Thursday, December 12, 2013

Winterizing your home

Winter is here, so winter storms cannot be far behind. These storms can wreak havoc with your home if you do not take adequate measures to protect it. Snow and ice can make outdoor surfaces slippery, turning them into potential fall traps that could grievously injure you or your loved ones, result in blocked pipes and cause damage to your roof.
Protect a Home during Ice Storms
image by chefranden
If you know how to storm-proof your home, you can have an enjoyable winter without worrying about winter storms.

Keep Roof and Gutters Clean

Ice Dams on Roofs
image by EvinDC
When it snows, it accumulates on your roof and in gutter. Due to heating inside the house, this snow melts and refreezes, causing small dams that prevent the snow from sliding off. You may think these ice dams are no cause for worries, but they are. The melted snow makes it way between shingles and roof seams, causing cracks that allow water to seep into your house. While gutters are not affected by heating, blocked gutters work as trap for ice and can burst or allow water to seep into your home. Make sure you clean the gutters before winter sets in. Your roof would need to be cleaned periodically throughout winter to prevent ice dam formation.
If you experience a snowstorm, keep a long-handled rake at hand. Use it to remove ice from roof. If you can afford, call in a professional to get rid of the ice and snow from your roof. Make sure your attic is insulated, as this will prevent loss of heat, which cause the snow to melt. Alternatively, you can install deicing cables on the roof. These cables need to be installed by a professional. These cables heat up and cause the snow to melt and wash away through the gutters, preventing it from refreezing.

Protect Pipes and Sprinklers

Protect Pipes and Sprinklers
image by tramod
If know a winter snow storm is in the horizon, leave the outdoor taps to trickle. The continuous flow of water will prevent the pipes from freezing. In places, like the loft or crawlspaces, cover pipes with insulating material, such as fibreglass insulation or foam rubber sleeves. Make sure crevices and cracks are sealed, so that cold air cannot make its way into these areas and still freeze the pipes.
Turn off sprinklers and shut off water supply to them. You anyway will not be watering your garden during winter and a snowstorm. Once water is shut off, make sure the pipes are completely empty. You can usually drain any water remaining using a valve or manually.

Salt the Walkways and Steps

Use Salt on Steps and Walkways
image by northways
When you know a winter storm is approaching, immediately salt walkways and steps. This will prevent ice formation when the snow melts. If salt is illegal in the area you are living, you can substitute it with sand or deicing pellets. If you do not mind backbreaking work, you can get out handy shovel and shovel off the snow from your driveway and steps immediately after the storm passes by.

Protect Your Plants

Protect Plants
image by keaki83
Unfortunately plants can freeze in snowstorms. Now you can protect their roots from freezing by covering them with tarps, burlap or blankets. If you don’t have these, use mulch to keep your plants warm. You can remove these covering when spring comes and after the frost disappears. This way, your plants will not sustain any frost damage.

Install Snow Melting System in the Driveway

Install Snow Melting System
image by _rockinfree
Driveways are the first casualties of snowstorms and the last thing you need is a slippery driveway. So install a snow melting system, which consists of electric cables that heat up and melt the ice. While this will cause your electricity bill to increase marginally, but it is worthwhile. You will not be using elbow grease to shovel your drive way after the storm.

Garage Insulation

Garage Insulation
If you use your garage at a storeroom, work space or laundry room, you should insulate it if there is no insulation or drywall. This will prevent the inside temperature from dipping and freezing you or the pipes. You can take this up as a DIY project or hire a professional contractor to do it on your behalf.
These are some simple tips that will protect your home during an ice storm and also keep you warm and toasty. Use them and see the difference this winter.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Price adjustment on 27 unit multi-family package. Carpe Diem-- Start 2014 on the right investment foot.

Ron Goldstein
980 N. Michigan Ave.Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60611
T: 312-264-5846
C: 312-771-7190
F: 312-264-5746

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Carpe Diem.. December Real Estate Update

 Carpe Diem...Real Estate Update
Feature Photo  
This winter, there are many reasons that both buyers and sellers should consider moving forward with their real estate goals instead of waiting until the spring.

