Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chinowth & Cohen Participates in Food Drive

By World Special Publications Published: 12/20/2011 9:57 AM Last Modified: 12/20/2011 9:57 AM

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors donated boxes of collected goods as part of a food and fundraising drive to benefit the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.Oklahoma is the fifth-hungriest state in the nation, and it’s estimated that 600,000 people struggle with hunger every day. Oklahoma food banks serve more than 150,000 people each week, yet it is not enough to keep up with the increased demand.“We feel blessed as a company, and we want to be a blessing in our community, especially during the holiday season,” said Sheryl Chinowth, owner and CEO. “By collecting meals for families in Northeast Oklahoma, we’re doing our part in helping to make sure no one goes hungry.”Every year, Chinowth encourages the associates and staff in the company to get involved in the food drive by collecting non-perishable food items or making monetary donations to help the hungry.This column is prepared by the Advertising Department of the Tulsa World.
You may send an item of interest to Stefanie Forney, Box 1770, Tulsa, Okla. 74102-1770 or e-mail to
Read more from this Tulsa World article at

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tulsa-area employment outlook tied for 5th best in nation

By LAURIE WINSLOW World Staff Writer Published: 12/13/2011

The Tulsa area's employment outlook for the first quarter of 2012 is tied for fifth best in the nation, according to the latest results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

According to the quarterly survey, 13 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire from January through March, while 2 percent expect to reduce staff. Another 78 percent expect to maintain their current work force levels, and 7 percent are uncertain of their hiring plans.
The area's net employment outlook of 11 percent - calculated by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring and subtracting the percentage expecting a decrease - was among the strongest in the nation.

Other metros with an 11 percent first-quarter net employment outlook that also ranked fifth best were Boston; Columbus, Ohio; Madison, Wis.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Worcester, Mass.
The metros with the best first-quarter employment outlook were Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., each with a 17 percent net employment outlook.

The metros with the weakest outlook were Dayton, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; and Spokane, Wash., all having a minus 4 percent net employment outlook.

Even though Tulsa's ranking in the Manpower survey is fifth best for the coming quarter compared to third best for the 2011 fourth quarter, the metro hasn't dropped back. It just means other areas are catching up, said Bob Ball, economic research manager for the Tulsa Metro Chamber.

The energy sector is driving Tulsa's growth along with manufacturing related to aerospace and construction, he said.

The Tulsa metro's unemployment rate inched up to 6.6 percent in October, the latest number available. Economists attributed the rising rate, however, to an improving economy as more people re-enter the labor force in hopes of finding work.

Local hiring activity is expected to drip during the first quarter compared to the current fourth quarter, when the net employment outlook was 13 percent, said Kelly Beyer, a branch manager for Manpower in Tulsa. A year ago, the net employment outlook was 12 percent.

Nationwide, of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 14 percent expect to add workers in the first quarter, and 9 percent expect a decline in their payrolls. Another 70 percent anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 7 percent are undecided about their hiring plans.

In demand For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in the following areas.

Professional and business services
Leisure and hospitality
Other services.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

Home Sales Improve (Tulsa World)

Home Sales Improve

Almost 750 area homes were sold last month. But prices have dropped 9 percent in the last year.

By ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer Published: 12/13/2011

For the first time since January, total home sales this year have surpassed 2010 levels across the Tulsa area.

The Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors reports that 743 properties changed hands last month. That's down 24.1 percent from October but up 15.4 percent from November 2010.
Furthermore, the 11-month total this year reached 9,335, which was 0.46 percent above the 9,292 sales logged last year through November.

Metro Tulsa home prices, however, are significantly down from a year ago.
The year-to-date total of homes sold has trailed last year's number for most of 2011, falling behind by as much as 15 percent during June.

Pete Galbraith, president of GTAR, said he and other real estate professionals are encouraged by the increased sales, especially since it's happening after the effects of the first-time homebuyer tax credit, which expired in mid-2010, are long gone.
"It's been a slow and steady recovery, with no artificial stimulus to create transactions that might not have otherwise occurred," he said.

David Momper, a broker and owner of Re/Max Executives in Tulsa, said that while things have improved somewhat they still have quite a way to go.

"I still think people are being conservative with their spending and that they're sitting on scared money," he said.

He believes that extremely low interest rates and low home prices are helping the market.
In another positive sign, the number of homes that are under contract to sell is now at 833, or 33.5 percent ahead of the pending sales recorded a year ago.

Galbraith said he's seen signs of increased activity for December so far, even though sales typically slack off during winter.

"I've been absolutely surprised by the number of transactions we've been booking this month," he said. "I think people are starting to feel good again."

Although sales have been on the rise, prices took a significant hit. The average sales price of $138,801 is now 9.78 percent below November 2010, and the median price of $117,900 - the point at which half of the sales are greater than that figure and half are less - is down 8.78 percent.

Galbraith attributed the drop to a market that heavily favors buyers over sellers.
"People are still having to compete harder on price to get those homes sold, and they're having to sell them for less than they did a year ago," he said.

Momper said the low prices could stick around for a while.

"I think we'll see better sales in 2012, but we might see a little bit of a drop in pricing, depending on what happens with American Airlines and the election," he said. "Though any loss will be less than the national average."

The average home in the Tulsa area takes 64 days to sell.
There are now significantly fewer homes on the market, with 9,244 listed to sell, a decrease of 10.6 percent from a year ago.

If no more homes were listed for sale, it would take approximately 11.06 months to sell them all, compared to 12.28 months in November 2010.

Galbraith said the decrease in inventory is another sign that home sales are improving.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

Friday, December 9, 2011

14 Tips for Furnace and Fireplace Safety

14 tips for furnace and fireplace safetyBeware of the 'silent killer'
By Bill and Kevin BurnettInman News™

