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 Real Estate Blog 
Friday, July 30 2010

 

A federal program that lets homeowners finance energy improvements and pay back the money via the tax assessment system leaves homeowners vulnerable to fraud and lending abuse, the trade group for title insurers says.

The American Land Title Association says federal authorities need to resolve issues with the Property Assessed Clean Energy program to prevent the program’s potential risks from delaying or cancelling real estate transactions.

“We recognize the value in lowering energy costs for consumers, creating jobs for the economy and reducing buildings’ carbon footprint for the environment,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, chief executive officer of the American Land Title Association. “However, guidance is needed in resolving uncertainty surrounding these programs.”

ALTA sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency questioning how a PACE lien is created, how it’s administered, and how local jurisdictions will record the payoff of PACE loans. ALTA is concerned consumers in the PACE program are not getting Good Faith Estimates and HUD-1 Settlement Statements. Lenders, meanwhile, have questions about which liens get paid if the homeowner goes into default on the mortgage, the PACE loan, or both.

“This information allows consumers and lenders to make an informed decision about purchasing a property or providing mortgage financing,” Pfotenhauer said. “This uncertainty increases the potential of impeding or preventing real estate transactions.”

ALTA also questioned whether PACE liens must be recorded in the local public records and how ownership of the property is determined. “Without establishing standards for determining title to property, PACE loans run the risk of significant losses due to fraud,” Pfotenhauer said. “In addition to harming PACE participants, it also damages local property records, and results in increased costs of underwriting, claims, escrow services and compliance for the land title industry.”

Source: ALTA



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/federal-energy-efficiency-loans-leave-homeowners-open-fraud-title-group-says/#ixzz0v0k6Yd6e
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, July 29 2010
The number of mortgage applications to purchase homes rose 2 percent last week compared to the previous week on an adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey.

On an unadjusted basis, the index rose 2.4 percent, but remained 34.3 percent lower than it was a year ago. The overall mortgage volume, including refinancings, declined 4.4 percent from the prior week.

This was the highest weekly number of purchase applications since the end of June, and the second week the number of applications has risen, even though mortgage rates increased slightly:
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.69 percent from 4.59 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.12 percent 4.05 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs decreased to 7.15 percent from 7.17 percent.


Source: Mortgage Bankers Association (07/28/2010)

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, July 28 2010
 

In a slow economy, downtown Newburgh grows. 

Many downtown areas have been hit hard in recent years, but others have managed to strive.

During an economic slow down it is not uncommon to see signs for going out of business sales, but it is uncommon in downtown Newburgh.

Since January, the downtown has seen six new businesses, and it is expecting even more.

Shops, restaurants and bits of history line the streets of downtown Newburgh, making it a welcoming destination.

"We are really interested in making Newburgh a wonderful place to come and shop," said Newburgh business owner Kelly Hutchins.

Words of praise are being bestowed on Historic Downtown Newburgh, which promotes the business district.

The organization was recently named a 2010 National Main Street organization from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The award recognizes efforts to bring new business to the area.

"It's been a real team effort on moving forward with downtown Newburgh," said Caitlin Poe of Historic Downtown Newburgh. "I think that together we've all been able to move forward and the National Main Street program recognizes that."

So far this year, there are six new businesses that are calling downtown Newburgh home. Last year, there were five.

There was just one business closure in 2010 which the organization says it hopes to turn into an upscale restaurant.

"In this down economy, it's amazing news and we're so proud of it," said Poe.

Historic Downtown Newburgh says its success comes from active promotion in attracting new businesses, and that success should continue for many more years.

Historic Downtown Newburgh is one of only two National Main Street organizations in southwest Indiana, the other is GAGE in Evansville.

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=179995

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 26 2010

Appraisers and real estate agents offer advice for curb appeal that preserves value and attracts potential buyers.

