This is the latest I have on the extended tax credit for first time homebuyers. The House of Representatives has approved legislation that would extend and expand the credit. The House vote comes after the Senate voted yes on Monday night, and while there is more work to be done, word has it that an agreed upon bill should reach President Obama for his signature by the end of this week 11/6/09. Under the proposal, individuals with income up to $125,000 a year and couples earning up to $225,000 would be eligible for the credit. The extension would cover homes under contract by April 30th and closed by June 30th, 2010. The Tax credit will be expanded to non-first time homebuyers as well. There are a few tweaks for non-first time homebuyers – the credit is reduced from $8,000 to $6,500, and they must have owned a home for at least five of the past eight years.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called on Congress to approve three important measures to improve housing and the housing market for Americans: extension of the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit for a limited period, extension of higher loan limits for home mortgages, and secure funding for the Housing Trust Fund. “We welcome efforts taken by Congress to extend the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit for a limited period. This credit has brought new families into the housing market and contributed to three consecutive months of rising home prices nationwide,” said Secretaries Geithner and Donovan.
Remember this is not final, and even if it is approved, it could contain further changes.
If you would like additional information on buying a home please contact me directly. Click here!
Post by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington and Leland Real Estate
Making your home more energy efficient is often as simple as pulling a plug-unplugging appliances when they are not in use can save $ 70 a year on your electricity bill. Read my tips for more easy ways you can dave money and reduce your impact on the environment.
Thermostats: Installing a programmable thermostat to keep air conditioning at 78 F when it’s hot outside, and your heating 68 F when it’s cold can help you save up to 20% in heating and cooling cost on your energy bill. IF every family in the United States did this, we would reduce carbon dioxide by more than 90 billion pounds.
Water Heaters- Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy cost, so turn your water heater down to 120% or the “normal” setting then home and to the lowest setting when away. Also consider wrapping your water heater in a insulated blanket. You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Light Bulbs: According to climatecrisis.org, energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) last 10 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs, use 60% less energy and can save 75% of lighting cost. If every American home replaced five CFL bulbs, we would save as much as $6.5 billion a year in electricity cost and prevent green house gas emissions equivalent to that from more than eight million cars.
Sprinkler: Use a sprinkler timer. Timers will automatically shut off your sprinkler system after a set period so you don’t have to remember. Also use sprinklers that emit large drops of water, low and close to the ground, and water early in the morning. This will ensure that he water soaks into the soil instead of evaporating.
Green Energy: The decision to switch to green energy should be made on a cost-by-cost, region-by-region basis. CIBC World Markets reports that buying a solar system can yeild homeowners a 6 % return on their investment and take 16 years to pay off. Depending on the state you live in, you may be eligible for a refund or other incentive when you use solar engergy.
Making your home more energy efficant is not only good for the environment- it’s good for your bank balance. ABC News reports that the average family spends nearly $2,000 a year on energy bills, and simply heating and cooling thier homes accounts for half of that bill. Sealing your homes “envelope” ensuring that walls,floors,ceiling, and the roof are well insulated- can save up to 10% on your annual energy bill and cut down on carbon dioxide emission.
Posted by Nilesh Jethwa: WIlmington and Leland Real Estate
Nilesh Jethwa is a local REALTOR in the Wilmington/Leland area. If need any assistance please feel free to contact me. Read my post on a Smarter Green Home.
Home staging is an exciting way to create a beautiful, warm environment that can be enjoyed by all. Whether you are staging your home to sell, opening your home to friends or you desire an instant face-lift, home staging is an easy and affordable design option that can be done room-by-room….
Living Areas– When a room is in order; it looks good, feels good and allows potential buyers to visualize their own things in the home. Make sure everything has its own place. Splashes of color can be achieved with flowers, artwork, or accessories.
Bathroom– Expect guest and prospective buyers to use your bathroom. Make sure your towels are clean and properly hung up. A common trick is to place fresh white towels for display purposes and keep your everyday towels out of sight.
Bedrooms– The biggest problem with staging a bedroom is to make sure there is ample storage available so that clothing and toys can be put out of sight. Invest a little money in a good closet organizer and you will be able to keep your bedrooms clutter-free and orderly.
Kitchen– A creative spice rack will keep your counters clean and can bring some flair to your kitchen. Spices come in many different colors and textures, so find a way to make them work for you. If you use copper pots, consider displaying them with a hanging pot rack.
Outdoors– Keep your tools and the kids’ toys out of sight. Maintain you landscaping properly: mow the lawn and trim the edges regularly. Prune any bushes or trees that block the view out of your windows.
10 inexpensive ways to freshen up your home:
1.Buy new towels for the bathroom.
2.Upgrade outdoor lighting.
3.Install new doorknobs and cabinet handles.
4.Make a centerpiece for you dining room table.
5.Buy a new mailbox.