Q: Our house was built around 1940; the fireplace is original; and we installed forced-air gas heating about 10 years ago. We haven't had the fireplace or furnace inspected. What do you guys recommend to get the fireplace and the furnace ready for winter?
A: Regular inspection and servicing of fireplaces and furnaces adds to comfort, makes them more economical, and most important, keeps them safe. Regular inspections can prevent a deadly house fire or the introduction of a silent killer: carbon monoxide.
Here's our checklist to keep you cozy and safe during the winter months:
Wood-burning fireplaces
1. Inspection by a certified chimney sweep is a must. For heavy use, the chimney should be inspected and cleaned annually. Go up to five years if the fireplace is used only occasionally. The sweep should inspect for proper operation of the damper and for cracks in the flue liner, as well as sweeping the flue to remove creosote and other combustion byproducts.
2. Close the damper when the fireplace isn't in use.
3. Install a chimney cap if you don't already have one. You don't want creatures building their nest in your flue.
4. When starting a fire, "prime" the flue by holding lighted newspaper at the back wall of the firebox to start the warm air rising.
5. Burn aged, dry hardwood if possible. Fir or pine burns hot and deposits creosote in the chimney. Don't burn construction debris. It may contain toxic chemicals that will vaporize in the fire and could enter the living space.
6. Do not clean out the fireplace when the ashes are still hot. And dispose of the ashes in a place where wayward embers won't start a fire.
Fireplace with gas starter
1. If the flame goes out, wait at least five minutes before attempting to relight the fireplace. This allows time to clear the fireplace of gas.
2. Be alert for unusual odors or odd-colored flames, which are often a sign that the fireplace is not operating properly. In such cases, contact your dealer or licensed technician for servicing. Contact the gas company if you smell gas when the unit is off.
Gas furnace maintenance
1. An annual maintenance check of a gas furnace extends the life of the appliance and ferrets out any hidden problems. A qualified heating contractor should vacuum out the unit, inspect the blower motor, inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, check the electronics and perform a multipoint checklist to make sure the furnace is operating properly.
2. Clean or replace the furnace filter frequently during the heating season. This ensures that air returning from the inside of the house is unobstructed and clean when entering the combustion chamber.
3. Keep vents, space heaters and baseboards clear of furniture, rugs and drapes to allow free air movement.
4. Ensure there is free airflow around your furnace and make sure there are no storage items obstructing airflow.
5. Do not store or use combustible materials, such as chemicals, paint, rags, clothing, draperies, paper, cleaning products, gasoline, or flammable vapors and liquids in the vicinity of the furnace.
6. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and lethal gas that can occur any time there is incomplete combustion or poor venting. Any home that contains fuel-burning appliances, such as a fireplace or furnace, should have a carbon monoxide alarm installed according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Housing Woes are Easing Data Shows

The number of households delinquent on mortgage payments has fallen to the lowest level since the end of 2008.
A Mortgage Bankers Association report shows 8% of mortgage borrowers were at least one month past due on their payments during the third quarter down from 8.4% in the second quarter and 9.1% one year ago.
The decline means the housing market woes aren't getting worse, but many markets must still digest an enormous backlog of bank owned foreclosures over the coming years. It's likely to keep pressure on prices for at least another year and the market remains vulnerable if the economic recovery doesn't accelerate.
The housing market has moved largely in lockstep with employment. As job growth firms up, delinquencies should continue to fall, but if borrowers lose their jobs or see their hours cut back they are more likely to fall behind on payments.
Experts say it could take at least three four years for foreclosure levels to return to more normal levels. The housing market still faces other big challenges, such as the nearly one in four homeowners with a mortgage who owe more than their homes are worth.
Florida appears to be in the worst shape for foreclosures. In the judicial-foreclosure state, more than 14% of all mortgages were in some stage of foreclosure at the end of September, the highest rate in the country.
Information Provided by: The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Housing Picture Expected to Brighten in 2012

Daily Real Estate News Thursday, November 17, 2011

Better times are ahead for the real estate market in the new year, according to several forecasts and recent surveys.

Fiserv, a financial information services firm, predicts that 95 percent of the 384 metro areas it tracks will see prices rise in 2012.

Many surveys and economists are forecasting a very modest increase for the housing market in the new year, but after several years of dropping prices and rising foreclosures, even the slightest increase would signal a glimmer of hope for the market. In a survey by MacroMarkets of 100 economists and real estate professionals, respondents reported home values will likely rise slightly at 0.25 percent in the new year.

The real estate market still faces a large backlog of foreclosures that it must work through in many markets. As such, price gains through 2015 will likely just be around 1.1 percent, according to the survey. However, this is a reversal after a forecast of 2.8 percent decline in median home values for this year.

Foreclosures continue to weigh on many markets and are preventing home values from stabilizing, economists say.

"The water is very deep in the living room, but it's no longer getting deeper and is starting to recede,” says Mark Fleming, CoreLogic's chief economist.

Low interest rates on mortgages mixed with more affordable housing for families in the median income range are expected help the market in its rebound in 2012, economists say.
Source: “A Smaller House Will Make a Big Difference,” Money Magazine (Nov. 14, 2011)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tulsa Continues to be Nationally Noticed! By Sheryl Chinowth

My awesome broker Sheryl Chinowth put this list together. I couldnt resist sharing it!
*No. 1 "Cost of Living" Value (Business Facilities 2011)
*No. 4 metro with the greatest real estate value gain over the last five years (Zillow, 2011)
*No. 1 place to live in the U.S. (Relocate America 2009)
*No. 1 state for entrepreneurship (Kauffman Foundation 2010)
*No. 1 metro for cost of living (Business Facilities 2010)
*No. 2 mid-sized city for jobs and No. 10 among all cities (Forbes 2009)
*No. 3 state for corporate tax environment (Area Development 2010)
*No. 4 state for employment (Business Facilities 2010)
*No. 4 state for workforce development (Area Development2010)
*No. 7 strongest U.S. metro economy (Business Week 2009)
*No. 8 U.S. city for young adults ( 2010
*No. 12 fastest-recoviering American city (Forbes 2009)
* The cost of doing business is 7.1 percent below the national average.
* Tulsa's cost of living is 11.5 percent below the national average.
* Tulsa county per capita income is 20.7 percent above the national average.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Does Homeownership Matter?

There are three simple but insightful reasons why homeownership is important according to
Historically, home owners’ net worth has ranged from 31 to 46 times that of renters.
A fixed-rate mortgage might not change for 15 to 30 years; rent typically increases 3% per year.
Every home purchased pumps $60,000 into the economy. Wow! What a great reason to purchase a home today! Not to mention historically low interest rates at or below 4%!
If you have been thinking about purchasing a home call me today at 918-906-9525 or visit my website at set up your profile page. I will contact you quickly and help you get started with the process.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mortgage rates drop below 4 percent for first time ever

Historically Low Rates dip below 4% this week! Are you ready to get in the game? I am available anytime to discuss getting your home ready to sell and/or starting your home buying adventure! Click the title of this post to check out an article on MSN, then contact me for the name of a great lender to take advantage of these rates.

Allison Sheffield

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oklahoma Home Price Appreciation Ranks Third in U. S.

Oklahoma was one of three bright spots in the nation, as U.S. housing slogs through a slump now in its fourth year since the 2007 sub prime mortgage meltdown and start of the national housing bust.

It's Oklahoma in third by a nose in the home price appreciation race, one of just three winners in a field of 51 contenders.

Oklahoma home values eked out an increase of 0.28 percent for the year ending June 30, according to the Federal Housing Finance Administration's purchase-only index — refinancing scratched from the lineup — released Thursday.

The District of Columbia was first, with a gain of 12.13 percent, and North Dakota came in second with an increase of 3.87 percent.

Behind Oklahoma were 48 states where prices depreciated, from a 0.25 percent drop in Alaska to a 14.91 percent dive in Arizona.

