What Could You Possibly Put On Your Real Estate Blog

Are you running out of creative juice for your needed daily or weekly blog? Are you having some sort of repetitions just after two months or so? If you are in this situation, you’re probably thinking of how you can possibly sustain readership with writing ideas or topics that are sure to entice readers to follow you. Here are some topics you can write about for the next days.

Local activities which kids and teenagers would probably ask permission from their parents to join. Every community conducts activities for children and teenagers. These activities are geared to enrich the knowledge and skills of the participants. Most of them are conducted during summer months. But there are also some activities conducted during the other months of the year. These activities can range from art workshops, sports clinics, dance competitions, talent shows, and a whole lot more.

Current news in your local community and even important events of the nation. News affects all. Whatever is happening in the community and in the nation has impact to everybody. Discuss how these events can affect the families and individuals in the community. Assert your point. Give insights on how these events can shape the local real estate industry.

Present places of interests to your readers. Make your real estate blog a reference for readers to familiarize themselves with the community’s various interesting places. Let your writings take them to the vest restaurants, entertainment hubs, museums, shopping destinations, and even tourist spots. These local crowd-drawers deserve to have their spotlights on your blog. It will also help if you’ll notify merchants, establishments or entities which you’ll mention in your writing. Through this, you are getting them fueled to share your writings in their respective platforms. This will eventually increase redirects from their spaces to yours.

Dissect local market studies. Different studies present various insights. They send signals to buyers and sellers alike. Present statistics, data, and other information which will be valuable and influential to the decisions of your readers. Will this month be good to buy a house? Will next month see home prices increasing at least for your market?

Give tips, suggestions, and advises. Your blog can also serve as a communication line between you and your readers. Engage them in your posts through tips about home staging. Suggest ways on how they can better rearrange the room of their sons or daughters. Give advise on how to deal with noisy neighbors. There are plenty of topics in which your expert opinion and advise are warranted.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Desare A Kohn-Laski

Why Does Every Business Need Remote Network Access for Their Employees?

Due to the pandemic, all non-essential businesses have continued to close their doors – a situation that could extend for several more weeks. If these recent developments have taught us anything, it’s that we should be prepared for any eventuality.

If you own a business, what steps are you taking to transition your employees to a work from home environment? Remote network access is critical – pandemic or not — especially if most or all of your work force is conducting business from their homes. In order to keep your company afloat, customers happy and productivity at a consistent level, and workers employed, you have to enable remote network access for your employees.

What You Need to Know: Remote Access Solutions

Telecommuting not only helps companies cut overhead costs and allows employees to juggle work with personal engagements at their own pace, it facilitates a more productive „work at your own schedule“ situation.

There are several ways you can establish remote work opportunities for your company. You could:

  • Choose a complete Virtual Private Network.
  • Deploy remote desktop access.
  • Set up a cloud computing network and share files between home offices to develop a virtual office setup.

Virtual Private Network


  • Good option for companies that want to offer either intermittent access or full-time access to remote work solutions; however, remote devices must be properly secured and protocols must be followed.
  • Encryption protocols make the transfer of information between the VPN and the end users quite secure.
  • The VPN itself isn’t vulnerable to direct attack.


  • PCs that aren’t protected could transfer viruses and malware to the VPN if not secure. Connection to a VPN can make the system vulnerable if employees do not disconnect when finished.
  • These are more difficult to set up than remote desktop access.

Remote Desktop Access Solutions

You can enable remote desktop access in one of three ways:

  • Remote access software
  • Enterprise remote desktop
  • Direct remote access

Remote access software solutions are less secure at their most basic level, with limited centralized control of employee log-in and remote access. This solution has a higher cost, while direct remote access is free. Still, this is a solid choice for smaller companies with intermittent work-from-home needs.

Enterprise remote desktop solutions are more scalable but tougher to set up. They offer a seamless experience and operate through hosted solutions, which comes at an increased cost; however, the ease of setup is better than having to establish this infrastructure on your own.

Direct remote access requires proper security protocols are followed to ensure the system is not vulnerable to attack. It can be difficult to remotely restart a computer that has frozen. Also, many hardware issues will have to be addressed on-site.

Cloud Network Remote Work

This is a good choice if you are opting to work from a complete virtual office, as these solutions offer additional flexibility and cost benefits. They do hold some risks because it’s difficult to control what employees are doing with their hardware at home.

What to Consider

Check out these factors to consider when deciding on a type and provider of remote access and work solutions:

  • Ease-of-Installation: How much time is involved? How much effort? Will it cause downtime in operations as the transition happens?
  • Ease-of-Use: Can your employees and IT department easily use this solution?
  • Cost: How much does each solution cost vs. how much will it save your company?
  • Security: How secure is the option you’re considering? How dependent is it on users‘ ability to follow stated protocols?

Contact Monmouth Computer Associates

For assistance on deciding which solution is best for your needs or for help setting up your remote access solution infrastructure, contact us today.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Vincent Gentile

Genealogy in Switzerland – A Longenecker Family Search

I recently visited Langnau, Bern, Switzerland and spent two days immersed in all things Langenegger. My wife and I arrived at the Langnau rail station on June 25, 2004, exhausted from a long flight from San Francisco. As we left the train station we were immediately struck by the unique character of this area.

Outside the train station are the remnants of a cobblestone street, now patched by asphalt. Everywhere we looked were beautiful Swiss houses and buildings – many of them hundreds of years old – and all colorfully decorated with pink and red begonias placed in flower boxes below each window. As we found later, the Emmental is also a wonderland of covered bridges, friendly people, church spires with Swiss clocks and chimes, tinkling cow bells – everything you expect Switzerland to be.

