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Energy Audit: How Insulated is Your Home?

by Lakeshore Realty

Don’t spend money on unnecessarily high energy bills. Make sure your new home is properly sealed and insulated is very important, not only for your wallet but for your health as well.

​There are a few ways to figure out if your home needs proper air sealing and insulation: high energy bills, drafty rooms, erratic temperatures, or agents like dust, mold and mildew.

Abnormally high energy bills could be the first sign that your home isn't properly sealed, even after you've carefully closed all the windows and turned off all the lights you don't need. Even drafty rooms can be a sign of a gap or crack letting warm air escape and cold air flow in or vice-versa. Dust, mold and mildew can appear from improper seals that control moisture and air flow. So, what do you do about it?

Find the Problem

First, find the root of the problem. Some air leaks are easy to find, like those around doors or windows; others are a little harder to find, like leaks around pipes or electrical outlets.

A professional team can come in, do a home energy audit and can tell you exactly what's wrong and how to fix it. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, find the problem yourself and fix it by replacing the seals in your air ducts, doors or electrical outlets. After all the air leaks have been properly fixed, determine if you need insulation. Floors above crawl spaces, garages or basements could need insulation to help warm the floors. This problem could persist if the heating system doesn’t allow enough heat to travel to the different rooms in the house. It could be the result of leaks, a malfunctioning system or ducts that aren't the right size for the heating system.

Find the Right Product

It is important to find the right products for your household. It might require a bit of research. There are many different types of seals available like felt, open-cell foams, vinyl, silicone and metal. Each one of these has its own characteristics. Felt and open-cell foams are pretty cheap, but they're visible and ineffective at blocking air flow. However they can be placed in areas that are not used as often or visible to the naked eye. Vinyl is a little more expensive, but lasts longer and blocks moisture. Metals last even longer and are much more economical. Caulk is another effective way to seal air leaks and can be used on other household appliances around the house. Silicone material is easier to mold into the perfect sealant because of its ability to match the compressions of the plastic or metals it's sealing.

Sealing and insulating your house is a project that should be done effectively and with the right products to save money and make sure that you are comfortable in your home.

The $50, $500, $5,000 Bathroom Remodel

by Lakeshore Realty

The $50, $500, $5,000 Bathroom Remodel

Looking to redo your bathroom? We'd all love one of those giant showers with the all the jets everywhere and a big soaker tub for two. Throw in some new cabinets while you're at it, and sparkly finishes to replace your old, rusted ones. Sounds good, doesn't it?

But not everyone has the budget to support that expensive reno. The good news is you can make an impact on your bathroom even without big dollars. Here, we lay out some options for a $50, $500, and $5,000 bathroom renovation budget.

The $50 Bathroom

The biggest bang for your buck with a $50 budget will be in changing your paint color. You can get a gallon for as little as $20, plus another $20 or so for supplies if you keep them to a minimum.

Or, if your cabinets are looking a little tired, pick up a quart of good paint and transform your space. Then, swing by Target and pick up a couple of $5 bath towels. Quality is less important than color since these will just be for display. Anna's Linens is another great place to find a bargain, like these $3 bath towels and $5.99 bath rugs.

If you are a DIYer with a good eye for a deal, you might even be able to pull off a flooring redo in a small space.

Check Lowe's and Home Depot for closeouts, clearance, and overage returns. Your local flooring shops may also have some merchandise they are willing to discount. Tile Clearance is another great place to look for everything for floor tile to wall tile and deco inserts.

If the only thing you really want in your bathroom is a more luxurious shower, try this five-spray WaterSense showerhead, $32 at Lowes.

The $500 Bathroom

At $500, you can replace a vanity, flooring, refresh your tub, and make your bathroom prettier and more functional. But, as Huffington Post advises "prepare for a lot of DIY. You can make a lot of updates to your home on your own with great success. But there are some projects you should leave to the professionals. Electrical and plumbing projects, for example, are complicated -- and doing them incorrectly can lead to additional repairs and additional costs."

A new single vanity can be found at Lowe's for as little as $119 on sale. A faucet will cost you a few bucks more. You can also replace an outdated wall mirror with smaller framed option like this $29 espresso framed mirror. And don't forget about the lighting. New vanity lights can cost less than $100 and do wonders for the modern livability of your bathroom.

