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Columbus & Central Ohio, United States
DeLena Ciamacco is a well-known, respected Top Producing Realtor in Central Ohio. Her myriad of accomplishments, recognition, and professional credentials as they relate to Real Estate, make her a perfect individual to provide insight to the masses on all aspects of Real Estate sales. Her creativity and honest approach to marketing Real Estate has enabled her to succeed in her career. DeLena’s philosophy is “An educated and well prepared Buyer or Seller is a smart Buyer or Seller”. Her desire is to inform the public, by pulling from her 20+ years of Real Estate sales & Marketing, what is necessary to get to a successful closing in these challenging times.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Three ways to give your home's curb appeal a boost





From simple upgrades to meticulous landscaping projects and replacing an outdated roof, there are dozens of options to enhance the appearance of your home's exterior. Improvements don't need to break the bank or take a year to complete. By focusing on three simple areas, you can change the entire look of your home that you'll appreciate every time you pull into your driveway.



1. Landscaping



The key to curb appeal is balancing what makes you happy with what works in your community. Take a moment to observe the types of trees, plants and flowers in your surroundings and look for ways to incorporate them into your yard.



Planting flowers is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to make an impact. Flowers along the sidewalk, in front of the house, inside flower boxes, pouring out of hanging baskets, or even in berms and raised garden beds, provide a giant boost to your curb appeal. Exercise your creativity by combining plants of different height, texture and color in the same container. By sticking to perennial plants native to your environment, you will not have to worry about replanting every year.



2. Roofing



Redesigning the style and color of your roof is a dramatic and effective strategy for improving curb appeal.



"Your roof accounts for 50 percent of your home's exterior," says Stephen McNally, vice president of sales and marketing for TAMKO Building Product, Inc. "Updating the shingles on your roof is going to make a huge impact on the overall appearance of your home - take advantage of it."



Start by evaluating roofing choices for compatibility with your existing siding as well as the style of your home. If your home has a busy exterior with more than one contrasting color, try adding a classic, rustic color like TAMKO's weathered wood. The shingle's subtle blends of color and wood-like appearance complements nearly any exterior paint color.



If your home's exterior is a more neutral shade, try adding a vibrant colored shingle to stand out in your neighborhood. TAMKO has a large selection of classic and vibrant shingle colors and styles to meet any need. To learn more visit www.tamko.com.



3. Paint



Whether you're updating your color scheme or applying a fresh coat, painting is an easy way to update your home's look from the street in a big way. Depending on your budget, this project can be big or small. To make the most significant impact, consider painting the entire house. This will bring new life to paint that has lost its luster or possibly a new palette of color to incorporate into your yard. Although this project can call for a larger investment, the result will pay off in the end.



If your budget is more limited, focus on the areas that catch the eye. Give shutters and trim a fresh coat of paint, or paint the front door a bright shade of red or blue.



You don't have to make a large investment to make a large impact. Focusing on key areas of your home's exterior will refresh the entire appearance of the home and provide a facelift that's within your reach.



Which comes first: The real estate deal or the buyer's list?



This question is kind of like another question where people can't seem to agree on the answer; "Which came first; the chicken or the egg"? Real estate investors all have a different opinion when they are asked whether you should find a deal first or start a buyer's list and then find a deal. For me, the answer has always been "the deal." If you have a great deal, you can always find a buyer for it.



I had someone email me recently that said they had wanted to begin wholesaling houses for a couple of years, but he just couldn't bring himself to buy that first investment property. He was afraid he wouldn't be able to sell it. This man had spent a number of years learning the business, but had become paralyzed with fear over this prospect of putting a house under contract that he wouldn't be able to sell.



If you are just getting started and you find yourself having the same problem, here are 4 tips for you.



1. Know What a Good Deal Looks Like



This is no doubt the hardest part when you are brand new. You almost always pay too much for your first couple of deals. Before you sign on the dotted line, run your potential deal by someone that is an experienced investor. Marginal deals are hard to sell. If you have any doubt about the numbers or the area where the house is located, just walk away and find another deal. There's always another one around the corner.



2. Know Where Investors Like to Buy



It won't do you any good to get a house under contract at a great price if it is in an area where investors don't like to buy. Ask experienced rehabbers and landlords where they like to buy. Be sure to find out what types of properties they like, and the price range they prefer. In general, you will be pretty safe in bread and butter neighborhoods; the kinds of neighborhoods for first time homebuyers. In my area there is a market for more expensive houses, but there are fewer investors in this group. Buy houses that would work for either a rehab that would be sold to a retail buyer, or a home that would make a great rental and they will always be in demand.



