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REConnect

This is the event to be at for all real estate related professionals. Networking with like-minded people eager to expand their business opportunities and prospects. Contact me for any further information.

A Fresh Fall Landscape Can Attract Buyers

Improving you curb appeal is easier than you think.

By C. Mark Willix

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This week we welcomed my second favorite season when autumn arrived over the weekend. While spring remains my favorite time of year, autumn brings with it a hearty helping of fall festivals, county fairs and of course delicious holiday food.

Autumn also brings buyers to the local real estate market and with them an opportunity to help your property stand out as the most attractive in your neighborhood. This is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year as buyers are looking for great deals after the summer rush season and still want to be in their new home for the holidays. Inventory is still low for our area and it is a great time for sellers to entice buyers, but that doesn’t mean sellers can ignore their property condition.

Even if you don’t want to go to a lot of trouble or expense, you can still make your home attractive by making sure to keep the falling leaves raked and prune any end-of-season dying blooms on your bushes, shrubs and trees. While keeping the landscape tidy is sufficient, a few simple improvements can be done with a modicum of effort and expense.

CLICK HERE to see the full article on PATCH

The Mose Expensive Homes in Houston

August 30, 2012|Houston Chronicle Web Staff

In the market for a nice home? These might be out of your price range, but they are sure to make you drool.

3630 Willowick Rd: $13.9 million

The 14,000 square-foot home has five bedrooms and six baths on its 1.5 acre lot. The home, which is in the River Oaks subdivision, also has a pool, spa and three-car garage.

Photo By John Daugherty Realtors

 

2307 River Oaks Blvd.: $10 million

For a cool $10 million, you can have this 11,000 square-foot home in the River Oaks neighborhood. It has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It also has a pool, a three-car garage and a summer kitchen.

Photo By Greenwood King Properties

 

11010 N. County Squire St.: $7.9 million

Inside of this 11,000 square-foot home, you’ll find six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. According to the retailer, it is “an entertainer’s paradise.”

Photo By John Daugherty Realtors

CLICK HERE to see more of Houston’s most expensive properties

Is It Time for Young Families to Buy a Home?

We have reported that almost six million adults between the ages of 25 to 34 are currently living with their parents. That number reflects an almost 50% increase since 2003. These young adults are now being advised to jump into homeownership.

Who are the people selling them on the American Dream? Their parents! It seems that parents of some adult children are strongly suggesting that their children take advantage of the low cost of homeownership available today. Some moms and dads are helping financially and are even co-signing for the mortgage. Middle age parents who have owned a home understand its true value. A home has always been a good long term financial investment. However, homeownership also has many other benefits.

In Fannie Mae’s most recent National Housing Survey, they asked the question directly: Is this a major reason to buy a home?

The study broke up the answers into financial and non-financial reasons. The top four reasons and six of thetop ten reasons were NON-FINANCIAL. The top four are below:

  1. It means having a good place to raise children and provide a good education.
  2. You have a physical structure where you and your family feel safe.
  3. It allows you to have more space for your family.
  4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space (renovations & updates).

Should this surprise us? Aren’t these the same reasons our parents bought their home? Aren’t these the same reasons we purchased our home? These are the same reasons parents have suggested their children buy a home. They want the same things for their grandchildren that they believed to be important for their children.

And today, the cost of homeownership is at all time lows:

J.P. Morgan

“The numbers on housing have an important message for American families today, and particularly younger families setting out on life’s great adventure: Five years ago, at the peak of the home-buying euphoria, it was emphatically a time to rent. Today, when home ownership is depreciated more than ever before, the numbers tell us it is a time to buy.”

MSNBC.com

“[S]omeone who plans on staying put for seven years would come out ahead by about $9,000 if they bought a median-priced home rather than being a tenant in a median-priced rental.”

HUD

“Homes today are more affordable for average families than they have been since 1971. Median-income families today have nearly double the funds needed to purchase the average home.”

Bottom Line

Now that the economy is beginning to show signs of stabilizing, people are getting back to the core values that families have always embraced. Homeownership is definitely high on that list. And today, from a financial standpoint, it may be the opportunity of a lifetime.

