November Newsletter

NextHome Champions November Newsletter

  • 15 Tips to Winterize Your Home
  • Kraak’s
  • Millberg Ridge Video Update
  • Why Fall Is Prime Time to Buy or Sell



See Archived Newsletter Issues Below:

NextHome Conference 2018 and True Champions!


NextHome Conference 2018: San Diego

Talk about champions…These are AMAZING women inspiring GREATNESS! Each with their own path, coming together to support each other & now others. #resilence

The reality-documentary series, Push Girls, chronicles the struggles of four sexy, dynamic Hollywood women as they ‚Äúpush‚ÄĚ through stereotypes, disappointments and career obstacles faced by the disabled and triumph over tragedy by pursuing new dreams involving motherhood, relationships, athletics and stardom.

Angela Rockwood¬†became a quadriplegic after a car accident shattered her C4‚ÄďC5 vertebrae and severed her spinal cord. She is an actress, model, producer. In 2001, she married actor Dustin Nguyen on Valentine‚Äôs Day, six months before her accident.

Auti Angel¬†was paralyzed in a car accident in 1992. She is a singer, dancer and actress. Auti founded the hip-hop wheelchair dance group¬†Colours ‚Äėn‚Äô Motion¬†in 2003.

Mia Schaikewitz was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 15 when a blood vessel (arteriovenous malformation) ruptured in her spinal cord. She is athletic and was a champion swimmer before her disability.

Push Girls

How lucky are to have the President of NAR speak?! Her 1st time speaking to a franchise and its with us¬†ūüß°ūüźĺ. Thank you, NextHome!!


Have you ever heard of Johnny Cupcakes?

“Voted America’s #1 Young Entrepreneur of 2008 by BusinessWeek Magazine — Johnny Cupcakes at age 26 is living proof of the American Dream and continues to be such without compromising ethics, moral, or reputation. Johnny created a multi-million dollar, international, homegrown, unique t-shirt brand at the age of 19 that embraces one’s independence without the use of advertisement and outside venture capital.

His mission is to bring out the kid in everyone &¬† to inspire and motivate people to do something they’re passionate about all while thinking outside of the box.

San Diego was inspiring, but not as amazing as it would be to help you find your #NextHome2018!

Call me Today! 616-886-6766


Realtor vs FSBO-3 Facts You Must Know



Realtor vs FSBO























 #1 Tip From Our Facts About FSBO List: Selling Price

Real estate professionals are trained to market a property in the best light.

This plays out when looking at the numbers nationally.

Choosing a Realtor generally means a house will sell for $40,000 more. That’s a rather large difference. And homeowners should be aware of that as they sell their property.

In most cases, the $40,000 more they would get on average can completely cover the cost of commission.

#2 Tip From Our Facts About FSBO List: Time On Market

The time on the market is another factor to consider when selling your house. Everyday you continue to have your property out there, there are several things that happen.

You have to keep maintaining the house in a presentable order. This is a bigger challenge when you have a family situation. Potential buyers can request a showing at any time. And in order to sell, you have to put up with this.

Additionally, buyers begin to believe there is something wrong with the property when it’s on the market too long.

#3 Tip From Our Facts About FSBO List: Stress on Seller

The legal and financial end of selling a house is incredibly complicated. For many sellers, the list of things to do becomes too much. Yes, you’ll save the commission. But the estimated additional stress is close to 70%.

Keep this in mind when making a decision about selling your house. Call Tom 616-886-6766 to get your Comparative Market Analysis!






22 Ways to Prep Your Home For Sale

Cleaner, Trimmed Look (1)



Did you know a little preparation goes a long way with homebuyers? Preparing your home for a spring sale may increase its value and reduce its time on the market.



So, how should you get your home ready for a spring sale? Here are a couple of tips to prepare your home for the market:

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Tom would be happy to come by to help you assess your home!

Give him a call TODAY!  616-866-6766

Sell Your Home Without The Hassle!

