Inspection Connection

Inspection Connection

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Your trusted source for home-related information and insights.

Housing Affordability Soars, Investors Move In
Excerpt from article

It's a good time to buy a home or invest in a property.

With so many distressed properties on the market, housing affordability has jumped to levels not seen in 20 years. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) for the fourth quarter 2010, reveals that 73.9 percent of all new and existing homes sold were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,400.

That record-setting level beat the last record high of 72.5 percent set during the first quarter of 2009. It was also the eighth consecutive quarter that the index has been above 70 percent. Until 2009, the HOI rarely topped 65 percent and never reached 70 percent.

"Today's report shows that housing affordability at the end of 2010 was at its highest level since we started computing the HOI," said Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Unfortunately, tight money makes it tough to take advantage of low prices, likely to get even lower.

"However, while this is good news for consumers, both home buyers and builders continue to confront extremely tight credit conditions, and this remains a significant obstacle to many potential home sales," Nielsen added.

Where the bargains are

With 93.5 percent of all homes sold affordable to households earning the area's median family income, the Indianapolis-Carmel, IN area was the nation's most affordable large housing market.

Also ranking near the top of the most affordable major metro housing markets were Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA; Syracuse, NY; Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI; and Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI.

To continue reading more Housing Affordability click here

Commercial Real Estate Trends
Excerpt from article

Commercial real estate hasn't been exempt from the pain felt across much of the real estate industry in the last few years. Yet, according to the latest reports, it may be stabilizing.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors' chief economist, said a pullback in construction is helping to stabilize the market. "Very limited construction of new commercial real estate over the past few years has essentially fixed the supply of available space," he said. "This means vacancy rates could fall quickly from any increase in demand for commercial space."

With a renewal of job growth should come increased apartment rent, says Yun. Supply and demand rule the rising and declining of rent. And the demand of the younger population entering independence, and the housing market, may lead to a rise in demand and prices.

The rise is expected to be around 3.4 percent this year and 4.2 in 2012.

"Rising apartment rent in combination with rising oil prices could push the overall inflation rate beyond a comfort level, which could then force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year or early in 2012," Yun added.

Retail markets see the silver lining as well, with vacancy rates expected to drop marginally from 13.0 percent to 12.9 percent. Some areas are faring better than others. San Francisco, Miami, Honolulu, and Long Island, N.Y. have vacancy rates considerably lower at 7 to 8 percent.

For now, average retail rent is expected to decline 0.9 percent in 2011. Experts see a rise on the horizon, however, in 2012. Office markets are still struggling, as well, but a decline is expected. According to the NAR, "Vacancy rates in the office sector are forecast to decline from 16.5 percent in the first quarter of this year to 16.0 percent in the first quarter of 2012."

The lowest vacancies are seen in New York City and Honolulu, with vacancies near 8 to 9 percent.

As job growth is experienced across the nation, vacancy rates should begin to decline across all sectors, though real relief may be some distance off in our future.

To continue reading the 2011 commercial real estate trends click here

Tips for Urban Gardening
Excerpt from article

Urban gardening has been going on behind closed doors for years. It's time to bring urban gardening out in the open.

Just because you live in a city doesn't mean you don't love and long for plants. Not everyone can have a full blown garden, but with some creativity, you can bring the garden to the city. Whatever size space you are working with, the following urban gardening ideas can put your green thumb to work.

1. Are You Ready for an Urban Garden?

There's nothing unusual about urban gardening - gardeners will find a spot to plant some seeds just about anywhere and city dwellers are some of the most creative. However there are some considerations that urban gardeners have to take into account, like hauling water and radient heat from so much concrete. Here's a look at questions, concerns and challenges facing the urban gardener.

2. Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Containers

Growing vegetables is a great way to use your urban garden space. Many are compact, they can be grown in containers, you don't need a lot to yield a lot and they look as good as they taste.

3. Best Plants for Apartments

Sometimes the only space to garden is indoors. Even in a tiny apartment, plants will be happy to grow. All you need is some light and the right plants and you can have a living room jungle or a kitchen windowsill garden. And don't overlook that humid bathroom. Many an orchid has lived out a very good life on a bathroom shelf.

To continue reading more on on urban gardening click here

Didn't have time to read last month's newsletter? Visit the Articles and Resources page of the Inspect-It 1st Website to catch up on past home-related information and insights!

We hope you found this edition of Inspection Connection informative and useful! See you again next month!

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Roger Skaggs

Areas Served: Greater Yavapai County
tel: 928-771-9255
fax: 877-848-8154

Southwest Institute of Property inspection (SIPI): #99119 American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI): #204597 Arizona Board of Technical Registration (BTR) #38213

About Roger Skaggs
Roger Skaggs has owned and operated Inspect-It 1st ® Property Inspection of Prescott since 1999. He has inspected over two thousand homes, all in the Prescott area. Since 2002, Mr. Skaggs has acted as a property inspection and software trainer for SIPI, (Southwest Institute of Property Inspection). SIPI provides the initial training for all new franchisees and employee inspectors for Inspect-It 1st ® Property Inspection. He also provides continuing education through SIPI for veteran inspectors as well.

Mr. Skaggs currently serves on the board of directors for the Arizona Chapter of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). He is certified by ASHI, SIPI, and the Arizona Board of Technical Registration for home inspections. He is the Report Director and Software Liaison for all computerized report forms that Inspect-It 1st ® Franchising Corporation provides for their inspectors.

Roger welcomes your clients to the inspection to provide on site familiarization of the property. He verbally summarizes the inspection at the end of the inspection to give your clients a better understanding of the condition of the property. Reports are comprehensive narrative reports with photos and summary laid out in a concise format, easy to follow. Our reports are unsurpassed in the industry.


Inspect-It 1st Property Inspection of Prescott | 671 Copper Basin Rd. | Prescott | AZ | 86303



Unknown said…
Thanks for the artical