BBQ Facts and Recipes

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BBQ

Whether you’re a die-hard charcoal fan, or more of a Hank Hill “taste the meat not the heat” propane griller, I hope you enjoy these tips and recipes. One of the great joys of owning your own home is making a space for a little outdoor cooking. It can be hard to grill on an apartment balcony!

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (http://www.hpba.org/) recently shared these interesting facts for National Barbecue Month. You can see why grilling is so popular!

81% of Americans report that at least one aspect of grilling outside is easier than cooking indoors. The most convenient parts are cited as cleanup (49%) followed by the cooking process itself (40%).

The majority of adults (58%) agree that cooking out is more fun and relaxing than dining out and beneficial for avoiding travel (58%), dress codes (57%) and crowds (56%).

70% of Americans say cooking out gets them in a healthier routine, specifically by encouraging time spent outdoors instead of cooped up in the house. Outdoor cooking also encourages adults to make smarter food choices such as eating fresh rather than frozen foods (54% agreed) and cooking healthier food on the grill overall (40% agreed).

(Source: http://www.hpba.org/consumers/barbecue/national-barbecue-month-2011-summertime-and-the-grilln-is-easy)

Get your tongs, spatulas, brushes, rubs, marinades, and skewers ready. Grilling doesn’t always have to be about meat. If it grows, you can grill it, and adding garden variety fruits and veggies can transform a BBQ experience. Check out 15 amazing recipes, recently featured on the Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market website:
Quick and Easy BBQ & Grilling Recipes

Also: Don’t neglect to “set the stage” for grilling when selling your home. Dressing the patio for cookouts can get your buyers thinking of the fun summer afternoons ahead.

Invite the neighbors over and get grilling!

Looking for a patio you can call your own? Time to upgrade from no back yard to a grill-worthy lot? Get in touch with us today! Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com – 904-515-2479 Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside – The Hanley Home Team

Affording a Home

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20120705160210440496000000-oHome shopping can be tough when you’re not sure how much you can afford. If you’ve wanted to live the dream of owning your own home, but haven’t been sure where to start, we’ve put together a few tips that can make it easier to get a handle on where to start.

1. Tax benefits usually mean you can afford more than your rent. Interest deductions on taxes typically translate into significant savings. Many people find they can afford about 33% more than their current rent. To get an idea of what this might be for you, multiply your current rent by 1.33.

2. A home price two-to-three times your gross income is usually a reasonable place to begin. For example, if your household made $75,000 last year, you could begin looking in the $150,000 – $225,000 range to start.

3. Know how much you can put down. Ideally, you’d want to have 20% of the home’s price set aside for a down payment. On a $200,000 home, this would be roughly $40,000. While people qualify with less, it can result in higher interest rates (which translate to higher monthly payments).

4. Determine your “debt factor.” Lenders will often cite the 28/41 rule when it comes to your debt. This means that your mortgage (plus taxes and insurance) shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. Your total payments (credit card, car loan, etc.) plus your mortgage shouldn’t come to more than 41% of your gross monthly income.

We often work with first-time buyers and renters to get themselves lined up for home ownership. If you’d like to learn more, or have questions, we’re happy to help.  Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS, The Hanley Home Team – http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-515-2479

Buying a Flip

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images-7Have you recently fallen in love with a “flipped” home? Does the idea of moving into a cleanly renovated space excite you? To see an old home tuned up with brand new appliances, gleaming marble countertops, and fresh wood floors can make other homes seem shabby by comparison, but be careful before you make the leap. There are some precautions you want to take before you close.

“Flipped” or “rehabbed” homes are homes which real estate investors buy in order to renovate them and sell them for a profit. Sometimes these homes have been secured after short sales, foreclosures, surviving relatives, or even at auction. For real estate investors, part of the profit depends on how fast and affordably they can renovate the property. In seller’s markets, there’s even more pressure to make sure a home is ready to sell, fast.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with a flipped house, you will want to make sure you know a bit about the home’s history. Naturally, you’ll want to do all the due diligence you’d normally do when buying a home, but it can be useful to dig a little deeper. Here are some questions to ask:

1. What shape was the home in before it was renovated? Was it just outdated? Vacant? Trashed by squatters? Find out the state of the home when the flipper purchased it.

2. What deficiencies, damage, or other defects did the home have when the flipper bought it? Ask for a list of issues, if possible.

3. Who did the work on the house during the renovation? Contractors? Handymen? Did the flipper do the work personally? Are there invoices which detail the work completed and the money spent on the repairs? Were the appropriate permits secured?

4. Was anything left “as is”? What sort of issues were deemed too small or not vital to the renovation?

5. What was the legal history of the transfer of ownership? Short sales and foreclosures might have legal obligations on the flipper or other liens.

You shouldn’t shy away from a flipped home you love, but don’t go into the situation blind. We have experience working with buyers who have purchased flipped homes, and We’re be happy to help you navigate the questions. Let’s talk!

Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS – The Hanley Home Team – Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com

Making Good Neighbors

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teamphoto-houseLiving next door to someone doesn’t make you a neighbor. It makes you the stranger next door! One of the great opportunities we have in our communities is the chance to build real, meaningful relationships with the people who live closest to us.