Oklahoma was in one of the few winners' circles in the nation, as U.S. housing as a whole continues to slog through a slump now in its fourth year since the 2007 sub prime mortgage market meltdown and bust of the national housing bubble. Oklahoma missed the bubble, for the most part — and has missed the worst of the aftermath.

Linda Smalley, Chinowth & Cohen South Office, cell phone 918.630.8431,

Source: Richard Mize,, 8/26/11

Where to Live When You Retire!

Where to live when you retire!
No nursing home for us. We'll be checking into a Holiday Inn!

With the average cost for a nursing home care costing $188.00 per day, there is a better way when we get old and too feeble.
I've already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn.
For a combined long term stay discount and senior discount, it's $59.23 per night.
Breakfast is included, and some have happy hours in the afternoon.
That leaves $128.77 a day for lunch and dinner in any restaurant we want, or room service, laundry, gratuities and special TV movies.
Plus, they provide a spa, swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge and washer-dryer, etc.
Most have free toothpaste and razors, and all have free shampoo and soap.
$5 worth of tips a day you'll have the entire staff scrambling to help you.
They treat you like a customer, not a patient.
There's a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free.
The handicap bus will also pick you up (if you fake a decent limp).
To meet other nice people, call a church bus on Sundays.
For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there.
While you're at the airport, fly somewhere. Otherwise, the cash keeps building up.

It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. Holiday Inn will take your reservation today.
And you're not stuck in one place forever -- you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.
Want to see Hawaii ? They have Holiday Inn there too.
TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem.. They fix everything, and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks to see if you are ok. If not, they'll call an ambulance . . . or the undertaker.
If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to find you, and probably check in for a few days mini-vacation.

The grandkids can use the pool.
What more could I ask for?

So, when I reach that golden age, I'll face it with a grin.
Author unknown but works for me!
Seriously though, if you need help selling your house when that time comes I would be happy to help make the transition go as smoothly as possible and as always treat you as family. Call Robin Beene at 918-906-9525

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors Sponsor Fund Raiser for Bright Futures Joplin

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors recently held a company wide fundraiser for the “Adopt an Eagle” backpack program sponsored by Bright Futures Joplin. Realtors from the six Chinowth & Cohen offices in the Tulsa Metro area donated $2,318 to assist in providing backpacks to the 7,740 kids starting back school this year in Joplin, MO following the devastating tornado on May 3.

Bright Futures Joplin is a grass roots, community based program that creates partnerships and utilizes community resources for the common goal of helping Joplin kids and strengthening families and community. They have been integral in assisting the Public Schools of Joplin in reorganizing after the tornado.

Bright Futures Joplin spearheaded a campaign to raise money so that every student starting back school this year received a backpack with necessary school supplies. Joplin Public Schools estimates 54% of their students were in the zone of destruction. Ten schools were partially or completely lost and 260 teachers lost classrooms and supplies.

“Our company has remained active in assisting our neighbors in Joplin, MO through this difficult time. Our Associates have donated money to a Children’s Crisis Shelter and now to students of Joplin public schools. We will continue our efforts through additional fund raising activities through the end of the year, “ said Sheryl Chinowth, CEO of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors. “The sheer devastation that affected that community is unbelievable. Anything we can do to assist them to rebuild and reorganize we are glad to do.”

Founded in 2004 by Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, Chinowth & Cohen Realtors has six locations including South Tulsa, Midtown Tulsa, Owasso, Bartlesville, Sand Springs and Broken Arrow. With a reputation for elite service, Chinowth & Cohen Realtors has been voted “Best of the Best” Real Estate Company five years running by a statewide publication. Chinowth & Cohen Realtors has over 350 Associates affiliated with the firm. In addition to residential real estate, Chinowth & Cohen Realtors operates a full service Property Management division, Relocation Department and C&C Commercial Realtors.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jazz-Up Your Curb Appeal with Local Art

Looking for Ways to Enhance Your Curb Appeal and Your Yard?

This year's Living Arts "Art in the Garden" Preview Party, hosted by Southwood Nursery, is Thursday, September 22nd 6:30-9:30pm.

Experience original art designed for the garden and meet local artists while enjoying refreshments and live musical performances.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $20 and will be available at Southwood the day of the event. The ticket price also includes admission all four gardens on this year’s Living with Art in the Garden Tour. For more information on the preview party and Art in the Garden tour visit, or contact Southwood Nursery at 91st and Riverside.

Your home's curb appeal is the invitiation to tour your home when it's on the market. To learn more on how to get your home ready to list, give me a call at 918.630.8431. I am always available to answer your real estate questions.

Linda Smalley, Chinowth & Cohen, South Office

Featured art in photo, Garden Deva of Tulsa, 3rd and Trenton

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Football Season is Upon Us!

After a long, hot (yet productive!) summer, I am sooo ready for football season and all the socializing and food that comes along with it! Between our local high schools, and state colleges, we have plenty of local football to enjoy here in the Tulsa area. My alma mater, The University of Oklahoma, is ranked #1 for the NCAA this year! GO SOONERS! Click here for the 2011 college football schedule. Who are you rooting for this year?

If you need a change of scenery or perhaps bigger space to entertain your friends and family for football or any other upcoming holiday celebrations, I would be honored to help you. Feel free to contact me anytime!

Allison Sheffield

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors Purchase Building

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors announced today the purchase of a 7,700 square foot office building located at 3912 E. 91st Street in the Southern Ridge Business Development. The company plans to move their current South Tulsa Office located at 9110 S. Sheridan to this new location within 60 days.

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is relocating all South Associates to this new location. In addition, the Marketing, IT Support, Public Relations and Executive Departments will office from this location.

“Our company has grown at a fast pace within the last seven years. We currently have 6 offices, and we felt it was a good business decision to purchase property in South Tulsa for a permanent location. We are committed to maintaining our strong presence in the South Tulsa market. This office building is in a convenient location for our clients and Associates,” said Sheryl Chinowth, CEO of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors.

The property was represented and purchased through Chinowth & Cohen Realtors. Chinowth & Cohen Associate Shawn Peters handled the listing side of the transaction.

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is a full service real estate company specializing in commercial and residential real estate. Founded in 2004, by Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, the firms has over 330 Associates in six offices. The offices are located in Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, South Tulsa, Midtown Tulsa, Sand Springs and Owasso. For more information visit the company’s website at

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mowing Grass-Priceless

Nothing more need be said.....
Tiny 'plot' of grass in front of his tent. It's heartwarming! Here is a soldier in Iraq , stationed in a big sand box.

He asked his wife to send him dirt ( U.S.soil ), fertilizer, and some grass seed
So that he can have the sweet aroma, and feel the grass grow beneath his feet.
When the men of the squadron have a mission that they are going on, they
Take turns walking through the grass and the American soil -- to bring them
Good luck.

