Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

SPRINGFIELD, MO 2014 REAL ESTATE MARKET PREDICTIONS

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

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The housing market shows no signs of slowing down, bucking the typical trend for this time of year, according to November data released by realtor.com and our local Greater Springfield Board of Realtors.

November’s median list prices remained unusually strong for the season, showing a 6.9 percent increase year over year, while declining 0.7 percent month over month, according to the National Housing Trend Report. Locally the average price for a home in 2013 was $132,000.

Inventory appeared to be stabilizing from dramatic drops in the beginning of the year, although some local real estate markets were experiencing significant supply shortages, however the SW Missouri market stayed up pretty well on inventory compared to the rest of Missouri. Meanwhile, median list prices were about 7 percent higher than at the same time last year.

“With demand in a much stronger position compared to last year, we anticipate these gains to remain steady into 2014, but with increases expected at a more moderate pace than we have seen in 2013,” said Jessica Hickok, Manager of The Greater Springfield Board of Realtors.

Market Highlights

List prices still on the rise: The majority of housing markets were registering positive signs, with 111 of the 146 markets covered by realtor.com showing year-over-year increases of 1 percent or more in their median list price and only 10 markets registering declines of 1 percent or more.

Age of inventory data tracks with recent hot and cold markets: The areas with the shortest average days of homes on the market were similar to those in recent months — such as Springfield , MO with 86 days, Nixa , MO with 92 days and most other local areas at under 100 days on the market– highlight the continued weakness in some resort markets and older, industrialized communities.

Currently Murney Associates, Realtors has upgraded the website and all technology so that our agents are well prepared for the rising market and knowledgeable in all categories of real estate trends and apps. Be on the look out for our new mobile app coming in 2014.

 

 

 

 


How To Deep Fry A Turkey–Be SAFE!!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

It’s hard to beat the speed of deep-frying a turkey—or the irresistible flavor and juiciness that result. But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injury, which is why organizations like Underwriters Laboratories and the National Fire Protection Association advise against using them.

 

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If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer, and take these precautions to protect yourself, your guests and your home:

  1. Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
  2. Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
  3. Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
  4. Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it’s in use.
  5. Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
  6. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
  7. Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that’s 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
  8. Never leave fryers unattended.
  9. Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
  10. Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
  11. Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
  12. Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
  13. Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
  14. Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
  15. Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.

Best of all have a fun and safe Thanksgiving from Murney Associates, Realtors!


Energy Saving Tips From MURNEY.COM

Monday, November 11th, 2013

The average house uses energy for the following tasks-with percent of annual energy use.

 

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Heating & Cooling – 43%

Refrigerator – 8%

Water Heating – 12%

Lights, Cooking and other Appliances – 28%

Computers & Electronics – 9%

Save 3-5% of your heating and air conditioning costs for each degree you set your thermostat – below in winter and above in summer – your normal setting.

Heat and cool your home as needed by adjusting the thermostat accordingly when you are sleeping or when no one is home. Also, consider installing an ENERGY STAR® qualified programmable thermostat to make these adjustments easier.

Proper insulation helps keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer. Check the insulation levels in your attic, ceilings, exterior and basement walls, floors, and crawl spaces to see if it meets recommended levels.

You may be losing energy when heating and cooling your home through air leaks. Check for, then caulk and weather-strip, holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets that can leak air into or out of your home.

Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained; check owner’s manuals for recommended maintenance.

Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home, and typically accounts for about 12% of the energy consumed in your home. You should turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees, or the warm setting, and insulate it and your pipes.

About 80-85% of the energy used for washing clothes is used to heat the water; reduce this by washing full loads only – and using cooler water with cold-water detergents. Lowering the temperature setting from hot to warm cuts a load’s energy use in half.

Clean or replace air return filters two to three times during summer and winter. On your outside unit, keep fins and coils clear from debris; you can also save energy by planting trees or shrubs to shade your unit.

In the summer, close drapes, curtains and shades during the day to prevent warming sunlight from entering – particularly on the south and west sides. Do just the opposite during winter daytime, but close drapes, etc. to help block out cold air during winter evenings.

