While we are on the subject of resolutions, if you are resolved (see what I did there?) to make your home a more green and sustainable one, there’s no better time to incorporate energy-saving measures than during the cold months. Here are five simple things you can do to make your house more efficient…
#1 Install a Programmable Thermostat
The advice is usually to turn down the temperature during the winter, but wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to a warm house?Programmable thermostats let you pre-set temperatures and schedule when the furnace goes on and off. If you use them correctly you could see up to $180 in savings each year. More sophisticated devices like the Nest learn your daily routine an automatically adjust temperatures based on your habits. We got a NEST at our house a couple of years ago. I like it, even though it turns the heat on about 30 minutes too early in the morning for me. It wants the house to be of a comfortable temperature for when I get out of bed, but makes the room too warm to sleep in. Maybe some day I’ll figure out how to fix that.#2 Install Ceiling Fans
Fans move cool and hot air around your living space, allowing you to turn the temperature down in winter and raise it during summer. During the wintertime, you can reverse the fan’s direction to clockwise to keep the warm air moving down. Plus you can hang your clothes on them for a winter air dry. (Okay…that was a joke)
#3 Eliminate Air Leaks
Use a door draft stopper and caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows to cut down on the cold air coming in. I actually have the worst door ever for this. I’ve got to get someone out to fix it. We took the weatherstripping off when we had our house painted. However, the weatherstrip was installed wrong because the door jam need to be completely re-done. I just talked to a contractor today get him on the schedule to come fix that.
#4 Use Power Strips
Did you know that many of your appliances use electricity whether they are on or not?Standby power is electricity that’s being used by things like TVs, computers, appliances, and phone chargers, even when the devices are in stand-by mode or even off.
Plug electronics, chargers, and appliances into power strips and switch them off when you’re not using the devices. You could save up to $200 per year! Or you can buy outlets with a remote control that allows you to turn the whole outlet off.
#5 Change Your HVAC Filter
If you change your filters monthly, you may lower your energy bills by 5 to 15 percent. Plus stop that annoying wheezing sound they make when they get dirty.
Simply put, dirty, clogged filters make the HVAC system work harder.
The savings can be substantial if you keep your filters clean as the average household spends approximately $2,200 on heating and cooling costs every year. Getting the HVAC system regular yearly maintenance is also beneficial.
Common sense tells us that the lower the price, the more people who are in the market looking to buy.
Some statistics that I just got demonstrate what price ranges are being searched by consumers. These are numbers provided by the major players, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, etc.
Last month, there were 28,171 views of 3 bedroom properties listed between $100-200k. There were 23,551 views of 3 bedroom properties between $200-300k.
And then the drop-off begins. Between $300-400k the number of 3 bedroom property views dropped to 11,132.
Just an interesting thing to keep in mind when looking at how much competition there is in the market with you. As a buyer, if you can raise your price range, you become a bigger fish in a smaller pond. And as a seller, if you can lower your price, you are in a pond with a whole bunch more fishes.
Writer’s Block—-I’m going with that as the excuse for my extended absence. To push through the block…I am re-posting a previous blog post, except with all of the numbers current. If you want to see how it compares to the post in September of 2009, CLICK HERE
Ashland Oregon Real Estate Statistics as compiled from Southern Oregon MLS on March 25, 2011.
Currently there are 218 Residential listing in the city of Ashland. 41 Pending sales, and 22 places closed escrow in the last month. That actually is pretty good news as far as I am concerned. An absorbtion rate (length of time at current sales volume for inventory to run out) of just about 10 months is really pretty good in the current market. The breakdown goes like this:
- 32 Listings under $250k with 17 pending sales and 13 closed transactions last month…absorption rate of 2.5 months.
- 47 Listings between $250k-350k with 12 pending sales and 5 closed transactions last month…absorption rate of 9.4 months.
- 50 Listings between $350k-500k with 6 pending sales and 3 closed transactions last month…absorption rate of 16.7 months.
- 37 Listings between $500k-750k with 3 pending sales and 1 closed transactions last month…absorption rate of 15 months.
- 24 Listings between $750k-1 million with 2 pending sales and zero closed transactions last month…absorption rate of 24 months.
- 28 Listings over $1 million with 1 pending sale and zero closed transaction last month….absorption rate of 56 months.
(For those who want to do the math with me—I am calculating each pending sale as a half a sale for the purpose of absorption rate on the prices above $500k. Kinda need to do this to avoid having to divide by Zero…which just give me a big ‘ol E on the calculator. For those who don’t know what I am even talking about…ignore the stuff between the parenthesis)
According to the last few months of statistics, the success rate for short sales vs. REOs goes like this:
There are 310 properties currently listed as short sales in Jackson County….in the last 3 months there have been 41 successful closes on short sale properties for a median sales price of $164,900. (An average of 14 properties a month…with an absorption rate of 22 months)
There are 178 properties currently listed as bank owned in Jackson County…in the last 3 months there have been 153 successful closes on bank owned properties for a median sales price of $143,000. (An average of 51 properties a month…with an absorption rate of 3.5 months)
If you would like more information on Ashland Oregon Real Estate, or real estate in Jackson County, Oregon, drop me a line, or visit my website www.AgentInAKilt.com
Okay, that headline was just meant to get you into the blog to read it. It is not really possible to know when the bottom of the market is, until 6 months after it has come and gone.
I will try to figure out a better way to insert graphs into my blog. However, if you follow the link below, it shows the 2 year trend of housing inventory in Ashland.
We are down considerably in inventory from the high of July and August of 2007. This is a good sign that the market locally has stablized.
It looks like there have been close to 18 months where the inventory is less than it was in the previous year. I believe as the confidence grows in the economy as a whole, and the housing relief that are being put into place by the government, that Ashland will have a healthy, stable market that many in the valley and Oregon will still consider to be overpriced.
Medford is even more dramatic when you look at the graph. I really shows that last year was when the best selection of homes to buy was.
Medford Oregon Residential Supply of Homes 2 year graph (note, I figured out how to give this a better name, and cannot figure out how to edit the name of the Ashland chart)
Now I will not stake my reputation on it, because this really is crystal ball stuff. But I do want it on the record that I believe that this October/November/December will be the “bottom” of the market. And as I have said before…we really won’t know when the bottom is, until 6 months after it has gone.
So someone could keep me honest, and next June have me run the stats to see if that prediction is true.