Buyers:¬† 3 Easy Steps on How to Get Your Offer Accepted (Even in a Seller’s Market)

Real Estate

To all the buyers out there that have ever experienced the heartbreak of losing a home they loved to another offer, here are 3 top tips to never experience the loss of your dream home again.

1. Work with a Realtor Who Knows What Works

Of course, if you’re in Charlotte, NC the only step you need to get your offer accepted is to work with me, an expert Charlotte Realtor. I know how to get offers accepted. But if you’re not so luckyūüėÄ you want to work with a Realtor that knows how to put your offer in the front of the sellers over any other offer on the table. There are several ways to do that it takes a Realtor that knows the market. It also takes a sixth sense in which a Realtor just knows what has to be done to win over your offer over the other offers the seller is considering. This careful footing requires a mix of experience and intuition.

2. Put Some Skin in the Game

If you are a buyer and you’re really set on a home, to the extent that you have already pictured your children growing up in the home, prom pictures and backyard weddings than in order to have a strong chance of getting your offer accepted over others it’s best to put some skin in the game. What do I mean by skin in the game? Offer Due Diligence and Earnest Money along with your offer. The due diligence fee is the amount paid by the buyer directly to the seller, which the seller keeps no matter what. If the deal closes, the buyer will have that amount credited back at closing. But either way, that amount up front is the seller’s to keep. earnest money is a deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s  earnestness or good faith in a transaction. I typically see earnest money deposits ranging from 1%-3% of the purchase price. For example, On a $300,000 transaction, a buyer in the Charlotte market would typically make an earnest money deposit of $3,000-$9,000. The earnest money deposit is not set and is to be negotiated between the buyer and seller. If you want to catch the attention of the seller then it is suggested to offer both Due Diligence and earnest money.

3. Have Everything Ready to Go

Having a strong offer and having your offer ready to present to the sellers will put your offer to the front of the pile in a multiple offer situation. Having everything ready includes having your pre-qualified/ proof of funds letter from a qualified lender, a fully completed offer from your realtor, and copies of your due diligence and earnest money check. If the situation calls for a personal touch it would not hurt to tell the sellers in a letter why you love the house and send it in the offer packet.

There are some tricks I simply cannot post that get my offers accepted happily every time but for the typical buyer, you can’t go wrong if you follow the 3 tips above on how to get your offer accepted, even in a seller’s market. I wish you all to have the house of your dreams!

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Top 5 Tips on How Not to Annoy a Real Estate Agent (but no agent will tell you)

Real Estate

Okay, we Realtors understand how not to annoy our clients. We know what makes clients happy. Y’all love Realtors to respond promptly to you, be on time, don’t be a pushy salesman, know the market well and be the first to get you the new hottest listings. We know! But these tips are for Y’all this time. Here are tips for buyers on how not to annoy your Realtor!!

1. Free Home Sightseeing Field Trips

If you know you’re not in the market to buy a house do not ask a real estate agent to show you houses. Any experienced and successful agent will qualify a buyer appropriately. A Pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is the best resources we have to ensure customers are a ready and able buyer. If you know you don’t want to buy now start by visiting open houses in your area to get an idea of what’s available on the market. Asking a Realtor to show you houses if you have no intention of buying a house like nails to a chalkboard to a real estate agents ears. To be clear it’s like your boss coming to your desk and saying we don’t want to pay you right now but we want you to keep working and if we decide to pay you we will let you know when the time is right. I can imagine the look on anyone’s face if their boss actually said that out loud.  

Let’s say you are on the fence about homeownership but you still want to look at some houses. Let’s say you fall in love with a house a Realtor showed and you ask your Realtor to put in an offer for you. A strong offer includes proof of funds I.E. a Pre-approval letter. Even if you are confident you can afford the house your offer most likely will be turned down over another offer that already includes proof of funds. Perhaps you really fall in love with a house and you don’t know if you can afford it but you’ve seen the house and you have to have it now. By the time you are able to get pre-approved in this market the house will most likely already be under contract with another buyer who was more prepared. Let’s say you love a house that’s out of your budget in a neighborhood you can’t afford, then any house after that won’t be good enough and you’ll be clinically depressed. 

On the other hand, If you want to buy a house but you don’t know if you are financially able to buy, or you are not sure how much you can afford a Realtor can help you with a solution(in advance). A Realtor can connect you with a mortgage broker if you don’t already have one. A good mortgage broker will be able to tell you if you can afford a home, which type of loan is best for you, how much house you can afford and what your potential monthly payment might be, based on the current interest rate. Ask the mortgage broker how much you can qualify for and get a pre-approval letter. If you are pre-approved then you’re ready to start looking at houses with a Real Estate Agent!

