Upgrade in August

Marketing No Comments »

It’s been a while since our last update to the WordPress blogging engine running the Aloha Living Blog Network. Fortunately, it’s been a very busy and transformative year for WordPress developers, beginning with their major release of WordPress 2.5.  Their latest versions are even more polished and user friendly. So in early August, we will upgrade everyone to WordPress version 2.8.2.

The Dashboard and user interface will be significantly reorganized, but all the basic features and functions will still be there. In addition, you should see an improvement in the performance of the blog post editor, allowing more control over formatting and image uploads and placement.

If you have any questions before or after the upgrade, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Upgrade Progress:

  • Upgrade from 1.3.3 to 1.5.1 complete. Next, 1.5.1 to 2.6.5.
  • Upgrade from 1.5.1 to 2.6.5 complete. Next, 2.6.5 to 2.8.2.
  • Upgrade from 2.6.5 to 2.8.2 complete!

Planned Upgrade

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UPDATE: The upgrade is complete! One of the new features we’re testing is the “Visual Editor,” which should allow much easier formatting as well as a spell-checker. You can activate the “Visual Editor” under the “Users” tab by clicking “Edit” on your user account. Please let us know if you have any problems with this or any other aspects of the system!

Visual Editor

The Aloha Living Blog Network has continued to grow, and thanks to our bloggers’ excellent insights and regular updates, we’ve seen traffic, visitors, and search engine visibility for the network grow constantly each month since launching last year.

Of course, we always want to ensure you have the best tools you need to succeed in blogging, and on Wednesday, May 7, 2008, we will be upgrading the WordPress software that powers the Aloha Living Blog Network. We plan to begin the upgrade no later than 7 a.m. HST, and complete the work before 8 a.m. To ensure you don’t lose a masterpiece of an entry during this process, we recommend that you refrain from logging in or attempting to access the system during this time.

After the upgrade is complete, we will be running WordPress Multi-User 1.3.3 (rather than 1.2.1), which you’ll be able to verify by checking the bottom of your dashboard. We will also send out another update to summarize notable changes, new features, or issues, should there be any.

We greatly appreciate your patience during this process, and should you encounter any unexpected behavior, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Hawaii Real Estate Bloggers, Marketing No Comments »

Before you get swept up in the excitement of looking for your first house in a market where there is enough inventory to give you ample choices, take a minute to remember a few first timer tips.

Check Out the Neighborhood
Drive the neighborhood, and see how many properties are currently for sale. Have your agent look up DOM (or in realtor speak: Days on Market) and how different the current asking price is from what it was at first listed. If the neighborhood is selling at a slow pace, sellers may be willing to negotiate for a lower asking price, or sellers may be willing to pay all closing costs.

Look At The House You’re Buying as the House You’re Selling
A two car garage, new air conditioning units, and landscaping may not be a big deal to you when you’re house hunting, but consider what it will be like if you need to quickly sell the property once you’ve bought in. Always look at the house you’re buying as the future house you’ll be selling.

401(k) As a Down Payment
Many 401(k) policies allow for a loan up to 50% of the account, or up to $50,000. If you’re not in the 22% of first-time home buyers who are gifted their down payment, borrowing from a 401(k) can be an effective strategy. It won’t get you a tax write-off, but you’ll be repaying interest yourself as a lender. The risk is that if you lose your job or switch jobs you have to pay back the down payment loan within 60 days or pay taxes and penalties.

Home Owners’ Associations
If you thought landlords were restrictive, wait until you live under the jurisdiction of a tough HOA. Read the fine print on the scope of the HOA’s power and what they can prevent you from doing, whether that’s repainting your house or building a fence.

Home Improvements to Pump Up Your Sales Price!

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Home Improvements to Pump Up Your Sales Price

Every seller wants to get top dollar from their Hawaii real estate sale, so here are a few small profit friendly improvements you can make to your Hawaii home or condo before you put it on the market.

Carpet- Most older homes and condos in Hawaii have carpeting. If any of the carpet in your home is showing wear, replace it with an inexpensive shade of tan. You want colors to be as neutral as possible for resale.

Don’t be offended if your agent suggest replacing any wallpaper with a nice fresh coat of paint. It’s not that buyer’s don’t like your surfboards and hibiscus Aloha wallpaper, it’s just a better idea to go with a more neutral look that appeals to more buyers. Wallpaper can be very inexpensively removed by steaming. A fresh coat of paint will improve buyer’s perceptions of the age and cleanliness of your home.

Hit the Bases-
Freshen up trim and base boards around your house with a nice coat of white. It makes a world of difference in how clean your house looks. Also, freshen up the paint on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Look UP!- Potential buyers spend time looking at your ceiling, checking for water damage, and other structural problems. You want the ceiling to look fresh and clean, so roll a quick coat of a matching color on the ceiling to make the house look as good as new.

Hide The Boogie Boards- If your house is cluttered with boogie boards, beach mats, snorkel or diving gear, or other Hawaii-centric sports gear, do your best to remove it from the house during showings. Stick that stuff in the trunk of your car while the house is on the market, or even consider getting a small storage space. You want the house to look spacious, and like there is plenty of storage. These piles of gear clutter up the space, and make it look smaller.

Is Your Website Address Everywhere It Needs to Be?

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If you have a business website, you should be putting your website address just about everywhere you think your prospects might see it or find it. Here is a list of the top 3 places you should be advertising your website address (also known as your URL) in your everyday life.

1. Business Card- Make sure you list your website address on your business card. If you currently have cards without your website address, order new ones. It’s worth the money to have your most up to date information.

2. E-mail Signature- Put your web address in your e-mail signature. It’s a great place to promote your site since your reader is actively online.

3. Voicemail- Update your voicemail to include, “For more information about properties, please visit my website at www.YourWebsiteURL.com.”

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