Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Know when to improve and when to move

If you missed it, one of our owners, Sheryl Chinowth, had a wonderful article published in the Tulsa World last week. Check out "Know when to improve and when to move" at

The article offers great advice on the age old question of whether to move or remodel.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Build your own Greek dinner, buy a Greek cookbook with an area flavor, and imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of Mediterranean life at Greek Holiday, the 49th Greek festival, Sept. 24-26, 1206 South Guthrie, Tulsa (south of the Broken Arrow Expressway, between Denver and Houston Streets).

Greek Holiday, Tulsa’s oldest ethnic festival, will be open Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sept. 25 and 26, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Admission is free before 4 p.m. daily or at anytime for anyone with a Greek Holiday food ticket purchased in advanced. Children 12 and under will be admitted free throughout the festival when accompanied by parents.

Sponsored by Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (Holy Trinity), Greek Holiday features a wide variety of activities--dining from a menu full of delicious home-cooked Greek foods, ethnic dancing, shopping for home-made Greek pastries, Greek jewelry and gifts, and imported foods.

“The people of Holy Trinity have hosted a Greek festival for more than 48 years and we are truly grateful for the support we annually receive from the Tulsa area,” said Demetrius Bereolos, general chairperson. “For a few days each year, we invite Tulsa and the surrounding cities to our ‘house’ to share our faith and culture.

Greek holiday guests can build their own Greek dinner from 11 home-cooked items such as chargrilled chicken or meat shish kabob, gyros sandwich, lamb wrap sandwich [slices of baked lamb on pita bread with a fresh, creamy lemon-cucumber sauce (tsatsiki)], calamari, Greek-style potatoes, Greek salad with feta cheese and Kalamata olives, rice pilaf, and pita bread.

The new a la carte menu also offers a Greek appetizer plate--dolmathes (grape leaves stuffed with rice), tiropiita (cheese pie), keftethes (Greek meatballs), spanakopita (spinach pie), feta cheese and Kalamata olives. New and featured this year is pastichio, Greek lasagna.

To rinse the taste of garlic and oregano that accents many Greek foods at Greek Holiday, there will be soft drinks, Greek wine, beer and Greek coffee.

A meal of Greek food and beverages would not be complete without tempting Greek desserts such as the famous baklava (layers of philo dough filled with cinnamon and nuts and covered with honey). Also available is galatoburko (a custard pastry), kourambiedes (a butter cookie covered with powdered sugar), koulourakia and finikia (baked cookies best served with coffee), and loukoumades (honey puffs).

Ancient traditions will come to life on stage, as dancers in authentic ethnic costumes, age 5 to 55, perform dances that are hundreds of years old and that tell stories of harvest, wars, love, and passion for Greece.

To learn more about the role Greek Orthodox religion and traditions play in our culture, tours of Holy Trinity will be conducted throughout Greek Holiday, under the direction of Father William Christ.

Portions of Greek Holiday proceeds will be donated to Tulsa-based charities. In the past, American Red Cross, Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, Emergency Infant Services, Habitat for Humanity, John 3:16 Mission, Make-a-Wish Foundation (Oklahoma Chapter), and Resonance have received donations from Greek Holiday.

For more information about Greek Holiday or to buy advanced tickets (including free admission to Greek Holiday), call 918-583-2082. Visit the Greek Holiday website and click on “Greek Holiday Festival.”
Submitted by Lori Cain, 918-852-5036

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"City of the Future"

Tulsa identified as "city of the future"

Tulsa identified as "city of the future"

Accolades for Tulsa continue to roll in with fDi magazine’s “North American Cities of the Future” list. Tulsa was named the No. 8 small city of the future.

“Tulsa continues to outperform other cities across the nation in job growth, unemployment, income and cost of living,” said Jim Fram, the Chamber’s senior vice president of economic development. “Add these factors to our diversified and emerging industries, the low cost of doing business and the momentum we've created with attractions like the BOK Center and a new downtown baseball park, and people from all over the world are taking notice of Tulsa and its potential.”

fDi’s list took six months of research to compile with data from nearly 400 North American cities. The magazine, which benchmarks global locations on foreign investment appeal, used six categories to identify cities of the future: economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness.

Cities were categorized by population in order to make data more comparative across city sizes. Tulsa fell into the “small city” category with a population between 100,000 and 500,000.

“Tulsa’s economy and our quality of life attributes compare well to other cities across the country,” Fram said. “If we take full advantage of these attributes today by recruiting new business, expanding existing companies and growing the job market, Tulsa has the opportunity to be one of the greatest tier 1 cities in the United States.”


When you are selling your home, it immediately becomes a product that buyers compare with all the other homes they look at. Preparing to have your home look its best is a very smart idea. However it is easy to spend time and money on things that may not help all that much, and could even have a detrimental effect. Hiring professional help to put your home’s best face forward is a relatively new phenomena.

