Saratoga Springs, NY Real Estate News

By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Watch a long workstation in a renovated basement vanish with the wave of a wand — er, with some clever architecture anyway. "Every mother needs a cockpit," says architect Elizabeth Emerson of E/L Studio. In this case the cockpit includes her client's long and linear office, extensive craft and wrapping paper storage, and a laundry room, with proximity to the kids' homework and craft area and playroom. The best part is, the parts that get messy — the office, homework stations and craft area — can be concealed behind a clean blue lacquered wall when the family wants to entertain. The renovation of the damp, low-ceilinged cellar of this 1911 home in Maryland posed many of the usual basement renovation challenges, including intrusive brick piers, moisture, hanging wires, exposed ductwork an...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Get your remodel right the first time, with this insight from an architect who's been there too many times to count. Over almost four decades of marriage, my wife and I have renovated, in whole or in part, five of our own houses. We have just purchased a home in a golf community so will, again, embark on a renovation project, our sixth. In addition to these home renovations for myself, I've helped scores of homeowners renovate, remodel and expand their homes as project architect. Through all of these projects, I've learned many tips, tricks and general rules about how to do more with less, stay on track and keep my sanity throughout. Here are some of them. by Streamline Design Ltd. - Kevin Simoes » 1. When it comes to size, use the Goldilocks rule. With all the talk about houses that ar...
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Published: March 19, 2013 Source: EPA Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/news/plumbing/neglected-home-repair-can-cost-you-100-or-more-year/#ixzz2PQ9Qwv68 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says one in 10 homes has a leak that wastes at least 90 gallons of water per day. Given the average cost of water, that adds up to more than $100 a year. “Easy-to-fix household leaks waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, which is equal to the amount of water used by more than 11 million homes,” said EPA Acting Administrator for the Office of Water Nancy Stoner. In just 10 minutes, you can give your home a water checkup. Start by looking at winter water bills and fixtures for water waste, then twist and tighten pipe and hose connections. Consider replacing broken or i...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
If you're waffling whether 'tis better to work with what you've got or start fresh somewhere else, this architect's insight can help. Do you stay where you are and renovate your existing house or do you move to another, maybe newer, house? How do you make that decision? Some will counsel you to leave that old house and buy something new. Others will tell you to tear it down and build new, while others still will tell you to stay and remodel. So how do you make that go or no-go decision? What criteria do you use to make a rational decision to stay put and renovate or move on? Here are some questions to ask yourself. Your answers will certainly help you decide on your next move. by Dennison and Dampier Interior Design » How do you feel about your neighborhood? Is it a place you enjoy? Wha...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
It's OK to like them just for their looks, but these flowers, trees and greens have a tasty side too! If one doesn't have to be a chef to be a gourmet, does one need to be a garden designer to grow pretty edibles? Obviously not. Yet a few cues from a designer and plantsman might help make your potager that much more interesting. As a kid, I learned to combine different textures of foliage and match the subtlest hues in the potager: curly kale with waxy cauliflowerseedlings, vapory fennel among coarse tomato plants and so on. Let's have a look at seven edible plants as yummy as they are pretty. by CYAN Horticulture » 1. Kale. In this spectacular entry display at theMontreal Botanical Garden, perfectly grownkale is on par with fierypelargoniums and soon-to-bloom fountain grasses. While so...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Cue the joyous soundtrack. These pet-friendly landscape and garden ideas will keep your pooch safe, happy and well exercised outdoors! A dog or dogs happily romping in the backyard is a classic dog-owner dream. Achieving this, though, takes more thought than just sending your dog out in the yard and hoping for the best. Take the time to make sure your yard provides your dog with the amenities he or she needs and loves. Fortunately, pet-friendly yard amenities are also great for people as well. by Pat Bernard Design, Inc. » 1. Consider safety first.Dogs may have descended from free-ranging wolves, but our domesticated friends do best with boundaries. You might opt for a fully fenced backyard or a dog run within a larger area. Either way, you’ll know your dog is both happy and safe. A cha...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
The word on the street? Homes with appealing front views can sell faster, lift moods and convey a warm welcome! Even if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, a fresh and welcoming exterior is a wonderful thing to come home to each day. From front doors, house numbers and porch furnishings to color schemes, landscaping and basic repairs, this smorgasbord of ideas will hopefully inspire a few changes around your own home. by Ana Williamson Architect 1. Add big, bold house numbers.  It's so easy to swap out house numbers, and this one thing can make a huge impact. Echo your house style in the numbers you choose   — a clean sans serif font for a modern house, hand-painted tiles for a cottage, aged copper for a Prairie-style home etc. 2. Paint the front door.A front door that ...
