Home Owner Satisfaction Remains High

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, January 23, 2012

Nearly three out of every four home owners say they are satisfied with their purchase – and the No. 1 reason for their satisfaction is pride they feel about owning a home, according to HomeGain’s 2012 National Home Ownership Survey.
In addition to pride, home owners also said they enjoy the freedom and control they have to make improvement and upgrades to their home.
Of the 1,400 home owners surveyed nationwide, satisfaction was found to be highest in the Northeast at 77 percent, followed by the Southeast at 73 percent, the West at 71 percent, and the Midwest at 68 percent.
“The HomeGain 2012 National Home Ownership satisfaction survey shows in spite of declines in the values of homes nationwide, satisfaction among home owners remains high at 72 percent,” said Louis Cammarosano, general manager of HomeGain.
Of the 28 percent of surveyed home owners who indicated they are dissatisfied, price depreciation was cited as the primary cause. Other reasons for their discontent include property taxes, homeowner association fees, and maintenance and repairs.
Noteworthy survey statistics:
  • 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.
By Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine

Energy Saving Dishwasher Tips

Home Maintenance Tip- Dishwashers
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.

How to Buy a Condominium

By eHow Personal Finance Editor

1 Step

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.

2 Step2

Give some thought to what you want. If you’re not interested in the pool or sauna, understand that the condo’s price and ongoing monthly association fees will reflect their use regardless of your interest in swimming or sweating.
3 Step3

Visit various condominium or townhouse communities and multiunit buildings so you know what’s available where you live. Get a sense of prevailing prices.

4 Step4

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.

5 Step5

Get prequalified for a mortgage

6 Step6

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.

7 Step7

Check out parking, storage, security and other amenities.

8 Step8

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.

9 Step9

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.

10 Step10

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.

11 Step11

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).

12 Step12

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.

13 Step13

Make an offer and close on the deal.