Posts

landscaping and watering

Landscaping and Watering

landscaping and wateringSummer is an especially important time to save water. Outdoor water use increases residential consumption from 10% to 50% in June, July and August.  This summer has been a particularly difficult year with significantly less than average rainfall and the need to water more frequently.  Every drop counts to keep your landscaping alive and flourishing.

TIMING IS CRITICAL!

Watering your lawn mid-day will result in a high rate of evaporation and sunburned grass. Roots can maintain plenty of moisture even after several days without rain. Before watering, look for signs that it’s needed: patchy areas, a general change in color or footprints that remain in the grass long after being made.

Frequent light watering can actually weaken your lawn by encouraging shallow roots that are less tolerant of dry periods and more susceptible to insect damage. Wet grass can also burn in the hot sun and is vulnerable to disease from mildew and fungus. Test your soil for dryness by digging your finger below the surface of the soil. Water only when the soil is dry to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. When watering, check to see that water soaks down 3-4 inches. This encourages deep root growth.

GIVE YOUR LAWN A REST

If your lawn “fades” in the summer, don’t panic. Grass becomes naturally dormant during hot, dry periods. It will revive quickly after a good rainfall or when the weather turns cooler.

  • Water very early in the morning.
  • Never water when it’s windy, rainy or very hot.
  • Raise the blade level of your mower to 2 -3 inches or more. Longer grass retains more moisture because it shades the roots. It encourages deeper rooting, requires less fertilizer and competes better against weeds.
  • Never water faster than the soil can absorb it. Avoid puddling and run-off.
  • Be sure your hose has a shut-off nozzle. Hoses without a nozzle can spout 10 gallons or more per minute.
  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system, make sure the timer or “controller” is set to water each landscape zone efficiently. Program the controller to operate according to the watering needs of your lawn or garden. Better still, install a rain sensor or soil moisture sensor that turns the system off if it’s raining or if moisture is present in the soil.
  • Do not apply fertilizer in the summer – new growth requires more water. Apply in early spring and or fall.
  • Aerate your soil in April, September or October to aid water absorption and retention.

PLAN AND DESIGN YOUR GARDEN FOR EFFICIENT WATERING

Be aware of the various zones in your yard (hot/sunny, cool/shady, moist, dry, etc.) and plan your gardens and plantings accordingly. For example, if your have a hot, dry zone, carefully select plants that can endure hot, dry conditions.

CLUSTER PLANTS THAT NEED EXTRA CARE

If you choose shrubs, flowers or vegetables that need lots of sun and moisture, place them near each other. You’ll save time and water by watering just one area of your yard.

MULCH TO KEEP ROOTS MOIST

Mulch can serve as a ground cover that reduces water evaporation from the soil and reduces the number of weeds that would otherwise compete with the plant for available soil moisture.

Mulch flowers, shrub beds and trees with pine bark mulch. In your vegetable beds, use salt marsh hay, newspaper (no color pages), black plastic, or better yet, landscape fabric – that allows water to penetrate the fabric but keeps down weed growth. On a sweltering 100° day, a 3-inch mulch can keep the soil underneath up to 25° cooler! Avoid white marble chips that can damage acid-loving plants like rhododendrons. Stones or pebbles are good on shady areas. They shouldn’t be used near the house because they give off too much heat. Ground covers, such as ivy or pachysandra, also prevent evaporation around established shrubs and ornamental trees

.You can’t control the weather but you can do  your part to make the most of the water available tohelp keep your  landscaping alive.

Visit www.agentrising.com for more useful tips to pass on to your real estate clients or to start your real estate career with Agent Rising Real Estate School.

solar panels

Leasing Solar Panels and Real Estate

solar panelsHank Investigates: Leased Solar Panels

Posted: Mar 10, 2016 7:16 PMUpdated: Mar 10, 2016 10:37 PM

These are the rooftops of Massachusetts, North shore, South shore–and as you can see from Sky 7 many of them these days have something in common: New solar panels, with more going up every day.This is Joanne Gardner’s house in Beverly, she leases her panels from a solar company. The Gardner’s hoped going green would cut their electric bill, and it did.

