1 Dec

Target and Neiman Marcus Holiday Gifts 2012 – My Review

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, Personal    

As a fan of both Target and Neiman Marcus but for different reasons, this Holiday Collection 2012 pairing struck me as a great match of style and value. But a few things troubled me about it, mainly the choice of...

16 Aug

Why Selling Your Own House Costs You Money

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, Real Estate    

CBS This Morning is my new favorite morning show because it has a lot of interesting news and less silly stuff. They recently had on Jack Otter, the executive producer of CBS Money Watch to talk about "deceptive discounts" --...

29 Jun

Photo project: Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, Personal, Real Estate    

In November 2005, I was allowed to roam the grounds and inside of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was torn down in January 2006. This hotel always inspired me to think big and and its size made me wonder about the stories and lives that passed through its gates. It was closed for more than 10 years prior to its demise. Driving down Wilshire, I saw it for all those years, basically chain link fenced off, the hotel itself sitting way back on the lot, very far from the street. A fading pink behemoth. A few years before I got the go ahead to see the property and take photos, I began my research on how to get in. The property had been purchased by the Los Angeles Unified School...

14 May

Do you know the little girl? Anonymous photos from the 1950s

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, Personal    

There is something very special to me about small anonymous photos from someone's life or their photo albums or little envelopes that were forgotten but ended up at an estate sale. As a photo collector of "regular" contemporary photography, and as a former photo art gallery owner, I love and know quite a bit about photography. But it's the historical curious person in me that absolutely loves anonymous photos more than anything, and I buy them fairly often. Usually I don't do too much with them, but sometimes I will have them matted and framed and then they spring to life, sweetness on display and a moment in time now set up under lights and on my walls. The photo leading this blog...

9 May

The Facebook IPO prospectus — and Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to investors

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, News, Personal    

As an E*Trade customer forever, I see the IPOs out there but never before today have I been asked if I wish to place an order for shares prior to the first public offering of them. Also known as the Initial Public Offering, also known as the IPO. That happened today with Facebook when I logged into my E*Trade account. Not being of Warren Buffet status, I am confident my order will NOT be filled, but I placed one anyway. When I had to pick a price for my future shares somewhere in the projected sell range of $28 - $35 a share, I went with $35 -- will it help? I will let you know next week when they start trading on May 14. E*Trade recommends highly that we not "flip" the shares but they...

4 May

Thank you notes from clients — is there anything nicer in real estate?

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, Personal, Real Estate, Uncategorized    

Sometimes a client sits down to write a note and put a stamp on it and mail it. That just happened to me. Because I know receiving a note is so special, I try to send them weekly and it's basically "my calling card" to clients current, past and potential, but I don't receive them as often as I send them. But I got a great one today.  The client's name is hidden to protect identity, but here's what my mailman delivered today! Click on it to open in a new window and make it bigger. Happy Friday, everyone! (P.S. have you tried custom stamps at Zazzle?)

22 Mar

Could you sell your house with never speaking to your real estate agent?

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Lessons, Personal, Real Estate    

This is an experiment with the ultimate answer to the question above: Yes. Here's how this topic came about: I am the one in my "family of two" who shops for insurance for us. And often the decisions I make cannot be made without the intervention of a broker. Not my choosing, as I am capable of making my decisions with never speaking to anyone. Just show me my options, let me know the prices, if there is an up or down side to the product, and never call me. I will buy it and be happy. The number of insurance brokers who call me for my business is growing and I am not sure why. My own insurance broker NEVER calls me and I have never spoken to him. That's not a problem, but he doesn't...

6 Mar

Why Some Sign Calls Are Not Friendly

Posted By: Kimberly Dotseth in Ask the broker, Lessons, Personal, Real Estate    

Today I received a call from person with a blocked number who left a quick voicemail, someone driving around in a car responding to a sign at a home I had listed for sale. The caller left a message, but the number was garbled. Not willing to let it go easily, I then spent 12 minutes dialing all kinds of long distance number combinations to get it right -- it was a Northern California number. I wanted to help! Finally, I got it right! But the person on the other end wasn't very nice. Sometimes we get sign calls in real estate that are very friendly, from sweet and kind people. Ah! Those are nice calls.  But a few are like what happened to me today. Someone wants information...

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