Curb appeal has always been important for homesellers. With the vast majority of today’s homebuyers starting their search on the Internet, the appearance of your property is more critical than ever. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention as they scroll through listings online to get them to stop and take a closer look.

But the role of curb appeal goes beyond just making a good first impression. The way your house looks from the street can impact its value. It can also shorten the time it takes to sell your house.

We asked real estate agents, appraisers, home stagers, landscape designers, and home inspectors which curb appeal projects offer the most value when your house is on the market, both in terms of its marketability and dollars. Here is what they told us:

1. Paint the house.

Hands down, the most commonly offered curb appeal advice from our real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it and appraisers will note it on the valuation.

“Paint is probably the number one thing inside and out,” says Frank Lucco, managing partner of Houston-based IRR-Residential Appraisers and Consultants. “I’d give additional value for that. If you’re under two years remaining life (on the paint job), paint the exterior because it tends to show wear badly.” 

Just make sure you stay within the range of accepted colors for your market. A house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition will be marked down in value by appraisers.

2. Have the house washed.

Before you make the investment in a paint job, though, take a good look at the house. If it’s got mildew or general grunge, just washing the house could make a world of difference, says Valerie Torelli, a California real estate agent with a background in accounting.

Before she puts a house on the market, Torelli often does exterior makeovers on her clients’ homes, a service she pays for herself to get higher selling prices. Overall, she says her goal is to spend less than $5,000, with a goal of generating an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on the sale price.

Torelli specifies pressure-washing—a job that should be left to professionals. Pressure washing makes the house look “bright and clean in addition to getting rid of unsightly things like cobwebs, which may not be seen from the yard but will detract from the home’s cleanliness when seen up close,” she says.

The cost to have a professional cleaning should be a few hundred dollars—a fraction of the cost of having the house painted.

3. Trim the shrubs and green up the yard.

California real estate agent Valerie Torelli says she puts a lot of emphasis on landscaping, such as cutting down overgrown bushes and replacing them with leafy plants and annuals mulched with beautiful reddish-brown bark. “It runs me $30 to $50,” says Torelli. “Do you get a return on your money? Absolutely. It sucks people in.”

You also don’t want bare spots. Take the time to fertilize the yard, throw out some grass seed, and if need be, add some sod.

4. Add a splash of color.

It could be a flower bed of annuals by the mailbox, a paint job for the front door, or a brightly colored bench or an Adirondack chair. “You can get a cute little bench at Home Depot for $99,“ Torelli notes. “Spray paint it bright red or blue and set it in the yard or on the front porch.”

It’s not a bad idea, but don’t plan on getting extra points from an appraiser for a red bench, says John Bredemeyer, president of Realcorp in Omaha. “It’s difficult to quantify, but it does make a home sell more quickly,” Bredemeyer says. “Maybe yours sold a couple weeks faster than the house down the street. That’s the best way to look at these things.”

5. Add a fancy mailbox and house numbers.

An upscale mail box and architectural house numbers or an address plaque can give your house a distinctive look that stands out from everyone else on the block. Torelli makes them a part of her exterior makeovers “I’ve gotten those hand-painted mailboxes,” she says. “A nice one runs you $40 to $50.” Architectural house numbers may run as high as a few hundred dollars.

6. Repair or clean the roof.

Springfield, Va.-based home inspector and former builder Reggie Marston says the roof is one of the first things he looks at in assessing the condition of a home. He’ll look at other houses in the neighborhood to see if there are a lot of replaced roofs and see if the subject house has one as well. If not, he’ll look for curls in the shingles or missing shingles. “I’m looking at the roof for end-of-life expectancy,” he says.

You can pay for roof repairs now, or pay for them later in a lower appraisal; appraisers will mark down the value by the cost of the repair. That could knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of a new asphalt shingle roof is more than $19,000.

“Roofs are issues,” Lucco says. “You won’t throw money away on that job. You gotta have a decent roof.”

