Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
I am a licensed Real Estate Broker/Owner of Janice Joy Ltd, an Accredited Buyers Representative, A Certified Residential Specialist a Certified Relocation Specialist, Accredited Staging Pro.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
Learn the secrets to great looking plastic, metal and wood outdoor furniture
Your outdoor furniture can last year after year, if you give it a good cleaning each season. Grime, pollen, bird droppings and sun exposure can all take their toll on outdoor furniture. Learn the basics to cleaning outdoor furniture and you will be able to maintain it for years.
For plastic outdoor furniture, mix a little dish soap, some borax, and half a cup of peroxide into one gallon of water. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes and use it to scrub all your plastic outdoor furniture with a nylon brush before rinsing well. Just test a small area first to be sure the peroxide does not react negatively with the furniture. Your plastic outdoor furniture should be periodically wiped down. Any cushions should be protected from the elements when possible. Store them away when not in use.
For metal outdoor furniture, use soapy water and elbow grease. Remove any rust or stains with sand paper or a wire brush. You can also repaint the entire piece with a rust prohibiting paint or a metal varnish. And don't forget to periodically clean your furniture throughout the summer - don't let pollen or bird droppings sit on it and cover it up if you won't be using it for a while.
For wooden outdoor furniture, a durable finish is key. Many homeowners prefer the natural beauty of wooden outdoor furniture. Adirondack chairs, porch swings, gazebos, benches, side tables and picnic tables offer a natural and beautiful look that can add value to your home. And with proper care, even your outdoor wooden furniture can last for decades. Cleaning periodically with oil soap works well. But the best way to help outdoor wood furniture look great for years is the stain or finish you choose.
Remember that cleaning outdoor furniture properly will protect it so you can enjoy your outdoor space for years to come.
Three Lessons for Homebuyers in 2013
The new year is here, and signs of the real estate recovery are evident in nearly every sector of the housing market: housing prices, which bottomed early 2012, have been showing continued growth; housing inventory has been retaining its balance; and the new construction market has been finding its footing.
There are three remnants of the post-boom housing market that you may want to revise:
1. Lowball Offers– Remember what we just wrote about home prices finally bottoming, and even rising? That means that lowball offers are an increasingly unlikely strategy for prospective homebuyers. Though it must have been great in 2009 and 2010 to pick up properties for considerably less than the original asking price, those days are fast dwindling, and not just for conventional sales; even REO properties are not the steal that they used to be.
2. New Construction– The new construction market collapsed in 2007, and perhaps no sector of the housing market has been more battered in the post-boom marketplace; however, with distressed property inventories falling and more and more homebuyers entering the fray, homebuilders are beginning to pick up their efforts, and new home construction is poised to put up great numbers in 2012. So though new homes have been virtually non-existent, it may behoove homebuyers to be on the lookout for new developments and incentives.
3. Don’t Dillydally ! Housing inventory levels have dropped by nearly a quarter from 2011′s levels, namely for one reason: home prices. Between home sellers waiting for better returns and underwater homeowners waiting for positive equity, inventory levels have been on the decline for much of 2012, which means that homebuyers can no longer dillydally when looking for residences. Though the lack of competition must have been nice in 2009, the scarcity of good housing in 2012 has put a premium on the best homes out there, so buyers may have to show some initiative – and maybe even outbid the competitors – if they want that dream home.
What's the difference between being preapproved and prequalified?
First-time buyers frequently assume being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage are one and the same. This common mistake can lead many buyers to regard their applications with unrealistic expectations. Applying for a pre-approved mortgage will help you find the right home by giving you an idea of exactly how much money you have to spend, and give you the confidence to negotiate effectively.
Pre-qualification is a simple assessment of your income, debt and available capital, which is used to give you a rough estimate of your loan. Pre-approval, on the other hand, requires the evaluation of tax records, income statements, and other personal financial information to determine a much more accurate idea of what is available to you. Most realty professionals recommend going through the pre-approval process before shopping for a home, as knowing the details of your loan in advance will drastically increase the efficiency of your search.
Email me at: Jan@JanFlood.com
_If you're looking to sell your house during these tough economic times, take heart. Although you can't change the economic crisis our nation is currently in, you can be proactive and informed about what to expect, so your house can stand out from the others on the market. When attempting to sell your house, here are the most common obstacles you'll face: dropping home values, a record number of foreclosures, and a shortage of buyers due to the current credit crunch. At a time when you need every edge you can get, every little bit of extra effort helps.
Proper pricing is critical to selling your house in the kind of market we're in. And though it might be difficult, this means pricing your home for what it's worth - and that isn't necessarily the same price as what you paid for it or what you think it is worth. You'll also want to check with your mortgage lender to determine your mortgage balance (if there is one). Then you can just subtract your mortgage balance from your asking price (remembering to factor in closing costs) to determine how much money you stand to make on the sale of your home. If you're hiring a real estate agent, they'll be able to help you come up with an appropriate price for your house and also help you estimate closing costs and net proceeds. If you're not, check out the price listings for other comparable homes in your area, and consider your home's appraised value.
