Monday, August 27, 2012

Beware of Wasp Nests While Looking at Homes!

Wasps Nest

In the past few weeks, the summer heat has made it hard to show homes to prospective buyers. However, there is something out there that has made two of my last attempts at showing homes even harder: wasps nests. And can you guess where their nest was? Yep, you guessed it. Right above the front door.

I decided to take control of my showings by being prepared. Now when I go to show homes, I load up a can I wasp spray in my car. I actually had to whip it out an use it the other day. What could have ended in a missed showing, because I have had clients to scared to walk by a nest, turned into a successful showing and offer.

Even if you aren't the agent showing and you're the one looking to buy this summer, carrying a can of wasp spray can get you into that dream home that others were too scared to see!

Mario Avila
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Prevent Foundation Damage by Watering Your Foundation

With temperatures in Tulsa well over 100 degrees for several weeks now (just look at the local KJRH Channel 2 forecast), I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone about the importance of watering your foundation to prevent future foundation damage and costly repairs.

kjrh weather forecast

Why should you water your foundation?

Because the soil underneath your home expands and contracts constantly every year. Most of the time it isn't enought to cause any severe damage to your home, but in drought like temperatures the lack of water can be hazardous to your foundation. As the soil gets extremely dry, it will contract and leave less support for you foundation and the weight of your home.

The best way to keep your soil moist is to use a soaker house and place it about 6 inches away from your home's foundation. Let it run long enough to not just soak the surface, but to penetrate enough to soak the soil well beneath the surface, keeping in mind that your foundation is about 2 feet deep.
water your foundation

While you may see a big increase in your monthly water bill, the cost to keep your foundation in tact is well worth the cost. Keep in mind that recently, a client of mine made an offer on a home and backed out after inspections revealed that the home needed $9,000 worth of foundation repair.

Mario Avila
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

How to Drop a Pin on your iPhone

How to drop a pin on an iPhone

For anyone who has ever tried to give directions to a house or anywhere else, typing those directions and trying to give them to someone else can be a hassle.

There have been many times in the past when I spent way too long trying to text directions to someone else who also had an iPhone. I recently learned a shortcut that will not only save me lots of time, but it will also be more helpful for the person receiveing the directions as well.

Maps has now made it easier to get directions to and from anywhere that the GPS can locate. First, type in and search the address you're trying to give directions to. Sometimes this may be the same location you are currently at.

After the address is found, tap the bottom right hand of your screen, and a purple pin will drop.
This will give you the option of getting directions to the pin or from the pin, or even sharing your location via e-mail, text or Tweet.

If you want to drop a pin anywhere, click the bottom-right corner and hit “Drop Pin” (or “Replace Pin,” if you’ve already got one on the map). That way, you can drop a pin anywhere on the map, not just where you’ve searched.

So there you go. A faster way to give someone else directons. Happy Searching!

Mario Avila

Rural Development Loan Program to End October 1st, 2012.

Rural Development Loans to END Very Soon

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the definition of a rural development loan and what it took to qualify for such a loan. You can click on the link below to read the article:

I recently spoke to three lenders and I have confirmed with them that the Rural Development loan program, also known as RD loans, will cease to exist after October 1st, 2012. For years, Owasso and Bixby have enjoyed the benefit of the RD loan program, despite the fast growth in both areas. The areas had still been considered “rural” because of old census data. The census numbers have now been updated and both areas are no longer deemed rural and don’t qualify for the RD program.

“I think that if someone was on the fence about buying a home and they were interested in getting a Rural Development loan, now would be the time to take advantage of those benefits while they still can,” said Lee Chinowth, Managing Broker at Chinowth & Cohen Realtors in Owasso. I also asked Mr. Chinowth what his thoughts were on what would happen to the Owasso and Bixby housing markets after the end of the Rural Development program. “There are parts of Owasso that haven’t qualified, and most of Tulsa that has never qualified. Those areas have continued to grow and I believe that they will continue to remain steady,” said Chinowth.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the Rural Development program before it ends, call Mario at 918-261-0622 or email

Mario Avila Chinowth & Cohen

New USB Wall Outlet for iPad, iPod and other Devices

If you're anything like me, I am always moving my iPad or iPhone adaptors from one place to the other throughout my house. Then somehow, one half of the adaptor seems to always disappear. I'll have either the usb cable or the wall jack, but not both. There is a new item that has hit the market that will now eliminate the need for me to have any usb cables or bulky square chargers. Its a USB charger that's built into your wall outlet.

It's called the Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet.

It’s an easy do-it-yourself installation for anyone who knows how to turn off a circuit and use a screwdriver. Just remove the existing outlet from the wall, switch out the two leads, and screw it back into place.

