Monday, December 21, 2009

Realtor vs FSBO

Trained Realtors - The Understanding You Require To Sell Your House

It is very difficult to market your home for sale all by yourself, as many people who do so often run into a difficult situation and trying to give themselves maximum exposure. For this reason it is a good idea to utilize a professional Realtor.
When it comes to having your house sell or not, it all comes down to marketing. Without any of the exposure that you get from a real estate agent, putting your home in front of prospective buyers is difficult.
These days one of the best ways to get some attention for your home is by using the Web, and an agent who is already established with a web presence could be a real boon to get people to look at your house. Let's face it, this is the era of the internet.
The vast majority of those in the market to buy a home have spent quite a bit of time on the Internet looking around to find homes before they actually contact a Realtor to go see them. This is why it is vital for a Realtor or agent to have a commanding web presence.
Another thing that an agent excels at is putting your home in front of other agents who may have potential buyers. This is probably one of the most important parts in the process of selling your home.
Your Realtor will most likely know all of the other realtors in town and set up a private viewing for all of his or her agent buddies so your home can get full exposure to all of the different realtors in the area. These are some pretty powerful benefits as I'm sure you can imagine. Most all of your realtors will also have a budget for advertising their listings both in print and media.
This should be including full-color advertisements in your local newspaper, and have your home listed and flyers that can be found 24 hours a day on a sign in the front of your yard. Without the help of a Realtor it is nearly impossible to gain this type of exposure.
Not only is the Realtor going to make an investment of their time and effort into the sale of your home, but they will also put their money into it as well. It is in their best interest to see that your home is sold in a timely manner and for the best price possible. They are able to showcase your home in a fashion that most home owners cannot achieve due to the time involved.
Not only do they have very good knowledge of the market in the area, but they have access to all of the marketing media as well. You might surely be surprised when you ask your Realtor what it is they are doing to effectively market your home. Discovering the right Realtor can be tough I understand, and as this article said you need to get one with a powerful web presense.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Owning a Home Has Its Benefits

By Joanne Genesio
Prudential Fox & Roach

Opportunity is knocking for those considering homeownership for the first time. Historically low interest rates, lower home prices in most markets and the first-time homebuyer tax credit – part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – brought first-timers to the market in droves throughout the year.

In fact, these consumers represented about half of home sales logged during 2009, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, a significant increase from historic levels. And the favorable conditions that prompted many of these first-time buyers are likely to continue. President Obama in early November signed into law a five-month extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit of up to $8,000, as well as a new tax credit of up to $6,500 for existing homeowners who want to purchase a home to be their primary residence (see your real estate professional and tax advisor for details). Both credits will be available through April 30, 2010.

Today’s opportunities aside, here are eight time-honored reasons why those considering homeownership for the first time should make their move.

1. Pride of Ownership Owning your own home adds to your own sense of self-esteem and personal pride. The satisfaction that comes from feeling connected to the land you occupy and the home in which you live is ages-old.

2. Security of Tenancy
With homeownership comes stability. When renting, you never know when you may have to move because of new ownership, rent increases or other changes. As a homeowner, you decide when and if you want to move.

3. Privacy
While there are usually some limits on the access landlords have to property, almost all landlords can access your property for necessary inspections and maintenance. For many renters, this lack of privacy is a significant discomfort. Homeowners on the other hand generally have much stronger property rights and experience an increase in perceived and actual privacy.

4. Decorating
Homeowners are free to decorate, remodel and accessorize a home any way they want. Not only do you have the right to make improvements, but the value of those improvements becomes yours as well. Having your living space and exteriors just the way you want them can significantly increase your satisfaction with your living environment.

5. Financial Predictability
When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you have more predictability over future housing costs. Because your interest rate never changes, the amount of your payment never changes. Financial planning and credit are more easily managed with a fixed-rate mortgage compared to renting.

