Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Home Buyer Tips

Tips for buyers
Now is a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are low, and buyers have more properties to choose from, so there’s room for negotiation. If you play it smart, it’s the perfect time to buy that house you’ve had your eye on. Here are a few strategies for getting the most for your money.

Know the local market
With the housing market in transition and prices fluctuating, it is important to understand what’s going on locally. Prices in some neighborhoods are being reduced; others are as hot as ever. I can do a market analysis of the communities you’re interested in and provide you with information on homes that meet your criteria. I will also look at comparable residences to determine the appropriate offer to make to the seller. In a changing market, it’s important that the data you look at is current. Properties that sold six months ago may not represent the value of a comparable home on the market today.

Identify what you want
The good news about a moderating market is that there are more homes to choose from. Buyers have the luxury of being specific about what they’re looking for. Now is the time to draw up your Dream Home wish list.

Be ready to buy
While more homes are on the market than a year ago, attractively priced homes are still selling quickly. Make sure you’re preapproved for a mortgage and have a home inspector lined up. If you find a home you just love, don’t wait too long for the seller to reduce his price. It’s better to get a fairly priced deal than miss out on the home of your dreams.

One of the strongest benefits I offer buyers is my ability to negotiate on your behalf. Depending on the local market, we may be able to get price reductions and other concessions from the seller. I’ll work with you to identify areas in which we can negotiate so you get the greatest real estate value for your dollar.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tips to Save Energy

The typical U.S. family spends close to $1,300 a year on utilities and a large portion of that goes wasted. Here are some tips top help you save energy, money and the environment.

•Switch 25% of your lights to compact fluorescent bulbs and cut your lighting bill in half.

•Install low-flow aerating showerheads and faucets and cut the amount you use in half.

•Replace refrigerators more than 15 years old. New energy-efficient models will consume half as much power.

•Turn your thermostat back to 15% while you are at work and save up to 10% on your heating bills.

•Seal all seams, cracks and openings to the outside and save 10% or more on your energy bill.

•Replacing single-pane windows with double-pane high performance glass will save up to 25% on your heating and cooling costs.

•Use warm or cold water instead of hot water when washing clothes and lower the amount of energy you consume heating the water by 50%.

•Properly insulate your home and reduce your heating and cooling needs by up to 30%.

Making your home more energy-efficient not only saves money and helps the environment; it also makes your home more appealing to future buyers. If you are looking to buy a home yourself, I can work with you to include the cost of installing energy upgrades as part of your home purchase.

*informatin taken from the U.S. Department on Energy*