2. A Realtor’s Work is Never Done?

False! Guess what, we got lives. It doesn’t mean we won’t do our best to get ahead of any issues and answer you promptly but let’s put this in perspective, no one will crash and burn if agents answer your email only during business hours.  I know you don’t want to hear this but some of us agents have families, other clients, friends, and travel plans. It is buyers etiquette to ask what hours your real estate agent typically works and stick to that, as any professional with good boundaries do not work 24 hours. 

3. Be Loyal 

Before I was a Realtor I had no idea it was wrong to work with two agents. Now it seems so clear but I just assumed whoever found the house I wanted would be my agent. Wrong.  Realtors put a lot of work upfront to find the perfect house for you and if one weekend you decide to work with another agent because your Realtor was in a meeting it shows no consideration or loyalty. We don’t like those types of customers. The best thing to do is sign the buyer’s agency with your agent as this protects you in the long run. A buyer’s agent is simply an agreement that says your Realtor represents you and has your best interest at hand otherwise the agent represents the other side by law and has to disclose anything you tell them to the other side. Protect yourself and sign. 

4.You Get What You Pay For!

Do not ask for a discount unless you want discounted services. What you may not know is agents do a lot to ensure your home closes smoothly (on the buying or selling side). Keep in mind Realtors don’t have a salary or get paid until the end of the transaction.  However, our job is not done at the closing table good agents follow up and keep in touch to make sure clients are enjoying their new home. Agents put time effort, heart, and resources in every transaction in advance. In addition, we split our commission with our agency. The final number we receive is not what it appears to be in the closing disclosure. If we are selling your home, for example, we are doing the job of many people including but not limited to an in-house therapist, planner, marketing and selling VP and we act as a Bill Clinton top-level negotiator just to name a few. 

For those of you who still don’t see whats wrong with asking your agent for a discount Here’s a quick example to put this in perspective of why it is improper to ask your Realtor for a discount, if your boss came to your desk (again) and said I need you to work on this special project but we don’t want to pay you a full salary because we can’t afford to, it would take too much out of our bottom line. However, we want you to work the same amount of time and effort for less money. Would that be okay with you? No! and you will lose respect if you abide. According to the national association of Realtors, Ninety percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home. In Charlotte, it was 94 percent.  The best way to sell your home is to list your home on The MLS that only Realtors have access to. working with a Realtor is the best way to have a smooth closing and receive the best price for your home.

5.Put Some Respect On It

Don’t mistake your Google search for my Real Estate license! Just-said-it!  Put some respect on it!! Be informed but don’t be a know it all. Remember Realtors are on your side we want you to have the home of your dreams and help you to make the most profit on your home that the market will allow. We work hard for you. Again please respect us, be kind thoughtful, have a great attitude and ask questions if you don’t understand.

Lastly, don’t forget us! The way Realtors make a living is mostly through referrals so if you did have a good experience with your Realtor tell everyone you know about your positive experience. Tell your friends family, neighbors, Facebook friends, co-workers, and church members, for God’s sake. Don’t forget to write a 5-star review for your agent on any online platform you use including  Google, Yelp, Zillow etc. 

If you stick to these tips most likely you won’t annoy your Realtor! No promises. 

Get To Know Charlotte’s Expert Realtor: Tina Whittaker

Real Estate

‚ÄčI‚Äôm originally from Bloomfield Hills, MI.  My family and I moved to Paris, France while I was in high school where I graduated from The American School Of Paris.  This experience inspired me to study International Business Marketing and French at Eastern Michigan University. After college, I moved to Miami, Florida to escape from the harsh Michigan winters.  This is where I learned true grit and resourcefulness, such as how to parallel park in the tightest of spaces, negotiate rent prices, find the best Cuban coffee, and survive hurricane season.  In 2007, I decided to move to Charlotte, one of the top thriving cities for young adults.

Moving to Charlotte was the best decision I‚Äôve ever made!  I‚Äôm familiar with a variety of neighborhoods in Charlotte as a result of living in many areas, including South Charlotte, Huntersville, and Northlake. In 2012, I purchased a home in the new and hip Charlotte neighborhood, Windsor Park. I am happy to report I was able to sell that home for 75k more than I purchased it for just 5 years later.  My professional background includes entrepreneurship, executive level management experience, and working in marketing for two major companies headquartered in the Charlotte area.