6. Building Equity
When you own your own home, you pay rent to yourself instead of a landlord. Most homeowners pay for their purchase by obtaining a mortgage. As you pay off that mortgage, your equity builds and you gain an increasingly larger share in a valuable asset. Over time, that asset can work for you in many ways, such as home equity lines of credit. And of course, a home is a wonderful asset to pass along in an estate.

7. Investment Appreciation
There are certainly no guarantees of property value appreciation. In the long-term, however, real estate valuations almost always increase. This means that when you decide to sell your home, its value may be significantly higher than when you purchased it. The difference in value is called appreciation. You can reinvest that appreciation in other real estate or you may wish to downsize and keep the value of that appreciation for retirement or other purposes.

8. Tax Benefits
In the United States, the cost of home mortgage interest and property taxes are usually tax-deductible. Depending on your circumstances, thousands of dollars in taxes can be saved each year. These tax savings are not limited to federal taxes either. Many states and localities either base their tax system on the federal system or offer similar incentives to homeownership. Some additional benefits are designed specifically for first-time homebuyers. (See your tax advisor for additional information.)

If you still have doubts, contact a real estate professional in your community. He or she can answer questions you may have about homeownership and explain the buying process to you.

Joanne Genesio can be reached at (215) 641-2413. Prudential Fox & Roach is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Congress Extended & Expanded Homebuyer Credit

Congress has extended and expanded the current homebuyer tax credit. The new credit will include some current homeowners as well as new homebuyers and will be extended until April 30, 2010. Contact Joanne for more details today!

Who Qualifies for the Extended Credit?

* First-time home buyers who purchase homes between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
* Current home owners purchasing a home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, who have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight.

To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

Which Properties Are Eligible?

The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.
How Much Is Available?

The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000.

The maximum allowable credit for current homeowners is $6,500.
How is a Buyer's Credit Amount Determined?

Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by tow additional factors:

1. The price of the home.
2. The buyer's income.


Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, credit may only be awarded on homes purchased for $800,000 or less.

Buyer Income

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is effective on November 7, 2009, single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000—may receive the maximum tax credit.

These income limits have changed from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits. If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
If the Buyer(s)’ Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?

Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.

The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000 for single buyers and between $225,000 and $245,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $145,000 for singles and over $245,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.
Can a Buyer Still Qualify If He/She Closes After April 30, 2010?

Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, as long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.
Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?

No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during this three-year period, the full amount credit will be recouped on the sale.

Above information from of the NAR website. Visit for more information.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Extending the First Time Home Buyer Credit?????

Extending the Credit — Almost There

The extension and expansion of the homebuyer tax credit is the pending business in the Senate. After a long week of negotiation on the credit, an agreement on the scope of both expansion and extension has been reached. The extension is part of a larger bill that has not yet gone to a vote, however. A Senate vote on the underlying bill will occur in the Senate during the week of November 1. The package will then go back to the House. The House is expected to accept the Senate amendments, vote on the package and send it to the President for signature. The underlying bill is an extension of unemployment benefits. Other provisions in the bill include expansion of the net operating loss carryback rules, new requirements for some tax return preparers and noncontroversial provisions that "pay for" these changes.

The agreement on the extension and expansion of the credit is as follows:
Credit available for purchases before May 1, 2010. Prospective purchasers with binding contracts in place as of April 30, 2010 will be allowed an additional 60 days to complete the transaction.
Credit remains at $8000 for first-time purchasers. No change to definition of first-time purchaser.
New $6500 tax credit for repeat buyers who purchase between December 1, 2009 and May 1, 2010. Repeat buyers must have lived in their homes consecutively for 5 of the previous 8 years.
Income limits are expanded to $125,000 on a single return and $225,000 on a joint return. Current law $20,000 phase-out retained.
New anti-fraud limitations are imposed.
The White House has indicated that President Obama will sign the legislation.

