Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Only a Month to Go

If you're considering the purchase of a new home, there's only a month left for you have a contract in place on a home for the tax credit. First time home buyers are entitled to an $8,000 tax credit (if they qualify), and those who have owned a home before are also possibly entitled to a $6,500 tax credit (if they qualify).

Don't wait until the last week of April to look for a home. The search will take a little time, then after the first offer, negotiations must take place. Following a binding contract, a home inspection should be completed to repair problems in the home.

For all homes under contract prior to April 30, 2010, closings must take place no later than June 30, 2010. The reason for this two-month time period is for banks who are selling foreclosures and those short-sale deals will have an opportunity to get closed.

There's more information on the first-time home buyer tax credit by clicking HERE. To learn more about the $6,500 tax credit for those who have owned a home previously, click HERE. If you have any additional questions about either of these credits, give your CPA or tax attorney a call.
If you're looking for a new home or want to sell your home, give me a shout. I'm here to help you get the price, terms and conditions that you want.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When Furniture Shopping is a Necessity!

After my flooded condo was initially cleaned up, my insurance company wanted a comprehensive total of all of my losses. Needless to say, among the many things on the list, one item stood out - my sofa. The water damage to the fabric was irreversible and so shopping for a new sofa became a necessity.

I'm not much of a browser and never have been. But my excursion to find a new sofa after the insurance company took mine became a mission. I started at a locally owned furniture store - a store we've bought most of our furniture from. There was nothing there that I really liked. So I went onto the next one ... and then the next one ... and the next one ...

My journey took me to Thomasville in Cool Springs where I searched the showroom to see if there was something there I could "live with". I looked at all the sofas on the floor (their Floor Sample Sale is going on now), and found one that I really liked. But it was almost white. With sometimes muddy shoes, or the desire to lie down on the sofa after a workout, I didn't think that one would quite work out. One of the designers, Cathy Meadows, greeted me and a few minutes later, she was answering all my questions.

With today's mass produced furniture in so many retail outlets, it's a challenge to find something that is built with quality in mind. Sofas and chairs are a real investment, so quality construction is essential. Among my list of questions Cathy answered for me were: (1) What's the frame made out of? (2) How is the frame constructed? (3) What is the construction of the springs? (4) What are the choices of fabrics or leather and what are their grades? (5) If leather, is it analine, semi-analine, pigmented, or corrected? (6) Is the leather top grain or split-hide?

Trying out various sofas for comfort and analyzing them for style, I finally landed on a contemporary sofa that I loved. And, it fit me perfectly - just the right depth for me to sit on without feeling like the underside of my knees were hanging off the cushions, and the perfect length for inevitable Sunday afternoon nap. The grand total of 78 inches in the seating area even makes it a great place to sleep if I have family in from Virginia. Thomasville won my loyalty that day, and I continue to send clients over to Cathy almost weekly. And if you'd like to visit Thomasville online before you go, CLICK HERE. You'll find just about any style for any room in your home.

Furniture knowledge isn't really all that hard. Before you go, do your homework. If you're looking for bedroom or dining room furniture, then know the difference in the ways that various pieces are constructed. Find out about veneers versus hardwoods. And learn about how seats of chairs are constructed. If looking for upholstered pieces such as sofas and chairs, research various construction techniques as well as various types of fabrics or leathers. Whatever you're looking for, remember that "you always get what you pay for" and that good quality furniture can last a long time.

And when you get there, always ask for a better price. The worst thing they can say is, "no". If you want the lowdown on all the other places I checked out, let me know. I'll be glad to share my experiences with you.

This Realtor knows houses, the Middle Tennessee market, and how to negotiate on his client's behalf. If you're looking for quality real estate services, give Jack a call.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sommet is Out, Bridgestone is In

If you've been behind the eight ball, or the hockey puck, rather, then you may not be aware of the latest change to the former GEC downtown. The ever unpopular, and unknown, Sommet Center name has now changed to Bridgestone Arena.

After a lawsuit against the Franklin-based Sommet Group filed by the Nashville Predators months ago, the pro hockey team partnered with Nashville-based Bridgestone to establish a new identity for the mega-arena. Luckily the lawsuit was settled and everyone can now "move on."

Bridgestone has been trying to improve it's image since the Ford Explorer escapade several years ago. Obviously Bridgestone needs and wants to build a stronger and better branding image, so identifying themselves through pro team sponsorships makes sense.

Now, when I go to see the Preds play, I'll feel like I'm sitting in a place that people can at least pronounce. Hopefully The Sommet Group can find another sponsorship that fits them a little better.

To read all about the center's change of name, check at the article from the Nashville Business Journal HERE. Thanks, Bridgestone, for giving this Nashville venue a little more recognizability.

Thinking about buying or selling a home in the Nashville area? Give me a shout to get the process started.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Undercover Boss

Alright, so I admit it - I watched "Undercover Boss" more out of curiosity one Sunday night when nothing else much was on TV. First episode, I was hooked.

The premise of the show is that a CEO, President, or Owner of a fairly large company will go undercover and work in several departments over a series of days to find out what really goes on in their companies. They pose as a new employee or as a person doing research on various jobs within a company. Little does anyone know, they're harboring the head honcho while they do their jobs.

Watch a little while and you'll find the appeal as I do. Not long into each episode, you'll laugh and you'll cry. You'll be amazed that female Waste Management drivers have to use the bathroom in a tin cup on their route. Or that it takes skill to assemble frozen White Castle burgers into their containers. And that blessings abound for those who work hard with a great attitude.

For more info on "Undercover Boss", check out THIS SITE. And don't miss any more episodes.

To work with an agent who takes care of his clients, give me a call. Your desires are my priority. And don't forget to tune into "Undercover Boss". It's worth watching.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Skating Into First Place

Since 1988, I've never missed watching the Winter Olympics. In fact, I remember distinctly watching Bonnie Blair's winning streak, Brian Boitano's gold medal performance, and Dan Jansen's memorable poignant moments.

This year was no different. Glued in front of the TV night after night, the only thing better would have being there in person.

Watching Shaun White take the gold for Men's Halfpipe Snowboarding was incredible. Having already won the gold medal for the event, he performed even better in his encore performance. How about Lindsey Vonn in the Ladies' Downhill Alpine Skiing event? Ever seen anyone ski like that? And then it only got better when Evan Lysacek told home the gold for Men's Figure Skating. To top it all off, Seth Wescott won gold in the Men's Snowboard Cross event.

I think there's a little bit of a competitor in all of us. Who doesn't secretly want to experience snowboarding in the Halfpipe event like White? The confidence that bursts from his pores is enough to encourage me to daydream that I could perform skateboarding maneuvers like he does.

Overall, the US (yes, that's us!) took home 37 medals, an all time record high. This year, we even outdid Germany, our fiercest competitor. If you want to see the final medal standings, CLICK HERE. You can see the results and get the scoop on each of the events.
For a real estate agent who consistently and constantly keeps up with the latest market conditions, give me a shout.