Tag Archives: school

Realtor Brings Home-Buying Tips to Families

We recently partnered with Joe Quiros, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Compass Real Estate and Co-Founder of The Joe + Kelly Team, to learn more about the home-buying process, and to share tips with families who are out hunting for their next home.

Q: What are some common special requests that family’s make when looking for a home?

A: The most common request is, and always will be, school district. The NYC school system is intricate and presents many challenges, and while some parents will choose to send their children to private school for middle and high school, a great public school for the K-5 years is always highly desirable. Our advice for parents with children is to really do their homework on what school districts they would be happy to live in, and then focusing on properties in those areas. Homes in great school districts can demand a premium, and we want to avoid situations where clients are comparing properties in lesser school districts, conceivably getting more value, but being disappointed in the options that they would actually be comfortable living in.

Q: When working with a family to find a new home, do they come to you with a clear idea on what they are looking for, or do you help steer them towards a home best fit for families? 

A: We always coach our clients that it’s a process of elimination, not a process of selection, and in order to go through that process, it’s best to keep your search as broad as possible in the beginning and then whittle it down as you see more homes. We’ve had clients who completely gut renovate and design their homes to the inch, and even then, there are things they wish they had done differently. So the idea of a ‘perfect home’ doesn’t really exist at any price point. With that, while every client should have their wish list, it’s important to figure out what items on that wish list are most important, and which can be compromised on a bit and the only way to figure that out is by going out and seeing properties. While we’re there to guide and advise against making a bad investment, to point things out that they may not have noticed, and to make sure they’re not missing anything on the market, ultimately the client is the only person who can figure out what’s most important to them and their family.

Q: What are some tips you give to families looking for a new home?

A: One of the things that we always remind our clients is that real estate mirrors life. Marriage and having children are two of the biggest changes in anyone’s life, and making sure that you have a home that you can grow into is vital. While no one can truly predict the market, typically, if you hold an asset for several years, it’s going to appreciate and end up being a great investment. So, one of the things we try to coach our clients on is making sure, to the best of their abilities, that the home will be a place they can grow into and that matches their life plans. That way, they can live there long enough to allow it to appreciate, while being happy and comfortable while they’re there. Aside from that, having a doorman can be great for older children who are traveling to and from school alone; A children’s playroom is a great opportunity to meet other parents of young children within your building; And having local parks makes it easy to get the kids outside and get some of that energy out!

Q: Life with kiddos can get hectic and spare time can be limited. What are some good ways to go about home searching if someone has little extra time in their day?

A: Being prepared as best as possible is one of, if not the most important things for any serious buyer. If they’re taking out a mortgage, the first step is always to get pre-approved by a bank. Pre-approvals are different that pre-qualifications, as a pre-approval takes more time and documentation, but holds more weight when understanding what your purchasing power is and when putting in an offer. Once that’s done, having an open and constant dialogue about what properties you like to see is vital for efficiency. One of the tools the Compass offers called ‘Collections’ allows us to communicate specific properties in real time and is almost like a Pinterest of Real Estate. It’s a great tool for keeping organized and staying focused on which properties you’ve seen, which properties you want to see, and which properties you’re not, or no longer interested in and is so much more efficient than the dozens of email threads that typically are the case when searching for a home. Using that spare time to go through the properties on Collections can take as little as five minutes and once you’ve accumulated an adequate list, it’s a matter of us scheduling as many of those properties within that block of time as possible.

To learn more about The Joe + Kelly Team, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Child Pick-Up and Drop-Off Made Easy

Scenario: It’s 3 p.m., you have chores to do, errands to run, dinner to think about, and the kids are going every which direction. Does this sound all too familiar? Instead of driving yourself crazy, or getting full time care, book a sitter to help pick-up and drop-off the child(ren) from school.

The sitter is typically a college student, recent grad, or freelancer who has flexible hours, loves kids, and is available in the afternoon to pick up your child(ren) from school. After the sitter picks up your child(ren), he or she can take them to lessons, play dates, appointments, or home. The sitter can also stay after they get home to assist with homework, dinner prep, or downtime before the rest of the family gets home.

Families typically have a rotation of sitters they use to book on a month-to-month basis; some will book once per week, while another will book five days. It may be with two sitters, or five, depending on the schedule and family’s request.

This set up exposes the child(ren) to different personalities, people, and hobbies. It also makes them excited to see a familiar face at the next appointment. With a few sitters sharing the jobs, the sitters are always well rested, energetic for the appointment, and excited to see the kids!

To book a pick-up or drop-off sitter, please email us today!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

 

BFC Inside the School Community

Greetings, all!

It’s a new year, and Bell Family wants to get involved with your child’s school!

Do you have a winter or spring gala, or perhaps another school event coming up? Are you looking to offer additional benefits to your families? Well, Bell Family Company would love to help!

Here at BFC, we love to get involved in the School Community! We have worked with a number of schools in the past, and provide services such as event staffing (Gala’s, family night, etc.), to donating to auctions. A few of the schools we have worked with include Grace Church, Absalom, Temple Israel and Hunter College Elementary. Bell Family can provide any of the following services to your school and family community:

1.  Sick day babysitters, and emergency last minute coverage
2. Donate towards a silent auction
3. Provide guest speakers or experts in the field
4. Family concierge – we offer high touch family care services through our staffed licensed therapists, certified coaches, and former nannies here, or we’re available to help with any childcare challenges (e.g., children not listening to the nanny) or relationship challenges (e.g., communication issues between parent and nanny) that commonly arise during the beginning stages of the parent-nanny relationship.

For more information on our participation, e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell and Sitter Services Coordinator, Meredith Hamler!

BFL – Presidents’ Day in the City

Most NYC schools have off Presidents’ Day, along with post offices, major banks, and many government agencies.

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Take advantage of the day off and explore the city with these cool activities:

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BTS

Keeping your sanity with back to school routines and transitions

In our house, summer was one big playdate without enforced bedtimes and scrambling each morning for camp (we are NOT a morning household).  Come the first day of school none of us were prepared, couple that with an earlier start time for the bus and we were in a tizzy.  Great advice below from BFC resident social worker, nanny coordinator and all around great gal, Ali Shepard….

It’s that time of year again as the kids are slowing getting back into their school routines or starting school for the first time! A time of vast transitions for many families and keeping parents, kids and caregivers happy and sane can seem impossible. Here are some simple easy reminders to help your family get back in the swing of things and set everyone up to win with less bedtime battles and flustered mornings rushing to get everyone where they need to go!

  • Be realistic and patient
  • Keep it simple
  • Make a plan and stick to it
  • Get the kids involved when transitions happen children often feel that they do not have control. Find ways where your kids can be part of creating the schedule
  • Use picture charts for children 2-6 years old as a way to empower them to get their “jobs’ done (Betimes and morning routine) then then can earn a reward. Rewards can be playing a game, reading stories together, playing on the computer, watching a short TV show, or playdate etc. Use these things as motivators not just givens.
  • All children need down time. Build it into the schedule.
  • Children can feel overwhelmed when there are a lot of adults telling them what to do. They to keep the talking and number of adults to a minimum.
  • Avoid frustration and upset by being matter of fact and flat with your emotion and reactions
  • Set limits, when you say no, mean it
  • First things first. Children need reminders/little nudges. Use less words.
  • Make it fun and keep your sense of humor
  • Get support/be a team

It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out, especially when dealing with so many moving parts and changes. Remember that children are not little adults, their brains are not able to understand the world like we are. We have to role model the behavior we want to see from them. Enjoy the time you have and find creative fun ways to tackle the day to day routines.