Stage your home effectively. Sometimes the difference between getting an offer and not getting an offer depends upon staging your home effectively. The basics of home staging are depersonalizing and de-cluttering: packing up personal photographs, family heirlooms, and everything else that will prevent the visitors touring your home from imagining it could be theirs. Focus on transforming your home back into a house; a product optimized for sale. For more help, hire a home staging expert.
Market your house as widely as possible: MLS listing, online advertising, newspaper and local magazine ads, open house, flyers, etc. Remember that the more leads you get out of advertising, the more likely you'll get the response you've been looking for.
Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help you through the process.
Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
Develop a wish list of what you would like your home to have. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
Select three to four neighborhoods in which you would like to live.
Consider items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans and safety.
Determine if you have savings sufficient to cover your down payment and closing costs. Closing costs, including taxes, attorney's fees and transfer fees average between two and seven percent of the home price.
Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report.
Determine how large a mortgage for which you qualify. Also, explore different loan options and decide what is best for you.
Organize all the documentation a lender will need to pre-approve you for a loan. This includes past income tax returns, recent pay stubs, etc.
Do research to determine if you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs.
Calculate the costs of homeownership, including property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and association fees, if applicable.
Jan Flood (Dowling)
Areas of Expertise
I am continually improving my service and follow up so I can help you, your relatives or your friends. Your support means alot to me and my business. http://JaniceJoy.com REMEMBER - Relocation is my specialty. If you are moving out of this area I will find the right REALTOR for you anywhere in the world. CALL OR EMAIL ME TODAY: 847-650-1158, Jan@JanFlood.com
Antioch, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Gurnee, Hawthorn Woods, Ivanhoe, Lake Villa, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Lindenhurst, Long Grove, Mundelein, Vernon Hills.
CLUTTER EATS EQUITY!
Here are nine essential home staging tips to help sell your home as quickly as possible:
Tour with a buyer’s eye view Take a subjective look at your home’s interior and exterior. What do you notice first?everyday clutter or the home’s best features? Make a list of what needs to be cleared away, cleaned up, repaired and repainted.
Edit furnishings Along with clearing away everyday clutter and stowing family photos and personal effects, trim down furnishings for the kind of just-right balance and scale that would suit Goldilocks. There needs to be enough in place to suggest proper scale and capacity within each room, but not so much that traffic flow is hindered and architectural elements are obscured.
Neutralize interiors Make sure your home staging work includes a neutral paint job. Create a backdrop for buyer imagination by replacing patterned wall coverings with off-white paint, and install low-grade tan wall-to-wall carpet.
Clean, clean, clean Ensure that every inch of your home sparkles for a fresh, welcoming appearance, from ceiling cobweb hideaways to windows to floors. Also address and banish odors resulting from pets, cooking, smoking and the like.
Tune up the details Repair or replace inoperable hardware, touch up interior trim, and make sure all light fixtures are clean and loaded with brand-new bulbs to makes sure there’s plenty of light available to show off your newly staged home.
Re-accessorize with care Limit wall decorations to fewer and larger pieces of artwork, and include a couple of strategically placed mirrors to expand the space and reflect its best assets. When introducing display pieces to a room, use the rule of threes to create attractive, uncluttered groupings, and add a few well-placed plants for welcome vitality.
Spend time in the garage Home staging is just as important in the garage as prospective home buyers will be visiting that space as well. Clear away corner cobwebs, sweep floors, dust surfaces and pack up any straggling tools and project materials.
Create curb appeal Lush landscaping is one of your home’s best exterior assets, and according to the Professional Landcare Network, it can add as much as 15 percent to the property value. So get out the mower, fertilize all turf and plantings, weed diligently and add seasonal color to flower beds.
Build a grand entry Touch up exterior trim, clean windows and repair loose or damaged shutters, supply light fixtures with new bulbs, polish front door hardware and address numbers, roll out a new doormat, and add a few pots of colorful blooms on the front porch.
Spending a couple of weekends on your home staging project is an important home selling tip that is a worthwhile investment of time and money that delivers great results. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a great first impression and staging your home assures that the impressions buyers walk away with will be positive.
President's Circle Award Winner 2003,2004,2005.
I have created a new program of improved service! This program builds on the solid platform of business I have provided for a long time. It effectively explains that to which I am committed. Here are my Five Stars: * Impeccable, incredible service. **Professionalism with warmth and friendliness. *** Serious preparation followed by a fun presentation **** Best possible value for your home. ***** Totally integrated buying or selling experience.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.