KENNETH BARGERS BLOG

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Single-Family Building at Highest Level in Year

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Single-Family Building at Highest Level in Year
Article by Daily Real Estate News | November 20, 2014

NAHB-LogoSingle-family housing starts climbed 4.2 percent month-over-month in October to 696,000 units, reaching the highest level since November 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The rise in single-family starts is more proof that the economy is firming and consumer confidence is growing,” says Kevin Kelly, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “We expect continued upward momentum into next year.”

The issuance of building permits — a gauge for future building activity — rose 4.8 percent in October to an annual rate of 1.08 million units. Single-family permits rose 1.4 percent, while multifamily permits increased 10 percent. The largest increases in permits were in the West, which saw a 21.6 percent gain, followed by the South, with an 8.8 percent increase. The Northeast and Midwest both posted decreases in permit issuance in October, at 21.5 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

While single-family homebuilding is on the mend in most parts of the country, the volatile multifamily sector hit a snag in building in October, the Census data showed.

Overall, homebuilding in both the single-family and multifamily sectors was down 2.8 percent in October due to a decrease last month in multifamily construction. Multifamily starts posted a 15.4 percent decrease in October, bringing the sector’s annual pace of production to 313,000.

Still, “on the multifamily side, production is stabilizing above historic levels as demand for rental housing increases,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

Source: National Association of Home Builders; Realtor Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 112104

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
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Garbage Disposal Tips

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Garbage Disposal Tips
John Watkins, Nashville Home Inspection
eblast Monthly Tip, November 2014

GarbDis1A garbage disposal can be a handy appliance that can make cleaning up the kitchen quicker and easier. But when poorly maintained, or not maintained at all, a garbage disposal is prone to drain clogs and breaking.

What are some best practices when it comes to a garbage disposal?

As with all appliances, it pays to keep it clean. An there are a number of ways to do so. Running water helps keep things flowing, so cold water when grinding will always make the disposal run better. Cold water helps solidify any grease or oil that is accidentally spilled into the unit, allowing the grease to be chopped up before it reaches the trap.

To clean the disposal periodically, pour one half cup of baking soda into the garbage disposal followed by one cup of white vinegar (do not pre-mix the two). Allow the mixture to work its magic for a few minutes while you boil water in a teakettle or similar size pot. The baking soda and vinegar will make “fizzing” noises. Once the water reaches a boil, carefully pour it into the disposal. Once drained, run cold water for fifteen seconds to flush away any residue.

For sharpening the blades of your garbage disposal fill it half way with ice cubes, run cold water into the unit at full pressure, and turn on the disposal to grind the ice. For a nice, fresh scent, put some peels from a lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit in the drain with the ice cubes. Ice cubes (or any other item) could possibly shoot out of the disposal, so hold something over the opening, but be sure the water is still flowing to the inside of the unit.

Is there really a category on the food pyramid for expanding food? Probably not, but if you put some down your garbage disposal, you’ll know it in a very short time. Expandable food refers to ingredients that absorb water and may become starchy and sticky if put down the disposal. Rice, pasta and potato peelings will expand in the disposal just the way they expand in the pot or cooker and should not be put in the disposal.

GarbDis2Fibrous foods are relegated to a similar category on the garbage disposal “no-no” list. While high fiber is good for the diet, in garbage disposals fibrous material can tangle with the blades and jam the disposal motor These foods include corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins, banana peels and artichokes.

Non-food items are not meant to be put into a garbage disposal, but that doesn’t mean people won’t give it a try. Plumbers have retrieved pieces of glass, plastic, metal, and even paper from a clogged disposal.

The biggest “no-no” of all? Putting fingers in the garbage disposal to attempt to unclog a jam. Fingers simply don’t belong near blades.

And there is a proper way to turn off the disposal. When grinding is complete, turn off the garbage disposal first, while cold water continues to run down the disposal for at least 15 seconds. This will create a flushing action to wash away any remaining particles.

If the disposal will not turn on, first make sure the unit is still plugged in. If it is plugged in, press the Reset button on the bottom of the unit. If that doesn’t work, check to see if the circuit breaker has tripped in the electrical service panel. If the breaker has not tripped, then it’s either a faulty switch or a faulty garbage disposal. If the disposal turned on in the previous steps but the blades are not moving (you hear a humming noise), the blades are jammed. In this case, refer to the manufacturer’s operating manual (often found online for easy access).

Source: Nashville Home Inspection Monthly Tip, November 2014

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors

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Builder Confidence Rises Four Points in November

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Builder Confidence Rises Four Points in November
Press Release by National Association of Home Builders | 111814

NAHB-LogoNovember 18, 2014 – Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes rose four points to a level of 58 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), released today.

“Growing confidence among consumers is what’s fueling this optimism among builders,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del. “Members in many areas of the country continue to see increasing buyer traffic and signed contracts.”

“Low interest rates, affordable home prices and solid job creation are contributing to a steady housing recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “After a slow start to the year, the HMI has remained above the 50-point benchmark for five consecutive months, and we expect the momentum to continue into 2015.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components increased in November. The index gauging current sales conditions rose five points to 62, while the index measuring expectations for future sales moved up two points to 66 and the index gauging traffic of prospective buyers increased four points to 45.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose three points to 44, the South posted a four-point gain to 62, and the West edged up one point to 58. The Midwest registered a two-point loss to 57.

Editor’s Note: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index is strictly the product of NAHB Economics, and is not seen or influenced by any outside party prior to being released to the public. HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.

Source: National Association of Home Builders (NAHB, 111814)

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors

(615) 512-9836 cellular | (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com email | www.bargers-solutions.com web
kennethbargers.com blog | www.pilkertonrealtors.com web

2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

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Mortgage Rates Still Near Yearly Lows

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Mortgage Rates Still Near Yearly Lows
Daily Real Estate News | November 14, 2014

FreddieMac-LogoThe 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is hovering around 4 percent. This has been keeping borrowing costs low for refinancers and home buyers for the last few weeks, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages for mortgage rates for the week ending Nov. 13:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.01 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.02 percent. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.35 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.2 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.21 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.35 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.02 percent, with an average 0.5. point, rising from last week’s 2.97 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs averaged 2.43 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.45 percent average. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.61 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; Realtor Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News (111414)

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
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Open House this Sunday in Cane Ridge!

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October Home Sales Continue to Increase

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October Home Sales Continue to Increase
Press Release by Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® | 110614

GNAR-225x100NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 6, 2014) – There were 3,015 home closings reported for the month of October, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®. This figure is up 22 percent from the 2,469 closings reported for the same period last year.

Year-to-date closings for the Greater Nashville area have increased 6.8 percent. There were 27,957 closings, compared with 26,189 closings reported through October of last year.

“October and year-to-date figures are all up compared to the same periods last year,” said GNAR President Hagan Stone. “Given the state of our current market, the number of sales pending and the two months that remain in the year, exceeding last year’s total closings seems within reach.

“This time of year, we typically see the number of closings begin to decline. Having two consecutive months of double-digit, year-over-year increases this late in the year is unexpected, yet welcome news. Continued improvement in job growth combined with continued warmer weather is keeping buyers in the market.”

There were 2,730 sales pending at the end of the month, compared with 2,401 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 68 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during October was $205,900, and for a condominium it was $165,000. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $200,000 and $148,000, respectively.

Inventory at the end of October was 15,051, compared to 15,957 in October 2013.

“Though the holiday season can be a slow one for the real estate industry, there are still those looking to buy and sell properties,” added Stone. “In fact, holiday buyers are some of the most serious buyers in the marketplace. If you’re looking to buy or sell during the holiday season, working with a Realtor® will help you to make the most of the season.”

### The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. ###

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors

(615) 512-9836 cellular | (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com email | www.bargers-solutions.com web
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First-Time Buyers at Lowest Level in Decades

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First-Time Buyers at Lowest Level in Decades
Article by Daily Real Estate News | November 03, 2014

REALTORlogoDespite an improving job market and low interest rates, the share of first-time buyers fell to its lowest point in nearly three decades, according to an annual survey released today by the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers dates back to 1981. The average rate of first-time buyers during that time has been around four out of 10 purchases. In this year’s survey, the share of first-time buyers dropped 5 percentage points from a year ago to 33 percent, representing the lowest share since 1987 (30 percent).

“Rising rents and repaying student loan debt makes saving for a downpayment more difficult, especially for young adults who’ve experienced limited job prospects and flat wage growth since entering the workforce,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Adding more bumps in the road is that those finally in a position to buy have had to overcome low inventory levels in their price range, competition from investors, tight credit conditions and high mortgage insurance premiums.”

When asked about the primary reason for purchasing, 53 percent of first-time buyers cited a desire to own a home of their own. Most in this group say they plan to stay in their home for 10 years and they are 10 percent more likely to purchase a townhouse or a condo than repeat buyers. The median age of first-time buyers was 31, unchanged from the last two years, and the median income was $68,300 (up from $67,400 in 2013). The household composition of all buyers responding to the survey was mostly unchanged from a year ago; 65 percent were married couples, 16 percent single women, 9 percent single men, and 8 percent unmarried couples. Thirteen percent of survey respondents were multi-generational households, including adult children, parents and/or grandparents.

The typical first-time buyer purchased a 1,570 square-foot home costing $169,000. The survey also found that 47 percent of first-time buyers said the mortgage application and approval process was much more or somewhat more difficult than expected (an increase of four percent over last year). Among 23 percent of first-time buyers who said saving for a downpayment was difficult, more than half (57 percent) said student loans delayed saving, up from 54 percent a year ago.

In addition to tapping into their own savings (81 percent), first-time buyers used a variety of outside resources for their downpayment. Twenty-six percent received a gift from a friend or relative, with 6 percent receiving a loan from a relative or friend. Ten percent sold stocks or bonds, or tapped into a 401(k) fund. Ninety-three percent of entry-level buyers chose a fixed-rate mortgage, with 35 percent financing their purchase with a low-downpayment Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgage (down from 39 percent in 2013), and 9 percent using the Veterans Affairs loan program with no downpayment requirements.

“FHA premiums are too high in relation to default rates and have likely dissuaded some prospective first-time buyers from entering the market,” says Yun. “To put it in perspective, 56 percent of first-time buyers used a FHA loan in 2010. The current high mortgage insurance added to their monthly payment is likely causing some young adults to forgo taking out a loan.”

Source: “NAR Annual Survey Reveals Notable Decline in First-time Buyers,” National Association of REALTORS® (Nov. 3, 2014); Realtor Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 110414

KENNETH BARGERS, REALTOR® | Bargers Solutions real estate : marketing
a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors

(615) 512-9836 cellular | (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com email | www.bargers-solutions.com web
kennethbargers.com blog | www.pilkertonrealtors.com web

2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

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