Berkshire Broadcast

Heated Flooring – Is It Worth the Cost?

It seems like everybody is remodeling these days. With everyone spending more time at home, not only are the dated features of our properties more obvious, but we also have the time and flexibility to meet contractors and supervise changes. New flooring is always a popular upgrade and heated floors are one option worth considering.

Heated floors involve adding heating elements under the flooring materials. Many people love a heated tile floor in the bathroom, or heated laminate in a chilly basement. Today’s radiant heating systems are more durable and energy-efficient than ever before and, with proper maintenance, can last over 30 years.

While more expensive upfront, heated floors save money by lowering

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Saving money can be difficult, and sometimes your frame of mind can hold you back. Here are some negative thoughts to overcome:

I Don’t Make Enough Money to Save
You are more than likely wrong about this one. Sometimes it’s about writing down your numbers and determining what you can cut and save on.

With the improving economy, it’s becoming even easier. Household incomes have been increasing and the unemployment rate has been falling the past few years, giving more people a chance to save. And many are doing it. The personal savings rate in the U.S. rose to 5.9 percent in March after rising steadily since 2013. But there’s room for improvement. The personal savings rate averaged 8.29 percent from 1959 until 2017.

I’ll Start

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Winter is Time for Homestead Exemptions, Big Jobs, Gutters, & HVACs [[+]] Austin Area Housing Market Continues to Soar Headed Into 2021: Chuck Farr’s December 2020 “Talking Real Estate” ENewsletter

Happy Holidays, homeowners, tenants, prospective buyers, and real-estate investors. If you bought a home this year and will start living there on January 1, make a note to file your homestead exemption in January 2021 (also check on disability and over 65 exemptions if applicable) at your local county tax office to save money on property taxes.

Also in the news: “Austin’s housing market activity is stronger than it’s been in several years” headed into 2021 (check the [[“Talking Real Estate” Monthly Enewsletter]] for details!).

Winter is here and has

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Old Credit Issues? Ask Your Lender to Manually Underwrite Your Loan

Manual underwriting is how all loans were evaluated before computer algorithms took the human logic out of the process. Simply stated, a loan that is manually underwritten is one where a person evaluates the file for the borrower’s ability to make the loan payments. For those who have had credit issues in the past that are easily explained and understood, requesting a manual underwriter may make the difference between getting the loan or not.

Almost everyone has gone through difficult financial times at some point in life. Perhaps a divorce or job layoff caused a glitch in the otherwise good credit of the borrower. A computerized system only catches the credit score and number

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By: Daisy Gregg

As a home seller, it's important to understand that all built-ins remain with the home, but what do you plan to do about items like refrigerators, chandeliers, washers, dryers and other fixtures?

Customs vary in different parts of the country, but typically anything that is built-in or attached to the home stays with the home and belongs to the new buyer. But a chandelier is attached to the ceiling only by wires. Would it automatically stay?

Yes, it would convey, but it can also be replaced or excluded. The key is to replace it before your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network professional begins marketing. Your other option is to leave it in place, and exclude it in the MLS remarks section of the listing. What you

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According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, granite countertops are in less demand today, while the use of quartz is on the rise.

Why? For one thing, man-made quartz countertops are offered in a far greater range of looks and feels. Reason number two: it’s a bit easier to maintain over the long haul, and it’s deemed a better environmental choice because it emits lower levels of radon—a potentially cancer-causing agent. To be fair, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maintains the radioactive materials in granite countertops are far too minuscule to pose a health threat.

So what, exactly, is a quartz countertop? It’s made of engineered stone, composed of at least 90% ground-up quartz mixed with a binder (like resin) then

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Motivated Seller - Make Me an Offer!

Even in a strong seller’s market, a homebuyer might hear the words, “Make me an offer.” For a nicely appointed home that is well priced, this can be a surprise. Being invited to write an offer can often give the buyer pause. Most buyers will immediately wonder if something is wrong with the home. Did they miss something that is causing the home to take longer to sell?

While it could be that something is wrong with the home, it most likely just demonstrates the seller’s readiness to move. It could be that they have found another home or are motivated by a relocation, but it might also be that they are tired of keeping the home show-ready and are just anxious to be done with it.

In this situation, it’s

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For many people, adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is high on the list of worthwhile efforts. For others, it’s all about stashing cash. Consumer editors at Good Housekeeping Magazine suggest a few simple and relatively inexpensive tips that can aid in both pursuits:

Lighten up on laundry. Tests show that switching from a top-load to a front-loading washer can cut your water use by half for a full load. And washing clothes in cold water versus hot can save you up to 25 cents per load. Conserve water and energy and save up to $40 per year by washing three cold-water loads a week.

Program your thermostat. Pre-setting a programmable thermostat to start heating or cooling your home an hour or two before you get home from work (instead of

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Are you looking for out-of-the-box decorating ideas for your space? Below are a handful of interesting accent ideas to up the creativity of your interior design.

Hanging accent lights. Caged, bubbled, modern, antique—there are myriad styles for hanging accent lights, which can be clustered, paired or used solo to fill up an empty corner or decorate a blank wall.

Mantels. Who says a mantel should only sit above a fireplace? You can easily install a freestanding mantel to rest photos, art or your favorite books. Another trick? If your walls are dark, paint your mantel to match and your items will suddenly be floating.

Dips. Dipped frames, art or even doors are all the rage right now. Imagine a series of white picture frames with their

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Downsizing Made Easy

If your lifestyle has changed with time and you’re ready to ditch the big house for a smaller, more manageable home, it might be time to downsize. Deciding to shift to a more care-free dwelling is easy – determining where to begin is much harder. The accumulation of decades of living can feel overwhelming; taking the move step by step will help you break it down into manageable stages.

Before you do anything else, do your research and find the right location for your new home. Explore different communities and learn the pros and cons of each. While seniors often move to 55+ developments, there are also many other choices for low/no-maintenance properties.

 

Consider condominiums, townhouses, and patio homes as part of

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