Tag Archives: Katonah Luxury Real Estate

89% of renters are paying rent | Katonah Real Estate

The National Multifamily Housing Council’s Rent Payment Tracker has found that 89% of apartment households—sourced from 11.4 million professionally managed units across the country—had made a full or partial June 2020 rent payment by June 13.

This number represents an increase in the share of collections over the same periods in May and April, when 87.7% and 85% of renters had made a rent payment, respectively. Notably, it also shows a 0.1 percentage point increase over the share of collections during the same period in June 2019.

“Once again, it appears that residents of professionally managed apartments were able to largely pay their rent. However, there is a growing realization that renters outside of this universe are experiencing profound hardships as the nation continues to grapple with historic unemployment and economic dislocation,” says Doug Bibby, NMHC president.

While rent collections appear to be on the rise, NMHC vice president of business strategy Sarah Yaussi warns that this data is not necessarily a forward-looking indicator, and no sources are available to show how rent is being paid based on income resources. About half of renter households report being affected by unemployment, which suggests that unemployment benefits could make a difference in renters’ ability to pay. This could become a concern in August, when expanded unemployment benefits are due to expire.

When asked if the worst is behind us, Chase Harrington, COO of Entrata, says it’s hard to tell. Despite rising leasing activity in May and into June, he also notes a decrease in renewals, as well as a rise in month-to-month leases. Brian Zrimsek, industry principal at MRI Software, reports a substantial spike in credit card payments in May, which could suggest either rent payment by credit card out of necessity or an attempt to receive credit card perks based on the relaxing of limits.

“In the midst of a pandemic and a recession, it is critical that those on the front lines are safely and securely housed,” Bibby adds. “Accordingly, we urge lawmakers to take swift action to create a Rental Assistance Fund and extend unemployment benefits so we can avoid future eviction-related problems and don’t undermine the initial recovery.”

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https://www.multifamilyexecutive.com/property-management/rent-trends/

Bomb found at George Soros’ Katonah mailbox | Katonah Real Estate

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GEORGESOROS.COM; GAGE SKIDMORE | WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Update 10/24 — The U.S. Secret Service released a statement this morning stating that similar packages were intercepted in routine mail screenings en route to the Chappaqua address of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as well as the Washington, D.C. residence of Former President Barack Obama.
 

• “Suspicious packages” were identified as “potential explosive devices” during what the Secret Service says in its official statement were routine mail screenings, and “appropriately handled as such.”

• The package sent to Clinton was intercepted late on Tuesday, October 23. A second package addressed to President Obama was intercepted in Washington early Wednesday morning.

• Neither of the Secret Service’s protectees received the packages, “nor were they at risk of receiving them,” according to the statement.

• Also on Wednesday morning, CNN’s offices in Manhattan were evacuated after a similar device was sent there and made its way into their offices, a law enforcement official said.

Jim Sciutto@jimsciuttoBreaking: CNN NY office evacuated. Police bomb squad is here. We’re told of explosive device received.

• According to the Secret Service, the agency has “initiated a full scope criminal investigation that will leverage all available federal, state, and local resources to determine the source of the packages and identify those responsible.”

Westchester Magazine will continue coverage of this story as it develops. Original story below:
 


Monday afternoon, a small explosive device was discovered in the mailbox of billionaire philanthropist George Soros’ Katonah residence.

No one was injured and the investigation is still ongoing. Here’s everything you need to know as the story unfolds:
 

• Bedford Police received a call around 3:45 p.m. on Monday, October 22, from an employee of the residence.

• The 88-year-old Soros was not home at the time.

• The relatively small device was discovered when an employee opened a package, after which they carefully placed the device outside in a wooded area, according to the Bedford police.

• Federal and state law enforcement agents responded, and the bomb squad proceeded with a controlled detonation of the device.

• There was no clear motive behind the attempted bombing, though Soros has often been demonized by right-wing groups for his support of liberal social policies and campaign contributions to democrats.

• The New York Times reports that the investigation is open, and is now being handled by the New York offices of both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Explosive-Device-Found-In-George-Soros-Katonah-Home/

Mortgage rates average 4.65% | Katonah Real Estate

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates rose for the fourth consecutive week.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased once again to its highest level since May. “Mortgage rates are drifting upward again and represent continued affordability challenges for prospective buyers – especially first-time buyers,” he said. “Borrowing costs are moving right now for three main reasons: the very strong economy, higher U.S. government debt issuances and global trade tensions.”

