Tax Reform Proposal Would Impact Every Single American

Tax Reform Proposal Would Dramatically Alter Housing Landscape.

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The Hottest Home Design Trends for Spring 2014

Love these colors and the coastal inspired ideas. Read more….
http://blog.realestatebook.com/2014/02/17/the-hottest-home-design-trends-for-spring/

Dryer Fires Peak in Winter

Fall and Winter are seasons of cooler temperatures, holiday parties – and dryer fires. Reports of clothes dryer fires is highest in the fall and winter months and peaks in January – the month in which ten percent of all dryer fires occurs.  An estimated 2,900 clothes dryer fires are reported to U.S. fire departments each year with a resultant $35 million in property damage.

According to fire department studies, failure to clean the vents (34 %)  was the leading factor contributing to the ignition of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.  Dust, fiber, and lint (28%) and clothing (27%) were determined to be the items first ignited in the dryer fires.

While most of the lint is trapped by the dryer’s filter, lint is also carried through the vent system along with moist air. Lint is highly combustible and can accumulate in the dryer and dryer vent.  Accumulated lint leads to reduced  airflow and poses a potential fire hazard. Other blockages in dryer exhaust vents can occur if the vent is damaged, or if small birds or other animals build nests in the vent.

What can homeowners due to prevent these occurrences? First, consider using metal ducts (flexible or solid) as a way to vent, a dryer. Metal ducts are far safer because they don’t sag, reducing lint build-up and metal ducts may contain a fire if one starts.

No matter what type of duct is used, it should be cleaned regularly, and the dryer lint screen should be removed and cleaned after each load.

What are some signs that dryer vents may be blocked and needs attention? Clothes that are taking too long to dry. clothes that smell moldy after a dry cycle, and clothes (or dryer top) are very hot to the touch. If any of these signs are present, dryer venting needs to be examined and cleaned immediately.

Source: SEC Inspection Services

Tropical Storm Isaac

 

Clearwater Beach, looking south from Pier 60.

Clearwater Beach, looking south from Pier 60. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Looks like much of Florida and the Tampa Bay Area are going to be spared by Isaac. I pray for Louisiana or wherever it makes landfall.

 

Where Are the First-time Home Buyers?

Fewer first-time home buyers are jumping into the housing market nowadays, accounting for 34 percent of all buyers in July. While that percentage has inched up slightly as of late, it still remains far from the 40 percent levels first-time home buyers generally account for in the housing market, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

With ultra low mortgage rates and high housing affordability, first-time home buyers may never have a better time to jump into the housing market. But several factors are keeping them on the sidelines.

One of the biggest obstacles? Saving for the down payment, according to recent home buyer surveys. The second-biggest hurdle cited was poor credit history, which was making it difficult for first-timers to qualify for a mortgage. A high unemployment rate among younger adults — who often make up the biggest group of first-timers — is also holding many back. Also, first-time home buyers, who need financing for their home purchase, are increasingly losing out to investors who are willing to pay entirely in cash.

Housing experts say that first-time home buyers are a critical component for a sustainable housing recovery.

“First-time buyers are vital to boosting sales, especially during downturns, since when they buy a home, they aren’t also selling a previous home to finance the purchase,” according to MarketWatch.

Source: “Fewer Home Buyers Are First-Timers,” MarketWatch (Aug. 22, 2012)

Progress Energy Strong Muscle

Progress Energy is devastating my neighborhood in Clearwater.  They are replacing wood electrical posts with concrete ones, and in the process, and “clearing the lines of the dangers of trees”

This is fine, and understandable.  However, they are not trimming  the trees, they are CUTTING THEM DOWN. All of them, small citrus trees tat would never reach the high set power lines, beautiful oak trees, palm trees that are 10 feet away from the closest power lines, they are clearing out!!

Why can’t they do like Florida Power and Light?  FPL does not devastate neighborhoods, they trim the trees away from power lines, but not Progress Energy, they simply destroy everything in their path.

There must be something we can do about this. but what? Complaints to the city and county authorities by numerous home owners have gone unheard.

Any ideas?

New Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Rule – Required Inspection

Any homes 30 years or older, will be required to have a passing 4 point inspection after September 1, 2012.  This means that any home built in 1982 or earlier, and closing after September 1st must have and pass the additional inspection.

What does 4 point inspection mean?

The 4-point means that the inspector will examine the home to make sure that it is up to code. It covers the main four points in a home:

Plumbing          Electrical          Roof        HVAC

Other insurance companies have asked for this inspection for many years, so this is not going to be a surprise for many people.