Archive for the ‘The Property Network’ Category

The Real Estate Mom’s Back to School Guide

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011




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As a long summer of lazy unstructured afternoons comes to an end, Real Estate Moms all across this nation celebrate the return of routine in their families. In order to prepare for that event, you You have inventoried the kids’ closets, had them try on their shoes, collected the supplies needed by the new teacher and received the school calendars. How can you as a real estate agent and as a mom get off on the right foot this school year?

There is no doubt that you need to make a little extra time during those first few weeks to get everything heading in the right direction with the kids. Here is a quick back to school guide that will help you to keep the necessary focus on your business while helping your children have a successful start to the school year.

Schedule for Peace of Mind

One of the most important aspects of getting all of your goals accomplished as a real estate agent is planning and scheduling. This folds into the “mom” part of your life as well. It is important to know how to blend both the business and personal parts of your life. For example, your calendar, such as Top Producer or some other contact database software, is a key instrument for you to use in organizing your business. Not only should you use it to plan your client meetings, but you must also use it to schedule those important events for your child such as parent/teacher meetings, recitals and pick-ups from school.

When you keep your family and work calendars separate, you will inadvertently schedule a meeting with a client, over a child’s school activity and vise versa. By color coordinating all of your Realtor appointments and mother appointments on the same calendar you can easily see where your focus is on a daily basis. By syncing your Top Producer with your Treo, you will have all of your appointments, work and personal, with you wherever you go.

Organizing For At Home Success

Next, use your Top Producer system to keep you organized. Take a few minutes to record the teacher’s contact information. Most real estate agents would not leave home or the office without having all of their client’s information in hand and it’s vital that all necessary information for your child’s school be in your electronic calendar as well. Include the school’s phone number and any direct teachers’ numbers, email addresses and details that you need.

Establishing Routine as A Real Estate Mom

One of the most crucial times for you to establish family routines is during those first weeks of school. Set up such things as the after school routine with homework, snacks, and chores. My daughter has her “daily five” that she needs to do everyday after school that includes homework, cleaning her room, cleaning her bathroom, unloading the dishwasher and feeding the dog. Once the foundation of this time of the day is set and becomes a habit for your child, you are more able to focus on your job as a real estate agent with minimal time following up on the “daily five.” Getting them into a routine will also create lasting habits in your children

Your job and your clients can be demanding. That doesn’t need to stop you from being a good parent and getting your home life in order. Take the time necessary to organize each of these aspects of your life, by being a real estate agent and being a mom. Spend some time planning, organizing and scheduling by doing the things listed here. A little extra effort now will help in creating a great school year for your child, yourself and your business.

Real Estate and Life Coach Cheri Alguire has partnered with hundreds of Real Estate Professionals to help them become more successful in business and in life. Coach Cheri offers Group Coaching for Moms, Working Mothers and Pregnant Women in Real Estate, on how to balance careers with family responsibility. Learn more at www.realestatemoms.com, and visit Coach Cheri’s Real Estate Moms blog at www.realestatemoms.com/blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cheri_Alguire



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The Truth About Security Deposits

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011




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Yesterday the Department Of Consumer Protection sent this out to the Realtors in Connecticut:

The Astonishing Truth About Security Deposits

The most frequently asked questions so far this year have been about security deposits. Many of you assume you know what the law is on security deposits, but because we have had so many calls about security deposits, we thought we’d clear up any misunderstandings.

Landlords frequently tell their listing agents they want their tenants to pay first month’s rent, last month’s rent, two months’ security deposit and a pet deposit, all at the beginning of a lease.

If that’s what your landlord thinks is legally correct, he is wrong. If that’s what you think is legally correct, you are wrong, too.

There’s actually a Connecticut statute that is just about security deposits. CGS §47a-21.

“Security deposit” is a defined term. It is “any advance rental payment other than first month’s rent and a deposit for a key or special equipment”. That’s any advance rental payment other than first month’s rent for a key or special equipment.

Notice there is no mention of a “pet deposit”.

Notice there’s no mention of “last month’s rent”.

First month’s rent is okay.

If the tenant is giving the landlord money that is not for the first month’s rent or a deposit for a key or special equipment, it is considered security deposit.

The statute tells us how much security deposit is allowed:
 If a tenant is under 62 years of age, the landlord may take an amount equal to two months’ rent.
 If a tenant is 62 years of age or older, the landlord may take only one month’s rent.

