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Deb Parker's Blog

By Deb Parker | Broker in Billings, MT
  • Selling During the Christmas Season

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Billings, Curb Appeal in Billings  |  December 16, 2013 7:49 AM  |  71 views  |  No comments

    You’ve listed your home a few weeks ago and are now wondering if you should decorate for Christmas or just forgo the decorations? You’re probably thinking, “I just moved all the clutter out of my house; why should I just bring more clutter in with Christmas decorations?” 

    There are two different schools of thought on this. My personal belief is that having some decorations, like a Christmas tree, adds a festive, homey feel to potential buyers. However, if you’re the type of person who celebrates Christmas by filling every tabletop, window and room with Christmas decorations, you may want to scale it back. Sometimes, buyers can become so involved with looking at the decorations that they tend to overlook the amenities offered your home offers.  Too many decorations also have the tendency to make rooms feel claustrophobic. 

    In the past, I have shown homes in which every room contains a Christmas tree. This approach works only if the rooms are large and spacious. Otherwise, the rooms appear small and cluttered and are unappealing to potential buyers. Decorations should always complement the rooms, accentuating their good qualities. Indoor lights are beautiful, but you should also let your home “sparkle” during the day with natural light. 

    Not an outdoor Christmas light person? I understand. But, they really do make a difference for those late afternoon/early evening showings when darkness is just settling in. Outdoor lights give the house a sense of warmth and light the way to the front door. That Christmas wreath with a big bow on the front door brings to mind a bow and ribbon around a present, just asking to be opened.

     Decorations help buyers visualize holiday dinners, entertaining guests and memorable family times. The holiday season is such a special time of year and decorations give you the opportunity to make your home special for potential buyers

  • Billings Fall Parade of Homes

    Posted Under: General Area, Market Conditions, Curb Appeal  |  September 11, 2013 4:58 PM  |  145 views  |  No comments

    September is always and exciting month for real estate in Billings, Montana. Our beautiful fall weather continues to encourage buyers and sellers. September also means that it’s time for the Fall Parade of Homes. The Fall Parade of Homes has been a fixture in Billings, Montana for 24 years. Each year, local builders display their newly completed homes featuring the latest trends in building styles, windows, cabinetry, appliances and many other upgraded home features. This year, the Parade features 16 different homes throughout Billings and Red Lodge, Montana. Starting this weekend, people have the chance to tour each of these unique homes, vote for their favorite and enter to win prizes. The Fall Parade of Homes happens September 14-15 & 21-22. Saturday hours are 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday hours are 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm.

    It is always a treat to view these homes and visit with the builders directly; you can’t help buy walk away with an idea or two for a remodeling project or even a change to your future house plan.

    The 16 homes in the Parade really say a lot for our local real estate market. Our new construction market has more than rebounded since the recession; it is a rapidly growing segment of Billings’ home inventory and is instrumental in our local Billings economy. 

  • Summer at Flathead

    Posted Under: Quality of Life, Curb Appeal  |  August 1, 2013 2:00 PM  |  164 views  |  No comments

    After spending a few relaxing days at Flathead Lake last week, I quickly had to transition back to reality and the business of real estate. Simply put, summer at Flathead Lake is just like Heaven on Earth. I’ve been going to Flathead since I was about 10 years old. I remember when we built our cabin and the family had to clear all of the brush off the lot prior to construction; now our cabin overlooks a beautiful green lawn and a cement walkway down to the lake. This year, while sitting out on my mom’s deck overlooking Skidoo Bay, I thought of how often I take for granted the beautiful state in which I live. I feel so spoiled living in Montana; the state just has so much to offer.

    My brother’s family housed 2 college students on a choir trip from Finland and brought them to see the lake. The students, Jessika and Satu, loved swimming, jet skiing and boating around the bay. They were enchanted by the beauty of the water, the mountains and the big blue sky. Seeing the area through a visitor’s eye really made me step back and gain a whole new appreciation for all Montana has to offer. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful state!

    Parker & Co. at Flathead Lake

  • Pet quarters

    Posted Under: Curb Appeal in Billings, Remodel & Renovate in Billings, Home Ownership in Billings  |  May 30, 2013 11:53 AM  |  171 views  |  No comments

    As a Real Estate Broker, I have seen a recent explosion of specialty rooms in new homes: work out rooms, wine cellars, crafting rooms, home theaters and even saunas. Where are the designated pet rooms? With pets   becoming It's a Dog's Life in Real Estatefamily members, it seems like pet rooms could become the next big trend in home construction and remodeling. The rooms could feature dog or cat beds, a feeding area, outdoor access and even a utility tub for baths.  The room could be a lifesaver for those of us with allergies and escape artists.

    As a happy dog parent and allergy sufferer, I have often thought that homes should be built with a pet room off the kitchen or the living area where your dog could be close but without free rein of the house. My children have tried to teach our dogs to stay between the laundry room and kitchen on the hardwood floors but as soon as we turn our backs, they think they can roam throughout the house. With their own room, the dogs could be contained, but my children could still spend time with them in the house.

    I know I’m thinking ahead of the building trends and that we will one day see pet rooms in homes. On that day, I’ll say to myself “this was my idea”!

  • Mother's Day Traditions

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Billings, Curb Appeal in Billings, Home Ownership in Billings  |  May 16, 2013 12:15 PM  |  140 views  |  No comments

    Before- Mother's Day for Parker & Co.   
    Before

    Spring is the time of the year to which I always look forward. Each year, I anxiously await May with bated breath.  I have a few pastimes that have become stress reducers over the years but my absolute favorite is planting flowers.

    I’m not quite sure how the tradition started; but I always plant flowers the day before Mother’s Day. I try and go to Gainans in the Billings Heights to select all the flowers and supplies on Thursday or Friday. For Saturday, I break out old clothes, clean dirt, a new pair of garden gloves and the fun begins! With any luck, my calendar has been cleared and I’m able to work outside planting flowers, moving my pots to various spots and building a beautiful and welcoming outdoor living area our family can enjoy all summer. As the late afternoon rolls around, I take a break and have an ice-cold beer to quench my thirst after a full day of gardening. At the end of the day, I am so relaxed and can just look around with satisfaction of a job well done.

    Recently, my daughters have begun to join me in my annual ritual. Even the dogs enjoy it; they love having company outside in the beautiful weather! There’s even talk of building a vegetable garden this year. Who knows what the next year will bring. But one thing for sure is that it will contain May flowers. 

          
    After

 
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