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Media in Mustang

Retreat could be full-time home

The Listing of the Week is a traditional home in Mustang with a digital theater system with a 122-inch screen and surround speaker system.

The Grand River could be built as a retreat cottage, but it also is a good fit for a suburban neighborhood.




Mi-Ling Stone Poole






Shells can complement master bath If you have a master bath that is spainspired, shells collected on the beach are perfect for it. PAGE 3F


This Mediterranean-style home in Rose Creek belongs to Craig and Janell Ferguson. PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN

BY TIM FALL Special Correspondent

There’s one sure bet for developers marketing a planned community. Homebuyers — the ones with families, anyway — want their kids to grow up the way they grew up. That means different things to different people, but residents of Rose Creek — the gated addition built around a championship golf course between May and Portland just south of NW 178 — seem to agree they’ve found the amenities, location, schools and sense of community they grew up with. People like the Fergusons — Craig, Janell and their four kids — had their pick of places to land when relocating from Florida. “We were looking for shopping and social activities,” Janelle said, “but schools are what made the choice easier.” Rose Creek has “two great school systems, Deer Creek and Edmond, bisecting our community,” said Tom Hodkin, general manager of the addition, which

was developed by The Melrose Co. of Hilton Head, S.C., starting in 2001. The golf course since has been purchased by Tour 18 Inc., based in Spring, Texas, and last year undeveloped lots went back to the lender, Rose Rock Bank, which is marketing them under the name Real Estate Holdings LLC. Chas Ferguson, 11, attends Deer Creek Middle School, while his siblings Sofia, 9, Ileana, 7, and Tyner, 6, attend the newly opened Grove Valley Elementary, a Deer Creek school. When they moved in 2004, the Fergusons’ Mediterranean-style home on Osprey Circle was among the first 10 completed homes in the addition. Today, there are a few more rooftops on the landscape — but the vistas of golf, lake and undulating prairie are still a mainstay of Rose Creek. Dave Goodman, who has designed and built several of those roofs, said he wouldn’t leave Rose Creek. “I love the sense of community,” SEE ROSE CREEK, PAGE 2F

Craig and Janell Ferguson and their children, front, Chas and Sofia, back, Tyner and Ileana, are shown in their home in the Rose Creek neighborhood. PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN

Buying rental home sometimes good deal Do you yearn for homeownership but need a bargain to make buying feasible? And would you consider buying a place where tenants have been living? If so, you could be in line to get an excellent deal from a highly motivated seller, said Dorcas Helfant, a real estate broker and a former president of the National Association of Realtors ( org). “There’s lots of negotiating room now, especially if the property you want is a rental unit whose owners are eager to sell,” Helfant said. It’s a truism of real estate that every seller has a reason to liquidate. Some want to extract their equity to buy a place more to their liking. Others are compelled to sell due to a job loss, a health setback or a divorce. Still others need money to meet a financial need — like money for

Ellen James Martin SMART MOVES

their children’s college tuition bills. Until recently, many would-be sellers were waiting on the sidelines, hoping for a rebound in real estate values before they put their property on the market. In the meantime, many rented out their homes. But at this point in the economic cycle, some are ready to sell. “Some owners just can’t stomach doing the landlord thing for long and decide to unload for that reason, especially if they’re now living far away due to a job transfer. Others must sell because of money

problems,” said Sid Davis, a broker and author of “A Survival Guide for Buying a Home.” Here are several pointers for those considering purchase of a renter-occupied property: Schedule your visit to the home when the renters are absent. Though there are exceptions to the rule, those living in rental homes are usually unhappy when they learn that their landlord plans to sell and make them move, Davis said. “Lots of times, the renters are mad. In a subtle way, they’ll try to sabotage the sale. They’re unwelcoming to prospects and leave the place in a dirty condition,” he said. Moreover, some tenants make derogatory comments about the condition of a home, exaggerating minor issues and sometimes even claiming problems that don’t exist.

That’s why he recommends that buyers try to schedule a visit to see a rental property when the tenants are absent. That way you can more effectively scrutinize the place. You’ll be more at ease, for example, opening closet doors and kitchen cabinets. Put a high priority on obtaining a detailed home inspection. Many rental properties are overseen by professional management firms. Even so, they rarely receive the same level of attention as homes occupied by their owners. That’s why it’s important to make any bid conditional on a satisfactory home inspection. “Without a good inspection, it’s hard to know if the heating and cooling systems were serviced regularly or whether plumbing problems were fixed. Every house needs a home

inspection. But the need is greatest in a place where tenants have been living,” Davis said. Should a thorough inspection reveal only the most minor of problems, the rental unit could qualify as a legitimate “diamond in the rough,” Davis said. Make sure you obtain cost estimates for potential repairs. Davis said the prospective buyer of a rental property, or any home for that matter, should determine how much needed repairs will cost. He recommends you get estimates for all the repairs on your inspector’s list before finalizing your bid. Then be sure these expenses are factored into the price when you negotiate.

E-mail Ellen James Martin at UNIVERSAL UCLICK

Builder confidence in the maturehousing market retreated during the second quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ 55+ Housing Market Index, a quarterly survey of the association’s builder members engaged in the production of mature-market housing. Index values dropped for all areas surveyed compared to the second quarter of last year. The index measures builder sentiment based on current sales, prospective buyer traffic and anticipated sixmonth sales for the 55-plus single-family market. A number greater than 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor. In the second quarter, the index dropped four points to 12. Present sales also fell four points to 12; expected sales dropped seven points to 17; and traffic dropped two points to 12.

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INDEX Harney Handy Permits

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Left: Dave Goodman’s home in the Rose Creek addition. Goodman built one of the first homes in the neighborhood, which started in 2001. PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN

Rose Creek: Many features offered FROM PAGE 1F

he said. “It’s like neighborhoods were when I was a kid.” Although Goodman said his specialty roofing company is “how I earn my living,” he is also an acclaimed designer and builder of homes, seven of which stand in Rose Creek. “In 2004, it was just golf and two or three houses,” Goodman said almost wistfully. His home on Rainwater Trail, which serves as an office as well as a model home for Goodman’s design talents, in those days stood alone on the highest point in Rose Creek — an island surrounded by knee-deep fescue. Today, eight phases into the development, Hodkins said that some 360 lots are either approved for construction, under construction or built. “When we open the final two (of 10) phases, we’ll have right at 600 lots,” Hodkin said. The lots are available in the full-size variety and as smaller, maintained villa lots, where Hodkin said “empty nesters” who are downsizing can escape the maintenance demands of a family lot. It’s not only homes going up at Rose Creek. The centerpiece of the neighborhood — its 18-hole, par-72 championship course designed by world renowned golf architect Arthur Hills — is getting a new nerve center. Cameron Speck, assistant pro, said a 16,000-square-foot clubhouse is scheduled to open in October. Hodkin said that new families moving into the neighborhood cited Rose Creek’s amenities as the “deciding factors” persuading them to make Rose Creek home. They include the pool complex with water slides and 10,000 square feet of water surface, and the 4,200-squarefoot fitness center offering weight and cardio equipment, classes and personal trainers. Janell Ferguson remembered visiting Rose Creek when she and Craig were deciding among Oklahoma City-area neighborhoods and even weighing the possibility of settling in the Dallas area. “The owners put on a ‘Sunset Serenade,’ ” she recalled, a cookout that brought neighbors together with builders, developers and prospective homebuyers. Meeting families that are now longtime neighbors, Janell said, “We knew right away this was where we belonged.”

Dave Goodman shows the entry to his home in the Rose Creek neighborhood. BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN

Dave Goodman’s home, shown under construction in 2004, was alone on a hill surrounded by tall fescue when it was finished. Now, the surrounding area has been developed in the nearly 1-square-mile Rose Creek addition in northwest Oklahoma City. PHOTO PROVIDED BY DAVE GOODMAN

A curved bench seat gives a different flare to the dining room in Dave Goodman’s home. BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN

A new clubhouse nears completion at Rose Creek, north of NW 164 between May and Portland. PHOTO BY STEVE GOOCH, THE OKLAHOMAN




Shells can inspire beach theme at home


The Listing of the Week is at 505 S Castle Rock Lane in Mustang.


Wired for entertainment, Mustang home ready to go The Listing of the Week is a traditional house with a Dolby digital theater system, 122-inch screen and Bose surround speaker system in Mustang. The 1,392-square-foot house is wired for Ethernet, with two cable outlets in each secondary bedroom. The house has three bedrooms, two baths, one living room, one dining area and a two-car garage. The family room has a fireplace and ceiling fan. The kitchen has a breakfast bar and pantry. The master bedroom has a ceiling fan, is wired for a plasma tele-


vision and has a his-andhers bath with a whirlpool tub and shower. The house has a covered patio, outbuildings and a security system. Built in 2005, it is listed for $132,900 with Linda Tracy-Ryburn of RE/MAX Twin Rivers Real Estate. Open house is from 2 to 4

p.m. Sunday. From State Highway 152 and Mustang Road, go east to Castle Rock, then south to the house. For more information, call 476-5319. Nominations for Listing of the Week are welcome. Send information on single-family homes to The Oklahoman, Richard Mize, P.O. Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125. Nominations may be faxed to 475-3996.

DEAR MI-LING: What do I do with all of those shells I picked up at the beach? Kathy S. DEAR KATHY: Collecting shells on the beach is a fun way to spend time on vacation. I’m guilty of collecting shells during my trips, and then I incorporate them into my home in a subtle and natural way that brings the outside indoors. Here are a few of my ideas: If you have a master bath that is spa-inspired, shells are perfect for it. Use a large conch shell for your loofah sponge or bath beads. Of course, you can also place a large number of shells in a basket by the tub or in a glass bowl on the counter. Take some of your favorite large shells and place one in a shadow box and hang it on the wall.

