I am so very excited to announce the publication of the first of my husband’s books “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” by James Gaffigan, a psychological mystery-thriller.
It has taken me over 5 years, but the day has finally come. It is available right now on Amazon Kindle, Ibooks, Nook and also Kobo. Print version will be available 10/25 on Amazon and through the Troy Bookmakers (the publisher). It will be in the Book Nook in Ludlow by Oct. 29.
Please keep checking the website: www.jamesgaffigan.net for updated availability.
Below is the Press Release written by the editor and my friend Joe Milliken:
New York Writer – Playwright Gaffigan’s First Mystery Novel Published, Posthumously
LUDLOW, VT. – The late writer and playwright, James Gaffigan, always had a dream of writing and publishing a book and although he wrote four manuscripts during his life, he never got the opportunity to have them published. However, that dream is now becoming reality as his widow, Irene Gaffigan, a Local Realtor with the Bean Group, is making sure his manuscripts are to see the light of day and become published novels.
Born in New York City in 1939, Mr. Gaffigan grew up in Douglaston Queens, was a graduate of St. Johns University and lived on Charles Street in Greenwich Village, where he launched The Charles Street Newsletter. Jim also wrote a play titled The Jar (Jury Assembly Room), produced and directed by his sister, Catherine Gaffigan. After moving to Edison, New Jersey for a time, Jim taught English at a few of the local colleges before retiring to Vermont, where he lived in the resort town of Ludlow the last decade of his life.
The first of Gaffigan’s four manuscripts to be published is titled Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, a psychological mystery-thriller based on Long Island, New York and in Echo Pass, Colorado – a half-built resort community that is soon-to-become a ghost town if not saved from the clutches of deceit, greed and bankruptcy. The novel is edited by Joe Milliken, a Vermont-based freelance writer, budding novelist and friend of the Gaffigans.
Published by The Troy Bookmakers and set to be released in October, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea will be available in print at Amazon, Book Nook in Ludlow, VT, Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, VT, Market Block Books, The Book Loft, The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza and select Vermont bookstores. E-book distribution through Bookbaby.com will include iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Copia, Gardeners, Baker & Taylor and eBookPie. The book will also be available through a soon-to-be-launched web site, http://jamesgaffigan.net, as well as a Facebook page dedicated to Mr. Gaffigan’s writing.
As every South Central Vermont homeowner knows, property insurance is a necessity. The cost of adequate insurance may seem daunting initially, but there are certain steps you can take to reduce your costs to a reasonable level.
1. Shop around for the best value. Check online for quotes from at least three reputable agencies. Be aware that some companies offer a discount of 30% to 40% if you buy online. Other possible discounts can result from insuring both the home and the contents or by insuring your home and your car with the same firm.
Also know the replacement value of your home, taking into consideration any unique features that will be expensive to replace. Keep in mind probable inflation increases at renewal time. Does your insurer automatically adjust your coverage or do you have to request the change?
A) replacing the existing heating system to one which is safer and more cost-efficient.
B) keep plumbing in good working order and protect it from freezing
C) replace fuses. Inspectors are looking for circuit breakers and a safe wiring system
D) install fire detectors or even a central alarm system. Be sure to keep a record of all repairs/replacements and inform your insurance company of each one.
Are you tired of the same old promises you make to yourself every January 1st but forget by February? Not this year! Here’s a 2010 resolution that’s so beneficial you simply must keep it: buy South Central Vermont real estate! Now that the Home Buyer Credit Act has been extended and qualifying income levels have been raised, this is an ideal time to purchase a house. Generally advertised as a tax credit for first-time buyers, the new legislation actually benefits many current homeowners, also.
Changes: Originally slated to end in November 2009, the credit deadline has been extended to April 30, 2010. If you have a binding, signed contract and settle on a South Central Vermont home before July 30, 2010, you are also eligible.
First-time buyers are those who have not owned a home in the last three years. They are eligible for a credit of 10% of the purchase price (not to exceed $800,000), up to $8000. Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a prime residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-timer.
Repeat buyers, or those who have owned and lived in a principal residence for at least 5 consecutive years of the last 8, may qualify for a credit of up to $6500.
Income levels have been increased to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples.
Although the interior of your home may be lovely, you can’t use that fact to your advantage if potential buyers don’t come inside to see it. The majority of house shoppers are influenced by first impressions, and, according to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 50% of them make their decision about your South Central Vermont home before stepping through the door. Ensuring that prospective buyers will want to see more doesn’t have to be time-consuming or cost-prohibitive; there are numerous ways to strengthen your home’s curb appeal, to capture the interest of buyers, and most likely increase the selling value.
When selling your South Central Vermont home, appearances are important. The exterior of the house should be attractive and in good condition, and the well-maintained grounds should be pleasing to the eye. The first thing to do is to look at the exterior objectively. Assess the color scheme (siding, trim, brick, roof) and determine if the architectural features of your house are in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood.
Perhaps the easiest way to boost curb appeal is to clean.
The Holiday season provides us with many opportunities for fun with our family, and decorating inside and outside your South Central Vermont home is one activity that can be enjoyed by both young and old. As always, however, the use of common sense and the taking of safety precautions are vital to ensuring happy holidays.
