The Facts about Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010

The Charleston, South Carolina area is a great place to live or have a vacation home.  The weather is great, the beaches are fantastic, golf courses are abundant, there are many historical sites, the architecture is unbelievable, the dining is unbeatable, and the people are the friendliest in the country.  It is because of these reasons that I believe Charleston SC Real Estate is truly unique.  I look forward to helping you with any of your real estate needs in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties. Today’s article is titled:


The Facts about Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010


The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 (H.R. 5019) passed the House of Representatives Thursday with bi-partisan support, on a vote of 246 – 161.

Home Star is a two year program ($6 Billion funded total) from the federal government designed to encourage homeowners to retrofit their homes for energy efficiency, to create good American jobs in the construction and manufacturing industry, and to reduce our country’s dependency on foreign energy sources.

Homeowners are incentivized to conduct whole-home energy retrofits (Home Star Gold) or install individual American-made, energy-saving products (Home Star Silver).

Home Star Gold: If a homeowner makes their home 20% more energy efficiency, they receive $3,000.  For each additional 5% of energy reduction reached, the homeowner is eligible for an additional $1,000 up to a total of $8,000 or 50% of the cost of the retrofit – whichever is lower.

Home Star Silver: Provides upfront rebates for specific energy-saving investments such as attic or wall insulation, duct sealing, whole-home air sealing, or heating system replacement. Homeowners receive up to $1,500 per improvement – capped at a total of $3,000 or 50 percent of the total project cost.

More Detailed Information about Home Star: http://www.homestarretrofit.com/2010/04/what-does-homestar-mean-for-you/

What’s a Homeowner to Do?

Home energy efficiency, while it may be a great investment, is complicated stuff! EnergySavvy (www.energysavvy.com) is a website for homeowners that makes it easy.  The online energy assessment on the site helps you understand how efficient your home already is, which energy efficiency contractors are the best ones to work with to upgrade it, and which tax credits and rebates (including Home Star, when it passes) are available to pay for upgrades.

Press Quotes

"We applaud the U.S. House on the [bipartisan] passage of the HOME STAR legislation. HOME STAR will create good American jobs in construction, manufacturing and related industries. It will help American homeowners improve the efficiency of their homes and save money. And it will provide a solid foundation for our country's energy policy and energy security. We encourage the Senate to act quickly to get the HOME STAR bill to the President's desk and get our workers back on the job." – Efficiency First Chairman, Mike Rogers

“Making your home more energy-efficient is one of the fastest payback upgrades you can do to your home.  You pay less to the utility every month, your house is warmer and more comfortable, and with all the energy rebates and tax credits available right now, there’s never been a smarter time to do it. The problem is that it’s been complicated to figure it out.  What projects are the best for my house? Who can help me? And how do I get the most money from the government to pay for this stuff?” – EnergySavvy.com CEO, Aaron Goldfeder

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

To look for Charleston SC Real Estate homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/ 

View my entire inventory of VisualTours of Charleston SC Real Estate homes at http://www.visualtour.com/inventory.asp?U=182210 

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com
 

10 Most Important Design Features for 55+ Buyers

The Charleston, South Carolina area is a great place to live or have a vacation home.  The weather is great, the beaches are fantastic, golf courses are abundant, there are many historical sites, the architecture is unbelievable, the dining is unbeatable, and the people are the friendliest in the country.  It is because of these reasons that I believe Charleston SC Real Estate is truly unique.  I look forward to helping you with any of your real estate needs in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties. Today’s article is titled:


10 Most Important Design Features for 55+ Buyers


Aging Baby boomers hold a significant amount to consumer buying power.  According to the North America Home Builder’s Association research found the 55 and over buyers consider the following as important design features:

1.  Washer and dryer in the home
2.  Storage space
3.  Windows that open easily
4.  Garage door opener
5.  Easy to use thermostats
6.  Master bedroom on first floor
7.  Private patio
8.  Porch
9.  Attached garage
10.  Bigger bathrooms

Smaller, energy efficient homes incorporating these 10 design features are extremely important to the 55 and over consumer.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

To look for Charleston SC Real Estate homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/ 

View my entire inventory of VisualTours of Charleston SC Real Estate homes at http://www.visualtour.com/inventory.asp?U=182210 

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com 
 

"Carolina Joe" Just Listed Another One!!!