Mi-Ling Stone Poole ASK MI-LING If you like to entertain outdoors during the summer, use your shells for tablescapes. Place them in colorful metal baskets with sand and a candle or simply place them in bowls on and around your dining table on top of a beautiful crisp tablecloth for outdoor entertaining. Get out your hot-glue gun and add shells to place mats, picture frames and mirrors. High-end department stores are showing shell-inspired mirrors and vases in a big way. Use three large shells and arrange them on a table or mantel like a piece of art. In my son’s room, his

If you have a master bath that is spa-inspired, shells are perfect for it.

ship theme was enhanced by filling a huge glass ship with shells. I recently purchased a brown long skirt that had small shells sewn onto the front near the hem line. It jingles when I walk but it’s real cute. I wash the skirt on delicate and it’s still intact. Be inspired! Just use your imagination and enjoy your treasures. Now go out and create your own unique comfort zone! Mi-Ling Stone Poole is the author of “Ask Mi-Ling! When You Want the Truth About Decorating.” If you have a decorating dilemma, contact her through her website,





Old mattresses are green business Septic tank damage causing more than stink DEAR BARRY: We sold our previous home about eight years ago but have continued to live just a few doors away. A few years ago, a trash truck got stuck in the mud at the edge of that property and damaged the leach lines in the septic system. The broken pipes were sticking out of the ground, so the owner pulled them up and threw them away. Since then, smelly water from the septic tank drains onto the street. The house has been sold since then, and the new owners refuse to fix the problem. They say the county has determined that the water is from a broken sprinkler pipe, not the septic. But that can’t be true because the smell on our street is awful. Is there anything we can do? Lisa DEAR LISA: The county has an obligation to investigate your complaint, rather than dismissing it out of hand as a broken sprinkler pipe. If officials are not awakened by your reasonable concerns, a letter from an attorney might arouse their interest. You should consult an attorney who specializes in administrative law. You might even get your neighbors to pitch in on the legal expense. Another thought: The editor of your city newspaper might be interested to know that the local government is not interested in exposed sewage in a residential neighborhood. That’s the sort of news that makes interesting front-page reading in a community paper. The objective in these efforts is to have the septic system professionally inspected by a licensed septic contractor. That should be your demand to the property owners and the municipality. A full report of the system’s condition should be provided to determine what corrective procedures, if any, are


needed. DEAR BARRY: A few years ago, we had a flood in our home, caused by a bad plumbing leak. The insurance company paid for major repairs, including new carpets, new drywall, new wood flooring and more. But ever since that time, our daughters have had severe allergies and seasonal asthma. We are afraid that the repair work could have disturbed lead paint or asbestos and that this could be affecting our daughters’ health. How can we find out if this is the cause of our problem? Kimberly DEAR KIMBERLY: First of all, you can rule out lead and asbestos as the causes of your daughters’ respiratory problems because lead does not affect the respiratory system and the adverse effects of asbestos take decades to appear. A more likely cause that could be related to the flooding incident is mold infection somewhere in your home. To determine whether this is the case, you should hire a professional mold inspector to take air samples from your home and have them analyzed by an environmental lab. If a strong presence of mold spores is detected, you’ll need to hire a mold remediation specialist. If the mold count turns out to be low, your daughters’ health problems may be unrelated to the flooding that occurred in your home. At that point, it will be the task of your family physician to provide a diagnosis and solution. To write to Barry Stone, visit him at ACCESS MEDIA GROUP

ORLANDO, Fla. — Used mattresses are the bane of a landfill’s existence. They take up a lot of space, give off noxious gases as they decompose, and their springs can damage the machinery used to flatten them. So, what if, for a small fee, you could have your old mattress picked up by an environmentally friendly charity, which would then tear it apart and find new uses for about 90 percent of the materials? Would you do it? The Mustard Seed of Central Florida — a furniture and clothing bank for families who have lost everything — is hoping the answer is yes. The 25-year-old nonprofit already has begun recycling paper as well as used appliances, copiers, computers and phone systems it once had rejected. “We want to be good environmental stewards,” said Michelle Lyles, the charity’s new executive director. “And we want to find a way to earn sustainable revenue so we can continue our mission of helping people.”

Pilot project Recently, the Mustard Seed launched a 90-day pilot project to recycle mattress materials, selling off nearly all of the components and becoming one of only a few busi-

So, what if, for a small fee, you could have your old mattress picked up by an environmentally friendly charity, which would then tear it apart and find new uses for about 90 percent of the materials? Would you do it?

nesses in the country to do so. If it’s successful, the enterprise could help create blue-collar jobs, earn revenue for the cash-strapped charity and get more beds to families needing them. “Before, when mattresses were donated, we kept the ones that were in good shape and we threw the bad mattresses away,” Lyles said. The practice not only placed a burden on the landfill, but it also cost money to haul away the mattresses. Worse, it left the charity with a perpetual shortage of beds for needy families. But by issuing a call for all

used mattresses — good and bad — the charity expects to end up with more beds that are clean and sturdy enough to be reused immediately. The standard, Lyles said, is, “If it’s something we would sleep on, we’ll give it to our clients. If not, it’s going to get recycled.”

Recycling process The recycling process involves stripping the mattress to its individual components — the quilted topper, the polyurethane foam, the steel springs, the wooden frame and a rough-hewn interior pad that feels as if it is made of horsehair. Those components, in turn, can be baled and sold for use in everything from carpet pads to garden mulch to automobile engines. “It can sometimes be difficult, but usually the components can be used somehow,” said Celia Walker, project manager for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Eugene, Ore., a pioneer in the mattress recycling business. That organization, which started recycling mattresses 11 years ago, is now one of the largest such recyclers in the world, and its representatives have been in Orlando helping the Mustard Seed learn the process. MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE INFORMATION SERVICES





Here comes the sun: Solar within reach BY STACY DOWNS


McClatchy News Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — 2010 just might go down as the year solar energy gained mainstream acceptance. Stores that sell solar products are seeing major boosts in sales compared with last year, some as much as 40 percent. The sun-powered momentum is fueled by less expensive products that are made more affordable through federal tax credits and rebates at a time when utility prices are rising. Another contributing factor to the rising interest in renewable energy is the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. “It’s made the masses realize the difficulty of getting fossil fuels,” said Rita Norton, a retired schoolteacher who invested in a solar panel electrical system several years ago for her Kansas City, Mo., Cape Cod-style home. “More people are talking to me about solar, which is simply free energy from the sun.” The biggest hurdle with solar power is the initial cost of equipment and installation. The 12 panels for Norton’s 1,400square-foot home, which she bought before today’s major incentives, were a hefty sum. Still, she finds her investment paying off. The panels on Norton’s roof convert sunlight into direct current electricity, which travels through a wire-filled conduit to batteries in the basement. Her system is connected to the city’s electric grid but also can run independently with the exception of the clothes dryer (she prefers line drying anyway) and air conditioning. “I’m a wuss when it comes to heat, so I use air conditioning,” Norton said. “Last summer, my top bill was $85. I suspect I will always have low bills (between $30 and $40) for taxes and service charges.” Although solar panel prices are likely to continue to decrease, not everyone can afford them. But other solar options are available. The Argentine Neighborhood Development Association (ANDA) in Kansas City, Kan., recently built several affordable energy-efficient homes. Although these aren’t fully solar-powered homes, they have several solar features. And they are popular. “The houses were sold before they were finished,” said Ann Brandau-Murguia, executive director of ANDA and a commissioner of Wyandotte County, Kan.’s Unified Government. “We liked how these features make utilities affordable for residents in the neighborhood. It’s important because it’s populated by people


› ›

Free source of electricity after initial investment. No pollution produced. The only pollution is from their manufacturing, transportation and installation. Can harness electricity in remote locations that aren’t linked to a national grid. Reduces dependence on the world’s fossil fuel supplies. Tax credits and rebates are available.

› › ›


cost is high. › Initial Can be a bureaucratic hassle. › Although most cities and home-

owners associations have no problem with them, some do. Some stipulate using solar shingles for roofs, which are more expensive and less effective. Weather and pollution levels can affect efficiency. This comes in to play in densely populated urban areas, which tend to have high pollution levels.


Rocky Orozco and Isabel Reyes are reflected in the solar room heater panel glass attached to the southwestern corner of their new home in Kansas City, Kan. MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE PHOTOS

with middle to lower incomes.” Isabel Reyes, Rocky Orozco and their three daughters moved into one of the houses, a blue two-story with a wraparound porch. You have to go to the backyard to tell the house has solar features. In their case, it’s a framed black panel, a solar air heater, attached to the back of the house. The panel can be mounted on the roof. “It’s attractive, almost elegant even,” said Reyes, who works in nutritional services for the Kansas City, Kan., school district. “It’s like a black mirror.”

The sun-powered momentum is fueled by less expensive products that are made more affordable through federal tax credits and rebates at a time when utility prices are rising.

Right: Solar attic vent-fans are eligible for tax credits, including this one by Solar Star at Solar Solutions of Kansas City, in Overland Park, Kan. The attic vent-fan sits fairly flat on the roof and can’t be seen from the front yard.





