Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Greetings

I belong to an art class where once a week we all get together, chit chat and paint. With music playing in the background and in a small cottage right on the water, the inspiration to paint comes easily. Some are using watercolors, some oils and some acrylics. I have tried them all through the years. I was fortunate enough to major in Fine Arts in college, and also to have studied under Herman Itchavitch (deceased) during my lifetime. There is no better feeling than painting, to me. All my problems disappear as I concentrate on my canvas. Sometimes the paintings don't come out the way I wanted them to. (more often than not:) and these go into a bag. The bag is stuffed to overflowing right now. Other times, a painting will just click and even I am amazed at how it turned out! Those go on my walls at home. Years ago I used to sell them, but I actually found myself missing my own paintings and started re painting some of the scenes I had done. My point is that I am using the photo on the left for my Holiday Greeting because I painted it. It's not one of my best, but for those of you who received cards from me, you know that this was my Holiday Card!

For those of you who may not have received a card, this is it!

Happy Holidays, peace and health to all of you!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Stress

Are you feeling stressed out? Working or not, the Holidays can be a stressful time for many. Searching for that perfect gift and trying to not break the bank while you're doing it. Wrapping presents, planning feasts, visiting family and friends, cleaning your home, all contribute to the stress factor. All this while you are trying to live your daily (and probably already stressful) life!

Don't feel alone! You are not. Most people do get stressed during the holiday season. Add to this the New England cold weather and we are all dreaming of warmer shores.

There are no easy ways to completely alleviate stress, but there are some things you can do to make it somewhat less trying.

Make lists! This is important. Make lists of everyone you are buying a gift for. Then decide on the amount you will spend on each one. Then write down several possible gifts for each one that might fall in that price range. Start your shopping early. Theres no better feeling than having bought all your presents (and having them wrapped too) the week before Christmas.

If you are hosting the Family party, make lists for that also. Lists of who is attending, drinks, foods. Then plan your time accordingly. When you will shop, when you will cook, when you will call the bakery.

As you go through your lists of things to do, be sure to cross them off as they are done. Make the lists as long as you like and make each thing to do small. This way, you will have a feeling of accomplishment as you see so many items crossed off.

Lastly, and just as important. You have heard that you need to take time for yourself and you say, yeah, right! The truth is, you "can" take at least ten minutes a couple of times a day. In the morning and in the evening. Try to be somewhere alone and clear your mind. Do not think about anything at all. If you find this hard to do, then focus on something that brings you pleasure, a vacation that you took, or would like to take. The important thing here, in this ten minutes, is to NOT think about all you have to do!

Remember, there's only a couple of weeks left and you will have your Holiday memories!

Peace to all my friends and family during this Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Where do you Rank?

I read an article in the Providence Journal yesterday regarding MLS agents in Rhode Island and the measurement of their sales. A side is considered each end of a transaction, ie, Listing side and buying side. If you listed and sold the same property you have two sides.

This article breaks down by percentages how many sides are completed by each agent. The article was mostly referring to the difference between new agents (this year) and more experienced agents, however it gives a good synopis of probability of sales.

•36.24 percent had no sides
•38.51 percent had 1 to 4 sides
•16.4 percent had 5 to 10 sides
•8.85 percent had 11 or more sides

Keep in mind that these are Rhode Island statistics and may vary in other states, yet will give you an idea where you rank in sales.

From these statistics, we can narrow down to 75% 4 sides or under and 25% 5 sides and over.

Image from Beacon Learning Center. Article from

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rhode Island Buyers Christmas

Yes, Virginia, it is now Christmas for Buyers'.

The rates are low, the homes are priced lower. If you haven't been paying attention, it's time to do your Christmas shopping for a new home.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Time to Buy

It really is starting to be the "Time to Buy" here in Rhode Island. Mortgage rates are lower and sellers are actually realizing that they need to lower their prices if they want to sell their homes.

If you are in the market for a home, get yourself to a good Lender and get pre approved. There are numerous homes on the market and you can negotiate a pretty reasonable price, especially as we go into the winter months.

So, if you are looking for a deal in Rhode Island Real Estate, you may just find one now.

Waterfront properties and surrounding areas have also reduced drastically. A home that you could barely look at a couple of years ago, is now in your price range. Yes, there are still some overpriced homes out there, but they will still be there next year and probably a lot cheaper.

Pay attention to this market, it won't last forever. Markets are cyclical, the prices will rise again. Have your Realtor keep you up to date on the homes that you are interested in and get the best deal for you, the Buyer!