Stains and plant matter, such as moss, can be handled with cleaning. It’s a job that can often be done in a day for a few hundred dollars, and makes the roof look like new. It’s not a DIY project; call a professional with the right tools to clean it without damaging it.

7. Put up a fence.

A picket fence with a garden gate to frame the yard is an asset. A fence has more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community, Bredemeyer says, but in most instances, appraisers will give extra value for one, as long as it’s in good condition. “Day in a day out, a fence is a plus,“ Bredemeyer says. Expect to pay $2,000 to $3,500 for a professionally installed gated picket fence 3 feet high and 100 feet long.

8. Perform routine maintenance and cleaning.

Nothing sets off subconscious alarms like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or lawn tools rusting in the bushes. It makes even the professionals question what else hasn’t been taken care of.

“A house is worth less if the maintenance isn’t done,” Lucco says. “Those little things can add up and be a very big detractor. When people say, ‘I’d buy it if it weren’t for all the deferred maintenance,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘I’d still buy it if you reduce the price.’” 

Georgia-based freelance writer Pat Curry has covered housing and real estate for consumer and trade publications for more than a decade, including covering new home sales and marketing for BUILDER, the magazine of the National Association of Home Builders. 

Source: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/8-tips-adding-curb-appeal-and-value-your-home/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, July 23 2010

Sales Slow but Remain Above Last Year
With the scheduled closing deadline for the home buyer tax credits, existing-home sales slowed in June but remained at relatively elevated levels, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.37 million units in June from 5.66 million in May, but are 9.8 percent higher than the 4.89 million-unit pace in June 2009.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market shows uncharacteristic yet understandable swings as buyers responded to the tax credits. “June home sales still reflect a tax credit impact with some sales not closed due to delays, which will show up in the next two months,” he said. “Broadly speaking, sales closed after the home buyer tax credit will be significantly lower compared to the credit-induced spring surge. Only when jobs are created at a sufficient pace will home sales return to sustainable healthy levels.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 4.74 percent in June from 4.89 percent in May; the rate was 5.42 percent in June 2009.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $183,700 in June, which is 1.0 percent higher than a year ago. Distressed homes were at 32 percent of sales last month, compared with 31 percent in May; it was also 31 percent in June 2009.

NAR President Vicki Cox Golder said softer home sales expected this summer don’t tell the whole story. “Despite these market swings, total annual home sales are rising above 2009 and we’re looking for overall gains again this year as well as in 2011,” she said. “Conditions have become more balanced in much of the country, which is good for both buyers and sellers. However, consumers find it even more challenging to navigate the transaction process, especially for distressed properties, which only underscores the value REALTORS® bring to buyers and sellers in this market.”

A parallel NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 43 percent of homes in June, down from 46 percent in May. Investors accounted for 13 percent of sales in June, little changed from 14 percent in May; the remaining purchases were by repeat buyers. All-cash sales were at 24 percent in June compared with 25 percent in May.

Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 2.5 percent to 3.99 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 8.3-month supply in May.

“The supply of homes on the market is higher than we’d like to see. But home prices are still holding their ground because prices had already overcorrected in many local markets,” Yun said. Raw unsold inventory remains 12.7 percent below the record of 4.58 million in July 2008.

Single-family home sales fell 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.70 million in June from a level of 4.98 million in May, but are 8.5 percent above the 4.33 million pace in June 2009. The median existing single-family home price was $184,200 in June, up 1.3 percent from a year ago.

Single-family median existing-home prices were higher in 10 out of 19 metropolitan statistical areas reported in June in comparison with June 2009. In addition, existing single-family home sales rose in 12 of the 19 areas from a year ago while two were unchanged.

Existing condominium and co-op sales slipped 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 670,000 in June from 680,000 in May, but are 20.5 percent higher than the 556,000-unit pace in June 2009. The median existing condo price was $180,100 in June, which is 1.4 percent below a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 7.9 percent to an annual level of 960,000 in June and are 17.1 percent above June 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $244,300, down 1.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest dropped 7.5 percent in June to a pace of 1.23 million but are 11.8 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $155,900, down 0.1 percent from June 2009.