Timing is right for some to build a home BY ALAN J. HEAVENS The Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Forget the still-sputtering economy, tight credit and all the other reasons not to take that giant leap of real estate faith right now. For some people, now is precisely the right time to build the house they want. Like Jennifer and Julio Cassanelli, who bought a three-bedroom house in Williamstown, N.J., soon after they were married — before Anastasia, 7, Angelina, 5, and Amelie, 2, came along. “Three girls and 1 ½ bathrooms,” their mother said. “Can you imagine what things would be like when they’re teenagers?” Then there are Katherine and Jonathan Mattison, who were married in May. With the two children from her first marriage — Charlie, 4, and Hannah, 2 — the couple live with her mother, Jane Wellbrock, in a four-bedroom house. “Hannah came here right after she was born,” Wellbrock said. “She doesn’t know anything but this house.” For each family, a freshly built home was the answer: for the Cassanellis, a $307,000 four-bedroom, two-bath single a mile from their old house; for the Mattisons, a $237,500

The Cassanelli family stands outside the home being built for them after a walk-through with Jeanne Gamber, far left, sales and marketing director for Paparone New Homes, and Bruce Paparone, in Williamstown, Pa. MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE PHOTO

three-bedroom, 2 ½-bath townhouse in Avondale, Pa. And why not, with builders so eager to deal they’re offering incentives and discounts and faster move-ins? After the latest round of tax credits for homebuyers expired April 30, new-home sales nationwide for May plunged to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, the lowest since recordkeeping began in 1963. “Buyers might do as well or better now than when the tax credit was available, since some builders may need to move inventory that did not sell in March and April,” said

Wayne Norris, regional sales manager for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence, which tracks U.S. newhome sales. Neither the Cassanellis nor the Mattisons wanted to buy fixer-uppers. In 2008, during her divorce — but “fortunately before the crash,” Katherine Mattison said — she sold a 250-year-old house that needed lots of work. “Not this time,” she said. The Cassanellis’ house was just a few months old when they bought it in February 2002 from a couple getting a divorce. “We spent almost nine years working on this house,” Jennifer Cassanelli

More than 40 percent leave Obama mortgage-aid program BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — More than 40 percent of homeowners seeking help from the Obama administration’s flagship effort to rescue those at risk of foreclosure have dropped out of the program. The latest report on the program suggests foreclosures could rise in the second half of the year and weaken an ailing housing market. About 530,000 borrowers have fallen out of the program as of June, the Treasury Department said. Nearly 1.3 million homeowners had enrolled since March 2009. Treasury officials said few of these borrowers will wind up in foreclosure. But many analysts are concerned that a new wave of foreclosures could greatly impact the struggling housing industry. Another 390,000 homeowners, or 30 percent of those who started the program, have received permanent loan modifications and are making payments on time. A major reason so many have fallen out of the program is the Obama administration initially pressured banks to sign up borrowers without insisting first on proof of their income. When banks later moved to collect the information, many troubled homeowners were disqualified or dropped out. Many borrowers complain of a bureaucratic nightmare. They say banks often lose their documents. The banking industry said borrowers weren’t sending back the necessary paperwork. The Obama plan was designed to help people in financial trouble by lowering their monthly mortgage payments. Homeowners

who qualify can receive an interest rate as low as 2 percent for five years and a longer repayment period. The average monthly payment has been cut by about $500 on average. The homeowners receive temporary modifications. These are supposed to become permanent after borrowers make three payments on time and complete the required paperwork. That includes proof of income and a letter explaining the reason for their troubles. In practice, though, the process has taken far longer. The more than 100 participating mortgage compa-

nies get taxpayer incentives to reduce payments. But as of mid-May only $132 million had been spent out of a potential $75 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. Though the program has been widely criticized for making only a small dent in the foreclosure crisis, administration officials defend their efforts. They say that the foreclosure prevention program has spurred changes in the mortgage industry, prodding lenders to make more significant cuts to borrowers’ monthly payments than before the government effort started.

said. “We wanted to move into a house and not have to do that again. With kids, it’s much harder.” Julio Cassanelli, 42, is contracts manager for Thomson Reuters in Philadelphia. Jennifer Cassanelli, 34, was an accounts manager for Quickie Manufacturing Corp. in Cinnaminson, N.J., until daugh-

ter Angelina was born. They bought their last house, with 5 percent down, for $162,000 in 2002, records show. She said they were “lucky we were able to get it before the market began heating up.” When they reappraised a few years ago during the real estate boom, their eq-

uity had increased enough to drop private mortgage insurance. That, and paying “everything off we needed to get into shape to buy” were solid steps to moving up to their second house, Jennifer Cassanelli said. After Amelie was born, the Cassanellis began considering their housing options. “We put ourselves on a plan,” she said. “It was supposed to be three to five years, but the tax credit made us push up our deadline.” They believed — correctly, as it turned out — that a first-time buyer might want their house. Still, they had big concerns. “The economy is always in the back of my mind,” she said. Even though her husband has been working with Thomson Reuters for eight years, “no one’s job is secure. There’s only one income now. What happens if that goes away?” MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE INFORMATION SERVICES






Virtual staging can lead homebuyers astray SELLING | SOFTWARE MAKES WHAT YOU SEE NOT WHAT YOU GET

Grand River melds designs of traditional, contemporary King posts and struts highlight the Grand River’s lofty vaulted entry porch. This neotraditional home is an up-to-date combination of traditional and contemporary design features. While it could be built as a retreat cottage, the home is also a good fit for a suburban neighborhood. Natural light washes into the two-story foyer through sidelights and tall transoms above. The stairway that runs up one wall ascends to a balcony landing with a twoway overlook: a view of the foyer to the front and the vaulted great room to the rear. Windows fill most of the great room’s rear wall, and a wood stove nestles into the right-hand corner there. Across the room, double doors open onto a partially covered patio, near where a gracefully curved eating bar bounds the kitchen. Counters and storage spaces are abundant, and the central work island adds more of both. The roomy walk-in pantry provides a major boost to storage capacity. A dining room is across the hall,

along with a powder room linked to a utility room. Storage closets line the walls in both. The luxurious owners’ suite fills out the ground floor’s right wing. It has a huge walk-in closet and a private bathroom with a spa tub. The shower and toilet can be closed off for privacy. Two more bedrooms and a comfortable bathroom are on the Grand River’s second level, along with a wealth of storage. Tall windows brighten the large, open twostory foyer. Even more light spills into the bonus and exercise rooms on the left, which are over the garage. Windows there are in each of the four gabled dormers, and another is on the left wall. For a review plan, including scaled floor plans, elevations, section and artist’s conception, send $25 to Associated Designs, 1100 Jacobs Drive, Eugene, OR 97402. Please specify the Grand River 30-754 and include a return address when ordering. For more information, call (800) 634-0123.

WASHINGTON — Try to picture this real estate scenario — virtually. Like most shoppers searching for a home, you start on the web, checking out listings and locations. You find a house that appears to be what you’re after, and you tap into the photos section of the listing to see the interior shots. Wow! The house is outstanding for the asking price. Everything appears to be in good physical condition, you’re impressed by upgrade extras such as crown molding in some rooms, plus granite counters and premium appliances in the kitchen. You call your real estate agent and arrange a visit. You both walk in and what you find is shocking. The walls have serious cracks, the carpets are stained and dirty. There are no crown moldings, no granite countertops, no premium kitchen appliances. In fact, the kitchen is swarming with flies because of old food left decomposing in the sink. Get me out of here! Could this happen to you? Absolutely — thanks to a relatively new and increasingly controversial concept known as “virtual staging.” You’re probably familiar with physical staging, where experts come in and remove clutter and replace or rearrange furnishings to make a house more readily salable. Virtual staging, by contrast, requires no physical furnishings, just software and imagination. There’s no limit to the types of digital makeovers that are possible. You don’t like the wallpaper? No problem. Get rid of it with a click. Want that sagging ceiling in the bedroom to disappear? Prefer high-end ceramic floor tiles in the master bath instead of the linoleum that’s actually there? Click, click, click — you’ve got it all. But here’s the problem: At what point does virtual staging cross the line from


spiffing up the appearance of a house to intentionally misrepresenting it? That question has been bubbling for months in the real estate industry. Greg Nino, a Texas realty agent with RE/MAX West Houston Professionals, ran into the issue painfully. A client fell in love with a house listed by another local agent who included 16 interior photos on her website. But when Nino and his client went to see the house, it was immediately clear that the 16 photos depicted rooms that had been digitally rearranged, repaired and enhanced. “The house looks like hell,” Nino said in a posting on the “ActiveRain” real estate network in late July. “The carpet is disgusting and the walls have dents, scrapes and broken miniblinds.” Plus there was a rotting watermelon in the kitchen sink. In an interview, Nino said his client was outraged and blamed him for bringing her to such a blatantly misrepresented house. Nino’s blog post attracted online visitors and comments from realty agents around the country, many of whom deplored the use of high-tech wizardry to make listings look much better than they really are. “This is misleading the public,” Nino said. “It’s bad for the industry, and bad for consumers.” Real estate staging professionals also are concerned by growing complaints about digital misbehavior. Jay Bell, coowner of a company in Atlanta that offers both traditional, physical staging and virtual staging, said that digital cover-ups

of flaws in properties, changing wall colors and installing make-believe molding are all out of bounds ethically. “It’s a slippery slope,” he said in an interview. His VirtuallyStagingProperties. com site prohibits alterations of listing photographs in any way that differs from Bell’s physical staging activities, which primarily involve changes to furnishing and decor. “People ask for this stuff all the time,” he said, “and we’d love the business.” But he said his company refuses to digitally repair or renovate rooms depicted in photos submitted. Bell’s company also requires clients to inform shoppers and visitors online when interior photos have been virtually staged. Though the National Association of Realtors has not issued specific guidance to its 1.2 million members on virtual staging, Bruce Aydt, past chairman of the group’s professional standards committee and senior vice president and general counsel of the Prudential Alliance brokerage in St. Louis, said it’s all about “truthfulness.” Putting aside the changes to furnishings, “is the representation of the property what it actually looks like” in reality? Equally important, Aydt said, are there clear disclosures that photos have been manipulated digitally? If not, he said, it’s likely they violate Article 12 of the Realtors’ code of ethics, which requires agents and brokers to “present a true picture in their advertising, marketing and other representations.” Bottom line: Though most online photos have not been digitally altered, be aware that some may be. It doesn’t hurt to ask before you visit. E-mail Ken Harney at WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP





Spruce up deck with lighting, decorative elements Everyone loves having an outdoor deck to relax on during summer. But if your deck is just a bit boring, there’s a variety of deck helpers available for turning “ho-hum” into “wow!”

Deck balusters Instead of standard wooden pickets on your deck railing, how about something really eyecatching? There are a variety of extruded aluminum balusters to select from that combine beautifully with wood to create a sturdy deck railing that’s also weather resistant. Aluminum balusters are available in lots of different baked-on enamel colors. Balusters don’t need to be straight up and down either. You can choose from ones that are twisted in classic Colonial shapes or ones that are arced out in

Solar post lights

Paul Bianchina HANDY @ HOME smooth curves or angular bends. All are pre-shaped and simple to install.

