Home Ownership and Tax Benefits.

This is the time of year that people really feel the impact of home ownership. Quite frankly —it means you pay less in taxes. It is especially beneficial to those who are single or have not started a family yet so. Can’t stress enough how owning a home makes sense – especially when you can own and have a payment similar to what you might pay in rent or maybe even less.

“Owning a home offers myriad benefits throughout the year, but some of the financial advantages of homeownership are most apparent at tax time,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I.

“As many of today’s hard-working American families are feeling a financial squeeze, the tax benefits that can come from owning a home can be a welcome relief.”

Call an experienced Realtor and see what sort of guidance you might receive from them. You may be very pleasantly surprised. Remember – a home purchase today could be the buy of a lifetime!

A good read!

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B(eco)me Old News Today’s Recycling Tip!

If United States citizens recycled just 10% of newspapers, approximately 25 million trees would be saved annually. About 75% of what we throw out could be recycled into tomorrow’s news, books, and household paper products. Once you’re done reading a book, donate it or sell it to a secondhand shop or used bookstore. Start the cycle over again and buy secondhand products whenever possible.

BARE FACTS & STATS: It takes 28% less energy to recycle than to produce paper from scratch. Paper accounts for 40% of solid waste in the United States, which is about 72 million tons annually. If every household replaced one roll of regular toilet paper with one recycled post-consumer waste roll, 424,000 trees would be saved. A single tree will absorb 1 ton (yes, one ton!) of carbon dioxide over it’s lifetime.

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Festival of The Book Charlottesville VA March 16-20, 2011

As many of you know who attend this event every year – This is a 5 day non-stop book bash! These 5 days of mostly free literary events are open to the public as our community honors book culture and promote reading and literacy here in Charlottesville. For one who attends the event every year – I guarantee you will have a deliciously good time!

Here’s all the skinny on the events!

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International Women’s Day Celebration 2011

Today is a day we celebrate International Women’s Day 2011. This marks the 100th anniversary of this world wide event. The theme this year is —Equal access to education, training, science and technology and also a pathway to decent work for women. The world is full of inspiring women who’ve have left behind their cultural mark.

Women continue to do that all around the world. Sometimes women impact lives in really big ways with a lot of fanfare. Others don’t have the fanfare, however they still have tremendous impact in their own small world. Sometimes not a word is spoken. It is merely a look or a touch.

The Hollywood girl that I am – I often latch onto Movie or Book quotes that mean something to me. One amazing movie for me is The Power of One (the struggles within South Africa and apartheid). The quote is this – “A water fall starts with one drop and look what becomes of that”.

I read Arianna Huffington’s blog this morning about her memories of her mother and how she impacted her life. It reminded me of my mother. I have some similar and also some different stories about my mother. As many of you know she is now in Assisted Living. I am pretty much there every day shaking it up a bit. After all the average age is 85 there and many of the people don’t get a lot of visitors. Many of the people I interact with are the women (they tend to be more social) and many have very interesting stories to tell. I love to listen to their stories. I learn a lot. Many have lived very rich lives.

Probably the biggest lesson I learned from my mother and my father too (also to give him credit for his amazing parenting skills) is this “Who ever is in front of you at that moment is the most important person to you. Remember that. I don’t care if you are talking to an garbage man, a day laborer, or a nuclear physicist. Everyone has a story to tell.” There is always something to learn.

I thank both my parents for that lesson. It is a good one and one I will always remember.

A good read about the celebration of women in the world and in the work place.

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I’m Just Sayin’– There is A Pack Rat In all of Us

I wish I could say it isn’t so but you know what… we are all Pack Rats on some level.

There is something to the statement de-clutter your home to help ease the stress and simplify your life. Certainly if you are thinking about selling your home de-cluttering is a good thing. I as a REALTOR® know when a home shows well it’s when the buyers can look at a home and imagine their own things there. They are not distracted by the things in the house and are actually looking at the home and experiencing themselves in it.

If you want to put your home on the market for sale – I find the best way to look at your home is to enlist the expertise of a REALTOR® (a third party person who will tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear). Someone who has “neutral eyes”. They will walk through each room with you, look in each closet, examine each cupboard and tell you what they feel is extraneous. You need to decide if what you see is necessary to your life right now while your home is on the market for sale. If not– them consider letting those things go or at least packing those things up. What ever price point you and your Realtor decide to put on your home, remember you want to be the Queen of that price point.

If you are just wanting to de-clutter to make your life a bit simpler take a moment and read this article. You might get some useful tips. I did!

A Good Read

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8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/8-tips-adding-curb-appeal-and-value-your-home/#ixzz1Ep6qW8oW

I have started to get the calls and emails from my past clients who want to sell and buy another home. I am figuring there are many of you out there also considering this as well. Spring is almost here and the winter doldrums will hopefully be over soon. I came across this great article that I thought many of you might find helpful if you too are considering doing the same – selling your current home and maybe buying another. Perhaps you want to move to something smaller because the kids are now out of the house. Maybe you want a larger home because your family is growing. Perhaps you are tired of doing steps and want to be all on one level. Maybe a move to the country or a move to the city. Maybe something where all your maintenance is taken care of for you. Each of us has our specific needs and desires. You might need some help with what decisions you should make so you can enhance the marketability of your home. This article may help you. Also always good to partner with an experienced Realtor. They can advise you on what makes sense to do as well and how that might translate into additional dollars for you.

A good read!

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Thank you Holly Edwards

Edwards will not run for second term on Charlottesville City Council.
That is what I read on the front page of The Daily Progress this morning. I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to Holly for all her dedication to Charlottesville. You are an inspiration to all of us. I applaud you for all your diligence and hard work.

I love this about Holly – this quote says it all-

Edwards’ current term ends on December 31, 2011, but she said she should not be viewed as a lame duck.

“Lame duck? I quack not,” said Edwards. “My philosophy has always been you are only as good as your last day of work.”

Take a read!

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Big and Small Business in Virginia

Below is an article by Bill Sizemore of The Virginian-Pilot about Gov. Bob McDonnell’s efforts to stir the Virginia economy.

A good read!

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Common Impediments To Selling And How To Overcome Them

Even though the economy is improving overall there are of course those that believe the opposite and sensationalize the negatives. Twenty four hours of a news cycle –what do you expect – they have to be saying something. After all we can only take a certain amount of good news right? Well no need to hide in fear and spiral into the negative fantasies. Look it right in the eye. Do the research and see if now is a good time to sell your home. Talk to your experienced Realtor and advisor and see what they have to say. I know for me personally –part of my marketing plan is to hold open houses. I am seeing a big difference in the turnouts of people. Many people have had their homes on the market – they have just gone under contract and they are looking to buy. Ah – Music to my ears!

Have a Read!

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B(eco)me Powerless

My eco blog of the day!
Devices that are ‘on” even when off waste energy and account for 10% of your electric bill. Put chargers together on a power strip and turn it off while you are away and nothing is charging. Unplug unused refrigerators, toasters, coffee pots, blenders and cell phone chargers.

COST BENEFIT: Most people use their chargers only 5% of the time they have them plugged in, wasting both energy and money. Unplugging unused appliances can reduce the phantom energy use in your home and save up to $170 a year. Kitchen countertop appliances, alone when unplugged, can save the average family more than $80 a year.

BARE FACTS AND STATS: It takes a tree-packed forest with an area equivalent to 500 soccer fields to absorb all the carbon dioxide produced by mobile chargers that are left plugged into outlets.

WOW!

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