Check These Out

Fact Finder about People Living in any Zipcode

Friday, October 17, 2014
posted by Tommi Crow

Whether you are looking for property or you are just curious…type your own zipcode, or someone else’s, in the search box and discover some very interesting and curious facts about the people who live there.  Very cool and freakishly accurate.

Zipcode Search http://www.esri.com/data/esri_data/ziptapestry

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net

outdoor built in seating   This years #1 favorite home improvement is an Outdoor Living Room.   Homeowners, feeling more confident in the value of their homes, are remodeling and making improvements like we haven’t seen in years.   This year, creating an outdoor living space, is the hands down favorite project for DIYers and professionals, alike.

outdoor living arbor

Must Have/Wish List Features for Outdoor Living:

  •  Arbor. Arbor. Arbor. 
  • Built in seating with cushions
  • Firepit or fireplace
  • Grilling or Kitchen area
  • Drapes for shade and ambiance
  • Dining area
  • Water Feature
  • TV or Projection screen

outdoor living drapes

Consider adding some outdoor life to your dull backyard or builder slab patio.  You not only create more space, economically, you create a whole new spot to relax and entertain.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  We have been helping homeowners market their houses for nearly 25 years and we can help you, too.  All our products are proudly Made in the USA,

Zero Carbon Building Block

Thursday, March 6, 2014
posted by Tommi Crow

zero carbonOne way to reduce consumption is to change what we build our buildings out of.

Zero-Carbon Building Blocks replace traditional cinder blocks.  They are a mixture of CO2, mixed with sand, cement, water and recycled materials such as wood shavings and ash.  Combined, they create the one of the first carbon-negative, masonry, building materials on the planet.

To read more, click http://inhabitat.com/first-ever-carbon-negative-building-block-unveiled-in-the-uk/

Thank you for visiting www.InfoTube.net

Home Staging for Pet Lovers

Monday, September 9, 2013
posted by Tommi Crow

Staging your home for potential buyers can be quite the hassle. You may start moving your furniture around spontaneously, or become tense when your children or spouse make messes in a room that you just prepped for show. With all of the planning that one can put into making their home shine, one crucial step in home staging is often overlooked: your family pet.

For the sake of simplicity, I will outline a few things that you must keep in mind when cleaning up after your pet in a home for sale.

Pet presence – For obvious reasons, some pets can’t leave the house. Giant enclosures, aquariums, and disabled pets are hard to relocate sometimes, and a lot of people will be understanding of this. But if your dog or cat is healthy, then you’ll want to strongly consider relocating your pets temporarily. Many people aren’t pet owners, and don’t like being around an excitable golden retriever or a yippy chihuahua when they are trying to imagine their family occupying your home. Remember….You are trying to make the potential buyer as relaxed as possible. Ask a friend if they wouldn’t mind looking after your loved one for a bit, and if all else fails, look into a reputable boarding service for your pet.

Fur – Fur can get everywhere. Even in places that you, as a resident of your home, don’t necessarily notice all of the time. Be sure to give your couches, chairs, and love seats proper attention. That means taking the pillows and cushions off, and using a hand vacuum or brush to remove all of the fur you see. After you are sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, use a fabric freshener to finish it off. Try to do this well in advance of the potential buyer, as some people have sensitivities to fabric fresheners.

Litter – No matter what kind of animal you have, odds are you have do deal with some form of waste. It may sound pretty obvious, but make sure your litter beds are clean and well hidden. Even if you own an exotic pet like a reptile of amphibian, this includes you too. Many people don’t like snakes, but they’ll like a messy snake cage even less. Another important thing to remember as an exotic pet owner is this: even though you may not be able to smell anything offensive coming from your reptile’s cage, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an odor. Many people who live with reptiles get used to the subtle odors that emit from the cages, and will tend to spot-clean their animal’s cage without giving it the proper scrub-down that it needs.

Odors – Don’t use air fresheners to mask pet odor. It is meant to freshen the air…Not cover pet odors up. Instead, use powdered cleaners on carpets and rugs that your pets frequent. These can be purchased at your local pet store in the cleaning isle. Odds are, if someone has a severe allergy to animals, then they are going to be at risk of having a reaction. The cleaner the house, the less dander will be in the home.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net homes for sale and rent website.  List your property on the MLS and reach millions of homebuyers, today!!

