Sunday, October 28, 2012

Look for a Company Who Buys Homes for Quick Cash

If you want to sell your house fast then the foremost thing that you must do is look for a company who buys homes. These firms have cash in hand and can directly buy your house. In a couple of days your sale can be put to close and you can receive the correct amount of money for your home. Therefore, it does not matter which situation you are in because if you need to sell your property then this will be properly the ideal option for you. By getting instant cash in exchange for your house you can get your life back on track and start anew.

An organization who buys homes does it without taking into consideration the situation it is in. Hence, whether you possess an ideal house or the one which requires renovation it really does not matter as you can buy it anyhow. With the correct firm you will not have to pay any commissions or go through any hassles of negotiations. These firms will solve all your issues. They generally possess the required monetary potency and flexibility which aid them in placing an offer in a short time.

It will be possible for you to get a firm and fair deal that is competitive. With this kind of a firm you can be certain that your house will not stay in market for very long. The transaction can be brought to a close fast without any hassle. You should select a firm that comes with a proper track record which you can depend totally. With the exact firm you will find that it has the authority to sell your house quickly and directly.

Selling a house quickly is not a very difficult affair as long as you contact the right company. You have a busy life and with the right firm you can simply remove the hassles, of paper work and negotiations. The house buying firm you opt for will manage all your dealings from beginning to the end. So, without any further hassle you should look for a company which purchases houses fast without any type of difficulty. Once, you decide to sell the home it would be ideal if you can find a cash buyer who can close the deal immediately. A cash buyer will charge the home value and make the deal by making the payment in cash.

Cash property buyers can make straight deals and there is no hassle of hidden charges. This is the perfect solution for those who desire to sell house within a short time span. With a genuine company you can have sell home cash opportunity that ensures fair dealing and good price for your home. By selling your house you can be relieved and have complete peace of mind.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things To Check Out While Purchasing a House

As a lot of money goes into the process of home buying, no buyer wants to end up making a wrong choice. However, when the housing market is flooded with clever sellers, trying to sell their property at high rates by concealing the defects, you need be smarter than them. Especially, when it comes to inspecting the house, you just cannot afford to be careless. If you are low on budget and cannot pay for the expensive services of a professional home inspector, then examining a house on your own can also offer you same results, if you know what and how to inspect various parts of the house. Listed below are some of the things that you should check out while purchasing a house.

* Structure - Inspecting the structure of the house implies examining the foundation, roof and exterior walls. While checking the roof of a property, look for the signs of uneven sections and sagging. Also, pay attention to the foundation, while walking around the property. If you observe any long or open cracks, then make sure to mention this to the seller. If there is any basement, then look for the signs of cracks and moisture. It is also important to take note of the walls. See to it that they are not bulging or sagging.

* Vehicles access - Chances are that you would be driving out of the house at least one time a day. Thus, you need to ensure that the driveway, garage or parking is good. If the driveway slopes up, then be sure that you would be comfortably heading up after coming back home every day. If the driveway slopes down towards your house, then there is a possibility of having some drainage problems. So, whatever is the case, make sure the issue is addressed properly. Besides, make sure the driveway does not end up in an active or busy street. Also, see to it that the area is tidy. Dirt can turn into dirty mud and gravel can shift, resulting in low spots.

* Drainage - Where exactly does the water go? This is one of the most important questions that every home buyer should try to find an answer for. While walking around the house, check out the natural drainage ways. When approaching the house, look at its overall topography and see if it is inclined or leveled.

* Electrical and plumbing - Do not forget to inspect each and every electrical wire in the house. Note if these wires pass through the trees and are securely fastened to the property. Also, look for the smoke detectors, especially inside the bedrooms. Make sure to flip some switches and examine the plugs. This is not to check the system but only to make sure that there is not anything in the house that is blatantly wrong. Plumbing is not very hard to examine. Just flush the toilets and turn on/off the taps to see if the water pressure is good.

By keeping in mind this checklist, of all the things that need to be checked, would help you inspect a house properly. In fact, if you are good at the job, then you may get same results as you could have got by hiring a professional home inspector. So, thoroughly inspect the various parts of the house to see if it is the house of your dreams or not.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What to Consider When Buying a House at Auction - Part 2

Have you considered how much money you actually spend when buying a house at auction? In my previous article, I talked about the first three things you should consider when buying a house at auction. All those factors encourage you, as the buyer, to consider learning about the process and the legality of what you are getting into, and to consider the property that you are about to bid on. Now let's move on to three other considerations you have to think about.