Adding it all up, the most a landlord can take up front is:
 first month’s rent,
 two month’s rent as security deposit, and
 a deposit for a key or special equipment.

That’s it. That’s all.

No pet deposit. No last month’s rent.

The landlord is required to deposit the security deposit money into an escrow account where it should remain until the tenancy ends when the landlord can use it to offset any damage to the premises caused by the tenant.

To read CAR’s Q&A on Security Deposits, go to www.ctrealtor.com, click on Legal/Forms, click on Q&As, scroll down the alphabetical list to Q & A on Security Deposits.

 

So if  you have been asked to provide anything more than what is allowed above, contact the Department of Consumer Protection.

 



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Economic Update – December 6, 2010

Monday, December 6th, 2010




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Last Week in the News
________________________________________
The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city housing price index — on a non-seasonally adjusted basis — fell 0.7% in September after a 0.2% decrease in August. On a year-over-year basis, prices rose 0.6% compared with September 2009.
The consumer confidence index rose to 54.1 in November from a revised 49.9 in October. It was the highest level in five months. The index was benchmarked at 100 in 1985, a year chosen because it was neither a peak nor a trough in consumer confidence.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of manufacturing activity fell slightly to 56.6 in November after reaching 56.9 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 16th straight month of expansion.
Total construction spending rose 0.7% to $802.3 billion in October, following a revised 0.7% increase in September. Economists had anticipated a drop of 0.4% in October.
The National Association of Realtors reported that its pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts, rose 10.4% in October after a 1.8% decrease in September.
The Institute for Supply Management reported that the monthly composite index of non-manufacturing activity rose to 55 in November from 54.3 in October. A reading above 50 signals expansion. It was the 11th straight month of expansion.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 26,000 to 436,000 for the week ending November 27. Continuing claims for the week ending November 20 rose by 53,000 to 4.27 million. The unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November from 9.6% in October.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on wholesale trade on December 9 and consumer sentiment on December 10.



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Economic Update – November 29, 2010

Monday, November 29th, 2010




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Last Week in the News
________________________________________
Retail sales fell 0.6% for the week ending November 20, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 2.8%.
Gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the U.S. — increased at an annual rate of 2.5% in the third quarter of 2010. This follows a 1.7% pace of growth in the second quarter of 2010.
Existing home sales fell 2.2% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million units from 4.53 million units in September. The inventory of unsold homes on the market declined 3.4% to 3.86 million, a 10.5-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a revised 10.6-month supply in September.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 19 rose 2.1%. Refinancing applications decreased 1%. Purchase volume rose 14.4%.
Orders for durable goods — items expected to last three or more years — fell 3.3% in October after increasing an upwardly revised 5% in September. Excluding volatile transportation-related goods, orders posted a monthly decrease of 2.7%.
New home sales fell 8.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 283,000 units from a rate of 307,000 units in September. Economists had expected a pace of 314,000 units.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 34,000 to 407,000 for the week ending November 20. That’s the lowest level since July 2008. Continuing claims for the week ending November 13 fell by 142,000 to 4.18 million.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on the housing price index on November 30, construction spending on December 1 and pending home sales on December 2.

www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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Economic Update – November 22, 2010

Monday, November 22nd, 2010




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Last Week in the News
________________________________________
Retail sales rose 1.2% in October after an upwardly revised 0.7% increase in September. It was the largest increase in seven months. Economists had anticipated retail sales to rise 0.7% in October.
Total business inventories rose 0.9% in September to $1.4 trillion, the highest level since March 2009. Total business sales rose 0.5% in September after a 0.3% increase in August.
The producer price index, which tracks wholesale price inflation, rose 0.4% in October, matching a 0.4% increase in September. Core prices — excluding food and fuel — fell 0.6% in October, the most since July 2006. For the year, seasonally adjusted wholesale prices are up 4.3%.
Industrial production at the nation’s factories, mines and utilities was unchanged in October, following a revised 0.1% increase in September. Economists had anticipated a gain of 0.3%. Capacity utilization was unchanged at 74.8% in October.
Consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in October, following a 0.1% increase in September. For the year, seasonally adjusted consumer prices are up 1.2%.
The combined construction of new single-family homes and apartments in October fell 11.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 519,000 units. Single-family starts fell 1.1%. Multifamily starts dropped 43.5%. Applications for new building permits, seen as an indicator of future activity, rose 0.5% to an annual rate of 550,000 units.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 2,000 to 439,000 for the week ending November 13. Continuing claims for the week ending November 6 fell by 48,000 to 4.295 million, the lowest level since the recovery began.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on existing home sales on November 23 and new home sales on November 24.

Visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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QR Code for our iPhone App

Monday, November 15th, 2010




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we rock tech.



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Economic Update – November 15, 2010

Monday, November 15th, 2010




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Last Week in the News
________________________________________
Retail sales rose 1.3% for the week ending November 6, according to the ICSC-Goldman Sachs index. On a year-over-year basis, retailers saw sales increase 3.4%, the best reading since August.
Wholesalers increased their inventories 1.5% in September, following an upwardly revised 1.2% rise in August. Sales at the wholesale level rose 0.4% in September after a 0.5% increase in August. Economists had anticipated inventories would increase 0.7% in September.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted composite index of mortgage applications for the week ending November 5 rose 5.8%. Refinancing applications increased 6%. Purchase volume rose 5.5%.
The trade deficit decreased 5.3% to $44 billion in September. Economists had expected the trade deficit to fall to $45 billion. Exports rose 0.3% to $154.1 billion. Imports decreased 1% to $198.1 billion.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for November’s preliminary reading rose to 69.3 from 67.7 in October. During the economic expansion that ended in December 2007, the index averaged 88.9.
Import prices rose 0.9% in October, following a 0.3% decrease in September. The increase was driven by a 3.3% rise in petroleum prices. On a year-over-year basis, import prices are up 3.6%. Export prices rose 0.8% in October.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 24,000 to 435,000 for the week ending November 6. Continuing claims for the week ending October 30 fell by 86,000 to 4.3 million, the lowest level since the recovery began.
Upcoming on the economic calendar are reports on retail sales on November 15, the housing market index on November 16 and housing starts on November 17.

Click here to visit my website and apply on line:
www.DavidJGarofalo.com



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Stamford CT real estate…to list or not to list??? that is the question.

Monday, October 25th, 2010




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We all realize that it is not the ideal time to try and list your home, but if you are buying in the same area, say, Stamford CT for example icon wink Stamford CT real estate...to list or not to list??? that is the question. | CT Real Estate then your lowered house price will also be reflected when you buy your replacement house. Nothing is lost therefore – or is it?

Sometimes we can become aware of the fact that we really must move. Maybe the children are too big and we really need to move for that extra bedroom; perhaps there is a need for a bigger rec room, or an extra bathroom.

Many circumstances make house-moving come to mind, but have you worked out the cost of remodeling as opposed to the cost of moving? When we think about moving, we often think of all the irksome things about our home, but we do not remember all the conveniences that might not be available in the next home.

What about the qualities you really like about this home? Even small things like the sun shining into your kitchen in the morning are priceless to some people.

One of the first things to consider is your ‘gut feeling’. Do you want to move because you want to get away from something that is bugging you in that house? If so, think about including that in a remodeling project (as long as it is not an irritating neighbor!)

Write down all the things that are missing in the house you are in, that you know you can afford to buy in the next house. For instance, a third bedroom is one reason you must move, and you would like a big yard. But have you checked the prices of three-bed roomed homes with a big yard in your area?

Cost is really the biggest factor that we all have to takeinto account. Obviously the comparative costs of moving versus re-modeling may play a part.

It is easy enough to calculate the cost of remodeling, you simply ask a builder for a quote. (Use several builders.) If you are doing it yourself, then it will take longer to calculate everything you need to buy. Some hardware stores offer a quotation service. There are on line services for instance on the Home and Garden Web site, where you can pick out your kitchen or bathroom type, choose cabinets and colors of your choicer, one click and it all whizzes into place!

There are also short cuts you can take to get your dream kitchen, like just ordering new cabinet doors and drawers instead of refitting the whole kitchen. These replacement doors come in various price ranges starting from inexpensive white laminate up to classy dark cherry wood.

The cost of moving is harder to calculate, as it contains many hidden costs. For instance all the small costs like a day off work to move, the cost of moving boxes, the paint costs to touch up the outside of the house and those extra shrubs you will buy to make the yard look good.

The larger expenses are easier to spot, for instance: the fee to the realtor, the difference between the cost price of selling your home and buying the new home, the closing fees and legal fees for both houses.