Deck rail panels How about something even more dramatic to set off your deck rail? There are laser-cut steel panels available with the silhouettes of trees, wildlife and other outdoor scenes. The panels fit into grooves in wooden supports to make up a sturdy deck railing that will become an unusual feature in your yard. You can ring the entire deck with them or use one or two panels as a focal point.

Here’s a quick and easy deck upgrade that looks great and is a nice safety feature. Solar post lights attach to the top of any 4by-4-inch posts. A small solar panel on top of the light uses sunlight during the day to recharge batteries inside the fixture, which powers LED lights at night. Solar post lights are available in different styles and colors and are easy to install with no electrical wiring required.

Rail-top planters You can dress up the look of your deck without using any valuable deck space by incorporating some railtop planters. These attractive planters are made from vinyl, cedar or other materials and are designed with a groove in the bottom that fits over standard 2-by-4

or 2-by-6 lumber. Available in round pot and rectangular box designs, the planters fit over the top cap of the deck’s railing. They’re easy to install wherever you want to add the beauty and color of fresh flowers on your deck or create an herb garden.

Patio misters If you have a deck that’s a little too hot to handle some afternoons, consider the addition of some patio misters, which feature micro-nozzles installed in a length of hose. The hose is attached to the edge of your deck railing, the underside of a patio cover or pergola, or any other convenient location, then attached to an outdoor hose bib. The nozzles deliver a continuous, fine mist of water, which in turn will cool down the ambient temperatures and

make your deck and your outdoor environment much more enjoyable. Patio misters are available in different lengths and nozzle configurations, and there are also accessories such as booster pumps, splitters and even in-line filters to help you customize your installation.

Rope lights For some fun and some added safety, consider adding some rope lights to your deck. Rope lights are tiny bulbs encased in clear or colored flexible plastic tubing, and they can be installed outdoors in a wide variety of locations. They add a festive atmosphere to any deck or patio cover, and provide additional subtle, nonglare lighting for steps, railings and other areas. Look for lighting that’s ULapproved for exterior use.

Plan sets If you’d like to tackle an outdoor project that will improve your yard and give you a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, but you’re at a loss as to where to begin, consider buying a set of plans. There are plans available for a wide variety of projects, from simple barbecue carts and picnic tables to Adirondack chairs and deck gliders. You’ll find plans for interesting deck railings, pergolas and deck covers, and even for the deck itself. The typical plan set comes with drawings, material lists and assembly instructions, and some are even available with DVDs. Remodeling and repair questions? E-mail Paul Bianchina at paulbianchina@ All product reviews are based on the author’s actual testing of free review samples provided by the manufacturers. INMAN NEWS


Permits Oklahoma City City of Oklahoma City, 301 W Reno Ave., officewarehouse, remodel, $1,863,260. City of Oklahoma City, 301 W Reno Ave., public building, remodel, $931,630. Tim Hughes, 910 NW 139 Parkway, office, erect, $500,000. Steven James Homes Inc., 513 Old Home Place, residence, erect, $284,000. Huffman Construction, 5545 Sunset Ridge Road, residence, erect, $250,000. Belinda Woods, 10855 San Lorenzo Drive, residence, erect, $250,000. J.W. Mashburn Development Inc., 8509 NW 112, residence, erect, $233,000. Manchester Green Homes LLC, 6313 Whispering Grove Drive, residence, erect, $219,550. McDonald’s Corp, 7525 S Western Ave., restaurant, add-on, $200,000. Bill Michael Inc., 19413 Fieldshire Drive, residence, erect, $198,000. Hibbard Co., 14000 Canterbury Drive, residence, erect, $195,000. Manchester Green Homes LLC, 6301 Whispering Grove Drive, residence, erect, $192,350. D.R. Horton, 3400 NW 176, residence, erect, $191,100. Debbie Gregory Homes, 9008 NW 82, residence, erect, $180,000. Debbie Gregory Homes, 9036 NW 83, residence, erect, $180,000. Lingo Construction Services Inc., 5800 N Classen, business, remodel, $180,000. Aaron Tatum Custom Homes LLC, 17212 Aragon Lane, residence, erect, $175,000.

Aaron Tatum Custom Homes LLC, 17313 Prado Drive, residence, erect, $175,000. Stone Creek Homes Ltd., 4912 SW 123, residence, erect, $170,000. Mashburn Faires Homes LLC, 405 SW 171, residence, erect, $165,000. Aaron Tatum Custom Homes LLC, 17309 Serrano Drive, residence, erect, $158,000. Timber Craft Homes LLC, 7512 Geneva Rea Lane, residence, erect, $157,500. Authentic Custom Homes LLC, 2225 NW 195, residence, erect, $150,000. Hibbard Co., 15912 San Nicolas Drive, residence, erect, $145,000. Cutter Homes, 11749 SW 16, residence, erect, $140,000. Karl Call, 718 NW 22, residence, erect, $140,000. Home Creations, 6213 SE 81 Circle, residence, erect, $123,300. Chickasaw Nation Division of Tourism, 1 E Sheridan Ave., office, remodel, $115,467. Bungalow Construction LLC, 117 NW 24, residence, erect, $110,000. George Schott, doing business as Two Turtles Property Management, 3205 Tenkiller Court, residence, erect, $110,000. Harbor Homes, 404 SW 173, residence, erect, $110,000. Harbor Homes, 17225 Prado Drive, residence, erect, $110,000. Jefferson Park Neighbors Association, 105 NW 24, residence, erect, $110,000. SWM & Sons Inc., 14827 SE 75, residence, erect, $109,690. Rausch Coleman

REAL ESTATE Homes LLC, 11812 NW 132, residence, erect, $109,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 2413 NW 186, residence, erect, $102,000. Billy Williams, 16208 Indian Hills Road, residence, erect, $90,000. Maccini Construction, 1 E Sheridan Ave., office, remodel, $83,628. Rausch Coleman Homes LLC, 4713 SE 81, residence, erect, $80,000. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 15425 Calm Wind Drive, residence, erect, $79,000. Home Creations, 2229 NW 197, residence, erect, $77,200. Ideal Homes of Norman LP, 2717 NW 185, residence, erect, $75,000. Milligan Homes LLC, 1605 NE 9, residence, erect, $73,500. Tam Nguyen, 13325 N MacArthur Blvd., restaurant, remodel, $61,145. Buoy Bros. Construction, 10300 Olde Tuscany Road, storage, erect, $48,000. James Black, 13801 Quail Pointe Drive, restaurant, remodel, $41,000. George F. Hiney, 1429 NW 97, residence, fire restoration, $40,000. Four Seasons Sunrooms, 2508 NW 118, residence, add-on, $33,224. Curt Munson, 6717 NE 113, accessory, add-on, $30,000. Sam Gresham, 2322 N Broadway Ave., warehouse, remodel, $30,000. Four Seasons Sunrooms, 6912 Lakepointe Drive, residence, add-on, $28,942. Gober Construction, 9820 S Peebly Road, storage, erect, $28,000. Southwest Builders, 3104 N Ann Arbor Ave., residence, add-on, $27,602. American Fence Co., 2100 NE 140, nursing home, erect, $26,354. Heritage Renovations

LLC, 8105 NW 130 Place, residence, add-on, $25,000. Matt’s Remodeling & Renovation Inc., 1301 Hill Cross Court, residence, add-on, $25,000. Specialty Construction Services LLC, 6900 N Classen Blvd., office, remodel, $25,000. Jamie Jacobs, 16319 Indian Hills Road, manufactured home, move-on, $21,000. Jefferson Park Neighbors Association, 117 NW 24, accessory, erect, $20,000. Jefferson Park Neighbors Association, 105 NW 24, accessory, erect, $20,000. Samuel R. and Jason R. Bonner, 3020 Oakwood Drive, accessory, erect, $20,000. Tim Grob, 901 NW 13, residence, remodel, $20,000. Moore Custom Buildings Inc., 11608 Tuscany Ranch Road, storage, erect, $18,200. A Karen Black Co., 2509 NW 56, residence, remodel, $18,000. Santos Lujan, 3321 S Portland Ave., residence, add-on, $15,000. Stephen and Kay Garvin, 11524 S Hiwassee Road, residence, add-on, $15,000. Quality Craft Builders, 7600 Doris Place, residence, add-on, $12,000. Harbor Homes, 408 SW 173, residence, erect, $11,000. Leslie A. Otwell, 10421 NE 73, accessory, erect, $10,000. David Matthis Construction Co., 14900 Prairie Lane, storage, erect, $9,000. Tanner Grooms, 1209 NW 41, storage, erect, $7,000. Kraff Construction, 725 SW 56, residence, addon, $6,000. Nova Star Recyclers LLC, doing business as Recyclers of Oke, 2009 S Pennsylvania Ave., storage, install, $4,000.

Landlord paints ‘deadbeat tenants’ on home BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina landlord fed up with tenants who didn’t pay their rent painted her criticism on the garage for all to see.

WBTV reports that landlord Vanessa McCants spray painted the words “deadbeat tenants” on a Charlotte house she rents to Shanae Jackson. McCants said she hasn’t been paid the $1,300

monthly rent for two months and she’s losing the home to foreclosure. Jackson admitted she’s not paying the rent but said she can’t afford both the rent and moving expenses.

Jackson called police after painting over the critique on the side of the home’s garage. Police refused to charge McCants because spray painting your own property is not a crime.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2010 Steven H. Crum, 1520 SW 137 Terrace, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $3,600. Smart Safe, 7109 S Shartel Ave., storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,800. Granvel W. Wood, 17 SW 102, storm shelter, install-storm shelter, $2,700. Leeha Tucker, 4217 NE 18, storage, erect, $2,600. Hilario Fraire, 1340 Chestnut Drive, canopycarport, add-on, $2,500. George F. Hiney, 1429 NW 97, storage, erect, $2,225. Aaron Creekmore, 1111 SW 42, residence, addon, $2,000. Nelson and Tammy Smith, 2601 SW 97, canopy-carport, add-on, $1,995. Roman Silva, 6004 S Drexel Ave., canopycarport, add-on, $1,600. Sandy Fisher, 11509 Marbella Drive, storage, erect, $1,600. Thai Dang, 9356 S Western Ave., business, remodel, $1,500. Taber Built Homes LLC, 16233 Josiah Place, accessory, install, $1,200.

