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Wednesday, March 16 2011

Buyers have a long list of what they want when home shopping, but one of their biggest desires: A good deal.

"And no matter where a seller prices their property, they're looking to negotiate," says Patricia Szot, president of the MetroTex Association of REALTORS®.

But that’s not all they want. Bankrate.com recently asked real estate professionals to chime in on the top desires of their buyers when home shopping. Here are four things that made the list of top home buyer preferences:

1. Homes that are in good condition. "There's not a lot of flexibility in that," says Ron Phipps, president of the National Association of REALTORS®. Many buyers now take the attitude: "I'd rather spend the money getting into the house" and not have to spend more money later, Phipps says. One of the major reasons is that "buyers have limited amounts of cash," he adds. "Even if they want to do a fixer-upper, they don't have the money to do it."

2. A bargain with incentives. Buyers are looking for a good deal, even when considering bank-owned properties, says Joan Pratt, real estate broker with RE/MAX Professionals in Castle Pines, Colo. "They want the short sales and the foreclosures and they want them to look like they're owner-occupied," she says. "They don't want to paint. They don't want to put carpet in. They don't want to clean."

And they aren’t only asking for a low price but they also want incentives to buy too. As such, sellers are offering everything from gift cards for new furniture to paint to financial assistance at closing.

3. Outdoor living areas. Homes with screen porches, outdoor kitchens, two-way fireplaces are becoming increasingly competitive in the marketplace as more buyers say they want more outdoor living space.

4. Open kitchens. "The wall between the kitchen and the family room is evaporating," Phipps says. "The kitchen is becoming part of the gathering space.” (See Buyers Want Cozy, Connected Kitchens)

Source: “9 Items Homebuyers Desire in 2011,” Bankrate.com (March 2011)

http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2011031501?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, October 15 2010

Nearly eight out of 10 respondents believe buying a home is a good financial decision, despite ongoing challenges with the economy and housing market. That’s according to the 2010 National Housing Pulse Survey, an annual report released today by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.®

The survey, which measures how affordable housing issues affect consumers, also found job security concerns to be the highest in eight years of sampling, with 70 percent of Americans saying that job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem in their area; eight in 10 cite these issues as a barrier to homeownership.

“The real issue facing the nation’s economy right now is that many Americans can’t find meaningful work to support their families,” said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox & Associates in Tucson, Ariz.
“While a job recovery is what’s needed right now to get the economy and housing market back on the right track, owning a home continues to be part of the American Dream and one of the best long-term investments in your future.”

Despite economic uncertainty, 68 percent of those surveyed still believe now is a good time to buy a home; while that number is down from last year (75 percent), it’s up from 2008 (66 percent) and 2007 (59 percent). Lower home prices and record-low mortgage interest rates may be attracting buyers to the housing market – more than one-fourth of renters said they are thinking more about buying a home than they were a year ago. Sixty-three percent of renter respondents said that owning a home is a priority in their future, and nearly 40 percent said it was one of their highest priorities.

Lower home prices have improved affordability. In fact, the percentage of renters who are worried that the cost of housing is getting so unaffordable that they will never be able to buy a home has decreased steadily since 2007, from 63 to 57 percent.

Despite improved affordability, 79 percent of respondents still consider having enough money for down payment and closing costs to be among of the biggest obstacles to buying a home. Another obstacle is a lack of confidence in their ability to be approved for a loan, reported by 73 percent of respondents.

The good news is that Americans are seeing more stability in the real estate market. Nearly seven out of 10 believe that home values have stabilized in their area; the same number expects home sales to remain about the same through the end of the year.

While more than half (51 percent) say foreclosures are a problem in their area, the rate of foreclosures is also seen as stabilizing; 51 percent say the rate is about the same as last year. Thirty-six percent of respondents cite the recession, loss of jobs and the poor economy as the main reason for the ongoing foreclosure problem. This has also led to a slight increase in the number of people who believe the federal government should take a more active role overseeing loans and mortgages (44 percent, up from 43 percent last year).

While nearly seven out of 10 say it’s harder to sell a home in their area today than it was a year ago, it’s less of a concern from last year when the number was 10 percentage points higher. This is most likely the result of lower home inventories.

The 2010 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program. The telephone survey was among 1,209 adults living in the 25 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program,
www.realtor.org/housingopportunity, was created in 2002 to encourage local Realtor® associations to create initiatives that help increase housing opportunities available to consumers and make affordable housing more readily available in their communities.

Source: NAR

http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/pages/News2010101401?OpenDocument

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, September 18 2010

Clogged drains are a common problem that nearly every homeowner will encounter and have to resolve. Because the plumbing pipes are designed only to bring in clean water and eliminate wastewater, poorly maintained plumbing systems can result in clogged drains. There are various substances that can create clogs. These items are not supposed to be put in the drains. In order to prevent clogs, it is important to know what kinds of items make drains clogged in home plumbing systems.

1. The bathtub drains can become clogged with a variety of substances such as hair, soap, and chemical cleaning agents which can accumulate in the drain and build up in the pipes. To prevent build up of debris and matter causing clogs, you can insert strainers in the drain hole and keep them cleaned out. As well, after bathing or showering, make sure that you run the tap water thoroughly in order to make sure all matter has been pushed through the pipes.

2. Kitchen drains can become clogged due to food, grease, and debris being put in the drain. Pour grease into a can and put it with the trash instead of pouring it down the sink. Make sure you have cleaned off all dishes that held food before you rinse and wash them. Once a week, run hot water down the sink drain to keep the pipes clear of debris. You can also add a homemade drain cleaner consisting of vinegar and baking soda down the sink once a week and flush it with hot water to remove accumulation of matter. As well, never use the garbage disposer without running water down the pipes to flush out the food particles and organic debris. Don’t put tough, fibrous foods into the garbage disposal such as chicken bones and celery pieces.

3. Some people will dump harmful products such as hot wax, paint thinner, and motor oil down the sink drain. This will not only contribute to clogs, but it can damage the plumbing system. Never pour these items into your sink drain and use non corrosive drain cleaners.

Slow drains are extremely frustrating, but a clogged drain is even more annoying. If you have something in your drain causing a clog, overtime it will only get worse and cause a more serious problem. By properly maintaining your plumbing system, you can reduce the chances of getting a clogged drain. Annual inspections by a professional plumber will help your plumbing systems stay clear, clean, and working properly.

If you do get a clog, there are items you can use to clear the clog such as sink augers, plungers, plumbing snake, and non corrosive chemical drain cleaners. There are also bacteria-based enzyme cleaners that eat away at a clog without causing damage to the pipes. Remember, for clogs that cannot be removed even after you have tried everything, it is important to contact a plumber who will have the skills and tools to identify the cause of the clog and repair the problem.

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  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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