Cleaning Exhaust Fans

Cleaning Exhaust Fans
Article by Home Inspectors of Middle Tennessee LLC, January 2016 Monthly Tip

Cleaning the bathroom exhaust fan is not only a good idea, it’s good for you! How so? When the bathroom fan is clean and functioning most efficiently, it will help remove more moisture from the air, which helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew. It’s not difficult – it just takes the determination to get it done.

CleaningVents-1One way to make the job less messy is to vacuum the cover before removing it. Much of the accumulated dust will be removed rather than raining down on everything and anyone within range. In fact, vacuuming the cover every few months will go a long way towards keeping it functioning properly.

But if the job has been neglected for years, it’s time to pull the fan cover off. This can only be done once the power to the bathroom has been disconnected. The cover may come off with a gentle tug or a few screws may need to be removed first.

The exposed portion of the fan can be wiped down using a cloth or mild soap. Dry everything thoroughly. The fan should be treated gently, however, because it can be damaged by over-zealous cleaning or handling. The cover can be wiped down or set to soak for a few minutes before drying it and putting the cover back on.

CleaningVents-2While the cleaning supplies are still within reach, it might be a good time to look into cleaning the kitchen exhaust fan as well. There is often grease build-up in and around the fan and filter, and a good cleaning will reduce any potential fire hazard as well as make the fan sparkle.

Once again the power to the fan needs to be turned off and the filters removed from the hood. If the cover is removable, it can be taken down gently and set to soak in warm, sudsy water. If not, it can be wiped down with a rag or sponge. Any filters that are removable should be taken out and similarly placed in soapy water.

The fan can be removed and placed on some newspaper to allow access to the blades. The blades can be wiped down with a sponge, some ammonia and some TLC. The motor should not be exposed to water, however, and the fan should be dried when the job is finished. Once all parts are clean and dry, the fan can be reassembled and power turned back on.

CleaningVents-3Thousands of fires are sparked each year by clogged dryer ventilation and an estimated 35 million dollars in damages are caused every year by dryer fires. The dryer venting system should be cleaned regularly to prevent property damage or worse, catastrophe.

There are special brushes that are made particularly for the job. While a vacuum attachment can be used initially, all parts of the dryer vent system should also be cleaned with a special brush. These brushes work better than a vacuum attachment alone because as the brush is turned and rotated, it will separate the lint from the sides of the vents and ducts where it can be removed. Be sure to detach and clean the flexible or rigid ductwork that connects the dryer to the outdoors.

Source: John Swygert, Home Inspectors of Middle Tennessee, LLC, www.NashvilleTNHomeInspections.com; January 2016 monthly eblast tip

Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836 cellular (615) 371-2474 office kb@bargers-solutions.com email
www.bargers-solutions.com web kennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood Tennessee address

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How Did Housing Really Do in 2015?

How Did Housing Really Do in 2015?
Article by Daily Real Estate News | January 08, 2016

HouseForSaleThe housing market improved in 2015, but how close is it to finally being back to normal? Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®, weighs in on how the housing market fared last year.

Existing home sales: Existing-home sales were up 7 percent in 2015, buoyed by strong household formation (at about 1.4 million households formed in the past four quarters ending in September) and strong job growth. Distressed sales fell in 2015, as did sales to investors, international buyers, and second-home buyers, Smoke notes.

Home prices: Home prices edged up 5 percent to 7 percent nationwide in 2015. “Such appreciation helped owners see substantial gains in equity,” Smoke writes. “Home values are close to being fully recovered nationally.”

But the level of price appreciation is above a normal rate, mostly due to an imbalance in the number of homes for-sale and high demand.

New-home construction: New-home sales were up 13 percent in 2015. Most of the growth in new-home construction in 2015, however, was centered in apartment building rather than single-family homes.

“Even with more than 20% growth in total new construction, we will have created only a net new 900,000 housing units, which is less than 65 percent of the new households we created,” Smoke notes.

Rental market: Many of the new households forming are renters. Apartment vacancies are at multi-year lows, and rents are rising sharply. That is worrisome, Smoke says, because “when renting households are so burdened by making rent payments, they’re less able to save up to own.”

Nevertheless, affordability, overall, remained strong by the end of 2015, despite the higher home prices.

“Looking across the national housing landscape, the housing market has stronger fundamentals now than one year ago,” Smoke says. “However, we need new construction to keep up with the household formations driven by demographics and healthy job creation. We need more affordable housing to decrease the impact of burdensome rents. And we need expanded, risk-appropriate access to credit to help households that can afford to buy.”

