Sunday, February 01, 2015

Using Microsoft Movie Maker to Create YouTube property Videos

Saw this great way to make a property listing video that you can upload to YouTube on using the free software from Microsoft called Microsoft Movie Maker

Basically we all have a camera that we can use to take pictures. Using Microsoft Movie Maker you can just drop the pics in there. Add a bit of background music or your own voice and then upload straight to YouTube

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Will A Hot Tub Raise Your Home Value?

Everyone wants to have the ultimate backyard. If you live in an area that is known for its inviting climate, you want to have the outdoor area to supplement you and your family. Hot tubs make great accessories for all houses. They serve a variety of purposes and will always enhance the lives of their owners. While they can often be quite an investment up front, the fun and excitement they provide is more than worth the initial purchase. Here are some reasons why you should consider a spa as an addition to your dream backyard.
Provide Relaxation
Think about it: You work hard and you get stressed. It's an unavoidable part of life. Instead of taking out your stress on people that don't deserve it, wouldn't it be nice to step into some warm, therapeutic water outside? Hot tubs provide a feeling of consistent comfort and will give you temporary escape from the regular demands of your life. Life is short and you don't want to spend it feeling upset. Being able to escape into your own, personal pool gives you the opportunity to reduce your pain and walk out feeling completely reinvigorated.
Reduce Pain
They're also great tools for people who experience soreness on a daily basis. Instead of letting yourself accept your nagging back or shoulder pain, use hot tubs as an outlet to relax your muscles. Warm water has been used by professional doctors and therapists for people with body pain, so there's no reason not to use these warm pools to help you feel better. If you're restless, using these little pools can make a huge difference when the time comes to get a good night's sleep.
A Great Social Catalyst
If you have some friends over, there's no doubt that hot tubs can serve as a wonderful backdrop for fun and good conversation. Do you know anybody who doesn't get excited at the thought of hanging out in a warm pool outside? Nobody will turn down the opportunity to thrown on the bathing suit. These pools can fit multiple people, so it's fun to share drinks and be able to relax in a warm pool of water. You'll find that your friends and family will be eager to hang out with you in your backyard. Any activity that gets you out of the house can be nothing but positive.
Fun for the Whole Family
It doesn't matter how old or young you are, there's no reason you cannot enjoy hot tubs. If you're a parent, you know it can be hard to plan activities that everyone can enjoy. These outdoor pools will provide entertainment for everyone. It's a great way to have everyone engaging and enjoying life together. Being a united family is a wonderful gift, so why not invest in an accessory that will bring everyone together.
When thinking about hot tubs Lansing MI residents know they provide a way to warm up during the cold winters. If you're thinking of adding this fixture to your home, make sure to check out

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Buying and Selling Homes at Auctions

If you are looking to find a new home you may be having a hard time by the real estate prices you see on the market. This doesn't mean that now isn't the time to buy a home, but it does mean that you may be looking in the wrong place. Instead of visiting the online websites of realtors or flipping through their brochures, place your focus on foreclosure properties. Foreclosure properties are often considered a great buy, as they are easy to find and affordable.

One of the ways to find these properties is at a foreclosure auction.

Auctions typically takes place at a county, town, or village government office such as the clerk's department, or in some states on the property itself.

You can find these foreclosure auctions by doing some research. Often they are advertised in local newspapers. You can also search local court records, since foreclosures are public notice.

One of the few downsides to buying a home at a foreclosure auction is the property cannot be accessed for inspections and you will have to pay all the outstanding municipal liens. You may also have to close on the property with the previous property owner or their tenants still occupying the property.

Most bidders are bidding on the home as-is where-is, and if you have not viewed the interior of the property, you may get many surprises after you own it. We can never judge a book by its cover, it may look shabby outside and be a gem inside, or it may be that the interior is a disaster.

Since foreclosures are public notice, you should be able to get the address of the property you are interested in. You will want to do a drive by. The property may be listed for sale by a Realtor with the seller hoping to beat the foreclosure by selling it with a short sale. Call the Realtor and ask them to view the property. If this cannot be done, and if you have doubts, it may be best to move on and target other auctions.

If you decide to attend a foreclosure auction, the last thing you want to do is show up unless you are just there to see how an auction works. When you are serious about purchasing a foreclosed property at an auction, you need to be prepared. This preparation involves having financing lined up. Many will require that you either have the money on hand or show proof that you do have the financial resources needed to follow through with the sale. Contingency loans are generally prohibited. Check deposits are sometimes required before you can even place a bid.

As for the auction itself each State has different requirements. It is not uncommon for bids to be sealed. Once everyone has placed a bid, the highest bidder will be announced.

For bids that are not sealed, the auctioneer will start with a figure, often around $1,000 or less and the bidding will continue on. If you are the winning bidder, it is important to know that you may not be able to move into your new home right away. As stated above, the property may be occupied. Many states give current occupants a redemption period or a grace period, this is where they can still fight to keep their home. After this point has passed, you can start the eviction process if the current occupants don't leave voluntarily.
Check your State Laws and or call the Attorney that is handling the sale for the bank for guidance.
As was previously stated, you may want to attend a foreclosure auction and just sit on the sidelines. You should be allowed to do so and if you are unfamiliar with the buying and selling of real estate, foreclosures, or auctions, you can learn a lot. This knowledge is important, as many bidders will be investors looking to turn a profit, not buy their first home.