As we walked toward our hotel in Bareau we noticed how friendly and courteous the locals are – stopping to allow us to cross the street and smiling as we passed with a friendly „Hallo“ or „Guten Morgen.“ The town is dotted with long stone tanks with well water splashing in at one end and draining out the other. They look something like a stone horse tank. These are available to anyone who wants a cool drink of well water.

After we settled into our room at the Landgasthof Hotel Adler, the owner kindly invited us to a short ride into the countryside where we saw more beautiful houses and pastures. After we returned we asked a few locals in the hotel restaurant about the Langenegger farm and they had a good laugh. Turns out that there are a lot of Langeneggers there and we didn’t know the name of the people who lived in the original house that we came to see.

The hills are about 1200 feet above the valley floor and incredibly green with grass and forested areas visible from anywhere in town. Langnau is small – perhaps three or four long blocks across and the hills seem very close. Black and white cows break up the greenery and produce and wonderful tinkling sound as they graze around ringing the bells around their necks. Higher pitched bells worn by sheep and goats blend with the clunk-clunk bong-bong of the cow bells making a delicious backdrop to the scenery. This is the last sound we heard as we drifted off to sleep covered with a feather quilt on our first night in Langnau.

The birds woke us up to wonderfully green world that is Langnau in the summer. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast of homemade bread and jelly provided by our host, Stephen. We hoped to attend church, but found that our information was incorrect and arrived too early. Instead we started our walking tour of Langnau early. Langnau is a small town and we walked all of the main streets by about noon when we took a break for lunch to share a small cheese tart and an apple pastry from a small shop near the center of town. By that time, the local museum had opened. It is housed in one of the oldest houses in Langnau and is a great opportunity to look around inside one of these magnificent buildings and see all of the fancy joinery done by the builders. It is also a great museum with a number of permanent and rotating exhibits that depict the history of Langnau and its residents.

The museum’s docent has lived in Langnau for 70 years and knows the Langenegger name very well. She quickly found a book that contains the Langenegger family crests – one for those in the valley (Langenegg Ey) and one for those up higher in the hills (Langenegg Unter). She also loosely parsed the name into Lange (Long in English – pronounced ‚Long‘ in German too) and negg (hill in English – pronounced ’neck‘ in German). I haven’t been able to confirm the word ’negg‘ anywhere – but that is what she said. The book also included a statement, „Ulrich, von Langnau, wanderte 1748 nach Pennsylvanien [USA] Aus (Faust 61)“ which roughly translates that Ulrich Langenegger immigrated to Pennsylvania in the United States in 1748. This is our ancestor Ulrich Langenegger Sr. The book doesn’t give a further source for this information. On the map, the Langenegg Unter is just about a 30 minute hike up the hill from the museum and Langenegg Ey is about a mile down river from Langnau. Since the Unter had been owned by someone other than a Langenegger for many years, we decided to take a closer look at the Ey property in the valley to see if we could at least get a picture of the house and perhaps, if we were really lucky, meet a distant relative.

Margaret and I walked along the river where many of the local people were taking a break from regular life to cool off. We were pleasantly surprised at the number of covered bridges in and around Langnau – all still being used. We even drove over one just outside of Langnau.

Just as we approached the long driveway to the Langenegger house, two women came up from the river and one of them spoke English. She told us that we were in the right place and that the Langenegger family did live here. She offered to escort us to the right house among a group of several houses and buildings located on the property. With a cheery German „Woo hoo“ she called out to the people inside and introduced us to my 9th cousin who lives in the house where Ulrich Langenegger Senior was born in 1664 (the same one mentioned in the book that immigrated to Pennsylvania).

Our new-found cousins were gracious and greeted us warmly even though we just showed up on their doorstep after over 250 years without a Christmas card! We had a short conversation about the family and viewed some of the information that they had there. Coincidentally, the couple’s sister-in-law next door was in Pennsylvania to attend a Longenecker reunion while we were in Langnau. We exchanged contact information so that we can follow up with them with information we find that might be useful to them. They kindly offered us a cool drink from their well before we took a short walk around the farm to get some photos. The cows were in the barn as it was unseasonably hot that day. Milk from their cows is sold into a coop of local farmers that makes it into cheese. If you are looking for some authentic Langenegger cheese, look for the Emmentaler type as that is what they make there. It is sold in the US as simply Swiss cheese – the type with holes in it. I must admit that it tasted much better in Langnau than in California.

The house is located an easy hike along the river from Langnau and consists of the original house plus some additional houses and outbuildings. I found the house a challenge to photograph by itself. It is a typical Swiss farm house arranged with living quarters and barn under one roof. On one side is an earthen ramp going directly into the attic over the barn that is used to move hay into that area for storage and use during the winter.

The roof is steep by US standards but not as steep as I expected in an area that gets lots of snow. Most roofs in the area are tile and include a series of brackets about six inches high that hold the snow in the winter so that it doesn’t all fall down at one time. Some buildings had a simpler system with only one set of brackets near the bottom of the roof that held a four inch pipe running the entire length of the house – apparently for the same purpose as the brackets on other buildings. In addition, this system probably uses the snow to insulate the roof from the cold. Another interesting thing about some roofs and houses – the builders sometimes put their initials and the date of construction on the roof by using different colored tiles. Others painted this information under the eaves or on the face of the building under the eaves.

