Top Ten Neighborhoods to Trick or Treat in OKC

Are you looking for a great trick-or-treat spot? Does your Neighborhood seem to lack a good selection of candy? In the Urban Core of OKC it has become a tradition to attend Halloween night in a Neighborhood that may not be your own. Don’t worry this year, we have put together a list of Neighborhoods that do Halloween right!

This year the official night is Monday the 31st! Remember street safety rules any time you will be crossing streets– especially on Halloween night!

10. Cleveland

Any Neighborhood with a school at its entrance is destined to have homes with kid friendly candy. Cleveland is a smaller Neighborhood with simple streets to follow.

9. Crestwood

With long streets and a main boulevard, Crestwood is great for those parents who only have time for one street and need to keep a close eye on their kids. Their Haunt the Median starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday night on 19th street.

8. Shepherd

A Neighborhood filled with families who love the holiday spirit, Shepherd gives you the opportunity to grab candy and then maybe some dinner nearby.

7. Miller

With two long and wide boulevards that actually intersect, Miller is perfect for large groups. It has plenty of street parking and space to take breaks.

6. Linwood Place

A festive Neighborhood with one of the best boulevards in the City. 19th Street is well known for its easy pickings for great candy. Also a great place for larger groups.

5. Putnam Heights

A Neighborhood that, in some sections, has large estates. Putnam Heights is quiet and traffic is at a minimum. This is great for younger trick-or-treaters.

4. Heritage Hills

A Neighborhood that has several areas of low and high traffic. Depending on your group size and the age of your trick-or-treaters, you can pick your spot. It is said that some homes leave candy even if no one is home.

3. Crown Heights/Edgemere Park

Long sloping streets and plenty of festive families, Crown Heights/Edgemere Park boasts some of the best trick or treating in the City. If you start early, you might not be able to carry all the candy.

2. Mesta Park

A short walk down any Mesta Park street and you will realize this neighborhood loves Halloween. It also shows when you finish the evening with an amazing assortment of candy!

1. Nichols Hills

Likely the largest and most giving Neighborhood in OKC! It will feel more like Christmas than Halloween when you realize what is in your treat bag.

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Top 10 Modern Ways Verbode Markets Real Estate

In today’s world of marketing, there are so many ways to get your product to the masses. Yet, it isn’t always so easy to figure out the best way to do that. Real Estate marketing has been pretty basic and lacking imagination for awhile now. The visionaries at Verbode didn’t want to have anything to do with that. So they decided to mix it up a bit and expand their marketing along with the growth of OKC!

Top 10 Modern Ways Verbode Markets Real Estate

 

10. Twilight Open House

A staple of Thursday nights after work, Twilight Open Houses are our chance to give the public the best first introduction possible to your property. We go all out for our Clients. We have included food trucks, catering from local favorites, local artist shows, and local musicians. If we can entice people to come see the home with their own eyes, it isn’t long before someone falls in love. It also gives the owner an excuse to have a going away party for the place they called home.

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9. Creative Wordsmithing

Yes, a great photo of a home can spark the interest, but the right language can convince a non-believer. If you haven’t noticed, “verb” is part of our name. We see too many listing descriptions give a great home a weak story. Verbode is here to change that. Every home deserves a great description.

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8. Branding

Branding is no longer just the logo and the phrase, it is living what you do. It is believing in an idea. One you can share with those you work with. At Verbode, our brand is synonymous with the Urban Core of Oklahoma City. We want to provide to our clients a concierge experience catered to their lifestyle. Our clients no longer look for a new home, they look for a new city, community, and neighborhood. Our mission at Verbode is to connect the beautiful individuals of Oklahoma City to their perfect community. One in which they not only live but thrive in.

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7. Historical Education

Oklahoma City has a shaky past when it comes to historic buildings. We believe our mentality for historical structures can be changed. By informing the public and community about our historic homes and buildings we hope to create a loving appreciation for the past. Oklahoma City has many stories worth telling and remembering, and the homes and structures that have stood the test of time are deserving of a platform to tell their unique histories.

