Google+ Badge

Monday, December 17, 2012

A quick clean can make a huge difference!

The year has flown by, and Christmas is only a week away.  If you're like me, this month has been spent finishing up end of the year projects at work, focusing on getting gifts, and not on cleaning up around the house.  As the holiday approaches, most people will gather with friends and family, and for most, making sure everything looks spotlessly clean can be a source of anxiety.  Party planning and prepping can take so much time, that many people wait until the last possible second to tackle cleaning, and the task can be come overwhelming!

Luckily, the folks over at lifehacker have posted a great article to get you out of this jam! How to Clean Your House in 15 Minutes or Less! is provides a detailed game plan for making your house look great for guests in no time at all! Check out this article and share it with friends and family you know will be hosting guests this year, and let me know any of your secret tips in the comments below.  Don't forget to follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Holiday Season is here!

Ah, the month of December is underway! This is a wonderful time of year in which many people celebrate the holidays with their respective customs and traditions.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other Holiday, this is a wonderful season to gather together with friends and family!  Whether your hosting a holiday theme party for friends, or preparing a meal for family, decorating your home for the holidays can be a fun way to show your holiday spirit!

Checking online, you can find TONS of different ideas, tips, and tricks for holiday decorations.  The folks at Good Housekeeping posted a great article with several DIY Christmas Decorations that are easy to do, and offer a great look around the house.  Check out the gallery and let me know your thoughts or other decorating ideas you have in the comments below.  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with all my posts!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Promising Updates for Real Estate

For many of my friends, customers, and clients, I like to send a monthly report on our local real estate market called "Market Watch".  This month's report had some great statistics that I felt were important to share.  As a Realtor, people ask me how the market is doing all the time, and it's nice to have some facts to share with them.  According to Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD, the lead economist for the National Association of Realtors, next year should see around a 2% growth in GDP; however, he is even more optimistic about real estate than the economy as a whole.  His projections are that existing home sales will increase to reach a level of 5 million units, along with a 5% increase to the median price.  He also projects that new construction will increase 25% next year, which, while being a huge increase over this year, it is important to note that new constructions levels have been very low for quite some time.

While these national numbers are quite optimistic, it is important to remember that real estate markets can be very localized.  F.C. Tucker Emge REALTORS®, the brokerage I work for, is up over 12% year to date over last year.  The current average sales price in our area is $125,300, and the median price is up over last year as well.  It is encouraging to see these signs of continued real estate growth in our area, and I'm looking forward to the next year!  If you know of anyone who has been thinking of buying or selling a home, feel free to share this information with them! Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with all my posts!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Small changes can lead to big savings!

It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of finding ways to save money.  I have made several posts about the best times to purchase items in order to get the for the best prices, as well as tips on ways to re-purpose old items into new and unique pieces that you can use around the house.  One amazing thing that I would like to stress is just how much small savings can change your life in the future.

Lifehacker.com posted a great article by Gary Foreman about How Saving $2.75 a Day Can Change Your Life that gives a simple explanation on how a small change in your daily life can have a major impact on your future.  Check out the article and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.  Share this information with your family and friends, and follow my blog to keep up with my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter in order to keep up with everything I ever post!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Buying Tips

I'm breaking my normal schedule to bring you an article that was brought to my attention by a good friend of mine.  SavingsMommie at Savings.com posted an article about the Best times to buy holiday gifts along with a great graphic to help guide you this holiday shopping season.

Feel free to share this info with friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter, and you can keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Reclaimed wood can offer amazing possibilities

There are many ways that you can transform the look of a room without spending tons of money in the process.  Do it yourself projects that utilize old materials to create a new, unique item, are a great way to do this.  I have posted other articles on ways to re-purpose different items to create a unique look, but one material that is often overlooked is old wood.  Even if the surface looks burnt, beat up, and damaged, it is often possible to use this wood to create a number of different of looks in the home.  Homedit.com posted a great article by Simona Ganea titled How to decorate using reclaimed wood that offers a great gallery with tons of great decorating ideas.

In some cases, reclaimed wood can even be re-milled to be reused in other projects.  Some mills have popped up with the sole purpose of revitalizing old wood instead of cutting down more trees.  Old Lumber Reborn is a great video on YouTube that showcases a mill that revitalizes old wood to be reused in construction and decorating.