4- Are you financially prepared?

In life, whatever you like or desire, if you don't have the money, you just can't have it. The same goes for buying houses. So the next thing you have to realize is the amount of money you have. In some auctions, once the sale is awarded to you, you would have to provide an upfront payment up to 10% of the final price. So for instance, if you're buying a house that may be sold at $1 million, you need to have at least $100,000 to bid. The rest of the amount may be paid in terms written on the policy of the auctioning company. So again, pay close attention to terms and policies prior to the auction day.

5- Have you decided on the amount you are willing to pay?

Before you step into an auction, it's always best to finalize the amount you're willing to pay for a property. This is the amount that, in some ways, you would use the words, "this is it, take it or leave it." You must not bid beyond this amount, or you might get in financial trouble.

6- Did you learn about the taxes?

Finally, learn about the taxes and other fees required when buying a house at auction. You might be surprised at how much more you need to pay so make sure that you are okay with paying all the taxes and fees before deciding to attend the auction. Remember, this is an investment - and a really big one.

At the auction, do not be intimidated by the number of people who show up. Just keep in mind the amount you are willing to pay for the property. Auctions are pretty exciting especially as the price goes higher, but try your best not to be carried away. If you really want to buy a house at auction, you better start watching some auctions live or use online videos now to have a feel of what it's really like to be in one.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Living in Kensington

Kensington, famous for its upmarket lifestyle, is a district situated within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London. This highly affluent and intensely-populated area is surrounded by Notting Hill, Hyde Park, Brompton, Knightsbridge Chelsea, Earl's Court, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush. Kensington is popular for some of world's best museums, stylish architectural development and pleasant tree-lined streets with gorgeous parklands, including Hyde Park in close proximity.

Residential spaces in Kensington are stylish and elegant, apart from being slightly expensive. Be it spacious flats and apartments, or stunning pillar lined townhouses, Kensington offers everything in style with an urban class. There are all varieties of accommodation available here including studios, flats and penthouses as well as a wide range of apartments to rent in Kensington are on hand for both long term and short term.

Kensington enjoys an ethnic diversity which makes it one of London's most vivacious communities. The community is constituted of British and non-British Europeans such as French, Spaniards and Italians, along with Americans, Australians, South Africans, and Middle Easterners. Nonetheless, it is still known to be largest French communities outside France courtesy the Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle's primary and secondary schools where nearly 3,500 students between the ages of 3 and 18 are educated mostly in French.

The commercial heart of the area is Kensington High Street which houses the well-known museum district of South Kensington. South Kensington particularly has a sizeable French presence which can be seen almost everywhere, be it the stores, coffee shops, or restaurants!! The area of South Kensington is a safe haven for those who enjoy museums and shopping and eating. Esteemed institutions like he Science Museum, the Royal Geographic Society, the Royal College of Art, and the Royal College of Music are all in close vicinity. Sloane Avenue and Fulham Road are excellent for shopaholics with its antiques stores and everything else including wine, food, flowers, stationery, books, arts and crafts supplies, toys, accessories, clothes and much more. The French presence can also be felt with the French breads, meats, cheese, and the French wine at outlets like La Vigneronne La Bagatelle, and La Cave au Fromage. Bars and clubs are in plenty and include names like Opal for its cocktails, Eclipse or Boujis known for their live DJs, Kosmopol, for first-class service and drinks and The Collection, where you could expect movie stars and other celebrities.

Residents of Kensington benefit from an array of good transport links. Undergound station in close proximity include High Street Kensington (Circle and District line), Notting Hill Gate (Central, Circle and District line), Gloucester Road (Circle, District and Piccadilly line), Queensway (Central line) and Bayswater (Circle and District line). If you prefer the overground, you could take a train from any of the stations at West Brompton, Paddington, Marylebone, Imperial Wharf and Victoria.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Home Search - Stay True To Yourself!

A true story of a costly mistake we made while undergoing a home search for a rental and the lessons learned that by spending more time "in advance," could have saved a year of anguish!

