The photo is of J&J Antiques in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, where Paul and I browsed one afternoon, when we recently visited. The shop is owned by Marjie Johnson, a delightful lady, who runs it with her friend Julia (pronounced Yulia). We got to talking…told her we were/are Rhode Islanders and she asked about my book (I don’t know how it came up…Wink..wink!). Anyway, she bought Boomerrrang and sent me her thoughts on it last week:
I wanted to let you know I read your book right away and loved it! What a fun, but informative read. Julia asked me, “what kind of book is it?” I told her, it’s a tragedy, a comedy, a retirement guide for medical, for real estate and most of all just a darn good fun read. When you mentioned the movie – The Blob – I cracked up! I had just been telling my nephew about it a couple weeks prior and that it was the scariest movie ever. LOL!
Your book confirmed for me that my recent decision was a good one regarding “next phase of my life.” So thank you!
I am going to share my book with Julia and then when I can get caught up from being gone for two weeks, I am going to order one for my cousins in Alaska.
I do hope that you and Paul will stop and see us next time you venture to Seattle. We can plan to enjoy Happy Hour next door at Oliver’s Twist!
My best to you.
Now, on to the reason for writing this post. My offer of guest speaking. I love it!! I’ll come before your group if your group’s interests align with my subjects (they’re listed on this site), and if they do, we’ll do it. Just email me. In fact, even if you’re not sure we align, email me anyway. I tailor the talk to your people.
In the past few months, I’ve spoken before: the American Association of University Women (approximately 100) at Atlantic Resort, in Middletown, RI. Then there was my talk before nearly 100 of the Leisure Learning group at St. Luke’s church on Peirce St., East Greenwich. Next I did two Rotary presentations—before Bristol and then North Smithfield. Then, a three-office realtor group at Westminster Unitarian church on Kenyon Ave., in East Greenwich. Following that, I went before an OLLI group at the University of Rhode Island…and just last week, I spoke to seniors at Wingate Healthcare in Needham, Massachusetts. In between, I was a guest on Frank Prosnitz’s radio show out of Westerly.
What’s next? Probably Barrington Public Library and then a talk before a group that meets in a tavern in South Kingstown. I think I’m gonna love that one!
My intent? To go all over, giving folks the tools to live a fuller experience and protect themselves in home purchase/sale.
My “talks” are all on different topics. The one I did last was “Be Your Family’s Memory Keeper”—showing folks how they can use family photos and write original short stories (some a paragraph in length), as they become their own family’s version of Ancestry.com.
Many talks are about downsizing…condo-sizing…How folks can buy/sell to their best advantage. I tell them how to maximize their profits and avoid dangers. This topic is right for any age.
Before older groups, I talk on the theme: “We’re Not ‘Done’ Yet” whereby I suggest folks throw out the model that says after 55, we should sit on a shelf with all our talents and lifetime experience. I talk about the need to buck that mindset and go after whatever they want to do…just as I’ve done.
I show the product of my beliefs—the three books I’ve written in my third career (after teaching and real estate). I wrote columns for years that appeared in newspapers (Wall St. Journal, Providence Journal) but then went the next step and wrote these books. My two children’s books—Grandpa and the Truck, Books 1 and 2, reflect my longtime partner’s experiences traveling across America for thirty years.
I wrote Boomerrrang (released just this year) when I saw people being burned in real estate purchase/sale in our retirement home—Asheville, North Carolina. I wrote it to tell them about our many year experience searching for a home and living in the South and then our decision to return to Rhode Island and to show them how to maximize profit in home purchase/sale and warn them about pitfalls to avoid (again, see my book’s review from storeowner Marjie in beginning of this post.)
