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From the Editor's Desk..."Landscaping and Shiny Shoes"
My father used to tell me that it didn’t matter if a man had on a brand new suit if his shoes weren’t shined. His point, of course is that the man could never really look his best with dingy shoes. I congratulated a colleague recently on the sale of a home she listed. The house had been on the market for almost nine months before finally attracting a buyer—“attracting” being the operative word. Not far from my own home, I passed this house countless times—a nondescript, one story, Gentilly bungalow with your standard three bedrooms and two baths. It was a little box of a house encased in tan bricks and there was nothing special about it, at least not from the outside. Little or no landscaping had been done, just blank spaces and patches of grass where gardens should have been. The grass was cut but not manicured. Nothing about the exterior made me want to see inside.

However, after the house sold and partly because it had been on the market so long I decided to take a look at the photos provided on the MLS. I was thinking i’d find the interior of the home as bland as I had the outside. To my surprise, this uninteresting little cottage had some unexpected and interesting features inside.  But, I wonder, like me, how many potential buyers would never have gotten this far; who would never see the inside because the outside was so ordinary and did nothing to help usher them in.

Much has been written in real estate circles about the importance of landscaping. So I certainly won’t pretend to offer any new motivations why you should take heed, just a gentle reminder. There are a variety of reasons to landscape— it helps with drainage, soil erosion and issues like water diversion. But for the purpose of selling a home, there’s only one reason—it looks good like shiny shoes.  And because it looks good people might just take a good look. And it might be just the extra look you need to attract—here’s that word again—the right buyer.  At the end of the day, I expressed these sentiments to my colleague and being one who enjoys building a nice garden, I offered my help in the future should she have clients willing to invest in new shoes.

Health, Wealth and Happiness for the New Year

Here at Gardner Realtors, we're celebrating another amazing year of helping you create the life you love. It's my passion and my joy to come alongside you as you buy and sell your dream homes. As we celebrate this holiday season with family and friends, I want to pass along our favorite ways to find health, wealth and happiness for 2019.


No matter what type of person you are (a health nut, a casual gym-goer, a busy mom, a weekend warrior, etc), it's always a good time to assess your health. And let's be honest, making healthy new year's resolutions is as much a tradition as eating black-eyed peas on January 1. This year, let's make sure our health goals are attainable and we stick with them! Here are three ideas for our physical and mental health that we are looking forward to in 2019.


>> Exercise With Your Pets - combine two things that you love: being healthy and your furry friend. Go for a walk through City Park or run on the levee beside the Mighty Mississippi. Doing these activities with your pet is even more enjoyable! Even if it's just being near your cat as you live-stream a yoga class, studies show just being around your pet makes you happier!


>> Learn a Weekly Healthy Recipe - this is the time of year for crazy health fads and scary diets. I  like the idea of tackling health one step at a time. This year, try making a new healthy recipe for you and your family each week.

>> Try Foam Rolling - Hitting the gym hard in 2019 is great. Going for that extra run is even better. Take your physical health one step further with the physique-building, recovery and injury prevention benefits of foam rolling.




The holidays are a wonderful time. We spend time with friends, we spend time with family, and some of us spend lots of money. And that's ok, but, it probably means that your finances aren't far from the front of your mind. With the new year approaching, it's a great time to evaluate your financial situation and plan for the future.

According to Business Insider, the average American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. That's nuts, right? I believe it boils down to a simple question: what are you working on?

For many of us, it’s to take care of our family, ensuring they have a path to a successful future. For a lot of us, it’s to ensure that one day we can retire comfortably. One of the best ways to save up for retirement and live a comfortable life is to make Real Estate a part of your wealth plan. One way to start is by buying rental property now. That way, after you’ve worked all 90,000 hours (hopefully much less) and you’ve reached retirement age, the property will be completely paid off!

I know the thought of retirement can be scary. If you plan ahead, you will have peace of mind later. That means that fishing holes, sandy beaches, open roads and many more adventures await you in retirement! Contact a Gardner Realtor.


According to a Harvard study, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. We all want to be happy and spread happiness, and I believe this is a choice. So, each day, make it a point to CHOOSE gratitude and happiness. Start a new habit of saying out loud or writing down what you're thankful for. Here are some other ways to find happiness in 2019:


>> Give Back - simply put, doing nice things for others feels good. You will no doubt feel this joy when you give someone a holiday gift this year. Take it one step further by volunteering, taking part in a city-wide giving day or simply donating to a good cause. Studies show, your generosity leads to your happiness!


>> Unplug More Often - We're all guilty of staring at our phones way too much. Set a limit for you and your family's phone use this year especially before bedtime. Set a "phone-free time" and go do a fun activity outdoors together instead!


>> Make More You Time - if you're like me, your schedule stays full. This year, make more time for you. Whether it's a yoga class you've wanted to try or a monthly pedicure, ensure that you have some alone time to relax and decompress.


>> Practice Gratitudes: start each day by saying 3 things you’re thankful for that happened in the last 24 hours.


Happy Holidays!


Let me help you create the life you love. Let’s chat today!




Phillip Manuel »
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