Friday the 13th

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day, making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed.

The number of property transactions decline on Friday 13. Research by found that between 2005 and 2012, there were 43 per cent fewer transactions on Friday 13 compared to other Fridays in the month.

The worst day was May 13 2011, when there were 51 per cent fewer transactions. Ironically, these transactions are likely to run more smoothly given that the staff handling them, in solicitors firms and banks, will have more time on their hands.

Property bargains are more likely to relate to houses or flats numbered 13. Number 13 houses are not that common – property website Zoopla found only 28 per cent of streets have one.

Other than that, …

90% of US skyscrapers do away with floor number 13, according to reports by the Otis Elevator Company, the world’s largest elevator manufacturers.

The 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, never traveled on a 13th and refused to have a meal with 13 people at the table.

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What is SEER?

According to the DOE, heating and cooling account for “about 56% of the energy used in a typical U.S. home.” This means that heating and cooling is the largest energy expense for most homes. In addition, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and their associated insulation also contribute the most to a home’s carbon footprint.

Now, in the U.S., air conditioning systems are rated using the seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) system. SEER ratings are found by measuring the ratio of the annual British thermal unit (BTU) of cooling provided divided by the electric energy input used, measured over a range of temperatures.

Unless you’re a science geek, that may have your head spinning, but the take-home point is this: the higher the SEER rating, the better the energy performance, so the more a homeowner saves. The DOE’s established SEER rating for appliances manufactured after January 23, 2006 at 13 or higher. This minimum is 30% more efficient than those that met the previous minimum SEER of 10.

In fact, the DOE states that today’s best central air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooling as do air conditioners made in the mid-1970s. So, although the average lifespan of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years, homeowners may save 20% to 40% of cooling energy costs by replacing a 10-year-old model with a more efficient one.

What are you waiting for?

To learn more about energy-efficient air conditioning systems, including what to look for when purchasing a new one, visit the DOE’s Energy Savers webpage.

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ARMLS RENT Check™ – Nov, 2016

For the month of Nov 2016, all RENT Check indicators turned to RED again. Yet it is normal during this season of the year. Now the numbers…

Median Lease: $1,295 – Decreased from $1,300 previous month.

Average Lease: $1,464 – Decreased from $1,476 previous month.

Avg. Days on Market: 34 – Increased from previous 33 days.

Rent Check Quotient™: 3 : 10 – Remained flat as 3 : 10 last month.

Closed Rental: 1,986 – Decreased from previous 2,309 homes.

Rent Check Quotient™ (RCQ™) is the ratio of closed rentals and closed sales.

Cap rates and Cash on Cash are still around 4% – 5% yet be careful about the potential mortgage interest rate hike.

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