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6. Blogging

If you are reading this right now, then our marketing is working. Blogging has become one of the optimal ways to inform. With news, events, and opportunities to see an open house conveniently placed at your fingertips, blogging is convenient and effective. There is a sea of Real Estate websites, but they are hard to navigate. We are able to give you a detailed list of properties we have open on the weekends, along with a map. Our blogs also underscore our love for Oklahoma City and commitment to being active in local events and a part of the communities in which we place our clients.

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5. Staging/Art

Not everyone can bring to life a home in their own minds. If you walk into an empty space and that is all you see, you will likely benefit from a staged home. Giving the buyer and seller an example of what the space could look like actually stimulates the imagination. When a realtor has a showing in a staged space, they don’t have to set a scene for every room. In some cases, the staged items and/or the art will stay with the home and go along with the sell.

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4. Website

The internet is a daily part of our lives in many different ways. Now with more people connected to it, having a website is the best way to connect clients to your business. Our website allows anyone to find an agent, a home, and learn more about their communities. We give them many options to find what they are looking for. They can search by district, neighborhood or even city. They can even find the featured listings we represent. In addition, our website makes it easier for potential buyers to connect with our team and get connected to your property on a shorter timeline.

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3. Photos and Videos

Visualizing a home is not as easy as it sounds. Being able to show a home at it’s best is what photography and videography can do. Photography has always been a great way to show a home and sparks the interest in those who are looking. Coupling photo with video has made for a beneficial bonus for both client and realtor. It helps everyone see the home as it is. It can also highlight the features that a client might be looking for in a home. Verbode builds working relationships with skilled local photographers that we trust to bring the best images of your home to the market.

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2. Social Media

If it is an app on your phone, we are likely already marketing on it. Facebook is one of the best ways to connect to our clients. Everyone is connected to it and everyone checks it several times a day. So we wanted to be ready and available in the places they spend most of their time. We also have an Instagram we update with new listings and open houses. Other social media accounts are listed below:

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1. We Listen

And we aren’t just saying that. Taking care of our clients is the most important part of our business model. We take everything they tell us and we use that as a tool to find them what they need. Customer service is not dead, it is alive and well at Verbode. Please contact us via email, phone, text, social media, etc. We want to work with you and get to know you! Let us show you a better way to real estate.

 

Top Ten Staging Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

10 Staging Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

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So you are selling your home? How on earth do you get it ready to sell? We find it best to stage your home before you sell it. Not only does it get you move-out ready, it will give a buyer a clean slate in which to envision their new home. Staging allows the buyer to see what could be and not what was. *95% of buyer’s agents have said that home staging affects a buyer’s view of a home. When selling your home, you want it to look its best. Staging allows for the best.

10. Clean House

Act as if your Mother-in-Law is coming to town and you need to impress. First, get rid of the clutter. No one wants to see your dirty dishes or laundry, so pick it up. Second, sanitize the areas where human activity is high. You may not realize how much grime has built up. Third, make sure drapes and sheets are not wrinkled. They need to look fresh and ready to use.

9. Remove personal items

The idea is to let people believe they can live in your home. They will be distracted if they see family photos, toys, or pet bowls around the house. Clean out the closets in order to show there is plenty of space. You are going to be packing anyways, why not get a head start with these items.

8. Mow the Lawn

A well kept yard is a sign of a well kept home. Work on the landscaping around the parts of the home that are most visible from the street. Curb appeal gets people in the door to see all the work you have done to stage inside. It doesn’t take a green thumb to keep up the yard.

7. Artwork as Accent

After you take down some of the personal photos and paintings, don’t leave your walls naked. Find artwork that will accent your furnishings and color schemes. You can also add mirrors in rooms that need a little help looking larger.

6. Create Focal Points

Each room needs a focal point in order for buyers to see the room best. You can achieve this by adding a vase with flowers or bowl of fruit in the kitchen. The small touches can go a long way to improving the look of a room.

5. Consult with a Photographer

After all the staging is done, you will want to have photos taken of the new space. Why not consult with the photographer before you start staging? This will save you a ton of time. A photographer can tell you the best angles in each room. They can also tell you how to update your lighting.

