December Newsletter

    Downsizing Happens at All Ages Now: Here’s How to Ace it
    Downsizing is often associated with empty nesters and retirees, but as it turns out, more and more homeowners of all ages – including millennials – are looking for smaller residential footprints.

    As New York Real estate agent, Tyler Whitman, points out in a recent article in “Downsizing isn’t just for empty nesters. To meet their goals, many millennials must go through this challenging process too.”

    Downsizing dilemmas: Getting rid of belongings that won’t fit in your smaller space is challenging. The upside – of particular interest to millennials – is the opportunity to dump old inherited pieces for trendy modern furniture.

    Measure your new home before moving day, and decide what to take before you start packing. If there’s a too-big item that you can’t bear to part with, store it. But not at mom & dad’s, say experts; they may be downsizing soon themselves.

    Emotional attachment can make it hard to decide what you should throw out. Ask a straight-talking friend or family member to help with an unbiased second opinion on tough decisions – like whether your bookcase or king-sized bed is way too big for your new digs.

    Once you’ve rounded up everything you won’t be taking, have a garage sale. You’ll feel less guilty about parting with so much, and you can make a surprising amount of money to help with moving expenses.

    Trying to dispose of all the items you can’t sell can be overwhelming. Hiring a pickup service for junk removal or to take to a charity can be well worth the expense.

    Add a New (and Fun) Twist to This Year’s Holiday Entertaining

    Sick of hosting yet another sit-down dinner, or the usual holiday open house? Mix it up this year. Your guests will enjoy the new twist. Best of all, so will you.

    Here are four new takes on holiday parties:

    Do it after Christmas

    Finding a December date that works for everyone can be tough. Why not wait until after the craziness dies down and host a relaxed, post-holiday bash? Everyone will still feel festive but probably not stressed.

    Order in

    Who says hosting means cooking? Order in instead. Offer a selection of gourmet pizzas, sushi, or Chinese takeout. It’s fun, delicious – and easy. Don’t fuss with cutlery; supply chopsticks and lots of table napkins. Set out a variety of beverages, add a simple dessert, and you have a dinner party!

    Try brunch

    Host a brunch. Waffles, fruit salad, eggs, bacon, and French toast can all be whipped up quickly and served buffet style. Skip the dining table and eat in the living room for a relaxed party atmosphere.

    Turn it into a game

    Potlucks can be boring, but not when you add the element of competition. Host a contest. Call it “TV Chef: Holiday Edition,” and ask each guest to contribute a dish. Assign categories, such as appetizers, salads, mains, sides, and desserts. (Hint 1: ask what they’re bringing ahead of time to avoid duplication.) You’ll need volunteers to judge. (Hint 2: kids might enjoy being on the judging panel.) The winning dish gets a fun prize. You relax. Everyone enjoys. It’s a win-win!

    Trivial Pursuits: Why Do We All Love Trivia So Much?

    In 1979, two Scrabble lovers, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott, decided to create their own game – Trivial Pursuit. And the rest is game history: Trivial Pursuit sold more than 100 million copies worldwide and earned more than a billion dollars. Because, as Haney and Abbott knew, everyone is fascinated with factoids.

    Why people find these tiny bits of useless information so endlessly fascinating is anyone’s guess. Some experts believe the attraction comes from a competitive need to demonstrate superior intelligence. Some attribute it to a curious mind. Others believe it’s considered a method of brain training. And still, others believe it’s just great entertainment.

    In fact, trivia games are also good for us. Great bonding activities, trivia competitions also make people happy and reduce stress hormones. Notes “It enhances our focus, learning and thinking abilities.” Whatever the reason, as The Point Magazine points out: “Quizzing, sometimes referred to as ‘trivia,’ has been a part of popular culture for many decades.” In the 1940s and ’50s, for example, families gathered around their radio to hear The Quiz Kids – five super-bright youngsters who answered audience-submitted questions.

    With the arrival of TV, “The $64,000 Question” and other trivia-based contests filled much-needed programming space. The public loved them.

    And people still do. The wildly popular trivia show “Jeopardy!” was introduced in 1964 and became one of the longest-running TV game shows ever. And as game-show authority Steve Beverly told CNN Entertainment, it’s “still the best mental exercise on television.” I’ll take Trivia for $200, Alex…

    Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
    How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

    If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, we’ll be able to help.

    Just give our office a call or visit for a no-fuss, professional evaluation.

    Also, I’ll also give you the “inside scoop” on what’s happening in the housing market near where you live!