I’m delighted to work as a Realtor licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. I look forward to meeting new, amazing clients. I am passionate about helping others find a home that they cherish, securing the best deals for families, selling homes at the highest value and helping first time home buyers!

When I am not working in real estate, I enjoy eclectic hobbies including writing, studying French, entrepreneurship, water aerobics, international and domestic travel, and riding my bike with my rescue dog running alongside of me. I also enjoy yoga, playing basketball, live music, dining with friends, volunteering, going to the movies, current events and attending church.

Contact me today if you’re looking to buy or sell a home!

 Tina Whittaker

Wilkinson ERA Realty

Realtor¬ģ Broker NC/SC

Cell: 704-657-3381 Email:Tinaewhittaker@gmail.com

 


Uptown, beautiful condo for sale. Buyers contact me today! $634,900 3 bedrooms 3/1 baths

Real Estate

City View Terraces Phase 3 condo!

CVT 3 now features a rooftop HOT TUB! Phases 1 & 2 are sold out! In addition to the awesome upgrades included in phase 2 (rooftop kitchenette, pocket WINDOR 3-4′ glass panels that slide into the wall opening up the entire 12’X8′ doorway to balcony). Master BR features claw foot tub, large 5’X5′ walk-in shower, Juliet balcony & gas fire place! Our designer spends dozens of hours with buyers allowing them to customize their condo, picking out each light fixture, tile, paint, stain, etc. Call me today if interested in putting in an offer with me as your expert buyers agent call me :

Tina Whittaker

Cell: 704-657-3381 Realtor NC, SC Wilkinson ERA Real Estate

Email:Tinaewhittaker@gmail.com

Airbnb Fail: ‚ÄčThey Took back the fan….

Travel, Uncategorized

 

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Finally, I¬†made it to France. I was ready to settle into my Airbnb French abode. So ¬†. Ready 123…I was so happy to arrive. The host’ main language was Portuguese. They were a husband and wife team from Brazil. The language created a small barrier¬†to communication but we were able to get through it. I arrived in a personal cab. Although I was scared for my life and my wallet. But, the cab driver seemed alright despite his body odor! I didn’t have cash so the taxi had to take me to the nearest ATM once we arrived at the Airbnb location. The host husband told me later not to take personal cabs because they could be part of the mafia. He suggested that I take Uber instead. The host wife couldn’t make it out to meet me so the husband went over the house instructions. After 30 minutes I was ready for a nap! ¬†I felt like the place was pretty clean and I was happy the place was as pictured. Just a couple of things arose…..

I noticed some ants on the kitchen counter but it didn’t seem that bad. Coming from living in the south in Miami, Florida, I was just glad the ants weren’t¬†roaches. If there’s one creature I can’t stand that’s a dang roach. Those things don’t even deserve life. I digress, the ant problem continued. so I decided to get the bottom of it. There was a loaf full of breadcrumbs left in the bottom of the toaster and sugar cubes in a gappy container left on the counter as well. I opened the sugar container and a bundle of ants flew out. I kept saying to myself at least it’s not a cocka-roach, at least it’s not a coca roach, Amen. So I emptied the dish of sugar and the breadcrumbs from the toaster and voila, no more ants!! ¬†Problem solved….. I also purchased some bug spray.¬†

I noticed that there was not a flat sheet on the bed just a comforter and the under sheet. I’m not a sheet expert but there were two sheets there. I was used to 3. I thought maybe it was a difference in culture perhaps. I looked in the closet and there were a few folded sheets with some hair on them and the sheets smelled of smoke but I just brushed it off and put the sheets on the bed since it was getting late. I was getting a little hungry but didn’t even know how to get to the nearest store. Luckily there were a few leftover unopened snacks in the fridge and the host husband gave me a bottle of water, a bottle of wine and 3 rolls of fluffy toilet paper. ¬†It was the best I was going to do for the first night. I eventually found out that everything in this secluded part of town, La Fert√©-sous-Jouarre, ¬†closed early so if I wanted food then I had to get it before dark. ¬†Everything was going normally for a few days and then the garage door broke. It started to just go in all different direction and then it just didn’t move at all. Apparently, this has happened before.¬†

The neighbor came by and started working on fixing the garage door. At first, I was like what a nice neighbor! His wife stopped by and I was able to practice my French as the neighbors didn’t speak any English. The garage door eventually¬†was fixed and the neighbors invited me out to dinner. I was so happy because I still didn’t find where all the food was and it was great to meet some nice people. We were able to communicate¬†just fine over a bottle of wine and Chinese buffet. That’s my kinda night! It was July 14. Which was Bastille Day in France. It’s the French equivalent¬†to July 4th. So after dinner, the neighbors and I went to see the neighborhood fireworks! How fun…..But things quickly headed in a different direction a few days later…..