4. Lighting is Important

This is how you take advantage of your photographer consult. Some rooms in the house will have plenty of light and some will have no light at all. With windows, bringing in natural light may be the trick.

3. Paint in Neutral Colors

Everyone has their favorite color, you shouldn’t try selling your house with all your personal favorites. Find soft, neutral colors that can match any style of staging. White is always best in order to give the buyer a clean slate. It is also very popular right now, especially in the kitchen.

2. Stage before you list the property

First impressions can mean everything to the sell of a house. If you list it without proper staging and photos, you may lose a buyer. *81% of buyers said they can visualize a home as theirs if it is staged.

1. Hire a professional!

You want to work with someone who is certified and accredited in Real Estate Home Staging. Not everyone has the expertise needed to best represent your home. Your best friend who has good taste doesn’t count.

 

*Sources for the list. Home Staging on a Budget, and Home Staging Resource

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Top 10 Tuesday at Verbode- Fall Events in the OKC Metro

Top Ten Tuesday at Verbode – Fall Events in the OKC Metro

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There are so many fun fall events coming up in October and November in the OKC Metro. Here’s a run-down of the ten we think you should not miss:

1. OKC Horror Fest: Two Things

This event put on by the OKC Film Society and hosted at The Venue OKC will offer a viewing of The Thing From Another World (1951) and John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). These movies both offer political commentary on their respective eras without sacrificing story. Catch the showings for free from 6-11 PM tonight, October 3rd, 2017.

More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1895443027134303/

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2. A Night Out for Puerto Rico: Fundraiser and Supply Drive

On Thursday the 5th of October from 5-8pm, Flashback RetroPub and The Fried Taco have joined together to throw a fundraiser for hurricane relief efforts. 100% of the evening’s food and beverage sales will be donated in conjunction with a supply drive for needed items. There will be tables set up outside for families and those who wish to enter Flashback will need to be 21+.

More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/167705537140003/

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3. Lunar Moon Festival

Saturday, October 7th, from 4PM-10PM the Vietnamese American Community of Oklahoma City and Vicinity are hosting this harvest festival that is celebrated by ethnic Vietnamese and Chinese. According to the Facebook event, “Dragon dances, traditional dance performances, food trucks, vendors…and games” will be essential parts of this celebration. Children will also be treated to free lanterns and other goodies. It will take place in Military Park.

More information here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1718783128427502/

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4. Midtown Walkabout

October 21st, from 2-6PM the 4th Annual Midtown Walkabout will feature live music, giveaways, specials from local businesses and more. For a complete list of offers visit the link below. Listed on their website are several new additions to the event including, “Live pumpkin carving demonstration, live muralist, The Big Friendly, live chalk artist, and more!”

More information here: http://downtownokc.com/midtown-walkabout/

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5. Brick or Treat

At this free event Bricktown businesses cater to the kiddos encouraging children under the age of 14 to come dressed in full costumes. Maps will be passed out in Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and Mickey Mantle Plaza for trick-or-treaters. Afterwards, the movie Hocus Pocus will be played at 7:30pm in the Ballpark. This event will take place on Tuesday, October 24th from 4-7PM.

More information here: http://downtownokc.com/brick-or-treat/

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6. St. Elijah Annual Food Festival and Bake Sale

Well worth the short drive to St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church on North May Avenue, this annual festival combines culture, arts, and extremely good Mediterranean ethnic food. This event runs from October 27th at 10 AM until October 28th at 8pm. In addition, the church itself has beautiful architecture and a small room is staged for displays on history and tradition.

More information here: https://www.facebook.com/StElijahAnnualFoodFestival/

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7. Gypsy Glam Roadshow Fall Festival

October 28th from 11AM-3PM at Tony’s Tree Plantation. This family-friendly event will feature a “pooch parade” and pumpkin decorating as well as numerous pop-up shops and food trucks. Halloween costumes are encouraged for this event as there will be selfie-stations for your children and/or pets.

