Berkshire Broadcast

A somewhat unexpected trend this past year has been an increased interest in owning houseplants. Decades ago, our parents’ homes were filled with pots of ferns, flowers, and even trees. This décor element is back! No longer are plants relegated to the herb pot in the kitchen. As we strive to use more natural décor products, homes are once again filled with living design features.

But have you gone too far?

10 Signs You Have Too Many Houseplants

1. You live in a jungle – Boho designs often include plants, but if you’re pushing aside leaves to walk around your home, you’ve gone too far.

2. You panic when you see a dead leaf – Remember, leaves do die to make room for new growth.

3. You have “plant babies” – Do you hire a plant-sitter for

127 Views, 0 Comments



One of the biggest responsibilities a child—or a family—can take on is adopting a dog as a pet.

Feeding, walking, grooming and cleaning up after a dog are daily responsibilities that everyone can do, and will also help teach children how to take care of something they love. For parents, however, there’s the extra task of paying for all the costs associated with the dog.

Here are some of the primary expenses of owning a dog that a family should consider before bringing one home:

Upfront Fees
Adoption fees are the first costs you’ll incur, whether from a pet store, private breeder or animal shelter.

Animal shelters will be the least expensive, though they’ll likely require your dog to be spayed or neutered at a cost of up to $200 or

151 Views, 0 Comments

We all know the type. The person who just says “yes” to anything, never challenging or questioning an opinion or strategy. These people-pleasers agree with anything suggested; while they may be nice friends, in real estate a yes-man or yes-woman can actually cost you money. Often a lot of money.

No one likes to leave money on the table, but having an agent who doesn’t challenge unrealistic expectations is not serving the client. So, how can you spot these yes-agents?

These yes-agents can take many forms. On the seller side, they could be the agent that lists a home at an unrealistic price. Well-priced homes are selling quickly, but that does not mean that a seller can add 10% or more to recent sales and expect to sell the home. Over-pricing a

108 Views, 0 Comments

It can be disturbing to realize that the beautiful home you’ve fallen in love with is in a flood zone. While it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, there are some serious considerations to understand before moving forward.

Flood zones are defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and are categorized according to the level of risk. A high-risk area is defined as having a 1+% chance of annual flooding, whereas a low-to-moderate location has a 0.2% or less chance of annual flooding.

FEMA maintains a flood map center where you can research the classification of the location and the level of concern. Zones labeled A and V are the highest risk zones. These are areas that are either coastal or riverside communities. These Special Flood

241 Views, 0 Comments

While no one ever wants to imagine their home filling with water, for many areas of the country, flooding is a scary reality for many homeowners. Whether a natural disaster is on the way or you simply want to be aware of how to protect your home when flash flood warnings sound, we have five steps to preparing your home for flooding.

Clear gutters. If flooding is predicted in your area, help your home out by clearing all gutters, downspouts and drains so your home can battle the rising water.

Elevate outdoor electric units. Outdoor generators, fuel tanks and air-conditioning units should not be left on ground level outdoors. Elevate them as best you can and securely anchor them so they don’t float away if flooding occurs.

Power down. Shut off

133 Views, 0 Comments

You just bought a new dishwasher, TV, tablet, refrigerator or other big-ticket item you’ve been wanting for months. The salesperson, or maybe even the cashier, asks if you’d like to add an extended warranty for a few dollars more.

Is it a worthwhile extra expense? Our cars, appliances, gadgets and almost anything electrical have complicated parts that can break and make repairs more expensive — sometimes more costly than buying another new item. An extended warranty would cover such repairs, we’re told, and give us peace of mind.

But don’t buy one so fast. For one thing, they’re almost an impulse buy and are sold without giving you much time to think about them or read the fine print of the contract.

They can also be repetitive. Most new

118 Views, 0 Comments

If you’re a fan of that rustic look, or just love to feature beautiful wood in your space, then your home may already be covered with hardwood floors below, exposed beams above and wood furniture throughout. But if you’re looking to add even more wood to your interior scheme, consider a few of the following.

Countertops. While real wood countertops may be more difficult to maintain, their gorgeous look in your space may make them worth it. Shop around with your local counter conveyor, or hire someone to create a custom job.

Ceilings. Wood ceiling panels or planks can be a great way to add a rustic, farmhouse touch from above.

Art. From wall hangings to sculptures, there is no shortage of wood art. Hit up Google to find a few pieces, or for

98 Views, 0 Comments

Building a home might sound like something reserved for the rich and famous, but the truth is, it might be easier than you think to get a construction loan.

What is a construction loan?

Construction loans are short-term, higher-interest-rate mortgages that cover the cost of building or renovating a home. The buyer qualifies for the final mortgage and the lender pays the contractor for cost on a pre-approved schedule. Once the construction is complete, the loan is converted into a traditional home loan.

Type of Construction Loans

Construction to Permanent – Converts to a permanent loan with the interest rate locked in at closing.

Construction Only – Must be paid off when construction is complete, so the borrower will then need to get

128 Views, 0 Comments

Teaching children manners and how to tie their shoes is one thing, but financial lessons are often pushed to the wayside until it’s too late. Budgeting and financial planning should be a focus in every household. Whether you are passing along your lessons to your children, nieces or nephews, keeping financial sense in the family can have longstanding benefits.

Here are some financial lessons you can teach children before they leave home:

How to Budget
Whether it’s through a household budget that you let them become a part of, or a weekly allowance on which they have to determine how to spend and save, budgeting is a skill they will be able to use throughout their lives.

Show the younger generations how to budget for monthly expenses, such as a

87 Views, 0 Comments

A higher credit limit can help in an emergency, allow you to make any necessary large purchases and even, in some instances, improve you credit score. Asking for a higher credit limit, however, can seem awkward.

Higher credit limits are typically offered to people with the highest credit scores for a simple reason—they’re considered the most likely to pay their bill on time and not default. Someone with a low credit score will have a harder time convincing their credit card company to give them a higher limit, though it’s not impossible.

The average credit limit as of December 2016 was $8,071, according to data from Experian, a credit bureau.

Improving Your Credit Score With a Higher Limit
Looking to finance a large purchase such as a home

85 Views, 0 Comments