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Want to put a little pep in your porch? Here are 5 budget-friendly ways to add value and get more enjoyment out of your front-facing outdoor space. Sprucing up your porch is more than a cosmetic upgrade — it’ll boost your curb appeal and help preserve the value of your home. As a bonus, you’ll even get some neighborhood bragging rights. Here are five simple porch pick-me-ups, each costing less than $500. 1. Adding architectural pizzazz Sweeten your porch’s appearance with a wide variety of architectural trim pieces in weather-resistant wood or low-maintenance synthetics (PVC or polyurethane). They’re readily available at home improvement centers. Most porch trim pieces install with nails or screws and require basic tools and moderate do-it-yourself skills. Or, hire a handyman for a few...
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  Bartholomew, 81, recently walked HouseLogic through the 9 reasons you should switch to square foot gardening. 1. Saves space: Square foot gardening boxes grow 100% of veggies grown the traditional way in only 20% of the space. 2. Saves water: Instead of shocking young plants with icy hose water, you water square foot garden plants with ladles of sun-warmed water from buckets or rain barrels. In the end, you use about 10% of the water you’d spray on a traditional garden. 3. Saves money on gardening tools: Since you never walk upon and pack down square foot gardening soil, you don’t need hoes, spades, or rakes to break it up. All you need is a hand trowel to mix the soil and a pair of scissors to cut greens. 4. No walking: You can place square foot gardening boxes anywhere there’s sun —...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Taxes are due April 15, which means it’s time to start gathering your W2s, 1099s, child care receipts and bank statements. But before you sit down with your accountant, it’s important for you to know that merely owning a home could mean you qualify for tax breaks. In most cases, you need to itemize your taxes in order to take advantage of these deductions. Yes, it makes the tax-filing process seem impenetrable, but the benefits may outweigh the complications. Here are a few of the tax breaks you’ll want to investigate: Mortgage interest paid at settlement Take a look at your closing statement; one item that’s generally listed there is home mortgageinterest. On a mortgage of up to $1 million, you can deduct the interest that you pay at settlement if you itemize your deductions on Schedul...
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Patio Shade Ideas Under $300 Not all shady deals are bad. These patio shade projects are each under $300. If you hop-skip like a rookie firewalker across your sun-drenched patio, then patio shade projects are probably a hot priority. But there’s no reason to get burned on price; you’ll find plenty of low-cost shade-giving options to cool your tootsies. If you’re looking for shade beyond the typical market umbrellas ($45) and freestanding gazebo kits (starting at $200 at home improvement centers), check out these other easy, affordable patio shade projects — all for under $300: Tall order: vertical trellis Even if you have overhead shade, low morning or late afternoon light can make your patio uncomfortably hot in summer. Filter low-flying rays with a vertical trellis for growing leafy ...
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Here are a few surprising and simple ways to cut your energy bill this season.9 Unexpected Energy (and Money) Savers Give your pocketbook and Mother Nature a gift this season by taking advantage of these simple, surprising ways to save energy and money. Put lamps in the corners: Did you know you can switch to a lower wattage bulb in a lamp or lower its dimmer switch and not lose a noticeable amount of light? It’s all about placement. When a lamp is placed in a corner, the light reflects off the adjoining walls, which makes the room lighter and brighter. Switch to a laptop: If you’re reading this article on a laptop, you’re using 1/3 less energy than if you’re reading this on a desktop. Choose an LCD TV: If you’re among those considering a flat-screen upgrade from your conventional, CRT...
