Fall garden fix-its now save problems next spring | Katonah Real Estate

Here’s what you DON’T want to say next spring: “I wish I’d taken care of that in the fall!” To avoid giving yourself a dope-slap a few months from now, follow this fall fix-it checklist.

The last of the leaves – Promise yourself not to put away the rake and the leaf blower until all the leaves have fallen from your trees. It’s tempting to allow the final leaves to form a carpet over your lawn, but even though grass “rests” over the winter, it still reaps benefits from sunlight. A final raking now will pay dividends in the spring when your lawn comes back fresh, green and perky.

Buzz cut – Okay, the lawn doesn’t need that “jar head” look, but a final trim is a good idea. Set the blades to cut the grass to a height of 1.5″ to 2″. While you’re at it – and if the rake is still handy and your back can stand it – rake off that dry tangle of “thatch” one last time.

Can’t take no mow – When you decide you’ve run the mower for the last time, carry out a few maintenance must-do’s before you put it to bed. Run the engine until the gas tank is empty. Why? Because gasoline that is allowed to sit in your mower over the winter will become gummy, making it much harder to start in the spring. Slightly less important but still a good idea: drain the oil reservoir and fill with fresh oil.

Getting pruney – If your deciduous trees and fall flowering shrubs are beginning to get out of hand, now is a good time to prune them, if you haven’t done so already. It’s better not to prune evergreens or spring-flowering plants in the fall.

It’s for the birds – Don’t leave it too late to hang your bird feeders and get them filled with seed. Establish your yard as a feeding station early in the season and you’ll enjoy flying visitors all winter. If you’re using an established feeder, be sure to clean it out thoroughly before filling. Mold and debris need to be completely removed to avoid contaminating the new chow. There are some excellent bird feeders available now, if you’re in the market for a new one.

Put away the toys – If you love gardening and landscaping, then tools are your toys. Admit it: you treat yourself to a new one from time to time! It’s just about time to put the tools away until the spring, but before you do, take a few minutes to give them the once over. Knock off crusted dirt and wipe clean. Using a cloth, lightly coat the metal parts with vegetable oil and wooden handles with linseed oil. A good tip: Thoroughly wipe the handles afterwards to prevent them getting sticky during the winter. I found a really comprehensive online article with full details on cleaning and caring for every type of garden tool. The site is http://www.bmi.net/roseguy/gtcare.html. 

Avoid the hose-cicle! – Don’t forget the garden hose. Disconnect it from the spigot and try to drain out as much water from the hose as possible. Water expands when it freezes, and your hose is likely to split if you leave it outside with water still in it. Ideally, put your hose on a reel and store it in a garage or shed. Once under cover, hanging the hose reel on the wall or placing it on a bench is preferable to leaving it on the floor.

 

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https://www.greenwoodnursery.com/7-fall-garden-fix-its-now-save-problems-next-spring?utm_source=newsletter%2012/01&utm_content=fix%20it%20article

Senate tax reform bill | Waccabuc Real Estate

Earlier this week the Senate jumped into the fray, releasing its own proposal for tax reform. The Senate’s proposal, much like the House bill, which we looked at last week, creates significant headwinds for homeowners and homebuyers, while providing only a temporary cut for middle class homeowners.

What Stays the Same?

Like the House bill, the Senate chose to change the definition for capital gains so that a home seller must have lived in their home for at least five of the prior 8 years. This change would affect 12% to 22% of home sellers, locking in some inventory and potentially changing the trade-up purchase process.

The Senate also proposed to eliminate personal exemptions as the House did, but they chose to increase the child credit to $2000 per child. This latter change is more generous than the House’s $1,600 credit per child and $300 for each parent.

Pouring SALT in the Wound

Unlike the House bill, the Senate chose to eliminate all state and local taxes (SALT) including state and local income and sales taxes as well as state and local real estate taxes. This change will make it more difficult for homeowners to itemize their mortgage interest and when they do, they will face a much lower benefit from homeownership. In a perverse way, only those who can afford very expensive homes will be able to benefit from the real estate provisions of the tax code.

Tax Reform - Standard Deduction vs Itemize on a Home Purchase in Illinois

The generous $24,000 standard deduction for couples who are renter or owners provides little support for renters who move to ownership nor does it guarantee that tax cuts today will be utilized to boost housing affordability in the future. Worse, when this provision expires in 8 years, both groups will be worse off.

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

Most forecasts are for home prices and mortgage rates to rise in the coming years. The chart below shows how the proposals from the House and Senate compare with current law. The orange bars depict the difference between the Senate proposal and current law. A home buying family of four with an income of $100,000 or less would see a gain, while upper-middle income buyers would face a tax hike. However, in 5 years1 that tax cut would disappear for nearly all middle-income homebuyers as mortgage rates and prices rise (red bars). Finally, after 8 years, the tax cuts and enhanced standard deduction both expire letting virtually no buyers benefit under the plan (dark blue bars).

Chart Comparing Tax Plans for a Family of Four Over Time: Current vs Proposed

The Senate’s proposal reflects many new changes, but retains many facets of the House proposal. While some changes help middle class homeowners today, it appears that the changes quickly wear out and are worse in the future.

 

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https://www.nar.realtor/washington-report/senate-takes-a-stab-at-tax-reform?om_rid=AAAAAA&om_mid=&om_ntype=NARWeekly&om_rid=AACWMk&om_mid=_BaFb17B9iRicam&om_ntype=NARWeekly

SantaCon is back | South Salem Real Estate

Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Get ready, New Yorkers: SantaCon is about to flood streets (and bars) of New York once again. If you live under a rock and haven’t seen or heard of SantaCon, it’s that one time of year where flocks of Santa and elf impersonators embark on a festive bar crawl, making a booze-fueled scene through the city that you’ll find either amusing or annoying to watch. It all goes down this Saturday, December 9.

Update: The SantaCon organizers have announced the locations for this year’s event, and as predicted, it’ll be concentrated in Manhattan—namely in Midtown and down to the East Village. The festivities will kick off at the James A. Farley Post Office across from Penn Station (of course) at 10 a.m., and things will continue on from there.

If you’re looking to participate, we recommend keeping an eye on SantaCon’s official website and Twitterpage for more details.

But if you want to avoid the whole thing (and something tells us that if you’re reading this, you do), we have a few tips along with some alternatives that don’t involve being around a swarm of drunken Santas gallivanting around.

Stay in the outer boroughs. There’s less of a risk of running into any hordes of Santas in the outer boroughs. Though we do recommend staying away from neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick, since they’re a little to close to Manhattan for comfort.

Avoid going through Midtown if at all possible. Bars on the SantaCon route tend to span much of Midtown, so if you had plans in the area, maybe save it for Sunday. This includes riding the subway through the area. Nowhere is safe from Santas.

Get the heck out of town. There are likely to be some bridge-and-tunnel Santas coming in on the LIRR or Metro-North—both of which have imposed alcohol bans on Saturday, along with the New Jersey Transit, who is imposing a ban on all liquid beverages. If you’re going in the opposite direction of Manhattan, you should be safe.

And 5 fun things to do that are far away from SantaCon:

Check out local artwork in the Bronx. The Poe Park Visitor Center will be hosting its fifth annual Whimsical Winter Wonder… Exhibition, where you can catch artwork from over a dozen established and upcoming local artists.

Head on over to a Winter Wonderland. Enjoy an afternoon filled with crafts, hot chocolate, and a trackless train as part of Winter Wonderland, happening at Brookville Park in Queens.

Go dancing on a vintage train. The New York Transit Museum will invite revelers onto the vintage subway cars for a swing-themed dance party. The Nostalgia Swing Train will travel from Second Avenue to the museum’s Downtown Brooklyn location, where the party will continue. Costumes—of the non-Santa, ’40s-inspired variety—are encouraged.

Learn how to make a holiday wreath. Have an itch to learn how to make your own holiday wreaths? If so, here is your chance. Horticulturist and landscape designer Wambui Ippolito will be conducting a workshop at Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Admission is $75 and includes all materials.

