thinking there has to be one. If the old saying (I am not sure if this is an old saying or if it is just what my friend Donna says) "even a blind squirrel will eventually find a nut" holds true, I should have stumbled upon a good date by now or at least had more dates than I have had. Once I thought I was just a bad chooser. Then I realized that I am not even choosing. When growing up, I always felt so bad for the kid that was always the last one chosen to be on a team. Now I am that person. Maybe that is why the few dates that I have had are bad. I am getting stuck with a team (date) because the other team did not want them. Statistically speaking (somewhere I read this), if you have not remarried within two years after divorce, your chances of remarrying are like less than 15%. Let's just say, I am past that big two year mark. I'm not even in search of a husband. I would just like a nice date.

So if you are reading this and know exactly how many bad dates you have to endure before there is a good one, please let me know. The countdown is on!! Oh and don't say it is attitude. I go on each date with a possitive attitude. Any other advice would be welcomed.

Only good dates to all,

Michelle Perkins

Monday, September 15, 2008

Not So Much About a House

Last night I had the opportunity to read "Clever Girl's" blog. I wish I could meet her. I think we would get along really well. The blog also made me re-think my blog. Let's face it. If someone wants real estate advice, there are tons of websites that will come up way before mine will. So now I am going to write about the things that make me laugh.

I have started a book that I find hysterical. Will it ever get finished? I'm not so sure. So now I'll take to writing a blog each day and in a way, that will be my book. I do know lots about real estate but here, you will learn about me.

I'll try to stick to just one topic a day. I don't know about you but once I get going, it brings up so many other things that I need to get off of my chest. Now that fall is here and Monday night football has begun, I have a huge problem. I got hooked on this show over the summer that comes on of all nights, Monday. The show is "Intervention". Go figure, the one show I am addicted to is about addiction. Now on Monday nights I'll be wearing out the channel return button on my remote. The only two programs during the week that I make sure that I watch come on at the same time on the same night. I know you are saying just record one of them. I do not own a DVR and we are in a recession and my one night obsession doesn't seem to warrant the purchase. No kidding, if you haven't seen this show, check it out.

I'm at a conference now and not in my usual setting and so I am hurriedly blogging today. Once I get back to my usual routine, I'll let you know what I am really thinking.

Great day to all,

Michelle Perkins

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Buying a Home in Pitt County?

Yes, we are at a point in the real estate market where buyers can be picky. There are a lot of homes on the market and before we go out and take a look, make a list of the features you want in your home. Don't exhaust and frustrate yourself by looking at probably over 100 homes in your price range just because they are simply in your price range. What is most important to you? You will tweak what you really like once you have seen a few homes and have driven through a few neighborhoods. Ask me some questions. I'll be asking you a lot of questions as we go through the process. We have to make sure we are on the same page. I will listen to your needs and we will find that perfect home for you and your family together.

The Colts game just ran a bit over and now it is time for Brett and the Jets to play. Since the outcome of this game could change my mood dramatically, I wanted to write today's blog before it got started. A big hello to my friend, Andrea. I know you are watching Brett. When Brett is on, everything is going to be just fine (for a few hours anyway)!!

A great Sunday afternoon to all,

Michelle Perkins

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fall Spiders and Your House

Halloween is just around the corner and many will start to decorate for the season. Sometimes this will include the fake spider webs. What a buyer does not want to see is real spider webs or spiders on your front porch before they view your home. It seems like in the Fall, spider webs appear over night. Add making sure there are no spider webs on the front porch to one of your children's chore list. You don't want to lose a potential buyer on the door step. I'm sure you will find some webs on my front porch, but once you put your home on the market the webs must be kept under control.

Did anyone see those ECU Pirates today? What a season it is shaping up to be!

Michelle Perkins

Friday, September 12, 2008

It's Friday

We have all made it to the weekend. I can't help but mention how those Tar Heels played an awesome football game last night. It is quite refreshing to witness how Carolina football has taken a turn for the better.

More on curb appeal: Does your pine straw need freshening? Has your shrubbery been properly trimmed? Fall is a great time to do all of your pruning. Make sure you can see your windows and any other special architectural details of your home. Your front porch should be spotless. If a buyer is pleased with the yard, the next stop is the front porch where the lock box for the property is usually located. They will be looking closely to make sure it is clean and in good shape.

I'd love to walk with you on your real estate venture. Give me a call at Aldridge & Southerland Realtors in Greenville, NC. I can always be reached at (252)531-0515.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Day to Reflect

Today is a day of reflection. Let's all remember those who have had a lasting impact from the tragedy our country experienced on 9/11.

Curb Appeal: When selling your house, first impressions are lasting impressions and set the stage for how a buyer will perceive the entire house. If the outside is not aesthetically appealing they carry with them the idea that the inside will be much of the same. Give a potential buyer nothing but high expectations as they drive up to your house. Their overall attitude will be more positive once they open the door. Don't disappoint!! Get that good feeling going.

More tips to come. You can reach me in Greenville, NC at (252) 531-0515. I look forward to hearing from you.

Michelle Perkins

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I've just moved!

I have just moved over to Aldridge & Southerland Realtors in Greenville, NC. It's a different company which is owned and operated by local Greenville people. Who would know more about the area, the changes it has seen and expectations for the future? I am excited to make this transition and continue doing what I love: learning more about real estate and making your home ownership dreams come true.

It is a very busy time for me but I will be posting hints for selling your home and the lastest buying trends in Pitt County. Send me a message with any of your real esate questions and I'll assist you in finding the answers you need.

Much more to come...

Michelle Perkins