Category Archives: Mount Kisco

Rental households fall again | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Is a combination of high rents and shifting demographics driving a move from renting to buying?

The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that may be exactly what’s happening.

On Thursday, the Census released its quarterly report on residential vacancies and homeownership. And the report had some good news and bad news, depending on which industry you’re in.

For those who make their living via home buying, the news was mostly good. Homeownership held steady at 64.2%, demonstrating that there may be some underlying strength in the recent increases in homeownership.

But the news wasn’t quite so sunny in the rental world.

While the rental vacancy rate (units that remain unrented) held steady at 7%, the number of rental households fell for the fourth straight quarter.

According to the Census estimates, there were roughly 286,000 fewer renter households during the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017.

Overall, there were approximately 43 million rental households in the U.S. in the first quarter, down from 43.287 million in first quarter of 2017.

Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist and founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, noted that the decrease in rental households is sign that more renters are becoming buyers.

“The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renters households fell is a strong sign households are making the switch from renting to buying,” McLaughlin said. “This is a trend that multifamily builders, investors, and landlords should take note of.”

McLaughlin went a step further, suggesting that landlords and multifamily homebuilders should be “nervous” about the seeming shift to buying. “This could lead to less demand for rental units this year, and downward pressure on rents,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin also noted that demographics may be playing a role in the shift between renting and buying.

“Households under 35 – which represent the largest potential pool of new homeowners in the U.S. – have shown some of the largest gains,” McLaughlin said. “While they only make up a third of all homebuyers, the steady uptick in their homeownership rate over the past year suggests their enormous purchasing power may be finally coming to housing market.”

The downward pressure on rents may be needed, as the Census report showed that during the first quarter, median asking rents rose to the highest level since 1988, which is as far as back the Census data goes.

Median asking rent Q1 2018

(Click to enlarge. Image courtesy of the Census Bureau.)

According to the Census report, the median asking rent was $954 in the first quarter, up $80 from the first quarter of last year. It’s also up $44 from the fourth quarter of 2017. The previous high was $912, which was recorded during the 3rd quarter of 2017.

Rent hit record levels in each of the four regions as well. In the Northeast, the median asking rent rose from $1,153 in the fourth quarter to $1,279 in the first quarter. In the same time period last year, the median asking rent was $1,057.

In the Midwest, the median asking rent climbed to $764, up from $725 in the fourth quarter and $716 in 2017’s first quarter.

In the South, the increase was much slighter, with rent rising from $906 in the fourth quarter to $907 in the first quarter. In the first quarter of last year, the rent was $847.

In the West, the increase was much more significant. In the first quarter, the median asking rent was $1,345, which was up from $1,210 in the fourth quarter and $1,132 in the first quarter of 2017.

In a note sent out after the report’s release, Matthew Pointon, property economist at Capital Economics, suggested that the rental data may actually be a little rosier than it appears.

“Given the number of existing homes for sale recently dropped to a record low, it is no surprise that the homeowner vacancy rate fell to 1.5% in the first-quarter, the joint-lowest rate for 24 years,” Pointon wrote.

“That has put a stop to what had been a gradual rise in the homeownership rate. It is also supporting rental demand. Despite a large rise in the number of rental apartments hitting the market over the past couple of years, the multifamily rental vacancy rate has held steady at just over 8% for the past six-months,” Pointon added.

Pointon said that the 7% overall rental vacancy rate is low by historical standards, and suggested that the news may show that multifamily housing is on firmer footing than it appears.

“At 8.2%, the multifamily rental vacancy rate is down marginally from 8.3% in the final quarter of last year, and suggests concerns about a large degree of oversupply of rental apartments is overblown,” Pointon said. “While a large number of apartments are being built, the lack of homes to buy is supporting rental demand. In turn, that argues against a sharp slowdown in rental growth this year.”

 

read more…

 

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/43216-is-the-rent-finally-too-damn-high-rent-households-fall-again-homeownership-holds-steady?eid=311691494&bid=2082866

U. S. homebuilding falls | Mt Kisco Real Estate

U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as a plunge in the construction of multi-family housing units offset a second straight monthly increase in single-family projects.

Housing starts declined 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.236 million units, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Data for January was revised up slightly to show groundbreaking increasing to a 1.329 million-unit pace instead of the previously reported 1.326 million units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts falling to a pace of 1.290 million units last month. Permits for future home building decreased 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.298 million units in February.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.

While the volatile multi-family housing segment accounted for the decline in home building last month, the broader housing market appears to be slowing.

Sales of both new and previously owned homes have slumped in recent months as a dearth of properties on the market pushed up prices, sidelining some first-time home buyers. House price gains topped 6.0 percent in December.

Mortgage rates have also risen, with the 30-year fixed-rate currently averaging 4.44 percent, not too far from a four-year high of 4.46 percent, according to mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. But the housing market remains underpinned by a robust labor market.

