Did You Know? — Grogan’s Mill

Curiosity is part of my fabric.  I’m not exactly a history buff, but I do enjoy knowing something about my hometown, and when it comes to The Woodlands, hometown points to Grogan’s Mill.  In the years since I came, I’ve walked and biked as many trails through Grogan’s Mill as possible, hoping to spot a remnant of the timber mill it was named for.  My pathway journeys were always enjoyable, but they didn’t produce an old sawmill, much to my disappointment.

There is information available pointing to the approximate location of the actual sawmill.  Here is a little background:  George and Will Grogan started up a timber mill operation near Gladstell, Texas around 1912.  Then, in 1917 they formed the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company and that is when they started operating in what is now The Woodlands.  It seems there were a lot of lumber operations at the time, and there were several ghost towns left when these outfits moved to their next location.  One thing that set the Grogan’s apart is that they didn’t clear-cut trees.  Major kudos to them!

The mill itself was located near the current location of Lamar Elementary School in Grogan’s Mill.  The pond at Tamarac Park, not far away, was used to soak the logs before cutting.  Then, donkeys would haul them to rail cars to be shipped out.

This mill operation continued up through 1960!  Then, in 1964, the visionary George Mitchell purchased 50,000 acres of land from them at $125.00 per acre, and the next chapter in our town’s history began.

Welcome to The Woodlands!  We’re glad you came!


Home Staging, what will it cost? – Step 5: The “Wow” effect

The other day I was finally able to visit a store I’ve wanted to see for the longest time.  I’ve been to their website many times, and have longed to see it in person.  Let me tell you, it did not disappoint.  From the moment we walked through their front gate, the “wow” effect took over.  We got there at the last minute, and only had 5 minutes to shop, but the effect of that shop will linger.

Now imagine you are a buyer — maybe you’ve tried to squeeze in a few too many homes to see in one day and you’re out of steam, but you’re down to the last house for the day.  You pull up, and from the time you arrive, you start to notice little details that leave you wanting to slow down and just enjoy every room, every view; you want to just stop, sit down and relax here.  This is the one.

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of cleaning, decluttering, repairs and neutralizing,  it’s time to have some fun.  Make sure you budget carefully, and begin at the curb, working your way through the front door, in and out of rooms, and out to the back.  Look for places where you could set up a little place to read, relax, enjoy coffee or tea; soak in a spotless tub; sit on the porch or walk through a flower garden.  Think about what little items you could add (make a list! stick to your budget!) to create a wow in each area.  Maybe you add a little African violet in a pretty pot on the kitchen window-sill, so that buyers will be drawn to notice a nice view or pretty sink.  Put a rocking chair on the front porch, if you have room, and add a book with some reading glasses.  A bird feeder with a nearby chair and small side table on the back porch or patio beckons your buyers to envision a nice spot to sit and relax with their morning coffee.  An empty upstairs hallway might be just the right place for a comfortable chair, small table and lamp for reading on chilly winter days, or even for rocking babies to sleep.  You may be able to borrow a chair, table, etc.  from another room, or find something at a thrift shop or consignment store at little cost to set up little scenes throughout your home.

My goal in every house was to create at least 20 “wow’s” for buyers to notice.  I feel that number will leave a lasting impression, and it works!  There are countless ways to find ideas.  My favorites right now are Pinterest and Houzz.  Both are free, easy (fun!) and show you hundreds of great ideas for interesting and effective staging.

Good luck!  Let me know how things turn out for you, and send pictures!



Home Staging, what will it cost? – Step 4: Neutralizing

Lots of people struggle with neutralizing their home before listing.  I think the main reason theyBusiness Card have such a hard time is because they are cutting an emotional tie with the house when they put away all the things that have turned their house into a “home”.  Family photos, collections, Grandma’s dishes, and all the colorful and memorable items that have been slowly and lovingly filling your house over the years.

Consider the photo on the left — it may seem obvious to you now, looking at a photo of someone else’s kitchen, filled with photos and other items that they probably got from their children, friends and other family.  We can’t see the kitchen for the clutter, so it’s hard to figure out exactly what is for sale here.  But when it’s your own home, it’s different.  And it’s not about taking down a few things – it’s about packing up all the personal items, along with everything else that distracts a buyer from seeing the architecture, structure and available space in your house.

You’re selling a product, not your personal memories.  You wouldn’t sell used clothes with stains on them, simply because you remember when the baby spit the carrots out onto that bib, and you can’t sell your house that way either.

Deer HeadsHere’s another prime example of someone who is so proud of their belongings they just can’t imagine why that wouldn’t seem inviting to a buyer walking through the house.  I’m not sure the wife in this house would have minded taking them down, but someone sure loves their hunting memories!  Even if the buyer walking through does turn out to be an avid hunter, they will want to imagine their own hunting trophies and memories, and they likely won’t be as interested in yours.

When you get to the neutralizing stage, you can look online for ideas if you need to.  There are hundreds of photos on Houzz and Pinterest to give you great ideas about furniture placement, how to arrange tables, countertops and the like.

staged kitchenHere’s an example of a kitchen that checks all the boxes:  it’s clean, uncluttered, in very good repair and it’s been neutralized.  I don’t know about you, but when I look at that kitchen I get the feeling I could just move right in.  It doesn’t look like it needs a thing except me!

This is exactly the feeling you need to convey with your home.  Whether it’s newer, older or even historic, it can give buyers the same feeling of warmth and evoke the same emotional connection.

The photo on the right is an example of a small den or study, not any bigger or much different than the one above with tsmall denhe taxidermy display.  The big differences are in the wall color, which has been neutralized, and a simple, clean furniture arrangement.  Nothing too elaborate here, just a small sectional, a standing lamp and a few pictures on the wall.  Also notice the spotless windows!  They just invite buyers to look out at the view.  This room conveys a feeling of comfort and calm, which is certainly something most of us would enjoy.

Most realtors would welcome the opportunity to give you suggestions about neutralizing your space.  They know it will help your home to sell better, faster and for more money.  Also – if you are thinking about selling your house and your agent say anything about your record setting clown collection, you might need a new agent!

Coming up!  Step 5:  The “Wow” effect!