Category Archives: blog

Recent Homes Have Just Over 3 Toilets | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Single-family homes built after the 1990s have an average of 3.1 toilets, 2.6 showers and 2.3 bathtubs, according to a recent NAHB study.

Standard tables from the Survey of Construction (SOC, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau with partial funding from HUD) show that the share of single-family homes built with at least 2 bathrooms has increased regularly from 60 percent of homes completed in 1973 to 97 percent of homes completed in 2016.  This suggests that the number of bathroom fixtures should also be on the riese, but this is not one of the things that it has been possible to investigate using SOC data.

It can be investigated, however, with data that has recently become available from the Residential End Uses of Water (REUW) study from the Water Research Foundation (WRF).  The REUW is the source of information on water use in single-family homes in the recent NAHB article on the topic.  Consistent with the increasing number bathrooms, the REUW data show that the average number of toilets, showers and bathtubs all increase regularly as single-family homes become newer.  For example, the average number of toilets increases regularly from 1.9 in homes built before 1960 to 3.1 for homes built after 1999.

Perhaps surprisingly, the published REUW study did not show a statistical relationship between the number of bathroom fixtures and the amount of water used by a particular single-family.  The WRF constructed several models from REUW data, estimating outdoor water use, total indoor use, and a number of different individual indoor uses.  NAHB economists reviewed these models and judged them to be generally well constructed and a good use of the available data, and saw no obvious reason to critique them or suggest alternatives.

Although the number of bathroom fixtures does not affect water use in any of the WRF models, the presence of efficient toilets and clothes washers does.  Given government standards that have been promulgated and modified since 1990, it should not be surprising that efficient fixtures were most common in the newest REUW homes.  For example, of the homes built after 1999, 71 percent had toilets that averaged less than 1.6 gallon per flush, 51 percent had toilets that averaged less than 1.28 gallons per flush and 80 percent had ENERGY STAR rated clothes driers.  All three of these percentages are higher than they are for homes in any of the earlier vintage categories

Estimates of total water use, as well as the amount of water used by specific features, in single-family homes were discussed in last week’s post.  For a more thorough discussion of the REUW and what if finds has an impact on water used by a single-family home, please consult the full NAHB study.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/recent-homes-have-just-over-3-toilets-2-5-showers/

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

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.

read more…

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

Home Features that Use Water | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Almost exactly half of residential water use consists of water used outside the home (e.g., for watering lawns), according to a recent NAHB study.  Indoors, the biggest users of water are toilets, followed by showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks.

These results of the NAHB are based on data that became available in 2016 in the form of Residential End Uses of Water (REUW), a detailed study and data set of single-family homes produced by the Water Research Foundation.

In total, the single-family homes in the REUW study used an average of 276 gallons of water per day (gpd).   Almost exactly half of this was attributable to water used outside the home.  It is well known that lawns and gardens need more watering in climates that are hot and get little natural rainfall, so this helps explain the climate-related pattern to state water use per housing unit shown in last week’s post.  Indoors, toilets account for the greatest share of water use, but the shares for showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks are also substantial.

The numbers in the chart above include both hot and cold water. The water heater in and of itself is not counted as an end use; the end use is where the water goes after leaving the heater.  If storing water in a tank to heat it increases indoor water use, this would not be characterized as an identifiable end use and would show up in the “other” category.  The 2016 REUW studies hot water use specifically in a sample of 94 homes and found that hot water accounted for one-third of total indoor water use.

Although it is not feasible to parse specific indoor uses by age of structure in the REUW data, it is possible to do this for total water used per single-family home.  Results show less water used by homes built before 1960, but relatively small differences among homes built after that.  For example, there is less than a 3 percent difference between the 244 gpd used by homes built in the 1960s and the 251 gpd used by homes built after 1999.

One possible explanation for lower water use in homes built before 1960 is the incidence of swimming pools.  Not surprisingly, statistical models in the REUW study indicate that swimming pools have a particularly strong impact on household water use.  Although 12 to 15 percent of homes built after 1959 in the REUW data have swimming pools, swimming pools are present on only 8 percent of homes built in the 1950s and only 3 percent of homes built before 1950.

This result, along with many others, is discussed more thoroughly in the full NAHB study.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/home-features-that-use-water/

John Lennon’s English home for sale | Bedford Corners Real Estate

John Lennon and his wife Cynthia lived here between 1964 and 1968. 

Photos via Knight Frank

Beatlemaniacs may be interested to know that a former home of John Lennon’s has come on the market in Surrey, in South East England. Known as Kenwood, the six-bedroom manse was built in 1913 in a mock-Tudor style and is located on St. Georges Hill estate.

The musician bought the home in 1964 for £20,000, enlisting Kenneth Partridge to design the interiors. Lennon lived there with his first wife Cynthia until 1968, when the couple divorced.

The 1.5-acre property has been significantly updated since then, but it’s still an impressive residence that, in addition to the six bedrooms, features six expansive reception rooms, six bathrooms, a huge kitchen, and beautifully landscaped grounds.

Period details like wood paneling, grand fireplaces, window seats, and exposed beams combine with contemporary finishes to create a bright, accommodating home ideal for entertaining.

Set on a “superb plateau position,” Kenwood enjoys uninterrupted views of the Surrey Hills, while mature gardens, fountains, and split-level lawn terraces offer additional outdoor living opportunities. A secondary building includes an indoor swimming pool with a shower, changing facilities, and a sauna,

All you need is £8.9 million, or about $11.7 million, to make it yours. You can’t buy love, but you can certainly get yourself a piece of rock-royalty real estate. Who knows, maybe Lennon’s musical genius will rub off on the lucky owner.