Sell without the hassle! Postcard

5 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without Tom as Your Agent

It’s a slow Sunday morning. You’ve just brewed your Nespresso¬†and popped open your laptop to check out¬†the latest home listings before you hit the road¬†for a day of open houses.

You’re DIYing this real estate thing, and you think you’re doing pretty well‚ÄĒafter all, any info you might need is at your fingertips online, right? That and your own sterling judgment.

Oh, dear home buyer (or seller!)‚ÄĒwe know you¬†can¬†do it on your own. But you really, really shouldn’t. This is likely the biggest financial decision of your entire life, and you need Tom as your Realtor¬†if you want to do it right. Here’s why.

1. Tom has loads of expertise

Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and Tom is trained to speak that language fluently.

Plus, buying or selling a home¬†usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. As a Realtor, I have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal‚ÄĒwhile¬†avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.

2. NextHome Champions has turbocharged searching power

The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything‚ÄĒanything!¬†And with online real estate listing sites such as¬†yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? At NextHome Champions, we have access to¬†even more¬†listings.¬†Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised.¬†Tom can help you find those hidden gems.

Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it’s just out of your price range? Tom is equipped to know the ins and outs of¬†every¬†neighborhood, so she¬†can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

3. Negotiating for YOUR Best Interest

Any time you buy or sell a home, you’re going to encounter negotiations‚ÄĒand as today’s housing¬†market heats up, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.

You can expect lots of competition, cutthroat tactics,¬†all-cash offers, and¬†bidding wars. Don’t you want a savvy and experienced professional negotiator on your side to seal the best deal for you?

And it’s not just about how much money you end up¬†spending or¬†netting. As your Realtor, Tom will help draw up a purchase¬†agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.

4. We are connected to everyone

Tom might not know everything, but he makes it his mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers‚ÄĒthe list goes on‚ÄĒand they’re all in my network. Use them.

5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors¬ģ, the largest trade group in the country. Tom does.

What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Tom takes lightly.

Call Tom TODAY! 616-886-6766




Adapted from¬†Rachel Stults is a senior editor at, covering advice around all things real estate, home decor, renting, and moving. She is also’s video programming manager.




FSBO-Proceed At Your Own Risk!

FSBO-Proceed At Your Own Risk. Literally.

FSBO-Proceed At Your Own Risk!

To the average person, selling your home yourself doesn’t sound that hard, right?  I mean, sure, you would have to do a quick neighborhood analysis of recent home sales and determine the asking price, snap a few pics on your iPhone (probably use the Vivid filter), and proudly stick a sign in my yard declaring independence as representing yourself as a FSBO. Oh! Don’t forget posting it to the Name-Your-City Informed Facebook group. Ok. Wait for the phone to ring or email to come in.  Idea! Maybe you should have an open house. Yes! If people come to your home and see it in person, they will for sure fall in love with it! Done!

Man, that took a whole Saturday afternoon for a handful of people, mostly nosey and not qualified to buy, traipsing through your home.  You could have been enjoying with my family, or out looking for my next home. What’s worse? You notice some things were moved in my daughter’s bedroom. Weird, you would never riffle through other people’s stuff at an open house.

Here’s the real deal.

Not only is your home being severely under marketed, your time used inefficiently, but you are letting unqualified strangers into your home. STRANGERS that my not value your space like you think they will.

An experienced realtor has qualified buyers waiting to look at your home but, here’s the issue, it never gets seen on the MLS, a site all licensed realtors use, because FSBO do not have access to it. A brokerage specializing in technology + marketing will analyze factors, has a strategy in place, and will find the right buyer for you home without the hassle, legal ramifications, and possible danger associated with selling.

Let’s say you did get an offer. What then? Is it as much as you could have got with a wider audience? What are the real estate laws that a seller must adhere to?  What inspections need to take place and when?  Is the Title insurance filled correctly?  All mortgage houses are the same, right? What if there is a delay and why is there so much paperwork?!