3. Put an Escape Clause in Your Contract



This is vital especially when you are brand new. Make the deal subject to inspection or partner approval. This is your safety net. It will make it easier for you make offers with confidence.



4. Begin Immediately to Build Your Buyer's List



There is nothing like having a good buyer's list to call or email when you have a property you want to sell quickly. It is truly a wholesaler's secret weapon. These folks will be loyal repeat buyers if you always have great deals for them, and if you conduct your business with them in an ethical manner 100% of the time.



Implementing these 4 tips will make it easier to make those first offers and get your first few houses under your belt.

Finding a Buyer for Your Deal



There are a number of ways you can quickly find a buyer for the property you have under contract even if you don't have a buyer's list.



You can take the deal to your local REIA group where you will find a group of people that are looking for their next house. At my monthly meeting, we have a table set up for vendors and for folks that want to put out fliers about properties they have to sell. This is usually the first place people head after signing in.



You could list the house on Craigslist. I have sold several properties there, but I would rather much sell to someone at my REIA group; they are usually more experienced investors. But even if they are brand new, they will almost always be educated to some degree if you find them at this meeting. Most investors are more than willing to help them if they can close the deal.



Concentrate on getting a great deal, and you can be sure you will find a buyer.



Author: Sharon Vornholt



Sharon's Website: http://LouisvilleGalsRealEstateBlog.com



Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Make the most of one's living space



Is your living space a place for show, only utilized when you are entertaining? Living rooms, as their title suggests, should not only reflect who you are towards the outdoors world, but they should also be lived in. Here are some recommendations for getting your living space warm and inviting for visitors as well as functional and comfy for household members.



In case your living space is large, divide it into smaller locations through the positioning of furnishings. You would like the "conversation pit" to become cozy - a couch and loveseat and a couple of chairs close to a large cocktail table will seat many people, yet they'll all have the ability to hear what the others are saying. A great place for household meetings as well as for entertaining. Make certain all seats are within reach of a table - someplace to arrange those drinks and chips!



Face the couch to an architectural focal level, something like a fireplace or a large window that looks out to your garden or even the city lights. If you don't have an architectural component to work with, produce one by hanging large photos or a mural on a wall. This allows people to admire the artwork and it's safer than hanging something large over the seating (especially in locations susceptible to earthquakes!). Hang cloth wall hangings or little photos on the wall behind the couch. Don't, however, hang a mirror where people will see their reflection all of the time. Not everyone is thrilled by his or her picture.



If you divide your living space in two or 3 seating and/or eating locations, use rugs to outline the talking space, another beneath the eating table, and another space to exhibit the Buddha you brought back from Thailand, or a wall of bookcases that not only maintain your books but additionally display your assortment of antique toys. Area rugs work well, more than waxed hardwood floors or neutral, wall-to-wall Berber-style carpeting.



An ornamental space divider, like Japanese shoji screens, can be utilized to separate a large space right into a living space and a Tv space. In a smaller place, face the couch to a wall unit that holds the television - it's certain to turn out to be a preferred gathering spot for the household.



The days of covering the "good" living space furnishings with plastic are over! Leather or even the new microfiber fabrics are simple to clean, look great, and can survive visitors, children, and pets. If the furnishings are in neutral colors, add colorful ornamental pillows. Remember to keep a couple of throw blankets close to stay cozy on cool nights.



In case your living space walls are painted in mild neutral shades, you'll have the ability to change the furnishings and ornamental touches easily. Other ways to change the look of one's living space are by including tall plants or a silk tree, a permanent flower assortment in a basket or tall vase, and even a fountain or little pond in asufficientlylarge area.



Don't overlook lighting! Floor lamps, especially in darkish corners, can brighten large locations, while desk lamps can provide good light for the preferred reading/knitting chair. An assortment of candles on the mantelpiece or a desk adds ambiance to your living space. Now go ahead, live inside your living space.



by: Amy Wells

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6822.shtml



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Raising the bar on bath safety



(BPT) - The bathroom is your daily sanctuary to retreat to and enjoy a few moments alone. For that reason, it should be serene, stylish and of course, safe. Think that words "safety" and "style" can never go together? Think again. Fortunately, it's easy to incorporate essential bath safety elements that will leave your room feeling more like a resort instead of rehab.



A twist on towel bars



When entering or exiting the bath, many homeowners reach for a towel located on a towel bar just outside the bathtub or shower. While this is a convenient location, unfortunately bathers instinctively grab onto the towel bar to ease in and out of the shower or tub. This can be a serious fall risk, since towel bars are not designed to support a person's weight. Fortunately, Moen has combined the functionality and beauty of a decorative towel bar with the safety benefits of a grab bar with the Moen Home Care Grab Bar with Towel Bar. Available in the most popular finishes to seamlessly integrate with the style of your bath, this unique product is easy to install to ensure a safe - and stylish - addition to the bath.



