Monday, August 31, 2009


Just for fun – and contrast – I found the cheapest home and the most expensive home in Tulsa. If you judge by price per square foot...check out this property selling for $7.31/SF; in contrast to this property selling for $575.00/SF! Six bedrooms, seven full baths, three half baths, yet only a 2-car garage (interesting) on a gorgeous three and a half acres +/-. It's the most expensive by square foot and also on mere price at $10 million.

If you're shopping somewhere in between...give us a call!

Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Compute This

Laptop or desktop? If you can't decide which type of computer to buy, consider the environmental aspect when making a decision. Laptops can be 25 percent more energy efficient than desktops. Desktops, however, possess "green" traits, too. How? Some of their components last longer, and expired parts may be easier to replace.

Source: Unknown

Bill Whitescarver - Broker Associate
Whitescarver & Asssociates with Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Cell: 918-691-7653

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Now's the Time to Buy in Real Estate

Investors are returning as the real estate market recovers.

BusinessWeek’s real estate guru Marc Roth points out these opportunities, which he says make sense if investors are willing to look over the property carefully and ask tough questions.

Options they should consider include:

Buying a single-family house. This could be a first home or a dream home or a home to rent out.

Buying a multi-family investment property.

Snapping up a vacation property. There are deep discounts to be found in high-end resort areas.

Investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust. REITs were hit hard in the downturn, but many are on their way back.

Source: BusinessWeek, Marc Roth (08/26/2009)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jenks schools awarded $1.5 million grant

Here's a great story on the Jenks Public Schools!

By SARA PLUMMER World Staff WriterPublished: 8/21/2009

Jenks Public Schools has been awarded a $1.5 million federal grant to fund a Chinese language immersion program, the first in Oklahoma. The program, called the Chinese Initiative, will create a partial immersion program at Southeast Elementary which serves prekindergarten through fourth grade students, according to a news release from the school district. The program will roll out in five years and serve one class in each grade. Students who participate will spend half the school day in Chinese instruction with native Chinese teachers and the other half with English-speaking teachers. Professional development and training for existing teachers is included in the grant as well as training and certification for Chinese speaking teachers. The Foreign Language Assistance Program grant is funded through the U.S. Department of Education.
By SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer

Monday, August 24, 2009

First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Extension Possible

Bills to extend the maximum $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers, which expires Nov. 30, are pending in both the U.S. House and the Senate.

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat and chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, is co-sponsor of a bill with Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson that would raise the credit amount to a maximum of $15,000.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid of Nevada favors an extension of the current credit. He was quoted by the Las Vegas Sun saying, "It's something we can get done."

Odds are that the credit will be extended and broadened to cover all buyers next year, but the chances of the amount increasing aren’t as good, observers say.

Source: Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth R. Harney (08/22/2009)


A remodeled kitchen is one of the best ways to add instant value to your home. Typically, kitchen remodeling will give you one of the highest home remodeling returns, at about 80-100% return on your investment. The kitchen is also the heart of the home and one of the rooms you certainly use the most, so why not start your next home project with a kitchen remodel?
Here are some great tips to consider before starting your kitchen remodel.
If you are considering updating or remodeling your kitchen or any other room in your home, give me a call and I will be happy to come by and give you my tried and true design tips to make sure you get the most out of your investment.
John Sawyer
918-289-7065 cell

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Strong Gain in Existing-Home Sales

Cindy Rodgers
Chinowth and Cohen Realtors

For the first time in five years, existing-home sales have increased for four months in a row, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.24 million units in July from a level of 4.89 million in June. Sales are 5.0 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008. The last time sales rose for four consecutive months was in June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005.

Largest Gain in a Decade

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said he is encouraged. “The housing market has decisively turned for the better. A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales,” he said.

The monthly sales gain was the largest on record for the total existing-home sales series dating back to 1999.

“Because price-to-income ratios have fallen below historical trends, there are more all-cash offers. In some recovering markets like San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Orlando, the demand for foreclosed and lower-priced homes has spiked, and a lack of inventory is becoming a common complaint,” Yun said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 5.22 percent in July from 5.42 percent in June. The rate was 6.43 percent in July 2008.