Call Your Senator
Take Action

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Get Pre-Approval before Beginning your Home Search

One of the most exciting and highly anticipated events in your venture to real estate is when you go house hunting to finally discover your sought-after dream house. You may have set yourself all geared up for a great home search adventure yet you need to know first the most important component that ought to signal the start of your venture. Loan pre-approval must be on top of your priority list before you go any further in your pursuits for home acquisition. You realize that looking for a prospective house is useless if you have not yet been pre-approved of your mortgage.

This is often a common misconception and error for home seekers resulting to wastage of their time, effort and money. Yes it is a very good ordeal to start looking for a house, yet it is totally of no avail if you are looking in the wrong place at definitely the wrong time. You do not have the full and accurate picture of the things allowable in the home purchase in the first place, so how could you find the perfect property to consider for your investment?

If you have a loan pre-approval, you know the entire scenario and you know exactly what property you can realistically afford, basing on your mortgage loan and what type is granted you by your mortgage provider. Therefore, you can focus your time and efforts in trying to search for a property that is suitable and affordable with the kind of financial allocation you can actually spend. This is much less stressful and efficient compared to searching for random properties which you are not certain about their affordability and your eligibility to purchase. It saves you the disappointment knowing that you cannot realistically pay for it even if you have already fallen in love with the house.

Loan pre-approval is also a necessity if you are going to make the required home purchase offer. Say you have already seen the property of your choice and you are more than willing to make a proposition in initiating your transaction. However, the only problem there is that you do not have the pre-approved loan as evidence of your eligibility to carry on and complete the transaction. Home sellers prefer those who already have a stable and actual source of finances for the home purchase. It also gives them the notion that you are truly serious with your venture if you already have a pre-approved loan to use as their basis of accepting your offer.

Hence, before you embark on a home search endeavor, make sure that you have a loan pre-approval to avoid the hassle and bustle of uncertain offers and intangible sources of financial credibility. Prioritize that your loan be pre-approved by submitting all the requirements such as your employment history, monthly expenses and income, credit standings and scores among others.

Finding a house for the realization of your dreams is a fulfilling pursuit to begin with, however you need to make it as realistic as possible. Do this by securing a pre-approval for your loan and you can then enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime ride of your life.

The Real estate market can be an enjoyable, satisfying and lucrative experience for you.

article alley

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tips on Making an Offer to Purchase Real Estate

Tips on Making a House Offer

When you’ve done shopping around for a new house, you and your family has finally decided on one that is perfect for your family. It is now time to make an offer for that house. The offer you can give on a home can be quite tricky since you do not want to offend the seller by offering a very low price on it and you do not want to pay too much as well just to get that home of your dreams..
Below are some tips to help you make an offer to the home you are willing to buy and own.
1. Ask the advice of a real estate agent or even friends and family who are very knowledgeable in these matters. An agent is not supposed to recommend an asking price for a home but the information he or she can give you will help you a lot on what to offer the seller. An agent especially, has a lot of knowledge when it comes to homes in the market.
2. Find out the history of the home you are interested in. You can find out if the seller has bought it in a down market. More or less you will be able to pay the same price or near to the price your seller bought it for. This can help you to determine a good price for the home.
3. It is helpful to check out prices in the market. If you are in a seller’s market, the seller might not want to go lower than the list price. If you are in a buyer’s market, you might be able to talk the seller into the price you are willing to offer for the house.
4. Try to compare houses that have more or less similar features to the house you wish to buy. This is one way of getting a better estimate of the price you can offer for the home. If you know the prices of other homes, then you can offer a reasonable price to offer the seller.
5. Make sure to set your limit. Do not go beyond your means just to get the house you want. If you think the price is too high for you and it may cause difficulty later on in paying it off, explain to the seller your offer and try to see if he or she is willing to accept it.
7. Some homeowners have emotional attachment to the home they are about to leave. You may be able to get a deal in your favor if you tell them that you love their home and you are very much interested in buying it. Sellers might prefer to sell a house to a buyer who empathize with them. Be careful in doing so because some seller might take advantage and will demand for a very high price for the house.
8. Do not hesitate to negotiate money off the asking price. If the home survey reveals some faults or damages in the home that might need repairs and your money put into it, consider this when you offer a price to the seller.
With this information, you can start to narrow down your asking price options and hopefully will lead you to a decision. This way you and your family can have the house of your dreams soon!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Remodel Your Kitchen and Bath without Breaking the Bank

