Friday, January 12, 2007

The Hallmarks of a Well-Built Home

There are houses and there are houses. Just like anything that is produced in our world from cars to clothing, there is a high quality manufacturing and there is poor to medium workmanship.
In her book "The Fearless Home Buyer" Elizabeth Razzi gives those telltale signs of a well built home.
Windows are an easily-spotted signal of quality. They're one of the most expensive components of a home. You can determine the brand used by looking for the name un the corner of the glass. Look for neatly mitered and whether the window is double panned which offers good insulation in both summer and winter. Look at the windowsill and the wall below to see if there are any water stains or softness in the wall-a sign that there could be a codensation or leakage problem with the windows.
Bathrooms are another area where the quality of the workmanship is important. Pay special attention to the floors and walls around (and downstairs from) a shower stall Look for signs of recent painting, a spongy feel or mold. Water that leaks from a tub or shower over time can rot sub flooring, a common problem in homes built with inferior materials and workmanship.
When you expect the exterior of the home, note the kind of siding that is used. Wood siding is beautiful but requires routine re-painting. Vinyl or aluminum siding is economical and long-lasting, but check it for dings, tears and fading.
As always, if you are uncomfortable about the quality of a home you are interested in purchasing, it's a good idea to hire a professional inspector to confirm or allay your fears.
As Real Estate professionals, we look forward to working for you and answering any questions you might have about quality and workmanship of any home you may be interested in. Call us anytime.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

NO More Slaving Over a Hot Stove

A new generation of cooktops that use induction heating technology puts an end to slaving over a hot stove.
Induction heats faster, is easier to control, simpler to clean and safer to use. It also consumes 30 - 40 percent less energy than other cooking methods. Induction is done with magnets, It converts electricity into an intense electromagnet field that "excites" the iron atoms in cooking vessels, causing them to vibrate and heat up. The pan itself, not the cooktop becomes the heating element as it absorbs the waves of magnetic energy and transfers that heat to the food.
The fast heat-up shortens cooking time. 85 to 95 per cent efficiency means lower energy bills. Clean-up is easy because food can't burn on it's surface and it's safer for kids and seniors.
An induction cooktop costs $1700.00 to $2800.00 for a 30 inch cooktop and up to $4,000.00 for a 66 inch top/ Installation may require you to upgrade your wiring and you'll need special pots and pans.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sales of Home Elevators up, up, up!

Home elevators are fast becoming the newest in status symbols. In a recent National association of Home Builders, 7 percent of homeowners rated elevators as an "essential" or "must have" feature. The reason home elevators are becoming indispensable has to do with the direction of today's home building. While residential square footages have increased 21% over the past 15 years, lot sizes have dropped 10%. Sending construction vertical.
Baby boomers anticipating old age has contributed to the increased sale of home elevators. But 68 percent of those who rated elevators as essential were under 55. This age group admitted that the status of owning an elevator was important to them and they planned to add accoutrements such as plasma screened televisions and custom sound systems to their elevators.
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