By Steve Murray, President of Real Trends
The National Association of Realtors reported that their Pending Home Sales index reflected the fifth month in a row of declining home sales on an annualized basis. Five months of declining pending home sales indicate more than a seasonal flutter.
As with others, I look around and listen to brokerage firms in the Denver area, as well as in other areas. What I’ve heard is that even sky-high markets like Seattle and Denver are seeing increased inventory and a decrease in the aggressiveness of buyers in mid- to upper-price ranges regarding multi-offer situations. We’ve read about this same situation in other markets as well – declining home sale units and increased inventory. The Real Deal and other publications, for instance, are reporting this about the New York City market.
Marks the beginning of the Rose Festival. Enjoy the firework show at Tom McCall Waterfront Park starting at 9:50 PM. For more information click here.
“Fourth Quarter home sales dropped by a modest 1.5% compared to the same period last year, with a total of 15,314 homes sold. Although sales were a mixed bag, I still contend that any drop in sales was due to low levels of available inventory rather than declining demand. The average home price in Oregon and SW Washington rose 7% year over year to $363,110. This is down 1.4% from the third quarter of 2017. This slowdown in price growth is likely due to buyers feeling priced out of the market.”
- Matthew Gardner, Windermere Chief Economist
By Ronda Kaysen, NYTs
For the most part, we hunker down in the winter, as the weather is often too cold and unpredictable to tackle major home improvement projects. Make sure your home is prepared for the harsh weather.
Bring out the snow blower. Make sure your snow blower is in good working order before it snows. You do not want to be caught in the first major storm with only an orange shovel to dig you out, Send the snow blower to a small-engine repair company for a tune-up. Some companies will pick up and drop off your equipment for you. Expect to spend $60 to $200, depending on the size of your blower, Make sure you have gasoline and motor oil.
Stock up on supplies. before the Weather Channel tells you a storm is coming. Look for brands free of salt or chloride. But even products billed as “pet safe” can still harm your pet, so wipe their paws and don’t let them lick treated snow. Ice-melting products can also damage your foliage, so use sparingly. Make sure your shovel survived last winter because you will need to dig out of stairways and narrow pathways, even if you have a blower.
Ice dams. When ice accumulates along the eaves of your roof, it can cause a dam that can damage gutters, shingles and siding. As water leaks into your house, it can wreak havoc on your paint, your floors and your insulation. Throughout the winter, inspect the exterior of your home regularly . Look for icicles, because the same forces create dams. Consider buying a roof rake. The $30 tool will help keep ice off your roof in the first place by removing fresh snow from your roof after a storm. Do not hack away at the ice, as that could harm you or your roof
INSIDE YOUR HOME
Frozen pipes. When water freezes in pipes, it expands, damaging or cracking the pipes. When the ice melts, and the pipe bursts, your home fills with water. Pipes near the outside of your home are at greatest risk, like outdoor faucets, pipes in an unheated garage or swimming pool supply lines. A few tips:
- Shut off and drain outdoor faucets before the cold weather hits.
- Insulate pipes where you can.
- On cold days and nights, keep the cabinets below sinks open to let warm air in.
- You can also run the faucet at a drip to keep water moving.
- Keep the thermostat set at a steady temperature.
- If you go away, set the thermostat to a minimum of 55 degrees,
Generator. A portable generator can provide you with a lifeline in a blackout Power it up every three months, and twice a year (even if you never use it). Keep fuel and motor oil on hand in the event of a storm. Do not let fuel sit in the tank for long periods of time, as that can damage it. Check it regularly for corrosion and wear.
Winter storm prep. A heavy winter storm Stock up on wood for the fireplace, gas for the snow blower and canned food and bottled water, in case you lose power. Check your emergency supply kit for batteries, a radio, a first-aid kit and any medicines you may need. Check in on neighbors who may need help shoveling out (a little camaraderie in a storm goes a long way).