Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fort Lauderdale Temperature Averages

When I ask buyers what made them decide to relocate to Florida from other states, their reasons almost always include Florida's year-round warm weather. If you're thinking of embarking on a Fort Lauderdale, Florida relocation, be sure to check out the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Guide where you can view a virtual tour of Greater Fort Lauderdale, find information on Fort Lauderdale schools, things to do in South Florida and search the Fort Lauderdale MLS for listings of condos, villas, townhouses and homes. (Table below is copyright: ©Leanne Paynter)

Fort Lauderdale Florida Temperature Averages and Fort Lauderdale Weather

Tips for a Successful Garage Sale

Successful Garage Sale Tips - Fort Lauderdale Garage Sales - Fort Lauderdale Yard Sales Spring is here and this is a great time to plan for and hold a garage sale (or yard sale). Although a successful garage sale takes good planning, time and effort, the benefits usually make it worthwhile. It can help declutter your home and depending on the quantity and quality of the items you put up for sale, it has the potential to be reasonably profitable.

If you are planning on putting your Fort Lauderdale home on the market in the near future, consider having a garage or yard sale to make your move lighter as well as help potential home buyers see the amount of (not lack of) storage space in your home. Perhaps you'll even decide to use the profits from the garage sale to replace a stained carpet or an old appliance, or pay for any necessary repairs you know would show up on a home inspection report.

Most local newspapers charge a nominal amount for anyone wanting to advertise a garage sale in the classified section.

More articles for tips on having a successful garage sale:

Energy Efficient Mortgages

Energy Efficient Mortgages Chances are you've never heard of one. According to the EnergySavers.gov website, "Energy Efficient Mortages (EEMs) recognize that reduced utility expenses can permit a homeowner to pay a higher mortgage to cover the cost of the energy improvements on top of the approved mortgage. FHA EEMs provide mortgage insurance for a person to purchase or refinance a principal residence and incorporate the cost of energy-efficient improvements into the mortgage. The borrower does not have to qualify for the additional money and does not make a downpayment on it. The mortgage loan is funded by a lending institution, such as a mortgage company, bank, or savings and loan association, and the mortgage is insured by HUD."

If you are buying a Energy Star-certified home or are considering making energy-efficient improvements to your home, learn more about FHA Energy Efficient Mortages and the eligibility requirements.

Landscaping to Increase Your Home's Value

How to Increase the Value of Your Home, Fort Lauderdale Florida Home Values We've all heard it before: first impressions are lasting impressions. If you're planning on selling your Fort Lauderdale home in the near future, one way to increase your home's curb appeal as well as your Fort Lauderdale Florida home value is through landscaping. In this article, we'll concentrate on the front yard since that's among the first things a prospective home buyer will notice as they pull up to your home.

At a minimum, the lawn should be free of weeds, fertilized when appropriate, mowed and watered regularly and any patchy areas should be replaced with new grass or sod. Any dead or dying plants, shrubs, etc. should be removed or replaced. While mature trees can be great providers of shade and help reduce home energy costs, they should be pruned back if they are touching your home or thinned out if they shade such a large area that grass won't grow under their branches. Applying a fresh layer of mulch around trees, plants and in flower beds is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to improve your home's curb appeal. Finally, placing a nice container full of flowering plants next to the front door makes for an inviting entrance.

Articles for further reading:

Home Improvement Tips: Cost vs. Value

How to Increase the Value of Your Home As a Fort Lauderdale Realtor, I'm occasionally asked which home improvements provide the greatest return on investment (ROI). My answer really depends on several factors and in order for me to provide useful advice, I must be familiar with the property in question as the options can vary somewhat from house to house. Having said that, there are a few rules of thumb that are standard no matter what the property.

Generally speaking, kitchen and bathroom improvements will provide sellers with the greatest resale value. However, this does not mean it must be a complete makeover. Sometimes replacing items such as flooring, countertops, sinks, faucets, cabinet hardware and/or lighting fixtures can make a room look considerably more updated than before. Applying a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint is among the easiest and least expensive improvements you can make to any room. On the outside of the property, well-maintained front yard landscaping can also provide a good return on investment.

