Sunday, 23 October 2011

Five Eco, Easy + Cool Things to Do with Pumpkin Guts.

Five Eco, Easy + Cool Things to Do with Pumpkin Guts.

It’s said that putting the insides of a pumpkin down your drain—whether you have a garbage disposal or not—is bad for your plumbing, as the stringy stuff gets caught and dries in your pipes, causing clogging.
Plus who wants to be wasteful?

Here are 5 cool things to do with leftover pumpkin carving scraps:

photo courtesy Ian Burt

1) Roast the Seeds.

Separate the seeds from the other junk and rinse. Place on an oiled baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven until toasted (about 25 minutes), stir after ten minutes.
Flavor your own way:
*chili powder and cumin
*Italian seasoning
*garlic salt
*cinnamon and sugar
*Worcestershire sauce

2) Kid’s Toys.

Kids love slime and what’s better than organic slime? Mix it with some fake blood to create guts that can be used as part of a costume or just to play with.
Need red dye for your fake blood recipe? Try beet powder + water.

3) Bird Food or Compost.

If you really aren’t in the mood to mess with the insides you can feed the goo to the birds and/or add it to your compost pile. Bigger birds should be able to handle the seeds, but if you want to be super nice, roast them all up for them (do not add salt). The “meat” of the pumpkin can also be fed to the birds, for added nutritional value.

4) Puree.

For baking pie, cakes, cookies; for cooking soups; for making punch.
Most websites suggest not to use a regular jack-o-lantern pumpkin to make puree but to buy a sweet pumpkin instead (smaller and harder to find). I say there is no harm in trying it out if you already got it—but be forewarned.
To cook fresh pulp, remove the seeds and strings from a pumpkin shell and cut it into chunks. Bake the pieces, covered with foil, on a greased cookie sheet at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven, peel off the skin and puree the pumpkin meat in a food processor.

5) Decorations.

Use the goo to add slime and scary stuff to your Halloween d├ęcor. Can be used in haunted houses or to make the ever popular puking pumpkin.
Photo Credit: Tom Nardone
Also check out these badass pumpkin carving ideas at Extreme

Friday, 21 October 2011

are you in DTLA--or nearby--with kids? here's an event for you!

A wonderful community event for Downtown L.A. families!

When:Monday, October 31, 2011 •  5-8pm
This party is intended for children from Downtown LA ZIP Codes:
90012, 90013, 90014, 90015, 90017, 90021, and 90071.
Where:Grand Hope Park at FIDM (map)
Please note: The party entrance is at Hope Street & 9th Street
Cost:$5 for adults and children over 2
FREE for children 2 and under
Buy tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line!
Includes:Trick-or-treat doors
Inflatable bounce house
Video game truck
Hot dogs & water
Cotton candy & popcorn machines
Fun face painting and crafts
Balloon animals and jugglers
Scott Land Marionettes
Remember:Bring a candy bucket or bag!
Costumes are required for children and suggested for adults.
Sorry, no pets are allowed in the park.
Parking:$3 flat-rate parking, 5-8pm
Unified Parking Lot, 1024 S. Grand Ave. (map)
Please note: To reach the party entrance at Grand Hope Park, please make your way northwest to 9th and Hope Streets.
Share: Facebook    Twitter

RSVP Today!


Monday, 17 October 2011

take a quiz to see your architectural style--or explore various styles & learn more!

Homes aren't one-size-fits-all. Learn about 24 popular architectural styles, including their unique features and maintenance issues. Plus, check out classic examples and current listings for each style. We'll help you find the style that's right for you by clicking here:

Call me when you want to find YOUR home!
Natalie Neith
Architectural Agent
The John Aaroe Group

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

I live in a cool Craftsman!

It's hotter than all get out!...however, our solidly built 100 year old Craftsman house feels almost like it's air conditioned! Welcome to West Adams! At the top of the 10 freeway, catching the breezes--when there are any....Hooray for historic houses!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

House Prices expected to Fall Over Next Six Months--if you're thinking of selling, better sell now!

