Top Ten Local Stocking Stuffer Ideas.

 

Image from Salt and Water Co.

Image from Salt and Water Co.

Is anyone else of the mindset that tiny gifts are the best gifts? Stockings are so fun to open and they’re just as fun to stuff with goodies. Today we’ve rounded up our top ten choices for locally sourced stocking stuffers. Happy Holidays!

10. Trade Mens Wares. Featuring beard oil and bar cart accessories for the best guy in your life.

9. Keep it Local gift card. For the friend who frequents all the latest local spots. Grab one online or at a participating location.

8. Rosegold. This shop has the loveliest accessories! For your extra-indie gal pal.

Image from Chirps & Cheers website

Image from chirpsandcheers.com

7. Chirps and Cheers. The most adorable paper shop. For the letter-writer, doodler and paper-lover in your life.

6. 84 Hospitality gift card. Give the gift of free Empire, Ponyboy, Goro & Revolucion. This one’s for your favorite foodie.

Image from Black Scintilla.

Image from Black Scintilla.

5. Black Scintilla. Look here for all sorts of accessories, mugs and more. For your sassy sister or best friend.

4. Urbane. Featuring gorgeous home goods and candles galore. Perfect for your mom or your cool aunt.

Image from Blue Seven.

Image from Blue Seven.

3. Blue Seven. They carry all sorts of local items, quirky gifts, accessories and more. For the hipster in your life.

2. Salt and Water. We’re swooning over this brand new clean-beauty shop in Midtown. For the friend who loves face masks and fancy baths.

Image from Plenty Mercantile.

Image from Plenty Mercantile.

  1. Plenty Mercantile. Our number one spot for stocking stuffers of all kinds. Great for decor, jewelry, toys, home goods and more. For anyone!

The 2018 Holiday Lights Guide

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The nights might be longer, but the holiday lights around town are getting brighter and brighter. Our recommendation? Grab a cup of cocoa and bundle up for a magical drive through OKC. We’ve got the ultimate holiday lights guide right here:

Honorable Mention: This one’s not in the urban OKC area, but it’s definitely still worth the trip. Yukon’s Christmas in the Park is magical and totally free! Click here for details.

10.16th Street in the Plaza. This street is like a miniature Automobile Alley. Almost all of the shops have decorated their storefronts with stunning vertical strands of lights. And bonus: This area’s the perfect spot to grab dinner to go from Easy E Slice Shop!

9. Crystal Bridge at Myriad Gardens. Ok, so it’s not a street, and you have to leave your car, but their Illuminations event is definitely worth checking out sometime this holiday season. The lights are pure magic and the interactive experience is the perfect way to let kids share the wonder.

8. Automobile Alley. This is one of our favorite OKC traditions. Drive down Broadway to see all the storefronts decked out in their colorful best and snap a few pictures along the way. Then stop by KatieBug’s for some delicious hot chocolate and treats for your drive!

7. 30th & Walker. Hop over to the Paseo area to see lights around Central Park, Jefferson Park and Central Park. We love this area!

6. 19th Street in Linwood. This neighborhood has the most beautiful homes, and they’re holding a Christmas lights contest on December 14th, so the displays are more beautiful than ever.

5. 33rd Street in Edgemere Park. Take some time to drive through the streets of the wonderful Edgemere neighborhood. All of the homes are lovely, and the lights make the streets feel that much more quaint.

4. 13th Street in Heritage Hills. As always, Heritage Hills is the epitome of luxury and style. Their lights are always stunning, so you can’t go wrong driving through the entire neighborhood.

3. 17th Street in Mesta Park. Ok, this one was hard to pick. All of Mesta Park has wonderful light displays, so we recommend winding your way back and forth through the streets while you work your way north to 23rd Street.

2. 39th Street in Crown Heights. Driving down this street (and through the rest of Crown Heights) is like escaping to a Christmas village. The homes and lights are so tasteful and festive.

1. Wilshire Avenue/Grand Avenue. Nichols Hills is our number one spot to see the most beautiful holiday lights. Start at Grand or Wilshire and get lost in the Nichols Hills winter wonderland. There are amazing displays at every turn!

Verbode’s Take – Oklahoma City 4th of July

“Verbode’s Take” 4th of July in Oklahoma City

Let’s get started with the main event

Here are the best places to watch fireworks displays near the Urban Core and events happening in the Metro

Fireworks & Events

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  • Bricktown 4th Fest
    Time: July 4th from 7-9 p.m. Fireworks immediately following OKC Dodgers vs Iowa Cubs game
    Location: Central Bricktown
  • Downtown 4th Fest
    Time: July 4th from 4-10 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:45.
    Location: The Boathouse District, fireworks can be viewed from RIVERSPORT Adventures and Bricktown
  • Fantasy of Fire
    Time: Fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m. on July 4 and 7
    Location: Frontier City, 11501 N. I-35 Service Road
  • Edmond’s Liberty Fest
    Time: Beginning at 9:00 am
    Location: Downtown Edmond, Mitch Park

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 3.05.03 PM

Remember to be safe and practice fire safety if you choose to use fireworks.

Links:

http://www.koco.com/article/4th-of-july-fireworks-shows-you-should-check-out-in-oklahoma/21933790

Oklahoma City Events | Weekend of June 8th, 2018

Friday Forward

Here is a rundown of a few events happening in Oklahoma City this weekend

 

Friday:

deadcenter-575x395

Dead Center Film Festival June 7th-10th

This film festival is local and ever-growing. If you couldn’t make it this year, be sure to get an all-access pass for next year. Many films will be screened, including Woman Walks Ahead featuring Michael Greyeyes (whom you might recognize from the tv show The Walking Dead) and Jessica Chastain. The film will be screened at The OKCMOA at 5:30pm Friday night. Even if you don’t have the all-access pass, some screenings and events will have paid admission after pass holders have taken their seats. See more information here: https://dcff2018.eventive.org/schedule/5adf51c1971476001454f07b

fridayeveningglow

Friday Evening Glow

Presented by Riversport Adventures, this event will be recurring all summer long. Catch the first event featuring live music from Jimmy Dale and the Beltline, grab a drink, and relax on the patio. What’s better than being waterside? Event takes place 6pm-11pm. See more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2078708775783978/

pawza

LIVE! On the Pawza

This playful take on “LIVE! On the Plaza” is a pet-centered approach to the usual event that takes place every month in the Plaza District. Pet weddings, free pup-cones from Sasquatch Shaved Ice for the first 75 pets, pet caricatures, doggy pool party, and more make this event one you cannot miss! 6pm-10pm in the Plaza District. See more details here: https://okc.carpediem.cd/events/6976887-june-live-on-the-pawza-at-plaza-district/


 

Saturday:

redearth

Red Earth Festival

A juried art market with native artists from all over the United States, a parade on Friday in Myriad Gardens, and The Red Earth Pow Wow on Saturday and Sunday are just a few reasons to attend. Located in the Cox Convention Center it ends on Sunday. See more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/245498979326938/

asian district

Asian District Night Market Festival

Starting at 4pm on Saturday night and ending at 11pm this inaugural event takes place in Military Park. There will be a pho eating contest, a kids area with inflatables, food trucks with asian food items, and a center stage with various entertainment acts for all to enjoy. Nuevo Studio designed the graphic for the event and countless sponsors stepped in to make this first event HUGE! See more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/436415870130013/


Sunday:

wanderlust

Wanderlust Pop-Up Shops

Sunday from 10am-6pm more than 80 vendors will pack the space surrounding the Wheeler Ferris Wheel. This is a free event and the emphasis is on the local vendors and supporting local business! The Big Friendly Beer Bus and other food trucks will also be in attendance. This is a family-friendly event, so bring the kids! See more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2040947109520102/


 

Did we miss anything? Email us at team@verbodegroup.com

Home Buying Q & A

909 NW 19th

Why should I buy, instead of rent?

Answer: A home is an investment. When you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you own your home, you can deduct the cost of your mortgage loan interest from your federal income taxes, and usually from your state taxes. This will save you a lot each year, because the interest you pay will make up most of your monthly payment for most of the years of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes you pay as a homeowner. In addition, the value of your home may go up over the years. Finally, you’ll enjoy having something that’s all yours ­ a home where your own personal style will tell the world who you are.

Should I use a real estate broker? How do I find one?

Answer: Using a real estate broker is a very good idea. All the details involved in home buying, particularly the financial ones, can be mind-boggling. A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier. A real estate broker will be well-acquainted with all the important things you’ll want to know about a neighborhood you may be considering…the quality of schools, the number of children in the area, the safety of the neighborhood, traffic volume, and more. He or she will help you figure the price range you can afford and search the classified ads and multiple listing services for homes you’ll want to see. With immediate access to homes as soon as they’re put on the market, the broker can save you hours of wasted driving-around time. When it’s time to make an offer on a home, the broker can point out ways to structure your deal to save you money. He or she will explain the advantages and disadvantages of different types of mortgages, guide you through the paperwork, and be there to hold your hand and answer last-minute questions when you sign the final papers at closing. And you don’t have to pay the broker anything! The payment comes from the home seller – not from the buyer.

How much money will I have to come up with to buy a home?

Answer: Well, that depends on a number of factors, including the cost of the house and the type of mortgage you get. In general, you need to come up with enough money to cover three costs: earnest money – the deposit you make on the home when you submit your offer, to prove to the seller that you are serious about wanting to buy the house; the down payment, a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to settlement; and closing costs, the costs associated with processing the paperwork to buy a house. When you make an offer on a home, your real estate broker will put your earnest money into an escrow account. If the offer is accepted, your earnest money will be applied to the down payment or closing costs. If your offer is not accepted, your money will be returned to you. The amount of your earnest money varies.  The more money you can put into your down payment, the lower your mortgage payments will be. These costs cover various fees your lender charges and other processing expenses. When you apply for your loan, your lender will give you an estimate of the closing costs, so you won’t be caught by surprise.

How do I know if I can get a loan?

Answer: A broker will know what kinds of mortgages the lenders are offering and can help you choose a lender with a program that might be right for you. Ideally, you will want to get pre-qualified for a loan. That means you go to a lender and apply for a mortgage before you actually start looking for a home. Then you’ll know exactly how much you can afford to spend, and it will speed the process once you do find the home of your dreams.

How do I find a lender?

Answer: You can finance a home with a loan from a bank, a savings and loan, a credit union, a private mortgage company, or various state government lenders. Shopping for a loan is like shopping for any other large purchase: you can save money if you take some time to look around for the best prices. Different lenders can offer quite different interest rates and loan fees; and as you know, a lower interest rate can make a big difference in how much home you can afford. Talk with several lenders before you decide. Most lenders need 3-6 weeks for the whole loan approval process. Your real estate broker will be familiar with lenders in the area and what they’re offering.

In addition to the mortgage payment, what other costs do I need to consider?

Answer: Well, of course you’ll have your monthly utilities. If your utilities have been covered in your rent, this may be new for you. Your real estate broker will be able to help you get information from the seller on how much utilities normally cost. In addition, you might have homeowner association or condo association dues. You’ll definitely have property taxes, and you also may have city or county taxes. Taxes normally are rolled into your mortgage payment. Again, your broker will be able to help you anticipate these costs.

So what will my mortgage cover?

Answer: Most loans have 4 parts: principal: the repayment of the amount you actually borrowed; interest: payment to the lender for the money you’ve borrowed; homeowners insurance: a monthly amount to insure the property against loss from fire, smoke, theft, and other hazards required by most lenders; and property taxes: the annual city/county taxes assessed on your property, divided by the number of mortgage payments you make in a year. Most loans are for 30 years, although 15 year loans are available, too. During the life of the loan, you’ll pay far more in interest than you will in principal – sometimes two or three times more! Because of the way loans are structured, in the first years you’ll be paying mostly interest in your monthly payments. In the final years, you’ll be paying mostly principal.

When I find the home I want, how much should I offer?

Answer: Again, your real estate broker can help you here. But there are several things you should consider: 1) is the asking price in line with prices of similar homes in the area? 2) Is the home in good condition or will you have to spend a substantial amount of money making it the way you want it? You probably want to get a professional home inspection before you make your offer. Your real estate broker can help you arrange one. 3) How long has the home been on the market? If it’s been for sale for awhile, the seller may be more eager to accept a lower offer. 4) How much mortgage will be required? Make sure you really can afford whatever offer you make. 5) How much do you really want the home? The closer you are to the asking price, the more likely your offer will be accepted. In some cases, you may even want to offer more than the asking price, if you know you are competing with others for the house.

What if my offer is rejected?

Answer: They often are! But don’t let that stop you. Now you begin negotiating. Your broker will help you. You may have to offer more money, but you may ask the seller to cover some or all of your closing costs or to make repairs that wouldn’t normally be expected. Often, negotiations on a price go back and forth several times before a deal is made. Just remember – don’t get so caught up in negotiations that you lose sight of what you really want and can afford!

So what will happen at closing?

Answer: Basically, you’ll sit at a table with your broker, the broker for the seller, probably the seller, and a closing agent. The closing agent will have a stack of papers for you and the seller to sign. While he or she will give you a basic explanation of each paper, you may want to take the time to read each one and/or consult with your agent to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing. After all, this is a large amount of money you’re committing to pay for a lot of years! Before you go to closing, your lender is required to give you a booklet explaining the closing costs, a “good faith estimate” of how much cash you’ll have to supply at closing, and a list of documents you’ll need at closing. If you don’t get those items, be sure to call your lender BEFORE you go to closing. Be sure to read our booklet on settlement costs. It will help you understand your rights in the process. Don’t hesitate to ask questions.