The Langenegger house is not as fancy as some in town but is large and includes some fancy joinery work that we saw repeated inside the museum, on the covered bridges, and elsewhere in the area. The main structure appears to be large beams carefully joined together at the proper angles so that they get stronger as more weight is put on them – and held together with wooden pegs. On one bridge near town we saw metal strapping that seems to have been added later.

The business of the farm centers around the milk cows. There was a large field of corn planted near the house along with a well-kept garden that seems to grace every house we saw in Switzerland. Along the driveway approach to the farm there are some cherry trees with mostly green fruit just beginning to turn pink in places. The rest of the farm appeared to be in grass. My friend John Garland in Oklahoma would call the fencing „psychological fencing“ – not much of a barrier to an animal that wants out. We noticed that a lot of fences appeared to be temporary and electrified so that the cows can be easily moved to fresh grass as needed. We even saw one electric fence hooked up to a solar panel up high in the mountains a long train-ride away from Langnau. Out of respect for the current occupants‘ time and space, we only stayed briefly.

We returned to our hotel via a path the goes along the river and stopped for a rest in the shade of an old covered bridge. We were exhausted again and happy at getting to meet our distant relatives and to view the old house.

Research: If you are researching this area, no genealogy information is readily available in Langnau. The records office has records from 1886, but doesn’t release it without permission of the persons mentioned in the records and the charges to do so are very high. You will have much better luck in Bern where most of the Swiss records are held. There is almost always someone around that speaks English and the records offices are no exception. The records are neither computerized nor indexed – but they are very neatly categorized by location and time frames. You will need to tell them exactly who, where, and when you want to look in order to get the right microfilm. Then it is an old-fashioned search browsing through records written along time ago using unfamiliar styles and letters. Lockers are located outside the office in the hallway and you will have to leave your backpack, purse, etc. there. It’s free and secure.

The Archives de I’Etat de Berne is located at Falkenplatz 4, CH-3012 Berne near the main railroad station. It was easy to find the third time I tried. The rail station is large and busy and on several levels. Locate the elevators on one end of the station and take them all the way to the top. If you have trouble, follow the students and the signs to the university in order to find the elevators. Once you are at the top, go toward the campus – the only way you can go really – and pass between two large university-looking buildings. Falkenplatz 4 is the first building on the right after you pass through the campus area. There is a small street stand just across the small park where the students congregate for a cheap and good sandwich – get there early as they run out of sandwiches quickly after noon. The office is open from 8:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 5:00 every weekday except Friday when it closes at 4:30. If you want to confirm before going, their phone numbers are 031/633 51 01, fax 031/633 51 02. Copies are one Swiss Frank per page – so take along plenty of cash so that you can get everything you want. You can easily spend 50 franks in one afternoon depending on the records you want. I didn’t have time, but you may also want to check out these sources provided by the museum in Langnau . . .

Zivilstands-und Burgerrechtsdienst

Des Kantons Bern

Eigerstrasse 73

3011 Bern

031/633 47 85

Fax: 031/633 47 39

Nieisen Paul-Anthon

Biochstrasse 7

3753 Oberhofen am Thunersee

033/243 24 52

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Gene Hall

6 Things You Must Demand From Your Real Estate Agent!

In the United States, there are well – over, one – million, licensed real estate professionals, although, only a relatively, small percentage of them, are responsible for, the vast – majority, of closed – transactions. Therefore, whether, you seek to sell you home, or are a potential, qualified buyer, it is wise, to carefully, choose, your agent, based on, your personal, best – interests, and, after interviewing them, feeling, they have the combination of attitude, aptitude, skills, persistence, professionalism, and expertise, to serve your needs, goals, and priorities! After, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in the State of New York, I strongly, believe, these 6 things, you must demand, of the individual, you hire. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means, and represents, and, why it matters.

1. Integrity: The real estate professional, you choose, must, consistently, exhibit, absolute integrity! To serve and represent you, you need, and deserve, someone, you feel confident, you can, consistently, trust, in good – times, or less!

2. Allegiance: Nearly every state, as well as Realtor Board’s, include a Code Of Ethics, regarding, the conduct, required by a realtor, to his clients, and customers, etc! One of the key components is, owing a client, complete allegiance, and protecting their privacy, etc. Your chosen professional must put – you – first, consistently, and never provide, any information, which might harm or compromise, your interest (however, that does not mean, violating the law, and/ or, providing any material misstatements!)

3. Tell what they need to know: My service – marked, slogan, is, I will always tell you what you need to know, not, just, what you want to hear. You need, and deserve, someone, who will inform you, in a realistic manner, rather than, wearing, rose – colored, glasses!

4. Prepare a client: Agents owe their clients, a readiness, and willingness, to thoroughly, consistently, prepare them, for potential, possibilities, in order to make this process, as stress – free, as possible! When one prepares his clients, properly, the transaction period, becomes, an easier one!

5. Negotiating expertise: One of the reasons, to hire, a specific agent, is their degree of negotiating expertise, in order to achieve the best price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle! This requires the individual, to thoroughly, understand, and know the local, real estate market, etc.

6, Handling details: The transaction period, is, often, full of challenges, and requires, handling the details, effectively, and efficiently, on a consistent basis!

Since, for most, the value, of their house, is their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to do, whatever, possible, to ensure, you protect it, and make the best decisions, and take the smartest actions! Consider these 6 things, when you hire your real estate agent!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Richard Brody

How to Sell a House: Tips From Real Estate Agents

With the country’s declining real estate market, a home seller can easily sell a house if they lower the price. But for others who can’t afford to lower their asking price, it is best to find other ways to make their home more attractive.

Real estate agents are familiar with the trends in the industry. They are also very knowledgeable about selling homes and choosing the right homes. For this reason, we have come up with a list of house selling tips from successful real estate agents.