Joann Gardner, Homeowner: “Yeah, they’ve proven a savings.”

So Joanne’s happy with her panels, but not the financial surprise that came with them.

When she applied for a federally-insured reverse mortgage on her home, the lender denied it saying, “the solar panel issue cannot be resolved.”

Joann Gardner, Homeowner: “I was shocked.”

The solar panel issue? Our investigation found it’s a doozy. The leasing contract you sign may mean:  If you want to sell your home, or get a home equity loan, or get a reverse mortgage, you may not have complete financial control over your own home!

Rhonda Siciliano, U.S. Dept. Housing and Urban Development (HUD): “I’m thankful that you’re doing this because it’s good for people to be aware.”

Here’s JoAnne’s 20 year leasing contract, it says if she wants to sell her house with the solar lease, the solar company has to approve the new buyer.

Otherwise she has to buy the panels, which she told us would cost more than twenty thousand dollars.

But what it doesn’t say, because of that, Federal Housing Administration regulations prohibit the FHA from okaying her loan.

Hank: “Even if a homeowner read that contract thoroughly, they wouldn’t know that?”

Rhonda Siciliano, HUD: “Unless, you know, they had studied the FHA regulations they probably wouldn’t, no.”

And this could be a problem for anyone with certain leased solar panel contracts who applies for the millions of federally insured mortgages and loans the FHA handles.

Hank: “So if a homeowner has leased solar panels with those restrictions the Feds are going to say no?”

Rhonda Siciliano, HUD: “That’s correct.”

Other angry homeowners who’ve leased their solar panels complain they’ve had trouble getting home equity loans through their banks.

Hank: “Is this a big deal?”

Register John O’Brien Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds: “It’s a big deal.”

Here’s why: Their solar companies attached these UCC financing statements to the home’s records at the registry of deeds. We found thousands of them in Massachusetts. They’re an alert that the owner of the house has a leasing contract, and though the homeowner owns the house, the solar company owns the panels.  Officials told me when some lenders or banks discover that, it could cause a problem.

Hank: “Do you think homeowners know this?”

O’Brien: “No, I don’t.”

The solar industry knows it.

Chet McGensy, Solar Energy Industries Association: “Yes, across the country there have been consumers who have had problems, or challenges obtaining loans.”

But solar trade association officials told us it’s because the industry is so new. They say the Feds are misinterpreting their own regulations, and insist customers should not be denied loans just because they lease solar panels.

Hank: “So right now is there some confusion here?”

Chet McGensy, Solar Energy Industries Association: “Oh, absolutely, I think there’s absolutely some  confusion, and  the solar industry is dedicated to continually working with the agencies to clarify those issues.”

The Massachusetts Attorney General:
Maura Healy, Massachusetts Attorney General: “You’d better believe we’ll take a look at it.”

Says she’s all for going green, as long as there’s sunshine on every transaction.

Maura Healy, Massachusetts Attorney General: “We just want to make sure that disclosures are made and nobody gets hurt in the process. Especially that nobody gets surprised.”

Now after our story, the Attorney General’s Office and Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds now tell us they are putting out consumer advisories.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office consumer advisory:

Click on “Advice for Consumers on Solar Panel Installation”:
http://www.mass.gov/ago/doing-business-in-massachusetts/energy-and-utilities/help-for-consumers/

If you’d like to contact the AG’s office for more information or to file a complaint you can call: 617-727-8400.

The Southern Essex County Registry of Deeds consumer advisory:
Go to “Registry Updates”: salemdeeds.com/salemdeeds/

Under current FHA policies, a borrower who has leased the solar panels on his home may be eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage (including a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, known as a HECM) provided the solar panel lease does not contain any restrictions that either prevent the borrower from freely transferring the mortgaged property, or that limit the assumability of the mortgage beyond applicable FHA guidelines.  This restriction is found in FHA’s regulations at 24 CFR 203.41.

