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Archive for the ‘Home Improvements’ Category

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,

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. 

New Rules for Comparable Sales and Apprasial Info

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

The real estate meltdown has changed many things about the way we think about real estate and property values.  

Recently, we watched 3 home sales close in the same neighborhood.  Typically, the price per square foot and price range for all 3 homes would be similar…given that the ranch style homes were of similar age, size and were located in the same small neighoborhood.    What we learned today was that the 3 homes sold in a range from $200,000-$400,000…or from $100-$200 a square foot.  

The vast difference in the prices tells us a story about why comps (or comparable sales data) is not the indicator of true value that is has been in the past.   Today, we have essentially 3 housing markets, thus 3 price ranges in every neighborhood. 

    First, we have the bank owned home that sold for $200,000.   This is the home that no one cares about.  The lawn is 2 foot tall…the air conditioner has been pilfered through for copper and spare parts, the appliances have been stolen and the home has been abandoned.     This property was purchased by a rehab company, who will put a lot of money into its restoration, then resell it for a profit, at an estimated $400,000.

   Second, is the home that sold for $300,000, but, far short of the loan balance owed against it.  This house was always lived in and had never been vandalized, but all maintenance had been deferred and no updating had taken place in years.  The seller knew they were losing the home and had no money available to properly maintain the residence.    This home was sold to a young couple who didn’t mind doing some cosmetic work in order to save money. 

The third home located right around the corner from the other two closed for $400,000.  This home was meticulously maintained.  The interior and exterior had been upgraded with high end finishes and colors.   The home was move in ready.     The only thing this move up buyer had to do was unpack their personal belongings and enjoy themselves. 

As these 3 properties illustrate, we have 3 different real estate markets developing across the USA.    Typically, homes in the same neighborhood were very similiar to one another, so sales data was easy to compare.  Today, there may be 3 distinct markets in every neighborhood, so beaware that price ranges can vary greatly.  

If you are attempting to value property today, you must look at the category your home is in…ranging from bank owned/abandoned to high end/move in condition to determine the average price per square foot in your neighborhood.   Eventually, all this upheavel will work itself out… and houses in a neighborhood will once again be more similiar than different…but until then, make sure that you compare apples to apples when buying or selling

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Visit our website to place a FREE home listing, view great deals on all types of property, place an MLS listing or feature your property on Realtor.com.

How to Stop a Draft in 60 Seconds.

Thursday, July 19, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

Use foam gaskets to seal electrical boxes

According to energy experts, electrical boxes that hold switches or outlets are major sources of heat loss.  Foam gaskets ($3 for a pack of 12 at home centers) won’t completely seal the boxes, but they’ll help.  They’re quick to install— just take off the cover plate, stick the gasket over the box, then put the plate back on.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Visit our Free website to search for great deals on property or place your listing for FREE.

Some New Very Cool Bathroom Sinks

Monday, July 9, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

If you are considering a bathroom redesign, take a look at some of these new sinks.  Why just buy the “same old” when you can install an art piece?

Taking inspiration from Nature  is the Ammonite Sink, named after the extinct marine animals that have left such bewitching fossils for us along the shorelines of the world.  It is fashioned from concrete to a variety of widths, and will give you hours of fun chasing dropped bars of soap out of its depths.

The Artic Sink bowl is looking especially tranquil on a sm0king hot summers day.

Don’t know how hard this is too clean…but it is very relaxing to look at.   The Moody Aquarium Sink is from Italbrass. It’s all the rewarding work of a fully-functional fishtank, coupled with the odd sensation of washing your hands in it.  The soap dishes on either side of the watertight main basin conceal entrances into the tank, allowing feeding and maintenance, and the whole structure is mounted on an integrated chrome finish brass stand.

We hope that seeing these wonderful sinks will get your creative juices flowing.  For daily inspirations and great new product photo’s and reviews…Like our Facebook page.    We update it at least once everyday with something unusual or smartly designed.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.

Curb Appeal is the general attractiveness of a house or other piece of property from the sidewalk. 

Why is Curb Appeal so Important when Selling Your Home?  Curb Appeal is crucial  because it is what motivates a Buyer to look inside.  If the house turns them off at the curb…they won’t get out of the car and come in.  Thus, you have no chance to sell them on the property. 

Take this property for example…nothing about it stands out…nothing about it is welcoming…nothing about it motivates me to want to see more.

There are many things that can increase the curb appeal of a piece of property.   A new paint job, landscaping and siding can go a long way towards accomplishing this.   Though not as easily measured as something like square footage, curb appeal plays an important role in property valuation.  In the case of this home…the seller greatly improved the curb appeal by changing out a boring, unattractive garage door.

In this case…the seller greatly improved the appearance of this home by spraying mold off the roof.

