Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall

Good news! According to Les Christie with CNN Money, “Mortgages got more affordable again this week.” Check it out!



The Value of Environmental Features

This article can be helpful to both buyers and sellers! Even with the economy slowly improving, it is still a good idea to coordinate environmentally-friendly features into a house.

Home Buyers Value Environmentally-Friendly Features

by Regina Ludes, 10 October 2013

Housing Market Back to Normal?

This short article is well worth the read. It exhibits an optimistic view that at least one market is on it’s way back to the pre-recession norm.
by Regina Ludes 7 October 2013

Housing Recovery Continues to Improve into 2014

Housing Recovery to Gain Momentum in 2014: NAHB

by Regina Ludes, October 3, 2013

This is good news for both sellers and buyers. Check it out!

Home Owners are Gaining Equity

More Borrowers Gain Positive Equity in Their Homes

Nearly 2.5 million more residential households with a mortgage returned to positive equity at the end of the second quarter of 2013, increasing the total number of mortgaged homes with equity to 41.5 million, according to the latest analysis from CoreLogic.  While 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at the end of the second quarter, or 14.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage, this figure is down from 9.6 million households, or 19.7 percent of all mortgaged properties, that were in negative equity at the end of the first quarter of 2013.

The national aggregate value of negative equity was $428 billion at the end of the second quarter, down from $576 billion at the end of the first quarter. The decrease was driven in large part to rising home prices.

Of the 41.5 million homes with equity, 10.3 million have less than 20 percent equity, representing 21.1 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage at the end of the second quarter of 2013. A total of 1.7 million homes with a mortgage had less than 5 percent equity, and may be at risk if home prices fall.

by Regina Ludes, Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Create Your Own Bedroom Retreat

In today’s world it’s tough to get away from the constant demands for our attention. Whether it’s cell phones that never rest, drivers rushing to get somewhere or simply TVs urging you to buy now, you don’t have any place to just get away and unwind. Even our own bedrooms, where we should be able to relax and get some rest, have often become multi-functional, becoming home offices or craft rooms in addition to being a place to sleep. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way. While there’s not much you can do to stop the din, you can at least get away from it for a while by turning your bedroom back into a place where you can relax and unwind – your own bedroom retreat.
Declutter. Move your computer, TV and other big electronics out of the room or at least hide them in a cabinet with a closing door or behind a movable screen. A bedroom retreat can’t double as a TV or family room and if that’s how you use your bedroom, it will never be a relaxing retreat.
Clear out stacks of books, magazines or the pile of clothes destined for the washing machine. If you can’t move them right out of the room, consider installing some wall shelves to give your books and magazines some order and get a laundry hamper to hide your clothes out of sight.
Color can provide a soothing feeling. A fresh coat of soft blue, green or gray – or perhaps an earth tone – can help make your bedroom retreat feel calmer and more relaxing. Some decorating experts suggest you can give it an even more relaxed feeling by not only painting the walls, but also doing the trim and ceiling in the same color. This sameness of color takes your mind off the colors in the room and allows you to relax.
Natural light is calming. Let natural light into the room by opening your blinds and shutters. If privacy is a concern, Venetian or vertical blinds can be adjusted to allow light into the room while still blocking the glances of prying eyes.
Don’t rely on an overhead lighting fixture. Installing a dimmer switch (rheostat) to control the light level is one way to tone it down, but even better is some attractive table lamps for your bedside tables that allow you to control the light levels in the room.
Upgrade your bed or your bed linens. Since mattresses don’t break – they just wear out – many of us are sleeping on mattresses well past their prime. A new mattress will make your bed more comfortable and ensure a good night’s rest. If a new mattress is not in your budget, some new bed linens (in a neutral or soft color) will help make your room more inviting.
A comfortable chair with a lamp close by makes a relaxing place to sit and enjoy a good book or simply sip a glass of wine.
Choose natural wood furniture and consider including some natural woven baskets and bed special features.
Everyone loves the sound of running water so a small water feature in your bedroom retreat will give you the feeling that you’re relaxing near a trickling stream in the forest. If a water feature isn’t practical, consider a recording of the sound of waves to at least give you the soothing sounds of water.
Plants are also a great part of a bedroom retreat. Not only do they look attractive, they also freshen the air in the room by removing carbon dioxide and replacing it with clean oxygen.
Finish your bedroom with a few items you enjoy, such as pictures of your family and close friends or a piece of art by a favorite artist. Just don’t overdo it, or your room could start to look cluttered.
Finally,after you’ve gone to the effort of creating your own retreat, keep it that way. Take a few minutes in the morning to tidy and make up the room, so when you return in the evening, your first thought will be relaxing, not tidying.

