Should I Buy a Home In 2008?

Dreadful information about the slumping American housing market is all over TV news and in almost every paper. During this housing slump many potential first time home buyers often wonder, should i buy a house in 2008? While every persons situation is different the next few paragraphs will hopefully help you decide whether or not to buy a house in 2008

It is a fact that property values across north America have dropped, in some areas they have dropped drastically and others its just a slight dip. Buying a home when prices are at the lowest is the best way for buyers to get the most for their money, and many people are now taking advantage of the lower home prices.

The major factor for most people when buying a home is securing a affordable mortgage to purchase the home with. In today’s current market mortgage rates have also fallen to very low levels making financing a new home more affordable then one year ago. When low mortgage rates are combined with reduced asking prices your money suddenly is able to buy you much more home then you previously thought possible!

The only real roadblock to buying a home in 2008 is going to be actually qualifying for a mortgage. Even though mortgage rates are low the lenders have tightened up their lending guidelines since the housing slump began. Since many borrowers need 100% financing it makes things that much more difficult. To deal with stricter lending guidelines borrowers are going to need excellent credit or have down payments in the range of five to twenty percent to secure home financing.

With property values falling and mortgage rates at very low levels 2008 is a great time to buy a new home. Not only is there more selection on the market but you will also be buying when prices are low so when the next real estate boom starts you will make substantial money on your investment.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Darin Sewell

Advantages and Disadvantages of A Real Estate Foreclosure Sale

When people buy a home, they usually do so with a mortgage. A requirement of having a mortgage is that buyers the payments on time every month for the life of the loan. If they don’t, the home will eventually fall into foreclosure, and the bank will take control over it. The bank will eventually sell the real estate using a foreclosure sale. For buyers, foreclosure sales have some advantages and disadvantages.

Lower price

Foreclosure sales usually come with a lower price than a regular sale. That’s because the bank simply wants to get rid of the home. Though it wants to maximize the price it can get, it will be happy to get its money back and get rid of the responsibility of having to take care of the house. Foreclosures often sell for at least 10 percent below market price and sometimes even more.

Chance to build quick equity

Because foreclosure sales are priced below market, it gives the buyers a chance to build equity quickly. By getting a bargain, the buyer automatically has equity in the home to begin with. Foreclosures often need some work and are priced to reflect that, so buyers willing to make the needed upgrades and repairs can build equity quickly.


Even though they are bargains, foreclosure sales can come with many problems. Banks do not want to put any money into the homes, so buyers should expect to buy properties as is and expect to have to put money into them. Foreclosures also can come with issues related to the previous owners. The bank may have a hard time getting those people out and may have to forcibly evict them, which can delay the sale. Banks also are wary of lending on foreclosures, so any one looking to buy one should make sure he or she has a large down payment and good credit. A better option is to buy a foreclosure with cash, which can help speed up the process.

While a foreclosure sale is not an ideal way to sell real estate, either for the homeowner or the lender, it sometimes is necessary if the homeowner no longer can keep up with the mortgage payments. For buyers, these homes present great opportunities either for first-time homebuyers or for investors looking to get a deal on a potential rental property or to buy a home to fix up and flip for profit.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Shaun Greer

How Great Real Estate Agents FIND The Right House For Their Clients?

Home ownership, has been considered, an essential component of the so – called, American Dream, for generations! However, every potential, qualified, buyer, does not seek the same things, nor, necessarily, has the same combination of needs, priorities, qualifications, necessities, and finances! Therefore, not only, must these people, proceed, without rose – colored glasses, and have, some focus, on balancing their needs, and wishes, as well as comparing it to their personal finances, etc, but, nearly all, would benefit, by hiring the right, professional, real estate agent, to meet their personal, best – interests! Since, for most, the value of their house, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to take the time, and make the effort, to carefully, interview, prospective agents, to choose, the one, best, for you? A great agent, realizes, he must, be ready, willing, and able, to FIND the right house, for his clients, based on their personal needs, necessities, and requirements, in an attentive way. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Face facts; features; funds/ finances; future; feelings: Begin the process, facing – the – facts, in a realistic way, because, if, you, merely, seek to Keep Up With the Joneses, rather that, what your personal needs are, it won’t serve you, effectively! Evaluate, the features, you need, versus, those you like, know what you can afford, as well as the quality of the, Bones of the House! Realistically, know your true feelings, by giving yourself, a thorough, self – analysis, and/ or, check – up, from the neck – up! It’s also important to consider future issues, including family needs, affordability, and whether, you plan to live there, for a considerable period, or only, as a so – called, Starter Home!

