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Interesting Fact- Be Prepared

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team


The National Association of Realtors™ (NAR) informs us that about 84% of all residential real estate transactions start online.

When listing your home, you need to make sure your agent is marketing your home effectively. This includes posting your home on over 50 websites to maximize the internet traffic to your home. Many of our listings have been viewed thousands of times before they even go on the market because of our marketing strategy.

Taking it one step further, make sure you have great pictures of your home during the Spring, Summer and Fall months when your home looks its best. This way when you do put your home on the market, you can show your home at its best and entice internet viewers to schedule a showing.

We help many of our clients prepare to sell their home 1, 2, even 3 years in advance! During that time we gather pictures of the home at various seasons so we can present a full package of images to potential buyers.

If you are thinking about putting your home on the market in the next couple of years, you should begin preparations now. To have us put you on a schedule to take pictures during picturesque months, just give us a call!

Home Fads That Are Falling Out Of Style

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style

January 21, 2009 by styledstagedsold · 92 Comments
Filed under: Home Trends 

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

LAS VEGAS – Some home features don’t stay popular forever. More homes are inching away from incorporating the following home features, according to recent consumer preference surveys.

1. Fireplaces: The fireplace skyrocketed in importance in homes in 1991 with 62 percent of new homes having one or more. But the number has steadily been decreasing ever since. In 2007, the number dropped to 51 percent.

2. Carpet: While 54 percent of homes still have carpet floors, the number is decreasing and hardwood floors are taking the place. Vinyl and ceramic tile flooring also are being bypassed more by buyers. Seventeen percent of new homes contain hardwood floors throughout the entire house.

3. Living room: These once-decorative centerpieces of homes are slowly vanishing from newer homes. Thirty-four percent of consumers say they’re willing to buy a home without a living room.

4. Desks in the kitchen: These desks were once looked at as great storage areas but they’re often too small and quickly become clutter spaces in a home, said Gayle Butler, editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens. Instead, more consumers say they prefer larger desks in or near the family room—equipped with a messaging center—where they can keep an eye on their kids as they work on the computer.

5. Skylights: The little windows that allow natural light to seep into a home from above are falling out of style. Only 10 percent of new homes will include them this year, a continuing downward spiral for skylights.

6. Upscale kitchen finishes: Granite countertops are slowly becoming less desirable among buyers who are now moving toward affordable, low-maintenance laminate countertops—which tend to last longer and now come in various styles.

Home Buyer Workshop A Success!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team
Monday night we had our first buyer workshop of the year...and what a success! 5 families found out how they can purchase a home with the variety of new mortgage programs available, as well as what they need to do to purchase a home. 
As with most attendees to our workshop, one couple in particular had an "ah-ha" moment when they realized their $900 monthly rent payment equated to $21,600 being thrown away on rent over the past 2 years! You bet they were excited when they realized how much of that money will be saved in coming years once they purchase a home and invest in their own property and futures.
Our loan officers were standing by to answer some great questions asked by the group. For instance, not everyone knows the full details of the $7500 tax credit for first time buyers. Additionally, not everyone realized that if you are recently divorced, you too qualify as a first time buyer!
 
Then we talked about home ownership. The Diane Cardano Team explained the importance of working with an expert agent to help you through the different pieces of the puzzle to home ownership. We discussed short sales, foreclosures, the whole buying process from start to finish.
The night concluded in true workshop fashion where each attendee was able to speak one-on-one with a loan officer and buyer specialist to ask any questions they might not want to ask in the group. Each attendee walked out knowing much more about buying a home and with a concrete plan of their own for the next steps in their process.
We are looking forward to our next workshop to be held Wednesday, February 18th at 6:30pm at the Abington Library. For more information, visit www.SavvyHomeBuyerWorkshop.com!

Mortgage Points

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

0 Points Paid: Rate @ 5.750, P&I @ $1167.5

1 Point Paid: Rate @ 5.125, P&I @ $1088.94

What does this mean for you? When you are applying for a Mortgage Loan you might hear something about Points.  Essentially, points act as pre-paid interest; 1 point equaling 1% of your mortgage.  By paying points on your mortgage you can get a lower interest rate which in turn lowers your monthly payments, saving you money during your time in the house.  For example, if you have a $200,000 loan with 1 point paid, you can bring your rate from 5.750 down to 5.125 saving you $78.52 a month on your mortgage.  Saving at that rate you can break even from paying that point in about 2 years, and you will then have an extra $78.52 a month to save or do what ever you would like.  Not too bad of a deal right? When you apply for your loan ask if this point system is right for you.*

*Interest rates change constantly and this is only an example. Talk to a loan officer for more details.

Seller Seminars & Buyer Workshops

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

   Why should you attend a Buyer or Seller Seminar?  One good reason is that it’s FREE! And there is no obligation to sign up.  Our seminars are in place to educate people on what to expect when they are buying or selling a home and heck, possibly even get a free dinner out of it.  The information that you can gain from one of our seminars, is not information from an average realtor but information that only an expert realtor would know.  For example, you would most likely want to learn about Microsoft from Bill Gates versus someone that works at Bestbuy, would you not? If you were thinking about buying or selling a home and want to learn the best possible way, then check out the following sites to find out more: www.SavvyHomeBuyerWorkshop.com, for our Buyer Seminars and www.SavvyHomeSellerSeminar.com, for our Seller Seminars.

