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 Real Estate Blog 
Monday, October 31 2011

The winter months are quickly approaching, and we are hoping that you'll have a warm, cozy season in your beautiful new home! In fact, we are including with this letter some quick tips for making sure that you and your new home are ready for the winter months ahead! We hope that you find these tips to be helpful and useful. If you need anything at all, you can reach Rolando at 499-9234 or Kathy at 499-0246 or visit our Web site at:



Roof repairs:


Seal it off:


Hot stuff:


Chimney sweep:


Creosote, a black substance that builds up in the chimney when wood is burned, can cause chimney fires. Inspect your chimney for creosote and call a chimney sweep to keep your fireplace safe and functional.
Make sure that your heater and ventilation systems are in good working order! Clean out accessible ducts and replace filters where necessary.
Inspect doors and windows to ensure that the weather-stripping is in good condition. This will keep your house warmer and cozier in the winter months.

Gutter check:

Now's the time to clean out those rain gutters again! If you want to do it yourself, make sure that you can safely access the gutters and then scoop out any debris, blast the drains clean with a high-powered hose, and repair any leaks you may find along the way.
If you can safely get onto your roof to inspect for missing shingles or other factors that may lead to a leaky roof, now's the time to do it! If not, call in a professional organization and have them take care of the rooftop work for you.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 28 2011

Home sales in the Evansville area were up nearly 15 percent in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the same period last year, with Gibson County the only county in a four-county Southwestern Indiana metro area showing a slight decline.

At the same time, Gibson County led the way with a sharp increase in median home prices, an apparent result of near-back-to-normal operations at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana near Princeton.

Median prices also rose in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. The median increase in the four-county area was more than 10 percent better than in the July-September period last year, with a decline reported only in Posey County.

Still, the developments last quarter are part of a year where home sales in Vanderburgh and the three surrounding Hoosier counties together are lagging behind those in the first nine months of 2010. But average home prices for the year to date are up. Sales so far this year are 4.8 percent behind last year, but the average sale price is up 4.6 percent and the median sales price is up 3.1 percent.

The new quarterly statistics are "part of a period of stabilization we've seen over the past two years" in local residential sales, said Bob S. Reid, president of Appraisal Consultants Inc. of Evansville, which compiled the data. "Property values are holding, and sales are steady also," he said. The period from 2007 through most of 2009 saw a substantial decline.

Read more here: Evansville Courier-News


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 27 2011
Several times over the past few months I have suggested that we need more listings because properly priced listings are selling. There are three reasons that I feel so strongly that this is the case. First, the number of listings on the market is below historical norms. We currently have less than 2900 active listings in our area. This compares to a high of over 3700 listings, or a reduction of 25%. Second, is that our month’s supply has remained pretty consistent since February at levels lower than the previous two years. Third, our prices have stabilized at levels about 3% above last year’s prices. Keep in mind this information applies to the housing market in this area only, not the entire country.
     I have been confident that good listings are selling for some time now but received some confirmation from an unexpected source recently. I have a Realtor friend in Ft. Wayne who does a lot of real estate statistical analysis. He asked me if I would share some information about our MLS so he could see what his analysis suggested about our local market. I sent him the information he requested and a few days later he sent me an email. The first half of his comments were statistical in nature and discussed the ratios he used, but the second half was pretty clear either to the novice or a seasoned veteran. He said “All I can say is you better be getting listings because they are selling, certainly if priced right…” Keep in mind his analysis is based only on hard numbers and has nothing to do with his direct experience in this market. If you or anyone you know is considering a move, now is the right time to act.  
    Homes in good condition that are priced right are selling. I can’t promise that I can sell your home today but I can promise that no company or agent in this area has better tools or a better marketing system that F. C. Tucker Emge Realtors. Call me today and I can get your home on the market before conditions change again.
   Kathy and I have been working on a Home Buyer’s Guide for some time now and we would be more than happy to share this with you. Just call me at 812-499-9234 or email me at and I will email you the report.
We hope you will enjoy the rest of the fall season as we are. We took a small trip to Patoka Lake last weekend and saw thoroughly enjoyed nature in full color.
Posted by: AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 26 2011

Don’t use chemicals to clear clogged drains. Use a plumber’s snake and follow these tips on preventing clogged drains.