2. Instincts; insights; inspiring: Many homeowners discover their home, inspires them, and, have the instincts, to realize, what means the most, to each individual! The greatest agents respect and understand these feelings and perception, and proceed, with the expertise, and insights, which best serve a client’s best – interests, etc!

3. Needs; nuances/ niche; neighborhood: Before buying a house, a potential buyer, should walk – the – neighborhood, and discover, if he would feel comfortable, and, truly, enjoy, living there! True professionals know and understand their client’s needs, perspectives, and priorities, and respect these, thoroughly, while addressing the nuances, and niche, which might provide the highest – quality, personal service, and representation!

4. Delve deeply; discourse; deliver: You can’t customize, properly, unless/ until, one delves deeply, and listens carefully, during the entire discourse, emphasizing, delivering, the best house, for the particular client!

How a quality real estate agent, proceeds, forward, to FIND the best house, for a client, differentiates the greatest ones, from the rest – of – the – pack! Doesn’t it make sense, for a prospective buyer, to carefully, choose, who, he hires?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Richard Brody

Foreclosed Homes Listings – The Easiest Way to Find Them!

People are becoming increasingly aware of the real benefits of purchasing foreclosed properties. However, the misconception that finding foreclosed property listings as a difficult and tedious act makes people hesitant to purchase a property. It is truly a struggle for some to discover good and reliable foreclosed home listings. The truth is, finding one as tough as it may seem.

The first thing one must do is to search for available firms and online services that essentially give foreclosure listings. These tools will generally ensure you reliable listings but not essentially the best one. Needless to say, it truly requires some experience, knowledge and extra effort to finally lay your eyes on the top home listings available at present. Pay extra attention and spend some time doing your own research so as to educate yourself with pertinent information. Some people could possibly take more time to fully understand the foreclosed home listings. Consequently, by the time they have fully understood the system, clients may have already purchased the property.

One of the most basic things that you must consider in finding foreclosed home listings is to know the essential things you want in a property. The kind of property plus your budget play an important role in the purchasing process. You must also be extra sensitive to the neighborhood and the location in general. Pen them down, review and analyze these relevant details. By doing so, you’ll be able to find the property with much ease. One thing you must also consider is the market price of properties. The economic condition of the country has a direct effect on real estate. Thus, expect fluctuations – both major and minor. Be extra patient in waiting and looking for the best property. Newspaper and the Internet can also lead you to the best foreclosed property listings.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Stuart Michael M

6 Steps, For Preparing, To Finance, The Home, You Buy

Although, many consider, owning a home, of one’s own, to be a primary component of the American Dream, far too often, we witness, many people, insufficiently, prepared, and/ or ready, to prepare, from a financial perspective! When one identifies, how home ownership, might serve their needs, and aspirations, and ensures, their choice is their personal best, in order to make certain, the process, from searching, to closing on a house, is as stress – free, as possible! Since, for most of us, the value of our home, represents our single – biggest, financial asset, wouldn’t it make sense, to proceed, wisely? With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 6 steps, which might help, in the process of preparing for as many of the financial considerations, involved, from the home buying step, to the home ownership, one.

1. Add no more debt/ credit: If you, truly, want to own a house, in the period, leading – up, to the search/ quest, be certain to avoid taking – on, any more debt, and, rather, attempt to, pay – down, whatever debts, you currently have. Your overall credit, is key, to whether you qualify for a mortgage, and, if you do, whether you will qualify, for the best possible rate! Evaluate you credit report, correct any errors, immediately, and address any weaknesses. Either do so, yourself, or hire, a professional, to best position you, in this area!

2. Pay down existing debt: Home financing/ mortgage lenders, use several ratios, to determine their decisions, as to whom, to loan funds to! One of these, significant factors, they consider, is the percentage of one’s overall debt, to their income. In order to prepare, use the period, leading up to your search, to pay down this debt!

3. Review Credit Report: Take your credit, and credit history, seriously! Before beginning, obtain a copy of your report, and examine it, carefully, for any errors, mistakes, or matters, which require an explanation. Either, personally, follow the process, for fixing these, or use, a professional, to ensure, you are best positioned. Examine your FICO score, know what is needed, and strive for improvement!