Increasing lighting efficiency is one of the fastest ways to decrease your electricity bills. Turn off lights in rooms not in use; check lighting needs and use patterns for ways to use controls such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, or timers; and, replace heat producing 75-watt incandescent bulbs with 20-watt compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, and receive the same amount of light for just a quarter of the energy – CFLs also last about ten-times longer.

Keep heating/cooling vents clean and unobstructed including arranging furniture for air to flow freely.

Keep fireplace dampers closed tightly when not in use.

Ceiling or portable fans typically make you feel 6 – 8 degrees cooler, which allows higher thermostat settings and more energy savings.

Do not place lamps, TV sets, clothes dryer or other heat producing articles or activities near your thermostat; it senses the heat and can cause your air conditioner to run longer and more often.

 

 

 

About Us: With homes in Springfield MO, Ozark MO, Nixa MO and surrounding southwest Missouri areas, Murney Associates produces more real estate sales in Springfield and Southwest Missouri than any other real estate firm. Murney Associates is the largest independent real estate company in Springfield Missouri and is ranked in the Top 100 in the nation by Real Estate Magazine. We are locally owned yet nationally recognized for our award-winning real estate performance.

We have the largest number of realtors in Springfield MO than any other real estate firm. And with commercial real estate in Springfield MO and surrounding areas, Murney Commercial Realtors can also help you find your next business location.

We can facilitate a stress-free move for you and your family to any of the homes in Springfield and its surroundings areas. Murney wants to exceed your expectations, because our clients always come first!


Google Changing The Way We Search…..Again Part 1

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

The New Hummingbird

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Just when you’ve adapted to the idea that your company or clients needs, a content marketing strategy to excel online, Google has changed the rules of the game once again. With the introduction of Google Hummingbird earlier this month, priorities shifted from a general marketing strategy to a mobile one. But executing a content marketing strategy that responds to mobile and the changes of Google Hummingbird in an intelligent way requires shifts in both mindset and technique.

The Fundamentals of a Good Content Strategy Still Apply

Many SEOs and business owners panicked upon hearing “mobile content strategy” for the first time. You’ve just got your content strategy in place, and now you’re being asked to revise it or even throw it out and start again?! Not quite. While Hummingbird means that simply having mobile as one “channel” of your content strategy is no longer sufficient, it doesn’t mean that you need to completely reboot.

Many of the fundamentals you’ve learned about building a good content strategy still apply. Steps like developing an editorial calendar “Google Apps”, crafting messages that resonate with your audience, understanding your overall audience profile, and rigorously measuring outcomes are all still important. What’s changed is that you need to adapt your mindset: mobile is no longer just one consideration in a content strategy. It needs to be a central focus, and you need to ask tough questions about whether your site’s mobile experience is up to par in terms of design, content creation, and overall delivery.

The mobile landscape is shifting rapidly. Recent statistics on mobile usage are mind-blowing and are no doubt driving Google’s algorithm updates. More than half of all Americans own smartphones, and one third of all Americans have a tablet. Mobile searches are through the roof, with one study finding that 46% of searchers used mobile exclusively.

Even more important than understanding the general context is taking a look at your own data. Do you know, for example, what percentage of your customers visit your website on mobile and what devices they’re using? All this information is contained within tools such as Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. This information can help you make important decisions about mobile priorities and investments.

 

Change your Design Mindset from Scaling Down to Scaling Up

A well-designed site sends powerful signals to search engines that you’re a legitimate business with a well-planned and effective site. Google’s manual reviewers certainly take design into consideration. With the release of Google Hummingbird, sites without a mobile responsive design are going to be at a disadvantage in search results. If not immediately, certainly in the long-run. If your site isn’t rendering well across a range of devices, then it’s important to make that your first design priority. All other mobile content decisions  should take a backseat until you solve this glaring issue. For help with that, see this article: ”Responsive Design & Mobile SEO: Best Practices for 2013.”

 

Stay tuned for part 2 coming next Tuesday and remember that MURNEY ASSOCIATES, REALTORS is the #1 agency for knowledge and technology for all of your real estate needs.