We moved out of our own single family home into another state and of course wanted/needed the extra space and privacy that you get with a home vs. apartment. We have children and are outdoorsy and very social people so this is where it gets really bizarre... Our home search took us down the wrong path and the area we decided to rent in is very competitive and we put in several offers and got caught up in some glorified home on a hill with a city view.

Yes, we rented the home at the top of a hill on a cliff, with zero yard space and zero neighbors. The home is really nice and all and our house guests are impressed, but the home was a complete mismatch of the lifestyle that we were accustomed to, and we totally forgot who we were.

We totally forgot who we were...

The street we now live off of is like a scenic byway and there's tons of traffic traveling by daily. The kids have nowhere to play, we have no yard to BBQ and soak up the sun. Nowhere to spread out and we still have 7 more months left to go...

The conclusion; I think its OK to venture out a little, but we got way too far out of our comfort zone and a year lease is a long time to suffer because of our lack of good judgement, laziness, our identity crisis, and any combination thereof.

The lesson; Budget all the time you need and make a "punch list" of what you love/despise and stay TRUE to yourselves or you may fall into the trap that we did and deeply regret it. It seems simple but trust me, its easy to lose focus. Lesson learned!

Stay TRUE to yourself.

We are real people with real life situations. I won't lecture about the importance of renters insurance, and we do not subscribe to any specific company. This is just another dose of reality that can sneak up on you.

A colleague of mine lost it all and then some because of an innocent mistake. "My dog knocked over my halogen floor lamp" and I not only lost my best friend, I lost my life savings and more.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Those Pesky Rules

A home is your castle, right? It's your very own real estate and private property in these United States is sacred. You can paint it, remodel it, and drape the ceiling a different color... pretty much anything, right? Usually. If you live on acreage out in the country somewhere you can put in a ferries wheel in your backyard and choose to paint your entire home a bright orange if you so choose. But most neighborhoods have rules.

Depending upon where you live those rules may be implemented by a city ordinance or written and enforced by the homeowners association in which you live. A city ordinance will typically define setback and impervious cover restrictions. A setback requirement means how close to your property lines your structures may be. Impervious cover means how much of your property can be permanently covered by your home, sidewalks or driveways.

In a homeowners association, or HOA, those rules can be whatever the HOA and its members agree upon. Those rules can be rather lazy or they can be rather strict. It depends upon your interoperation.

Such rules are put in place in order to maintain a consistent neighborhood look and feel and help to maintain property values. For example, you spend a lot of time on your favorite hobby, maintaining your meticulously cared-for lawn. It's beautiful and you even won "yard of the month" last year. But your neighbor has just pulled a pickup truck and a tow-truck and parked them both on their front lawn. Just a few feet away from your begonias. Would you be happy about that? Of course not.

But HOA guidelines will typically ban such a parking travesty and say so in the HOA rules. Other HOA guidelines can require your lawn to be a certain height or restrict the type of fa├žade that decorates your home. Do you want to color your door a fluorescent pink? Check with your HOA as many associations limit colors to a certain few.

And while your home may indeed be your castle, you'll still need to follow some basic rules. Before you remodel, paint or build... check to make sure you're in the right.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

First Time Home Buyers: 5 Tips

1) Know your financial picture. Buying a home is one of the most significant purchases and investments most Americans will make in their lifetime. Financial experts agree that housing costs should not exceed 28% of your budget. Your monthly payment will consist of your mortgage's principle and interest as well as taxes and insurance, also called PITI. When housing exceeds 1/3 of your budget, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain other parts of your budget (utilities, food, transportation, etc) and to save for your home's emergency fund. Every home for sale that you consider will need maintenance and repairs, regardless of whether it's a new custom build or an older, established home. Be conservative when deciding what you can comfortably pay each month in PITI and use this number when deciding how much home you can afford.

2) Be credit score savvy! Just as you must know your budget and how much you can afford, you need to be 100% knowledgeable of your credit score. There are three major credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. The absolute best practice is to pull your report from each (there are companies that pull all three at one time for a single fee) and to thoroughly review the report and understand what your score means. If there is incorrect information on your report, it is your responsibility to correct this. Be aware that it can take 1-3 months for your credit report to update.

3) Must haves and can't tolerates. When beginning to look, you will undoubtedly review lists of homes for sale. By knowing what you desire not only in a home, but also a neighborhood, you can quickly and easily narrow the lists to more effectively hone in your home search

4) Trusted partners are key. A first home is intimidating on many levels. Whether buying or building, it is crucial that you have complete trust and rapport with your realty partners. Your realtor, home builder, loan officer and inspector should all be people you can be completely honest with and will work to bring you to your home dreams.

