Recent Blog Posts

The amazing members of ActiveRain produce hundreds of blog posts every single day of the year.  There is a wonderful mix of all things real estate and beyond for your reading pleasure.

This board rolls all day long with the newest blog posts to our site. You’ll find some diamonds in the rough on this page, so check back often to peruse the blog roll and learn from our committed community of real estate professionals.

The newest blog posts on ActiveRain

By Sharon Sigman, Sharon Sigman
(RE/MAX )
Here's the dilemma. You're getting ready to redo your kitchen and you want it to be stylish and modern but not trendy. After all, this is the only kitchen renovation you ever plan to do and you don't want it to be outdated before you are even finished with the final touches.If you're paralyzed because you're afraid of making the wrong decision, we get it. We're facing a similar dilemma here, FYI, with floors that need to be done and so many options from which to choose and no winner (yet) because it's not yet clear if what is currently hot is just a flash in the (floor) pan or will stick around for a while.So how do you know how to choose? First, it depends on what your goals are. If you're just looking to update and then sell your house, choosing materials that are trending now may be ...
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By Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired
(Wayne M Martin)
Trivia questions for Tuesday June 22, 20211. Which animal is also known as the wild dog from Australia? Dingo2. What do you call a group of skunks? A surfeit3. Which was the only airline other than British Airways to buy the Concorde? Air France4. What is the flattest continent? AustraliaEnjoy your day.Trivia questions for Wednesday June 23, 20211. A kindle is a group of what animals?2. What was the first man-made satellite put into orbit?3. What is the more common name for grape sugar?4. What is the plastic piece at the end of a shoelace called?Enjoy your day.
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By Dick Betts, REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
(TOUCHSTONE REAL ESTATE)
The current buying trend is effecting The Villages but not every price range.  Recently I have been working with buyers with a wide range of what they wanted to spend on a home, one $225,000 to $275,000, another $275,000 to $375,000 and one willing to go to $800,000.  I was successful with another buyer finding a $420,000 home for them after writing four offers only to be out bid on other homes. The high-end properties here in The Villages is what is in the highest demand.  On a golf course with a pool and lanai or room to add one will be gone in hours.  Recently I wrote a contract on a $700,000 listing four hours after coming on the market and the listing agent told me they already had 5 offers and one was being accepted.  Meanwhile the under $300,000 inventory seems to be not as crazy...
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By Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
(Room Service Home Staging)
Wordless Wednesday...Only in Texas After we first moved back to Texas, I tried calculating the ratio of pick-up trucks to regular cars. I finally had to give up! Having been born and raised in Houston, I must admit to having a certain amount (ok a lot!) of Texas brag in me.  So...where else but in Texas would you see these guys?  My favorites were at Tractor Supply (yes we go there) and stand about 6 feet tall. I really wanted one for our backyard but you-know-who shot that idea down.  Then over at our Ace Hardware, I saw these Redneck Plungers.  They would make a great gift for one of the Christmas grab bag exchanges!!  You can take the girl out of Texas but not Texas out of the girl and ultimately not the girl out of Texas. Janine Turner
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By Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Condo and Home Specialists
(The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803)
This Co-op community in Huntington Station New York are attached units. The community was opened in 2000. There are Ranch floor plans with 2 bedrooms 2 baths, and the 2 story Townhouses with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths.  Highview is conveniently located across from the Long Island Railroad between New York Avenue and Broadway.  This Co-op neighborhood offers its owners a cozy clubhouse, pool, tennis, gym and play area. There is gas heat, gas cooking, central air conditioning and backyard patios. A monthly maintenance charge covers the lawn care, snow removal and water, but heating and electric are the responsibility of the co-op owners. Pets under 40 lbs are permitted in this Suffolk County complex. Check with your Realtor® on the Debt to Income Ratio that is required. This North Shore Co-...
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By Brian England, MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ
(Vacasa)
📢Investment Property Maximized with Vacasa 6-23-21  ☀️For ALL of Your East Valley AZ Real Estate Needs📞Call Brian at 480-773-2370🙋‍♂Text Brian at 480-773-2370📨Email Brian at brian@bke12.comThe picture above shows a townhome community in Scottsdale, AZ where a 2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom unit can generate at least $35K annually and be purchased for under $250K.  The beauty of investing in a short-term rental is that you can use it yourself and allow it to pay for itself when you aren't using it.  If this is something that might interest you, please contact me to find out more and we can start shopping for a great investment property for you! ☀️For ALL of Your East Valley AZ Real Estate Needs📞Call Brian at 480-773-2370🙋‍♂Text Brian at 480-773-2370📨Email Brian at brian@bke12.com
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If you are looking to sell a home in the current market, then you know that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many people look at the world and this includes their home.Therefore, buyers need to think about whether or not their homes have what buyers are looking for. While this is a hot market and sellers could quickly end up with multiple offers for their homes, they are more likely to get a higher offer if their home has one of the key features that buyers in today’s market will love.A Home OfficeWithout a doubt, this is one of the most popular features today. With the pandemic changing the way people work, workers are spending more time at home than ever before. Everyone is looking for a way to be productive at home and this means having a home office. A home office is essent...
