Date Archives: September 2015

Coldwell Banker American Homes Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Area Information | 27 Posts
BPT | 10 Posts
Buying | 6 Posts
Homeowners | 17 Posts
Real Estate Blogs | 319 Posts
RREIN | 62 Posts
Uncategorized | 148 Posts
Buying a Home | Home Purchase Guidelines | Long Island Homes and Property | Real Estate for Long Island | Energy Efficient Homes | Homeowner Tax Credits | Tax Credits for Home Energy Efficiency | Adjustable Rate Mortgages | Mortgages for the Long Island real estate market | The Right Mortgage for the Right Home Buyer | Real Estate Question of the Day! | Real Estate - scams and mortgages | What you need to know about real estate | Home Purchase Savings | Interest rates offer greatest leverage | Tax credit vs mortgage interest rates | Assisted Living | VA Special Pension | home loans | Home mortgage rates | Another Interest Rate Drop | Mortgage Interest Rates | Defending homeownership | Is now the time to buy a home? | Real Estate - still a great investment | Long Island condo & co-op | Long Island Homes for sale | Long Island Properties | Negotiating house purchase price | New construction on Long Island | Real Estate transfer fees | buy your home through a short sale purchase | selling short with the banks approval | Short sale home purchase | $2000 home buyer grant | New York State home buying grants | home list price vs. home sales price | negotiate a new home sales price | New York State STAR tax exemption | STAR tax exemption for New York homeowners | Buyer Brokerage | Real Estate Representation | Seller Agency | Tips for improving your credit score | Home and property appraisals | Homeowner Tax Advantages | Home Purchase Track | Owning a home vs. Renting | 55+ Adult Community | Senior housing | The Season's at East Meadow | co-op | Condo's | Homes | land for sale | Why Now is a Great Time to Buy a Home on Long Island | Homeownership | Open House weekend | home buying process | mortgage prequalification | Real Estate Investment Tips | Tips to Flip your real estate | Home Shopping Checklist | Look for a house with a checklist | ips to purchasing a short sale home | Short sales: How to purchase | Cut energy costs for your home | home energy efficiency | Loan application mistakes | mortgage loans | mortgage home loans | What home loan is right for you? | house hunting | Hunting for a home | Common Home Defects | What to look for when buying a home | first time home buyers | The 1st time home buyers guide | mobile based home search | Mobile phone users - coupons | smart phone applications | Housing Market Recovery Bright Spots | Natianal Housing Market Report | Home Closing - contract to closing | Home purchase timeline | 203k home mortgage program | Home Improvement Funding | Myths of the real estate market | The Home Buying Process | narrow down your home search | The Best location for your home purchase | buying a home? protect your credit! | credit protection | Home value pitfalls | home closing steps to take | New home closing | Home Styles | Popular Homes | best interest rates | credit scores | Create Energy within Your Home with Feng Shui | Feng Shui within your home | consumer confidence | home buyers more confident in housing market | Real Estate market impact | Rent verse Buy | Renters Outspend Owners on Housing | Benefits of home buying | Winter shopping for homes | Consumers confidence in home ownership | Homeownership attitudes | Real estate tax advantages & tips | Tax tips for homeowners | job opportunity | real estate agent | real estate career | rental agent | 1st time home buyer tips | priorities for home buyers | make moving fun for family | Moving for the family | Buy a foreclosure | REO purchase tips | Tips to buying a foreclosure property | Use a real estate agent to buy a home | Use a real estate agent to sell a home | Why use a real estate agent | Home Buying steps | Home Buying tips | Stepr to take prior to buying a home | home loan good faith estimate | Tips to your home loan mortgage | FICO Scores | How FICO scores are calculated | Your FICO score | Invest in a home | tax refund - invest it in your home purchase | VA Loan | The Home Buyers Wish List | Home buying expectations | real estate market report | Bidding on real estate properties | purchase offers for your home | home mortgage | downsizing your home | moving to a smaller house | Jumbo Loans for Home Purchase | Mortgage Money Lesson | newlywed home purchasing tips | The perfect wedding gift... a new home | Avoid these home buying mistakes | common mistakes when buying a home | Good News for Housing | Home Price Index | Bank fees for the homeowner | understanding banks and their fees | Home Inspections for your new home purchase | What to know about home inspections | Fire safety for your home | Is your home fire safe? | Home Mortgage programs | LTV | Mortgage loan to value | Mortgage relief for disaster challenged areas | Location | Property location - real estate | buying a short sale property | short sale tips | buying a home - best investment? | When is the best time to buy? | New Years resolutions | Resolutions: a Reality for Realty's | Get a mortgage after foreclosure | mortgage financing - after foreclosure | Is it a good time to buy a home? | What age is old enough to buy a home? | Buy a short sale property | Short Sale real estate properties | Home property tax deductions | real estate tax deductions | Real Estate License School | Apartment Rentals | House Rentals | Real Estate Rental Agent | House Hunting Tips | Simple house hunting tips & ideas | Mortgage advice - current trends | mortgaging & refinancing in 2013 | Good credit score = best equal rates | How to build up your credit score | lease - option to buy | Rent with option to buy | Avoid Home Improvement Blunders | Home improvements ideas for the property owner | Home Buyers - What do you really want? | Needs & wants of home buyers | mortgage loans for new home construction | New construction home loans | Home Buyers - Price & proximity to work | Key Concerns for the home buyer | Impressive mortgage applications | Keys to getting your mortgage approved | Home buying mistakes to avoid | Home purchasing blunders to avoid | New homes vs older homes | to buy or not to buy a home | pet friendly rentals | Pets or no pets - apartment rentals | tips for home purchasers | Flipping houses | home flpipping 101 | spec houses | home buyer how to's | how to be a better home buyer | Mortgage amortization | A happy home | What makes you really happy? | Low housing inventory | Low inventory housing market | Home prices on the rise | Rising property values | Home buyer tips to open houses | Open House etiquette | Winning a home purchase bidding war | Home mortgage rate tips | mortgage tips for the new home owner | Home Equity Line versus 2nd Mortgage | buy a new home or expand your current home | Home improvements vs. new home purchse | Mortgage Rate Lock | Residential home mortgage rates | Improve your economic profile for home mortgage | Personal Finance | Costly problems for new home buyers | New home buyers avoid costly problems | Handy man special | The home fixer-upper | How to refinance | Refinance - without perfect credit | Debt to Income | Tackling Debt | Seasonal real estate trends | The fall season housing market | Factor in home repairs in your mortgage payment | Home repairs for new home purchasers | Home sellers negotiation techniques | negotiations for home buyers & sellers | The home buying process - stress free | The process of buying a home | Recently Read | Saved for Later | Great Neck | Massapequa | Huntington | Ronkonkoma | Brooklyn | East Meadow | Coldwell Banker American Homes | Local Attractions | Home Improvement | Interior Design | Queens | Fresh Meadows | Long Beach | Local Businesses | Farmingdale | Home selling | Suffolk County | Nassau County | Wantagh
September
27

