September 2014 Your Home Newsletter

Living With An Older Home


The charms of living in an older home can be many: history, style, craftsmanship, quirks. But there's no denying that living in such a home has its challenges. Maintenance can be tricky and expensive, especially if certain systems and features have been neglected over the years. Let's take a look at some common situations found in many older homes:

  • Energy inefficiency is probably the number one issue with older homes. Most older homes were constructed with single-pane windows; if these windows are still in use, they likely don't fit very well and may be in less than good condition. Replacement windows can be very expensive, but will contribute immensely to reduced energy use and heating and cooling costs. Replacement windows are available in different styles, so finding one that suits the look of an older home is easier than ever.
  • Like single-pane windows, inadequate insulation will also waste energy and money. The most important and easiest area of the home to insulate is the attic, but walls and floors above ventilated crawlspaces should be insulated as well if possible. The attic may already have insulation but it may be inadequate by current standards and should be upgraded.
  • If the home has older water pipes, they should be checked to identify the material and determine if they need to be replaced. Some older materials such as galvanized steel, iron, and even lead are still in use today even though new construction does not allow them. Replacement options include copper, PEX, and CPVC piping.
  • Outdated electrical systems can still sometimes be found in older homes and may not only be dangerous, they can make the house uninsurable. Even if no danger is present, we use so much more electricity in our homes now that the capacity of older systems may be inadequate. Only a qualified electrician should attempt any repairs or updates to a home's electrical system.

For more information on allergens in the home, please contact your local Pillar To Post office at 859-342-6700.
Content provided by Pillar to Post Home Inspectors http://northern-kentucky.pillartopost.com/ 

Fall Tune Up Checklist

Homeownership comes with its share of routine seasonal tasks and chores. But keeping track of what needs to be done — and when — can be a challenge. To help homeowners stay on top of their maintenance projects, home improvement retailer Lowe’s offers easy-to-follow checklists for each season of the year and covers both inside and outside chores. Get your home ready for fall and winter with these tasks:
Indoor Tasks
  • When you turn clocks back, change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Install weatherstripping where needed around the windows.
  • Have the furnace professionally inspected.
  • If needed, set traps for rodents.
  • Dust blinds and vacuum curtains throughout the house.
  • Clean kitchen and bathroom cabinets and throw away outdated food, medicine and cosmetics.
  • Change or clean furnace filters. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how frequently the filters should be replaced. 
  • Clean kitchen appliances inside and out, including refrigerator coils.
  • Maintain clean drains by adding one-half cup of baking soda followed by one-half cup white vinegar. After 10 minutes, flush with boiling water.
Outdoor Tasks
  • Clean gutters and downspouts.
  • Inspect the roof and chimney for cracks and damage, and have them repaired.
  • Rake and shred leaves to use as mulch or dispose of them. 
  • Close or install storm windows.
  • Remove hoses from spigots and drain, and store indoors, coiled and flat.
  • Store outdoor furniture and cushions.
  • Walk around the house to check for open crawl space vents and close them before cooler temperatures set in.
  • Cover your central air conditioning unit, and remove and store window air conditioners.
  • Clean and store garden tools.

Area Home Sales Statistics for Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati

If you would like more information about sales in your specific community, send me an email at mikebeckerhomes@fuse.net and let me know how I can help you.

Northern Kentucky 

  
                                        August 2013       August 2014         % change
Residences sold 614                        582                            -5.21%
Average price         $156,930                $161,539                   2.94%
Median Price         $137,500                $139,400                    1.38%
Average days on market
                                                Year to Date 2013 Year to Date 2014 % change
Residences sold 3,987                        3,991                         0.10%
Average price         $155,660                   $154,824                 -0.54%
Median Price         $135,000                   $134,225                 -0.57%    
Average days on market 86                               80

Cincinnati
                                    August 2013     August 2014         % change
Residences sold             2439                     2078                         -14.8%
Average price                     $171,721             $191,206                 11.3%
Median Price                     $135,000             $144,000                 6.7%
Average days on market
                                            Year to Date 2013    Year to Date 2014 % change
Residences sold             15,631                         15,201                 -2.8%
Average price                     $167,590                 $176,044                 5.0%
Median Price                     $133,000                 $136,000                 2.3%
Average days on market     68                         64

Color Your World. . . 


With autumn just around the corner, you want to give your home a fresh look for the season. Better Homes and Gardens reports that brushing on a new coat of paint is an obvious first step, but by adding small splashes of color to your home’s exterior, you can improve curb appeal and entice buyers to walk through your door.

If you don’t have the time or the budget to repaint the entire exterior, focus on one or two areas, such as the front door, window trim or the roof. Look for doors that come ready to be painted and choose high-quality acrylic latex paint. If your budget allows, decorative glass inserts add more visual interest, and often complement a range of housing styles. Painting the roof can often make a big impact on your home’s overall look. For best results, choose a tone in the same color family as the home’s paint or siding color, or pick a color that’s close to the hues in the brick or mortar.

Don’t feel like painting? Changing out the hardware and lighting in your front entrance — from the door knockers and house numbers to the porch lights and mailbox — adds character to your home’s appearance, while plants such as coleus and bigroot geraniums are lower-cost and colorful options for your landscaping. These plants also thrive in shady areas and are easy to care for.

With a little creativity, you can turn your home into a neighborhood show-stopper.
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