Real Estate Blog - Blog Archive: January, 2017

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January 2017

Found 7 blog entries for January 2017.

The acronym "M.L.S." is an everyday term in the real estate industry. So what exactly is the MLS? On a basic level, the MLS is database of all of the properties available for sale and represented by a real estate agent in a given area. The MLS also creates the framework by which agents agree to cooperate and compensate one another. There is also a high level of supervision by the system administrators, which provides accuracy and professionalism, reducing fraud. With the emergence of search sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com, the consumer has been empowered with valuable information, which is important. The key thing for home buyers and sellers to know is that these sites don't always have the most up-to-date or accurate information. If you are

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Watching the snow melt means warmer weather is upon us. It also means that that your basement or crawl space is at risk. Take a few precautions now to save your basement from becoming a flooded mess.

1. Clear snow and debris from roof gutters if you can do so  safely. Check that downspouts and sump pumps drain away from the house.

2. Move excess accumulations away from the foundation, downspouts, basement window wells, and outside stairwells.

3. Create a drainage path to catch basins or to low point water collection areas.

4. Clear drains, including the storm water drain in your street, of excess snow and debris.

5. Check hose bibs for leaks.

6. Shovel your walkway if you can. Melted snow gets into concrete cracks, refreezes, and expands, thereby

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We may be a little removed from New Year’s Day, but it’s not too late to make some 2017 resolutions for your home.

 1. Start a home repair slush fund: Things in your home are going to break and need to fixed. It’s just a fact that comes with home ownership. Rather than letting expensive repairs take you by surprise, start planning for them. Set aside some money each month that you can eventually draw from when an appliance breaks or unexpected damage occurs.

 2. Inspect your fireplace: Even if you have a gas fireplace, you should still inspect the valves and ceramic logs yearly to ensure that everything is operating safely and correctly. If you have wood fireplace, hire a certified chimney sweep to do the job.

 3. Maintain your garage door:

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A New Year means tax season is right around the corner. One of the many perks of homeownership is big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks!

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Before buying a home, a standard deduction may have made the most sense when you prepared your taxes. But homeowners can deduct the interest portion of their mortgage payments, and the earlier you are in your mortgage, the greater the percentage of each payment that goes toward interest, so take advantage right away!

Home Office: There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home

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Organic food usually tastes better, and is better for you, but it can also be very expensive compared to non-organic products. Organic food can cost nearly 50 percent more, thanks to the extra labor required to produce it and consumers’ demand exceeding supply.

So how do you get tasty organic food without spending a ton of extra money? Follow these tips to get more bang for your buck.

Shop at farmers’ markets: You can get fresh organic produce for far less at a farmers’ market than you’d pay at the grocery store. It’ll taste just as good, and you’re getting your food straight from the source.

Choose seasonal produce: Out-of-season produce usually has to be imported, and that can really drive up the price. Focus your meals on in-season fruits and

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Going green is great for the environment, but that’s not the only benefit. When you make green upgrades in your home, it can also lead to some major savings.

 1. Solar panels: The upfront cost is big, but the long-term savings are huge. Solar panels will cost several thousand dollars to install, but ongoing maintenance costs are very low, and a typical system could save you hundreds of dollars per year. You can even sell your surplus electricity.

 2. Wood furnace: Wood-burning furnaces are relatively inexpensive, and though the yearly savings aren’t as dramatic (about 10% on heating bills), it adds up over the long run.

 3. Insulation: There’s a good chance your insulation isn’t very efficient, especially in older homes. Look into installing

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