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By Gary Thomas, Realtor to the Dreamers
(Preferred Properties Key West)
 Just listed, but not by me, 530 Catherine Street, Key West. The listing Realtor describes the property this way: "Say hello to this TRANSIENT vacation rental just steps off Duval Street! Fully renovated from top to bottom, this low maintenance home has 2 of the 3 bedrooms on the first floor. All have ensuite baths. Beautifully furnished, this fabulous investment property is fully rented through May 2022! The home features an open floor plan with seating for 6 at the spacious kitchen island and a living area that opens to a comfortable covered lanai. Enjoy a beautiful heated pool with the convenience of an outside pool bath. The outdoor area affords plenty of space for sunning and dining. Round out this money-maker ($200K +) with a designated parking space, and you've got a winner!"    ...
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If you’re in the process of simultaneously buying and selling a home, you may be in for the most stressful experience of your life. One UK-based real estate survey of over two thousand people found that buying and selling a house is more stressful than divorce, bankruptcy, a death in the family, becoming a parent for the first time, and even planning a wedding!It’s not easy, but staying calm will help you to plan for your upcoming home purchase and sale and make the process easier. So how can you avoid the stress? Here are three strategies that will keep you calm, no matter what may happen.Have A Thorough Plan In Place…Much of the stress that you’ll experience will probably be the result of poor planning. You may feel stressed if you don’t have enough time to move or if you have to pay ...
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By Victoria Carter Guaranteed Services, TwoMoveYou
(TwoMoveYou Guaranteed Real Estate Brokered by Century 21 Percy Fulton Ltd., Brokerage)
 Your Referrals make a difference to help fight kids' cancer. TwoMoveYou Guaranteed Real Estate.We are on a mission to raise $2,500 this year! This August, TwoMoveYou Guaranteed Real Estate Team is taking part in the Great Cycle Challenge to fight kids' cancer!Why?Because right now, over 1,400 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, and it's the biggest killer of children from disease in Canada.Kids should be living life, not fighting for it.So we are raising funds through this challenge to help these kids and support Sick Kids Foundation to allow them to continue their work in developing treatments and finding a cure for childhood cancer.Please support TwoMoveYou in one or more of the following ways...1. Refer TwoMoveYou Real Estate, and a donation will be made toward SickKids F...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and this includes the real estate industry. One of the biggest impacts that this pandemic has had involves the home lending process. Because many people are looking for ways to buy a home while engaging in proper social distancing measures, the industry has had to adapt. Learn more about some of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has forced on the home lending process.Homes Are Getting More AffordableThe demand for homes right now is high; however, homes are still more affordable than they have been in the past. Lenders are trying to find ways to encourage people to purchase homes because they have seen a drop in their business as well. As a result, many lenders are willing to provide potential homeowners with great offers and opportunities to ...
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Those who are in the process of buying a new home need to be aware of some of the factors that might influence their ability to do so. Even though credit score, income, and assets will play major roles in whether or not someone might be approved for a loan, there are other factors that will play a role as well.Buying a new car might even have an impact on the homebuying process.Why is this the case?The Debt Payments On The Car Will Play A RoleThere are multiple ways to buy a car. Some people elect to pay cash for the entire vehicle. While this is a challenge for most families, this will prevent any new debt from being added to the family’s finances. At the same time, this could also reduce the amount of cash the family has on hand to put toward the new home.Most families end up putting ...
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Being pre-approved for a mortgage isn’t just a way to get a step ahead, in many cases it’s a necessity to buying a home. Many sellers don’t want to go through the negotiation process of selling their home only to have the buyer drop out when they can’t get approval for the mortgage they were relying on.The Difference Between Pre-Qualification And Pre-ApprovalPre-qualification is a faster process than pre-approval and is usually a best estimate based on how the borrower answers certain questions about their financial history and status.Pre-approval is way more valuable to a borrower than pre-qualification because it is a commitment from a lender for a decided amount after they have completed an in-depth verification process based on the submitted documentation.Preparing For The Pre-Appro...