Of all the things he could have asked his wife to send to him from home...........
He asked for American soil. WOW.

If you notice, he is even cutting the grass with a pair of scissors.. Sometimes
We are in such a hurry that we don't stop and think about the little things that
We take for granted.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Heat is On! Summer Home Selling Tips

The heat this summer in Tulsa, OK (and many other parts of the country) has been record setting. If you are selling your home here are some tips to make your house the one that buyers will remember... no matter how hot it gets!
Of course, the number one tip is, keep it cool! If you have a showing scheduled for your home, make sure it is an oasis for the buyers. They will want to stay longer if it feels good!
Brighten it up! Summer is the time for bright touches of colors and lots of light, not the heavy dark colors and closed drapes associated with winter. Add some splashes of summer colors with pillows and accents and open the drapes.
Make sure that it smells fresh! A light citrus smells is perfect for summer.
Clean! Clean! and Clean some more! A clean decluttered home is what buyers want to see. Put away personal hygiene items in the bathrooms and be sure the kitchen is spotless.
Even if your yard is turning brown, be sure that the landscaping near the entry looks fresh and green! Buyers will remember that first impression... dead flowers in a pot are not inviting.
Susie Genet

Monday, July 25, 2011

6 Reasons to Reduce Your Home Price

Visit for more articles like this.


Bottom Line: If you are thinking about listing your home or if your listing has already expired after an unsuccessful listing, call/text me at 918-951-7009 or email This market is all about pricing!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Assets and Your Mortgage Application

When lenders evaluate mortgage borrowers, they look at four things: income (the ability to repay), credit (the willingness to repay), collateral (appraised value and property condition) and assets (cash in the deal and cash reserves after closing, mostly). Of the “four legs of the table”, assets are the least discussed, and yet may be the most important.

What do we mean when we talk about assets?

Monies needed for the down payment (the difference between the purchase price and the loan amount which may or may not be the same as the money deposit at contract signing)

Monies needed for closing costs (fees to the lender and third parties for things like appraisals, title insurance, settlement services, and so on)

Monies needed for Pre-Paids (homeowners insurance, flood insurance, real estate taxes, etc.) and establishing escrow accounts for future payments

Monies for Reserves- the money you still have left after closing. Monies that would be available, if a problem were to arise.

Why do we care about assets?

Assets may be the truest reflection of a borrower’s fiscal strength. Their ability to save and properly budget could be a significant indicator to their future paying habits.

The source of the assets is important. Savings? Gift or inheritance? Lottery victory? Insurance settlement? Sale of a baseball card collection? Each reflects differently on the borrower.

Many people don’t show all their income on their tax returns (it’s just a fact). Undocumented income can’t be used to qualify; however, often assets become a truer representation of a borrower ability to pay than their 1040s.

Reserves are an issue. A client with $50 in the bank after closing is riskier than one with $50,000. Also, clients who have money in the bank but have some sporadic lates on their credit are looked at differently than those who didn’t have the money to make the payments.

Common Asset Issues in Mortgage Packages:

Large deposits (defined as those which are excessive for the income level) raise an underwriter’s eyebrows. Where did the money come from? Maybe the borrower took a loan that doesn’t yet show up on their credit report.

Cash deposits are another red flag. In this day and age, people keep their money in the bank, not under their mattress. Where did the cash come from?

Gift monies and seller’s concessions, while considered as borrowers assets when doing calculations, will give an underwriter pause when assessing the borrower’s real ability to replay.

Guidelines have tightened. When borrowers are paying off credit cards to get their ratios in line, lenders are asking where that money came from now. That act has nothing to do with the home purchase, but may be a sign of something fragile in the borrower’s financial make up.

The best advice is to consult a loan professional to discuss the proper way to position your assets and the timing of it that will put you in the most favorable light.

by Dean Hartman, The KCM Blog

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is it easy being green? Tips for greening your home!

Looking for easy ways to "green" your home and put a little green in your pocket? Consider some of the following quick and easy tips! 1) Get rid of old, seldom used appliances, the refrigerator in the garage consumes a lot of energy! 2) Keep your heat and air running smoothly by having them serviced on a yearly basis and set them a little cooler or warmer than feels comfortable. Make sure your filters are clean and use programmable thermostats! 3) Conserve water by adding aerators to your faucets and low water usage toilets. 4) Unplug energy "vampires" those items such as coffee makers, dvds & vcrs that are constantly using low amounts of electricity. 5) Add extra insulation to your attic to keep heated and cooled air inside. 6) Keep your air in, plug the leaks around doors and windows. 7) Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. 8) When old appliances wear out switch to appliances that have a high level of energy efficiency. 9) Shade your home, plant trees! 10) Use less paper! Get off junk mail lists, turn excess printed material into note paper.

Susie Genet
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors



Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors Help Joplin Children’s Shelter

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors recently held a fund raiser and raised $1,000.00 to assist Children’s Haven, a Joplin, MO shelter for children ages birth to 17 years whose families are experiencing a crisis. With the recent tornado, the shelter has seen an influx of children and is in need of additional funds and supplies.
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors has an in-house committee who coordinate fund raisers for area non-profits in need. Representatives of the Chinowth & Cohen Ambassadors, Angels on the Ground, visited the shelter, received a tour of the facility and donated money towards assisting the shelter with the additional needs brought on by the recent devastating tornado that affected the area.

“Children’s Haven houses up to 12 children overnight, but since the tornado, during the day we’ve had up to 20 children,” said Kristin Devore, Lead Child Advocate of Children’s Haven. “In the aftermath of this tornado the need for assistance for families is sure to increase. With the stress of families losing homes and jobs, Children’s Haven can be a safe place for children to go during these extremely difficult times. We’ve been fortunate to be able to provide assistance to many families in crisis right now and appreciate the efforts of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors in helping us at this time.”

For more information on Children’s Haven visit

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is a full service real estate company specializing in residential and commercial real estate. Founded in 2004, by Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, the firm has over 350 Associates in six offices. The offices are located in Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, South Tulsa, Midtown Tulsa, Sand Springs and Owasso. For more information visit the company's website at

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pricing your home to sell!

Let's face it, most seller's are emotionally attached to their homes having made memories in that home. They may have unrealistic expectations to what their home is really worth in this market. This is what I tell all my sellers. "Market value is determined by what someone is willing to pay based on the home's condition, the competition, and the current state of the market." A home will sell based on condition, location, and price. We cant do anything about the location but we can do something about the condition and price. There is a lot of competition out there so a home must be in tip top condition to win out over all the other houses on the market. This approach will get you top dollar for your home. You need an experienced realtor who is market savvy to can help you price your home competitively. Give me a call today and let's make your dreams come home! Call Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Emergency Homeowners Loan Program EHLP (EHLP is on the way!)