Not long ago, real estate sales involved hammering a sign in the yard, placing newspaper ad’s and mailing post cards to neighbors.  Today, selling a home requires a huge amount of internet advertising and distribution…which means using great photographs, video’s and social media to boost your properties image and catch a buyer’s eye. 

If you are one of the thousands of  home sellers looking to capitalize on the real estate recovery and pocket maximum profit from your home sale, you have to embrace the internet.  Home buyers use Ipad, tablets, desktop computers and smart phones to shop online and compare hundreds of homes for sale.  Today’s buyers quickly scan through hundreds of listings on sites like Zillow and Realtor.com, looking for that one home that catches their eye. 

To maximize the sales price of your home, consider these 5 tech savvy tools and tips

  1. Use Professional Grade Photography.  A recent study revealed that professional property photo’s increase the perceived value of a home by 13 percent.  Considering that a 13% added value on a $250,000 home equals an increase in value of $32,500, it could well be worth your while to hire a pro.  Buyers are visually oriented, so selling your home has become a bit like a beauty pageant, of sorts.  To increase your sales price, provide the best possible pictures on the internet to grab the buyer’s attention and motivate them to schedule a home showing.
  2. Post a Video Tour on YouTube.  About 20% of buyers search online for home video’s.  Grab their attention by posting a video on InfoTube.net .  We will upload it to YouTube for you, or you can upload toYouTube.com by yourself.
  3. Include a Floor Plan of Your Home.   If possible, include an interactive floor plan that shows how rooms in your house relate to one another.  Interactive floor plans combine the floor plan with professional photo’s and create an exciting shopping experience for home shoppers.
  4. Get Rid of Clutter.  We have all heard this before, but it is amazing at the number of people who do not pay attention to this simple advice.  Buyers are not interested in buying furnishings; they are shopping for a home.  Your house will show much better if it is clean, organized and all personal items are removed.
  5. Advertise on the MLS.   The internet has made it possible for sellers to list property on the MLS and sell it By Owner.  The MLS is the national database of homes that are For Sale.  If your listing is not a part of the MLS, you are missing millions of home shoppers every month, who will never know your house is For Sale.  All MLS listings are distributed to every major search engine for real estate including Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, Google, Yahoo and many more.  These websites report buyer traffic in excess of 24 million home shoppers each month.  If you want to maximize your sales price and profit, you have to be on the MLS

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Please search our website for fantastic deals on thousands of homes for sale by owner, investor and builder.    For more great marketing tips and home improvement idea’s…then be sure to LIKE us on Facebook. 

10 Tips for Finding Your Perfect Home

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
posted by Tommi Crow

10 Tips for Finding the Perfect Home

Buying a home can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. It’s quite the adventure! We recently purchased our second home and I found a few tips very helpful while searching for the perfect home for my family.

1. Figure out what your ‘perfect home’ looks like. Write down on a piece of paper all of the things you must have in your new home, things that would be nice to have and things that don’t really matter.

2. Purchase a home that stays in budget. Make sure to get pre-approved for a loan before going out to look at houses. It will make the buying process much easier and you will know which houses to look at.

3. Bigger isn’t always better. While we all dream of having a huge mansion, it’s good to think about what will be best for your family. Figure out how many rooms you need to fit your family comfortably and look in that range.

4. Think about remodeling. Many homes you will look at may not be in the best condition, but think about the potential of the house. Would painting and new wood floors turn it into your dream house? How about a kitchen or bathroom remodel? There are many easy fix-ups such as adding new light fixtures and painting that can turn your house into the perfect home.

5. Location is important. Check the surrounding area of the home. Drive around the 2 mile radius to see what is around your home. Make sure it is in an area you feel comfortable with. Find out what school district you’ll be in. Even if you don’t have kids, you may want to think about the school district you live in for resale. You may also want to take the commute to your work and see how long it will take you.

6. Do your research. Research property values in the area. Stalk your neighborhood and find out what it’s like at all times of the day. Is it a family friendly neighborhood? You could even knock on the neighbors’ doors before buying.

