Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Last Minute Halloween Tips

Halloween is here – “BOO!”

History on Halloween

 

Here are some last minute Halloween tips from FineLiving.com – and – FoodNetwork.com

Happy Halloween!!!  Be safe – TrendMicro has some Trick or Treat safety tips!

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October 31, 2008 Posted by | Fun Post, Halloween, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Oprah & Suze Orman – Can I Afford That?

Recently, I viewed one of OPRAH’S shows, which featured Suze Orman in “Can You Afford That?” 

                                                                                            

Suze is a Personal Finance Expert with an Emmy Award Winning television show and one of New York Times Bestselling Author.  She has also recently spoke at the Century 21 International Convention and immediately dazzled the audience with her charisma. Suze is trying to make a difference through education and hopefully better peoples lives.  Even though not all may agree with Suze, there is much advice that someone can take and “adjust” into their own lives.  After all, she has experienced financial hardship in her own life – and I too have  “been there, done that” myself.

With all the money questions that people are asking these days, Suze answered many.  Should I spend or save?  Can I afford to buy a new car?  to retire?  to be a stay at home mom?  and… can I afford to purchase a HOME?

Oprah also has Money advice and lots of other life info – SpiritHealthStyleRelationshipsHomeFoodWorld and lets not forgot, the Book Club.

“When you get into a tight place and it seems that you can’t go on, hold on – for that’s just the place and the time that the tide will turn.”  –  Harriet Beecher Stowe

                                                         

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Finance, Money, Oprah, Suze Orman, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Milltown Road – Brewster, NY

Milltown Road in Southeast/Brewster, NY is my direct route to work and back home – as is for many Connecticut residents going into New York.  It’s approximately 8 miles long, and about 6 of those miles are in New York – starting at Route 22 in Brewster and the remaining 2 miles are in Connecticut – ending at Route 39 in New Fairfield.

Historic Milltown is one of the earliest settlements in the town and contains many significant older homes that are in Southeast – which was founded in 1788.

There are other roads to take, but Milltown Road is the only road for me – especially with all the wonderful things there are along the way to view.

 East Branch Reservoir

                       Horses out to pasture     

  Sculpures by – David Boyajian -displayed on the lawn

Cows enjoying a break in the sunshine  

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Brewster, Connecticut, Historical Homes, New Fairfield, NY, Southeast, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Halloween Fun!

Halloween – shortened for “All Hallows’ Eve” – has been around for centuries and is one of the most popular and enjoyed holidays of the year.

For some “Creepy” fun, check out the Headless Horseman site – I dare you!

And I Double Dare you to read the 6 Terrifying Tales of Halloween on About.com

                                                  

A great site with lot’s of Halloween and Fall info – PUMPKIN PATCHES AND MORE.ORG – like…

Hmmm??  Wondering if I should “Dress Up” during my showing for the month of October?

I big “BOO” – I mean Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Fall, Fun Post, Halloween, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Haunted House

   Halloween will soon be here and people are beginning to decorate their homes, buy costumes, candy, visit scary mazes and Haunted Houses.

Here’s some helpful sites to help “Spook up” your home:

HGTV’s “Creepy Garden”

                                  

                                         Halloween by: Jack Prelutsky

There’s a house upon the hilltop

We will not go inside

For that is where the witches live,

Where ghosts and goblins hide.

 From Holidays.Kaboose.com – here are some Halloween crafts, riddles and fun games!

                                                               

Make some Candy Apples with the help of Maholo.com or try some Carmel Apples – Yummy!

                                                

Have fun and be safe!

 Thanks again to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Fun Post, Halloween, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Halloween

It’s Halloween time!!  “OOOOOOOOOO” Click here to learn about the History of Halloween – if you Dare!

Where do you go for Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, Hayrides and more – Click Here on PUMPKIN PATCHES and MORE.org in New York and in ConnecticutCLICK HERE.

Also from PUMPKIN PATCHES and MORE.org – Some tasty recipes using Pumpkins, Apples and more! 

HGTV has some GREAT ideas for your “Spooktaculish” party –

                                                   

Scare up some fun with more Halloween Ideas! DIY has lots of Halloween Decorating and Recipe tips

                                                                                

Editor’s Picks Halloween Books for more ideas.

From Evite.com, their music picks for some terror-ific listening: 

  1. Werewolves of Londonby: Warren Zevon
  2. Living Dead Girl by: Rob Zombie
  3. Somebody’s Watching Me by: Rockwell
  4. Spellboundby: Siouxsie and the Banshees
  5. Don’t Fear the Reaper by: Blue Oyster Cult
  6. Tubular Bells by: Mike Oldfield
  7. Devil Inside by: INXS
  8. People Are Strange by: The Doors
  9. Possum Kingdom by: The Toadies
  10. Bela Lugosi’s Dead by: Bauhaus

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and CLIPART for these great Pics!

