Pleased to debut Talk Diva on News Radio 1020 KDKA in Pittsburgh Saturday mornings at 8 AM. It will be a little bit of Real Estate, a little bit of fashion and a whole lot of fun!
I’m pleased to kick off my Spring/Summer marketing campaign. Thanks, as always, to Rapid Pulse Marketing for the fantastic work they do with my social media, print and video marketing. They are first class! And speaking of first class, I think the key to being a first class Realtor is making sure that all of my clients, buyers and sellers alike, feel they are being treated that way.
Buying or selling a home is a deeply personal and emotionally involved transaction. It represents the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one for many people. My job… my mission… is to take that personal connection and emotional energy and guide you through what can and should be one of the most exciting times of your life. It’s Your Dream… and My Mission.
I know it’s been almost ten weeks since I updated my blog, and I apologize for the radio silence. But I’ve had a good reason, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you!
On April 1, I affiliated myself as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services. For six weeks, it was the Wild Wild West as I transitioned to a new company and closed out dozens of RE/MAX clients. It was the craziest, most exciting, most rewarding six weeks of my career so far. And I’ve got to be honest, I’m really glad I’m on the other side of it now with a chance to breathe!
I have so much gratitude for the awesome five-and-a-half years I spent at RE/MAX Select. It was a time of remarkable professional growth for me; I surpassed every annual goal I set for myself. To all the wonderful colleagues, brokers and clients I met and had the privilege to work with during my time at RE/MAX, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ll always be grateful for each of you.
As I look ahead now to my next step with Coldwell Banker, I’m filled with energy. I’m excited to work with even more amazing people (big thanks to the team at Coldwell Banker for making my transition seamless!), to have some new technology at my fingertips (notice the new “Search” feature on my home page… you can search for a home anywhere in Pittsburgh now), and to see how much higher I can take this career that I am so blessed to have.
In addition to all of that, Chris and I are also busy with our various charity efforts. Hugs for Nan is already in the planning phase for next year, and we recently made a contribution to Make a Wish Foundation to send two kids with muscular dystrophy to summer camp. I know how blessed we are with our good fortune, and it’s my honor to share it with others.
Within the Klein household, there is plenty of activity, as well. My daughter — my baby! — just went to the Prom. (I can’t even believe it.) And my son also recently completed his sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m a proud mama!
There is so much going on, and through all of it, my clients and colleagues remain a constant source of gratitude and joy in my life. I’m here because of you and the faith you put in me as a real estate professional. Thank you for everything.
Happy March, everyone! Here we are in the last month of the first quarter of 2017; can you even believe it?
TrAs we all chug along with our busy lives, I thought I’d take a moment to share some interesting research that was recently conducted and published by NerdWallet regarding home buying — more specifically, the regrets some buyers feel and why. I thought this research was interesting because the results are broken out by the generations of survey respondents: Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. As my clientele spans all three generations, it was interesting to see how responses varied.
Of course I hate to hear of any homebuyer feeling regrets, but it does happen (although I hope not to any of my clients!). The most common regrets found in this survey center on the process of applying for and securing a mortgage. I know what a stressful beast this can be; but I believe with my whole heart that it doesn’t have to be, at least not horribly so. My two best pieces of advice for buyers before they start down the path of purchasing a home are:
- Know your financial picture. Understand your debt-to-income ratio, know where all your paperwork is (pay stubs, W-2s, etc.), and decide what your limits are when it comes to making a home purchase. Your limits will be based on your financial security and comfort, and they’re different for everyone. Stick to them.
- Find allies you trust. Buying and financing a home is a complex undertaking. Don’t do it alone. Hire a real estate agent that you trust to guide you through the process; one you know will be available to answer all your questions. In addition to a good agent, you’ll need a good mortgage broker, too. As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. You should be able to rely on your agent and your mortgage broker to give you all the information you need to make a sound home-buying decision that you won’t regret. So do your research and surround yourself with people who will be your trusted allies.
As any of my current and former clients know, I’m on your side. I will work hard to answer all your questions, calm your worries and guide you through your home purchase. I will also work to connect you with more allies, including excellent mortgage brokers. My goal is always to help my clients feel confident and happy with their decision, from the beginning of the home search to the closing table. You don’t want regrets and I don’t want you to have them, either!
If you’re considering purchasing a home, whether it’s your first time or not, I’d recommend you read the NerdWallet report. It’s helpful to learn from others’ regrets. After all, what are mistakes for if not to learn from them! Arm yourself with as much information as you can from the beginning. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
And of course, if you need an ally in Pittsburgh…I’d love to help!
For the past nine years, Valentine’s Day has carried an extra special meaning for me. Not only do I celebrate my love for all the people I hold dear, but I also celebrate the fact that one of them — my grandmother (or Nanny as I call her) — is still here for me to hug. read more
You may think I’m pulling your leg when I say that every December, when I look back at the work I’ve done, I’m amazed. Even shocked.
Yes, of course it’s true that I push myself to do better every year, but the effects of that hard work never truly hit me until I stop at the end of December and look at the numbers. Once again this year, I was amazed. In 2016, I closed 107 transactions and generated nearly $18 million in sales volume.
Oh my goodness gracious, how did that happen!?
Well, actually I know how it happened. Of course I worked hard and was crazy busy all year (HUGE thanks to Chris right here for taking me on several memorable vacations and resort getaways to recharge my batteries). But there is another, more important, reason for my greatest successful year yet. And it’s YOU — my awesome clients.
I adored working with all of you last year. I had a ton of first-time buyers, who are always so exciting to meet and work with. I love their energy, and I love being a part of such an important milestone in their lives. Thank you for trusting me with such a monumental thing!
