Lynda – Connestee Falls Realty http://www.connesteefallshomes.com Brevard, NC - Live Where You Play! Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:02:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 2017 HOMEBUYER SURVEY HAS VALUABLE INFO… http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2017-homebuyer-survey-valuable-info/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/2017-homebuyer-survey-valuable-info/#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:02:11 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6286 FOR AGENTS AND SELLERS… SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by BOB HUNT for realtytimes.com “One of the most useful research projects of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is their annual survey of homebuyers and sellers.  It is particularly useful because it shows sellers and their agents what works and what sources buyers use to…

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FOR AGENTS AND SELLERS…

SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by BOB HUNT for realtytimes.com

“One of the most useful research projects of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is their annual survey of homebuyers and sellers.  It is particularly useful because it shows sellers and their agents what works and what sources buyers use to find their new homes.

This is the 30th year that NAR has conducted an annual survey of those who have purchased and sold their homes.  The most recent became available in November of this year, based on answers to a 131-question survey sent to a random sample of 145,000 consumers who purchased a home between July 2016 and June 1017.  After accounting for undeliverable surveys, there was a 5.6% response rate.

In 2016, first-time buyers constituted 32% of the market, the lowest participation rate by first-time buyers since 1987 (30%).  This year, the first-time buyer rate was 34%  Geographically, the  highest percentage of first-time buyers was in the northeast (43%).  Over the years, the historic norms for the country have been in the 40% range.  As more low-down-payment mortgage programs come into the market, there may be a good chance of turning to these norms.

The most useful info for sellers and their agents came from the section on the home search process.  Recent trends continue.  86% of buyers said that they used the internet during the search process.  In 2003, that number was only 42%.  This past year, 55% of buyers used a mobile or tablet application…a newer and growing phenomenon.  68% of buyers said they frequently relied on a real estate agent for information.

Forty-two percent of buyers went to the internet as the first step in the home search process. 17% contacted a real estate agent first, and 6% began by driving through neighborhoods looking for homes for sale.  Driving around can be an option, because half the homes purchased were within 15 miles of the buyers’ previous residence.  Interestingly, 8% of buyers began the process by going to a bank or mortgage company.

Buyers use multiple sources of information in the process of looking for a home.  The most used sources are websites (95%), and real estate agents (89%).  Mobile or tablet apps have replaced yard signs as the third most used source.  Only 15% indicate they used newspaper ads as an info source, and only 2% garnered info from television.

Certainly the most relevant source has to do with where they actually found the home they ultimately purchased…this year that source was the internet (49%).  Next was agents, at 31%.  This is not to say that buyers actually bought their home through the internet.  The typical scenario is that a consumer sees the home on the internet, and then contacts his or her agent.  **88% of those who used the internet to search purchased their home through an agent.**

The differences in a little more than a decade are fascinating.  In 2001, 48% of buyers learned about their home through a real estate agent, and only 8% found their home on the internet.  The times – they have changed!

Some things, though, remain the same – or close to it. In 2001, yard signs persist as sources, but at a much lower percentage.  Print media may not be dead, but it has shrunk to insignificance…”

SOURCE: Bob Hunt for realtytimes.com.  The 2017 Profile of  Home Buyers and Sellers (https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights/from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers) shows what works, and is a valuable resource.

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DIY SOLUTIONS TO YOUR FLOORING PROBLEMS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/diy-solutions-flooring-problems/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/diy-solutions-flooring-problems/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2017 15:32:34 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6283 SOURCE:  JAYMI NACIRI for realtytimes.com “True story.  The wood in our living room is scratched and worn, the dark tile in the kitchen imparts a sort of cave like feel, and there’s unfinished concrete in several of the bedrooms thanks to foundation repair that was done shortly after we bought the house…..The idea was to…

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SOURCE:  JAYMI NACIRI for realtytimes.com

“True story.  The wood in our living room is scratched and worn, the dark tile in the kitchen imparts a sort of cave like feel, and there’s unfinished concrete in several of the bedrooms thanks to foundation repair that was done shortly after we bought the house…..The idea was to get new floors in soon after, and, well, three years later…here we are.  Sound familiar?

While we have examined many, many options over the last couple of years, nothing has stuck well enough to get to it.  Part of the issue is that we don’t want to hand over the installation to someone else.  While that would probably be the most  practical option, it’s not the most economical, and we tend to like to do things by ourselves.  You too?  Then come with us on a journey to find the best DIY solution to our (and your!) flooring dilemmas.