Embark on an adventure at the Bronx Zoo. If you really want to do something out of the ordinary, make your way to the Bronx Zoo and check out their Treetop Adventure center where you can climb across various obstacle courses and enjoy two zipline adventures.

read more…

 

https://ny.curbed.com/2017/12/7/16746960/santacon-nyc-bar-crawl-things-to-do-instead-2017?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20NY%2012817&utm_content=Curbed%20NY%2012817+CID_9a896da07626ffcb06d560bca24fea40&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=SantaCon%20is%20back%20Where%20it%20will%20be%20and%20where%20you%20should%20go%20instead

Home prices rising rapidly | Cross River Real Estate

For the 15th consecutive month, US home values have increased by at least 6%, according to Zillow’s October housing market report.

That’s double the annual rate of appreciation of a “normal” market, says Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

Compared to October 2016, the median home in the US gained $12,500 in value as housing inventory remains low and demand surges. What’s more, in over half of the country’s largest metros, homes are worth more than they were before the recession.

“We are in the midst of an inventory crisis that shows no signs of waning, impacting potential buyers all across the country,” Gudell said.

“Home values are growing at a historically fast pace, and those potential buyers want to get in the market while they still can,” she continued. “But with homes gaining so much value in just one year, buyers – especially first-time buyers – have to set aside more and more money for a down payment just to keep up with them.”

Some West Coast markets have seen huge gains. The median home value in San Jose rose 12.3%, or $118,200, since last October, according to Zillow. San Jose’s median home value is up to $1.08 million.

In Seattle, the metro with the second-biggest gains, home values rose 11.7% year-over-year to$457,700.

Ultimately though, lower-valued homes nationwide are experiencing the largest increase in value, according to Zillow, gaining 8.4% over the last year. The median for homes valued in the bottom third of all homes nationwide is now $118,200. Meanwhile, the typical home value in the top-third rose only 3.8%, to $358,900.

 

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https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/home-prices-america-increasing-double-130000739.html

US building permits up | Katonah Real Estate

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits grew 5.9 percent in October to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,297K. This is the strongest number since January. Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 839K; this is 1.9 percent above the revised September figure of 823K. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 416K in October, 13.4 percent above September figure of 367K. Building Permits in the United States averaged 1356.10 Thousand from 1960 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 2419 Thousand in December of 1972 and a record low of 513 Thousand in March of 2009.

United States Building Permits
Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2017-10-18 12:30 PM Building Permits 1215K 1272K 1245K 1190K
2017-11-17 01:30 PM Building Permits MoM 5.9% -3.7% 2.0% 2%
2017-11-17 01:30 PM Building Permits 1297K 1225K 1240K 1245K
2017-12-19 01:30 PM Building Permits MoM 5.9%
2017-12-19 01:30 PM Building Permits 1297K  

 

Building Permits refer to the approvals given by a local jurisdictions before the construction of a new or existing building can legally occur. Not all areas of the United States require a permit for construction. This page provides the latest reported value for – United States Building Permits – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Building Permits – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on November of 2017

 

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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/building-permits

Gifts for the new home owner | Bedford Real Estate

If someone on your list has just purchased their first home, there are all kinds of gifts that can make being a homeowner easier. Find the perfect gift for that new homeowner in our gift guide here!

A Shop Vacuum with Features Galore

A Shop Vacuum with Features Galore

Our editors here at TFH are great, but they can be messy. And I should know—I’m in charge of keeping our shop and studio clean. I run a wet/dry vacuum nearly every day, so I was pretty excited about the new 14-gallon Shop-Vac we just got. It has a flexible, crush-resistant hose and a hose storage system that actually works. Its 20-ft. cord is plenty long, and it has a hose accessory storage system that, again, actually works.The canister is clear, so you know when it needs emptying, and the kickstand holds the lid up, so you can change the filter without dragging dust all over the place. But I love the wheels best of all. This thing glides across the floor like a curling stone across the ice.

This new Shop-Vac (model No. 8891411) is available at Lowe’s for $199.

Josh Risberg, Lead Carpenter

It's a Utility Light, Lantern, Flashlight and More...

It’s a Utility Light, Lantern, Flashlight and More…

Here’s another product we received that initially elicited a shoulder shrug, this time from our senior editor, Travis Larson. His reaction changed once he started playing with it: ‘Hey, it can work as a flashlight or a lantern. Cool, it’s rechargeable and the cord stays attached so it doesn’t get lost. Wow, you can charge your phone with this thing. Neat, it has a magnet on the bottom as well as a hook.’ Needless to say, he was impressed.You can buy the Cat brand CT6515 Rechargeable Utility Light/Lantern for about $45 at some home centers, hardware stores and online retailers. You can also find them at truck stops (truckers love them). Turn on that light bulb thought bubble of yours with other work light solutions.

A Toilet Plunger to Love

A Toilet Plunger to Love

The basic plunger design hasn’t changed much in 100 years, but that’s not because there wasn’t room for improvement. Witness the Korky Beehive Max Toilet Plunger.First of all, the pliable rubber creates a better seal, so it clears clogs with no splash-back. Plus, more and more toilets have keyhole-shape rather than round discharge openings. Unlike conventional plungers, the Beehive reshapes itself to those keyholes, which also improves the seal.

Unlike many plungers, the water drains instantly because there’s no recess or lip to hold water or worse. The little T-handle at the top is a nice touch too. All of that plunging bliss will set you back only 14 bucks at The Home Depot.

Or if you’re toilet is running, find the fix for it.

One for All

One for All

Wandered down the caulking aisle in a home center lately? There are a dozen different construction adhesives to choose from: dedicated adhesives for masonry, wood, foam, decking, paneling, marble, mirrors, drywall—you name it. Multipurpose adhesives are available, which is great, but wouldn’t an all- purpose adhesive be even better?That’s exactly what Gorilla Construction Adhesive is: all-purpose and all-surface. It takes hold in as little as 30 seconds and works indoors and out. Buy a 9-oz. tube of Gorilla Construction Adhesive for $8 at a home center or hardware store.

Check out construction adhesives that won’t drool.

Traveling Doorbell

Traveling Doorbell

The Honeywell Wireless Doorbell Kit has six high-quality chimes to choose from, the volume is adjustable, and more than one doorbell and button can be used together. But what we love most is the fact that it can be lifted from the wall mount and brought with you into your shop, out in the backyard or wherever. So if you’re waiting on a pizza delivery or the cable guy, you don’t have to stay chained up inside the house. It has a 225-ft. range and a flashing icon to alert you in case you’re working with headphones.Learn to replace an exterior door if you want to upgrade your home.

Smarter Smart Bulbs

Smarter Smart Bulbs

The new line of LED lightbulbs from GE, simply called ‘C,’ can be directly controlled with a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth ? no central hub necessary. There are two types of bulbs in the ‘C’ line: The ‘C Life’ is an all-purpose light perfect for the kitchen, living room or office. The ‘C Sleep’ bulb has been designed to support the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which can help you sleep more soundly. It emits a traditional soft light for the day; a warm, calming light before bedtime; and a crisp, energizing light in the morning. Using an app, the lights can be dimmed and set to a timer as a group or individually. When run for three hours a day, the bulbs should last 20 years!You can start thinking about replacing lights in your new workshop area with LED lights.

Fast Fix for Pet Stains

Fast Fix for Pet Stains

I have a dog, a cat and carpeting, which is why the Bissell SpotBot is the best Internet purchase I’ve ever made. The SpotBot is a hands-free spot and stain cleaner. The coolest part about this thing is that it does all the work for you. Just fill it full of water and cleaning solution, park it over the stain, push the start button and walk away. It automatically squirts the special cleaner into the carpet, scrubs with a rotary brush, and rinses and sucks up all the mess. When it shuts itself off, the stain is gone, and I just empty the reservoir into the toilet. I love this thing! Search for the SpotBot 33N8A online or buy it at discount stores for $130.Be sure to have these pet cleaning tips in your backpocket as well.

