Must Haves for New Homes

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Real Estate Info | Posted on 05-02-2010

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I just saw this today and thought I would pass it on from Market Watch:  What buyers look for today in a new home.

The View from Our Room
Image by J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

1. Large Kitchens, With an Island – The Kitchen is still King!

2. Energy-Efficient Appliances, High-Efficiency Insulation and High Window Efficiency – Not to mention, tax credits and resale value

3. Home Office/Study – More and more people are working from home or trying to make that switch

4. Main-Floor Master Suite – Not sure about this one

5. Outdoor Living Room – BRR – They even said in Canada – but here in Park Ridge, they’re great for spring/summer

6. Ceiling Fans – Easily installed by professional if you want one

7. Master Suite Soaker Tubs – Next to the kitchen, bathrooms make big impressions

8. Stone and Brick Exteriors – Always a nice feature

9. Community Landscaping, With Walking Paths and Playgrounds – We all want something that connects the neighborhood

10. Two-Car Garages – At least

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The Wolf Moon – You Learn Something New Every Day

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Interesting Events | Posted on 29-01-2010

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Cassini color image of Rhea taken Jan. 16, 200...
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s something a bit interesting about tonight’s full moon. This is the first full moon of 2010, and it is also known as the wolf moon, a name given by Native Americans and the notion that wolves howled at the full moon on winter nights. What makes this an interesting full moon, is that it will also arrive at perigee (it’s closest point to Earth on its non-circular orbit) at 3:04 a.m. CST at a distance of 221,577 mi. from Earth.  So this is the biggest full moon of 2010. 

Each month has their own full moon name. 

Just thought it was worth passing on – Have a good weekend!

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Craigslist for Park Ridge

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Park Ridge | Posted on 28-01-2010

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A table set for two people.
Image via Wikipedia

Another by-product of the economy has been reduced prices on collectibles, musical instruments, home furnishings and more. Every once in a while, I’ll just look at what is for sale just in Park Ridge on Craigslist.  Here’s the link if you would like to do a little browsing.  There are some fantastic offerings from cars to furniture.  If you have kids, all kinds of great stuff can be had at a huge discount.  There are even high-end offerings at prices you just cannot find anywhere else.  Even Real Estate!

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What a Difference a Day Makes in Real Estate

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Market Stats, Park Ridge | Posted on 27-01-2010

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Real Estate = Big Money
Image by thinkpanama via Flickr

Here is yesterday’s Business front page from the Daily Herald:  “Home Sales Still on Shaky Ground”
Here is today’s Business front page from the Daily Herald:  “Home Prices, Confidence Increase”
Get the facts about your local market, just like you would anything that will impact your life as much as a Real Estate purchase.  One thing is still certain in this market – It is the time to buy your first home or move up in price if your career is stable (Is there such a thing?).  The media certainly loves drama – but I work with the facts – Please let me know if you need market statistics for Park Ridge or the surrounding areas and you be the judge as to which headline is most accurate.

Now – How confusing is this?

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A Film That I think you should see

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Art and Films | Posted on 25-01-2010

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Baraka (film)
Image via Wikipedia

This is from our webmaster, Paul:

Gretchen, normally I do not send recommendations for films/movies to my clients, but I had to pass this one on as it was unlike anything I have ever seen before. A friend of mine borrowed me the BluRay for it: The name of the film is “Baraka” – Made in 1992 and directed by Ron Fricke, this documentary was shot in over 25 countries and took more than 20 years to make. It is one of the most thought provoking, beautiful things I have ever seen! 

It says so much yet there is not a word that is spoken in the film. It left me slack-jawed by the message and the beauty of the shots throughout the film. I asked my wife to sit down when she got home from work Friday and I put the movie on for her, she watched the entire thing and when I asked her what she thought – she was speechless, unable to articulate her thoughts about it. Unbelievable was really the only thing she kept saying….

I just want to say – this is not a movie – not a documentary really – There are no actors, there are no comments, there is no plot, but I can tell you that you will be impacted by it and it will leave you shaking your head.

Here’s some more info on it. I watched it three times this weekend – something I have never done before – especially with three kids to care for!

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Jingle Mail – And More New Terms

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Park Ridge | Posted on 22-01-2010

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PASADENA, CA - JUNE 15:  A realtor sign advert...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I was doing some research on the HARP program and other mortgage plans that have been introduced and I stumbled onto a message board for people that are purposely walking away from their mortgages and mailing the keys to the lender, thus Jingle Mail.

Researching (sometimes called surfing) I found more on “Planned Foreclosures” in other parts of the country that have been affected the most by the housing markets.  I have to say, the argument is a good one, albeit one with many repercussions, mostly negative.

Without a doubt, this affects not just that homeowner, it affects the entire neighborhood. I’m sure most would agree that our lives have been affected by this; bad mortgages, overzealous lenders and fictional applications for homes. On the other hand, it is impossible to have 10% – 12% appreciation annually on a home, so something had to give.

We’re in the midst of pulling out of the worst of this, thankfully Park Ridge hasn’t been hit as hard as other parts of the country.

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HARP – Home Affordable Refinance Program

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Posted by Park Ridge Real Estate | Posted in Tax Credits and Info | Posted on 19-01-2010

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Mortgage
Image by Rev Dan Catt via Flickr

Here’s an option out there for refinancing homes that have lost market value.  This brief eligibility questionnaire from the US government might be able to help.

If you are a homeowner who is current on your mortgage payments but unable to refinance to a lower interest rate because your home value has decreased, you may be able to refinance.  Click Here for the Home Affordable Refinance Program. 

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

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