A more luxurious spa experience can be had with a $79 TotalSpa 3-in-1 Hand Shower Slide Bar with Body Jets

The $5,000 Bathroom

The average bathroom remodel (and we're taking a total overhaul) costs about $15,000. But for one-third of that, you can achieve a great result.

The tricks for remodeling with a $5,000 budget are the same as for $50 and $500: 1) Make smart choices for the highest impact for your budget; 2) Research, research, research; 3) The more you do yourself, the more you get. You may choose to outsource the tricky stuff like plumbing and electricity, but demo and tiling are two things you can help with so you have more money for other cool stuff, like this $1000 American Standard soaking tub.

Too much of a splurge? You can scale back to this Kohler soaker tub for $634. Either way, you've upgraded your bathroom to more of a spa experience. Prefer to upgrade your shower instead? A multi-jet panel will turn it into a vertical spa.

Float your vanity for $1,500, choose a standout color for $1100 or express your classic side with two espresso single vanities side by side for $406 each. Tile your floor, shower, and all the way up your walls if you so want. By selecting a more budget-friendly tile and using the good stuff for accents, you'll make it go farther. Or, forgo broad use of tile and choose key areas to add in rich detail.

Get more information about bathroom tile here.

Of course, if you really feel like expressing yourself through a few stellar items, there is always the Neorest 550 toilet, priced at $2,992. With a dual flushing system, a programmable nightlight, hands-free automatic flush, an integrated warm air dryer, and a built-in air purifying system, what could be better?

Want more ideas? Check out this Better Homes and Gardens video on remodeling a bathroom for under $5,000.

 

  

  • Sold Properties by Lakeshore Realty Agents and Sold Lakeshore Realty Listings in January 2015

Below we have a list of properties that were sold in January 2015 by Lakeshore Realty Real Estate Agents and properties that were listed by Lakeshore Realty agents and were sold on the North Lake Tahoe, Incline Village and Crystal Bay real estate market.

135 Selby 

Bed: 3
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1964
Sq. Ft.: 1608

Days on Market: 9
Sold Date: 01/30/2015
Sold Price: $675,000

 Listing Agent:
Chris & Patti Plastiras

 

477 Driver Way

Bed: 4
Bath: 5.5
Year Built: 1985
Sq. Ft.: 4566

Days on Market: 142
Sold Date: 01/15/2015
Sold Price: $2,000,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez

 

718 Golfers Pass Rd.

Bed: 4
Bath: 4
Year Built: 1978
Sq. Ft.: 2806

Days on Market: 234
Sold Date: 01/05/2015
Sold Price: $840,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez

 

180 Lake View Ave.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3.5
Year Built: 1979
Sq. Ft.: 3149

Days on Market: 149
Sold Date: 01/30/2015
Sold Price: $1,750,000

Selling Agent:
Pat Evans   

 

562 Tyner

Bed: 3
Bath: 3
Year Built: 1974
Sq. Ft.: 2448

Days on Market: 6
Sold Date: 01/21/2015
Sold Price: $779,000

Selling Agent:
Pat Evans  

 

 

675 Tyner

Bed: 4
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1979
Sq. Ft.: 2616

Days on Market: 323
Sold Date: 01/15/2015
Sold Price: $795,000

Selling Agent:
Jean Schwartz

 

 

1077 Lucerne Way

Bed: 4
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1981
Sq. Ft.: 2176

Days on Market: 1
Sold Date: 01/16/2015
Sold Price: $550,000

Selling Agent:
Pam Fernandez

 

 

785 Freels Peak Rd.

Bed: 4
Bath: 3.5
Year Built: 1992
Sq. Ft.: 2786

Days on Market: 102
Sold Date: 01/07/2015
Sold Price: $1,125,000

Selling Agent:
Carole Madrid

 

 

321 Ski Way #117

Bed: 3
Bath: 2.5
Year Built: 1971
Sq. Ft.: 1360

Days on Market: 39
Sold Date: 01/29/2015
Sold Price: $323,500

Listing Agent:
Pam Fernandez

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

 

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PAINT

by Lakeshore Realty

Painting may not be everyone's favorite pastime, but knowing how to do it well is an important skill. After all, painting a room offers great impact at a low cost. With a few bucks and a few tips, any novice can transform a room from bland to bold, tired to lively, or outdated to updated.

Not keen to do it yourself? You still want to know what to look for and what you expect. At the end of the day, it's all about that paint, but it's not going to climb up onto the walls all by itself. Here are the most important things to know about paint, from buying to rolling.

1. Choosing a color

The look and feel of a room can be changed completely just be choosing a new wall color. But finding that perfect color is not always so easy. "Consumers typically try three to five paint colors before deciding on their final selection," said the Washington Post.

For those who don't know where to start, HGTV suggests experimenting "in a powder room or bathroom, a small hall or area between rooms, or an accent wall. To get started, select a favorite color drawn from artwork, a rug, dishes and an accessory or furniture piece as a main color or accent."

See HGTV for more tips on choosing wall color. You can also look at House Beautiful or Elle Decor for the latest trends in interior colors.

2. Buying the right stuff

If you're working with a designer, chances are you're going to end up with the good stuff, and there's nothing wrong with that. Good quality paint is just that: good quality. It's also, not surprisingly, good money. Experts swear by Benjamin Moore (and we're big fans ourselves), but Home Depot has a huge variety of paints for every budget, including some that compete in quality with the specialty paint stores.

Check out Yahoo's recommendations for paint that can cover in one coat.

3. Supplies

All the necessary paint supplies can eat into your budget. You may be able to skimp on plastic paint trays (or use disposable plastic food keepers that might be hanging out in your kitchen cabinets) but treat yourself to a higher quality paintbrush and roller. Otherwise you might end up with stray brush bristles or chunks of nap stuck in your paint.

Check out Apartment Therapy's complete list of supplies before you go, and remember that household items (like plastic bags or cellophane for wrapping paint brushes and rollers while you're taking a break) can make do in a pinch.

4. Pick the right finish.

There are a number of finishes you can choose, and some work better than others in different types of areas.

"As for paint finishes, you can't fail with a matte or eggshell finish on walls and a satin finish on trim," said Real Simple. Although, if you have small kids and/or animals, or are prone to wiping your hands on the walls, stay away from matte. A shinier finish will be easier to wipe clean.

5. Make use of those supplies and prep well before going for it.

Once you've figured out the paint color, bought all the materials you need and are ready to begin, it's time to…stop. Fail to prep well for painting and you'll end up with a mess. On your furniture. On your baseboards. On your floors. On your ceiling. And everywhere else.

Prepping can be relatively easy or a huge hassle depending on the size of your space and the condition of your walls, but in the end it will all be worth it.

See DIY Network for a prepping overview.

6. Take your time.

Yes, painting your space may take longer than you want or expect, and you may be tempted to rush through it. But taking your time will yield the best results. Especially if you have a space that requires you to cut in, a little patience (and a steady hand) will be key to finishing the job in a way that doesn't require you to call a professional to come do it over.

7. Enjoy the finished project

Because painting is a relatively small job that can be done in a day or a weekend depending on the space, the gratification is near instant. Once you're finished, stand back, survey your work, and feel that sense of pride that comes with a job well done. And if, in the end, you don't like the color you chose, just remember: you can always start all over again.

Source: www.realtytimes.com

DIY Brick Path Adds Beauty and Value

by Lakeshore Realty

Gardener and Gannett News Service editor Lisa Kaplan Gordon quotes economist John Harris and 

California appraiser Sandy MacCuish when she says landscaping adds to the overall value of a house. So you mow the lawn and trim the trees and water the garden to keep it looking nice and inviting. And it certainly does 

until you allow your guests to trudge through wet grass to your front door instead of building a convenient path for them to use—sparing the life of that gorgeous green grass you've been raising all season.

Next time you find yourself stepping around mud to get the Sunday paper or trundling through wet grass to pick tomatoes from the garden, think about how nice it would be to have a brick path, especially if it was budget friendly and added value to your property.