Suddenly, you feel like you are dependent on people who are not looking out for your best interest. Now what?


Call Tom to see how NextHome Champions can work for YOU!  616-886-6766

7 Ways Hanging Curtains Revamp Your NEW Home

7 Ways Hanging Curtains Can Instantly Revamp Your NEW Home

When looking at homes to purchase, visualize your own personal touches and remember how much small changes can make to a space!  Love to help you find your Dream Home!  Call 616-886-6766 Today!


How does hanging curtains make a room look more polished? Let us count the ways. No matter your preferred design aesthetic, a good set of curtains can add a tremendous amount to your home. Even the sheerest pair of curtain panels can be the finishing touch needed to truly tie the room together.

“Curtains set the mood and attitude, and the right ones give a room a finished, tailored look,” says¬†Julia Diamond¬†of Julia Diamond Interiors in Los Angeles.

But beyond making the room look good, curtains can also change the feel of a room.

“Curtains can transform a room on many levels,” says¬†Paula Grace¬†of Paula Grace Design in Northern Virginia. “You can bathe yourself in soothing color, soften architectural elements, and muffle sound.”

In some instances, they can even affect the dimensions of the room and make it look bigger.

The following examples show how hanging curtains can be the best design decision you can make for your home.

1. Hanging curtains can make a room look taller

Photo by Tobi Fairley Interior Design
Did you know that curtains can raise the roof of a room? Not literally, of course. But while most people tend to put them at eye level, high-hung drapes can actually bring the eye upward.

In bedrooms and common areas such as the living room and family room, go for floor-length drapes and hang them above the window frame.

“I hang my drapes right under the crown molding, to elongate the space,” Grace says.

Janice Simonsen, U.S. design spokeswoman for Ikea, advises mounting the drapery rod as close to the ceiling as possible.

2. They can make a room look spacious

Photo by Lucy Call
You might also be surprised that¬†curtains could make your room seem wider. It’s as simple as extending the curtains past the window frame on the wall.

“If the windows have wall space flanking them, I’ll¬†extend the drapes wall to wall, to give the illusion of large windows and thus a large room,” Grace says.

3. They can keep out the cold (or let in a breeze)

Photo by Artistic Designs for Living, Tineke Triggs
“In colder climates, a heavier drapery with an insulated lining will keep a room much warmer,” says Simonsen.

Thick drapes also do a good job of keeping hot sunlight out of a room. Conversely, light, gauzy drapes will allow in a warm summer breeze.

4. They can improve the sound in a room

Photo by Reference Media Inc
Sound bounces off drywall, brick, cement, and glass, and that can make a room feel cacophonous. But if you draw the drapes, you can reduce the echo. When you want your room to feel more intimate, or you want to better appreciate the pure, sweet music of your favorite recording artist, your curtains can help with the acoustics.

5. They can introduce color into the mix

Photo by Carpet One Floor & Home
Curtains are an ideal way to add a pop of color to an otherwise neutral room. A subtle print can go a long way toward bringing¬†interest to a monochromatic space. If you don’t want to commit to painting your neutral walls, hanging ready-made drapes may be just the ticket¬†for adding warmth and interest.

6. They can change the mood of a room

Photo by Elizabeth Taich Design

The type of curtains you hang can affect the ambiance of a room and dictate how laid-back or formal a room is.

“Rich fabrics, swags, cascades, cornice boards, and tiebacks add a level of formality to a room,” says Simonsen. “Thin, neutral fabrics or curtains in bright graphic prints lend a much more casual look.”

Once you decide on the mood you want to set, you can pick your drapes or curtains accordingly.

7. They can be used outside

Photo by Everything Home
There are times when you want to enjoy your backyard or front porch, but the¬†idea of having your neighbors staring in at you is not very appealing. That’s when outdoor curtains come in handy. They can transform your outdoor space into the ultimate party space; just pull them closed when you’re hosting a party and entertaining al fresco.

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning writer who covers lifestyle, entertainment, real estate, design, and travel. Find her on