Added Khater, “Amidst this four-week climb in mortgage rates, the welcoming news is that purchase applications have risen on an annual basis for five consecutive weeks. However, given the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, the next few months of housing activity will likely be somewhat volatile.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.65 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 20, 2018, up from last week when it averaged 4.60 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.83 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.11 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.06 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.13 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.17 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.

Homebuyer demand may be weakening | Katonah Real Estate

Home values have been rising for six straight years, and the gains have been accelerating for the past two years. Unlike the last housing boom, the gains are not driven by fast and easy mortgage money, but instead by solid buyer demand and very low supply. Still, like the last housing boom, some are starting to warn these price gains cannot continue.

“The continuing run-up in home prices above the pace of income growth is simply not sustainable,” wrote Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, in response to the latest price reading from the much-watched S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller Home Price Indices. “From the cyclical low point in home prices six years ago, a typical home price has increased by 48 percent while the average wage rate has grown by only 14 percent.”

Yun also pointed to rising mortgage interest rates as a factor that would weaken affordability. The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage is nearly a full percentage point higher today than it was at its most recent low in September 2017.

How to use your home as a source of cash

Some argue that despite weakened affordability, demand is just so strong that it can support higher home prices. Improving economic factors are seeing to that.

“A generally strong economy and favorable demographic tailwinds driven by the huge millennial generation aging into their home buying prime will help ensure that demand stays high, even as prices rise,” wrote Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “Getting a mortgage remains incredibly affordable compared to paying rent each month.”

But he admits that the “advantage is starting to erode, as mortgage interest rates rise alongside prices and income growth lags behind.”

Weakening demand

And demand may in fact be weakening. A monthly survey from Redfin found fewer potential buyers requesting home tours or making offers.

“April was the first time in 27 months that we saw a year-over-year decline in the number of customers touring homes,” said Redfin’s chief economist, Nela Richardson. “We believe this was driven by the low levels of new listings in March.”

Richardson points to an increase in new listings in April is a positive turn for homebuyers, which could bode well for futures sales. Prices, however, still stand in the way, and the increased inventory was more pronounced in higher-priced tiers.

Meanwhile the home price gains are widest on the low end of the market, where supply is leanest. That is why home sales have been dropping most on the low end. Evidence is now mounting that a growing number of first-time buyers are giving up and dropping out of the market altogether. Sales to first-time buyers dropped 2 percent in the first quarter of this year compared with the first quarter of 2017, according to Genworth Mortgage Insurance.

“This quarter’s decline in first-time homebuyer sales reflects a slowdown in cyclical momentum as the first-time homebuyer market approached its historical norms. It also reflects a shortage of available homes priced at or below the median first-time homebuyer market price of $250,000,” wrote Tian Liu, Genworth’s chief economist. “Supply pressures will continue to drive price appreciation and freeze out a large percentage of the 2.7 million first-time homebuyers who are still missing from the market.”

Competition from all-cash investors continues to thwart first-time buyers, most of whom are reliant on mortgage financing. With so little supply available, bidding wars are the rule, rather than the exception.

“When you’re competing against 10 other offers, you have to stand out, so sometimes a letter to the sellers can pull on the emotional heartstrings, but really it’s all about the dollars,” said Karen Kelly, a real estate agent with Compass in the Washington, D.C., area.

Measuring affordability

Half of the homes on the market in D.C. in April sold in eight days or less, according to the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors. Home prices in D.C. were over 13 percent higher in April of this year compared with a year ago. The number of listings was down more than 3 percent.

Affordability continues to be a tricky metric to monitor. Some economists argue that housing is no less affordable than it was in the early part of this century, when adjusting for inflation. No question, though, even if home prices are still lower than they were during the last housing boom, adjusting for inflation, the mortgage market today is nothing like it was then.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/29/run-up-in-home-prices-is-not-sustainable-realtors-chief-economist.html

Housing starts rise | Katonah Real Estate

U.S. homebuilding increased more than expected in March amid a rebound in the construction of multi-family housing units, but weakness in the single-family segment suggested the housing market was slowing.

Housing starts rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.319 million units, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. Data for February was revised up to show groundbreaking declining to a 1.295 million-unit pace instead of the previously reported 1.236 million units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a pace of 1.262 million units last month. Permits for future home building rose 2.5 percent to a rate of 1.354 million units in March.