ViaThe Spaces

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/11/15/16656864/john-lennon-kenwood-surrey-home-for-sale?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%2011162017&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%2011162017+CID_0b30620c2343ebb9cc30f4e78e6a2595&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=All%20you%20need%20is%20117M%20to%20buy%20John%20Lennons%20home

Home prices continue to rise | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The S&P/Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released their respective home price indices for August 2017. National home prices rose at a faster annual growth rate, while local home price gains varied. Price growth in metro areas across the West region exceeded the national average.

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.1% in August, faster than a 5.8% increase in July. It was the highest seasonally adjusted annual growth rate since February 2017. Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.3% in April, following the 4.5% increase in July, confirming the acceleration in home prices this month.

In August, local home prices grew at different rates. Many of the faster growing metro areas are located in the West region of the country.

San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles registered annual growth rates that exceeded the national average. Among the 20 metro areas, San Diego, Las Vegas and Charlotte had the highest home price appreciation. San Diego led the way with 12.2%, followed by Las Vegas with 11.0% and Charlotte with a 10.8% increase. Nineteen out of the 20 metro areas had home price appreciation and Atlanta had home price depreciation (-2.4%). Moreover, eight metro areas had higher home price appreciation than the national level of 6.1%.

 

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/10/home-prices-accelerate-in-august/

Mortgage rates average 3.92% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping slightly after last week’s jump.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 22, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.03 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.31 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.22 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.12 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Rates dipped slightly in a short week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. The 10-year Treasury yield fell roughly 4 basis points, while the 30-year mortgage rate dropped 3 basis points to 3.92 percent. Mortgage rates continue to remain low.”

Home Prices Rapidly Rise: Is History Repeating Itself? | Armonk Real Estate

‘Rapid Price Increases Will Not Last Forever’

The current growth in home prices is echoing the lead-up to the recession. Is history repeating itself?

The answer is likely not, according to a recently released realtor.com® report. Building is lacking in many markets—one hallmark 10 years ago was over-construction—and credit standards are more stringent, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com.

“As we compare today’s market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it’s important to remember rising prices didn’t cause the housing crash,” Hale says. “It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains—versus today’s truer market vitality—that created the environment for the crash.”

In 2016, home prices (the national median home sales price) were 2 percent higher than they were in 2006, the report reveals. Pre-recession prices have returned in 31 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In contrast with 2006, however, are today’s credit conditions. Currently, the median FICO score for a mortgage is 734; the median in 2006 was 700.

Builds and flips are also different from 2006—starkly. The credit environment, among other factors, is keeping a lid on unfettered flipping and over-construction. In 2006, one household formation generally equaled 1.4 single-family housing starts; in 2016, that number shrank to 0.7 single-family starts. Flips accounted for 5 percent of sales in 2016; in 2006, they comprised 8.6 percent.

“Lending standards are critical to the health of the market,” says Hale. “Unlike today, the boom’s under-regulated lending environment allowed borrowing beyond repayable amounts and atypical mortgage products, which pushed up home prices without the backing of income and equity.”

Additionally, economic indicators point elsewhere. Employment was healthy then and is now, but inventory is limited more today—at a 20-year low. Presently, the average months supply is 4.2; in 2007, the average months supply was 6.4.

“The healthy economy is creating more jobs and households, but not giving these people enough places to live,” Hale says. “Rapid price increases will not last forever. We expect a gradual tapering as buyers are priced out of the market—not a market correction, but an easing of demand and price growth as renting or adding roommates becomes a more affordable alternative.”

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

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http://rismedia.com/2017/11/13/home-prices-rapidly-rise-is-history-repeating-itself/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews

Homeownership is starting to increase | South Salem Real Estate

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate is at 63.9% in the third quarter 2017, which is statistically unchanged from its last quarter reading of 63.7%. The rate of homeownership is on an upward trend after dropping to a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% in 2004, the homeownership rate is below by 5.3% and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.

Younger homebuyers are gradually entering the housing market after the Recession. Compared to a year ago, the homeownership rates among households ages 35-44 increased from 58.4% to 59.3%. Millennials also registered noticeable gains – from 35.2% to 35.6%. Older households, ages 65 and over, is the only group where homeownership rates showed a slight decline of 0.1%.

The nonseasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.6% in the third quarter 2017, down by 0.2% from previous year and statistically not different from the rate in the second quarter. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate increased to 7.5%, compared to only 6.9% a year ago.

The HVS also provides a timely measure of household formations – the key driver of housing demand. Although it is not perfectly consistent with other Census Bureau surveys (Current Population Survey’s March ASEC, American Community Survey, and Decennial Census), the HVS remains a useful source of relatively real-time data.

The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the number of households increased to 119.1 million during the third quarter of 2017. This is 0.4 million higher than a year ago and sustains gains recorded in 2016. Growth in household formations will spur rental housing demand first, and ultimately, home sales. Indeed, the number of homeowner households rose by 0.8 million, after experiencing a large gain of 1.3 million in the second quarter.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/10/homeownership-rate-approaches-64/

Mortgage rates average 3.95% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate moving to its highest mark since July.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.95 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 16, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.31 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.14 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.21 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.22 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.07 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Rates increased this week. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked up 6 basis points, while the 30-year mortgage rate jumped 5 basis points to 3.95 percent. Today’s survey rate is the highest rate in nearly four months.”