Showings on this home nearly doubled after the seller painted the front door a contrasting color and added seasonal flowers in front flower bed. 
This homeowner did a fantastic job of covering up old ugly brick by adding wood slats..and magically made old dated windows look cool again with some trim paint. 
The real estate market has gotten hot from south Florida to California and all the stops in between.  If you aren’t getting showings, you need to step back and take a close look at the impression your home makes from the street.  Buyers will look inside a home that is slightly overpriced…but they will not consider a home that doesn’t speak to them.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Check out our website for great deals on homes, flat fee MLS, Realtor.com listings and outdoor info dispensers.  
If you are replacing your American Flag this Memorial Day…make sure you buy one Made in the USA or don’t buy one at ALL.  Veterans Flags sells only Made in the USA flags.

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not.

It’s a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.

“It’s like living under communism — someone gets to dictate every possible thing you do,” David Dobs said.

Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice. A recent attempt in Georgia to expand the right to go solar had support from environmentalists and some Republican lawmakers concerned about private property rights but it succumbed to opposition from developers and real estate agents.

Roughly two dozen states now forbid or limit homeowners associations or local governments from banning solar panels, according to a database run by North Carolina State University. Similar disputes have prompted lawsuits in Nebraska and California.

Angel and David Dobs supported the Georgia legislation after their run-in with the homeowners association. David Dobs had viewed the project as his personal contribution to prevent global warming.

Leaders of the Vickery Lake Homeowners Association in Cumming say the dispute is about architecture and aesthetics, not the merits of solar power. Homeowners automatically accept the community rules when they purchase a home there.

“We’re not going to debate whether it’s a good idea to have green energy or not,” said Jim Pearson, the association’s president.

These debates are likely to keep flaring as more people install solar energy systems because the equipment is getting cheaper and governments subsidize the cost. Taxpayers can now deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing solar panels from their federal tax bill. Other states and local governments offer additional incentives.

The fight is not new. Some solar rights laws date back to the 1970s, while other states have added similar measures more recently.

California’s law, first enacted in 1978, prevents homeowners associations from forcing residents to make aesthetic changes to photovoltaic panels that raise the cost by more than $2,000 or decrease a system’s efficiency more than 20 percent.

Most disputes in California are worked out privately, but a few have reached the court system. Last year, a California appellate court upheld a decision forcing a couple to remove solar panels that were installed in their yard without the approval of their homeowners association. They were allowed to keep other panels on their roof.

“They don’t like the way they look,” said attorney Michael McQueen, who represented the couple and others in similar disputes. “And (homeowners associations) are all about looks. Is your lawn green? Are your hedges trimmed?”

Ricardo Cestero, an attorney for the homeowners association, said neighborhood leaders were concerned the ground-level panels were not set back far enough from the street, were inadequately protected from damage and might cause erosion.

Texas adopted a law last year preventing homeowners associations from totally blocking solar panels. The law makes clear that residents can install them on roofs or in fenced-in yards or patios, subject to some limits. 

In Georgia, the fight between the Dobses and their homeowners association started in 2010. David Dobs said the rules required that he and his wife seek permission to build solar panels.

He first proposed installing 30 panels on two areas parallel to the slope of his roof. People could have seen sections of the three-by-five-feet panels as they walked or drove along the street.

The homeowners association rejected that request and three others from Dobs.

Board member Jim Graham said that to win approval, the panels would probably need to be out of view, perhaps mounted in a backyard and obscured by a fence — though fences too are subject to association approval.

Graham said that if people don’t like the rules, they are free to buy elsewhere.

“They chose to come into this community,” he said.

Lawmakers in Georgia tried to resolve the problem with legislation giving homeowners associations the rest of the year to decide whether to ban solar panels. Any neighborhood that did not set a ban by next year would be unable to stop a homeowner from installing solar panels in the future.

There were limits. Homeowners associations could restrict the panels to roofs or fenced-in backyards and patios. They could require that panels be installed parallel to the slope of a roof and ban any backyard solar equipment that rose higher than the surrounding fence.

Even in states that give homeowners the right to install solar panels, homeowners associations still ban them.

Neighborhood leaders in a Salem, Ore., subdivision rejected Larry Lohrman’s request to install solar panels on his roof because their rules banned the equipment, Lohrman said. He successfully argued that a 1979 solar rights law made that ban illegal, and he and a neighbor helped the association draft guidelines governing the installation of solar panels.

His panels were installed and started producing power in 2010, though Lohrman said he nearly abandoned the effort in frustration during the year it took to write the new guidelines for his homeowners association.

“They’re just afraid that someone’s going to put up this big, honking ugly thing that reflects light and just looks ugly,” he said. 

Associated Press reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report. Follow Ray Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP

InfoTube thinks some logical thought should prevail on this issue.   On one hand, we want to encourage US independence from fossil fuels that harm our environment and fund terrorism.  On the other hand, homeowner association rules are in place to protect the beauty, value and function of a neighborhood..  Restrictions against solar panels are common in most associations and those rules were in place when the homes were initially purchased. 