Safety with shelves



From shampoo to shaving cream, razors to rubber duckies, the bathtub or shower is an area where we store a multitude of items. With this in mind, homeowners are always looking for ways to conquer the clutter. Shelves are an excellent answer - especially when you can combine them with safety and peace of mind. Look for shelves that combine the functionality and style of a shelf with the safety of a grab bar. Some are featured in both corner and straight designs and will help solve your storage woes, while providing extra stability in the shower or bath.



"Grab bars are an important safety element for all ages - in fact, we could all use a little extra assistance in the shower," says Adam Ference, Moen Home Care brand manager. "By incorporating grab bars into common bathroom accessories, we hope to encourage homeowners to make every bath a safe - and stylish - bath."



Serenity with showerheads



When you think of resorts, you may recall the spectacular spa showers. You can dramatically enhance your daily shower experience by simply updating your current showerhead. There are many types, but a combination showerhead, such as the Moen Caldwell Brushed Nickel Slide Bar showerhead, can offer a relaxing retreat while also adding safety features. Combination showerheads feature both a standard showerhead and a handheld showerhead attached to a slide bar, providing users multiple spray options. And, with the added benefit of a handheld shower, users who choose to bathe in a seated position can also easily and safely enjoy the sensational experience.



Luxurious illumination



For the final step to your safety-upgraded bathroom, increase the amount of lighting. Add higher-wattage bulbs in your current lights, nightlights or additional lamps to the room for improved illumination. Another option is adding skylights. Not only will it help reduce bumps and falls, but a well-lit bathroom will also make the space feel more open and spa-like.



Increasing your safety does not mean decreasing the style in your bath. In fact, with these easy, inexpensive and attractive updates, you can quickly raise your level of bath safety, while creating a more enjoyable and stylish bathroom retreat.



For more information on Moen products, visit www.moen.com.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Easy ways to renovate your kitchen





You may have your reservations about renovating your kitchen. After all, there's all the noise, dust and lack of mobility while your kitchen is getting renovated. Also, there is the cost factor to consider. However, with a little planning in mind you can take care of all these things in a manner that works for you. You can make use of all the resources available in the market to make sure that you have what it takes to renovate your kitchen and live through the process. It is actually a very simple process if you think about it. All the information that you have and all the products that you need are available. All you need to do is make the right choices and you are set to renovate your kitchen. Of course, your kitchen will be unavailable for use for the next few days. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have made arrangements so your daily routine is not affected. This is most important as the kitchen forms an important part of your household. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have arrangements ready as a substitute for not using your kitchen.



There are many things to consider while renovating your kitchen. You need to seek out what you require from your kitchen first. If your gas is not working, then you need to change your stoves. If you are not getting proper electric connection, then you need to change your lines. If your piping is not working, then you need to get a proper plumber. These are the essentials of a functional kitchen. Check them one by one and make sure to have a list of things to repair.



The next important factor to consider is that the renovations being done should enhance the look of your kitchen. This would mean cosmetic modifications to your kitchen, which would come in form of countertops and cabinets. Marble countertops will give your kitchen a grand luxurious look that would enhance the quality of your kitchen. You can purchase such countertops from home or kitchen renovators. You should look for one stop shops for all your kitchen renovation needs. This will help you to get all the assistance you will need for your kitchen renovation.



by: Easy Ways to Renovating Your Kitchen

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7266.shtml



May Your Holiday Season Be Merry & Bright | Central Ohio Holiday Lights Presented By DeLena Ciamacco


Apple's Christmas Tree
Central Ohio Holiday Lights | Presented By DeLena Ciamacco


 Visit my website for additional information about Real Estate and our Central Ohio Market!  www.DeLena.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

DECEMBER 2015 MARKET UPDATE




December 2015

Included in this blog post is a link to my Real Estate Update Newsletter. Please click on the link below to get the latest Real Estate Update for December! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email my office. 

614-882-6725
delena@delena.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

DeLena Ciamacco Wishes Everyone A Happy Thanksgiving!

Apple's Maple LeafApple's Fallen LeafDeLena Ciamacco & The Ciamacco Team wishes everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow!
Visit my website for additional information about Real Estate and our Central Ohio Market!  www.DeLena.com

Monday, November 23, 2015

Think of lighting as art for your home



Lighting is possibly the most powerful tool you have when it comes to interior design. It does not make sense to invest in beautiful furniture, rugs, paintings, and accessories if they are in the dark. The perfect light fixture not only illuminates a space - it is also a beautiful, decorative design element.