While I understand the desire for privacy, I think it’s important we realize that regular, helpful communication with our neighbors makes us both safer and paves a smooth road for difficult conversations we might face with our neighbors in the future.

It doesn’t take much to start off the right way. Consider leaving a nice note in their mailbox, a small “thank you” gift for looking out for the neighborhood, or some other “olive branch” act that will build rapport.

Small gestures such as a nice note about landscaping, an invitation to a potluck, or an “all hands on deck” community improvement project allow us to get to know our neighbors. This is vital when you consider the people around you are the most likely to spot smoke in a fire, clue you in to suspicious activity, and have the opportunity to share vital local information.

What’s more, if you build a positive base with your neighbors, when the time comes to have a difficult conversation (such as a nuisance dog, kids running amok, or intrusive lighting issues), you’ll have a buffer of mutual respect and goodwill to draw on.

If your opening conversation with a neighbor is a complaint, you’re setting yourself up for a long, antagonistic relationship. Who wants to live next to that?

We think a civil community depends upon our connection to our neighbors. We all benefit when we depend on and trust one another!  Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside 904-515-2479

Making A Move To A New Home With Kids

Making a Move to a New Home with KidsAmidst the excitement of moving to a new home is a lot of stress for families with younger children. Often they don’t understand what is happening. That can make them feel powerless and afraid. Here are some ideas for turning those stressors into an adventure for your little ones.

Involve children in decisions

House-hunting with children is neither practical nor advisable since you cannot expect a home to be childproofed. You can, however, sit down with your children and ask them what would be most important in a new home. Do they love the outdoors … a big yard is in order, or a home near a great park, or both! If a tree-house is on their radar, be on the lookout for a great backyard tree and a neighborhood that allows for tree-houses. Do you want a pool? A pool with a safety fence can narrow down your choices for you. What about a big playroom, game room or media room? Separate bedrooms for each child?

Bring your family’s wish list with you to your very first meeting with your real estate professional. She needs to know exactly what you’re looking for, and what your kids are looking for, so that she can find you the perfect new home. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, show your kids pictures of the houses that fit their criteria.

Plan their new room

Even before you nail down the house choice, children can trek with you to home stores to look at paint chips. Letting your child choose his new room’s color can heighten the excitement of the move.

If you plan to include new bedding, a theme or other enhancements to the room, start a scrapbook or Pinterest board for each child to add their favorite ideas.

Packing together

Of course your child won’t be involved in the bulk of the packing, but seeing all of their familiar things shut away in boxes can be scary. Give each child a box to pack his treasured items, favorite books or special toys. Have him color or draw on the outside of the box so that he knows which one is his. If practical, bring those boxes in the car with you as you travel to your new home.

Give everyone a break

According to child psychologists, the stress of moving (including during the planning stages and once you’ve arrived at your new home) affects children’s sleep pattern, behavior, appetite, toilet training habits and anxiety levels. They may cling more, or be more aggressive. They may wake up during the night more often or even revert to thumb-sucking and bedwetting. A change in time zones, and the unfamiliar new surroundings can disrupt sleep as well.

You may be frazzled and so might they … so give everyone some extra grace.

Say goodbye

If your move takes you to a new city or state, take the time to visit all of your children’s haunts. The park they play in, or their preschool, the homes of their favorite friends, even their place of worship should be on the list. Give them an opportunity to tell everyone and every place “goodbye,” take photos to add to a memory book.

Be organized

Of course, being organized is the key to a sane moving experience for people of any age, but it is especially true when children are involved. Mark ALL of your boxes. If you have a tablet or computer, create a numbering system and list all of the contents of each box. When you have an urgent need for those special toys to calm a restless toddler or keep a child busy, knowing where to find them can ease your own anxiety.

Most of all, let the move be as fun and exciting as possible for everyone.  Give us a call today and we’ll help you and your family start the process of finding the perfect home:  Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS, 904-477-5278 http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside

Compliments of Virtual Results

Jacksonville, FL just named #1 hottest real estate markets to watch in 2017!

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The entire article and list of cities can be found here: https://www.trulia.com/blog/10-hottest-real-estate-markets-to-watch-in-2017/

 

Trulia’s annual hot-market ranking has a few surprises in store.

There are lots of reasons to choose a place to put down roots. Maybe you’ve been transferred for work. Maybe you’ve always wanted to own real estate in Charleston, SC, and you’ve found a deal that’s too good to pass up. Whether you’re looking for an investment or a new city with new opportunities, Trulia has compiled a list of the top 10 real estate markets poised for growth in 2017 based on five key metrics including high affordability, strong job growth, low vacancy rates, home searches on Trulia, and, because of the 2016 election’s outcome, a big population of Republicans. Did your favorite city make the cut?