Picking the Location

The path should be conveniently located, but also needs to be at least three feet away from trees; if you don't, you risk not be able to dig up the top layer of soil for the base and bricks, as large tree roots will make this difficult if not impossible. It's crucial that you plan the path location before digging by laying rope, string or hose the length of the path to see if your idea of path placement has any inferences (bushes, tree roots).

The path needs to be between three and four feet wide. Design it to connect entrances and different sections of the yard.

What About Equipment?

You’ll save a ton of money on labor if you do it yourself. The other costs (e.g. materials, tools and equipment) depend on what type of bricks you use, what tools you already have, and what tools or equipment you buy or rent for the project.

Using the right equipment for your project will make it easier and you'll finish building much quicker. Rather than shoveling dirt, use a mini excavator or backhoe to dig up the six to eight inches of top soil quickly and make it easier to move soil and base materials. Then, rather than using a manual tamper the length of the path to compact the sand and crushed stone base, renting compaction equipment takes much less time and effort. Tools you’ll need: tape measure, mallet, spade, shovels, screed, level, push broom, chisel, hammer and a masonry saw to cut brick.

How to Lay a Brick Path

Building an attractive, long-lasting brick path takes a weekend and a little planning according to “This Old House” senior editor Mark Powers. He and landscape contractor Roger Cook caution DIY homeowners to keep the path away from trees with roots that could potentially push bricks up. They suggest a good base under the bricks, as well as a slight slope for better drainage and to avoid displacement of bricks from freezing and thawing of water.

Use bricks rated for severe weather over a base of crushed stone and stone dust topped with sand tamped down well.

Foreclosures Down 66 Percent From Peak, but Still Twice Normal

by Lakeshore Realty
Foreclosures during the 12 months ended on December 31 were the lowest recorded in the U.S. over that time period since November 2007 CoreLogic said today.  The total of completed repossessions during the period was 563,294 and December was the 34th straight month to post a 12 month decline.

Foreclosures in December were down 7,000 units to 39,000, a 13.7 percent decline from December 2013.  This was also a 66 percent decline from the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010.  Month-over-month completed foreclosures were down 4.9 percent from the 41,000 reported in November.  Despite the many months of improvement in the foreclosure numbers, CoreLogic points out that completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide in the years 2000 to 2006 and since the financial crisis began in September 2008 some 5.5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.

 

 

Five large states together accounted for almost half of foreclosures nationally for the 12 months ending in December 2014; Florida (118,000), Michigan (49,000), Texas (35,000), California (29,000) and Ohio (28,000).

"In 2014, the annual sum of completed foreclosures declined 15 percent from the 662,000 reported in 2013," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. "Completed foreclosures last year were less than half the 1.2 million peak in 2010, but remain twice the level of normal activity over 10 years ago."

The foreclosure inventory, that is homes in some stage of foreclosure, declined by slightly over one third between December 2013 and December 2014; from 840,000 units to 552,000.  This represented 1.4 percent of all mortgaged homes in the U.S., back to a rate last seen in March 2008, compared to a rate of 2.1 percent the previous year.  The inventory was 2.9 percent lower than in November 2014.

All states posted double-digit year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory with the exception of West Virginia, which only fell slightly short with a 9.5 percent decrease. Thirty-three states showed declines in year-over-year foreclosure inventory of greater than 30 percent.  Utah and Florida posted the largest declines, down 48.8 percent and 48.6 percent respectively.

 

 

The District of Columbia experienced a 21.7 percent increase and was among the areas with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of mortgaged homes at 2.4 percent.  The District was behind New Jersey at 5.2 percent, New York (4.0 percent), Florida (3.7 percent) and Hawaii (2.7 percent.)

"The steady decline in the number of completed foreclosures is a good sign of healing in the U.S. housing market," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Nonetheless, there remain many pockets of the country with very high foreclosure inventories, underscoring the unevenness of the nation's housing recovery."

The national serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due, was 4.1 percent in December 2014, the lowest rate since June 2008. The level of serious delinquencies in December 2014 was 21.6 percent lower than in December 2013.

Some states are still posting high serious delinquency rates however, with most being those using a judicial foreclosure process.  The three highest rates were in New Jersey (9.0 percent), Florida (7.9 percent) and New York (7.3 percent).  The state in the non-judicial foreclosure column with the highest rate was Nevada at 5.4 percent followed by Alabama (4.5 percent) and Arkansas (4.4 percent). 

