It pays to be a home owner and here is why

Daily Real Estate News | Home owners’ net worth is significantly higher than renters. A typical home owner’s net worth is $195,400 compared to a renter’s $5,400, according to the Federal Reserve’s last data from 2013.

The Fed’s next survey of household finances, which is conducted every three years, is due out in 2016 and the renter to home owner gap is expected to widen further due to price increases.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, predicts the figure to jump to $225,000 to $230,000 in median net worth for home owners in 2016 and around $5,000 for renters.

If that proves correct, the typical home owner will be ahead of a typical renter by a multiple of 45 on a lifetime financial achievement scale.


Should You List Your Home During the Holidays? | Today’s buyers never stop looking to purchase a home – and the holidays are no exception. They may check out the latest listings on their mobile devices before bed, while waiting for the Thanksgiving turkey to brown or while waiting for the kids’ school holiday show to start.

One of the benefits of listing during the holidays is that the inventory — and competition — are usually lighter.

Inventory for good homes often tightens this time of year. So there’s less competition for sellers, at a time when motivated buyers are out there looking – and no doubt wishing there were more properties to see.

If you’ve been considering selling, are motivated, are flexible on timing and have a home that truly sparkles, consider listing it before Thanksgiving. Those buyers flipping through listings at their kids’ basketball game will be excited to see something new and awesome hit the market – especially if there’s a lack of good inventory in their area. These buyers will be motivated to see your home, regardless of what the calendar says.

Old fashioned Thanksgiving Cooking

Roast Turkey
When buying turkeys under 12 pounds, allow 3/4 to 1 pound per serving. For heavier birds, 12 pounds and over, allow 1/2 to 3/4 pound per serving.

Wash turkey and pat dry. If desired, rub cavity lightly with salt. Do not salt cavity if turkey is to be stuffed.

Stuff turkey just before roasting-not ahead of time. Fill wishbone area with stuffing first. Fasten neck skin to back with skewer. Fold wings across back with tips touching. Fill body cavity lightly. (Do not pack stuffing. It will expand while cooking.) Tuck drumsticks under band of skin at tail or tie together with heavy string, and then tie to tail.

Heat oven to 325º. Place turkey breast side up on rack in open shallow roasting pan. Brush with shortening, oil or butter. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in thickest part of inside thigh muscle or thickest part of breast meat and does not touch bone. Do not add water. Do not cover.

Follow Timetable for approximate total cooking time. Place a tent of aluminum foil loosely over turkey when it starts to turn golden. When 2/3 done, cut band of skin or string holding legs.

(Ready-to-cook weight)
6 to 8 pounds
8 to 12 pounds
12 to 16 pounds
16 to 20 pounds
20 to 24 pounds
(Approximate total cooking time)
3 to 3.5 hours
3.5 to 4.5 hours
4.5 to 5.5 hours
5.5 to 6.5 hours
6.5 to 7 hours
(Internal temperature)
(This timetable is based on a chilled or completely thawed turkey at a temperature of about 40º and placed in a pre-heated oven. Time is slightly less for un-stuffed turkey. Differences in the shape and tenderness of individual turkeys can also necessitate increasing or decreasing the cooking time slightly. For best results, use a meat thermometer.)

There is no substitute for a meat thermometer for determining the doneness of a turkey. Placed in the thigh muscle, it should register 185º when the turkey is done. If the bird is stuffed, the point of the thermometer can be placed in the center of the stuffing and will register 165º when done.

When turkey is done, remove from the oven and allow to stand about 20 minutes for easiest carving. As soon as possible after serving, remove every bit of stuffing from turkey. Cool stuffing, meat and any gravy promptly; refrigerate separately. Use gravy or stuffing within 1 or 2 days; heat them thoroughly before serving. Serve the cooked turkey meat within 2 or 3 days after roasting. If frozen, it can be kept up to 1 month.

Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive

The kitchen is the focal point in most houses. It’s where tasty things happen and people want to gather. You can spend virtually limitless money to make them look great. But if you don’t have the big bucks there are still many far less expensive ways to make your kitchen look fabulous. Here are a few.


Super clean and declutter. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how even the most posh-looking kitchen can be cheapened by needless clutter and dirty dishes and appliances. It costs nothing to buff, polish and organize. Start there.
tradition-white-kitchen-island-storageUse white. White works. White is clean, open, invigorating, something you really want in a kitchen — and it goes with anything. It’s also a great backdrop to colored accessories. A white kitchen with carefully chosen accents looks rich.
kitchen-flooring-vinyl-or-linoleum-3m8yveysCreate a floor. You don’t have to spend a fortune on imported tile or wood to get a great looking floor. Vinyl flooring has come a long way and it’s inexpensive. Vinyl flooring is available in virtually any color or pattern you can imagine and can even imitate other more expensive materials, such as hardwood, tile or marble. It’s also very easy to clean.

modern-kitchen-chandelier-designs-and-kitchen-lighting-design-ideas-pictures-images-2016Light it up. Here again, your choices are only limited by your imagination. Think outside the box. Who said you can’t hang a chandelier in the kitchen? Nothing looks cooler than a grand, crystal fixture hovering over a laid back breakfast table.