Take a look at the amazing options reclaimed wood can offer, and let me know which ideas you like best in the comments below.  Feel free to share this with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Winter weather on the way

Temperatures have already begun to drop, and the days are getting shorter, tell tale signs that winter is on its way.  One of my favorite thins to do in the wintertime is to cozy up next to my fireplace.  Luckily, I have a gas log, so all I have to do is flip a switch and the flames burst to life.  Even though I love my fireplace, nothing compares to building a fire in a wood-burning fireplace, and watching the flames dance while basking in their calming warmth.

Image found at: http://www.ctsweep.com
If you're looking forward to building a fire this year, it's important to make sure your chimney is cleaned out first.  Over time burning fires will cause a build-up of creosote inside the chimney.  As this build-up hardens, it can create a fire hazard that can ignite if left uncleaned.  Scheduling a chimney inspection once a year is a good way to help prevent this build-up and prevent this potential hazard.

As always, feel free to share this information with your family and friends, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Neat ways to light up your life

If you're looking for a way to change the look of a room but don't feel like spending tons of money, do it yourself projects are great ways to express your creativity!  In this technological era, you can find instructions  on how to complete almost any DIY project you can imagine.  As a Realtor® there are several websites and blogs that I frequent to gain interesting ideas on ways to help spruce up a space.  Decoist.com is a prime example of a great site for ideas on improving interior design.  Recently, the posted a great gallery with ideas for some pretty amazing DIY light fixture projects.

10 Fun Ways to Enlighten Your Life: Upcycling Household Products to Quirky Light Fixtures offers some inspiring ideas for custom light fixtures made from items you might never imagine.  Looking through the gallery, my favorite idea is a toss-up between the paint cans and the graters!  Let me know which option you like the best, or your own ideas for some custom light fixtures, in the comments below!  As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quick tips to reduce energy costs

As I've stated in the past, like most people I am a huge fan of saving money.  There are only 2 ways to increase the amount of money that you have lying around to do the things you want to do: cut costs or increase income.  Since increasing your income is not necessarily the easiest thing to do, the better option is cutting costs.  Like most people, I have several bills that are fixed costs that are going to remain the same from month to month, and there is nothing that I can do about that.  On the other hand, our utilities are variable costs that we have greater control over every month.

Cutting back on my energy bills every month is one way that I've tried to reduce my costs to help save money.  There are tons of gimmicks out there that boast improved energy efficiency through purchasing different "green" devices, but there are actually some ways you can improve efficiency without spending extra money.  Lifehacker.com posted a great article with several changes you can make around your home offering ideas on How to Reduce Your Energy Bill with No Cost or Sacrifice by Adam Dachis.  This list offers several ideas that I've never heard of, including asking your utility companies if they offer discounts for non-peak usage of electricity or gas and switching to these times when doing laundry or running the dishwasher!

Check out this article and let me know which idea you think is best in the comments below.  As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Even odd rooms can offer great uses

As a real estate agent, I have been able to see many different types of floor plans and designs for homes while working with clients.  While the floor plan is one of those items that is hard to change in a home, there are times when certain rooms can be utilized in a different way in order to fit the needs of a buyer.  The ability to look at a room and see the potential that room offers is something that allows some people to take a room that many people would hate, and turn it into something absolutely amazing.

MSN Real Estate posted a great article offering Awesome ideas for awful rooms, by Scot Meyer of Switch Yard Media.  They range from efficient usage of small spaces, to design ideas to make those spaces amazing.  Click through the gallery and see what ideas you like the best, or let me know your awesome ideas in the comments below.  Feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Innovative ideas for stuff around the house

I've always been interested in technology, gadgets, or any type of cool innovations to items that we take for granted every day.  Since I've gotten into real estate, this interest has expanded to include cool changes to everyday items that we all have around the house.  I have posted articles in the past that included cool gadgets or other technological advancements that can be utilized at home to increase energy efficiency (like the nest thermostat that learns your heating/cooling patterns), but there are other neat innovations that I have found that have nothing to do with technological advancements that I find just as interesting!!

Looking through different design ideas, I stumbled across dornob.com, a site that offers daily design ideas.  This site offers out of this world innovations to everyday items that you have to see to believe!  One cool idea they offer is a shape-shifting table that can be manipulated into round, and even square shapes.  Check out this site and let me know one of your favorite items they offer in the comments below!

