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Good Real Estate News!

On January 19, the RI Association of Realtors issued a press release that single family homes sold in December (2011) increased 19% from a year ago. This was the 6th consecutive month of year over year increases! Pending sales (homes that are under contract but not yet closed), rose 17% from the year before.

Incredibly low interest rates, increased affordability and buyer demand are all given as reasons for the increase.

Having lived through the endless consumer retail sales reports of the "holidays", beginning on Black Friday and ending just before the new year, I think the "attitude" of the public is more upbeat, more hopeful, and more willing to spend than in years past.

So much of what we each do is motivated by how we "feel" and then what we say to each other in conversation about our "feelings"........ so I rejoice in this upbeat January 19 report. 

Spread the word. There is good real estate news. Let's keep it going.


Choosing Colors for Your Home - How Do You Want to Feel?

Choosing paint colors for your home may seem overwhelming. When we Googled  “colors for your home”,  we found a wide variety of information on the topic, so check it out. We found an interesting take regarding paint and it's effects on mood, so here is some information we gathered from the pros.

Color affects people in different ways. It can affect one’s energy level, temperament and even appetite. Before you paint a room, think about what mood you would like the room to evoke and go with colors that tend to create that mood.

Warm Colors (Red, Orange, Yellow)

Warm colors invoke images of heat. Red is often associated with energy. It has been shown to speed respiration and heart rate.  Red is a good choice for a dining room, where it can stimulate conversation. In an entryway, it can make a strong first impression. Orange is a color of excitement. This is a great color for an exercise room. Yellow indicates happiness and cheer.  This is a welcoming color and is good for kitchens, halls or small spaces where it can make the room feel larger. But be careful as you can have too much of it and actually create negative feelings. It is the most fatiguing color on the eyes. Pair yellow walls with a white ceiling and moldings.

Cool Colors (Blue, Green, Purple)

Cool colors tend to create a tranquil, serene mood. Blue has been found to slow respiration and bring down heart rate. It is a calming color, good for bathrooms and bedrooms, or large rooms where people gather. Be careful as blue can come across as too chilly (some pastels) or depressing (some dark shades). Green is the most restful color on the eye. It is a good choice for just about any room. Purple indicates creativity or luxury. It's a great accent color.

Neutrals (White, Brown, Gray)

Neutrals have great flexibility. They are good foundations for any room, especially for rooms that showcase detailing in accessories and furniture. Neutrals are also a useful complement to some bolder wall colors so they don’t seem too extreme or overpowering.

Good Luck! 

Information gathered from


The Jamestown Community Theatre to Perform "The Wizard of Oz"

Next month, the Jamestown Community Theatre will put on six performances of the classic “The Wizard of Oz”, which will coincide with the Jamestown Community Theatre’s 21st Anniversary.

Our very own Greer Beecroft is actively involved in the production as the set designer. She has been busily organizing volunteers, sketching designs, painting sets and implementing her ideas for the various scenes. Also involved is Island Realty’s co-owner, Carol Hopkins as choreographer. A little tidbit from Carol is that there is a dance titled “Jitterbugs,” that will appear in the play, but was cut in the original movie. It was the Witch of the West’s evil plan to get the main characters to dance until they were exhausted so she could get them to her castle. Carol says, “This is for everyone who thinks they’ve seen everything there is to see. It’s my favorite dance in the play!”

The Wizard of Oz 



The Jamestown Recreation Center



Friday, November 11 @ 7pm
Saturday, November 12 @ 7pm

Sunday, November 13 @ 4pm

Friday, November 18 @ 7pm

Saturday, November 19 @ 7pm

Sunday, November 20 @ 4pm


Purchase at Baker’s Pharmacy, Cathryn Jamieson Salon, Secret Garden and the Conanicut Ship’s Store.  Seniors (65 and over) and children (17 and under) will be $8 in advance. Regular adult tickets will be $13. Prices will increase to $11 and $16 respectively, if purchased at the door.


Welcome New Jamestowners

Last week I sold a house to a couple with an 11 year old child.  Due to the hurricane, they moved to town from another area of the country just before school began.  The parents told me that one thing that helped to make the transition smooth was that their daughter got a part in the upcoming Jamestown Community Theater play.  Their comment made me think for a moment about what it might be like to move as often as this family has, and how important it is that there is a welcoming atmosphere to allow people to acclimate quickly to their new home and have a sense of "belonging".  In this case, Mary Wright, the founder of the theater, took time to get to know this family and, in doing so, gave them all a sense of the community. Some of us have moved very infrequently in our lives, and others move every few years.  It's good to keep in mind that a simple "welcome" can mean a lot.

If you are new to our community, give us a call here at Island Realty.  Our agents are involved in lots of different activities/organizations (Jamestown Arts Center, Jamestown Philomenian Library, Jamestown Soccer and much more).  We would love to tell you how to get involved and where you might meet some new friends.   -Ginny


Include Jamestown in Your America's Cup Plans!

It was recently announced that Newport will host the final World Series event of the America’s Cup next summer from June 23 thru July 1. To give a little background, this year is the 34th year for the America’s Cup, a sailing event which has often been referred to as "the oldest trophy in international sport", according to For the first time ever, the America’s Cup Event Authority has scheduled a series of six preliminary events, called the America’s Cup World Series. The first World Series event happened two weeks ago in Portugal, with other World Series events to take place in England, San Diego and our very own Newport.