Most Interior Designers think they can stage homes and most Staging Professionals think they can do Interior Design. There is some crossover, true, but the philosophies and purpose are very different. There is much more training, talent and skill needed to be an effective designer than most Staging Professionals possess. On the other hand, many designers don’t really understand the common sense or purpose behind Staging. When you are living in your home you usually want to express your individual tastes. You want it to look great, but you want it to be YOU! Enter the Interior Designer.

The objectives are different when you are staging your home for sale. You don’t want the prospective buyer to fall in love with your decor, or be green with envy over your art collection, or focused on your great black and white photography collection of your children and pets. You want them to be able to focus on the HOUSE! You want them to get a vision of how their things and their famliy could fit in it. You don’t have to pack up and move completely out leaving it empty, but almost every home needs a little editing. We all accumulate a lot of stuff and a little early packing is in order. Staging is not rocket science! Much of it is common sense. Much of this is realted to Clean Up...Clear Out...Fix In...Fix Out! If successfully accomplished, prospective buyers will be able to view your home at its best. Best because its good features will be discovered and enhanced and they can see and feel themselves living there. That usually means a faster sale and a better price!

Tina & Mike Butler
(918) 740-1000

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sellers: Know Your Buyer Market

Before you start a company, the first thing you should do is market research to determine your target market. This important step will help determine how successful you ultimately will be. The same is true when it comes to selling your home. Understanding the buyer market and who might be a good fit for your home will help ensure that you highlight the most vital features.

"Just like the business of television advertising commercials, you need to know who your target audience is," writes Michael Corbet in his book Ready, Set, Sold! Before putting your home on the market, you should take time to search for the best REALTOR® to handle your transaction. Your agent can help you better understand which buyers are most likely going to be interested in your home.

Even though you may have lived in your neighborhood for years, taking the time to drive or walk around it is a good idea. But this time do it with the same viewpoint you had when you were originally considering buying your home. It can really be a very different view. If you’re objective, you’ll see both the key selling points of the neighborhood as well as the things that may deter buyers. Seeing it all is beneficial because that’s exactly what potential buyers will see.

If there is a concern that needs addressing, an eyesore in the neighborhood or a foreclosure that’s been sitting boarded up on the block for several months, don’t be afraid to talk about it. The potential buyers are going to know it’s there (if they do their homework).

Making your home ready for your specific buyer market will help you not waste time marketing it to uninterested buyers. For instance, if your home is a two-story home, you might find that elderly couples or people looking to "age in place" might not be as attracted to it because of the steps to the second story. People seeking aging-in-place homes often want a single story so that the entire home is accessible without the difficulty or exertion of having to travel upstairs. If, your home is located in one of the best school districts, draw attention to this. Many parents will move to a neighborhood almost exclusively because of a school district’s glowing reputation. Don’t assume that the potential buyers automatically know this school district’s reputation—shout it through your marketing materials.

Corbet writes that there are several common types of buyers: single first-time, working couple, family, retirees or empty nesters, and a growing buyer market is women who purchase homes sans spouse/partner. Taking a closer look at these groups can help identify what’s important to each. Single first-time buyer: Corbet writes, "Since a huge percentage of renters are women, it’s no surprise that they represent a large percentage of first-time buyers.

The house needs to be spotless, have great curb appeal, and evoke a warm and welcoming feeling with a few amenities." However, Corbet is quick to point out that in this economic era the home must also "be basic enough to be affordable." Working couple: many times this buyer market is looking for a well-maintained home that offers privacy, and enough space for the couple to have some place to work and relax apart. Dual sinks in the bathroom are a plus, also extra storage and good closet accommodations.

Family: these buyers typically go wild over open floor plans, kitchens that flow into great rooms, lots of storage, backyard space, homes that are set-back off the street, cul-de-sacs, Jack and Jill bathrooms (the bathroom is attached to and between two bedrooms), and good-size laundry area.

Empty nesters: think ease, comfort, and lifestyle. This group has "been there, done that"! They’re looking for comfortable living with a simpler lifestyle. Corbet writes, "They also look for smaller, more manageable backyards and low-maintenance landscaping." Security systems are a plus for this group too. Knowing your buyer market gives you an advantage—you can highlight the features of your home that are most likely exactly what those buyers want.

Source: Realty Times, written by Phoebe Chongchua
Bill Whitescarver
Whitescarver & Associates

Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market? Good time to sell or good time to buy in Tulsa?

Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market? Good time to sell or good time to buy in Tulsa?

In Tulsa, our inventory of homes for sale is higher than it has been in several years, but between Buyer incentives and low interest rates, our Buyer activity is high.

Which leads us to the logical conclusion . . . if it’s a good time to buy, then it has to be a good time to sell!