"When looking for a light fixture, think of yourself as a curator looking for a perfect piece of art," says interior designer Laurie Smith, known for her role as a featured designer on the hit television show Trading Spaces. Smith says, "Like art, a fabulous fixture can make a strong design statement, as well as provide illumination for your space."



Often consumers do not realize the difference updated lighting can make in their homes. Smith suggests finding one special piece and building a room around it. "In design school, we learned that lighting is the most exciting and mysterious medium in design. Lighting is sculptural; it's textural, it's exciting," she says.



"There are so many varying styles and designs in lighting today that the possibilities are endless. Different materials and shapes are just part of what goes into determining that perfect fixture," says Smith. "For instance, do you want the shape of your piece to contrast with your room's schematic or coordinate with it? Taking a traditional fixture and placing it into a modern setting creates interest through contrast, while taking a sleek modern fixture and putting it into a traditional setting infuses new vitality and a sophisticated accent."



With so many choices on the market, the task of selecting a light fixture can be difficult and overwhelming for many homeowners. It's just a matter of developing a plan or one idea. To help consumers get started, Smith talks about the importance of lighting to interior design in a new video series. Each minute-long video focuses on a different aspect of lighting and ways to incorporate it into every homeowner's design plan.



Videos in the series include:

* Choosing the Right Lighting Fixture

* Find an Object of Inspiration

* The Impact of a Single Lamp

* Lighting Fixtures as Art



Whether looking for one fixture or a complete lighting design plan, a great place to start is at a lighting retail showroom. There you will find professionally trained staff to help you select the perfect light for your space.



Navigating the home refinancing process





* Choose a reliable and trustworthy mortgage banker.



A mortgage banker is someone you should feel comfortable with, who should be frank with you about fees, flag potential issues, and help you make choices that best fit your financial situation. But where can you find the right mortgage banker?



"A quality mortgage banker will try to understand your goals and match your situation with the best possible loan, that doesn't contain hidden fees or surprises," says TJ Freeborn, mortgage professional at Discover Home Loans. "Mortgage bankers who are not looking out for you might sell you strictly on low interest rates or offer you a too-good-to-be-true deal without asking the proper questions or evaluating your needs."



Start by doing research online with unbiased resources. Reach out to family and friends who also have refinanced or are in the process and compare research. Also, if you know a tax advisor or a real estate professional ask them about any questions or concerns. They may be able to provide new insight to help with your decision.



* Do your homework on loan options.



All mortgages are not created equally. It's important to understand the components that go into determining the price of a mortgage, including points and fees, so you can accurately compare the offers. To find descriptions of home loan options, you can visit www.discover.com/home-loans/loan-options.



For instance, based on the situation you may choose an adjustable-rate mortgage versus a 15 year or 30 year fixed-rate loan. Make sure to evaluate your options with your mortgage banker and discuss what works best for you.



* Secure your low interest rate by locking it in.



Interest rates change almost daily and it's important to talk to a mortgage banker about ensuring the best time to lock in your rate. If the loan process takes too long, there is a chance your approved rate may expire and therefore potentially increase. You may have the opportunity to get an extension, but often the fee for an expired rate can be costly. Make sure to lock in your interest rate to avoid closing at a higher rate.



* Understand the costs and fees of refinancing.



Before you jump into refinancing, make sure you understand not only the mortgage refinancing rates but the costs associated with refinancing. Closing costs generally include fees for origination, the appraisal, attorney review, lender and title, as well as insurance, taxes and escrow. Check with your mortgage banker to make sure that the closing fees are reasonable and that you are aware of all the factors that impact your refinancing cost.



Refinancing may be a worthwhile savings opportunity, but make sure to consider all of the factors before concluding it's a wise financial decision for you.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ideas for flooring in your home



Your home is your paradise, and if you are planning to renovate your home, go for the changes that not only catch your eye, but that they are also comfortable for you and your family. Remodeling is associated with adjustments in every nook and cranny of the home. If you are going to change the flooring of your home, there are some tips for flooring different parts of your house.



Bedroom flooring:



There are plenty of options when it comes to flooring in your bedroom. Being the most private and personalized part of your home, your bedroom is the place which uses a big part of your budget whenever you are remodeling your home; you can use carpet, tile, hardwood, bamboo, cork or laminate. Play with different materials in different rooms; you can opt for striped light and dark shades in your boy's room so that if your son is going to create mess ( which is unavoidable),the flooring can withstand the burden, and also the flooring can bear heavy traffic of the folks coming in the bedroom. For more powerful scratch and water resistant flooring, you can choose laminate.