By Murray Anderson (from

Pool Side

Having a pool is a wonderful selling point to a house, especially here in the Lewis-Clark Valley.  Everyone knows that the summers here can be pretty warm and getting down to the river during the day might not always be manageable.  What better way to be able to beat the heat than jumping into your own pool?

A pool not only is a great selling point and way to cool off but you can also use it to make money by teaching swimming lessons in the summer.  Therefor, with all of the great advantages a pool has to offer why would you ever not want to keep it updated and in tip top shape?  We all know there are a million to-dos in the Summer, however don’t let your pool go unnoticed.  If it is not maintained properly that will only lead to costing more in the future.

Thankfully MSN Real Estate offers 8 great tips to keeping your pool in mint condition- don’t waste a good thing!

Summer 2012

We hope everyone in the Lewis-Clark Valley is having a smooth transition into summer.

Quad Cities Realty has been as busy as ever diving into new and exciting adventures out here in the real estate world.  We are kicking off our blog with home improvement projects, buyer/seller information, new listings and every day information about real estate nationwide.

We love input from everyone connecting with our blog and we cannot wait to get this summer rolling! As we are sure you all are too. Stay tuned and know that we are now official “tweeters” and would love to connect that way as well– start following us @realestateJoe– which you can find over on the side bar or “like” us on facebook…

Until our next post remember that, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”- Jim Rohn

Get Organized for a Stress-Free Move



ummer is a prime moving season for many families, especially those with young children who want to settle in their new home before the school year starts. Experts at offer several tips for making your move a seamless and stress-free experience.

1. When hiring professional movers, get written estimates from at least three licensed companies. For a few extra dollars, consider buying moving insurance. Investing in full value protection means any lost or damaged articles will be repaired or replaced.


2. Take photos of every room in the new home while they are vacant. Then write down every item from your current home and which room those items will go before you begin packing them.


3. Begin packing early, even if it’s one room or one cabinet at a time. Toss or donate any items you don’t need. And remember to fill out change-of-address notices and schedule utilities ahead of time.


4. If you have children or pets, consider hiring a sitter or daycare for moving day, or find a safe place for them so they’re not underfoot.


5. When breaking down larger items, like shelving units, into smaller pieces, put the screws, washers and other small components in a sealed baggie and label it clearly. Keep all baggies with small parts in one box and carry it with you on moving day.


6. Take pictures of electronic hook-ups for TVs, DVRs, home theater systems and computers before unplugging them. Print out the pictures and label them in detail, so you will be able to set up the systems properly once you are in the new home. Also keep all loose wires in separate baggies or boxes that are clearly labeled.


7. Dispose of any household products you no longer use, such as paints, pesticides and detergents. Contact the city’s waste disposal department for guidelines on how to dispose of them safely. For items that you plan to take with you, like laundry detergent or cleaning products, pack them in a small box within a larger box to protect against leaks and seal the boxes securely.


Plan ahead and start packing early, so you can enjoy the moving experience with less stress.*

*Information provided by

The Right Place

Many people walk into a home and just have that feeling that it is going to be the right place.  They move in get all settled then realize their neighbors don’t mix well with them, or a school isn’t close enough, a commute to work takes 30+ min because of the traffic or the house next door is going through foreclosure.  One of the top priorities to finding your perfect home is to make sure the neighborhood is what you want it to be.  The house is not the only attribute that must fit with you and your family, the neighborhood must meet your criteria as well.


Check  out this article by MSN Real Estate for a little info on how to find the right home and neighborhood