Demolitions K&M Dirt Services LLC, 324 SE 53, retail. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 4201 N Youngs Blvd., residence.


K&M Dirt Services LLC, 14801 SE 75, residence. K&M Dirt Services LLC, 3715 N Tulsa Ave., residence. K&M Dirt Services LLC, 4107 NW 36, residence. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 6219 SE 89, house. George F. Hiney, 1429 NW 97, residence. Ray’s Trucking, 3232 SW 44, residence. AC’s Lawn Home Care and Demolition, 2120 N Kelley Ave., residence. Ray’s Trucking, 1212 Carverdale Drive, residence. Kendall Concrete, 3101 NE 9, residence. Midwest Wrecking, 1213 SW 23, vacant. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 1605 NE 9, residence. Ray’s Trucking, 3232 SW 44, accessory. M&M Concrete & Wrecking Inc., 2921 NW 13, vacant. City of Oklahoma City, 301 W Reno Ave., park. City of Oklahoma City, 301 W Reno Ave., park. City of Oklahoma City, 301 W Reno Ave., ticket booth. Marty Harris, 14900 Prairie Lane, storage. Billy Williams, 16208 Indian Hills Road, residence.





Planning commission lists approved, denied items The Oklahoma City Planning Commission approved the final plat of Valencia Section 5, north of NW 178 and west of N Pennsylvania Avenue, at its Aug. 12 meeting.

Other items approved

Initiate application to close a platted 10-foot walkway easement extending south from SW 63 east of S Indiana Avenue accessing Prairie Queen Elementary School. Extension of the Preliminary Plat of Williamson Farms, south of SW 119 and west of Meridian Avenue. Application by JFK Single Family LP to rezone 715 N Martin Luther King Ave. from the R-3 Medium Density Residential and C-4 General Business Districts to the R-2 Medium Low Density Residential District. Application by Chesapeake Land Co. to rezone 6200 NW Grand Blvd. from the PUD-1351 Planned Unit Development District to the SPUD-569 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by Cox Investment Co. to rezone 9307 N Military Ave. from the R-4 General Residential District to the SPUD-573 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by Travis Reeks to rezone 2900 N Classen Blvd. from the NB Neighborhood Business District and CBO/UD Classen Boulevard and Urban Design Overlay Districts to the SPUD-577 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by LKQ Apex Auto Parts Inc. to rezone 900 S MacArthur Blvd. from the I2 Moderate Industrial District to the PUD-1420 Planned Unit Development District. Application by Van Hoose Construction to dedicate a 50-foot street and utility easement adjacent to property at 7200 W Interstate 40 Service Road west of S Rockwell Avenue. Application by Iowa 80 Group/Truckomat Corp. to rezone 815 S Morgan Road from the I-1 Light Industrial District to the

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OPEN Sun 1-4, 3/2/2 2266 Blue Jay Dr 73012 1827 sqft, Scissrtl Lndng Addn, Blt 07, Ed Schls, $174,900, 405-249-0200 Beautiful 3 bed 3.5 ba 3 car garage on 1.5 acres. Great location. Possible owner carry. No bank qualifying. 413-2711. 4/2/3 $185,000, 2048 sf Storm shelter, sprinkler system. See photos at 405.476.8207

Acreage For Sale


ACREAGE HOME SITES AVAILABLE » The Ranches at Olde Tuscany 1+Ac Moore Schls » Olde Tuscany III 5-10 ac Moore Schools » The Timbers 5 ac Moore Schools » Montecito 1+ ac Norman Schools » Belleau Wood 1+ ac Edmond Schools » Stillbrook Glen 2.5-10 ac Bridgecreek Schools Call Mike 317.0582 Visit one of our fully furnished model homes today! *We build on your lot or ours* PIEDMONT OPEN SAT 2-4 & SUN 2-5. Model home. New hms on 1/2 ac lots. Info also available for new hms in other additions. From NW Expwy & Sara Rd go 4.5 mi N 1N to 10A, E. of OKC, pay out dn. before 1st pmt. starts, many are M/H ready over 400 choices, lg trees, some with ponds, TERMS Milburn o/a 275-1695 BUILDING SITES PIEDMONT 3/4 and 1 Acre Lots, Close In-Good Streets Leon 373-4820 Overland Ex Realty 1-28 acres » All Areas Owner Financing Woodlake Properties 405-273-5777 60 acres MOL, water well, septic, pond, mostly grass, 1 K mis NE of Cement. 405-829-0301 5 acres, corner lot w/small pond, Moore schools, SE 164th & Air Depot $59,900 Fidelity 692-1661 410-4300 10 acres, on south side of E Memorial, west of Anderson Road, $105,000, 821-5372, 3/2/2 on 2K ac, 26x32 shop, 424 Sherwood Ln, Edm $165,500 436-3055 6A Mustang, Owner Carry or Cash • 417-2176 Guthrie, family compound, (2) 3 bed, 2 bath, 5 acres, 850-0532. U Fix 2.5A big house 11850 Lakewood 417-2176 3.5A 5K dn 4/3/2 Like new Wash. Sch 417-2176

Farms, Ranches For Sale, Okla. 308

1260 acres Harmon Cty. Excellent hunting, live water, bass lake, new modern cabin $1350/Ac. 5600 Acres Beckham Cty River frontage 2500acre of minerals, excellent hunting $750/Ac. 405-207-8211 view at:

RE for sale Bethany/ Warr Acres

ATTENTION! $179,000 3bd 2.5ba Home for $110,000 Patrick@Allied 740-6616


9420 NE 13th Place. 3 BR, 1.5 BA, 2 car, needs some repair. Open Thurs thru Sat 12pm. MAKE OFFER. 405-732-3235


7625 NW 28th 4 bed 2 bath, 2012 sf. $147,500. Brightwell Brokerage, 639-1919


7+ acres. Come build your dream home or land can be subdivided. $125,000 Call for details Fidelity 692-1661



$3000 Paid Closing Cost 1233 W Churchill Way 3bd, 2ba, built in 2005 Open House Sun 2-5p. 414-7938 »» $139,900



916 Branchwood Dr., in Brookhaven area. 3bd, 2ba, brick $123K Call Nancy, 405-412-5766

OKC Northwest


Sharp Spacious 4bed 2-story home, great area, large dry basement (can double for storm cellar), new carpet, fresh paint ch/a Seller will pay all of buyer's closing costs $99,750. Fidelity RE 692-1661, 417-1963 Open Sun 2-4 4821 NW 26 (at Ann Arbor) Updated duplex with 2-2 beds, spacious, must sell! Call Jen, Kelley & Co. 246-5672 Open Sunday 2-4 3116 NW 61st St. 2-2, hdwd, updated kitchen, landscaped, new lighting, frplc, Open Sun. 2-4. FSBO OWNER FINANCING $2000 down No Credit Ck 2133 Cashion 2/1 $58,000 596-4599 ATTENTION! $185,000 3bd 2ba Home for $119,950 Patrick@Allied 740-6616 1449 NW 99 3/1.5/1 Renov, Nice 417-2176

OKC Southeast


By Owner close to TAFB 5013 Ryan Dr. OKC, price below appraisal. 4 bed 1 3/4 ba, large living, 600-1924, 817-734-4746 3bd, 2ba, den, 2c, fenced, need some work, $29,500 889-4689. Might take Chevy truck part trade.

OKC Southwest


Owner Financing 2 Houses Front house 3bd 1ba ch/a Back house 2bd 1ba 1car $59,900 sale or rent for $795 » 562-0000 Extra sharp 3bd brick home ch/a, nice area, good condition, only $54,900 Fidelity 692-1661

Piedmont 311



Country Living in Town! Lg. lot w/access to back, spacious 3bd, 2ba, new master ba, open kit- dinliv, frpl, 2car!Seller help w/closing $127,500! Malones M-F 670-1411

SPUD-574 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by Michael D. Clark to obtain a lot split deed approval on property at 14400 S Meridian Ave. Application by The Small Group Architects to rezone 400 SW 87 from the PUD-409 Planned Unit Development District to the PUD-1421 Planned Unit Development District. Final Plat of The Legacy V, south of SW 134 and west of S May Avenue. Application by Sheridan Redevelopers LLC to close several platted alleyways in Block 62, Original Townsite of Oklahoma City Addition, west of N Hudson Avenue and north of W Sheridan Avenue. Application by Commercial Permits Express to rezone 3632 SW 25 from the R-1 Single Family Residential/Airport Environs Zone Two (AE-2) District to the SPUD-571 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by East Oak Recycling and Disposal Facility to rezone 3201 Mosley Road from the R-1 Single Family Residential and AA Agricultural Districts to the PUD-1419 Planned Unit Development District. Final Plat of Robin Ridge Section 3, north of NW 150 and west of N Pennsylvania Avenue. Final Plat of The Grove Phase III, south of NW 192 and west of May Avenue. Application by Denise Patterson Custom Homes LLC requesting a variance to Section 4.6 of the Oklahoma City Subdivision Regulations relating to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy on property at 15424 Milanese Ave. in the Vizcaya Addition, Section 1. Ordinance for public hearing pertaining to Zoning and Planning amending Chapter 59, Article XIII, Section 13750 by making Automotive and Equipment Cleaning and Repairs, Light Equipment (59-8300.14) a prohibited use in the Northeast Twenty-Third Street Overlay District; and declaring an emergency.

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5215 HART DR NE 5Ac 5Bd, 3K Ba, 2 Liv, 1 Din, 2 Car, New Roof & Gutters. Lots of Updates Pipe & Cable Fence $375K Leon 373-4820 Overland Ex Realty, Inc

Mobile Homes, Manufactured Houses 339 1997 2 bd, 2 ba, 16X80, car port, gas & elec, W. OKC, $24,950, 470-2886.

