Great Video: Digital Story of Christmas

We couldn’t resist!

This video has been making the rounds, and as of today has had more than TEN MILLION HITS on!



Did you know? 

The Oetkens have their own YouTube Channel.
You can view Virtual Tours of many of our listings, check out a tour of our home decorated for Christmas last year, and more.
We will also be posting video of TRAKKER‘s “Firsts” this year and other fun stuff.

Check it out at

Posted on December 2, 2011 at 11:42 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Browser’s Friends in Cougar Gulch

Browser wants to give a “Howl-Out” to our new friends in Cougar Gulch area.  We sold them this property last year, and we were so pleased to receive their Christmas Card last month.   Here are the pictures of their beautiful family enjoying Christmas in their new home!

We would LOVE to help you find your dream home!  With low interest rates, abundant choices, and  low prices, now is a great time to buy.

Let us help you Own The Lifestyle.

Visit Browser’s Photo Gallery of all his Friends on his Facebook Fan Page “Browser’s BFF’s

Posted on January 17, 2011 at 2:53 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser's Friends, Buyers, Coeur d'Alene, Cougar Gulch, Holidays, Home Ownership, Idaho, Kootenai County, Our Listings, Photographs, Pricing, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On The Level: Clever Christmas Card Display

This idea is from our friends at Hibbard Construction:

Fun and decorative, this is a great way to display your Christmas cards.  Use two-inch wide ribbon with the wire in it.  Tie a bow at one end and use a push pin or tack to affix the bow to the top of the window frame.  Gently pull ribbon taught and using a push pin or tack secure the ribbon to the bottom of the window frame.  As your Christmas Cards arrive, use a straight pin or staple to attach the cards to your ribbon.

Posted on December 22, 2010 at 1:20 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Holidays, home, Idaho, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

We’re giving away FREE TURKEYS: Do you know someone in need?

Turkeys to Give Away

A recent Windermere food drive produced such overwhelming community response that the Food Bank has approximately 100 turkeys that need to be given away as soon as possible.

If you know of someone who might need a free turkey, please call  like a turkey:

     ·        Please remember to come pick it up on Wednesday morning because we do not have a space to store the turkey for you.

Please call or e-mail us by 4PM Today!

Randy & Christy Oetken



Posted on December 21, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Coeur d'Alene, Free, Holidays, Windermere | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We Have What Santa Wants!

Here’s What Santa Likes, According to the National Association of Realtors and  But we’ve posted a few suggestions (after the Mag article…) that Santa should add to his Christmas Wish List! Daily Real Estate News  |  December 16, 2010  |  

Rooftop Deliveries: Santa Rates the crunched the numbers and determined the 20 top cities on Santa’s list.

According to Zillow, what makes Santa happy is:

· Percentage of homes with a fireplace (If there are fireplaces, there should be chimneys).

· Percentage of single-story homes (This presumes that Santa would prefer single-story homes so there’s less likelihood of a workplace injury).

· Weather (Snow and clear days are desirable, and rainy days are undesirable).

· Percent of homes with children (Santa enjoys spreading cheer to all the good girls and boys).




 Vintage 4620′ 4/3 Craftsman in Prestigious Historical Fort Grounds. Grace, Beauty, & Charm… all necessary ingredients in this creation. Architectually restored to preserve yesteryear’s beauty with all of today’s amenities.. Relax on the front porch & feel the tranquility as you gaze into the beautifully manicured grounds. Guest Quarters, shop & plenty of parking. Lake, park & downtown nearby.

 Lot size (A bigger lot often means a bigger roof and more room for Santa to land all those reindeer).

The top 10 Santa-pleasing cities were:

1. Colorado Springs, Colo.

2. Wichita, Kansas

3. Los Angeles

4. Dallas

5. Oklahoma City

6. El Paso, Texas

7. Minneapolis

8. Phoenix

9. Albuquerque

10. Denver

Source:, Whitney Tyner (12/14/2010)


Hey, Santa!  Come visit us when you’re done this year.  We’ll help YOU “Own The Lifestyle“!