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The nation's foreclosure inventory has contracted for 18 consecutive months and is now at its lowest point since the end of 2008, totaling 1.28 million loans, or just 2.54 percent of today's active mortgages.

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While solar-powered homes remain a small share of the total housing stock, that share is growing through a combination of policy incentives and homebuyer preferences.

Temperatures are dipping now, and that makes some of us cranky. Cheer yourself up by focusing on what you enjoy about chilly days. Here are 5 simple things to keep you cozy, not cranky, when it’s cold outside.


Ron Goldstein

MBA, EcoBroker, QSC

phone: (312)264-5846
mobile: (312)771-7190


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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

5 Things Not To Worry About While House Hunting (and One Unexpected Thing You Probably Should)

5 Things Not To Worry About While House Hunting (and One Unexpected Thing You Probably Should)

It happens every few weeks. I turn on House Hunters (yes, I know it's allegedly fake, let me be) to watch lucky couples pick out some real estate, and within minutes I'm sighing in frustration and yelling at the screen. "I'm not crazy about this red," whines one young wife, "I hate that chandelier," says her husband. Do you see what I'm driving at? They're focused on all the wrong things!
While there are tons of very important things to check when you're buying a home (we tell you all about those right here), there are some that shouldn't enter into your decision process at all! Why? Because they are so easily fixable. So take stock, take a breath and remember to look past these potential problems.
1. Paint color — Sure, a hideous red wall may be the first thing you notice when entering a room, but it's also the easiest thing to change. One hundred bucks, a weekend and you won't even remember your horrific first impression.
2. Furniture/ Style — It's hard to even think about loving a home when you hate the style of the decor, but guess what, lucky ducks? That decor is leaving with the old owners! Don't sweat it!
3. Architectural details (or lack thereof) — Have your heart set on crown molding? Hate that the walls are covered in wood paneling? Those things are so E-A-S-Y to add or remove.
4. Light — No one likes to enter a cave when they were expecting a living room, but take a careful look at why there's no light before you dismiss a house completely. More often than not, hedges or trees are blocking the windows and a little landscaping outside might completely change the feel inside. Note: tiny, prison-like windows are another story. They're still fixable, but might take a little more work and cash to get what you want.
5. Current layout of the home — Don't forget that the whole "which room is used for what" thing is very easy to switch up. It's easy to fixate on how a space is currently laid out, but notice the bones of each room, not what it's currently being used for, to determine if it will work for you.
Now that you're all relaxed, a note on the one thing you should worry about: a dirty house is not a happy house. Not messy (although if someone is showing their house, one hopes they would straighten up), but dirty. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you notice signs that the current owner is not properly maintaining their home, you can bet that it only gets worse below the surface.


Ron Goldstein, MBA
Silver Professionals, LLC.
Certified Luxury and Eco-Broker@Prudential
Check out my and

(o)312-264-5846 (c)312-771-7190 (f)312-264-5746

Offices in Chicago and St. Petersburg
Carpe Diem..Jobs & Homes..Base of our Economy!

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Monday, December 2, 2013



ORLANDO (November 9, 2012) - The housing market recovery should continue through the coming years, assuming there are no further limitations on the availability of mortgage credit or a "fiscal cliff," according to forecast presentations at a residential forum here at the 2012 Realtors® Conference and Expo.

Lawrence Yun , chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, said the housing market clearly turned around in 2012. "Existing-home sales, new-home sales and housing starts are all recording notable gains this year in contrast with suppressed activity in the previous four years, and all of the major home price measures are showing sustained increases," he said.

"Disruption from Sandy likely will be temporary, notably in New Jersey and New York, but the market is likely to pick up speed within a few months with the need to build new homes in damaged areas," Yun added.

Yun sees no threatening signs for inflation in 2013, but projects it to be in the range of 4 to 6 percent by 2015. "The huge federal budget deficit is likely to push up borrowing costs and raise inflation well above 2 percent," he said.

Rising rents, quantitative easing (the printing of money), federal spending outpacing revenue, and a national debt equal to roughly 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product are all raising inflationary pressures.

Mortgage interest rates are forecast to gradually rise and to average 4.0 percent next year, and 4.6 percent in 2014 from the inflationary pressure.