In the South, existing-home sales fell 6.5 percent to an annual level of 2.01 million in June but are 11.0 percent above June 2009. The median price in the South was $163,600, unchanged from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West dropped 9.3 percent to an annual pace of 1.17 million in June but are 0.9 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $221,800, up 1.5 percent from June 2009.

Source: NAR

http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010072201?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 22 2010

A Canadian auto supplier is expanding in Gibson County. Windsor Machine Group plans to hire 50 employees at its Princeton plant to help fill orders for Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F). The company currently employs 32 at the Gibson County operation, which produces headrests for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc.

Windsor Machine Croup, makers of automotive headrests, seating components, exhaust suspension systems, modular assemblies, rubber and plastic products and structural brackets and braces; headquartered in Windsor, Ontario is expanding it's Princeton, Indiana plant in Gibson County and will hire 50 new employees.

"With the help of the Gibson County Economic Development Corporation, Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana, Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Gibson County Commissioners we were able to secure a $500,000 Disaster Recovery Grant through a Community Development Block Grant program to purchase a Konal Polyurethane Foaming Assembly Line Machine which will allow us to fill orders for Ford Motor Company in both Kansas City, Missouri and Louisville, Kentucky said Windsor CFO Dave Zultek.

B. Todd Mosby, President and CEO of the Gibson County Economic Development Corporation stated the news will be welcomed by residents in the tri-state. He said, "The Gibson County Commissioners will be the actual owners of the property for the first 5-years as Windsor works to complete criteria set forth in the grant. Once the criteria is met, Windsor will take 100% possession of the machine."

Windsor Machine Group currently employs 32 people in their Princeton plant where they produce headrests products for Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana.

The Gibson County Economic Development Corporation is a 501 c(3) not-for-profit corporation located at 202 E. Broadway Street in Princeton. The Gibson County Economic Development Corporation was formed in 2006 with a mission to coordinate, assist, and advise Gibson County in economic development activities.

Source: Gibson County Economic Development Corporation & Inside INdiana Business

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=42746

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 05:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 19 2010

Local realtors say they're selling more homes this year than last.


The Evansville Area Association of Realtors is reporting a 12.4% increase in the number of single family homes sold in Vanderburgh, Warrick, Posey and Gibson counties.That's this year compared to last.
Also on the up side, the average price of the homes sold has increased by nearly 7% so far this year.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 19 2010

 


Market Watch For July 2010

We now have results from June closings and as I suggested, closed transactions declined from April and May.  Although June closings were almost 21% below May levels they were still slightly higher than the average for the preceding twelve months.  I do not expect July closings to be significantly different from June.  2010 will be something of a mirror image of 2009 for closed transactions.  The second half of 2009 was significantly stronger than the first half of 2009.  I believe that the first six months of 2010 will be stronger than the second six months of 2010.  The reason for this disparity in both years is the timing of tax credits.  The initial homebuyer tax credit expired in November of 2009.  The tax credits were subsequently extended and they expired in April of 2010.  I do not expect any renewal of these tax credits.

The best news going forward is that interest rates are at some of the lowest levels in history.  Since home prices are lower than they were a few years ago, and rates are great, you can buy more house with a lower monthly payment than at any time in recent history.

 We have also made shopping for homes easier than ever.  We just introduced Tuckermobile.com. This allows you to shop for homes quickly from your smart phone.  Now you can find everything from anywhere, any time.  Simply go to Tuckermobile.com and you can search by Street name, MLS number, zip code or any of several other options.  You can also save properties you select.  If you have signed up for MyFCTuckerEmge.com any saved properties you select on Tuckermobile.com will automatically appear on your saved searches.  All of this is free.  All of this is automatic.  None of it requires a download and it gives you 24/7 access to the entire MLS system from your smart phone.