Posted on December 17, 2010 at 3:45 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Coeur d'Alene, Downtown, Holidays, home, Idaho, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Market News, Real Estate, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Browser Says: Don’t Forget the Pup This Christmas!

Browser” is howling to all his Peeps:  Don’t forget the Doggie this year! 

And just ’cause he’s such a great guy, he’s found a great recipe site for you to sniff out.   Lots of really yummy “looking” things for your favorite four-legged friend.  They’d probably smell great, too!

He’d also like to do a little growling.  His life has been “no treat” for the past year.  Literally.  A year ago, he was hospitalized for pancreatitis. (We were really concerned about him for a couple of weeks, but he pulled through.)  Poor boy!  Now his diet is very restricted.  No more puppy treats for him…

Sometimes it just puts him in a “down-tail” mood.  If it weren’t for his Friends …and Going Outside…and Snow-Mobiling…his life would be so dull!

So bake up a batch of one of these Doggie Treats for someone you love.  (We’ve included a recipe below.)

And, some time soon, will you stop by our office to cheer up our old boy?

Cluck-A-Doodle-Doggie Treats


2 cups Flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons fresh, chopped parsley
1 cup cooked chicken livers, chopped



Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine flour and cornmeal in a bowl.  In a large bowl add the egg, oil and broth and mix.  Add the flour mixture about 1/3 at a time and mix well between additions.  Add chopped chicken livers until well incorporated into a stiff dough.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed for about 1 minute.  Roll out to a thickness of about 1/2″.  Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter dipped in flour.  Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake treats for about 15 minutes or until firm.
Storing Dog Treats
In general you should store dog treats the same way you would homemade people cookies.  That being said, there are two main variables that determine storage time – the amount and type of fat in the recipe and your local weather conditions.  If your recipe uses fats such as butter, or meat bits or juices then it will be more prone to rancidity than a recipe that uses some vegetable oil or shortening.  Your treats may mold or spoil much faster in humid or very hot climates. 
Refrigeration and Freezing –  Refrigeration will prolong the life of more fragile dog treats. Make sure to store in a tightly sealed container or zip lock bag.  You can also freeze most treats in zip lock freezer bags.  Allow to thaw completely before use.
Posted on December 15, 2010 at 11:11 am
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Browser, Holidays, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

We found this terrific list of Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays and thought you might appreciate it!

If you are interested in Buying or Selling during this Holiday Season, don’t hesitate to call us.  We can help!

By | Published: 11/07/2008

The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious, and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell, really. Once you’ve committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor.
  1. Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard.
    Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.
    Staging tips for the holidays
  2. Hire a reliable real estate agent.
    That means someone who will work hard for you and won’t disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a listing agent who will go above and beyond to get your home sold. This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.
    How to choose a great listing agent
  3. Seek out motivated buyers.
    Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.
    Learn why selling during the holidays is not all bad
  4. Price it to sell.
    No matter what time of year, a home that’s priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.
    Price low to sell high
  5. Make curb appeal a top priority.
    When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers’ safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.
    Tips for winter curb appeal
  6. Take top-notch real estate photos.
    When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.
    How to take better real estate photos
  7. Create a video tour for the Web.
    You’ll get less foot traffic during the holidays, thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don’t have time to physically see your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.
    10 tips for filming your own home tour video
  8. Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold.
    Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.
    Attract buyers with an inviting atmosphere
  9. Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing.
    Bah, humbug! Lenders are scrooges these days, but if you’ve got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.
    Learn more about owner financing
  10. Relax — the new year is just around the corner.
    The holidays are stressful enough, with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don’t sell now, there’s always next year, which luckily is only a few days away.
    Tips to ease your holiday selling stress
Posted on December 13, 2010 at 2:40 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Buyers, Holidays, Real Estate, Sell | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome to our Home…at Christmas

Especially during Christmas, our hearts long for the simpler days when a holiday was antipated not so highly for the piles of gifts, but simply for the chance to spend time with friends and loved ones.

