Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home Insulation

Winter is rapidly approaching and the heating on its coat tails. While there is little we can do to stop rising heating costs, we can help reduce the amount of fuel that we use to heat our homes.Insulation is used to fill voinds in the homes walls and cracks between walls and windows leading outside the house.This process can slow or stop warm air leaking from the inside of the house to the outside.One of the key methods of accomplishing this task is to insulate the foundation,walls and attic space of our homes.Thanks to new technology,there is a wide range of insulation types available to the home owner.Many homes can use dense pack celluse in the walls and the floor part of the attic.Foam insulation can be use in many hard to reach places and joints.Rigid insulation can be used inside the walls,on doors and a wide range of other places.Many new homes,additions and rehab projects even have insulation under the basement floors.They types of insulation and its proper use is constantly being refined and updated. Its best to contact a specialist for specifics of how much and which type of insulation is best for your home.
Paying for insulation can be expensive but this cost can be recovered by not having to pay for fuel costs.In Massachussetts, programs such as Mass Save(see can help show where are the best places to insulate and can help provide a rebate to the home owner using this program.Further savings can be garnered by seeing if there are tax credits are available for home energy efficient programs.Its best to contact your tax person or IRS for further details.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Timing aHome Purchase

One of the most frequent questions that people ask me about is the direction of the housing market and if its a good time to buy a home.Most people have heard about the soft real estate market and have seen home prices fall in most communities.People have also heard about the number of building permits being lower than previous years and the large numbers of homes being foreclosed upon and a weak economy.To further complicate matters,there is not a clear picture of when property values will stabalizeMany lending institutions have become more conservative in their lending standards.Considering these factors,its understandable why many people might be reluctant to purchase a home.
Purchasing a home is a major decision and complicated by our current economic envirement.There are always risks for the home buyer such as possible decrease in property value and ability to afford the upkeep of a home if he/she no longer has the income to pay for basic living expences.While there are reasons not to buy a home,there are compeling reasons to purchase a home.While there is always a possibilty of losing employment and further declines in home values,its important to look at the long term picture.
Real estate has always been cyclical in nature.Most areas have shown price declines and an increase in affordabilty relative to wages.Interest rates are currently at historic low levels.Despite the difficult real estate market,this can be a perfect time to buy.Its clearly a buyers market if you can afford the mortgage payments and upkeep of the home.However,there are a number of key considerations. They include your willingness to take a long term view to home ownership.The costs of home ownership should also be weighed against options such as renting or sharing space with friends or family.Also the benefits of creating equity in your new home and potental tax benefits garnered from mortgage interest.
Its clearly a challenging time to purchase a home.There are some risks but potental advantages for the prospective home owner.Each persons situation is different and each geographic area has its own positive and negative points.Its always helpful to meet with a local Realtor regarding the timing of home ownership