Welcome to our news page!

Here, you'll find useful and fun news related to the world of real estate. We'll share market trends, news unique to Aspire and more.

 With a focus on community and helping Central Arkansas be a  better place to live, work, and play, our No. 1 goal at Aspire is  serve you and make your home selling or buying dreams come a  reality.

Dec. 15, 2017

Home For The Holidays - Regi & Oz!

Regi and Jeremy

Regi, Jeremy & Oz 

 

There are many things about Christmas that make this season so special to all of us.  Certainly, spending time with dear family & friends are the most precious.  For our own Regi Ott, her sweet little Oz brings her some of the most Joy during this Christmas season!

 

Oz, an 8 year old Yorkipoo, is Regi & Jeremy's 'first born'.  Pictured above is Oz's first Christmas with the Ott's back in 2010 as a 9 month old.  Regi loves to dress him up in festive Christmas attire and on this very first Christmas, she bought him an outfit that didn't quite fit.  Like any other Mom, she managed to get the perfect pic before allowing Oz to get back to his 'comfy clothes'.

 

'Everyone had a stocking including Jeremy, my dad, me, & Oz!" says Regi.  Oz continues to be a momma's boy and Regi's constant shadow.  We at Aspire Realty Group know Oz to be a very sweetly spoiled member of the Ott family!

 

Merry Christmas Aspire Friends!

 

  

 

 

 

Dec. 11, 2017

Home for the Holidays - Colleen's Nativity Set

Colleen's nativity

    Chris, Carly, Colleen, & Chad Michaelis

 

We all have that one special thing we lovingly display at Christmas that make our homes extra special!  Nothing quite compares to revisiting those keepsakes that elicits all the wonderful feelings and memories the Holiday Season brings to each and every one of us!  

Colleen Michaelis shares that one of her most prized decorations to display each Christmas is her Nativity Set.  While her Grandmother resided at a nursing home during the last year of her life, the nuns there created these beautiful porcelain pieces.  Colleen's parents had the nuns make these for her family and her Dad custom made the manger himself! 

"True Labor of Love!" Colleen says, and adds "Every year when we take it out, not only is it special because of the wonderful meaning with the birth of Jesus, but also the labor of love behind it."  How truly special indeed!

 

Merry Christmas Aspire Friends!

 

    Colleen kids & set

  Carly & Chad with their Grandfather & their special Nativity Set

 

Oct. 30, 2017

Peace by Piece: Meet Vicki Kovaleski, a 14 Year Breast Cancer Survivor!

 

"BELIEVE YOUR BODY!"

Says Vicki Kovaleski, and as a 14 year breast cancer survivor, not only does she believe in regular exams, she also believes in giving back to those in need! 

 

Those who know Vicki knows what a ray of sunshine she brings to each room she enters.  Always smiling, always a kind word, many times with a clever wit, and always finding ways to help others in need.  She and her husband, Tom,  also enjoy playing tennis and as she has been gifted many joys and challenges in her life, she "Plays with Gratitude" and it shows on and off the court! 

When Vicki says 'believe your body', she explains before her diagnosis, she had a nagging tingling in her left breast on occasion, and at times extremely intense.  They prompted her to schedule a mammogram which ultimately led to diagnosis and the dreaded treatment process.  Along with a full mastectomy and reconstructive surgeries, she suffered the pains of chemotherapy treatment.  Her 5 year stent with oral chemotherapy led to other complications.  She shared she once had 12 screws in her left hand from compromised bone density due to her disease and treatment.  Vicki clearly understands the full scope of the challenges each breast cancer victim faces and the havoc the disease creates.

 

Vicki, along with her dear friend and fellow breast cancer survivor, Evelyn Menz, have created and run a support group called FAITHFUL FRIENDS.  Vicki reminds us that not only do these women deal with a medical disease, but many must also deal with the harsh realities of life.  From spousal abandonment, helping family and friends understand, to dealing with financial issues, Vicki and Evelyn meet monthly with participants of their group to provide a venue for each member to share their stories and help each other learn they are not alone. If you or anyone you know need the help of Faithful Friends, please contact the Aspire Realty Group and we will get you coonnected!!

