Are you listening? Tuning out the distractions!

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

No, this is not about listening to people and understanding what they are saying, although it could be. What I am talking about is are you mindful of all the sounds around you?

Path in the woodsAs I was walking yesterday I realized several times how quiet it was, just the breath of a wind through the trees and there really was very little wind. The occasional sound of bird song or the flap of a wing beat. 

When we are showing homes, people often look at room sizes, views and if the house is close to a major road or train line they mention if the home is quiet or noisy inside or out. We let those sounds drown out others.

But sound comes in several different levels. Listening to a radio program some time ago, it was talking about soundscapes and how they are changing. By recording the soundscapes scientists can discover the loss of certain birds from the area as their songs disappear from the soundscape. There are multiple different levels, sounds close to you, those further away and those further away still and then also at different pitches. We often don't stop, to just listen.

Maybe, if you sit quietly, and just listen depending on the time of year you will hear insects, a frog or two, bird song, woodpeckers tapping, people conversing, equipment in the house or yards around you, cars and trucks, distant planes way above you. The wind in the trees and the shrubs around you. Trees creaking from the wind.

It is really amazing just how much sound there is around you and what you can hear and how far away you can hear if you just sit quietly and listen. Our brains actually tune many of these sounds out so we can get on with our work. When we used to be hunter-gatherers listening was much more important.

Doing this you also realize you can tune certain noise out and hear other sounds from different levels of the soundscape around you. You can mentally drop out the traffic white noise, and specifically listen to insects or birds or the wind.

When a house sits in a quiet area we often say to clients how quiet it is, but we can also listen and point out what other levels of sound there are other than just the annoying noise of every day life even in an urban soundscape. Who knows what you might hear?

We live in suburbia, Tredyffrin Easttown, close to a major city, Philadelphia and often hear the hoot of owls, the bark of a fox, the rustle as the deer munch on the tulips and other plants close to the house. It is actually amazing how much rustling goes on in the woods around our house, squirrels, birds and all sorts of other animals. If you listen, you might also see.

Sound is important, to much noise can be overbearing and deafen you to what else is going on around you. We all need periods of calm and peace.

Give it a try, you may like it, and it may help you when you listen to people as well, to understand what they say may not be what they mean, they are just speaking on another level of the soundscape and you need to tune in to them and tune out the distractions around you. If you are looking for a real estate agent in the Tredyffrin Easttown area who can tune in to you and tune out the distractions contact Nick Vandekar, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Selling the Main Line with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., office 610-225-7400, cell or text 610-203-4543 email, website  is


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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Will Hamm If you know me, you know I like to hike and climb mountains and do it all. It’s great!

Mar 25, 2019 11:54 PM #15
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Quiet can be deafening .... but you need it to hear yourself think. Loons singing or crying laying in bed as the sun rises... the sound of wind vibrating the needles in a giant lonesome pine tree. If you are too busy, you miss the sounds that are all around you. That's why audio in videos is 40 percent of the take away for the other end of the signal.

Mar 26, 2019 03:32 AM #16
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

Good Morning Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543   I just returned from a short vacation and mental sanity break by going to Biloxi MS and Willis Tx to see my daughter and my mom.  As I was away I was able to listen to all the birds singing and even got to hear a wood pecker.  Sometimes we miss these things when we are in the hustle and bustle of it all.  It is good to be back but your blog reminded me of all the beauty around me while I was gone.  Have a great day!

Mar 26, 2019 05:12 AM #17
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR if we don't listen as you mention we miss what life is saying.

Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 finding the birds is hard, sometimes the smallest birds make the loudest sounds. I have never seen quail in real life, that would be fun.

Shirley Coomer it has been said we have coyotes nearby, our local police force recently confirmed it, but have never heard them howling. Hearing the foxes bark is quite something, did not know what it was at first, sounded like a child crying for help. 

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP thank you, glad you liked it.

Will Hamm sometimes you hear without seeing, I heard that people who are blind, can see with their ears, they form a picture from the sound, imagine that, you create your own image from what you hear.

Mar 26, 2019 07:09 AM #18
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Laura Cerrano it does not surprise me that you love to hike, I think it goes with the Feng Shui the love of nature.

