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Open House Caution For Buyers

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Open House Caution For Buyers

Yes, it's that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, flowers are poking through the ground and the anticipated "Spring Market" is here. Open Houses are in abundance and it is very tempting to just take a Sunday drive and "stop in" to a few houses.

What many buyers don't realize is that they need to be careful when entering an Open House. At times, first time homebuyers think that checking out open houses is the first step in the homebuying process. While graduates of our first-time homebuyer workshop would tell you that is not the case, it's still the common thought.

Open Houses are scheduled and hosted by the Listing Agent of a home for sale. The Listing Agent, the one who greets you so warmly and asks probing questions like "So how did you like it?" is working for the SELLER.

Often times buyers, with or without representation, make the mistake of giving away crucial information to this Listing Agent. They'll let the agent hear them gushing over the gorgeous hardwood floors, try to persuade and sell their spouse on why it's such a great house, "Oh but honey look at how cute it is from the street!" or they will give away other buying signals. Other times buyers will come right out with answers to all the agent's questions, like what type of settlement timeframe they are considering or how they feel the home is priced.

The best word of advice is to keep your wits about you during an Open House. If you truly like the home, have your agent schedule a re-showing so that you can see the home with YOUR representative nearby. Don't talk too much and give up information- what you may think is insignificant information and chatter could actually be a crucial part of negotiations.

If you are not currently working with an agent, you should start the process of finding one soon. Make sure you have representation and remember that 99% of the time, the Seller pays your agent, not you.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to give us a call at 215-576-8666. Thanks!

8 Cheap Ways To A More Energy-Efficient Home

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

8 cheap ways to make your home more energy-efficient

If you're dead-set on that charming but energy-inefficient house, here are some relatively inexpensive ways to whittle your energy bills after you move in.

By Melinda Fulmer of MSN Real Estate

One of the ways to make your home more energy-efficient is to install a programmable thermostat and timer for the water heater.  (© Steve Gorton/Getty Images )

One of the ways to make your home more energy-efficient is to install a programmable thermostat and timer for the water heater.

1. Replace your refrigerator
This is one of the biggest energy-guzzling appliances in the house, says Lisa Dornan, spokeswoman for Direct Energy, and there have been big changes in the efficiency of this appliance over the last five years. "If you look back at the top-rated refrigerator in 2001 that was Energy Star, and one you'd buy today with an Energy Star rating, there would be a 20% to 40% difference in energy efficiency," she says. Her firm, Direct Energy, performs home energy audits and is an energy retailer. Replacing older dishwashers and dryers can make a big difference too, she adds.

2. Install a programmable thermostat and a timer for the water heater
Just as you would flip off the lights before heading out to work, you should turn the heating or cooling off or down while you're away. Program the thermostat for a higher temperature when you're gone in warmer months, or lower in cooler months. These thermostats can be had for $150 at big-box hardware stores.

Likewise, don't heat your water when you're not there to use it. "You definitely want to make sure you are not heating the whole tank needlessly," Dornan says.

Tankless water heaters can be a great investment too, she adds, but they may take a few years to pay for themselves.

Read:  5 tip-offs that a new home is an energy hog

3. Put a solar film or solar shades on the outside of windows to cut the heat
If you're moving into a house with single-paned windows, or living in a climate with extreme heat, you should consider putting something on the outside to reflect the light, Arizona home inspector Scott Hubbard says.

4. Don't let the heat escape
Also, caulk window and door frames to make sure they are airtight. And if possible, use honeycomb-type shades on the inside to trap the heat before it is absorbed into the room.

5. Use compact fluorescent bulbs
This is kind of a no-brainer, experts say, because it's so cheap to do and saves so much on your electricity bill. "Just for swapping out 10 light bulbs (in my home), I was able to get $400 a year in energy savings," Dornan says.

6. Change the filter on your air conditioner regularly
This monthly maintenance helps it run more efficiently, Dornan says, and minimizes wear and tear on your unit. Arranging furniture so it doesn't block air vents also is important to maximize the flow of cooling from your system.

7. Put in shady landscaping
Planting a tree or some vegetation outside a big window can shade your house from the strongest rays of the sun and stifle freezing winds. Planting low-water native plants can also cut your water bill, lowering the total cost you pay for you home each month. (See this slide show on
16 water-wise plants and read more about planning a drought-tolerant garden.)

8. Invest in an attic fan
These inexpensive fans can make a difference in the temperature of the whole house and keep your air conditioning from working so hard.

First Seller Seminar Of The Year Is A Success!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

2008 was a year of change. The market shifted and it challenged us to think differently and find ways to embrace this New World of Real Estate. Nothing was business as usual.

Because of this, it was also a year of innovative ideas. We were concerned with the fact that the vast majority of people don't know what they don't know when it comes to the sale of their home or real estate in general.

2009 Seminar Attendees Sucking Up Information Like Sponges!

We began to hold free seminars, open to the public, to educate them on the steps to selling a home fast and for top dollar. We were amazed at how people truly desired and needed this information. They wanted to learn so much so that they signed up in droves to listen to Diane's presentation and tips based on her 16 years of real estate experience.

This year is proving to be no different! We held out first Savvy Home Seller Seminar of 2009 last week at North Hills Country Club. It was our best yet with participants actively engaged and just blown away by what they did not know. In some cases, people were amazed at what has changed in real estate since they last sold a home 10, 15, or 30 years ago. In other cases, some thought the influence of technology in home sales was incredible.