 

Vicki is also a well known artist.  Specializing in watercolor, she has traveled across the country showcasing her work and giving talks to numerous groups and organizations.  Vicki has found a way use this gift to give back to breast cancer victims and survivors, by creating art pieces to be printed on note cards and available for purchase.  First of her series was called 'Sisterhood' and new series called 'Peace By Piece' in card form.  Vicki has helped  to raise over $15,000 with the sale of these cards. The Peace by Piece cards are still available for purchase.  visit www.Kovaleskistudios.com or call the Aspire Realty group to learn how!

 

Few of the "Peace by Piece" series

 

 

Oct. 30, 2017

Meet Donna Graham! Early detection meant no chemo!

 

It was in early March when I had my yearly dreaded mammogram.  The doctor said I had some calcifications that were probably nothing to worry about and that I could either have a biopsy (the needle biopsy wouldn’t work because of the array of the calcifications) or I could wait six months and have another mammogram for comparison.  There seemed to be no urgency so I left deciding that I would wait six months.  

 

When I was driving out of the parking lot, I called my best friend Patty in Colorado.  She was a breast cancer survivor and had insisted I call her immediately after my appointment. I told her that I had decided to wait six months.  She quickly told me that I wasn’t waiting six months and that I needed to call the office right back and tell them that I wanted to schedule the biopsy.  Her insistence made me question my initial decision, so I did as she said.  Best friends have your back even when you don’t know you need them. 

 

I had a follow-up appointment prior to the scheduled biopsy for Dr. Abrams to share the procedure along with the possible risks.  As we were finishing up the visit, she asked if there were any other concerns.  That last, and in this case, most important question!  As a matter of fact, there was another little issue, which I thought was most insignificant.  I traveled with my job and the seat belt of the vehicles (rented ones most of the time) was rubbing the nipple of my left breast and it seemed a little tender, dry and scaly.  I have had eczema as long as I could remember, so I thought the dry skin was just another eczema patch like I had often experienced.  I noticed her raised eyebrows as she examined the area.  She off-handedly said that she would also biopsy that area, too. 

My daughter is a physician so I was relaying what had transpired and she had twenty questions about how long this had been on my nipple, why hadn’t I told her, etc.   Being a somewhat prudish person, it’s not a topic that I would have initiated because I just thought it was a dry patch of skin – which just happened to be on my nipple.  While we were having lunch, she said, “Now, Mom, if this comes back malignant, just lop them off!!!  It is not worth the risk to your life!”  I thought, at that moment, that was a pretty drastic comment.  

 

When I met with Dr. Abrams to get the results, I had already contemplated the worst case scenario. Although cancer is not my daughter’s specialty, she is an intelligent doctor and I value her opinion.  So I was ready – or as ready as you can be!!!  I wasn’t sure what the news would be, but I thought I was prepared!  My mother was a breast cancer survivor which I knew increased my odds.  When Dr. Abrams said Paget’s Disease, I had no idea what she was talking about!  The calcifications were insignificant but the scaly patch on the nipple was a rare type of cancer. Though I had my questions written down, this had thrown my game plan a bit and I shifted to a new set of questions more geared to the diagnosis.  We discussed a mastectomy - and then a double.  When she told me that the odds increased significantly every year of reoccurrence, I didn’t ponder long.  Having a math background with teaching and then sales management, the decision was clear.  I would have a double mastectomy!  Right after I got back from a Hawaiian vacation that had been planned for a year! 

 

Because we found it early, I was blessed with not having to have chemo or radiation.  I had watched my sister with brain cancer and my mother with breast cancer endure those treatments and I felt blessed and relieved. I am so thankful for my friend Patty who didn’t let me put this off, my daughter who knew what the outcome would be and coached me to make wise decisions, and my mother and sister who had both battled cancer and had shown me what it was like to be brave in a health crisis. 

