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Thursday, June 30 2011

The U.S. population is projected to grow by 150 million within the next 40 years and "more compact, mixed-use development" is needed to handle the growth and changing demands, Patrick Phillips, CEO for the Urban Land Institute, told an audience at the National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference this week.

"The design and development of urban areas will be radically different in the decades ahead,” he said. “We are seeing a push to make our cities more livable and sustainable.”

One-person households are the fastest-growing type of household, he noted. Also, younger generations, in buyer preference surveys, are placing a higher value on the sense of community and are willing to swap extra space for convenience.

An urban renaissance has been taking place with neighborhoods that are near urban centers becoming more desirable, Phillips said.

Source: “Population Growth to Drive More Compact Housing,” Inman News (June 16, 2011) [Log-in required.]

http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2011061702?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 29 2011

Sometimes when a seller goes to transfer their home they get an unwelcome surprise: mystery liens. Realtor® Christine Shoemaker explains that some home sellers may have liens against the property they may not even be aware of:

Most purchase agreements allow the seller up to 30 days to clear up liens against the property that they might not know anything about. Just last week we had a closing where the homeowners had paid off their mortgage but there was a lien against the property for a line of credit they they never even used and didn’t know was there! Without some quick action by me and the owners of the property this situation could have easily delayed the closing adding additional hardships for both buyer and seller.

Did you know that it can take up to two weeks to ‘close out’ a equity line of credit even if there is a zero balance?! Hard to believe but true. In this age of hyper-vigilant banking practices most lenders want extra time to make sure you didn’t make some last minute purchases using your line of credit after you sold the house. So, if you’re thinking about selling and you think you don’t owe your mortgage lender any money it might be to your advantage to sit down with your local branch manager and make sure.



Read more: Could You Have Liens Against Your Property Without Knowing It? | REALTOR.com® Blogs
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 28 2011
It used to be that when you wanted to find an apartment for rent, buy a used car, or pick up used, secondhand items like furniture or a washer and dryer, you looked in the classified section of the newspaper. But like with most other things these days, the Internet has taken over and made things even easier.

Nowadays, if you’re looking for any of these things, the best place to look is probably Craigslist, an online classified site categorized by city.

However, the technology that has made it easier to find what you need has also made it easier for scammers to take advantage of the unsuspecting. Craigslist is a perfect example of that. On any day of the week, you can find hundreds of local listings that include apartment and home rentals, cars for sale, concert and play tickets, jobs, and every conceivable secondhand item you can think of. But scammers are very creative and have put together elaborate rouses to trick even the savviest buyer.

The good news is that you don’t have to avoid Craigslist and all of its wonderful opportunities to avoid being “taken.” You just need to know what to look for.

Here’s a rundown of the most common Craigslist scams along with advice on how to avoid them.

Source: http://www.moneycrashers.com/types-common-craigslist-scams/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 27 2011
Smartphones and other mobile devices have transformed our use of the Internet, which now touches nearly every aspect of our lives. Nearly half of all Americans are expected to own a mobile device by the end of this year. While these tools provide users with convenient access to information and communications, they also carry risk.

Mobile users have recently captured the attention of cyber criminals who seek to take advantage of everyday citizens. In fact, experts predict that within three years, smartphones and mobile devices will surpass computers as the primary target for cyber crime. If a hacker can gain access to a mobile device, they can easily find e-mail addresses, stored passwords, banking information, social media accounts, and phone numbers – allowing them to steal your information, your money, and even your identity. That’s why practicing good cyber habits is so important.

You can protect yourself from cyber criminals by following the same safety rules you follow on your computer when using your smartphone. These include:
  • Access the Internet over a secure network: Only browse the web through your service provider’s network (e.g., 3G) or a secure Wi-Fi network.
  • Be suspicious of unknown links or requests sent through email or text message: Do not click on unknown links or answer strange questions sent to your mobile device, regardless of who the sender appears to be.
  • Download only trusted applications: Download “apps” from trusted sources or marketplaces that have positive reviews and feedback.
  • Be vigilant about online security: Keep anti-virus and malware software up to date, use varying and strong passwords, and never provide your personal or financial information without knowing who’s asking and why they need it.

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone. For more information on Stop.Think.Connect., please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

Source: http://blog.dhs.gov/2011/06/be-smart-with-your-smartphones-security.html

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 24 2011

The city of Evansville plans to grant $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Evansville Inc. to put together a plan to revitalize the historic Jacobsville neighborhood. As part of the plan, Habitat will build new homes and rehabilitate existing homes in the area.

Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel is pleased to announce the City of Evansville’s intention to grant $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Evansville, Inc., to lead the development of a comprehensive community development plan for the revitalization of the Jacobsville neighborhood, which is roughly bordered by Division St., Diamond Ave., Garvin St., and First Ave. The grant will come from County Option Income Taxes and is subject to approval by Evansville City Council, with the first reading this evening.

“The Jacobsville neighborhood has a deep history; proud, hard-working residents; and, judging by the number of people coming together on this initiative, a very bright future,” said Mayor Weinzapfel. “I know that Habitat has the leadership, manpower, vision, and passion necessary to bring the Jacobsville community together to make this initiative a resounding success.”

Both the City of Evansville and the Jacobsville Area Community Corporation (JACC) approached Habitat about serving as the lead convener for this project, in part due to the success of a similar planning effort in the Glenwood neighborhood. JACC, a 501(C)(3) formed in 2002 to improve the physical, economic and social environment of the Jacobsville area, has already done extensive work toward developing a comprehensive development plan.

As the lead convener, Habitat will work closely with JACC and other groups actively pursuing the goal of a revitalized, sustainable Jacobsville area to bring key stakeholders together to help ignite the process to push existing revitalization efforts forward. Habitat will facilitate the planning process; conduct a needs assessment, community engagement activities, market analysis, neighborhood surveys, and focus groups; and promote capital investment. In addition, Habitat will build new homes, rehab existing homes, and weatherize existing homeowner-occupied homes in Jacobsville.

After information regarding needs and wants of key stakeholders has been gathered, community discussions will then be held in an effort to frame the primary issues. These community discussions will be held quarterly and will take place over the next two years.

Playing lead convener fits well into the scope of Habitat’s work. In 2010, Habitat International invited Habitat for Humanity of Evansville to join its Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). Habitat is one of about 40 Habitat affiliates working on procedures that will guide neighborhood development at the national level. The initiative involves expanding its housing solutions in an effort to serve more families.

Source: City of Evansville & InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=48192

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 23 2011

Americans are more optimistic about their home buying prospects than residents of other countries, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying now is a good time to buy a home, according to the new Genworth International Mortgage Trends Report.

The local economic outlook, concerns about property affordability, and worries about future unemployment are among the issues listed by survey respondents as obstacles to their purchasing a home.

Yet these economic concerns have not translated into excessive mortgage stress among U.S. home buyers. According to the survey, 87% of Americans who bought their first home in the past 12 months expected to easily meet their mortgage repayment obligations in the coming year, a slight improvement over the 85% who comfortably met their mortgage payments in the 12 months prior to the survey period.

Due to affordability issues — high home prices, higher costs of living, or fear of rising interest rates — the average age of first-time home buyers has risen in all countries except India over the last 40 years. The average age at which a person in the U.S. was able to purchase a first home rose from 27.3 in the 1970s to 31.6 in the 2000s.

“The U.S. is the most optimistic among all the markets surveyed about buying a home,” said Kevin Schneider, Genworth U.S. Mortgage Insurance president. “Nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed believe now is a good time to buy a home … We hope that federal and state lawmakers recognize this pent-up demand and enact policies that foster prudent home ownership.”

Some key findings from other nations surveyed:

  • Consumer confidence is a major factor in home buying. Developing countries are especially optimistic. India was the most positive country, with two thirds of Indian respondents feeling good about their national economy, followed by Mexico, where 42% of respondents were optimists.
  • Indebtedness colors how households around the world view their financial situation and how they approach buying a home. Western countries tended to have higher levels of debt, but were also more comfortable taking on debt.
  • In almost all of the countries surveyed, housing affordability is keeping first-home buyers out of the property market. The reasons for affordability challenges range from the rising costs of living, a fear of interest rate rises, lack of housing availability to high house prices.

Source: Genworth Financial



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/two-thirds-americans-think-now-good-time-buy-home/#ixzz1P5Wvfrzb
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 22 2011
Some home owners are getting a surprise when a person shows up on their doorstep, with a lease agreement in hand, saying that he or she is renting out their home, which isn’t for rent but for sale.

Law enforcement and real estate professionals are finding a growing scam involving for-sale listings being promoted as rentals--without home owners’ consent.

Scammers are taking listing information of homes for-sale--including photos--and then reposting that information on rental sites and tweaking it to pass the home off as a rental. The scammers then use a fake lease agreement and collect rent from unsuspecting consumers.

And when the scammers don’t present keys for the property, they give the unsuspecting renter permission to call a locksmith to gain access to the home.

Les Sulgrove, president of the Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS®, recently issued a warning to association members about the scam. He suggested real estate professionals set up Google alerts for the home addresses they’re listing so they’ll learn if their clients’ information is being misused on another site.

