Posts made in March, 2012

Housing Market Reaches Turning Point, Economists Say

»Posted by on Mar 23, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Housing Market Reaches Turning Point, Economists Say

Economists say the housing market is starting to heal, but too many people aren’t aware of it because they’re judging a housing recovery on the wrong sign: What’s happening with home prices.

Paul Dales at Capital Economics says higher prices won’t be the sign that the housing market is on the mend — that can be a lagging indicator — but rather an increase in overall home sales. And that’s showing signs of improvement: Existing home sales in 2011 rose to 4.26 million compared to 4.19 million in 2010. In the last six months alone, home sales have increased 13 percent.

As a recent article at Fortune points out, “The evidence reminds us that perhaps we should change our expectations of what a housing recovery might look like, particularly following a crisis marked by record foreclosures and a financial crisis that sent the economy into one of the deepest recessions. The recovery we have been anticipating is defined more on the rate at which the glut of vacant properties comes off the market as opposed to any steady rise in prices, which some think won’t happen for another few years.”

Source: “The One Number to Watch for a Housing Recovery,” Fortune (March 20, 2012)

read more

7 Killer Ways to Get Rid of Weeds

»Posted by on Mar 22, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on 7 Killer Ways to Get Rid of Weeds

Nothing ruins your garden or yard like weeds, those uninvited guests that rob your plants of space and nutrients. So murder those weeds most foul, but without harmful chemicals that can do you in, too.
Here are 7 ways to kill weeds with weapons you already have around your house.

1. Newspaper: A carpet of newspaper, which blocks sunlight and oxygen from reaching the soil, will smother weeds already sprouted and prevent new ones from growing. Throw down newspaper in 10-sheet layers, wet to hold it down, and cover with an inch or two of mulch. If weeds begin to grow in the mulch, add more layers, making a mulch-newspaper lasagna, which eventually will decompose and nourish the soil.
2. Old shower curtains and carpet samples: Spreading these useless items in garden paths or between rows will keeps weeds from ever showing their unwanted heads. Cover with mulch.
3. Corn gluten meal: This corn by-product stops seeds from growing into weeds. Since the meal will prevent germination, spread it around established plants, and after seedlings and transplants have taken hold in the soil. After harvest, spread the meal to prevent late-season weeds.
4. Vinegar: The acetic acid in 5% vinegar is a desiccant that sucks the life out of plant leaves. It’s most destructive to young plants with immature roots, though it just rolls off weeds with waxy leaves, like pennywort or thistle.
Make sure you cover desirables before spraying, because vinegar is an equal opportunity killer. Keep your spray on-target by removing the bottom from a 2-liter plastic soda bottle, and placing it over the weed. Spray vinegar into the mouth of the bottle, which will keep it from splattering on your vegetables.

5. Vodka: Don’t know if vodka makes weeds fall down dead or drunk, but 1 ounce mixed with 2 cups of water and a couple of drops of dish soap will dry out weeds that live in the sun. Doesn’t work that well on shade-loving weeds. Protect desirables, because vodka will dry them out, too.

6. Soap: The oil in soap can break down waxy or hairy weed surfaces, making them vulnerable to desiccants. So add a few drops of liquid dish detergent to vinegar or vodka sprays to keep the solution on leaves. The soap also makes leaves shiny, which will help you keep track of what you’ve sprayed.

7. Boiling water: After you’ve made yourself a cup of tea, take the kettle outside and pour the boiling water on weeds, which will burn up. This is a particularly good way to whack driveway and walkway weeds, because the boiling water can run off impervious surfaces and cool before it reaches border plants.

Read more:

read more

Evansville Real Estate and Buying Real Estate: Start online

»Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Evansville Real Estate and Buying Real Estate: Start online

A lot of prospective homeowners have already been taking advantage of today’s real estate buyer’s market. The benefits of larger profit margins, tax deductions, and the simple joy of ownership outweigh the expenses of doing so.

There are certainly a lot of perks when you begin your search to buy real estate online as opposed to doing it the old-fashion way.

Offline Online
You can’t filter your options according to what you need. You might have to physically go through a lot of listings to find what you need.

Your choices for buying real estate become extremely limited.

While some photos are available in printed real estate listings, a lot of them don’t feature images of the interior.