Then there is the actual cost of the physical move, will it be by a removal company or do you plan to do it yourself? Once in the new home, what of drapes and any extras that will be required.

Once all the figures are in, and you have done the math, you may find it easier to make a logical decision and you also feel better in knowing all the cost factors involved – so there will be no surprises. If you do decide to sell, i would love the opportunity to provide a FREE no- obligation market analysis for your Stamford, CT real estate! Just email: nicole@thepropnet.com for an appointment!! icon smile Stamford CT real estate...to list or not to list??? that is the question. | CT Real Estate



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Distressed Homeowners. Options for your Stamford Short Sale.

Monday, October 18th, 2010




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Real estate is not always an easy venture to be involved in. Mortgages are huge loans, and monthly payments can be extremely steep. Especially with the trend a few years back to give out sub-prime mortgages, there have been a lot of foreclosures lately. But foreclosure should be avoided at all costs.
So let’s assume for a moment that you are unable to make your mortgage payments. You become a defaulted owner. Now what? Well, typically, your lending institution will foreclose its mortgage. If this happens, not only will you lose your property when it goes back to the bank, you will lose all your equity. In addition, foreclosure reduces your credit rating, leaving a permanent stain on your credit account. This can be extremely hard to remove, and may prevent you from ever borrowing again. Finally, you may even have to pay taxes on the debt reduction amount. So in trying to save money, you’ve only added another expense to your list of bills. All in all, foreclosure is a bad deal for you.
There are two main types of foreclosure, foreclosure by judicial sale (the type we have here in Connecticut) and foreclosure by power of sale. In the former, the court supervises the sale of the property. In the latter, the bank or mortgage holder sells the home. In a strict foreclosure, not in use in all states, the bank would assume the deed of the defaulted mortgage, without the obligation to sell. This method is less popular as few banks want to become landlords. Usually, by whatever means, the foreclosure involves the sale of the property. In Stamford, CT Foreclosures are Judicial.
If you are unable to make the mortgage payments on your Stamford, CT home, or in any other way are unable to fulfill the obligations of your lending contract, it is best if you sell your real estate as soon as possible. This may mean selling at a much lower rate than market value, however as a homeowner, you may be able to retain some equity from your home, and you will definitely save your credit rating. This is very important for your future real estate purchases, and just about anything else in your life. By selling your home yourself, with or without the help of an agent, you are keeping the power in your hands. Even if you come out of it with no equity, the chances of losing money is slim unless your home has become totally derelict. Even then, you are still better off selling it yourself than allowing a foreclosure to go ahead.
While in a stressful situation such as mounting debt, it can seem like the easy thing to drop everything and run. But as I’ve outlined, it is never to your advantage to let a property foreclose. The key to saving yourself from this fate may be an honest analysis of your expenses. If you can see a problem coming, you have more time to act on it. Rather than waiting to the last minute, put your home up for sale as soon as you suspect you will have trouble making payments in the future. The more time you have to sell, the more likely you’ll walk away with a fair price for your property. You may even be able to find another, cheaper home, and nobody will have been the wiser that you narrowly escaped financial disaster.

Nicole Borsey is a Stamford Short Sale Expert.

Contact her for FREE advice. There ARE options!!!



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8 Tips to Guide You on Your Home Search

Thursday, October 7th, 2010




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1. Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing.

2. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a guide to evaluate each property.
 

3. Get your finances in order.Review your credit report and be sure you have enough money to cover your down payment and closing costs. Then, talk to a lender and get pre-qualified for a mortgage. This will save you the heartache later of falling in love with a house you can’t afford.

4. Don’t ask too many people for opinions. It will drive you crazy. Select one or two people to turn to if you feel you need a second opinion, but be ready to make the final decision on your own.

5. Decide your moving timeline. When is your lease up? Are you allowed to sublet? How tight is the rental market in your area? All of these factors will help you determine when you should move.

6. Think long term. Are you looking for a starter house with plans to move up in a few years, or do you hope to stay in this home for a longer period? This decision may dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as the type of mortgage terms that will best suit you.

7. Insist on a home inspection. If possible, get a warranty from the seller to cover defects for one year.

8. Get help from a REALTOR®. Hire a real estate professional who specializes in buyer representation. Unlike a listing agent, whose first duty is to the seller, a buyer’s representative is working only for you. Buyer’s reps are usually paid out of the seller’s commission payment.

*Reprinted from REALTOR Magazine, with permission of the National Association of Realtors.


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