“All it takes is cutting, pasting, and changing some key pieces of data,” Geoff Greenwood, spokesperson for the Iowa Attorney General’s office, told the Des Moines Register. “People find out the hard way what they paid for wasn’t for sale or for rent.”

Source: “Growing Online Scam Uses Legitimate for-sale Home Listings to Trick Renters,” Des Moines Register (June 5, 2011)
http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2011060901?OpenDocument
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 21 2011

What makes a good password vs. a bad password? You undoubtedly have several passwords that you use to protect your important business information so how do you make sure those passwords don’t become easy guesses for would-be hackers or make you a victim of cybercrime?

Here are some tips from security experts.

Make your password 10 characters in length: Security researchers have found that a password with 10 characters would take a hacker, on average, 19.24 years at a hundred-billion-guesses-a-second rate to try every combination of those 10 characters to guess your password.

Make sure your passwords are encrypted: If you use a password service to store all of your passwords so you can keep them straight, make sure the company does not store actual passwords but only the encrypted forms of it on the cloud. For example, the password bank LastPass only stores encrypted passwords on the Internet, and the information is only decrypted when you've retrieved it.

Don’t use common words: Steve Gibson, a security expert and chief executive of the Gibson Research Corporation, suggests avoiding commonly used passwords as well as any words found in the dictionary. Instead, he stresses one of the strongest passwords you can make is a bunch of gibberish characters again, at least 10 characters long.

Source: “Guard That Password (and Make Sure It’s Encrypted),” The New York Times (June 11, 2011)

http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2011061305?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 20 2011

If you defaulted on a debt, negotiated a reduced pay-off with your lender, or lost a home or other property due to foreclosure or repossession, you may have received a Form 1099-C Cancellation of Debt in the mail. Since the IRS expects you to include in your gross income any forgiven debt—and pay taxes on it (unless you qualify for an exclusion or exception)—this is a form that requires your careful attention.

If you have received one of these forms, you’re not alone. The IRS projects that it will process 2.8 million 1099-Cs for the 2010 tax year, up from nearly 2.7 million for the 2009 tax year. Thus, this week’s infographic is dedicated to the Form 1099-C, the new tax-time mascot of the Great Recession.

For more on the Form 1099-C, see Gerri Detweiler’s article, 1099-C In the Mail? How to Avoid Taxes on Canceled Debt.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 17 2011

The green building sector is offering some hope for the homebuilding industry, which has battled sluggish sales in recent years that has practically brought new-home construction to a halt.

But home builders that have opted for green construction are beating the odds and have even seen their market share rise slightly, according to panelists at a Standard & Poor’s housing summit this week in New York.

Home owners are being lured to green, seeing it as the greatest potential for appreciation of their home, panelists note. Green remodeling has also increased, partially due to federal tax credits available to home owners for energy-efficiency improvements.

In 2010, a third of all commercial real estate construction was green, as was 16 percent of residential construction. Jeff Mezger, president and CEO of KB Home, says one challenge is introducing more “green” products for the starter and move-up markets that won’t increase costs.

Also, some consumers are still not sold on green building, lacking information about energy savings and finding a qualified person to do the upgrade work, panelists noted.

Source: “Housing Panelists See Opportunity in Green Building,” HousingWire (June 9, 2011)

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 16 2011

Santa Claus a Finalist for "Most Fun" Town

June 9, 2011 (Santa Claus, Ind.) - The town of Santa Claus is one of 30 contenders in the Best of the Road contest sponsored by USA Today and Rand McNally. Competing with six other finalists in the category for "Most Fun," Santa Claus, Indiana was selected from over 600 locales.

On June 23, five teams of travelers will journey from New York City to Los Angeles by July 15. Each team will visit six towns in an assigned category: most beautiful, most patriotic, friendliest, most fun, and best food, as well as points of interest en route.

The teams will choose the number one town in each of their respective categories and the towns will be highlighted on the Rand McNally website and in the 2013 Rand McNally Road Atlas, as well as on USA Today's Travel site. Winning towns will be announced on July 22.

"We are so excited that Santa Claus, Indiana, is one of the finalists in the Best of the Road contest," says Melissa Wilkinson, Executive Director of the Spencer County Visitors Bureau. "We're proud to be considered one of the "Most Fun" towns in America."

More details about the Rand McNally contest can be found at: http://www.BestOfTheRoad.com www.bestoftheroad.com/> and photos are available upon request.

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=278197

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 15 2011
I love gardening. Every spring I start dreaming of all the veggies I’m going to plant, and I love going to my local farmers’ market and picking out tomatoes, cucumbers, and field peas to plant.