It’s not surprising that two of the most popular rooms for home makeovers are the kitchen and bathroom. When potential homebuyers are searching for homes, they generally are more attracted to homes with updated kitchens and baths. These same rooms rank high in return on remodeling investment at resale, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost-vs-Value 2008-09 Study.

However, both can be pricey ventures. According to the same study, the national average for minor kitchen remodel was $21,246. A sample remodel at this cost includes replacing cabinet fronts, flooring, laminate countertops and oven and cooktop; installing mid-priced sink and faucet, adding wall cover and repainting trim.

The national average for a mid-range bathroom remodel was $15,899, which included replacing fixtures, installing a porcelain-on-steel tub, new shower and ceramic tile flooring.

If you’re like many consumers today, you are more budget conscious and may not be able to afford thousands of dollars on a remodeling project. Here are some alternatives that will give your kitchen and bathroom a fresh, modern look without breaking your piggy bank.

Kitchen Cabinets—Give your cabinets a fresh look by either refinishing or refacing the fronts at a more economical cost than buying new ones. You can even take the center face out and install a glass front.
Hardware—Replacing your cabinet knobs and drawer pulls, can give your kitchen an entirely new look.
Paint—A fresh coat of paint is always a sure bet. And it is one of the least expensive ways to give a room a makeover. To further transform the room, choose more modern hues, such as a warm yellow or deep red.
Countertops—The price of natural quartz or stone countertops can quickly eat away your kitchen remodeling budget. Less expensive, yet still attractive alternatives are solid surface materials such as Silestone® or granite and ceramic tiles. An even more affordable choice is laminate, which is easy to install yourself and comes in a variety of colors and styles.

Faucets and Sinks—Add a fresh new look by replacing your sink and faucet with a high-arched spout in an updated finish, such as brushed nickel, brushed chrome or stainless steel.
Backsplash—Another option to modernize your kitchen’s look is adding a backsplash. But rather than having ceramic tiles, consider creating a mosaic with ceramic or glass or install a faux backsplash panel.
Window treatments—Switch out older valances with options that let the natural light in.
Lighting—By adding under cabinet lights or even track lighting, you can create a dramatic look to your kitchen.

Paint—As with the kitchen, a new coat of paint is a low-cost way to renew a room’s look. Choose a warm color to give the room an intimate feel.

Showerheads—Change out old showerheads with a new rain showerhead.
Shower Doors – If you still use shower curtains for your bathtub, you can update the look by installing glass doors. Frameless doors are preferable. However, if the walls aren’t flush to the tub area, framed doors will still give you the modernized look you’re seeking.

Hardware—Just as with the kitchen, replacing the knobs and handles can give your vanity a fresh new appearance.

Lighting and Mirrors—In addition to the vanity, the lighting and mirrors above that area can combine to make the perfect focal piece for your bathroom. If changing the vanity is not in your budget, consider swapping out your unframed glass for a more decorative mirror and add a new lighting fixture.

You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to add pizzazz to your kitchen or bath. Just changing one or two elements can make a huge difference in its appeal to you and a potential buyer down the road.

Joanne Genesio can be reached at (215) 260-6011.

Prudential is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Home Selling Process from Start to Finish

You’ve made the decision to sell your home. Even if you’ve sold a house before, this process can be daunting because it is a major financial transaction that involves many steps from selecting a sales professional and marketing the home, to negotiating with buyers and finally receiving funds at the closing. Yet, the home-selling process doesn’t have to be intimidating if you know what to expect. The process can be divided in nine steps.

