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Posts Tagged ‘Real Estate’

Housing Returns Beat Gold, Hands Down

Monday, January 3, 2011 posted by Tommi Crow

Returns on Housing Beat Returns on Gold, hands down. Owners of Residential Real Estate reaped returns 150 percent higher than the Gold Bugs over the last 30 years. And, unlike gold, we can live in our houses, reap tax benefits for ownership and receive a $500,000 non-taxable gain on our homes when it’s time to sell. Real Estate Bulls Rule!

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5 Tips for Selling a Home in the Fall

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Fall is a marvelous time of the year and an excellant time for househunting.  The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, the holidays are just around the corner and every is feeling in the mood to nest.  Make the most of the season!!

1.    Change those Listing Photo’s to Show Off Those Pumpkins, Mums and Falling Leaves. 

2.    Days Are Getting Shorter…which means your rooms are getting darker.

  • Dark rooms don’t show well.  The simple solution…turn on more lights.  Consider changing out your lightbulbs to ones that project warmer (yellow) versus a cooler (blue) tint.
  • If your rooms are painted a dark color, lighten them up with a fresh coat of a light, neutral paint.
  • Do some spring cleaning and wash the windows if they aren’t clean

3.     Spruce up Your Curb Appeal

  • Make sure all summer annuals and perrenials have been pulled up or cut back.  If the bare spots look bad, consider planting mums, pansies or kales in their place.
  • Keep the leaves raked up.
  • Place a few mums and/or pumpkins by the front door or steps.

4.     Everyone Loves Fireplaces…so fire up your fireplace to add warmth and charm.

5.     Holiday Decorating – Less is More

  • Fall – Thanksgiving decor is more neutral than Christmas decorations…but don’t overdo.  Limit the amount of decorations to insure that buyers see the house.
  • Halloween is great fun for kids and adults, alike, but don’t overwhelm buyer’s with screaming witches, howling goblins and motion activated rats.   Too much Halloween can be very distracting to buyer’s trying to see a home for the first time.

Thank for visiting  We have a variety of tools and options that Sell Houses.  Visit the website for details.

How to Get Rid of an Ugly Swimming Pool

Monday, August 30, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Paul Bianchina
Inman News

Q: I found a house I would love to buy, but the problem is it has a pool. I would love to get rid of the pool and just plant trees in the back, but friends tell me the value of the house would fall.

I don’t care; I had a pool once and it took too much effort to take care of — and nobody used it. My husband says it is so easy — he would just put dirt in the huge hole. Is it that easy? –Zein G.

A: You certainly can fill in the pool, but it’s a little more involved than just filling it with dirt. First, you need to disconnect all of the plumbing and electrical wiring associated with the pool and its support equipment. This is something that should be done by licensed professionals — especially the electrical wiring.

From there, you would want to break off the upper portion of the pool itself — the tile, concrete, etc. — down a couple of feet. That will get any of the hard surface around the top and upper edge of the pool out of the way so that it doesn’t eventually begin to show above ground again. Now you can proceed with filling in the pool itself.

To prevent dangerous settling, filling in the pool needs to be done in a succession of layers, known as “lifts.” Dirt and rock would be placed in a layer on the bottom of the pool, then compacted. Another lift of dirt and rock would be added and compacted, etc. The final lift would be all topsoil, allowing for the placement of new landscaping.

You will definitely want to talk with an experienced, licensed excavator about the exact steps required for your particular situation, and also get a bid for the cost of the work — preferably before you make your final purchase decision. You’ll also need to check with your local city building department to determine what permits might be required.

As to the purchase and the value of the house, you stand to take a hit in three different areas. You’ll be buying the house based on its value with a pool, a value that will then typically decrease when the pool is removed.

And, you have the expense of the removal and the new landscaping. I would discuss this with a real estate professional who’s experienced with your area, and make sure this makes financial sense.

Finally, be aware that the removal and filling of the pool is something that will need to be disclosed to a future buyer when you go to sell the home, and could have a potential impact on a future sale.

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BP Pays Florida Realtors $16 Million

Monday, August 23, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Florida Realtors® and four other state Realtor organizations successfully negotiated with Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the new Gulf Coast Claims Facility handling the British Petroleum (BP) Oil Spill Fund, for a special allocation for real estate professionals’ claims for loss of income or loss of sales due to the Gulf oil spill.

