Travelling North To The Holiday House

As the State relaxes into holiday mode, the Central and North Coasts have had an influx of renters and buyers. Agents report strong demand for scottsdale az rentals – and with the housing sales market flat in non-metropolitan NSW, some bargains are on offer.

Raine & Horne Pacific Palms has reported solid Christmas bookings in the area. The first two weeks of January are heavily booked and few vacancies remain for the rest of the holiday period.

“With peak weekly rates ranging from about $400 for a basic two-bedroom unit without a view to about $1,000 a week on the beach, the area provides a range of accommodation to suit most budgets,” says the agency director, Mark Currie.

“For the family group, a three-bedroom home will cost between $550 and $1,200 a week, depending on its location.”

Among this year’s sales were a three-bedroom cottage in Alamau Place, Blueys Beach, for $165,000 (which will let for $760 a week in January), a three-bedroom house on Boomerang Drive for $170,000 (able to be let year-round for about $165 a week) and a two-bedroom-plus-rumpus beachfront house in Coast Avenue, for $495,000, that could be holiday-let for about $1,600 a week.

Prices achieved this year at Wategoes Beach ranged from $625,000 to $900,000.

An architect-refurbished, elevated house in the front row at 23 Marine Parade, with sea and mountain views, is available through Margaret Robertson First National as a holiday house. It has two bedrooms with a large open-plan living area leading to an outdoor seating area with stunning beach views.

The house rents from $2,200 for the peak Christmas weeks and $1,600 for shoulder weeks. Out of season it brings $750 a week.

On Lighthouse Road, sale prices for houses ranged from $425,000 to $625,000.

Mary McKinney Real Estate, of Killcare/Pretty Beach, reports that less expensive weekenders priced up to $200,000 have moved swiftly this year. There has also been a run on more expensive properties, such as those on the waterfront or the edge of the escarpment overlooking Killcare Beach, in Manly View Road, MacDonald Street and Jacqueline Avenue, Killcare Heights. In the past few weeks, three have sold – for $385,000, $465,000 and $630,000.

Waterfront land at Wagstaffe Point commands between $500,000 and $550,000.

Movement of properties in the middle price range – $250,000 to $350,000 – is sluggish.

Comfortable three-bedroom waterfront houses on level blocks with jetty and sandy beach are available to let for $1,000 a week in peak time and $500-plus off-peak.

Among the cheapest is $350 for a one-bedroom bungalow at the beach, while up to $1,000 is being asked for properties overlooking Lobster Beach.

Among the smaller communities on the western shores of Pittwater – Elvina Bay, Lovett Bay and Morning Bay – where houses have a national park as their back garden, waterfront sales this year have ranged from $320,000 to $645,000.

Another segment of the market has emerged in Byron Bay in the past couple of years, with one-, two- and three-bedroom units managed on-site. Outrigger Bay, Mariner Apartments and Beaches on Shirley Street have easy access to Main Beach. Rental prices range from $100 a night out of season to $1,500 a week at Christmas.

Buyer as Well as Seller May Hire Real Estate Agent

Duty of the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent is to help sellers and buyers reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. Both a seller’s agent and a buyer’s agent can show you properties, transmit your offers, and help you through the contract, inspection and loan process. Let’s assume you decide you want to be represented by a buyer’s agent.

You will be hiring mexico real estate agent to help you locate the home you want, negotiate the price and terms, and discover any information that could improve your bargaining position. You will enter into an agreement that sets out your obligations and the agent’s obligations. It is recommended this agreement be in writing so there is no misunderstanding in the future. Generally, your agreement with your agent will provide that the agent will first try to collect his or her compensation from the transaction. If your agent is unable to collect this fee from the transaction, however, you agree to pay it. The agreement also could require a deposit.

This deposit may be refunded if you purchase a home during the term of the agreement. If you do not purchase a home, the deposit may be retained by the agent as payment for services rendered in helping you with your search. The sequence of events leading to “compensation from the transaction” begins when the seller agrees to pay the listing broker a fee. The listing broker (if he or she is a Realtor member of the Multiple Listing Service) then offers to share that fee with any MLS member who identifies a willing buyer and is the “procuring cause of the sale.” An understanding of the term “procuring cause” is important to you since you have agreed to pay your agent’s compensation if the agent cannot collect from the transaction.

Procuring cause is an industry term that means the series of events that “caused the sale.” To help illustrate the term, let’s assume your boss tells you and your co-workers that he will pay $1,000 to the employee who produces a report on how many widgets your firm might be able to sell, who would be the buyers and why would they buy them. You research the information, survey and interview prospective buyers. The day before you plan to type your report, you leave your notes by the Xerox machine. A co-worker picks up your notes, types the report, gives it to your boss and claims the $1,000. Who should receive the $1,000? Was it your initial work that “caused” the report to be produced, or was it the action of your co-worker in typing the report? A similar situation can occur in a real estate transaction when a buyer stops in at an open house. It is the listing agent’s sign or advertisement that brings the buyer to the property. It is the listing agent who shows the buyer the property and gives the buyer information concerning the property. Even though the buyer’s agent writes the contract, this does not necessarily establish the buyer’s agent as procuring cause (“caused the sale”). Several factors enter into determining procuring cause, including how the buyer first learned about the property, who first showed the property and who initiated the buyer’s interest in purchasing the property. Simply writing the contract or representing the buyer usually is not sufficient evidence that the buyer’s agent caused the sale.

To collect compensation from the listing broker, your agent must be the “procuring cause” of the sale. Consequently, when you enter into an “Exclusive Buyer’s Representation Agreement” with a buyer’s agent, it is important that you: — Work with your agent exclusively. — Do not drop by open houses — contact your agent and let your agent make advance arrangements for you to see the property (preferably with your agent). — Have your agent call on ads that interest you. Have your agent handle all contacts with other real estate agents concerning properties of interest to you. Let your agent acquire the information you want and the answer to any of you questions. Instead of hiring an agent to represent you, you may decide to work with a seller’s agent. In that event, as you are not the agent’s client, there would be no agreement or obligation on your part to pay the agent’s fee. Whether you decide to work with a seller’s agent as a customer, or hire a buyer’s agent to represent you, selecting a real estate agent is the first step to take in the home buying process. To select an agent, you can check with friends, relatives and co-workers for their recommendations. Talk with three or four agents, discuss their services and fees. Once you narrow your selection, ask for the names of a couple of buyers they have assisted recently. You can call those buyers and find out if they were pleased with the service they received. Members of the Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors subscribe to a Code of Ethics, which requires honest treatment of clients and customers. Not all licensed real estate agents are members of the association or have access to property listed with the association’s Multiple Listing Service.

While comparing quarterly figures on a year-to-year basis still shows sizable increases, it is better to look at data quarter-to-quarter because puerto penasco foreclosures are not influenced by seasonal factors in the way that home sales are, for example. Some economists say it is falling prices that cause foreclosures, which then exacerbate an already soft market. If homeowners have equity in a property they will sell when they get into financial difficulty rather than letting a lender foreclose.

Support the arts through volunteerism

Gracing the walls and football display cases at the New Orleans Museum of Art are original works of art in watercolors, self-portraits, sculpture and pastels.

The work is not of famous artists from around the world but right here in Jefferson Parish, students in the public school system’s Talent Education Program.

Established five years ago, the program recognizes talented students, nurtures their abilities and provides an educational environment to enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of the arts.

In addition to art, music and theatre are also studied.

“This is the first time the students have had their work displayed in a public setting,” said Cheryl Milam, an instructional programs consultant with the Jefferson Parish Public School System. “The response has been very positive and this is good for the students. It helps to validate and value their talents and enhances their self-esteem.”

In order for a child to be eligible for the Talent Education Program, parents can ask their child’s school to have the child screened and evaluated. Milam said applicants are accepted on the basis of teacher recommendation, auditions and/or portfolios.

There are more than 500 students in the program.

“As more and more parents hear about the program, more students will be referred to us through their schools,” Milam said. “Right now, we not only have more students than before but we also have gone from 11 to 22 teachers. These educators work with the students both during and after school, developing and nurturing their talents.”

Milam said she sees several important benefits of the public having a chance to see the talents of area students.

“The Talent Education Program gives a student an opportunity to explore areas of interest to them and to work with others who have the same interests,” Milam said. “In the future, whether these children pursue any of this as a vocation or as an avocation, we, as a community, will benefit.

“If some decide upon art, music or theater as a career, we can look forward to seeing more of their talents, maybe locally and nationally. And if some choose to support the arts through volunteerism and fund raising, they will be helping to improve our area’s quality of life through the arts. As a community, we win either way.”

Customized built-in storage units crucial to small, busy living room

The room is longer than it is wide, with only three walls (the fourth wall is open to the dining room). One wall features a fireplace in the center, another has a large window and the third contains the doorway to the front hall.

The living room is the main passageway from the kitchen to the front door. It is the only “living room” in the house so it contains our television and stereo equipment. A While your living room is far from large, it can accommodate the functions you identified.

The first point to consider is the major traffic pattern that leads from the front entry to the kitchen. As you can see from my drawing, traffic flows in an arch from the front entry, in front of the fireplace and through the archway into the dining room. There are no major obstructions to impede movement.

Since space is limited, it is important to avoid massive pieces of furniture, such as entertainment centers and sectional sofas. The room should have a light and airy feeling to it. I have shown built-in storage units on both sides of the fireplace. San Francisco storage should be custom-built unit that can blend into the house’s architecture. Viewed from the front hall, they would have the effect of enhancing the fireplace and giving the space a tailored look. These built-ins would house the television and stereo equipment as well as books and collectibles. This is important since you want to avoid clutter in the space.

In addition to the leather chair and ottoman, I have shown a love seat and an additional easy chair in the room. This will give comfortable seating for four. The room is not sufficiently large to accommodate more permanent seating.

When you are entertaining larger crowds, additional seating can be brought in from the dining room. This room will always feel crowded with more than six people, however, since temporary seating will interfere with the traffic flow.

To make the room feel larger, use a color scheme based on neutrals – beiges or grays. Try to avoid patterns and instead create interest with textures. The one exception would be the area rug that anchors the room: It should make a strong, colorful statement.

Furniture should be small-scale and sleek-lined. The upholstered pieces should have a simple elegance. They should be quality pieces since they will have to stand up to day-to-day use and still look good for entertaining.

Accent tables should be of one style and as light as possible. My preference would be for glass units that are accented in brass for a beige room or chrome for a gray room. If privacy is not a concern, use only the simplest window treatment – such as a valance with thin side drapes.

If privacy is a concern, use a valance with narrow slat Venetian blinds. As a general rule of thumb, the more open the window treatment, the larger the sense of space in the room.

Good taste, immigrants’ preferences help create demand in state

Goat meat, popular with farmers for its profitability and with consumers for its taste, is becoming big business in Pennsylvania, a livestock specialist said last week at the Pennsylvania State Farm Show.

“Farmers can make more profit per dollar invested in goats than in any other form of livestock,” said Dr. Robert D. Herr of Narvon, a Farm Show goat meat judge. “There’s a growing market for goat meat. There never will be enough goats to meet that demand.”

Goat meat, known as chevon, is a very lean and rather light red meat with a taste between veal and rabbit. It can be roasted, barbecued or ground.

Herr, whose family runs a feedlot for 500 goats at their Lancaster County farm, judged the 15 goats in the first Farm Show market goat class, held in conjunction with the dairy goat judging.

“Pennsylvania sends more goat meat to market than any other state in the East,” Herr said. “The Lancaster Stockyards alone sell 25,000 goats a year. Unfortunately, there are very few Pennsylvania farmers who raise more than 30 goats annually for market, so most of the goats we sell come from other states.”

Herr said the market for goat meat is growing, “because each day, 8,000 people who consider goat meat a primary meat come into the United States.”

He said goat meat is popular with ethnic groups such as Italian, Greek, Puerto Rican, Cuban and African.

“Every goat who goes through the auctions has a home,” Herr said. “I’m not sure goat meat ever will go mainstream, but it is a good, low-fat, healthful meat.”

Goat Meat for Sale also is profitable for farmers, Herr said.

“Beef and pork prices have great fluctuations,” he said. “But goat prices over the years have only become stronger even as more goats have moved into the marketplace. It is one segment of the meat industry that has lots of growth.”

Herr said the junior market goat show was fairly quiet, partly because it was new to the the Farm Show and partly because the snow kept people away. The dairy goat show was equally quiet. Show superintendent Carol Schurman of Indiana, Pa., said she expected 210 goats but got only 65.

Beautiful and Functional: today’s kitchen has to look good and work well

New kitchen designs are not only functional but beautiful, incorporating traditional details with modern convenience features.

Builders sometimes exclude formal dining rooms and allocate more space to incorporate a larger, eat-in kitchen. Often the kitchen opens into the family room in many new home designs.

Kitchen expansions are an increasingly popular renovation.

Space planning

An average kitchen renovation will cost $10,000 to $20,000, so put some thought into planning it well so you’ll enjoy it for a long time.

You should start out by giving your designer the layout of the existing kitchen. The designer should accurately convey to you what your new kitchen will look like before the work is done.

Here are some things to consider when deciding how you want to re-design your kitchen layout.

The appliances in your work triangle – the sink, stove and refrigerator – should be in close proximity to each other and away from heavy traffic areas. Traffic flow is important to consider, as well as work stations.

Consider where the doorways are and if they lead from heavy traffic areas. Plan where you would like to perform various tasks and incorporate lighting accordingly.

A double access kitchen concept is designed with separate work stations – both equipped with sinks – so two people can work in the kitchen at the same time.


Maple is the number 1 choice in cabinet doors, because of its smooth tone and closed grain so moisture doesn’t get in easily.

There is a wide range of colors available in maple. Natural cherry is also a popular choice in wood because it adds warmth.

Colors are more broadly accepted, although they have to be subtle and classic-looking, adding that classic white will always be popular.

Antique glaze is popular and gives the look of stain or paint having been stripped away.

Speckling is a technique meant to create imperfect finish.

The finishes give you a timeless look.

Get two to three estimates before choosing your cabinets. Check for quality. Look very closely at the inside and outside. Check for cracks and unevenness.


Countertops range in price and quality, from granite – which has a natural beauty – to state-of-the-art solid surfaces, and the more common laminate materials.

There’s nothing as beautiful as natural granite of one of the more costly countertop materials.

Granite costs between $150 and $200 per linear foot. The advantage to spending more on granite is the beauty and uniqueness of the natural material. But unlike the man-made materials, granite has pores which make it a little more difficult to clean.

Often countertops and sinks are made from solid surface materials such as corian, an acrylic-based material. Solid surfaces are popular for their seamless look and easy care. They come in a wide range of colors and can have a smooth, modern look or a speckled, granite appearance. These surfaces cost between $95 and $115 per running foot.

Laminate is what most builders use. It is a lower-cost alternative to the other materials. Post-form laminate has a rounded front edge and costs between $60 and $70 per running foot. You can add a richer look to a laminate countertop with a contrasting edge made of a solid surface material, such as copper or wood.

Storage and drawers

Although many builders make drawer systems of particle board covered with melamine or thermofoil, sophisticated new drawer systems are made of steel or aluminum. These metal drawers are self-closing and very strong.

Many drawers also feature innovative and space-saving devices, such as knife blocks built into drawers, molded drawer inserts in a variety of shapes, pull-out towel racks, tilt-out soap trays, and the list goes on.


Details are a big issue in current guidecraft kitchen designs.

He suggests details to add some interest to your kitchen decor. Split spindles applied to the corners of an island can add an ornate, traditional look. Applied moldings on cabinetry, adds depth.

Crown molds or beaded molds are much more predominant and more sophisticated than they were three or four years ago.

Ceramic tiles are used often and are an interesting way to add a personalized touch to a countertop or backsplash.

Open shelves, plate racks and glass cabinet doors don’t serve a practical purpose, but add an attractive touch. Built-in wine racks are also a popular feature in recent designs.


Appliances more flush with the cabinets create an integrated look. Appliances either blend with the cabinetry or stand out completely from the rest of the decor, as with stainless steel.

Built in cooktops and wall ovens are popular, but a little more expensive than single units. There are drop-in stoves that create a similar effect by having the countertop cut out around the stove.

Everyone wants a built-in look, but they don’t want to buy built-in appliances.

Ceran cooktops – made of ceramic glass – are the latest in stoves. These are scratch-resistant and easy to clean. Gas cook tops are also increasingly popular.

Home Inspection Can Be an Ounce Of Prevention

Typically home inspection is arranged and paid for by the buyer, but in some cases a seller might hire an inspector to get a better sense of the condition of the property before negotiations begin.

The average inspection takes one to three hours.

Defects often cited by inspectors include inadequate wiring; worn-out furnaces; heat pumps that don’t work properly; carbon monoxide leaks; and cracked heat exchangers.

In homes at least 20 years old, the most common items needing repair are roof shingles, electrical wiring and water drainage, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors, a nationwide organization.

In new construction, it reports, inspectors find water seepage in the basement, inadequate attic ventilation, poor roof construction and substandard masonry and finish work.

Pittsburgh home inspections are usually for the benefit of the buyer, and generally come after a deal has been struck.

But there’s the rub. Sales contracts usually stipulate that the deal is contingent on a favorable inspection, and an inspection that turns up costly defects could give a buyer cold feet.

Some real estate agents view inspectors as “deal killers,” although in many cases a bad report just leads to more negotiating over the selling price.

The inspectors’ association believes the best time for an inspection is when a seller first lists the home with a real-estate agent.

That way a favorable report can provide the seller with a sales tool, while one that spots defects can give the seller an opportunity to make repairs early and thus eliminate any surprises later that could ruin a deal.

With more focus on seller disclosure, though, an inspection done for a seller could lead to more accurate disclosures and “keep sellers out of hot water,” said one inspector.

Once an inspection has been performed, the buyer should receive a written report detailing findings.

The home inspection industry has no standards for this report, so there will be variations in its format, depending on the inspector. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, the report should describe the condition of the home at the time of the inspection, based on visual observation, and should provide an indication of the need for major repairs.

Finding defects doesn’t mean one shouldn’t buy the home, only that the consumer can know in advance the type of repair costs to anticipate.

If repairs are needed, the buyer may be able to negotiate to have the work done by the seller, or lower the price of the home based on the cost of the repairs.