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 nature has so much for us to enjoy if we will only take the time. With all those different levels sometimes you have to tune some out to hear the nature below or above. I read a quote by Rumi yesterday: The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.

Brenda J. Andrew glad you had a good trip and got to hear different sounds to normal. 

Mar 26, 2019 07:13 AM #19
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Truly seeing and hearing is so rewarding in itself.....

Mar 26, 2019 07:58 AM #20
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Richie Alan Naggar that is very true, well said.

Mar 26, 2019 08:13 AM #21
L. Scott Ferguson
Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate - West Palm Beach, FL
Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional

Love this Nick!  Once I started 'being present' everythign changed!  Congrats on another featured post!





Mar 26, 2019 08:31 AM #22
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

Hello Nick,  I loved this blog post.  It really spoke to me and I could almost hear the quiet and then the sounds of nature as you wrote the words.  I would trust you as a Realtor(R) if I were looking for a home, because I know you would really hear me.  Excellent work!

Mar 26, 2019 09:35 AM #23
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 ~ AWESOME POST! I tune out distraction on a daily basis with a little meditation in the morning and one more for good luck before bed

Mar 26, 2019 05:09 PM #24
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Listening to the sounds around me is one of my pleasures on solo hikes. Even in an urban area, like the Presidio in San Francisco, I've heard owls and numeous birds in different areas. We have a numbe of racoons and coyotes there, too, but interestingly enough, no deer.


Mar 26, 2019 07:47 PM #25
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

We have to make an effort to listen to what (and who) is around us. Once we start experiencing being present, it is an amazing thing!

Mar 27, 2019 03:14 AM #26
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

I so enjoyed your post.    We live in the woods by the river, but there is also a road nearby.    Like you mentioned, my mind has learned to tune out the sounds of the road.    I adore walking outside and listening to nature!      Many of my clients come from the busy Silicon Valley and it's fun to see them become entranced by the sounds of the forest.

Mar 27, 2019 09:47 AM #27
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

L. Scott Ferguson thank you, beng present really helps in all areas of life.

Ricki Eichler McCallum thank you for reading and your comment about trusting me to represent you,much appreciated.

Jon Kolsky I too use meditation usually when I get up to start my day.

You are lucky not having the deer Lottie Kendall they devastate our yard.


Mar 27, 2019 10:15 AM #28
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Kat Palmiotti I am sure where you are there are many natural sounds to enjoy.

M.C. Dwyer seeing others enjoy the sounds of nature is great and something worth teaching others to step back and enjoy.

Mar 27, 2019 10:17 AM #29
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

It is astonishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and just hear the wind whistling through the leaves of trees.  I have tinnitus and of course that is the last thing I really want to do as I need background noise to keep the ringing at bay!  Ha  Thanks Nick.

Mar 27, 2019 01:47 PM #30
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Nick, you are so right! We need to really *listen*. I noticed yesterday evening that we had a chorus of frogs (I am guessing) in the drainage pond near my house. I don't remember hearing them before, and I really stopped to listen to their music!

Mar 27, 2019 02:21 PM #31
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

John Henry I cannot imagine how disconcerting that must be. We have a friend who is an airline flight attendant and she suffered from it also for a while but I think it cleared up as she has not mentioned it for a while.

Marney Kirk I was out walking Tuesday and along the trail there was a large area of long grasses, obviously a low lying wet area and the noise was incredible. I was surprised as it is seems early for frogs in our area to be so noisy.

Mar 29, 2019 05:15 PM #32
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Nick- I absolutely love this post and the insight you've shared with us. When we used to go out fishing off the coast of Florida, I preferred having the tunes off and just listening to the sounds of the sea, the birds, and yes, to the boat. When you know your boat you can tell when it may be having an issue!!! 

Mar 30, 2019 01:14 PM #33
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh my gosh, I love this, Nick! Funny that you mentioned the 'rustling' in the leaves/plants around your house - I am keenly aware of that all of the time and almost always find it to be birds or chipmunks looking for food.

And, yes, tuning out the distractions and tuning into the nature around us is truly good for our blood pressure too - it's amazing how calming nature can be.

Mar 30, 2019 10:36 PM #34
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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