Step 1: List your property with a real estate professional.
Select someone who is knowledgeable, listens carefully, and with whom you feel comfortable. Interview at least three real estate professionals. Use their listing presentations to compare their preparation and professionalism. Don’t base your selection solely on selling price or commission. It’s probably best to avoid working with someone who promises you the moon—in this case, an unrealistically high price—then has to make price reductions until the property sells. Instead, focus on marketing plans, service and past results.

Step 2: Establish price and time frame.
Determining a fair asking price is crucial in this market. Price the property too high and it could languish on the market. Of course you could always decrease the price later, yet you’ve lost potential buyers. Your real estate professional can help you determine true market value based on a comparable market analysis, which will include recent home sale transactions as well as homes currently on the market. Supply and demand, craftsmanship, amenities, condition and any special circumstances can also impact price. For instance, a relocation move might necessitate a quick sale.

Step 3: Develop and implement a marketing strategy. To get the most exposure for your home, you should have a marketing plan with clear objectives and an outline of specific resources to be used. Your plan should include a mixture of conventional and online marketing to optimize your reach to potential buyers.

Step 4: Get Your Home in Show Condition
. Remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression. So make sure your home is in tip-top shape inside and out. Eliminate clutter and remove personal items. Refresh the paint, clean the carpets and make minor repairs. Keep the grass trimmed and add color to your landscape. You may also want to consider hiring a professional to stage your home. A home in move-in condition is much more attractive to buyers in a competitive market.

Step 5: An offer is submitted.
Once your home is on the market, a buyer will make an offer through his/her real estate sales professional. The buyer’s sales professional will present the offer to your representative, who will promptly relay it to you and help you evaluate the offer.

Step 6: The negotiation process begins and eventually an offer is accepted
. One of the most critical roles played by your real estate professional is in the negotiation phase. Negotiations over the terms of a home-purchase contract can be extremely sensitive. The process of offer and counter-offer may go on until parties arrive at an acceptable contract, which can go very quickly or take days, even weeks.

Step 7: Buyers submit a loan application and home inspections are scheduled.
Most often, the loan approval is contingent upon a satisfactory appraisal and various inspections.

Step 8: The loan is approved and the closing process begins
. Once the buyer’s home loan has been approved, preparations begin for the closing. The closing, also referred to as settlement or close of escrow, is the final step toward completing the sales transaction between the buyer and seller. During this process, your sales professional will funnel all the necessary closing documents to the escrow agent. This may include the deed, mortgage, tax receipts, a Certificate of Occupancy and other documents. A final walk-through will also be scheduled. Once the escrow agent receives the paperwork and the funds pertaining to the sale of the property, the escrow is closed.

Step 9: Time to move!

Of course this is a simplification of what is otherwise a complex transaction. As you are going through each stage of the process, look to your real estate professional to provide guidance so that you feel comfortable every step of the way.

Joanne Genesio can be reached at (215) 260-6011. Prudential Fox & Roach is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company.
Equal Housing Opportunity.

Friday, August 14, 2009

What a Buyer Should Expect During the Closing

The last step in the home buying process is what real estate professionals commonly refer to as “the closing.” The closing, or settlement or close of escrow, is when all the progressive steps in buying a home from the acceptance of the offer, title search, home inspection, mortgage approval, and so on, come together in a final transaction. The documents are ready to sign, the buyer is ready to hand over the purchase price and the seller is ready to transfer title—and most importantly the keys!

Usually held in an office setting, most require about an hour and may be attended by some or all of the various parties in the process: the buyer, seller, real estate sales professionals or attorney, and title-company representative.

What goes on during the closing? The buyer reviews and signs loan and real estate documents, as well as pays for the property, closing and other costs. One such loan document is the federal Truth-in-Lending disclosure form which describes the annual rate of financing (APR), finance charges, amount financed, total of payments and the payment schedule. There will also be a form itemizing what your monthly payment consists of including the principal, interest, taxes, insurance and other monthly charges. If everything is in order, the buyer signs the loan papers.