And beyond my first-time buyers, I had move-up buyers, relocation buyers, and down-size buyers. The vast spectrum of people I was able to work with last year was remarkable. And making connections with wonderful people is such a valued part of my job. It’s what I love; it’s what motivates me. So thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart!
As we move into 2017, I’m thinking of how I can do better. How can I make the process even smoother for my clients? How can I grow my network of connections (handymen, service providers, etc.) so that I can be a one-stop source of knowledge for ALL of my clients’ real estate needs? I’m always striving, and I’m always here for you.
Finally, as promised in that headline up there, we did add a few new members to our family last year. I thought I’d share! In addition to two Boston terriers, we rescued a sweet little cat. We found her on top of our woodpile, cleaned her up, and named her Bootsy. We’re in love with her. As you can see, she’s queen of the castle (or at least the range) around here!
Happy New Year, everyone! I look forward to another terrific one with you.
With the holidays upon us, you may not be in a frame of mind to think about end-of-year financial or tax matters. And if you ask me, that’s exactly how it should be. But when you do emerge from the joy and revelry of the holidays, I thought I’d offer you some food for thought.
I came across this article about tips for making savvy year-end money moves. This list is geared toward families, and I know that covers a great deal of Lauren’s past and current clients. If you have a moment, it’s worth the read.
There was one thing in particular on this list concerning capital gains that caught my attention from a real-estate perspective. If you sold real estate this year and made a profit, you may want to consult your tax advisor to see if you will be required to pay a capital gains tax on the proceeds. It doesn’t apply to all transactions, so it’s a good idea to check with your tax advisor on the specifics. At the very least, doing so now may save you some scrambling or surprises come tax time.
I know Lauren has thanked all of you for trusting her to guide you on your real-estate journeys this year, but I want to add my thanks, as well. It is our honor to work for you, and you made 2016 an amazing year. Lauren looks forward to sharing more about this in the early weeks of 2017.
In the meantime, I wish you all a beautiful and joyous holiday season!
Thanks to all who liked, shared and commented on my Giving Back For the Holidays post! It’s always great to have a little fun with my clients and followers, and always exciting to give a great big THANK YOU to all the wonderful people in my life.
A special congratulations goes to Dawn… the mother of Ben and Carl, from Squirrel Hill. She is the winner of the Steelers/Ravens tickets to see the game at Heinz Field on Christmas Day. I met Dawn at Starbucks to present her with her tickets… and to my surprise she had some small gifts for me as well. Talk about grateful! We spent about an hour together and it was indeed a charming and enlightening experience. Dawn explained to me that she was especially grateful for this Christmas because she was finally going to have both of her sons with her at the same time… only to find out she won the tickets. So what does a mother do…? Ben and Carl are now going to the Steelers game while mom cheers them on from the comfort of her living room on Christmas day.
A mother myself… it brought tears to my eyes. It’s what we do. Thanks, Dawn, for a wonderful time and being such a great mom! And thanks again to everyone for helping me help YOU achieve the dream of home ownership in Pittsburgh. The pleasure is always mine.
By now you’ve seen my post on my favorite holiday activities in Pittsburgh. And by now I hope you’ve realized that I am so very grateful for all of the blessings in my life… my family, my friends, and my wonderful clients.
There are so many different ways to express my gratitude that I worry at times that I don’t do it enough. You can only say “thank you” so many times. You hope that everyone in your life realizes you really mean it… and for the most part, if you’re sincere, they do.
The tough part is coming up with different ways to say thank you… that people will remember. Well… here’s another one… how about giving tickets to the Steelers game versus the Ravens on Christmas Day? Hmm… that sounds like a “real” thank you… doesn’t it? But I’d have to give out hundreds of tickets… and… well… I don’t have hundreds of Steelers/Ravens tickets.
I only have two.
I can’t play favorites… that just wouldn’t be fair. I can, however, have a contest! So… here it goes… Win 2 tickets to see the Steelers play the Ravens on Christmas day this year! All you have to do to enter is “Like” my Facebook page, share this post and tag your date.
I’ll pick the winner on Monday, December 19th and deliver a big “Thank You” in the form of 2 tickets to the game at Heinz Field.
Happy Holidays… and THANK YOU to all my friends, family and real estate clients for an incredible year!
There’s nothing I love more than seeing Pittsburgh get all dressed up for the holidays. If you don’t already feel a connection to the City of Steel, I think you may after you visit some of my favorite holiday spots. Grab your coat, your hat and your family, and head out for a wintry night (or day, or both!) on the town.
While there’s holiday fun all over the city (check out this great list of things to do in Pittsburgh over the Holidays ), my favorites are right downtown. There’s so much to see and do!
If you’ve got some shopping to take care of, you can find local, hand-made gifts at the Peoples Gas Holiday Market in Market Square. This is an awesome experience, and I’ve found many great gifts here over the years. Once you’ve checked off everyone on your list, you can visit the Big Guy himself for a photo op. (If you bring a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the photo is free!)
After you’ve seen everything at Market Square, there’s even more at PPG Place. If skating is your thing, find the perfect holiday skating experience at the MassMutual Ice Rink (click for information on hours, etc). It’s even bigger than the one at Rockefeller Center! Also at PPG Place is the Wintergarden, which features a display of Santas from around the world, as well as a gingerbread exhibit. Your kiddos are sure to love this!
If you’ve got energy left after all this (and I hope you do!), hop on the Holly Trolley or a horse-drawn carriage for a tour of all the spectacular holiday decorations and lights that downtown has to offer. This is my favorite part! Maybe take along a hot coffee or cocoa to keep you warm.
I love this beautiful time of year, and I hope the coming weeks bring you and yours much joy. If there’s anything I can help you with in your real estate journey, please get in touch!
*The feature photo at the top of this post is a painting by Linda Barnicott. For more information on this piece and any of Linda’s work, click here.