Living room flooring:



Most of the traffic in a home happens in the living room, with people coming in and out of the house. It is highly recommended that the flooring should be strong enough that it can endure all such wear and tear done with your furniture, or to the increasing and decreasing ratio of visitors. For this purpose you can opt for hardwood flooring. Being classy and sophisticated in look it is the perfect choice for your living room whenever you are remodeling your home.



Kitchen flooring:



Design the floor of your kitchen in such a way that it not only looks pretty, but also gives a practical impression. You can choose from vinyl, tile, natural stone, wood, cork or laminate. A floor covering that is water resistant and durable such as tile, is the best choice to protect against potential water damage. Make sure when you choose your floor to order a little extra of the product, in the event that you drop something like a pot on your floor. If the flooring material is damaged, you will be sure to have enough to repair the floor because often, floor manufacturers have high turnover of their products, to insure a continual buying cycle. Most flooring contractors add 5-10% additional square footage of the flooring product to their purchase order to insure they have enough for the project and to provide the client with a little extra flooring for future use.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Can your child's after-school program lead to a STEM career?





"Multiple studies show that children who take part in quality after-school programs have better attendance, grades and behavior, and do better on tests compared to their peers who went home alone to an empty house," says Dan O'Donnell, vice president of the Bricks 4 Kidz after-school program. "Parents can help their children get a jump-start on life, and learn to love learning, by enrolling them in high-quality after-school programs."



It's important for parents to assess after-school programs with a critical eye, and consider how successfully a program combines learning with fun and basic care. While many programs are effective at keeping kids safely occupied after school ends but before parents are done with work, not all emphasize educational material. Programs that stimulate a child's interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects can be particularly valuable - possibly even inspiring an interest in a high-demand STEM career.



"We must prepare all students ... to be proficient in STEM subjects," the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) writes in a report to President Obama. "And we must inspire all students to learn STEM and, in the process, motivate many of them to pursue STEM careers."



An after-school program with a STEM emphasis can fulfill both the need to educate children and inspire a lifelong love of STEM subjects, experts agree. Parents seeking a STEM program for their children should look for one that:



* Offers creative and engaging activities that are as fun and motivational as they are educational.



* Encourages curiosity and creativity, which are building blocks of independent thinking.



* Draws on the real-life expertise of people working in STEM fields. For example, engineers and architects designed Bricks 4 Kidz modules.



* Uses familiar, loved learning tools, like LEGO (R) bricks, to provide hands-on, interactive STEM lessons.



"It's also important for a program's lessons to be age-appropriate," O'Donnell notes. "Children need STEM lessons at every age, which is why we offer programs for children ages 3 through 13. We use themed-based project kits to motivate children by reinforcing STEM principles, and at the same time boost self-esteem, improve fine motor-skills, and teach organization and how to follow directions. And we do it in such a way that kids have so much fun they don't think of what they're doing as work."



To find a Bricks 4 Kidz program in your area, visit the interactive map at www.bricks4kidz.com/locations. You can learn more about the programs and search for a location by state or ZIP code.



"STEM education is most successful when students develop personal connections with the ideas and excitement of STEM fields," according to the President's Council report. "This can occur not only in the classroom, but also through individualized and group experiences outside the classroom ...."



Teaching kids to brush their teeth




Kids in general either hate brushing their teeth or they simply couldn't care less. However, it is important to teach your kids how to brush their teeth to avoid dental and other health problems. With a little patience, creativity, and a handy tool, you should be able to get your kids to brush their teeth in no time.

For preschoolers

It's relatively easy to teach preschoolers, as long as it's fun for them and is done through rhythm and rhyme. Let your kids know that there are germs that we can't see living on their teeth and it's important to get rid of them. You can even make a song about teeth brushing.

When teaching your kids how to brush their teeth, first show them the proper way to go about it. Once you have demonstrated the up and down, round and round process of brushing teeth, hand your kids their brushes and let them try. Use a safe kids' step stool to help them reach the sink. Choose one that is self-retracting so that when your kids are done using the sink, the step stool automatically retracts underneath the sink and out of adults' way. Once they are able to do the whole brushing process themselves, make the event and exciting and joyous one. Clap and cheer for your kids. Tell your other family members how good the kids were and have them cheer for the children as well. Have your kids show other family members how they too can brush their teeth.

Things to do:

• Show your kids how excited you are about brushing, and get even more excited when they brush.

• Make brushing a fun experience.

• Ask them to show you how well they can brush their teeth.

• Make it a point to show other family members how good the kids can brush their teeth.

For Grades K-3rd

Kids this age learn things through presentation and repetition. Offer your kids to watch you as you brush your teeth, explaining things as you go along. Come up with creative analogies: "plaques are invisible bugs that eat away at your teeth. The only way to get rid of them is to brush your teeth."

