Archive for October, 2010

Beyond The Normal-Paranormal Experts

Friday, October 29th, 2010

….For every person who shops at a home improvement store holds the possibility of stirring up much more than dust within their home during any type of repair or improvement which may change the original state of the structure in question.

Activity whether it be of a physical or emotional variety releases a form of kinetic energy which radiates outwards and is subsequently absorbed by any natural material within the immediate vicinity.

Have an argument or make love and some part of that particular moment will find its way resonating into history by way of becoming stored within the earthen material of the average home and building.

But don’t concern yourself over privacy. For should anyone ever manage to trigger a release of your “special moment” either won’t comprehend what it is they are experiencing or if they do you will most likely had already long ago expired from this earthly plane.

So changing anything within a home or building can and has been known to trigger what is first described as a “sporadic haunting” mainly because your dealing with a recently disturbed emanation which is most likely experiencing reorientation as opposed to originally remaining quietly dormant.

Change the original wallpaper and you might disturb a residential ghost.

Replace a door here and there and you may soon begin experiencing those very same doors opening and closing on their own.

Replace or paint a window frame and soon find yourself wondering who was the lady you just observed walk into your kitchen when no one else was home but you.

by J. Burhart & Cindy Lee, Beyond The Normal

Listen to this show now!
Beyond The Normal – October 30, 2010

Getting Your Home Ready For Hibernation with Lana Torre

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Fall is upon us. Now is the time to think about getting your home ready for the winter months. So, before you look for your woolies, mukluks, and flannel sheets, here’s your ‘to do’ list

One of the most important jobs to attack is cleaning the gutters and downspouts. It is the messiest, but most important, job on your to do list. If left full of debris, gutters can freeze up causing structural damage, leaving you with a bigger mess to deal with in the spring.

It is obvious to put all your flower pots and garden furniture away. If you don’t have room in your garage, clean the furniture with a pressure washer, let dry, then cover with a tarp and tie down with bungee cords. When storing flower pots, empty all the soil, and place plastic bags between them when stacking. Clay pots will crack if left filled with soil, and they are so expensive these days to replace. Drain your hose, coil it up and store it inside too. Push your garden tools into a bucket of sand and they retain their sharpness, and will be rust free in the spring.

Here’s a little hint, if you wish to winter over your geraniums. Remove the plants from their pots and shake all the soil off the roots. Bring the plants to your dark basement and hang them upside down. They will remain dormant until spring, then you can bring them out and replant with fresh soil.

If you use rock salt on your walk or driveway, now is the time to buy a couple of 50 pound bags. Empty one bag into a large bucket and buy a large scoop at the dollar store. You will kiss yourself when the cold January winds are blowing and you prepared.

The obvious prep is to check for insulation in your attic space. Go to a big box store, or ask a professional. When your home has proper insulation, you will save many dollars. When at the store, check out kits that utilize plastic window film insulation. These kits are very inexpensive and it’s so easy to apply the film {usually using a blow dryer}. Remember, most heat is lost through the window glass.

Have a professional check your chimney. Purchase a chimney cap to keep critters out. Have debris and nests removed so you are perfectly ready for that holiday fire, contained in the firebox.

Have your furnace cleaned every year and replace the filter. And while you are in the basement, check out your ductwork. Are all connections in tact? Do your ducts need to be vacuumed?

Here is a short list of jobs to do before winter.

Replace smoke detector batteries.

Place an insulation strip under your door.

Wrap your hot water heater in an insulation blanket.

Install a programmable thermostat and keep it set at 68.

Find your holiday lights extension cords and spotlights.

Reverse your ceiling fan’s direction- when the blades turn clockwise, you are forcing the warm air down into your room.

You are now armed and ready for the cold weather. Replace your doormat with a fresh, new one that greets “Welcome… Winter”

Didn’t catch the live show? Listen to the show online.
Lana Torre – October 23, 2010

Historic Preservation in Rochester

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

The Landmark Society is an advocate for historic preservation in Rochester and the surrounding area of Monroe, Orleans, Wayne, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wyoming, Yates, and Seneca Counties. They educate residents of our area about historic resources in the region, promote the revitalization of historic communities, and assist homeowners, neighborhood organizations, and municipalities in their efforts to ensure that historic properties continue to play a vital role in the future of western New York.

The Landmark Society Ghost Walk 2010
Rumor has it that Rochester’s most infamous resident will be returning from the grave to once again protest his innocence – along with other ghosts making the journey from Mt Hope Cemetery, Holy Sepulcher, or other “final” resting places in our community.