GREAT COUNTRY HOME 2504 Mustang Rd NE 4Bd, 2K Ba, Game Rm & Pool, 2-30x50 Shops on 7+ AC. Trees and Pond $392K. Leon 373-4820 Overland Exp Realty

Land/Home Repo’s Many locations around OK. E-Z Qualifying405-787-5004

STUNNING in Windmill Park Addt. 4/3/3 approx 2365' close to neighborhood tennis & park. All the bells & whistles $259,900. Cindy

DW on Acreage, 4 Bed/ 2Bath, 2350 sq ft, 2 car garage ¡ 405-412-6236




717 S. Willowood Dr. wood laminate floors, new h & a/c, FP, 1690 sq.ft. 3bed, 2ba, $119,900 Sat 21st, 1012, Sun 22nd, 2-4, 405-388-8648

2 bed, 1 bath 14x70, new carpet, lg. lot, lg. deck, nice park, $12k, 769-4743 Repo 10 acres 2200 sf, E of City. 301-2454/517-5000 3/2 bath set up quiet park Call for details405-631-7600 Repos 3x2 starting $19,900 Del. 301-2454/517-5000 4/2 bath set up with 2.5 acres 405-631-7600 2200 sf 4x2, Newcastle 301-2454/517-5000

Suburban, NW

(El Reno, Guthrie, Cashion, Deer Creek,


Single Wide, 3bd/2ba set up in park. $17,500 Call for info: 512-567-8345


1939 FARM HOMESTEAD some original & some updated w/current trends. Approx 1900' on 6.5 ac MOL. 3bd 2ba, basement, detached 2 car/shop combo. 146,900 Cindy

Open Houses 334.2 PIEDMONT OPEN SAT 2-4 & SUN 2-5. Model home. New hms on 1/2 ac lots. Info also available for new hms in other additions. From NW Expwy & Sara Rd go 4.5 mi N OKC NE Open Sun 2-4. Just W. of I-35 & 122nd. 12205 Woodland Hills Way. 2b 2b. 615-0785

Mobile Home Parks Community /Acreages 338 Shady Lots ‘ $200/mo. 1st Month Free. 6610 S. Sheilds 409-3974

Mobile Homes, Manufactured Houses 339 Huge Inventory home sale! Own Land or have Family Land use land to purchase new home! Need Land? Land/Home I-20 acres available. 3, 4, 5 bedrm Manufactured & Modular homes. Turn Key, we do it all! 1000 furniture package with purchase 888-878-2971 405-204-4163 Price Reduced! New 3bd/2ba Mobile Homes already on land located in Shawnee, Prague, Cromwell & Harrah Owner Financing Woodlake Properties 405-273-5777 First Time Homebuyer. New & repo homes available. Move to your land or to community. Trade in homes are welcomed. 888-878-2971 405-602-4526 '06 16x64, 2 bed, 2 bath, completely furnished, total elec. To Be Moved. 630-9844 or 386-2902 '05 Travel Trailer, set up in park. $8000 ¡ $2000 dwn, $198/mo. Owner Financing. 405-409-3974 3 bed dbl. w/fireplace, huge glamour bath, walkin closet island kit. $389mo wac 470-1330 14X70, 2-3 bed, 2 bath, 3 out buildings, between SE 44th-59th off Eastern, 604-6973/642-8401. 3bd 2ba DW on acreage w/pond. Less than $500 mo, WAC 631-3609

Oklahoma Property For Sale 340 80 Acres W of Piedmont Easy access, aprx. 1/2 mi S. of Waterloo Rd, 7 mi W. of Piedmont . Great pastures, good fences, pond, plenty of building sites & lots of wildlife. Deer, Turkey, Bobcats, Coyotes & Quail! Protected land surrounded by wheat fields. $300,000. Serious inquiries only please. 405-517-9989. Wonderful 3bd 3ba home perfect for entertaining & outdoor living complete with in-ground pool! Close to I-40 and Lake Eufaula! $259,900. By Eufaula Lakeshore Realty, LLC Stephanie 918.470.5122

Real Estate Auctions


Real Estate Auction Near Purcell, Oklahoma Potential Dream Home, Barns and Corrals. Scenic Acreages close to Purcell. Investment Property & Storage Buildings. Sale Date: Saturday, September 4, 2010 10:00 A.M. Sale Location: 3rd & Washington, Purcell, Oklahoma. For Brochure or Information: Call Jackie 405-642-3496 or Kelly 405-527-6503 or see at

Real Estate Notices


Commercial RE Business Property For Sale 351 Auto Shop, 2000 sf, Good location. For Sale or Lease. Owner financing avail. 405-819-6040

Commercial Property For Sale Commercial Prop Car Lot -2 bay gar & 2 nice ofcs. 100' frontage on busy SW 29 & Walker, Best Way Now/Jerry Smith. 487-7100 or 634-1100

Established Business For Sale Tanning Salon in Moore 15 yrs in business 11 beds. Serious inqiries ONLY. Call 405-570-9696

Investment Property For Sale 355 Former nursing home in Eastern OK Co. Sale/Lease Principals only405-881-1446

Office Space For Sale


SPACE FOR SALE 7908 NW 23RD, 11,060 SQ FT, 300K, Putnam City Schools 495-5200

Industrial Property For Rent 361 Warehouse/Office I-40 & Meridian, 2200-4819sf, 946-2516

Office Space For Rent


GREAT Space OFFICE Convenient NW Locations: I-40 & Meridian NW Expressway & May Britton/Lake Hefner Parkway 200-6000sf 946-2516

1, 2 & 3-Room Suites $150 & up ¡ 50th & N. Santa Fe area 235-8080

Warehouse Space For Rent 363.5 OVERHEAD DOORS 525-6671 3029 SE 44th 700sf $3850 3410 SW 29th 1,080sf $390 3414 SW 29th 1,200sf $390 3426 SW 29th 1,080sf $390 3518 Newcastle 1,200sf$390 3520 Newcastle 1280sf $390

Lake Texoma, Buncom Creek, 1 acre in Secluded area on pond view. Reduced! $39,500 520-6393 Mobile home on 3/4 acre in Caney Creek on Lake Texoma, $59,000. 405-823-6717

nylane Road from the AA Agricultural District to the I-1 Light Industrial District.

Deferred to Sept. 9

Application by LLR LLC for a Special Permit to operate a Scrap Operation in the I-2 Moderate Industrial and I-3 Heavy Industrial/Airport Environs Overlay ZoneTwo (AE-2) Districts located at 6400 SW 44. Application by J&G Estates LLC to rezone 13100 Colony Pointe Blvd. from the PUD-1147 Planned Unit Development District to the SPUD-570 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by Village Verde Developers LLC to rezone 11401 Northwest Expressway from the AA Agricultural District to the PUD-1418 Planned Unit Devel-

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Apartments Edmond


SENIOR LIVING 55+ 1 BED APTS. 348-4065

opment District. Preliminary Plat of Village Verde, north of NW 122 and west of Mustang Road. Application by Chesapeake Land Co. to vacate a portion of Lake George Addition/Capital View Heights Addition (a replat of a portion of Lake George Addition), south of NW 63 and east of Western Avenue. Application by Chesapeake Land Co. to rezone 900-928 NW 62 from the O-2 General Office and PUD-1195 Planned Unit Development Districts to the SPUD-575 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by Crafton Tull Sparks to rezone 11510 W Interstate 40 from the CHC Commercial Highway and PUD-1337 Planned Unit Development Districts to the PUD-1415 Planned Unit Development District. Application by Newey Family Partners LLC to rezone 3442 S Douglas Blvd. from the R-1 Single Family Residential District to the PUD-1416 Planned Unit Development District. Final Plat of Tawwater Office Park, north of Memorial Road and east of Portland Avenue. Application by Teen Challenge of Oklahoma to rezone 2212 SW 55 from the R-1 Single Family Residential District to the SPUD-576 Simplified Planned Unit Development District. Application by TEXOK Properties LP for a Specific Plan pursuant to the approval of PUD-1369 at 1000 E Britton Road.

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Deferred to Sept. 23

Application by OnCue Marketing LLC to rezone 6200 Northwest Expressway from the R-1 Single Family Residential District to the SPUD-552 Simplified Planned Unit Development District.

Deferred indefinitely

Final Plat of Forest Glen Commons, north of SE 29 and west of Hiwassee Road.

Garage Apartments

OKC Downtown 429.5

OKC Southwest

Walford Apts 518 NW 12 MIDTOWN District Amazing! All electric, 1bd 1ba, ch/a. Corner Studio $550mo $450dp Efficiency $475mo $375dp 409-7989 no sec 8

San Tee Apts. small eff $275/mo $85/deposit Plus elec 685-2909 9a-5p

OKC SW 1 bed, stove & fridge, no pets, bills paid, $450mo + dep. 232-9704

Furn 1BD most bills Paid + EMSA, no sec 8 and no pets, 524-2730

Hotels/Motels 462

OKC Northwest

Condominiums, Townhouses For Rent 441


Spring Special

LARGE TOWNHOMES & APARTMENTS • Washer, Dryers, pools • PC Schools, fireplaces

Williamsburg 7301 NW 23rd

787-1620 Briargate 1718 N Indiana K Off Move in Special! 800sf 1bd 1ba, cha, all elec, wood floor, $450mo, $200 dep. No sec 8 409-7989 WOW! $149 1st Month 1 Bed-2bed available »» ALL BILLS PAID»» POOL. 405-946-0588 DREXEL ON THE PARK The Plaza 1740 NW 17th K Off Special 1bd, 1ba 750sf, wood floors, all elec, $450 mo, $200dp. No sec8 409-7989 NICE 2 BED UPSTAIRS ch&a, NO SEC 8 NW 23rd & MacArthur $500+$200dep. 370-0278 NO SMOKING Nice upstairs Efficiency w/ balcony. W/D, gated neighborhood on May Ave. $350/mo. 413-8148 2528 NW 12th 1bd 1ba 900sf $400mo $200dp Garage apt 600sf $325mo $175dp 409-7989 no sec8 3400 N Robinson Large 1bd 1bath 800sf. Free laundry, all elec $450 mo, $200dp. No Sec8 409-7989 Furnished/Unfurnished Bills Paid » Wkly/Monthly Wes Chase Apts, Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest 943-1818 800 N. Meridian: 1bd, all bills paid & weekly rates available. 946-9506 $199 MOVE IN SPECIAL 2BED Townhomes $599 Windsor Village 943-9665 » MOVE IN SPECIAL » LARGE 1, 2 & 3 BEDS Rockwell Arms, 787-1423 Oakwood Apts 1bd 1bth 750sf $325/mo $175/dep 409-7989 no sec 8 MAYFAIR GARDENS Historic Area! Secure, wash /dry hardwd flrs 947-5665 1bd $340 mo; 2bd 1ba $420 mo. Stove, fridge 1441 NW 92nd 227-8202 Bills pd clean quiet furn eff/1bd $100/wk&up 10& Penn 751-7238/640-9413

