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DID YOU KNOW??

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Equity home sales posted their highest level since the housing crisis began, reaching more than 90 percent of all home sales. Meanwhile, seasonal factors, combined with shrinking affordability cooled pending home sales in June, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.).

Equity sales have been rising steadily again since the beginning of this year.  June marks a full year that equity sales have been more than 80 percent of total sales and the first time they have risen above 90 percent. Equity sales made up 79.7 percent of sales in June 2013.

Twenty-three of the 41 reported counties showed a month-to-month decrease in the share of distressed sales, with 17 of the counties recording in the single-digits, including Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Marin, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties — all of which registered a share of five percent or less.

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To Go Solar or Not? That Is the Question!

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As more companies emerge to help homeowners with solar energy projects, and the price of related equipment continues to drop, more and more people are considering making this environmentally friendly idea a reality.

Jim Simcoe – founder and CEO of Simcoe Green Homes – proposed a few of the questions homeowners need to ask themselves, and some of the considerations that need to occur during that decision-making process.

The single question Simcoe says he gets asked most often is from people who want to know if they should go solar. He says, “when considering solar, keep in mind that while homeowners want to save money, solar companies want to make money, usually by selling the largest system possible.”

Simcoe believes that while sizing a solar system based on a homeowner’s current usage is a common practice, it can be a bad idea.

“A homeowner’s solar needs should be based on the energy use of the home, when that home is operating at its highest efficiency. That means no air leaks, faulty insulation, duct work problems, etc.”

With that in mind, here is the advice Simcoe gives people – usually resulting in saving thousands of dollars:

1. Prior to getting a solar bid, get a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating done.  A HERS rating is simply a home energy audit to identify any and all potential energy efficiency issues.

2. Review the HERS report and do the work recommended. Usually the repairs are minor and can be completed within a month.

3. When the repairs are complete, compare the next utility bill with a utility bill from the same period the previous year. Homeowners should see savings in the 15-45% range.

4. Lastly, contact solar companies and have them create a proposal based on the new usage instead of past usage. This will typically justify homeowners getting a smaller, lower cost system that more accurately fits their needs.

Copyright© 2014 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

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Summer’s Top Trends

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This season, bring the latest trends into your home. Follow these décor tips to pair alongside their fresh summer color selections:

  • Look for unique geometric prints or patterns and utilize them in your décor whenever possible. Try them on fabrics, rugs and tiles for a fun update to any room.

    This summer, go matte when it comes to things like glass, tile, wood flooring, countertops, cabinets and natural woods. This modern finish is in full force and applies to elements that would normally have a polished or glossy finish.

  • Refresh old bedding with a simple duvet and shams in a crisp, clean white for summer. Add a pop of color with accent pillows and a brightly colored quilt or throw that can be changed out easily and regularly.

     

  • Replace traditional blinds with simple drapery panels, fabric roman or woven wood shades to bring natural light and a modern feel into a space.

     

  • From chair frames to wood flooring, natural toned woods are gaining popularity this season—it’s no longer just for rustic or reclaimed furniture. Use this wood for a more contemporary, on-trend look.

     

  • A bold patterned rug can anchor a room and pull together any color palette. Stick to solid shades for the rest of the room and tie it all together by pulling from the colors found in the rug.


Copyright© 2014 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

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