The American Dream is still obtainable! Especially right now and in the next 1 or 2 years.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How to make money buying Real Estate

I guess everyone wants to know the answer to this. The problem is that everyone already knows the answer.

It's very simple, "Buy low, Sell High".

That is all you need to know to make money in Real Estate.

In the past few years, many investors tried to buy homes, but they miscalculated and bought High. Now they are reluctant to Sell low, which, while understandable, is creating a large supply of homes on the market.

Home buyers that planned on living in their home (Owner occupied) who bought in the past few years, also "Bought High". They are not inclined to "Sell Low".

All of this "emotional" buying and selling creates a down market.

This, coupled with the Mortgage Industries' problems this past year, have created a stagnant market.

Rhode Island Real Estate has been in a turmoil in the past few years. After the Credit Crisis of the late 1980's and early 1990's the market started on an incredible upswing. Unless you have been living in a cave, you had to have noticed the High prices of homes. Homes were selling so fast that bidding wars were everywhere.
Of course, you knew, and so should everyone else have known, that this would not last.

Now, the market has been steadily declining. Homes bought in 2005 no longer command the price they once did and have actually dropped. Tax assessments in most cities have continued to rise and some are now assessed at over the Market Value of the home.

The market will not remain stagnant for long. It has to move. Figure it out for yourself. Which way will the Market go?

Friday, October 19, 2007

Are you looking to rent?

If you are looking to rent a home, with a possible option to buy, please contact me.

Homes, as we all know are not selling as fast as they used to. If you wanted to buy, but are not quite ready yet, have a good credit score and are interested, let me know.

First and last months deposits would still be a requirement. The difference is, you would be working torwards your own home. You would be responsible for the maintainence of your home, just as if you had bought it already.

We have several options to consider, but if you don't contact me, you may lose out on a great deal!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

82 Fuller St, Warwick, RI, $198,900

Here is your chance to get into a BRAND NEW HOME in Warwick for an unbeatable price!

This home has been totally rebuilt from top to bottom, includes an extra lot, central air, brand new hardwoods and wall to wall. Everything is new and ready to move in.

This is a perfect starter or empty nester home. It has two bedrooms, storage in the attic, a laundry area with closet space, vinyl sided, new roof, all new everything! You cannot go wrong, there is absolutely nothing to do but move right in.

Don't wait, email me now!

Click for Virtual tour of this home.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Internet Technology

I do not consider myself particularly tech savvy. I can spend hours and hours looking up different things and ways to do things on the web and then promptly forget them as soon as I start something else. However, I do have a blog or two or three:) Does this make me ahead of the game? Don't know. I believe that in the near future, blogs will be as old hat as emails and we will be on to something new. Meanwhile, there are so many things I can use my blogs for as a Realtor.

One, I can upload photographs and listing information that can be read instantly worldwide! That alone is a major tool for a Realtor!

Two, I can write whatever I feel like writing any time I feel like writing.

Three, I can have as many blogs as I want. One for every little interest. I could even have one for every listing if I wanted to.

Four, I can publish an invitation to all my friends via one of my blogs and they can all respond instantly. Blogs are almost better than email, except they are not private.

I can also share photos, link to other blogs or websites or quotes, the list is endless. I seriously do not know how I existed before blogdom!

Please take a moment to puruse my listings on this blog and email me if you have any interest.

Also, if you are looking to buy in Rhode Island, drop me a line or comment here, if you like.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Save your home!

If you are in trouble on your mortgage payments due to having bought a home with an ARM mortgage and now your new payments are coming due, you need to read this article written by fellow Active Rainer , Aaron Gordon Mortgage Banker on the new guidelines from HUD. It may save your home. Here is the article This article explains the way it will work, who will be qualified and provides links to Hud. Good Luck.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why Isn't my Home Selling?

For the many, many home owners out there with their homes languishing on the market and wondering why their home is not selling. Here are some tips. Top of the line tip: Your house is overpriced! Whether you are pricing it yourself or you have a Realtor, look at the actual comparables of houses that sold in the last three months that are close to your neighborhood and similar in style, size and condition to your home. Next, check out what is also for sale in your neighborhood. Put yourself in the buyers seat and look at all the homes for sale. Why would they choose your house?

After you are satisfied with your price, you now need to look at the "appeal" and condition of your home. Does it show well? When someone drives by, do they think "That's a nice house"? Or do they not notice it at all? Or worse, do they think "what a rat trap"? All these thoughts are what makes a buyer automatically put a "mental price" on your home. You want them to hear the price and think "What a great deal"! I need to move on this one.