Source: “The Housing State of the Union: We’re Back, Baby!” realtor.com® (Jan. 7, 2016); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 010816

Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836 cellular (615) 371-2474 office kb@bargers-solutions.com email
www.bargers-solutions.com web kennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood Tennessee address

Need a home? visit Search for Properties
Do you need marketing assistance for special projects or contract assignments? visit the Marketing page of Bargers Solutions

December Home Sales Best in Nearly a Decade for Greater Nashville

December Home Sales Best in Nearly a Decade for Greater Nashville
Press Release by Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® | January 7, 2016

GNAR-225x100NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2016) – There were 3,194 closings during the month of December, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®. This is a 12.5 percent increase from the 2,838 closings reported for the same period in 2014.

Fourth quarter closings are 8,621 for Greater Nashville. That total is a 3.5 percent increase from the 8,327 closings during the fourth quarter of 2014.

Final numbers for 2015 show there were 36,873 homes sold in the region. Compared to the 33,269 closings in 2014, the final closing numbers are up 10.8 percent.

“December proved to be a strong month for home sales in the Nashville area. This marks the strongest December home sales our area has experienced since closing 3,109 units in 2006,” said GNAR President Denise Creswell. “The number of pending sales is a good indicator for January. This is also the highest number of pending units, over 2,600, we have seen since 2006.”

“It has been nearly a decade since our real estate market has seen this much activity and positive growth,” said Creswell. “We ended 2015 with 36,873 units closed. Again, that’s the most annual closings we have had since 2006. Staying on a sustainable growth track, coupled with continued good reports on the economy and job market should make this year another successful and favorable one for both current and potential homeowners.”

There were 2,678 sales pending at the end of December, compared with 2,458 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 61 days.

The median price for both residential properties and condominiums increased during December. For a single-family home it was $242,945, and for a condominium it was $194,183. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $213,500 and $172,999, respectively.

Inventory at the end of December was 10,846, down from 12,093 in December 2014.

“Many of the factors necessary for healthy real estate markets are set to continue in 2016, including consumer confidence in both the economy and homeownership,” said Creswell. “For those desiring to get the most out of a purchase or sale this year, now is the time to make that move. Getting ahead of the spring rush gives buyers and sellers a definite inventory advantage. There are many equipped Realtors in Middle Tennessee ready to assist you with your real estate transactions this year.”

### 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. ###

Source: GNAR Press Release 010716

Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836 cellular (615) 371-2474 office kb@bargers-solutions.com email
www.bargers-solutions.com web kennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood Tennessee address

Need a home? visit Search for Properties
Do you need marketing assistance for special projects or contract assignments? visit the Marketing page of Bargers Solutions

Unleash Your Home’s Storage Potential

Jan2016-eblast-KB

Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836 cellular (615) 371-2474 office kb@bargers-solutions.com email
www.bargers-solutions.com web kennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood Tennessee address

Need a home? visit Search for Properties
Do you need marketing assistance for special projects or contract assignments? visit the Marketing page of Bargers Solutions

Atlas Updates 2015 Migration Patterns; TN Remains Inbound State

2015 Migration Patterns

2015 Migration Patterns by Atlas Van Lines

Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836 cellular (615) 371-2474 office kb@bargers-solutions.com email
www.bargers-solutions.com web kennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood Tennessee address

Need a home? visit Search for Properties
Do you need marketing assistance for special projects or contract assignments? visit the Marketing page of Bargers Solutions

Is it an End to Mortgage Rates Under 4%?

Is it an End to Mortgage Rates Under 4%?
Article by Daily Real Estate News | January 04, 2016

FreddieMac-LogoThe 30-year fixed-rate mortgage finished out 2015 breaking above the 4 percent mark. It was the first time in five months the rate edged above 4 percent.

“In the final week of 2015, Treasury yields jumped reacting in part to strong consumer confidence in December,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “In response, the 30-year mortgage rate rose 5 basis points to 4.01 percent, ending a five-month span below 4 percent. After averaging 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, we expect the 30-year mortgage rate to average 4.7 percent for the fourth quarter of 2016.”

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 31, 2015:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.01 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from the previous week’s 3.96 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.87 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.24 percent, with an average 0.6 point, increasing from 3.22 percent the previous week. A year ago at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.15 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.08 percent, with an average 0.4 point, up from 3.06 percent the previous week. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.68 percent, with an average 0.2 point, holding the same as last week. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.40 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 010416

Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
(615) 512-9836 cellular (615) 371-2474 office kb@bargers-solutions.com email
www.bargers-solutions.com web kennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood Tennessee address

Need a home? visit Search for Properties
Do you need marketing assistance for special projects or contract assignments? visit the Marketing page of Bargers Solutions