    December Calendar of Events
    Ice Skate @ Westgate, now through Jan 7th. Kids & adults are invited to partake in a timeless holiday tradition-outdoor ice skating on our real ice rink? Make magical memories with your loved ones as you glide through an unforgettable winter wonderland. All skill levels are welcome!
    Through Dec 23rd: Mon-Thurs 3:30pm-9:15pm, Fri & Sat 11:00am-10:45pm, Sun 11:00am-9:15pm
    Dec 24th: 11:00am-7:45pm ~ *Closed Christmas Day!
    Dec 26th – Jan 6th: Mon-Thurs 11:00am-10:45pm, Fri & Sat 11:00am-10:45pm, Sun 11:00am-10:45pm
    Jan 7th: 11:00am – 9:15pm
    Tickets can be purchased near the rink in Fountain Park. Adults & Children $15 (includes skate rental), $11 (bring your own skates). Toddlers: $11 (includes double-blade ice skate rental, sizes 8T – 12T only). Military: $11 (with proper ID). Season Pass: $99 (includes admission + skate rental). Socks: $3. Private Lessons, Parties or Group Events: Please call (623) 877-8690

    Dec 1 & 2 – Surprise Holiday Party @ Surprise Recreation Campus. Free Admission with canned food or toy donation. Live music, great food, a carnival, hot air balloon glow, fireworks and more!

    Dec 1 – Peoria’s Old Town Holiday Festival5-10pm at Johnny E Osuna Memorial Park. Live entertainment, a visit from Santa, 20 tons of snow, crafters market, a kids’ zone, a choral contest and more. Parking & admission are FREE. Some activities have a nominal fee. Food and beverage concessions will be available for purchase.

    Dec 2 – Breakfast with Santa at Litchfield’s at The Wigwam9-11am. Buffet reservations are required (25 guests per half hour) $25 adults and $12 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 & under are free.

    Dec 8, 15 & 22 – Fridays at The Wigwam front lawn from 6-8pm, $1 donation to Goodyear Firefighter charities, per train ride through the festive holiday lit path. Pictures with Santa, local bands, choirs & sweet treats.

    Dec 8–Dec 24 – Theater Works presents A Christmas Carol! Spend your holidays experiencing this traditional and magical production that shows us the meaning of Christmas. See the cherished characters like Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim come to life with the magic only live theatre can create.

    Dec 9 Cookies and crafts with Santa at Countryside Recreation Center, Parkview Place. Kids ages 3-9 can decorate cookies, create holiday crafts and visit with Santa. Registration is open now, $10 for Surprise residents, call 623-222-2000

    Dec 9 – 6th Annual Ignite Hope Walk to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The evening kicks off with a family-friendly event at North High School that includes a visit from Santa, face painting, superhero appearances, music, refreshments and giveaways from our amazing sponsors/partners. The 1.1-mile walk to the Hospital is led by the Phoenix Fire Department and the top-fundraising team(s). After being serenaded by holiday carolers along the route, walkers are greeted at the hospital by patients waiving candles from their windows. After an inspirational program led by patients, the Hospital’s Christmas tree is lit to end the evening.

    Dec 9 – The 4th Annual Buckeye Marathon/Half Marathon/10k/5K/Obstacle Course. This event will be run on a USATF Certified Course and serves as a Boston/National Qualifier.  Proceeds will benefit the City of Buckeye Youth Scholarship Fund, giving kids the opportunity to participate in recreational activities throughout the city. Visit for ticket and time information

    Glendale Glitters though the month of Dec. Enjoy the beauty of 1.6 million lights, dine at one of the various eateries around history downtown Glendale, and shop at some of the most unique shops and boutiques.

    Jay & Lynn Otlewski
    facebook Twitter
    Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?
    Did you know that fewer than 10% of homeowners who try to sell their homes themselves are successful?

    Call now to get my free guide “Should You Sell Your Home Yourself?” Discover how you can avoid FSBO pitfalls, and enjoy the sell!

    Just reply to this email and I’ll send it right out to you.

    Share This Newsletter
    Click here to forward this email to a friend
    Click here to see a web copy of this newsletter

    Quick Quiz
    Each month I’ll give you a new question.

    Just reply to this email for the answer.

    How many questions were in the original Trivial Pursuit game?

    Tomato and Mozzarella Pockets
    Yields 18 pockets for a colorful Holiday appetizer
    1 box puff pastry
    1 8-ounce jar oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
    1 cup shredded mozzarella
    18 large leaves basil
    1 egg lightly beaten
    Finely ground sea salt and pepper to taste
    Store-bought balsamic glaze to drizzle
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Place one sheet of puff pastry on each tray. Cut each sheet into 9 equal squares (3×3 inches). Place a rounded teaspoon of tomato in the center of each square, spreading it out to opposite corners. Sprinkle a tablespoon of cheese along the same area and place a basil leaf on top. Fold opposite corners together. Press firmly to hold in place.

    Brush with egg wash and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve warm.

    Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
    Should I buy a home first or sell mine first?

    The answer: it depends on where you are. Your approach may change depending on whether it’s a buyer’s or a seller’s market in your area, and in the area where you want to buy.

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that prices, which are expected to increase by 5% by the end of 2017, will rise by 3.5% in 2018, making it a seller’s market in many parts of the U.S.)

    Typically in a seller’s market, you would be inclined to buy first, as there are more buyers than available properties, and it might be harder to find a home you like. But it’s a great time to sell your own property.

    In a buyer’s market, you may want to sell first, as there are more available properties than there are buyers. You will want to list first, as your home may be on the market for some time, and you don’t want to carry both. The bottom line? Do what’s best for your family.

    This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.

    Trackback from your site.

    Leave a Reply

    <--Chat Widget Script, client provided 9/14/18---> <-- End Chat widget -->