Your Kitchen’s Role in Your Home

by seacoast_ashley 20. August 2015 16:13

Your Kitchen’s Role in Your  Home

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On most afternoons, usually around 4:30pm, you can find me frantically searching the Internet for recipes utilizing the few ingredients that I have in the pantry. I am in this dash because at some point I got too busy--and forgot that I need to stop at the grocery store. Around 5:30pm, I have usually given up on my Internet searches, and given into just cooking everything that I have.

By 6:30pm, the family is all sitting around the table--some content and some grumbling-- over the “rice bowls," “big salads," “homemade soup,” or “pasta thingy” that I have concocted.

By 7:00pm we are talking and usually laughing about something funny the 2-year-old did or some crazy thing that the 4-year-old has decided to invent. And in those moments all of the food stresses have vanished and we are fully and presently with each each other. The whole family knows that we will do it all again tomorrow.

No matter what food is eaten there is a special togetherness that eating with the family fosters.

I grew up with a grandfather who farmed almost everything that my grandmother made. A few times a week our family would casually stroll into their house and have dinner, watch PM Magazine, and talk. On the days that we didn’t eat from my grandfather’s garden, my father would cook elaborate versions of soul food that far outweighed even my mother’s most ambitious meals.

I can remember every detail of my grandparent’s kitchen. I know what the countertops were made of (a white formica with tiny gold flecks), what was in each of the cabinets, and most certainly where my grandmother hid sweets. My mother still owns the table that my grandmother so extravagantly set night after night (with only white plates, bowls, etc. and Smurf glasses from Hardee’s), and when I enter my mother’s kitchen I am immediately taken back to dinner as a child.

My parents grow a lot of the food that they cook, and I can trace some of those smells back to toddlerhood. I also know that a proper tomato sandwich is made of only whole bread, Duke’s Mayonnaise, home grown tomato slices (heirloom), and a sprinkle of black pepper. It is best served with a cold Coke.

As many of you who follow the blog know, my family is in the midst of moving. We are under-contract on a house that does not have the greatest kitchen: but I am determined that when we move in, that kitchen will house the memories that my kids will look back on. It is in that kitchen that I will try to replicate (and hopefully one day master) my father’s soul food and my grandmother’s cottage cheese pie. The point is THE KITCHEN IS IMPORTANT!

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For me to work my kitchen magic I need 3 things; sturdy counters, room for five, and a nice set of pans. The backsplash (I want subway tile), the appliances (stainless would be nice), and the cabinet color (these will one day be refaced) really are just minor details in the story of my kitchen. I am willing to give the minor details up for countertop cupcake making, loud excitement whether it be over a ball game or tears over a broken heart, and the ability to just whip up what I already have in the pantry (granted I made it to the grocery store anytime in near past).

Trends in kitchens change. Some are beautiful and some are questionable after a decade. Big is nice, but small can feel just as nice. Let your realtor show you some things that aren’t on your wish list. Let them guide you into a memory maker. Let go of perfect unless it's going to make your tomato sandwiches top notch!

What role does your kitchen play in your family? Join the conversation.

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty

To see some of the kitchens packed with loads of potential in our area

http://www.seacoastrealty.com/

Ode to Realtors - What My Realtor Needs to Know

by seacoast_ashley 28. April 2015 08:34

There are moments, some huge and some just tiny snapshots, that mold my view of the places that I have called home. Some places were short-lived but still hold a snippet in my memory; some places are still in my life and fill my memory with family, happiness, sadness, smells, and sounds.


My current home is the one that seems to be taking up the most space in my brain. This home has seen my first years of marriage, first “adult” jobs, babies being carefully carried over the threshold. There have been old pets living out last days, and new pets exploring a yard for the first time. Children have taken first baths, taken first steps, and learned to dribble and shoot basketballs here.

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My family has grown, and is often the case with many sellers, I am having a hard time imagining making memories in a new house. I have narrowed down the wish list to things that my family will need in the future. Our little ones will not want to share a bedroom forever, and so we added an extra bedroom as a must. Our family will not always want to be in the same room, on the same couch, sharing the same blanket. A house with not quite so much of an “open floor-plan” was added to the must haves.


Whatever a seller’s reasons are for selling, most of the time it is not a rash decision, but rather one that involves replaying the memories of what made a house a home a thousand times over. There is the acceptance that at the sale of the house means that the memories of that place will stop layering in the mind and heart.


Here comes the great part! After the sale of our house we will begin looking for a new memory maker. We will excitedly begin imagining ourselves planting a garden in unfamiliar soil, or soaking in an amazing tub that we currently do not have, we will picture shutting the door to the kitchen! Adventure awaits!


Real estate brokers play a bigger factor in our lives than we ever really take time to think about. How do we choose our Realtor? These are the people that are often choosing the homes that they think would fit us and our families. These are the people that can visualize the future for us when we are unable to. Choosing a Realtor is way more important than I previously thought.


I realized very early on that I really needed to trust and like my agent. I needed to know that this person would understand that leaving our current home would be a BIG deal for us. That the whole experience was not just rooted in money. I also need a realtor that understands that I am making a decision for five people. All five people will be calling the next place home for quite some time. And, I want all five people to be able to build incredible memories in a place that they love.


To be able to convey to my realtor what this move is about, I need to define the word “home” for myself and each of my family members. For myself, home is a place where I can cook for and take care of my family, and a place that I can find space that allows me to calm down when poop, or throw-up, or a vast array of other liquid items hit the fan. For my husband, home would be a place that he is able to explore his surroundings, encourage our children to get dirty, spread his messes without fear, and pursue his artistic endeavors. For my kids this home will need to be a place that they feel safe, a place that allows them to grow both closer and away from each other, and a place that they will be able to make lifelong friendships.


My Realtor holds a huge amount of responsibility. The trust that we have for our real estate agent is immeasurable. We know that this person will guide us into the next phase of our lives. We trust that they will be educated, and will know where we can save some money. They will know the legalities, the way to fill out forms, our best options for everything from home inspectors to loan officers. We trust that they will be personable and kind and truly love what they do because we will surely need them to be excited on the days that we are not.  We trust that they will know where to find what it is we are looking for, and if they can’t find it, or if  it doesn’t exist that they will guide us in a way that opens our eyes to different possibilities.


This piece started as an Ode to Home and ended up as an Ode to Realtors! Home and realtors...like peanut butter and jelly!


Moving is a huge deal filled with lots of emotions. Why are you buying or selling? What kinds of traits are you looking for in your realtor? Tell us on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/seacoastrealty


With well over 400 Agents, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage is the largest Real Estate Firm in Eastern NC, If You need a Realtor I would highly urge you to look here

http://www.seacoastrealty.com


Realtor.com article on What to Consider When Choosing a Realtor

http://www.realtor.com/advice/designations-understand/


Nice Article on Choosing the Right Listing Agent

http://www.frontdoor.com/real-estate/how-to-choose-a-great-listing-agent


Questions to ask Potential Realtors

http://realtormag.realtor.org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-for-customers/for-buyers/questions-ask-when-choosing-realtor

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