Real Estate Information Archive


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door: Door knob and locks stock photosExperts agree that adding value to your home and property is not as costly as you may think. There are many simple ways to add value that you can even do yourself without the help of a professional. The first and most popular is paint. We all know how either the exterior of a home or an interior room can be magically transformed with the right shade of paint. If nothing else, it changes old and dingy to fresh and new. Replacing that dated or worn front door can make a tremendous improvement in the way your home looks from the curb. Changing old and worn light fixtures is another way to update and freshen your home’s exterior. Adding foundation shrubs, bushes and flowers is another smart and inexpensive way to boost your home’s value, while adding a whole lot of curb appeal. Inside the home, studies have shown that chrome fixtures are highly preferred to the more dated gold fixtures and that a fixed glass screen is preferred over a shower curtain. If you plan to add window treatments, simple blinds are the most popular choice. Consider changing your bathroom and kitchen drawer pulls and light fixtures with more modern choices - and see how it can transform the look of the room. Studies also show that upgrading your appliances to more energy efficient models will add great value to your home. For more information about adding value to your home go to
Since there are several easy ways to cut your home energy costs, what better time to start implementing them than right now? You may have already heard many of these tips repeated by experts, but they are tried and true and really do help you save.
  • Washer and Dryer Use: By simply by changing the temperature from hot to warm on your clothes washer you can halve your energy usage. And if you line dry just half of your clothing on an indoor drying rack, you can save up to $52 per year.
  • Replace your upright freezer for a chest freezer. Chest freezers consume up to 25% less energy because the cold air does not pour out each time you open the door. You can calculate what your current model versus a new one would save you at
  • Change all of your bulbs from incandescent to compact fluorescent bulbs or light-emitting diodes. Incandescents only use 10% of their energy for light, the remaining 90% is turned to heat.
  • Make it possible to unplug devices when not in use. Many of these devices use power even in their stand-by mode. A simple way to do this is to plug your televisions, printers, iPods and cellphones into a power surge protector. By switching one button, you can even turn them all off at once. This small change could save you up to $100 per year.
  • By weather stripping drafty doors and caulking windows can save you up to 20% on heating and air conditioning costs.
  • Installing double-paned Low Emissivity windows can save you up to $450 per year in energy costs. See which windows are classified as Energy Star on
  • Choose an Energy Star Appliance when the time comes to replace your home’s leading energy guzzlers. These include your refrigerator, clothes washer, clothes dryer and dishwasher. You will save up to $75 per year.
  • Wood Burning stoves can save you anywhere from 20% - 40% on your home heating bills.
When choosing flooring for your kitchen, you may find yourself second-guessing hardwood. Although the beauty of hardwood flooring is hard to deny, the eventual cost to maintain it may cancel out your desire for its natural beauty. Unfortunately, wood absorbs moisture which can cause cracking and warping over time. In a worst-case scenario it could even end up cupping or crowning in spots. Your only solutions to these problems are to either sand down the affected section and re-finish, or replace it entirely. kitchenshink.jpg (441660 bytes) Since the kitchen demands a flooring material that can withstand high foot traffic, stain-resistance and comfort, laminate flooring may be the perfect solution. There are a myriad of styles and colors available and it is moisture-resistant. Stains can be cleaned quite easily as well. This material is not only affordable, but is relatively simple to install. If you decide upon it, just allow the tiles to sit in their future home for a few days so that they can adjust to the atmosphere they will eventually be installed in. The individual tiles will expand and contract. When installing, don’t forget to leave a quarter of an inch between the wall and the flooring. A wet tile saw is perfect for cutting this material to size. As always, before installation make sure to fill in any holes or dings, and sand away any bumps on your sub-flooring. These things could affect the final result. For help with installation try viewing these DIY instructions.
Image Ref: 07-09-39 - Farmyard Gate in the snow, Viewed 389 times Homeowners should tackle some of these jobs very soon, if they have not done so already. Beating the snow with the following tips is a very good idea!
  • Clear away all items of clutter on the exterior of your home. Piles of firewood too close to the house can become a warm home for rodents.
  • Rake your lawn one last time and apply winterizing fertilizer. You still have about one week past Thanksgiving to do this. Running the mower over stray, left-over leaves is allright as it can create a nice mulch for your lawn. Winterizing fertilizer can even help break down those leaves to feed your lawn over winter.
  • Change any outdoor bulbs which are high enough that you need a ladder to change. Do you really want to be climbing up a ladder on a freezing cold, dark, possibly snowy night?
  • Consider applying weather-stripping to doors and applying window film to your drafty windows. This can increase your energy efficiency by a whopping 70%.
  • Prune any trees that require fall pruning.
  • Clear those gutters of all leaves.
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Despite this current economic downturn, there are some real estate websites that are faring quite positively during this time. At the top of the pile is Trulia. Trulia, Inc. is a national residential real estate search site that was started in San Francisco in 2005. It was a venture capital-backed startup. According to Comscore, Trulia had 2.58 million visitors in the month of October, which unbelievably was one hundred percent higher than October of last year. Trulia’s officials report that their website receives five million hits per month.
Trulia’s revenue comes mostly from advertising and Realtor membership payments. Its co-founder and C.O.O. Sami Inkinen claims that their revenue is growing by double digits each month, and that they expect the company to become profitable by the first half of 2009. Two other Real Estate websites that are doing remarkably well are a real estate brokerage site named ZipRealty, and the national commercial Real Estate search site named LoopNet Inc.