HUD has an FAQ on this subject:  http://hudgov.prod.parature.com/link/portal/57345/57355/Article/8427/Is-a-home-with-a-leased-energy-system-or-power-purchase-agreement-eligible-for-an-FHA-mortgage

HUD says: Under our current guidance, the Massachusetts homeowner who applied for a HECM (an FHA-insured reverse mortgage) had a 20-year lease on the solar panels on her home.  Her contract required her to obtain the solar leasing company’s approval of any prospective buyer, which limited the homeowner’s ability to transfer her home and this would not comply with our requirements at 24 CFR 203.41.

Solar Energy Industry Association: 

Different solar companies have different contracts. The Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) says: “It’s very important that the contract is based on the solar industry’s standard contract template, available on SEIA’s website http://www.seia.org/research-resources/nrel-model-leases-ppas. The solar industry is constantly in contact with the major housing regulators, banks and title companies to ensure that the standard contracts are compliant with all laws and do not limit a customer’s ability to sell or refinance their home. Incidents like the one you are describing should not happen, and we encourage all solar companies to adopt the SEIA contract templates and for customers to ask their solar provider if they are using the standard contracts.”

This is a link to SEIA’s consumer guide to solar power:
http://www.seia.org/research-resources/residential-consumer-guide-solar-power

Visit www.whdh.com for more info.

Visit www.boldmovesrealestate.com for the latest in trends that may affect the housing market in a negative or positive way.   We are the experts on real estate in our community.

This blog was posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on March 12, 2016.

3-D Listings Bold Moves

3-D Listings From Every Angle

3-D Listings3-D Listings From Every Angle

Curious about implementing 3-D listing technology in your business? Here’s a guide to getting started.

Technological advances are promising consumers a more in-person, lifelike view of a home without ever having to step foot inside — through the use of 3-D listing tools.

Companies such as Oculus Rift — which is now endeavoring to offer virtual tours of college campuses to prospective students — 3D Property Tours, and Matterport all offer ways to capture 3-D images of homes and put them together to create a virtual property walk-through.

Matterport has gained particular notoriety, offering the $4,500 Matterport Pro 3D Camera, a cloud-based service where you can upload your images to be automatically configured into a 3-D model, and a portal that allows you to store and share your 3-D models with clients. Real estate brokerage Redfin announced a partnership with Matterport in August, becoming the first national brokerage to implement the 3-D technology. Over time, Redfin plans to convert all of its active listings — starting with those in its hometown of Seattle — to 3-D models using Matterport. Each Redfin listing page has a player uploaded on it that users can click to see the 3-D tour (3-D glasses are not required). Matterport was also the star of the Realogy FWD innovation summit in June.

“Buyers are always looking for more information, and there’s only so much we can give them with informational fact sheets and 2-D photos,” says Bree Al-Rashid, managing broker of Redfin’s Seattle operation. “It’s great that [Matterport] allows us to give them more information. It’s a big differentiator from other agents and brokerages, and it’s just plain cool.”

Here’s how it works: The Matterport camera sits on a tripod and spins around in a full circle, scanning a room and collecting the data to display in 3-D. Several “sweeps,” or scans, from different locations in a room may be necessary in order to capture the full image (youwill need to scan in front of and behind a piece of furniture so the 3-D rendering can capture the entirety of the room). Once you’ve got all your scans, upload them to Matterport’s cloud server, where the images are formed into a 3-D model of the home.

But there’s more to it than just the capture phase. Here are some things to keep in mind when capturing and marketing 3-D listing data.

Whom to Target With 3-D Imagery

International or out-of-town buyers: Seattle has been experiencing an influx of wealthy foreign buyers lately, and the 3-D listing data is most helpful for clients who cannot be physically present to tour a home, Al-Rashid says. But for any market with a high volume of international buying activity, 3-D imagery will likely take hold in the future.

“We’re a port city with a lot of international commerce, and we’re a city that is heavily recruiting for international business,” Al-Rashid says of Seattle. “The 3-D listings give them an opportunity to see from afar exactly what they would see if they were here. One of our first 3-D listings was sold to an international buyer.”

Sellers concerned with privacy: Brandon Doyle, ABR, a salesperson with RE/MAX Results in Maple Grove, Minn., who has been using Matterport for several months, explains to sellers that 3-D tours will cut down on the foot traffic through their homes and attract more buyers who are ready to make offers.