5) Enjoy the process! As with any large purchase, don't expect to find your dream house the first day out. You've done your research, you're prepared, so don't rush into a home that doesn't feel just right, this is true for buying or building. There are many homes for sale, and you may have more than one first choice and that's a good thing! Having options means that you will be able to negotiate from a point of strength, finding your dream home while staying within your budget.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What's With the Increasing Trend in London to Build Homes Underground?

Last week I saw an episode of Grand Designs where a wealthy couple bought a rather large basement in a rather posh part of London and dug down many metres to extend their home in a world where the m2 of land is at its most expensive. It seems, however, that a wealthy Canadian called David Graham has gone one step (or 4 storeys!) further and has submitted plans to triple the size of his mansion by digging down a whopping 50ft. He wants to create a four-storey, 15 bedroom basement mansion complete with its own private swimming pool, spa, ballroom and gymnasium.

The former Magistrates' court was purchased by Mr Graham in 2000. However, after failing to find a more substantial home in the Knightsbridge area of London, David Graham, a multi-millionnaire after selling his cable tv company, decided to follow recent trends and extend his home towards the earth's crust.

Many residents have complained about these plans to extend Mr Graham's home downwards. However, the question is whether this new kind of construction does actually cause any social or economic problems to the public. In the short-term of course residents will have to endure the annoyance of having building works going on at their doorstep, which in this case could last up to 4 years. Yet, the work is underground so are these complaints just made by jealous people who wished they had thought of the same idea? Land in the Knightsbridge area is extremely expensive so it makes sense to make the best of what you have.

What would residents prefer, a monstrosity of a building that is visible to the public, or a discrete underground mansion that most people are unaware even exists? I think this is an ingenious idea and in many years to come it will probably be the norm for people in crowded cities and towns to start extending their homes further underground.

In saying that, however, could you actually live in a bunker? Is land so precious to us that we have to resort to living like foxes where any sign of daylight is four storeys above us? Personally, I take great enjoyment in appreciating our natural surroundings and no amount of extra space could compete with living in a home where light, sky, trees, etc are in abundance. As seen on the recent Grand Designs programme, the basement mansion looked amazing but it still felt like a basement and no amount of artificial lighting could change that.

Ideal Spanish Property is a website showcasing bargain properties for sale on the Costa del Sol. If you're interested in purchasing a property in Spain then check out our updated list of apartments and villas that we have available.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How Much Did You REALLY Pay For Your Home? How to Reduce the Amount of Mortgage Interest You Pay

Have you ever sat down and calculated how much money you are actually paying for your home? If asked, most people will quote their purchase price as how much money they paid for their house. However, the amount of money that you actually pay for your house is significantly more than that.

Confused? Well consider this: A $300,000 mortgage amortized over 25 years at a rate of 3.29% will end up costing you an extra $139,423.88 in interest payments. With some help from your Real Estate Agent and your bank or mortgage broker, you can find ways to drastically reduce the interest you will pay on your mortgage and become mortgage free quicker.

Consider our happy newlyweds Dick and Jane. They live in Burlington, Ontario and their Burlington Real estate Agent has found them a three-bedroom, two-storey home. They owe $300,000 on their 25 year mortgage at 3.29%. Right now, they are making monthly payments of $1,464.76. Let's see what happens if Dick and Jane decide they wanted to pay off their mortgage a little quicker.

1st scenario: If Dick and Jane simply increase their monthly mortgage payment by doubling up 1 payment/year, they can pay off their mortgage in 22.2 years and save $18,113.96 in interest costs. By doubling up 2 payments/yr, you can pay the mortgage off in 19.9 years and save $31,972.12 in interest payments.

2nd scenario: If Dick and Jane paid every two weeks instead of monthly, they pay off their mortgage in 22 years instead of 25 years, and save $18,723.44 in interest costs.

3rd scenario: If Dick and Jane keep making their current monthly payment, but add an additional payment of $5,000 once a year, they pay off their mortgage in 17.3 years and save $47,159.25 in interest.