 Also, today is inauguration day so check out CNN.Com for the most recent updates about this historic day.

Tips For Selling Your Home

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Hey Everyone! Some interesting reading for your weekend...

  One way to help you sell your home for the maximum profit is to make repairs, keeping in mind not to go over board because not all repairs are good in the eyes of buyers.  You might be thinking that repairs are going to cost you a lot of money like getting a new kitchen or a new roof but you don’t necessarily need to do those more expensive repairs to get top dollar for your home.  Here are four easy repairs that you can do by yourself or with the help of others. First, cleaning and getting rid of clutter can help make a good first impression.  Second, brightening up your home with a light paint job can make a potential buyer feel more comfortable while they check out your house.  Third, staging your house will make it easier for that potential buyer to picture themselves living in your house.  Finally, keeping up with the landscaping will make buyer want to see what your house looks like inside and if you followed these first 3 repairs they should be WOW’d, selling your house faster then not doing anything at all.

http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20090116_repairs.htm

Reading: Real Estate Market Rebound?

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Did some reading today and found an interesting article. It essentially tells us that researchers and experts are coming to general idea when it comes to the real estate market: a rebound from this current recession as early as June or July of this year.  With the upcoming stimulus package that the Obama administration is going to implement along with the $350 Billion dollars of unspent money from the recent bailout could have a positive effect on the real estate market.  This could lead to a faster turn around in the housing market than that of the economy itself.  With all this money out there now might be the best time to buy or sell a home if you have been thinking about it.

Article: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20090113_realestateoutlook.htm

 

Tip for Sellers: Staging Your Home to Sell

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Happy Monday Morning Everyone!

In the last year or two we have really stressed the importance of Staging for all our listings. Given the down market last year we were still able to have a good year and a key component to this success was the staging in all our listings.  For those of you who are not familiar with staging; staging is when an expert in real estate makes a house look presentable in such a way that when a potential buyer views the house they can imagine themselves living in that house.  Another way to think about someone who is staging a home is to think of them as someone who sets the table for dinner so when that potential buyer sees the table they can envision their family sitting there having dinner.  Staging has really become an important part of listing your home mainly because the positive effect staging has on your homes value.  Staging has been proven to so get sellers more then their asking price or for asking price, especially in today’s buyers market.  Also, the emotional feelings for a prospective buyer play a major role in their selection of a home and having a staged home can allow that buyer to see themselves living there, which positively effects their emotions.  If we staged your home and you got your asking price or more, you would be thankful you chose an expert realtor that could properly stage your home, would you not? 

More Thoughts on 2009

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Earlier I mentioned that Obama was going to implement a stimulus package for 2009, and I found a short article about it.  This stimulus package is going to be one of Obama’s first actions in office.  Obama thinks that if his “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan” is not enforced asap then the economy could fall deeper into recession.  This article says that his plan should take affect as early as mid February and is suppose to ”save or create more than 3 million jobs and invest in health care, energy and education, among other priorities”.  Also this plan is going to include tax cuts for business and middle class workers.  What does this mean for us?  I think that those 3 million jobs that are saved and/or created will give the people that are thinking of buying or selling a home the extra money they need to do so.  Another benefit of this plan that could affect us is the investment in health care because if this plan could reduce those high health care cost people and businesses could save that extra money to; 1. put that money back into their business possible creating more jobs, and 2. just save their money for future investments.  Like I said yesterday I think our systems allow us to reach those people that are on the bubble of buying or selling and if they have that extra money to do so, we should be there first thought.  Obama is expected to give a speech regarding his plan today at 11am.  I will check out the details of that when they are available.- Diane & Team

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/08/transition.wrap/index.html

 

My thoughts for 2009

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

I found an interesting piece today from Realtytimes.com about 2009.  Many people are saying that 2009 is going to be like 2008, which was one of the worst years in along time.  Richard Bove of Ladenburg Thalmann, the investment banking company has a different perspective for 2009.  History has shown us that all downward trends eventually tail off and 2009 can be that year.  There are several positive signs that can lead to the stabilization or rebound of the real estate industry for this upcoming year.  First, they report that the amount mortgage applications are off the charts, though most of them are for Re-fi’s people are still applying. Second, interest rates are at 50 year lows for 30year mortgages at 5%.  Lastly, everyone is paying less for gas, retail goods, and cars.  These are all signs that could have a positive effect on real estate.  Also they reported that people are starting to save their money again, the saving rate went up 3%.  In addition, Obama is working on a stimulus package for 2009; this, on top of these positive signs, could give those people on the edge of buying or selling this year the push they need to buy or sell.  Joe Stumpf says that the best way to attract those people is to get to them “upstream before the reach the pond, were the average realtor is” and our current system allows us to do that.  So by following our systems, keeping positive, and by forward thinking we can have a good year.  -Diane & Team =)

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Diane Cardano & Associates
CARDANO Realtors
1021 Old York Road, Suite 401
Abington PA 19001
Office: 215-576-8666
Fax: 215-576-8677