PAINTED WOOD.  Frankly, anything that starts with sanding is an immediate turnoff. If you lose control of a big electric sander, major havoc ensues.  But – that nowithstanding, painted wood floors do look pretty cool.  SF Gate (http://homeguides.sfgate.com/paint-heavily-trafficked-wood-floor-33730.html) has a good tutorial for painting heavily trafficked wood floors that involves really good preparation (so if you’re a step-skipper, maybe this is not for you) and high-quality primer.  But honestly, we’re skeptical about smooth floors.  Dogs will scratch the surface, right?  But that would create a homey, rustic look — right?

We first saw blogger Remington Avenue’s tutorial for painted floors in 2015 (https//remingtonavenue.com/2015/08/the-girl-who-painted-her-tile.html) , which should tell you how long we’ve been tossing around ideas for our floors.  She crafted a stunning painted tile floor using chalk paint and a stencil that created a trendy Moroccan cement tile look.

Stencils have become more readily available and in greater variety since then, and her new tutorial is even more interesting (https://remingtonavenue.com/2017/07/how-to-paint-stencil-tile.html) because she used luster epozy paint, like you would use to paint a garage floor.  That spells greater durability and since multiple children and multiple dogs live in this house, finishes that can’t endure kid feet and dog paws are a NO GO.

FLOATING FLOOR.  This Old House’s take (https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/8-easy-flooring-upgrades):  “it’s hard to imagine a house being cozy without the warmth of wood flooring.  The quickest way to get new wood underfoot is to install a floating floor.  Unlike traditional solid wood strips, a floating floor isn’t nailed down.  Instead, the plans are either glued or snapped together.  The planks go down fast, over virtually any material – concrete, plywood, sheet vinyl, even ceramic tile.

Now, our thoughts.  The advantage to using a floating floor is that it’s definitely DIY-friendly in comparison to numerous other options because it requires no demolition other than removing baseboards – something we wouldn’t have to do it we were painting the existing surfaces.  We would have to put down plywood on the concrete surfaces to make everything flush, but that’s not a big deal.  The continuity that would be created by laying down one surface throughout the first floor would be a dream given how broken up it currently is.  The downside:  it’s pricier solution than paint, and the price, not surprisingly, goes up with the quality.  Whether you are looking at using luxury-vinyl planks, laminate, or engineered wood, it’s an investment.

CARPET TILES.  We just haven’t been able to get rid of the idea of soft, cushy carpeted surface in the bedrooms, but we’re not about to try to put in wall-to-wall carpet on our own.  Just getting the carpeting into the room is a huge job.  Second, precisely cutting it to size takes experience – one wrong cut can ruin the entire piece.

The potential answer:  carpet tiles.  Carpet tiles have come a long way in terms of design.  New carpet tiles are beautifully textured with a great neutral color palette.  The best part is they’re super easy to install.  “One 3-inch-diameter dot is placed at each corner of a carpet square, with the sticky side up.  The next square is set in place right against the first square, and then it’s pressed down onto the adhesive dots.  In the end, the result is a floating floor of carpet squares all stuck together at the corners by adhesive dots.”  Actually, this may be the best part of all:  Remember those previously-mentioned kids and dogs?  They make stains.  If one area of your wall-to-wall carpet gets stained beyond repair, you’re out of luck.  If the same thing happened to a carpet, you rip it up and set an other one down.  Very  tempting.

SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com  IMAGE:  Pinterest

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TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, NC – ABOUT OUR COUNTY http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/transylvania-county-nc-county/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/transylvania-county-nc-county/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:41:20 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6273 SOURCE:  Transylvania County, NC website & Land of Waterfalls website “Transylvania County is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina, about half way between Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC.  The county seat is Brevard, NC.  The Transylvania County Courthouse, located in the heart of Brevard, is on the National Register of…

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SOURCE:  Transylvania County, NC website & Land of Waterfalls website

“Transylvania County is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina, about half way between Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC.  The county seat is Brevard, NC.  The Transylvania County Courthouse, located in the heart of Brevard, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Transylvania County is called the “Land of Waterfalls” due to the 250 waterfalls located throughout the county.  Whitewater Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern US.  Framed by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, access to Pisgah National Forest, Gorges State Park and DuPont State Forest (the most visited state forest in NC) provides locals and visitors with opportunities for a range of outdoor activities – hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, tubing, picnicing and fishing.