Real estate documents are just as important. There’s the HUD-1 form, which you have the right to inspect at least one day before the closing. This statement itemizes services provided and the fees charged for the entire real estate transactions. There will be a breakdown of the seller’s and buyer’s (borrower) financial obligations. Some of the charges include appraisal fee, credit report fee, loan origination fee, loan discount (points), title insurance fee, government recording fees, PMI Premium, inspections and attorney fee.

Other real estate documents that may be reviewed and/or signed include title documents, warranty deed (which transfers the title of the property) and other acknowledgment of reports.

Assuming that the funds are in order, the deed is correct and the title is clear, the final step is the disbursement of funds to the seller for the purchase price of the home. The title company should already have the loan funds in its possession, but the buyer will need to bring a cashier’s or certified check for the down payment and the closing costs if it was not included in the mortgage loan. If the buyer’s annual real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance will be paid through the lender, an escrow account will also be established.

Once all the papers are signed and funds are disbursed, the buyer will receive the keys and is now a homeowner.

Prudential Fox & Roach is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company. Equal Housing Opportunity.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Packing Tips to Get You Moving

Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors Joanne Genesio

Packing is one of those dreaded but necessary chores of moving. Not only is it time consuming, but it sheds light on how much we really have accumulated since the last move. But it can be a manageable task by starting early and having a plan.

Don’t wait until the last minute.
Moving is stressful enough. Give yourself at least six weeks, which gives you enough time to pack a few boxes each day.

Take inventory of your items to determine how many packing boxes you will need. As a rule of thumb, use small boxes for small, heavy items such as books and canned goods; medium-size for bulkier, not so heavy items like linens and pots; and reserve larger boxes for very bulky lightweight items such as lamp shades.

Obtain boxes from a moving company or collect sturdy boxes from local supermarkets and liquor stores. Also, consider investing in specialty boxes, such as wardrobe and mirror/painting cartons. Wardrobe boxes are specially designed to transport clothing on hangers and mirror/painting cartons adjust to fit large sizes.

Besides boxes, make sure you have marking pens, packing peanuts or bubble wrap, strong 2-inch wide packing tape, and unprinted newspaper. The ink from printed newspaper can rub off onto your individual items.

Pack strategically.
Plan out how you will pack up your belongings. Decide what needs to be packed first such as seldom used and out-of-season items. Then work your way up to everyday items, like dishes.

It’s also a good idea to pack one room at a time. Places like your attic, basement, garage and storage closets are a great place to start. Clearly mark on each box the contents and the room it will go in at your new residence. For fragile items, clearly mark “fragile” on the box and a directional arrow to indicate the correct upright position.

Decide what you will need to access as soon as you arrive at your destination. Write “Open First” on these boxes and load them onto the truck last or put them in your car. You also should pack a box with essentials for your first few nights, such as prescription medicine, toiletries, a telephone, clothing, towels, toilet paper, and bed linen.

Make sure to protect your belongings.
You’ll want to make sure that your belongings get from Point A to Point B in one piece. To avoid damage, follow these packing techniques.

Computers: Before packing your computer, back up your data on either an online service or a portable hard drive. If possible, pack the computer in its original boxes and packaging. If you no longer have them, use a box with shock resistant insulation or create padding at the bottom and all around the sides. If you will be using packing peanuts, wrap the computer in a plastic bag so the peanuts won’t get inside and damage the computer. Place the CPU in the center of the box with the motherboard side lying flat on the bottom. Protect the top with more padding. Make sure the computer is a tight-fit in the box. Use this technique for your monitor and printer. Don’t forget to remove the print cartridge and paper from the printer. This same procedure can be used with other electronics.

Glasses and stemware: Stuff a bit of paper inside a glass, wrap the stem, and then wrap each piece individually. Place glasses face down on a 3- to 4-inch cushion of crumpled newspaper. Top off the box with 2 to 3 inches of crumpled paper.

