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Four Tips to Save on Your Cable

Tip #1: Shop Around and Switch Providers

Before you get into shopping mode, you should first consider your budget and the services/channels you want.  From there, check out Consumer Reports, the product testing organization with print and online publications, to assess the different services that providers offer.

Once you’ve done your research, you could then make a more informed decision about which cable provider has the best overall deal. You should also check with friends to see what they think of their current provider.

At this point, if another provider appears to be a better match for you based on factors such as price, performance, and customer satisfaction, it might be time for you to make a switch. You’ll also want to keep in mind that certain providers don’t offer coverage in select areas, so make sure to look into that too.

Tip #2: Bundle Cable with other Digital Services

Digital “bundles” often combine a variety of telecommunications services – including TV, Internet, and local and long-distance telephone service.

The benefits of bundling services include:

  • Convenience of dealing with a single provider
  • Receiving a  discounted price for using additional services
  • Receiving a single bill instead of separate bills for individual services

However, bundling isn’t an automatic solution to saving money on your cable TV bill.  You have to do the math and really figure it out.  Don’t go into bundling blindly.

Tip #3: Inquire about Discounts and Promotions

Cable TV services typically require some sort of contract that makes you commit to a subscription rate for a year.  But once this honeymoon period ends you should contact your service provider to inquire about possible discounts and promotions.

Discounts and promotions often come to an end, so you’ll want to consider the following factors when inquiring about discounts:

  • Make yourself aware when any promotion ends, how much the price will increase, and whether the promotion locks you into a contract.
  • Make sure you understand the ‘fine print’ of your service plan, as early cancellation fees could be expensive – even if you are paying a discounted rate.
  • Never ignore those change-of-terms notices you receive

Remember, not all discounts are created equal. Really take some time to shop around and compare offers from different cable providers.

Tip #4: Cut back on Premium Channels

If you decide that the premium channels are just playing the same thing over and over again, maybe it’s not worth the $10 or $15 a month you pay for them.

If you’re worried that you might miss out on something by not having a particular premium offering, you might want to track your viewing habits for a period of time to see how many hours you are really spending with a particular channel. If the number is high, you’ll at least know your money is being well spent. If the number is low, it may be time to ax certain channels from your subscription list.

 

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Weatherproofing Your Windows

Step 1

Cut metal or vinyl v-strips to fit in the sash channels.

Cut them long enough to extend at least 1 inch beyond the sash ends when the window is closed. Cut vinyl with scissors; cut metal with tin snips.

Step 2

Remove the adhesive backing and stick the vinyl in place.

Tack metal strips in place, driving the tacks flush so that the window sash will not snag on them. Flare out the open ends of the metal V-channels with a putty knife to create a tight seal with the sash.

 Step 3

Wipe down the underside of the bottom sash with a damp rag and wait for it to dry;then attach self-adhesive closed-cell vinyl foam to the edges of the underside. The surface must be at least 50 degrees for self-adhesive strips to stick.

 Step 4

Seal the gap where the top sash meets the bottom sash.

For double-hung windows, raise the bottom sash completely to the top, and then lower the upper sash a couple of inches. This reveals the lower rail, which is normally hidden. Seal with V-channel weather stripping. If the top sash is stationary, tack tubular gasket to the outside of the lower sash so that it compresses slightly against the top sash when the window is locked shut.

Step 5

Apply paintable caulk around both the interior and exterior window trim. Smooth with a wet finger.

 

January Home Tasks

January Home Tasks

Happy New Year.  I hope you had wonderful holiday season.  Now it’s time to return to reality. :)

Now is a good time to review home tasks for the month of January:

  •     Organize your home improvement files. Review warranties and product manuals to check on recommended maintenance for furnaces, equipment, appliances and tools. Mark your calendar to track scheduled upkeep and service.
  •     Inspect furniture, cabinets and vanities for loose knobs, pulls and hinges. Tighten or repair as necessary. Lubricate squeaky door hinges with lightweight machine oil. Free sticky doors by trimming edges or shimming hinges with thin pieces of cardboard.
  •      Fix squeaks in floors and stairs by applying weight to the area (having a partner stand on it works) and driving an 8d or 12d galvanized finish nail through the flooring into a floor joist or stringer. If you have access to the floor from underneath, glue and screw backs to the floor or treads and to the joist or stringer.
  •     Look for bargains on discontinued appliances and tools. Before buying, make sure that warranties are valid.
  •    Make a room-by-room inventory of everything in your house. In the event of fire, flood or other disaster, it will be important in filing an insurance claim. Photographs or video of your possessions can also be helpful.
  •    Don’t close vents to crawl spaces. If you live where pipes can freeze and the floor becomes very cold, insulate pipes and under the floor. Vents play an important role in controlling condensation beneath a house.
  •    Double-check insulation around exterior pipes that are exposed to freezing weather to be certain that water cannot seep under the insulation.

Here’s to a very prosperous 2013!

 

 

Hello!