There is also a rich cultural scene in the country.  World-renowned Brevard Music Center, Brevard Philharmonic, Brevard Little Theatre, Brevard Community Band, Paul Porter Center for Performing Arts at Brevard College, Transylvania Choral Society, Transylvania Community Arts Council – and more…”

“…Don’t be deceived by the easy pace and iconic Small Town America ambiance of Brevard – our charming, historic county seat.  There is probably something awesome going on right now in downtown Brevard.  It might be as simple as a new exhibit at on of the many small art galleries, a beer tasting at a local pub, or a truly spectacular, day-capping combo of a toy shop visit and a chocolate  milkshake.  Or it could be live music (which occurs with near-daily frequency in the warmer months), a bike or running race, or one of Brevard’s many beloved, family-friendly street festivals.

…wander through the one-of-a-kind local boutiques, grab a delicious meal at a wide variety of local eateries (both casual and upscale), stop by for a little bluegrass on the front porch of the Silvermont Mansion – or in winter, enjoy one of Brevard’s many cool weather and holiday attractions.

Downtown Brevard offers fine, relaxed accompaniment to wilderness exploration and a whole new sort of adventure for any and all inclined to follow their sense through one of American’s Coolest Small Towns…”

SOURCE:  Transylvania County/Land of Waterfalls websites.  Just Google Transylvania County, NC or Brevard, NC – or Land of Waterfalls for a variety of information…

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SOLUTIONS TO SAVING MONEY ON YOUR NEXT MOVE http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/solutions-saving-money-next-move/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/solutions-saving-money-next-move/#respond Fri, 10 Nov 2017 15:27:19 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6269     SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com – Excerpts “Buying a house and moving in is gonna cost you…well, actually, there are ways to make it  not quite so painful.  A willingness to negotiate and put in a little work, plus a little inside info on special deals you can take advantage of can help…

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SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com – Excerpts

“Buying a house and moving in is gonna cost you…well, actually, there are ways to make it  not quite so painful.  A willingness to negotiate and put in a little work, plus a little inside info on special deals you can take advantage of can help you cut some costs.  Here are eight ways to save money…

  1. DON’T TAKE IT ALL WITH YOU!  Furniture you no longer love?  Appliances in the garage?  These could be included in the sale….first time buyers might like to have them, and you won’t have to pay to haul it to your next home.
  2. LEAVE THAT FLAT SCREEN TV!  If it’s at least a few years old, consider leaving it behind.  The cost of taking it down and repairing the wall behind it plus the care involved in moving might not be worth it.  Flat-screen technology is always improving while costs are coming down, so it’s a good excuse to buy something bigger and better without spending a lot.
  3. NEGOTIATE EVERYTHING!  If you’ve been looking for a house or have bought one before, you are aware of closing costs…but are you aware of how much you can negotiate with your lender?  Shop around…when you receive your good faith estimate of closing costs, it will include lender’s fees, appraisal charges and title insurance premiums.  The lender charges some fees, and third parties charge others.  Find out which are loan origination fees and which are third-party fees.  Don’t guess – actually ask your lender or broker.  While some items are non-negotiable, like taxes, city and county stamps, recording fees, interest and reserves, negotiating on others that can be waived or reduced can save you money.
  4. BARTER FOR SERVICES!  Need a handyman, and have appliances or furniture you’re getting rid of?  You might be able to make a deal.  Ask about bartering during your first conversation.  You may be surprised about what you can get for what you’ve already got.
  5. MOVE SMART!  If you don’t want to move on your own, think of ways you can save by doing a “hybrid move.”  Do the packing/unpacking yourself.  Have everything on one floor (stairs can add to the cost of a move.)  Pare down – maybe you don’t need some of your stuff any more – sell it, if you can.
  6. CONSIDER MOVING AND STORAGE HYBRID OPTIONS.  A company like PODS or U-Pack might be a solution for you if you need self-storage.  The company drops off a mobile storage unit at your house and you pack it up yourself.  They then pick it up and move it for you.  You can tack on storage at the end if needed, making this a particularly good solution for those who have time between their move out and their move in.  This type of move can cost up to 35% less than traditional movers – but remember – you will be doing the labor, just not the driving.
  7. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SPECIAL OFFERS.  Move-in offers for cable, internet and phone service can save you a lot of money, but they often come with a catch that could cost you down the line.  Be careful.  Look out for special, limited-time offers – one year or six-month specials that expire, leaving you with much higher rates after the introductory period.
  8. DON’T RUSH THE RENOVATIONS.  Chances are, after you move in, you’re going to start receiving all kinds of junk mail asking if you want to renovate, redo your lawn, and apply for thousands of credit cards.  In this endless pile of junk mail will be come special offers for new homebuyers.  Look out for coupons from handymen, companies selling flooring and windows, home furnishings, and offers from landscapers with discounts for new clients.  If you’re planning to shop, renovate, or do some work on your interior or exterior, taking advantage of a few of these offers can help shave down the cost.