Facing foreclosure or know someone who is? The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a new program that is designed to provide eligible homeowners with up to $50,000 in an interest free loan to be used to help catch up on past due payments, delinquent taxes, unpaid mortgage insurance, etc. According to the HUD website, the program is designed to assist homeowners who have lost at least 15% of their income due to job loss, decrease in wages, medical emergency or other factors due to the economy. Applicants need to be at least 3 months behind in their payments and the mortgage must be on their primary residence. Other restrictions include income limits, mortgage cost burden, and the ability of the borrower to resume payments. More information on restrictions, application process and deadlines can be found at under the Foreclosure Resources tab. The website indicates that the preapplication deadline is July 22.
Susie Genet
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Window of Opportunity for House Sellers

There has been much confusion as to where housing prices are headed. We have actually blogged on the issue recently. Today, we want to give our opinion on this subject for the short term. We believe sellers have a window of opportunity for the next 90-120 days in which to sell their homes for maximum price. We believe there will be increased downward pressure on home prices later this year and the first half of 2012.

Why renewed downward pressure?
Any item’s price is determined by ‘supply and demand’. In many parts of the country existing housing inventory is already high and actually increasing. In addition, an inventory of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) will be coming to market later this year. This inventory has been delayed for the last several months because of faulty paperwork by the banks when they originally attempted foreclosure proceedings on these homes.

Celia Chen, of Moody’s Analytics explains:

“Foreclosures are weighing on the outlook for U.S. house prices, and the slow resolution of issues surrounding the so-called robo-signing scandal is keeping distressed homes off the market”.

The New York Times also recently reported on this issue. They looked at the delays in certain states. As an example, this is what they found in New York:

“Last September, before the documentation crisis, nearly 1,500 New Yorkers lost their houses as a result of foreclosure, according to LPS. The average over the last six months: 286. That is far lower than at any point since the recession began.”

Banks are now correcting these errors.
There is evidence that the banks are getting their documentation in order and about to again increase their foreclosure repossessions. Housing Wire reported:

“Since major lenders delayed foreclosures to fix a broken process late last year, the amount of filings declined, but in May signs emerged the effect might be wearing off.”

They went on to quote RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio:

“…lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures and as they determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory… Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation, although there were some clues in the May numbers of what lies behind that mask.”

What will this mean to home prices?
As this inventory comes to market, it will impact prices in two ways:

It will provide discounted competition for buyers
It will impact the appraisal values of all homes in the area

Again, we quote Celia Chen:

“It is quite possible that house prices will pick up slightly in the second or third quarter of this year, as foreclosure sales remain depressed while nondistress sales pick up…By the fourth quarter of this year, however, the distress share will rise, sending the house price index back down…

House prices will founder until early next year and start rising in earnest at the end of 2012.”

Bottom Line
There is a window of opportunity currently which sellers should take advantage of. Waiting until later this year or until next year will not guarantee a higher sales price. If anything, it probably guarantees the exact opposite.

Blog post provided by KCM Blog

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working with the Millennials

Also known as the Generation Y, their exact ages aren’t easy to pin down; the start of their birth years ranges from the 1970s to mid 1980's depending on your source. Most of the them have no memory of life before computers!
Communicating with them is much easier than you would think but you better be text savvy. They want instant gratification and they want it in the palm of their hand. They prefer texts with mobile downloads over voicemail and email. I can typically get a faster response when I shoot them a text.
Millennial's want low-hassle living which means a low-maintenance house. For example, a small yard that doesn't take long to mow and no pool to maintain. Although, they love the idea of a neighborhood pool to meet with friends. This generation grew up with groups of people around them all the time so they may choose a house that has a large gathering area over large bedrooms.
Statistics show 85% of people now start their home search on line but my guess is much higher for millennial's. They've done their research and know a bit about the market they are in. That's where a real estate professional like myself steps in and walks them through the rest of the home buying process. So check out my website and give me a call today!
Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Crunch Time for Buyers Back to School

With school starting in Mid-August in the Tulsa Metro Area, it’s crunch time for buyers looking to move within their school district, buyer’s moving to homes in a different district, and especially for new families relocating to Tulsa who are searching for their new home in the greater Tulsa area.

If you have been considering listing your home, now is a really great time to do it! Think about it, your home could sell very quickly to one of these serious buyers! Getting your home on the market and getting some great exposure with Chinowth & Cohen’s outstanding marketing programs can get those potential buyers to your home. Why wait? This is an opportunistic time to get your home on the market!

Call me today for a free market analysis in your area and a personalized marketing plan to get your house on the radar and get it SOLD! I also offer, free to my clients, a home evaluation for staging your home and bringing its’ best features to light!

Let’s work together to get your home SOLD by summer’s end!

Linda Smalley, South Tulsa Office, 918.630.8431

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Elite Financial Services Announce New Mortgage Bankers

Elite Financial Services announced the hiring of Mortgage Bankers, Elissa Renberg, Clint Walters and Dan Timmons.

A lifelong resident of Tulsa, Elissa Renberg first learned the value of hard work and customer service while working as a teenager in the Renberg’s clothing stores founded by her Great Grandfather, Sam Renberg. Her experience there proved vital to her success in
the finance business, advancing thru the ranks of top-producing Mortgage Banker, Senior Banker, and Manager. Renberg has over nine years experience in the Mortgage Banking industry. She attended Tulsa University and graduated from OSU with a degree in Marketing. Renberg offices in the Midtown Elite Financial Services office located at 1441 E. 41st Street, Tulsa.

Clint Walters has been working in the mortgage industry for over five years as a Loan Officer and Transaction Manager. Walters understands, and can effectively communicate the entire process of acquiring a home loan, and using the mortgage as a financial tool. A resident of Tulsa since 1976, Walters is committed to the continued success of Tulsa's homeowner's, businesses, and citizens. Walters offices in the Broken Arrow Elite Finanical Services office located at 2604 W. Kenosha, Ste. 100, Broken Arrow.

Dan Timmons has been in the financial industry for the past 15 years specializing in mortgages for the last eight. As a Tulsa resident since 1993, Timmons knows the importance of community and homeownership as strong foundations to the communities he serves. Timmons has served in all aspects of lending from portfolio servicing to management to educating and training other lenders. He gains the most satisfaction helping families achieve the dream of home ownership. Timmons offices in the Owasso Elite Financial Services office located at 9500 N 129th E. Ave, Ste. 110 in Owasso.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Is it a good time to buy?"

