A blog cannot deal with all aspects of a subject and is not intended to replace professional advice. It's purpose is to highlight information and identify areas of possible interest. Anyone wishing to discuss this blog or to make any comments or suggestions about this blog is invited to do so by either posting comments or emailing me directly.


SmartMoney Magazine originally published an article and several websites (MSN and Yahoo - among many others) recently re-published this very same article about real estate on "10 Things Your Real Estate Broker Won't Tell You."


Interestingly enough it related to an open house I hosted for another agent this past weekend.


Here's the item #4: “I’m not obligated to keep my mouth shut for you.”


You spot your dream house as you’re driving through a neighborhood and call the broker listed on the “for sale” sign. That’s how a lot of buyers stumble on a broker—who, in turn, happily shows you other houses, asking about your needs, laughing at your jokes. It’s easy to get loose-lipped and forget whom you’re dealing with: someone else’s agent. “Legally, brokers are obligated to provide their sellers with any information that can help them get the best prices for their homes,” says Stephen Israel,...

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Whether you've spent four years or forty in your home, the process of packing up all your belongings and transporting them safely to a new place can be quite arduous. Here are some organization and safety tips to make the moving process as smooth as possible:

Pack Ahead, Pack Together and Write it Down

Before you pack even one box, develop a simple system for recording your belongings. Whether you type it out or just use a spiral notebook, you'll need to place a number on every box you pack and list the contents for that number on your master list. Be as specific as possible, and make sure to label the upper left or upper right side of the box, as labeling the top of the carton prevents you from seeing what you wrote once a couple of boxes are stacked on top of one another. Anything that can be packed in advance, whether that's loading up your summer clothes or paring down your cooking supplies to the bare essentials, should be to reduce the amount you have to do in the immediate days...
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Downsizing your home is most commonly associated with empty-nesters and retirees looking for smaller spaces after the kids have moved out, but it's also becoming a more popular move for a growing number of hard-working, money-smart homeowners. It's also a move that makes a lot of financial sense.


From a corporate perspective, the whole concept of downsizing is financial. Companies close facilities, shed business lines and lay off workers in order to save money. When they do, shareholders cheer and stock prices rise because lower expenses lead to bigger profits. The exact same thing occurs, on a smaller and more personal scale, when you downsize your house.

Chasing the Savings

Soaring home prices, soaring energy prices, and high gasoline prices all add to the cost of living. As a result, the financial benefits of moving to a smaller place are numerous, and well worth exploring.

Reducing the Mortgage Payments

The monthly mortgage payment is generally the largest single expense consumers...
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Whether seeking solace, activity, schools, churches, or green space, every homebuyer looks for a different combination of attributes in a new community. Choosing a neighbourhood that suits your needs and wants is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the home-buying process; your choice of environment will affect the way you experience your new home. This is a very personal decision, influenced by countless unique factors colouring your own lives, but you should always keep the following in mind:

  1. If you’re considering buying a home in a community that is unfamiliar to you, get to know its lay-out, offerings, and ambiance. Take some time to walk or drive through the neighbourhood, both during the day and at night, familiarizing yourself with the sights, sounds, and smells.

  2. What amenities does the neighbourhood have to offer? Is public transportation readily accessible? Are there schools, churches, parks, or grocery stores within reach? Consider visiting schools in the area if...

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