4. Build – up/ accumulate necessary funds, needed for downpayment: While, in most cases, it might require 20% downpayment, to qualify for a mortgage loan, there are, today, certain loans, which require less. However, when you put down less, you will have to pay more, monthly, and, it may be more challenging, to qualify! Take the time, between when you, make the decision, to search, and, when you find, the right house, for you, and your needs, to save as much, money, so you are ready, and prepared!

5. Prepare for contingencies/ 3 – 6 months reserves: When you purchase a house, there are, often, many unanticipated expenses, etc. It is wise, to prepare for contingencies, and create several financial reserves, including for, repairs, renovations, appliance repair, major components, and, unforeseeable employment interruptions. Three, to six months, worth of money, should be, put aside for these considerations!

6. Reserves: When you have all the reserves, you need, you significantly reduce your potential, unnecessary stresses, and strains!

Congratulations of making the decision to buy a house. Now, proceed, wisely!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Richard Brody

Are You Tired of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash?

Wouldn’t you rather go to Tahiti? Are you a landlord with rental property whose value has significantly appreciated? Are you ready to cash in those profits and take that trip to Tahiti?

Before selling your property, check with your accountant who

will tell you that you will be paying $60,000 in Capital

Gains Tax to Uncle Sam. Your accountant will also tell you

that adding another $20,000 to your income by that sale is

called recaptured depreciation. This will bump you into the

next tax bracket and doom you next April 15th into sending

the IRS a check for maybe another $7,000.

Are you still ready to sell that property?

It looks like that trip to Tahiti is going to be sometime in

the far future…

But wait! You decide to check with your realtor and then

find out about a 1031 exchange to defer your Capital Gains.

Your realtor tells you if you buy another like-kind rental

property of equal or greater value, you won’t get hit with

the gains tax on the sale. That is all fine and good, but

it does not really get you out of the headaches associated

with collecting rent, keeping your unit occupied, finding

clean/classy tenants that won’t trash the place, nor does it

keep you from getting that 2am call to fix an overflowing

toilet. To top this off, now you have to pay more in

property taxes and must charge higher rent.

Hmm…maybe this idea is not the ticket to that South Pacific

paradise either.

This is the dilemma I heard from my financial clients again

and again. They were frustrated and felt trapped in their

current situation. So what is a frustrated income property

owner to do? After a lot of research and roadblocks, I found

the perfect solution that has changed the lives of my

clients and took away stress to bring enjoyment of life.

For anyone who is tired of being a landlord and who owns a

rental/commercial property that has gone up a lot in value,

take heart.

A 1031 exchange into a Tenant In Common Property may be your


There are very specific rules to follow set by the IRS, and

the entire detailed process is the subject for a future

article, but here’s the gist:

1-Sell your current income


2-Before the close of escrow, you declare via a Qualified

Intermediary (also called an Accommodator, who is a

qualified third party) that you intend to do a 1031 exchange

into a Tenant in Common Property;

3-Work with a reputable

company to identify a property that you would like to

purchase an interest in;

4-At the close of escrow, your

proceeds are transferred by the Accommodator to purchase

your proportionate share of a larger „A“ rated commercial


5-You may choose a business center, a medical

office building, or similar high-end property; and lastly,

6-You get a deeded interest in this property, so you can

keep it, resell it, pass it to your heirs, or even gift it

to charity upon your death.

The way that this works is all the new fractional owners, or

„Tenants in Common“ hire an ace Management Company to handle

all the property management tasks. The company finds and

keeps high quality tenants, does the maintenance and

upgrades, pays the property taxes, and handles all the day

to day crisis that arise. Probably the three most important

factors in this entire process are:

1-Your choice of company

that offers the properties for sale;

2-the Accommodator,


3-the management company.

Make sure each of the three parts is a top notch with proven

track records. Anything less could spell disaster.

When this 1031 option is done properly, your benefits will


Deferral of all Capital Gains,

A monthly contractual income (usually based on 6-7% return

on equity),

Building depreciation for tax savings,

Unlimited property appreciation potential, and

No more headaches of property management.

Good-bye Tenants, Trash and Toilets!

Hello Tahiti!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Paula Straub

Realtors: A New Strategy For Farming Your Neighborhood

As you know, the Internet and social media have become game-changers for the Real Estate industry.

Facebook… WordPress… Twitter… Zillow… Trulia… RealEstateABC… all of these were practically unheard of a few years ago, and now they are (or should be) a key part of your marketing plan.

But in the midst of all this ferment, the traditional (dare we say „old school“) ways still have tremendous value. Farming a carefully-selected neighborhood is still a key strategy for success.