Buyers coming through my open houses are all wondering, "Is it a good time to buy?" I tell them that according to predictions from the media, (like CNN Money and the Wall Street Journal) interest rates will rise steadily through the end of the year. Purchasing now means by this time next year you are going to feel real smart with an interest rate of 4.5 to 5 per cent. The Wall Street Journal says," Despite all the gloom, however, there are growing indications that it is a good time to buy. Mortgage rates, which fell to 4.55% for the week ending June 2, according to Freddie Mac, are near 50-year lows. Homes have become more affordable than they have been in years."
So Yes! Its a good time to buy! Give me a call today and lets make your dreams come home! Robin Beene (918)-906-9525

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Finding Your Dream Kitchen

Trendy kitchens these days range from small, simple functional designs to elaborate, well-equipped entertainment centers in a home. No other room in the house now commands a budget like the kitchen. Design features such as beautiful cabinetry ranging from stainless steel, to hand- crafted European style cabinetry with incredible furniture-finish quality features. The choices of stains, paint and faux finishes can give your kitchen old world charm, or a clean palette of simplicity. Counter top materials are ever-evolving with granite and tile still leading the way in popularity. Kitchen appliances can make your kitchen functional, or you can cook and entertain to your heart’s content with state of the art applicances from suppliers such as Kitchen Aid or Viking who makes commercial kitchen equipement for the home. A variety of flooring options and decorative lighting give any kitchen warmth and depth and there hundreds of choices in this design category. The options for kitchens are simply unlimited these days!

Let me help you find your dream kitchen, whether it’s in a bungalow, a spacious home for your family, or a fabulous luxury home. Your dream kitchen awaits you! Call me today to start searching! 918.630.8431

Linda Smalley, Sales Associate, South Tulsa Office

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2011 REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles

Sheryl Chinowth, CEO/Broker Owner Chinowth & Cohen Realtors, was recently a guest speaker at the exclusive 2011 REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles conference. The conference is held annually and this year's event attracted over 200 principals and CEOs from the nation’s 500 largest residential real estate brokerage firms plus senior management of the nation’s largest real estate franchise organizations. Held at The Westin Denver Downtown, this year’s conference had “A Time to Focus” as its theme.

Chinowth participated in the Billionaires meeting discussing how she managed significant growth in the tough markets of 2007-2010. Consistently Chinowth & Cohen Realtors experiences yearly increases in size and sales volume since opening in 2004. The company was recently named 70th in size in the nation for Independent Real Estate Brokerages by Real Trends in 2010. “Our company’s growth through the challenging real estate market has been a result of carefully selecting and working with the most elite Realtors. We strive to educate and motivate our Realtors to be the best they can be, “said Sheryl Chinowth, CEO of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors. “Sharing our company’s vision and strategies to a group of established industry leaders was an honor. I wanted to impart to the audience the hard work and spirit our Associates bring to work every day in order to grow their business and contribute to the success of Chinowth & Cohen Realtors.

“While there are new challenges that appear each year, among the largest issues facing leaders throughout the real estate industry is where to keep the focus. This year’s conference was focused on understanding more of the basics of the business than in years’ past; business models, new incremental revenue opportunities and the reality that housing consumers need professional assistance more than ever. Leaders need to stay focused on how to reach out and touch more customers with more assistance. The 2011 Gathering of Eagles will go down as the year that housing started to turn the corner and those in attendance were able to see where to focus their efforts to take advantage of the market,” said Steve Murray, editor of REAL Trends.

For additional information regarding REAL Trends, Inc. visit

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors is a full service real estate company specializing in residential and commercial real estate. Founded in 2004, by Sheryl Chinowth and Lee Cohen, the firm has over 350 Associates in six offices. The offices are located in Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, South Tulsa, Midtown Tulsa, Sand Springs and Owasso. For more information visit the company’s website at

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Is buying or selling your home making you an emotional wreck?"

Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, realtor helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you. Give me a call today and let's talk about taking the stress out of buying and selling a home for you and your family. Call Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nationwide Open House Weekend June 4-5

The 2011 Nationwide Open House Weekend is this coming weekend, June 4th & 5th!

Come tour tons of beautiful homes and check out neighborhoods where you might want to live! For a list of open houses, download the new Tulsa MLS app, go to, and look for this Saturday's edition of the Tulsa World's World of Homes.

I'll be at 2169 S. 77th E. Ave. Saturday 10a-12p & Sunday 2-4p, and at 3916 W. Orlando St. on Saturday 2-4p. Come see me for some light refreshments! Questions? Call, text, or email me- 918-951-7009 or

Monday, May 30, 2011

Avenue of Flags a Special Tradition in Honoring our Veterans at Broken Arrow Cemetary

Honoring our Veterans this Memorial Day

If you have never driven by Floral Haven Cemetary in Broken Arrow, the site of almost 3,000 American flags is a sobering reminder of those who have served our country and their sacrifices they made to keep us safe and strong at home.

Some of the flags at Floral Haven represent veterans buried at Floral Haven Memorial Gardens. Some represent those buried far away. These flags, which will be raised for display in Floral Haven's 39th annual Avenue of Flags beginning Friday, have seen it all. Many are the casket flags carried with the deceased during their funerals, and some have been raised and lowered over the burial grounds for decades.
"It actually started back in '72 when a widow brought her husband's flag in and asked if there was any way to fly it because she didn't have a way to," said Stephen Moeller, director of community relations at Floral Haven, 6420 S. 129th East Ave. "So we flew it on a little pole that year, and people saw it, asked questions, and the Avenue of Flags was born."
This year, the avenue will include 118 new flags for veterans who died within the last year.

Linda Smalley, South Tulsa Office

Friday, May 20, 2011

Remodeling to sell?

The secret to successful pre-sale home remodeling is to keep up with the Jones', but never surpass them. Whether you want to make more money than you spend, or just recoup your remodeling expenses when you sell your home, know what's standard in the neighborhood. Give me a call today and I'll show you the Jones' house for comparisons! Call Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Changes to Tulsa Public School Boundaries

Changes to Tulsa Public School Boundaries

The Tulsa Public School Board of Education approved Project Schoolhouse at the May 2, 2011, regular meeting. The board approved the new school boundaries at the May 6, 2011, special meeting. View new boundary maps for 2011-2012.

Boundary maps are provided on the Tulsa Public Schools web site to give general boundary information. Please contact your individual prospective school for the most current school assigned to your address. On this site are links for:
  • boundary map
  • boundary map with streets
  • Booker T. Washington Historical Boundary
  • Elementary Schools
  • Middle Schools
  • High Schools

An online "School Lookup" function has been added to the Tulsa Public Schools web site. This will allow parents to enter their home address to identify and access their child's home school locations. This new feature provides the elementary, middle and high school information for your property address.

Originally Posted at: Midtown Tulsa Real Estate - Lori Cain

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lipstick on a Pig?

I thought this was a great tip from my awesome broker!

Lipstick on a Pig?
By:Sheryl ChinowthAccording to a 2010 study by Old Dominion University, homes with marketed improvements such as new paint or carpet, actually sell for less than homes that do not mention them. If a seller highlights new features, a cautious buyer may wonder why these items have been replaced - and if there are other things wrong. If you've made improvements, let potential buyers be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Choosing Your Dream Home

Here's an article from the latest Whitescarver & Perry team newsletter at Chinowth & Cohen Realtors about choosing your dream home!