Is your home in need of a makeover? One of the simplest ways to refresh the look of your home is through seasonally-inspired décor.   fall color   "Fall is the perfect time to add color to your walls and update décor in your home, ahead of the busy holiday season," says Julie Richard, Ace Hardware design expert. "Whether you're looking to add a pop of color with a decorative statement piece, or apply a fresh coat of paint to a room that needs a lift, our advice will help you bring transformative updates to life during the most colorful time of year."   Organic and timeless, autumn's foliage lends itself to warm, neutral color palettes and vintage décor paired with deep greens and jewel tones, says Richard and colleagues Katie Reynolds and Nathan Fischer, also Ace design experts. The trio recommends updating your home with these color trends:   1. Green – Bring this trend to life in your home by painting a statement piece using a vibrant green, or by painting an accent wall in a muted olive tone. 2. White – Give your living room more depth and dimension with new baseboards (that are at least five inches high) in a creamy, opal white. To really transform the look of your space, paint the floor in a stark white. 3. Black – Dark furniture against white walls can help make a bold statement in an otherwise neutral space. Paint base cabinets or your favorite piece of furniture in a shade like black chiffon for a crisp, classic look. 4. Blue – Add doses of color in complementary shades, such as sky blue walls with orange accessories, to add character and flair to a room. 5. Pink – Don't overlook the ceiling! Add a hint of blush to the ceiling to simulate the appearance of a slight glow.   Source: Ace Hardware Published with permission from RISMedia.
September
27