7. Do a home inspection. The home inspector will look at everything in a home and give you a non-biased opinion. They will also tell you the true value of the home you are looking at. It’s better to spend a couple hundred dollars doing a home inspection than finding out the house had several problems.

8. Picture your family living in the house. When you walk into the home, can you picture your family living there? Does it have a good feeling? Picture your family living in each room and see you how feel.

9. Leave room to grow. Make sure your ‘perfect home’ has extra storage and gives you room to grow.

10. Don’t put your expectations to high. Realize that most houses aren’t perfect to begin with. Even if you are building your dream home, there are always things that could have been different. Be flexible. Once you move in and add your own style it will soon become your dream home.

InfoTube.net has thousands of Homes for Sale.  Please search our site for listings seen no where else on the web.  Thank you for reading our Blog and if you Love Real Estate…LIKE InfoTube for Real Estate on Facebook.  We post really cool things every day.

Housing Outlook for the Next 6 Months

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
posted by Tommi Crow

The real estate market was overheated during the first 6 months of 2013.  Low home inventory, record low interest rates and the lack of new construction were to blame for the unsustainable, rapid price increases and multiple bidding wars for properties. 

5 Reasons we do not feel the hyper-inflated housing market will, or should, continue. 

  1. Rising Interest Rates – Interest have risen sharply in the past few weeks and the trend continues up.  Current rates will slow the number of homebuyers and speculators that are coming into the market during the next 6 months.
  2. Marginal buyers have been priced out of the market due to bidding wars, rapid price increases and higher borrowing costs.
  3. Wall Street and large investment groups are curtailing their buying.  One-third of all homes purchased this year were Cash sales.  This translates to heavy investor buying, which will slow down going forward in 2013.
  4. Shocking run up in home prices are not sustainable.  In May, home prices were up 12.1% on average.  This brings home price levels to a 5 year high.  Pricing is now at a point that many of the short term gains have been realized, and the market will fall back to more normal levels.
  5. Realtors and builders report that inquiries and calls from new customers is down 11%, so far for June. 

Summary:  We feel that the housing market was under valued at the start of 2013, but a frenzied market chewed through much of the low hanging fruit.  With rising interest rates, and increasing inventory levels, we see a move to more sustainable and healthy growth moving forward.   It is still an excellent time to buy or sell.   Inventory levels will increase, but they will remain on the low side throughout the year.  Interest Rates are still at historic lows and price increases, although impressive, leave the average home price far below levels seen in 2006 and 2007.    

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net

  Home sellers and investors are a happy bunch this spring.  Homes are selling quickly and for very near their asking prices.  If your home is on the market and you haven’t had success…you should consider an MLS listing and here is why.

Washington Post writer and real estate expert, Iilyse Glink weigh about why the MLS is the key to home sales and why it works so well.

Studies indicate that most homes sell with the help of a real estate agent. The No. 1 tool to market those homes is probably the MLS. This listing service in most markets gives real estate agents the ability to see and review all listings in an area. If your home isn’t in the MLS, you’re missing the most effective tool to sell your home.

Twenty or so years ago, an FSBO seller would advertise his home in local newspapers and a lawn sign, with InfoTube or InfoBox, to market his home. Few if any of these FSBO sellers succeeded in selling their homes. More recently, the Internet has started to level the playing field, but many buyers still work with real estate agents to buy their home. Those agents rely on the MLS.

An FSBO service may offer various packages to sellers such as you. The more you want, the more you pay, with the top package giving you access to the MLS for six months. We guess you want to give your home the greatest exposure possible and that you wouldn’t want to exclude a major source of potential buyers.

As you decide whether you want an a FSBO package, you must understand what it will take to sell your home. If you overprice your home for sale, trying to sell it yourself isn’t likely to give you a good result.

You still will need to price your home right, make sure your home shows really well, both from the inside and the outside, take great photos for posting on Web sites, create a beautiful brochure for the home, and make sure the description of your home is succinct, emphasizes the good points of your home and accurately shows off its best qualities.