 This Article Was Provided by The KCM Blog www.kcmblog.com

Just SOLD This Beautiful Home in Sandy Springs

This home was on the market for only a few weeks and I sold it to the first couple that walked into the first Sunday open house.

4 Bedroom

4 Bath

3,500 square feet

$300,000 SOLD]

Great price for spacious family home in fabulous sandy springs community w/ swim/tennis/playground. Move-in ready. Huge family room w/ fplc off kitchen w/ breakfast area. Incredilbe bonus room/suite of 3 rooms w/ exterior door – great home office suite/guest area or rec area. Fabulous master bdrm/bath & 3 additional upper level bdrms. Huge attic storage w/ walk up stair access. Enjoyable screened porch overlooking level bkyd-private. 2-car garage w/ storage space. Near top schools, public & private.

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Buckhead North Office

6 House Repairs to Tackle Before They Become Major Issues

By Karen Haywood Queen • Bankrate.com
In this economy, you may be tempted to delay or even skip minor home maintenance repairs, cleaning jobs and inspections in your home. But don’t be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. That $200 or $300 you save today could result in expenditures of $3,000 or even tens of thousands next month or next year if hidden problems in your home go unnoticed and become worse.

Consider coughing up a little dough to take care of these small jobs before they morph into gigantic, expensive jobs later.

Annual HVAC inspection

Cost: $200-$300, depending on where you live.

How often: at least once a year.

When: spring or fall. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, companies aren’t as busy, and you’re not in dire need of heat or air conditioning.

What an inspection might find:

The furnace blower is not working properly. Cost to repair or replace: $100-$150. Possible consequence of letting it go: a broken heat exchanger. Potential savings down the road: $300-$1,000 to replace the heat exchanger or $750-$3,500, depending on the energy efficiency, to replace indoor or outdoor furnace components.

The reversing switch in the heat pump is broken. Cost to repair or replace: $100-$300. Letting it go results in no heat from the heat pump, and the system switches to a more expensive auxiliary heat. Potential savings: lower heating bills.

Bottom line: “Things that happen often happen at the worst possible time in the worse possible conditions and you’re looking at the maximum rate,” says Terry Townsend of Townsend Engineering in Chattanooga, Tenn., and former president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Remember, continual maintenance prolongs the life of the equipment. “You’re sitting there with an investment of thousands in your HVAC system and you’re investing a few hundred dollars in maintenance.”

Chimney inspection

Cost: $65 for an inspection; $150 for inspection and cleaning, including removal of creosote buildup, which may lead to a chimney fire.

How often: once a year.

When: before your first fire in winter.

What an inspection might find:

There’s no chimney cap. Cost to add: $150. If you let it go, rain water can get into your chimney, damage the chimney liner and damper, and even saturate mortar joints — causing mold. Potential savings: $2,000-$4,000 to replace the chimney liner.

Other problems may include: a cracked chimney crown, which can be repaired for $300-$500; chimney flashing that needs caulking, which can be done for $80-$100; and waterproofing the exterior brick, $350-$600. All these fixes will prevent rainwater from getting in and mold from forming.

Bottom line: “A simple chimney cleaning can prevent chimney fires and damage to your entire house,” says Ray Gessner, a licensed professional engineer and owner of A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps, with offices in the eastern U.S. “Water is the No. 1 problem with chimneys. With water damage, you might need to have your whole chimney rebuilt.”

Termite inspection

Cost: $75-$200 for an inspection; $200-$300 for a termite protection contract for qualifying homes with no current evidence of termites to cover treatment and repairs for any later infestation.

How often: once a year.

When: any time, although termites are more active in spring and early summer.

An inspection might find subterranean termites that come from the ground or flying termites. If left untreated, these bugs damage framing, trim, drywall, furniture, carpet, copper and other soft metals. Termites cause more than $5 billion in damages a year in the U.S., says Paul Curtis, director of quality assurance for Terminix in Memphis, Tenn. The average homeowner loss for termite damage is $3,000, but losses can be as high as $30,000 or even $80,000, Curtis says. Most homeowners insurance does not cover repair of termite damage.