"CAROLINA JOE", YOUR REALTOR TO KNOW!

141 SIMONS ST CHARLESTON, SC 29403-3648 LP: $142,500

MLS#: 1012474 – RES – SFD Status: Active
Area: (52) CHS-Peninsula Chas. outside of crosstown
   
Bedrooms: 2 Apx SqFt: 978
Bths Ful/Hlf: 1/0 Tax Map#: 463-11-04-067
Stories: 1 Story Apx YrBlt: 1940
Address: 141 SIMONS ST
City: CHARLESTON Zip: 29403-3648
Lot Size: 77' X 189' X 199' Acres: 0.18
Subdiv: WAGENER TERRACE Subsec:  
Grade Sch: JAMES SIMONS Middle Sch: BURKE
High Sch: BURKE New/Owned: Pre-owned
Legal Desc: LEGAL: LT B & C !BLDG STYLE: COTTAGE
Style: Traditnl Fireplace:   Special:  
Roof: Asbest Shngl Foundation: Crawl Space Floors: Wood, Vinyl
Cooling: Window Unit Heat: Gas Utilities: SCEandG, Chas Water Sys
Parking: Off-st Prkng        
Auction: N Auction Type:   Reserve Amt:  
Lot Desc:  
Exterior: Stucco
Master BR:  
Other Rms:  
Misc. Int:  
Wat/Sew: Public Water, Public Sewer
Amenities: Cable Available, Trash Pickup
Appliances: Washer Conn

Directions: TURN WEST ON SIMONS STREET FROM RUTLEDGE AVENUE. PROPERTY IS ON LEFT JUST PAST MIDDLETON PLACE.
Remarks: THIS TWO BEDROOM, ONE BATHROOM HOME IS LOCATED IN THE VERY DESIRABLE WAGENER TERRACE NEIGHBORHOOD. THE HOME IS SITUATED ON A LARGE TRIANGULAR LOT WITH SEVERAL MATURE TREES. THE HOME IS DATED, MAY NEED SOME REPAIRS, AND COULD MAKE AN EXCELLENT RENOVATION PROJECT. HOME HAS FINISHED STAIRS TO WALK IN STORAGE AREA IN ATTIC WHICH POSSIBLY COULD BE FINISHED AS ADDITIONAL SPACE. THIS IS PART OF AN ESTATE SALE AND MAY NOT BE ABLE TO CLOSE UNTIL LATE AUGUST WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESTATE IS COMPLETED.

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Foreclosures Fall in Most of Top Metro Areas

The Charleston, South Carolina area is a great place to live or have a vacation home.  The weather is great, the beaches are fantastic, golf courses are abundant, there are many historical sites, the architecture is unbelievable, the dining is unbeatable, and the people are the friendliest in the country.  It is because of these reasons that I believe Charleston SC Real Estate is truly unique.  I look forward to helping you with any of your real estate needs in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties. Today’s article is titled:

Foreclosures Fall in Most of Top Metro Areas

Foreclosure activity fell in 14 of the top 20 U.S. metropolitan areas in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, even though total U.S. foreclosures rose, RealtyTrac said on Thursday.

The declines in some big metro areas, however, reflected government efforts to stem foreclosures and did not indicate that the tide of foreclosures has turned, RealtyTrac said.

The Sun Belt continued to lead in foreclosures, with four Sun Belt states accounting for all of the 20 metropolitan areas with the highest rates in the first quarter, the real estate data company said.

But the majority of those top metro areas, with populations over 200,000, reported decreasing foreclosure activity compared with the first quarter of 2009, RealtyTrac, based in Irvine, California, said.

California accounted for 10 out of the top 20 metro foreclosure rates, followed by Florida with seven, Nevada with two, and Arizona with one, RealtyTrac said in a quarterly report.

Foreclosure activity declined on a year-over-year basis in eight of 10 biggest metro areas.

"The decreasing foreclosure activity in some of the nation's top foreclosure hot spots in the first quarter is largely the result of government intervention and other non-market influences, and not a sure signal that those areas are out of the woods yet when it comes to foreclosures," James J. Saccacio, chief executive of RealtyTrac, said in a statement.