As the real estate market has improved in many areas, you likely have a better chance of selling your home today than you had a year or two ago. But home sellers can make the same mistakes in any market. Again, you need to decide whether you want to spend money upfront to sell the home yourself in a FSBO or try again with a real estate agent.

We think that listing your home on the MLS is a good step toward getting your home sold. Unless you find a buyer that is searching for a home on the many sites out there that carry listings, you might miss out of that one buyer truly looking for a home like yours.

InfoTube.net offers low cost MLS and Realtor.com listing packages that will get your home noticed by millions of homebuyers, who wouldn’t otherwise know your home is for sale.  Call 800-858-6000 for more information or visit our website.

6 Reasons 2013 is a Home Sellers Market

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
posted by Tommi Crow

Prices for existing homes rose another 7.7% in the month of December.  For our customers who have been patiently waiting for the market to favor sellers, instead of buyers…the tables have finally turned. 

Why is the housing inventory so low in 2013?

The Wall Street Journal writes a good article on this, pointing to six reasons:

1. Many homeowners are underwater, and thus can’t sell.
2. Homeowners with equity in their home don’t have enough of it to “trade up” to buy a bigger and more expensive  home.
3. Everyone wants to buy at the bottom, but few want to sell when they feel their home will be worth more next year.
4. Investors – from mom and pop and corporate investors have come out and become landlords, taking property that normally would be on the market into the rental realm.
5. With the foreclosure fiasco, banks have been slower at foreclosing homes.
6. There’s been a lot less construction of new homes by home builders.

What does this mean for home sellers?

1.   Advertising your property on the MLS and Realtor.com has never been more crucial to reach qualified home buyers.  Realtors and homebuyers are searching for new listings, daily, because there is nothing on the market that fits their needs.  If your home does not appear in these real estate search engines, chances are that no one will ever know your home is for sale and you will miss your window of opportunity.

2.   Holding an Open House on the weekend is a great way to get people who see your listing online  into your home for an actual showing.

3.  Place a FREE listing on InfoTube.net.  InfoTube is visited by thousands of people daily who are looking for “by owner” property.

4.  The homes that are flying off the market are the properties in the best condition, location and they are priced right, ready to sell.  Homebuyers will not look at a house that is overpriced, hoping to negotiate back and forth.  They are buying homes that are reasonable to purchase and are ready to move into.

5.  Keep your InfoTubes and InfoBoxes full of flyers.  We receive calls from buyers everyday who want more information, but the container is empty.  Be sure to keep a back stock of brochures on hand in time of high traffic.

Home sellers should act quickly to take advantage of the present market conditions because they will not last.   Home inventory levels will increase as home builders react and start more new homes.  Banks will quickly work there way through millions of foreclosures that are still sitting in limbo.    And, home buyers are snapping up houses right now to lock in low interest rates and low home prices.   If you want to sell your home for the most money, in the least amount of time, you should act aggressively.  Time is of the essence.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   Post a free property listing on our website.  Search for thousands of homes for sale seen no where else.  Buy an InfoTube or InfoBox to market your property..nothing beats providing a brochure about your home, instantly to a prospective buyer.   Put your property information in front of millions of internet home shoppers and real estate agents with our low cost MLS and Realtor.com listing packages.   Whatever you need to sell your home….we have you covered since 1988.

2013 Marks Rebound in Housing Market

Monday, January 14, 2013
posted by Tommi Crow

    InfoTube is bullish on housing in 2013 and here are a few reasons why.

Home prices rose 7.5% last year, largest increase in six years.  Total number of  homes sold increased 6% last year, to 4.2 million, marking the first increase since 2005.  The same forces that helped propel prices last year will be in play this year, including improved housing demand fueled by good affordability, fewer foreclosed homes for sale and a low inventory of unsold homes.