(BPT) - Many homeowners with a passion for cooking desire a kitchen that mirrors those of renowned chefs. To achieve this, various design elements and simple upgrades can be incorporated to create the ideal kitchen that combines ultimate functionality with sophisticated style.   ChefKitchen   Faucet makeover Culinary enthusiasts spend a lot of time at the sink. A faucet that simplifies tasks is a necessity and the Brizo SolnaArticulating Kitchen Faucet is a culinary-driven innovation offering flexibility and control in the kitchen. Boasting crisp, contemporary lines, the articulating arm can be adjusted to position the two-function spray wand at various heights and angles - extend the arm up or outward to fill large pots or lower into the sink to reduce splash during clean-up. Beyond function, its Scandinavian inspiration brings a streamlined architecture to any kitchen.   Storage space Just as great recipes call for top-quality ingredients, great kitchens need excellent tools. Maximizing storage is key for those with an impressive collection of kitchen tools and culinary essentials. Avoid overwhelming renovations and make the most of storage options by thinking 'outside the cabinet' to fully accommodate needs. For a crisp, modernized look, arrange pots and pans in a line on the wall with a linear rack. Take organization a step further by incorporating a magnet bar for sharp utensils, ensuring tools are close at hand without getting in the way. Store culinary tools and flatware in expandable drawer dividers to ensure all cabinet space is utilized and the counter remains clutter-free.   Inside garden Bring the outside in with a miniature herb garden for fresh flavor enhancements when you need them. Spaces in front of a kitchen window with natural light are ideal for an indoor garden. Various herbs in 3- or 4-inch pots can be grouped together in stylish trays to keep humidity high. For an extra splash of color, add edible flowering plants to the garden, such as lavender, lemongrass and violet. These homegrown herbs can be used as garnishes, to layer flavor into a dish or even in cocktails for at-home entertaining.   Designated task stations Commercial restaurants work well with cooking stations for seamless preparation and execution. Designate specific areas for every facet of meal preparation to aid in overall organization and evoke the look and feel of a five-star kitchen in your home. In most top-rated kitchens, food preparation is commonly performed between the sink and refrigerator to ensure all needs are met for retrieving, rinsing and chopping. Added elements like a deep sink and wide counter space make these tasks efficient and restaurant quality. Transforming the kitchen into a chef-centered space is simple with clean, purposeful upgrades. For additional information on the Solna Articulating Faucet or to learn about other Brizo product offerings, visit www.brizo.com.
September
24

Real estate was once again named the best long-term investment, topping stocks, mutual funds, gold, savings accounts, CDs and bonds as the preferred means to long-term gains, according to a recent Gallup poll.   investment   For the Americans surveyed, investment preferences broke down as follows:  
  • Real Estate – 31 percent
  • Stocks/Mutual Funds – 25 percent
  • Gold – 19 percent
  • Savings Accounts/CDs – 15 percent
  • Bonds – 6 percent
  Most importantly, all major gender, age and income groups agreed that real estate is the best long-term investment, signaling growing confidence in opportunities for housing for Americans from a diverse range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Source: Gallup Published with permission from RISMedia.
September
20