As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts.  To keep up with everything I ever post, feel free to friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall is the perfect time to prepare for winter!

The fall season has only been underway a couple weeks, but now is a great time to start getting your home ready for winter.  Leaves are already changing, an indication that the trees are already preparing for winter as well.  Temperatures are beginning drop, so it's important to start doing some work around the house to try and increase efficiency for the heating season to help keep your heating bills down.

There are several small items that can be accomplished around the house to ensure your home is ready for the winter season.  MSN Real Estate posted a great article by The Daily Green that offers 19 easy home-winterization projects that will help you get your home as efficient as possible!  Take a look through this slide show and let me know which ideas you like the best in the comments below!  Feel free to share this info with your friends and family so they can get their homes ready for winter.  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Still a great time to buy!

I have posted several times in the past why NOW is a great time to buy a home.  Interest rates remain at historical lows and the cost to purchase a home is cheaper than renting in almost every major market in America.  In addition, moving into the fall month's can be an advantage when thinking of purchasing a home. Many people view this time of year as the "slow season" for real estate.  At times, there are fewer Buyer's who are looking to make a move, so a savvy purchaser may be able to spot a deal.

As school starts back up, and people are preparing for the Holidays, many Buyer's decide to wait until warmer weather to begin their home search.  Sellers who have their homes on the market may begin noticing a lag in showings and rather than have their homes sit on the market another few months, they may be willing to negotiate a lower price to get their home sold.

F.C. Tucker Emge posted a link to a great article on Twitter about pitfalls to avoid when purchasing a home in the fall that can help you make a great purchase this fall.  Check out this information, and share with your friends and family who might be interested in making a purchase this fall.  Feel free to friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter and let me know if I can ever help you or anyone you know buy or sell a home!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Occupancy does not guarantee ownership!

Real estate is such an interesting subject, and there are many laws and claims that people can make that are relatively unknown.  Recently, a sensational news story about a man in Dallas, Texas was brought to the forefront of the news media showing how he had laid claim to a $340,000.00 home through the use of adverse possession.  He claimed that through a $16.00 filing at the county courthouse, he could legally claim ownership of the property through this little known real estate law.  For some time, he was actually able to live in the home, for free!  While adverse possession is in fact an almost unknown way to gain ownership of real estate, his understanding of this law was flawed.

MSN Real Estate posted a great article explaining the entire situation, as well as excellent information on how adverse possession works.  Can you get a home via squatter's rights? is the question this article poses, and aims to answer.  In an age where foreclosures have left literally thousands of homes vacant, this man's attempt at gaining ownership of an empty home using adverse possession gained the interest of the national media!  A little known, real estate law loophole, was a glimmer of hope for people to try and save their properties from foreclosure, or gain a new home without purchasing a home with a large mortgage.  Unfortunately, this man had little understanding of the true facets of the law!  In fact, occupying a vacant property does not offer the occupant any legal rights of ownership!

In order to protect your rights and interests when trying to gain ownership of real estate, you should contact trusted sources.  As a Realtor, I always tell my Buyers and Sellers they can ask me any questions about real estate laws and transactions that aren't common knowledge.  If you, or anyone you know, have any questions about real estate, feel free to contact me any time.

As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fall is still a great time for outdoor entertaining

Earlier this year, I posted ideas for hosting great, outdoor parties in the summer.  I love having get-togethers and hosting parties, and the cooling temperatures of Fall are no reason to stop hosting outdoor events!  On the contrary, whether it's a large party, or a small gathering, spending Autumn nights outside with a group of friends around a fire is one of my favorite things to do all year!

Decoist.com has a great article with a checklist on Hosting an Outdoor Party in Autumn, which has some great tips on hosting the perfect party.  From the proper timing, to ideas on decorating, this article offers tips and tricks, along with pictures, that will offer plenty of inspiration for amazing Autumn gatherings.

Check out the article and let me know your favorite tip, or any ideas you have, in the comments below.  As always, feel free to share this information with your family and friends and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn...not necessarily the end of yard work!

The first official day of Autumn, one of my favorite seasons, is September 22 this year!  As temperatures begin to cool, and the day's begin to shorten, it's the perfect time to sit around a fire with friends, go an a hay ride, and ! As trees prepare for the winter ahead, the changing leaves add splashes of color to the landscape, a beautiful sight to behold. While I love the look of falling leaves, they add one more season of yard work that many people often overlook!