Things to do:

• Regularly offer your kids to watch yourself brushing.

• Be consistent with brushing times

• Come up with creative analogies or explanations about brushing teeth

Grades 4th-6th

At this age, there is no better way to effectively teach your kids to brush their teeth than to show them what happens when a person does not brush his/her teeth. Gather pictures of people's teeth the have serious decay. Or better, get pictures of people with rotten teeth. During your visits to the dentist, teach your kids about proper brushing by asking for pictures of people who do not brush their teeth and explaining to them, "This is what happens to people who do not brush their teeth."

You can also add that there are health risks when they do not brush their teeth. Some of these include gum diseases such as gingivitis (swollen or inflamed gums), periodontitis, gum infections, bone destruction, and tooth loss. It has even been found that gum disease is a likely risk factor for heart disease and stroke for adults.

Things to do:

• Ask your dentist to share stories, pictures and information of the hazards of not brushing teeth.

by: Dana Mulder

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/family/article_4225.shtml


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Common outdoor lighting mistakes and their solutions



Upgrading your home's exterior lighting is a surefire way to increase your home's curb appeal and resell value. And a well-lit front lawn can also deter would-be burglars. Most of the outdoor lighting of one's home adds a welcoming touch for family and guests. Here you can learn about outdoor lighting trends, common lighting problems and their solutions, and things to consider when selecting outdoor lighting fixtures.



First and foremost, it's important to give a considerable amount of thought to the placement of your outdoor lights. Just as you would not place several lighting fixtures like table lamps or wall sconces in a single area of your living room, you don't want to place exterior fixtures too close together either. This is a common problem when integrating pathlights into your outdoor lighting solution. Too many pathlights, too close together can make your walkway look more like the runway at an airport. Instead of placing the lights directly opposite one another on either end, try a staggered approach. The light will flow less harshly.



Another common mistake in selecting outdoor lights is in finding the proper lighting direction, or limiting "light pollution". Outdoor lights should not obstruct one's vision or interfere with one being able to see the entire landscape of a yard or area clearly. On a similar note, the lights should not shine directly into the road or a neighboring yard either. To avoid such issues, look for spotlights with glare guards.



Just as it would be boring to find the same exact lamp in every room of one's home, it's boring to see the same outdoor lighting fixture repeated throughout the yard. It can make the home appear institutional as opposed to personal. Use a wide variety of fixtures to light your yard; it will enhance the character and charm of your home.



Be sure to balance your home's exterior lighting. Another common mistake in outdoor lighting placement, is to inadvertently divide the yard by placing too many lights in one area and too little in another. You want to evenly distribute light throughout the canvas of your home. You don't want your yard looking like a parking lot.



Finally, like most things in home d├ęcor, less is more. Outdoor lighting should call attention to the beautiful and unique features of your home. It should not be intrusive. Proper outdoor lighting calls attention to various parts of your home's exterior, not the entire surface area. Over illumination is never attractive indoor or outdoor.



by: Melinda Cayetano

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7064.shtml



Monday, November 2, 2015

NOVEMBER 2015 MARKET UPDATE





November 2015

Included in this blog post is a link to my Real Estate Update Newsletter. Please click on the link below to get the latest Real Estate Update for November! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email my office. 

614-882-6725
delena@delena.com


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I spy with my little eye: nutrients kids need for healthy vision





While many parents worry that their children aren't getting the right nutrients for proper overall growth, many also overlook the specific need of vitamins and nutrients for eye health. If their child's vision is OK, then there's no cause for worry. In fact, only 14 percent of parents are worried about their children developing vision problems in the future, according to a recent survey by Kelton/DSM Nutritional Products.



Now's the time to help children make food choices that are healthy and provide the right nutrients for their eye health. While carrots are a no-brainer when it comes to providing beta carotene (pro vitamin A) for healthy vision, a slew of other nutrients are necessary for eye health, including vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin and the omega-3s DHA and EPA.



If you have a picky eater, try sneaking in foods that are rich in these eye-healthy nutrients. Dark leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, collards and turnip greens), eggs, broccoli, peas and corn are super stars when it comes to providing lutein and zeaxanthin. Fatty fish provide the omega-3s DHA and EPA. Oils, wheat germ and peanuts are loaded with vitamin E.



Registered dietitian and author, Elizabeth Somer, provides ideas on how to sprinkle in these nutrients into everyday meals.



Idea 1: Whip steamed chard or spinach into mashed potatoes to make a healthy and eye-catching dish for your kids that is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Green mashed potatoes, anyone?



Idea 2: Grate carrots and add them to pasta sauce to give it a boost of beta carotene.