And last, but not least, a sign in front of the house, while it will catch some buyers, is not the only thing you should be doing to advertise. If you have a Realtor, then he/she will automatically be doing everything possible to get your home advertised, but if you are doing it on your own, you need to advertise everywhere you can, both on the internet and in local classifieds.

While this is not a "standard" buyers market. (The prices have not gone down enough) It is definitely not a sellers market and you need to do whatever you can to promote your home. Happy Selling. Feel free to email me with your questions/concerns.

Making Realty a Reality

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rhode Island Real Estate

What happened to Real Estate in Rhode Island? We all know about the Mortgage loans that dissappeared. The foreclosure rate has escalated and people are moving out of their homes. Where are they going? I happen to know that a lot of peope are moving to apartments. The reason I know this is because I sell REO homes. These are homes that have already been foreclosed and are now owned by the Banks that held the mortgage. Some of these homes are good buys for the first time homebuyer who wants to build a little sweat equity. Yes, some REO's are a waste of time and only good to a builder due to the lack of plumbing, heating and windows. However, if you are patient and keep looking, you can find some real gems. Also, when a builder buys one of these houses, he/she goes through the entire house and beleive me, these homes are like brand new! I have one on the market now that is a shadow of its' former self. So while a lot is going on in this market, and a lot of rumors, people are still moving around for various reasons. The Real Estate Market will always be around. We all need a place to live.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Great family home in West Warwick, RI PENDING!!!

3 Bedroom home for sale in West Warwick, Rhode Island

This is a Bank Owned home priced under normal market value, waiting for your personal touches. It needs a minimum amount of work. Painting, etc.... Pull up the rugs and expose hardwoods. Make this your new home with your creativeness and build some sweat equity. Offered at $190,500. Bring prequalification letter and make an offer.

Check out the Virtual tour

Monday, July 30, 2007

Warwick home for sale $215000

Totally rebuilt home, in the heart of Conimicut, Warwick, Rhode Island

Builder spared nothing and includes extra lot. Move right in, like Brand new!

Please go to this link to see a Virtual tour of this delightful home with Central Air and hardwoods. See Virtual Tour

Monday, July 02, 2007

Tall Ships come to Newport Rhode Island

Yesterday I had the privilege of being entertained, fed and hosted onboard our good friends Joe and Peg's lovely yacht.
We arrived just beyond the Jamestown Bridge and set anchor preparing to spend our day watching the Tall Ships.
We had heard they were starting at 12 but from our vantage point, it was much later, around 1:30 before they started coming into view under the bridge. I took a zillion photos, but can't post them all here. So here are a couple and the rest will be on my ricoast blog and some on my Active Rain blog.
The weather cooperated nicely as it was an absolutely gorgeous day. Although watching the Tall Ships from afar is not as exciting as being up close (so you can hear the marching band music), it is still a thrill to view them as they parade in majestic magnificence around the island, swamping in size and detail the zillion boats of all shapes and sizes that swarmed around them.

It's not only seeing the Tall Ships, its being a part of all the other boats in Narragansett Bay, enjoying the sun and just having a great day. Thankyou Joe and Peg!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

153 Finch Ave Pawtucket Rhode Island $174900!!!

First Time Homebuyers Or Investors

Newly painted exterior and trim.

Here is yet another great opportunity for you to get into a new home for under market value!

It boasts 3 bedrooms with hardwoods and a fireplace in the living room. A full basement affords loads of storage room.

This home needs Interior paint and a little (very little) TLC.

You will be buying this home AS IS. It has a full basement and cute yard in a great neighborhood! Ride by and take a look, then email me and we can discuss how I can get you into your new home!

"Making Realty a Reality"

Sunday, April 29, 2007

15 Aurora Avenue Cranston RI

Don't miss this opportunity! At the end of a dead end street. Many upgrades already done, just needs a little TLC!!!
Make this your first home.
Offered at just under $205,000!
This is a foreclosed home. In Rhode Island sometimes these are the "best" ways of affording a home. If you are even the least bit handy, this is a perfect starter home, with three bedrooms, carport, secluded yard, fireplace, partially finished basement with bath, Central air!!
Please bring proof of funds with all offers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My First Home