April 28, 2017

Aspire's Allison Baker earns special designation

Allison Baker, an Aspire Realty Group agent, has been awarded the prestigious Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designation by the Council of Residential Specialists, the largest nonprofit affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Realtors® who receive the CRS Designation have completed advanced professional training and demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in residential real estate. Only 32,000 Realtors® nationwide have earned the credential. Out of more than 1 million Realtors®, fewer than 3 percent are Certified Residential Specialists.

Home buyers and sellers can be assured that CRS Designees subscribe to the strict Realtor® code of ethics, have been trained to use the latest tactics and technologies and are specialists in helping clients maximize profits and minimize costs when buying or selling a home.

“I strive to be the best I can be for my existing clients and future clients. This designation further helps me fulfill their home-buying and home-selling needs. I look forward to what's to come," Allison says. 

March 31, 2017

Meet Aspire's Amy Bush

You may see us out and about posting for sale signs in yards and making people’s home dreams a reality. Or you may see us at various events, fulfilling our civic commitments and helping to make our community a better place to live and work. We invite you to get to know us a little better. Who knows, perhaps you’ve been wondering the answers to these very questions!

 

Meet Amy Bush

 

 

In the real estate industry for more than seven years, Amy works hard to provide her clients with attention to their needs and wants. Since the fall, she has been part of the Holly Driver Team at Aspire Realty Group. 

 

Born and raised in Little Rock and a Little Rock Central High School graduate, Amy’s love and passion for the Capital City grows deep. When she was small, she dreamed of being a successful businesswoman in her community. Now, she enjoys sharing her love of Little Rock with her clients, she says.

 

Her favorite spot in Little Rock is the Heights. “I love the shopping and eateries available,” she says.

 

In the car, we could find her jamming to Ed Sheeran Radio.

 

Her four children – with one in college at the U of A in Fayetteville – motivate her to get going every day and tackle each day with positive force.

 

Beach or mountains? “The beach.”

 

Favorite season and why? “Spring to see all the new growth blooming and hear the birds singing.”

 

Jan. 19, 2017

Staging Tips

Staging your home is a key part in the selling process and can increase the odds of closing the deal.

Some good advice from realtytimes.com states: "If you have a distinctive decorating style – whether it's Tuscan, shabby chic or modern – you're going to need to scale it back a bit. If you don't, your home will appeal to the small percentage of potential buyers who love your chosen style. Staging is about strategic editing and depersonalizing, rather than decoration and personalizing."

Aspire co-owner Mitsy Tharp says a little staging can do wonders for getting the top dollar for your home and getting it sold in the timeframe you desire. Proper staging can make the potential buyer forget about the outdated fixtures and features they may not like, she says. Their attitude can shift from "no way, no how" to "not perfect, yet I really like that pool and backyard."

It's important to remember that a house with furniture generally shows better than a vacant house, Aspire co-owner Lisa Leggett says. "When staging, it is not necessary to do the whole house. Stage key rooms – living room, master bed room, etc. – and any areas that may be difficult for a buyer to visualize. This could be an office, a bonus room or an odd shaped room."

The realtytimes article goes on to say, "Strive to stage your space with a current and fresh feel. Use updated neutrals on the walls and furnishings that are clean-lined and simple. Punches of color are great; just use them sparingly. A room arranged symmetrically and centered on the architecture reads as peaceful – one of those important aesthetics every buyer is drawn to."

Dec. 16, 2016

Meet Aspire's Karyn Wortsmith

You may see us out and about posting for sale signs in yards and making people’s home dreams a reality. Or you may see us at various events, fulfilling our civic commitments and helping to make our community a better place to live and work. We invite you to get to know us a little better. Who knows, perhaps you’ve been wondering the answers to these very questions!

Meet Karyn Wortsmith

A brand new agent and loving it, Karyn Wortsmith is originally from Anaheim, Calif., but was raised in Harrison. She’s worked with her sister, Diana Blount, at Aspire for about six months. 