The "professional" bidders are looking to buy low and "flip" the property. If this is not your intention, you may be able to find a good deal since you will not be influenced by a large immediate profit.

My name is Jeanne Lovely and I have been in Real Estate for 30 years. I am a Licensed Real Estate Auctioneer. I have extensive experience on investing, selling, buying and auctions.

I have created a blog and a product to help guide these investors to make smart choices when looking for Real Estate. Take a look at my blog to get my free report on Real Estate Investments or for free training go to

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How Much will a Moving Truck Cost

Valuation is the coverage offered by your moving company or van line for in-state moves. This coverage is designed to be a tariff level carrier liability plan that is based on the weight of your possessions. There are two different ways to buy valuation for your move, and some issues to consider that may determine whether you opt for straight valuation or bump up to full insurance through a different carrier.

Per Pound Valuation

The standard rate for interstate moving is $0.60 per pound, per article, according to the Department of Transportation's interstate moving regulations. This rate will protect the moving company from paying the actual cost on your items, allowing them to pay a minimal rate for any major damage or catastrophic loss that might occur to your possessions. This method does not consider what an item is or what it means to you. It just counts up the total weight and number of articles in your move.

Replacement Cost

You can also opt for replacement cost valuation which will provide you with coverage based on what your possessions are actually worth. There is a minimum dollar amount purchase for this type of valuation and there are some restrictions that keep it from being the full insurance you might get from a third party carrier.

Disadvantages of Valuation

Because it is not full insurance, it's important you know the disadvantages that can arise from choosing only valuation for your possessions. First off, your possessions are not covered if the carrier is not liable for the damages. That means that accidents caused by a third party and catastrophes outside anyone's control, such as an "Act of God" do not qualify you for reimbursement.

If there is a snow storm, earthquake, tornado, or anything else that might destroy your possessions, you won't be covered due to the circumstances. Additionally, when a problem does occur, the claim will be settled by the employee who has been deemed responsible for the damage. Finally, replacement cost valuation - which is the better of the two types - is more expensive than many kinds of insurance.

For some moves, valuation may be enough, but if you have a number of valuable, expensive items that you would like to ensure are kept safe and sound in the truck during the move, you may want to opt for more advanced, more inclusive insurance coverage through your insurance company.

For more helpful ideas on making your next move your best move ever, download "The Fine Art of Moving - The Ultimate Moving Guide from the Moving Experts" at

Ron Merrill is owner of C&M Houston movers and storage and C&M Fine Art Services, service companies offering peace of mind to interior designers, art collectors and high net worth clients, nationwide. You can find more information about Ron Merrill at houston Moving Company

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Pricing you home

It's not a bad idea to gather information from several sources and determine the real value of your home instead of just thinking that your home is the same value as the one that sold down the street, or rather than relying on just one approach to home valuation.

Call a couple of REALTORS. Even if you're not planning to sell your home right away, many REALTORS will be willing to prepare a comparable market analysis (CMA) for you as a marketing service with the goal of getting your business whenever you decide to move. A CMA shows the prices of recently sold homes that are comparable to yours and the prices of comparable homes on the market. A market-savvy REALTOR® can give you a rough idea of what your home would be worth, given its size and condition and local market conditions.

Purchase a professional appraisal. Unlike a CMA, a professional appraisal is rarely free. However, the several hundred dollars you'll pay for an appraisal, depending on size of your home and the complexity of the work, could be money well spent if you're making a major financial decision that hinges on the value of your home. Appraisers rely on an in-person inspection of your home, recent sales of comparable homes and other data to arrive at an opinion of value. The appraiser's report is a full-blown description of your home and the criteria used to formulate the valuation.

Go to neighborhood open houses. Open houses are a good opportunity to view comparable homes for sale in your neighborhood and chat with real estate professionals about the local real estate market. Two caveats: It's not easy to be objective about your own home and you shouldn't assume that the listing price on a for-sale necessarily reflects the home's true market value. If you keep those points in mind, information gathered at open houses can be worth considering along with data from other sources.

Do research online. A number of Web sites offer home valuation information free or for a fee. The free service at displays sales prices of comparable nearby homes and market activity data within three minutes. charges $30 for a full home valuation estimate, while offers a comparable sales report for $9.95. will send a free home price analysis to your e-mail address within 72 hours or you can pay $14.95 for an immediate reply.

TIP: Price per square foot is a time-honored method of real estate valuation and not a bad rule of thumb but is not at all accurate. However, it doesn't account for a choice location, a move-in-ready home or personal criteria and you should factor in how the property was measured and whether the square footage includes the garage or other detached buildings on the property.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Home Sellers working with Realtors

Here is the information on what you get by working with a realtor compared to the price that you pay. As a seller you are getting a bunch of services that a buyer does not tend to have a contract to get.