We want to help you find the right home for your family in an honest and professional way. We love the opportunity to work with buyers and sellers. Whether first time home buyers or experienced home buyers, we are ready to help you! We have the experience needed to ensure a smooth and easy transaction. With highly trained negotiating skills, we can help you get the right price for your home. We are determined to work hard for our customers and clients. Give us a call or email today! Call Anisa at (478) 256-1064 or Mick at (478) 256-0979.     

It is our pleasure to offer you an overview of the Warner Robins Georgia area real estate market. As REALTORS® who know the Warner Robins area inside and out, We have the ability to represent both home buyer and home seller equally, ensuring that both parties find just what they are looking for in their real estate transaction.

Since we are members of the Central Georgia Multiple Listing Service ( MLS ) We can show you any homes listed for sale in the Warner Robins area, not just Elite Realtors of Georgia listings! So there is no need to deal with multiple REALTORS® in this area. We have complete information and access to all home listings in Warner Robins, Byron, Perry, Centerville and the surrounding communities. 

 

Elite Realtors of Georgia

Office: 478-333-6008

Mick.driggers@gmail.com

anisadriggers@gmail.com

www.driggersteam.com

 

Forbes – The 10 Hippest Neighborhoods in America

1. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA

The eclectic enclave boasts some of the nation’s most lauded food trucks and farmer’s markets, a booming arts scene and one of the largest creative class communities in the country. Silver Lake is also home to some of the most avant garde Modernist architecture in North America.

2. Mission district, San Francisco, CA

Restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and food trucks abound in San Francisco’s oldest ‘hood. It also has the largest concentration of street art and building murals in the city.

3. Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

The East Coast birthplace of hipsters has shopping, restaurants, nightlife, a thriving music scene, food trucks and great transit options, from the water taxi to streets easily traveled by foot. It also has rising prices: rents in the Brooklyn hood are higher than some downtown hoods in Manhattan.

4. Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

The Midwest Mecca of hipsterdom started attracting artists and young adults in the late 1980s. Nestled around a park, this artists’ community is known for its galleries, music venues, boutiques and food options. It’s also home to a smattering of Victorian mansions built by wealthy 19th century merchants and beer brewers.

5. Pearl District, Portland, OR

The Pearl District is known for its art galleries and studios. It also has quite the java culture, with the second highest concentration of coffee shops per capita on our list. Farmer’s markets include the massive Downtown Portland market. Like Williamsburg, gentrification has led to higher costs-of-living in the area, with luxury high rise condos emerging on the streetscape and warehouses converting to massive loft residences.

6. H Street Corridor, Washington, D.C.

“Politico” hipsters flock to this D.C. hood, separated from the rest of the city by the H Street Bridge. Revitalization efforts ramped up in the area, also known as the Atlas District, in the mid 2000s and today the enclave is known for nightlife that includes dance clubs, rock venues, burlesque shows and restaurants like Sticky Rice that offer patrons a game of speed bingo alongside their meals. The H Street Festival also adds to the hipness.

7. East Austin, Austin, TX

East Austin has unseated South Congress and Travis Heights as Austin’s newest hipster home base, according to Nextdoor.com. It not only touts some of the most highly rated Mexican eateries in the country but also coffee shops, a farmers market, and food trucks like the East Side King parked outside of bars and music venues every night.

8. Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

Seattle, oft times credited as the West Coast birthplace of the hipster craze, has several cool kid neighborhoods. Capitol Hill landed on our list, but it was in close competition with the up-and-coming Ballard neighborhood (walkability tipped the scales). Known for both its hipster and gay communities, a good cup of coffee is a given in Capitol Hill — the area had the highest coffee shop per capita ranking on our list — and gourmands have access to fresh finds at the local farmer’s market. Bars, fringe theaters and impromptu street parties make the area a nightlife destination.

9. The Uptown, Oakland, CA

Gritty up-and-comer Uptown made this list thanks to its fast-paced growth. New restaurants, bars and coffee shops have been opening weekly, and arguably the some of the best farmers markets in the country take place here. The district was deemed the city’s entertainment center in the early 2000s and since then art galleries, an improv theater, and several medical marijuana clubs have sprung up to cater to the growing community.

 10. Warehouse District, New Orleans, LA

Forget the French Quarter; NOLA’s brand of hipster hangs here. The neighborhood, also known as the Arts District, touts amazing restaurants (including Emeril Lagasse’s original restaurant), access to the Crescent City farmers market, and a collection of galleries and museums that include the Contemporary Arts Center and the National World War II Museum.

 

Existing-Home Sales Constrained by Tight Supply in May, Prices Continue to Gain

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) – Limited supplies of housing inventory held back existing-home sales in May, but sales maintained a strong lead over year-ago levels and home prices are on a sustained uptrend in all regions, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million in May from 4.62 million in April, but are 9.6 percent above the 4.15 million-unit pace in May 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said inventory shortages in certain areas have been building all year. “The slight pullback in monthly home sales is more likely due to supply constraints rather than softening demand. The normal seasonal upturn in inventory did not occur this spring,” he said. “Even with the monthly decline, home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier.”