My books are available at all of my talks. Boomerrrang is also at Barrington Bookstore in Garden City and Barrington; Savoy Bookstore in Westerly; Malaprops in Asheville, NC; and at Amazon and Kindle (though if you order through my website—colleenkellymellor.com-I can personalize and autograph, per your directives on that site.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caleb Woodhouse,from Rhode Island, writes:
“Boomerrrang! What a great read. I am all admiration for your knowledge, your readiness to learn, your resourcefulness, and your great spunk…There’s loads of wisdom for me to gather about moving (if ever I should try), but I assure you I’ll not be a do-it-yourselfer.
***I appreciate his appreciation of the difficulty of being a realtor.
Beverly Clark of AAUW (American Association of University Women) who ran the recent Annual Authors’ Luncheon at Atlantic Resort in Middletown says:
“We all enjoyed your talk about your adventures… You had the audience in the palm of your hand…and shared your adventures so wittily….(You) added much humor to the afternoon.”
Phil Smith, former neighbor in Hamburg Crossing, North Carolina says:
“I finished your book. It was hard to put down. I sure enjoyed the book.”
The following is from an Ex-Pat Rhode Islander, weighing in on my mass emails:
Deedra Durocher lives in New Bern, NC, (husband considered living in Bat Cave, a town in North Carolina, because he thought it amusing for others to get mail from them there.) She likes Bern but misses Rhode Island’s chowdah and clamcakes, Del’s, Benny’s (but everyone does), NY System wieners, and especially misses being close to the ocean’s smells, sounds, and calming influence. (I get it, Deedra, I surely do.)
Dick Weaver of Asheville writes:
“Thank you for your book, Boomerrrang, Colleen. Both entertaining and thought-provoking. Love your style of writing like speaking from your heart.”
Cal Ellis of Rhode Island says:
“You are the epitome of competent, accomplished versatility. I do enjoy your wit and engaging articulation. Wishing you continued success with your speaking engagements and all the other ways you’re out in front.”
Alice and Rick Gebhart of Rhode Island say:
“This book is the best! My husband and I are reading it together as we are looking at a retirement/rental in the South. We came upon this book and can’t put it down. My husband is literally laughing out loud. Colleen’s humor and knowledge is a mix that can’t be compared.”
Christine Fitzgerald says:
“Book is filled with nuggets of useful information concerning buying and selling real estate…in a slew of very funny stories…some knee-slapping hysterical.”
Sharon and Rick Marcotte of Maine offer:
“Mellor offers a crash course in valuable information regarding realty transactions that you really want to know if you are considering this kind of a move.”
Diane D. offers:
“Fun read about the pitfalls author and her partner encountered while buying a retirement house in North Carolina. So descriptive, the reader will actually think they visited North Carolina! Recommended!!!”
What seems to be the common thread reaction? Folks love the HUMOR…HUMOR…HUMOR in Boomerrrang (and the helpful advice).
Please–Feel free to add your own review….Thank you! And contact me for guest speaking before your group. We WILL have fun!!!
So, buy Boomerrrang, here, on this website (there’s a pay link and if you click on it, it gives you choices as to Paypal or credit card); or at Amazon (book version or Kindle); or at Barrington Books in Barrington or Garden City, Cranston; or at Savoy Bookstore in Westerly.
I spent 8 years as a professional realtor. It was heady, indeed, since I’d left the profession of teaching, after 30 years, at a top salary of $43,000. In my 5th year, as realtor, I made six figures and continued that trend, only leaving when I determined to realize my life goal of becoming a writer. Why was I so successful? I gave excellent service to clients and protected them from situations that could’ve impacted them terribly–if they followed my advice.
In that role, I helped folks buy and/or sell homes, and I have to say: Almost no one in the public understands how realtors work; how they’re paid; or even more important, to whom they owe their loyalties.
Why do I say this? Buyers going around to Open Houses meet a realtor or they call one whose name is on a sign and then they meet for the showing and think “Yeah, she’s nice…I’m sure I can trust her.” They never understand that realtor is exclusively working FOR the seller…representing the seller’s interests (unless in a state like Florida, where almost all realtors are Transactional Brokers–I’ll explain those later.)