Make The House Stand Out From The Competition

It is very important for the property to attract potential buyers. Home sellers should consider custom designs or adding a few design touches, such as improving the landscape, or updating the roof and windows. These simple touches can have significant impact in improving the home’s aesthetics. It is important to avoid over-improving the house. For instance, renovating the bathroom and kitchen may not always pay.

Clean The Clutter

Before listing the property in the market, it is crucial to first clean the clutter from the home. Clutter will turn off potential buyers because they cannot picture themselves living in the house. As a tip, consider removing a few unnecessary furniture pieces to make the space look bigger. You should also keep family pictures and other personal items into storage so that potential buyers can imagine themselves staying in the house.

Staging the house is very important. You may want to hire a professional for the job. This may cost additional expense but it will be worth it. Real estate agents believe that a professional stager can make the home more attractive and salable.

The Price Is Right

No matter how you stage your house or how much space you renovated, it is very important to price the property appropriately. An agent can help you determine the right price for your property. You can also hire a property appraiser for the job. It doesn’t matter whether you are offering the lowest price in the neighborhood, especially if your home is very appealing and if you have made significant improvements to your home. It is important, however, that the listing price will not be so far-fetched with the other comparable homes in the market.

Selling a house in a slow real estate market will require patience and perseverance. Make sure that the house is in good condition and hire a credible agent to help you sell the house faster. Following these tips will help increase your chances of getting a good deal for your property.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Sara Schweiger

How to Save for a House Down Payment – 5 Awesome Tips

Top 5 awesome tips to save for a down payment

Want to own your own house? Well, who doesn’t? You may not be looking to buy a house now but eventually you will. Owning a house is a dream of most people but only a lucky few manage to get a home that they really want. You are not alone if you are worried about saving enough money for a down payment. Hopefully, our tips for saving money will help you gather the amount required for the down payment on the flat that you have been eyeing.

Your bank will finance almost 80% cost of the house/flat (in some cases 90%). The balance is down payment that you will have to self finance. This is a substantial amount for a middle class family. For example, If your 2 bedroom kitchen costs Rs. 30 Lakhs, then your bank would finance up to 24 lakhs and the rest 6 lakhs has be self financing.

Home buying is a complex decision especially if you are a first time home buyer. You will need professional help that will help you get the best homes at best price. Enough money in the bank before going out shopping for a house will give you confidence and peace of mind while choosing a home. We are going to share some tips For saving money here that will help you take control of your finances and save for that daunting looking down payment.

1. Track your spending and expenses

OK, we admit this is one of the most boring and clichéd tips for saving money BUT tracking your spending really works. There are a plethora of apps and websites that help you track your spending and keeps a running total of the amounts you spend on specific items or categories.

This process is an eye opener for many. Sometimes we don’t see the obvious until an app tells us!! You will need to cut down on luxuries and divert money towards savings. Finding out where your money goes is the first step in figuring out how to keep more of it in the bank.

2. Invest in Mutual Funds- Don’t be afraid, Research

Do a simple research on the power of compounding or power of compound interest and you will understand why mutual funds are one of the most popular methods of investing these days. India has seen, in the recent times, a sudden spurt in the number of people investing in mutual funds. While there are many things that you need to consider before investing in mutual funds, we recommend that you start a monthly SIP in an equity fund that matches your risk appetite.

Generally, equity funds are the best since they offer you high rates of returns. These funds are also risky because the market fluctuations in these equity funds can be regular affair but over a period of time Mutual Funds usually offer better returns than the Bank FD rates.

Go to a website named valueresearchonline.com and read about Mutual Funds. The end decision is yours but we speak from personal experience-mutual funds offer good returns on investments. There are multiple number of SIP calculators that will help you plan the exact amount of savings, you require each month to reach your down payment in a particular period of time. For example if you are planning to buy a house in 2020, A mutual fund SIP calculator will tell you how much money you need to start saving for your 20% down payment.

This method of investing is not one of the usual tips for saving money but is a method that helps grow your money.

3. Make a Monthly budget and stick to it

Sticking to a monthly budget will be tough especially if you are used to a life of indulgence and luxury. Sticking to a strict budget often isn’t a lot of fun and is challenging. Remember, A penny saved is a penny earned. Having said that allow yourself an occasional treat or two but treat it as an exception and ALWAYS make up for the cost of this exception in other activities. Some belt-tightening now is a minor sacrifice that will quickly be forgotten when you are getting the keys to your new home.

4. Start Saving Early

Have you heard of the saying well begun is half done? One of the major deficiencies of our education system is that we are not taught financial literacy at a young age. We are not taught how to save and why to save. We don’t know about long term and short term financial goals.

Although our moms always insist on saving, majority of us lack proper financial literacy. Start saving early, dedicate at least 15 to 20% of your salary savings each month. Start with your first job when responsibilities are less. Some people save as much as 50%n of their savings while they can. Among numerous Tips for saving money this one is the most powerful.

Benefits of starting to save early is that by the time you reach 30 you will have enough money for a down payment on your house.

5. Look for ways to boost your income

For most of us middle class salaried people, there is only one source of money coming in (i.e. monthly salary). At the most, both husband and wife are working so in such cases there are two sources of money coming in. The number of avenues through which the money goes out is always more than the number of ways through which money comes in. Consider your income and expenses as an upside down funnel. Every successful person understands that additional sources of revenue need to be created in order to save money.

There are many ways through which you can create an alternate source of money. You can consider starting a blog, YouTube channel or simply affiliate marketing. You can start an online store and make good money if you have done proper research. There is multiple number of videos online through which you can learn about online businesses.