A number of factors play a role in how color is perceived in a home. While choosing a room color is a deeply personal choice, it's helpful to understand how certain influences can help guide paint color choice, says Noelle Parks, an interior design professional with Dunn-Edwards Paints®.   fallpaint   Parks recommends homeowners follow these guidelines when selecting paint colors.   1. Choose color based on desired mood. From high-energy red to mellow blue, psychological responses to color inform effective and stimulating home design. Consider the ambience of the room before choosing a color. Will it be a lively dining room? A peaceful study? A luxurious bedroom?   Warm tones like red, orange and yellow evoke energy, playfulness and action – great for spaces for interaction like dining rooms or kitchens. Cool tones including green, blue, indigo and violet shades create tranquil and soothing environments. Try cool tones for places of relaxation and meditation, like the bedroom.     2. Use neutral colors as a base. Neutral colors pair well with many shades. White, the most neutral of colors, coordinates with almost every other shade. Crisp and elegant, white opens up spaces and provides a clean, well-designed look.   Brown keeps color schemes grounded with its earthy tones and works best with an accent color. Black adds drama and is often used as an accent to embolden other tones.     3. Consider lighting. Color looks different on a swatch in a store, and on the wall at home at different times of day with different amounts of light. It's imperative to test colors under the lighting conditions at home to see how the paint will truly appear. If there's a lot of natural sunlight, consider a deeper, richer color.     4. Pay attention to details. Permanent features like the flooring, architectural trim, moldings and columns will affect how color appears and blends with the rest of the room. Dark flooring, for example, will go well with lighter wall colors as opposition creates interest and visual excitement. Or, the design on a large piece of furniture may inform the color choice of the overall room.     5. Take climate and windows into account. Typically, warmer colors are more acceptable in cold climates and cooler colors in warmer regions. A south-facing window orientation suggests a cool to neutral color preference, while a north-facing window suggests the use of a warmer color.   Source: Dunn-Edwards Paints® Published with permission from RISMedia.
September
17

A number of products and services exist to help homeowners protect what will likely be the largest investment they'll make – buying a home. The key to their effectiveness is gaining a clear understanding of various industry terms, defined by the non-profit National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA).   homegloss   Home Service Contract/Warranty A home service contract provides service, repair or replacement due to normal wear and tear on major, built-in household appliances and systems. Most cover items such as dishwashers, ovens, wiring and plumbing systems and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).       Many contract providers also offer a menu of optional items such as pool pumps, spas and freestanding appliances such as refrigerators and clothing washers and dryers for an additional fee. Rural homeowners may also elect to add septic tanks or well pumps.   At an average cost of $550 a year, contracts historically renew annually. In recent years, many providers have begun to also offer coverage on a month-to-month basis.   Qualified contract providers maintain a toll-free service call line 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the convenience of their customers. Dispatch of a trusted local service provider usually occurs within 3-5 business days, with expedited options for emergency situations.   Service calls average approximately $75 and protect the homeowner's pocketbook, as some repairs and replacements have the potential to run thousands of dollars with no contract in place.     Builder's Home Warranty A builder's home warranty is very different from a home service contract or warranty. These warranties, provided by the builder on a new home, are designed to offer coverage on the actual workmanship and materials used in the home's construction.     Product and Extended Warranties Retailers and manufacturers frequently offer warranties on the purchase of on the goods – such as electronics and automobiles – they make and sell directly to the public through retailers. These new product warranties are generally active for a limited time to safeguard against existing defects in the product.   Extended warranties are just that – warranties that extend beyond the original warranty period. At purchase, retailers may offer to extend a new product warranty for an additional price. These new product or "retail" warranties are part of a separate industry, aside from the home service contracts/warranties.     Insurance There is little similarity between home service contracts and insurance. Insurance protects a homeowner against partial or total damage or loss to the structure itself or possessions in the home. Insurance protects against sudden and fortuitous events such as fire, wind, hail, theft, collision or other accidents. Insurance does not cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear. The two products complement each other – they do not overlap.   Homeowner's insurance also provides liability coverage against accidents in the home or on the property.   If a tree falls on the exterior air conditioning unit of a home, it s covered by insurance. If an air conditioner stops blowing cold air, it is covered by a home service contract or warranty.   In most states, it is not legal for a home service contract to cover anything which could be covered by insurance.   Source: NHSCA Published with permission from RISMedia.
September
13