From the special allocation, $16 million is initially available to pay claims to real estate professionals in Florida. Along with other local businesses in the Gulf Coast states, real estate has experienced significant economic harm since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“This is great news for Realtors and real estate professionals in Florida, as well as those in our neighboring Gulf Coast states, who are suffering from the loss of their livelihood because of the oil spill crisis,” said 2010 Florida Realtors President Wendell Davis, a broker with Watson Realty Corp. in Jacksonville. “Many real estate claims for loss of income due to the oil spill have been in limbo, leaving people with no way to pay their bills, take care of their families or keep their businesses going. Providing this special allocation is a positive, responsive action on Mr. Feinberg’s part — one that will help people move forward and reclaim their lives.”

Until now, some real estate claims related to lost sales and loss of income were not included in Feinberg’s protocol for payments from the $20 billion BP Gulf Coast Claims Fund. Representatives of Gulf Coast Realtor associations — Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas — met several times with Feinberg to make the case that real estate brokers and agents have been financially harmed by the oil spill.

Each state Realtors organization will receive funds based on the estimated losses of individuals and brokerages resulting from cancelled sales contracts, loss of income and depressed market conditions following the BP oil spill. The allocation is available to all real estate licensees with active licenses at the time of the loss, not just Realtors.

Florida Realtors has contracted with Indiana-based NCA, an independent, national claims adjustment firm, to handle these claims and otherwise administer the funds; the other state Realtor groups in the Gulf Coast are also working with NCA. The state Realtor associations had to provide Feinberg with detailed documentation to request funds, including a timely, transparent and objective process for handling claims and for determining payments.

“Realtors in Florida build communities, and this allocation for real estate professionals will help them continue to do that,” said Davis. “This historic agreement between the real estate industry and the BP Fund is a model for public/private partnerships. It will help restore economic vitality to the Florida Panhandle, ensuring that a unique culture and way of life continues into the future.”

Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members

Gulf Oil Spill Pounds Coastal Real Estate

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

As we continue our coverage on the affects of the Gulf Oil Spill has on local real estate, we are sorry to report that we’ve seen no real improvement in the last week.  If anything, problems are increasing as tropical storms approach, booms and equipment are reaching the end of their life expectancy.  The only thing constant seems to be the continual flow of often ridiculous red tape, that prevents citizens from protecting themselves and their property. 

Tales from the front include:

Kevin Chiu, a researcher for Housing Predictor, warns:  “Housing analysts contend that the projected losses in housing value will top that of any oil disaster in the nation’s history and will send tens of thousands of additional homes into foreclosure as a result.”

Alabama real estate agent Linda Henderson reports…canceled sales and that the smell at times is so pungent that it drives people back inside their homes.  “I can tell you that things have pretty much dropped to dead,” said Ms Henderson.  “We were on track for our best year since Katrina.  This is just devastating-you can say that the spill killed the real estate recovery.”

Jack McCabe of McCabe Researcn and Consulting in Deerfield Beach, FL sums it up this way…”What the housing recession and the Great Recession couldn’t do to property values along the Gulf, this could easily accomplish.  It’s a knock out punch, plain and simple.”

There is an awful lot of real estate within 20 miles from the coastal beaches of Gulf states.   All forms of real estate, farms, office buildings, schools, government buildings, military installations, utility systems and homes are in peril. How much oil could come onshore and what the aftermath will be is entirely speculative at this point. If the oil spilling into the waters of the Gulf can’t be stopped and cleaned up before a major storm event, the devastation of the entire Gulf Coast region within at least a 20 mile distance will likely render it uninhabitable by humans. Who would want to live there, let alone buy or invest in property?

This raises the final question about BP’s oil spill:   Who will pay for the unintended loss of real estate value and the toll of human misery sure to come?  If one faces the facts as we are learning them about BP, it becomes almost a certainty that there isn’t enough money in their vast holdings to pay for the damages and losses from such an event.   The toll on human life and the economy might only be imagined as apocalyptic in scale.  The effect on the national economy, if not the global economy, is likely to follow.   The economic impact on the world, let alone the nation, is going to be staggering when, not if this event occurs.

Thank you for visiting homes for sale and rent website.   We are here to assist you with all your real estate marketing needs, including flat fee MLS listings and uploads.

If you are selling real estate in the United States, you need to familiarize yourself with The Federal Fair Housing Act.   According to the Federal Fair Housing Act, you cannot discriminate against someone when selling a home.