Clogged drains are the most common home plumbing problem, but you probably don’t think much about the network of pipes inside your home’s walls until a drain stops working. Clogged drains are a hassle, but easily cleared.

However, you can avoid the hassle by paying attention to what goes down your drain. A little care
prolongs the life of plumbing pipes, prevents leaks, and avoids costly repairs.

Avoid chemical drain-clearing products

You can buy chemicals to clear clogged drains, but these products sometimes do more harm than good. They can actually erode cast-iron drainpipes. 

And because they typically don’t remove the entire clog, the problem is likely to recur, causing you to use the chemicals repeatedly. The caustic action of chemicals may eventually wear away the insides of pipes, causing leaks.

Better to hire a plumber to snake the drain (usually $85 to $325) and completely remove the chunk of hair or grease that’s plugging the line.

Better still (and cheaper!), pick up a manually operated augur, or snake, of your own, for about $15 at the hardware store. Or, rent an electric snake for about $30 for a half day, and try clearing the clogged drain yourself.

Prevent clogged drains

Clogged drains aren’t just nuisances. Backed-up water puts added pressure on wastepipes, stressing them and shortening their lifespan. To avoid clogged drains:

  • Keep food scraps out of kitchen drains. Scrape food into the trash before doing dishes—even if you have a disposal—and never put liquid grease down the drain; pour it into a sealable container to put in the garbage after it cools.
  • Keep hair out of bathroom drains. Install screens over drains in showers and tubs, and pull out what hair you can every few weeks to prevent buildups.
  • Keep anything but sewage and TP out of toilets.

Keep your sewer lines or septic tank clear

If you have municipal sewers, hire a plumber to snake your main sewage cleanout every few years. This will cost $135 to $600, and will remove tree roots that inevitably work their way into these pipes—leading to messy sewage backups.

If you have a septic system, get the
tank pumped out every three to five years for $75 to $350; it’ll be more for larger tanks.

A former staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, Joe Bousquin writes about housing, construction, and home improvement. The galvanized steel water pipes in his 1930 home in Sacramento, Calif., have all been replaced with copper.

Read more:

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, October 25 2011

Indiana State Police Participate in Prescription Drug Take Back Day

On Saturday, October 29, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be sponsoring the third nationwide "Prescription Drug Take Back" initiative. The "Take Back" initiative seeks to prevent increased prescription drug abuse and theft. Collection sites will be set up nationwide as collection points for expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
The Indiana State Police will once again be participating in this initiative. All state police posts are available as prescription drug drop off sites with the exception of the Toll Road Post in Bristol. Citizens in southern Indiana wishing to participate in this program may drop off their prescription drugs for disposal at the Indiana State Police Post in Evansville located at 19411 Highway 41 North, on Saturday, October 29, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 24 2011
Last month, home building was at its fastest pace in 17 months, rising 15 percent from August and posting the new-home sector’s best pace since April 2010, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

In September, single-family home building increased 1.7 percent, while apartment building jumped 53.4 percent.

Builders began work on a seasonally adjusted 658,000 homes in September. While that marks a big improvement, the level still remains only about half of the 1.2 million pace that economists consider healthy for the new-home sector.

Builders are continuing to struggle to compete against heavily discounted foreclosures and short sales that are plaguing many markets.

Building permits, which serve as a measure of future building, dropped 5 percent in September, the Commerce Department reported.

Yet, builders seem to be getting more optimistic that the new-home market is showing signs of improvement. The National Association of Home Builders reported on Tuesday that industry sentiment rose in October to 18, the highest level in over a year. However, overall sentiment about the industry remains low--any reading below 50 indicates negative sentiment about the housing market (a level that hasn’t been reached since April 2006).

Source: “September Home Building Rose 15%, But Permits for Future Homes Fell 5%” Associated Press (Oct. 19, 2011)

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, October 22 2011
Having trouble starting your leaf blower or chain saw? You’re not alone.

In the past few years small engine repair shops have been reporting an increase in problems with outdoor power equipment and landscape tools, such as leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and string trimmers. The culprit? Ethanol-blended gasoline.