Trends that will Boost Home Prices Again in 2013

  • The Fed feeds housing rebound in 2013.  Interest rates for mortgages are at historical lows, making monthly payments affordable than renting for millions of families. 
  • The rate of new foreclosures has fallen to normal, pre-bust levels. 
  • Banks have cleared a lot of bad debt off the books and rising home prices will loosen up their purse strings.  Expect loans to be easier to come by in 2013.
  • Stronger job growth will drive more housing demand as people living with friends and relatives move into their own homes.
  • Increasing rents and lack of desireable rental inventory will push many tenants out the door and into a home of their own.
  • Investors are snapping up distressed property, rehabbing and flipping it.  This means higher average home sales prices and fewer homes vacant or in disrepair.
  • Rising home prices will increase borrower equity in their homes.  This means that few people will be interested in walking away…or requesting a short sale.
  • The Fiscal Cliff settlement left housing tax benefits in tact.  Mortgage interest deduction, property taxes deductions, depreciation schedules and one time tax free home sales were left in tact, making real estate one of the few remaining tax havens for the average working American.
  • Rising home prices will allow more sellers to list their homes and sell near the asking price.
  • The supply of homes for sale fell to 4.8 months in November, the National Association of Realtors says.  That’s the lowest level in more than seven years.  Realtors consider a six-month supply to be a balanced market between buyers and sellers.
  • Market researcher, Corelogic, calculates that home prices will increase 6 percent in 2013.
  • According to a December survey of 105 real estate experts and economists by real estate company Zillow, home prices will rise 3.1% in 2013. 

All the evidence stacks up to make a good year for real estate in 2013, whether buying or selling.  If you have been waiting for the market to improve to sell your home, the time is now.  If you have always wanted to own a home of your own…the odds are stacked in your favor, too.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Place a Free Property listing, advertise your home on the MLS or Realtor.com, follow InfoTubes very popular Facebook page for up to the minute news and home improvement idea’s that you won’t see anywhere else.

Real Estate Benefits on the Budget Cutting Block

Thursday, November 15, 2012
posted by Tommi Crow

    Some of us may not have considered that real estate benefits are on the political chopping block in Washington…but, they most definitely are.   Ramsey Su, writer at Seeking Alpha, outlines the mostly likely cuts that will effect most homeowners and real estate investors in the future.

Mr. Su asks…Is the perfect storm approaching? 

First, there are no more stimulus plans on the table that he knows of.  Everything ahead are takeaways.  While he has heard these mentioned, he  no idea what is real and what is just talk.  We should find out more as the fiscal cliff cage fight moves into the later rounds, but we wanted to give our readers a “heads up” about what may lie ahead for real estate investment.

1. QE3. QE1 and QE2, one way or another, dropped mortgage rates from the 6% range to the sub 4% range. That is hell of a lot of stimulus but the results have been minuscule. QE3 has been in effect for close to two months now and so far mortgage rates may have dropped 10-20 basis points with no noticeable change. The Fed is exhausted. There is nothing they can do to pump up a real estate bubble.

2.Capital Gains. This is one scary storm for real estate. If the upcoming tax reforms include changes to capital gains so that Warren Buffett can pay more taxes than his secretary, it may be very detrimental to the real estate market. With less than two months left, it is probably too late to try to sell before year end, which would be locking in the favorable capital gains treatment of old.

3. $500,000 Homeowners Capital Gains Exemption.   How many homeowners would have a $500,000 gain, when that is way above the average, medium or median price of a home in the U.S.?  Could this trigger a massive sell-off in the higher end of the property market to capture this exemption while it is still in effect?

4. Mortgage Deductions. No comments needed if this is changed.

5. Tax Deferred 1031 Exchanges. This is one of the best tax breaks, available to real estate and not stock market investments.  By being able to trade up and deferring taxes on the profit, real estate investors have far more capital to build upon.

6. Mortgage Debt Relief Act. This act exempts debt that has been forgiven from being treated as income.  This freebie is due to expire by year end.  Even though the odds are it will be extended again, it should be a wake up call for those with negative equity that this gift may not be available indefinitely.  It is also a gift the significance of which many do not appreciate.  For example, let us say you are a doctor in Las Vegas, with a $200k deficiency in your mortgage and a $200k income.  Without the exemption, a short sale would push you into the over $250k bracket immediately.  You would become the target for higher taxes.

7. Loop Holes.  There are lots of references to closing loop holes.  Pertaining to real estate, I do not know what they may be.  Are they looking at depreciation schedules?  Other deductibles?

