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15 Year Old Purchases Second Home!

by Kandace Conn, Team Leader/Transaction Manager, The

While searching the internet for an stimulating topic to write about, I came across a story that hits home for us in the real estate industry. There are many rumors going around the industry as to whether it is the right time to purchase a home or if you can afford it.   This fascinating story is about a remarkable 15 year old named Willow.

When Willow was 14, she purchased her first home with her mother, as partners, from the money that she had saved up from selling items that she herself fixed up. I am excited to announce that she just purchased her second home and her goal is to purchase 10 homes by the time she is 18. Now how about that for ambition? This story was covered by ABC News last week. 

Real Haunted Houses in America!

by Kandace Conn, Team Leader, The Stick With Steve Te

Creaking flooring, mysterious cold drafts and peculiar sounds usually don’t top the list of dream home features. Most people wouldn’t dare to put in an offer on any of these ghostly homes that I am about to briefly summarize. So let’s get in the Halloween spirit and let me tell you about some of the most haunted houses in the US!

Let’s start off in San Jose, California where the Winchester House resides. Sarah Winchester, the widow of William Winchester (founder of Winchester rifles), held séances seeking guidance from the spirits and her dead husband in order to achieve the home’s design. According to the stories, Sarah was told by a medium that there was a curse on her family and that she must keep building the house in order to stay alive, which lead to it taking 38 years to build. Twisting and turning hallways, dead ends, secret panels, a window built into a floor, staircases leading to nowhere, doors that open to walls, upside-down columns and rooms built, then deliberately closed off is the end outcome of this baffling structure. 

Moving on to 716 Dauphine Street, New Orleans is home to the Gardette-LaPrete House. This home was the location to one of the ghastliest murders in New Orleans’ history. A Turkish mercantile, whom rented this home, was buried alive in the backyard whilst his associates executed. This home is still said to be the site of the mercantile wanderings, some night’s unusual music and incense from old parties waft from the home.

The next historic home, 507 E. Saint Julian Street, Savannah, Georgia, was moved from its original site to said location in Savannah by a restoration professional. Whilst working on this home, peculiar noises were described along with the presence of an unknown male. A crypt was discovered on the building location partially occupied with water, but it was then closed off. This home was finished, in spite of the hearsays of hauntings and was last on the market in 2011.

Making our way back to New Orleans, we stop at LaLaurie House located at 1140 Royal Street. The horrific story of the LaLaurie was that this was owned by a doctor and his socialite wife. This house was the reported site for brutal cruelty against their slaves. Unbeknownst to the community, it was said that the slaves were exposed to torturous medical trials that were only exposed due to a fire that broke out and help came they discovered horrific scenes of torture. Madame Delphine fled and never to be seen again. Throughout the years, this home has passed through many owners (including Nicholas Cage, who lost the home in 2009 to foreclosure), who claimed to hear mysterious cries and see ghosts of the tortured slaves.

Out in San Diego, you will find the Whaley House, which Thomas Whaley purchased at staggeringly low price because of the hangings which were once held at this property. Whaley ripped down the gallows and constructed a Greek Revival brick home which after him and his family moved in, they started hearing hefty footfalls moving around the house. Currently, this home is a museum which is open for tourists to explore themselves.

Cleveland is home to the Franklin Castle which was built in 1864. The disturbing past  history of this home counterparts the gothic-style exterior which includes a stone tower and turrets, gargoyles and wrought-iron fencing.  Also mentioned to be heard are the echoes of babies crying, footsteps and doors slamming.

Our very own Alton, Illinois is home to the McPike Mansion, but also Alton claims to be one of the most haunted towns in America. Residents and visitors alike have said to be embraced by an unseen woman, see puzzling hazes and balls of light and hear the laughter of kids about. 

There you have it, some of the most haunted houses in America. Would you be interested in buying any of these homes, probably not!? But if you are in the market to sell or buy a home, call The Stick With Steve Team and we would be happy to help you in your real estate transaction! 

Steps To Find The Perfect Handyman!

by Kandace Conn

Are you ever overwhelmed by the amount of things that need to be done around the house that you just can’t seem to find the time to get them done? For example: that leaky pipe under the sink, noisy furnace, creaky stair - these could all be fixed by a handyman if you could just find the right one. Is it possible to find a jack-of-all trades that you can really rely on? The answer is absolutely yes, provided that you know what types of tasks to delegate and where to look.

