Jennifer Pells Business Card
Jennifer Pells Business Card
This is my third business card. My first set of cards featured me in a stuffy suit. I quickly wanted a new picture, because I knew it wasn’t me. I retook my picture, in a more casual setting. That was better, but I was never thrilled with the stock Realtor business card and always felt silly handing them out with my picture on them. I daily read Seth Godin’s Blog about marketing, who spelled out the advice I took when I recrafted my card. After several hours of design and picture decisions, this is the card I now love giving out.

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On July 30, 2008, in Personal, Real Estate Business, by
I grew up in a 1400 square foot house with a my older sister and parents. My husband and I bought our first house in 1998 and it was a whopping 1980 square feet. Today, we live in a home about 2100 square feet, with our two young girls (small by NorthWest standards). In both homes, however, we estimated that we regularly only use 1300-1400 square feet.

The average size of a North American suburban home in:

1950 was 800 square feet
1970 it was 1500 square
2000 it was 2266 square feet

This data is from a movie called Radiant City. And, more currently, according to the US Census Bureau, the average size of a US home as of 2006 was 2,469 square feet. You get the picture. I am interested to see what the next batch of data finds.

With the price of oil, I think folks are thinking twice about those 4000 square foot homes. Here in the North West, with more rain, folks tend to want bigger, knowing they will spend much of the winter indoors. I get that. I still wonder how much space a family or a couple really needs, or for that matter uses. I’ve seen and heard the idea of 600 square feet per person, perhaps. With the rising utility cost and so much worth/value based on square footage, I know I am rethinking my “need” for a 2600 square foot home.

How big is your home? How much space do you really use?


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On July 18, 2008, in Homes, Personal, Real Estate Business, by
Green Building Will Hatch

Mainstream green building will hatch - eventually.

I see a lot of press on green living and green building these days. I am a fan. I believe in sustainable building, solar energy, salvaged, reclaimed building materials; when I see Paperstone countertops and recycled glass tiles, my heart skips a beat. I have a dream house in my mind, it might actually be here on the island, but I know one thing for sure, right now it is out of my price range. And, I don’t think I am alone. The problem with Green, is that you have to pay up front. Solar panels and complete 8 kw Photovoltaic System with Passive Solar Design and Solar Hot Water, costs thousands of dollars up front. I know it will reduce my energy bills to little or nothing, but it will take me years to recoup that savings. Since most folks get a monthly paycheck, that is tough to budget.

My “dream” house on the island, is built green and it is LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and built with the “not so big house” philosophy in mind. However, that all comes at a price. If you look at it based on price per square foot, it runs you about 20-25% more than an average house on the island. The island, being what it is, is already pricey (average price year to date is $845K according to NWMLS). So, for me, here on the island, I will have to wait. And the waiting is what bothers me. Not just on my account, but I know others will wait too. Wait out this administration, this economy, this housing slump. But, alas, our planet, and closer to home, this island we live on will suffer . . . as we all wait this out. The green building industry, I believe, will trudge forward at a very slow pace, but it will not be “mainstream” for another ten to fifteen years. So, to steal Al Gore’s title, unfortunately, it is an inconvenient time to build green.

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On July 16, 2008, in Homes, Real Estate Business, by