OKC Southwest


Vacation Property For Sale 347

› Application by Commercial Permits Express to rezone property at 9700 S Sun-

•ABC• Affordable, Bug free, Clean » 787-7212»




$99 Move-In Special 1bd 1ba $295-350, stove, fridge, very clean 625-5200

I BUY HOUSES Any condition. No cost to U 495-5100

Heard of a SHORT SALE? SELL YOUR HOUSE TODAY! Foreclosure/behind Pymts 340-9879/

$199 MOVE IN SPECIAL 2BED Townhomes $599 Windsor Village 943-9665

DO NOT Call Unless… Foreclosure/Behind Paymt Overleveraged/Repairs Call/Web

Real Estate Wanted

Ordinance related to Zoning and Planning amending Section 4250.4 of Article IV of Chapter 59 of the Oklahoma City Municipal Code, 2007, concerning discretionary review procedures; and declaring an emergency; and resolution of the Oklahoma City Council amending the “Preservation Guidelines and Standards for Oklahoma City Historic Districts” by amending Chapter 1, Section 1.9, Fences and Walls concerning site and landscape considerations relating to fence locations, materials, and providing for administrative review; Chapter 2, Section 2.4, doors and entries concerning alterations to the building fabric and components of existing buildings relating to storm doors, screen doors and providing for administrative review; and Chapter 2, Section 2.7, roofs concerning alterations to the building fabric and components of existing buildings relating to materials and providing for administrative review. Introduce proposed ordinance amendments for Chapter 3 and Chapter 59 relating to Appearance Standards, and set for Public Hearing on Sept. 9.


$201 Total Move-In Cost Energy Eff., $301 move in/1 bd, $401 move in/2 bd. $1 First Week Rent Weekly Avail: Effic $115 1bd $125, 2bd $165 Disability & Social Security recipients welcome 616 SW 59th, between Western&Walker634-4798 Drug free environment Not all bills paid $99 SPECIAL Lg 1bdr, stove, refrig., clean, walk to shops. $325 mo. 632-9849


Grand Pointe Condo 2 story remod. 3bd 3 ba, 2car DR/LR w/FP Jenn Air, w/d, gated, pool $1300 mo » 842-9699


Singles, Studios, 1 beds Furnished - All Bills Pd. Some w/food & transportation. Avail Citywide 405-881-1446 Furnished/Unfurnished Bills Paid » Wkly/Monthly Wes Chase Apts, Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest 943-1818

RE for rent

Grand Pointe Condo 2 story remod. 3bd 3 ba, 2car DR/LR w/FP JennAir, w/d, gated, pool $1300 mo » 842-9699

Bethany/ Warr Acres 464.5

Grand Pointe 2 bd, 2K ba, 2 car gar, pool, tennis court, sec. gates, $850 + $500dep 405-623-0139

3bd/2ba marble flrs, new carpet, lrg house, fresh paint, lots of trees $1200 6200 N College 410-2166

Quail Springs Condos 1 bd 1ba upstairs w/balc. fp ch&a. Pool $465 mo $300 dep 850-9795 3528 NW 51 2bd 1.5 bath wat/gas paid section 8 ok $600mo »» 748-8520 Gated NANTUCKET Condos All appls. 2bd 2ba $700mo » 488-4951 3245 NW 50th #244 2 bed 2 bath $550 mo TMS Prop 348-0720

Duplexes Choctaw


2 bed, ch&a, stove & refrig, no pets/no smoking $500/mo. 386-3362

OKC Northwest


3615 NW 51st Amazing Duplex close to Baptist/ Deaconess, 1300sf 2bd 2bth 2car gar fireplace $900mo $900dp. Must see! 409-7989 no sec 8 828 NW 113, 2 bd, 2 ba, stv, frig, CH&A, fenced. Carport. $525 + $500dep No pets. Sec. 8 ok. 748-6129 or 607-6670 New Luxury Duplex 13516 Brandon Place 3/2/2, fp, Deer Creek Schls, near Mercy. Model open 10-4 842-7300

Del City


Remodeled & Clean 4104 SE 12th St., 2/1/1, with large workshop, $475 month. Call 405228-4906. Section 8 OK.



HOMES FOR LEASE www.executivehome 3-4BRs $1000-$3000 Welcome Home 877-884-7434 Spacious home in Huntwick Addition, media room, office, atrium, Jacuzzi, large fenced yard, rent or rent to own, 440-2095, $1700 month.


1808 SunriseDr 3/1.5/2$800 Home&RanchRlty 794-7777



HOMES FOR LEASE www.executivehome 3-4BRs $1000-$3000 Welcome Home 877-884-7434

OKC Northwest


Paseo area- 3 bed, 2 bath w/garage, 2619 N Dewey 73103. Extremely nice w/ walk in closets, new appliances, paint, heat & air. NO SEC 8. Tenant pays all utilities & lawn care. $1500/month, 1 month deposit required. 641-7272, 840-1119 12520 Tealwood3/2/2$1095 12721BrandonPl3/2/2 $995 4805 N Pate 3/2/1 $875 2601 NW 35 3/1/1 $675 Express Realty 844-6101 Rent Specials All Areas 4 Beds from $595 to $1295 3 Beds from $495 to $995 2 Beds from $395 to $495 Free List 605-5477

2509 Texoma Dr 3/1/1 ch/a $650 633 SW 33rd 2/1 $350 2401 SW 43rd #7 1bd apt, total elect, water paid $325 681-7272 New Rivendell Exec Home 408-4168 Luxury indoor pool & spa Fully equip'd media & wrkout rooms $5500/mo Rent Specials All Areas 4 Beds from $595 to $1295 3 Beds from $495 to $995 2 Beds from $395 to $495 Free List 605-5477 2720 SW 74th unit 18, extra sharp 2bd condo, ch/a, built in appliances, patio area, only $595 Fidelity RE 692-1661 2933 SW 57th, clean 3 bd, 1K ba, 1 car, $650 mo, $500 dep, ch&a, no pets, no sec 8, 919-0567. 3 bed, 1 bath, liv/den, SW 74 & Penn. $750mo+dep. 337-540-3454 2108 SW 62 2bd 1ba 1car ch&a no pets no smoking $500mo + dep 691-6004

Section 8 OK, 3 bed, 336 NW 85th; 5 bed, 504 NW 91st; 3 bed, 3716 W Park. 942-3552.

Village/ Nichols Hills 481.5

Surrey Hills-#1 fairway 3/2/2, fireplace w/garden room, $1500 month 821-8468

'05 33ft Travel Trlr, set up in park $400mo incl. lot rent. 405-409-3974

Executive Edmond Home 737 Martina Ln, 4bd 2.5ba 3car, $1500 mo $1500dep 2000sf 409-7989

Lrg remod 3bd 2ba liv din h/w flrs w/d hk up appls 2249 NW 18 no pets $650 301-5979 557-1288

3 bed, 2 bath, plus office, Coffee Creek in north Edmond, clubhouse with amenities $1295, 245-3166


1109 SW 77 3 bed 2bath 2car ch&a 1liv fncd $900mo $700 dep 413-4252

6402 Galaxie Drive, 3/2/2, fp, fenced, ch&a, No pets, No sec 8, $750+$500 dep, 947-5858

1928 NW 173rd 4bd $1299 2712SummersetTr3bd $999 OK Home Rentals,

OKC Southwest

3213 NW 28 4bd 2bth $800 mnth and $800 dep. Contact Benny 405-201-1487

15805DarlngtnCt3/2/3 $1495 2013NW176 Tr 3/2/2 $1125 2616AshebriarLn4/3/2 $1900 Express Realty 844-6101

8300 NW 10, #94, town house, 3/1K /1, fenced, fp, No pets, No Sec 8, $550+$500 dep, 947-5858 525 NW 114 St. 3 bd, 2 car $725 + $500dep. No pets. Sec. 8 ok. 748-6129 or 607-6670



HOMES FOR LEASE www.executivehome 3-4BRs $1000-$3000 Welcome Home 877-884-7434



HOMES FOR LEASE www.executivehome 3-4BRs $1000-$3000 Welcome Home 877-884-7434

14900 Kurdson Way, 3278sf, 4 bed, 4.5 bath, 2 living, study, 3 car, $2500 mo. 627-2794.

617 NW 51st St. newly painted, 2 bd/study/util, ch&a, no pets, no sec. 8, $725, 842-8389

Mobile Home Rentals 483

Lg nice 2bd liv 2din appls hw/flrs 2343 NW 15 $460 301-5979 557-1288

2600 Nantucket 3/2/2 office avail Sept $1100 mo dep 627-1231

3bd 2ba 1519 NW 102 sec 8 ok $800mo + dep. No pets. » 761-9902

10516 Harvest Moon 3b 2.5b 2c 1800' $850 748-8520

WHY RENT WHEN YOU CAN OWN? Easy financing with no credit needed. Yukon schls


Total Access! wheelchair Shower, Doors, Floors 943-8243, 2 bed, 2 bath, 2 car, 7906 Debar Cir. $725mo + $350dep 722-2007.