Wrong Garden by James Dyson

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

Industrial designer of Dyson vacuums created this illusion of water running upward.

To view a chart of how he did it…CLICK HERE

InfoTube.net can help you defy this real estate market.  Visit our website to learn how we have helped sell homes since 1988.

Micro House Offers Big Living

Thursday, March 1, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

We just love this smart, green designed, micro house that lives BIG.  

The architecture blends into the environment and requires no maintenance.

The bright, open and contemporary design offers everything you need in a guest house or secret hideaway.  

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   Take a minute to search our database of Homes for Sale to see what surprises await for you.

Home Buyers Move Back to Basics

Thursday, February 23, 2012 posted by Tommi Crow

                                                    Home Sellers take note:

When it comes down to chosing a home, buyers are going back to the basics.  Today’s buyers consider new or updated kitchens and bathrooms, and a flexible, open floor plan as the most important features they are looking for in a home.

A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents reveal what features appeal to the broadest cross sections of buyers in the marketplace.

  • 33% of those surveyed said that a new or updated kitchen is the most important feature they are looking for.
  • 14% of purchasers said that an open floorplan is a must have. 
  • 12% are looking for homes with new or updated bathrooms.
  • Only 1% of buyers feel that entertainment rooms or finished basements are important home features.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  When you advertise, photograph and show your home, don’t forget to emphasize the “hot buttons” area’s that buyers are telling you they are looking for.

  A recent survey of hundreds of real estate agents uncovers the reasons some homes sell….and others languish on the market. 

Agents say that the majority of home sellers have gotten more “real” about their real estate in 2012.  More than half (51%) of sellers are willing to price their homes more competitively this year vs last.   And, nearly half (45%) are more willing to change the appearance of their homes to appeal to and entice buyers.   

What is the best use of a seller’s time and money?  De-clutter, de-personalize to make their home appeal to the broadest cross-section of potential buyers.

  • 94% of sellers are getting rid of clutter and making cosmetic updates.
  • 78% are willing to “de-personalize” their homes.
  • 59% are bringing in new home decorations or furniture to make their home updated and appealing.

De-personalizing and de-cluttering a home makes it easier for a buyer to imagine him or herself living in the property.   In order to sell your home in today’s competitive marketplace, it is crucial for seller’s to realize that the property is no longer their “home”…it is an expensive product that is For Sale.        

Always remove family photo’s and personal artwork.  They do nothing for the appeal of the home.  They simply distract a buyers focus and perhaps give the buyer too much information about the seller’s personal life.  Never good.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.   5 FSBO houses on InfoTube.net SOLD this week.   Things are improving for those seller’s who work smart to attract buyers.   Visit our Facebook page for informative, fun and revealing news.

   Be inspired and create a modern, progressive space with Aspect decorative tiles — the radiant look of metal brought to life in an eco-friendly, affordable alternative to high-end installations.  The overall look?  Clean. Contemporary. Pure luxe. Shine on…with Aspect.

This striking backsplash or wall treatment provides high-tech sheen to a room, or if surrounded by softer textures, conveys luxurious sophistication. Tiles are 3″ x 6″ and are sold in eight-tile packs (enough for one square foot).

These peel and stick metal tile couldn’t be easier to install. Unlike traditional metal or ceramic tiles, with Aspect there’s no grout, glue or adhesive needed. You can literally peel the backing off the tiles and stick them to whatever surface you want.   An average homeowner can resurface their kitchen backsplash or fireplace surround in less than 2 hours, with tools you probably own.

The tiles come in 4 modern finishes, bronze, stainless, copper and champagne; tiles are made from 60% recycled material and 99% of the waste in the manufacturing process is recycled.  The company is LEED’s certified and products are Made in the USA.

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Take a look at the imagination and resourcefullness that this home builder used to convert two, abandoned, semi truck trailers into a sweet 2 bedroom cabin in the woods. 

First, Locate an abandoned truck trailer that is no longer road worthy.   

Place the trailers onsight and weld the two structures together.

Sketch up your Floor Plan and get to work.

Cut through and bring your two worlds together

Stucco over the metal on the trailers to add insulation and prevent further rusting.  Cut out your windows.

Install double insulated windows and french doors.

Frame out the house.  Add batt insulation between the studs.

Panel the walls, put in the floors and move your furniture in. 

Hang up your flat screen and watch the game.

Congratulations to this Green, Creative Homeowner!!  Home Sweet Home for a few thousand dollars.  Stucco exterior.  Double Paned Windows.  French Doors.  And, 1162 square feet of warm, cozy living space.

Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net.  Place a FREE home or land listing, search for thousands of great deals or shop for Made in the USA real estate marketing products.

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