October 28, 2011
Below is a post from our guest blogger, Jennifer Napolitano, on how to create a fall/winter oasis in your home without breaking the bank. As an expert interior designer, Jennifer gives some wonderful tips to add warmth and rich color to your home this fall and anticipation of winter. Its easier to do than you think! For more on Jennifer, visit www.jndesign.info You can also check out her facebook page here.
When the weather starts to hold a chill outside, who doesnt want a toasty warm environment inside? Try these house warming ideas in your home, and feather your nest for the cooler days ahead.
Nothing warms up a living space more then comfy pillows and cozy throw blankets. Pillows in rich fall colors can add layers of warmth and personality, and blankets in the winter are an essential. Cable knit sweaters, velvet and sequined pillows add rich texture for winter, but the newest trend is faux fur. Truly bringing meaning to the phrase warm fuzzies, the inviting softness of fur makes a great blanket to snuggle in. The beautiful texture is not only lovely to the touch, but will add a dose of luxury to any space.
Also on trend for a warm interior are all styles of thermal, energy efficient drapery panels made for keeping drafts at bay. Window panels bring color, texture and pattern to a room, and when hung correctly, will make windows appear larger. The best fabrics for winter are silk, chenille and of course, velvet.
For an even more efficient space, consider using draperies in another way. More and more homes these days feature open floor plans. During the colder months, these spaces can be costly to heat and often hold a chill. Hanging a Portiere (fabric panels hung between rooms), can reshape your living space making it more intimate. Portieres can add softness, color, and pattern to a room, and ward off drafts. In the days before central heat, heavy portieres were used just for that purpose. Still today, they can save extra dollars, all while keeping you snug.
Exposed flooring may be great in the summer, but in the colder months, they may not be as appealing. Area rugs help fend off icy toes and look welcoming and comfortable when placed in well-traveled areas. A soft, but durable rug, such as one made of nylon or acrylic, can withstand heavy winter foot traffic and keep a room feeling warm. Use washable, indoor/outdoor rugs in your foyer, hallways and mudroom for an inviting place to land when coming in from snow.
Another trick to cozy your nest is to create more intimate lighting. Choose opaque lamp shades in black or navy blue, instead of the usual white, for relaxed, soft lighting. Cozy candlelight or warm firelight can also add the perfect golden glow to relax or entertain by.
For the final touches, the natural bounty that the season has to offer is so special when used for decoration. Something as simple as a basket of apples will make a colorful, seasonal centerpiece. Branches, pinecones, grapevine and nuts are perfect for accenting rich winter fabrics and textures. Fill apothecary jars with pinecones and nuts, stand sculptural twigs in tall glass vessels or drape grapevine on a mantle or window for Thanksgiving through New Years decoration.
As the weather turns and we all begin our winter hibernation, I hope Ive inspired you to blanket your home in warmth and enjoy all the luxuries that truly make a house a home.
October 26, 2011
William Raveis Real Estate is continuing its rapid expansion on the Cape with the opening of a new office in Provincetown. The office, formerly Harborside Realty, is an established and highly respected firm that has been known for providing outstanding service to Provincetown clientele. William Raveis identified Harborside as an ideal opportunity to enter one of the Capes most desirable and historic markets.
Provincetown has significant crossover with several of our primary markets in Massachusetts and the northeast, said Chris Raveis, Managing Partner of William Raveis Massachusetts. We identified Harborside as a perfect opportunity to leverage the advantage of William Raveis broad network in Provincetown, as well as deepen our ties with the Cape community.
The new William Raveis Provincetown office will be managed by Rob Tosner, former co-owner of Harborside Realty. Len Bowen, the other former co-owner, will also continue to be involved with sales in the new William Raveis office. Tosner and Bowen have a profound knowledge of Provincetown, its community and its vibrant culture. Since 1990, Bowen has been actively involved in the sale of homes, condominiums, guest houses and multi-family properties in Provincetown. He established Harborside Realty in 1993. Prior to this, Bowen spent 15 years in Bostons South End, where he owned his own real estate firm. Tosner is also deeply familiar with Provincetown, beginning to frequently visit 25 years ago to becoming a co-owner of Harborside in 2005.