USB Wall Outlet

The original plug in still works and it gives you the option to charge your devices faster, and you no longer have to worry about keeping track of any cables.

The outlets are UL-certified for use on a 15 amp 125 volt circuit. The outlets are compatible with iPads, iPhones, iPods, Android tablets and phones, tablet computers, cellphones, game systems like Nintendo, Sony and PlayStation, Bluetooth headsets, digital cameras and GPS devices that charge through a standard USB plug.

The outlets are available in white. The list price is around $30 an outlet, although they can be found for less at online stores such as Amazon.

Mario Avila
Chinowth & Cohen Realtors

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Transitional style: Fabulous home in Berwick Fairways blends clean lines, sophisticated design

Transitional style: Fabulous home in Berwick Fairways blends clean lines, sophisticated design

Transitional design is fast becoming a leading trend in the home-building industry. Blending traditional and contemporary elements, the transitional home offers warmth and comfort with a sophisticated flair.

This week’s featured home at 4408 S. Orange Ave. in Bixby’s Berwick Fairways addition is a breath of fresh air with its functional beauty.

Jerry Hall built the 5,000-square-foot home in time for this year’s Parade of Homes. Ginni Jacobs and Jolene Stevens of Ginni & Jolene Designs provided interior design expertise.

Clean lines and thoughtful design dominate the home’s spacious interior, which has an inviting continuity. Red oak flooring with a walnut stain adds a warming touch to the living spaces.

“In the Parade, most people said they like the openness and airiness and how much light is in this house,” said Hall.

Living spaces flow together in the transitional home, and ceilings tend to have more impact. Painted beams in this home’s great room, study and breakfast room provide architectural interest. While beams are common in transitional homes, they have a simple, clean design.

“The house has beautiful amenities,” said Linda Smalley, the Chinowth & Cohen Realtor representing the property. “For instance, the kitchen includes honed granite countertops, a six-burner Jenn-Air gas cooktop, stainless steel appliances, transitional-style light fixtures and custom cabinetry with beautiful glass on some doors and lighting in the top cabinets.” A walk-in pantry and oversize butler’s pantry and wine bar are located between the kitchen and formal dining room.

Hall gave the nearby breakfast nook a breathtaking treatment with a vaulted, beamed ceiling set off by a wall of stone. The effect is stunning, creating a casual eating space that draws you in.

Open to the great room, these three spaces make up the heart of the home where most of the living is done.

Located off the great room is the master suite. This relaxing retreat is painted a sophisticated light blue-green. Wood flooring, crown molding, a tray ceiling and a separate sitting area add to its allure.

“The fireplace in the sitting room has a travertine facade,” Smalley added. “There are even reading lights above the bed, and individual doors into the master bath for convenience.”

The master bath has a lovely spa design with his and her closets that include a safe room in her closet.

An outdoor living space, which is accessible from the master suite and breakfast room, includes a beautiful stone fireplace.

Upstairs are three bedrooms as well as a game room and media room. The media room connects to the game room, which has a refreshment bar with a dishwasher and refrigerator.

Two of the home’s best features are split garages that include an oversize two-car on one side and a single-car garage on the other and a floored third floor for storage.

4408 S. Orange Ave., Bixby
PRICE: $785,000
GARAGE: 3-car
LOT SIZE: .26 acre
SQ. FOOTAGE: 5,000
EXTRAS: Red oak floors, beamed and vaulted ceilings, crown molding, honed granite and marble, travertine tile floors, custom cabinetry, chef’s kitchen with Jenn-Air six-burner gas cooktop, safe room in master closet, study with hidden storage behind built-in cabinets, game room with refreshment bar and connected media room, house wired for surround sound, third floor storage, outdoor living space with fireplace and flagstone patio, professional landscaping, sprinkler system, fenced backyard
OFFERED BY: Linda Smalley • Chinowth & Cohen Realtors • 918-630-8431 Contact Linda for showings or open house information.
Source:  Source:  BY STEFANIE FORNEY World of Homes Editor
Monday, August 20, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Two Quick Fixes for Making a Small Kitchen look Larger!

Generally, the kitchen is one of the first rooms a buyer will check out. The larger your kitchen appears the better your chances of a quick sale. Here are two quick fixes: Change the backsplash by adding stainless steel, paint,or my favorite, the fake tin that comes in rolls and a variety of colors. It will completely change the look of your kitchen! You can also add an island, which requires only 30” between counters and the island to pass through comfortably. Many come with wheels making your island portable. One of the most important thing to do to make any room appear larger is to de-clutter! Remember, less is more when it comes to staging your home for a quick sale. If you are looking to sell your home, give me a call today for a free market analysis. Robin Beene 918-906-9525

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

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