I was reading a comment on another blog of mine today, and someone mentioned how we, as Realtors, bring our lifetime experiences to the table of Real Estate. It made me think of my first home buying experience. When we first start out looking for a home, we are very excited. We check out all the websites and look through all the Virtual Tours and ride by as many homes as we can. This can go on for a couple of years. After awhile, we start getting serious and call a Realtor. Now we are still looking on the websites and sending him/her what we find and he/she is sending homes to us. We are starting to check out the insides of these homes. It's still very exciting. We can picture ourselves, or not, in some of these homes. We start to narrow down our choices, because the more homes we look at the more we can realize what we actually like or dislike about a home. Then one day, "this is it"! You know when you walk in the door that this is your new home. Now you go through the financial aspects of it and there is delay after delay, more paperwork needed, but you don't care, you just want the closing to be over with, so you can get in that house and start decorating! You have it all pictured in your mind, what you will buy and where everything will go. Then you move in. Well now you realize (actually you realized before but that was no fun), that you simply do not have the money to redo the entire house, buy furniture, appliances, rugs, etc. So you have to make do with one room at a time. Eventually, a lot of sweat equity can net you a very cozy place and right now Rhode Island Real Estate appears to have quite a few foreclosures on the market. You can pick up a neat little house for just under $200,000. Sure it will need work, but most of the homes I have seen need the basics that you would do in your own home anyway, once you lived there for awhile. So, if you're Realtor wants to show you some foreclosures, go ahead and look. You will need Vision and be able to picture how it will all look after you put in your own ideas, but your home will be worth more than you paid for it in no time at all. Now is the time to get a good deal, don't let it pass you by!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Rhode Island Real Estate Buyers get Ready Now!

Spring is here and as most people know, a lot of homes are going on the market. Homes "look" better in the spring and its more fun to shop for a home when there's no snow on the ground. If you are looking for a home, I would advise you to get started now. You need to get yourself approved for a mortgage, find out how much you can afford and get looking. If you want to work with a Realtor, start looking for one you feel comfortable with, who will take the time to find out what you want and spend some serious time actually looking for your new home! Don't be discouraged by all the news you may have been hearing in Rhode Island Real Estate, about sub prime mortgages, foreclosures, stagnant markets....This is the time to find some good deals. Yes there are a lot of foreclosures. Yes there are a lot of houses on the market and yes, the 100% loans are going through a tough time. There are still great programs out there for you and a much wider spectrum of homes to choose from..So find a Realtor and start looking! Rhode Island Real Estate is hopping! Make sure you are ready. I have buyers now that are already approved with letters in hand. We are ready to make an offer as soon as we see the "right" home. Don't be left out of the game by not having your letter ready. Know your market and be prepared. This won't last forever!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Rhode Island house hunting

There has been a great deal of commotion lately regarding the Mortgage Industry. Websites have been set up to keep track of all the Companies that are going out of business due to poor lending practices.
What does this mean for you? If you purchased your home in the past 2-5 years and used a creative mortgage, ie: arm, interest only, even some no downpayment mortgages, then you may be one of the many hurt by these latest happenings.
You may have heard about the increasing amount of foreclosures in Rhode Island. Well some of this is due to these formerly mentioned lending practices. I am not going to go into who is to blame for this, because ultimately, it falls on the consumer to pay attention to his/her own finances. However, I believe that, at times, a borrower tends to think that the Lender "would not give him a loan if he could not afford it".
This, as you may now be aware of, is not true.
If you or someone you know is in this unsatisfactory position, and depending on how long and other factors, you need to address the situation as soon as possible. Don't wait until it's too late. The last thing you need is to lose your home. The lending laws are in the process of changing, but it will take time for the results to be seen.
I had a call the other day from a young girl who bought her home two years ago (I was not her Realtor:). She applied for a mortgage and was approved for an interest only mortgage for three years. After the three years the payments would change to include the principle and a higher interest rate. Basically her payments will probably triple. Now, she says she cannot even afford the original "interest only" payments. She called me because she had seen a foreclosed home I had on the market. I had to explain to her that she probably had no equity in her home because the market in Rhode Island had been stalemating. There really wasn't anything I could do for her, other than try a short sale, but she was still thinking she could "switch" houses. She is sadly, out of luck.
Please, please, please, when you are looking for that new home, do not get so caught up with the dreams that you lose track of Reality! You probably know way before you get to the loan application what you can really afford. Don't forget it!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rhode Island Real Estate

Okay, I'm back from my little vacation. Actually I have been back for 3 weeks! Blogging has taken a back burner because I have been so busy. I thought I would pop in here today and give my perspective on the Rhode Island Real Estate Market.

