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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Preparing Your Home for Spring: Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Rental or Home

Herndon, Virginia - March has come in as a lamb and is leaving like a lamb this 2012 Spring, with temperatures already hitting the 80’s. If you are a Homeowner or a Renter in the Northern Virginia area, McGrath Real Estate recommends completing certain tasks to ensure that your spring and summer is more enjoyable.

The exterior of the rental has obviously had the most exposure to the winter weather. It is recommended that you check your gutters to make sure they are still clean and if not, have them cleaned. Hose bibs should be opened and if necessary, McGrath Real Estate suggests having the exterior siding power washed to remove any dirt and algae. For homeowners interested in starting their landscaping, you can get a start on your gardening by cleaning away fallen sticks and rake away any dead leaves. Even if your grass is still in good shape, bald spots in high traffic areas may need more grass seed be put down to keep your lawn beautiful and green all summer long.

Dave Buckingham, the Head of the Repairs Department at McGrath Real Estate says the most important thing a homeowner or renter can do in the spring is to check their air conditioning system. “The first thing anyone living in a single family home or townhome should do is to turn on their Air Conditioning unit and make sure it’s working. The last thing you want is to really need your A/C in July and it won’t turn on. Save yourself the headache and check it now. Contractors are very backed up in the summer months, and it can be several days til a repairman can come out.” Also imperative is to change or clean the air filters in the home. This increases the efficiency of all home HVAC systems.

It may be cliché but doing some ‘spring cleaning’ improves the functionality of your home and creates a happier living environment. If you are a renter and have questions about what home maintenance tasks should be complete, McGrath Real Estate recommends talking to your property manager or landlord.

McGrath Real Estate Services has served the Northern Virginia region since 1976 as an expert in property management and real estate sales. Founded by a Foreign Service family they understand and appreciate the unique needs of homeowners serving our country abroad. For more information please visit (PRWEB)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Kitchen Facelift for the Holidays Made Easy With Tips from

Foster City, Calif. (PRWEB) -, the ultimate homeowner’s guide to quick and easy kitchen remodeling and cabinet refacing, is helping families prepare for the upcoming holiday season with easy revamping tips. As people are opening their homes to guests, they may not have the time or budget to completely remodel their kitchens to accommodate company and cooking activities.

“Holiday preparation can be exhausting, but we’re committed to making it easier for homeowners to update their kitchens without the heavy expense of remodeling,” said Samantha Chun, spokesperson. “There are plenty of ways to spruce up your kitchen without spending a lot of cash or time.” is featuring content like “Turkey Day Angst? Tech to the Rescue” that will help homeowners ready their kitchens for the holidays, as well as prepare a Thanksgiving feast more efficiently, with less stress. According to Patricia Davis Brown, an award winning interior designer and contributor, there are several types of gadgets and appliances with smart technologies that can help prepare a fabulous feast in half the time.

“The quicker you can prepare your holiday meals, the better,” said Brown. “Spending extra time with family is most important and provides information on how to do so.”

Additionally, highlights “10 quick kitchen fixes” that can improve the appearance of your kitchen before guests arrive. Some ideas include adding a pot rack to help organize a cluttered kitchen, hanging a new pendant lamp, or brightening up the area by hanging new window treatments. Whether it's a serious paint overhaul or simply switching out cabinet hardware, livening up the kitchen is easy to do.

For more information about home design, kitchen upgrades and holiday home preparations, follow @FaceYourKitchen on Twitter or Facebook.

About is the ultimate homeowner’s guide to quick and easy kitchen remodeling. Since 2000, FaceYourKitchen has provided homeowners with helpful tips, styles and trends, informative articles, and cost information on cabinet refacing. is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit

Saturday, November 19, 2011

IRA Financial Group Expands its Self Directed IRA Real Estate Program

Miami, FL (PRWEB) November 19, 2011

With the declining stock market, and the most recent downgrade of the United States credit rating by S&P in August of 2011, many Americans have lost faith in Wall Street and have recognized the value of diversifying their retirement portfolios. A growing number of retirement investors have turned to the self-directed IRA as a means for making real estate, precious metals, international stocks, bonds, and foreign currency transactions tax-free.
A Self Directed IRA, also called a Self-Directed IRA LLC with checkbook control, is an IRS approved structure that allows one to use their retirement funds to make real estate and other investments tax-free and without custodian consent. The Self-Directed IRA involves the establishment of a limited liability company (“LLC”) that is owned by the IRA (care of the IRA custodian) and managed by you or any third-party. As manager of the IRA LLC, you will have control over the IRA assets to make the investments you want and understand – not just investments forced upon you by Wall Street.