A lot of people don't realize just how important it is to rake fallen leaves.  As leaves sit on the grass, they create a barrier that blocks sunlight and traps moisture, a combination that can be extremely damaging to the grass below.  MSN Real Estate offers 8 smart ways to beat the leaves this fall, an article written by Harry Sawyers of Popular Mechanics, offering some tips, tricks, and equipment that will help to make sure you keep your lawn healthy this fall!

Let me know how you handle fallen leaves at your home in the comments below! As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts!  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mistakes to avoid when designing a kitchen

Remodeling a kitchen is a great way to add some value to your house.  Statistics show that a remodeled kitchen offers the greatest return on investment of almost any room in the house.  In the past, I've posted other articles on cheap alternatives for ways to remodel a kitchen without breaking the bank.  While I've posted several tips in the past on things that should be done when remodeling the kitchen, it's also important to note that there are several things to avoid when designing your kitchen.

Redesigning a kitchen is a practice in balance as well as design.  Some people tend to go overboard when redesigning, which can actually decrease the value in some buyers' eyes.  HouseBeautiful posted a great gallery of some dos and don'ts when redesigning your kitchen.  The Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes is a great gallery that offers some insights from kitchen designers who have seen every mistake you could imagine.

Click the link for some helpful tips and tricks for properly redesigning your kitchen, and let me know your design favorites in the comments below.  As always, feel free to share this information with your family and friends, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Extra socks laying around?

Let's face it, all of us have an unmatched sock or two lying around the house.  No matter how hard I try to keep my socks matched up every time I do laundry, it's inevitable that I lose one every once in a while.  In the past, I used to throw out any unmatched sock I came across...almost every time that happened, I would come across it's match in the next few days.  Once I started hanging onto them, it seemed that their matches never turned up, and I began accumulating a pile of used socks that I had no use for.  I began using my unmatched socks as rags for cleaning around the house and washing my car.

This got me wondering, what other uses might there be for old socks?  Stylelist Home had a great post about several ideas for New Uses for Old Socks that offers lots of ideas that most of us wouldn't think of.  From a few therapeutic uses, to additional cleaning supplies, and even pet toys, old socks offer a plethora of uses!  Take a look at this post to find some interesting uses you may not have thought of!

Let me know which idea is your favorite, or any other ideas you might have in the comments below!  As always, feel free to share this info with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Additional uses for coffee

Like an overwhelming amount of other Americans most mornings, I like to start my day with a cup of coffee. Whether you take yours black, like me, or with cream and sugar, Coffee-Statistics.com reports that coffee represents 75% of all caffeine consumption in the United States. With this kind of consumption, there must be an enormous amount of coffee grounds that are thrown out every day. What many people don't know is there are several ways that used coffee grounds can be put to good use.

Stylelist Home posted an article by Chris Barnes that out lines some interesting uses for coffee that I had never thought of.  5 New Uses For Coffee offers some unconventional, but helpful, uses for those extra coffee grounds that you're planning on throwing out.  Take a look at the article, and let me know which use you think is best, or any other ideas that you have, in the comments below.  As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Planting grass for a better looking yard

This summer has been especially hot and dry, not only in Southwestern Indiana, but throughout much of the United States.  Droughts have caused low crops for farmers, and taken their toll on landscaping and yards around the country.  Keeping your yard looking good through the summer can be a costly endeavor due to the need of plenty of watering.  In some areas, water shortages led to many people's inability to utilize lawn irrigation systems due to regulations on water usage.

Luckily, we are coming to the end of the summer season.  Temperatures are beginning to lower, and we have had more rain in the past few weeks.  In order to make sure your yard looks its best next year, its important to properly plant and fertilize new grass.  Many people are unaware of the best time of year to plant new grass seed to ensure a plush yard.  According to This Old House magazine's Roger Cook, a landscape contractor, early fall, just after the summer's heat, is the best time to plant grass seed.  Warm soil and moderate temperatures help reduce the need for watering, and weeds aren't as likely to grow at this time.  Proper fertilization is also key at this time, but planting near the end of August, and continuing to fertilize and feed through October should grow plush, hearty grass that will last through the winter.