There's a lot to think about when it comes to buying your dream home. Every decision, small to large, is important! Let's look at a list of common issues that buyers face.

1. Neighborhood: Deciding on what neighborhood you desire is tricky. You must consider your wants and needs. They vary by person. Do you have children and need to live within the boundaries of a specific school district? You might want a short commute, a neighborhood with historic homes, or homes that are near night life and restaurants.

2. Square footage: What size of home fits your needs? The average home in the United States is 2,195 square feet. Thirty years ago the average size was just 1,645. The trend has been for larger and larger homes, with special purpose spaces, such as exercise rooms, offices, studies, and media rooms. This trend is now receding.

3. Floorplan: Architectural styles offer a wide range of choices! Open floor plans might appeal to you, with their great flow for entertaining. Or you may have a more traditional aesthetic, preferring cozy rooms. Think about how you live your life and what style best fits your needs.

4. Finishes: There are different grades of homes. Take your kitchen, for example. You can find a wide range of beautiful laminate counters, just as you can find a wide range of beautiful granite ones. These choices dramatically affect price. Think carefully about what you want in your dream home. Do you want stone floors or will ceramic suffice? Are you looking for green building materials, such as zero-voc paint, bamboo floors, and recycled counters?

5. Amenities: Our homes extend past the borders of our property. We live in the parks, shopping, and restaurants that surround us. Be sure to think outside the "box" of your house when you buy.

6. Landscaping: A large yard can mean lots of entertaining potential, but it can also mean a lot of work. Be sure to consider your needs now and down the road when it comes to yard maintenance. Many buyers prefer a townhouse or condo as their "dream home". These options afford buyers with much less responsibility when it comes to upkeep!

Be sure to discuss all of these topics with your real estate agent. They can help you decide on a happy compromise among the long list of choices. They'll also help you know what items on your wish list you can get in your price range. Good luck on your dream home search!

Written by Carla Hill

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bowl For Kids Sake 2011

Chinowth & Cohen Realtors recently participated in a fundraiser with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma at Andy B's Bowling Alley. Seven teams of over 45 Realtors turned out to bowl for this worthy cause! A total of over $3650 was raised for the organization. Click on the following link for a peek at how much fun we had Bowling for Kids Sake! Bowl For Kids Sake 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day 2011, April 22: "Billion Acts of Green

This article was sent to me by TulsaKids Magazine and has some great tips on earth friendly things your kids can do to celebrate Earth day!

The Earth was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.-Old Proverb

Each year, Earth Day--April 22--marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. This year's Earth Day theme is "Billion Acts of Green." The purpose of this theme is to mobilize one billion acts of environmental service around the world. The campaign calls for people of all nationalities to commit to an act that helps reduce carbon emissions and promotes sustainability. Whatever the act may be, Earth Day is a great time to generate as many as possible in your community. Collectively, these acts will not only have an impact on global carbon emissions, but will also demonstrate the power of small, everyday, individual acts of green. For more information about Earth Day 2011 check out

Earth Day is a great opportunity to discuss what changes your family can make to reduce the size of your carbon foot print. Let your children know that they can make a difference.

Here is a list of 18 Earth-friendly things kids can do to celebrate Earth Day every day.

1. Enlist friends, hand out bags and clean up a nearby park.
2. Plant shrubs or a tree in your yard.
3. Start a vegetable garden in pots or a small plot.
4. Organize a cleanup day at your school.
5. Create posters with environmental themes and ask teachers to post them in their classrooms.
6. Look for recycling symbols on products you or your parents buy. Purchase items in recyclable packaging whenever possible. Avoid products that use excessive packaging.
7. Encourage your parents to carry a reusable shopping bag, and suggest they buy in bulk to minimize packaging waste.
8. Bicycle or walk to school rather than being driven by your parents (as long as Mom and Dad say it's safe).
9. Steer your parents toward organic pesticides, such as those made from orange extract.
10. Turn off lights, fans or the TV when you leave the room (unless your little brother is still in there).
11. Check your home for leaky faucets or toilets, and volunteer to help fix those in need of repair.
12. Don't leave the water running while brushing your teeth or washing your face and hands.
13. Take shorter showers.
14. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean the driveway or sidewalk.
15. Remind your parents that washing the car less often saves water (and may get you out of the dreaded chore).
16. Ask your parents to raise (in the summer) or lower (in the winter) the thermostat a few degrees, telling them it will save energy as well as money.
17. Lower the blinds when the sun comes up to deflect heat from the windows.
18. Offer to replace air filters. A clean filter helps the air-conditioner run more efficiently.

Sources: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Earthday Network (

Article reprinted via TulsaKids --

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stretching Your Landscaping Dollar

Frugal landscaping. That sounds like an oxymoron, but not necessarily. New homeowners, particularly, may be excited about adding flowers and plants to a property they’ve purchased or built, or sprucing up a home that’s for sale, but need to do it with a smaller budget.

Frugal Landscaping Tips:

Know before you grow.

A design plan might sound expensive, but having a plan can actually save money in the long run by keeping the buyer focused on only the plants that work in their yard instead of other impulse purchases. Homeowners can create their own plan – there are many helpful books on the subject – by saving magazine photos, or taking pictures of landscaped homes nearby that have elements they like. For $50-$100/hour, would-be- landscapers can meet with a landscape designer to affirm their plan or hear other suggestions.

Buy the largest trees you can afford.

Again, this may sound counterintuitive to the point of this article, but trees take a long time to grow, and yet, they add the most value to a landscape and property. A larger, healthy, mature tree instantly improves the curb appeal of a home, which ultimately makes it more attractive to buyers.

Instant lawn or seed that saves?

Sod delivers an instant lawn, but it comes with a very expensive price tag when compared to grass seed. However, many new homeowners want to have immediate outdoor space as well as the aesthetics of a lawn that’s ready to go. One idea is to sod the front yard, which is highly visible from the street, but seed the back. It provides the family with luscious green space to enjoy right away, for a fraction of the cost.

End of season sales.

In many parts of the country, it’s common for trees, shrubs, and perennials to go on sale after the Fourth of July. The later in the season, the greater the discount! This is an excellent way to stock a yard with plants without breaking the bank. A good nursery or garden center offers a guarantee for a year or more, so look into that before purchase. These late-season plants may not look as robust as plants you purchase earlier in the spring, but most will survive winter and bloom heartily the following spring.

Go with impact items first.

Most homeowners are not able to implement 100% of their landscaping ideas right away. But, creating a dream yard in phases has benefits, too. Take the time to observe soil conditions, sizing and spacing. Some groupings work well on paper, but aren’t big enough or colorful enough once they’re planted. Start with plantings that will make the most impact on your yard, even in a limited space, and build around that. A patch of vibrant red rose bushes, or ornamental grasses can draw the eye away from other, barer parts of the landscape.