6.Polish or replace your house numbers.
7.Place fresh flowers or houseplants around the home.
8.Buy color-coordinated pillows for the sofa and bed.
9.Replace your worn doormat.
10.Set out subtle potpourri or scented candles.
Posted by: Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington and Leland Real Estate.
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent serving the Wilmington and Leland NC area. To Contact Nilesh Jethwa please Click Here! Please check back next week
as I discuss design trends and essential staging ideas.
The time to clean up frost damaged plants arrived and many patient gardeners, correctly waited. Those who hurried to prune the damaged parts out relied on chance and luck to make the proper cuts. Maybe they were lucky, maybe not.
Frost damage in plants result from the liquid inside individual cells freezing and forming ice crystals. The crystals then rupture the tough cell wall. When the cell walls open the fluid inside will not be contained so when the ice melts the fluid simply drain out causing the classic cooked spinach wilted look.
Freeze damage is progressive within plants. The softest tissues like leaves and tender new shoots are hurt first. Tougher stem tissue and buds down from the tips withstand more damage but are not immune if the temperatures are lower and the duration is longer. Limp, dry, and brown leaves damaged from frost stand to easily. Damage to stems and buds remains hidden for the most part.
Recognize how far down the stem damage has occurred takes a trained eye or luck. Tissue may appear undamaged but the damage hides latent until the spring flush of growth.
One important thing to remember: the more severe the damage the longer it takes for the older buds to emerge. Young, undamaged buds break and grow early. Buds lying in older parts of the plant need more warmth and other stimuli to began to grow.
When you find the exact point down the stem you can make the appropriate decision as to where to prune. Either cut about ½ inch above that bud if it’s going in the right direction or go further down and find another bud going in a better direction and cut it the same way.
This extra care and proper cutting helps the plant by directing its growth initially thus relieving later fix-up cuts that weaken a plant. Remember pruning is tough on plants. Its removes leaves that make energy for the plant and the plant must expend energy to heal the wound.
Posted by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC Real Estate
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington, and Leland NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here!!!
With this in mind the wise gardener waits until the new growth starts in the spring to find the point along the branch where the damage progressed. Once the spring growth happens the site along the branch bare buds break out in new growth marks exactly where the damage stopped.
Moving: Preparing for Move to Wilmington or Leland, NC….
Moving should be an exciting time – you’re off to a new apartment, your first home, maybe moving up to a larger home. But for many people, moving turns into a stressful, aggravating experience. It doesn’t have to be that way. Some advance planning, a little research and the right attitude can combine to make your next move the best one ever.
Organization is key to a successful move, so lists are your friends. Keep track of all the details that need to be tended to, especially things that might fall through the cracks, like taking back your cable box. Include everything from renting a moving truck to forwarding your mail, and start doing anything on the list that can be tackled early. As you plan, keep in mind that many truck rental companies will give you a discounted rate if you move mid-week and mid-month instead of at peak times.
Speaking of getting a jump on things, start packing now. You can find all the supplies you need, such as boxes, bubble wrap, packing tape and more at truck rental outlets like Budget Truck Rental. The experts there can help you figure out how many and what types of boxes you’ll need to protect your possessions. Whether you’re moving in a few months or in a few weeks, you should be packing things you know you can live without for a while. This allows you to pack with care, and mark the boxes so you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for when you get to your new place. Leaving packing until the last minute is one of the biggest sources of stress for people who are moving.
About a month before your move date, reserve your moving truck. The company you choose makes a big difference. With 30,000 trucks nationwide, Budget Truck Rental has locations where you need them, and a great selection of trucks for every size move, whether it’s a 10-foot truck (for studio apartments with one or two rooms), a 16-footer (for three to four rooms) or a 24-foot truck that can haul up to 8 rooms of stuff. They’ll even give you expert tips on loading the truck. The trucks are easier to drive than you might think. All Budget trucks have automatic transmissions, air conditioning and are clean comfortable and well-maintained for safety and reliability.
If you’re moving long-distance and need to tow your car, Budget offers two options: the car carrier, which carries your entire car on a trailer that attaches to the rear of your truck (recommended for four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles); or the tow dolly, which is recommended for front-wheel drive vehicles. The tow dolly lifts the front wheels of the car off the pavement and pulls it behind your truck.
Take care of mail and utilities. Stop by your local post office and fill out the form to forward your mail. You’ll also want to change the address on any magazine subscriptions or other services you receive by mail, such as video rentals. You can take care of most of these changes online. You also need to contact all your utilities, both for the place you’re moving out of and your new place. This includes local and long distance phone, Internet service, gas, electric, water and cable/satellite. Don’t forget to update your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance as well.
Make sure you have a group of friends lined up to help you move. If you have followed your list and have everything packed and ready to go, loading up the truck should be a breeze. If you still have some boxes to pack, your friends can load while you finish up. Be sure to keep the moving crew happy by providing plenty of food and drink. Just save the beer for after the move is complete. Hehe!