Sam Larson, Field Editor

Eliminate Stinky Gasoline Smells

Eliminate Stinky Gasoline Smells

I actually love the smell of gasoline? except when it’s on me. If I spill a little on my hands when I’m at the pump or fueling my lawn mower, I have to wash right away. But even after a wash or two, the smell seems to stay with me for hours. Not long ago, I replaced the carb on my snow blower and my hand got soaked with fuel. Later that day, I was in my local home center sporting a powerful eau de petrol when I came across Gas Off wipes by Briggs & Stratton. I opened the package right then and there, and by the time I reached the checkout my hands smelled like fresh linen. On my next trip to the store, I bought another pack to keep in my truck. I bought the 15-wipe pack for $5, but Gas Off is also available in single packs and in 8-oz. spray bottles.Find out how to properly store gasoline.

Josh Risberg, Set Builder

Dissolve Mortar Like Magic

Dissolve Mortar Like Magic

When you’re pouring concrete near a house, it’s not uncommon for a bit to splash up onto the siding, garage door or window. It’s not a big deal if it gets washed off right away, but woe unto you if you let it dry. Removing cured concrete requires harsh chemicals or a whole lot of scrubbing and scraping.Sakrete has come to the rescue with a product called Concrete Mortar Dissolver. Just spray it on and watch concrete or mortar dissolve. Thick messes will take a couple applications, but it really works. We tried it on some vinyl siding, and it performed as advertised. The best part is that it’s safe; safe enough to apply without gloves. It also won’t harm sensitive surfaces like auto paint. Some pro masons use it to clean their tools. Visit a hardware store to buy a bottle for $13, or locate a retailer at sakrete.com.

Find out how to repair motar joints.

HDPE, a Fast and Maintenance-Free Storage Solution

HDPE, a Fast and Maintenance-Free Storage Solution

High-density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) is tough, lightweight and weather resistant. It won’t rot and never needs paint. If those qualities sound good to you and you need a fast storage solution, consider an HDPE shed.The 7×7 Rubbermaid Big Max storage shed shown here is big enough to store yard and garden tools, a pressure washer and a snow blower. And the sturdy floor can easily handle the weight of a riding lawn mower.

In just a few hours, and with the help of a buddy (who probably owes you anyway), you can build this maintenance-free shed. Assembly requires only a couple ladders, a few simple hand tools and afterward perhaps a cold beverage or two. The hardest part might be creating a flat spot in your yard.

The Big Max has lockable doors, and the HDPE panels are rugged enough to resist those wayward baseballs from the neighbor kid. It’s available at Home Depot and other retailers for about $600.

Find out how to fit everything into your shed.

Efficient Bike Storage

Efficient Bike Storage

Hanging bicycles from the rafters is a great way to save garage space. But even hanging bikes can take up a bunch of room. Here’s a cool space-saving product that puts a new twist on the humble bike hook. The Saris Cycle Glide is a system of hooks mounted on glides. Once the bikes are on the hooks, they can be slid closer to the wall on the glides that mount perpendicular to the wall. And because the hooks slide back and forth on the lower set of glides, the bikes can be nestled neatly together, taking up a lot less space.This system also makes it easier to take down the bikes when they’re hanging over a parked car, a boat or a big mess like in my garage. That’s because you can pull or push the bikes clear of the obstruction before you lower it. I’ve been using mine for almost a year now, and I love it. You can buy a Saris Cycle Glide for $245 at bike stores or online.

If this style isn’t to your liking check out other bike storage ideas.

Jeff Gorton, Associate Editor

A Better Toilet Paper Holder

A Better Toilet Paper Holder

My wife recently brought home a pivoting toilet paper holder, which reaffirmed my long-held belief that it’s the little things in life that make us happy. The holder has a pivoting arm that lifts up but stays attached. That means no more chasing spring-loaded rollers around the bathroom floor. Buy this type of paper holder, made by a variety of manufacturers, at home centers or online. The Moen model we bought cost $26 at Home Depot.If you’re having problems with your toilet flushing, check out our repair tips.

Mark Petersen, Associate Editor

Magnetic Showerhead

Magnetic Showerhead

The Moen Magnetix handheld shower is secured to the shower arm with a magnet rather than a clip. That’s quick and slick for me, but even better for my daughter, who can’t reach quite high enough to remove a standard shower wand. Aside from allowing her to shower ‘like a grown-up,’ the Magnetix line offers adjustable spray patterns and water-saving engineering. We’ve had ours for a year and wouldn’t give it up. Magnetix handheld showers are available in stores and online, starting at about $65.Keep your showerhead clean for a strong flow.

Gary Wentz, Editor-in-Chief

Snap-On USB Outlets

Snap-On USB Outlets

This outlet cover plate with a built-in USB charger is as easy to install as a regular cover plate. You just shut down the power, unscrew the old plate and screw on the new one. No receptacle replacement required. The USB port gets its power from two prongs that contact the screws on the sides of the receptacle.Step up your technology game but updating your home with smart appliances.

Good-bye, Funnels

Good-bye, Funnels

Sure, a funnel works great at keeping fluids from spilling all over, but when you’re done pouring and pull it out of the hole, the fluid leftover in the funnel drips all over the place. I use this Hopkins FloTool On-Off Refill Spout (No. 10101) to keep that from happening. I have one on my windshield washer fluid and antifreeze containers and one on my gallon jug of chain saw bar oil. There’s no mess and no cap to fumble around with?just twist and pour.Hopkins FloTool also makes a Spill Saver Oil Spout (No. 10107) that fits quarts of oil. I’m not sure I know where my funnels are anymore.

Checkout a flexible funnel for working on vehicles and lawn mowers.

Mark Petersen, Associate Editor

The Only Tool Set You Need

The Only Tool Set You Need

You probably don’t have a complete set of sockets and wrenches in your tool bag or the emergency vehicle kit under your truck seat. And you don’t have to if it contains the new Crescent Pass-Thru Adjustable Wrench Set. This compact tool kit features 10 spline-style sockets that work with hex, square and external Torx fasteners, from 10mm to 19mm and 3/8 to 23/32 in.The pass-through sockets fit over protruding bolt threads and nuts mounted on studs, eliminating the need to carry deep sockets. For more grabbing power, simply replace the smooth jaw with the serrated side, and you’ve got yourself a pipe wrench, perfect for stripped bolt heads and pipes up to 1 in. You can purchase the kit at The Home Depot and other retailers.

Learn some tricks to loosen nuts, bolts and screws that are tricky.

 

Temporary wallpaper

Temporary wallpaper

Creating an accent wall with a stylish wallpaper is a great way to update a room, but it’s amazing how fast ‘trendy’ can become just plain weird. And if you’ve ever had to remove stubbornly stuck wallpaper, you won’t want to repeat the experience.Enter Tempaper, a removable wallpaper that sticks to any smooth, painted or primed surface. When you’re tired of the pattern or you’re trying to sell your house without frightening prospective buyers, simply peel it off. It won’t damage the drywall or leave messy glue behind. It’s also a perfect option for apartment residents who want to decorate without losing their damage deposit. One roll costs $35 to $125. Check out the 90 patterns and watch the installation video at tempaperdesigns.com.

Learn how to remove wallpaper if there’s some in your new house you don’t like.

Better Than a Broom

Better Than a Broom

Construction projects create an abundance of all sorts of filth: sawdust, insulation fibers, drywall dust, shingle grit, dirt. It’s everywhere. Sure, you’ll always have to keep a broom and dustpan in your truck, but consider adding a blower to your cleaning arsenal. It’s great for clearing floors during rough framing, blowing shingle grit or slippery sawdust off a roof, cleaning up that miter saw before packing up, blowing out the inside of your work truck…you could even use it to dust yourself off before heading home for the day.

If you’re already running the Milwaukee’s M18 battery platform, check out the new M18 Compact Blower. It has three speed settings, a max airflow of 100 cfm and air speeds up to 160 mph!