To that end, the Consumer Products Safety Commission strongly suggests you follow these timely tips when decorating your South Central Vermont home:
Remember, protecting your family and your South Central Vermont home is a present you give to yourself and to our loved ones. Enjoy the season!
If you are moving to a South Central Vermont home, you can, with prior planning and these tips, make your move a smooth, less stressful experience. After you have gathered recommendations from friends and checked out moving companies on the web, you should narrow your choices to three or four. At this point you can avoid moving mistakes by using these guidelines to make informed, intelligent choices.
1. Insist on an in-home survey and estimate. Movers have to actually see what needs to be moved and be aware of items requiring special attention, such as pianos or valued art pieces. In addition,, by meeting the mover’s representative in person, you can get a feel for the way customers are treated by the company. It is also important that you disclose at this time any details, such as elevator availability, street restrictions, etc., to avoid unpleasant surprises on moving day.
2. Beware of too low a price. While price is certainly a major consideration in making your selection, you need to question a low-ball estimate, Are there hidden charges? Is the firm reliable? Does it value your business? Is it a licensed, insured mover? Check the web at www.protectyourmove.com for this information and for a record of customer complaints.
3. Avoid the busy season. Good moving companies are especially busy in the summer and in the first and fourth weeks of the month. Plan ahead and reserve early to get the mover and time frame you want. Remember that the best deals can usually be found in the winter and in the second and third weeks of the month.
4. Sign a contract. Do not begin a move without first signing a binding agreement which spells out all the services you are to receive and the total amount you’ll be expected to pay. Do you have insurance options? What is the charge for that? If you’re not comfortable with the document, trust your instinct and don’t sign!
5. Have a budget. Be informed and realistic about your overall moving costs. Be sure to include travel to your South Central Vermont home, any hotel and meals expenses, auto transport, and insurance.
6. Do unto others… Your movers will respond well to smiles and a positive attitude
They also appreciate offers of coffee, water, soft drinks, and tips for quality service.
The city has many reputable and reliable moving companies who want your business and will work with you to make your moving experience as stress-free as possible. By following these six steps, your relocation to your new South Central Vermont home can actually be rewarding!
You are selling your South Central Vermont home and the first Open House only a week away. The house is filled with clutter and things you don’t want to throw away. But the clutter is not appealing to potential home buyers. What do you? Here are staging tips for an Open House.
8 Staging Tips For An Open House
1. Remove the clutter.
Having a garage sale is out when removing clutter because the Open House is only a week away. You don’t want to stuff the garage or closets to the gills either. One solution is to rent an off-site storage facility or stack boxes neatly in a basement or crawlspace.
2. Stage each room.
The first thing to do is clean from top to bottom. Make sure windows and light fixtures shine and are in working order. If the room is crowded, put some furniture in the storage facility. Finally, pick a focal point that will attract buyers when they see the room. For example, the focal point of a bedroom is usually the bed, and for a music room, it’s the piano.
3. Use the rule of three.
Low listing prices, reasonable interest rates, and an abundant variety of homes to choose from are among a few of the reasons now is the perfect time for buyers to make a move in today’s real estate market. Current market trends and other factors have made conditions even more favorable for first-time homebuyers. Though becoming a homeowner comes with huge responsibilities and financial commitments, first-time home buyers should take advantage of the market over flowing with opportunities. The following tips will help ease the mind when considering the smart purchase of your first South Central Vermont home.
1. Become familiar with the new first-time homebuyer federal tax credit.
People who are considering the purchase of their first home, or have not been home owners for at least the past three years can gain great benefits from the first-time homebuyer tax credit. According to FederalHousingTaxCredit.com, qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before May 1, 2010 will receive a tax credit of up to $8,000. Unlike past tax credits from 2008, the money received does not have to be repaid, unless the homebuyer sells the property with in three years.
2. Determine what is reasonably affordable.
The $8000 first-time home buyer tax credit was scheduled to expire in just a few short weeks…Nov 30, 2009. I say ‘was’, because the Senate voted unanimously to extend the credit on Monday and the House of Representatives approved the extension yesterday afternoon by a vote of 403-12. The extension includes an expanded tax credit to repeat home buyers. The bill now goes to the President for his signature which is expected to happen today.
Home Buyer Tax Credit Expansion and Extension
If you know anyone looking to buy their first South Central Vermont home at a time when prices and interest rates are still down, or if you are thinking of buying another home and getting the new $6,500 credit please contact me today.
Many South Central Vermont renters are finding that they get more ‘bang for their’ buck if they buy a home rather than rent one. With affordable prices, low interest rates and tax incentives, South Central Vermont home ownership makes more sense than ever.
7 Reasons to Buy Rather Than Rent South Central Vermont Home
1. Buying doesn’t always cost more.
The Associated Press reports the gap between buying and renting has decreased $550 in the last three years.
2. Affordability is at an all-time high.
Nationwide, prices have declined by nearly 20-40%.
3. Tax benefits for home ownership saves money.
The biggest tax break is the mortgage interest deduction. Most of your mortgage payment goes to interest which is tax deductible. Property taxes and mortgage insurance are also tax deductible.