Monthly Archives: June, 2006

Interest Rates Hiked To 5 Year High

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates yesterday to 5.25% which is the highest level in more than 5 years.

What does this rate hike mean to you if you are in the market to buy a home? Give me a call or visit my website. I can introduce you to a well-qualified, knowledgeable, experienced loan officer who can answer all your questions.

Landscaping Pays Off Big

Money spent sprucing up the yard with trees, shrubs, lighting, and patios is well worth it — especially when it comes time to sell the home, a new study says. The report, by Arbor National Mortgage, found that 84 percent of real estate professionals believe a house on a treed lot would fetch at least 20 percent more than one on a lot without trees.

Another of the company’s surveys suggested that while shelling out for top-of-the line landscaping may only bring in an additional 4 percent to 5 percent, spending minimal amounts has a penalty. Homes swith average landscaping sell for 20 percent more than homes with just fair landscaping.

The American Society of Landscape Architects suggests budgeting 5 percent to 10 percent of a home’s value for its initial landscaping.Before launching into a landscaping project, keep these pointers in mind:

1. If you can’t afford to hire a landscape architect, check out the services offered by nurseries and big-box home improvement retailers, such as Home Depot. Many offer design services — sometimes without charge — if you are buy plants there.

2. You can save about half the cost of landscaping if you do the work yourself. But keep in mind that large trees are often killed when carried uncovered in the back of the buyer’s SUV from the nursery to the house, not because they are planted poorly. Also, most nurseries won’t guarantee plants they don’t install.

3. If you’re trying to stick to a tight budget, remember that a few larger plants will have a greater visual impact than many small ones.

4. Before planting trees, determine how large they will become and what leaf pattern will develop. If you plant a big tree too close to the house, the growing roots could cause the foundation to crack. And if you place it too near a sidewalk or driveway, root expansion could cause the pavement to buckle.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, Lew Sichelman (6/11/06)
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Want to know how your landsaping has increased the value of your Vermont home? Visit my website for your Free home evaluation.

Theft Proof Your House

Theft Proof Your House

School is out! And this means family vacations. When preparing to leave home on vacation, we all put much time and effort into what we are taking with us, but not much thought to what we are leaving behind…our home.

Vacation time is prime time for burglars. Most communities experience a 10-18% increase in burglaries during the summer months. So, you will want to do everything you can to protect what is yours while you are not at home.

It surprised me to learn that most burglaries occur during daylight hours. CNN.com has 5 commom sense tips to make it hard for thefts to get into your home. Follow these tips and be safe!
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Thinking of buying or selling a home? Visit my website to view all central Vermont real estate listings and to get a Free home valuation.

Who Needs A Survey?

Who Needs A Survey?

A property survey is a map of a property showing where structures, easements and boundaries are located. To most buyers, being required by the mortgage company to have an updated survey for closing just seems like a waste of money. And, who wants to spend more money than absolutely necessary?

But, a survey is like insurance. The chances of you ever really needing it are slim, but if you ever do need it, you will be glad you have it. CNNMoney.com has a great article about folks who wished they had a survey. Be sure to take a look.
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Thinking of buying or selling a home? Visit my website. Here you can look at all homes listed for sale in Hampton Roads and get a Price Valuation.

What Is A Contingency Contract?

What Is A Contingency Contract?

Sandra Nickel, Realtor in Montgomery, AL, has an excellent post on contingency contracts. What are they and should you as a seller accept one. It is short, sweet and informative.

Please contact me with any questions you have about contingency contracts or real estate in Vermont.

Painting Tips

Painting Tips

Tis the season for do-it-yourself projects. The honey-do- list at our house is a mile long and I am always looking for a way to make the job I am tackling easier. Sam Miller, an excellent Realtor in Mount Vernon, OH has a post with interior painting tips. If painting is on your list of projects, take a look.
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If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, visit my website. Here you can view all local real estate listings.