Ethanol is a solvent that contributes to the deterioration of rubber gaskets, plastic nozzles, and aluminum — parts and materials common to small engines. Although heavy use and age contribute to wear and tear on internal components, ethanol speeds up the process.

In addition, ethanol contributes to deposits in fuel lines and carburetors, blocking fuel flow and causing engines to refuse to start.

In low concentrations, ethanol isn’t especially harmful to small engines. E10 ethanol blend, which is made up of 10% ethanol, is considered acceptable.

However, the EPA recently approved higher concentrations that are readily available at many gas station pumps: E15, a 15% blend, and E85 made for flex-fuel vehicles.

The reasoning, of course, is commendable: Using higher concentrations of domestically produced biofuels reduces gasoline consumption and yields better mileage for vehicles. Large, modern car and truck engines are designed to run ethanol-blended gas.

These higher concentrations, however, can wreak havoc on small engines. Small engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, for example, voids the warranty on its power equipment if you use gas with a higher concentration of ethanol than E10.

And E10 itself isn’t completely off the hook. Ethanol combines easily with water, meaning that it tends to grab and hold onto any moisture lingering in cans and fuel tanks. The result is an uneven fuel mixture that contains water — a bummer for engines.

The problem occurs when fuel cans and equipment containing old gas are left sitting around for months – chances increase that ethanol has made the fuel mixture potentially hazardous to your leaf blower and chain saw.

The potential frustration – and cost – to home owners is considerable. Briggs & Stratton estimates there are more than $50 billion worth of lawn mowers in garages all over the country.

Want to protect your investment, and avoid trips to the repair shop just when the leaves are falling? Here’s what to do:

  • Use clean, fresh unleaded gasoline with a minimum of 87 octane.
  • At the gas pump, check ethanol ratings carefully. Don’t use gas with a blend ratio higher than 10% (E10).
  • Change fuel frequently. Gas that’s been sitting around for more than 60 days should be replaced with fresh gas.
  • Gently slosh fuel containers to remix gas before adding fuel to small engines.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas mixture. Ask your equipment dealer to recommend a product that’s formulated to reduce water absorption caused by ethanol gas.
  • When storing equipment, such as your lawn mower over the winter, run the engine dry. Buy fresh gas next year.

Have you had a problem with your gas-powered leaf blower or trimmer? Was ethanol the culprit?

Read more:
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 21 2011
The Zoo’s most popular event is just around the corner! Enjoy a safe Halloween and visit the creatures of the night in our newly renovated Nocturnal exhibit, as well as AMAZONIA, all at the same time! Visitors will trick or treat throughout the zoo visiting more than a dozen candy stations, plus enjoy craft activities, a giant inflatable, a Mad Scientist, murals, face painting, creepy critters, games and of course, our Amazing Magician Don Baggett! Don’t forget to dress up in your favorite costume. Visitors of all ages will have a frightfully good time and enjoy an adventuresome Halloween, leaving the Zoo with a bag full of goodies!

Date: October 21, 22, 24, 28, 29, 30 - 2011

Time: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Location: Mesker Park Zoo address:1545 Mesker Park Drive Evansville, IN 47720

Price: $8-General Admission; $6-Zoo Members; 1 and under - Free
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, October 20 2011

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says construction of the Ford Center created 30 percent more local jobs than originally estimated. The city says more than three-quarters of the nearly 1,600 workers on the new downtown arena are members of local trade unions.

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is pleased to announce that the construction of the Ford Center created 30 percent more jobs for local laborers than originally estimated.

Collectively, the 1,597 people who completed safety orientation training logged approximately 692,862 hours on the project. According to Hunt Construction, 1,275, or 80 percent, of those who worked on the Ford Center are members of local trade unions.

An initial economic impact study, completed before construction on the facility began, estimated that only 50 percent of jobs created would be from local labor.

“When we began this project in 2008, we knew it would benefit hundreds of local families by putting men and women from our community to work. Today, I am proud to report that the economic impact of the construction of the Ford Center has exceeded our expectations. With Indiana and the nation struggling with record unemployment, we created good paying jobs for nearly 1,300 area residents,” said Mayor Weinzapfel.

“The construction of the Ford Center provided a much needed boost for all of our local craftspeople. We are proud of the work that’s been done and proud to have been part of the project. Hunt Construction created a great environment on the job and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner,” said Jack McNeely, President of the Central Labor Council. “The Ford Center is going to be a significant asset for Evansville.”

To thank all of the men and women who worked countless hours to make the Ford Center a reality, a contractor appreciation event is being held this Saturday.

It is a celebration of the workers’ achievement and an opportunity to showcase the project to family and friends.

The multi-purpose Ford Center will be the region’s center for sports and entertainment, designed to host basketball, hockey, concerts, exhibitions, and shows for audiences as large as 11,000.

More information is available at and

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 19 2011
Besides the annual inspection and sweep for your chimney, improve the function of your wood fireplace with responsible use.

Ready for the colder months? You will be if you follow these simple guidelines to keep your wood fireplace burning brightly—and safely.

1. Only burn dry, cured wood—logs that have been split, stacked, and dried for eight to 12 months. Cover your log pile on top, but leave the sides open for air flow.

Hardwoods such as hickory, white oak, beech, sugar maple, and white ash burn longest, though dry firewood is more important than the species. Less dense woods like spruce or white pine burn well if sufficiently dry, but you’ll need to add more wood to your fire more often, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA).

2. Burn firewood and only firewood! Crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood releases chemicals into your home, compromising air quality. Log starters are fine for getting your wood fireplace going, but they burn very hot; generally only use one at a time.

3. Close the damper when not using your wood fireplace to prevent warm indoor air—and the dollars you’re spending to heat it—from rushing up the chimney.

4. Keep bifold glass doors open when burning a fire to allow heat to get into the room. On a factory-built, prefab wood fireplace with a circulating fan, keep doors closed to prevent unnecesary heat loss.

5. Have a chimney cap installed to prevent objects, rain, and snow from falling into your chimney, and to reduce downdrafts. Caps have side vents so smoke escapes. A chimney sweep usually provides and can install a stainless steel cap, which is better than a galvanized metal one because it won’t rust. Caps cost $50 to $200.

6. Replace a poorly sealing damper to prevent heat loss. A top-mounted damper that also functions as a rain cap provides a tighter closure than a traditional damper for your wood fireplace.

7. Install carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors in your house—near your wood fireplace as well as in bedroom areas.

8. Get your chimney cleaned twice a year if you burn more than three cords of wood annually. A cord is 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long, or the amount that would fill two full-size pickup trucks.

9. To burn a fire safely, build it slowly, adding more wood as it heats. Keep the damper of your wood fireplace completely open to increase draw in the early stages. Burn the fire hot, at least occasionally—with the damper all the way open to help prevent smoke from lingering in the fireplace and creosote from developing.

Read more:
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 18 2011
Inspect windows and doors regularly to stop air leaks and water seeps that create high energy and repair bills. We’ll show you how.

Take a look at
windows, doors and skylights to stop air leaks, foil water drips, and detect the gaps and rot that let the outside in and the inside out. You can perform a quick check with a home air pressure test, or do a detailed inspection. Luckily, these inspections are easy to do. Here’s how to examine the barriers that should stand between you and the elements.
Big picture inspection
A home air pressure test sucks air into the house to reveal air leaks that increase your energy bills. To inspect windows and other openings:
  • Seal the house by locking all doors, windows, skylights, and shutting all vents.
  • Close all dampers and vents.
  • Turn on all kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
  • Pass a burning incense stick along all openings—windows, doors, fireplaces, outlets—to pinpoint air rushing in from the outside.
Windows and the outside world
Air and water can seep into closed widows from gaps and rot in frames, deteriorating caulking, cracked glass, and closures that don’t fully close.

To stop air leaks, pinpoint window problems.
  • Give a little shake. If they rattle, frames are not secure, so heat and air conditioning can leak out and rain can seep in. Some caulk and a few nails into surrounding framing will fix this.
  • Look deep. If you can see the outside from around—not through—the window, you’ve got gaps. Stop air leaks by caulking and weather stripping around frames.
  • Inspect window panes for cracks.
  • Check locks. Make sure double-hung windows slide smoothly up and down. If not, run a knife around the frame and sash to loosen any dried paint. Tighten cranks on casement windows and check that top locks fully grab latches.
Door doubts
  • Check doors for cracks that weaken their ability to stop air leaks and water seeps.
  • Inspect weather stripping for peels and gaps.
  • Make sure hinges are tight and doors fit securely in their thresholds.
Inspect skylights
Brown stains on walls under a skylight are telltale signs that water is invading and air is escaping. Cut a small hole in the stained drywall to check for wetness, which would indicate rot, or gaps in the skylight.

To investigate skylight leaks, carefully climb on the roof and look for the following:
  • Open seams between flashing or shingles.
  • Shingle debris that allows water to collect on roofs.
  • Failed and/or cracked cement patches put down the last time the skylight leaked.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 17 2011

Kitchen fires are eminently preventable. Here’s how to stay safe now and during the holidays when you really put your oven and stove through their paces.

I was troubled to see so many kitchen fires crowding the news today — especially since Sunday begins Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 9-15).

Cooking fires, primarily started on ranges or in ovens, cause 40% of all house fires, and 36% of all fire-related injuries, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Frying poses the greatest risk, and Thanksgiving is the peak day for kitchen fires.

So let’s stay safe. Follow these easy safety tips, courtesy of the NFPA.

How to prevent a kitchen fire

1. Be alert. If you’re tired or tipsy, don’t use the stove or oven.

2. Never leave the kitchen — even for a short time — when food is frying, grilling, or broiling. Don’t leave the house if food is simmering, baking, or roasting.

3. Use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.

4. Clear away from stovetops anything that can catch fire, like cloth and paper towels, oven mitts, and wooden spoons.

How to put out a kitchen fire

1. Get out of the kitchen. Close the door behind you when you leave to help prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of your house.

2. When you reach safety, call 911 or your local emergency number.

3. Make sure others are out of the house and you have an escape route before you try to fight the fire.

4. Smother a grease fire by sliding a pot lit over the pan. Then, turn off the stove. Don’t remove the lid until the pan is cool.

5. If your oven catches fire, turn it off and keep the door closed.
For a look at another method of putting out a grease fire, check out this video:

Read more:

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 14 2011
Double the number of housing markets moved into the “improving” category this month compared to last month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index, which debuted last month.

Twenty-three housing markets qualified as “improving” compared to 12 last month. Metro areas are considered “improving” if they show an improvement in housing permits, employment, and housing prices for at least six months. Texas cities appear the most frequently on the list.

"Both the number and geographic diversity of improving housing markets expanded this month, with Iowa, Illinois, and South Carolina all newly represented by one entry or more on the list," Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman, said in a statement. "This is further evidence that, despite the tough conditions that persist in many cities, pockets of improvement are emerging in local housing markets across the country."

The following are the 23 markets labeled “improving” in October, according to NAHB’s index:

  • Alexandria, La.
  • Amarillo, Texas
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Bismarck, N.D.
  • Casper, Wyo.
  • Fairbanks, Ark.
  • Fayetteville, N.C.
  • Houma, La.
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Jonesboro, Ark.
  • Kankakee, Ill.
  • McAllen, Texas
  • Midland, Texas
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Odessa, Texas
  • Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Sherman, Texas
  • Sumter, S.C.
  • Waco, Texas
  • Waterloo, Iowa
  • Wichita Falls, Texas
  • Winston-Salem, N.C.

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine Daily News


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:46 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, October 12 2011
Do the geese flying south have you thinking of closing up your house and spending the winter in a warmer climate? Before you pack your swimsuit and sandals, take note: If you leave your house empty for too long, you could lose your home owners insurance — and your home equity if a fire or other disaster destroys or damages your house.

Insurance companies hate vacant houses, whether you’re taking a extended vacation or you’re moving out of town and leaving your house empty. If you’re not home and a water pipe busts, a fire starts, or someone breaks in, chances are the subsequent mess is going to be pretty big — along with the insurance claim for the damage.

If you’re lucky, your insurance company will let you leave the house vacant, but just won’t pay for certain things like broken glass, vandalism, or malicious mischief. At worst, your home owners insurance company will yank your policy if you go away and leave the house unattended for a month or more.