You don’t need a considerable investment to start any of these activities. All you need is a laptop and some time. There is TedX video on YouTube which says that you only need 20 hours to learn a skill to a satisfactory level.

Your budget consists of two parts: money coming in, and money going out. You’ll get the best results if you make improvements on both sides.

Open a saving bank account for the purpose of down payment and consider it untouchable. Barring a major emergency, don’t even toy with the idea of spending any of that money until you are ready to purchase a home. It’s easier to keep an off-limits down payment fund if you set up a separate account dedicated solely to this purpose.

Treat this bank account as a black hole in which light goes in but nothing comes out.

Here is a video with some more tips for saving money



We hope these tips for saving money for a down payment on your home have helped you. Saving for a down payment on your home is tough but not impossible. There are other things that you can do to get financial benefits. For Example, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana is a great scheme that has benefited millions.

Also Listen to the Podcast

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Ankit Kashiv

The Countrywide Foreclosure List – Finding Secret Bank Owned Properties

The Countrywide foreclosure list offers thousands of nationwide bank owned properties; many of which are sold at deeply discounted prices. Once the nation’s largest independent mortgage lender, Countrywide was bought out by Bank of America in 2008 for a whopping $4.1 billion. BOA assumed a massive portfolio of ‚toxic assets‘ consisting of preforeclosure and foreclosed properties.

Today, the Countrywide foreclosure list is available to the public through the Bank of America website. Real estate investors and prospective buyers can use the list to locate single and multi-family homes, commercial real estate, vacant land and newly constructed houses.

Countrywide / Bank of America properties for sale include bank owned properties, foreclosure homes and short sale real estate. Buyers can locate a wealth of discounted properties and cheap homes for sale. Properties listed through the foreclosure list are sold through an independent real estate agent or directly thorough BOA’s loss mitigation division.

Purchasing Countrywide properties isn’t any different than purchasing real estate through realtors. Buyers are required to undergo the same home loan financing process as anyone else. However, individuals wanting to purchase bank owned properties through BOA are required to obtain lending prequalification to determine how much house they can afford.

Buyers of Countrywide foreclosure real estate may qualify for first time home buyer programs and tax credits. The home buyer tax credit was recently extended through June 30, 2010. First time home buyers are eligible for an $8000 tax deduction. Homeowners who have resided in their primary residence for five years or more are eligible for a $6500 tax credit when they purchase a more expensive home.

It is important to understand that bank owned real estate consists of foreclosure properties which did not sell through action. Also referred to as real estate owned or REO properties, these houses are sold „as is“ and generally require some type of repair. Buyers must conduct due diligence and obtain a home inspection to verify the house is worth the listing price.

The primary difference between foreclosed and bank owned homes is once lenders take possession attached liens and judgments are removed and the house is sold with a clean title. This is especially beneficial for first time home buyers and those unfamiliar with the required process for purchasing foreclosure real estate.

Repossessed homes often make for good investment property that can be used as a rental or vacation home. Buying foreclosure property located in a popular tourist destination can provide the opportunity to generate positive cash flow.

Investors who utilize the Countrywide foreclosure list to scout out rental homes should take time to investigate the area where properties are located. Tenants with school-aged children generally are looking for high ranking schools. Others might desire easy access to interstate systems or shopping districts. Becoming familiar with the area and what it offers allows investors to find appropriate REO houses to attract the type of tenant they are seeking.

Buying repo homes does not always equal significant savings. Banks have already incurred a loss through the process of foreclosing on the property. Bank owned properties listed on the Countrywide foreclosure list have little room for price negotiation.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Simon Volkov

Savannah, Georgia New Home Communities

Savannah is the largest city in the county seat of Chatham County in the US state of Georgia. Savannah occupies an area of 78.1 sq miles (202.3 km2).

Every year Savannah attracts millions of visitors, who enjoy the city’s architecture and historic buildings. Most of the tourists flock to places like the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America), the first African Baptist Church, Temple Mickve Israel which is the third-oldest synagogue in America, the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex (the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America) and several other places of tourist interest. Prone to flooding, the city of Savannah has a humid subtropical climate characterized by humid summers and cool winters.

The city of Savannah has a progressive economy and is the home of Union Camp, which has one of the world’s largest paper mill. Even today, it is Savannah’s largest employer. Gulfstream Aerospace company, which makes private jets is based in Savannah and there are also various other large industrial interests employing many in the city today.

If work or leisure beckons to Savannah, there are quite a few quality homebuilders here who can chip in to give shape to your dreams. Here are a few:

Hallmark Homes: Hallmark Homes of Savannah, Inc., Hallmark Homes Enterprises, Inc. and Hallmark Custom Homes, LLC. together form a formidable force and qualifies as the area’s largest family of builders, offering custom and semi-custom homes from $185,000 to $4 million in nearly every popular planned community in Savannah and the nearby towns of Richmond Hill, Rincon and Pooler, Georgia.

Savannah Pines Mobile Home Park:

Savannah Pines Mobile Home Park is ideally located in Garden City, in the scenic suburb of Savannah. Nestled among beautiful trees and a small stream, you can enjoy the tranquility of living in a mature community that provides an atmosphere of peace and quiet. Shopping, restaurants, movie theatres, video rentals, and golf courses, are all close-by. Even elementary, middle and high schools are easily accessible from here.