Another factor to consider when deciding what home improvements to make is the neighborhood the property is located in. Many real estate investment books advise home buyers and real estate investors to purchase the worst home in the best neighborhood in order to get the best value for their money. Keeping this in mind, you don't want to over-improve your home or landscaping so that it becomes the best house in the neighborhood unless you are doing it for your own enjoyment and not for resale value.

The suggestions in this article can be useful even if you own a condo. If you are thinking of placing your Fort Lauderdale condo for sale, it helps to know what types of improvements or upgrades your neighbors have made before deciding what, if any, updating you will make to your own condo before selling. The older the condo building is, the more useful this knowledge and research will be to you.

High on the list of things to take into account is whether you will be selling during a buyer's or seller's market. In the hot seller's market that we experienced in recent years, even properties that were not in good condition were selling quickly, sometimes at or near full price. Now that the market has cooled down somewhat and there are more properties on the market for buyers to choose from, buyers have the luxury of being pickier and expect more for their money.

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Home Energy Analysis and Conservation Tips

Florida home energy conservation There's been a lot of talk lately about how much our home energy bills have risen. To find out if your energy use is above average, take 5 minutes to complete this home energy analysis. To perform this worthwhile test you'll need to know your home's age, square footage, number of occupants, and energy bill totals for a consecutive 12-month period (1 year).

Here's a breakdown of what the typical energy bill pays for:

  • 45% - Heating and Cooling
  • 15% - Other*
  • 11% - Water Heater
  • 10% - Clothes Washer & Dryer
  • 7% - Lighting
  • 6% - Refrigerator
  • 2% - Dishwasher
  • 2% - TV / VCR / DVD
  • 2% - Computer & Monitor

* "Other" represents an array of household products including stoves, ovens, microwaves, and other small appliances. Individually, these products account for no more than about 2% of a household's energy bills. Source: EnergyStar.gov

Wondering what steps you can take to reduce your home's energy consumption? Here are some resources to assist you:

REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent? You choose.

Fort Lauderdale Realtor, Ft. Lauderdale RealtorMost people believe that those two terms can be used interchangeably. However, they do not carry equal significance for property buyers and sellers. The term REALTOR® is a Registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® (N.A.R.) and subscribes to it's strict Code of Ethics. Since 1908 the N.A.R. has been working toward improving the benefits of home ownership. The National Association of REALTORS® is the world's largest professional association. Although there are approximately 2.6 million real estate licensees, only about 60% of them are REALTORS®. When buying or selling a home, be sure to only work with a REALTOR®.

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Why Choose a REALTOR® who is e-PRO Certified?

e-PRO Realtor, Fort Lauderdale Florida e-PRO Realtor e-PRO is the mark of an Internet savvy REALTOR®. e-PROs are familiar with marketing to a global audience via e-mail and the Internet. Only members of the National Association of REALTORS® can become e-PROs after taking an online course that takes an average of 20 hours to complete and includes various assignments to ensure the candidates' comprehension of the subject matter. In January 2002 Leanne Paynter was awarded the e-PRO Internet Professional Certification by the National Association of REALTORS® for her expertise in Internet-based marketing and business practices.

Monday, February 20, 2006

What is a "blog"?

Blog is short for weblog or web log. A blog is a website in which items typically related to the blog's title are posted on a regular basis. The author of these entries is known as a "blogger". In recent years, blogs have been gaining popularity.An excellent source that can further answer the question, "What is a blog?", is the free encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

This is intended to be a Fort Lauderdale real estate blog which will also include real estate-related topics not specific to Fort Lauderdale, Florida but rather the industry in general. This means that topics of interest that have anything to do with real estate will be posted here as well. Once in a while, I'll even throw in a few that are non-real-estate-related but may be of interest to some readers.

Suggestions are encouraged and welcomed. Thank you for reading my blog!