• Valuable Organization and Selling Tool

July 06, 2018

Most likely, your house is your most valuable asset, so why not do the most you can for keeping it in great shape?  This Book Pic, Read This…About My House is a perfect tool to keep track of everything about your house so that you can do just that.

According to HGTV, there are certain projects that pay off over time and help you get the most money for your home when you sell it.

Under $10,000:

•    Bathroom update - fresh paint, replace shower doors, new knobs and towels
•    Landscaping - sod, seasonal flowers, enhanced home entry
•    Kitchen refresher - paint walls and cabinets, new knobs and pulls, new countertop
•    Curb appeal - paint/replace front door, repair stairs, bricks, concrete, add container plants
•    Window replacement - update look with weather resistant triple pane glass

$10,000 to $40,000

•    Kitchen overhaul - replace appliances, seating, cabinets, lighting
•    Bathroom overhaul - replace tub, toilet, lavatory, cabinets, tile, lighting, closet
•    Patio, screened-in porch or deck addition - new furniture, rugs, pillows
•    Attic conversion - flooring, ceiling, lighting, furniture, new insulation
•    New room addition - basement, office, bedroom TV room, play room

Projects like these can include a lot of pesky details, and this “guided journal” will help you organize all of those things such as installation dates, contractors and paint chip colors.  It is a place to track the history of all repairs, renovations and maintenance.  Via customized worksheets you will be able to set a baseline value for your home and track the value of any improvements you make.

On a personal note, I am very excited to use this journal, number one, because with owning two houses, things get confusing.  My husband tends to take care of everything regarding the house because he’s good at it and being a realtor, he is in touch with house maintenance people on a regular basis.  So when I get involved, I have no information and usually cannot answer any repairman’s question.

The “Emergency Shut Offs” page is a God-send for me.  It will be handy when repairmen come, not to mention in an emergency!  The gas shut off valve location could certainly save a life.

If your home is where the heart is, you will love the chapter on “Why I Built or Bought This House.”  I think it is important for children and other family members to know the history of your home when you are gone.  Filling out the pages on why you purchased the home and all the challenges and successes you have had will be helpful to them as well as providing a legacy.  Our hope is that our lake house remains in our family for generations, and this book will be treasured by our descendants, not only in a practical sense, but also from a historical sense.

Names and contact info of contractors, architects and developers help keep you organized as well as whomever owns the house when you no longer do.  And dates when you completed certain renovations and why are invaluable.  We think we will remember things, but after a few years, it is very probable that we will forget.

Room by room descriptions including paint colors and wallpaper names are included in the book.  Interior contractors are good to have recorded as well as landscapers and details about what is planted.  There is so much to owning a house - it gets overwhelming.  And what better way to feel organized than this book?!  Your children and future owners will thank you, and you will rest easy with peace of mind.

Keep this journal in a handy place!  The authors recommend adding paper-clips or sticky notes to the worksheets so you can flip to them quickly.  These are the key to keeping track of all of your hard work in organizing, maintaining and improving your home.

Can you tell I am high on this book?  I am!  I am passionate about information, and being organized with it is a gift to yourself and a gift to others.  Realtors should give this as a gift to all of their customers!  I highly recommend this book for anyone and it's available on Amazon.


Christy Howard

Christy and Annie Presley co-author the Read This…™ series of guided journals. Much of Christy’s input for their first book, Read This…™ When I’m Dead, was shaped by the actions her own mother took while waging a battle (now 37 years) to survive a lifethreatening illness. Subsequent books in their series, Read This…™ On Our Anniversary for couples to fill out and Read This…™ On Your Birthday for an adult to fill out about a loved child, were inspired by warm family traditions and a desire to make it simple and fast for people to capture life’s treasures. Their fourth book, Read This…™ About My House to chronicle home renovations and maintenance, is due out in September 2017.

Christy’s career in Kansas City ranged from practicing real estate and environmental law to management positions at Hallmark in finance, risk management, marketing & development, and human resources – and then to humanitarian work globally. She coauthored her first book in the late 1990’s – The Environmental Due Diligence Handbook published by Government Institutes. When Christy left Hallmark in 1998 to raise her daughter, she remained on-call for special projects for nearly 10 years during which time she benchmarked with Fortune 100 companies, led an analysis to revitalize the longstanding Beliefs and Values and co-led a corporate-wide team to develop the Global Crisis Response Plan, which was put into practice on 9/11.

Later, in her position as Director of Corporate Communications with Children International, she found herself inspired by people doing their utmost to help end global poverty, and also by the families and the children themselves who strive daily to escape the relentless traps of poverty. Christy spoke to groups at the United Nations and met with government officials in countries as far away as Zambia. The mothers she met earned her undying respect.

Christy has served on boards and committees for various non-profits. She loves to spend time with her family, and takes every opportunity to travel. Her favorite activities include water sports, biking in the woods, hiking and horseback riding.

Annie Presley

In 2014, Annie and co-author Christy Howard launched ACE Publishing LLC and published their first book, Read This…™ When I’m Dead. Annie’s desire to change the conversation about death and dying resulted from her mother’s unexpected death when Annie was 12. Annie and Christy have released two additional books in their guided journal series, Read This…™ On Our Anniversary and Read This…™ On Your Birthday. Their fourth book, Read This…™ About My House, is due out in September 2017.

A serial entrepreneur, Annie founded McKellar Christy and Annie Presley co-author the Read This…™ series of guided journals. Much of Christy’s input for their first book, Read This…™ When I’m Dead, was shaped by the actions her own mother took while waging a battle (now 37 years) to survive a life-threatening illness. Subsequent books in their series, Read This…™ On Our Anniversary for couples to fill out and Read This…™ On Your Birthday for an adult to fill out about a loved child, were inspired by warm family traditions and a desire to make it simple and fast for people to Group, a professional fundraising company, in 1993 after selling her first business, Legal Assistance Inc., in 1989. Throughout her career, AP dabbled in high-octane politics including a successful stint as National Deputy Finance Director at Bush for President in Austin, Texas during the 2000 campaign. Following his inauguration in January 2001, she served as Vice President and Director of Government Affairs and Charitable Giving at UBS in New York City.

Homesick as a result of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, she returned to Kansas City in 2004 and revitalized McKellar as a consulting entity highlighting new lobbying skills and utilizing Wall Street financial tools. McKellar designed advanced fundraising and political strategies for non-profits and select political candidates, helping them raise over $600 million by deploying her “Art and Science of Fundraising” strategy. In 2011, she joined the global law firm, Bryan Cave, to accelerate its public policy practice in the Midwest, joining 25 others in the group. By 2014, ACE Publishing was born!


As a result of her work in both the public and private realms, AP has served on numerous boards in industry from Los Angeles to New York City. Currently she serves UMKC as a Trustee and recently joined the national Care for Children board.

Annie earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her Masters in Public Administration from the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She and her husband, Jay Selanders, spend their free time with family and friends. She also plays golf, tennis, reads, paints and recently began piano lessons.

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