If you take care of all these details before your move, all you’ll have to worry about once the boxes are unloaded is finding the perfect spot for your favorite chair. For more moving tips, visit BudgetTruck.com or contact me at www. Nileshjethwa.com .
Post by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington/Leland Real Estate
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent for the Wilmington and Leland area. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here. Don’t forget to request a free relocation package.
Here are some ways you can integrate new technology into your home so you can both relax and increase its value.
The Future: Whole House Remote Control
With home automation, the ability to control every aspect of your home-from lighting and room temperature to entertainment center- can be held in your hand. A “smart home” uses a single centralized controller to integrate various systems, so that with the push of button, you can turn on lights, open or close blinds, adjust multiple rooms to your desired temperature or even activate or deactivate you security system. You can set a group of actions to happen when certain events occur.
Just about anything you plug in can be networked into your home automation system. This makes your life easier and provides a great point if you decide to put your home on the market.
Be Smart. Save Energy and Money with Efficient Appliances
Cut you monthly utilities bills while helping the environment by purchasing appliances- refrigerators, dishwashers, laundry machine, ECT. – That is energy efficient. The Plant (and your wallet) will thank you.
Look for the Energy Star Label
Energy Star products exceed the minimum energy efficient requirements set by the federal government. In addition, utilities and state government may offer rebates on Energy Star- related models. Pay attention to the Energy Guide label as well. This label allows you to compare the typical annual energy consumption and operating cost of different models of the type of appliances you’re thinking of buying.
Choose The Right Size
Why buy an oversized appliance when a smaller counterpart will get the job done? When you choose the appliance that fits your needs, you’ll save money and reduce your energy bill.
Choose Natural Gas
Look for dyers and water heaters that run on natural gas, rather than electricity.
Think Long Term
Energy efficient appliances last for years and will lower your monthly utility bills over the lifetime of the appliances higher initial purchase price.
Join me next week as I go over HOW TO HIGH TECH YOU HOME?
Posted by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC
Nilesh Jethwa is a local REALTOR in Wilmington, NC. To contact Nilesh please click here!
You can enjoy all the rewards that come with gardening even if you are challenged with limited space. Basic design principles still apply-choose a focal point, understand how the plants you choose will thrive in the area that you have selected and create an environment that is beautiful yet fits within the personal time you have to invest in up-keep. Any plant and garden concept can worked into a small garden space; you just have to consider scale. Adding landscaping to any area, regardless of size, brings a valuable addition to your home. Incorporating your personal touch will make it even more fun and satisfying.
Here Are Some Helpful Tips For Getting Started:
·Assess your space and decide what you hope to achieve in your yard.
·Be informed on various plants that thrive in tight spaces.
·Create focal points and make sure they are scaled to your space.
·Use potted plants, either alone or nestled within your design, to provide visual appeal.
·Remember every space is important so research your plants, considering future growth and which plants grow most successfully together.
·Create interest with textures such as decorative rocks, ground covers, borders and stepping stones.
·Consider incorporating unique elements, such as a bird feeder or wind chimes, into your space to create an even more appealing environment.
Maintain a Healthy Lawn to Maximize Curb Appeal:
·Aerate the soil to allow water and nutrients to penetrate to the roots.
·De-thatch often to remove dead grass blades, which build up a barrier that prevents water and oxygen from reaching the root zone.
·Use compost to improve the nutrients levels in the soil.
·Water less frequently but for longer periods of time. This allows more water to reach the roots.
·Fertilize in spring or fall.
·If grass dies in shady spots, plant flowers that thrive out of the sun in those spots instead.
Posted by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington NC Real Estate
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington and Leland, NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here!
Landscaping Enhances Your Curb Appeal-and Home Value.
Landscaping, can add 7-15% to your home value. Colorful landscaping, a fresh coat of paint and attention to detail not only bring you enjoyment every day, but they also increase the value of your home. Landscaping can return 100-200% of your investment when it comes time to sell, while Money Magazine reports that a swimming pool returns only 20-50% of your money. Mature landscaping can lower energy costs, dampen noise, and help reduce air pollution. Here are a number of ways to enhance your home’s value through some simple, fun, and relatively inexpensive landscaping ideas.
Select Indigenous Plants
Choosing native rather than exotic plants for your landscaping will reduce maintenance and increase curb appeal. Indigenous grasses, trees, and shrubs grow well together and to predictable sizes. They do not need watering (except during establishment), nor do they require chemical fertilizers because they are already adapted to local conditions and insects. Native plants not only accent your home, they also attract colorful birds and butterflies.