Submitted by: Cathy Meehan, Elite Financial Services,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Should I Accept This Offer?

One of our Realtor Teams, Whitescarver and Perry, distribute a great monthly newsletter full of timely information. Here's one of the articles that really stood out!

Today's market can be a difficult one for many sellers to navigate. And while your real estate agent can advise you, the ultimate decision of what offer to accept is entirely up to you. This decision can come with quite a bit of pressure. Even in the most favorable of markets this can be a difficult time. How do you know when to accept an offer?

Here are some questions to consider.

Is the buyer pre-qualified/approved? Selling will require an investment of time and money. You may need to find a new home or a temporary rental. There's nothing worse than buying a new house, only to find out the deal to sell yours has fallen through.

Do you need to move? The urgency of your move may dictate what offer you accept. Many sellers need to move quickly for a new job. Or they may need to sell to avoid foreclosure. If you are in a rush, you may need to accept an offer that is less than ideal.

How much do you owe? You don't want to sell your home at a loss. And be sure to take closing costs into consideration. Many markets experienced high levels of depreciation over the last year. If you are underwater on your loan, now may not be the time to sell.

What is the market climate? Are you likely to get another offer? How long has your home been on the market? Have you had many showings? All of these are factors to consider when contemplating what offer to accept.

Above all, ask yourself if this offer was a reasonable offer. There are buyers that may attempt to low ball you. They may see that your home has been on the market longer than your competition. They may know that it's a strong buyers market. And in response they offer a much smaller amount for your home than it is worth. You are not obligated to accept or even respond to these low ball offers. But if you are in need of selling now, every offer warrants consideration or a counter offer.

In the end, you must accept an offer that works for you. You may be willing to accept a lower amount in exchange for a faster closing date. Or you may wish to hold out for the highest dollar amount.

Written by Carla Hill

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chinowth & Cohen selected for the 2010 Best of Business Award!

This is so awesome! I just had to share.
The Small Business Commerce Association (SBCA) is pleased to announce that Chinowth & Cohen has been selected for the 2010 Best of Business Award in the Unclassified category.

The SBCA Best of Business Award Program recognizes the best of small businesses throughout the country. Large or small, the SBCA identifies companies that we believe have demonstrated what makes businesses a vital part of the American economy... Award winners are a valuable asset to their community and exemplify what makes small businesses great.
If you want to be a part of Tulsa's Elite, whether buying or selling your home, give me a call today! Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Master Bedroom Design Idea's

Here's an awesome idea to dress up a plain master bedroom. Hang sheets, fabric, or draperies on the wall behind the bed. Remove window treatments from the other windows to allow more light in and then you can use these for the fabric backdrop. It serves as a headboard, visually raising the ceilings and, particularly in a master suite, adds a sense of elegance and style. It's inexpensive but gives a luxurious feel.
Thinking of selling your home? Part of the process is staging your home for success! Call me today for a comprehensive marketing plan for getting your house sold. Robin Beene 918-906-9525

Thursday, March 17, 2011

10 Things to See in Tulsa

Relocating to Tulsa? Visiting Tulsa for March Madness this weekend? Tulsa World featured a great article about 10 Things to See in Tulsa. Click on the link to read the full article. Even if you have lived here for a while, you may have not taken advantage of all Tulsa has to offer. Here is the Tulsa World's list of 10 Things to See in Tulsa:

1. Riverside Drive

2. Golden Driller

3. The Center of the Universe

4. Art Deco Tour Downtown

5. Tulsa Rose Gardens

6. Museums: Gilcrease and Philbrook

7. Shopping

8. The Praying Hands

9. Route 66

10. Cain's Ballroom
Tulsa is a great place to visit; it's an even more wonderful place to live!
Allison Sheffield

Friday, March 11, 2011

One of my favorite restaurants!

One of my favorite restaurants in Tulsa is Ciao's in Brookside. It's this cute little bistro type with fabulous Italian food. Really everything is good there from appetizer's to main course to delectable deserts. Personally, I love the calamari caesar and the lobster ravioli. The bartenders speciality is a lemon drop martini and the wine list is great too.
After dinner, you can walk over to the other side and listen to some great jazz. They have live bands playing on the weekends which vary from jazz to salsa. They do have a little dance floor so you can get out there and dance like no one is watching!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March 2011 - Dates to Remember

Be sure to file for your Homestead Exemption and save on your property taxes. The deadline to file is March 15th, 2011. For more info click here

Mid-March is also a great time to apply pre-emergent to your lawn to combat spring and summer weeds.
Daylight Savings Time, Sunday, March 13th. Time to spring forward!

The Greater Tulsa Home & Garden Show is March 10th - 13th at the Quik Trip Center, Expo Square and is Oklahoma's largest and longest-running home and garden products trade show, with more than 450 exhibitors. For a one-stop shopping experience for everything you need for your home, garden and so much more, it is the one home and garden show not to miss!

St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, March 17th when everyone likes to be a little bit Irish! Celebrate at Tulsa's local Irish pubs, McNellie's, KilKenny's, Drake's Tavern, Baker St. Pub and a host of other venues celebrating the day!

March Madness, NCAA 2011 College Basketball Tournament is March 17-19 at the BOK Center hosted by the University of Tulsa .

Vernal Equinox. The official First Day of Spring is March 20th, 2011.
I'm looking forward to warmer, sunny days and the onset of Spring!
Happy Spring Break!
Linda Smalley, South Tulsa Office

Monday, March 7, 2011

Here's something fun to do Tuesday, March 8th!

Celebrate Mardi Gras in style in downtown Tulsa! All the businesses in the Blue Dome District are hosting a special PARADE this Tuesday evening and there will be lots of Mardi Gras beads for everyone!

Mardi Gras Parade & Fun Run
Tuesday, March 8
Fun Run: 6pm
Parade: 7pm
Fleet Feet Sports - Blue Dome Store
(2nd & Frankfort Ave)

Everyone is invited! Join us for this fun, festive evening in downtown Tulsa!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Take Advantage of the Spring Market!

Are you thinking about buying a home, but you aren't quite sure where to start?

I will guide you through the process. We will begin by getting you pre-qualified for a mortgage, as the prequalification process will give you notice up front of any requirements for your credit and will also us a target price range for the home search. I work with some phenomenal mortgage professionals who I trust will take great care of you.

Are you ready to list your home for the spring and summer market?

Call or email me for a no-obligation market analysis. I'll give you market data for your home and tell you about how I'll market your home to get it noticed, shown, and sold.

If you have any questions about the prequalification process, buying process, or about listing your home for sale, I'd love to speak with you! Feel free to call me at 918-951-7009 or email me

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

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