There are broad-based shortages of inventory in the lower price ranges in much of the country except the Northeast, and in the West supply is extremely tight in all price ranges except for the upper end. “Realtors® in Western states have been calling for an expedited process to get additional foreclosed properties onto the market because they have more buyers than available property,” Yun added. Widespread inventory shortages also are found in much of Florida.

Total housing inventory at the end of May slipped 0.4 percent to 2.49 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.6-month supply2 at the current sales pace; there was a 6.5-month supply in April. Listed inventory is 20.4 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply. Unsold inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007; supplies reached a cyclical peak of 12.1 months in July 2010.

“The recovery is occurring despite excessively tight credit conditions and higher downpayment requirements, which are negating the impact of record high affordability conditions,” Yun said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined to a record low 3.80 percent in May from 3.91 percent in April; the rate was 4.64 percent in May 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.

The national median existing-home price3 for all housing types rose 7.9 percent to $182,600 in May from a year ago, the third consecutive month of year over year price gains. The last time there were three back-to-back price increases from the same month a year earlier was from March to May of 2006. “Some of the price gain results from a shrinking share distressed homes in the sales mix,” Yun explained.

Distressed homes4 – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 25 percent of May sales (15 percent were foreclosures and 10 percent were short sales), down from 28 percent in April and 31 percent in May 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 19 percent below market value in May, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, offers advice to buyers in markets with limited supply. “We are hearing a lot about multiple bidding and quick sales in areas with tight supply, with competition between first-time buyers and cash investors, who have a significant advantage,” he said.
“It’s extremely important to listen to the advice of your agent and perform all the due diligence that you would normally do in a more balanced market, such as making offers contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection,” Veissi said.

First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of purchasers in May, compared with 35 percent in April and 36 percent in May 2011.

All-cash sales slipped to 28 percent of transactions in May from 29 percent in April; they were 30 percent in May 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in May, down from 20 percent in April and 19 percent in May 2011. “These figures reflect a modest increase in traditional repeat home buyers in May,” Yun said.

Single-family home sales slipped 1.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.05 million in May from 4.09 million in April, but are 10.4 percent above the 3.67 million-unit level in May 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $182,900 in May, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 in May from 530,000 in April, but are 4.2 percent higher than the 480,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $180,000 in May, which is 8.8 percent above May 2011.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 4.8 percent to an annual level of 590,000 in May but are 7.3 percent higher than May 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $250,700, up 3.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 1.0 percent in May to a pace of 1.04 million and are 19.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $147,700, up 6.4 percent from May 2011.

In the South, existing-home sales slipped 0.6 percent to an annual level of 1.78 million in May but are 9.2 percent higher May 2011. The median price in the South was $159,700, up 7.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 3.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.14 million in May but are 3.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $233,900, up 13.4 percent from May 2011. “The sharp price increase in the West results largely from more sales at the upper end of the market,” Yun explained.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

5 Projections of Where the Housing Market’s Headed

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012

Real estate markets across the country are inching their way to a slow recovery after bottoming out, according to several real estate economists who spoke at a forum hosted by the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

National Association of REALTORS®’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries, and National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist David Crowe shared their views on the direction of the housing market during the forum.

“Last year was the worst year on record for [new] house sales, for 60 years of housing-sale info,” Crowe said.

But things are picking up, the economists note, despite several challenges still threatening that recovery. Yun says that appraisal issues are holding back up to 20 percent of home sales and that lenders’ tightened mortgage underwriting standards are likely holding back another 15 to 20 percent of potential home deals.

Here are some of the economists’ forecasts:

1. New-home market: The NAHB predicts a 19 percent increase in single-family housing starts this year over last (from 434,000 last year to a projected 516,000 this year).

2. Single-family rental market: This could be the next housing market bubble, Humphries warns. He expects this sector to cool as rental rates continue to increase and as home ownership looks more attractive to the public again.

3. Distressed home sales: The percentage of distressed homes sales is projected to drop by 25 percent in 2012 and 15 percent in 2013, Yun says.

4. Home price appreciation: Yun says it’s possible some markets may see a 10 percent rise in home-price appreciation next year due to an increase in demand, or a 60 to 70 percent increase in housing starts. Yun argues it won’t be both, however, but rather one or the other. He notes it greatly depends on whether lawmakers reach an agreement once again on the looming debt-ceiling deadline.

5. Home owners’ negative equity: About a third of home owners are underwater, owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth. As such, the housing recovery will likely be “stair stepped,” Humphries says. He says home owners with negative equity will gradually begin to list their homes as they see prices inch up, but when they do, that may temporarily swell the housing supply and cause a brief pause to the recovery.

Source: “Economists: 2012 Marks the End of a Long Bottom,” Inman News (June 22, 2012)


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