 

1. Jacksonville, FL: Jobs and a great location

Situated on the banks of the St. Johns River and oft-considered part of southern Georgia given its proximity to its northern neighbor, Jacksonville, FL, has quite a bit going for it. Why is it so appealing? First, there are serious job opportunities. Jacksonville posted a 3.8% job growth rate in 2016, which makes it one of the healthiest markets for employment opportunities in the state. Second, there’s an increasing influx of people — which contributes to the area’s very high ratio of inbound home searches on Trulia by out-of-towners versus outbound searches by locals looking to leave. “There are so many people moving here and very little leaving,” explains Michael Paull, an area real estate agent. “There’s long-term economic stability here plus great schools, fantastic weather, and proximity to the ocean.”

– See more at: https://www.trulia.com/blog/10-hottest-real-estate-markets-to-watch-in-2017/#sthash.bs8nOey2.dpuf

Fireplace Safety for Fall

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Gathering the family around a crackling fire can be one of the joys of the coldest months… or it can be a nightmare. It’s one thing to be seated cozily on the couch while the firewood glows, and quite another to be standing on the curb in the cold watching the fire department trying to save your home.

More than 14,000 fires begin each year in fireplaces, and fires are the cause of nearly $900 million dollars in property damage. Don’t be a victim because of shoddy maintenance or careless usage of your fireplace. This goes for both wood-burning and gas fireplaces.

Here are some tips to maintain your fireplace and protect your life:

1. Before the coldest months set in, get your fireplace inspected. Remember, most inspection companies will be very busy during the winter, so try and secure an inspection at least a month or so before you anticipate using your fireplace heavily.

2. Inspect your fireplace before you use it. Take a flashlight and look in the flue. Look for obstructions. Check for cracked bricks, missing mortar, or other signs of damage. Be sure to clean out any ashes and dispose of them in a metal-lid trash can.

3. Burn properly. This means using seasoned hardwood (which avoids creosote accumulation), and burning logs on an approved rack or elevated grate. Also, don’t burn trash, cardboard, or other debris in your home fireplace.

4. Keep the area around the fireplace clear. Don’t put your Christmas tree near the fireplace, or anything else which is liable to combust. If it’s flammable, keep it safely distant from those flames.

5. Guard against sparks. Sparks may periodically leap from your fireplace, so use a screen to prevent them from landing on rugs or nearby furniture.

6. Don’t leave the house with a fire burning. Extinguishing a fire before you leave is common sense, so don’t leave those burning logs unattended!

Would you like a home with a fireplace? Let us help you find just the right one:  Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com 904-422-7626 Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside

Keller Williams Keeps on Growing!

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Keller Williams Q3 earnings continue to show growth

Keller Williams increased its agent count and number of transactions this quarter

BYAMBER TAUFEN STAFF WRITER

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Numbers only tell part of a company’s story, of course — but they’re an important indicator of how any given company is doing at any given point in time.

This quarter’s earnings report from Keller Williams continues to tell a story of growth.

The company reports $78.9 billion in sales volume in the third quarter of 2016, a 15.2-percent increase over the third quarter of 2015. It also reports that its agents closed 279,289 transactions in Q3 (up 12.7 percent over Q3 2015), and that franchisee owner profit and profit share increased 7.5 percent and 10.4 percent year-over-year, respectively.

“During September, when traditional real estate is content to slow down, we set all-time company records in every major production category we track,” said John Davis, president of Keller Williams, in a statement. “Our agents are focusing on the right activities at the right time. They’re expanding market share and funding bigger lives for their families.”

Keller Williams also reports that its net agent count grew by 5,431 agents in Q3, bringing its total agent count in the U.S. and Canada to 139,367. The company’s worldwide associate count is 152,331 and includes agents, office leadership, staff and coaches.

“While our top teams are closing more than 1,000 transactions annually, the median across Keller Williams is now between 7 and 8 [transactions per agent],” said Darryl Frost, spokesperson for Keller Williams.

“Our units per agent are holding strong, and both volume per agent and GCI [gross commission income] per agent have increased year-to-date in the midst of enormous gains in agent count,” added Frost.

“Our agents and local leadership teams are working hand-in-hand to build strong businesses and deliver a great consumer experience,” said Chris Heller, CEO of Keller Williams, in a statement.

Year to date, Keller Williams reported that:

  • It’s global associate count is up 16.8 percent year-over-year.
  • Closed transactions total 739,548 units, up 15.5 percent year-over-year.
  • Its sales volume is $206.6 billion, up 18.9 percent year-over-year.
  • Owner profit is $142 million, up 14.2 percent year-over-year.
  • Profit share is $122.1 million, up 17.1 percent year-over-year.

For the fourth quarter of the year, Keller Williams is looking at these key performance indicators that could help forecast Q4 performance:

  • In Q3 2016, agents took 177,134 new listings, an 8.2 percent increase over Q3 2015.
  • The volume of listings taken totaled $53.4 billion, up 12.7 percent over Q3 2015.
  • Agents wrote 295,977 contracts (projected to close in 60 days), up 11.9 percent over Q3 2015.

**Want your own awesome Keller Williams agent to help you buy or sell your home?  How about an entire team helping you!

Get in contact today – Kevin and Jennifer Hanley, REALTORS The Hanley Home Team 904-422-7626 Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners Southside http://www.HanleyHomeTeam.com