"First-Time Buyer Tax Credit is Working"

An NAR practitioner survey showed first-time buyers purchased 30 percent of homes in July, and that distressed homes accounted for 31 percent of transactions. NAR President Charles McMillan said the first-time buyer tax credit is working. “In addition to first-time buyers, we’re also seeing increased activity by repeat buyers. While many entry-level buyers are focused on the discounted prices of distressed homes, they’re also freeing some existing owners to sell and make a move,” he said.

“Realtors are the best resource for consumers in these changing market conditions because the transaction process has become more complex. Since it’s now taking longer to complete a home sale, first-time buyers who want to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit should try to make contract offers by the end of September,” McMillan said. “Otherwise, they may miss the November 30 closing deadline.”

Inventory Up, Prices Down

Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 7.3 percent to 4.09 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which was unchanged from June because of the strong sales gain. Raw inventory totals are 10.6 percent lower than a year ago when the number of unsold homes was at a record.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $178,400 in July, which is 15.1 percent lower than July 2008. Distressed properties continue to weigh down the median price because they typically sell for 15 to 20 percent less than traditional homes.

Single-Family Homes and Condos

Single-family home sales increased 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million in July from a pace of 4.33 million in June, and are 5.0 percent higher than the 4.39 million-unit level in July 2008. The median existing single-family home price was $178,300 in July, which is 14.6 percent below a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales jumped 12.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units in July from 560,000 in June, and are 5.9 percent above the 595,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $178,800 in July, down 18.9 percent from July 2008.

By Region:

The Northeast surged 13.4 percent to an annual pace of 930,000 in July, and are 3.3 percent higher than July 2008. The median price in the Northeast was $236,700, down 15.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 10.9 percent in July to a level of 1.22 million and are 8.0 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $157,200, which is 5.9 percent less than July 2008.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 7.1 percent to an annual pace of 1.95 million in July and are 5.4 percent higher than July 2008. The median price in the South was $164,500, down 7.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West slipped 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.13 million in July, but are 1.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $202,300, which is 28.0 percent below July 2008.

Source: NAR

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Tulsa......

Smashburger Serves up Second Location in Tulsa

With the goal of becoming Tulsa's favorite burger place, Smashburger will open its second location in Tulsa, Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2009. Smashburger is a 'better burger' restaurant concept launched and funded with $15 million by private equity and concept. The second location is 10830 E. 71st Street near the Cinemark IMAX Theatre in the Woodland Park area of Tulsa.

You can read the full story at this URL:

For more info on the Smashburger & their Menu click below:

Talena M. Floyd
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors
"Make My Hometown, Your Hometown"

(918) 361-3404


In real estate, as in other things, you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression. That first impression could mean the difference. Use the following suggestions to help ensure your property will be appealing to people shopping for a home or just driving through the neighborhood. These little things often make the biggest impression!

~ Keep the lawn mowed and the shrubs trimmed; remove dead plants.
~ Repair cracks in the foundation, chimney or walkways; resurface the driveway if needed.
~ Repaint window casings, shutters, or doors, as needed.
~ Store garbage, debris, lawn mowers, and hoses out of sight.
~ Keep the garage door closed.
~ Wash the windows.
~ Clean the home exterior, sidewalks, and pavement - it's incredible what a powerful pressure washer can do.
~ Make sure your front door & porch are clean.
~ Keep the pool immaculate.
~ Make sure the front door opens and shuts smoothly and the doorbell functions.

Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There's Still Time to Take Advantage of the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit

There's still time to take advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit. The deadline is November 30, 2009. Interest rates continue to be at all time lows. See the article below for more information.

Real estate professionals report that first-time home buyers are flooding the sale market, pressed to finalize a deal before the federal government's $8,000 tax credit offer expires on Nov. 30.

Because mortgage approvals, residential inspections, and other steps in the buying process typically take about two months, buyers hoping to take advantage of the incentive will need to have a contract by the end of September.

