Top 10 Most Expensive Mistakes You’re Making on Your Home

Homes cost a lot of money to maintain. But are you spending extra money unnecessarily on upkeep? Here are 10 of the most expensive mistakes you could be making in your home.

1. Using Traditional Light bulbs

If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its life span, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb. Think what replacing every light bulb in your home could do to your home’s bottom line.

2. Ignoring a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Some of us live in areas where water is plentiful, but for those of us in areas plagued with drought, this could be costing you a fortune, besides being wasteful.  Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.

3. Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

We all sometimes forget to change out the air filters for our HVAC systems or accidentally buy the wrong size. But using the wrong filter or a dirty filter can increase your power bill and cause expensive problems for your furnace down the road. Use the correct filters for your system, and set a reminder to change them after the recommended amount of time. You won’t regret it.

4. Not Customizing Temperature

Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you’re away at the office all day, you can program your heater to shift down a few degrees while you’re gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.

5. Not Adjusting Air Vents Properly

Is one room in your home hot, while the others are cold? Oftentimes homeowners will crank up the air conditioning in the whole house to combat hot temperatures in one area. Instead, adjust air vents to direct the flow of air more evenly throughout your entire home. Professionals will come regulate this to ensure that your entire home is receiving the same amount of air conditioning or heating.

6.Over Watering Lawn

Many homeowners have their sprinkler systems programmed to come on in the early morning hours for optimum lawn health. This can become a problem, however, if you’re never around to see what you’re actually watering. A broken sprinkler head could be causing a fountain, or the trajectory of your sprinkler may be directed at a fence instead of your lawn. Periodically run your sprinklers during the day so you can see how they are performing when you’re not around.

7. Water Heater Temperature Set Too High

Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. If you don’t keep an eye on the temperature as each season changes, you may be paying too much to heat your water. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.

8. Leaky Windows and Doors

Leaky windows and doors are great places for cold, winter winds to enter your home. Many homeowners simply ignore them and crank up their heaters. Caulk leaky windows and put rubber seal around doors to keep winter winds out and warmth in.

9. Paying a Handyman

Don’t pay a handyman for a job that is simple enough to do yourself. If you’re unsure of how to do something, look up video tutorials online. Doing simple tasks yourself can save you a lot of money.

10. Ignoring Curled Shingles

It may be easy to ignore problems on your roof, but it will only lead to bigger problems later. If you see any possible issues with your roof, repair them as soon as possible, as this will save you significant costs later.

By Cary Teller; RISMedia’s Housecall

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2017 Holiday Events: Santa Visits, Christmas Tree Lightings, Sleigh Rides, Parades, Festivals

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The Halle Cultural Arts Center presents two holiday productions in December. See Infinity Ballet perform “Nutcracker Dances” Dec. 1-3, and two musicals in one with “A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol” and “The Great Big Holiday Bake Off: A Confectionary Christmas Musical” Dec. 8-10. Visit etix.com for show times and to purchase tickets.

CARY

See 20 light displays illuminated by thousands of LED lights at the Chinese Lantern Festival at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary Nov. 24-Jan. 14. The hours are 6-10 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. The festival also features cultural performances and artisans. Purchase tickets, $15 for adults and $10 for ages 3-17, online at boothamphitheatre.com/nc-chinese-lantern-festival-cary.

The 2017 Cary Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Cary Jaycees, is Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. See the website for the parade route. caryjaycees.org/cary-jaycees-christmas-parade.

Cary Ballet Company presents “The Nutcracker Suite” Dec. 15-17 at the Cary Arts Center. Purchase tickets, $21-$25, at etix.com/ticket/v/8087/cary-arts-center.

Cary’s Menorah Lighting is Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Cary Arts Center. The town’s Kwanzaa Celebration is Dec. 29, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. townofcary.org.

DURHAM

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 9-10 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” takes place Dec. 13-14 at 7 p.m. at Carolina Theatre in Durham and features world-class Russian dancers, nesting dolls and giant puppets. Purchase tickets online at ticketmaster.com.

Christmas in the Piedmont During the Civil War at Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham celebrates the season Dec. 16, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with living historians who demonstrate cooking and gift-wrapping in the 19th century. Santa visits with families during the event. Candlelit tours of the site take place from 6-9 p.m. Tickets are required for the tours and are $3 for adults and $2 for ages 5-16. 919-383-4345. bennettplacehistoricsite.com.

RALEIGH

 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” lands at Fletcher Theater for performances Nov. 24-Dec. 24. Purchase tickets, $15 and up, at ticketmaster.com.

Theatre in the Park presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Dec. 1-10. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. Theatre in the Park’s production of “A Christmas Carol” is Dec. 6-10 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and Dec. 14-17 at the Durham Performing Arts Center. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at ticketmaster.com.