REALTORS® and buyers often work together without a written contract, but the opposite is true for REALTORS® and sellers. On the listing side, written contracts are overwhelmingly the rule, not the exception. A listing agreement is a binding legal contract that shouldn't be taken lightly. The necessity of reading the contract carefully and understanding what it means before you sign it can't be overstated. If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

Listing contracts vary considerably from place to place. However, most REALTORS® use established listing agreement forms that are the de facto industry standard in their area or are dictated by their brokerage company. Everything on these preprinted forms is negotiable.

Here are some basic terms to consider:

1. Term of the Agreement. A longer agreement benefits the agent because it allows him or her more time to find a buyer for your home. In a weak market, that's okay, but if homes are selling quickly, you don't want to be committed to one agent for more than a few months. If the home doesn't sell within the initial period and you're satisfied with the agent's efforts, you can offer to extend the term of the agreement before it expires.
For Your Home

2. Commission. Although commissions are negotiable, most areas have a standard percentage that agents expect to receive. This amount usually is 6 percent of the sales price, but you will find agents who accept 5 percent and agents who ask for 7 percent. Whether you want to pay the percentage that's typical in your area or negotiate a lower rate is up to you. A lower commission will save you money. A higher commission will give the agent more incentive to invest in marketing your home. Other agents can find out how much commission is offered on your home through the MLS. The agent's commission technically shouldn't be renegotiated as part of the purchase agreement between the seller and the buyer, but some agents will give a little to close a price gap between the seller and buyer, consequently making the transaction viable.

3. MLS. A listing agreement typically authorizes your agent to post your home in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Unless you're selling a very exclusive property or have serious personal privacy concerns, the MLS is a no-brainer because it helps the agent market your home to the widest possible group of potential buyers. Today, most MLS databases are accessible by consumers on the Internet. The public does not have access to commission information on the listings.

4. Lockbox. A lockbox is a tiny key-holding safe that can be inconspicuously attached to the front of your property. Any agent who has the means of accessing the lockbox (e.g., the key or combination) can retrieve the keys to your home, unlock your door and show your home to prospective buyers even when neither you nor your agent is present. If you're concerned about strangers entering your home alone, don't authorize a lockbox. If your home is vacant, located in a low-crime area or if you've removed your valuables and are willing to take the risk, a lockbox might be reasonable. The more people who see the property, the better chance you'll have of selling it for a favorable price.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Home ownership rate in america dropping

The home-ownership rate continues to retreat from record highs, as the number of owner-occupied homes declined in a year when the nation added 2 million new housing units.

A new Census Bureau report shows the home-ownership rate slipped to 67.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2007, down a full percentage point from 68.9 percent a year ago.

The home-ownership rate, which had hovered around 64 percent during the 1980s and early 1990s, began a steady upward climb in 1995. The rate broke the 69 percent threshold during three quarters in 2004 and 2005 before beginning a retreat last year.

Erosion of the home-ownership rate appeared to accelerate in the fourth quarter, falling 40 basis points from the 68.2 percent rate recorded in the second and third quarters of 2007.

At the regional level, the Midwest had the highest home-ownership rate (71.7 percent), followed by the South (70 percent), Northeast (64.6 percent) and West (62.7 percent). For the year, home-ownership rates declined in every region but the Northeast.

Home ownership was highest among whites (74.9 percent) and lowest among blacks (47.7 percent) and Hispanics (48.5 percent). At 83 percent, the rate of home ownership among families with incomes greater than the median far exceeded that for families with incomes below the median (50.9 percent).

Although the addition of 2 million new housing units in 2007 brought the nation's housing stock up to 128.6 million units, the number of owner-occupied units actually declined by about 600,000, to 75.2 million. The number of occupied rental units grew by 1.5 million, to 35.7 million.

The 2 million housing units added in 2007 included 1.1 million vacant units, and the number of vacant properties climbed from 16.7 million to 17.8 million.

Of these vacant housing units, 13.3 million were for year-round use and 4.4 million were seasonal. Approximately 3.8 million of the year-round vacant units were for rent, 2.2 million were for sale only, and the remaining 7.3 million units were vacant for other reasons

National vacancy rates of both home-ownership and rental units remained statistically unchanged from a year ago. The homeowner vacancy rate, which until 2006 had not exceeded 2 percent for more than a decade, remained at 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, statistically unchanged from a year ago.

At the regional level, homeowner vacancy rates were higher in the Midwest (3.2 percent) and South (2.9 percent), and lower in the West (2.7 percent) and Northeast (2.2 percent), although the differences in the South and West were not statistically significant.

The homeowner vacancy rate was higher in major cities (3.7 percent) and lower in the suburbs (2.4 percent).

At 9.6 percent, the national rental vacancy rate was also statistically unchanged from the 9.8 percent rate of a year ago. In the last decade, the rental vacancy rate has been as low as 7.5 percent in the first quarter of 1997, with a peak for the period of 10.4 percent in the first quarter of 2004.

At the regional level, rental vacancy rates were lower in the Northeast (6.6 percent) and West (6.8 percent), and higher in the Midwest (11.1 percent) and South (12.3 percent).