With rising demand and an ongoing decline in housing inventory, Yun expects meaningfully higher home prices. The national median existing-home price should rise 6.0 percent to $176,100 for all of 2012, and increase another 5.1 percent next year to $185,200; comparable gains are seen in 2014.

"Real estate will be a hedge against inflation, with values rising 15 percent cumulatively over the next three years, also meaning there will be fewer upside-down home owners," Yun said. "Today is a perfect opportunity for moderate-income renters to become successful home owners, but stringent mortgage credit conditions are holding them back."

Existing-home sales this year are forecast to rise 9.0 percent to 4.64 million, followed by an 8.7 percent increase to 5.05 million in 2013; a total of about 5.3 million are seen in 2014.

New-home sales are expected to increase to 368,000 this year from a record low 301,000 in 2011, and grow strongly to 575,000 in 2013. Housing starts are forecast to rise to 776,000 in 2012 from 612,000 last year, and reach 1.13 million next year.

"The growth in new construction sounds very impressive, and it does mark a genuine recovery, but it must be kept in mind that the anticipated volume remains below long-term underlying demand," Yun said. "Unless building activity returns to normal levels in the next couple years, housing shortages could cause home prices to accelerate, and the movement of home prices will be closely tied to the level of housing starts."

"Home sales and construction activity depend on steady job growth, which we are seeing, but thus far we've only regained half of the jobs lost during the recession," Yun said.

Yun projects growth in Gross Domestic Product to be 2.1 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2013. The unemployment rate is showing slow, steady progress and is expected to decline to about 7.6 percent around the end of 2013. "Of course these projections assume Congress will largely avoid the 'fiscal cliff' scenario," Yun said. "While we're hopeful that something can be accomplished, the alternative would be a likely recession, so automatic spending cuts and tax increases need to be addressed quickly."

Regardless, Yun said that four years from now there will be an even greater disparity in wealth distribution. "People who purchased homes at low prices in the past couple years, including many investors, can expect healthy growth in home equity over the next four years, while renters who were unable to get into the market will be in a weaker position because they are unable to accumulate wealth," he said. "Not only will renters miss out on the price gains, but they'll also face rents rising at faster rates."

Also speaking was Mark Vitner, managing director and senior economist at Wells Fargo, who said the fiscal cliff is the biggest situation that needs to be addressed. "Beyond concerns about the fiscal cliff, the economic improvement seems to be broadening," he said.

"Housing will strengthen in 2013 even if the economy weakens because there is a demand for more construction, and the demand for apartments is rising at a faster rate than the need for more single-family homes," Vitner said. "Unfortunately, apartment construction is focused on about 15 submarkets, so additions to supply will be uneven.

Even with declining market shares of foreclosures and short sales, Vitner said they will continue. "Distressed homes right now are like an after-Christmas sale - most of the best stuff has been picked over, but make no mistake they'll be with us for a while."

Yun projects the market share of distressed sales will decline from about 25 percent in 2012 to 8 percent in 2014.

Original Source: National Association of Realtors®

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thanksgiving Greetings!..Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Have an inspirational, peaceful and thought provoking Thanksgiving! Ron

Ron Goldstein, Principal
Silver Professionals

Broker Associate
KoenigRubloff- a Berkshire-Hathaway affiliate

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Live a Fairy Tale in a Getaway Castle Tower

Live a Fairy Tale in a Getaway Castle Tower

Let down your hair or just savor the idyllic views. In these 5 remodeled European towers, how the story goes is up to you

Childhood abounds with tales about stone towers where damsels in distress await rescue by a knight in shining armor. Historically, medieval tower houses were often located in inhospitable and inaccessible terrain, with commanding views of the surrounding landscape. They were built as defensive structures in a square or circular plan with massive walls, small window openings and narrow stone staircases.
The tower is located close to the Cliffs of Moher on a hill with commanding views of the Atlantic Ocean towards the Aran Islands. While most of the windows in the tower are small, there is one large window on the upper level that takes advantage of the views.

While you can’t stay inside the castle, the Sea View House offers rooms with views of the tower.

Houzz Contributor and architect in Ireland More