Here’s your first lesson: It’s got nothing to do with how nice or friendly that realtor appears to you.
That realtor’s sole fiduciary (remember that crazy term) responsibility is to the seller
That means they’re never gonna suggest ways that will improve your position; they won’t negotiate in your favor; they won’t offer professional tips to help protect you (i.e. “Well, this home is on well water, so I suggest a water quality test to rule out problems there.”)
Nope, you’re on your own. Their only professional responsibility to the public is to be honest and forthright, but even that means, as buyer, you’ve got to know the questions to ask.
So, do yourself a favor and get yourself a good Buyer Broker…
In another post I’ll tell you my recommendation for choosing one.
Clue: It won’t be how others tell you to choose and it certainly won’t be how the current ads on TV tell you to choose a realtor. Nope–Most of those agents have paid for this form of advertising.
Stay tuned to my blog posts and my soon-to-come podcasts….This is important.
***Collleen Kelly Mellor’s book Boomerrrang will soon be ready for purchase. In this, she recounts her husband’s and her actual experience buying a home in North Carolina (while keeping their Rhode Island home); living there, in that trendy retirement town for almost ten years; and why they left. But throughout, she weaves her realtor knowledge, enabling them to successfully self-sell that home, saving thousands. Such shared knowledge will be a prescriptive for others.
My book–Boomerrrang (2 Boomers Find and Leave Their Dream Retirement Home) will be ready soon. I’ve had a couple of readers get back to me with their impressions. It’s being formatted properly. And some people are patiently waiting–folks who asked “When’s it going to be ready, because we’re going on our own retirement home search soon? We’d like to use your journey as a guide.”
All readers will merit from the advice I offer as two who lived almost ten years in a town consistently named one of America’s top retirement towns. We didn’t just casually choose it, either; we spent years searching for the place we felt was “just right.”
Now, I offer my advice as a six-figure realtor for those who want to buy wisely….not like some who bought blind and lived to regret it. Some lost their entire nest egg–the money they saved over a lifetime.
Where’d we end up? I think you’ll be surprised to hear.
So, stay tuned. I’ll be doing public talks, too, designed to inform you before you buy.
See the little buddy in the photo? One of the remarkable aspects of the western North Carolina region we settled in–white squirrels. He and his buddies live at the music school in Brevard, NC. It would appear that North Carolinians (of all stripes) have good taste.
In this book, I’ll tell how we chose our community; what to watch out for, when buying; particular challenges in the South for Northerners; how we sold by ourselves (saving approximately $17,000); on and on. There’s lots of humor in the mix, as well.
The biggest plus: You can use my tips for buying and/or selling anywhere–even in Rhode Island.
A Letter to my grandchildren (one of many in my campaign to keep connection, while they’re so far away….)
Dear Luke, Sam, and Finn…
Our home is light-filled and it just seems “happy.” I’ve lived here for 27 years and Grandpa has lived here for 16 years (he moved in and took care of me when I became sick.) But Grandpa and I have been together for 26 years in all….
I love my house…the back gardens where we put the troll house, the arbors, the plants…the trees…the bird feeders…the pool—the scene of the “Great Dolphin Races.,” when you boys came to visit and race the inflatable dolphins in the pool.
Anyway, I think the house is magical because I think it was “supposed” to be my house. I’ll tell you why….
When I first bought this house, I was told I lost it—that another person had come in with a higher bid—AFTER the realtor told us our offer had been accepted (two other people wanted this house.) I was so angry. We had offered full price- with no conditions.
After a couple of days of bitter disappointment, I got the call that said this house was ours after all. An amazing thing happened. The guy who tried to buy couldn’t get financing (the money.) So, we won the house.
When we moved into this new house, my mother (remember—the one whose grave I brought you to last summer– your Mom’s Nana) gave me a fancy plate she’d bought in an antique shop. The plate had wheat fronds in the background. There were two children in the picture—one a girl of about 16 and a smaller child of about 6 (so—a ten-year gap in ages of siblings. Sound familiar?). The wheat fronds on the plate were identical to the wallpaper all through our new house. Another thing? I’d never seen wallpaper like that anywhere but in this house.