Konter Quality Homes: Konter Quality Homes develops neighborhoods and builds new homes throughout the metro Savannah area. As an industry leader since 1977, Konter Quality Homes continues to produce high quality homes for satisfied customers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by David Giat

Antique Rug Buyers Guide

When buying an antique rug, what should I look for:

Having been in the business of buying and selling rugs for over a decade, the first questions I get from people are: Before buying an antique rug, what should I consider? Where do I go to buy antique rugs? Where do I actually begin my antique rug-buying hunt?

First of all, dealers, designers and collectors all over the world seek to find the greatest antique rugs. Antique rugs are considered a form of art. A rug needs to be at least 80 years old to be considered an antique. Whereas furniture or art needs to be at least 100 years old to be considered antique. One of the differences is that antique rugs should not look like they were used at all and just viewed as art. Also, rugs are stepped and walked on as opposed to art which is only viewed. Therefore, art will always look newer and last longer. It is amazing that some antique rugs will cost less than an actual new rug. However, there is a misconception that antique rugs cost more than new rugs. A new rug could cost $80 for every square foot in today’s market. This is an average price. The better quality rugs can cost over double that. For example, a 9’x2′ new rug can cost approximately $8,600. Bearing in mind that the rugs will not necessarily be commercial grade in this price range, nor will they be great pieces. New 9’x12′ rugs have been seen to sell well over $20,000. Therefore, my question is pretty simple: why not purchase a rug which has resale value if you are going to invest such a substantial amount of money in an antique rug? As nice as new rugs are, they have no intrinsic value. The same rule applies as if you bought a new car and paid $30,000 for it. As soon as you drive the car out of the dealership, it automatically decreases in value.

Therefore, there are a few things to consider before successfully finding the perfect rug:

Budget, current design market, size, quality, age and condition are among the few categories that need to be considered.

1. Budget – All rugs, new and antique, vary greatly in price. There are many reasons for the price variations. Some of these reasons are:

a. Current design market – Patterns, colors, trends and looks will determine whether a certain rug is a must-have in the current market. Of course, everyone has different tastes and the ultimate decision is a very individual one. All markets are different as well. The American market, for instance, concentrates on decorative pieces. We are a society of beauty. We make our selections by colors and patterns. Other markets base their selection on quality. The European market for instance. Europeans will pay more for an antique rug based on quality. Antique rugs such as an Oushak rug prices are greatly affected by the pattern of the rug as well. For example, all-over designed rugs vs. medallion rugs. All-over designed rugs are at least 30% more expensive that rugs that have a center design. In the American market everything should be centered. We tend to select rugs which have center designs and try to perfectly align the rug in the room according to other furnishings.

b. Size – First measure the space and determine the size of rug you desire. There are no set rules for placing a rug in a room. Some people prefer a small rug in a large room. Some like to see that the rug fits the room to the exact size. People usually compromise on size first. If they find an antique rug that they fall in love with based on its colors, design, price or style, they are very willing to compromise on size. The cost of new rugs is based on square footage. The bigger the rug is, the more expensive it will be. However, this is not the case with antique rugs since they are individually evaluated based on many factors. For instance, it is not unheard of for an antique rug (5’x8′) to be sold in Christies London for $10 million.

c. Quality – If a new rug has more knots per square inch, it takes longer to weave. The same rule applies for antique rugs. The qualities of the two pieces are compared, should have the same origin and were made around the same time.

d. Age – The most expensive antique rugs are dated back to the 18th century.

e. Condition – The general and logical rule is: the better condition the antique rug is in, the more it will cost. Antique rugs will need restoration and repair at some point.

2. Look – Most high-end decorators believe a rug should be the most expensive piece in the room. Therefore, it makes the most sense to start with the purchase of an antique rug and then purchasing remaining furniture. Finding the perfect rug you love is not going to be an easy task. It takes a lot of time and effort. By seeing what is on the market first, you can compare rugs to your specific taste. There are a lot of choices online. This is the easiest way of finding a rug you love. The internet is also the best way to choose your dream rug since you can compare every rug available. One great site is the Nazmiyal Collection. You can spend hours and days browsing the entire collection. This site has one of the most comprehensive collections such as Antique Oriental rugs and Vintage Moroccan rugs and it is the largest online source of great art and information. There are also plenty of local rug dealers around. This is another great way to get a feel for different designs, colors, types and price ranges.

Once the size, budget and style of rug are established, you are ready to start shopping for antique rugs. More important than the dealer you choose to work with is educating yourself on the purchase of rugs beforehand. Make sure you choose a dealer who has the best reputation and selection. Seek an established dealer who has been in business for a long time as opposed to a smaller dealer who usually has only one or two pieces available. Larger dealers will have reputable collections. Ask friends, family and colleagues for references if you are seeking high-end rugs. Compare prices once you have narrowed down your selection. Visit several dealers and search the internet to get a feel of all aspects before you commit to buying a rug. You will know you have selected the correct piece once you lay it down in your room. If you choose a local dealer, they will be more than happy to bring the rug to your home so you can lay the rug down in your room and know you have the perfect rug. Some of the reputable dealers online will do the same for you. They will offer to pay for the shipping to your home. It is crucial that you read or inquire about dealer guarantees as far as shipping and return policies. You should ask the dealer to provide you with the guarantee in writing.

You should feel confident in your choice. Dealers will charge different prices for a similar item. Therefore, you should have a basic idea of what you are looking to purchase. Ask the dealer for something in writing as to the condition, price, description and age of rug. Some of the high-end dealers will actually allow you to return the rug in exchange for another size or look if you haven’t damaged it. Dealers usually stand behind their price and sale of rugs.