He said a federal government program designed to encourage short sales, which was launched April 5, may have caused delays in the initiation of some foreclosures. In a short sale, a lender agrees to accept a sales price that is less than the amount owed on a mortgage.

RealtyTrac said 77 percent of large U.S. metropolitan areas posted year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure activity nationwide increased 16 percent from the first quarter of 2009.

Las Vegas continued to post the highest foreclosure rate in the first quarter, with one in 28 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, or 3.51 percent, 4.9 times the national average.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

To look for Charleston SC Real Estate homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/ 

View my entire inventory of VisualTours of Charleston SC Real Estate homes at http://www.visualtour.com/inventory.asp?U=182210 

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

Copyright 2010 Reuters
 

Buyers Should Push to Cut Junk Fees

The Charleston, South Carolina area is a great place to live or have a vacation home.  The weather is great, the beaches are fantastic, golf courses are abundant, there are many historical sites, the architecture is unbelievable, the dining is unbeatable, and the people are the friendliest in the country.  It is because of these reasons that I believe Charleston SC Real Estate is truly unique.  I look forward to helping you with any of your real estate needs in Charleston, Berkeley, or Dorchester counties. Today’s article is titled:

Buyers Should Push to Cut Junk Fees

Now is a good time for home buyers to push for lower closing costs.

Closing costs include lending charges, local tax and transfer fees, and expenses for such things as title insurance, appraisal costs, and other third-party services. The rule of thumb used to be about 3 percent of the cost of the property.

Today, most buyers should be able to do better than that, said Guy Cecala, publisher of industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance. Fees that buyers shouldn’t have much trouble negotiating away include wire-transfer fees, loan application-processing fees, and high FedEx charges.

"It all boils down to what a lender will work for," says Cary Pearce, production manager at Provident Bank Mortgage in Riverside, Calif.

As always, your thoughts, questions, or comments are greatly appreciated. Let me know if I can help with any of your Charleston SC real estate needs or questions.

To look for Charleston SC Real Estate homes anywhere in the tri-county area go to my website at http://www.carolinajoe.com/mls/ 

View my entire inventory of VisualTours of Charleston SC Real Estate homes at http://www.visualtour.com/inventory.asp?U=182210 

Sincerely,

"Carolina Joe" Idleman
http://www.carolinajoe.com

Source: Investor’s Business Daily, Kathleen Doler (04/22/2010)
 

"Carolina Joe" Just Sold another One!!!

"CAROLINA JOE", YOUR REALTOR TO KNOW!

0 SPARKS ST MOUNT PLEASANT, SC 29464 LP: $59,900

MLS#: 1011287 – VAC Status: Sold
Area: (42) CHS-Mt.Pleasant South of Hwy.41
Zoning: Residential Tax Map#: 535-04-00-004
Address: 0 SPARKS ST
City: MOUNT PLEASANT Zip: 29464
Lot Size: 100' X 275' X 102' X 260' Acres: 0.62
Subdiv: HOBCAW Subsec:  
Grade Sch: JAMES B EDWARDS Middle Sch: MOULTRIE
High Sch: WANDO    
Legal Desc: LT 5
Dev Status: Finished Lots Docs Avail: Plat
Existing Util: Sewer @ Site, Water, Electricity Road Front: City Street
Income:   Misc:  
Structures:   Uses: Residenti
Lot Desc: 1/2 -1 Acre
Amenities: Cable Avail, Trash Pickup
Auction:   Auction Type:   Reserve Amt:  

Directions: FROM RT. 17 NORTH TURN ON TO ANNA KNAPP BLVD. TURN LEFT ON TO MATHIS FERRY ROAD. THEN TURN RIGHT ON TO SPARKS STREET. LOT DOWN ABOUT 400 FEET ON RIGHT.
Remarks: WOODED DOUBLE SIZE LOT ZONED R-2. APPROXIMATELY 400 FEET FROM MATHIS FERRY ROAD. – NEAR ION AND OLDE PARK – JUST MINUTES TO BRIDGE – ALL UTILITIES ARE AT THE SITE. BEST VALUE IN MOUNT PLEASANT.
Sold Price: $50,000 DOM/CDOM: 2/2 Buyer Name:  
Close Date: 04/29/2010 DUC: 7 NewMortType: CASH
CntrctDate: 04/22/2010 PrjClsDate:

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