They will have plenty to share, as they relive true history-based tales from the less-rosy side of Rochester’s past at The Landmark Society Ghost Walk on Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30.

• Ponder what escaped from that ominous box – you might want to watch where you step.
• Experience the horror of the flames of hell licking at your face – in the High Falls neighborhood!
•She looked so young and sweet – what was she hiding? Everything was so peaceful – until his brother’s terrible scream.

Yes, it’s all real Rochester history … just the darker side.

Didn’t catch it live? listen to the show online

GreenSmart Gas Technology

Friday, October 8th, 2010
Gas Fireplace Inserts are designed to transform virtually any metal or masonry fireplace into an efficient source of heat. Traditional open fireplaces can have efficiency ratings up to 15% and can actually draw the heat out of your home for a net heat loss. Many gas inserts achieve efficiency ratings as high as 86% and may be used as a primary heat source in a mid-sized home.
Unlike a gas furnace that ducts heat to all rooms of your home, you can use your insert for zonal heating and just heat the room(s) you are using. Remote controls also help you save by maintaining a constant desired temperature, rather than burning fuel when not needed.

Tune into PSR Saturday at 9am to learn how your old drafty fireplace can be transformed!

Time is running out on the Energy Tax Credit, learn how you can take advantage of the credit and save money on home heating costs.

Call (222-6397) & have your questions answered by our guest, Alternative Heat Expert, Jim Hartsen!

Listen to this past show online.
Williamson Hardware – October 9, 2010

Why Isn’t My House Selling?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

By Kristen Noble, Dream Home Impressions – Home Staging & Re-Design

There is no trick to sell your house faster.  The houses I’ve listed that I think will go quickly don’t, and the ones I think will sit don’t.  People will speculate the real estate market and economy are bad and tax credits are no longer available. Instead of rationalizing why your house isn’t selling, get proactive.  If your agent has used various marketing plans, taken great pictures to advertize, and you have followed professional advice regarding the listing price you need to ask yourself an important question. What have you done to sell your house?

There have been 123 new listings put into the multiple listing service, the MLX system, in the past two days in our area.  Today, October 1st, 178 listings expired without selling.  You have to put forth effort to sell your house.  It is not all up to your agent.

In a majority of cases you are selling your house to buy a new one.  Put the shoe on your other foot.  When you look for a future home on line what draws you to a property?  I assume that when you see clutter, dirty dishes, pet food dishes on a countertop, overflowing garbage cans, a toilet seat up with colorful surprises in it, mouse traps, or crazy colors you immediately pick up the phone and beg your agent to get you a showing as soon as possible, right?  Seriously, how does your house look on line?  What has the feedback been on showings?

Paint with neutral colors before listing your house. If the photos used to advertise your house are showing distinct decorating styles, it may cause buyers hesitation to set up a showing.  A house is an investment.  The less work buyers need to do, the more likely you are to sell quickly.  Each time a house has the right lay out and square footage, a buyer starts a check list of repairs and cosmetic changes that they want to make.    If you have an individual that has never done any home repairs or painted, they are making those changes are more expensive than they actually are.  The higher the cost they calculate for making improvements or changes the lower the price you will be offered.  That can of paint and a little elbow grease is a small investment for a faster sale.

Don’t advertise why you’re moving.  If you are outgrowing your home don’t have photos of rooms look crammed.  How do your online pictures look?  Does your house look spacious and move in ready or not?  Clean, paint, and de-clutter.  By all means, if you have carpeting over hardwood flooring, yank up that rug.  Invest in some inexpensive neutral curtain sheers to brighten a room.  Buy a new comforter set that is neutral.  To make a less expensive change, put a crisp new sheet over the top of your comforter.  Add some throw pillows.  To save some money, wrap pillows in fabric and use a safety pin to hold on that change.  Decorate with mums, pumpkins, and gourds in and outside for a great homey atmosphere.  Using plastic containers and place them in a linen closet or under the bathroom sink for all your toiletries.  A quick trip to your neighborhood dollar store for clean white towels and dishtowels will help for photographs too.

Hiring a professional home stager is a lot less expensive than a price drop.  Give yourself the best opportunity you can to sell quickly.  If you don’t use a home stager, your competition may be.

The Hidden Meaning Of Color

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

You have moved into your beautiful new home. You have unpacked all those boxes and recycled them. You have arranged your furniture and sorted out the artwork, now it is finally time to paint your walls in colors that will create a color flow in your space.