Monitor Your Grill From Your Smartphone or Tablet

Monitor Your Grill From Your Smartphone or Tablet

It’s billed as a grilling thermometer, but it works in your kitchen oven as well. The iGrill2 comes with a controller and two temperature probes but will accept up to four (additional probes are sold separately), so you can track the temperatures of different food items that you’re grilling at the same time. Or use one of the probes to remotely track the temperature inside the grill when you’re slow roasting, smoking or using the rotisserie.Just download the app for your Apple or Android phone. Then insert the probes into the chow and route the cables so they won’t be exposed to flames. Set the app for the desired temperature and activate the alarm. Then walk away. Monitor the progress on your phone from up to 150 ft. The iGrill2 app will let you know when you’ve reached the set temperature. Buy the iGrill2 and accessories from the manufacturer, online stores and discount stores.

Know how to tune up your grill before you fire up.

Super-Fast Wi-Fi Router

Super-Fast Wi-Fi Router

If you’re into wireless home video streaming or gaming, or home automation, you need a Wi-Fi router with the best range and fastest speed. Most Wi-Fi routers have a hard time delivering all the available bandwidth when multiple users are online. That’s because they deliver data to only one device at a time. So everyone’s speed is based on the speed of the oldest and slowest device in use at the time. The Netgear Nighthawk X6 Tri-Band Wireless Router solves that problem by adding an extra traffic lane. When the router sees a slowpoke device come online, it diverts the faster devices to the new traffic lane, so everybody gets the fastest possible speed.The Nighthawk router also uses six antennas and Beamforming software to locate and direct the signal toward each device. Together with a fast dual-core processor and a powerful amplifier, this Wi-Fi router gets you the strongest signal at almost every spot in your house.

Find out other ways to get faster internet for your wireless network.

Control Your Tools With Your Phone

Control Your Tools With Your Phone

Milwaukee’s ONE-KEY line of tools is a new generation of ‘connected tools’ that can be programmed to suit the job.Let’s say you’re installing metal vent using self-drilling screws. Just use the Milwaukee app to find the setting for the gauge and type of metal and the size of the screw. Then program the drill or impact driver using your phone’s Bluetooth. When you squeeze the trigger, the tool will start at a low rpm to prevent the tip from walking across the metal. The electronic torque monitoring senses when the screw bites in and boosts the speed to drive the screw in. Then it’ll slow down and cut off power when the screw reaches the programmed torque—all with a single trigger pull.

The ONE-KEY system also has an inventory management and tool reporting feature for pros to keep track of tools and monitor their workers’ productivity.

Find some handy apps for DIY work.

Vacuum Dustpan Saves Your Back

Vacuum Dustpan Saves Your Back

You may think this Crowley Jones EV1850 Eye-Vac Pro Electric Dustpan represents the ultimate in laziness. But if you have back issues, this smart vacuum/dustpan is for you. Just set the unit to automatic mode and sweep the debris toward it. The motion sensor detects when your broom is within range and starts up the vacuum. Aim the dirt pile toward the suction port and the vacuum will suck it up. If you have pets, they may activate the motion detector when they walk by. That’s why there’s a switched manual mode to activate the vacuum.Discover vacuum attachment uses for dust collection in the workshop.

Affordable Inspection Cameras

Affordable Inspection Cameras

Not so long ago, video borescopes were for pros only—nobody else could justify the high cost. But over the past couple of years, many manufacturers have jumped into the market with reasonably priced models. So peeking inside walls, appliances and engine compartments isn’t just for pros anymore.The model shown (the General Tools iBorescope) is unique: Instead of having a small video screen mounted on the tool, it sends a wireless signal to your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. Visit the manufacturer’s site to learn more, purchase it or check out other models. To shop for other brands, search for ‘borescope’ or ‘inspection camera.’

Investigate how to home inspect.

Automatic Water Shutoff

Automatic Water Shutoff

A little leak can lead to huge costs and headaches. That’s why there are water shutoff systems like the WaterCop control valve. Install it right after your main shutoff valve, then locate water sensors (sold separately) near the most likely leaks (water heater, toilets, dishwasher, etc.). If a sensor detects water, it wirelessly signals the valve to shut off. You can also install a temperature sensor that shuts off the water when indoor temperatures fall to 38 degrees F. That won’t prevent the pipes from bursting if they freeze, but it will prevent a flood. Visit the manufacturer’s site for more information.Find you water main and gas shut off when you move in to a first home or new home.

URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight

URPOWER 2-in-1 Waterproof 4 LED Solar Spotlight

These solar lights are a great addition to any home and can be helpful for new homeowner eager to show off their backyard patio into the evening. These lights are powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and can light up to six to nine hours once fully charged.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Akro-Mils Hardware and Craft Cabinet

Akro-Mils Hardware and Craft Cabinet

A cabinet like this can meet the needs for a lot of items including hardware and crafts. This model is 20 inches by 16 inches and has 36 drawers to store all sorts of goods. The drawers can be rearranged and the unit can be mounted all the wall. Check it out at Amazon for about $32.If you anticipate storage issues as you look for a house, check out some of these storage solutions.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy

The American Red Cross Blackout Buddy

In the event of a blackout, the American Red Cross has a device that will ease your worries. The Blackout Buddy is an emergency LED flashlight, blackout alert and nightlight all rolled into one. It can be used as a flashlight at any time and its battery will run for up to four ours. It lights up automatically in the event of a power outage. You can pick up two for around $20 at Amazon.Check out tips to survive a blackout as well.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe

SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe

Give new homeowners piece of mind that important papers will be safe in case of an emergency. The SentrySafe Fire and Water Safe offers advanced fire protection, it’s verified at 1,550 degrees F for a 1/2 hour. It’s also water resistant and tested up to 72 hours of water submersion. The safe also comes with an after fire replacement guarantee that SentrySafe will replace your fire resistant safe following a fire. Check it out at Amazon.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

AccuSharp Knife Sharpener

AccuSharp Knife Sharpener

A knife sharpener can be an overlooked item for new homeowners until they suddenly discover that recently purchased knife set no longer cuts as well as it used to slice and dice. Nip it in the bud buy buying a knife sharpener like this one from AccuSharp. For $9.95 you might look like a cheapskate but who are the new homeowners going to think of every time they have to sharpen a knife to prepare a meal?Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Post Protector

Post Protector

Lawn mowers and string trimmers can really beat up the bottom of wooden fence and mailbox posts. And that exposed bare wood can deteriorate faster and attract hungry insects. Now you can protect your 4×4 posts (3-1/2 x 3-1/2 in. actual size) with Post Shield rugged plastic sleeves. If your posts have already taken a beating, you can use the sleeves to cover the damage.The four pieces are easy to install and are available in black, white and bronze. The sleeves are sold individually or in a package of six.

Photos: Post Shield

Gas Can That's Easy to Use

Gas Can That’s Easy to Use

When gas container safety regulations changed in 2009, many gas-can manufacturers produced nozzle mechanisms that were anything but user-friendly. But fortunately for consumers, the folks at No-Spill came up with a gas container that meets the new standards, is easy to use and includes features you’ve always wanted in a gas can.First, the can has an auto-stop nozzle. Just lower the nozzle into your lawn mower tank and press the button. The flow stops when the tank is full. No more gas spills. Brilliant! And the nozzle is self-venting, so the tank fills much faster and without the gurgle-gurgle of other cans. Plus, no more guessing how much gas is left in the can. You can see the level through the viewing stripes on the container.

The No-Spill can is available in 1.25-, 2.5- and 5-gallon sizes.

Mountain-Climbing Mower

Mountain-Climbing Mower

Self-propelled mowers handle gentle slopes just fine. But if your yard has some serious inclines, you’ve probably experienced this: The mower climbs partway up the hill then slows to a crawl as the tires dig in and chew up your turf.Husqvarna’s HU800AWD solves this problem the same way your SUV does: with four-wheel drive (or ‘all-wheel drive,’ as they call it). Aside from hill-climbing traction, this 22-in. self-propelled gas mower has a powerful 190cc Honda engine and variable drive speed. There’s a water port for easy cleaning—you just hook up your garden hose and start the engine to blast-clean the underside of the deck.