The act defines seven different classes that are protected against discrimination, these include: 



National origin




Familial status 

(You may notice that Age is not a protected class, in and of itself.  Sellers of property that are zoned 55+, adult only, etc. can discriminate on the basis of age, if it violates deed restrictions, zoning or restrictive convenants.

Attention Home Sellers:   You put yourself at serious risk of violating this act, if you refuse to sell or show your home to an interested buyer.  Remember that ignorance of the law is not a viable excuse or defense.  You will be held legally liable, even if you accidentally violate these laws without realizing it.

Review the following list of words that cannot be included in advertisements of your home, because they are in violation of the Fair Housing Laws.  

Bachelor apartment

Children welcome


Gentlemans Farm

Golden Agers





Mother-in-Law quarters


Section 8


Singles only


Thank you for visiting homes for Sale and Rent website.    We work hard at helping sellers market their homes.  Visit the website or our Facebook page to learn how we can help you!

Purchasing a For Sale by Owner property has a number of unique benefits that all buyers should be aware of.    Too often, buyers don’t consider fsbo listings because they are working with a real estate agent.  They are unaware that most builders and owners are willing to work with buyer’s agents and many advertise their homes on the local MLS.  If you are in the market for a home and you are not considering “by owner” listings…you could be missing out on some great deals.   Here are a few of the Advantages of buying a For Sale by Owner home.

Save Thousands on Commissions and Fee’s

When purchasing a home listed by a traditional listing broker, a 6 percent commission is factored into the seller’s asking price.  Buyers often think they aren’t paying the listing commission…but in fact…the agents $6000 cut is included in every $100,000 of the asking price.   When a homeowner or builder sells their own property, they pay no commission or a much smaller 3 percent to the buyers agent.  This substantial savings can be passed onto the buyer, who can now afford more home or get the same home for less money.

Easy Appointments to View

If you want to look a home listed with a full service broker, you have to schedule all appointments through the listing broker.  The listing broker then has to contact the owner and the buyer agent to schedule a time to look inside the home.  This process can often be inconvenient or sometimes aggravating depending on the time lapse in getting everyone on board.   When dealing directly with the seller, there is no need to go through other people to schedule a tour.  The seller will look at his schedule and immediately give you the date and time, making the entire buying process much simplier.

Negotiating the Offer

When purchasing directly from the property owner, negotiating the offer can be much easier, too.  Typically, the buyers agent first presents the offer to the listing agent…then, the listing agent makes an appointment to relay the offer to the seller.   If the seller makes a counteroffer, the whole procedure is reversed back through both agents making the whole process take a lot longer than it should.   When making an offer directly with the seller, the middle men are eliminated, which increases the odds of putting together a deal that works for both parties….and does so in record time. has over 20,000 properties listed directly by owner or by builder.  We encourage buyers to seriously consider these properties, whether you are working with an agent or not.  Working directly with the owner has many distinct advantages and benefits….no drawbacks. 

Old Church Converted into a Heavenly Home

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow loves unique idea’s for converting non-residential real estate into homes.  Take a look at this church which was recently converted to a residence… Isn’t this archtecture amazing!!

InfoTube salutes the homeowners and architects who created this beautiful home.    If you have a heavenly home that you want to sell…create a FREE webpage about your property at

Finished Building Lots. The Next Boom.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow

Are you one of the millions of people looking for the next boom in real estate?   If so, you might want to consider abandoned subdivisions.  Savvy investment groups and individuals have been snapping up finished building lots like candy.  

Why?   There are so many incomplete developments for sale, that finished building lots are being dumped onto the market at 50 cents or less on the dollar.   Small builders or investors, who have the time to hunt down smaller projects, or buy the fill in lots that don’t interest big investors, are doing even better.  They report buying quality building lots at 20 – 30 cents on the dollar.

The Law of Supply and Demand.  

Supply:  The two to three year supply of unsold building lots has stopped developers from investing in more land, finishing projects or starting new ones.   

Demand:  The United Stated needs 1.2 million new homes for the next 10 years, just to keep pace with population growth.  During the past few years, builders have constructed only 500,000-600,000 homes per year, or less than half the amount needed to keep pace.    When housing demand rises, the need for finished lots will be painfully obvious and builders will pay a premium to get their hands on them.

Investment in building lots was significant by the end of 2009.  Before you jump in and invest in a vacant building lot, make sure your expectations are reasonable.   Other than the Golden Rule…Location, Location, Location…, keep in mind, generally, land can not be flipped.  Plan to hold on to the property for a minimum of one year and up to three.  If you are considering unfinished lots, plan to wait a minimum of three to four years before ringing the register.

