29. December 2009 08:27
Q. What are the new trends in home building?
A. Every new home buyer has their own personal preferences, but according to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders, there are some new trends in the new home building market.
Buyers surveyed wanted spacious garages with lots of storage, and many buyers wanted space for a workshop. New home buyers want high-tech wiring for sound systems, computer networks, and entertainment. One of biggest shifts is buyers are looking for fewer open floor plans, and preferred partial walls that separate areas. Activity rooms were also important to new buyers. This included space for a home office, game rooms, exercise areas, home entertainment areas, or a family room/den.
Storage areas (kitchen pantry, walk-up attic, large closets, and special cabinets) were particularly important to new buyers. New home buyers also wanted homes with lots of natural light. Fewer buyers were interested in two story homes and preferred the master suite on the main floor with a walk-in shower stall.
If you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me, Marc Austin Highfill, at (804) 527-EXIT.
14. October 2009 14:12
Are you a smart consumer? Each year millions of dollars are lost from unscrupulous people and businesses who take advantage of unaware homeowners. The Better Business Bureau of the U.S. and Canada recently published four “red flags” that could prevent you from being taken by a scam artist:
Identity Theft. ID theft has become a serious threat to consumers. Thieves can gain access to your personal information by sifting through your trash and recycling bins, stealing your mail, sending you unsolicited emails pretending to be a financial institution (called “phishing”). Check with your bank or financial institutions by telephone before responding to unsolicited emails. Shred all personal and financial information before putting it in the trash. Lastly, never give out any personal information from unsolicited phone calls.
Door-to-door tricks. Beware of uninvited door-to-door sales people. They may have a product or service they are trying to sell to you that is overpriced, and you may feel pressured to purchase.
Mortgage fraud. Mortgage fraud is a serious concern. Typically, a “rip-off” artist buys a property and then artificially increases its value through a series of sales with another scam artist. A mortgage is then secured at the higher mortgage price.
The renovation racket. The BBB receives more complaints about home improvement contractors than any other profession. Obtain at least three bids before having any work done on your home. Pay little or no money upfront for renovation work. Resist pressure to sign a contract, or have it reviewed by an attorney before signing. Check with your local BBB and Registrar of Contractors to see if the company has had any complaints.
Being alert goes a long way. Check with your local Better Business Bureau, or online at www.bbb.org for more information.
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