 

Worx Aerocart

Worx Aerocart

The Worx Aerocart manages to achieve several nearly impossible goals. It’s a powerful two-wheel wheelbarrow with enough strength to carry 200 pounds. Its highly advanced design helps to automatically center the load, making it easier to haul. You can also convert it to a dolly, add an accessory for hauling chopped wood and extend an arm to carry odd-shaped objects. This wheelbarrow will come in handy for almost any landscaping job.Plus: Easy Garage Storage Solutions

Photo courtesy The Home Depot

No More Knots

No More Knots

Ropes work great to secure tarps, but tying secure knots with the right tension can be tricky. The CamJams from Nite Ize have come to the rescue. Now all you have to do is anchor one end of the cord, run the other end through the CamJam; clip the CamJam to a grommet, and pull the cord—nothing could be easier!

FOM Tablet Stand

FOM Tablet Stand

Find a place to rest that tablet with the FOM Tablet Stand. The pillow will fit a tablet perfect and let anyone relax with their favorite TV show or movie. Find it on Amazon for $5.99 and create some instant comfort in the new home for the new homeowners.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum

BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum

Have some conversation fodder at the house warming party by announcing you’ve brought a bugzooka with you. You’ll be the hit of the party and allow the new homeowners a reasonable way to remove bugs with the BugZooka Bug Catcher Vacuum.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Occidental Leather Electrician’s Tool Pouch

Occidental Leather Electrician’s Tool Pouch

This leather tool pouch has a pocket for just about everything. With 15 pockets, there’s not much you’ll have to return to the garage to dig out for a project. The leatherwork is meant to last and makes this a perfect gift.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Renaissance Chalk Furniture Paint Deluxe Starter Kit

Renaissance Chalk Furniture Paint Deluxe Starter Kit

Jumpstart some refurbishing projects for the new homeowners with some chalk furniture paint. Chalk furniture paint is a great way to mix up the style in your house without having to buy new furniture. Plus, you can transform it into a distressed look with a little additional effort.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Louisville Ladder

Louisville Ladder

The Louisville Ladder is among the best rated ladders on the market and will be a welcomed tool for any new homeowner. This 6-foot model is rated to handle 300 pounds and features slip-resistant rubber feet.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

SEGMART Camping Hammock

SEGMART Camping Hammock

When everything is done around the house, give the new homeowners something to relax in. This SEGMART camping hammock is just fine for the backyard after a hard day of housework. It’s ideal for two people as well, it’s rated to hold 600 pounds. Plus, it’s easy to lug around on camping trips since it weighs just 2 pounds.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Patio Watcher Fire Pit Fire Table

Patio Watcher Fire Pit Fire Table

The new homeowners can cozy up together for a nice outdoor fire and watch the stars together. Or, they can entertain guests around the fire with s’mores. This fire pit table has a natural slate top and can be transported to different sites.Later on you can upgrade with a DIY fire pit.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Water Fountain

Water Fountain

The hard part of buying of buying the home is over for the first time homebuyers so let them bask in the serenity that is their home. They can enjoy the outdoors and listen to the soothing sound of water with this outdoor water fountain. Easy to use, it is powered by a 110V outlet and is just under 3 feet tall.Find some more contentment by learning how to build a backyard water feature.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Stihl BG 86 Blower

Stihl BG 86 Blower

A leaf blower is going to be clutch for fall yardwork for a new homeowner. Give them a leg up with this Stihl BG 86 leafblower. It’s a fairly light weight model at 10 pounds and has some power. Pick up a vacuum accessory and a gutter kit to tackle just about everything.Photo: Courtesy of World of Power

Echo Chainsaw

Echo Chainsaw

This Echo Chainsaw is going to handle just about everything a backyard is going to throw at a new homeowner. This chainsaw will cut logs up to 3 feet in diameter and is backed by a five-year consumer warranty. The chainsaw has a 18-inch chain and includes an anti-vibration handle.Make sure you sharpen up on chainsaw safety before using one though.

read more…

 

https://www.familyhandyman.com/stuff-we-love/45-brilliant-gifts-for-new-homeowners/view-all/

Declining New Home Size Trend Continues | Bedford Hills Real Estate

After increasing and leveling off in recent years, new single-family home size continued along a general trend of decreasing size during the third quarter of 2017. This change marks a reversal of the trend that had been in place as builders focused on the higher end of the market during the recovery. As the entry-level market expands, NAHB expects typical new home size to fall as well.

According to third quarter 2017 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area was slightly lower at 2,378 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes declined to 2,518 square feet.

On a less volatile one-year moving average, the recent trend of declines in new home size can be see on the graph above, although current readings remain elevated. Since cycle lows (and on a one-year moving average basis), the average size of new single-family homes is 10% higher at 2,620 square feet, while the median size is 14% higher at 2,399 square feet.

The post-recession increase in single-family home size is consistent with the historical pattern coming out of recessions. Typical new home size falls prior to and during a recession as home buyers tighten budgets, and then sizes rise as high-end homebuyers, who face fewer credit constraints, return to the housing market in relatively greater proportions. This pattern was exacerbated during the current business cycle due to market weakness among first-time homebuyers. But the recent declines in size indicate that this part of the cycle has ended, and size will trend lower as builders add more entry-level homes into inventory.

In contrast to single-family patterns, new multifamily apartment size is down compared to the pre-recession period. This is due to the weak for-sale multifamily market and strength for rental demand.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/declining-new-home-size-trend-continues/

Gifts for the handyman | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Ryobi 90-Piece Drill Bit Set

Ryobi 90-Piece Drill Bit Set

This little 90-piece kit from Ryobi will let you get a lot of projects done whether it be wood, metal, plastic or masonry in nature. Priced as low as $32.95 on Amazon, it’s a reasonably priced addition to your toolbox.Learn what different drill bits can do.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Black+Decker Roto-Bit

Black+Decker Roto-Bit

A powered screwdriver can alleviate any troubles you run into with using a regular screwdriver. This Black+Decker Roto-BIT Storage Screwdriver gets the job done and makes life easier. The screwdriver includes eight bits, a magnet to hold additional screws and an LED light to help you see your work. This tool is priced at $24.65 on Amazon.Find out what to look for with cordless tools.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Husky Ratcheting 30-Piece Screwdriver

Husky Ratcheting 30-Piece Screwdriver

Get everything you need out of a screwdriver with this Husky 30-piece ratcheting screwdriver. It features five slotted bits, four Philips bits, three TORX bits, seven tamper resistant TORX bits, three hex bits and four square bits. It comes with a lifetime warranty and is priced at $16.97 at Home Depot.Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot

Klein Non-Contact Voltage Tester with Flashlight

Klein Non-Contact Voltage Tester with Flashlight

Klein has an easy-to-use low-cost voltage tester that comes with a flashlight. This voltage tester powers itself off and is dustproof as well as waterproof. Klein’s voltage tester also beeps to let you know there’s higher voltage.Learn how to use a voltage tester properly.

Photo: Courtesy of Klein Tools

Estwing 15-Ounce Ultra Hammer

Estwing 15-Ounce Ultra Hammer

Estwing’s 15-ounce hammer provides plenty of punch and works smoothly. The grip reduces vibration up to 70 percent and will last. This hammer also comes with a magnetic nail starter on the head. Estwing’s 15-ounce hammer retails at $29.97 at Home Depot.Learn what some of the best hammers have that others don’t.

Photo: Courtesy of Home Depot

Occidental Leather Clip-On 4-in-1 Tool Holder

Occidental Leather Clip-On 4-in-1 Tool Holder

If you’re having trouble keeping everything within arm’s reach, try on this four-in-one tool holder from Occidental Leather. Slip in a tape measure along with a pencil or utility knife to make projects easier to complete. For $35.82 you’re project life can become sublime.If you use a leather tool belt, find out how to repair a leather tool belt.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Milwaukee Self-Retracting Safety Knife

Milwaukee Self-Retracting Safety Knife

A self-retracting safety knife can help reduce cutting errors and Milwaukee’s knife does a nice job. Milwaukee’s knife comes with a lifetime warranty and two blade positions. It can store up to five blades.It retails for $10.93 at Toolup.com

Learn the basics of cutting drywall with your utility knife.

Photo: Courtesy of Milwaukee Tool

Channellock Combination Pliers

Channellock Combination Pliers

Channellock has got a grip on solving your pliers problems. The E347 E Series 7-inch Combination plier with XLT Joint utilizes a crosshatch patter on the jaws for a tighter grip. The way this pair of pliers is made makes it easier to cut because the leverage it employs uses less force. Pick one up for $19.49 on Amazon.Check out other tips for loosening nuts, bolts and screws.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Ryobi Random Orbit Sander

Ryobi Random Orbit Sander

Ryobi’s RS290G 2.6 amp, 12,500 opm single speed 5-inch hook and loop corded random orbit sander is a versatile sander that comes in at an ultra-light pounds. It’s ergonomically designed and features a hex-notched rubber design to make gripping it easier. This sander comes with sanding discs and the dust bag is conveniently placed. This sander comes in at just under $50 on Amazon.Learn tricks to sand faster for your next project.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Stanley SquidBrite Flexible LED Work Light with Magnetic Back

Stanley SquidBrite Flexible LED Work Light with Magnetic Back

This light can go places others can’t. Its magnetic backing makes valuable to free up one of your hands while doing repair work. The Stanley SquidBrite LED Light has 10 hours of run time and three modes of light. The flashing function makes it a useful tool to keep in the car if it’s needed on the side of the road at night or in winter weather. At $26.76 online at Amazon and Walmart, it’s an affordable tool you should add.Find other work light options to suit your needs.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

MagnoGrip Magnetic Wristband

MagnoGrip Magnetic Wristband

Aside from just looking cool, this magnetic wristband is especially handy. No more loading up your mouth with screws as you complete something. It comes cheaply priced at $14.65 on Amazon and if you don’t want to wear it, you can strap it on to something.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

FastCap Accuscribe Scribing Tool

FastCap Accuscribe Scribing Tool

The AccuScribe Pro can help tackle any project for scribing trim, architectural moldings, countertops, tile and flooring. It’ll fit a pencil, Sharpie or FatBoy pencil. It goes for $18 at FastCap.Learn how to scribe for a perfect fit.

Photo: Courtesy of FastCap

Sanding Sticks

Sanding Sticks

Smooth out those hard-to-reach spots with sanding sticks. Sanding sticks are great for woodworking or even putting models together. The sanding sticks come in 80, 120, 180 and 240 grits. You can pick up a 24-pack for $26.24 on Amazon.Find out new sanding by hand techniques.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Mechanix Wear M – Pact Gloves

Mechanix Wear M – Pact Gloves

A good pair of gloves can be pretty important for working on the car and Mechanix Wear has some of the best. These M-Pact gloves are machine washable and includes a dual layer for the index finger and thumb. Pick up a pair for $27 on Amazon.Discover other work gloves that work well in various scenarios.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

WORX Power Screwdriver

WORX Power Screwdriver

WORX’s semi-automatic screwdriver is pretty slick to use. From a screw holder attachment to catching screws after they’re loose, this is a pretty neat tool to have on hand. The power screwdriver has six bits in the tool and accepts a ¼” hex insert bit. An LED light can make work easier as well.This tool is available for $37.23 on Amazon.

Check out some of these awesome cordless power tools.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

3M Half Facepiece Respirator Assembly with Particulate Filters

3M Half Facepiece Respirator Assembly with Particulate Filters

3M’s respirator is top-notch in terms of its ability to be used in multiple environments. The respirator is approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for environments containing certain oil and non-oil based particles. It can provide protection for welding, brazing, torch cutting, metal pouring, soldering as well as exposure to lead asbestos, cadmium and arsenic.This respirator is available at Amazon for $15.59.

Find out how to choose a dust mask.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

DEWALT DWARA100 Right Angle Attachment

DEWALT DWARA100 Right Angle Attachment

When you’ve tried attacking a problem from several angles but haven’t come across a solution, DeWalt’s got the right angle with its Right Angle Attachment tool. The tool will get into tighter areas to drive screws and drill holes. Check one out at Amazon for $19.75.A right angle attachment can help with doing round ductwork.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Stanley Wonder Bar II Pry Bar

Stanley Wonder Bar II Pry Bar

This half-size pry bar is pretty handy to tote around and accomplishes similar tasks of a full-sized pry bar. This tool can be great for vehicles and baseboards. Plus it can withstand the bending momentum of 310 inch-pounds. Just beware it is only 7 ½ inches. It’s going for $4.11 on Amazon.Learn how to remove wood trim with a pry bar.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Vampliers Patented Screw Extraction Plier

Vampliers Patented Screw Extraction Plier

Suck out stripped out screws with a pair of Vampliers. These suckers have unique vertical and horizontal serrations on the inside jaws, which make it easier to grab a corroded or rusted out screw. These pliers are strong, too, made from carbon steel. Get yourself a pair for $29.97 on Amazon. Garlic sold separately.Find out how to remove a lightbulb with pliers.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Cyber Clean

Cyber Clean

Cleaning computer keyboards and other technology is sometimes difficult because of all the nooks and crannies. Cyber Clean can reach those tricky spots and pull dirt out. It’s great on cellphones, which accumulate dust and lint all the time. This putty-like cleaning agent can be used again and again by folding it over after each use. Plus, a color indicator lets you know if it’s time to get some new Cyber Clean. Grab some for $9.99 on Amazon.Learn some other cleaning secrets to make the job easier.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

CLC Custom Leathercraft 5023 Deluxe Cordless Poly Drill Holster

CLC Custom Leathercraft 5023 Deluxe Cordless Poly Drill Holster

The CLC Custom Leathercraft 5023 Deluxe Cordless Poly Drill Holster is designed to carry most cordless drills and give you some room to carry additional items. The holster comes with three medium pouches good for flashlights and six small loops for drill bits. It’s double stitched to provide longevity and prevent fraying.Get your hands on one on Amazon for $12.40.

Find a place to put that drill with some PVC hacks.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Channellock 87 8.88-Inch Compact Rescue Tool

Channellock 87 8.88-Inch Compact Rescue Tool

You might not be prepared for everything but Channellock’s Compact Rescue Tool pretty much is. This tool will pry open windows, cut wires and cables, shut off gas valves and loosen hose couplings. Not only that, it’s only 8.8 inches long and a little more than a pound in weight. The tool will cut through metal in small spaces and is a go-to choice for EMTs and first responders. Be prepared to pay $37.82 on Amazon.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice

Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats for Walking on Snow and Ice

If your DIYer is working outside then you’re going to want to outfit them with these traction cleats from Yaktrax. The cleats are made with a zinc coating to prevent rust and are tested safe to temperatures as low as minus-41 degrees F. Yaktrax will help prevent falls in snowy and icy conditions. They come with a price tag of $12.30 on Amazon.Learn what to do to prepare for an ice storm.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Ice Safety Picks

Ice Safety Picks

Ice safety picks are a no-brainer for ice anglers and essential for any vehicle emergency kit. In the event of an emergency on ice where someone has fallen through, they’ll give the grip someone desperately needs in order to climb out of the water. Keep them in your pocket while out in the ice in the winter. You can find ice safety picks for $12.99 on Amazon.Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Rust-Oleum Varathane 243197 Distressing and Worm Holing Tool

Rust-Oleum Varathane 243197 Distressing and Worm Holing Tool

Here’s the perfect gift for a DIYer who wants to add a distressed look to a piece of furniture. Rust-Oleum’s Distressing and Worm Holing Tool easily makes dents and divots to create the impressive of time worn tear. You can use the worm hole kit to give it the look of insect holes to really fool friends. Set your time machine to pick one up for $38.80 on Amazon.Find out how to use distressed wood for farmhouse charm.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Chopping Board and Serving Tray

Chopping Board and Serving Tray

Slice, dice and serve in style on this easy, cutting-edge project. We’ll show you a simple way to dry-fit the parts, scribe the arc and then glue the whole works together. We used a 4-ft. steel ruler to scribe the arcs, but a yardstick or any thin board would also work. Be sure to use water-resistant wood glue and keep your tray out of the dishwasher or it might fall apart. And one more thing: Keep the boards as even as possible during glue-up to minimize sanding later.Learn how to build this project here.

Folding Workbench

Folding Workbench

Maybe your dad likes to build stuff and do projects, but doesn’t have a lot of space to spread out. That’s where this folding workbench will work wonders. With room for some tools and a compact footprint, it opens up to a whopping 4 x 7 ft – big enough to tackle almost any project.

Photo Sculptures

Photo Sculptures

Surprise your friends and family with easy-to-make photo sculptures. Your favorite folks will ‘pop’ from your photos when you use this easy technique.Here’s how: Apply photo mount adhesive to pieces of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood, firmly press on the photos to be sculpted, then cut out the figures with a scroll saw. Make some wood bases from scrap wood and glue on the sculptured photos with Special-T cyanoacrylate glue (about $11). This glue will tightly bond the sculpture’s bottom edge to the base, so you won’t need to fiddle with notches or screws.

Hints for great-looking sculptures:

  • Use a sharp No. 2 or No. 4 ‘skip tooth’ blade (about $24).
  • Change blades when the sawn ‘paper edge’ appears slightly ragged.
  • Select a medium or high speed and feed the work at a slow rate, pressing the wood firmly on the table as you saw.
  • When choosing photos to sculpt, look for clearly outlined subjects so it’s easy to follow the cutting line. Hair or clothing that blends into the background is difficult to cut.

Hang artwork properly and level when you’re done.

 

Simple Step Stool

Simple Step Stool

Here’s a great gift idea that will draw raves. The joints are accurately made in seconds with a biscuit joiner! Complete instructions for building this stool are found here. Want to learn about using a biscuit joiner before taking on this project? Watch this video that shows you how to make strong, fast and accurate joints with this useful tool.

Easy Knife Block

Easy Knife Block

This handsome knife block is fast, easy, fun to build and includes a 6-in.-wide storage box for a knife sharpener.To build one, you only need a 3/4-in. x 8-in. x 4-ft. hardwood board and a 6-in. x 6-1/2-in. piece of 1/4-in. hardwood plywood to match.

Begin by cutting off a 10-in. length of the board and setting it aside. Rip the remaining 38-in. board to 6 in. wide and cut five evenly spaced saw kerfs 5/8 in. deep along one face. Crosscut the slotted board into four 9-in. pieces and glue them into a block, being careful not to slop glue into the saw kerfs (you can clean them out with a knife before the glue dries). Saw a 15-degree angle on one end and screw the plywood piece under the angled end of the block.

Cut the 6-1/2-in. x 3-in. lid from the leftover board, and slice the remaining piece into 1/4-in.-thick pieces for the sides and end of the box. Glue them around the plywood floor. Cut a rabbet on three sides of the lid so it fits snugly on the box and drill a 5/8-in. hole for a finger pull. Then just add a finish and you’ve got a beautiful, useful gift. If you don’t have time to make a gift this year, consider offering to do something for the person. You could offer to sharpen their knives! Here’s how.

Upcycled Tool & Hardware Hooks

Upcycled Tool & Hardware Hooks

For the handyman on your list, this upcycled tool project makes great decor. Adapt common tools and DIY hardware items into clever hooks and racks for their walls. They’ll be amazed with your creativity. Here are 10 spur-of-the-moment inspirations.

How to Build a Box With a Band Saw

How to Build a Box With a Band Saw

You can make this simple jewelry or knick-knack box from a block of wood and your band saw. Or use it as a gift box to hold other homemade presents. Cut it out in minutes and finish in an hour. Get the plans.

Classic Children's Carpentry

Classic Children’s Carpentry

This classic DIY book, Easy Carpentry Projects for Children, withstands the test of time. Featuring fifteen projects kids can make themselves, along with how-to instructions for basic woodworking skills and techniques, this book is built upon the premise that kids learn best by doing. Young woodworkers will love working their way through each project.

Start Eye Safety Early

Start Eye Safety Early

What’s unique about these child safety glasses is that they’re not just a toy! Kids can help in the workshop on real projects with real tools without fear of damaging their eyes when they don these child-size glasses, made with a slightly smaller frame than the adult version. And they’re inexpensive enough to use at play, too. Better yet? They come with real UV protection. It’s a win-win.

Their Own Take-Along Tool Kit

Their Own Take-Along Tool Kit

This Take-Along Tool Kit comes with play tools and hardware for the young handyman, complete with a kid-size carrying case. Kids can practice tightening bolts, screws, and nuts with a wrench and screwdriver. And the best part? It’s all wood.

A Book For Tinkerers

A Book For Tinkerers

Some of the best inventions are the result of tinkering. Encourage the pursuit in your kids with this book dedicated to the topic, published by Make. In Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff, kids learn science and DIY concepts with hands-on activities that make learning, building, and, well, tinkering fun. You might just get a kick out of it yourself. This book would make a great gift from a DIY enthusiast to a budding DIYer, especially if you’re looking to faciliate some quality time.

Time to Get Building

Time to Get Building

Kids can get building with this Black & Decker Junior 14 Piece Toy Tool Belt Set. This tool belt and set sports the Black & Decker logo, just like the real thing, and the tools are some of the most realistic we’ve seen for kids. Children will love wearing this tool belt and having their tools on hand for handyman emergencies.

Dress the Part

Dress the Part

While this toy construction hard hat is not approved for use on the job, kids will have fun pretending it is! Get your kids thinking about safety early by adding this to a gift of play tools or a workbench. This also makes a great addition to a handyman Halloween costume!

For the Future Auto Mechanic

For the Future Auto Mechanic

For the future gear-head: the Battat Take-A-Part Toy Vehicles Roadster features 18 vehicle parts and a power screwdriver with three different bits. Kids can practice working on their own car and learn more about how cars and power tools work.

Mini Classic DIY Workbench for Kids

Mini Classic DIY Workbench for Kids

If you’ve got the time, build something instead of buying! Give your child a chance to make projects on their own DIY workbench — a smaller-scale version of a classic design that’s been in use for over a century. Check out these free plans for the mini classic DIY workbench for kids. It’s just the right size!

Stepping Stones Gift Ideas

Stepping Stones Gift Ideas

Bring some artwork to the garden with stepping stone gift ideas. This stepping stone, from Brenda Pokorny is made from mosaic tiles. You can purchase stepping stones in garden stores or make your own!

Photo: Courtesy of Brenda Pokorny

Ladder Shelves

Ladder Shelves

You can build this popular ladder shelf piece for a lot less than what it would cost to buy one at a furniture store. And loved ones will certainly appreciate your effort!

Garden Archway

Garden Archway

This garden archway looks impressive and it’s surprisingly easy to create with these step-by-step instructions. Have fun watching climbing plants cover the archway year after year!

All-Purpose Stool

All-Purpose Stool

This useful stool is easy to make with a jigsaw and router. You can dress it up even more with a finish to match your mom’s decor.

Nature-Inspired Tool Tote

Nature-Inspired Tool Tote

Find a few handle-size branches and build this whimsical tool tote for your mom in an afternoon.

T50R.E.D Professional Staple Gun and Nailer from Arrow Fastener

T50R.E.D Professional Staple Gun and Nailer from Arrow Fastener

Is your mom a furniture makeover master? If so, she would love the T50R.E.D Professional Staple Gun and Nailer from Arrow Fastener. This handheld tool drives both staples and nails into hard and soft surfaces with ease. It’s especially handy for upholstery projects. Click here to buy it now.

Simpson Strong-Tie Workbench or Shelving Hardware Kit

Simpson Strong-Tie Workbench or Shelving Hardware Kit

Your DIY mom will have fun creating her own work space with this Simpson Strong-Tie Workbench or Shelving Hardware Kit. It comes with plans and all of the necessary hardware to build a super-sturdy bench. Sweeten the gift by including the 2×4 lumber, plywood and pegboard and your mom will be ready to roll. Click here to buy it now.