In conclusion, we believe tax accountants and tax attorneys are going to be very busy strategizing the most advantageous moves for their clients.  There may be many different outcomes, but Wu is wondering, will there be any tax related reasons to buy?  So it is likely that all the pressure will be on the sell side, the only question is how big it will be.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Post property on our Free Real Estate Listing site.  Search for great deals in complete privacy.  List your property on the MLS and Realtor.com.  Purchase our #1 selling marketing tools for real estate, The InfoTube and The InfoBox.

 

The warning on the gates, ‘These Plants May Kill’ should not be taken lightly by anyone, for with familiarity comes contempt, and from contempt – danger.

Come take a stroll with us through a deadly garden located in Northumberland, UK.    Behind the locked gates of the Poison Garden, guides and marshalls share tales of deadly plants. Myths and legends are uncovered, along with facts from science and history.   No touching, no sniffing and no cutting is allowed. 

The Poison Garden at Alnwick Gardens is on around the clock surveillance for the safety of the public and would be thieves.  Some of the plants are even kept in specially fenced areas to avoid accidental poisoning or theft of the plants for use in making narcotics.  In this garden, the plants are so dangerous and toxic that they may be kept in large cage like structures.   To highlight its hazardous nature the garden’s beds are laid in the shape of flickering flames.  

There are over 100 plants of varying deadliness grown in the Poison Garden.  Some of the plants are beautiful despite being deadly, and other look so harmless it is hard to imagine their dangerous, even fatal, qualities.    Also grown within the guarded confines of the Poison Garden are many other plants which are easily recognisable by even the most reluctant gardener, for many killers grow in your own back yard.

Foxgloves, Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Ricin, Belladonna, Poppies, Laburnam and varieties of Aquilegia thrive among the rarefied atmosphere of the Poison Garden.  Those who work here treat the plants with the utmost respect, wearing gloves when working with them.   The owner also has  a licence to grow marijuana, cocaine and magic mushrooms in the poison garden – for educational purposes.

A few of the plants you will find inside this poison garden….

 Foxglove (digitalis) may contain several deadly physiological and chemically related cardiac and steroidal glycosides.  Thus, the digitalis plants have earned several, more sinister, names: dead man’s bells and witch’s gloves.  The entire plant is toxic (including the roots and seeds). 

Foxgloves fatal accidents involve children drinking the water in a vase containing digitalis plants.   Drying does not reduce the toxicity of the plant.   The plant is toxic to animals, including all classes of livestock and poultry, as well as felines and canines.

Belladonna or Nightshade (Soleanaceae) has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison.  It was used as an anesthetic for surgery and embedded a poisonous sting with arrows made for battle.  The name “bella donna” is derived from Italian and means “beautiful woman” because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive. 

Nightshade is an incredible poison, but an amazing aphrodisiac, too, and you see it everywhere.  In Argentina, even nowadays, some people put a bell of datura like this one (pictured above) on a baby’s pillow at night, then take it away after five minutes and the baby has gone to sleep.  If it were left all night the baby would be dead in the morning.   Victorian ladies used to sit around a table with a nightshade plant in the middle and play cards or have tea.   They’d pop their cup under a bell, tap it, and pollen would fall into the cup.  They would experience similar effects to that of LSD.

Belladonna is one of the most deadly plants on the earth.  All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the sweet, pretty berries are especially alluring for children.   Although no eye surgery is performed today without the help from the nightshade family…The plant’s deadly symptoms are caused disruption of the nervous system, inhibiting its ability to regulate involuntary activities, such as sweating, breathing, and heart rate.

Lily of the Valley, popularily used in wedding bouquets is highly poisonous. Its toxicity is the plant’s defense against animals eating its seeds.  All parts of the plant—the stems, the leaves, the flowers and the berries—are extremely poisonous and close to 40 different cardiac glycosides have been found in the plant so far.

Ingest just a bit of Lily of the Valley if blurry vision, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, disorientation, drowsiness, headaches, red skin rashes, excessive salivation, sudden alterations in your cardiac rhythm and possible death sound like your idea of fun.