Idea 3: Barring any nut allergies, blend peanut butter, wheat germ and a bit of honey to use as a fruit dip or sandwich spread. The peanuts and wheat germ add a kick of vitamin E.



Idea 4: If your kids won't eat fish to get their fill of omega-3s, look for foods, beverages and supplements fortified with fish oil or a vegetarian source of DHA from algae.



7 real estate investing lessons we can learn from Steve Jobs



I recently read the book "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson. As brilliant as Steve Jobs was, I came away from the book not with a sense of awe about the man who Steve Jobs was, but how despite his incredible success, how idiosyncratic and deeply flawed a human being he really was.



Yes, he was a certifiable genius, although in some ways "certifiable" as well.



Yes, we'll never see anyone else exactly like him, although Apple's stock price has done quite well since his death



Yes, in American business, he will live in the pantheon of Edison, Einstein, and Ford, and he really thought he belonged there.



Yes, he did leave an indelible mark on our society - in fact, totally revolutionizing five separate industries nearly simultaneously...but he deeply hurt many people on the way in his rise to near mythic status.



Despite his greatness, he made tons of mistakes, cruelly alienated lots of people including his own daughter, and did some curiously unethical things in his relatively brief time on this earth. No doubt, the further you probe into the true personal lives of your "heroes" oftentimes the more you find, the less you like.



I came away from reading the book in a word - exhausted, but exhilarated at the same time. In fact, it was refreshing in a way to know that although Jobs was "Steve Jobs the icon", he's just a guy like you and me. I realized that you don't have to be perfect to be great. And although there are many traits of Jobs I would never emulate in my own life, I felt like there were so many brilliant lessons that can be learned from him not only as a businessman and real estate investor, but as many lessons in what not to do as a father, a husband and a human being.



The bottom line is this: you, I and anyone can be great. There are multiple paths to ultimate success in life and in real estate investing, and there are multiple lessons Steve Jobs can teach the real estate investor and which can be learned by you.



The Top Seven Real Estate Investing Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Us



1. Fear Not



Jobs was plagued by strange idiosyncrasies. His diet, his odd personal habits, his driving without a license plate, his parking in handicapped zones just to name a few. But one thing he was blessed with was a total and utter lack of fear. Lack of fear comes from many things; self-confidence, optimism, even delusions of grandeur (checkmarks on all three for Jobs here). One thing's for sure, he had enormous amounts of self-confidence. He felt he was special and that he was put on this earth to do great things by creating the technical marvels which ultimately influenced and bettered the lives of millions of people. Those innovations still affect us all each and every day.



Even in the face of terminal pancreatic cancer, he seemed to have an almost irrational sense of self-confidence and lack of fear. His self-confidence was so great; he actually thought that he could cure himself with oddball diets and rituals, while shunning traditional medicine - medicine that just may have saved his life. Incredibly, he seemed to have a complete absence of fear of the one thing that most of us are deathly afraid of...death itself.



It's terrifying to buy your first house flip, for sure. But is it as fearful as death? Keep things in perspective in order to control fear. Think of the worst case scenario if you do what you're fearful of. If you can handle the worst case pain and aggravation, then do it. If Steve Jobs could fearlessly stare down death, you can do the same.



If you're just starting, then make your first real estate purchase. If you've been around the block a few times, try a new investment strategy you've never done before. When you face your fears and do what you fear most, you end up controlling your fears.



2. Pick Yourself Up Even After Your Failures



Can you imagine the humiliation of being fired by the guy you picked to run your company? In one of the most public firings in corporate history, Steve Jobs was fired. This was big news when it happened, sending shockwaves throughout Silicon Valley and the rest of the corporate world. Jobs did wallow for a short period of time, sure. But he picked himself up and created a new company that was ultimate bought by the company and the successor he was fired by.



If you are new to real estate investing and you lose a few thousand on your first deal because you overestimate your ARV, didn't stick by the 70% Rule or failed to tightly manage your general contractors, then provided the few thousand didn't bankrupt you, pick yourself up and try again.



It's not how many times we fail; it's how many times we get back up after failure that counts most.



3. Marry Art and Functionality



Many of us have iPhones. If you have one nearby while reading this or on the desktop beside you, pick it up. Feel the weight, notice the elegant stainless steel wrapping, the Gorilla glass screen, the smooth back. Swipe a few apps from side to side, browse the Internet, touch an app and see how they all gently jiggle to be deleted or modified. If you think all these enhancements and subtle artistic nuances of the device (since copied by the Google platform) are random, think again.



Jobs dissected each of these features and weighed them for weeks and months prior to being introduced by Apple. And each feature indelibly bears his thumbprint - his signature. He married art and functionality to create everlasting products and innovation that will affect generations to come.



