Information about homes in Southern Rhode Island and Newport County.

Most children, at one time or another, dream of the perfect tree house. A place that they can hang out with friends and decorate to their liking - a place to call their own. If you have children, you may have at one time thought about building a play house for your kids.

Below are some charming, some amazing, and some truly creative play houses. Happy dreaming!

Simple Tree House Designs

If you are looking for simpler designs, something that will take an afternoon, not a summer, to complete, check out these cute tree house designs.

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As a Rhode Island real estate agent who has recently navigated both ends of FHA backed transactions, I can personally attest to the fact that FHA loans are making a strong comeback as a useful alternative for first-time home buyers and home buyers with less than perfect credit.  My experience as of late has enlightened me to the fact that both industry peeps and consumers alike are often still in the dark about the FHA process and what it means to a sale.  So, I'm here to offer an inside scoop.

Tips for Potentail FHA Borrowers:

1.) There are three FHA loan programs:

1. FHA 203(b) fixed-rate mortgage (15- or 30-year loans)
2. FHA 251 adjustable-rate mortgage
3. FHA 2-1 buy-down loans

2.) To qualify for an FHA mortgage, borrowers must:

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Mae West once said, "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough."

As a luxury waterfront rental specialist in Newport, RI, helping folks "do it right" is my profession. Lucky me - especially at this time of year when Rhode Island summer rental activity begins to heat up. If you're looking for a cool place to spend your vacation this summer, I have lots of ideas in all price ranges, but here are a few of the more unusual offerings:

Nantucket Light ShipThe Nantucket Lightship

The Nantucket Light Ship, Newport RI

Just imagine yourself on the deck of this amazing vessel sipping Champagne while the setting sun paints the harbor an indescribable shade of pink. The lights on the bridge are twinkling, the temperature's about 75, and mmm, mmmm, mmmm, life is…

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buy_vs_rent_chart_400To Buy or To Rent? A tool to help you decide.

Many factors enter into the decision to rent or buy a RI home including the anticipated rate of appreciation, anticipated rent increases, your tax bracket and how long you expect to stay. If you're wrestling with this common real estate decision, take a look at this Rent vs Buy calculator. It's one of the best ones out there because it rolls every possible permutation into a tidy little graph and a one sentence conclusion.

So plug in your numbers, and see what's best for you. If it turns out that buying is the way to go... well, you know where to find me!

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Photo of Notary SealComplete, sign, notarize & file Ratable Tax Form

If you own property in Newport or Middletown, RI, you probably know that 2012 is a revaluation year.  That means Newport and Middletown's tax assessors are about to revise your valuation based on comparable sales and other market indicators.  You might agree with their opinion of value, but just in case you don't, you should file a Ratable Tax Form now.

To protect your right to appeal your new assessment, you must file a Ratable Tax Form with your town hall by Tuesday, January 30, 2012. The form provides your opinion of your property's value and insures your legal standing should you decide to appeal.  With legal standing you have the right to sue for a reduction. Without it, you can only make the…

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Photo of snow covered home

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of Rhode Island single-family homes sold last month increased 19 percent from December 2010.  In addition, pending sales - those sales under contract but not yet closed - rose 17 percent from the year prior.   Historically speaking the winter months tend to reflect a decrease in sales overall in Rhode Island, however, these recent statistics have both caught the attention of Rhodes Island’s Realtor President, Jaime Moore and helped shift the debate about listing homes in winter.

"We're happy to see sales rising again of their own accord," said Moore. "People are buying for no other reason than they recognize affordability in the market and that's a good sign. There is no tax incentive or…

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It takes 100 consumer sites to reach 71% of the market.

If you have a Newport, RI home or condo for sale, chances are it's listed on many different real estate sites.  Some of this listing distribution happens automatically through MLS (Realtor.com, ProJo.com, NewEnglandRealEstate.com), some depends on your listing agency's syndication agreements (Yahoo, Zillow, Trulia and many more) and some is the result of exclusive agreements based on vertical markets like luxury real estate, foreclosed properties or short sales.

With hundreds of sites out there, it's hard to know which ones really matter when it comes to delivering traffic.  As it turns out, no 800 lb. gorilla dominates the consumer real estate scene (yet).  While a dominant player may emerge,…

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RI mortgage rates are lower than they have ever been in recorded history!  Your savings over time will be enormously higher than the $8,000 tax rebate.  As of today, August 20, 2010, the current average rate for a 30 year fixed loan is 4.75 percent, and the 15 year fixed rate is at 4% (view full post for chart).  The stimulus package was nice, but the money you will save by financing at these rates is nicer.  Consider this example: if you bought a house for $300,000 last year and financed 80% at 6%, your interest payments for the first 3 years would be $42,402.  Three years of interest payments for the same purchase today at 4.75% would total $33,411.  That's almost $9,000 less, and these savings continue for up to 30 years.  So don't feel bad about…

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