- Home owners who paid less than $75,000 for their home were the most satisfied at 77 percent.
- Home owners who paid more than $800,000 were least satisfied at 69 percent.
- Buyers who purchased a home via short sale had the highest satisfaction rate at 83 percent, followed by foreclosed home buyers at 79 percent.
- New-home buyers had a satisfaction rate of 73 percent, and existing-home buyers had a satisfaction rate of 71 percent.
- Home owners ages 55-65 were the most satisfied at 76 percent. Home owners between 18 and 25 had the lowest satisfaction rate at 45 percent.
Most of the energy used by a dishwasher is for heating water. The Energy Guide label attached to new dishwashers estimates the annual power needed to run the appliance and heat the water based on natural gas and electricity costs.Dishwasher Tips
- Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120°F).
- Scrape, don’t rinse, large food pieces and bones from dishes. Soaking or prewashing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
- Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it.
- Avoid using the “rinse & hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water for each load.
- Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn the control knob to “off” after the final rinse and prop the door open slightly so the dishes will dry faster.
Long-Term Savings Tip
- When shopping for a new dishwasher, look for the ENERGY STAR label to find a dishwasher that uses less water and 41% less energy than required by federal standards.
Excerpted from U.S. Department of Energy.
By eHow Personal Finance Editor
Think about how long you’re going to stay in one place. Buying a condo is no different than buying a single-family home–you need to live there at least a couple of years to recoup closing costs, assuming the property will appreciate.
Visit various condominium or townhouse communities and multiunit buildings so you know what’s available where you live. Get a sense of prevailing prices.
Request a market analysis from a real estate agent regarding the selling prices of condos in the building or area. Check the price appreciation on the market analysis to evaluate how quickly the condos are increasing in value; subtract the selling price from the purchase price and divide by the number of years the property has been held by the previous owner for a ballpark estimate of annual appreciation, if any (varies from state to state and place to place), in the neighborhood.
Get prequalified for a mortgage
Find out if the building has a good reputation. Ask current residents how often repairs and maintenance are required, and how good the soundproofing is between units.
Check out parking, storage, security and other amenities.
Ask to see the minutes from a recent meeting of the home owners association (HOA). Find out what the hot issues are and if members are fighting tooth and nail. You may want to keep looking– nobody wants to live where neighbors are at each other’s throats.
Ask how large the HOA’s reserve funds (used to pay for maintenance and emergency repairs on the building) are. The larger the reserve, the less a chance of an assessment or one-time payment to chip in for an unexpected expense. The smaller the reserve, the greater the chance you’ll be billed for an assessment in the near future. Some states require periodic updates of reserves to be published to HOA members.
Check the HOA’s history of assessments to see how many have been made in the past 10 years and how large they have been. This information will help you gauge how likely it is that you’ll be assessed in the near future, and indicate how well-managed the building is. Better managed buildings make fewer assessments.
Talk to other members and find out how restrictive your HOA is. For instance, some buildings even dictate what sort of holiday lighting you can put up. Request the same information as you would for buying a house. Read the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions).
Budget in association dues, which are above and beyond your monthly mortgage payment. To assist in long-term financial planning, ask the condo association whether association fees have increased in recent years. Also estimate monthly maintenance costs that you’re responsible for in addition to the association fees.
Make an offer and close on the deal.