Raleigh Little Theatre presents its holiday sugarplum, “Cinderella,” Dec. 1-17. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. raleighlittletheatre.org.

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE’S “CINDERELLA” CHARMS AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES DEC. 1-17. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARRIE SANTIAGO

Mordecai Historic Park’s Holiday Open House in Raleigh welcomes families Dec. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and Dec. 10, 1-4 p.m. Tour the home as it would have been decorated for Christmas during colonial days through the World War II era. Admission is free. Take one of the lantern tours, which run 5-8:30 p.m. on Dec. 9, through the house and grounds to watch vignettes of the Mordecai family, soldiers and enslaved people during the Civil War. Purchase tickets, $5 per person, at reclink.raleighnc.gov (click on “advanced search” and search for “Mordecai”).

Raleigh Ringers’ Holiday Concerts Dec. 9-10 at Meymandi Concert Hall showcase unique interpretations of sacred, secular and popular music arranged just for handbells. See the website for show times and to purchase tickets. ticketmaster.com.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s holiday spectacle, “Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” is Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. at PNC Arena. ticketmaster.com.

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Dec. 15-24 at Raleigh Memorial auditorium. See the website for show times and purchase tickets at carolinaballet.com.

The renowned Raleigh Boychoir presents “Carols of Christmas” Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. at Edenton Street United Methodist Church. Purchase tickets, $8-$18, at raleighboychoir.org.

First Night Raleigh takes place Dec. 31, 2 p.m.-midnight, in downtown Raleigh. Enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities prior to the Acorn Drop at midnight. A First Night button, $10, is required for entry. firstnightraleigh.com.

RING IN THE NEW YEAR AT FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTSPLOSURE/FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH

OTHER TRIANGLE TOWNS

Visit Lights on the Neuse in Clayton, a 1-mile, tractor-pulled Christmas hayride through a magical extravaganza of holiday lights on select nights in November and December. The event also offers a sweet shop and visit with Santa. See the website for hours and to purchase tickets. lightsontheneuse.com.

Hop aboard an open train car with all the trimmings when New Hope Valley Railway in New Hill hosts its annual Holiday Santa Trains. Santa Claus and his elf visit with each child and pose for photos. Trains run Dec. 2, 3, 9 and 10, departing at 9:30 a.m.,11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Visit the website for prices and to purchase tickets. triangletrain.com.

RIDE THE RAILS WITH NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY IN DECEMBER. PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW HOPE VALLEY RAILWAY

The Pittsboro Christmas Parade is Dec. 10 at 3 p.m. and features seasonal floats, tractors, vintage vehicles, Santa and more. pittsboronc.gov.

Smithfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the corner of Third and Market streets. Enjoy hot chocolate, live entertainment and an appearance from Santa. The annual Smithfield Christmas Parade is Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. on Market Street. smithfield-nc.com.

The Lighting of Wake Forest  The town’s holiday parade, featuring high school marching bands, more than 100 colorful floats and Santa, takes place Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. in downtown Wake Forest. wakeforestnc.gov.

Take a covered wagon hayride through the holiday lights, and enjoy bonfires, a jumping pillow, train rides and music at Hill Ridge Farms’ Festival of Lights in Youngsville Nov. 23-Dec. 31, 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Admission is $10 for ages 2 and older Sun., Mon., Tues and Thurs.; $12 for ages 2 and older Fri.-Sat.; and $8 on Wed. hillridgefarms.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Triangle homes selling at ‘historically’ rapid rate

Home sales in the Triangle’s 16-county region were up nearly 4 percent in October, and the median sales price is 8 percent above the same time period last year. Meanwhile, the average number of days a home stays on the market sunk 10 percent to 44 on the year, compared to 49 at this point in 2016, according to Triangle Multiple Listing Service.

In a separate report for the month of October, appraiser Stacey Anfindsen found that within the four core counties of Wake, Orange, Durham and Chatham, a house stayed on the market for an average of just 36 days.

“That’s historically low,” says Anfindsen, whose publication is titled the Triangle Area Residential Realty report. “It’s gone down in increments. We’re kind of at the bottom of that now.”

While homebuyers are snapping up houses at record rates, housing supply also continues to narrow. In October, the Triangle’s four core counties had an average of two months of housing inventory available. Typically, market equilibrium for inventory is considered to be about 6 months of supply.

In particular, inventory is low for homes under $400,000, and that can stifle sales, Anfindsen says. These trends aren’t new – it’s been this way for the last two years. And they seem to be holding across the board for each of the Triangle’s core counties.

The story is slightly different in Wake County, where home sales inched up 1.5 percent in October and 2.5 percent on the year. Still, the median sale price is up 8.8 percent, at $284,000. In Orange County, home sales are more sluggish. They are down 2 percent on the year, and the median home price dipped slightly, by 0.3 percent, to $306,000.

By , Triangle Business Journal