Plates: Create a 3- to 4-inch cushion of crumpled paper in a sturdy box or dish pack. Wrap up to four plates at a time by taking two sheets of newspaper, place a plate slightly off center, fold paper over the plate, then stack a plate on top of the covered plate. Fold paper back over the second plate and repeat this process until four plates are wrapped. Now wrap the bundle and place it on end in the box. Continue to fill the box with bundled plates, and then top it with 2 to 3 inches of crumpled paper.

Large furniture pieces: Have large plastic bags or shrink wrap on hand to protect furniture. Use rags, blankets, comforters and towels for padding.

Artwork and mirrors: Wrap all pieces individually with bubble wrap or cardboard. For artwork framed behind glass or mirrors, tape an “X” across the mirror to keep pieces in places in case it should break. Place each piece in its own flat, fitted box and fill in any space with crumpled newspaper.

A few other tidbits.
  • Avoid damage from leakage by packing your liquids (including medicine) in leak proof containers such as zippered plastic bags. Plastic bags also come in handy for small odds and ends.
  • Keep box weights to 50 lbs. or less.
  • Use masking tape to secure lids to jars and bottles; hold down movable parts; and affix nuts, bolts, screws or nails to associated items.
  • Place a sock filled with coffee grinds or baking soda in your washer, freezer, and refrigerator to prevent odors.
For more pointers on packing, talk with your moving company representative or your real estate professional.

Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial company.

Equal Housing Opportunity.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Selling, Marketing & Upgrading Your Home

Selling Your Home

Some People prefer to sell their home by themselves, but what are the risks of doing so?? Real Estate Firms offer great services, when it comes to marketing your home, attracting potential homeowners of purchasing your property and determining the going price of your home. If you do attempt to sell your home yourselve, these are a few thoughts to consider...

Marketing your home:

When it comes to marketing or advertising your home, your advertisement in which you advertise your home's content is vital. Every description of the property, should be displayed properly, including pictures. Location can be a big factor when considering selling your home. If a home is near busy roads or highways, at times this can be a downfall. To lessen the blow, investing in fencing can really benefit this situation as well as pricing it properly.

Upgrading your Home:

It would be a great idea to add upgraded appliances to modernize it. The real estate market is pretty fierce, so researching about the latest appliances, upgrades, or additions, can make or break a potential buyer's decision on purchasing your property or your neighbor down the street.

Another great tip is to always place oneself in your potential buyer's shoes. What would you change about your house, what changes would benefit your home to attract buyers.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

There’s never been a better time to buy a home

There’s never been a better time to buy a home. Really.

That’s because, thanks to the efforts of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, Congress is now offering a new $8,000 tax credit to help first-time home buyers, like yourself, purchase a home.

If you qualify and buy a principle 
residence before December 1, 
2009, then you’re eligible for 
the credit—allowing you to 
deduct 10% of the purchase 
price of your home up to 
$8,000 when you file your 
taxes. Visit 
for more information.

So, why wait? Please contact me for more information about this can’t-miss opportunity.


Article courtesy of NAR.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Generate Profits with Foreclosures

If you try to remember the state of the market just a few years ago, you will realize how much the market has grown and how many new homes have been developed. So much land has been made available to accommodate real estate developments.

There was a time when so many people started buying properties which led to a boom in the real estate industry. However, there are many people who are now unable to meet their payments and are losing their homes due to foreclosure. There are some things that you can do to take advantage of the change in the market and buy some of these foreclosed properties. If you have the ability to get the credit that you will need, you can cash in on the incredible amount of foreclosures.

If you don't know what foreclosures are, they are homes that have been financed by the homeowner who is now unable to pay the mortgage. In such cases, the mortgage company will then take ownership of the home.