Its Nux vomica’s Latin name implies much, but it perhaps rings more bells as strychnine. Interestingly, hemlock, a poison in its own right, can be used as an antidote to Strychnine, but don’t tell Socrates, who was sent to his death with a cup of hemlock.

Strychnine (pictured above) is not the most poisonous substance known to man (you need at least 50 mg to kill someone), but a you’d have to go a long way to find something that provokes a more violent death.

Strychnine poisoning can be fatal to humans and animals and can occur by inhalation, swallowing or absorption through eyes or mouth, as explained above. It produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction. For this reason, strychnine poisoning is often used in literature and film. It is also used as a rat poison, but is not specific for unwanted pests and may kill other small animals.

Hemlock was used in ancient Greece to kill condemned prisoners, including Socrete’s, as mentioned above.  The plant also kills animals.   A dose of the poison results in an ascending muscular paralysis with eventual paralysis of the respiratory muscles which results in death due to lack of oxygen to the heart and brain…but it has also been used in medicine to treat arthritis, muscle spasms and works as a seditive.

Those of a certain age will be familiar with Castor Oil, which is made from the plant Ricinus communis (above), but a single seed from the same plant will kill an adult in the most horrible way. Ricin causes nausea, severe vomiting, convulsions and subsequent disintegration of the kidneys, liver and spleen…

The old expression ”It will either kill you or cure you” could not have been more apt!

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Don’t Pay Down that Mortgage

Monday, October 15, 2012
posted by Tommi Crow

  Article by Boston Real Estate

Is your dream to own your home free and clear?

If so, join the crowd. More borrowers than ever are taking out 15-year mortgages in hopes of accelerating the day they can wave bye bye to the bank, the Globe’s Jenifer McKim reports.

While the traditional 30-year loan has long been king, 30 percent of borrowers during the second quarter opted for shorter loan terms with 15-year terms the most popular, the Globe’s Jenifer McKim reports.

That’s up from just 10 percent during the same time period in 2006, when the real estate market was at its peak.

And rock bottom interest rates have been one big factor – the piece offers up a Natick homeowner who found she could shift to a 15-year loan and save money given the drop in interest rates.

It is certainly an intoxicating dream at a time when debts, both personal and national, seem so crushing. Yet there are some potentially big pitfalls to this approach.

For starters, my bet is that our Natick homeowner is in the minority.

First, not everyone is in position to capture the lowest rates – you have to have some darn good credit these days.

And if you end up having to pay a bit more in order to pay down your mortgage faster, there is an opportunity cost here. The extra cash you are pumping into your mortgage is money that you could otherwise stash, tax-deferred, into a retirement account.

For that matter, if you have credit card debt, you should be paying that down first – the interest rates are likely much higher than on your mortgage.

Moreover, if you do run into trouble, such as losing your job or taking a hit to the paycheck, you have locked yourself into a format that may not be so easy to get out of. Good luck trying to refinance back into a 30-year mortgage at that point.

A Plymouth financial planner cited at the end of the piece actually had the best advice for homeowners eager to hasten the day when they make their final mortgage payment. He argues for making extra payments on a 30-year mortgage in order to accelerate repayment. If money gets tight again, you can just stopping paying that extra in.

This also gives you the extra flexibility to craft an approach that works from you, maybe putting a little bit more into both the mortgage and the retirement account as opposed to either or.

Makes sense to me, but how about you?   

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Explore the Lost Garden of Heligan

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
posted by Tommi Crow

On a palatial estate in Cornwall, a massive and unique garden has been restored to its original beauty after 75 years of languishing unloved.

Since the late 1500s, The Lost Gardens of Heligan belonged to the Tremayne estate evolving and becoming more extravagant with each passing generation. One head of the household inspired the jungle gardens, while another requested that giant rhododendrons be cultivated. Although the Tremayne family often inspired new additions to the garden, they were above manual work and hired countless low-paid gardeners to take on the tasks of improving and maintaining the gardens.

Throughout the 19th century, the gardens thrived, growing larger and requiring greater staff to manage them. Before the outbreak of World War I, the Tremayne estate employed 22 gardeners. Many of those loyal gardeners went to fight, and after the war their numbers had diminished so that the gardens fell into severe disrepair. As the rest of the estate was rented out, the gardens became an afterthought and were not rediscovered until the 1990s.

