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!

 

Kristine

Home Staging, what will it cost? — Step 2: Cleaning

When you think of cleaning your home, you may have a list of items that get done daily, weekly and monthly (sweep, vacuum, clean the countertops, etc.).  While those items are still important during the listing period, this is not the sort of cleaning I’m referring to here.

Cleaning to prepare for showings involves things you might not normally even notice.  Baseboards might be scuffed or dingy, and need to be cleaned or even touched up with a small brush and a pint of white paint.  Check doorknobs and doors, light switch plates, stair rails, the kickplate at the bottom of the front door.  Take down light fixtures and clean them thoroughly.  Clean the oven and make sure the stovetop sparkles.  Make sure the fireplace, windows and windowsills are all clean and free of debris.  Go through every single room, closet, cupboard and drawer and ask yourself if it’s clean enough to be inviting.  Make sure the garage is clear of trash, insects and cobwebs.  Give the yard and front porch or stoop a good cleaning, too.  If your welcome mat is dingy or dismal, replace it!  Does your house say “this house is so organized, it practically cleans itself!”?  Or is your house giving buyers the message that storage space is insufficient here and this home is impossible to clean? Will it give buyers a sense that they will be overwhelmed if they live here?

It’s important to think in terms of making your buyers feel a sense of a calm, organized lifestyle in your home.  They are much more likely to feel an emotional connection if they walk into a home that is free of chaos.  Have you ever been to a nice spa?  For me, a sense of calm comes over me the minute I walk in the door.  It’s clean, inviting, quiet and gives me the feeling I can finally relax and enjoy a few moments of peace.  That feeling often stays with me the rest of the day.  That’s exactly what you need to relay to a potential buyer.  You are competing with every other home in your price range in your area and you need to give your house the chance to outshine all the others!

While this may seem like a lot of work, you can be sure it will pay off.  The goal for you is to present your house so well that you can quickly find a buyer and move on to settling into your next home!

Coming up!  Step 3:  Repairing