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Mother In-Law Sweet

Mother In-Law Sweet

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, who my kids refer to as Grandma Bette, and my Mother In-Law, Lola Virgie.  Yep, that’s my mom in the pigtails and me as a carefree blonde! And of course, Happy Mother’s Day to all you Sweet Moms and the Fur Baby Moms.  Mother’s Day is all about you! We are having our Mother’s Day celebration at Brio.  I’ll do a Jeff’s Journal feature on the best places for Father’s Day next, so please send me suggestions at[email protected]  if you love where you had brunch or dinner.  Perhaps there will be a little gift for your dad if I use it!

But today’s JJ is about Mom.  Moms are the most important part of a home. Think of Mom’s home cooking.  Mmmm. Stay at home Moms for the little ones. They have even named a room after Mom. The Mother In-Law Suite. PC has changed the official mls field to Maid/In-Law suite. Guest houses, Granny Flats and 2 primary suites also suffice for the Mother in-law Suite.

Mother-in-law suites became popular in the early 1900’s when caring for agent parents was the societal norm. As we are in the mist of boomers living longer lives and kids not getting out as fast due to less supply of homes, extended families will be living together longer. Plus with more folks working from home, we need that separate space.

If you really want to be a good child, you purchase a home with a Mother In-Law Suite or a guest home…. Search here!

Mother In-Law suites though are not always used for Mom. One of our agents, Homaira Mangal showed a home once that was a kitty litter room (with carpet). It had 5 kitty litter stations. Staging tip:   If you have 5 cats do not turn the carpeted room into a kitty litter room. If you must at least use the tile floors. The cat house generally doesn’t show well.

Speaking of cats, I once showed a “cathouse” home where the showing instructions where to not sit on the S&M equipment. I was actually doing some pro bono work for a family therapist friend who was a Buddhist and looking for a Buddhist temple. I called to make sure the Buddhists wouldn’t be offended. Being Buddhists they were not. There were bizarre, mirrored rooms, spinning wheels, bird cages, and all sorts of perplexing devices. Suffice to say, the Buddhists passed on the S&M house.


Other Mom rooms that have been used for supplementary uses other than Mom include hunting trophy head rooms (I passed on that listing as 50 heads in a room was just too much), toy train rooms, gun rooms, art rooms, car rooms, arcade rooms. and even a 3,000 square foot toy soldiers’ room. One friend of our family got into collecting trains 🚂 when he received  a gift from his dad when he was six years old. That fascination grew into collecting that eventually took over the study and other parts of the house. Rather than move the house from the station, he built a 25 x 25 train room! Every type of train imaginable from European to American to train stations and little people are featured. Even the entranceway is a working bridge.

Secret rooms come into play as well. I had one in PGA National that had 40 phone jacks and a private passage to a saferoom. One mansion owner in a local luxury club was a collector of rare valuables. Everything from the first quarter minted to the most significant baseball cards. You needed a James Bond finger scanner just to enter one room and a passcode to get into the Bond room.

One of our agents, Debbie Gross is dually licensed in the state of Georgia. Debbie had a client who cremated the husband and put the ashes in a paint can. She then painted a room out of him. The husband literally lived on in the walls. When the house was put on the market, the Seller had to talk to an attorney regarding whether she needed to disclose this. The attorney said yes. The owner even threw in a certificate to Phoenix and Dragon–  an Atlanta store that specializes in keeping away the spirits!

Debbie also had Georgia clients once buying a home and the inspection period was ending. At that time, the inspection period did not end at Midnight as it was at 8pm that day.  Debbie’s buyers were dragging their feet on what to ask for inspection repairs. Then the wife goes into labor. Debbie has to call them while they are in the labor and delivery room. Debbie said to the husband that she knows that y’all are a little busy now but if you don’t tell me what you want to ask the seller for repairs, you are buying the house “as is”!  Well, Debbie got the deal done for the new Mom and Dad. After that, Debbie was known as “Debbie Delivers”.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Sweet Moms from all of us at Echo Fine Properties. 😊


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Jeff Lichtenstein, originally from Chicago, got his start in the home furnishings textile business where he traveled over 35 weeks a year selling fabrics. After the family business was sold, Jeff moved to Florida and became a real estate agent. Today he is the owner and broker of Echo Fine Properties, a luxury residential brokerage voted best brokerage of the year. Jeff manages a non-traditional model of real estate that mimics a traditional business model. Echo has 80 agents, an average of one million dollars per transaction and over 500 million in annual sales. Between traveling for work and annual family trips to national parks with his wife and 2 now adult children, Jeff has visited 49 states. He is also one of the few Chicago White Sox fans you’ll ever meet.  Some publications he has been quoted in.

Author of business & leadership book How Making a Sandwich Can Change Your World –  The Amazing Success of the PB&J Strategy – Available to Buy Now!

Feel free to ask him a question directly at [email protected] including a complementary  valuation of your home.

Posted in Open House Blog, Real Estate Tips on May 9, 2024 at 3:30 am.


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