MORE…..Check back with us tomorrow.  We’ll tell you how to spot a good price for a lot and buy below the finishing costs!

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Friday, February 12, 2010 posted by Tommi Crow announced some recent updates to it’s website that make it easier for homeowners to share information and property details on the internet.

Share Your Property Information with One Click has provided a direct “Share” link on every home listing.  The “Share” link automatically feeds your property listing to all major sharing websites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.  If you use social networking or RSS feed websites, simply select where you want your property listing posted and click.  It’s that easy.  (The Share Link can be located under the “Email Seller” link on every home listing.)

Sellers and Buyers Communicate, Learn and Get Advise for Real Estate has an Offical Facebook and Twitter page where you can post pictures, questions, idea’s or funny real estate stuff you want to share.  Become a Fan and Contributor Today. 

Thank you for visiting for Real Estate.  We hope you like the new improvements.  If you don’t already have a FREE property listing on, post one today, you’re missing buyers.

Not surprisingly, real estate industry lobbiest are attempting a full court press as they make a final push for extension of the first-time buyer tax credit.   

And, it’s little wonder.  The IRS estimates that 1.4 million homebuyers have claimed the credit through August, and the Realtors Association estimates the credit was crucial in pushing 355,000 of those buyer’s off the fence.   

If the real estate industry gets it’s way and the amendment passes, the $8000 tax credit would be extended to June 30th, 2010 and it would allow more taxpayers to qualify for the subsidy.  The amendment would increase the income limit to $150,000 for a single filer and $300,000 for a couple, up from the current limit of 95,000 and $170,000, respectfully.

The Pro’s: Why Vote “Yea”

  1. Lenders are still in trouble, as more people default or fall behind on their mortgages.  Experts predict an additional 1.5 million foreclosures in 2010, increasing supply and further eroding prices and demand. 
  2. Dems and Rep like it.  The proposal was introduced by a GA Republican, Johnny Isakson, and it is also supported by Democratic heavy-weights.  House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid support the extension, President Obama hasn’t taken a position for either side.
  3. Still too Many Houses.  Although the supply of existing homes on the market has fallen from 1-5 months down to 8.5 months, a healthy market has only 5-6 months supply of house.
  4. Unemployment is Rising.  With national unemployment levels at 10 percent, and some states reporting a far higher number, extending the taxpayer subsidy of housing market would likely create and preserve jobs.  In addition, people out of work usually means more loan deliquency, foreclosures and further downward pressure on pricing.

The Con’s:  Why Vote “NAY”

  1. The Cost to the Taxpayers.  The extension comes with a heavy price tag of $16.7 BILLION over 5 years.
  2. As bad as Sub-Prime.  Opponents argue that the subsidy has artifically propped up the prices of inexpensive homes, targeted by first-time buyer’s, thereby creating another potential mini-bubble in affordable housing.
  3. Both Opponents and real estate industry admit that most people who claimed the $8000 deduction, would have purchased a home anyway due to historical low rates and steep price declines.
  4. Fraud.  The IRS has identified over 100,000 cases of fraud involving the tax credit.  On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to take a closer look.
  5. Did we mention the cost to taxpayers is $16.7 BILLION?

Yea or Nay???  We thank you for visiting FREE homes for sale and rent website.  The website provides free legal forms and contracts, marketing and sales tools, real estate advice, news and updates for buyer’s, sellers, agents and builders.  We invite you to subscribe to our feed or leave a comment in the space below.

Check for Bed Bug Outbreaks in Real Time

Monday, September 21, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

A new website The Bed Bug Registry is a free, public database of bedbug infestations. Use it to check for bedbug reports before booking a hotel room or renting an apartment.

The Bedbug Registry gives travelers and renters a reliable and neutral platform for reporting their encounters with bedbugs. Though most Americans have still never encountered one, these retro pests are spreading extremely quickly across several American and Canadian cities.

Bed bugs are easy to transport in luggage and very hard to get rid of. For this reason they have become an especial nuisance for hotels, who are not eager to publicize their infestations. You can’t tell whether a building or hotel room has them based on cleanliness – the bugs can thrive anywhere there are cracks and crevices to hide in.

Until a reliable, safe pesticide becomes available, avoiding bedbug encounters will be the only reliable way to ensure they don’t spread into your own home.

To Read More About How to Spot and Stop Bed Bugs Before You are Eaten Alive,  CLICK HERE!!!    

