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New Year 2017 Bubble Effect

in Uncategorized by Lynette Barrett

Current Real Estate News for the New Year of 2017 

Last year, the market was fairly normal.

  • The short-sales and foreclosures are almost gone.
  • Sales are moving nicely.
  • Prices are rising up for the 7th year in a row.

The question is: Is there a property or housing bubble coming?

According to Greg Voakes, “INFOGRAPHIC: The Effects of 2007’s Real Estate Crash”, the United States Housing Bubble affected more than half of the U.S. population. The U.S. Housing Bubble was defined in the early 2006, in which housing prices skyrocketed, then followed by a massive fallout in 2006 and 2007.

However, previous and current sales within the last 6 years have been driven by regular Americans, selling their homes to buy another home.

This new year, it is safe to say that prices will not fluctuate dramatically. Thus, instead of seeking online home evaluations, where they sell your information to other realtors we will be happy to help you getting the accurate evaluation face-to-face. If you have Real Estate plans for 2017 of buying or selling your home, give us a call and we will give you the real estimate of your homes.

 

Footnotes

INFOGRAPHIC: The Effects of 2007’s Real Estate Crash

Searching for property

in Property inventory, Real Estate by bilodeaubruce

Be sure to visit our search page to find your next property.  With the map feature you can pinpoint exactly where you want to be on the fly.

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Cut Your Electric Bills Painlessly

in homeimprovement, projects, Real Estate, summertime by brucebilodeau

When Mom told you to turn out the lights, she was thinking of saving energy dollars, not rolling blackouts and bankrupt utility companies. Rarely have Moms words of wisdom been as fitting as they are now and not just in California. Electricity rates are going up everywhere.

Besides switching off lights, there are several other painless methods to conserve energy and save money on your electric bills.

Plug-ins

  • Look for those electronic devices, especially those with digital time and date displays that are infrequently used such as alarm clocks, TVs and VCRs in a guest room and unplug them.
  • Unplug devices used to recharge electronics/batteries when they’re not being used.
  • Transformers consume energy. Consider unplugging devices like calculators that are not in use.

Appliances

  • Wait until you can fill up your dishwasher before running it. And if you have a heated-dry option, switch it off. Prop open the door a bit after the cycle to air dry your load.
  • If you have an electric cooktop, turn the burners off a few minutes before the allotted cooking time. The heating element will stay hot long enough to finish the cooking without using more electricity.

Refrigerators

  • Refrigerators use more power than any other appliance in the home and deserve special attention. Although rushing out to buy a new refrigerator may not be in your budget, it is important to know that new models are more efficient and use as little as half the electricity of older units.
  • Full refrigerators run more efficiently than ones that are only partially full. So buy more food and save some energy.
  • If you have two refrigerators, or an additional freezer, decide if the extra expense is really worth it. Cram as much as you can into your primary refrigerator or consider disposing of two older refrigerators and replacing them with one larger, newer and more efficient model.
  • Make sure the refrigerator door seals are tight. Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator. If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment or the seal may need replacing.
  • Place food and liquids in airtight containers. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Move the refrigerator away from the wall and vacuum its condenser coils yearly unless you have a no-clean condenser model. Refrigerators will run for shorter periods with clean coils.
  • Maintain a consistent temperature in the refrigerator and freezer. Recommended temperatures are 37 to 40F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5F for the freezer section. If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0F.

Lighting

  • It’s obvious, but true: Turn off lights that are not being used. Consider installing timers or photo cells on some lights. And instead of constantly nagging the kids, try occupancy sensors that turn on and off automatically when someone enters or leaves a room.
  • Rather than brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it. For example, use fluorescent under-cabinet lighting for kitchen sinks and countertops
  • Consider dimmer switches and three-way lamps. These provide low light levels when bright lights are not necessary.
  • Use linear fluorescent and energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) in fixtures throughout your home to provide high-quality and high-efficiency lighting. Fluorescent lamps are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last six to ten times longer. Although fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they pay for themselves by saving energy over their lifetime.

 

By: Burt Ramone

 

10 Security Tips For Your Home.

in homeimprovement, projects, Real Estate by brucebilodeau

1: Blend in. Look at the surrounding homes. Do you stand out from the rest? If your home has the fanciest or most manicured lawn in the neighborhood, it tells a burglar that you might have more resources and potentially more valuables in your home than the others on your street. You’re a target. Not saying to be trashy – just pointing out the obvious.

2: Avoid tall or large shrubs around your windows and doors. Don’t make it easy for a burglar or intruder to conceal themselves while breaking in. Home privacy fencing also provides shielding between the burglar and the street, giving them more freedom of movement without being seen by others. If you have fencing like this, then you especially need outdoor motion lights within the perimeter.

3: Good exterior security lighting. Surround your home with the best outdoor motion lighting you can afford. Motion lights are better than ‘always on’ lighting due to the sudden alert of lights-on.

4: Burglars often case a neighborhood before they rob it. They will observe your home schedule, you’re coming and going routines, and also your neighbor’s schedule. Be aware of this, and look for strangers in the neighborhood who may be gathering data. Situational Awareness.

5: Look through the ‘burglar’s eyes’. See what they would see. They will see whatever you have outside in plain sight – visual clues as to the potential valuables inside. Anything that looks expensive outside will indicate that you probably have expensive stuff inside. A new car in the driveway, a swimming pool in the backyard, expensive outdoor furniture, you get the idea…

6: Avoid doors which have glass near or within reach of the doorknob. This is a home security “no-no” which creates an easy “smash and twist” to get in your home. This is one of the first things a burglar will notice when casing the neighborhood. They are looking for easy access.