Since first opening its doors on the Cape in 2006, William Raveis has experienced phenomenal growth in the region. When acquiring its first office, William Raveis ranked as number 34 in the region by marketshare. Within three years, the firm became the second largest on the Cape. With the opening of the Provincetown location, William Raveis continues its vision to become the most successful real estate company on Cape Cod.
October 21, 2011
Every season, the William Raveis Exceptional Properties Division creates a beautiful Digital magazine, featuring some of our most decadent homes, as well as profiles of the neighborhoods they are in. Get a taste of what homes and neighborhoods in the northeast make the luxury cut this fall in The Exceptional Properties (EP) Digital Magazine for Fall 2011. This season, EP has a special focus on Equestrian properties, grand estates and gentleman farms that cater to the unique taste of horse lovers. Check out the magazine on the next page!
Article source: http://blog.raveis.com/2011/10/20/falls-luxuries/
October 19, 2011
Though the housing industry is still facing challenges, there are several bright spots that can be found in different regions throughout the country. For example, a CoreLogic study showed August home prices increasing in 12 states and Washington DC by up to 9 percent (West Virginia). And our comprehensive market analysis system, Local Housing Data, shows positive movement in overall unit sales in the northeast.
Though average sales prices seemed to settle a bit compared to the 2nd quarter, unit sales were up by as much as 15.5 percent in the third quarter. This shows a pickup in demand, likely due to a combination of historically low interest rates and low home prices. It is also positive to see the number of home sales increasing year over year, despite the elimination of the homebuyer tax credit last year.
As mentioned before, mortgage rates are near historic lows, though they did spike last week. The 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent at the end of last week vs the prior week, when it averaged 3.94 percent. A 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent up from the prior week when it averaged 3.26 percent. This uptick was likely related to a better than expected employment report for September.
Without a doubt, we are still in the midst of a buyers market. Extremely low prices and low interest rates remain wonderful incentives for homebuyers-there really hasnt been a better time in recent history to purchase a home. In fact, as the Wall Street Journal recently stated: Its an excellent time to buy a house, either to live in for the long term or for investment incomeHouses arent the magic wealth creators they were made out to be during the bubble. But when prices are low, loans are cheap and plump investment yields are scarce, buyers should jump.
We would like to make a note to sellers, however. Due to the robo-signing controversy last year, you may have noticed that foreclosure numbers are dropping. Investigations were were led into lender and foreclosure procedures, slowing down the overall processing times. However, there have been numerous predictions from major financial and real estate institutions, such as Standard Poor, JP Morgan and Barclays stating that an glut of foreclosures, due in the coming months, will push prices down by bu to another 6 or 7 percent. As a seller, you dont want to have your home on the market when this happens. Sell now to avoid losing too much equity in the future.
Article source: http://blog.raveis.com/2011/10/19/3rd-quarter-market-update/
October 12, 2011
Chris Raveis, President of William Raveis Affiliates, recently announced the alliance of William Raveis Real Estate with Baer McIntosh Real Estate, an independent boutique agency in Nyack, New York. This office represents the seventh William Raveis location in New York since the company began its rapid expansion there two years ago. William Raveis Baer McIntosh will exclusively service Rockland and Orange Counties in New York.
The addition of Baer McIntosh Real Estate to the William Raveis network shows the companys continued commitment to grow its affiliate program throughout the northeast. William Raveis Baer McIntosh is the eighth independent company and 11th office to join the William Raveis Affiliates network.