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Creative real estate or housing anyone???  A friend sent me an email with pictures of a very sweet little pad.  I love this and wanted to share it.

Entry way

Entry Way and Stair Case

Kitchen and Living Room

Master Bedroom

Master Bath with Walk in Shower

Doesn’t this home seem very modern?  Perhaps, something you would see in a swanky highrise condo in a big city????


The one bedroom, one bath loft apartment was built inside a 1940’s grain silo.

The old grain silo was recycled into this upscale apartment, after it was purchased and relocated to the grounds of the Homestead Inn, located in New Braunfels, TX in 2007.

If this isn’t an example of creative craftmanship, I don’t know what is.  Love those Texan’s!!!

Thank you, Pat for forwarding this wonderful property information to me.  Hopefully, it will encourage others to think “out of the box” when it comes to creating affordable housing and perserving our resources.

Thank you for visiting homes for sale website.  Feel free to place a free property listing, or search our database for thousands of great deals on real estate from coast-to-coast.  

If you know of a unique or smart piece of property, please send us the details and pictures.  Our readers love real estate and we love sharing the resourceful and creative spirit of the American people with our readers.


Tax Perks and Tips for Homeowners and Buyers

Monday, March 16, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

Tax Perks of Homeownership

  1. 100 percent of the mortgage interest you pay is tax deductible, which can add thousands of dollars to your bottom line each year.   Click Here to FIND OUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN DEDUCT, if you own a home.
  2. Property taxes (real estate taxes) paid to state and local governments are 100 percent deductible on your federal income tax return.
  3. Up to $500,000 ($250,000 for singles) in profit is tax free when you sell your home.

2009 Housing Stimulus Increases Tax Savings of Ownership

  1. Deduct $8000 from Your Tax Bill.   To qualify for the $8000 tax savings you must be a first-time (have not owned in the last 3 years)homebuyer earning less than $150,000 (married, filing jointly) per year.  You must live in the home for 3 years after purchase.
  2. Go Green and Take a $1500 Tax Credit.   The requirements for energy tax credits have eased.  Take advantage of a $1500 Tax Credit for home improvements such as energy-efficient windows, doors, insulation, appliances and mechanical systems.  
  3. Save 30 percent on Alternative Energy for your Home.   Earn a 30 percent tax credit for each dollar spent on things like solar heating, heat pumps or fuel cells.
  4. Save up to $2 million on foreclosures and short sales.   Taxpayers get a free pass on mortgage debt forgiveness until 2012.   Filers can exclude up to $2 million in forgiven mortgage debt, where the home sold for less than the amount owed on the loan.

Owning a home certainly has its privileges, both emotional and financial.  And, real estate is still the granddaddy of tax deductions.   Buy a home and save thousands of dollars, or rent and pay thousands to Uncle Sam.   If in doubt, ask your landlord why they own???

Thank you for visiting homes for sale website.   Place a Free Property Listing or Search our Database for Thousands of Homes for Sale.  

Carbon Monoxide is a Silent Killer.

Monday, February 9, 2009 posted by Tommi Crow

It is very important that everyone understands that carbon monoxide is a deadly, silent killer. 

So, what is it?  Where does it come from?  How can you protect yourself and your family?



What is carbon monoxide?  Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas.  The gas is created when fuels containing carbon are burned.  The most common fuels containing carbon are coal, wood, oil and gas.  Carbon monoxide is poisonous and extremely harmful to all humans and animals.

Where is Carbon Monoxide Found?  It can be found wherever fuel is burned.  Sources of carbon fuels are wood, coal, charcoal, oil, propane, natural gas, fuel oil and kerosene.  Most applicances, fireplaces and machines burn carbon fuels, as do lawn mowers, grills, bbq’s, generator’s, heaters and cars.

How can I Protect Myself?  Carbon monoxide is not usually harmful or deadly, if an area is properly vented.  Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and can be easily installed in area’s of the home prone to leaks or problems.

What are the Signs of a Problem?  People complain of nausea, headaches and extreme fatigue.  Often, people think they have a flu or bug and do not seek medical treatment until it is too late.    If unexplainable symptom’s present themselves, immediately get outdoors into fresh air.  If you find yourself feeling better, call a professional inspector and stay out of the house.

Wintertime = High Alert.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for numerous deaths and severe illnesses each year.  Obviously, winter is a time of heightened risk, as heating systems and fireplaces are in use, and windows and doors are closed. 

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