October 11, 2008 Posted by | Connecticut, Halloween, NY, Putnam County, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Price Your Home to Sell

In this more challenging market, “Price Your Home to Sell” featured in FrontDoor.com – has some helpful hints and how to list and sell your home.

                                                                

Interest rates are still historically low and there are buyers.  Although, those buyers – even first timers – are very knowledgeable and know exactly what they want – and many want a more move in home.

How can you stand out as a seller without spending too much money that you may not recoup?

  • First impressions are very important and you want a buyer to feel good  when they drive up to your home.  Add a dash of color with seasonal flowers – mums are great now in the Fall. Keep shrubs and grass trim, leaves raked and walkways clean and inviting. To take it a step up, Lowe’s has some great ideas – even if you just use one of these.
  • Keep your home clean and tidy – view HGTV’s Speedy Cleaning & Organizing Tips – Remember, buyers have a hard time getting past the mess!
  • As you all know, the Kitchen and Bathrooms are the most important features that buyer are looking for.  Keep them clean, decluttered and as updated as possible.  Some inexpensive ideas – like changing the hardware and/or painting cabinets, can help bring in more buyers.

                                             

A few other ideas – Reed Diffusers are great – they smell delicious and there is not the worry that you may have with leaving a lit candle.

Light and Bright – Open your blinds, pull back your curtains, have your lights on when you know there is a showing and leave a note for the Realtor to please shut them off when done.

                                                              

Leave a “Treat” for your potential buyers. Some have being viewing homes all day – a Trick or Treat bag is perfect this month!

Show off” your home by having your listing agent take many photos and add all that is allowed to your listing.

Please be flexible when it comes to showings.  You don’t have to leave your home for the entire afternoon – wondering if the agent has come yet.  As soon as they arrive, take a walk, a ride or visit a neighbor.

If your selling your home in the Fall or Winter, have photos of your home during the Spring and Summer seasons.

Also, if possible, have copies of your survey, floor plan, school info, local parks and shops.  Anything and everything that will help draw a potential buyer not only to your home, but your community.

Most importantly – PRICE it right!  Unfortunately, it’s not what you want or need – the market controls the price.  Have your agent inform you of what has recently Sold and any New Listings in your neighborhood as they come up during the entire listing time.  You need to know if a home 3 doors down that is larger and totally renovated, is on the market for LESS than your home.

Lot’s of LUCK!

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Channel Catfish Caught in Squantz Pond

    

My sister’s very good friend Janine and her husband, went fishing this weekend in Squantz Pond in New Fairfield, CT .  On Saturday at 1:00 am, Janine and her husband were surprised when they reeled out of the water a Channel Catfish of the white variation – a rarely seen fish and not common in Connecticut!

     

The DEP was been notified and Janine and her husband will qualify for a Trophy Fish Award!

                                           

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Connecticut, New Fairfield, Squantz Pond, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homebuyer’s Guide

Buying a home for the first time – or anytime – can be stressful.  From deciding where to live, how much to spend, who can you trust to walk you through the most important investment in your life – and many more issues.

Thanks to Frontdoor.com – you can view videos and read some helpful information about Homebuying.

   This step-by-step guide will help ease any anxiety.

Another excellent site is – About.com – Here you can read about  – Buying vs RentingReasons for buying – and Should you buy before getting married? and other answers to questions that you may have.

 Hope this information helps you achieve the American Dream of Homeownership.

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 6, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, First Time Home Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Apples and Home

From SOUTHBEACHDIET.COM

There is no concrete proof that “An apple a day will keep the doctor away”– although, apples do provide respectable amounts of fiber, some vitamin C, potassium and quercetin – a flavonoid that may help protect against heart disease.

                                                                        

Did you know?  There are over 7,000 varieties of apples available worldwide.  Some are better for baking while others are better for eating.  Try sliced apples with peanut butter – Yummy!

When buying – avoid wrinkled, bruised or soft apples.

Storing apples in the refrigerator will keep them fresh for up to 3 months. But, before eating – always wash skin thoroughly!

This is the time for apples – so much can be done with them – CARMEL APPLE CAKE CARMEL APPLES – A DOUBLE APPLE MOJITO – APPLE PANCAKES – and we can’t forget the All American APPLE PIE. Thanks to THE FOODNETWORK.COM

                                                                         

Now is the perfect time to go apple picking – have fun on the farm and …

enjoy apples and use them to decorate around your home – or – during a get together, try apple dunking – maybe after a double apple mojito!

                       

And don’t forget, if your selling your home, have a pot of apple cider cooking on the stove for a wonderful fragrance or bake some apple muffins– Mmmm!

HAPPY FALL!