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com   IMAGE:  djbox.ie

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TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR HOME SOLD IN WINTER http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/tips-getting-home-sold-winter/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/tips-getting-home-sold-winter/#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:10:38 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6265 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes “So you’ve decided to list your home this winter…no matter what is driving the move, you may be concerned about selling at this time of year.  But just because you missed the spring/summer selling season doesn’t mean you can’t get your home sold quickly and…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes

“So you’ve decided to list your home this winter…no matter what is driving the move, you may be concerned about selling at this time of year.  But just because you missed the spring/summer selling season doesn’t mean you can’t get your home sold quickly and for a profit.  Here are a few tips…

 

  • Take photos early or late.  Take photos before the trees become barren and the grass goes dormant, if you can….except if you want to portray your home as a winter wonderland on a snowy day (with perfectly scraped walkways,  of course).
  • Go easy on the holiday decor. Sellers should be careful not to overdo it…adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers.  Also avoid offending buyers by opting for generic fall and winter holiday decorations rather than items with religious themes.
  • Always mind the curb appeal.  Potential buyers won’t give you a pass on exterior upkeep just because it’s wintertime.
  • Safety matters.  Shoveling walks from the street to your home is necessary to make it reachable, inviting, and safe….so continually shovel to keep paths to your home clear.  Also footprints in freshly fallen snow will turn to ice if the temperature is low enough, so scrape the walk & sprinkle a layer of sand to assure stable footing.
  • Get an indoor mat.  This one super-easy move may not be noticed by visitors, but it sure will if it’s missing or not in good shape.  Little things like a $10 mat can give buyers the impression that your whole house is well cared for (or just the opposite).
  • Clear the front door clutter.  How does the coat closet look?  Make room for potential buyers to hang their winter coats while touring your home…plus, a tidy closet gives the impression that there is plenty of storage space in the home.  Winter wear and shoes that tend to stack up in the entry should be banished while your house is on the market.
  • Make sure everything functions.  Imagine you turn on the heater for the first time the night before your first showing and it doesn’t work.  Same for the fireplace in the living room.  As soon as you decide to sell your home, go through it room by room, checking all major appliances and home functions and looking for things that may escape notice on an everyday basis – cracked light switches, chipped baseboards, light bulbs that need to be replaced – so that your home is perfect for showings.
  • Light it up.  Shorter days with earlier sunsets limit the hours of natural light in your home.  Turning on all the lights before showings is more important in winter than in any other season.  Think about the exterior when it comes to lights…if you only have a porch light, you might want to consider adding some landscaping lighting which will help accentuate your outdoor space.
  • Listen to your real estate agent when it comes to price.  Will you be able to command top dollar for your home and get the same price you would have if you had listed in spring or summer?  That depends on many things, including your neighborhood, the available inventory, the condition of the home, and your listing price.  A trusted real estate agent will take all mitigating factors into consideration and use comparables in your area to develop a pricing strategy.

When it comes to offers, remember this tidbit from Realtor.com…”Just because your home’s on the market during the slow, chilly months doesn’t mean you have to accept a lowball offer.  If you make your home attractive in all the right ways, qualified buyers will come.””

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com    IMAGE:  linkedin.com

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HOME FOUNDATIONS AND WHY MATERIALS MATTER http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/home-foundations-materials-matter/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/home-foundations-materials-matter/#respond Tue, 24 Oct 2017 13:59:51 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6250 Excerpted from – Source:  Realtytimes.com Staff writers. “The typical single family home can weigh anywhere from 80,000 to 160,000 pounds.  Foundations provide a solid base for a home’s weight, help to ensure the house stays level and provides a base for construction to take place.  Foundations matter, and so does the material that they’re made…

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Excerpted from – Source:  Realtytimes.com Staff writers.

“The typical single family home can weigh anywhere from 80,000 to 160,000 pounds.  Foundations provide a solid base for a home’s weight, help to ensure the house stays level and provides a base for construction to take place.  Foundations matter, and so does the material that they’re made of.

Before buying or constructing your home, it’s important to be familiar with foundations to help you better understand how to prevent damage or make necessary repairs.

The most common material used is concrete – by far.  Typically poured or constructed with a series of cinder blocks, concrete is fairly inexpensive, easy to find and produce, and strong.  Although poured concrete is prone to cracking, these repairs are often affordable and easy to have done, especially if it is being done from the interior.  Drawbacks of concrete vary based on the type of foundation.  Cinder blocks may buckle over time and can involve expensive repairs.  Poured concrete requires a mixer on site to perform installation, possibly adding costs if a concrete facility isn’t close by.

Pre-built walls typically consist of of studded wall construction that’s been coated in a concrete layer.  It installs quickly, is always level and makes discovering problems easier.  However, pre-built walls are more expensive than other types of foundations.

Stone and Brick are commonly found in older homes.  Stone foundation usually aren’t equipped with the right type of drainage systems.  Brick foundations, though typically thick and adequate, tend to degrade over time and are also prone to mortar issues.

FOUNDATION TYPES:  Foundations don’t just come in many materials – they take different shapes.

  • BASEMENTS.  Cold weather climates are the most popular location for basement installation because the foundation of the home needs to exist beneath the frost level in order to sufficiently support it.  They’re typically made of poured concrete, and many also serve as a place where home appliances are located.  Occupants often take advantage of the extended headroom to turn the area into additional living space.  BUT…prone to flooding, fully underground basements can be costly if your yard doesn’t quickly absorb or drain rainfall.  Basement walls and floors are also susceptible to cracking, which require repair to keep moisture out and maintain structural integrity.
  • SLABS.  A slab is nothing more than poured concrete that exists on a grade of land.  Slab foundations are popular in warm weather climates, where water tables are higher.  It’s installed about a foot underground and usually reinforced with steel.  Slabs are a cheaper type of foundation and, unlike a basement, reduce flooding risk.  However, slabs are prone to cracking and can also provide difficulties for incorporating heating and cooling ducts into the home.
  • CRAWLSPACES.  Crawlspaces are foundations that exist beneath a home with limited headroom.  Though headroom is at a premium, it’s typically enough to store certain appliances, piping, ductwork, and more.  The majority don’t permit the additional living space of a basement because they’re approximately two to four feet high.  Installation is cheaper than a basement, but more expensive than a slab.  Other big disadvantages include susceptibility to moisture issues and serving as a favorite place for pests and rodents to seek shelter.  (And radon gas may accumulate).  The good news is that you can waterproof your crawlspace.

Worried that your foundation may be in need of repair?  Signs that your foundation may need attention include:  misaligned exterior doors and windows, cracks in stonework, sheetrock and floors, bulges in the floor, or interior doors sticking or jamming.  Consult a professional if you think your foundation is in trouble.

SOURCE:  realtytimes.com Staff Writers

 

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WINTER-BLOOMING PLANTS HELP BEES SURVIVE THE SEASON http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/winter-blooming-plants-help-bees-survive-season/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/winter-blooming-plants-help-bees-survive-season/#respond Mon, 23 Oct 2017 14:44:04 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6247 Excerpted and adapted from an article by Dean Fosdick for Associated Press/Asheville Citizen-Times “Winter and early spring are lean times for honeybees as they emerge from their hives, where food supplies are dwindling, to forage.  Adding clusters of winter-blooming plants around the yard will give them much needed  nourishment. Bees take in carbohydrates from floral…

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Excerpted and adapted from an article by Dean Fosdick for Associated Press/Asheville Citizen-Times

“Winter and early spring are lean times for honeybees as they emerge from their hives, where food supplies are dwindling, to forage.  Adding clusters of winter-blooming plants around the yard will give them much needed  nourishment.

Bees take in carbohydrates from floral nectar and protein from floral pollen.  Being aware of bloom times and providing flowers that over lap seasons are important for beekeepers who want to overwinter their colonies.  Some bees, including many wild varieties, begin searching for food as early as January, when sunny days can push temps up to 55 F or more. In the early spring, bees are going to need food to get their engines started again…solitary wild bees, honeybees and hummingbirds are just clinging to life.

So the preparation you do now is very important.  Early spring is a vulnerable time for pollinators.  Pollinator plants like crocus, primrose and snowdrops will bloom even when show is on the ground.  Threes and shrubs also are effective choices for feeding early emerging honeybees.

In early spring, it’s the trees that are most important.  Willows, maples, filberts and hazelnuts are some of the earliest sources of pollen you’ll find.  They’re easy to establish and grow.  Establish early-blooming plants in clusters to make it easier for foraging honeybees to spot and access them.  Bees are efficient pollinators – they really appreciate patches of flowers.  They can get from flower to flower easily, saving on their own low energy supplies.