There is growing optimism that tightening job market conditions will translate into faster wage growth in the second half of this year. Annual wage growth has been stuck below 3.0 percent even as the unemployment rate has dropped to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, increased 2.9 percent to a rate of 902,000 units in February. Single-family home construction rose in the Northeast, South and West, but tumbled in the Midwest.

Permits to build single-family homes slipped 0.6 percent in February to a 872,000 unit-pace. With permits lagging starts, single-family home construction could slow in the months ahead.

A survey on Thursday showed confidence among homebuilders dipping in March, but remaining in strong territory. Builders were less upbeat about sales and buyer traffic over the next six months.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment tumbled 26.1 percent to a rate of 334,000 units in February, the lowest level since September 2017. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes dropped 14.8 percent to a 426,000 unit-pace.

Housing completions increased 7.8 percent to a rate of 1.319 million units in February. That was the highest level since January 2008. The number of single-family houses completed last month was the highest since March 2008.

There were 501,000 single-family housing units under construction in February, the most since June 2008. This should help to alleviate some of the property shortage and probably slow the house price inflation.

 

read more…

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/16/housing-starts-february.html

New York City real estate has its worst quarter in 6 years | Mt Kisco Real Estate

New York real estate has its worst quarter in 6 years - and there could be more pain ahead

New York real estate has its worst quarter in 6 years – and there could be more pain ahead

Manhattan real estate sales and prices took a fall in the fourth quarter, and they’re likely to slide even further this year after the new tax rules take effect.

Total sales volume fell 12 percent compared with the fourth quarter of last year — the lowest quarterly level in six years, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Miller Samuel, the appraisal firm. The average sales price in Manhattan fell below $2 million for the first time in nearly two years.

Brokers say the declines were simply the result of uncertainty around the Republican tax plan, as buyers held off until the details of the new law became clear. They say many of those buyers have since rushed in and will help show a rebound.

Yet the luxury market in Manhattan is suffering from an expanding glut of high-end and highly priced apartments. And analysts say that while sales may rebound slightly in the first quarter of 2018, the tax law — which limits the deductibility of state and local taxes — will continue to add pressure to New York City housing prices, especially at the top.

“There will be an impact on prices and sales,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel. “But it may take up to a year and a half to two years to see the full impact.”

The high end of the Manhattan market is showing the biggest cracks. Inventory of luxury apartments — those in the top 10 percent by price — grew by 15 percent. There is now a 17-month supply of luxury apartments in Manhattan, up from 10 months a year ago.

And with giant new condo towers sprouting up in every corner of the city, those numbers are likely to grow.

Miller said that resales — as opposed to new development — are holding up strong, with median sales prices up by 2 percent over last year. But prices for new developments fell 17 percent over last year and the number of sales are down 20 percent.

The number of new developments is expected to continue to rise this year and next, which will add to inventory, Miller said. While demand for “low-end” apartments priced at $1 million to $2 million remains strong, sales of apartments of more than $5 million will get tougher. In part, that’s because the rich have more discretion on when and where to buy homes — and with the costs of owning a home in New York going up with the tax plan, apartments aimed at the rich will see the biggest price hits.

Miller said that while buyers have already adjusted, sellers may take more time to catch up.

“The sellers were already recalibrating after 2015,” he said. “Now they will have to readjust again.”

read more…

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/02/manhattan-real-estate-prices-and-sales-fell-ahead-of-tax-changes.html

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.

 

read more…

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

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/

New home sales jump to 10 year high | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States unexpectedly rose 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685 thousand in October 2017 from a downwardly revised 645 thousand in September, while markets were expecting a 6.3 percent drop. It was the highest level since October 2007. Sales rose in all four regions with those in the Northeast surging 30.2 percent to their highest level since October 2007, and those in the South increasing 1.3 percent also to a ten-year high. There were also strong gains in sales in the West and Midwest last month. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.83 Thousand from 1963 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011.

United States New Home Sales

US New Home Sales at Near 10-Year High

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States jumped 18.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667 thousand in September of 2017, beating market expectations of a 0.9 percent decline. It is the highest value since October of 2007 and the largest percentage gain since January of 1992. Sales rose in all four regions with those in the South surging 25.8 percent after a 1 percent fall in August which was partly the result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Sales rose in the South (25.8 percent to 405 thousand), the West (2.9 percent to 141 thousand), the Midwest (10.6 percent to 73 thousand) and the the Northeast (33.3 percent to 48 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $319,700, above $314,800 a year earlier. The average sales price was $385,200, also higher than $366,100 in September of 2016.
The stock of new houses for sale was flat at 279 thousand. This represents a supply of 5 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales increased 17 percent.
read more…
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

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 3.95% | 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.”

Mt Kisco election upsets | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Longtime Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich is out.

Cindrich, a Democrat, who had served for 14 years, was defeated by upstart Gina Picincih of 4MountKisco, 52 percent to 48 percent, 1,320 votes to 1,209 votes.

