Tuesday, September 17, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
While planting perennials last evening I came across this charming little yellow caterpillar! He was taking a joyful walk up the neighbor's drive with such verve and determination that I had no choice but to video him. He was so cute, all yellow with those funny little black feathers waving in the air. I wanted to pick him up and give him a good cuddle.
But after shooting this video and saying goodbye as he continued neighbor-ward, I did what any vigilant lepidopterophile would do - I googled him.
Turns out this little bugger is poisonous!
It is the caterpillar stage of the American Dagger Moth (Acronicta Americana), a not so impressive but well camouflaged gray-beige moth, which grows to a wingspan of about 2.5 inches. In its caterpillar stage, those black spikes on the little yellow worm are full of toxins which squirt out if the bug is touched or otherwise disturbed. On human skin, the toxins form large, itchy red welts in a few hours which are not a pleasant thing.&nbs ...
Saturday, September 14, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
10 Ornamental Grasses to Plant This Fall
Friday, September 13, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
Research just in from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows a decline in foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate. The report indicates that a decline in foreign investment in the U.S. in general,tighter controls on on theoutward flow of capital from China and low housing inventory were the main contributors to this huge drop. Foreign buyers purchased fewer U.S. existing homes from April 2018 through March 2019. Global economic growth, which increased in 2016 to 2017, slowed to 3.6% in 2018 and is on pace to taper to 3.3% in 2019.
NAR’s Profile of International Transactions in U.S. Residential Real Estate 2019 revealed that foreign buyers purchased $77.9 billion worth of U.S. existing homes from the 2019 survey reference period, a 36% decline from the level reached in the previous 12 months ($121 billion). Non-resident foreign buyers accounted for $33.2 billion of U.S. existing-home sales, a 37% decline from the prior level of $53 billion. Resident ...
Thursday, September 12, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
The new legislation out of Albany for rent reform mostly impacts what are called market-rate tenants, (renters not protected by current rent controls), and their landlords. Though it isn't the sweeping reform bill many were hoping for, the legislation does contain some interesting new provisions for all tenants, ranging on issues from security deposits to eviction proceedings.
Putting the brakes on shakedowns: security deposits, background and credit report fees, and pet deposits.
Under the newly passed bill, market-rate tenants are required to put down no more than one-month’s rent as security deposit, matching the rule that currently applies to rent-regulated tenants. Landlords are limited to the amount they can charge prospective tenants for credit and background checks, either for the actual cost of the service or $20, whichever is lower.
Pet lovers may like that landlords cannot charge an extra fee for damage done by pets allowed in the apartment. Pets can cause ...
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 / by Vanessa Saunders
I remember this day eighteen years ago. It was the start of my real estate career, though I didn't know it at the time.
I was in Amsterdam, and heard about the terrorist attacks from my personal assistant who was in New York. Like the rest of our World Trade Center Association staff, she had planned on coming in late that day, because our executives were scheduled for an off-site meeting. In an incredible stroke of luck, not one person came to the office before 8:46 a.m., saving all our lives.
9-11 changed everyone's life that day. It gave me the push I needed to give up corporate life and head in a new direction. I was approaching the age at which most executives either lose their jobs to younger executives or change careers, or both. 50 is the new unemployed.
When I returned to New York and realized my company's offices had been blown up, I took it as a sign. In one moment, I realized I had to make a change. I chose real estate, and without looking back, I have to ...