Many winter-flowering plants grow in the wild, but pollinators generally don’t live near them…so that makes cultivating winter bloomers important when planning your garden.  Property owners should also leave suitable places for native bees to hibernate undisturbed.  Let turf grass grow long over the winter.  Avoid pesticides.  Reduce lawn size and turn instead to protective shrubs.  Even a small amount of habitat will be enough to sustain bees….they are tiny creatures, and a well-thought-out landscape can provide all the food they need in winter.  As a gardener, you can really help with that.

Some additional bee-friendly plants:

  • Oregon grape, an evergreen shrub that produces yellow flowers blooming for weeks.
  • Heath and heather, in shades of purple to copper to gold; these low-growing plants make a mat of color throughout the year, including winter.
  • Male willow plants, maples, apple, crabapple, native cherry.

Native trees, shrubs and other plants selected to feed bees are definitely part of the solution to declining bee populations.”

NOTE:  In WNC, the best time to plant trees and shrubs is in the fall, giving them time to establish their root systems over the winter.

SOURCE:  DEAN FOSDICK/ASSOCIATED PRESS/ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES

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SIX SURPRISING BENEFITS OF BUYING OR SELLING IN THE FALL http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/six-surprising-benefits-buying-selling-fall/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/six-surprising-benefits-buying-selling-fall/#respond Wed, 04 Oct 2017 13:42:35 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6227 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com “Seeing fewer for-sale signs now that summer is over?  This can be great news for buyers who are looking to score a new home and sellers who want to sell their place and move on.  If you think you missed the boat on making your…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com

“Seeing fewer for-sale signs now that summer is over?  This can be great news for buyers who are looking to score a new home and sellers who want to sell their place and move on.  If you think you missed the boat on making your move this year, here’s why buying and selling in the fall can work for you.

LESS COMPETITION.  There may be fewer homes on the market, but there are also fewer buyers competing for the same home you want.  That gives buyers an important edge.  Forbes says “…competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale…” (And inventories in WNC are shrinking).  The benefit to sellers is that those buyers who are out there tend to be more serious, which means your real estate agent can key in on the real buyers without having to sift through the peepers.

TAX BREAKS.  If you’re a buyer who closes escrow before December 31, and you may get a nice write-off on your taxes…property tax and mortgage interest are both deductions you can take for your whole year’s worth of income, even if you closed on your home in December.  Payments made prior to the closing of the loan are tax-deductible.  This can make a serious difference in the amount you owe the government at the end of the year.  There are also potential tax breaks for home sellers…you can include all sorts of selling expenses in the cost basis of your house….increasing your adjusted cost basis decreases your capital gain because this is what’s subtracted from the sales price to determine how much of a gain – or loss – you’ve realized.  If you  have less of a gain, you’re  more likely to fall within the exclusion limit, and if you’re gain isn’t excluded, you’ll pay taxes on less.  And that’s just the beginning.  Closing costs and home improvements may also be write-offs for sellers.  Check out the full list here (http://www.thebalance.com/deducting-house-sale-expenses-3974006).

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS.  Buy or sell early in the fall and you could be nicely situated in your new home in time for the holidays and before winter weather hits.  Moving during a calmer time of year also means you may have better access to movers and other necessary resources than during the busier spring and summer seasons.

THE RIGHT PRICE.  …If you’ve made updates to your home to justify a higher price, you’re probably in better shape to get your (realistic) asking price in the fall.  If you’re a seller and you establish a smart pricing strategy, you could find your home standing out in the crowd and selling while others sit on the market under a blanket of snow.  Buyers also may have a better time getting a home that’s within their budget because when there is less competition for homes, there is less chance of bidding wars and over-asking-price sales.

GREAT DEALS ON STUFF TO FIX UP YOUR HOME?  (Our comment:  Probably not this year.  Why?  Because repair work on houses wrecked in the Texas and Florida hurricanes and the disaster in Puerto Rico are eating up building supplies at a rapid pace.  It may be more difficult throughout this fall and early winter to access renovation and building supplies as inventories of these supplies (like drywall) are drawn down.  Keep this in mind if planning to do or have work done on your home prior to listing it for sale.  Buy supplies early and often!)

