Archive for November, 2011

Mortgage Scams Rise on Search Engines

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

As Alex reported 11/26/2011 on Property Source Radio.  – Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011

Federal investigators are investigating the Google, Bing, and Yahoo! search engines in a hunt to find con artists who are using the sites to dupe troubled home owners.

The online ads posted by scammers promise to help save home owners from foreclosure. The ads claim they’ll help home owners through a government-backed program by modifying their mortgage payments so they can keep their home. The deceptive ads often target victims when searches for phrases like “stop foreclosure” are made.

As part of the scam, con artists will ask for upfront fees or ask that mortgage payments be sent to them.

Investigators have already uncovered 125 mortgage scams through the search engines as of Monday, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Meanwhile, the three search engines say they will no longer accept ads from Internet agencies linked to such scams.

Source: “Feds Widen Inquiry of Online Mortgage Scams,” The Associated Press (Nov. 22, 2011)

More Home Owners Try ‘Reluctant Landlord’ Role

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

As Alex reported 11/19/2011 on Property Source Radio.  – Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011

More sellers who are tired of their home lingering on the market or don’t want to have to take a loss on their home are opting to become landlords instead.

For example, according to an article at NPR, one couple describes owning a two-bedroom bungalow in Oakland, Calif., which they purchased for $500,000, that was appraised recently at $260,000. When a job relocation was sending them across the country, they decided to rent instead of sell.

But becoming a landlord isn’t an easy role to step into, as some of these “accidental landlords” describe difficult tenants and constant problem or maintenance issues that require fixing.

The number of unintentional landlords is growing. About 2.3 million single-family homes became rentals during 2005 to 2009, a significant increase compared to about 700,000 single-family homes that became rentals during 2001 to 2005, according to Eric Belsky with Harvard’s Center for Housing Studies.

“The good news for the owners or the reluctant landlords has been that the rental market has been so good, they’ve been able to cover pretty much all their expenses and just been able to basically go on with their lives,” Ron Abrams with the Chicago Association of REALTORS® told NPR.

Source: “Would-be Sellers Become Reluctant Landlords,” NPR (Nov. 13, 2011)

Hot Stat: Today’s Homes Burn Faster Than Ever

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

As Alex reported 12/12/2011 on Property Source Radio.
AOL Real Estate
By Stefanos Chen | Posted Nov 7th 2011

It may sound like a cliche to trot out fire safety tips before the holiday season, but if there’s one statistic that bears repeating, it’s this: Even with adequate smoke alarms, a house fire today can become uncontrollable in less than three minutes.

That’s down from an average 17 minutes in 1975 — a whopping 82 percent difference.

And the reason for the drastic change, according to a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, isn’t just the type of house you live in, but what you put inside.

“It’s not how old the home is, it’s the furnishings,” Jack Watts, Director of the Fire Safety Institute, told AOL Real Estate.

A spokesperson for the National Association of State Fire Marshals told AOL Real Estate that the worst culprit in home fires is upholstered furniture, because it often contains highly flammable polyurethane foam. These all-too-common materials provide the fuel for what fire experts call the flashover — the point at which everything in the room simultaneously bursts into flames. It doesn’t help that many of today’s homes are built with more open floor plans and modern building materials like wallboard that can lead to faster fires, according to the Wichita Eagle.

The numbers show an alarming trend. In 1977, the first year when data was available, there were 750,000 residential fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In 2010, there were roughly half that many, thanks in large part to widespread use of smoke detectors. But the incredible speed with which home fires can spread in today’s homes represents a major step backward in fire safety.

The Hot Topic of Sprinklers

The next step in home fire safety, a spokesperson for the NASFM said, is to require fire sprinklers in new residential properties. Homebuilders bristle at the idea due to the high cost of installation. The national average cost to install sprinklers is $1.60 per square foot, according to the Wichita Eagle. In a 2,000-square-foot home, that comes out to about $3,200.

Another barrier is public opinion. As we reported last year, when given the choice between granite countertops and fire sprinklers, respondents overwhelmingly chose the countertops, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

(To find out if your state requires fire sprinklers in new construction, check out the Fire Sprinkler Initiative website.)

Worse still, there are only voluntary flammability regulations for upholstered furniture. Implementing a nationwide standard would go a long way in protecting consumers from purchasing dangerously flammable furnishings, the NASFM spokesperson said.

Regardless of what state legislators decide, though, it all comes down to vigilance, says Fire Safety Institute Director Watts.

If you’ll be using a live Christmas tree this holiday season, make sure to water it regularly and keep an eye on any decorative lighting and candles. And, as always, make sure your house is equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. For a terrifying glimpse at a Christmas tree “flashover,” watch the video above.


Battle Your Electric Bill

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

By Pat Coyne

Are you looking for something to battle your electric bill this winter? Let me introduce you to the PMC Power Miser. This technology reduces your home or business’s electricity consumption from the utility, lowering your electrical bill by up to 25% each month, while also helping the environment. As an added benefit, it also protects your whole house (or building) from power surges and brownouts

The Power Miser unit is professionally installed between your electrical meter and circuit breaker box. The technology behind the Power Miser unit is in its capacitors, which store electricity for use within your home or business. Appliances, especially those with inductive motors (such as air conditioning units, furnaces, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, washer and dryers, pool pumps, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, and so on) draw power straight from your meter is many times an inefficient process, wasting a good deal of electricity. The Power Miser’s technology supplies stored electricity to your appliances and electronics, reducing your demand from the utility. In doing so, your meter slows down and you use considerably less electricity. This causes you to have a considerable decrease in your electric bill from your utility, and helps conserve the environment.

Power Miser is a no-risk decision to whole house surge protection and energy savings for residents and businesses. They offer a 100% money-back guarantee to those who have Power Miser installed in their home. After 90 days, they guarantee customers will see at least a 10% reduction in their electrical bill from the utility. It’s a proven technology that protects your appliances and cuts down your electricity demand.

Power Miser saves businesses with machinery and other electrical equipment a lot on their electrical draw.  Local businesses that are reaping the rewards of this technology include Monroe Muffler, Honeoye School District, Waste Management, Keenan’s Restaurant, DeCarolis Truck Rental, Bayside Restaurant, Statewide Machinery and many others. It’s a no brainer solution for businesses because they pay so much for electricity, so the power-saving technology behind Power Miser cuts their electrical bills up to 25% in some instances. For businesses they manufacture a Power Miser unit specific to their electrical situation, giving them the best possible savings. Most customers – whether home or business users of Power Miser – make back their investment in Power Miser in 6-12 months, making it an investment that delivers long-term savings and surge protection.

Power Miser comes in several load capacities for residential customers, and depends on the size of the home and electrical panel environment. Power Miser models cost from $295 – $695 installed, and come with a 100% money-back guarantee. So, if Power Miser doesn’t cut your electrical bill by 10% within 90 days, they come and remove the unit from your home and refund your money. This alone shows that the device sells itself and you only have to pay for it if it works, where else can you get a guarantee like that? The company is so confident on its benefits, it’s taking all the risk in installing a unit into your home, that if it doesn’t perform, they’ll have to come back and remove

Some of you may have a whole-house surge protector installed already into your circuit breaker box. Those are great for surge protection, but they don’t offer the electrical storage Power Miser offers, and you will still be overpaying for your electricity. Having Power Miser installed offers surge protection and energy draw that results in lower electricity bills and doing your part to being ‘green.’

Coyne is co-host of “Property Source Radio,” with co-host Steve Houseman, which airs every Saturday morning at 9am on 950AM. Coyne’s Power Miser device is catching on fast as results speak for themselves and users are spreading the word, endorsing the product to their friends, family and to other businesses.  PMC eco Supply has sold and seen results to residential customers as far as Houston Texas, Washington DC, Virginia, Michigan and Florida.

To order Power Miser, call them at (585) 202-3590. You can go online to download the Power Miser PDF brochure and get more info at:

Should I List In The Fall Or Wait?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

By Jermias Maneiro

Dear JMan, I am thinking of waiting until Spring to list my house. Should I list now in the fall or wait? While Spring may bring more buyer activity it also brings more inventory. There are many sellers who are also waiting to put their properties on the market and have spent all winter improving the condition to make the properties as good as they can be. This makes listing in the Fall/Winter have many advantages. There are less homes on the market which means less competition plus a lower amount of new listings hitting the market. You could be the new “shiny” penny. The showing activity will be less but it’s quality vs. quantity here. A buyer that is out looking in Rochester’s winter weather is the epitome of a motivated buyer. The choice is yours but whatever you decide here are some tips of things to do before you sell, tips to make it more salable and tips to speed up your sale. Good luck.

5 Things To Do Before You Sell

• Get estimates from a reliable repairperson on items that need to be replaced soon, such as a roof or worn carpeting, for example. In this way, buyers will have a better sense of how much these needed repairs will affect their costs.

• Have a termite inspection to prove to buyers that the property is not infested.

• Get a pre-sale home inspection so you’ll be able to make repairs before buyers become concerned and cancel a contract.

• Gather together warranties and guarantees on the furnace, appliances, and other items that will remain with the house.

• Fill out a disclosure form provided by your sales associate. Take the time to be sure that you don’t forget problems, however minor, that might create liability for you after the sale.

10 Ways to Make Your House More Saleable

• Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.

• Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.

• Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.

• Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows.

• Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.

• Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems, such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.

• Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.

• Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

• Clean your gutters.

• Polish your front doorknob and door numbers.

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Sale

• Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.

• Get your house market-ready for at least two weeks before you begin showing it.

• Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show on the spur of the moment, but the more often someone can see your home, the sooner you’ll find a BUYER.

• Be ready for the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.

• Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, be prepared to lower your asking price OR improve your condition.

GRAR® Releases 3rd Quarter Residential Housing Statistics & Analysis

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Home sales for the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region were up 8 percent in the Third Quarter compared to the same time last year, and up 22 percent compared to the Second Quarter sales total, according to statistics released by the Genesee Region Real Estate Information Services (GENRIS), the information subsidiary of the Greater Rochester Association of REALTORS® (GRAR). The median sales price increased 3 percent from the Second Quarter for the 11-county region.

“The jump in Third Quarter sales following an unusually slow Second Quarter continues to show uneven recovery in the housing market,” said Carolyn Stiffler, president of the GRAR Board of Directors. “These Third Quarter numbers need to be seen in the context of the post federal tax-credit hangover last year and a weak Second Quarter market this year.”

“Historically low interest rates and strong affordability conditions should be enticing to consumers,” said Stiffler, “but with dismal economic news and slow job growth buyer enthusiasm remains greatly tempered. We anticipate the market to remain in an uneven recovery.”

Area REALTORS® sold 2,887 existing single-family homes in the Third Quarter, an increase of 8 percent from the 2010 Third Quarter total of 2,664. The 2011 Third Quarter sales total is also an increase of 22 percent compared to the 2011 Second Quarter total of 2,371.

The Third Quarter median sales price of $123,000 represents an increase of 3 percent compared to the Second Quarter median sales price of $120,000 and a slight increase of 0.4 percent compared to the 2010 Third Quarter median sales price of $122,500.