Historians often tell of a bygone era, when Christmas was a day to receive visitors into our homes.  Hosts would “lay out”  an abundance of sweets and savories, ready to welcome their guests, and Townsfolk would promenade from house to house, greeting one and all, enjoying the food and the companionship of their friends and neighbors.

We’ve come a long way since those days.  And while we’re  a bit sad about the passing of such a warm tradition, we wondered if you might enjoy a tour of our home at Christmas?

We would offer you a cookie or a warm cup of Christmas Cheer if we could, but we do hope you’ll find yourself “at home” in our photo tour  – as well as in our hearts – this holiday season.

Welcome to our home. May the blessings of this Christmas Season be yours!

Posted on December 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Browser, Coeur d'Alene, Holidays, home, Idaho, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

REALTOR® Magazine-Daily News-No Foreclosures Over the Holidays

Daily Real Estate News  |  December 6, 2010  |  

No Foreclosures Over the Holidays
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are freezing all foreclosure evictions on the mortgage loans they own or back from Dec. 20 through Jan. 3.

“If the property is occupied, our foreclosure attorneys will suspend the eviction to provide a greater measure of certainty to families during the holidays,” says Anthony Renzi, executive vice president of single family portfolio management at Freddie Mac.

Most of the large banks, including Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, already observe a moratorium through the New Year, unless the foreclosure involves an investor who chooses not to observe the holiday policy.

Source: CNNMoney, Les Christie (12/03/2010)

Posted on December 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Foreclosures, Market News, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Crafty Ideas for Winter Curb Appeal: Home & Design: REALTOR® Magazine

We can’t help it!  It’s December 6 and Christmas is in the air!

Randy and Christy spent most of yesterday afternoon “sprucing” up some holiday pine swags (pun intended!) to deliver to clients who just purchased new homes. 

Since we’re in full Decorating Swing for the holidays, we thought we’d just pass along a few tips we learned yesterday afternoon.

It’s E-A-S-Y to make your own holiday swag, especially in our part of the world.  In fact, you may have all the materials you need in and around your home already.

Of course, this time of year, real (or “genuine imitation”) pine boughs, wreaths and swags are available almost anywhere – even in some grocery stores.  We suggest that you may save some $ by looking in your own yard.  Perhaps you have a tree or evergreen that could use a bit of trimming anyway!

Same goes for pine cones.  After you find them on your property, decorate with spray glitter or flocking material or maybe even a light dusting of white or metallic spray paint.

Next, raid your holiday wrapping center for ribbon, raffia, or bows, themed “picks” & ornaments to adorn your handiwork.  Get creative! Use your imagination and ingenuity to give your wreath or swag your personal touch.

We suggest using green florist’s wire to secure the pine boughs together into a pleasing arrangement.  Wired ribbon makes for quick and beautiful bows.  Other “mechanics” include use of glue guns and ornament hooks.

Keep in mind that decorating with evergreens is perfect any time of year.  If you’re careful with theme and colors, your handiwork could serve your outdoor decor needs well past the holiday season.

In the real estate business, we call furnishings and decor “staging”.  We all like to “stage” our homes for those ideal Christmas and New Year parties, for sure.  But have you thought about how to best stage your property to make it attractive for potential buyers?

As an Accredited Staging Professional, Christy Oetken can help you make the most of your home’s floor plan, color scheme, furnishings, and decor.  Put her to work for you today!

For other ideas on maximizing your property’s Curb Appeal during the Holidays and beyond, visit

Crafty Ideas for Winter Curb Appeal: Home & Design: REALTOR® Magazine.

Happy Decorating!
Randy, Christy & “Browser”

p.s. This picture of Christy and “Browser” was taken at our Coeur d’Alene home, above Coeur d’Alene’s Bennett Bay.

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 10:29 pm
Randy and Christy Oetken | Category: Activities, Browser, Coeur d'Alene, Free, home, Lake Coeur d'Alene, Staging | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,