So what does this mean for Jamestown? Quite a lot in terms of the potential economic impact. This is a high profile event which will draw the attention of professional sailors and spectators from around the world. We have some of the best vantage points for viewing the races and a vibrant community offering great options for entertainment and lodging.

We here at Island Realty are already feeling the excitement of what this event will bring.  We have the largest selection of rental properties with two full-time, dedicated rental agents who are ready to set people up with the perfect home away from home. If you have any questions at all, we are here to offer recommendations and support. We always suggest beginning your rental property search early in order to get the best selection. To view a complete list of properties and photos, go to and click the ‘Rentals’ tab on our website.


Are You Ready for the Hurricane?

Things to do NOW before the storm hits:

  1. Stock Up on items you may need if you become trapped or stranded in your home.
  2. Keep An Eye on the Weather
  3. Guard Your Windows – this includes bringing in items that could come crashing into the home and putting up plywood.
  4. Make a Plan

Develop a Family Plan

  • Know your home's vulnerability to storm surgeflooding and wind.
  • Locate a safe room or the safest areas in your home for each hurricane hazard.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
  • Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers by your phones and make sure your children know how and when to call 911.
  • Check your insurance coverage - flood damage is not usually covered by homeowners insurance.
  • Stock non-perishable emergency supplies and a Disaster Supply Kit
  • Use a NOAA weather radio.
  • Take First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness classes.

Create a Disaster Supply Kit

  • Water - at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
  • Food - at least enough for 3 to 7 days, non-perishable packaged or canned food, juices, foods for infants or the elderly, snack foods, non-electric can opener, cooking tools, fuel, paper plates, plastic utensils
  • Blankets / Pillows, etc.
  • Clothing - seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes
  • First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs
  • Special Items - for babies and the elderly
  • Toiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes
  • Flashlight / Batteries
  • Radio - Battery operated and NOAA weather radio
  • Telephones - Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set
  • Cash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards - Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods
  • Keys
  • Toys, Books and Games
  • Important documents - in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.
  • Tools - keep a set with you during the storm
  • Vehicle fuel tanks filled
  • Pet care items — proper identification, immunization records, medications, ample supply of food and water, a carrier or cage, muzzle and leash


If you are asked to evacuate, you should do so without delay. That means that it is important for you and your family to HAVE A PLAN that makes you as safe as possible in your home.

Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen it against storms so that you can be as safe as possible. It also includes having the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The suggestions provided here are only guides. You should use common sense in your disaster prevention.

Information collected from



Jamestown was Full of Fools this Weekend

This past weekend was the 34th Annual Fools Rules Regatta here in Jamestown.  This foolish tradition, sponsored by the Jamestown Yacht Club, is a unique sailing event where participants (fools) must concoct a vessel out of any non-marine items, and then attempt to race their ship 1,500 feet along the shore at East Ferry.  Fools have two hours to assemble their boats.  In the past, boats have been made from everything from ice, to Volkswagons, doghouses and toboggans.  Awards given out include the Karl Smith Most Ingenious Design, Worst Example of Naval Architecture and the Frank Newman Judges' Award, given to the boat and crew with the best historical theme.  For beginners, the advice given by Chris Powell, chief fool, is to "basically try to build something that will stay together. Remember, you have to be able to steer it. It's not just a downwind course."

There is no cost for participating in the event, but proceeds from the sale of T-shirts and hats go to local charities (Sail Newport, the Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation, the North Kingstown High School sailing team) after expenses are paid.  This year, according to Candy Powell, "There were 50 entrants, the majority of whom came from Jamestown and other RI communities. There were also entrants from Oregon, Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, and spectators from as far away as South Africa. A great time was had by all!"


Thank a Volunteer

Those of us who live in Jamestown have an inkling of how great an impact our volunteers have on the quality of our lives.  Volunteers contribute to our health and safety, entertainment, education, cultural diversity--our overall sense of community.

If you don’t live in Jamestown, your community most likely has an army of volunteers helping the wheels turn.  What you may not experience at home, and may not even realize while visiting Jamestown, is reliance on volunteers as emergency responders—fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, ambulance drivers, divers, boat captains, etc. They are an amazing cadre of men and women who undertake extensive training, ongoing certification and training, and who are on call 24/7 to support their town and help our residents and visitors alike.

Last weekend was the sold-out 2011 Newport Folk Festival.  I can only guess how many calls our dedicated fire and rescue volunteers responded to over the weekend.  At about 2:30 Saturday afternoon, Rescue 1 was responding to its third call of the day.  The Newport bridge was like a parking lot. Emergency vehicles only had access via oncoming lanes. Personnel were “suited up.” It was 90 degrees in the shade. Really.

It reminded me of Fourth of July weekend 2003. I had just moved to Jamestown. I lived in the Bay View Condos, overlooking the downtown waterfront.  On that Sunday I witnessed three occasions where personnel were called out for a water emergency. Each time I saw the same cars pull into the lot, the same individuals in full gear, running toward the rescue boat. It was another blistering hot afternoon. I was overwhelmed by the selflessness of these people, these neighbors.

Shortly after that, Friends of the Jamestown Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service was formed. Its purpose was to raise awareness of the departments to our residents and guests. To remind everyone about these terrific people in their midst. To encourage more people to volunteer.

Today the departments have merged together.  They are still the great individuals they’ve always been.  Generations of families continue to volunteer, and “Friends” are no longer needed.

But we cannot take these people for granted. They are our lifeblood, sometimes literally.  Give them room on the streets.  Donate to their causes. Above all, thank them!!