The host wife wrote me on Airbnb and said they will make sure the garage door was fixed and not to worry. She would check the door on Sunday. ¬†She told me she wouldn’t enter the home and she had extra keys to the house. I told her okay I had an event to attend and would not be there. The previous day the neighbor fixed the door and had been knocking on the door all day for me to look at each update. ¬†The door had been fixed before Sunday, so I didn’t think the host would come and check the door. I was a little jet lagged still and didn’t get out to my event as early as I planned. I was napping, (my favorite hobby) and all of a sudden I heard knocking at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone and I wasn’t presentable to come to the door as I was half asleep. Still, the knocking persisted and soon it turned into banging on the windows. I heard someone yell up to the window in a sweet soft voice– TEEENA TEEENA. I then got an e-mail notification I had a message on Airbnb from the host. The wife said, Tina, we are at the door we just wanted to drop off some items for the house… I was still under the covers. ¬†The knocking got louder and louder at this point I didn’t want to open the door because I felt invaded. I jumped out of bed opened the door and I said yes? I am just about to get into the shower. I closed the door. The knocking persisted. and when I was done with my shower I started packing to leave. I opened the door again and the host rushed in with the items. All the while I heard all the neighbors talking in French about me they were all gathered outside the door. I felt so upset at this point that I started packing the rest of my things. The house owners had moved on to the couch with the house items an iron, ironing board, fan, hot water maker and some cleaning rags. They were putting together the fan. I said well, I am going to my event. and we all moved out of the house. I left my things packed hoping that Airbnb would let me out of my 5 week rental agreement before I returned. ¬†I left to go to my event hoping that was the end of that terrible and uncomfortable invasion of boundaries.¬†

The host wife wrote me a note on strict instructions that she was unhappy, She explained how I have to close the security door and lock the door that needed a million twisted and turns to lock. As a Realtor, it was even hard for me to lock it. But I thought the security alarm and the steel door and window shutters would be enough. It was so hot I left the top floor windows cracked open on the tall two-story home. I didn’t think anyone would jump to the top floor to break in and they would have to be Superman to do that. But the host wife was very upset about what she saw… me not closing the top windows and not locking the tricky door although the steel door was secured. She said look at it from her perspective. I definitely understand having a stranger in your house for 5 weeks and not being able to have access to your own house. Scary…well if they wanted to still have access to their house then I could’ve just have been a house guest, not a paying renter with rights. right?¬† I wrote her and explained that if I didn’t look at it from her perspective I would never have¬†replied to her email and I would’ve left immediately. ¬†I said if she wanted to stop by just drop me a note as most likely I would not be there. The wife said in spite -well enjoy the rest of your trip! But she continued to watch every story on my Instagram feed. She requested to be Instagram friends but she didn’t allow her Instagram feed to be open to me. I started to put two in two together. French people aren’t that friendly (at least initially). ¬†The neighbors didn’t take me out to dinner because they were being gracious they were taking me out to dinner to ensure I didn’t write a bad review and they were monitoring me. That’s when I noticed the windows had steel shades that were half drawn. There was no way to move the shutters up or down but when I looked out of the shutters I could see the shutters were exactly in line with the neighbors window. When I took shower I saw another neighbor looking in the bathroom window in the shower. I know how this sounds! But seriously, every time I took a shower, I looked at the old man neighbor down the street he looked away like he wasn’t looking and every time I checked back he was looking again. There were also cameras in the house. When the host husband was showing me the house on day one, I asked him what was that camera there for. and he took it and turned it around to face the wall……

Airbnb didn’t get back to me until days later to address the owners smooth attempt to overtake moi, a napping jetlagged renter. Airbnb said they couldn’t move me to another place without checking in with the host to mediate first. How good would that be for someone in their house?¬† I said just forget it… Since then the neighbors never came out of their house, if I did see them they would turn their backs to me. The host also said oh, the fan didn’t work we took it back. I had a heat rash because t was so hot but eventually, I bought my own fan! Petty boots!! (and I left it there as a parting gift at the end of my very long 5-week visit).

