December 28th, 2015

Awaiting the Golden Millennial

Posted by at 4:12 pm

Trying to appeal to the potential homebuyer in today’s Millennial? Better have something more to promise them than a way to future wealth. Confident and bright, Millennials scoff at the notion they won’t make one day stake their financial claim – in this or any other economic climate. Go ahead and tell them renting is just throwing away money until you’re both blue in the face. Like many an argument made against the Internet-fed generation, it will be greeted with ample and well-founded arguments to the contrary. First, they’re perfectly aware that it’s better to buy than rent – in the long run. But in the short run, they want to enjoy today. Where they are They like the lifestyle of high-end rentals downtown. They like not worrying about things like property taxes and home maintenance. They like parks and...
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December 18th, 2015

Becoming a basement dweller

Posted by at 2:05 pm

  There’s a way of expanding living space that’s making a modern-day resurgence, and it’s really on the down-low. Basements were first intended for utility – underground is a perfect place to store temperature and light-sensitive perishable goods, and a great place to wait out a storm. It wasn’t until the 1960s that some intrepid, creative types figured out there was a real opportunity down there. A place that could be an extra room for family, or just for the guys. Many today who are blessed with basements aren’t aware of what they have – but a finished basement can really add to the value of a home. Those who have the desire and the drive can make much more out of the subterranean space. Besides increasing living area, you can add a bathroom or customize the space for specialty...
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December 2nd, 2015

Be cool: Sell during winter

Posted by at 12:59 pm

  So, are you waiting until spring to put your home on the market? Is it because you crave manic competition with all the other sellers thinking the same thing? Many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to put their home on the market for the first time. Others who already have their home on the market decide to take it off the market until after the holidays. One of the best kept secrets in the real estate market is that there is no “best time of year” to sell. Don’t try to time the market – it’s impossible. Real estate is so cyclical – especially in today’s economy. Up and down, down and up. Try to wait for the perfect time, and you might miss out. It’s a matter of time Realtor Magazine recently reported that fall...
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Bubble Trouble?

Posted by at 3:20 pm

  Home prices are gaining steam again, fueled by tight supply amid growing demand. But is it a big enough upswing to call it a pricing bubble? While home prices nationally haven’t met the peak of the 2006 housing Boom, some critics say there is a significant whiff of the same instability that caused the last market to crash. Construction companies for whatever reason are unwilling or unable to create more affordable starter homes. Foreign and cash investors, in turn, have pinched up any existing properties suitable for first-time homeowners, leaving the heart of the housing industry with either nothing they can afford, or nothing they would want. In a recent note to clients, noted analyst Mark Hanson called it an “exact replay” of the last Housing Bubble, “when unorthodox demand with unorthodox capital would pay any price it took...
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November 6th, 2015

Who’s a fan of insulation?

Posted by at 4:50 pm

  That whirring sound often heard when the house is otherwise silent, with no heat or air-conditioning turned on by anyone living inside, is probably the power ventilation fan in the attic. A building requirement when adding a new roof in many jurisdictions, the primary purpose of these fans is to cool the attic space during the summer by sucking in cool air from outside, and blowing out hot air through ridge, can, turbine or gable vents in conjunction with the soffit vents. In the winter, the fan is supposed to circulate colder, drier air through the attic, which helps prevent mold and mildew buildup, and keeps warm water from flowing off the roof, then freezing at the gutters. That isn’t cool There is no argument that the fans help circulate air. But there is the chance that cooler conditioned...
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October 28th, 2015

Ways to light up your kitchen

Posted by at 4:41 pm

  If the house is the castle, then the kitchen is the Great Hall — the central meeting place, project space and social hub. It should radiate the character of the home. Maybe it’s time to lighten up! One of the best ways to boost the mood of the room is to make some bright little changes. In the kitchen, choosing the right combination of lighting and color scheme can make every day seem like a morn in spring. See the light Today’s kitchens aren’t just for cooking. More and more modern designs and remodels just do away with walls, bringing kitchen and dining right into the living space. And that means the old mainstay – the super-bright light fixture right in the middle of the kitchen ceiling isn’t going to get the job done. Unless it’s a police interrogation...
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October 23rd, 2015

Bay makes a big impression at NAHREP

Posted by at 11:15 am

  Bay Equity Home Loans had a strong opening act at the 2015 National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) convention in Chicago. Hispanics accounted for 320,000 of household formations in 2014, a full 40 percent of the U.S. total, and part of Bay Equity’s Core Values is a commitment to understand the communities it serves, said Raul Espinoza, Senior Vice President of Sales for Bay Equity’s Private Client Group. Espinoza, who also serves on the board of governors for NAHREP, sat on a panel discussion on best practices for engaging the Hispanic community through outreach and education. “Our partnership with NAHREP has been invaluable in understanding the Hispanic homebuyer and will continue to lead us to great opportunities in new markets,” Espinoza said. “The U.S. Hispanic population has the purchasing power of $1.5 trillion – roughly equal to...
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Happy Holidays new home buyers: It’s tax time

Posted by at 11:15 am

  For all who bought homes this year, property taxes usually come due in the middle of fall. For most, an escrow account has been established, and each month, a portion of the mortgage payment will be deposited there to cover the property tax bill at the end of the year. But the arrival of the property tax bill, like fall itself, serves as both a harbinger of the Holiday season, and of federal and state taxes due right around the corner. Instead of grumbling about taxes, look a little deeper. There are some nice tax break gifts under the tree. These breaks are available for any type of home, be it mobile, single family, townhouse or condominium. They’re an item The first question to ask is whether to itemize your deductions. For the majority of non-homeowners, the standard deduction...
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September 28th, 2015

Time for some fall cleaning

Posted by at 7:15 pm

  With oil prices down and employment on the rise, many homeowners’ spirits are invigorated with the resolve to get some good work done before winter sets in – hopefully before Halloween. Many people swear by spring cleaning, but many experts suggest autumn spruce-ups to make the task less daunting when the spring comes. Whether sprucing up your dream home for yourself, or making the old homestead more attractive to buyers, here are a few suggestions to start some 2015 home improvement projects while you still have time to finish. A little DIY The phrase, “Do-it-yourself,” or “DIY,” makes the rounds of the Internet and the TV news magazines so often it can become tedious. But the feeling of accomplishing a home improvement, with little or no help from a professional, is truly hard to equal. Your home goes immediately...
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September 9th, 2015

War on fleas heats up

Posted by at 9:07 pm

  In the summertime and early fall, fleas step up their game in their endless assault on indoor pets. If you’re not careful, the little buggers will also take a bite out of you, or your kin. You have to fight back. Fleas cannot fly, but can leap a foot or more, about 60 times their body length. That would be like a human being jumping the length of a football field – and clearing both goalposts! This impressive jumping ability allows fleas easy entry into your home, hitching a ride on your pants leg or on your pet’s fur. Once inside your home, fleas multiply at a swift and overwhelming rate. Talk to your vet about developing an effective flea medicine or collar regimen before flea season starts. But along with medication, flea control oftentimes requires prevention. There a...
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