7: Unlocked or open windows, even when you are away for a short time are easy access for a burglar. Even in the backyard, a burglar will look for an easy way in – which could simply be through an unlocked or partially open window. Get in the habit to lock ALL doors, even the garage – when you’re home or away. It’s not like it was many decades ago when this wasn’t so much a potential issue…

8: Window air conditioners in any of the first floor windows – be sure to secure them into the window sash or frame.

9: Window coverings. If you have nice-expensive things in your home, don’t make it easy for a burglar to look through a window and see inside. It’s especially easy to see into a home at night when the lights are on inside. Be aware of this and use window blinds, shades, etc..

10: Appear like you’re home. Use lights on timers, or at least leave a few turned on. Consider leaving on a radio. If you are on vacation or away from home at night, there’s a clever fake TV deterrent which will create an effective illusion that someone is home.

The main take-away from this list is this…

Whether or not your home appears as a target for a burglar will largely depend upon what the burglar sees from the outside. They are looking for clues, opportunities, and easy entry. Home security and your first line of defense is the “appearance” that there’s nothing special here… just move along. Put yourself in their shoes and look around your property and home from the street. Do you blend in?

 

By: Ken Jorgustin

Summertime Home Improvement Projects

in homeimprovement, projects, Real Estate, summertime by brucebilodeau

While sometimes the winter blues can make a person want to make home improvements, in many cases, summer is the best time for such projects. While summertime is when attention moves outdoors, that doesn’t mean all summer home improvements need to be relegated to the patio. Here are a few home improvements perfect for summer that you may not have considered:

1. Don’t build the pool, but plan it:

Summer is the best time for a self-analysis for big outdoor-area improvements. Ask yourself, how do I use my outdoor space? Then ask yourself, `how do I wish I used my outdoor space? Summer is a really good time to take a good look at how you experience outdoor living.” One rule of thumb: The less comfortable it is, the less likely you are to use it.

2. Focus on your windows:

When the dog days hit, the next best thing to being outside, is sometimes, looking outside. There’s nothing like a great summer storm through a big picture window. And there is no better time than summer to invest in new windows to keep out the cold in winter and minimize heat in the summer – or just expand your view all around.

3. Shade, shade, shade:

A super-hot summer can leave your patio and barbecue areas neglected. Consider using the summer months to plant new trees in strategic places that will afford you some great natural shade at some point down the road. In the meantime, look into other ways to get shade now. Covered porches, umbrellas and affordable pergolas really help make wonderful living spaces. These days, shading devices come in so many shapes and colors, so you can embrace your own style and keep things cool.

4. Prepare for winter: 

Any large-scale construction jobs are best done in the summer months for a lot of obvious reasons. It’s ultimately less intrusive to you and your family, to install new insulation, taking a wall down would otherwise freeze you out. So, whatever grievances you have -from the leaky roof at the last big spring rain, to that room that you can’t live without – break ground on those improvements in the summer and take the kids to the pool.

5. Repaving:

Summer is definitely the time to repave your driveway. You will get a lot better adhering than when it’s cold. And it’s just a generally bad idea to repave when it’s raining or snowing. Summer is also the time to do work to any walkways on your property.

6. Refinish outdoor surfaces:

A beautiful gloss to a wooden deck will not only protect it, but make it look like new. Summer, is definitely the time to re-oil wood, refinish the deck or just scrape off old paint and repaint. These are projects that are easy do-it-yourself-ers, and are best accomplished, and then enjoyed, in the summer months.

Almost any home improvement can be tackled in the summertime.

 

Say YES to CRS

in Property prices, Real Estate by brucebilodeau

Buying or selling a home can seem like an overwhelming task. But the right REALTOR® can make the process easier – and more profitable. A Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.

To earn the CRS Designation, REALTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements -including high-volume sales – and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RELATORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics. Work with a REALTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation.

 

 

MOW TIME

in Real Estate by brucebilodeau

Don’t let the grass grow under your feet this season. For a healthy looking yard, now’s the time to get started. Take a page from HGTV’s lawn care handbook with these tips. First, clear the weeds and roots and rototill 6 inches below ground. This will help prepare the area to include equal parts loam, sand and topsoil. During this time, create a slight slope to help with drainage. If sod is not in your budget the next step is to hand-seed or hydroseed (a technique that spreads the seeds evenly.) Choose the grass seed that is right for your climate and how you will use the lawn. When it’s time to cut the grass, set the mower to the highest notch that only mows the top third. This helps with root development and prevents the ground from dying out too quickly. Then, get out the hose. If you just seeded, water every day for five to 10 minutes. After new grass comes up, water once a day for 15 to 20 minutes. Consider your soil type to figure out how much.Twice a year, in spring and fall, fertilize. 

Tip #2

in Uncategorized by brucebilodeau

Short sales are still better than foreclosures!! If you can’t get a modification and your upside down in your house don’t let it foreclose its harder to recover from a foreclosure than a short sale.

Tip #1

in interest, Property prices by brucebilodeau

Interest notes are over 1% higher than there were a year ago and will probably keep rising slowly. 4.3% is average 30 year loan but there are ways to get rates in the 3% range.

Call me for details.