Robert Villanueva with City Connections has listed 11016 Fernald Avenue for $469,000.

Crush those New Year’s resolutions in this four bedroom, two-full-and-one-half-bathroom charmer mere steps from Lochwood Park! Even better, it’s ideally located near all the wooded trails and heart-thumping recreation of White Rock Lake. And it has a pool, so you can get in those extra laps come spring. With a price tag well under $500,000 and a handful of designer upgrades, this Lochwood looker is just what the doctor ordered.

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open housesRealtors — did you know that every week, we solicit pitches for our various featured listing posts like the Tuesday Two Hundred, the weekly roundup of Open Houses, Thursday Three Hundred, Friday Four or Five Hundred, and more?

All you have to do to get in on the action is join our Facebook group, Getting the Dirt. It’s a great place to virtually mingle with fellow professionals, ask questions, lend a hand, and, yes, pitch stories to CandysDirt.com writers.

Take, for instance, this week’s three properties featured in our CandysDirt.com Open Houses of the Week. After asking members to share their listings that would help someone meet a common New Year’s resolution, three Realtors pitched their open houses — and are now seeing them featured today.

Want to see who made a successful pitch? (more…)

Enough with the salt.

Regardless of your definition, the world got worse in many ways this past year. While many large problems seem out of our control to fix or influence, there are several things we can all do to make me feel better. Yes, me. In this season of giving, what have you done for me?  If you’re still looking for my belated present, there are still a few items from my gift registry that weren’t in my stocking this year.

Stop Pouring Salt In My Wound

I can’t be the only person who likes caramel – that magical concoction of sugar and milk. Making caramel from scratch is less simple than you’d imagine but with a reward unimaginably tasty. So why has the world gone mad tossing salt into the mix? Stop it. Caramel doesn’t need the help.

I get the whole salty/sweet thing, but not in caramel. Feel free to dip pretzels, chips, or blocks of salt in chocolate, but leave caramel the hell alone.

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Ban Sport Utility Strollers

Those who read my stuff must know I’m pretty perfect.  Coming up with a list of New Year’s resolutions really scrapes the bottom of the barrel. Last year’s number one was “Clip toenails before a hole appears in your socks.”  This year I’ve taken a different tack. This year, I’m making a list of things the world (and perhaps some of you) can do to make my life easier.

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Real Estate Story
happy house

Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

With the fresh start of January, take the next two weekends to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. These nine tips will save you time, energy, and money, and make you feel better about where you hang your hat every night.



1. MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR CLOSETS

While this is not a photo of my closet above, it almost could be. Come January every year, and my closets tend to be a mishmash of clothes from all four seasons, piles of give-aways that I haven’t gotten around to giving away, and just general wrecks of disorganization.

Start the new year by decluttering a closet. Pick just one and organize with vengeance over one day (trust me, you’ll appreciate the major improvement in a short time). Save, sell, donate, or chuck everything in there, then vacuum, neaten, and dust. Job done!

2. TAKE A PHOTO INVENTORY OF YOUR HOUSE

If, God forbid, your house is ever burglarized or there is a fire, having photo records of the interior and all your possessions will make the insurance process infinitely easier. I speak from experience here: my house was burglarized a few years ago, but I had taken the time to snap photos of all my art, electronics, and jewelry and put it on a USB drive, which was locked in a file cabinet. I was so glad to have done so. Today, I store my photos in the cloud on Dropbox, which is even more convenient. Jump to read the next seven tips!

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Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy Lara604 via Creative Commons

With the fresh start of January, take the next two weekends to make the rest of the year run more smoothly. These nine tips will save you time, energy, and money, and make you feel better about where you hang your hat every night.



1. MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR CLOSETS

While this is not a photo of my closet above, it almost could be. Come January every year, and my closets tend to be a mishmash of clothes from all four seasons, piles of give-aways that I haven’t gotten around to giving away, and just general wrecks of disorganization.

Start the new year by decluttering a closet. Pick just one and organize with vengeance over one day (trust me, you’ll appreciate the major improvement in a short time). Save, sell, donate, or chuck everything in there, then vacuum, neaten, and dust. Job done!

2. TAKE A PHOTO INVENTORY OF YOUR HOUSE

If, God forbid, your house is ever burglarized or there is a fire, having photo records of the interior and all your possessions will make the insurance process infinitely easier. I speak from experience here: my house was burglarized a few years ago, but I had taken the time to snap photos of all my art, electronics, and jewelry and put it on a USB drive, which was locked in a file cabinet. I was so glad to have done so. Today, I store my photos in the cloud on Dropbox, which is even more convenient. Jump to read the next seven tips!

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(Photo: SaneSpaces.com)

No, I’m not ready to liquidate and move into a tiny house like B.A. Norrgard (more on her later!), but in 2014 I am taking a stand against the constant clutter that can overtake a home of any size.

It’s somewhat of a tradition in my family (thanks, mom!) to start the New Year off on Day 1 as you wish to live it on Day 365, so on Dec. 31, 2013, I was wiping down baseboards, scrubbing bathtubs, vacuuming and mopping, and dusting everything in sight, hoping that I’d have an effortlessly clean house throughout the year. I wanted New Years Day to set the tone for 2014 — clean, clutterless, and calm.

I only managed to make it halfway there before it was time to pick up Cooper, my 2-year-old son, and snag a few last-minute provisions (a good Prosecco and a Blanc de Noirs). I suppose that means my home will only be halfway clean, clutterless, and calm for the duration of 2014, but that’s still an improvement on 2013.

To help me stay motivated, all three of us are planning to go through our closets and purge at least one thing every month for 2014. And if we buy something new, something old has to go, too. That means that 2014 should end with a lot fewer things cluttering cabinets and shelves. That should help with the excess “stuff” we can’t seem to find a place for.

What are you resolving to do for 2014? Are you planning to pare down? Get organized? Keep a cleaner house?