You definitely want to have an independent appraiser look at the rug if you are choosing a high-end one before finalizing the sale. Since this is a big investment, you want to make sure you are getting the best deal possible. Never ask a rug dealer to give you an appraisal on your rug as most will not be truthful with you. Choose either Christies or Sotheby’s. They are both reputable auction houses. You should ask for their recommendation for an independent appraiser. If the dealer is an honest one, he will have no problem with your request for an appraisal. If you feel that the dealer is not an honest one and he doesn’t feel comfortable with your wish to have the rug appraised or gives you a hard time, chances are it would be better for you to walk away from that sale.

Be aware of going-out-of-business sales. They are often misleading. Another reason not to buy a rug from a store going out of business is once the business closes, you have no way of returning or exchanging the rug. Since antique rugs have a market and certain value, there is no reason for the rug to be on sale.

Buying from a dealer vs. buying at auction: Worldwide, knowledge is power and You can find good deals if you know what you are looking to buy and are familiar with market prices. The following are benefits of buying from a dealer rather than buying at an auction:

1. The dealer will work around your schedule and you will have the option of trying the rug in your room before buying.

2. Delivery – this is a great benefit. If you purchase your rug through a local dealer, he will come to your home to place the rug down. In the meantime, they will move any necessary furniture in order to try the rug and return the furniture to its original place upon their completion.

3. Pads – Certain dealers might not charge you for the padding that is required when an antique rug is purchased. They will pay for it themselves and it will save you money in the long run.

4. Restoration – Reputable dealers will restore or clean the rug prior to delivering it to you as opposed to purchasing at auction where you need to get the rug restored yourself at your own cost.

As stated earlier, if you educate yourself in buying an antique rug first, you can find a good buy. Another drawback from buying a rug at auction is you have to pay a commission on the rug, get your own estimate for restoration and have a set price in mind before bidding. Make sure you have a maximum cap on the bidding process so you don’t pay more than you planned to pay. Often times people get carried away with the bidding if they fall in love with a certain rug. They wind up paying more than the rug is worth. Bidding is always risky. If someone else likes the rug as much as you do, you must make a decision as to the maximum amount you are willing to pay in order to prevent the price from escalating once a competitor starts bid against you.

What is your rug worth? It is almost impossible to figure out the true value of an antique rug as many considerations are taken into effect. Since demands are always changing, the value of an antique rug can fluctuate greatly. For example, a Persian Tabriz over 80 years old can be worth anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000. Therefore, trying to compare rugs in an auction catalogue or with other rugs that are comparable will be a waste of your time. What you should do instead is call a reputable dealer, send him pictures and let him know what appraisal you would like to receive.

1. You should ask how much the dealer is willing to pay for the rug if you are willing to sell.

2. Do you want a fair retail market value assessment? This is the amount a dealer expects to get from a retail client.

3. Are you looking to know what the rug’s fair trade value would be and are looking to replace it?

$500 is the average cost for a written appraisal. The average cost for a verbal appraisal is $100. A written appraisal is costly because it is documented, signed and delivered. It is also a valid, legal document. The issuer can actually get called to testify in court regarding his credibility if the need arises.

Ultimately, as stated earlier, there is no real way to get an estimate of the value of the rug without having a professional who deals with these pieces daily assess the rug. An antique rug value is not easy to determine. Most people who inherit rugs try to compare them with rugs they see for sale and assume their rug is worth a certain amount. One really needs to have a vast knowledge in antique rugs to know the market in order to try to determine the value. Trying to sell an antique rug is very subjective, difficult and unique. Of course, if you sell your rug to a dealer, bear in mind the dealer is buying the rug to make a profit so you are underselling your rug. They also have to clean and restore the rug before selling. Therefore, you will be offered a much smaller price than the actual value of the rug. Also, the dealer isn’t sure when they will get the rug sold so it is a big investment for him. He might not see their investment come to fruition for a long time. There is an upside to selling your rug to a dealer though. You will get your money immediately. You also save yourself a lot of effort and time in the process. The bottom line when selling a rug is the same as buying a rug: you must educate yourself first. Learn about the market for the rug you are trying to sell, find a reputable dealer, and get the rug appraised by an independent appraiser. However, keep in mind that an independent appraiser will give you a retail value estimate – sometimes offers are for half of the amount you request. Spend time researching antique rugs, Such as Antique Oriental rugs, Oushak rugs and Moroccan rugs and carpets. This will ensure that you get the top dollar for your rug.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Omri Schwartz

Real Estate Appraisals – Get Yourself Prepared For Knowing the Value of Your Home

The collapse of the economy began with a reality wind blowing against the sub-prime mortgage house of cards. We are all living with the results of over aggressive lending practices and over active government intervention. With all these friends who needs any enemies?

As the market realigns, property valuations have plummeted. Some of you may even be „upside down“ on your mortgages. Do you buy? Do you sell? Do you ride out the tsunami? This series will go through all the major questions that we normally encounter in determining the value of a property. What are the drivers? What are the inhibitors? What you need to know to get the best value.

What is Property valuation/real estate appraisal?

The purpose of property valuation is to provide a current market based value for a property in comparison to others in its immediate vicinity. So an appraisal is time, location and geography specific. It is a comparative value – not an absolute. Second, real estate appraisals are broken into two broad categories – residential and commercial. For the purposes of these papers we will be discussing strictly residential appraisals. Residential real estate appraisers are licensed by their respective states and have different levels of license levels based on the value of loan for the property. They have to take classes and pass certification tests to gain and maintain their license status. They are also usually bounded by county because of the way Multiple Listing Services (MLS) keep and sell their records. So a good appraiser really knows their geography and what to look for.

Why does it cost so much?