While I was still renting I’m the home I didn’t contact the host for a few weeks until I needed to get some mail. She said all the mail comes to the house if I put the correct address on the package. (petty shade) Then she sent me a note with a screenshot of all the accounts I use she said I sent it to her but I did not send it to her screenshot had my accounts including Evernote, Hotmail, and my internet provider it was weird. Still hoping I would get my package at this very moment. (as I am writing I will not post this until I check out of this place for sure!) At times I wished I could have handled it differently I wish I could have upheld my boundaries while still respecting hers without offending anyone. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the time. I felt my boundaries were pushed. I feel like I could have considered her feelings as it was her home but not respecting my own. I wanted to save face with the neighbors as maybe they were just being nice after all. The host said I have never dropped over items before… Perhaps I did overreact? At the very least I wish I wrote her back online at the time and said I’m in the shower and unable to come to the door please leave the items in the storage cabinet in the garage I’ll get it when I come back from my event. I sometimes think of better ways to handle weird situations after the situation happens. I’m getting better at finding on time solutions. If I handled with a direct email then my privacy would not have been invaded and I would still respect hers….. my rule still stands as Kermit says when you at my door knocking and you didn’t call first!!..you ain’t getting in! That’s the best I could do for that day. It doesn’t matter how bad you are at first at setting your personal boundaries but as long as you start somewhere.

When I returned to the states the owners attempted to charged me for a broken front door that was already broken into from the previous neighbors, according to the owners who revealed this to me in a written Airbnb online message. They claimed there was dog poop left, however, I cleaned up after my dog and I took out the trash 3 times a week and I even took out the trash for the previous guest who the wife host told me were so messy. Apparently, this is her go-to phrase as she said the same thing after I left although the house was perfectly clean. Her vacuum was disgusting and I didn’t know how to work it so I had to sweep the dog hair up and a lot of it was hard to retrieve but that was the only thing that needed to be cleaned up. She went through Airbnb to request money from me for the “damages” she requested $600. I sent pictures of the home cleaned as I knew this was not the end of this situation so I took pictures of the home right before I left as I had a feeling I would hear from them again. Airbnb did not protect me, the renter. The house was so far out from Paris I wasted a lot of time and energy in this prison with locked windows, doors and cameras and on the time to take the train going to Paris. I removed my credit cards from the Airbnb site and they were not able to collect payment from me so they said they would drop all attempts to collect the money as they should of done from the start.¬†

¬†I felt that their response should have been we see you’ve done nothing wrong and we are not going to attempt to collect any money from you because you were not at fault based on the evidence you have provided including picture and emails.¬†¬†

All in all, looking back, trying to positively reframe my experience I’m glad that I experienced the town of La Fert√©-sous-Jouarre, as no one spoke English there and I spoke a lot of French that way. The hour train ride into Paris allowed me to gain perspective on my day. ¬†I learned about my personal boundaries and that it’s probably best to just get a hotel at the end of the day and that’s what I did the next time I visited Paris!

Here are pictures of the Airbnb, the peeping tom window that I covered to take a shower, the cameras, the items the owners brought as they sat on the couch to put together, and pictures of the town me and Webster

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Paris Eats: Le Comptoir du Relais

Paris Eats, Uncategorized

Le Comptoir

9 carrefour de l’Od√©on – 75006 Paris, France.

Le Comptoir is a popular French bistro located in the 6th arrondissement¬†of Paris in St Germain. ¬†I Googled recommended¬†restaurants¬†to dine alone, but, don’t feel sorry for me as I found the perfect place. ¬†I was able to skip the long waiting line because¬†I just needed a table for 1.

The restaurant that came up in my search was called L’avant Comptoir which is standing room only. However, because I wanted to enjoy the people watching and 3 courses I walked a few steps away to Le Comptoir. Both restaurants¬†are owned by the same family¬†just next door to each other.

Le Comptoir was full of Americans and bilingual staff. ¬†I asked the waitress for menu¬†recommendations¬†and she¬†didn’t¬†lead me astray! I started with a glass of white wine, Bien sur. ¬† Next course was Foie Gras, a French staple. Later I would find out this choice did not sit well with me… I’ll leave it at that. ¬†Luckily, I was able to easily continue¬†on to the next course. Cochon De lait¬†Braise de roti lentilles¬†de ragout was outstanding and highly¬†recommended. I’ll admit it does not look like much but it definitely favorably¬†ignited my pallet. ¬†I’m a sucker for some apple pie a la mode. The next course,¬†dessert, is the French version of Apple pie called Tarte Fine aux Pomme, ¬†Glace Vanille. Amazing choice. ¬†Even though¬†they charged me for water although I’m sure I said sink¬†water and the Foie Gras was not my jam I highly recommend¬†Le Comptoir! I will definitely check it out the next time I’m in Paris. ¬†Check out the menu, prices, and pictures of my¬†plates below!