Check out the full article for step by step instructions on the proper way to plant, and share with your friends and family!  Let me know your favorite tips and tricks for keeping your yard looking its best in the comments below. Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Items you need to check but might not think of

The responsibility for your home's maintenance is a major part of home ownership.  Keeping your house clean, making sure the yard is mowed, and monitoring the roof and windows is an important aspect to extending the life of a house, and improving efficiency.  For the most part, home maintenance is a pretty straight forward endeavor and it's easy to identify areas that warrant additional attention.  Unfortunately, there are other aspects that might require attention that many of us don't consider when going over our home maintenance checklists.

MSN Real Estate posted a gallery of 7 places you should be checking around your home that points important areas many of us often overlook, as well as tips on maintaining them.  Take a look through the gallery and let me know which area you are guilty of overlooking in the comments below.  Remember to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with my posts!  Friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Getting a good night's sleep

Getting a good night's sleep is an important part of staying healthy both physically and mentally.  Studies show that at least 7 hours of sleep each night is the best way for most of us to keep healthy, and sleep deprivation is linked to several health problems.  According to WebMD's Gina Shaw, getting at least 7 hours of sleep could help improve at least 5 key health problems. The Healing Power of Sleep has information on some surprising health issues that getting enough sleep can help improve.

Unfortunately, getting a good night's sleep isn't always that easy, especially if you live in an area where there is a lot of environmental noise.  Luckily, there are ways to help block out noise and help ensure your ability to fall asleep, and stay asleep! Stylelist Home posted a gallery with 9 Ways To Block Out Noise And Get a Good Night's Sleep for Once that offers some tips that you might not have thought of to help you drift off to sleep.

Check out the gallery, and let me know your favorite tip, or one of your own, in the comments below.  Share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Why use primer?

I'm getting ready to put my personal home on the market, and I'm going to do some sprucing up around the house to get everything ready.  I'm fortunate to have a job where I can move around my appointments so I can do some of my own work to save some money.  One of the easiest things to do when getting ready to sell a home is to freshen up the paint!  It's a cheap way to either change the look of a house, and helps everything look new.


One question that a lot of people have when they are preparing to paint a room is whether or not to use a primer.  According to National Inspection Service of Indiana, a trusted home inspector in the Evansville Area, there are several benefits to using a primer before painting.


Feel free to share this information with your family, friends, or anyone you know who  may be thinking of doing some painting.  Let me know of any other quick tips around the house you'd like to know about to help around the house in the comments below. Remember to follow my blog for more information.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Man Cave

After a long day at work, there are plenty of times when I look forward to heading home and crashing on the couch to watch a movie or read a book.   As a single guy, my home is my own personal space where I can do what I want, how I want, when I want to do it!  I'm not always afforded a lot of free time, so it's great to have a space all my own, to do with what I want!  Since I live alone, my entire house is my own personal man cave!

According to the most recent publication of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate dictionary, a man cave is defined as "a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities".  While I consider my home my personal sanctuary, many men don't live alone like I do, so they have to find a space to make their own.  As a real estate agent, I have heard and used this term several times when discussing properties with both buyers and sellers.  The inclusion of a new definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary signifies just how much popularity the man cave has gained during the 21st century!  As the definition states, a man cave is designed to the specific tastes of the man of the house, offering possibilities limited only by the imagination of the man creating the space. 

HGTV's website posted a gallery of some of the coolest man caves I've ever seen. Check out 8 Dude-tastic Man Caves for some great ideas that show just how diverse different man caves are.  No matter what your hobbies or interests, designing a personal space that suits you is what having a man cave is all about!

Choose your favorite man cave from the gallery, or tell me about your man cave in the comments below.  Feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts!  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Recent stats showing good news

Once people find out I am a real estate agent, the first question that I usually get is, "How is the real estate market?"  Luckily, our local markets never experienced the down turns that other areas of the country faced, and our market has already begun to turn around.  Recent statistics are showing that the national average of home prices has also increased in the past year, which is a strong indicator that the market has turned the corner on the road to recovery.

MSN Real Estate's article CoreLogic: Home prices up 2.5% in year gives specific statistics on increases in the average sales prices in homes across the nation.  Taking out sales of distressed properties shows an even higher increase is home prices!  These statistics are promising figures, showing promising signs of future growth.