Lately, there have been numerous foreclosures in and around Rhode Island. The investors are out in droves looking for a good deal. And who can blame them? They are fully equipped to come in and gut a place then put it back on the market for a higher price. There is an inordinate amount of work that goes into these "projects" that I don't think the average person realizes.

What I have also found is a lot of first time homebuyers looking at rehab houses because they think its the only way they can afford to get a house.

Some of these houses are in dire need of COMPLETE rehab and there is no way someone could live in them and work "on the weekends". I find this very sad, because it means that these people cannot find a home in their price range!

There are, however, still some great Mortgage products around that not everyone knows about. I still have the belief that if you have a job for at least a year and not a lot of credit debt, then you can still own a home in Rhode Island. Sure it takes awhile to find something that you feel you would like, but it's not impossible!!!

So for all those people out there that think they can't afford a home....Call me! If there is any way possible, I will find it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Realtor Vacations?

Should a Realtor take a Vacation?

It's been awhile since I have taken a vacation, so I decided to "block some time" and get away. The nature of Real Estate (in Rhode Island at least) means you are available 24/7! I have always pledged to get back to people in a minimal amount of time, by email, phone, etc., so to take a vacation means that I cannot do this.
Scheduling this vacation was more work than I thought. I had to go to each website that I use and block out the time, send emails to everyone and call the people I am working with. I am in the middle of a negotiating offer and counteroffers and if it doesn't happen today......???!!! Arrrghhh.
It was actually more work for me to prepare for this vacation then it would have been to stay home! Of course I had to get Jake (my dog) and Max (my cat) taken care of and Blackie (the feral cat that has visited me for 7 years twice a day) fed. I have to clean my house!~ LOL.
Okay, I am down to the wire now. Big question, should I take my laptop? Or should I go technologyless (that may not be a real word:) and just veg out. I am leaning torward the latter, but I feel guilty:) Well, see you when I get back. PS You can still email me so I guess that tells you what I decided. And to my new buyer that I met with on Monday, I am still searching. Guess I answered my own question. Realtors can not take vacations! See ya!

Wireless for Rhode Island

Just read a post that Rhode Island is going wireless. Maybe I can hold off on that card for a few more months. You can read about it here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Coastal Serendipity

If you haven't already noticed, I Love the Coast. I cannot imagine living any further inland. I did not grow up on the Coast but I always had an affinity with it. I have driven to many of the beaches and little seaside hideaways hereabouts in RI. I did not get to visit Block Island until I was 30! Amazing as its a 40 minute ferry ride from Point Judith! I know a lot of Rhode Islanders who have not been there. They do not know what they are missing! I have since been to BI hundreds of times, spent many a weekend there, both in hotels, inns and on my boat and my brothers boat. It never changes. I guess that's one of the reasons I love it. Although the past few years it has attracted a lot more people. The homes have increased in value due to the incredible beauty of the Island and I do have piles of photos which I will be getting up here soon. The parts of BI that have made the most impression on me are the people that live there year round. Not in the mansions, but in the little cottages that can barely be seen behind the big hotels. These people are the heart and soul of the Block. Have you ever noticed the smell of the Island? Incredible. Guess you have to be there to feel the peace!
I have just started another blog on the Coast of Rhode Island. Not much there yet, but stay tuned.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

What you should know about the Rhode Island Real Estate Market
Paul Silver wrote in his article on Active Rain that now is a great time to buy and I agree. This last year has had home buyers holding their breath trying to decide whether to buy now or wait out what was starting to appear to be a possible bubble burst for Rhode Island. Being in the business has helped me watch the home prices very carefully everyday in our local MLS program. As the year went on, the prices started falling, slowly at first, then a little more drastically. Homes began to wilt on the market for longer periods of time.

Photo from Birdsandbeacons by Ann Searle
It took some getting used to after the amazing growth that was prevalent throughout Rhode Island in the past few years! Sellers were horrified that homes they had purchased in the last two years were now worth less than what they originally paid for them! Foreclosures were starting to creep up. Where two years ago, the foreclosure page in the Providence Journal was not completely full, now they were up to four complete pages! The boom was over!
What does this mean to you.
Selling right now is probably not your best move. If you can possibly hold off for awhile you would benefit. If you have to you can always rent out your property to cover your payments, watch the market and decide when it will be a better time to sell.
If you are considering buying, now that is another matter altogether. Now is the time! If you have been debating with yourself and feeling like the surplus of homes on the market means that escalating home prices have stopped, then you are right! They have. Not only do you have a much wider choice in homes, locations and anemities, but you can buy that fixer upper you have been hankering for. Get out of that rental apartment.