(BPT) - The rituals of fall include sending kids back to school, raking leaves and cheering on the hometown football team. In addition, a new fall tradition has emerged for America's nearly 74 million homeowners - home improvement.   fallhome   This fall promises to be particularly popular for home projects. Lower gas prices are boosting people's discretionary income and Metrostudy's latest Residential Remodeling Index points to a continued rise in activity. Like many trends, there isn't one particular reason fall has emerged as a popular time for home improvement, several factors play a role.   Energy efficiency is top of mind With colder weather on the horizon, homeowners shudder at the thought of higher heating costs. They upgrade windows, layer in more insulation, service or replace old furnaces and, in some cases, do all of the above.   The weather is nice Home improvement projects can be hard and even grueling work, particularly for DIYers. Lower temperatures and humidity create a much more comfortable environment for getting things done (and rhetorically keeping your cool when obstacles inevitably arrive).   The holiday entertaining wow factor Everyone wants their home to sparkle when they welcome family and friends during the holidays. Completing a home improvement project during the fall sets up a big reveal when the holidays roll around.   Falling prices Fall is an excellent time to save money by finding great deals on home improvement supplies and service. Year-end sales begin and discounts can be steep. Retailers like Lumber Liquidators, with their annual Yard Sale in October, often have discounts to clear inventory before the New Year. Also, contractors are busiest during the warmer months - their business cools as the weather does. Facing tight timelines and tighter budgets, homeowners often need to prioritize their projects. Installing hardwood floors often provides a high return on investment, both from a quantitative (home value) and qualitative (pride in ownership) standpoint. No matter what a homeowner chooses to do during the fall home improvement season, it will help reduce cabin fever during the winter months.
September
11

As an additional incentive, an increasing number of home sellers are purchasing home service contracts on behalf of buyers, according to the National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA). For first-time buyers benefitting from these contracts, it's important to:   homebuywecont   1. Review the home service contract to be sure you understand all terms and conditions. Home service contracts generally provide service, repair or replacement for items such as dishwashers, ovens, disposers, electrical and plumbing systems, and most importantly, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).   2. Maintain all appliances and household systems to keep them in efficient operating order. You will benefit from uninterrupted service as well as potential energy savings.   3. Request optional coverage if you feel you may need coverage on items not typically specified under the standard coverage, such as a swimming pool, septic tank or spa.   4. Keep a copy of your contract easily accessible and post the provider's toll-free service number in a visible location, like the refrigerator door.   5. Call your contract provider at the first sign of trouble. Do not call a repair contractor directly. One of the benefits of your home service contract is that your provider works with a network of prequalified and licensed contractors in your area. If a breakdown (such as a lack of water or heat) poses an actual risk to your health or safety, most providers will work to expedite emergency repairs. 6. Follow up with your provider if for some reason you are not satisfied with the service provided. They will work with you to resolve your concern. 7. Note when your contract expires. For your convenience, many companies will provide automatic renewal of your contract. If you do not wish to renew, contact your provider right away to exercise your cancellation rights.   Source: NHSCA Published with permission from RISMedia.
September
3

It's an age-old question: should you rent or buy? If faced with this dilemma, consider the following questions, courtesy of the American Bankers Association (ABA).   Buy or Rent?   1. How much do you have saved? Start with an evaluation of your financial health. Figure out how much money you have for a down payment or deposit on a rental. Down payments are typically 5 to 20 percent of the price of the home. Security deposits on rentals are usually about one month of rent and more if you have a pet. Be sure to keep enough in savings for an emergency fund. It's a good idea to have three to six months of living expenses to cover unexpected costs.   2. How much debt do you have? Consider all of your current and expected financial obligations like your car payment and insurance, credit card debt and student loans. Make sure you will be able to make all of the payments in addition to the cost of your new home. Aim to keep total rent or mortgage payments plus utilities to less than 25 to 30 percent of your gross monthly income.   3. What is your credit score? A high credit score indicates strong creditworthiness. Both renters and homebuyers can expect to have their credit history examined. A low credit score can keep you from qualifying for the rental you want or a low interest rate on your mortgage loan. If your credit score is low, you may want to take steps to raise your score, which could improve the terms you're offered, before entering a loan or rental agreement.   4. Have you factored in all the costs? Create a hypothetical budget for your new home. Find the average cost of utilities in your area, factoring in gas, electricity, water and cable. Find out if you will have to pay for parking or trash pickup. Consider the cost of yard maintenance and other costs like replacing the air filter every three months. If you are planning to buy a home, factor in real estate taxes, mortgage insurance and possibly a homeowner association fee. Renters should consider the cost of rental insurance.   5. How long will you stay? Generally, the longer you plan to live someplace, the more it makes sense to buy. Over time, you can build equity in your home. On the other hand, renters have greater flexibility to move and fewer maintenance costs. Carefully consider your current life and work situation and think about how long you want to stay in your new home.   Source: ABA.com Published with permission from RISMedia.

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder