How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 Usually the most effective way to improve indoor air quality is to eliminate individual sources of air pollution or to reduce their emissions. Some sources, like those that contain asbestos, can be sealed or enclosed; others, like gas stoves, can be adjusted to decrease the amount of emissions. In many cases, source control for air quality is also a more cost-efficient approach to protecting indoor air quality than increasing ventilation because increasing ventilation can increase energy costs.

Most home heating and cooling systems, including forced air heating systems, do not mechanically bring fresh air into the house. Opening windows and doors, operating window or attic fans, when the weather permits, or running a window air conditioner with the vent control open increases the outdoor ventilation rate and serves as a simple form of air cleaners. Local bathroom or kitchen fans that exhaust outdoors remove contaminants directly from the room where the fan is located and increase the outdoor air ventilation rate.

It is particularly important to take as many of these steps as possible while you are involved in short-term activities that can generate high levels of pollutants–for example, painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities such as welding, soldering, sanding, model making and gluing.

However, remember that for most indoor air quality problems in the home, source control is the most effective solution.

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How does our air inside the house get polluted?

Green homeMuch can be said about proper ventilation, for if we don’t have enough fresh air entering the home, then pollutants can accumulate to levels which can pose immediate health problems and affect our comfort.

We usually think of air pollution as being outdoors, but the air in your house or office could also be polluted. Sources of indoor pollution include:

  • Mold and pollen
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Household products and pesticides
  • Gases such as radon and carbon monoxide
  • Materials used in the building such as asbestos, formaldehyde and lead.

Usually indoor air quality problems only cause discomfort. Most people feel better as soon as they remove the source of the pollution.

Next: How Do we improve the air quality in our Homes?

 

 

 

 

 

Housing affordability Keeps on Going!

Homeownership closer than ever!

Housing affordability is up nationwide due to low-interest rates and home prices as National Homeownership Month begins in June, according to a recent release from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

In addition to lower prices and interest rates, low-down payment programs offered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is also helping creditworthy borrowers who cannot afford a large down payment   for a mortgage. These programs offer down payments as low as 3 percent for eligible first-time homebuyers.

Homeownership is the key of building wealth, since it is often a primary source of net worth and a step toward accumulating long-term personal financial assets.   It is not only limited to financial freedom but also building stronger communities and personal achievement.

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ARE YOU READY TO OWN A HOME?

ARE YOU READY TO OWN A HOME?

Home ownership means you no longer pay monthly rent for the roof over your head. buying-a-home11When you leave, you can sell it to recoup the purchase price and earn any profit that you may have accumulated through your appreciation in value.

But don’t kid yourself. Home ownership comes with a slew of disadvantages, responsibilities, and downright headaches. So before going any further, consider whether your lifestyle and finances make home buying a smart move for you.

Except in a roaring real estate market, it usually doesn’t make sense to buy a home you’ll stay for less than three or four years, because the cost of the process of buying and selling your property means that you could lose money  from your equity.   On the other hand, you will not pay capital gain taxes if you’re in the property for at least of 2 years.

One key question is whether it costs more, on average, to rent or own in your area. The rule of thumb is that if you pay 33% in rent than you would for owning  including the monthly mortgage, property taxes, and any homeowner’s fees,  then it’s smarter to own a home then renting it.

As always, get your finances in order before committing to buy a home, and stay informed of all the options, alternatives and programs that will fit your needs.

Get help, and call a Realtor…Call me  714-963-7462.   Leading your way home!

Home sales hit fastest rise in more than a year

Home sales hit fastest rise in more than a year

buying-a-home11Sales of existing-homes rose by 1.5% in October according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Last October previously-owned homes reached its highest annual pace of the year as buyers continue to be encouraged by interest rates at lows not seen for a long time.

This numbers also represents the first yearly gain since October 2013. The median existing-home prices posted as well an increase compared to October 2013. From the previous year, October’s median price of $208,300 was up 5.5%, marking the 32nd straight month of yearly improvement.

The National Association of Realtors tracks completed transactions of single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops each month, dubbing this group “existing-home sales.” As the housing market crashed back in 2008, NAR also began tracking the share of home sales that were distressed (foreclosures and short sales).

In October distressed home sales declined to 9% of the total, hitting the single digits for the third month in 2014. One year ago, distressed sales accounted for 14% of the market. Foreclosures account for 7%, and short sales 2% total average. The share of homes purchased for all-cash buyers in October accounted for 27%, compared to a 31% in October 2013.

First-time buyers remain a smaller slice of the market than the historic norm, at 29% in October for the fourth straight month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30% of the buyer pool in 18 of the past 19 months.

Inventory levels declined by 2.6% in October to a supply of 2.22 million existing-homes available for sale the lowest level since March, but 5.2% higher than a year ago, when there were only 2.11 million existing-homes for sale.

We still need an increment on housing inventory. However, Government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac has projected a 20% gain for inventory between 2014 and 2015, which will help supply. Let’s make it happen.

Consumer Sentiment: Moving Forward!

Consumer Sentiment: Moving Forward!

Consumer confidence declined in September, rebounded in October and jumped more than two points in a preliminary November estimate, beating economic forecasts and hitting a more than seven-year high.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment registered 89.4 in a mid-month reading, the best showing since July 2007. Economists had forecast the measure would hit 87.5, with some predicting as high as 89.

What factor have contributed to this improvement? The declining of oil prices and an improving job market were probably the main factors that led to this surge in consumer sentiment. A more favorable business conditions perhaps also helped the consumers’ view of the present situation. This solid increase suggests consumers have largely dismissed concerns about slowing global growth and have ignored the sharp swings in financial markets earlier this month

US consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months and overall positive growth in our economy, leading to a stronger dollar and making other investments more attractive. Consumers regained confidence and are more optimistic now about their future earnings potential, and with the holiday season getting closer and closer, we may see ever higher numbers in consumer’s confidence.

What about the Housing Market? Considering that the Federal Financing Housing Agency has recently opened more doors for eligibility criteria in the purchase of  homes, we expect to continue with good news about the economic outlook in general.

Are you better off fixing or buying a home?

Are you better off fixing or buying a home?

There is neither a specific answer nor one size fits all!  There are plenty of considerations to review. First of all, your financial ability and market demands are some of the factors to survey before deciding if it’s wiser to find a new dream home or fix your current home.Luxury Home Kitchen.

Before considering renovating your existing home, take an inventory of your home’s physical current condition, and deal with contractors for renovation costs. Major home renovations bring stress, unexpected complications and budget overruns. Depending on the age of your current home, you may also have to jump through additional hoops to meet newer building code requirements.

Purchasing a new home could actually cost you less monthly than renovating your home depending on its age, and types of renovations you’re considering. If you intend on financing renovation costs,  find out how much you will be adding to your existing mortgage, home equity loan or line of credit  versus obtaining a new home mortgage.

Keep in mind that even if you renovate your older home, in a future buyer’s eyes, it’s still an older home. It is a good idea to have a sense of the market activity in your neighborhood to consider trading up or renovating your current home. The main purpose of home renovations is primarily to increase your home’s enjoyment. While you may be able to recoup some or most of the costs during the home’s sale, there are no guarantees.