Special Days and Events
Pending Home Sales Show Another Gain
Are you throwing money out the (energy inefficient) window?
November 1st – All Saints’ Day
November 7th – Daylight Saving Time Ends
November 11th – Veteran’s Day
November 25th – Thanksgiving
The birth flower for November is the Chrysanthemum. The birth stone for November is Topaz.
by Walter Molony, National Association of Realtors®
Pending home sales have increased for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August from a downwardly revised 78.9 in July, but is 20.1 percent below August 2009 when it was 103.0. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. “Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market,” he said. “However, the pace of a home sales recovery still depends more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence.”
Although Yun expects a continuing steady rise in home sales from favorable affordability conditions and some job creation, he cautioned any sudden rise in mortgage rates could slow the recovery. “Current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. However, recent rising trends in producer prices at the intermediate and early stages of production, along with very high commodity prices, are raising concerns about future inflation and future mortgage interest rates,” he said. “Higher inflation would mean higher mortgage interest rates. In the meantime, housing affordability is hovering near record highs.”
The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.9 percent to 60.6 in August and remains 28.8 percent below August 2009. In the Midwest the index rose 2.1 percent in August to 68.0 but is 26.5 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 6.7 percent to an index of 90.8 but are 13.1 percent below August 2009. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 101.1 but remains 19.6 percent below a year ago.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine September 2010 with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
(ARA) – They frame your favorite view and are key to making your home comfortable in summer and winter, yet most people don’t think about them until they stop working properly. But, if your windows aren’t performing as well as they should, now is a great time to consider replacing them.
Until the end of 2010, the U.S. government’s Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit can credit you with 30 percent of window material costs, up to $1,500, for making qualifying efficiency upgrades to your home.
Poorly performing windows can account for 35 to 40 percent of your home’s heat loss in the winter and are often even less effective at keeping your home cool in summer. That’s literally throwing your money out the window. Today’s double and triple-pane windows are worlds apart from the windows sold just 10 years ago.
Replacement window frames offer improved protection from air and water infiltration over older windows, and the energy-efficient innovations in glass options can really make a difference in your home’s comfort. To meet the qualifications for the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, Milgard Windows & Doors incorporates advanced technologies to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Its SunCoat Low-E glass and EdgeGard thermal spacers provide the insulating power needed to keep your home comfortable all year round. But the hundreds of combinations and choices can be overwhelming. To avoid dealing with an overly-confusing list of window choices, the company offers energy packages that configure the window’s individual components for you, based on your desired energy performance level and geographic location.
When looking for energy efficient windows, most manufacturers recommend starting with the ENERGY STAR sticker. A good window will have a label from the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) and have ENERGY STAR ratings as well. On the NFRC label you’ll see the manufacturer’s name, a description of the window, plus a U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) numbers. Lower U-values and SHGC numbers mean better insulation, but look closely. To qualify for the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, each of your windows must have a U-value of .30 or less and SHGC of .30 as well.
You also should consider the manufacturer’s warranty when shopping for windows. Just as some windows work harder than others to keep your home comfortable, some manufacturers are more willing than others to stand behind their products with the service and support you expect from a major home purchase. Look for a full lifetime warranty, and check to see if labor costs and glass breakage is included.
Fall is here, winter is right around the corner and, if you act soon, you can take advantage of the soon-to-expire tax credit for making valuable improvements to your own home with replacement windows. To get started, you can find a qualified replacement window dealer by visiting www.milgard.com or by calling (800) 645-4273.
Courtesy of ARA Content
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Combine both mixtures and fold in the shredded pumpkin and pumpkin seeds. Once the ingredients are all incorporated pour into a non-stick 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan. If your pan is not non-stick coat it with butter and flour.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. At this point a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out onto a cooling rack. Cool completely. For muffins temperature should also be 325 degrees F., but bake for 30 minutes.
Photograph courtesy of FoodNetwork.com