Their rediscovery by a distant relative of the Tremayne estate, led to a widely publicized attempt to bring the gardens back to life. The restoration of the Heligan Gardens was undertaken by Tim Smit, the same architect who conceived The Eden Project, the largest Greenhouse complex in the world.

Under his innovative and watchful eye, the Heligan Gardens were restored to their original size. Besides restoration, floral art was commissioned as well, resulting in the Giant’s Head and the Mud Maid, a sleeping woman of the forest made out of wood, grass and earth. As the gardens quickly became a tourist attraction, the gardens also served to bring life back to St. Austell, and some of the other neighboring towns in Cornwall.

Today, the spectacular gardens feature everything that they were once renowned for including massive rhododendrons, Italian gardens and the jungle gardens. Along with being beautiful, they are also productive, growing large amounts of vegetables for consumption and sale.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  We love gorgeous gardens and if you do, as well, follow our blog or “Like” our Facebook page.  We will be highlighting some incredible places you may not have imagined….

Buyer Beware! DEA List of Known Meth Houses

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
posted by Tommi Crow

 

Meth House Nightmares –  Buyer BEWARE!!!

This post will hopefully educate you on some of the risks involved when purchasing a property that may have been used as a meth lab.   Single family homes are frequently used as a place where methamphetamine is manufactured.  

The dangers that go along with meth houses include exposure to cancer causing chemicals that can saturate walls, carpets and other building materials as well as all contents. Lead and mercury are common byproducts. Chemicals, such as solvents, may be disposed of in plumbing or simple poured on the ground. If not removed properly these can cause various health problems.

Meth Labs ~ Tell tale signs to look for…

• Yellow discoloration on walls, drains, sinks and showers

• Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers

• Fire detectors that are removed or taped off

• Experiencing physical symptoms while inside the house, such as burning in your eyes or throat, itching, a metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems

• Unusual strong odors that smell like materials from a garage, such as solvent and paint thinner, cat urine or ammonia

• The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment

When you enter a property take a deep breath.  A cat urine smell is often associated with meth. Other odors to be aware of are ammonia, vanilla, solvents or metallic smells.  These are warning signs.

Meth users sometimes become obsessive about objects.  They may dismantle things like remote controls, watches or electronic devices.  The objects can sometimes be found in a pile dismantled down to the smallest part.

Large amounts of household products are a tip off.  Common products are used to manufacture meth that can found in an average home, except in a meth lab large quantities of common items may be in odd places.  If you see multiple packages of lye, Heet, Coleman fuel, peroxide, pseudo-ephedrine or coffee filters in odd places, like stored in a bathroom, closet or kitchen, this is an indication that it may be wise to forget any involvement in the property.  The occupant may be a warehouse club shopper with no sense of organization, but he/she may not be.

Propane bottles, or fire extinguishers, that have been altered, or have a blue stain on the connector, may indicate that anhydrous ammonia has been stored in the container. Anhydrous ammonia can be explosive in the right circumstances. It reacts with the metal leaving the connector corroded.

Iodine may be used in meth manufacturing.  Iodine is a substance that goes from solid to gas state without becoming liquid. It sticks to everything and spreads on contact. Iodine stains walls and everything else. The stain may be red or yellow. It may be very noticeable if a photo, or other wall hanging is moved, revealing the contrast between stained and unstained.

Meth labs may be hidden behind false walls or other building alterations.  Alterations that make no sense should be suspect, such as: exhaust fans mounted where they have no logical use; bootlegged power supply; rooms that are unexplainably small.

Another thing all home buyers and Realtors should do before writing a contract on a home to purchase…is to check out the DEA Meth Laboratory Registry to see if the home has ever been used to manufacture drugs in the past.  The DEA link is http://www.justice.gov/dea/clan-lab/clan-lab.shtml .  Click on the state and scroll to the county where the property is located BEFORE you buy.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Remember that you can’t always spot a meth house.  They are often nice homes located in nice area’s.  Check before you buy to avoid a nightmare that you may never recover from.