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

Despite the rebound in homebuilding last month, activity appears to be slowing. Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, fell 3.7 percent to a rate of 867,000 units in March.

A survey on Monday showed confidence among homebuilders fell in April for a fourth straight month. Builders complained about a lack of buildable lots and increasing construction material costs. According to the survey, tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on Canadian lumber and other imported products were “pushing up prices and hurting housing affordability.”

Confronted with these supply constraints, homebuilding will probably not increase significantly to eradicate an acute shortage of houses on the market, which is pushing up prices and sidelining some first-time home buyers.

Demand for housing is being driven by a robust labor market, which is underpinning the economy. Despite jobs market strength, wage inflation has remained moderate.

Single-family home construction fell in the Northeast, South and West, but rose in the Midwest. Permits to build single-family homes dropped 5.5 percent in March to an 840,000 unit-pace, the lowest level since September 2017.

With permits lagging starts, single-family home construction could slow further.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment surged 14.4 percent to a rate of 452,000 units in March. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes dropped jumped 19 percent to a 514,000 unit-pace.

The outlook for housing inventory was mixed. Housing completions fell 5.1 percent to 1.217 million units last month, with single-family units dropping 4.7 percent. But the stock of housing under construction rose 0.3 percent to 1.125 million, the highest level since July 2007.

Single-family units under construction climbed 0.2 percent to the highest level since June 2008.

Realtors estimate that the housing starts and completions rates need to be in a range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million units per month to plug the inventory gap.

 

 

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/17/us-housing-starts-march-2018.html

Yardi reports nation wide rents fall | Katonah Real Estate

Yardi: U.S. Multifamily Rents Fall to $1,419 in November

Year-over-year rent growth cools to 3.1%; growth remains strongest in the West and South.

U.S. multifamily rents fell by $2 in November, down to a national average of $1,419, according to the latest Matrix Monthly report by Yardi Matrix. Year-over-year (YOY) rent growth fell by 10 basis points (bps) at the same time, down to 3.1%.

Yardi attributes this shallow decline to normal seasonal fluctuation. Both multifamily rents and rent growth peaked in September, at $1,422 and 3.3%, respectively, or $3 and 20 bps above current rates. The year’s rent growth matches November’s, at 3.1%, slightly above Yardi’s estimates at the start of the year.

Deliveries have plateaued, at nearly 300,000 per year, in each of the past three years, and occupancy remains at or above 95% in most markets. New household formation is running at 1.5 million new households per year.

Of the nation’s largest metro markets, Las Vegas has the highest rent-growth rate, at 7.4%, propelled by strong job growth outpacing new unit supply. Yardi predicts this market will remain under supplied, as units under construction and planned in Las Vegas represent only 4.0% of the metro’s total stock. Phoenix comes in second, at 6.6%, followed by California’s Inland Empire, at 5.4%.

Despite out migration and high costs of living, five of the top 10 markets for YOY rent growth are in California, including San Jose (5.0%), Los Angeles (4.2%), and San Francisco and San Diego (both at 4.0%). All of these markets are in the bottom seven in deliveries as a percentage of stock—Sacramento and the Inland Empire are growing at a rate of less than 1% per year.

Rent growth was flat at the national level on a trailing three-month (T-3) basis, which compares the past three months with the previous three months. A few under supplied, warm-climate markets experienced growth, including Las Vegas (0.6%) and Phoenix (0.3%), while rents declined at the metro level in most major markets. Seattle and San Jose experienced the largest rent drops on a T-3 basis, at -0.6%.

Again, Yardi attributes this slowdown to the seasonality of most of these markets and notes that these figures represent normalcy and stability in the multifamily sector, as rents have historically cooled in November and December.

Despite some worries about the state of the economy, Yardi expects multifamily capital to remain readily available through 2019, especially because multifamily assets are considered less risky than other property types. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, multifamily (and industrial) lending rose by 19% YOY in the third quarter, despite an overall 7% drop in commercial mortgage origination. Life companies and the GSEs posted slight increases in lending, while CMBS lending fell 53% YOY, and commercial bank lending dropped 22%.

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https://www.multifamilyexecutive.com/business-finance/yardi-u-s-multifamily-rents-fall-to-1-419-in-november_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Article&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=AFT_122418%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

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
CalendarGMTActualPreviousConsensusTEForecast
2017-10-1812:30 PMBuilding Permits1215K1272K1245K1190K
2017-11-1701:30 PMBuilding Permits MoM5.9%-3.7%2.0%2%
2017-11-1701:30 PMBuilding Permits1297K1225K1240K1245K
2017-12-1901:30 PMBuilding Permits MoM5.9%
2017-12-1901:30 PMBuilding Permits1297K 

 

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

Futuristic solar home hidden inside 18th-century stone ruins | Katonah Real Estate

The stone ruins of an 18th-century Scottish farmhouse have been brought back to life as the envelope for a surprisingly modern solar-powered home. Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studiocrafted Ruin Studio with layers like a palimpsest, from the 200-year-old farmhouse frame to futuristic and tubular interior shell. In addition to the use of photovoltaics, the dwelling was built to near passivhaus standards and boasts a super-insulated envelope.

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

This unusual home located in the remote Scottish countryside retains an outwardly rural appearance with a pitched roof and exterior stone walls. Instead of using timber for the pitched envelope, however, the architects clad the structure in black waterproofing EDPM rubber. Stranger still is the pair of interior curved shells, inserted inside the rubber-clad envelope, made of insulating recycled polystyrene blocks and covered with glass-reinforced plastic. These white futuristic “tubes” serve as hallways connecting the centrally located communal areas with the bedrooms located on either end of the home.

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

“Emphasizing the narrative of time, these three layers also reflect different architectural expressions: the random natural erosion of stone walls, an archetypical minimalist pitched roof, and a free form double curved surface,” wrote the architects. “These three layers are not designed as independent parts, rather, they take on meaning as their relationship evolves through the building’s sections. They separate, come together, and intertwine, creating a series of architectural singularities, revealing simultaneous reading of time and space.”

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

Related: Barn ruins transformed into contemporary home with spa

Natural light fills the predominately white interior and large windows frame views of the Scottish countryside. The furnishings are kept minimalist and are mostly built from light-colored wood; gridded timber bookshelves located in the tube adhere to the curved walls. Portions of original stone walls are brought into the home.

Via ArchDaily

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

Ruin Studio by Nathanael Dorent Architecture and Lily Jencks Studio, adaptive reuse farmhouse, Scottish passivhaus, farmhouse ruins turned into modern home, Ruin Studio in Scotland,

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http://www.thenewsfunnel.com/real-estate-news/0dG5mbnA1L25vZGUvNDE5Njcx6?utm_source=daily-email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-email-2017-10-20&track_id=03fa2f7502f5f6b9169e67d17cbf51bb&utm_content=news-item

Installing a tankless hot water heater | Katonah Real Estate

On Demand Water Heaters

You could save up to $75 a year with an on-demand water heater!

ILLUSTRATION: KEITH WARD

Although some conventional water heaters are more energy-efficient, most older water heaters and many lower-priced models waste about 20 percent of the energy they consume. Much of the heat they produce escapes through the wall of the tank as the hot water sits unused for hours at a time. This is known as standby loss.

Besides being inefficient, storage water heaters (conventional water heaters) don’t last long — only about 13 years. Homeowners can increase the life of their water heaters by lowering the temperature to a more reasonable setting, by periodically flushing sediment from the bottom of the tank, and by replacing the anode rod. Some of these measures also save energy, just remember to get help with this is your are walking around with an ankle brace.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old and has not been maintained, it may be approaching the end of its useful life. If it’s leaking or showing signs of rust, it definitely needs to be replaced. So consider your options before it goes kaput and you have to make a rushed decision to get hot water back. Now might be the time for a tank less water heater installation. Contact a commercial  water heater repair company for more guidance.

How Do Tankless Water Heaters Work?

Also known as “instantaneous” or “tankless” water heaters, on-demand water heaters are surprisingly compact units. According to Plumbing Services in Perth, some are designed to meet the needs of a laundry room or bathroom, but others provide hot water for an entire house.

Like conventional storage water heaters, tankless water heaters provide hot water 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, they meet this need without the standby losses of storage tank heaters.

Tankless water heaters don’t suffer from standby losses because they don’t store hot water — they generate it as it’s needed. When a hot-water faucet is turned on, cold water begins to flow into the water heater. A flow sensor inside the tankless water heater detects water flow and sends a signal to a tiny computer inside the unit. The computer sends a signal to the gas burner or electric heating element in the water heater, turning on the heat source. Water flowing through the heat exchanger in the tankless water heater heats up rapidly — increasing in temperature from about 50 degrees to 120 degrees in a matter of seconds.

Estimated Energy Savings

Because tankless water heaters eliminate standby losses, replacing an old, inefficient water heater with a compact tankless water heater will reduce your annual energy bills. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) projects savings up to 30 percent on the cost of heating water, compared to a storage water heater.

Actual savings depend on several factors, primarily the efficiency of the new water heater and the amount of hot water a family uses each day. Also, using electricity instead of natural gas is a much more costly way to heat water.

For homes that use up to 41 gallons of hot water daily (probably a two-person household), the DOE estimates savings of 24 to 34 percent on the cost of providing hot water via a tankless heater compared to a conventional storage-tank heater. In homes that use substantially more hot water, around 86 gallons per day (probably four or more people), the DOE estimates reduced savings, only about 8 to 14 percent. This is because there is less idle time and less standby loss with a conventional water heater if a lot of hot water is used throughout the day. (Hot water use varies significantly depending on your habits. Estimate how much hot water you use by using the Consumer Reports calculators.)

For large families, it may make more sense to stick with an energy-efficient conventional water heater and implement other hot-water saving strategies — such as installing water-efficient shower heads, dishwashers, and clothes washers — to cut down the quantity of hot water used, rather than changing the way water is heated.

Even greater energy savings can be achieved by installing a tankless water heater at major points of use — for example, near the master bathroom, a washing machine, or kitchen. (This reduces the length of the pipe run, which reduces the amount of hot water left in the line when the faucet is turned off.) This strategy could yield savings ranging from 27 to 50 percent, although savings could be offset by the cost of purchasing and installing additional tankless water heaters.

Additional savings also result from the long life of tankless water heaters. According to the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, most tankless water heaters last at least 20 years. And they’re made from easy-to-replace, off-the-shelf parts, so repairing a tankless water heater (not an option with leaking storage water heaters) can result in even longer service. A tankless water heater, with periodic maintenance, could outlast two storage water heaters. If you’re considering a tankless water heater and comparing costs to a new storage water heater, be sure to consider longevity.

By reducing your energy demand, a tankless water heater also reduces your family’s contribution to local, regional and global air pollution. Because they’re smaller, easier to repair, more durable and longer-lasting than storage water heaters, tankless water heaters also reduce resource consumption and landfill waste. Using fewer natural resources means less environmental disruption from mining, as well as pollution.

Possible Downsides

Although tankless water heaters offer many benefits over storage water heaters, they do have a few disadvantages. While they produce a steady stream of hot water, they may not produce enough hot water to meet everyone’s needs if demand is high. If hot water is being used at several locations simultaneously, water temperature at the various points of use may decline. Someone taking a shower may experience a drop in water temperature if another family member is also showering, washing clothes, or running the dishwasher. (The same can occur, however, when using a traditional storage water heater.)

This problem can be corrected (or at least mitigated) by simple, cost-effective efficiency measures, such as installing water-efficient shower heads, taking shorter showers, replacing old appliances with water-efficient models, washing clothes with cold water, and coordinating hot water use.

There are three more-expensive ways to ensure plenty of water from a tankless water heater: 1) Purchase the highest output model you can find. 2) Install two tankless water heaters, although this is a less efficient use of resources. If connected in parallel, two tankless water heaters can dramatically increase the availability of hot water. 3) Install a tankless water heater at each point of use — near bathrooms, the laundry room and the kitchen.

Installing an On-Demand Water Heater

Replacing a storage water heater with a tankless model is a major project, especially if the installation requires rerouting the exhaust (flue) pipe or increasing the size of the opening through which the flue pipe exits your house. Some tankless water heaters require larger flue pipes than those used for storage water heaters. This project requires considerable knowledge of plumbing and electricity and is best done by a professional. Contact a plumbing maintenance services company for assistance.

Shopping Tips

If you’re replacing a conventional water heater, you may want to consider buying a more efficient storage water heater. Some manufacturers have made dramatic efficiency improvements. Check out the yellow energy tag, which indicates energy use of the model you are considering versus the average for models in its size range. A side-by-side comparison of an efficient storage water heater and a tankless water heater is worth the time.

By maintaining a new storage water heater — replacing the anode rod as needed and annually flushing the sediment from the tank — you can dramatically increase its life. Installing energy-efficient faucet aerators and shower heads will also lower your water and energy bills.

Tankless water heaters can be purchased through home improvement centers (which offer installation services) and from plumbers. According to Plumbers Perth, when shopping for a tankless water heater, be sure to consider the physical size of the unit and whether it will fit in the location you have in mind.

Also, pay close attention to the output of the tankless water heater—the rate at which it produces hot water versus your demands. Most tankless water heaters supply 2 to 5 gallons of hot water per minute, which is sufficient for energy- and water-efficient end-users.

Gas-fired tankless water heaters typically produce higher flow rates (more hot water per minute) than electric units. Takagi makes a tankless water heater that delivers up to 7 gallons of hot water per minute, which should be enough for several simultaneous uses, especially water-efficient ones.

Some manufacturers, such as Paloma, rate their units on heat output, measured in Btus (British thermal units). Paloma recommends its 141,000- to 145,000-Btu tankless water heater for homes with one or two bathrooms, and the 199,000-Btu units for two- to three-bathroom homes.

When shopping for a tankless water heater, pay attention to fuel type. Power from natural gas and propane produces fewer pollutants than electric models, if they are powered by nuclear or coal-burning plants. Burning natural gas and propane is nearly twice as efficient as making electricity. Look for a tankless water heater with high energy efficiency (called the “fuel factor” or “energy factor”). For greater savings, purchase a model with an electronic ignition instead of a pilot light.

In addition to the cost of the unit, get an estimate of installation costs before you lay your money down. Like a conventional water heater, a tankless water heater requires a flue pipe to remove unburned gases and pollutants, among them carbon monoxide, which is generated from the combustion of natural gas or propane.

Venting is not required for electric water heaters, which slightly lowers installation costs. Unfortunately, electricity is a much more costly way to heat water.

Finally, if you’re thinking about installing a solar hot water system or already have one in place, purchase a tankless water heater designed to work with these systems. Solar hot-water systems feed solar-heated water to the tankless water heater.


What Will It Cost?

Tankless water heaters aren’t cheap. Prices range from about $600 to $1,500, depending on the size of the unit and its output. Installation can run from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 or more for difficult projects. In contrast, a conventional natural gas or propane water heater costs roughly $300 (for a small tank) to $700, plus about $200 to $300 for installation, depending on the size and any complications. Electric water heaters are typically the more expensive models.


What Will You Save?

Is the extra cost of a tankless water heater worth the investment? A family of four spends about $2,100 a year on energy (the average bill in 2007). With water heating constituting 12 percent of a family’s monthly fuel bill, they’ll spend more than $250 per year for hot water. If they use water wisely, a tankless water heater could save 30 percent — about $75 (or substantially more as energy costs continue to rise). Although these savings may seem modest, in 10 years’ time, they add up to over $750, which partially makes up for the additional initial investment.

Over the 25-year life of the unit, savings could turn the water heater into a money-maker, netting about $1,875 in tax-free savings. Not a bad return, especially considering you’re also saving natural resources and reducing pollution. When doing the math, be sure to include any rebates offered by local utilities and/or tax incentives from the federal government or some state governments. Rebates lower the initial cost, resulting in greater lifetime savings. Check into financial incentives by contacting your state’s office of energy conservation. Every state has one, but the names vary in each state. You can also check the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.


Do Tankless Water Heaters Reduce Water Consumption?

Contrary to popular misconception, tankless water heaters do not reduce water demand in a home, unless they’re installed at the point of use. In most instances, you still have to run the water until the hot water from the water heater purges all of the cold water that’s been sitting in the hot water line between the tank and the end user. As a result, tankless water heaters are primarily installed to save energy, not water.

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Mortgage rates average 3.83% | Katonah Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increasing for the first time in seven weeks.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.83 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 21, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.78 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.48 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.13 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.08 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.76 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.17 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.80 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.

“The 10-year Treasury yield continued its upward trend, rising 7 basis points this week. As we expected, the 30-year mortgage rate followed suit, increasing 5 basis points to 3.83 percent. This week’s uptick in the 30-year mortgage rate ends a nearly two-month streak of declines.”