There are lots of posts on this website that discuss the "steps" to real estate investing, house flipping, wholesaling, you name it. Follow these steps here and learn as much as you can. But then, put your own thumbprint on each of them - just like Steve Jobs did with each of his creations.



Is there only one way to rehab a house for maximum resale? No way.



Is there only one way to round up funding for your next apartment building? Not a chance.



Virtually anyone can become a real estate investor as long as they have the desire and the ambition, but to become a massive success, it's going to take more than just what you learn from others. Its going to require you to put your own indelible stamp on every deal you do. Think like Steve jobs in how you can make your flip or rental a little bit different, enhanced or beautiful...marry art with functionality.



4. Listen to Your Inner Voice



When you are new to real estate investing, you have no voice in your head. If you do have one, that voice is usually screaming to you "don't do it!"



However, the more deals you do, a different inner voice starts to appear. This is the voice of experience.



Maybe you are thinking about becoming a real estate investor and there's something that has stopped you from doing it. You went to school, you got a good job in finance or sales or maybe you're a doctor or a dentist - but there's something missing. When we don't listen to our inner voice, we mail it in, we do what we do on autopilot.



You're reading this blog most likely because you want something more. You want to create the life you've always wanted. THAT is the inner voice calling you.



Ignore it at your own peril.



Jobs' inner voice screamed "change the world" - a pretty dramatic vision and a pretty big voice. He built computers to do it. That was his plan.



What's yours?



One thing that's abundantly clear with Jobs is that despite his many imperfections, he lived his life with very few regrets. He followed his inner voice. Whatever that voice is telling you, it would be smart to listen to it. Even if it tells you to quit your job, become a full-time real estate investor, move to Tibet or become a gourmet sushi chef, listen to it.



Live life with no regrets.



5. Expect More from Yourself and From Others



Jobs was a real prick sometimes. He would berate people. He would yell at people. He would throw little temper tantrums. He was a totally obsessive control freak.



And of course, he was an absolute perfectionist.



He demanded this from himself and he demanded the same from everyone who worked for him. I am not saying that the WAY Jobs did it was right, far from it. He seemed like a real jerk to work for.



But one thing's for sure, he pushed people to places where they never thought they were capable of going. He expected this of himself and he expected it from everyone who worked for him.



Do it in your own way and do the same thing in your real estate investment career. If you need to get upset, do it. Don't overdo it or you will find nobody will want to work with you, so be careful. But shoot for perfection and settle for excellence at the very least.



Jobs built products that revolutionized the world using this philosophy and he did it in his own way...so you do it in your own way. But don't try to be him. Be yourself and expect a lot from everyone and most importantly expect the absolute most from yourself.



6. Surround Yourself with the Most Talented People You Can Find



Steve Jobs gets all the credit when you think of the legacy of greatness at Apple. Sounds good, but it's simply not true.



Yes, Jobs made the ultimate decisions in all matters Apple from the type of sandstone used in Apple stores to the kind of glass used on iPhone screens. But what's less known is that he surrounded himself with some brilliant minds that simply made him and Apple better.



Jobs surrounded himself with serious talent: the true mastermind behind the iPhone and iPad design Jony Ive, now CEO Steve Cook, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Toy Story creator John Lesseter, just to name a few. These super-talented people (not the faceless minions kowtowing to Jobs every whim as we may want to believe) don't get the credit they rightfully deserve.



In real estate investing, surrounding yourself with an incredibly talented and knowledgeable team, including lawyers, real estate agents, general contractors, etc. - people in many cases who know far more than you - is just as important in real estate investing as it was in building one of the great companies of our generation. Steve Jobs realized that he couldn't do anything without great talent around him.



How about you?



7. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish



Success in anything in life is consistently looking to improve, to grow, to build and also to have fun. If you're going to do it for the majority of the time you have in any given day, shouldn't it be fun too? Jobs summed up this philosophy of innovation, creativity and fun in his memorable 2005 Stanford commencement address (check it out on YouTube if you haven't):



"When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960′s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.



Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.



Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."



We can be just as special as he was and although we may not all build the next Apple; we can build excellence in what we do every day as real estate investors. As was previously reported on this blog, we as real estate investors not only enrich the lives of thousands of people every year with quality housing, but we create jobs and opportunities to the tune of $9.2 billion per year as well.



What we do as real estate investors matters. Jobs would agree that is a worthy dream to pursue. And we all can learn much from him - both the good and the bad. But best of all, you don't have to be perfect in to be wildly successful like Steve Jobs.



In fact, anything's possible in life if you continue to follow the simple lessons laid out above.



Author: Mike LaCava



Mike's Website: http://www.houseflippingschool.com



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