More information here: https://www.oklahomagypsyglam.com/show-details

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8. Fall Open Streets OKC

This street festival is a celebration of healthier living and community. The stretch of S. Robinson from SW 15th to SW 29th is “reclaimed” for the use of cyclists, walkers, skateboarders, etc. and the purpose is to encourage accessible communities in order to strengthen the local community and economy. Local food and activities will be a key part. It will take place from 1-5PM on October 29th.

More information here: http://www.openstreetsokc.com/about-open-streets

 

9. Wizards on Western: Harry Potter Festival

Hosted in the Western Avenue District of Oklahoma City, this event combines all the love for Potter World with the idea of community and local business patronage. The sorting hat, selfie stations and photo ops, activities, and more will be high-points. Additional activities will require a paid admission but include Tri-Wizard Harry Potter Trivia and a Harry Potter themed band inside Will Rogers Theater. November 12th from 1PM-6PM.

More information here: http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/Calendar/Events-Calendar/index.php/name/Wizards-on-Western-Harry-Potter-Festival/event/27048/

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10. Thanksgiving Celebration at Chickasaw Cultural Center

Saturday November 25th and Sunday November 26th the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur opens their doors for two days filled with cultural demonstrations, including stomp dance, and tours of their traditional village. There will also be a children’s Christmas workshop and decorations on display and for sale throughout the center and in the retail shops.

More information here: http://chickasawcountry.com/events/ccc-thanksgiving-celebration

Photo from the Cultural Center in Sulphur. January 25, 2011 Photographer: Mike McKee

Photo from the Cultural Center in Sulphur.
January 25, 2011
Photographer: Mike McKee

 

Let us know which ones you make it to!

 

 

 

Top Ten Ways to Pick a Neighborhood for your Family

In modern day Real Estate, we have found more than ever that choosing a Neighborhood is the most important decision a Buyer makes. They are looking for the perfect community, not just the perfect home. Schools, retail, traffic, walkability and style all play a role in choosing a Neighborhood. The Urban Core of OKC is seeing a renaissance of the City Neighborhood.

The diversity of style and location in the Urban Core allows many buyers to have multiple options. Everything from Historic to modern housing is on the rise. So how do you find that perfect Neighborhood for your Family? We put together a list of ten ways to make that decision.

10. Traffic

Living in the Urban Core of a major Metropolitan area can be a time saver. Unless of course you live next to a major street or highway. Always check the traffic in and around the Neighborhoods you are looking at. You might find it is too much for your sanity to wait in line to get only a few blocks. Oklahoma City is still relatively light on traffic, but populations grow.

Example: Jefferson Park is close to a major highway, but is hidden away from major traffic.

9. Landscape

Believe it or not, there are Urban Core Neighborhoods with inclined streets and busy yards in OKC. If you love doing yard work yourself, look for homes that have customizable spaces. Streets lined with tall streets can give you shade during Summer months. However, those trees then drop their leaves all over yards and streets. If that is a hassle to you, choose a Neighborhood with younger, smaller trees.

Example: Crown Heights is known for the many different landscapes and has close access to multiple parks.

 

 

8. History

At Verbode we love the history of our homes. The stories of owners past and the many changes the Neighborhood and home have been through. Some Neighborhoods have more history than others which will likely give them protection from the Historic Preservation of OKC. Changes to homes must be approved in order to keep the Neighborhood as it was meant to look.

Example: Heritage Hills has more homes with great stories than they know what to do with.

7. Retail

With the rise of OKC districts, more and more local retail is opening near Urban Core Neighborhoods. Whether it be restaurants or shopping opportunities, the Urban Core has plenty to choose from. If your favorite store or restaurant is only walking distance away, you may want to rethink moving in that Neighborhood. It may cause you to gain weight or spend too much money. All joking aside, there are many Neighborhoods that benefit from their close proximity to retail.

Example: Gatewood, in close proximity of the Plaza District, is walking distance from many new shops and restaurants.

 

6. Walking & Biking Ability

Cities are trying harder to give their citizen’s more options of getting around town. It is a huge plus to have sidewalks and plenty of room for bikes in a Neighborhood. It almost seemed a sense of nostalgia to think of a Neighborhood that was walkable and bike safe. Now thanks to a few Maps Projections, OKC neighborhoods are getting new sidewalks and streets are being widened. Nothing is better than walking in your Neighborhood with your family and pets. Check out the walkscore of your favorite Neighborhood.