Although the stimulus money deadline is drawing near, the interest rates buyers can obtain are still extremely attractive. If you are ready to downsize, there is a family out there that is ready to leave their starter home for a larger home. And there are first-time Buyers who will be interested in that starter home you are leaving!

Because the inventory of homes is high, your home MUST BE in move-in condition to sell. Because Buyers have much from which to choose, they will not consider homes that need work.

Your home must be priced correctly. If the average home in your neighborhood sells for $80/square foot and yours is priced at $100/square foot, Buyers will not consider it. An over-priced home will be on the market longer and endure price reductions – two things that actually “lessen” the value of your home in the Buyer’s eyes.

Your home must be marketed aggressively. With almost 90% of the Buyers searching for homes on the internet, photos and virtual tours of your home must be plastered on numerous web sites.

Move-in ready, priced correctly, marketed aggressively – the winning strategy to selling your home in Tulsa! I would be happy to sell your house - please call me!
Lori Cain, 918-852-5036

Monday, September 14, 2009

Three Things You Need to Know

1) To open a sealed envelope, put it in the freezer for an hour, then gently slide a knife under the flap to break the seal. You can then reseal it.

2) To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag, add the flowers and shake vigorously. The salt helps to dislodge and absorb the dirt and dust.

3) To remove an old candle from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours, then turn it upside down and tap. The old candle will fall out. Any wax that remains can be more easily scraped off.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


When the hot weather breaks and the mail brings the notices for the kids’ school, it means many things. One of which is the realization that the time to complete outdoor home projects is running short. You don’t have to read the Little House series to know that the way people survived was by spending the summer getting ready for winter. The limiting problem is always paint. You can’t paint outside when it’s below 35F at night. Every outdoor project needs the protection of paint to make it through the winter intact, and that’s something we need to get done in September. When the weather gets that slight chill in it, there’s a real temptation to sit back and enjoy what is left of the summer. It’s our reward for getting through the bad weather of winter. September can be a beautiful month and there’s still time to enjoy it, and plenty of time to sit in the rocking chair. The cooler end of summer lasts a fair amount of time, so take advantage and finish off those nagging outdoor projects.

Tina & Mike Butler

7 Reasons to Own Your Home

Cindy Rodgers
Chinowth and Cohen Realtors

1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home.

2. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through 2005, and increased 88.5 percent over the last 10 years, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.

3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.

4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will increase.

6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.

7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

Online resources: To calculate whether buying is the best financial option for you, use the “Buy vs. Rent” calculator at

Friday, September 4, 2009


The Tulsa Drillers have big plans for Labor Day Weekend, as they celebrate what will be their last games of the regular season at Drillers Stadium. The team plans many special events for fans that to mark the end of nearly three decades of play at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. The Drillers will host a three-game series with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals) that will run from Saturday, Sept. 5 through Monday, Sept. 7. The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive special commemoratives Saturday and Monday. On Sunday night, the game is followed by what is being called the largest fireworks show in stadium history. On Monday night, after the final out, they will remove the bases, which will be taken using a limousine to a temporary location. The bases will be used in the opening game next season at Oneok Field, the Drillers' new downtown home that is under construction. Fans will participate in a countdown from 29 to mark the team's 29 seasons at Drillers Stadium. When the count reaches zero, the lights will be turned off. The Drillers are the AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Next year, the Drillers will play at Oneok Field, a new downtown park under construction now in the Greenwood District. Tickets for all three games are now on sale at the stadium ticket office. Tickets are also available at or by calling 918-744-5901.


Have a safe & fun holiday week-end from The Butler Team!
Tina & Mike Butler

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The accolades just keep coming for the Tulsa area.
In yet another ranking, Tulsa is No. 1 for having the best cost of living among areas with a population of more than 500,000 and No. 2 for its quality of life, according to lists that appear in the August edition of Business Facilities magazine.
918-289-7065 cell

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Village on Main

Tuesday, September 01, 2009
TBJ Article

Clinic to Break Ground in JenksTulsa Business Staff8/3/2009 Officials will break ground this week on Utica Park Clinic-Jenks, the first occupant of the Village on Main.
The new 22,000-SF building will replace the current 3,400-SF facility, which has been in Jenks since 1998.
The new clinic will offer amenities such as increased and more convenient parking; an expanded, upscale clinical setting that doesn’t resemble a medical office building; a children’s play area; x-ray, laboratory, dexascan and mammography services; and six physician offices initially with room to expand to 12 offices on the second floor.
The ground breaking ceremony, scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 6, at 11:30 a.m. at 607 E. Main St., Jenks, will be hosted by County Commissioner Karen Keith. Utica Park Clinic CEO Dan Ramsey and Jenks Mayor Vic Vreeland are also scheduled to speak.
The Village on Main is a $60 million, 420,000-SF retail, office, residential and hotel development project set to be constructed during the next three years.

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

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