It is important to consider the mood you are attempting to create when choosing color, and how one room will relate to the others. A color story tells that tale. First and most importantly is the light in the room. Is the room blooming with sunlight, does the room catch late afternoon sun, or is this space shaded most of the time?

Color is an emotion made visible and tangible. When selecting your color choices, ask yourself how do you want to feel in this space? Do you need a soothing, cool color in the bedroom? Is your desire to make your family room a warm, neutral gathering space for your family. Have you always wished for a deep red dining room that will spark conversation when entertaining friends? Consider the true meaning of color. Here is a guide that you can use when creating your color story.

Green. Because of it’s dominance in the nature world, green rooms create energy and growth. It is a good choice for family rooms and common spaces. The perfect compliment to green is in the red family, so use brick, or berry shades to accent .

Red. Most complimentary to green. Red is a warm, pure, dominating choice. Perfect for your dining room, or where you wish to conjure lively activity, such as a child’s play room.

Yellow. This is another warm color of sunshine. To make your laundry room cheery, paint it yellow. The best compliment to yellow is purple, or blues with a lavender undertone, like periwinkle. If you have cherry kitchen cabinets, add white to yellow to make a rich, cream shade.

Blue. The coolest color of the color wheel , can evoke feelings of calmness and serenity. It is a perfect choice for a bedroom or a nursery. You can choose a pale blue or a blue with green undertones for your bath, and you will create a spa-like space.

Purple. A color of royalty and playfulness. A young girl’s room is always charming in lavender, add accents of light green.

Brown. The ultimate earth tone, the color of sand and soil. Brown is a peaceful, conservative, easy to live with color. Considered the most neutral of all colors today, it is a perfect color solution for common spaces, family rooms. Traditional and contemporary styles work well with browns, from the color of coffee with cream, to the rich tones of deep sand.

Black. The total no color-color. Strong and formal, black can anchor any room, and I would have every room with some black. Add some white and green to black to make a banker’s grey, and you have a sophisticated and upscale color, clean and uncluttered.

White. Clean, pure, and simple. I always prefer all trim painted in some shade of white. When desiring a white room, change the shade of white for the trim. This will give needed contrast, and will make an interesting play of the white color. Your white walls will open up the room and make your eye think the space is larger and cleaner.

A well chosen color palette for your home will create the feelings  you want to surround you and your family. Be it warm and cozy, conservative and neutral, fresh or lively, you can say it all with color.

Sale Away With Me

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

It’s Autumn. The kids have returned to school. And you are left with the remnants of Summer, deflated  inflatable toys, outgrown flip-flops, and clutter everywhere.

Now is the perfect time to reorganize, and have a garage sale.  Turn that clutter into cash! Fall garage sales are reportedly more prosperous than Spring sales. Some people have the urge to purge before Winter, while others are in the gathering mode, like squirrels. Take advantage of those “squirrels“, and spend time at least two weeks before your sale to de-clutter,  purge, and sort items that are saleable.

While doing this, make lists of items most likely to sell like children’s bikes, gourmet kitchen appliances, and collectables, then advertise them. Use your local papers and on-line social sites. Approach your neighbors to join you in this event, multi-family sales draw more crowds. Usually a two day sale is long enough, so plan to offer a discount on the second day.

Collect folding tables from neighbors and friends to use for smaller items. Use boxes for books and have a clothes rack ready to hang that red designer suit that was always too small. Recruit the kid’s to help out by making signs that can be seen from the main road and the closest, busiest intersections.

Three to four days before your sale, take a drive to a dollar store and purchase colored stickers for pricing. Also make a stop at the bank for change, making sure to have plenty of single dollars.

On the day of the sale, rise early, very early. Antique collectors will be at your driveway by sunrise to make a big score. Have girlfriends close by for needed help and make a big pot of coffee and a plate of blueberry muffins, [they will love you even more for this].

Be ready to work, and practice the art of negotiation.

The first hours of the sale will be the busiest, but a neighborhood sale can lure in a steady stream of buyers.

By the end of the second day, when you are tired and cranky, and are really great at haggling, order a pizza for the family, have it delivered, close the garage doors and bring in your shoebox of money.

After enjoying dinner, sit back and have the kids assist in the game of money counting. Be proud that all your work has been fruitful. Your closets are cleaned out, you sold the Shark knife sharpener, and you have plenty to donate to Goodwill.

Be good to yourself come Monday morning, go to the mall and purchase a new, red designer suit.