NOW, if Dick and Jane are really ambitious and set forward a very aggressive plan to make 2 double up payments a year (4 Bi-Weekly payments), switch to paying every 2 weeks and make an additional annual payment of $5000 towards the principal of the mortgage, how much would they save and how quickly would they be mortgage free?

Well, instead of paying $139,423.88 in Interest payments over 25 years, Dick and Jane will pay $70,581.44 in interest and be mortgage free in 13.7 years! That is an interest savings of $68,842.12.

If you are thinking of taking advantage of the low variable mortgage rates available right now, consider making payments on the mortgage at the 5 year fixed rate. This way you will put a significant dent in the principal of the mortgage and you won't feel the pinch once interest rates climb up to that level down the road... because these rates won't stay this low forever!

If you are looking for a Real Estate agent who can, not only find you your dream home, but show you how to pay off your mortgage quicker, please call me today and I can walk you through all of your options so you know what is available to you. You can reach me, Sean Kavanagh, at 905-220-9198 or by email at

My goal is to create lasting relationships and exceed your expectations of what services a realtor provides. I am here to take the stress out of buying and selling real estate. I will listen to your needs and work tirelessly until you are 100% satisfied with my service. I will always provide friendly, reliable, and professional service of the highest standard in a timely fashion.

I hope you will consider my services when you begin looking at your real estate options. I am confident that I can offer you an attractive plan to serve your best interests.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

5 Interior Home Improvements That Make Home Values Soar

It's no secret that the real estate market has been tough over the last few years, and improving the value of a home can make the property sell sooner and for a higher value. Home improvements can make a big difference in the resale value, however not all home improvements are equal. Beware; some renovations may make little or no difference raising home values, while others have a major effect on the final sale price. Let's take a look at 5 home improvements that can have a major impact on property values. By shopping around you will find attarctive pricing and contractors willing to provide competitive pricing.

Kitchen Remodeling

Replacing appliances and upgrading the kitchen may have the biggest effect of interior home improvements on raising the value and desirability of any given home. In 2008 Realtor Magazine reported that both major and minor kitchen repairs resulted in the biggest return on investment between 70 to 79.5% of investment, depending upon the extent of the repair. Midrange kitchen remodeling was reported to have the biggest impact nationwide.

Bathroom Remodeling

Bathrooms can be either a negative or positive selling point. Bathroom fixtures that look old or outdated can taint a prospective buyer's view of the entire house. Conversely, fresh and modern sinks, tubs, and commodes can help convince home shoppers to send in a bid.

Bathroom Additions

Many older homes have just one or two bathrooms and that can be a deal breaker for many modern families. Expanding half baths and adding full baths to the master bedroom, basement, and other areas in the house may drastically improve the desirability of older houses.

Attic Bedrooms

Home buyers are interested in useable space so attic remodeling makes sense. These rooms often have a quaint and charming quality that buyers notice, and a remodeled attic room usually costs less than an addition so the seller can offer more bedrooms without drastically increasing the sale price to recoup costs.

Refinished Basement

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Are You a First Time Buyer Looking for a Home?

If you're planning on buying your very home, you better make up your mind quickly as the housing industry at the current time is pretty low - you could say it's settled at the basement due to the economic slowdown which followed the massive recession.

Due to the lack of jobs and various other financial crises, many people have put their homes for sale on the market so that they would get some cash and settle down in smaller homes. Of course, this doesn't seem like the right thing to do, but if you want a cheap home, this is the only way to do it.

Are you buying your first home?

Well, if at all this is the first time you're buying a home or are involved in the process of buying a home; the entire process may seem overwhelming. However, there's nothing to worry about as there isn't a lot that you need to know.

First and foremost you're going to need the cash, so if you don't already have it sitting in your bank account you should go ahead and get yourself a loan as these processes usually take a few days you should plan in advance.

But before you get the cash ready, you would need to pick a home right? Therefore, go ahead and choose a good realtor - a person who knows their job and has the desired experience in the city you plan to buy a home.

When you hire a professional realtor you'd have all the help you need on your side. They'd go through all the houses that are up on the market and pick out ones that match your budget and other priorities. Therefore, the final list that they come up with includes houses that you'd be truly interested in.

As already mentioned, you're going to need to get the cash ready, so speak to your bank and find out what formalities you need to complete in order to get your loan approved. Note that you could approach any bank and it need not be your regular bank. So, look out for the best rate of interest and you're all good.