The new flurry of activity now as house-hunters try to meet the deadline is triggering bidding wars and energizing the property market, which historically is slow at the end of summer. As a result, more homes are getting their full asking price.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Kathleen Lynn (08/14/09)

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ever wonder where the free wi-fi locations are in the Tulsa area? I stumbled on this site the other day, so thought I'd share the link. Enjoy!

Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First Time Buyers, It's Not Too Late!!

Thinking of taking the "leap" and becoming a homeowner? It's not too late to take advantage of the $8000 Goverment Tax Credit. You must buy your home no later than November 30, 2009 in order to qualify.

Will this incentive be available next year? At this point, no one knows. Like the wildly popular "Cash for Clunkers" program, I do not know if the funds will be available in the future or if this offer will extend only through November.

In order to qualify, you must be a first time home buyer or have not owned a home during the past 3 years. You can either file an amended tax return to receive your credit immediately after you purchase your new home or you can file in the Spring with your 2009 taxes. Think of what you could do with your $8000 tax credit!

"What is the catch?", you ask. Answer: You need to live in your home for a minimum of 3 years or you will need to pay the credit back out of the proceeds from the sale of the home.

If you are seriously thinking of becoming a homeowner, now is the time to act. Please call me at (918)812-8338. I can answer questions such as how much home you can afford, provide you the names and phone numbers of reputable lenders and help determine your wants and needs to find the perfect "First Home" for you.

Please feel free to call me or visit my website at

Selling Your Home in Tulsa – Can you and your Realtor agree on Price?

We have many “values” floating around. We have your taxed assessed value which is public record, and you may have a bank-appraised value. Then there’s the neighbor down the street who sold his home for $xxx, and you know your home is nicer than his. Then your son jumped on the internet and determined your home value on Zillow.

We have a tendency to take the price we paid for our home, then add the cost of each improvement made – although some of those “improvements” would fall into the category of “maintenance.” Of course, we want to factor in an amount for sweat equity and profit. Lastly, it’s our nature to want to add a few dollars for negotiating room.

Although we may be selling used homes, we’re not selling used cars. It’s critical to your home selling success to price your home correctly from day one.

Your Realtor should be able to provide you a list of comparable properties that have sold in your neighborhood in the last six months. Some will be in better or worse condition than your home, and that needs to be taken into consideration. Sadly, there may be foreclosures in your neighborhood that will adversely affect your property’s value.

The bottom line is that your home is worth what someone is willing to pay. Period.

We don’t have a crystal ball to determine that amount, but we do have statistical data available to us in order to make an educated guess. We don’t “pad” that amount to allow for negotiating room.

Buyers today are savvy shoppers and your home won’t be shown if it’s overpriced. The longer your home is on the market, the more desperate you appear and thus, the more negotiable your price becomes. Probably the first question Buyers ask today is, “how long has this property been on the market?” If the answer is “ninety+ days,” get ready for that low-ball offer.

As our real estate market is ever-changing, we now have to be concerned that your home will appraise for the amount it will be sold, and that too must be factored into your pricing decision. And, the quickest way to de-value your home is to go through a series of price reductions!

Your home will sell if it is in top condition, priced correctly and marketed aggressively. Choose the Listing Realtor that understands this selling strategy.

Pricing your home correctly requires homework and is an emotional decision – but a decision that’s truly “priceless.”

Lori Cain; 918-852-5036;

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fed: Recession Ending, Rates Left Alone

Cindy Rodgers
Chinowth and Cohen Realtors

The Federal Reserve ended its policy-making meeting Wednesday with the declaration that the recession is ending and it would move toward more normal policies.

The Fed said, “Economic activity is leveling out.” It added that it expected inflation would remain “subdued for some time.”

The Fed said it will keep the short-tem key interest rate near zero, but it will end its program to buy $300 billion worth of Treasury bonds by the end of October. Buying bonds was one of the Fed’s efforts to drive down the cost of home mortgages.

“In a way, it’s more of a thumbs-up than if they had said they were continuing the Treasury-buying,” said Edward McKelvey, an economist at Goldman Sachs. “They’re saying that things are going according to plan, and that the policy is O.K.”

Source: The New York Times, Edmund L. Andrews (08/12/2009)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home Hunting Without Fear

As any daredevil, extreme sports addict or adrenaline junkie knows, well-grounded preparation for the specific task at hand is what takes the fear out of trying. The sometimes risky sport of home buying is no different.

Those who've suffered the agony of defeat in what's likely the most dangerous consumer game, learned the hard way that sheer fearlessness isn't enough to become and remain a homeowner -- through good times and bad.

With the rules of the housing game changed forever, preparing to just squeak by the home buying ordeal isn't enough to achieve a decisive and lasting victory. The idea isn't just to buy a home. The goal is to keep your own roof over your head.

Preparation is key, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). From NAR, here's how to get ready to be and remain a homeowner.

Create a wish list. Write down housing wants and needs. Include all the physical characteristics you want or need. Include style, size, layout and room configuration. Look at the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the basic amenities you must have. Include critical features such as location and services and a home's proximity to good schools or public transportation lines.

Browse for housing. and other Web sites offer home valuation features and neighborhood data on trends in local markets. Use features to determine how a listing compares with nearby, comparable properties in terms of value, actual sales prices, home features, neighborhood characteristics, and more.

Work with an expert. Finding a professional real estate agent who will represent your best interests can make the difference in location, negotiating the best offer, and closing the home of your dreams. Look for a full time real estate agent, who has uploaded telling photos and videos of their listings and look for agents with good Web sites to market your listing.

Get the complete picture before you visit. You can't know everything about a community from an online listing. Schools, crime, and proximity to shopping and work all impact property values. NAR says talk to a Realtor and go to to explore communities.

Make sure the property details are reliable. Buyers need know when a listing has experienced a price change. Look for Web sites like that updates listings frequently, including price changes. Fresh and reliable information is critical. time stamps listings to help buyers make better informed decisions. Get email alerts and stay on top of changes so you can be first to act.

Source: Realty Times

Bill Whitescarver
Broker Associate
Whitescarver & Associates

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mortgage Rates Dip Slightly

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 5.22 percent during the week ended Aug. 6 from 5.25 percent the prior week, Freddie Mac reports.

Over the same period, the 15-year fixed-mortgage rate slipped to 4.63 percent from 4.69 percent.

As for adjustable-mortgage rates, the five-year fell to 4.73 percent from 4.75 percent, and the one-year dipped to 4.78 percent from 4.80 percent.

Source: Los Angeles Times (08/07/09)

Oklahoma Sales Tax Holiday will be held from Friday, August 7 - Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oklahoma Sales Tax Holiday will be held from Friday, August 7 - Sunday, August 9, 2009.

The Oklahoma Sales Tax Holiday will apply to clothing and shoes priced at less than $100.

Beginning at 12:01 am on Friday, August 7, 2009, and ending at twelve midnight on Sunday, August 9, 2009, Oklahoma will hold its third annual sales tax holiday giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain clothing and shoes free of sales tax. This includes state, city, county and local municipality sales taxes.

“The sales tax holiday provides Oklahomans with the ability to save money on clothing and other items which are included while supporting their local retailers,” said Paula Ross, Oklahoma Tax Commission spokesperson.

Retailers are required to participate and may not charge tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday. The sales tax holiday exempts the sale of clothing and shoes priced at less than $100 from sales taxes.

For more information and answers to common questions on the sales tax holiday, as well as a listing of sales tax exempt items please refer to the Oklahoma Tax Commission website.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Sales Tax Holiday in Oklahoma.

Now, let's get out and shop for back-to-school clothing!
Lori Cain, 918-852-5036; e-mail:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Historic Riverview Neighborhood in Tulsa Oklahoma

Historic Riverview Neighborhood in Tulsa - My husband and I live in the home in which he was born and has lived the past 54 years -- at 19th and Cheyenne in the Riverview Neighborhood – our actual subdivision is Buena Vista. To the right is a photo of "our casa."