Deborah Blankfort, Broker/Owner of Baer McIntosh, continues to grow her company with the William Raveis affiliation, operating from their premiere Nyack location. Blankfort brings 20+ years of superior entrepreneurial skills and business experience. She and her team specialize in marketing luxury, riverfront and vintage homes, without sacrificing service to the more reserved homebuyer. This breadth of marketing capability helped make Baer McIntosh the premier independent real estate firm in Nyack and greater Rockland County for over 30 years. Baer McIntosh maintains the same internal philosophy and culture, but can now offer unlimited benefits to all their clients and agents.
In regards to her teams experience servicing high-end clients, Blankfort believes the support of William Raveis renowned Exceptional Properties Division will provide unique international marketing opportunities for luxury homes throughout Rockland and Orange County. I was very impressed by the global exposure that Raveis can offer to Rocklands unique homes, Orange Countys equestrian properties, new construction planning and developments, and everything in between. We now have the ability to give our clients the most powerful marketing in the entire industry, with the impressive Raveis track record to prove it, stated Blankfort.
Blankfort is also confident her team will benefit from William Raveis constant growth and innovation. The William Raveis mission is to empower agents to succeed, plain and simple, she stated. Raveis support will ensure that we are staying at the cutting edge of technology and engaging in the newest of marketing techniques by providing tools and an infrastructure that would otherwise be unattainable. Raveis wide array of services enables us to offer real estate, in-house mortgages, and insurance services, all under one roof. I cant wait to grow our company with the most impressive people I have met in the industry.
Blankfort shares much of the companys core values, particularly the desire to stay family-owned amidst a sea of franchises. I do think this affiliation is literally, two great families, joining as one, said Blankfort. My husband Gary works with me as well as my older son, Adam.
Baer McIntosh, one of the oldest independently family-run real estate companies in Rockland County, is proud to unite with the largest independently owned family-run real estate company in the northeast. This partnership was a no brainer for us and the timing was just right, concludes Blankfort.
October 6, 2011
October 5, 2011
Its inevitable. Over the years, you gather lots of stuff in your home that, quite frankly, you really dont need. Luckily for you, your clutter might be someone elses treasure! A garage sale is a perfect option to sell your no-longer-needed items to people who could use them. As fall colors start to paint towns across the northeast, the season offers a wonderful backdrop for you to host your own garage sale. Chris Pagli, an agent at William Raveis Tarrytown, gives tips on how to organize a successful garage sale. This post originally appeared on his Active Rain blog, which can be found here.
1. Dont wait until the last minute. You dont want to be scrambling to hold a garage sale the week before an open house. Depending on how long youve lived in the home and how much stuff you have to sell, planning a garage sale can demand a lot of time and energy.
2. See if neighbors want to join in. You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers if you team up with neighbors. However, a permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if its a group event.
3. Schedule the sale. Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early, 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. is best, and be prepared for early birds.
4. Advertise. Place an ad in free classified papers and Web sites (Craigslist is huge), and in your local newspapers. Include the dates, time, and address. Let the public know if certain types of items will be sold, such as baby clothes, furniture, or weightlifting equipment. On the day of the sale, balloons and signs with prominent arrows will help to grab the attention of passersby.
5. Price everything. Lay out everything that you plan to sell, and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, garage sales are supposed to be bargains, so try to be objective as you set prices. Assign simple prices to your goods: 50 cents, 3 for $1, $5, $10, etc.
6. Dont sell junk. Decide whats worth selling and whats not. If its really garbage, then throw it away. Broken appliances, for example, should be tossed. (Know where a nearby electrical outlet is, in case a customer wants to make sure something works.)
7. Create an organized display. Lay out your items by category, and display neatly so customers dont have to dig through boxes.
8. Stock up on bags and newspapers. People who buy many small items will appreciate a bag to carry their goods. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile items.
9. Manage your money. Make a trip to the bank to get ample change for your cashbox. Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash; never leave the cashbox unattended. Its smart to have one person who manages the money throughout the day, keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much. Keep a calculator nearby.
10. Prepare for your home sale. Donate the remaining stuff or sell it to a resale shop. Now that all of your clutter is cleared out, its time to focus on preparing your house for a successful sale!