October 4, 2008 Posted by | Apples, Autumn, Fall, NY, Putnam County, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fall and Landscaping

 

fall

It’s Fall and there’s still lot’s of gardening to be done besides raking leaves!  LOWE’S has helpful ideas for “Digging In” during Autumn’s cool days. What a great time to garden – no bugs, no heat and no sweat!

DIY Network explains why leaves change color in the Fall – making a ride to Upstate New York a wonderful place for foliage observers.

                                                             

If selling your home during the Fall season, it’s important to keep the yard neat and inviting by raking and decorating the yard with mums and pumpkins – and don’t forget to bring some of these fall items inside the home too! 

                                           

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Autumn, Fall, NY, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Great Real Estate Agent

Qualities of a great real estate agent

By Ilyce Glink | Published: 9/03/08

BY: FRONTDOOR.com

 

realtors 

When shopping for a home, matching an agent to your needs is vital.

There are great real estate agents and terrible real estate agents. Within each category are agents whose behavior puts them at the top and bottom of the spectrum.

In other words, the best real estate agents are truly stellar. The worst agents? Well, let’s just say that if you wind up with a terrible real estate agent you’ll probably have war stories to share about your home purchase or sale at the next cocktail party you attend. (Unfortunately, stories about terrible real estate agents are shared more often than stories about great real estate agents.)

When hiring a real estate agent to help you buy your next home, the trick is to find one who really listens to what you have to say; who will go the extra mile to help make your purchase a little less stressful; who will help you be objective when you become emotional about plunking down the single biggest chunk of cash ever; and who can help you understand and work with local market conditions.

 

I suspect that most buyers spend more time thinking about the curtains they’ll hang, the granite countertops they’ll install, or the boxes they’ll need for their move than the agent they’ll hire to help with the purchase of the property itself.

Why is that? Why isn’t creating a home-buying team the top priority when beginning the process of buying a home?

Perhaps it is because going through the process isn’t perceived as being that much fun.

But that’s where hiring a great real estate agent can make all the difference. What qualities should you look for?

The real estate agent you hire should have an intimate knowledge with your neighborhood of choice. The agent should have worked in a neighborhood for awhile, seen a lot of the housing stock, and know the history of the neighborhood, trends associated with it and where the locals hang out. The agent should know about home values and should have the ability to come to you and tell you what other homes have sold for in the neighborhood and what other homes are listed for in the same neighborhood. The agent should also have information to back up why some homes are listed for more than others and be able to represent you when you are ready to make an offer for a home. The agent should know about the school district, shopping, commuting and recreational options. He or she should basically be a wealth of information, and be able to point out the flaws as well as the outstanding features of the community.

The real estate agent you hire should be able to really listen to your wants, needs, dreams and desires, and ask questions that help you delve beneath the surface to figure out what’s really driving those wants and needs. Real estate agents sometimes say that “buyers are liars,” because buyers tend to change their mind about what they really want to buy during the home-buying process. But if an agent is able to draw out the buyer ahead of time, and help him or her focus on the important issues of the purchase, it will save everyone a lot of time.

It’s also important to hire an agent who is willing to tell you what you may not want to hear — but should. If you’re a buyer who is unrealistic about a local neighborhood, you’ll want an agent to tell you that what you want to buy can’t be found for the price and is unworkable in the current marketplace. No one wants to have their dreams dashed, but you’ll come to see that your real estate agent is doing you a favor by not allowing you to run away from reality.

A great real estate agent comes laden with resources, similar to a hotel concierge. (Some real estate companies talk about the “concierge” services they provide.) The agent you hire should be able to provide you with a handful of great home inspectors, mortgage lenders and real estate attorneys for you to interview. (Be wary of the agent who steers you to one specific inspector, mortgage lender or real estate attorney. What you want is a choice of great partners.) If you need help locating service people, a handyman, or even a new pediatrician, a great real estate agent should have those names and numbers at his or her fingertips. Being a walking neighborhood directory for many longtime top agents is part of the service they provide.

on-line

A great real estate agent stays in touch. Top real estate agents use technology to help them communicate frequently with their buyers. E-mail, BlackBerrys, iPhones, cell phones, electronic newsletters, Web sites, digital photography and video help agents share properties that they’ve previewed, provide feedback, and keep buyers updated on the progress that is being made.

Finally, when you hire an agent, it’s like a short-term marriage. When the transaction is completed, when you’ve bought your new home, the intense relationship you’ve created comes to an end. With a great real estate agent, you’ll find you don’t want your time together to end. While these are just some of the qualities you should look for in determining whether the agent is a good match for you, you still need to make sure to get referrals and recommendations for the agent from other buyers he or she has represented recently.

What happens next? Dinner — ostensibly to discuss past and future deals, but really to move your relationship into the long-term-friendship stage.

Images through iClipArt.com

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment