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Archive for April, 2010

Jeff Turner ~ GRAR Summit on Social Media & Social Values ~ Grand Rapids, MichiganMembers of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors are looking forward to welcoming Jeff Turner of Zeek Interactive and Real Estate Shows to the Grand Rapids, MI area on May 12th, 2010.  Jeff will be kicking off a three part summer series called the Social Media Boot Camp which is designed to help real estate agents understand the WHY,  WHERE and HOW TO  for creating intelligent strategies and solutions that provide value within social networks.

By now, much of the business community has come to terms with the fact that social media  and social networks are ideas which they need to understand.   Many in the business community have latent or expressed fear about the vulnerability which comes from not having control of the medium.  And…there’s a ton of confusion about what to do and how to do it…

At the root of all this confusion is an underlying frustration that something is missing.   That’s one of the issues that Jeff Turner will be addressing as he speaks to members of the real estate community.  The topic will be ‘Social Media and Social Value.”   What do our value systems reveal about us and how does this inform our engagement within social media?  And…WHY does this matter?  It promises to be a fascinating and insightful discussion.

I’ve always appreciated the clarity and insight which Jeff brings to the complexity that swirls around the online world.  Really looking forward to welcoming him to the West Michigan area.  The event is open to members of the public.  Click here for more information or registration.

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daisyThese past couple of months have seen a major increase in real estate activity in the West Michigan area.  It seems that many potential home buyers are rushing to beat the deadline to qualify for the  Home Buyer Tax Credit which provides up to $8,000 for qualified first time home buyers and up to $6,500 for buyers of second homes.

But in all the hustle and bustle, there’s another Tax Credit which will CONTINUE to be available to qualified home buyers long after the deadline for April 30, 2010 has past. It’s the MCC Tax Credit,  a federal program that allows new, qualified home buyers to take up to 20% of their annual mortgage interest to be credited against their tax liability.

This program is available from participating lenders in Michigan to Michigan home buyers on a first served, first come basis.  Interested in learning more…Click here.

If you’re an investor or purchasing a home which will require some rehabilitation, there are mortgage programs which will allow you to do this.  If you’d like a referral to a lender who is qualified to process these transactions, please contact us at 616-791-0511.

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Women's Council of Realtors® Grand Rapids MI

Today, I was honored by the Women’s Council of Realtors® in Grand Rapids, MI with the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  As I look across the room,  I can’t help but think of all the special women who have made significant investments and contributions to my life.  I’m so grateful for a wise and loving Mother and many women who have supported me in so many ways including the members of my real estate team…Donna Schimke and Ed Vogt.  Thank you!

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Wood Carving When most people look at a dead tree stump, they don’t see a work of art. That’s not the case for Daryl Aukeman, a master craftsman and Grand Rapids, Michigan artesian.  Daryl handcrafts exquisite carvings from local and exotic hardwoods.

Using the rich, natural texture, color and patterning of woods such as tiger maple, black walnut and South American purple heart, he paints unique pictures to create scenic landscapes.  The inlaid wood chips become master keystrokes within a larger mosaic known as the art form Intarsia .

I was introduced to Daryl’s work through an acquaintance for whom he had completed some carpentry work. West Michigan is known for the excellence and pride that its’ builders and craftsman take in their job. The inlaid wood cathedral ceiling on a custom deck required advanced woodworking skills which Daryl was able to complete successfully.

As the daughter of a man who loved working with wood, I’ve always appreciated the skill required to fashion something elegant from a block or a stump.   As we talked, Dary showed us pictures of decorative wall hangings and colorful floor inlays in which he captures natures beauty.  With a lathe and chisel, he also fashions beautiful keepsakes and gifts like commemorative candlesticks.

These days when so much of the woodwork that is available is pre-fabricated, it’s always a pleasure to meet  a local Carpenter who takes great pride in his work. When Daryl initially described the art form Intarsia, I had never heard of the term.  As I looked on line, two definitions pop up which in some ways could not have been more distinctly different. One  definition of  a type of Intarsia is a knitted wool design resembling a mosaic which is visible from both sides of the fabric.  I find it fascinating that the wool Intarsia takes strands of soft yarn and transforms them into a piece that achieves a solid picture visible from all sides, while a wood Intarsia  is formed by breaking down wood  into chips and then combining their delicate beauty to reveal hidden patterns and landscapes of particular fascination.

I’m reminded of the fact that in a sense, we are all craftsman as we ply our different trades.  We are also all a work in progress in the hands of the Master Craftsman, our Creator. Our lives in some ways resemble the strands of a wool Intarsia as  different experiences and circumstance are interwoven to form a pattern.  But, there is also a breaking down which can seem painful but has the capacity to create a beauty which is not initially  evident

Dary Aukman is someone who has the ability to see beauty transforming itself from a hunk or chip of wood into an item of Great Value. His Motto is:  Transforming Trees Into Treasures… If you’re looking for a craftsman to create a Special Work of Art or need a one of a kind memento, you can Contact Daryl Aukeman of Aukeman Hardwood Designs at:  616-896-0157.

To Read More About Intarsia, there’s an interesting thread at this site….

*The picture of the wood carving is courtesy of geodiscs photo stream on flickr.  The picture is for illustrative purposes.  Copies of brochures or photographs detailing Aukeman’s work can be obtained by dialing the number above.

*portions of this blog were originally posted on 2008.  Revised 2010. Copyright 2008  Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved

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