Occasionally, in the house where your Mom grew up (and later Amanda, too), we used to have “theme dinners” such as Japanese night, etc. That’s when the kids HAD to dress like the ethnic group whose food we were celebrating. On this occasion, I believe Mom’s friend Rachel joined us (she was at our home a lot). Your Mom (in pic at top of this post), dressed in a floral sheet, wrapped around, with her hair and face done up like a Geisha. Amanda was dressed as small Asian child, too….And we all had to use chopsticks.
So, look at the plate my Mom bought as house gift before she’d ever seen our new home..The figures on it look like your Mom and Amanda and the wheat fronds look like the wallpaper of the new house.
I swear: when I saw this plate, it gave me chills.
Today, the wallpaper is gone and the walls are painted. But I will always remember how this house came to be mine and how it reflects your Mom and Amanda.
I believe houses can be happy and spirit-filed, just as I believe some houses are sad and they take on the troubled personalities of their inhabitants. In fact, I even think some houses are evil and that doubtless is the theme of many a horror story (I’m thinking author Stephen King here cuz he’s written that type of thing in his books.) By the way, your Mom tried to meet the horror writer once, when we were on vacation at Key West and he was staying at the same resort. She had just won a big award in our city—the top essay contest, and since he was a writer, she wrote him a short note, asking to meet him. He never responded.
That was a pretty interesting trip, for your Mom and I were out (she was 12 or 13), walking along a street in Key West when all of a sudden, a torrent of rain came down from ???, a storm that cause flood waters to rush down the street, and the bamboo blinds in the restaurants swung out in the wind. We took off our shoes so they wouldn’t get destroyed and we waded through knee-high waters. We were laughing. It was quite the time.
In fact, I bought a Japanese silk jacket on that trip that I still have today (it’s in pic) it. It looks like the one the girl is wearing on the plate.
Look closely at the plate…Do you see the child searching in the field of wheat fronds? (Maybe it’s younger sister Amanda? While Kerry looks on. )
P.S. Your Dad is below in one pic, holding one twin in front of wallpaper wheat fronds. Whose top of a little head is in front of first photo of Mom, pg. 1? Clue….She’s got red hair and is pretty young.
How many of you (honestly, now) know what a Superfund site is? And how many of you know that Rhode Island has 12 designated sites (the “Dirty Dozen.”) But 200 more are named as “toxic sites.”
Yep, that’s the big, scary elephant in the room, in all real estate transactions…..The one that most would-be buyers of property do not even know about. Buyers confront even more risk if they buy out-of-state or in regions of even their own state which which they’re unfamiliar.
Picture above shows a a toxic underground plume heading towards residential area, right out of Asheville. The EPA has done testing that shows high levels of TCE, a substance known to cause cancer. People in the area most at risk? Those whose water is from wells. But the air shows sign of vapor toxicity, too.
The nearby,gated community of $700,000 homes suffer from what’s now general knowledge. Why? They’re right next door to that Superfund site.
Will it affect their ability to sell? You betcha, for people like me do know about Superfund sites. And I am most concerned with the health of my family, friends, and myself, as well as my investment.
In my book, “The Asheville Experiment,” I show how Paul and I could have been hapless victims like those who lost life savings, because they didn’t realize. It happens all the time–across the nation.
So, get ready. I’ll give you lots of useful tips from my years as highly-successful realtor. My book, “The Asheville Experiment,” will be the best bang for your buck–I guarantee it.
Sign on to get advance notice for a copy and get one for friends/relatives who will move. You couldn’t give them a better book to protect them in what is arguably their biggest investment–their home.
And pls., consider coming to my TedTalk at Salve Regina University, on March 25th. I post the link to facilitate you in getting tickets.