Let me know your thoughts on your real estate market in the comments below, and remember to share this information with your family and friends.  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reduce the term on your mortgage and save money through bi-weekly mortgage payments?

Sitting at the closing table is the culmination of the transaction for the buyer.  At the closing, the funds are transferred, papers are signed, and the ownership passes from the Seller.  One of the documents the Buyer receives at the closing is a copy of the amortization schedule, a sheet that outlines every payment that will be made over the life of the loan an categorizes what portion will be spent on principal and what portion is allocated to interest.  Another bit of information is the total amount that will be paid over the life of the loan if no extra payments are made, and no other terms are changed.  Several people are shocked to see just how much extra money is spent on interest over the life of their loan and I am often asked if there is any way to save some of those costs.

MSN Real Estate, posted an article by Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com that outlines one simple way that people can save some of that interest. Will biweekly mortgage payments save you money? answers that question with a simple answer: YES! This post offers a more in depth explanation, but the basic principle is this, if you make monthly payments, you will make 12 payments a year; however, biweekly payments every two weeks equates to 13 payments a year.  This extra payment helps reduce the principal amount of the loan faster, which helps you reduce the term of the loan and saves you lots of money in interest!  Check out the article for tips on how to calculate just how much interest you could save if you started making biweekly payments!

If you have other interest saving tips, let me know in the comments section below, and remember to share this information with your friends and family!  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Saying the right thing for the right results!

No matter who you are, it is impossible to deny the power of words.  The correct combination of words can be used to paint a picture in the mind of the reader, elicit specific emotions, or provide a detailed description.  Words hold the power to captivate the reader, and transport them to places they've never been, but, on the other hand, if used improperly, a simple string of words can destroy the credibility of the user through improper spelling or grammar.

As a Realtor®, I know just how important choosing the proper words is.  When describing a listing, it is crucial to properly describe the property in a way that makes it appealing, but also to ensure that specific details that may not be readily apparent are brought to light.  MSN Real Estate, posted a great article on just how important choosing the right words is to helping your listing sell as quickly as possible, for the highest price!  Say the right thing: 6 things your home listing should include offers some great information on specific descriptors that a great listing should include.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, and share this information with your family and friends.  Follow my blog, friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Why we need time off

I have always been a hard worker, and take great pride in this.  If there is a job to be done, I do everything I can to make sure that it is done right.  As a bit of a perfectionist, I tend to go above and beyond the bare minimum because I like to make sure things are done to a higher standard.  It is this aspect of myself that causes me to work harder for longer hours than other people would be willing to.  I am driven to push myself to make things happen for my clients, customers, friends and family. 

While I find pleasure in the work that I do, many people often tell me to slow down and take some time for myself.  Last week, I was able to go on vacation, and do just that.  Even though I came home tired, and a bit worn out physically, the time away from work allowed me to refresh myself mentally.  Coming back to the office to find a stack of work waiting was not a daunting task, it was something that I was looking forward to.  A schedule full of appointments after some time away looks more like a group of opportunities than a list of commitments.  Taking time off to recharge has helped to realign my perspective, something each and every one of us needs to do once in a while. 

Whether you take a three day weekend, a week long vacation, or a month off for yourself isn't important, the key is to take some time for yourself! Recharge your batteries, let work wait a few days, or enjoy time with friends and family that you don't see as often as you like.  Just make sure, that ever once in a while, you make time to do the things that you enjoy, and everything else just seems better!

Let me know your favorite way to "get away" in the comments down below.  Share with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook an follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A quick tip for watering your lawn

This summer has been especially dry in Southwestern Indiana.  My lawn, like so many others, has become super dry and brown.  Watering your lawn is really the only option to keep your lawn looking green, but with the exceptionally dry conditions we have been experiencing, watering needs to be a daily routine in order to make your lawn look its best.

People who are connected to a public water supply and pay for their water, want to water properly, without wasting extra money.  MSN Real Estate posted a great article by Brett Martin of Popular Mechanics  offering some great tips on the best ways to properly water your lawn for the best results.  The smarter way to water your lawn  gives the best time of day, as well as the proper tools to use for watering your lawn.

Share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Dark Knight Rises

I have long been a die-hard movie fan, an anyone who knows me would attest to that.  Nothing beats the thrill of going to see a newly released movie for the first time in theaters, and if the movie is highly anticipated, I'll even spring for the midnight release.  Such was the case for The Dark Knight Rises! 