Property Tax Exemption News

by crussell
From our friends at Advantage Title...this is some news you may want to know about regarding your property taxes: TIPPECANOE COUNTY: In order to have your documents and exemptions recorded and filed in 2008, they must be fully executed and your transaction fully closed and funded no later than 12:00 p.m. on December 30, 2008. SURROUNDING COUNTIES: Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Montgomery, Warren & White In order to have your documents and exemptions recorded and filed in 2008, they must be fully executed and your transaction fully closed and funded no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 29, 2008. Let me know if you have any questions :)

Market Shifts Now Call For More Curb Appeal

by lheraty
Photo of fence with varying board heights.If you are putting your house on the market or own a rental property that is in need of a new tenant, get it to move more quickly with what experts say the market is currently calling for: more curb appeal.  In the past the two main things sellers focused on were making sure their kitchen was up to par and bathrooms were fresh.  Now they are finding that in this softened market, curb appeal is king. Insider tips suggest getting in tune with these new market changes and making sure your property is ready when it is shown to prospective buyers.  This could be the only shot you have to make a good impression. If you are having trouble deciding what changes need to be made, take photos of your property. Certain problems become more “visible” when seen on film and obvious much-needed improvements become more conspicuous. An average of $3,000 is what a National Association of Realtors survey found was needed to make homes look cleaner, fresher and more modern. Decluttering was high on the list of priorities as well. Make that first impression be the best it can be since today’s home buyers are jumping much more quickly on homes that appear to be updated and fresh.
sunbeam Even though the Federal Housing Finance Agency has come up with a plan to help millions of homeowners from losing their homes to foreclosure by working out new payment terms, there are still many people out there who will simply not qualify for this assistance. If you are finding yourself in this predicament, there are some things you can do to improve your situation. The first thing that you can do is call a good credit counseling agency. They will have expert advice on options other than foreclosure. Two excellent sources of information are the Department of Housing and Urban Development , which can put you into contact with low-cost or free counselors, and the non-profit National Foundation for Credit Counseling which can help you find members near to you. You may also want to give your lender a call to try and work out a payment arrangement that works better for you. To raise cash, you might want to consider renting out a room in your home if it is legal in your area, or you might ask relatives for financial help, or even find a second job. If necessary you might consider a short sale, which is when a lender will accept less than what is due on the loan. In this instance you will avoid foreclosure, but you risk the possibility of having to pay taxes on the short. Another option is to transfer your title in exchange for the cancellation of your debt, otherwise known as a “deed in lieu of foreclosure”. You will lose your equity, but you will not damage your credit. Lastly, you might consider bankruptcy. This will stain your credit for a decade, but you may be able to work out a deal with your lender that enables you to keep your home. Contact the Department of Justice for more information on bankruptcy.

Stunning home with great curb appeal in Lafayette!

by crussell
Beautiful setting bordering Wildcat creek, large play space on lot, elegant home decorated with quality & class, wonderful deck & hot tub, spectacular kitchen.  Click on the link below to view photos of this home and more information! 501 Shady Creek Dr.

Close to everything on the East side of Lafayette!

by crussell
Immaculate!!  Great flow to plan, new paint, carpet, light fixtures & screen door!  Family room has wood-burning fireplace, vaulted ceiling in master bedroom, Home Warranty available.  Click the link below to view photos and more information! 121 Marble Arch Way

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 16




Contact Information

Photo of Cathy Russell Real Estate
Cathy Russell
The Russell Company
2522 Covington St.
West Lafayette IN 47906
(765) 426-7000
(765) 335-5588
Fax: (765) 497-1003