Add Wallpaper. You don’t need a lot. One papered wall is a great accent. You can also line a hutch, china cabinet, or kitchen drawer with it. This little detail will add a pop of pattern and color to often overlooked spaces and won’t break the bank.

Hood the range. There are few kitchen appliances that are as eye-catching as a stylish range hood. If you have the space and the budget, this is a piece that’s worth the splurge.

Contemproary-Industrial-KitchenGo Industrial. Check out industrial tables and professional fittings. They are a guaranteed way to bring real authenticity to your kitchen. Swap out your generic sink faucet with a restaurant style for an instant update and a great look.

Upgrade the hardware. Hardware is like earrings for your kitchen cabinetry. It delivers a major bang for your buck and comes in every style imaginable. If you do nothing else, changing hardware will make a huge difference.

vintage-turkish-kilim-rug-kitchen-marbleAdd a Vintage Rug. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to buy an unsightly kitchen-specific rug or mat. Treat this room like you would any other and introduce a beautiful, durable textile right by the kitchen sink.

Hang Art. Visitors are always gathering around the kitchen, so why not give them something unexpected to look at? Adding a small collection of casual art pieces creates an instant focal point for conversation.

panoramic-kitchen-decor-in-modern-penthouse-designed-interestingly-with-purple-flowers-to-color-the-bright-interiorCreate an Arrangement. When it comes to your kitchen table arrangement, go for drama. Arrange a series of potted plants, flowers, and branches in the center of your kitchen just like you would find in your favorite restaurant, hotel, or store.

Tips to finding the right babysitter

In this day and age with a lot of nut cases running around, finding someone you can trust with the most precious people in your life is not easy and should be taken very seriously. Trusting someone with your children isn’t a decision you can make lightly, so devote all the time it takes to find the right one. Here are some things to look for.

If your child is an infant or baby: The first time you get the courage to leave your baby alone can be heart-wrenching-which is why the person you select should be very experienced with infants and babies. They should be able to feed, burp and change your baby and should enjoy working with newborns. Ideally, this sitter should be trained in infant and baby CPR and first aid.

If your child is a toddler or a young child: Young children and toddlers can be rambunctious, so it’s important to find a sitter who can handle moods. In terms of personality, the sitter should be warm, competent and calm so that she can easily soothe your baby. The sitter should be fun and entertaining, but also able to set boundaries. CPR and first aid training is a plus, as is a sitter with lots of energy herself.

If your child is in elementary or middle school: As your child gets older, finding a sitter who’s a good match for your child in terms of personality becomes increasingly important. You want to find someone your child likes spending time with-and looks forward to seeing.

Where to look. The very best way to find a sitter is word of mouth. Ask your family, friends, co-workers and other moms at your child’s school if they have a great sitter they can recommend. You might even try your pediatrician. If you can’t find a sitter through a personal recommendation, try your local nursery school. Often, sitters will advertise on nursery school bulletin boards, or at other community centers frequented by parents and young children, like the local library or your church.

Do a phone interview first. First, speak with the sitter on the phone to get a sense of her experience and personality, and whether her availability meets your needs. You can also ask what they charge – there’s no sense in going through the rest of the interview if she charges more than you’re willing to pay.

Don’t cheap out. Another way to ensure you’re hiring a good babysitter is to offer good pay. You can get what you pay for in babysitting, and older, more responsible babysitters want more money than teens. Pay can start from around the minimum wage in your area for a teenage babysitter to $13 or more for an experienced babysitter with CPR certification.

Get references. Do this before the in-person interview. That will be your best insight into what kind of job they do. Feel free to ask references anything you feel necessary to learn as much as you can. And don’t just stop at one. Talk to several people the sitter has worked for. If they don’t have any references, think twice about hiring them.

Set up a meet-and-greet. If you like what you hear after speaking to references, set up a time for her to come over and meet your child. If possible, get the sitter’s parent to join them in the interview. If your kid is a baby or an infant, this is a good time to observe how the sitter handles him. If your child is older, you may want to give the two of them some unstructured playtime, so you can see how they interact.

Be clear and specific about your expectations. Now is also the time to talk about your expectations. Is it okay if your child watches TV? Is it important that your child be asleep by 8 p.m. sharp? Are you looking for a sitter to go over your child’s homework? Do you have a dog that you’ll need walked and fed? Talk through these scenarios to make sure that the potential sitter is a good fit.

Do a trial run. You can learn a lot by doing a paid trial run with you present. A good babysitter won’t blink an eye at the request for a trial run. Watch her interact with your children. Do you like her style? How about her teaching skills; her playfulness? Are you comfortable with the way she disciplines? How do the kids connect with the candidate? After all, they’re the ones who will be spending the most time with her, so seeing the child-sitter interaction first hand can be a big help when making your final decision.

Above all, trust your gut. A potential sitter may seem like the ideal candidate and have all the qualifications you’re looking for, but if there is something nagging at you and it doesn’t feel right, don’t risk leaving your child alone with that person.

Larry Cirnigliaro
For all your Real Estate Needs!


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot

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