Some companies, like State Farm, decide on a case-by-case basis whether you can keep your policy when you’re temporarily not living in your home, especially if you’ve got a plan to take care of the place while you’re out of town.

Say you’re going on a two-month, around-the-world cruise (lucky you!). You’re more likely to keep your coverage if you hire a company to shovel the snow so your home looks occupied while you’re gone.

Some insurers will cancel your policy if your house is vacant for 30 days. If that happens to you, call a commercial insurance broker. Commercial agents sell insurance to landlords who have vacant houses all the time — during renovations, or when they’re between tenants.

Expect to pay about 15% to 20% more than you were paying for your regular home owners insurance.

The bottom line is that if you’re heading south for the winter, read the fine print in your home owners policy to see what it says about vacancies. Then, email your agent or insurance company to double-check the rules. Don’t call, because an email is a written record of your communication. You might need that record later if the company refuses to pay a claim because your house was vacant.

Have you left your house vacant for more than a month? Did you check your home owners insurance policy before you left?

Read more:
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 11 2011
Another housing market slump may be on the way but Evansville realtors are not worrying about it.

The President of the Evansville Association of Realtors Chris Dickson says home sales are up from last year.

Dickson tells NEWS 25 July sales were up 19 percent and up 33 percent in August.

He also say the average price is also up 20 percent because people are buying more expensive homes.

Dickson tells us less foreclosures are coming onto the market but there are still several foreclosure properties sitting vacant in Evansville.


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 10 2011

Whether it’s a new house or an old house, people like hardwood floors better than carpet, especially on the main floor.

Looking at the stats for North King County, a home without hardwood floors is about 2X as likely not to sell, especially at a price point of $400,000 or more for the home. About 24% to 26% of homes that “expire”, or homes still on market and not sold, do not have hardwood floors. Compare that to only 14% of SOLD homes without hardwood floors and you see that 86% of recent home buyers chose a home that had hardwood floors.

Wide plank, narrow plank, light oak, dark finish…lots of variances as to preference of TYPE of hardwood floor. But hands down, even if the new buyer refinishes the floors to a different color, they choose homes with hardwood floors that they can refinish over homes that would need hardwood floors installed.

While “What type of carpet to use to sell your home?” has not changed much…the better answer for the main living areas is hardwood…hands down.

The “new” preferred color of hardwood is less red than the once popular Brazilian Cherry, darker than the blonde tones of yesteryear, but not quite as dark as the short lived chocolate brown craze that lasted about a millisecond.

A warm chestnut brown is the color of the day.

It’s great for the floors…but a little dull for the kitchen or bathroom cabinetry. The new warm chestnut brown hardwoods are best used when the kitchen and main floor baths are a light colored ceramic tile or a laminate floor that blends the color.

Armstrong calls the color “gunstock”. It’s darker than light…lighter than dark…and solidly BROWN vs orange or red tones. Much easier to decorate a room without clashing with the tone of the hardwoods when using this color in many and varied rooms in the house. As a matching cabinet color choice though…I don’t think that trend will last. It’s just too darned dull to have as a kitchen cabinet color.

If after reading this you have any questions as to the color I am talking about…just visit any new model homes…it’s all the rage…and they are pretty much ALL using it in their model homes.


Posted by: Rolando trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 07 2011

The Disney Institute's professional development program is coming to Evansville later this month. The October 27 event is being sponsored by Ivy Tech Corporate College-Southwest.

 Disney Institute is bringing its renowned professional development program, Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence, to the Holiday Inn – Evansville Airport on Thursday, October 27, 2011. Sponsored by Ivy Tech Corporate College-Southwest, the full-day event will allow area professionals to learn how a leader’s behaviors are instrumental in conveying values, guiding strategy and inspiring passion and interest among employees.

“This is a great opportunity for southern Indiana business professionals to participate in a Disney Institute experience in Evansville,” said Jeff James, vice president for Disney Institute. “It’s a day of Disney training that will offer dozens of easy-to-implement, proven ideas that can help transform an organization. The program is as appropriate for project managers and intact work teams as it is for leaders and senior executives.”

Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence gives participants the chance to explore proven Disney leadership philosophies that encourage values that produce results and are fundamental for organizations to grow and succeed.