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How to Care for Your Washer & Dryer Published: July 20, 2010 By: Douglas Trattner source Keep your clothes washer and dryer running efficiently and reliably with this simple maintenance routine that anyone can follow. Anything that affects a dryer’s airflow can cause the appliance to fail and possibly create a dangerous fire hazard, warns Doug Rogers, president of the Mr. Appliance repair chain. And when it comes to washing machines, the leading cause of costly home damage is hose failure. Here’s a list of maintenance tips to keep your washer and dryer running smoothly and safely: Replace vinyl dryer exhaust ducts with metal ductwork to reduce fire hazards. Before every dryer load, clean out the lint filter. Every three months, wash the lint filter with detergent to remove invisible che...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Published: November 15, 2012 By: Deirdre Sullivan source These 5 re-purposing tricks turn unwanted stuff into cool pet things.     Today is America Recycles Day, so we turned to some of our favorite online sites for penny-pinching repurposing ideas that will benefit cats and canines. But before we dive in, keep the following in mind: When it comes to buying or making repurposed stuff for pets, make sure all materials are non-toxic and don’t pose a hazard to Spot or Kitty. (If pets aren’t your thing, then check out yesterday’s post about repurposing burnt-out light bulbs, or come back tomorrow, when we’ll tell you how to repurpose leftover chopsticks and plastic containers from your takeout dinners). One-of-a-kind pet beds Most store-bought pet beds are eyesores. But something repurpose...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary — know the score on each home tax deduction and credit. 9 Easy Mistakes Home Owners Make on Their Taxes As you calculate your tax returns, consider each home tax deduction and credit you are — and are not — entitled to. Running afoul of any of these 9 home-related tax mistakes — which tax pros say are especially common — can cost you money or draw the IRS to your doorstep. Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind — that is, you’re not billed for 2013 property taxes until 2014. But that’s irrelevant to the feds. Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actual...
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Published: October 18, 2012 By: Dona DeZube website As long as you’re remodeling, why not cut your utility bill and make your home a bit healthier? Saving energy wasn’t on the list of reasons we’re finally ripping out the kitchen in our mid-century home (green-veined, imitation marble laminate countertops figured much more prominently). But, a session at the recent 2012 Remodeling Show in Baltimore clued me in as to why adding a few simple tasks to our remodeling plan could lower our home’s energy bill, get rid of some of the annoying hot and cold spots in our house, and make our home less hospitable to mold and other allergens. Carl Seville, author of Green Building: Principles and Practices in Residential Construction, shared some simple, inexpensive ways to make remodels and additio...
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Source: Media Contact: Michelle Wardlaw / 202-383-1042 / Email  website WASHINGTON (February 12, 2013) – It’s hard to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day when the stuff of everyday home life – like clutter, the need to make minor repairs – surrounds you. But take heart; whether you’re planning a romantic evening at home or simply want your home to be a peaceful retreat throughout the year, HouseLogic.com, the award-winning, comprehensive website for homeowners from the National Association of Realtors®, can help you renew and revitalize your home-owner relationship. “Because homeownership plays such a personal and unique role in the lives of so many people, HouseLogic wants to help home owners rediscover their home’s allure this Valentine’s Day,” said Pamela Geurds Kabati, NAR senior...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Refine: Love What Works and Don't Let Trouble Continue Every so often, a homeowner will look up and find that they have a "trouble spot". When tools are hard to return to their storage areas, or holiday items linger in boxes by the door, it is usually a sign that the storage area is too difficult to access or the system of storage hinders use. The ability to return items to storage is as important as the ability to get to them easily - so you might need to refine your system to overcome any challenges you find. Annual inspections might reveal that there are items to purge, spaces to improve, or systems that need upgrading - but most of all, you stay in touch with your home and its real value to you. While you are at it, don't forget to appreciate what is working well. Storing stuff you ...
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By Orson Klender
(Equitas Realty)
Prepare: The Space, the Items, and the System After you have assessed the storage space, it is time to remedy any issues found. Creating access, resolving moisture or pest infestation, heating or cooling issues, and cleaning an area can ensure that items stored there will retain their value and usefulness. Storage space that is climate controlled (not too hot or too cold), dry and easily accessible is the most valuable storage on your property. Renovations that add additional storage of this sort may increase your home's value. Any time that you consider removing storage, eliminating closets or shelving, consider the consequences carefully and determine if that storage will be available elsewhere. Storing items in containers that are strong, helps keep them in good repair. While storage...
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Saratoga Springs, NY - NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun Breaks Down Housing Market Check out the National Association of Realtors (NAR) video for the month of January: Lawrence Yun Talks Housing, Jobs, Elections: NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun breaks down the housing market, job growth numbers and the impact of the Presidential election in this candid interview.
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