Friday, September 18, 2020

What Would Be Your Bravest House Color?


If You Could Have Any Color of House What Would It Be?

Forget playing it safe.  Forget staying neutral.

What would you choose if you only had to please yourself?

Don't think about what your spouse would want,
or about resale or what the neighbors would think.

I'm not brave enough, but my house would be red.

Red like this. 

Photo courtesy

A color I've noticed becoming more popular . . .

Black or a dark gray that's nearly black.

This color combination is amazing!

Bold doesn't have to be bright, though.

Perhaps it's the unexpected pop of color itself that just makes you happy.
And you don't even have to live in London to do it.  

14 Trevor Square, Knightsbridge, London SW7

I remember a quip in Reader's Digest 
(years before I ever thought about becoming a Realtor) 
about a couple trying to sell their home, which was painted a shade of green they loved.
After no success selling it, they decided to paint it white, hoping to make it 
more appealing to buyers.
As they're in the middle of painting, the wife goes in the house and on the answering machine is a message from a couple interested in looking at the house - they LOVE the green color.  
Sometimes you can't win.
Do what you love.  It's paint.  It can be changed.

~ Judy ~

Monday, September 14, 2020

Remembering Past Homes


Memories of Past Homes

When you think of your childhood, are there certain places
where your mind naturally goes?

Your childhood home is an obvious one, but I think for many of us so are our Grandparents' homes, or other special relatives.

Ellie, admiring the huge Wolf River apples at Bilden's Apple Orchard, Elgin, Iowa.

My Grandma had an old white 1.5 story home on a corner lot with a pear tree, chestnut tree and beautiful spirea bushes that cascaded in front  of her house each spring.

There was a detached garage with a lilac bush alongside it, surrounded by Creeping Charlie.  Whenever I smell that aroma, I'm reminded of sitting between the lilac bush and the garage, tucked away as a child.  
Between her garage (with a manual garage door, of course) and her house was a worn path that led by the clothesline, attached to a tree.
It was simple and unassuming.
I loved that house, the yard - all things Grandma.

**  **  **
My Mom sold her acreage this spring and moved into town.  
Thankfully she's happy and adjusting to a new type of lifestyle.  
But it has been quite a year, aside from the obvious craziness of 2020.  

My youngest daughter, Ellie, struggled with
 losing Grandma's house on the farm.

The apple trees were her favorite - Lodi and Macintosh.
Butterflies clinging to tree branches in one corner of her yard for a few weeks each September were an annual highlight. 
Grandma's house is woven into her existence, and I'm so happy of that.  But it makes leaving hard.
It was emotional for me, and for all of us, for countless reasons.

The timing was right for my Mom though. 
She managed to find her perfect "next" home.
We consoled Ellie that we'd find a place to visit with apple trees; no, it wouldn't be the same as Grandma's,
but we'd come up with a new tradition.
Then we decided to plant apple trees at our house.  Unfortunately it won't be the same as Grandma's mature trees, but she took comfort in the expectation of future trees, loaded with her favorites.

**  **  **
Currently it's Macintosh time - a small, fairly early apple, as the harvest season goes.
The storm in the Cedar Rapids area impacted the orchard nearest us and their hours, so I decided to see what other places might be open.  A Google search  produced an orchard to the north of
where Grandma lives, but a reasonable drive.  No website, just a link to a newspaper article from years past telling about the couple and their orchard near Elgin.

I decided to call, figuring I had nothing to lose.  A friendly voice answered and I asked if they were open.  He said they weren't officially open but if they're around then they're open.  I asked if they happened to have Macintosh apples, because a person may as well get to the point.  He assured me they did and had picked 25 bushel.  

Saturday afternoon I called, as we had discussed, and coordinated a time he'd be available between other farm duties.  
If you haven't visited northeast Iowa recently, I definitely recommend it.  The drive is beautiful.
We drove through Wadena and eventually up to Elgin, arriving at Bilden's Orchard.  
Pulling in to the yard, I immediately noticed the stone that declared they had a Heritage Farm, established in 1866.  
That alone hooked me and I was intrigued.

Erling Bilden introduced himself as we met in the yard. 
Asking about the farm, I learned that it had been in their family for 4 generations.  And they're Norwegian.
Now I'm not Norwegian, but my daughters have Norwegian blood in them so I felt a surge of delight.
We soon got to purchase the apples we wanted - 2 bags of shiny Macintosh.  Plus we got a small tour by Erling and his wife Mary of the wood crafts they make and sell when the orchard is "officially" open.

You know what I really hoped for?  The chance for my daughter to get amongst the trees, just like at Grandma's. 

But you don't ask that of someone.  

However, I did ask if they have pumpkins and I was assured they did.  Except they were down by the orchard; did I mind? 

Along the way we strolled past a row of large white pine, softly scenting the air, as we wound toward the pumpkin patch and apple orchard, all the while chatting with Mary, who happens to be a native of my small hometown as well!

As I picked out pumpkins, Ellie got to get up close to the apple trees and marvel at new varieties she'd never heard of.
We were amazed by the huge Wolf River Apples, which can weigh over a pound each!

Conversation came easy and I explained Ellie's love of apple trees and that she was missing Grandma's small "orchard."  Mary and I discussed their future plans for their farm and how they hope it all works out for their children to carry on the tradition.
Because a 4-Generation farm . . .  that's not something you take lightly.  Hard decisions come to us all about places we love.

I hadn't expected our drive to an apple orchard to turn into something so comforting.  Nor did I think meeting this couple  and visiting their farm could make this first year's transition without our "farm" easier, but it did.

If you're looking for a place to visit, check out Bilden's Apple Orchard.  
18203 Bixby Avenue, Elgin, Iowa
They officially open Saturday, October 3rd at 10:00. 
But Mary warned visitors come early . . .

~ Judy

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Beautiful 2 Story in NE Cedar Rapids - 3 Beds/3.5 Baths


 New Listing!
3437 Sycamore Ct NE, Cedar Rapids

Friendly Neighborhood, Great NE Location 

This much-loved home needs a new family.

3 Bedrooms & 3.5 Baths
~ Easy access to all amenities around town
~ Little through-traffic on this idyllic court
~ Lovely 2-level Deck for entertaining
~ 1638 sf above and 505 sf finished in lower level
~ Walkout lower level with wet bar and bathroom
~ Lot size: 70' x 112' sides x 110'
~ Built in 1989
Schools: Pierce, Franklin, Kennedy

2 year old kitchen appliances: double oven/range, 
dishwasher & refrigerator
Backsplash in kitchen
Driveway replaced
Increased size of lower deck
Painted deck
Sliding doors in Sun Room, Dining Room and Basement

Tile foyer welcomes you to an open, airy living room.
The open staircases and vaulted ceiling create a dramatic feel.
A brick wall and woodburning fireplace make a beautiful focal point.

Note the traditional hearth and mantel.
The owners updated the kitchen 2 years ago with new appliances, back splash and fresh paint.
There's a spot for casual dining as well as room for a large formal dining table.  

The kitchen leads to a delightful sunroom that's cozy and comfy.

Off the kitchen and sunroom you'll step out on the upper deck.  You'll enjoy grilling and having an evening drink here.

Half bath on the main level
Heading upstairs . . .
A spacious master bedroom with a palladian window and window seat.

Master bathroom

Second bedroom has French doors.

Main bathroom for second floor
Third bedroom has corner windows for lots of light.

Finished lower level - make it into office space or a Rec Room. The sliders and windows keep it bright.
There's a walk-out to the lower-level deck with a handy wet-bar.  
Entertaining will be a breeze when you set this spot up with a small drink refrigerator and all your bar essentials.
Guests can help themselves.
A freshly painted 3/4 bath in the lower level.

Did I mention a great entertaining space?  
It really is lovely and perfect if you like to host friends.

Would this home be a good fit for you?
Call Judy at 319-551-3170 to have a look.

Thanks for taking our tour!


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Fantastic New NE Listing Nestled in the Trees

 New Listing!
3437 Sycamore Ct NE, Cedar Rapids

Wonderful Neighborhood, A Wooded Lot
It's a Perfect Combination of Home and Tree House

This much-loved home needs a new family.

~ Great NE Location with easy access to all amenities
~ Situated on a wooded court with little through-traffic
~ Rear of the home is tucked into the trees
~ 2-level Deck
~ 1638 sf above and 505 sf finished in lower level
~ Walkout lower level with wet bar and bathroom
~ Lot size: 70' x 112' sides x 110'
~ Built in 1989
Schools: Pierce, Franklin, Kennedy

Welcome to the open, bright living room.
Unique vaulted ceiling accentuates the brick wood-burning fireplace.Open staircases emphasize the light, open feel.

Off the living room is the dining room and kitchen.

Finished lower level - a great space for Rec Room.

Would you like to have a look yourself?  
Give Judy a call at 319-551-3170 or 
Steve at 319-551-3375.