Have you ever thought about starting a home garden?

With food prices rising and more people trying to save money due to the economy, home gardening has taken off in a big way in recent years. Many vegetable seed companies report sales have shot up 30-50%, which is a clear indicator that more people are putting on their gardening gloves and getting to work.

Home gardening is a hobby that can bring great joy to your life, enable you to get some free exercise, and bring the entire family together. Although it may not sound exciting on the surface, it’s something you should consider if you enjoy the outdoors and are interested in reaping the rewards of hard work.

Benefits of Home Gardening

So, still wondering if home gardening is right for you? Wondering if a home garden can really save you money? First, let’s look at the benefits of starting a home garden.

1. Home Gardening Is Versatile

Some people think they need a huge yard to have their own garden, but nothing could be further from the truth. No matter how much space you have, you can always find room for a few plants. This is true even if you live in an apartment or only have a small porch. All you need is a DIY attitude and a bit of creativity.

Case in point: you’d laugh if you saw my backyard. Its picture is next to the word “tiny” in the dictionary. But last year I grew a bumper crop of tomatoes, climbing peas, and several other wonderful veggies in my little space – all using some creative techniques I’ll talk about in just a bit.

So, don’t think that because you don’t have a ton of space you can’t grow a garden. Home gardening can be really versatile, and easy to get into!

2. Home Gardening Relieves Stress

I find gardening to be a very soothing hobby. Digging in the dirt and watching my veggies grow a bit every day is incredibly rewarding.

Gardening is a wonderful activity to relieve stress. You’re outdoors, you’re getting exercise, and best of all, the activity often takes your mind off work and other stress in your life. I know it does for me!

3. Home Gardening Is a Family Activity

For some, gardening is a solo activity. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Why not ask your spouse and/or children to give you a hand in the garden? You may be surprised by how much fun you can all have together. Finding fun activities for the whole family to participate in can be tough and we often resort to spending a bunch of money to have fun, but working in a garden together costs nothing.

Another thing to consider is that due to steep budget cuts, more and more cities are closing their community pools and cutting public library services and resources. If you and your kids rely on city perks like these for your summer fun, you might be twiddling your thumbs this year. I know several pools in my own community won’t be open, and my local library is cutting back their hours to try and save money.

Your kids might love helping you grow veggies in the garden, so this can be an inexpensive alternative to consider.

4. Home Gardens Save Money

For many people, this is the number one reason to start a garden. Burpee Seed Co. estimates that for every $50 a family spends on seeds and fertilizer, they’ll reap $1,250 in produce. Amazing!

If saving money on fruits and vegetables is your end goal, make sure you plant seeds for things you’ll actually enjoy eating. Some of the most popular options include tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, and zucchini.

I’ve never estimated how much money I save with my own garden. My first year starting seeds I lost my entire crop because I didn’t know what I was doing and overwatered. Last year, I lost half my crop and had to start over. So there will most likely be failures and successes, but that’s part of the fun.

However, you can maximize the money you save by being smart about what you grow. For instance, cool weather crops like carrots, potatoes, onions, and winter squash can be stored for quite a long time. When these vegetables are harvested, you can easily store them in your basement for several weeks, or even months, if you keep them packed in sawdust. So even if you can’t eat them right away, they’ll keep long enough for you to use them up over time.

4. Home Gardens Save Money

For many people, this is the number one reason to start a garden. Burpee Seed Co. estimates that for every $50 a family spends on seeds and fertilizer, they’ll reap $1,250 in produce. Amazing!

If saving money on fruits and vegetables is your end goal, make sure you plant seeds for things you’ll actually enjoy eating. Some of the most popular options include tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers, and zucchini.

I’ve never estimated how much money I save with my own garden. My first year starting seeds I lost my entire crop because I didn’t know what I was doing and overwatered. Last year, I lost half my crop and had to start over. So there will most likely be failures and successes, but that’s part of the fun.

However, you can maximize the money you save by being smart about what you grow. For instance, cool weather crops like carrots, potatoes, onions, and winter squash can be stored for quite a long time. When these vegetables are harvested, you can easily store them in your basement for several weeks, or even months, if you keep them packed in sawdust. So even if you can’t eat them right away, they’ll keep long enough for you to use them up over time.

Other vegetables, like tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, and beets are easy to preserve with home canning or freezing.

A good rule of thumb is to look at the vegetables you’re buying at the store already. For instance, I eat a ton of kale and spinach, so these are two crops I always try to grow at home. I also love green beans, so every year I make my own homemade Dilly Beans, and can them myself.