A winning marketing and branding strategy includes both online and offline components. And using online techniques to farm your chosen neighborhood combines the best of the old and the new!

Building Your Brand With Facebook

According to research by Postling, almost 80% of real estate professionals are using Facebook to market their business. It’s free, easy, and efficient, and offers opportunities to grow and cultivate a robust community of prospective clients. When it comes to farming your neighborhoods, your Facebook page can familiarize potential buyers with your target neighborhood and build relationships with current residents (aka future sellers).

Building Your Brand With WordPress

Use your blog to differentiate yourself from the competition and become known as an authority on your topic and your neighborhoods. Many real estate experts recommend that you not make listings the primary focus of your blog. Your posts should be community-focused, with the real estate marketing done in an unobtrusive way. The goal is to showcase your area expertise and build a relationship with your audience. Get the conversation started!

The Rise Of Local Coupons

Another hot Internet trend is the increasing use of local coupons to offer deals from neighborhood merchants to their surrounding areas. Savvy merchants are teaming up with new Internet-based companies such as GroupOn, Amazon, as well as traditional vendors such as Money Mailer and ValPak to boost business with carefully-crafted online offers.

Of course, these huge companies aren’t for everyone, but they’ve propelled local coupon marketing via the Internet into the public eye.

Everyone is familiar with it now!

Combining The Old And The New

A great way to build credibility with your target neighborhood is to demonstrate that you look at them as more than just a source of listings and sales.

And a great way to do that is to offer something of value outside of real estate facts & figures. Let’s face it, until they start thinking about buying or selling, most folks are only mildly in interest rate fluctuations, the number of sales in their neighborhood, and so forth.

Although that’s valuable information, it’s relatively easy to purchase. Consequently everybody is offering it. So it doesn’t do much to make you stand out from your competitors.

Instead of settling for „me-too“, here’s a new strategy:

Demonstrate your value… by negotiating special discount offers with local merchants and offering them to new and future residents of your neighborhood farms.

Offering money-saving coupons from local businesses demonstrates to current and prospective residents of your target neighborhood that you really care about them.

You’ll also build allies among the local merchants by helping them get more business and introducing their products and services to both new and existing neighborhood residents.

Combining the three elements discussed above – Facebook, Blogging, and local coupon marketing – gives you a powerful new strategy to build your brand, gain allies among local business owners, and boost your credibility in an unobtrusive way with potential buyers and sellers.

Your Strategy Outline

Here’s your step-by step action plan:

1) Based on your extensive neighborhood knowledge, make a varied list of local merchants who you think service a board cross-section of the neighborhood. Do this for each farm you’re targeting.

2) Contact each business on your list and offer to make them a free discount coupon with whatever offer they like, which you will promote free of charge to help them in their business.

3) For each merchant, spend a few minutes making an online coupon (preferably using the CreateYourCoupon system) and adding it to your coupon page.

4) Post your coupon page to your blog, and to custom Facebook pages – one dedicated to each of your farms.

5) In addition, publicize your discount coupon service over time as part of your normal marketing activities.

The result? You’ll build a reputation as an area expert: a real estate specialist who cares about the neighborhoods you’re farming, over and above simply selling houses.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Paul Pickering

Effective Tips to Sell Your Property

Buying or selling your house is one of the most crucial things you’ll ever experience in your life. Within the real estate business, many sellers are usually failing to attract potential customers, mainly because of the fact that they have no idea regarding selling a property, officially. To get your home connected to the buyer and to have them imagine about their family in your house is not luck always. It is also about creating a suitable environment, which the buyers cannot resist. It is very crucial that every room appears the same way as it was intended to be used in the first place. Place yourself in the position of a buyer of a three bedroom home seeing two bedrooms and an additional storage room. This is not an easy task and you need to take care of few things. Here are several tips you need to think about when you find yourself selling your house:

Evaluation of Your House

The first thing to think about, before selling a home in the real estate market is usually to find right value of the home you’re selling. You may self-analyze your home or property for determining the worth. Then, you may seek the advice of home dealers within your locality. You can also figure out the existing market price in the surrounding locality for similar houses, by simply informally inquiring around the current market valuations in the locality. An alternative is usually to use skilled agencies for you to assess the worth of your respective home.


When you place your own home in marketplace, it will become extremely important for your home to become clean and uncluttered. Therefore it is very important to clear out each of the unwanted stuff from your house before exhibiting it to potential buyers because potential buyers require in order picturing them in your real-estate.