There were many people who bought these homes with the idea that they would live in them for the rest of their lives. There are circumstances that cause the homeowner to not be able to afford the home any longer. Job loss and a variety of circumstances can lead some people to find themselves out of their home. The foreclosures that are the result of these circumstances can be a very good deal for people who have the money to invest.

The mortgage company is losing a great deal of money on these foreclosures and will be responsible for the taxes that are left on the home as well. Some of the homes are in disrepair and the mortgage company will have to pay for that as well before the home can be sold. This is the reason that many of these homes sell for such low prices. The mortgage company wants to sell the home as quickly as possible to recoup some of their losses.

There are literally thousands of homes on the market that are in foreclosure. You are able to buy one of these homes for a drastically reduced price, more often than not. Once you have bought the home, you will be able to do what you want with it. You can fix it up and then resell it for a profit, hold on to it or rent the space out. The rent that you collect from these properties can pay the mortgage while you are waiting to sell the property outright. This is a way that you can make some money from the property to cover the mortgage and not have to spend too much, if at all, out of your own pocket to maintain it while you are waiting for a good profitable sale.

There are a number of ways that you can find to turn foreclosures into a profit making enterprise. While it is certainly an unenviable situation for some, there is something to be gained from the process for you.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Remodel with Practicality

As many homes on the market today are sitting longer, and selling less frequently, many are looking for new methods of attracting buyers. Homeowners are hoping to create a more appealing curb appearance, and home design. To do this, many are looking at remodeling as the solution. The goal is to remodel the home without depleting savings, and budgets to accomplish it. Thus, most remodeling minded homeowners are turning the practical remodeling choices.

In many surveys done over the last couple of years, almost half of all homeowners would opt to replace their windows over their carpet or kitchen, if the opportunity presented itself. The thinking displayed in several of these surveys indicates that the homeowners would be selecting green products. This would allow them to save money in the future, add value to the home, and improve the durability, safety and soundproofing as added bonuses. Practical results: increase home value; keep money in bank.

Another practical choice of homeowners has been the siding on their homes. If the remodeling bug met a remodeling budget, putting insulated, energy efficient and disaster resistant siding on their homes would nearly top the list. The industry is paying attention to the home remodeling drive, and developing and improving on current forms of eco-friendly siding. Practical results: improve home safety and efficiency; keep costs down.

As a homeowner seeking to remodel you should keep in mind that your options are not limited, unless you limit them. It is possible to remodel with energy efficient and environmentally friendly products, while keeping your bank account happy. It is possible to improve your home value, and comfort for far less than traditional expectations.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Selling Your Home in a Slump

In today’s market selling may seem like a ludicrous idea. No one has the funds to buy or the background to obtain the appropriate amount of loans, so how could you even think your home would move? But you don’t have a choice. You’ve been transferred or your spouse has. You have to list your home, and you have to get someone to buy it. For that to happen, you’ll have to prepare, safeguarding against anything that could keep pen from paper.

Begin with the look of the house itself. In a booming economy, you could get away with cluttered rooms, unusual d├ęcor and a few maintenance problems. Today, you can’t. Get rid of the junk in your corners, your closets, the middle of the living room floor . . . just un-junk. Then, tone down anything that screams. Four red walls and a leopard print couch may appeal to you, but they won’t please the prospective buyers. Neutralize them. When you’ve done that, go through the house looking for little repairs that need to be done - chipped paint, old fixtures, dying flowers, etc. Fix them, and then do another inspection. This time, however, have a friend walk through who will be brutally honest and pinpoint any problem areas. Your eye isn’t always the most discerning, so having back up is crucial.

Once you’re ready to list your home, do so reasonably. Price your property as it should be priced. An inflated number won’t invite haggling; it will invite disinterest. And forget about what you want to happen. This isn’t a fairy tale market; it’s not even the market of yesterday. You won’t see the same cash return your neighbor did last year or the previous owner did when you bought the home. You’re going to get a deal that matches today’s market. It may not be the best, but at least it will be a deal.