Real estate appraisers are traditionally independent contractors/business people – no appraisals = no money. So while you are paying a relatively standard one time fee (e.g., $400) they have to make sure they get as many appraisals in as they can to make any profit at all. How’s that? After all they’ve got your $400. An appraiser has to cover all out of pocket expenses the same as any business person (education, health insurance, MLS fees, liability fees, business insurance, state fees – the list goes on). In addition a good appraiser may spend anywhere from 3 to 6 hours in preparation (looking for comparables, etc.), have a 45 minute or more drive time to location, 2 hours driving comparables and taking pictures and then another 1 -3 hours writing the report and then if the bank wants more info or kicks anything back they have to invest the time to answer questions, etc.

Also, is they get your request from another appraiser or from one of these new rip off government created middlemen called AMCs – they may have to split the fee. These are all just the costs of doing business. So when someone stops by for 30 to 60 minutes with a tape measure know that it’s the tip of the iceberg and you’re getting a good deal.

Do I own the appraisal?

The person/company who owns the appraisal is the person who commissioned it. So if you are looking for a house loan, your loan company „owns“ the appraisal, not you because they are the commissioning agent. Even if you pay the appraiser, it makes no difference – you did not set up the transaction. Why is this important? The appraiser can’t legally give you a copy of „your“ appraisal – it’s not yours. If you request an appraisal for loan purposes you may find that it’s not accepted by the bank because they didn’t request it or they don’t know the appraiser. Catch 22 – yes but not made by the appraiser so don’t shoot the messenger. There are all different kinds of appraisals (home, land, cost based, estate, chronological, etc.) and they are not interchangeable. Make sure if you are going to personally request an appraisal you know what it can be used for.

Why do I need a new Appraisal?

The market is so volatile that you may require a new appraisal every 6 -8 weeks for some lenders. In the last eight months housing values have dropped up to 40% in some areas. This means a $1 million house could be going for $600k now. This has made lenders very uneasy and they require more documentation and proof of values than before. Of course they were also the companies that caused the problem – Catch 22 for us. Refinancing has become more challenging as appraised values have gone done so rapidly that people who can manage the monthly payments are penalized because the „value“ puts them underwater. For sellers it’s even more emotionally challenging as they believe their homes have a higher value in the market than they do and they get upset, the real estate agents get upset because the deal doesn’t close and the bank says the appraised value I what it is. The appraiser gets attacked for the state of the market instead the banks who created the issue.

How to determine value?

Value is determined the recent sales of similar homes within a given geographic radius. This means sales, not pending sales; people can ask what they want but banks want to know what other similar homes sold for – don’t let your real estate agent mislead you. While the process is meant to be precise, „similar“ is a very ambiguous term. Are we talking square footage, age, upgrades, tile vs. marble, pool vs yard, the variables can seem limitless. This is why online value services are worthless and if you pay for them you are wasting your money. Only a live onsite inspection can see and assess value properly. Lenders understand this. Geographic area is also becoming looser. Neighborhoods can change in character so rapidly that the normal radius for a comparable is 3 miles. However because sales have been so slow, comparables are fewer and fewer. Because the lenders require 3 -5 or more valuations per property, sometimes more; appraisers are searching outside the 3 mile radius for comparables. Bottom line – if you’re looking to sell in the next 12 – 18 months don’t do any major upgrades because you probably won’t get your money back. Do what you need to please yourself and that’s it.

Who’s on First in this process?

People who refinance a lot or were thinking about a refinance in the last 6 months often ask this. Remember in the whole real estate process – the bank has the power – no one else. The recent complaints by others and finger pointing at appraised property values is really a distraction as banks with their loan programs and compensation systems drive everything. Because the banks lent money so freely and caused the crash – they have swung 1800 away and are now hoarding cash. To justify this approach they are squeezing loan agents and appraisers for more and more documentation of value. This is especially ironic for refis – people who are already good customers but just want to take advantage of some good rates. Bear in mind that banks don’t have customers they care about for repeat business – you are a commodity. This squeeze play in the name of „making sure it doesn’t happen again“ drives up appraiser and loan agent costs which cannot be flowed through to the borrower. If you’re a banker – no big deal – you’re going to get a federal bailout bonus or in the government where it’s basically „who cares it’s not my money“ – these things are not important because you don’t really care about impact. BUT if you’re working for a living on $400 increments with no guarantees of where your next job is coming from – it means a lot. The other guy in the process, who used to be a silent partner is the government. They have enacted new legislation to „clean up“ the valuation process when it was never broken to begin with. This has backfired into more regulation raising lending costs in the process – some of which has been passed on to the borrower. It has also stifled loan creation – so while still have money they can’t borrow because of government pressures. The psychology is beyond the normal mind to fathom. Everybody that is supposed to help likes to put more rocks in our backpacks as we go up the hill and tells us it’s for our own good.

It also produces lower quality valuations and appraisals. Example, Fannie Mae requires that all appraisals they get be from „certified“ appraisers. Because the government requires banks follow suit. Now the difference between a regular appraiser and a certified appraiser is a couple of classes and taking a test. So let’s say you been an appraiser for 20 years, done thousands of honest appraisals, have an MBA and have an excellent reputation – guess what – thanks to the government your out of business until you get spend hundred to thousands more and take a test. But it’s the same job you did before. So now you get a valuation done by someone with little practical experience who happened to take a test but gets the work. That’s the answer to some of the basic questions you want to know in this market. If you’re in the middle of this process and frustrated take it out at the ballot box but don’t kick your appraiser – they’re just the messenger.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Gordon Townsend

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