5. You Can Grow Your Own Herbs and Spices

You probably already know that herbs are really expensive to buy in the store. Growing rosemary, basil, oregano, and other herbs and spices in your garden is a great way to save some money and diversify your crop.

Herbs are usually my biggest crop every year, and I always find a use for what I grow.

For instance, I have several lavender bushes in my yard. I dry the lavender, make lavender infused olive oil and lavender shortbread cookies, and even sprinkle dried lavender in my carpets. I’m also getting into soapmaking (a great green small business idea), so I’ll have plenty of lavender to use in my homemade soaps.

I also grow a lot of parsley, which I sprinkle on potatoes and use to make homemade tabbouleh.

Keep in mind that even if you can’t use your herbs fresh right now, you can always dry them and use them over the next several months. This can save you money because you won’t need to buy these dried herbs at the grocery store.

6. Home Gardens Are Green and Sustainable

Buying natural organic food is expensive, but often desired due to all of the chemicals and genetic altering done by farmers nowadays. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is the most organic you can get! You’ll be helping the environment and saving money at the same time.

You can also save money and help your garden be more organic by creating your own compost at home. For instance, I have my own vermicomposting bin, which means I compost my food scraps with worms. It may sound gross, but worms are amazing at breaking down food and turning it into thick, rich compost.

This compost is very expensive if you buy it at the store. The same is true for liquid fertilizer, which my worms also produce for me. The best part is that, for me, these garden essentials are 100% free, and I’m lessening my impact on the environment by keeping all my food waste out of the landfill.

Source: http://www.moneycrashers.com/how-to-save-money-with-a-home-garden/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 14 2011
Are you ready for summer in your new home? We all know that summer brings to mind relaxation, vacation and rest but we also know that it can get hot! We thought you might like to have a few tips on keeping cool in the upcoming summer, so that you can enjoy life to the fullest in your beautiful new house.
Remember, if you have any real estate questions on your mind, we hope you'll remember to call Rolando at 499-9234 or Kathy at 499-0246 or visit our Web site at: http://www.TheTrentiniTeam.com and our Blog at www.EvansvilleRealestate.info
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have!
 
COOL-DOWN TRICKS FOR THE HOT SUMMER MONTHS
Spin it: Ceiling fans are an excellent way to keep everyone cool, and they're beautiful as well. But did you know that they can also help you to save on your energy bill? By circulating cool air throughout your home, you won't need to keep the thermostat set as low as you would without the help of one, two or more well-placed fans.
Green is good: There's no debating how refreshing a large patch of shade can be on a hot summer day& so why not invest in some shade of your own? Planting trees is an excellent way to ensure shade and to keep your house cool in the warmer months. Already have some? Make the most of the summer foliage by relaxing beneath a large tree and sipping some cool lemonade.
Clear as a bell: Window manufacturing and supply companies now offer an invisible way to keep you cool: by installing a transparent coating to windows that effectively blocks heat. Adding this type of treatment to your sunniest windows is a smart and easy way to save a few dollars on your energy bill.
 Program and relax: If you have a programmable thermostat but haven't gotten around to figuring out how to use it, now's the time. Setting your thermostat to regulate the temperature of your house and maintaining an average temperature can save you a lot of money. Can't find the instructions? Most manufacturers provide free, downloadable guides via the Internet.
 