 

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Missing The South of France

Travel, Uncategorized

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I’m missing France, especially the South of France. ¬†I miss the beach. ¬†Perhaps the company or attention…. I’m missing all of it but who wouldn’t. ¬†I thought of 100 ways I could go back there this afternoon but none of them worked in reality. So I’m here looking at pictures I took just a few weeks ago. Now I’m across the world back in the USA. ¬†Don’t get me wrong I appreciate having my own bed, car, a paycheck and the option to fall back on my first language but the beach neva’ did anything wrong to me and I miss it. That is all.

Letting Go a Little Tiny Bit at a Time. 

Real Estate, Uncategorized

In the past, I held on to everything, old receipts (where the print had become virtually undetectable), obscure electronic plugins (that I have no idea what electronic item they actually attached to), old clothes, socks and earrings without a match. EVERYTHING! However, at the age of 36 years old I was seemingly ready for a new life. It seems so easy writing it now, I’m ready for a NEW LIFE, yeahhhhhhhh! READY 123. But it was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life.

This life transition was a process that started before I even knew it began.   I think I started to become Slightly aware I just signed up for a life change when I was smacked dab in the middle of the transition. I had been working on a real estate project for Tiny houses in Charlotte. The Tiny house project inspired me to research this minimalist lifestyle. That’s when I found the movie Minimalism on Netflix. The movie was a game changer. I began to slowly get rid of small items in my environment and clear my space. Again I had no idea the journey I was embarking on at that point. I thought I was just doing some research!

After months of delays and project setbacks, the tiny house deal fell through. Okay more like I fell through the deal. A change of direction was abruptly implemented, the change was me. I didn’t like how I was treated and I didn’t like how I responded to the way I was treated and either did the builder and his Best buddy the loan officer. I cried in front of my boss. I felt unprotected.  More on that painful life lesson later! …Long story short the tiny house project never took off and my former real estate agency is no longer working on the tiny house project at all. In fact only 1 house out of the initially projected 80 to 60 homes have been built. Although I support the tiny house movement (in theory) leaving after it wasn’t working out was truly a blessing in disguise. I ended up selling a home to a young first time home buyer who initially was interested in purchasing a tiny house ( she attended my tiny house party event). Her beautiful full sized home I sold her was for the same price of a tiny home! But I digress…  That wasn’t the real journey.  I was still on the journey I was intended to be on,  the one I didn’t know …I was on.  I just didn’t know that the tiny house project was simply a catalyst for change that helped me focus on my true journey. Comprenez vous?  I had to separate from the project I was entangled in because I never would have let go if the choice was left up to me. I wish there was another way but I have trouble letting go….

Back on my journey, the one that I didn’t know I signed up for or couldn’t find the initial details to what I was to do exactly, that’s the one. I began to move on to what I felt in my heart. I followed my gut. My last words after my… let’s call it “a change in direction meeting” in a teary voice I simply said I want to travel and write. And that’s what I did. I started to see what else could be eliminated from my life.  I needed to eliminate everything that was holding me back from my future. I sold my very own home and everything in it.  It was a deal I never wanted to make. I would be fine just continuing on in my life as it was, but it wasn’t the life that was intended! So after being pushed to the corner just before the ledge, I jumped, I let go screaming & kicking all the way …UP

‚ÄúThe truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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12 Month Visa To France!

Travel, Uncategorized

Finally, I received a 12-month visa to France. But A lot has changed in the months that I set out to move to France for 12 months. I put so much work into getting the visa that I feel a celebration is in order, however…. at this time the 12 months stay in France has been reduced to just 6-weeks! I know- that’s great! I don’t know a lot of people that would complain about spending 6 weeks in France. My plan was to sell everything become a Minimalist, practice and learn fluent French, and write my books. I needed the 12 months!! Now I am scurrying to do everything in the time I have. By “scurry” I mean sleeping in and staying up watching french tv all night.

None the less- I managed to join a writing group and start writing in a span of 7 days. Perhaps this 6-week “time constraint” was the way it was intended all along…!

Let me share my experiences and travel stories as a solo traveler in France, well by solo I mean traveling with my dog Webster and I! Welcome.

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