Therefore a lot of real-estate professionals actually advise you to eliminate a number of household furniture for making rooms look bigger, as well as reduce your family photos on the walls etc.

Clear Dues/Issues

A new deciding issue to the purchaser is actually that this property must be free from any kind of dues and legal issues. This provides a definite picture and boosts the worth of the house in eyes of the purchaser if all the bills/payments and income tax were paid. Don’t forget to have the all invoices available during the offer.

Who’s Your Purchaser?

The next important move while selling your home is usually to find your would-be customer. An additional idea is usually to approach expert brokers to find your buyer. Also you can depend on friends and family to spot potential customers. While approaching to a real estate broker, you should examine his reputation. It is really important that you examine his/her qualifications or experience with the customers and personal features along with trustworthiness.

Communicate With Governing Body

After you are satisfied from the financial and credentials abilities of purchaser, the very next thing is to interact with the campus/society of the building with your intention. And adding this all up you must also obtain No Objection Certificate or NOC for the same.

Legal Documentation

When you acquire your NOC you might be proceeding with the documentation of the legal property. Make it an appointment with sub-registrar and register your property.This should be under the limitations of Registration Act. And do make sure that the time and date is comfortable with buyer and as well as the purchaser.

Selling a house in a down marketplace requires little more work. Do whatever you can do to have the home in excellent condition and be ready to make few modest concessions in final. These tips, in addition to an attractive cost, will increase the chances of getting your house sold.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Srikanth Telagamalla

Top 7 Tips to Get the Most Value Out of Your Home Appraisal

Home sellers and owners refinancing their mortgages often have to endure a unique ordeal: the home appraisal. If you’re selling, you want the highest appraisal value possible to make sure the sale goes through. If you’re refinancing you’re probably cashing out equity. Either way, each dollar of appraised value is potentially a dollar in your pocket.

It’s never a good idea to try and fool the appraiser – most of them have seen every trick in the book – but there are simple things you can do to squeeze some extra value or equity out of your home.

1. Make the place presentable.

You don’t have to be able to eat off the floors – the house doesn’t even have to be as spotless as it would be for an open house. But impressions matter. Strewn laundry, dirty dishes, full wastebaskets, all can contribute to the wrong kind of impression.

2. Fix or replace broken windows, railings, steps, and other hazards.

Your chances of being able to avoid this, even if the buyer doesn’t care, are slim to none now that the mortgage lender wants an appraisal. (And zero if your buyer is going through the FHA.) So take care of it beforehand. And any appliances that are staying with the house, if you’re selling? Those have to work, too.

3. Have your real estate agent present during the inspection.

You can’t usually fool an appraiser – and your agent can’t either. But your agent is trained better to think on his feet at times like these, and is more likely to address nagging concerns of the appraiser’s than you are. Sellers, your agent works for you – put him to work during the appraisal.

4. Love what you’ve done with the place?

Hardwood floors four years ago? Bathroom remodeled two and a half years ago? Lawn re-sodded last summer? Bring these to the appraiser’s attention. Don’t expect your appraised value to go up by the amount you invested, but don’t be shy about pointing out what you’ve done.

5. Control your pets and kids.

The less stressful the appraiser’s inspection, the better off you’ll both be. An appraiser worried about being attacked or who is constantly distracted isn’t as likely to come through with the highest value.

6. Control the urge to do the appraiser’s job for him.

You will often hear that you should suggest homes sold in the area recently the appraiser can compare yours to. In truth, the appraiser considers that his job, and is more likely to resent it than be grateful. And he may have a point. You – and your agent – are interested in getting the highest value possible. The appraiser knows that, and may actually discount a comparable sale you come up with.

That being said, information and suggestions offered will often be graciously received. Just don’t overdo it. Understand where the appraiser is coming from – he understands where you’re coming from.

7. Cooperate.

A lot of people don’t like a stranger wandering around their home sizing it up. But it’s for your own good. And a friendly, cooperative owner makes a much more favorable impression than a contentious one.

When it’s time to order your appraisal, it’s normal to feel a bit worried or intimidated. However, if you’ve done your homework as to the value of your home, you should rest easy. Follow these simple suggestions, and when the appraisal is in, you will surely be happy!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Eric Bramlett

Thicken That Sauce!

With most sauces and nearly all types of gravy you will need to use a thickening agent at some stage. This may be one of any number of things.

The most commonly used are starches of some kind, because they all have the quality of swelling up in any liquid to which they are introduced. But it’s important to note that they also tend to behave differently.