Block it out: Room-darkening blinds can reflect a great deal of sun and heat, so keep them closed during the morning and afternoon hours to keep things cool inside!
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 13 2011
     I have some news and observations this month that I think you will find interesting. First on the national front, housing affordability has reached an all time high. This calculation, released by Wells Fargo and The National Association of Home Builders, says that 74.6% of all homes sold in the first quarter of 2011 were affordable for families earning the national median income of $64,400. This is the highest level in the 20 years this data has been tracked. The two driving factors in this calculation are the price of homes and interest rates, both of which are at very low levels. In fact, according to Corelogic, national home prices have declined 33.8% from their peak. Keep in mind that is a nationwide statistic.
   Locally home values never declined that much. In fact from our peak average annual sale price of $129,421 in 2006 prices have only declined only 5% based on the Jan.-May 2011 time period. Average sale price for the first 5 months of this year is $122,939 and has increased from 2009 to 2010 and again so far this year. As I have said several times in this letter not only have prices in our area stabilized they have started to increase. 
     Homes may never be more affordable and contrary to popular opinion there are not too many homes currently on the market in our area.   Based on May sales we only have 8.04 month’s supply of homes currently listed. That is lower than the average annual month’s supply for every year from 2007-2010. There are almost 1000 fewer homes currently listed than there were at our peak in September of 2007. In fact, I’ve heard several buyers mention that there aren’t many potential homes to see.    
     At FCTuckerEmge.com and TuckerMobile.com we have more tools to help both buyers and sellers than any of our competitors. Go online or call me today, whether you are thinking about buying your next home or selling your current home. The time is right.      
  We are continuing to improve our new website for TheTrentiniBlog at EvansvilleReaestate.info We invite you to visit our site for updates on real estate information as well as information on the Tri-State area.
  Kathy and I wish all you happy summer season and safe travels if you are going on your holidays.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 13 2011
     I have some news and observations this month that I think you will find interesting. First on the national front, housing affordability has reached an all time high. This calculation, released by Wells Fargo and The National Association of Home Builders, says that 74.6% of all homes sold in the first quarter of 2011 were affordable for families earning the national median income of $64,400. This is the highest level in the 20 years this data has been tracked. The two driving factors in this calculation are the price of homes and interest rates, both of which are at very low levels. In fact, according to Corelogic, national home prices have declined 33.8% from their peak. Keep in mind that is a nationwide statistic.
   Locally home values never declined that much. In fact from our peak average annual sale price of $129,421 in 2006 prices have only declined only 5% based on the Jan.-May 2011 time period. Average sale price for the first 5 months of this year is $122,939 and has increased from 2009 to 2010 and again so far this year. As I have said several times in this letter not only have prices in our area stabilized they have started to increase. 
     Homes may never be more affordable and contrary to popular opinion there are not too many homes currently on the market in our area.   Based on May sales we only have 8.04 month’s supply of homes currently listed. That is lower than the average annual month’s supply for every year from 2007-2010. There are almost 1000 fewer homes currently listed than there were at our peak in September of 2007. In fact, I’ve heard several buyers mention that there aren’t many potential homes to see.    
     At FCTuckerEmge.com and TuckerMobile.com we have more tools to help both buyers and sellers than any of our competitors. Go online or call me today, whether you are thinking about buying your next home or selling your current home. The time is right.      
  We are continuing to improve our new website for TheTrentiniBlog at EvansvilleRealestate.info/ We invite you to visit our site for updates on real estate information as well as information on the Tri-State area.
  Kathy and I wish all you happy summer season and safe travels if you are going on your holidays.
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 10 2011

Consumer Reports’ latest ratings of 39 room air conditioners have found over a dozen top performers that will keep consumers cool as temperatures rise, without burning a hole in their wallets.

Of the small, midsized, and large air conditioners that made Consumer Reports’ Recommended list, many are priced at or below $300, including the small-sized Kenmore 70051, which starts at just $150. The full report on air conditioners appears in the July issue of the magazine.

“Our tests found several window air conditioners that really deliver more cooling for the money,” said Bob Markovich, home and yard editor at Consumer Reports. “However, when buying an A/C, it’s not all about cooling capacity or energy consumption. Noise and ease of use are also important and our ratings recognize that.”

Lower prices help make small room air conditioners the hottest sellers, but Consumer Reports also looked for models with superb cooling, quiet running, and a high energy-efficiency ratio. Then, testers dropped the voltage, as utilities often do during a heat wave, to mimic brownout conditions in order to separate the so-so models from the true standouts. The Friedrich Kuhl SS08M10 is one such standout in the midsized model category and is even available in seven color options such as Pink Diamond and Cobalt Blue, but those options come with a hefty price tag starting at $800.

What shoppers need to know

  • More isn’t necessarily better. An air conditioner that’s too powerful for its space will cool quickly without removing enough humidity.
  • Check the airflow. Most units are better at directing air to the left or right. Determine which way the air will blow (facing the unit) from where the air conditioner is mounted.
  • Look for convenient controls. All of Consumer Reports’ top picks have a remote control and digital temperature readouts instead of vague settings labeled “cold” and “coldest.”
  • Cash in on energy savings. The 14 recommended models all meet federal Energy Star standards and typically have an energy-saver mode.

Source: Consumer Reports



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/cool-deals-energy-efficient-air-conditioners/#ixzz1OhTzhokp
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 09 2011

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc. in Princeton is expected to return to 100 percent production today. The facility had been running at 30 percent capacity because of part shortages after the earthquake in Japan. The automaker announced plans last month to add 40 workers when full production resumed.

Because of an improved parts pipeline, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana announced on May 11 that full production would resume at the plant beginning on June 6. In May, the plant was running at approximately 30 percent capacity to conserve the parts supply.

With production returning to 100 percent, TMMI also announced the addition of 40 new Aerotek members to the production team. Aerotek provides variable staffing services to the Indiana plant.