Karyn moved to Central Arkansas 28 years ago to attend the University of Central Arkansas. She married Little Rock native Keith Wortsmith and they have happily resided here and raised their three daughters.

Her favorite Little Rock spot is her home. In fact, it’s not just her favorite spot here, it’s her favorite spot anywhere she is.

As a girl she dreamed of becoming a nurse so she could help people. “I went to college to pursue my dreams, but quickly discovered I would have to help people in another capacity. I graduated with an early childhood education degree and had the honor and privilege of helping little people for many years.”

To get her motivated throughout the day, Karyn enjoys listening to KLOVE in the car. “I love the positive, encouraging songs and messages.”

Karyn lives every day to the fullest. “What gets me out of bed every day is the promise of a new day and all that it may hold is enough inspiration for me to eagerly get out of bed.”

When she’s not busy working, Karyn enjoys traveling, reading, photography, interior design and party planning.

Beach or mountains: “I’m 100 percent a beach girl! I can’t stand being cold and I adore the sunshine!”

Favorite season: “Summer has been my favorite season as long as I can remember because it’s the most fun season and I always get to spend more time with my family during the summer.”       

 

Nov. 29, 2016

Meet Aspire's Lisa Leggett

You may see us out and about posting “for sale” signs in yards and making people’s home dreams become a reality. Or you may see us at various events, fulfilling our civic commitments and helping to make our community a better place to live and work. We invite you to get to know us a little better. Who knows, perhaps you’ve been wondering the answers to these very questions!

Meet Lisa Leggett

Lisa, wife of co-owner Mark Leggett, has been in real estate for seven years and with Aspire Realty Group since its beginning in March 2014.

She moved here from Texas as a little girl and has called the Natural State home ever since. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” she says. “Central Arkansas is my home.”

Lisa’s favorite Little Rock spot is anywhere her children are playing sports – Catholic High School to watch her older son; Central High School to watch her daughter cheer for Pulaski Heights Middle School; and the soccer fields to watch her daughter and younger son play soccer. 

When she was a girl, Lisa dreamed of becoming an attorney. She was accepted to law school but deferred so she could work a year. “I got a job in advertising producing television commercials and never looked back.”

Lisa says she loves all kinds of music, but we could often find her listening to praise and worship music, which keeps her grounded, she says. “I also listen to pop music, country and 80s music.”

Family is what motivates her every day to get out of bed and attack the day. “My life is centered on them.”

Beach or mountains? “BEACH ... no question!”

Favorite season and why? “Summer … I love the relaxed atmosphere that summer brings, meaning more time with the kids and less demands on our family's schedule.”  

 

Nov. 18, 2016

Meet Aspire's Mark Leggett

You may see us out and about posting for sale signs in yards and making people’s home dreams a reality. Or you may see us at various events, fulfilling our civic commitments and helping to make our community a better place to live and work. We invite you to get to know us a little better. Who knows, perhaps you’ve been wondering the answers to these very questions!

Meet Mark Leggett


Mark with wife Lisa, also with Aspire, and their children.

This Aspire Realty Group co-owner has been in real estate for more than seven years. Born and raised in Little Rock, he says he chooses to live and work here because he “would feel lost anywhere else.”

He loves so many places and hot spots in Little Rock, but is just as happy to be in Aspire’s Hillcrest office. “It’s a great place to hang out,” he says. And the place can really come to life on many occasions such as for fun activities surrounding First Thursday in Hillcrest.

When he was a boy, Mark dreamed of becoming a professional football player.

In the car, we could catch Mark listening to a wide variety of music – hip-hop, country, 70s, 80s, top 40 – “whatever doesn’t have a commercial playing on the radio and doesn’t put me to sleep.”

His three “charming kids and lovely wife” motivate him to get out of bed every day. “Oh, and the bill collectors,” he says, smiling.

Beach or mountains? “I prefer the mountains, but since my wife prefers the beach, you see where that's going.”

Favorite season and why? “Spring is my favorite, but fall is a close second. Those both provide the perfect Jeep weather; driving on a cool sunny day with the top off is invigorating and awesome!”