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Owning a home comes with a lot of joy and responsibility. Many homeowners are looking for improvement projects that they can do themselves. There are a few options that rise to the surface. Take a look at some of the fun projects that most homeowners can do at home!Perform Routine Maintenance on the HVAC SystemOne of the top projects that homeowners can perform involves routine HVAC maintenance. In order to make sure the HVAC system is running appropriately, it is important to service it regularly. Even though there are a few tasks that have to be left to those with the right training, there are other tasks that the homeowners can do themselves. This includes wiping off the breaker, cleaning the exterior, and even cleaning the blower with a vacuum.Seal Home Areas Contributing To A Draft...
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Most people have heard the saying that it might be a good idea to refinance if mortgage rates drop. For those who might not know, refinancing is essentially taking out a new loan to replace the old one because the new loan has a lower interest rate.This could shorten the time span of a long time and reduce monthly payments, or save money on the total cost of the home. At the same time, refinancing is not right for everyone. How can homeowners determine if refinancing is right for them? Do They Qualify?Just because there are lower interest rates available does not mean that homeowners are going to qualify. It is important for homeowners to make sure they qualify for lower interest rates on their home loans. Be sure to conduct a quick credit check to clean up inaccuracies on the credit re...
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Refinancing your existing mortgage may provide you with the opportunity to lower your interest rate, reduce your mortgage payment and adjust your loan term. For those homeowners who have lived in their home for more than a few years, pulling equity out of the property for everything from a luxurious vacation to making home improvements is a tempting potential benefit.However, with property values and interest rates adjusting frequently, you may wonder if now is the best time to refinance your mortgage.Using Equity From Your RefinanceOne factor to consider when debating between refinancing now and waiting relates to pulling equity out of your home. If you need access to the cash now for home improvements or other purposes, refinancing now may be ideal. Even if you do not need access to y...
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If you’re in the process of buying a new home, you’ve likely heard the term “closing costs” in regards to the many different fees and taxes that you’ll be required to pay during the purchase process.In this post we’ll look at a number of these closing costs and what you will be expected to pay when you buy that next dream home.Taking out a Mortgage? There Will Be Fees AttachedIf you’re taking out a mortgage to finance the cost of buying your home you’ll end up incurring a variety of fees. Nearly all lenders will charge a mortgage application fee, which covers the cost of processing your application and all of the necessary paperwork.You’ll likely have to pay for a professional appraisal of the home as well, as the lender will want to ensure that they aren’t lending you more than the hou...
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When it comes to finding a home, this is an exciting time. Many people love looking at houses; however, the reality is that people also need to think carefully about how much house they can actually afford. Buying a home is a big decision and for many people this is going to be the most expensive purchase they ever make in their lives. Therefore, it is important to take the time to get this decision right. There are plenty of ways for people to calculate how much house they can actually afford. With a budget in mind, this will make the shopping process easier.The 28 Percent RuleOne of the top ways that people can figure out how much house they can afford is called the 28 percent rule. This is a simple formula that states that the house should only spend 28 percent of their gross income ...
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If you’ve had some trouble getting approved for a mortgage recently, you’re not alone. Many individuals face mortgage challenges due to past blemishes on their credit reports or a personal financial crisis that resulted in bills not being paid on time.In this post we’ll share three quick tips for sprucing up your personal credit before reapplying for a mortgage. With a bit of luck and hard work you can be on your way to purchasing that new dream home.Pay Off Your Credit Cards And Lines Of CreditThe easiest way to improve your credit score and prove that you can afford your mortgage payments is to eliminate other forms of debt from your monthly budget. If you have outstanding credit card, student loan or other debts, get them paid off as quickly as possible.You’ll also want to avoid taki...
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Are you thinking about buying a new house or condo? If so, you’ve likely given some thought to your mortgage and as to how you can pay as little as possible in order to own your new home.Below we’ll share four easy steps that you can take to ensure you start out with an affordable monthly mortgage payment.Make A Large Down Payment On Your HomeThe easiest way to reduce your monthly payment is to invest as much as possible in your down payment. The less you have to borrow, the less you’ll be required to pay back.If you can put a sizeable amount down on your home you’ll find that your monthly payments are going to be very manageable. You’ll also save a lot of money in interest.Maintain A High Credit ScoreWhen a lender assesses your financial history they’ll take an in-depth look at your cr...
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