Individuals interested applying for positions with Aerotek should visit its website at aerotekin.com.

TMMI has paid more than $48 million in local property taxes since 1997 and donated more than $13 million since 1996 to local community organizations that support youth and education, health and human services, civic and community and arts and culture.


Source: Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana & InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report  http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=48047


Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 08 2011
Construction spending in April posted its biggest gain in six months getting a boost by spending on home remodeling.

While overall construction spending increased only slightly by 0.4 percent in April, the increase in spending on home improvements helped offset some drops in single-family homes and apartment construction, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

Construction spending for residential homes increased 3.1 percent in April mostly due to the uptick in home remodeling, the Commerce Department noted. Instead of buying a new home, more people seem to be opting to remodel their existing home. The National Association of Home Builders recently reported that the home remodeling industry saw some of its biggest gains in more than four years. NAHB’s remodeling index recently reached its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2006.

Meanwhile, construction of single-family homes dropped 1 percent in April, the Commerce Department noted. On the other hand, nonresidential construction increased slightly by 0.4 percent for the month, with the increase mostly attributed to a rise in spending on health care, schools, and power plants.

Overall spending on construction projects in April remains far below the $1.5 trillion annual amount that economists consider healthy for the sector. In April, construction projects totaled a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $765 billion only slightly above the 11-year low reached in February of $761 billion.

"The overall story here is that housing is hugely depressed, but it has probably hit bottom," says Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

Source: “Builders Began More Remodeling Projects in April, But Construction Spending Near 11-Year Low,” Associated Press (June 1, 2011) and Renovations Lift U.S. April Construction Spending,” Reuters News (June 1, 2011)
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 07 2011

The chairman and chief executive officer of Ferdinand-based Keith Fritz Fine Furniture will receive a national award on Capitol Hill July 4. Keith Fritz will be honored with MADE: In America's inaugural William Thornton Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship. The company employs 12 craftsmen, who produce a collection of 40 standard pieces. Keith Fritz Fine Furniture has created tables for two former presidents and congressmen.

MADE: In America today announces that Keith Fritz is the winner of the inaugural William Thornton Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship. The award will be presented at the annual Take Pride in America celebration held at the United States Capitol on July 4, 2011. The William Thornton Award recognizes extraordinary achievement in craftsmanship by an American artisan. MADE: In America joins industry professionals in recognizing Keith Fritz as singular in the field of furniture design and construction, and congratulates the company and its employees for their long standing commitment to making --in America-- the finest hand-crafted furniture.

ABOUT KEITH FRITZ: Established in 1999, Keith Fritz Fine Furniture today employs 12 skilled craftsmen, who produce a collection of 40 standard pieces and work regularly with interior designers to customize individual commissions. Every piece of furniture in the Keith Fritz line is lovingly hand made by these American craftsmen. Dining tables are one of their specialties and they have had the honor of creating tables for two former presidents as well as congressmen, industry leaders and celebrities. The company also designs and crafts occasional tables, cabinets and distinctive mirrors.

Keith Fritz Fine Furniture is known for its modern interpretations of the best of 18th, 19th and early 20th century furniture design and for the use of exotic woods, as well as woods lumbered and milled in its own backyard. The company is represented in high-end decorative showrooms in Chicago, New York, Boston, Atlanta and Dallas, as well as the Michael Cleary showroom in Washington

“I am truly honored to have Keith Fritz Fine Furniture recognized in this way,” says owner Keith Fritz, “and to have the opportunity to share our American success story. I want to do everything I can to promote craft and craftsmanship in America. Our craftsmen in Southern Indiana love preserving the traditions of wood working and putting fine American furniture in the hands of interior designers and architects.”


ABOUT MADE: IN AMERICA: MADE: In America is a not-for-profit educational organization based in Washington, D.C. The group’s mission is foster a business climate conducive to the free exchange of ideas and information for the purpose of revitalizing and sustaining the competitiveness of American commerce and industry in a global economy. Made: In America is a coalition of business leaders, public policy makers, educators and concerned citizens dedicated to designing and articulating new and innovative ways to promote American enterprise in the 21st Century. The organization’s annual BEST: Made in America and Build it in America awards are the culmination of a deliberative year-long search to identify and honor America’s best businesses. The award was created to heighten public awareness of American- made products and a showcase the companies and individuals who create them.
In addition, MADE: In America also conducts the American Treasures Award program, established to recognizing and honor individuals making significant contributions to the American enterprise system. Beyond the awards programs, MADE: In America undertakes a wide range of other educational programs and services in cooperation with a network of coalition partners through the American Enterprise Initiative and In Service to American Business. These strategic educational initiatives are created for both manufacturers and consumers in order to shape public discourse and policy.

