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StarTribune.com: Staying Safe On the Ice - Ice Thickness Chart

by Nancy Jenkins, CRB, CRS

Our friends at the Larson Team in Minnesota shared this ice thickness chart with us. It's a good gauge for staying safe on Lake Champlain or any ice covered surface here in Vermont. For other helpful tips and information, visit the full article here.

-Nancy

Ice Thickness Chart



27 August 2008
Prudential Real Estate Ranked Highest for Seller Satisfaction in J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 Home Buyer/Seller Study

IRVINE, Calif., August 27, 2008 - Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU) company, today announced that Prudential Real Estate ranks Highest Satisfaction for Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms in J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM.

The inaugural study measures customer satisfaction of home sellers and buyers with major national real estate companies. Overall satisfaction is determined by examining four factors for the home-selling experience: agent (43%); marketing (38%); office (12%); and services (7%).

Among home sellers, Prudential Real Estate achieved a score of 793 on a 1,000-point scale and Prudential Real Estate received particularly high ratings from customers in the marketing and office factors.

We are very proud of this distinction, as it underscores the quality of our affiliates and their hard-working sales professionals, said Laurie Keenan, president of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates. Our sales professionals are local experts, and sellers appreciate their ability to market and price homes right along with providing exceptional, attentive service.

The study finds that despite the popularity of home selling and buying resources on the Internet, the real estate sales professional remains key to customer satisfaction with real estate companies. A large proportion of both home sellers and buyers rely on the Internet to facilitate the real estate process, with 61 percent of sellers saying that they used Internet tools to help them in the purchase process, and 68 percent of buyers reporting that they used a website listing to market their home. In addition, among home sellers, online methods are the most important aspect of marketing.

However, the sales professional carries the greatest importance among the factors that comprise overall satisfaction among both home sellers and buyers.

According to J.D. Power and Associates, although the Internet provides real estate consumers with the ability to perform some essential tasks such as listing a home for sale or researching a neighborhood in which to purchase a home it still does not replace the importance of a good sales professional. The knowledge and expertise provided by experienced sales professionals are important benefits of using a full-service real estate company.

The study also finds that the average time a respondents home remained on the market was slightly more than six months; although home sellers represented by the top-ranking real estate companies report that their homes were on the market for slightly less time approximately five and a half months, on average.

Satisfaction averages 794 among those customers whose homes sold within five months or less, but declines considerably to an average of 730 among customers whose homes took seven months or longer to sell, the study showed. A real estate company that provides sales professionals who are skilled at determining the appropriate market value and listing price for homes, and who can effectively market properties, can help minimize the time that clients homes remain on the market which can save the seller money, inconvenience and anxiety.

Nearly one-half of respondents in the study (46%) reported using recommendations from family or friends to find their real estate sales professional. Approximately 28 percent used the Internet, 23 percent used a sales professional they had used previously and 11 percent used a printed real estate guide.

The study reports that home buyers were shown an average of 13 homes before they made a purchase. Home sellers reported that, on average, their home was shown 11 times, and about five open houses were conducted before a sale occurred.

The 2008 Home Buyer/Seller Study includes 3,670 evaluations from 3,205 respondents who bought or sold a home between April 2007 and June 2008.

Based in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, training and customer satisfaction. The companys quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on cell phone ratings, car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance and more, visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc. is Prudentials integrated real estate brokerage franchise and relocation services business. Prudential Real Estate franchises are independently owned and operated. Companies are selected based upon outstanding performance records, high levels of customer service and shared business values with those of Prudential. Prudential Real Estate provides franchises with business strategies using Operation Reviews as well as numerous benefits, including access to Prudential Real Estates Online Seller AdvantageSM program designed to provide real-time information to sellers with the touch of a keystroke. Prudential Real Estate is one of the largest real estate brokerage franchise networks in North America, with nearly 2,100 franchise offices and approximately 64,000 sales professionals in the franchise Network as of June 30, 2008.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $638 billion of assets under management as of June 30, 2008, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Leveraging its heritage of life insurance and asset management expertise, Prudential is focused on helping approximately 50 million individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth. The companys well-known Rock® symbol is an icon of strength, stability, expertise and innovation that has stood the test of time. Prudential's businesses offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management, and real estate services. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com/.

Vermont DPS Updates Smoke Detector Laws January 1, 2009

by Nancy Jenkins, CRB, CRS

As of January 1, 2009 Vermont’s smoke detector laws have changed. All homes sold after January 1st are required to have Photoelectric Alarms. The State of Vermont Division of Public Safely has put together this handy fact sheet outlining the new requirements. For additional information, visit their website, here.

 

-Nancy

Money.CNN.com; Mortgage rates dip to new all-time low

by Nancy Jenkins, CRB, CRS
Thirty year fixed rates are at historic lows, the lowest since Freddie Mac started its survey in 1971. Fifteen year fixed rates are the lowest we have seen since June 2003.  What does that mean to the local market? Since our market has fallen to prices we have not seen in several years, the affordability of homes and condos has improved dramatically in the past few weeks. When rates start to fall, mortgage payments decline and buyers can afford a larger mortgage for the same monthly payment. Usually when mortgage payments fall to these low levels, it can signal the bottom of a real estate market. With a great selection of homes available now, we are here to help you with your home purchase. Call Nancy Jenkins Team at 802-846-4888. 
-Nancy

Mortgage rates dip to new all-time low

The 30 year fixed rate fell to 5.01%, its lowest level since Freddie Mac started conducting its survey in 1971.

By Larissa Padden, CNNMoney contributor
Last Updated: January 8, 2009: 11:32 AM ETNEW YORK  (CNNMoney.com) -- Mortgage rates fell to another all-time low, declining for the tenth consecutive week.

Government sponsored mortgage lender Freddie Mac said Thursday that fixed rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 5.01% for the week ending Jan. 8th. That's down from 5.10% last week and well below 5.87%, which is where the rate stood at this time last year.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage has not been lower since Freddie Mac started conducting the survey in 1971. (read more)

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Nancy Jenkins
Nancy Jenkins Real Estate
140 Kennedy Drive, Suite 102
South Burlington VT 05403
802-846-4888
Fax: 802-846-4899