House Prices to Fall Over Next Six Months

In a normal real estate market, it may make sense to wait for the spring buyers’ to appear before placing your house up for sale. The current real estate market is anything but normal however. The increase in supply of distressed properties will overshadow any increase in demand for housing over the next 6 months. This is reflected in the findings of two groups: Clear Capital andJPMorgan Chase.
Dr. Alex Villacorta, Director of Research and Analytics atClear Capital explained last week:
“The housing market has yet to demonstrate the fundamentals necessary to overcome a seasonal slowdown over the next six months, which drives our projected 3.2 percent drop in national home prices through the first quarter of 2012.”
HousingWire quotes analysts at JPMorgan Chase:
“Home prices could dip another 6% to 7%, before hitting rock bottom in early 2012.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, it would be wise to put your house on the market before prices fall again.

Friday, 7 October 2011

John Aaroe Group agents say these are this week's BEST BUYS-- -Beverly Hills to La Canada!

1012 Hillcrest- Bev Hills….  $5,995,000-  6000 sq ft  mid century estate
1088 Hillcrest- Bev Hills…. $2,995,000-  4 bed 6 bath in Trousdale
1559 Clubview- Westwood-  $1,595,000 …3 bed 4 bath nice area 2 story Trad.
10122 Empyrean Way # 104- $895,000- Westwood- LE PARC- 2 bd 2 bath- 2000 sq ft
891 Chattanooga- Pac Pal-  $899,000 …. Nice house 3 bedroom 2 bath
838 Doheny-  Starting in the low $400,000--- West Holly- building has lrg assessment- could be good deals!
9015 Keith- We Ho- $599,000-  Craftsman fixer- 2 bedroom house plus guest house
823 Hauser- LA-  $899,000-  Mir Mile area- 3 bd 2 bath- done!!!!
740 Kings Rd- We Ho- $235,000-   1 bd 1 ba condo- short sale approved
452 Westmore- LA  $395,000-  Echo Park-  totally done- 3 bedroom, 2 bath Spanish- investor owned
69000 Bellingham- No Ho-  $264,900-  FIXER 4 bedroom 2 bath
5735 Beck- No Ho-  $389,000-  Cute 1940’s- 3 bd 2 ba
13331 Moorpark #331- Sherm Oaks-  $249,000- Sherman Village- 2 bd plus loft- 1600 sq ft
8209 Allott- Van Nuys- $329,000- restored 1957 – 3 bedroom, 2 bath
9800 Vesper #139-  Panor City-  $149,000-  townhouse 3 bed 2 bath- garage
256-258 Grace- So Pas - $899,000- totally charming duplex
1023 Oxford- La Canada- $1,495,000-  3000 sq ft- 4 bd on 1 acre

Amazingly LOW interest rates!!! Buy or Re-Fi!

Thirty-Year Mortgage Rate Falls Below 4%

The average rate for the conventional 30-year fixed mortgage has dropped below the 4 percent mark for the first time in history, according to numbers released Thursday by Freddie Mac.
The GSE’s market analysis also shows that the 15-year fixed rate – which has become a popular refinancing option among existing homeowners – fell to its lowest level on record for the sixth consecutive week.
Freddie Mac’s regular weekly survey of mortgage rates is based on data collected from about 125 lenders across the country.
The GSE puts the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.94 percent (0.8 point) for the week ending October 6, 2011. That’s down 7 basis points from its average of 4.01 percent last week. As a point of comparison, last year at this time, the 30-year rate was 4.27 percent.
The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage came in at 3.26 percent (0.8 point) this week, dropping 2 basis points from 3.28 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year rate was averaging 3.72 percent.
Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, attributed the decline in fixed mortgage rates to a sharp drop in 10-year Treasuries earlier in the week as concerns over a global recession grew.
Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) were mixed this week in Freddie’s study. The 5-year ARM dropped from 3.02 percent to 2.96 percent (0.6 point), while the 1-year ARMrose from 2.83 percent to 2.95 percent (0.5 point).
At this time last year, the 5-year ARM was averaging 3.47 percent, and the 1-year ARM was 3.40 percent.
Nothaft tied the rise for 1-year ARMs to shorter-term Treasuries, noting that the Federal Reserve began replacing $400 billion in short-term Treasury securities with longer-term bonds this week.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

It's official!