Have a professional inspect the home

Once you've shortlisted a few homes, make sure that you hire a professional to look up the house. They would go through all the rooms and let you know of any flaws that may be present. Therefore, by doing this you would be saving yourself on repair costs as you won't end up buying a house that's literally broken down!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Building Reports Have an Effect

Building Reports are starting to have a marked effect on the outcome of a sale, as more traditional homes come on to the market. This makes the clause that is included in your Sale & Purchase Agreement all the more important.

The building report clause used by a buyer usually refers to the buyer being satisfied with the general condition of the building and any other buildings on the property, their weather tightness and structural integrity.

There are a number of reports that have been used by buyers to get, what may be considered cosmetic issues, fixed by the seller.The seller has the option of whether they get these fixed, or have their solicitor tell the buyers solicitor that they are not part of the building report in the agreement.

The broken tiles in the bathroom, the textured ceiling in the lounge, the paint flaking on a couple of window sills, the cracks in the concrete driveway, the worn edges of wall paper... are a few examples.

Building reports were initially intended to have buyers get a house or building that had no "building" issues, was structurally sound and had been "built properly". In other words, they had all their legal issues met, they had been built to the required standards, and had inspections completed to show this, And clauses are in every Sale and Purchase Agreement for the protection and use of both groups involved. Their benefit however, may be to only one of those groups.

There have been agreements written and purchasers settled where sellers have reluctantly agreed to fix this, and fix that, because they did not want to create an issue that could cause the buyer to change their mind. They have become quite offended when the buyers solicitor informs their solicitor that they want the seller to fix the tiles in the bathroom, and to repaint the window sills and fix up the driveway!

The point being that they are quite aware of the fact that their home is not new, that their home has been lived in for 25 years, that their home has suffered some wear and tear over that time - and they would expect buyers to understand this.

So sellers have the option of whether they want to accept the buyers fix this and fix that request then they could either insert a building report clause that states they will get this fixed and get that fixed, or stop giving in to the initial clause in the agreement and tell this to their solicitor so as well.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Manhattan Real Estate Market

The New York City housing market lives up to its hype. Glamorous apartments that move quickly mean buyers and renters alike must act aggressively if they see a unit they love. From penthouses to studios, apartments in the NYC "housing" market are usually either condominiums to cooperatives. The key difference is that a condominium is real property, whereas a cooperative is personal property, meaning shares in stock of the company running the building. Those seeking a more free-standing "house" style may consider townhouses and brownstones.

Buyers should obtain a pre-qualification letter for mortgage from the bank to see the highest range of inventory, as sellers can stipulate only pre-qualified buyers be shown their properties.. Buyers also need to be able to verify funds and three years of work history. Both buyers and renters should have on record this year's pay stubs. In their search, renters will find there is an income requirement. Leasing companies and cooperatives can require an income that is anywhere from 20 to 50 times the monthly rent. If you are interested in purchasing, renting or selling NYC real estate, some of the best experienced sales professionals can be found at Wald Real Estate, a full service brokerage specializing in the Manhattan location.

As of 2012, the median sales price for a Manhattan apartment is approximately $1 million. According to the New York Times, the average rental price in Manhattan for 2012 was approximately $3400 per month. These numbers show the market on an upward trend. After a few down years, Manhattan real estate is thriving, and agents are hustling to keep up with demand. 2012 brought the highest rate of sales in over four years. But these hungry buyers and renters are seeing fewer units on the market in comparison. With this decrease in inventory of available apartments, the Manhattan real estate market this year is seeing the lowest inventory in over seven years. Foreign buyers are also seeing the appeal in investing in the Manhattan real estate market, adding to the competition for apartments and townhouses.

Neighborhoods within Manhattan that are seeing increasing activity in sales are midtown west and the Upper West Side. Increased rental demand has been seen in downtown neighborhoods like Gramercy, Flatiron and Chelsea. The Upper East Side as well as the East and West Villages are also holding steady demand.