“In an era where everyone is competing for business and market share, strong leadership is essential for any organization to thrive,” James said. “This program is made for businesses in any industry looking to build passionate workforce dedicated to delivering products and services that exceed customer expectations.”

Program registration is $399 per person and includes all course materials and lunch. Employers sending five or more participants receive $20 off each registration. Ivy Tech alumni, students, and employees will receive a $20 discount. Price includes all course materials, a continental breakfast, and lunch. For more information or to register, please call (812) 429-9810 or visit

About Disney Institute

Disney Institute is the global professional training arm of The Walt Disney Company. One of the most recognized names in professional development, Disney Institute travels the world offering engaging seminars, workshops and presentations, as well as fully customized programming. Immersive learning experiences are also offered at Disney destinations in the United States, Europe and Asia, enabling participants to go behind the scenes and see firsthand how business theory drives operational excellence. The Disney Institute client roster includes Fortune 500 companies as well as a wide range of small businesses, non-profits and government agencies. To learn more, please visit,,, or call (321) 939-4600.

Source: Ivy Tech Corporate College & Report

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, October 06 2011
The Appraisal Institute recently released a form to help appraisers factor in energy-efficient home features when valuing homes. The forms can also be used by real estate agents in describing “green” properties on the MLS, the Appraisal Institute notes.

Everything from a home owners’ energy efficient appliances to solar panels may now get more attention from appraisals with the added form.

The new form allows appraisers to identify and describe a home’s green features. It will serve as an optional addendum to Fannie Mae Form 1004, which is the appraisal industry’s mostly commonly used form for mortgage purposes, used by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration.

“We hope lenders, home builders, real estate agents, and home owners will take advantage of this new tool,” Joseph C. Magdziarz, president of the Appraisal Institute, said in a statement. “Mortgage lenders who want to see energy features analyzed should request the green addendum to be included with Form 1004. We also encourage lenders to provide the green addendum to home owners so they can fill it out and provide it to their appraiser. If a new home is being appraised, home builders can use the addendum to provide data to appraisers. Real estate agents also can use the data to help populate the MLS.”

Source: “Appraisal Institute Issues Form to Help Real Estate Appraisers Analyze ‘Green’ Features,” RISMedia (Sept. 29, 2011)

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 03 2011

The Solid Waste District conducts tire recycling programs each year in the spring and fall for the residents of Vanderburgh County.  These programs provide an environmentally proper method of disposal of used tires so that they are kept out of the landfill and are not illegally dumped.  There is a $1 per tire fee for car & light truck tires.  Semi tires are $10 and tractor tires are $25.  Tires from businesses are not accepted.  The District accepts an unlimited number of tires free of charge from neighborhood associations and other civic groups who collect unwanted tires from alleys, roadsides and ditches.

Location: Civic Center Parking Lot    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Saturday, October 15

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:05 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 03 2011

You might think a pot trust would be a trust designed to hold your maui wowie and/or Bob Marley memorabilia. But in fact, this type of trust is designed to promote fairness in families with a big age gap between children.

In many cases, a husband and wife will divide their property equally between their children at the death of the second spouse to die. That can be fair, but what if one child is 25 years old (and has completed college) while the other child is 14 (and has yet to begin college)? Given the high cost of higher education, "equality" could be unfair in this situation. For instance, if we assume husband and wife had a combined estate of $400,000, then each child would receive $200,000. The younger child's inheritance may be consumed (largely or even entirely) by tuition and room and board, while the older child can use the $200,000 as he or she sees fit.

Enter the pot trust. Instead of dividing property equally at the death of the second spouse to die, the property is held in trust until the younger child reaches a certain age (for instance, 25) or graduates from college. Up until that time, money can come out of the pot trust for either child, but the main purpose of the pot trust -- expressed specifically in the trust document -- is for the payment of the younger child's education expenses.

Once the termination date is reached (say, younger child reaches 25), the pot trust terminates and the remaining property is then divided equally among the children. Let's say that the $400,000 combined estate referenced above drops to $240,000 while the pot trust is ongoing, because the younger child's college education cost $160,000. Upon the termination date, each child receives $120,000. A much fairer result, I think.

Source: Joel A. Schoenmeyer

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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