Real Estate Honesty in a Less Than Honest World

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

We are surrounded by dishonesty.  The media sloughs off our legislators’ dishonesty as, “that’s what politicians do.”  Sports stars infidelity and drug use seems commonplace.  Do we trust the media or the “news” people?  Do people lie to support their political and personal agendas?  Does this extend from our own personal spheres of influence right up to national and world figures?  For most, the answer to all of this is yes.  And we have evidence of it every day in the media, if not in our personal experiences.

Yet, we trust each other.  We trust our Clients and most of our Clients trust us.  Why?

Do we as Real Estate Agents and Brokers adhere to our Code of Ethics, License Laws, and personal integrity to a higher degree, a higher standard?  Yes, in fact we do.  Does that mean that we are better?  No.  The fact is that we are in a profession that has many close checks and balances to our behavior.  The result is that in Real Estate honesty works and honesty wins.

We need to be very proud of that.

Real Estate Agents and Brokers were not named as major players in the housing crises we are still suffering through.

Of course there were Agents who behaved unscrupulously in collusion with other unscrupulous “professionals.”  Instead of their behavior attracting more of the same, they are ostracized by the rest of us.  We need to be proud of that, too.

Each sale contract is scrutinized by one or more attorneys, lenders, title companies, managers, Brokers and more.  Buyers have to meet lender requirements.  Inspectors check the physical properties.  Appraisers confirm values.  Referral business is based on an Agent’s integrity as much or more than their results.

By need or by choice, the fact is that we live and work in a profession in which honesty and integrity are at a higher standard; despite the world around us being fraught with evidence of a much lower standard.

We don’t talk about it and we should not.  We don’t advertise it, promote it, or use it as a marketing slogan and we should not.  In our society, it would not be believed, anyway.  It is unfortunately too common that those that declare the loudest are the guiltiest.

But we know that in our business integrity and honesty work; and that our greatest path to permanent and growing success includes our commitment and behavior at high levels of integrity and honesty.

Real Estate is an honest business in what often seems like a dishonest world.  Let’s all, privately, to ourselves and among ourselves smile, be very proud of that, and work to continue to maintain and raise that standard.

Rich Levin is a Real Estate coach and teacher whose focus is teaching Agents to understand and control their business. Through that understanding Agents achieve satisfying, successful careers and lives. For more info on Rich’s work; go to Rich is President of Rich Levin’s Success Corps Inc.  Contact him at 585-244-2700 or

The Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® celebrates 100 Years of Bringing People Home

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® has been providing services in the Rochester area for more than a century. The organization provides innovative services, support, and resources in order to assist members in becoming informed, respected professionals who exhibit the highest ideals of character and conduct and provide comprehensive real estate services to the public and professional communities.

• The Real Estate Association of Rochester and its charter were adopted on October 6, 1910.

•  In 1917, the Real Estate Association of Rochester changed its name to the Real Estate Board of Rochester.

•  There were 87 active Association members and 181 Associate members in 1921. Today the GRAR has more than 2,700 members.

•  The first formal Multiple Listing Service (MLS) was created in 1924.

• The average price of a home in 1939 was $4,581.

• In June 1940, Nora F. Shackelford was the first woman elected to active membership in the Association.

•  The Real Estate Board of Rochester, Inc. became the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (GRAR) in 1989.

• GRAR launched its public web site in 1995, which was first to provide local on-line listing information.

Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here are some things that you should know!

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

The home selling process begins months prior to listing your property. The biggest question you should be asking yourself is: Am I ready to sell? What would make your home appealing? Does it need paint, repairs, etc.? Your goal is to make sure that your home is attractive to buyers. Presentation is everything, so get the work done before marketing the property.

If you make improvements, they should be consistent with the neighborhood to help ensure that the costs can be recovered from the sale. While many home improvements will help you recoup a good chunk of your investment, it may not give you 100 percent of what you paid.

When selling your home, one of the first steps you will take is setting the asking price. This requires the ability to find the perfect balance between attracting solid offers and receiving top dollar. If you are working with a REALTOR® or other industry professional, you will hear talk of “fair market value”, which typically means the highest value of what a buyer will pay. Keep in mind that while the seller may control the “asking” price, the market controls the “sales” price.

When you are to sell your home, the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® recommends using the services of a REALTOR®. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS® and subscribe to a strict CODE OF ETHICS. It is important to work with a trained real estate professional that understands the complexities of selling a home and will work hard to ensure that your best interests are protected.