Diane working on-on-one with attendees to answer their questions!

Either way, participants left VERY satisfied with the information received and found it to be time well spent! Most referred us their closest friends and family members who are thinking about selling a home so we can sign them up for the next one in May!

If you or someone you know would like to participate in an upcoming Savvy Home Seller Seminar, just give us a call at 215-576-8666 to get on the mailing list or register at www.SavvyHomeSellerSeminar.com!

 

Savvy Home Seller Seminar Back By Popular Demand

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

 

See What People are Talking About... read on and refer everyone you know who you care about!!!

FREE Savvy Home Seller Seminar Reveals Secret Industry Information To Maximize $$$!

 

When you leave this short but very informational seminar, you will know exactly what steps to take. This seminar is being promoted by REMAX Consultants and the Diane Cardano Team. They want to educate you — FOR FREE!Savvy Home Seller Seminar. This seminar is FREE and there is no obligation to buy anything, or to list your home. The ideas presented are simple, powerful, and yes… they are FREE. We anticipate that both dates will be overflowing, so don’t miss out! You may invite up to two adult guests to attend this special event with you.

Please join us at the William Penn Inn, for the

A wonderful meal will be served and seating is limited so an R.S.V.P. is required.

WE WILL HAVE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON MANY TOPICS INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING: How to STAGE your home so it sells for up to 7–13% more and in only 30 days? How to choose an EXPERT Realtor to help you fight the 5 home selling sharks that can eat away at your equity?

How to get your home on over 40 websites with one click of a button and why only 1 or 2 websites are just not enough?

Learn the 3 Major Mistakes sellers make that causes them to lose thousands $$.

Learn where the buyers are and how to entice them to pay you top dollar.

Your Host &Primary Speaker

Diane Cardano-Casacio

Where:

William Penn Inn

Rte 202 & Sumneytown Pike • Gwynedd, PA 19436

Choose Your Date! OCtober 22nd or October 28th @ 6:30pm!

 

 

Guarantee YourReservation Today!

This Exclusive Savvy Home Seller Seminar will help you find answers and take action!

CALL

: (800) 769-9313

 

 

There has never been a more important time to attend a Real Estate Educational Seminar to learn how to sell your home for all it’s worth in the fastest time, with the least amount of stress. Home sellers across the country are losing sometimes tens of thousands of dollars because they have priced the home incorrectly and marketed the home ineffectively. The FREE Savvy Home Seller Seminar has arrived!

Do You Have Hard Water?

by Diane Cardano & Team

 

TODAY'S FEATURED PROPERTIES

 

Hard water is probably the most common water problem found in the home, according to the U.S. Geologic Survey in the U.S. about 85 percent of the homes have hard water. Most homes have hard water problems without necessarily knowing about it. The best way you can tell if you have hard water is when it is difficult to get soap to form a lather. or you have to use alot of soap into the water to clean your dishes or if your dishwasher is just not getting the dishes clean.

 Hard Water Facts

While hard water is not considered to be unhealthy for people to drink,  people who have it are more prone to rashes and skin problems because it changes the skin's pH and soap remains on the skin, clogging pores. In addition, it can be very unhealthy for household plumbing, cleaning processes, and water-using appliances. The minerals present in hard water can accumulate in the form of a hard scale which can build up and eventually clog pipes and damage water-using appliances.

Hard Water Solutions

If you suspect you have hard water, call a professional   to test your water and recommend soft water solutions.   The most common solution is to use a water softeners  or water treatment systems. While many systems use salt, there are several softeners available that have a salt free system.  However if you are concerned about the presence of sodium ions in their water, use of sodium ions does not make the water noticeably salty or cause a significant increase in a person's sodium intake. In fact, the FDA defines water that would result from softening 75 gpg hard water (a typical hard water case) as a "low sodium" beverage.
Whatever type of system is used, the applications can be quite affordable and highly worthwhile for those in hard water areas. A typical household water softener costs around $1,000 to $1,500 with a monthly operating expense of around $2 to $8 if sodium is used, and $3 to $15 if potassium is used. Look for the WQA Gold Seal to find products that have been successfully tested to industry performance standards

Advantages Of Soft Water

• You will use less soap by using soft water, both in the shower and in the kitchen.
• You'll have less unsightly spots on dishes, and glassware and your silverware.
• Your heating bill will also be lowered because heating hard water in the water heater, causes hardness scale which plugs plumbing pipes and vessels and builds up on the inside of water heaters.
• Your plumbing will last longer. Hard water can cause a build up of scale from mineral deposits. Over time, pipes can clog, water flow can diminish, and water pressure can be reduced. This doesn't happen with soft water. Soft water is low in mineral content and therefore doesn't leave deposits in the pipes.
• Your skin and hair will look and feel better after bathing or showering. Scum from hard water clogs skin pores and coats hair.
• Clothes are softer, cleaner, brighter, and last longer.
• Your food and beverages will taste better using soft water and ice cubes will sparkle more. 

Hard water waste can cost hundreds of dollars each year as it impact laundry operations, water heater, efficiency, household cleaning, and the life expectancy of water-using appliances and plumbing. The costs of hard water do add up.  Click here to read more about hard water and how it affects you.

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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