 I can’t do anything about the temperature outside but I can help you shop from where ever you are comfortable.  Give me a call if I can help with any of your real estate needs and as always I really appreciate referrals if you know of someone else that is thinking about buying or selling.

Wishing you a great summer and we look forward talking to you soon.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:17 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, July 18 2010
Holiday World and Splashin' Safari's Wildebeest has landed on Popular Mechanics' list of the world's wildest water slides. The magazine says the ride stands out because it's the world's longest water coaster and uses linear-induction motors, which are commonly featured in steel roller coasters. 
 

The Wildebeest opened at Holiday World this April as a hydromagnetic water ride that includes seven drops, totaling 178 feet. The $5.5 million project is the second largest investment in the park's 64 years.

Why It Stands Above the Rest: Stretching one-third mile but lasting only 2-1/2 minutes, the Wildebeest is the world's longest water coaster. Wildebeest uses linear-induction motors to power four-person toboggan-style rafts. The technology, which is a common feature in steel roller coasters, makes the Wildebeest stand out as a slide—allowing it to move both downhill and uphill at 36 feet per second.

Source: Popular Mechanics & Inside INdiana Business

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=42657

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 13 2010

TIPS FOR CHOOSING PATIO FURNITURE

True outdoor furniture is manufactured to resist the rigors of radical temperature fluctuations and the onslaught of moisture. Arrange furniture for your deck or patio just as you would any room. Create groupings for various activities. Place seating close enough for easy conversation, but not so close as to invade personal space. Allow for traffic to flow easily between furniture groupings. Certain materials are designed to withstand the weather. Here are some durable options:

Cast- or wrought-iron furniture is heavy and durable yet prone to rust. It also requires periodic touch-ups and repainting if exposed to the elements. This type of outdoor furniture is appropriate in windy climates, where its considerable weight makes it less prone to being shifted around by gusts.

Synthetic wicker Synthetic wicker is typically made from moisture-proof polyester resins and rustproof aluminum framing. Colors mimic those of natural wicker, but the furniture can be placed outdoors and exposed to the elements without damage. Synthetic wicker is slightly more expensive than comparable pieces made of natural wicker.

Plastic and resin furniture is inexpensive and offered in limited styles and colors. When buying plastic furniture, look for qualitytop-grade plastic furniture has a 10-year warranty. Some plastic furniture is made from recycled materials. It's thick, heavy, and looks like wood, but never needs to be painted.

Source: BHG.com

 

DIY DECORATING TRICKS

 

Can't find (or afford) that perfect rug for your hallway? Make a custom runner by piecing together smaller floor mats.

 

A painted staircase "runner" can bring bold color to a small space.

 

Painting a floor can give form to a room where everything is function. Before you start painting, take a long look at the shape of the room: The more complicated its layout the more radiators and hearths and pillars it has - the less complicated the floor pattern should be. A small area seems larger by a floor painted with oversize squares in closely related tones of blue and green.

 

Add an element of surprise to a staircase. Create stair-climbing vines with a rubber stamp and latex paint; use a brush to apply paint to the stamp. Wipe mistakes away with damp paper towels.

 

A carpet remnant one of your own or from a rug store - can serve as the basis of a distinctive but inexpensive custom floor covering.

 

Turn any surface into a unique faux-brick wall or floor with a decorative painting technique.

 

Rough jute upholstery webbing is normally hidden beneath layers of batting and fabric. When handwoven in a simple under-and-over pattern, this practical textile becomes a trim, durable floor mat or decorative runner for a front hallway.