First, you must settle on what types of chores you are going to be giving to the handyman. After that, start to tap into your personal network of friends, family & colleagues. Typically, general contractors don’t want to trouble with small tasks or fixes, so if you have a good relationship with one – or know someone who does - he may be able to refer you to someone he knows who would be eager to take the job. If you do not know a general contractor, tap into you local networks. For example, family, friends, church, local schools, etc.

Contractors characteristically name their price upfront, but with small fixes, it is not always as straightforward. A handyman will usually charge you for the materials they use and the time that they spend doing the job. But always ask for an estimate to be sure that you know the range. Remember to start small and give them an audition and if all goes well, lock in that handyman because the great ones are hard to find!

So let’s recap. Know the tasks that you need completed, tap into your network and give them a test run! If you get lucky and find a good one – tell your friends! Good luck!

Ever Wonder Where The Best Places To Live Are?

by Kandace Conn, Team Leader, The "Stick With Steve"

Ever wonder where the best places to live are?

Here are a couple of reasons why we believe that Arlington Heights, IL is the best places to live in the United States. Arlington Heights is widely known for its racetrack, which was founded in 1927 by Harry Brown. 

Arlington Heights Real Estate has experienced a current boom in expansion of condominium homes. Recently, restaurants and other businesses have expanded in the downtown area of Arlington Heights, IL, with restaurants having the most success. The downtown area of Arlington Heights is best known for its nightlife not to mention how family oriented it is with the variety of events that are put together by the village.

But, according to CNN Money, these are the winners below.

1. Carmel, IN (Population: 80,100) This city is filled with excellent schools, a performing arts center and a huge sports and recreation center. There is a appealing draw for families with the variety of the housing options.

2. McKinney, TX (Population: 136,100) Established in 1848, McKinney is one of northern Texas' oldest towns. Take a stroll through the downtown and you will see that the old cotton mills and feed stores have now been transformed into hip boutiques and art galleries.

3. Eden Prairie, MN (Population: 61,200) Invigorating mixture of wonderful employment prospects, natural exquisiteness, and a well-educated labor force. It has also had a healthy budget surplus of 2% the precedent two years.

4. Newton, MA (Population: 84,700) One could say that the people in Newton are fixated with education considering the city is separated into 13 villages built around elementary schools, and also being home to prestigious universities.

5. Redmond, WA (Population: 55,200) Microsoft's hometown is an perfect start for exploring the Northwest with Seattle just 15 miles to the west, the Cascade Mountains a short drive to the east, and more than 90 wineries to the north.

6. Irvine, CA (Population: 213,600) Irvine has all the surf, sand, and sun Southern California is recognized for, with 44 miles of bike trails, a beach 10 miles away, and 20,000 acres of parks and preserves.

7. Reston, VA (Population: 60,300) Thanks to Robert Simon, famed master planner, houses of all different sizes and shapes sit next to one another in this town. There are plenty of activities as well, from an über-urban downtown to 55 miles of bike paths, 52 tennis courts, and 15 pools.

8. Columbia/Ellicott City, MD (Population: 100,700) Living on the border of Columbia and Ellicott City offers the best of both worlds. Families on the border of these unincorporated cities get to take pleasure in living in a community with a diverse population, practical housing costs, excellent schools, miles of hiking trails, and a new development, Blandair Park.

9. Overland Park, KS (Population: 175,300) There's no lack of town spirit in Overland Park. Residents and visitors alike gather to the bi-weekly farmers' market which is known as one of the best around. You will also enjoy the 300-acre arboretum, world-class soccer fields and a re-created turn-of-the-century family farm.

10. Chapel Hill, NC (Population: 59,000) Locals aren't exaggerating when they refer to Chapel Hill as a "town within a park." The area has a rain forest-like charm and the roads wind through tunnels of arching trees. This town is also home to the nation's oldest public university, and fascinating educational opportunities abound.

Interesting Fact: The high school scenes of the 2010 version of A Nightmare on Elm Street were actually filmed at John Hersey High School.

 

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