Save Your Back and Knees With a Rolling Seat

Save Your Back and Knees With a Rolling Seat

A rolling creeper seat doesn’t need much explanation. You sit on it. You store tools and parts under it. And you roll around to reach the tools and parts you forgot.Find creeper seats at any auto parts store, home center or online tool site. The model shown here is the Sunex 8507 Creeper Seat. A unit with a pneumatic lift and a contoured seat (for you Ferrari owners) could set you back a little more.

Practical Job Site Power Strip

Practical Job Site Power Strip

The Stanley 32050 FatMax Power Claw is a clever power strip built into a clamp. It can grab on to a stud, rafter, sawhorse or ladder. Hang it wherever you need power. This strip works great at keeping extension cord connections off the ground. That’s convenient, but it makes even more sense if you’re working outside on a wet surface. The Power Claw has three grounded outlets and a 15-amp breaker.

For the Stickler: Safety Two-in-One

For the Stickler: Safety Two-in-One

You’ll be more likely to use eye and ear protectors if they’re readily accessible, so why not keep them together?better yet, why not buy a pair of safety glasses that has built-in earplugs? These ReadyMax SoundShield safety glasses are equipped with a pair of earplugs that tuck into the ends of the earpieces/temples. Pull the plugs out of the earpieces when your work gets loud, and yank them back in with the retractable string when it quiets down a bit. These are perfect for construction, hunting or just cutting up wood in the garage. There are various styles to choose from?some glasses are tinted, some clear?and replacement earplugs are available.

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https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/50-awesome-gifts-for-diyers-under-50/view-all/

Housing starts rise | Bedford Real Estate

Total housing starts increased in October, with solid readings from the single-family sector. Total starts increased 13.7% to a 1.29 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, according to the joint data release from the Census Bureau and HUD. A jump in multifamily construction also increased the headline rate.

Single-family starts increased for the month, rising to an 877,000 seasonally adjusted rate in October. This monthly annualized rate matches the post-recession high pace set in February of this year. However, the three month-moving average for single-family starts is at a post-recession high (860,000). Single-family starts are up more than 8% year-to-date compared to 2016 as limited existing inventory and solid builder confidence make for positive market conditions.

Single-family permits, a reasonable indicator of future construction conditions, are running 10% higher on a year-to-date basis. Part of the gain for single-family construction in October was a rebound in Florida and Texas after project delays in September. Single-family starts in the South were up 17% compared to September.

Multifamily starts rebounded in October, as the market seeks a balance between supply and demand. Multifamily starts increased 37%, after a soft September reading. On a more stable three-month moving average basis, multifamily development continues a leveling off process begun in 2015.

With respect to housing’s economic impact, 56% of homes under construction in October were multifamily (610,000). As noted in the graph above, with recent production declines for apartments, the current count of multifamily units is effectively unchanged from a year ago. There were 486,000 single-family units under construction, a gain of 10% from this time in 2016.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/housing-starts-rise-in-october/

NAR opposed to anti home ownership tax bill | Bedford Corners Real Estate

NAR is OPPOSED to the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” tax reform plan released by the Senate Finance Committee, and its companion legislation H.R. 1 passed by the House of Representatives on November 16.

For more than a century American tax policy has recognized the value of homeownership to American middle-class wealth creation, strong and stable communities, and as a driver of our nation’s economy. Homeownership is not a special interest, it is our common interest, yet Congress would place the American Dream further out of reach for millions of Americans at a time when our homeownership rate is at a 50 year low. In short, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act is a serious step in the wrong direction.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the Senate Tax Reform Plan

This plan, like its companion in the House of Representatives, is a direct threat to homeowners and consumers. Not only will millions of homeowners not benefit from the proposal, many will get a tax increase. Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity from the more than 10 percent drop in home values likely to result if the bill is enacted.

The companion legislation unveiled by the Senate includes changes to the exemption on Capital Gains Tax from the sale of a primary residence, elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes, elimination of the Home Equity Loan Interest Deduction, restricts the deduction for moving expenses to only active duty military, restricts the deduction for personal casualty losses to Presidentially declared disasters. All this from a bill that is supposed to improve the current system.

H.R. 1, The Tax Cut and Jobs Act

As currently written, H.R. 1(link is external) would eviscerate the current-law tax incentives for purchasing and owning a home for all but a small percentage of Americans (6 percent, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation).

By nearly doubling the standard deduction while eliminating most itemized deductions, the bill would destroy or at least cripple the incentive value of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) for the great majority of current and prospective homebuyers, and sap the incentive value of the property tax deduction for millions more.

The direct result of these changes would be a plunge in home values across America in excess of 10 percent, and likely more in higher cost areas. Provisions in the bill that limit the deductibility of interest on new mortgage loans to $500,000, cap property tax deductibility at $10,000 for those who can still itemize, eliminate the deduction altogether for second homes, and restrict the utility of the exclusion of gain on the sale of a home would exacerbate the effect. Many of these changes are not indexed for inflation, increasing the pain on more and more homeowners over time.

NAR’s research indicates that the average first-time homebuyer makes a down payment of less than 10 percent, meaning that millions of owners of recently-purchased homes would go “under water” on their mortgages, and they would owe more than the homes are worth. This, of course, could lead to devastating results for families that must sell, as well as damage neighborhoods, communities, and the economy itself.

The hard-won equity of millions more homeowners could be ravaged as well. Parents planning to use the value of their homes to help finance the higher education costs of children could find their resources shot, and baby-boomer homeowners nearing retirement who hoped to use their home’s equity to pay for a portion of their retirement may have to delay or revise their plans.

The bottom line is that for tax purposes, owning a home would make less financial sense than renting for the great majority of Americans. This would reverse more than a century of pro-homeownership tax policy and result in untold negative economic and social implications.

While this tax reform legislation is being promoted as a tax cut for middle-income families, the reality is that millions of middle-class homeowners would immediately face tax increases, while those who see a tax cut will see significantly less tax relief if they own a home than if they are a renter.

H.R. 1 uses a “typical family of four” making $59,000 a year as an example of middle-class tax relief delivered by the bill. The family is renting a home, based on the facts presented, and is to receive a tax cut of $1,182 the first year after enactment. If the family owned a home with a typical mortgage for their income level, the tax savings would be 36 percent less.

This may seem a minor difference to some, but the difference grows quickly as income rises. Consider again this same “typical family of four,” but this time assign them a median family income of $73,000 rather than the median household income of $59,000 as per the Ways and Means example. In this case, the renting family receives a tax cut of $1,478 under the bill, but the home owning family would get a refund less than half what the same family would receive as renters.

Finally, looking at this same family, but with an income of $120,000, as renters, they would receive a tax cut under H.R. 1 of $3,408. However, as homeowners with a typical mortgage in a typical average-cost state, they would have a tax increase of $226. This hidden “homeowners penalty” would be an astounding $3,634. Further, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act not only eliminates the current tax advantages of homeownership, and thus discourages homeownership for many, it would actually encourage renting by allowing investors in residential property to continue to be eligible for full deductions of all interest and property taxes.

To make things worse, the relatively small tax cuts that many middle-class homeowners receive from this proposal would vanish after just a few years. Based on the Congressional Budget Office forecast of inflation, income growth, and 10-year Treasury rates, coupled with the expiration of the family flexibility credit, most middle class families would see their modest tax cuts transform to tax increases under the plan compared to current law after five years. NAR does not believe vanishing tax cuts, coupled with vanishing home equity, is a formula for growing our economy.

Homeowners currently pay 83 percent of all Federal income taxes. This percentage is likely to increase significantly under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. At the same time, long standing federal tax policy that recognizes the importance of homeownership to our nation would be eliminated for all but a fortunate few. NAR cannot support these changes because REALTORS® know that tax reform can be better than this. A tax reform bill that is projected to add $1.5 trillion to our national debt should produce very few losers. Unfortunately, it appears America’s homeowners and owner-occupied real estate in general are by far the largest losers in this legislation.