Source: MarthaStewart.c

 


TIPS FOR CHOOSING PATIO FURNITURE

True outdoor furniture is manufactured to resist the rigors of radical temperature fluctuations and the onslaught of moisture. Arrange furniture for your deck or patio just as you would any room. Create groupings for various activities. Place seating close enough for easy conversation, but not so close as to invade personal space. Allow for traffic to flow easily between furniture groupings. Certain materials are designed to withstand the weather. Here are some durable options:

Cast- or wrought-iron furniture is heavy and durable yet prone to rust. It also requires periodic touch-ups and repainting if exposed to the elements. This type of outdoor furniture is appropriate in windy climates, where its considerable weight makes it less prone to being shifted around by gusts.

Synthetic wicker Synthetic wicker is typically made from moisture-proof polyester resins and rustproof aluminum framing. Colors mimic those of natural wicker, but the furniture can be placed outdoors and exposed to the elements without damage. Synthetic wicker is slightly more expensive than comparable pieces made of natural wicker.

Plastic and resin furniture is inexpensive and offered in limited styles and colors. When buying plastic furniture, look for qualitytop-grade plastic furniture has a 10-year warranty. Some plastic furniture is made from recycled materials. It's thick, heavy, and looks like wood, but never needs to be painted.

Source: BHG.com


 

DIY DECORATING TRICKS

 

Can't find (or afford) that perfect rug for your hallway? Make a custom runner by piecing together smaller floor mats.

 

A painted staircase "runner" can bring bold color to a small space.

 

Painting a floor can give form to a room where everything is function. Before you start painting, take a long look at the shape of the room: The more complicated its layout the more radiators and hearths and pillars it has - the less complicated the floor pattern should be. A small area seems larger by a floor painted with oversize squares in closely related tones of blue and green.

 

Add an element of surprise to a staircase. Create stair-climbing vines with a rubber stamp and latex paint; use a brush to apply paint to the stamp. Wipe mistakes away with damp paper towels.

 

A carpet remnant one of your own or from a rug store - can serve as the basis of a distinctive but inexpensive custom floor covering.

 

Turn any surface into a unique faux-brick wall or floor with a decorative painting technique.

 

Rough jute upholstery webbing is normally hidden beneath layers of batting and fabric. When handwoven in a simple under-and-over pattern, this practical textile becomes a trim, durable floor mat or decorative runner for a front hallway.

Source: MarthaStewart.com

 

Grilled Spare Ribs with Barbeque Sauce

2 slabs pork spare ribs (2 1/2 pounds each) 2 tbsp chili powder Coarse salt Ground pepper

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 small onion, grated

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups ketchup

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Desired variations (Kansas City style: 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar, 2 tablespoons molasses, and 1 tablespoon yellow mustard; Memphis style: 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco) and 1/4 cup sugar; Dallas style: 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo sauce and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season ribs with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Stack slabs on a double layer of aluminum foil; wrap tightly. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Cook until meat is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, cayenne, and desired variation (see ingredients above). Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Heat grill to medium-high; lightly oil grates. Carefully remove ribs from foil, pouring off any accumulated liquid. Brush ribs generously with sauce; grill until charred, 2 to

3 minutes per side. Serve with extra sauce, if
desired.

 

 

WARRANTY WISDOM

Home warranties are often used as a negotiating tool in competitive real estate situations. Whether you are buying or selling your home, a HomeTrust Warranty® home service agreement provides protection from unexpected breakdowns of covered appliances and in major systems. It can also give you the assurance that someone is there to help you with a problem on covered items.

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 12 2010

Adding tile accents to your bathroom can turn a ho-hum space into a work of art! These tips on tile can help you design a bathroom that is sure to wow your guests.

Tile Design: Let the Beauty Begin!