It's official! 
I am a designated Aaroe Architectural Agent! 
(meaning I have completed necessary classes and created my Architectural Properties business plan!!!) 


Do YOU have an architectural or historic property you'd like for me to list?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Understanding mold risks in real estate purchase by Barry Stone

Understanding mold risks 
in real estate purchase

Likelihood of health risks lower than many think

Flickr/<a href="">seishin17</a>Flickr/seishin17
DEAR BARRY: My home was in escrow until the buyers found mold under the kitchen sink -- just one black stain from an old plumbing leak. They didn't even ask us to fix it. They just canceled the deal and walked away. I don't get it. Mold has been on the earth forever.
How did it suddenly become so toxic that people are tearing apart their houses, pulling out their hair, and spending fortunes on mold removal? People used to just clean it up with bleach, slap on some primer, and apply a fresh coat of paint. Now people act like it's an invasion of space aliens. How did mold become such a major panic? --Martin
DEAR MARTIN: One does wonder how a naturally occurring substance, present almost everywhere, came to be seen as a life-threatening scourge. Actually, it's just the latest in a series of indoor air quality "crises" to sweep the nation. To begin, let's define the problem.
Microscopic mold spores are present in the air in nearly all homes. Mold infection on walls and other surfaces occurs where there are excessive or persistent moisture conditions, such as unresolved plumbing leaks, ground moisture under a building, or areas with insufficient ventilation.
In newer homes, mold infection has become common because of airtight construction to conserve energy. When there is little air exchange with the outside, mold spores and moisture can increase within a building, causing mold to grow on some materials.
In many instances, visible stains or musty odors can alert homeowners to the presence of mold. But some mold cases can be detected only by professional testing, and the cost of a mold survey is often prohibitive.
Since the 1970s, there has been a parade of indoor environmental hazards, including asbestos, radon gas, urea formaldehyde, lead, electromagnetic fields, microwaves, etc. In each case, public hysteria was induced by exaggerated media coverage. In the late 1980s and early '90s, homebuyers routinely canceled escrows at the mere mention of asbestos or radon gas. In the mid-1990s, lead paint sent buyers running for the hills.
This is not to say that there are no related health risks, but the risks were limited to specific circumstances. For example, acoustic ceilings often contain asbestos, but asbestos fibers are not released into the air if the material is left alone. The same is true of lead paint: keep small children from teething on woodwork involving lead paint, and use appropriate safety methods when stripping paint.
But then came mold, the environmental/economic bombshell of them all. The excitement began when some extreme cases of mold infection were given high-profile media treatment on network news shows. This was accompanied by a rash of mold-related lawsuits and insurance claims, causing major insurance carriers to withdraw their business from some states.
In reaction to this, the real estate, pest inspection, and home inspection industries began scrambling for secure ground, searching for safe verbiage -- what to say and what not to say amid this new liability environment. Meanwhile, trial attorneys were sharpening their teeth and chanting the new mantra, "mold is gold."
Some may read this article and conclude that it whitewashes a significant environmental health hazard. To avert this misunderstanding, a few points should be clarified:
1. Toxic forms of mold definitely do exist and can have harmful health effects.
2. Some homes have become so seriously infected with mold that mitigation is not possible, short of total demolition.
3. The statistical likelihood of serious mold infection does not warrant dire levels of anxiety, mitigation, litigation and expense. There was a time when a mold stain could be cleaned, primed and painted. Now we invest in costly analysis by a certified industrial hygienist, followed by removal and replacement of all affected materials.
A more rational approach would be to balance the costs and risks of mold infection. The risks, of course, are real. Mold might someday invade your home, just as a drunk driver might someday cross the double line in your path of travel.
But how much must we spend to affect a sense of safety? The panic over mold will eventually subside, as it did with previous environmental concerns. Then, barring the discovery of some new and unforeseen health hazard, we may return to the relative composure of sensible problem-solving, to a place where mold, toenail fungus and the common cold occupy their customary positions among the adversities of everyday life.
To write to Barry Stone, please visit him on the Web