SOURCE:  Jaymi Naciri for realtytimes.com    IMAGE:  realty4hire.com

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FIVE KEY QUESTIONS FOR HOME SELLERS http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/five-key-questions-home-sellers/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/five-key-questions-home-sellers/#respond Wed, 20 Sep 2017 15:05:35 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6222 SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com “Are you having trouble deciding whether or not to sell your real estate – home, recreational property, investment property?  It’s not the length of time you’ve lived in or owned a property that determines when it’s time to sell.  There’s no magic number of ownership…

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SOURCE:  Excerpted from an article by PJ Wade for realtytimes.com

“Are you having trouble deciding whether or not to sell your real estate – home, recreational property, investment property?  It’s not the length of time you’ve lived in or owned a property that determines when it’s time to sell.  There’s no magic number of ownership years that triggers a move.

The reasons to sell are not the same for every seller nor for every property.  What is the same are the issues and decisions facing sellers as part of the decision.

The following FIVE KEY QUESTIONS FOR SELLERS summarize the issues and decisions involved.

  1. WHY NOW?  What is driving you to feel that you must sell now?  Is there one main reason you are considering a sale now….or do you feel that you “should” sell either to cash in on higher real state prices or because “at this age” that’s what is expected of you, or…?  These and other “shoulds” can be difficult  to handle alone.  The former requires expert input to arrive at an accurate market value.  The latter is an out-dated ageist viewpoint that should be ignored in favor of considering whether this real estate really suits your present and future needs.  Real estate professionals can offer practical suggestions and alternatives.  Add to this analysis an honest assessment of what you love about your current real estate and how it may limit (or not limit) your life – physically, financially, work-wise, location-wise, etc.
  2. WHAT’S NEXT?  Where will you move to?  Do you have the next step clearly set out in your mind, or are you juggling a few vague ideas?  Are you aiming for a mortgage-free lifestyle?  And who is directly involved in the move…decisions should be  made by those who will use the property and shoulder costs….”Aging in place”, or staying on your home instead of moving into assisted living or extended care, is the new trend for mature property owners.
  3. WHO WILL BE THE IDEAL BUYER?  Is this the ideal market for buyers most attracted to real estate like yours?  Identifying the best potential buyers helps place many decisions in context.  For instance, would a major renovation be a good investment or would cosmetic retouching be more cost effective?  Would staging be worth the cost, or would a simple de-cluttering be enough?  The answer lies not in what you would prefer to do, but in what ideal buyers would most favorably respond to.
  4. WHAT WOULD A “SUCCESSFUL SALE” INCLUDE?  How much do you need to net from the sale of your home?  Owners tend to have inflated views of the value of their home that are tied to pride of ownership.  If you are planning to purchase property with the proceeds of this sale, do you know how much you’ll need to sell for to buy that next property?  Will you need to sell your current property first to be sure exactly how much you have for the next step?  Or can you accept the risk of temporarily owning two properties or needing outside funding to purchase the next property before you sell the current ?  What do you need to achieve through the sale of your real estate?  Beyond financial concerns, what other factors will make this a successful sale?  Is there a particular moving date that holds value for you?  Which items do you want to take with you?  Appliances – stay, or go with  you?  Etc.
  5. WHO WILL HELP YOU ACHIEVE THIS SUCCESS?   Real estate professionals are trained to provide real market data that will put your expectations in the context of current market conditions and buyer alternatives.  The more effective you are at identifying the ideal set of real estate skills and experience necessary for your success, the more successful you will be.  And aren’t you (or both members of a couple) the greatest asset you have because you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else?  You also have the most to gain and to lose, so improving your real estate savvy is well worth the effort.

SOURCE:  PJ Wade/realtytimes.com     IMAGE:  huffingtonpost.com

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10 KEY PROBLEMS TO LOOK FOR & FIX IN YOUR HOME http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/10-key-problems-look-fix-home/ http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/10-key-problems-look-fix-home/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 14:34:48 +0000 http://www.connesteefallshomes.com/?p=6219 Excerpted from an article by Mitchell Parker/Houzz for realtytimes.com “IGNORE SOME OF THESE SIGNS AND YOU MAY END UP WITH MAJOR ISSUES! Your home is trying to tell you all sorts of things:  the way it sounds…the way it smells.  And there are plenty of visual cues to tip you off to problems.  Everything is…

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Excerpted from an article by Mitchell Parker/Houzz for realtytimes.com

“IGNORE SOME OF THESE SIGNS AND YOU MAY END UP WITH MAJOR ISSUES!

Your home is trying to tell you all sorts of things:  the way it sounds…the way it smells.  And there are plenty of visual cues to tip you off to problems.  Everything is moving all the time, expanding and contracting…reacting to heat, rain and wind.  In other words, a house is something you’ve got to take care of.