You can easily access a treasure trove of information regarding realtor credibility

Contacting a trusted realtor relevant to your search in terms of property type and location comes much faster.

Virtual tours of the property are a definite possibility, making the decision to physically visit property sites much more informed. You don’t want to waste time driving only to find that the property type does not suit your needs.

This is not to say that you should go through the entire process of buying real estate online. The biggest risk of completely buying real estate online is that of misrepresentation. Note though that that risk is easily addressed by checking with a reliable realtor in the area you are eyeing, and by doing the final walkthrough yourself.

A lot of other people are now taking advantage of the real estate buyer’s market. Prices are down, more properties (read: more investments) are up for sale. Start your search to buy real estate online now, before someone else beats you to the punch.

I hope you have found this information helpful. If you need any help with buying, selling or renting a home in Evansville, Indiana please contact me at any time. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or by email at


read more

Home Automation: The Next Big Thing?

»Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Home Automation: The Next Big Thing?

Advanced technology has become such a prominent feature in our everyday lives it is no surprise that it’s increasingly affectingEvansville home values. As “Home Automation” features grow in importance, bottom-line home values are following suit. It’s a new phenomenon, one that motivated home sellers (as well as homeowners heeding long term home values) should understand.
Home automation – the inclusion of luxury technological features like temperature control, lighting control, security systems and the like – are becoming more commonplace, increasing home values in the process. A few years ago, adding such bells and whistles to an existing home would probably have been more pricey than the return would justify — but that is becoming ever less true. Think hi def flat screen TV and you’ll have a good example of the direction home automation is headed: ever-improving features for lower and lower prices.
As automated features become more widespread and their prices lower, some of them are growing increasingly simple to add. And the scope of home systems and their effect on home values can be quite varied. For some, adding an ‘automation system’ might consist of something as simple as installing remote or automatic control of a few lights. Others might make electronic security the key, choosing to install a full-fledged central system.
Where wireless home Internet networks are already in place, home values can easily be raised by the addition of remote operation. Right now that may sound like an unnecessary futuristic feature, but it may turn out that being able to control lights or heating systems from afar could substantially increase energy efficiency (along with home values).
Matthew Berman, one of the owners of New York design firm Workshop/apd, was recently quoted in the New York Times describing a “whole-home” lighting system.
“A popular feature of this kind of system is the ability to hit one button when you’re leaving your house to turn off all the lights.” As a practical matter, he also recommended keeping automated systems separately controllable, making them less complicated to operate and less subject to breakdown.
It’s important to think long-term as well as short-term — especially for anyone looking to increase home values, whether for future or immediate sale. Home automation is looking like a worthy candidate for the Next Big Thing, and buyers might be ready to gravitate toward advanced features that distinguish one Evansville seller’s home from the competition. Call me if you would like to discuss how home automation might come into play when it comes to selling your  home. You can call me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email
read more

Evansville Real Estate News Letter for March 2012

»Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Blog | Comments Off on Evansville Real Estate News Letter for March 2012

Market Watch
     I have one important message in this month’s Market Watch: If you or someone you know is thinking about selling their house, list it NOW. Seriously, I know that sounds like a Realtor talking but it is also the truth. Let me tell you why.
    Combined January and February closed transactions are up 5% from last year and up 17% from 2010. The number of homes currently listed is down 10.1% from last year and down 17.6% from 2010. When sales increase, as they have, and listings decrease, as they have, the month’s supply of homes also decreases. It will then be no surprise that average month’s supply has also declined significantly.   The average month’s supply this year is 16.2% less than last year and 30.7% less than 2010. The absolute number of active listings is down over 33% from its peak. If we close the same number of homes this March as we did last year in March and active listings don’t increase we will only have 6.28 month’s supply of homes on the market. The supply of homes has been that low for exactly one month since June of 2006. That was for the month in which the last home buyer tax credit expired, clearly an aberration.
    Winter decided to skip us this year. The home buying season has already started. Home affordability (a calculation based on average household income, median home price and mortgage interest rates) is at an all time high. Homes have never been more affordable and there are not too many on the market.
    No one has better tools to market your house and is the best local website for shoppers in our market. Opportunity is knocking. Call me now and take advantage of today’s housing environment. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or by email
Kathy and I wish you a happy and safe spring season.
read more