“With 3-D listings, buyers get a better sense of the home’s proportions, and it gives them a better idea of what they will see when they tour the home in person,” Doyle says. “It helps them make a decision earlier in the process, so those who do actually come to the home are more serious buyers.”

Renters: It’s sometimes difficult to get reliable access to rentals, Al-Rashid says. Landlords are not always available, and home owners who are renting space in their home can be even harder to track down. 3-D rental tours can cut down on the number of times you have to request access to a property, making it easier on both the prospective renter and the landlord or owner.

BBM is now offering 3D Virtual Tours!  Visit www.beyondboldmedia.com for more information and a sample of a 3D Virtual Tour of one of BOLD Moves Real Estates’ great listings.

Visit www.boldmovesrealestate.com for more information on how we are incorporating 3D  Virtual Tours into our listings.

This blog was posted on www.beyondboldmedia.com on December 11, 2015.

Marion Fourth of July Parade, Agent Rising

Marion, MA Fourth of July Parade!

The Marion Fourth of July Parade stepped off at 9AM Saturday on a sunny summer morning.  The Parade had lots of attractions for young and old alike.  It’s always  a treat to see all the veterans and bands and Boy as well as Girl Scouts.

There was a great deal of floats of local businesses, including lots of floats overflowing with adorable kids from some of the local daycares and recreation programs.

There was a great turnout of tractors, new as well as old and even a tractor pulling a minion train filled with kids.

There was lots of antique cars as well as the local fire trucks from all the towns with sirens blowing and lights flashing.

The kids were thrilled to catch the candy many of the vehicles handed out.

It’s a great annual tradition that never disappoints.

Visit www.beyondboldmedia.com for more community news.

This blog was posted on June 6, 2015 on www.beyondboldmedia.com

BOLD Moves Real Estate

Informational Real Estate Seminar!

BOLD Moves Real Estate

 

Visit www.beyondboldmedia.com for more upcoming events.

This blog was posted on www.beyondboldmedia.com on May 27, 2015

Agent Rising

Fairhaven/ Acushnet Broker Tour April 2 !

Fairhaven/Acushnet
Broker Tour

 April 2, 2015

Please join us 

When:
1st Thursday of every month
Includes:Current Listings in Fairhaven and Acushnet

Where: Tour starts promptly at 9:00 am at the first house scheduled on tour

*Light lunch served at last house on tour
Please submit 
listings by Tuesday March 31
to 
Dave Garro
Dave@Boldrealtors.com
Looks like the Market is Off and RUNNING ….lets see those 
listings!

Sponsored 
by 
a

 
You can’t sell a house unless you’ve seen it!!!

Please join Dave at this week’s Fairhaven/Acushnet Broker Tour.  Tours are always full.  Professional brokers and agents only.  It’s a nice way to network and see what houses are available for your clients.

Visit us at www.boldmovesrealestate.com for more realtor news.

This blog was originally posted on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on March 30,2015

Agent Rising

Millennial Buyers!

Agent Rising

Who are the millennials?  Basically they were born from the early ’80s through the late ’90s, have accrued student loan debt and  have lacked the financial ability to buy their own homes.  Even 30-year-olds were as likely to be stuck in their childhood bedrooms as owning their own home according to a recent Report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Things may be turning around for this generation.  While they are still carrying large amounts of student debt, home ownership may be in their future.

This generation has struggled in the job market.  Unemployment rate was high for this group between 2007 and 2010 but the outlook is improving.  Unemployment is coming down and they may see rising wages over the next couple of years.  About one quarter of them possess a bachelor’s degree which accounts for the student debt, but will help them in the job market.

New household formation which dived during the recession is back up.  They are actually stating to move out of their parents’ house.

Mortgages are becoming within reach.  FHA and USDA loans require little or no money down and rates are still low.  Mortgage insurance premiums are also more affordable.  With the housing market crash, many were staying away but they are starting to think about home ownership and saving money to buy a home.

Time will tell but it looks like the tide is turning toward home ownership for millennial buyers.