Christopher Nolan has done it again, concluding his epic tale of the dark knight with, in my opinion, the best of the three installments.  Everything about this film, from the storytelling to the cinematography was executed flawlessly.  After Heath Ledger's performance as the joker in The Dark Knight, my expectation for the next villain were exceedingly high, and Tom Hardy's portrayal of Bane did not disappoint.  His ruthless, brute strength, coupled with the devotion of his followers made him the deadliest villain ever seen in a Batman movie.  At one point, I turned to a friend of mine and commented that he was the perfect villain.

When you see the film, let me know your thoughts in the comments down below, or if you're not planning to see this I'd love to hear why!  If you find this review helpful, feel free to share with your family and friends and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Edit: After waking this morning I was made aware of the horrific events of the Aurora, Colorado midnight release shootings.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all those involved, and my deepest condolences to the friends and families of those who's lives were taken.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Increasing exterior appeal!

No one can deny how important the interior appeal of a home is since this is the area that people spend the majority of their time.  On the other hand, the exterior of the home is the first thing that people get to see, so it is important to make a good first impression!  Proper lawn maintenance, along with good landscaping, are great ways to add curb appeal!

Utilizing stone is a great way to create a great space, or to use as an accent to spruce up the look of your home.  MSN Real Estate published a great slide show with ideas on how to utilize stone at your home.  24 landscaping ideas with stone by Sunset, offers some spectacular ideas on ways you can use different types of stone to create different looks at your house!

Let me know which of these ideas you think looks best in the comments below!  Share this information with your family and friends, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Too many apps to choose from?

It's no secret that smartphone usage is on the rise.  According to a study by eMarketer, smartphone users account for 38% of all mobile phone users, and that number is expected to continue to increase.  The graphic at the right shows their recent growth projections. With over 100 million smartphone users projected for 2012, it's safe to say, there are almost just as many app users.

I've been using a smartphone for a few years now, and I honestly can't remember how I ever lived without one!  One of my favorite aspects of using a smartphone is the vast amount of apps available, to help with any number of things you could ever ask for.

One aggravating aspect that often arises is trying to locate the best app for your needs.  Both the iPhone App Store and the Android Market offer more options than anyone could ever need for every aspect of your life!  I generally like to download and utilize apps that are recommended highly by others.  Knowing that they have been tried, tested, and received positive reviews helps me to decide the best apps to utilize.  Thankfully, Lifehacker posted articles outlining what they feel are the best apps for iPhones and Android phones.

Take a look at these lists, and let me know your thoughts on your favorite apps in the comments below.  Share this info with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with every thing I ever post!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A new scam to beware!

Recently, I was contacted by a buyer about a letter she had received in the mail. Bold letters on the front of the envelope proclaimed "Final Notice" even though she had never received another shred of mail from this sender. Not recognizing the name of the sender, she gave me a call to question the material that was included in the letter.

The letter was all about the importance of having a copy of the deed for your property, as this document shows definitively the proper ownership of the property. While none of this information is inaccurate or misleading, this is surely a scam, and here's how I know: this company is offering this service for a mere $85 charge.

Thankfully my buyer asked me about this before even considering the offer. Any time a property is sold, a copy of the deed is recorded at the court house, where it becomes public knowledge. Anyone who would like a copy can request one at any time, and simply pay the fees to have a copy of the deed printed off. Generally, in the Southwest Indiana area, this costs $1 per printed page. Since the deed is a one or two page document, the inflated costs this scam is requesting is made possible only for individuals who are unaware of this fact.

Please share this information with your friends and family to make sure they are aware of this scam. Follow my blog to keep up with more useful information, or friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post.

Update 7-17-2012: My buyer has received another letter offering the same service.  The letter was sent by Secured Document Services out of Washington, DC.  If you receive a letter from them, feel free to disregard this letter.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Changes are coming!

Benjamin Franklin said, "The only things certain in life are death and taxes."  While I may not agree completely with this statement, it has been my experience that "change" is something to be expected!  Embracing this philosophy has helped me to adapt to changes to be able to make progress in my personal and professional life.

I have recently had some changes in my life that are going to allow me to spend more time working with more Buyers and Sellers!  Restructuring my schedule has allowed me  to spend more time working on my own sales, to help me better serve my clients.  If you or anyone you know is thinking of buying or selling a home, I would love the opportunity to discuss how I can help!