The tax experts at the IRA Financial Group have helped thousands of people take back control of their retirement funds by investing in domestic real estate. IRA Financial Group has now expanded their Self Directed IRA Real Estate program to include international investments. The IRA Financial Group has launched a platform for Self-Directed IRA investors to use retirement funds to purchase foreign real estate all over the world tax-free. “Our tax experts have carefully studied international tax treaties as well as local tax rules to offer our clients with a customized self-directed IRA platform for making tax efficient foreign real estate investments,” states Scott Krokoff, a tax attorney at the IRA Financial Group.

The IRA Financial Group will take care of setting up your entire Self Directed IRA Real Estate LLC structure. The whole process can be handled by phone, email, fax, or mail and typically takes between 7-21 days to complete, the timing largely depending on the state of formation and the custodian holding your retirement funds. Our IRA experts and tax and ERISA attorneys are on site greatly reducing the set-up time and cost. Most importantly, each client of the IRA Financial Group is assigned a tax attorney to help with the establishment of the Self-Directed IRA LLC structure for purposes of making foreign real estate investments.

The IRA Financial Group was founded by a group of top law firm tax and ERISA lawyers who have worked at some of the largest law firms in the United States, such as White & Case LLP and Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.

IRA Financial Group is the market’s leading “Checkbook Control” Self-Directed IRA and Solo 401k Plan Facilitator. We have helped thousands of clients take back control over their retirement funds while gaining the ability to invest in almost any type of investment, including real estate tax-free and without custodian consent!

To learn more about the IRA Financial Group please visit our website at or call 800-472-0646.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

SlateTec® Introduces Simple Lightweight Roof System Using Natural Slate

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SlateTec, Inc. announced today the launch of a new simple lightweight roof assembly system using natural slate: the SlateTec system.

The patented SlateTec system layers highest-grade slate (grade S1) over a recyclable high-tech polymer interlayment to reduce roof weight, and slate pieces used, by approximately 40 percent while yielding a roof “made of natural slate and looking exactly like a traditional slate roof,” according to Mike McDonough, president of SlateTec.

“Homeowners, contractors and architects now have the option of quickly and easily replacing asphalt or wood shingles with beautiful long-lasting slate.

“Our simple process reduces roof weight to the level of asphalt or wood shingles without compromising the aesthetics and durability of natural slate.”

In the past, a shift from, for example, petroleum-derived asphalt shingles to slate required improving the roof structure to support the greater weight of stone. (Clay and concrete tiles are similarly heavy.) The cost and time of this work typically either deterred homeowners or led them to synthetic slates, which are lighter.

SlateTec is priced similar to imitation slates and to the few complicated lightweight slate methods presently available.

“Weight and price are comparable to synthetics, but we supply natural S1 slate—we are greener—and the roof will last up to 100 years, versus 50 years, and look identical to a traditionally installed slate roof,” McDonough added.

“The curb appeal is unequalled. And with our simple installation process, almost any roofing contractor can now install natural slate.”

Building and roofing contractors, homeowners and architects can visit or call 303-462-3037 to order the SlateTec lightweight natural-slate roof system.

SlateTec also announced licensing its weight-saving roof technology to Ludowici Roof Tile, the largest clay tile manufacturer and maker of the finest clay roof tile for over 123 years, for use in the new TileTec clay tile roof system, exclusively offered by Ludowici.

Is the SlateTec roof system “green?”

The environmental impact of SlateTec roofs is low, largely due to their long life: 75 to 100 years. This is twice that of cement tiles and three or four times that of wood and asphalt. Roofing systems with shorter life spans generate more negative impacts over time because they must be replaced more often. Long lifespan also decreases lifetime cost.

About SlateTec

SlateTec is a simple lightweight roof system using natural slate that weighs approximately 40 percent less than other slate roofs, allowing old and new homes to be roofed in slate without costly reengineering and strengthening of the roof-support structure. The patented SlateTec system consists of two highly durable components: American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) grade S1 slate and SlateTec’s recyclable polymer interlayment, which is lapped beneath and concealed by the slate pieces. With a cost comparable to synthetic or imitation slate and twice the lifespan, 100 years, SlateTec offers outstanding value in natural slate roofing. Information on SlateTec can be found at The company is headquartered in Wheat Ridge, Colo.

Friday, September 02, 2011

After downgrading U.S., S&P gives top rating to sub-prime mortgages

The United States may not deserve a triple AAA credit rating, but the same sub-prime mortgage assets that caused the housing bust do -- at least according to the country's leading ratings agency.

Standard & Poor's is set to slap a coveted AAA rating on a set of bonds tied to mortgages given to homeowners with below-average credit scores and almost no equity in their properties, Bloomberg reports. The agency, as well as its competitors Moody's and Fitch, have been roundly criticized for giving high ratings to similar sub-prime assets in the run-up to the financial crisis. All thee companies are paid by the banks who request ratings for their investments -- a business model that many say gives the agencies an incentive to award high ratings.

Last month, S&P controversially downgraded the U.S.'s credit rating, citing concerns about the country's long-term fiscal situation and its political process for resolving it. The U.S. does not request, or pay for, a rating.