Source: March 6, 2015  nytimes.com

Visit us at www.boldmovesrealestate.com for more trends in real estate

This blog was published on www.boldmovesrealestate.com on March 12, 2015

Agent Rising

New Bedford Celebration Day in Fort Myers, Florida!

Agent Rising

 

New Bedford Celebration Day in Fort Meyers, Florida occurs yearly and always draws a huge crowd.  Snowbirds and natives  of the Southcoast flock to this event in  Fort Myers each year to celebrate their native city.  This event   always draws close to 1,000 attendees.

WBSM will be there with PHIL Paleologos and Kasey Silvia broadcasting live from Fort Myers on March 10th and March 11th as well as from the New Bedford Day event on March 10th with live call ins during the afternoon.

BOLD Moves Real Estate will be the featured business along with Dave Garro of BOLD Moves. There will also be 40 Live and Recorded promotional announcements the week leading up to broadcast  Starting March 3, 2015.

Dave Garro, a real estate agent at BOLD Moves Real Estate is excited to be part of this event and invites everyone to listen in.

Dave Garro, along with BOLD Moves Real Estate will also be hosting another Seller’s Workshop on March 16th  at Flour Girls in Fairhaven, MA.  Stay tuned for more information.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com 

Agent Rising

 

Agent Rising

Real Estate Designation and Certification Courses!

Agent Rising

 

The National Association of Realtors encourages members to increase their professionalism, proficiency, marketability and income through pursuing of an officially endorsed NAR designation or certification.  Besides the many professional benefits and quality education these courses offer, many of these courses have already been approved for continuing education credits.

Here are some of the Designation Courses:  Accredited Buyer’s Representative  Designation (ABR)

Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)

Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)

Council of Residential Specialists (CRS)

NAR’s Green Designation

Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)

Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

These are Certification Courses:

At Home With Diversity

BPO’s: The Agent’s Role in the Valuation Process

e-Pro Certification Program

Military Relocation Professional Certification (MRP)

Resort and Second-home Property Specialist (RSPS)

Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR)

These are all great courses to help you in your real estate career and many offer CEU’s

Visit learning library.com for more information.

Visit us at www.agentrising.com for more information.

 

New Agent Training Webinar!

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2015_02_08_05_45_18

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors hosted a Webinar on New Agent Training with Kate Lanagan MacGregor, broker-owner of Bold Moves Real Estate, Agent Rising Real Estate School and Beyond Bold Media.

The Webinar ran Wednesday, February 11, 2015 from 10am-11am.   Over 90 people enrolled to watch the Webinar and there was great participation.  New agents as well as seasoned agents attended and found it very informative and enlightening.

The 10 Strategies to Success Highlighted in the Webinar:

Serve, Start, Systemize, Support, Stay, Strengthen, Sell, Say Thank You, Significance, and Surprise.

In 2013, Kate chaired the New Agent PAG for Massachusetts Association of Realtors and Presented on this topic at the MAR Annual Conference and Trade Show.

The Webinar is an update on those 7 Strategies to Success

In Kate’s words:

“I believe in a strategic and comprehensive approach to developing  yourself, your brand and your business.These 10 strategies ensure that your actions are with purpose, and directed toward the success you want for yourself.I cover topics from good old fashioned thank you notes to how  to use Big Data and The Internet of Things to your benefit.

I am passionate about helping enhance the professionalism of all REALTORS®, new agents in particular.

As owner and operator of  BOLD Moves Real Estate, Agent Rising Real Estate School and Training Center, and Beyond BOLD Media, I believe that owning the 3 companies acts like a ‘3 legged stool’. Sales, Education and Marketing are all important in your success, and I tie them together in my  ‘think outside the box’ way to bring you the most relevant and positive Strategies for your Sales Success.

Have you had questions about branding, time optimization, database generation and social media? We cover those in a system that is very easy to follow!

Please join me! Whether you are a new agent, an agent wanting motivation or training a new agent, I offer a fresh perspective on what success looks like!”

If you missed the Webinar, don’t despair.  You can watch it on www.marealtor.com and click on the link with archived webinars.  You can watch the whole webinar.

Make it a BOLD Day!  Questions?  Call Kate at 508-728-3648

Visit us at www.agentrising.com

unnamed