Our Riverview Association is very active. Our Riverview neighborhood consists of four historic districts: Carlton Place, Buena Vista, Stone Breaker Heights and Riverview.

We recently were accepted in the National Register of Historic Places, and now display a lovely plaque on our front porch, reading, “THIS PROPERTY LIES WITHIN THE HISTORIC BUENA VISTA PARK DISTRICT OF RIVERVIEW and HAS BEEN PLACED ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR – PLATTED 1908. Our home was built in 1915 and is one of the few with Spanish-style architecture.

Tulsa has fourteen historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places which showcase the variety and appeal of Tulsa’s residential architecture and historical neighborhood development. Our National Register Districts are some of the most sought-after places to live in Tulsa.

Historic Riverview Neighborhood is a Historic Tulsa Neighborhood featuring diverse architecture, the Council Oak Tree, Route 66, Tulsa Riverparks, McBirney Mansion, Dresser Mansion, Spotlight Theater, Ambassador Hotel and Sophian Plaza. The Riverview neighborhood derived its name from the Riverview Elementary Public School that was located at 512 W 12th. The school was demolished in 1975.
  • Architecture - The Riverview neighborhood boasts some excellent examples of Craftsman Style bungalows (in abundance), Art Deco, Greek Revival, Colonial Revival, Gothic Revival, Italianate, Neo Classical, Prairie, Eclectic Prairie, Mediterranean, Spanish Eclectic and Queen Anne styles.

  • Living Choices - Riverview also has myriad apartment and condominium choices for those looking for Uptown living, a river view, quite neighborhood or spectacular downtown views: Liberty Towers, The Olympian, University Club Tower, and historic the Sophian Plaza to name just a few.
  • Entertainment - Riverview includes the SOBO district located at 18th and Boston famous for its vibrant night life. Clubs include Rehab Lounge, 1740, Sax and Mercury.

  • Local Restaurants - Dalessandro's and Boston's and local coffee house Doubleshots. Also visit the Chalkboard restaurant in the Ambassador Hotel in Uptown at 14th and Main. Local Parks Veterans' Park at 21st and Boulder has soccer fields, baseball diamonds, play equipment and splash pad. Many events are held in the large park each year.

  • Council Oak/Stickball Park located at 18th and Cheyenne is the home of the historic council oak of the Lochapoka indigenous peoples filled with plantings native to Tulsa. Riverparks along the banks of the Arkansas River has miles of running, walking and biking trails.
To see homes for sale in Riverview, Maple Ridge, Terwilleger Heights and other areas of midtown Tulsa, search Chinowth & Cohen Realtors’ web site. Please call me if you are shopping for a home in midtown Tulsa -- I LIVE here! 918-852-5036!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


It is still a buyers market, but there are still homes that sell very quickly and homes that get multiple offers. It has always been that way. Today's buyer is looking for a bargain but home sales are still negotiated. Negotiating is about give and take and back and forth. Often neither buyers or sellers are in a position to dictate the terms. Both buyers and sellers need to keep in mind that the party on the other side of the transaction is a person . . unless it is a bank. Buyers won't always get what they want, neither will the sellers. Buyers need to understand that it is possible to tick the sellers off and sometimes sellers do not have an unlimited amount of money and as amazing as it may seem sometimes sellers have more than one interested buyer. Negotiating is about back and forth, give and take. Negotiations can break down even in a buyers market if the buyer makes too many demands.

The Butler Team
Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Wall Color is one of the defining elements of a home.  Pottery Barn and Benjamin Moore have made it so much easier to decide how to choose the perfect color for every room of your home.  I always tell my clients that a fresh coat of paint in the right color is the quickest and least expensive way to give their home an instant "face lift"
The Sawyer Wallace Home Collection
918-289-7065 cell

South Tulsa 918-392-0900 | Mid Town Tulsa 918-392-9900 | Broken Arrow 918-259-0000 | Owasso 918-392-9990

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