Bottom line: “Termites eat the wood from the inside out,” Curtis says. “A typical homeowner would not be aware they are even in their home until months or years after they get in and start causing damage. A lot of people don’t realize that termites don’t just feed on the home. They’ll eat flooring, insulation, books — I’ve even seen them penetrate through swimming pool liners.”

Power washing and sealing wood deck

Cost: $100-$300 for a 200-square-foot deck, more for a larger deck.

How often: every one to three years, depending on the amount of traffic, moss and mold.

When: any time in sunny weather.

Power washing gets rid of stains, algae, mold, mildew and moss. Algae and mold can make your deck slippery and dangerous, says Justin Lee of JL Power Washing in Williamsburg, Va. Sealing your deck after it is cleaned helps prevent water damage. Wood soaks up rain like a sponge, expands and then shrinks, Lee says. Sealing makes the water bead up and roll off. And let’s not forget — your deck will look nicer, too.

If you let it go, your deck will warp, nails will pop out and the deck won’t last as long.

Potential savings: $4,000 to $20,000 or more to replace your deck, depending on size.

Bottom line: “A properly cleaned and sealed wood deck can last 20 to 30 years,” Lee says.

Dryer vent cleaning

Cost: $120-$200.

How often: every year.

When: a sunny day.

The purpose is to get rid of lint buildup. If your dryer is not on an exterior wall, it’s likely that the vent leading outside is clogged up, says Gessner of A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps.

If you ignore it, the result could be a disastrous fire. “Once the vent gets clogged, the dryer starts overheating and it can catch on fire,” Gessner says. “Dryer fires are very dangerous.”

Potential savings: your home, your furnishings, your belongings and your life.

Bottom line: “I had been airing a radio commercial talking about the importance of dryer vent cleaning for about a month when three people (in our area) died in a fire caused by a dryer vent fire,” Gessner says.

Carpet cleaning

Cost: about 50 cents per square foot for hot water extraction cleaning, or $500 for 1,000 square feet of cleaned carpet.

How often: every 12 months; more often for high-traffic areas and homes with small children, pets or smokers. Manufacturers’ warranties may require cleaning every 18 to 24 months. You can save money by focusing on regular cleanings for high-traffic areas and waiting up to two years for the entire carpet.

When: any time.

If the carpet looks dirty, you’ve waited too long because some soil can’t be removed with vacuuming. This soil will bind to your carpet and dull the texture, shortening the life of the carpet.

Your home also will be healthier with pollen, bacteria, insecticides and dirt removed, says Howard Partridge, founder and president of Clean as a Whistle, a cleaning company outside Houston.

Potential savings: extending the life of your carpet. Replacing 1,000 square feet of medium-grade carpet, including padding and installation, costs about $3,000.

Bottom line: “One of my neighbors had to replace his carpet in less than four years,” Partridge says. “And his carpet looked terrible the whole time. I’ve been able to keep my carpet for 12 years now.”

If you have any questions regarding any of these issues, or would like a recommendation for contractors, contact me directly at 678.983.7987

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Buckhead North Office

Featured Area: Candler Park and Inman Park

The Candler Park and Inman Park neighborhoods are located in Intown Atlanta, about 5 minutes east of downtown and just south of Ponce De Leon Avenue. Each neighborhood is proudly labeled one of Atlanta’s first suburbs and both are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Candler Park and Inman Park are family-friendly neighborhoods with a focus on walkability and livability. Candler/Inman Park is home to many talented people, great shops, bars, and everything eclectic. Nestled right in the neighborhood, Wisteria Restaurant serves up southern hospitality and contemporary southern cuisine along with an award winning wine and spirits list. Also located around the corner is La Fonda Latina, which evokes a carnival mood with their brightly painted furniture and walls. During the last full weekend in April each year, Inman Park proudly presents a Neighborhood Festival widely regarded as Atlanta’s most spirited and eclectic.

Contact me for all of your Intown real estate needs. 678.983.7987

Cary Blumenfeld

http://www.cary.blumenfeld.harrynorman.com

Vinings / Smyrna Townhome for Lease

$1,600 per month

This townhome has barelly been lived in. 3 Bedrooms, 2 Full baths and 1 Half bath. 1 car garage. Beautiful neighborhood close to main highways and amenities.