Example: Mesta Park has wide streets and brand new sidewalks that a many residents use on a daily basis.

5. Association

Not all Neighborhoods have Associations, but the strong and well connected ones do. In recent years a few Neighborhoods in the Urban Core lacked a plan of action to make their Neighborhoods better. Now there are strong Associations within even the smallest of Neighborhoods. Associations can help with beautification and maintenance of the area. It also allows for block parties and get togethers so you can better know those who live nearby.

Example: Miller has recently put together a great and well received Neighborhood Association.

4. Access

Access has a lot to do about location and how to get in and out of your Neighborhood. Most Neighborhoods in the Urban Core were planned on a grid system. Allowing multiple different entrance and exit points through out. It is now important to find the routes through your Neighborhood that take you to your favorite Districts. You may find out it is easier to access by foot or bike, than by car.

Example: Paseo is wedged between the Paseo Arts District and Uptown 23rd. Both a short walk from the Neighborhood.

3. Affordability

We are very lucky in the OKC Urban Core to have many ranges of affordability. Yes, most everyone wants to live in the Historic Neighborhood with large estates and amazing architecture. However, the best Neighborhood for your family, is the one that is affordable to your financial situation. There are Neighborhoods that would surprise you with their affordability.

Example: Crestwood gives you the historic feel with the affordability for all price ranges.

 

2. Schools

Now more than ever we are searching for schools that we feel safe sending our kids too. Not only do we want them to receive a great academic education, we also want them to have a strong social education. Learning to interact with all types of people and cultures. Many of the Urban Neighborhoods have schools built right in the middle. This means you can walk your most precious of family members to school everyday.

Example: Cleveland has a school with the same name and is also close to the Middle & High schools your children would attend.

1. Safety

Above all we want to feel safe in our Neighborhoods. Crime is not always consistent in certain areas, so it is important to research the area and those living in it. Ask potential Neighbors if they have felt safe living in that Neighborhood. Make sure the crime rate is low and on the decline. Take a stroll through the streets at night to gage if it feels safe. Street lights and open front doors are good indicators of how safe a Neighborhood is.

Example: Putnam Heights has sidewalks with lights and plenty of room between homes. Allowing for a buffer from the major streets and traffic.

 

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Verbode’s Top 10 Tuesday Mesta Park

unnamedVerbode’s Top 10 Tuesday features Mesta Park. Mesta Park, also known as the University Addition,  is a distinct neighborhood situated in the heart of Oklahoma City. Though there are so many things we love about this historic area adjacent to Heritage Hills, we’re sharing ten of our favorites!

 

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1. Landscaped medians- Along 18th Street and Shartel are medians home to gorgeous seasonal plantings. At one time, this route served as Oklahoma City’s old trolley line. The trolley was designed to make Mesta Park, once considered “the suburbs”, accessible and close-by to the growing downtown area.

 

 

 

 

 

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2. Diverse historic home styles- Bungalow, Craftsman, Victorian, Four-square, Neo-classical and Prairie home designs can be seen on a walk or drive through Mesta Park. If you are an architecture fan or even an Oklahoma history buff, you’ll find the area rich in information and restored historic homes.

 

 

 

 

 

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3. Namesake- “Perle Skirvin Mesta” was a renowned hostess within the neighborhood. Her father was William B. Skirvin (yes, of the Skirvin hotel) but her own accomplishments and reputation are infamous in their own right. Besides throwing lavish parties for everyone in the political world including presidents, and later many others, she was dedicated to helping the underprivileged and a marked businesswoman. Check out this excerpt from a story by the Oklahoman: “When her husband died from a heart attack in April 1925…[she] inherited an overwhelming majority of company stock and stunned the all-male board of directors by seating herself as her husband’s replacement on the board.” Perle Mesta is an excellent and incredibly interesting namesake. For more information see: http://newsok.com/article/2149382

 

 

 

 

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4. Holiday Home Tour- Around Christmastime the air in OKC changes and many look forward to local events that define the season. The Mesta Park Holiday Home Tour is an excellent way to get an inside look at the different homes and see the holiday decorations. Carolers roam the neighborhood, food trucks park, and often a van service is provided for transportation. Click on the photo to see the video!

 

 

 

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 5. Trees- These beautiful trees were most likely first planted when the area was platted and developed. That makes these trees over a hundred years old. They provide excellent shade and break that enduring Oklahoma wind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taken by: Chad Bennett

Taken by: Chad Bennett

 6. The People- Mesta Park is  a friendly neighborhood with  diversity in abundance. This  has always been the case and  can be seen walking to and  from different areas of the  neighborhood. As one article  stated, “[homes] 1,200 to  5,000 square feet- is one of  the main reasons why the  neighborhood attracts such a  variety of residents.” On top of that, the neighborhood’s hosting of events and decorating in the seasons makes it a community hub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The holiday decorated home of Will Lightfoot at 501 NW 18th in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Lightfoot's home is on the Mesta Park Holiday Home Tour Dec. 3-4. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

7. Halloween- Mesta Park is one of the hottest neighborhoods to trick-or-treat and view elaborate decorations. Giant blow up cat? Check. Massive spiderweb draping not only the yard but even the columns of the house and adjacent tree? Check. Members of the neighborhood stock up on candy, but it’s easy to run out by 8pm because of the sheer volume of cute kids and their parents who line the streets in various costumes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8. Perle Mesta Park- This city park is host to a plethora of activities. Mesta Festa takes place on its grounds, kids often play here, and it serves as a place of community. There are swings and a playground for kids and young at heart, a wonderful pavilion to shelter from the harsh weather and a fantastic sand volleyball court. The grounds are overall well-maintained.

 

 

 

 

 

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9. Walkable to Midtown and Uptown- Driving through the neighborhood from 23rd to 13th on Dewey or other North-South streets, you’ll catch numerous families or groups walking to get dinner or visit neighbors. A walk away from fantastic restaurants like Cafe Antigua, grocery shopping at Homeland, home furnishings at Interior Gilt or the Commonplace Bookstore in Midtown. Sidewalks are well cared for and easy to walk, run, or bike.

 

 

 

 

 

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10. Mesta Festa- This annual party has been taking place for the last 22 years. Beer garden, food trucks, live music, and a preceding 5k are just some of the fun. Verbode is excited to be a sponsor this year! Stop by our booth and say hello! We can acquaint you with Mesta Park history, introduce you to neighbors and provide friendly real estate information.

 

 

 

We love you Mesta Park! Want to see some homes for Sale in Mesta Park? Click here: Homes In Mesta Park

 

Top 10 Tuesday at Verbode- OKC Patios

 

As the weather shifts from boiling hot to a tempered kind of Fall-Summer hybrid, patios around the city become a sacred place. Patios are a communal kind of space where your weekly brunch group laughs over mimosas or where your family eats dinner as you watch the setting sun. Everyone on our team had something to say about their favorite patio but we had to work the list down to the following..

1. OKCMOA

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The Oklahoma City Museum of Art has a rooftop terrace where they hold their “Art After 5” events every Thursday for $5. Often live music will be featured and there’s always a cash bar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The Union at SoSa

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The Union is a bar located in SOSA. Seated upon a hill they offer a range of cocktails and the speakeasy in the basement is a definite to check out. The patio will soon be covered, but the portion behind the airstream will remain uncovered. If you haven’t stopped by, the staff are friendly and SOSA is a wonderful neighborhood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Barrio’s Fine Mexican Dishes

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This open-air patio makes you feel like you’ve been transported out of Oklahoma. The pink fireplace at one end and string lights overlapping overhead make this a great dinner spot.

 

 

 

 

4. Cheever’s Cafe

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Most of our staff said that this bustling OKC favorite felt private despite the amount of business it sees. The patio is typically pretty shaded and large shrubbery keeps the noise from 23rd to a minimum. We suggest visiting for brunch where you’ll find excellent service and a great patio experience.

 

 

 

 

 

5. The Hall’s Pizza Kitchen

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Once a popular food truck, this family-owned business expanded to brick and mortar in 2017. The rooftop patio offers views of the downtown skyline and midtown with partial shade and cute planters hanging near-by tables. Not only that, they offer breakfast pizza in addition to traditional servings like “Saturday Night”– a pizza with pepperoni, sausage and basil.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Gorō Ramen

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This Plaza District patio is nestled between Gorō and The Mule. This is a good patio for dropping temperatures as they pull out heaters and the buildings protect the patio-goers from the wind. Luckily, it’s not that cold yet. The tables are all aligned in the middle and the height of the buildings create a unique aesthetic uncommon to OKC. Even better, the ramen they serve is a savory traditional type as if from Japan itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Classen Coffee Company

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Classen Coffee Company is a newcomer to the scene. They are located on the West side of Classen Ave and North of Uptown. Most days they stay open until 10pm. We suggest heading over near sunset to enjoy the peaceful patio and a tea or coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. The Mantel

Frequently ranked as one of OKC’s top romantic spots, this patio might be your best bet for a romantic date night out. Located in Bricktown an after-dinner stroll through the streets would be a great addition, except you might be too stuffed from the wonderful European-style food they serve here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Flip’s

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The go-to spot for a glass of wine on any given afternoon. Flip’s is sandwiched between prime shopping spots such as Classen Curve and West Elm. The patio is expansive making it a good choice for birthdays and other celebrations.

 

 

 

 

 

10. O Bar

Talk about a view. At the top of the Ambassador Hotel this bar has what is arguably the best view of the skyline. There are panoramic views as you walk the bar and when you step outside you get a view of not only Midtown, but also Downtown in all its glory. If you haven’t been yet, you need to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what do you think? What is your favorite patio in OKC?

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.

Top Ten Reasons to be at the Festival of the Arts

Festival of the Arts

10. Relaxation

Now that the Festival is back at Bicentennial Park, there are plenty of places to stop and relax. Grassy lawns, tree lined walkways, park benches and plenty of shade. All that with the views of the skyline and our beautiful Civic Center.

9. Work Break

The population of workers Downtown has grown a great deal. If you are one of those Downtown workers, why not take a break from the everyday grind and venture down to the Festival? It is a great way to clear your head and fill your mind with new ideas.

8. Kid’s Events

The Festival is a fun event for all ages to attend. They do a great job of adding many Kid friendly events and even a Kid’s performance stage. Another great tent is the

7. Waste Free

This year with the help from groups like Fertile Ground, the Festival is looking to be Waste Free. Instead of trash cans they will have compost and recycling cans all over the park. This is all apart of their Go Green Initiative.

6. People Watching

Yes, there are many of people performing, but there are also those unique individuals you see every year. They have their own sense of style and personality. You can see families enjoy a day together or a human walking their best furry friend. Our suggestion, people watching is great while devouring a turkey leg.

Festival Map:

Festival of the Arts

5. Volunteering

One of the best ways to spend time at the Festival, is the many opportunities to volunteer. Whether pouring a cold beer or giving balloons to a happy child, it is always a rewarding experience at the Festival. List of ways you can help.

4. The Weather

It has long been said, the Festival of the Arts always brings the rain. It seems the weather waits to drop all the rain during the week of the Festival. There is nothing more satisfying than going to the Festival on a day with no inclement weather.

3. The Music/Performance

Every year the Arts Council does a great job of putting together a performance list of local and regional acts. There is always something great to see and hear on the Festival stages. List of Performances with Dates and Times.

2. The Food

The Festival could also be called the Festival of Food with the overwhelming amount of choices. It is always a tough to figure out what you want on any given day. It is best just to go every day and try everything. List of food Vendors and Culinary Tent events.

1. The Art

The very reason for the Festival is never a disappointment. Local and Regional artists have brought amazing work to Oklahoma City since 1967. At the Festival you’ll be able to check out artwork from 144 different artists hailing from across the U.S. From mixed media to jewelry to photography. You’ll find beauty in every direction. List of Artists and their Medium.

Festival of the Arts