Source: Fritz Fine Furniture & InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=48012

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 06 2011

After the recent tornadoes in Joplin, Missouri, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and even here in the Tri-State storm resistant homes are getting a lot of attention. In fact, a construction company in Perry County says more and more people are asking about these strong homes.

It's the place you go to during severe weather. A place that should be your safest bet.

"Mother Nature does what Mother Nature wants to do, however, what we do with ICF is give our customers the best chance at survival," Josh Harris said.

Josh Harris builds energy efficient homes using Insulated Concrete Forms. His Perry County Company started building these homes five years ago. So far, they have built eight homes, a chapel, and several basements using ICF.

Inside the foam is a solid wall of concrete. A wall so strong, Harris says it can protect your family from flying debris during a tornado.

So far this year, there have been 1,403 tornado reports in the U.S., at least 15 of those were reported in the Tri-State.

"When you see all the storm devastation with these helicopter photos, you can see the foundations left. Our walls are the foundation," Harris said.

Josh Clark has lived in his tornado resistant home for two years.

"I wanted the family to not have to worry in the middle of the night, have to listen to the radio and get up and run to the basement. I feel very confident that we're safe in any room in the house," Josh Clark said.

He says he would encourage others to build one of these in a heart beat.

"Basically, when I hear there's a tornado coming, I call the neighbors up and invite them to come over and sit in the safe house because I don't have any problems, I don't feel, like I need to run to the basement, I just feel very safe and content," Clark said.

A shield from the danger outside, a home many say can save lives.

Harris says these houses cost about 5% more than a stick frame house, but they are so energy efficient, owners gain that money back because of lower energy bills.

Source: http://tristatehomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=276137

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 03 2011

Warm weather means summer vacation. Before you pack up, follow these tips from Hydreon Corp. to ensure your possessions are still there when you get back.

1. Don’t post about your vacation on Facebook until after you get back. If that takes more discipline than you can muster, at the very least keep your location status off any public social networking pages. Many burglars use these sites to identify “safe” targets.

2. Make your home look lived in. A light on a timer is a great first step. Hydreon Corp. sells a sensing device, Fake TV, that mimics the glow of a TV to deter burglars.

3. Don’t leave obvious signs that the house is unoccupied. Stop the mail and paper, or have a neighbor take it in. Arrange for lawn care as needed. And don’t leave notes on the door! (“Dear thieves …”)

4. Make your home hard to get into. You need good locks. Your hidden outdoor key is probably not as cleverly hidden as you think it is. So, get to know your neighbors, and leave the key with them. Let them know you’ll be gone, and have them keep an eye out during your absence. If you have an alarm system, by all means use it. Amazingly, many people forget to set the alarm.

Conversely, don’t think that an alarm system makes you invulnerable. Burglars can still cause you a great deal of misery in a smash-and-grab robbery, leaving before the police can respond. Park a car in the driveway, but be sure to take out the garage door opener first.

5. Remove obvious temptations. Take a walk around your property and make sure you can’t see any easily pawned valuables through uncovered windows. Are there any ladders left out, or particularly easy or well-concealed access points?

6. Prepare for the worst. If your computer were stolen, what might the consequences be? For most of us, this would be dire indeed. So, back up and password protect. Make a quick run-through around the house with a video recorder, listing off the valuables. This could save a lot of hassle with the insurance company if you should need to file a claim.

7. Strike the right balance. Only you can make the trade-off between security measures and the burdens they impose. You may wish to place irreplaceable items in a secure location, such as a fireproof safe. This can include expensive jewelry, family photos, and financial records. Your insurance policy is up to date, right? Also, label your possessions with your name. An engraver is best, but a Sharpie is a lot better than nothing.

The good news is that only two out of a hundred homes will be burglarized in any given year. The bad news, and this is intended to jump-start you into a bit of action, is that for those two homes that are burglarized, the effects of the intrusion are often devastating. The average burglary costs $1,750, and a whole lot of peace of mind. Ask anyone who has had a break-in; they never look at their home quite the same again.

Security is a mindset, and need not be a great burden. Fortunately, your security measures do not need to be perfect. Most crime is opportunistic, and if the guy down the street failed to take a few simple precautions, his house (poor chap!) is more likely to draw the attention of the thief than yours. And frankly, there are no measures that can stop the most determined criminals. So, just take a few simple steps to improve your odds and peace of mind. It will make your getaway that much more relaxing.



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/articles/7-burglary-prevention-tips-your-summer-vacation/#ixzz1O3ttmOr8
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  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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