Arrowroot, for example, has an interesting property. It tends to clarify any liquid into which it is introduced.

This is great for fruit sauces but may not be quite so effective with a meat-based gravy. It gives it an artificial appearance in my view, although you may quite like it and if you do, use it.

Starch compounds such as arrowroot, corn starch and potato flour need to be mixed with a cold liquid before being added to anything hot. They should be added a little at a time and allowed to cook for a while after each batch.

This needs to be done at the end of the preparation, because the thickening effect doesn’t always last that well. Kept on the heat, liquids thickened by starch tended to thin out again after a time.

Using flour

Don’t worry that flour will make your gravy lumpy! Providing there is a fat present, flour will behave itself, and even if it doesn’t it will still whisk into the gravy or sauce.

The best way to use it is either as a roux, or as a beurre manié. These are basically the same thing but used in a slightly different way.

Both are a mixture of half flour and half butter (or other fat if you prefer) and both produce the same result – they thicken liquids.

To make a roux

Put an ounce of butter in a small saucepan and bring it to cooking heat, then add an ounce of plain flour and cook it while stirring. The length of cooking time will depend entirely on the color you wish to achieve.

The flour will darken with prolonged cooking, giving you a browner sauce as a result.

Once your mix is the color you wanted to be, take the pan off the heat and add half a pint of stock while whisking vigorously.

Please forget everything you have ever read about this process. The stock does not have to be cold, or hot, or added a little at a time. Just slosh it all in and whisk away. Then return the pan to the heat and bring it to the boil.

The resulting gravy will need to be cooked for at least a further two minutes, otherwise it will tend to have a raw finish, thanks to some uncooked starch. Just leave it on a low heat, but cover it to prevent a skin forming.

Even if one does form, you can usually whisk it back in and if not, strain it before serving.

Beurre Manié

Named for the chef who invented it, no one really knows how or why this works, but it does and it’s very effective if you need to thicken a large quantity of liquid, or one that already has food cooking in it.

Using the same measurements as for the roux, the trick is to slightly soften the butter and mix it with the flour. You then drop little nuggets of this mixture into the liquid to be thickened and bring it to the boil while stirring.

As the flour cooks, so it will blend into the liquid and thicken it.

Sweet sauces

Much depends on the base of your sauce in the first place and whether you intend it to be hot or cold. Fruit juices, for example, can be reduced while adding liquid glucose. This will produce a shiny sauce that is very stable when cold.

By stable, I mean that it won’t separate and it won’t move around the plate much, which is advantageous if you are trying to produce a particular effect.

Hot sauces are usually thickened with cornstarch or arrowroot. The latter will be clear while cornstarch produces a generally cloudy effect. Both need to be added with caution. Overdoing it can produce a sauce which is practically inedible.

The golden rule is to add a little at a time, and if the mixture becomes too thick add some more liquid.

Egg yolks, gelatin and even cream can all be used as thickening agents. Eggs, for example, are used as the base for all types of custard, including things like lemon meringue pie.

Once again you need to experiment and see what suits you. A sauce which is very runny when hot, may nevertheless become thick and clingy as it cools down.

Toffee sauce is a good example of this. It’s simply a reduction of sugar and water into which cream is stirred just as it starts to go brown. Left to cool it will look like, behave like, and taste a lot better than bottled caramel topping.

Vanilla sauce is somewhat similar. I make mine from three egg yolks whisked with 2 ounces of sugar, onto which I pour 250 milliliters of hot cream. This is then cooked to the required consistency, without boiling, and a few drops of vanilla essence added.

For special events I use a vanilla pod instead of the essence. A classic example of egg yolks being used as a thickening agent.

Be inventive

As time goes by and you become more experienced, you will find yourself developing your own techniques.

Try to think outside the box. For example, why not thicken a sauce for lamb with red currant jelly? Or even a mixture of mint sauce and gelatin (yes, that really does work).

Remember, whatever you are trying to do only you know whether or not you have achieved it. So the consistency of the sauce you serve is exactly how it should be as far as your guests are concerned. Don’t make yourself feel a failure by apologizing for it.

If it looks good, tastes good and complements the food it is served with you have done your job brilliantly. Who cares if it’s a bit thin, or you can cut it with a knife? There will be people who like it either way and both ways.

The secret is not to let on. Cook it with flair – serve it with panache.

Copyright © Tingira Publishing 2004 All Rights Reserved

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by Michael Sheridan

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