Tile is a very versatile way to design a bathroom that is uniquely yours. These ideas can spark the creativity necessary for that beautiful bathroom tile design:

  • Choose tile that mimics the soothing feeling of water. Light blue tiles, glass tiles, and tiles that cascade down in a variety of blue and cream colors can create a visual that reminds you of water. Tile the shower walls for a more dramatic feeling.
  • Use vivid tile as an accent to liven up a rather neutral bath. Splashes of lively color can be a focal point in a sizable bathroom, or make a small bathroom seem larger.
  • Want your bathroom to be a real show stopper? Consider mirrored tile throughout. Not only does it make the space seem larger, it adds a brilliance that can't be matched with any other option.
  • Go earthy with rough tile in natural tones. Greens, browns, and deep reds can help bring the outside in, especially if you have large windows that offer a great deal of light.
  • Why stick with one color or style? Mix and match bathroom tile colors and textures to add an interesting element to your bathroom. Contrasting colors can add an elegant depth that gets your guests talking.
  • Geometric shapes and patterns work well for a contemporary or minimalist bathroom style. When you use small tiles of varying colors, the options are virtually endless.
  • Make a splash with large granite and slate tiles in your shower. The natural textures and colors can make your shower feel more like a waterfall than a man-made structure.
  • Want to make your shower even more interesting? Opt for shower tiles on the floor that look and feel like wide, flat rocks.
  • Prove your eco-friendly savvy by opting for tiles made of recycled materials. Plastic bottles are often used to create tiles and the like; make sure the tiles you choose are as close to 100 percent recycled as you can get.
  • Reach for heights of elegance in your bathroom with a decorative tile mosaic. Choose a design that suits your personal style and hire a professional to create your very personal work of art.

Both functional and decorative, tiles in the bathroom can turn a simple room into a beautiful oasis.

About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.

Source: http://ideas.reliableremodeler.com/Article.aspx?Title=10-Ways-Tile-Can-Turn-Your-Bathroom-Into-a-Masterpiece&AC=1&ID=2892

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, July 02 2010

Outdoor kitchens continue to be one of the hottest trends in home décor, but not all of them are created equal.

Here are some things to consider when evaluating the safety and durability of this attractive yet vulnerable feature:

• Is there adequate ventilation? Extensive outdoor cooking spaces should be carefully designed to keep smoke and odors away from dining spaces.
• Was the installation done by licensed and insured installers? If something does goes wrong — even years later — these professionals will stand behind their work.
• Are the cabinets, countertops, and appliances really weather proof and likely to hold up?

Source: The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), Roxanne Washington (07/01/2010)

http://www.realtor.org/rmodaily.nsf/pages/News2010070202?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:18 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 01 2010
After a close brush with a deadline that could have impacted tens of thousands of home buyers, the U.S. Congress last night passed an extension of the Home buyer Tax Credit closing deadline.

The extension is included in the Home Buyer Assistance and Improvement Act (H.R. 5623) and will prevent as many as 180,000 home buyers from losing their eligibility for the tax credit through no fault of their own. These households had home purchase contracts pending as of April 30 and had until June 30 to close on their purchases to claim the federal tax credit. Under the legislation that passed last night, these households now have until September 30 to close.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® supported extension of that closing deadline because buyers are experiencing delays in getting their financing closed. The delays are the result of the large number of transactions that are short sales, which can take a long time to close, and the rush of transactions lenders are processing from buyers submitting contracts before the April 30 contract deadline.

The legislation, which now goes to President Obama for signature, is designed to create a seamless extension of the closing deadline; there will be no gap between June 30 and the date the President signs the bill into law.

NAR worked closely with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle in supporting lawmakers' passage of the legislation, which the association says will help provide additional stability to real estate markets across the nation.

Separately, the U.S. Senate also last night passed the National Flood Insurance Program Extension Act of 2010 (H.R. 5569), which extends the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30. This will allow home purchases in the 100-year floodplain to move forward. The House passed the bill last week.

When signed into law by the President, the bill, which will apply retroactively, will cover the lapse period from June 1 to the date of enactment of the extension. Without flood insurance, households buying homes in the 100-year floodplain cannot obtain mortgage financing.  

More information on both pieces of legislation is at
REALTOR.org.

Source: NAR http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010070101?OpenDocument
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 03:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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