Tapley Dawson at The Home Doctors recommends that you do a good walk around every fall before the raining season begins, checking for cracks, clogged gutters or anything that just doesn’t look right.  That way you can catch problems early.  If you own an older home, you should do a thorough check in the springtime as well, since those homes are prone to more damage.

THE BIGGEST ENEMY IN A HOUSE IS MOISTURE.  You want to keep it out, and nature is constantly trying to force it in.  It’s the cause of things like rotting wood, termites, cupping floorboards and mold and mildew.  “If you think about the materials in a home – wood, carpet, tile – they are meant to be inside the building envelope.  So most problems have to do with moisture or something getting into that envelope,” Dawson says.  Here are some problems to look for:

  • DARK SPOTS ON WALLS, CEILING OR EDGE OF CARPET.  Any dark spots on carpet that won’t vacuum up, or dark spots on drywall mean moisture is getting in and mold or mildew is forming.  You could have a leak somewhere, from the roof or from a window…If you have a north-facing wall without insulation, when warm, moist air from the inside hits that cool wall, moisture will form.  That’s why you should always run your fans when you cook and when you shower.
  • BUBBLING, FLAKING OR CRACKING PAINT.   Means moisture is somewhere in the wall, and should be addressed as soon as possible.  Some latex-based paint will actually balloon out, which is a big red flag…Trapped moisture can occur on ceilings, walls, around windows and on trim and molding…which means there’s a leak and water is getting into the spot, and can cause mold and wood rot.
  • DRIPPING FROM A SMALL PIPE OUTSIDE A MAIN LIVING WINDOW.  Dripping means there’s already a clog and the AC system is using its backup.  Then the pan will overflow, causing major problems.  If you see a lot of moisture anywhere around a furnace or A/C unit, there’s potential for water damage.
  • A LIGHT OR POPPED-OUT BUTTON ON YOUR SOCKET, AND AN APPLIANCE HAS STOPPED WORKING.  Often this is due to a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) which helps prevent electric shock from compromised wiring in electrical appliances.  Basically, when electricity is going where it’s not supposed to go, the fault circuit pops, shutting off electricity through the socket.  All you need to do is push the reset button.  If it doesn’t reset, then there’s something wrong with the outlet.  Keep in mind that many GFCI’s can control multiple outlets.  So if an outlet stops working, look for one with a GFCI nearby and hit the reset button.
  • FLICKERING LIGHTS.  This is not the same as when a light dims while you’re vacuuming or using a hair dryer, which is normal.  If you see pronounced dimming and brightening, make sure the bulb is screwed in all the way.  If that doesn’t work, it could also be a bad socket, which can be a potential fire hazard,
  • A BLACK LINE OPENING UP ON THE BOTTOM OF AN EXTERIOR WOOD DOOR.  This often occurs on an exterior French-style door where two portions of wood meet near the bottom.  Wind and rain can drive moisture under and into the door if it’s not properly sealed and installed.  The paint should be even on the door, with no spacing anywhere between the pieces.  If you see a space opening up, the door is on the road to failure.  Dawson says:  “Moisture goes in there, and it’s a domino effect.  Once moisture starts expanding and contracting, it breaks the joint, and the process starts.  Wood doors and wood windows are hell.  They require a lot of maintenance.”
  • WRINKLED WOOD. This could be an indicator of dry rot.  Wood should look smooth.  If you see wrinkled or wavy wood, or if your trim or siding looks different than other parts, it’s cause for concern.  This mostly affects the exterior.
  • INSECT WINGS ON WINDOWSILLS OR IN SPIDER WEBS.   Don’t panic, but this could be a sign of nearby termite swarms.  If you’ve already got moisture problems, you might want to call a termite specialist, because moisture attracts termites.  If you see any mud tubes coming out of the walls or on any pieces of wood, you’ve got termites.
  • BLACK STREAKS OR BLACK CIRCLES AROUND NAILS ON HARDWOOD FLOORS.  This most often occurs near doors.  If you have an older home with exposed nail flooring and you see blackness around those nails, chances are that you’ve got moisture getting underneath the door sill, and it’s corroding the nails.  If the wood is cupping up, the problems is bad.
  • A FOGGY WINDOW.  This happens on older dual-pane windows that have argon gas in the middle.  If the seal becomes broken, moisture buildings up and fogs.  You’ll likely need new windows…”

Ask your Connestee Falls REALTOR for recommendations of home repair specialists, electricians, etc. in our area.

SOURCE:  Mitchell Parker, Houzz/for realtytimes.com   IMAGE:  Pinterest

 

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