With this new schedule, I will be making a change to my post schedule as well. Keep looking for blog posts every Tuesday and Friday, but I will now be posting in the evenings.  Let me know in the comments below any subjects you would like more information on, or any questions you have about the home buying or selling process!

As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

DIY Easy bathroom makeovers

The thought of a remodeling project in the bathroom makes many people shudder, as they are usually quite expensive. Luckily, there are ways to make remarkable changes without spending tons of money!  Bathroom fixtures, such as faucets and water handles can make or break a bathroom.  Replacing fixtures with modern finishes can change the look of any bathroom dramatically, but can be very costly; however, many people don't realize there is a less expensive option.  Metal fixtures can be spray painted to give them a vibrant new look!

ehow.com offers great tips and tricks on anything and everything, including a great post the proper technique for spray painting metallic fixtures and get great results! How to Repaint Metal Fixtures in a Bathroom is a step by step guide on what you need and how to prep and paint metal fixtures.  Another great blog, Saving 4 Six, shows step by step photos of the three main steps of the process.




Step One: Strip down the fixture. Clean it up and scrape, sand, and strip any grit an grime to get the faucet cleaned and smooth.  The smooth surface is necessary to help make the finished project look it's absolute best.



Step Two: Prime the surface!  This helps the paint better adhere and will help to make sure the finished project holds up in the long run.  Make sure that when you are putting the primer on, it goes on evenly in order to guard against pooling and running. 


 Step Three: Paint!  After the surface has been primed it's time to paint the fixture!  Pick a metallic paint that you like, and the fixture looks brand new, at a fraction of the cost it would take to replace the fixture.  Repeat steps one through three on any other fixtures and you've given your bathroom a new look!



As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts!  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Friday, June 29, 2012

What to know about mortgage applications

Purchasing a home is the single largest financial transaction that most of us will make in our lives.  Purchasing real estate is a complex transaction, and using trusted, professional Realtors and lenders is highly recommended in order to make the transaction as smooth as possible.  After the housing market crash, lending regulations have been tightened to help ensure that the predatory lending practices that led to the crash are no longer possible.  If you are thinking of using a mortgage to purchase a home, there are some things you should know to expect when going to the bank to apply for a mortgage.

The mortgage application is a complex form that is used to collect as much information from a Buyer as possible to make sure they are capable of making the payments.  As a Realtor, my Buyers often ask me what to expect when they are going to the bank to apply for a mortgage, as this is not information that most people will know off hand. Thanks to MSN Real Estate, there is a simple guide to mortgage applications to help Buyers know what to expect.  A borrower's guide to the mortgage application offers a breakdown of the 8 sections of the mortgage application, and offers some insights into the information.

If you've been considering purchasing a home, contact me for information on lenders who would be happy to help you determine the correct loan program for you.  Feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all my posts!  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Grilling secrets revealed!



In past posts, I've made it clear that I love hosting cookouts in the summer.  In addition to the time spent with friends and family, the real truth is, I LOVE to cook on the grill.  Burgers, brats, chicken, and even are delicious when cooked over the open flame of a grill.  Different foods require different temperatures to ensure proper cooking.  Learning the best way to cook a steak to a perfect medium temperature, or to produce a perfectly cooked, moist chicken breast is an art form that takes practice to perfect.  Grilled vegetables are a delicious alternative from the norm that take a certain understanding to execute properly.

Almost any type of food you can think of can be cooked on the grill.  Many recipes that I have come up with on my own have been variations on marinades or spice rubs to created different grilled dishes.  Through trial and error, I have learned some of the Do's and Don'ts for cooking certain foods on the grill, but it has taken me years to gain the experience and knowledge I have now.

Luckily, thanks to the people over at lifehacker, there is a great graphic that can help you know the best placement of food on a grill to get the best results without the hassle of all that trial and error. Where to Put Food on the Grill for Perfection Every Time summarizes this great infographic provided by Food Republic.  Check out lifehacker's article, or click the infographic to view the full report at Food Republic.

Let me know your favorite food to cook on the grill or share your favorite recipe in the comments below!  As always, feel free to share this information with your friends and family, and follow my blog to keep up with all of my posts.  Friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter to keep up with everything I ever post!


Friday, June 22, 2012