OKC Southwest


1 bd, 421 SW 33rd, stove & refrigerator, laundry room, $450/mo + $200 dep, water paid, No pets, Sec 8 OK. 650-0963


2 & 3 bd House & MHs near Jones & McLoud 733-8688



V-Nice, 1 mi E of Tinker, 3/1, ch&a, util rm, $525 +$300, no pets, 732-4351 9100 Jennifer Pl 3bd 1ba 1car $525 mo, $350 dep 681-7272 214 Michael, 2bd 1ba 1car garage, ch/a, $550 mo, Fidelity RE 692-1661

1222 SW 77th Terr. 2/2/1, hdwd floors, $630 +dep. 285-0305 823-6550

3/1 clean 325 E Douglas Mid Del schls $575 mo $400 dep • 650-8752





Large 2-3 bed, 2 bath, 2 car garage, TH, all appls, gated, pool, Yukon Schools, from $800/mo. 789-3705

Rent Specials All Areas 4 Beds from $595 to $1295 3 Beds from $495 to $995 2 Beds from $395 to $495 Free List 605-5477

Brand new duplexes, 3 bd 2 ba, 2 car, gated comm, call Rick, 405-830-3789.

609 NW 20th 3/2/2, brick, new carpet, NO PETS, $1100/mo $1100/dep 918-388-7668


Furnished/Unfurnished Bills Paid » Wkly/Monthly Wes Chase Apts, Elk Horn Apts, Hillcrest 943-1818

Garage Apartments


1808 SunriseDr 3/1.5/2$800 621 Madeline 3/2/3 $1100 Home&RanchRlty 794-7777

$200 OFF RENT 1 & 2 bedrooms. Spring Tree Apartments. 405-737-8172.

$305 & Up per month Furnished 1bd & Efficiency 2820 S Robinson 232-1549

NW -Clean Quiet 1 bd W & D hkup. NO pets/sec 8 $350 mo + dep 521-1073

1629 SE 9th, $795 + dep. 3 bed, 2 ba, study, CH/A, att. garage. 685-6817 co

1 & 2 BEDROOMS, QUIET! Covered Parking Great Schools! 732-1122

$99 Move In Special!!! Lg 1 and 2 Bdr, $325 to $395 mo. 632-9849

All bills paid. 1bd liv appls h/w flr NW 18/ Penn $485 301-5979 557-1288

EXECUTIVE HOME Gated community 405-641-0124



Deer Creek Sch 3bd, 2ba, 2car, fncd, den, liv, FP $1080 1yr lease 749-1414 904 NW 109th, 3bd 2ba 2car 1300sf $850mo $800dp 409-7989 no sec8 8408 Surrey Pl. 2391 sf, 3 bd, 2 ba, 2 car, large yd $1200/mo. 627-2097 M-F 1418 NW 49th, 2 bed, 1 bath, 1 car, appls, w/d hookup, ch&a 570-5865 3116 NW 29 3bd 1.5 ba $695 mo 748-8520 3508 NW 11th, 2bd, 1ba new paint, lg rooms, $475/mo » 408-5836

OKC Southeast


HOMES FOR LEASE www.executivehome 3-4BRs $1000-$3000 Welcome Home 877-884-7434 Rent Specials All Areas 4 Beds from $595 to $1295 3 Beds from $495 to $995 2 Beds from $395 to $495 Free List 605-5477 704 SE 31, 1 bd, 1bath Very cute, w/d hook up $425/mo • 408-5836 4 bed 2.5 bath no gar. new carpet, 36 SE 57th. $895+$750 dep. 691-9228


$ FREE RENT 1ST MO $ 2BR $395+, 3BR $495+, MWC NO PETS 427-0627

Rental Services


MANAGEMENT LEASING SALES SINCE 1982 Spectrum Management 848-9400 » RENTAL HELPER» Current Home Rental Listing $39 at the Gold Dome (405) 605-5551





Real estate incentives going out of style BY JIM BUCHTA Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

MINNEAPOLIS — Government cash didn’t help John Foley and Cindy Case sell their Minneapolis house before the federal homebuyer’s tax credit expired at the end of April, so the couple decided to take matters into their own hands. They held a backyard party with food and an open bar, and they invited the neighbors and professional contractors — in case potential buyers had questions about remodeling. To top it off, they’re offering their own $8,000 rebate on the $675,000 home. Three years ago, such cash enticements were the norm. And cash was only the beginning. Sellers regularly tried to lure prospective buyers with free cars, big-screen TVs and stainless appliances at closing. But after nearly a year and a half of a government tax credit program and mounting economic uncertainty, sellers have scaled back on marketing gimmicks and buyer incentives, largely in an effort to limit their losses. Meanwhile, new rules aimed at reducing the risk of mortgage defaults have made many oncecommon incentives illegal, so many sellers are simply resorting to one of the oldest tricks in the book: dropping the price. Aaron Dickinson of Edina Realty said buyers today have access to more information about the market than ever, so com-

Cindy Case and her husband, John Foley, held a backyard party to try to attract a buyer for their Minneapolis home. MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE PHOTO

In an effort to reduce defaults, the government has cracked down on all forms of seller incentives. petitive pricing is the best way to attract attention. “At the end of the day, buyers aren’t stupid,” he said. “Gimmicks don’t work well when buyers have so many avenues to be educated about what’s for sale and what has sold and for what price.” In addition, buyers are worried about the economy and their job and have focused on getting the best price — and the lowest house payment — rather

than a free perk. Indeed, many buyers are making decisions based on the assumption that someone in their family might lose their job, said Stephanie Gruver, a sales agent with Keller Williams Integrity Lakes in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. “They’re buying on one income rather than two, and they’re buying within their means,” she said. Perhaps the biggest reason for the decline in seller incentives

comes from the mortgage industry itself. In an effort to reduce defaults, the government has cracked down on all forms of seller incentives. New rules are designed to eliminate any exchange of cash or property before and after a closing that might affect how much equity a buyer has in his new home. That’s an about-face from a time when underwriting standards were much less stringent and cash-back signing bonuses and other perks were common ways to help push buyers over the fence. The goal now is to maximize the buyer’s investment in the hopes that he or she will be less likely to walk away from the obligation. Current government loan guidelines limit seller contributions — usually in the form of closing costs — on conventional mortgages to 3 percent of the purchase price; FHA loans allow a 6 percent contribution, but that’s going to be reduced to 3 percent during the next few months. Party-giver Foley, a professional marketer, attributes the pullback on incentives to an allout surrender. “Everybody has had a hard time selling,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you stop. It’s almost as if people, including sellers and Realtors, have given up. They’ve lost faith in what they knew.” The bottom line, he said, is that sellers and their agents need to get creative and have more fun. MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE INFORMATION SERVICES

Kitchen makeovers are hot trend BY JEAN PATTESON The Orlando Sentinel

The explosion of remodeling shows on TV and makeover spreads in magazines has whetted America’s appetite for glamorous rooms brimming with the latest furnishings, appliances and color schemes. Kitchen remodels are among the most popular, according to a report in the just-published August issue of Consumer Reports and online at consumer And the economic slowdown means there are outstanding deals on everything from cooktops to countertops. It also means kitchen designers and building contractors are eager for work and willing to negotiate. But bargain prices and good looks aren’t everything, said Celia Kupersmzid Lehrman, Consumer Reports’ deputy home editor. “When remodeling a kitchen, functionality is every bit as important as style. Fortunately there are many products that look good and work well,” she said. The design of your kitchen is every bit as important as what goes into it, said Jim Spence of Spence & Vaughn Fine Kitchen and Bath in Maitland, Fla. The most functional design is based on the “work triangle” — the relationship between the prep area, the cooking area and the sink, he said. Ideally, the distance between them should never be less than four feet or more than nine feet. Of the three areas, the most-used is the sink. When planning a remodel, determining your budget is one of the first steps. The National Kitchen & Bath Association calculates the average kitchen remodel costs between 10 percent and 20 percent of the home’s value. But obviously, the extent of the makeover determines its cost. In its latest issue, Consumer Reports takes topperforming products and creates three design schemes: a do-it-yourself makeover for $5,000; a plan that costs $15,000 (the average spent on a kitchen remodel); and a full-scale renovation for $50,000. Determining your priorities is another key step, said Phil Johnson, a partner at Spence & Vaughn

and a certified kitchen designer. “Do you love to cook? If so, now might be the time to consider professionalstyle appliances,” he said. “Do you have a large family? Consider how best to accommodate them in your new space. Think about the things you love in your old kitchen — and the things you dislike.” In addition, Johnson recommends the following steps for a successful remodel: Do your homework. Watch TV remodeling programs, clip appealing pictures and articles from magazines, attend remodeling seminars, visit home shows and parades of

homes. Consult with a kitchen designer who is a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association who has the training and experience to avoid many of the things that can go wrong with a remodeling project. Visit a showroom. Examine the options in cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring, plumbing and lighting. Decide what you want — and can afford. Schedule a home visit. The designer-installer needs to measure the kitchen and adjacent rooms, and make a note of existing walls, doors and windows, electrical supplies, ceiling height, attic

access, type of wall construction, plumbing details and so on. Finalize the project. The design is refined, construction plans are completed, appliances and supplies are ordered — and the initial deposit is paid. Survive the dust, noise and workers. With proper supervision, the disruption can be kept to a minimum. Make sure materials are ordered and on the way before beginning the tearout. Clear a space in the garage for workers’ tools and supplies and items removed from the old kitchen. And communicate regularly with the designerinstaller.



Sales without incentives In lieu of attention-grabbing incentives, here’s what Realtors say works best: Price it right. Buyers have access to lots of data and will know if your house is too expensive. Offer to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs. Maximize exposure. Saturate the Internet and all forms of social media with your listing. Use great photos, not good ones. Make it sing. Listing information must be complete and well-written. Curb appeal matters. Spend a little money on flowers, new plants and fresh paint. Inside, your house should look fresh, so make sure the paint, carpeting, light fixtures and appliances are updated and clean. Declutter. Eliminate one-third to two-thirds of your stuff; hire a stager. Network. Sales come together because brains understand homes better than computers. Be patient. Statistics say it takes 21 showings, not including open-house traffic, to sell a house.

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The Oklahoman Real Estate  

The Oklahoman's Saturday residential real estate news

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