SOURCE: www.mortgagenewsdaily.com

North Lake Tahoe January 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

by Lakeshore Realty
  • North Lake Tahoe January 2015 Real Estate Sales Comparison

The charts bellow reflect Incline Village real estate sales for the month of January in the past 5 years. These reports we're created individually for Residential Home sales and Condominium Sales.

  • Residential Home Sales Report


 

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Residential Home sales.

  • Condominium Sales Report

Click here for larger image

- Please note that the report above was created using data extracted from the MLXChange System and reflects Condominium sales.

To access all the Incline Village and Lakeshore Realty listings please click here. You can also contact us by email or call us at 775-831-7000. If you are in Incline Village, please visit us at 954 Lakeshore Blvd. Incline Village, NV 89451.

Home Prices Turn Negative in Three States

by Lakeshore Realty
The uninterrupted streak of annual nationwide price increases was extended to 34 months in December CoreLogic said today.  The company's Home Price Index (HPI) that includes sales of distressed properties (short sales and lender owned real estate (REO) was up 5 percent compared to December 2013.  There were signs of weakness however as three states showed a deterioration in year-over-year prices and the national index including distressed sales dipped 0.1 percent compared to November.

 

 

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have seen prices climb back to within 10 percent of their pre-housing crisis peak but annual sales including distressed properties fell in December by 2.2 percent in Connecticut, 0.9 percent in Vermont, and 0.7 percent in Maryland.

The states with the greatest December to December growth in the distressed sales HPI were Colorado (+8.4 percent), Texas (+7.8 percent), New York (+7.6 percent), Nevada (+7.3 percent) and Michigan (+7.2 percent).

CoreLogic's HPI which excludes distressed sales increased 4.9 percent in December compared to a year earlier.  The five states with the highest home price appreciation were: New York (+8.0 percent), Colorado (+7.8 percent), Massachusetts (+7.2 percent), Texas (+7.1 percent) and Nevada (+7.1 percent).  Prices were up 0.1 percent for the month.

Sam Khater, CoreLogic's deputy chief economist said, "For the full year of 2014, home prices increased 7.4 percent, down from an 11.1 percent increase in 2013.  Nationally, home price growth moderated and stabilized at 5 percent the last four months of the year. The moderation can be clearly seen at the state level, with Colorado, Texas and New York at the high end of appreciation, ending the year with increases of about 8 percent. This contrasts with previous appreciation rates in the double digits-for instance, Nevada and California which experienced increases of more than 20 percent earlier in 2014."

CoreLogic's HPI including distressed sales in December was 13.4 percent below the peak it reached in April 2006.  Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -9.6 percent.  The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines, including distressed transactions, were: Nevada (-36 percent), Florida (-33.5 percent), Arizona (-29.5 percent), Rhode Island (-29.1 percent) and Connecticut (-25.2 percent).

While 89 of the top 100 Core Based Statistical areas tracked by CoreLogic posted year-over-year increases, 11 saw declines.  Those areas were widely scattered geographically but six were in the Northeast.  The largest losses were suffered by Worcester, Massachusetts where prices declined 2.5 percent, Bridgeport-Stanford-Norwalk, Connecticut (-2.3 percent) and Baltimore (-1.9 percent). 

CoreLogic projects that home prices including distressed sales will increase 0.1 percent from December 2014 to January 2015 and the year-over-year change with be a positive 4.8 percent.  Excluding distressed sales, which are shrinking in their share of sales and also in their impact on statistics, the increase will also be 0.1 percent month over month and the annual increase is forecast at 4.5 percent.

"Nationally, home price appreciation took a pause in November and December 2014 and we expect a slow start to 2015," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "As the year progresses, we expect upward pressure as low inventories and more first-time buyers drive up home prices.

SOURCE: www.mortgagenewsdaily.com

 

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LakeshoreRealty.com
Lakeshore Realty
954 Lakeshore Blvd.
Incline Village NV 89451
775-831-7000
800-954-9554
Fax: 775-831-6777

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