Demand for a neighborhood reflects the total personal value which buyers and renters place on a neighborhood. Some people like to be closer to major subway hubs, while others want to be closer to entertainment and nightlife. Still others seek a quiet repose near the city's parks or on tree-lined streets. Manhattan offers a style of living for everyone. For inquiries into which neighborhood best suits you, contact one of the savvy agents at Stephen P. Wald, a highly-recommended, full-service real estate brokerage specializing in the Manhattan real estate market.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Buying Homes and Renovating to Add Value

The local news just announced that home buyers are still in the bird seat. Many owners have held onto their properties waiting for the market to change, but the promised upswing is still nowhere in sight. Today, house hunters are looking for values, but may be disappointed when they discover aging homes which were built for families one or two generations ago. There are still many great values available, but they may not be exactly want shoppers envisioned. Smart home buyers choose to look past what presently exists and imagine the new house that they can create through renovations.

Some savvy investors are now buying homes and reinventing them. At first glance a 1950's three bedroom, two-story house may appear outdated and obsolete, however a few interior and exterior improvements can transform it into a modern residence that won't stay on the market very long. These refinished homes often have the look and feel of new construction, but costs less and are located in areas where new homes may be difficult to find.

Homes often look dated due to interior surfaces that have faded or gone out of style. Wall paper, linoleum, and paneling can make a room look and feel dilapidated. Tearing up the old carpet or replacing linoleum with wooden and stone tile floors has an almost magical affect. Consider adding natural stone, glass, or ceramic mosaic tiles around kitchen islands, entryways and mantles to add a fresh, contemporary look.

Older homes are notorious for lack of storage space and bedrooms. Renovated basements and attics may be an easy way to increase both bedrooms and storage without major room additions. The slanted walls in the attic can often be used for storage or kept as is to add character to the rooms.

If light is a problem, adding a sunroom or a skylight can brighten things up. Home buyers are also smart to assess the old windows and replace them with energy efficient ones. If the rooms feel small, vaulted ceilings can open up crowded rooms and make them feel open and expansive.

Modern exterior improvements like siding and a wooden deck will instantly improve the house's curb appeal. Many of these whole house renovations take a high level of expertise, and are more than weekend projects. Home buyers, who know what they want, can try making the improvements themselves or look for renovators that specialize in reinventing these older properties.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Why Buy a House or Property in Worcester?

Worcester is a superb location and there are many reasons to buy a house or property in Worcester's residential areas, whether it's to live in yourself or as a property investment.

Worcester is located just over 25 miles south of Birmingham (the second largest city in the UK) the beautiful river and canal side historic city of Worcester offers a wide and varied lifestyle with its many bars and restaurants to the idyllic 12th century cathedral. The city's location and elegant Tudor and Georgian architecture make the city one of the top tourist destinations in the UK attracting over 2.5 million visitors per year. The compact city centre is largely pedestrianised and offers more than 100 places to eat and drink from top-flight restaurants, cafes pubs or modern coffee shops.

As the birth place of the famous English composer Edward Elgar Worcester boasts a wealth of historic culture and comes through the ages to the modern day with the new multi million pound city centre library, history and customer centre for the general public and the students of the UK's fastest growing University.

Sports fans are not left out with horse racing at Pitchcroft, football at St Georges Lane, and home to the Aviva Premiership rugby team The Worcester Warriors.

Worcester has an excellent employment base with a selection of company headquarters in the City including Worcester Bosch, Leigh and Perrins makers of the famous Worcester sauce, Cosworth Technology, Carnaud Metalbox (the largest packaging manufacturer in the world), Quinetic, Brintons and Worcester Porcelain.

To the East of the Worcester is where you will find Warndon Villages, with its thriving local community, good local schools, supermarkets, pubs, state of the art hospital and fast food establishments such as Subway and Pizza Hut. Warndon Villages is divided into a number of distinct "villages", The Harleys, The Lyppards, The Berkeleys and The Meadows, each with their own subdivisions. Warndon is becoming the family's choice of area to purchase one of the 4500 homes that currently occupy the area.

Commuters also enjoy easy access to Birmingham in the north and Cheltenham in the South via junctions 6 and 7 of the M5, which is situated just one mile from Warndon Villages. Worcester also has two railway stations, Worcester Foregate Street and Worcester Shrub Hill. Both of the Worcester train stations frequently serve Birmingham, London and nearby towns and cities. Birmingham International Airport is approximately 45 minutes by road.

Michael Tuck Estate Agents in Worcester opened in 1998 and is regarded as the number one longest established estate agent in Worcester. Our highly trained, motivated and local staff will cater for your every need. Choosing the longest established agent with many years local experience will make all the difference to your house sale or purchase.