Bring Life to Small Spaces
Small garden areas should not feature too many different kinds of plants and materials. This will make your landscaping look cluttered. Paint outdoor walls and fences light shades to open up the space. Take
Advantage of vertical space with shelves, trellises, and hanging pots. Container gardening can work miracles in small spaces, with the added benefit ofbeing easy to move according to the plants’ needs. If you live in a condo or apartment, revitalize your entryway, patio or balcony with attractive hanging baskets, planters and unique personal accessories.
Keep your landscape from looking cold and bare in the fall and winter months by choosing hardy plants that look great year round. Instead of foliage and flowers, it is important to think in terms of bark, berries and shape. Japanese maple trees have unusually colored bark, while others such as the Japanese pagoda trees have interesting fruits or seeds that form during the fall and winter. Wisteria can form strange, twisting branches, and evergreens plants provide visual appeal against a winter landscape.
Create an Outdoor Space
Create an outside living area by adding a deck or patio for entertaining and relaxing year round. This addition is also a great investment in your home. A 2008 Cost vs. Value Report produced by the Realtor Magazine stated that installing a deck provides up to 81.8% return on investment. There are a variety of different surfaces to fit any particular investment. There are a variety of different surfaces to fit any particular style or budget, including concrete pavers, natural clay, wood, stones, and bricks. Pebbles, gravels, bricks, and tiles can also be incorporated easily and inexpensively.
Posted by Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington, NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here!
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the final version of the Economic Stimulus Bill – a massive, $787 billionpackage of tax cuts and federal spending. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on this bill later today or over theweekend. Included in the bill is a $8,000 tax credit to first-time home buyers.
To veiw the chart with more details about this tax credit click here.
Posted By Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC Real Estate
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington, NC.To Contact Nilesh Jethwa please Click Here!
Mortgage interest rates are near a record low and people are buying homes every day. So, why is it that some home sell right away while others sit on the market for months and months.?
1. Overpricing. The number-one reason a house or condominium does not sell is because it is over-priced. If you listed your home with the real estate agent who recommended the highest list price, they probably “bought” the listing. Now, they may be reluctant to admit that your home is over-priced.
Do you wonder why you’re not getting any offers? Today’s savvy home buyers will either not look at over-priced properties, or when they do, they make offers that are much lower than the market value. Home buyers are very smart and they often know more about home values than real estate agents. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days, it’s time to review a new market analysis to check the list price against other active listings and recent sales. Then, adjust your price accordingly.
2. Condition of the home. The second major reason homes do not sell is their physical condition. Few home buyers want to purchase fixer-uppers. Most want a home to be in near-perfect, “model home” condition. Does your home need a fresh coat of paint or new carpeting? Is your yard and landscaping appealing? Are the windows sparkling? Is the garage clean? Have you put off making needed repairs? Take time to put your home into tip-top condition, so that all a buyer has to do is turn the key in the front door and move in.
3. Bad location. No matter how appealing a home might be, if it’s in a bad location it will not sell, or it will sell for substantially less than comparable homes in good locations. Negative location factors include bad schools, busy roads, high crime areas, poorly maintained neighboring homes, lack of public transportation, poor shopping, power lines and poor parks. The only way to compensate for a bad location is to reduce the price.
4. The listing agent. Few sellers realize that their listing agent could be the reason their home does not sell. Some agents are known among their colleagues as “difficult agents.” The result is that other agents do not want to show the listings of those agents unless there is nothing else to show prospective buyers. Sellers may never know that their listing agent is not liked by other agents and is hurting the home sale. Experienced, cooperative, friendly, enthusiastic and accessible listing agents are a major asset to their clients.
5. Poor marketing plan. Some real estate agents get the listing agreement signed, put it into the MLS and sit back to wait for other agents to bring a buyer. That’s not enough to sell a home. The best agents have a written marketing plan and they follow it to be sure the property sells.
Although the MLS is a powerful sales tool, other resources are essential. The best agents have Internet sites to market their listings. They also arrange broker tours, advertise each listing regularly, send out “just listed” announcements and actively network their listings with other agents. Contact Nilesh Jethwa for his marketing plans.
6. Difficult to show. A common saying in real estate is “If you can’t show it, you can’t sell it.” The more a home is shown, the faster it sells. And, usually the quicker the sale, the higher the selling price. The message is clear, make your home easy to show by installing a lock box. If a lock box is not feasible, ask your real estate agent to set up a procedure that will make it easy to show your home.
SUMMARY: The key reasons some homes do not sell, even when the real estate market is doing very well, can be overcome with savvy marketing. Real estate agents like to show listings that are priced right, in good condition and easy to show. If your home is not selling, talk with your agent to find out why. Have your agent ask other agents who have shown your home what they think of it. For example, a modest price reduction might be all your home needs to convert it from “for sale” to “sold.”
Posted Nilesh Jethwa Wilmington, NC
Nilesh Jethwa is a local real estate agent in Wilmington, NC. To contact Nilesh Jethwa please click here!