Her running mate, Isi Albanese, was elected to the village board, along with incumbent Democrat Peter Grunthal. Democrat Anthony Markus was defeated.

In Croton, the Croton Democrats took back control of village board. Brian Pugh defeated Mayor Greg Schmidt 58 percent to 42 percent while Democrats Amy Attias and Sherry Horowit were elected to the Town Board.

In Pound Ridge, Democrat Kevin Hansen became the new supervisor, defeating incumbent Dick Lyman, 52 percent to 48 percent.

Yorktown Republican Supervisor Mike Grace fell to challenger Illan Gilbert 51 percent to 49 percent.

In other results:

  •  Catherine Borgia, the Majority Leader of the Board of Legislators who represents District 9, defeated challenger Bob Outhouse, 63 percent to 37 percent, according to unofficial results from the Westchester County Board of Elections.
  •  District 9 covers Ossining, Peekskill, Cortlandt, and Briarcliff.
  •  In District 1, which covers Peekskill, Yorktown and Cortlandt, Legislator John Testa, a Republican, defeated challenger Nancy Vann, a Democrat 56 percent to 44 percent, 7,863 votes to 6,240 votes with 46 percent reporting.Testa won a fifth term.
  •  in District 2, which covers Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers,  Kitley Covill, a Democrat, denied Republican Francis Corcoran his chance at a second term.  Covill won 55 percent to 45 percent.
  •  In District 3, which covers Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville and North Castle, Legislator Margaret Cunzio, a Conservative, defeated Daren Tolz, a Democrat 55 percent to 45 percent, 7,845 votes to 6,377 votes, according to unofficial returns from the Westchester County Board of Elections. Cunzio was running for a second term.
  •  In Bedford, Democrats MaryAnn Carr, an incumbent and Kate Galligan easily defeated Republicans Kyle Carleton and Mary Ellen Devey McLaughlin for two seats on the village board.
  •  In Cortlandt, longtime Supervisor Linda Puglisi, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger, Liam Carroll 75 percent to 25 percent. Puglisi was running for a 14th term. Democrats Debra Carter-Costello, an incumbent, and James Creighton, were easily elected to the town board.
  •  In Lewisboro, incumbent Democrat Peter Parsons defeated Republican Jason Krellenstein 61 percent to 39 percent, Parsons was running for a fourth term.
  •  In the race for the town board, Tony Goncalves and Jane Crimmins defeated Republican incumbents Frank Kelly and Peter DeLucia with 2,243 votes and 2,242 votes, respectively. DeLucia and Kelly have 1736 votes and 1168 votes.
  •  In Somers, Republican incumbents Anthony Cirieco and William Faulkner defeated Democrats Robert Ondrovic and Thomas Newman.

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http://armonk.dailyvoice.com/politics/upsets-mark-northern-westchester-election-results/726452/

NAHB against tax bill | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Republican proposal to overhaul the tax code gained a powerful enemy over the weekend when the National Association of Home Builders, a trade group that been supportive until now, launched a drive to defeat it.

The decision came despite an announcement by a key House Republican, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady of Texas, that a deduction for property taxes would be maintained in tax legislation that is to be unveiled Wednesday.

Lawmakers from high-tax states, including California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York, had been pressing House leaders to continue to allow taxpayers who itemize to deduct state and local taxes.

A tax framework unveiled in September by President Trump and Republican House and Senate leaders called for maintaining the deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions while eliminating other write-offs.

Staff from the home builders association had been meeting with Brady’s staff because of concerns that eliminating the property tax deduction, combined with a proposal to double the standard deduction, would reduce the tax benefits of home ownership.

A study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors had found that the combination would lower the value of the average home by 10%.

“Even though they’re technically not touching the home mortgage interest deduction, the reality is they’re going to gut the mortgage interest deduction,” said Gerald H. Howard, CEO of the home builders group. “Doubling the standard deduction would mean only the wealthiest homeowners would be able to take the mortgage interest deduction.”

Howard said his group was pitching a tax credit that would let middle-class homeowners reduce taxable income by 12% of what they paid in mortgage interest and property taxes. The benefit would have been capped at mortgages of $500,000 and property taxes of $5,500, and there would have been a phase-out for high-income taxpayers.

Heritage Action for America, an advocacy group working to build support for the tax plan, released a letter Monday designed to blunt the builders’ effort. Signed by 146 real estate professionals, it argued that 70 percent of taxpayers do not itemize, and they would benefit from the cut in tax rates that would come from eliminating deductions, especially the break for state and local taxes, known as SALT.

“Repealing the SALT deduction would finally put pressure on fiscally irresponsible state and local politicians, especially in California, New York and New Jersey, to lower their income and property taxes,” the letter said.

Michael Needham, chief executive officer of Heritage Action, said on Fox News Sunday that “every single corrupt force of the status quo in Washington” would be coming out to “protect their little carve out” in the tax code.

read more…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/30/home-builders-pledge-defeat-income-tax-overhaul-after-homeowner-credit-rejected/813085001/