As we prepare for the heat this holiday weekend, I wanted to take a moment to share some updates with you. From real estate inventory to lending market changes, and even some helpful air conditioning efficiency tips, there’s plenty to cover.
Rates aren’t where we anticipated…
Unfortunately, the anticipated decrease in rates hasn’t materialized as we had hoped. Despite the recent pause in rate hikes by the Fed, they have made it clear that this is only temporary and that further rate increases are on the horizon. This news has caused the stock market to go down and lending interest rates to increase.
I think it’s going to be a rough year for interest rates settling between 6.5% to 7.5%. For example, if you’re considering a conventional loan purchase with a 20% down payment and a FICO score of 760, the current interest rate would be around 6.99%. While these rates are higher than what we anticipated, it’s important to keep in mind that the market is dynamic, and rates can fluctuate based on many factors.
Real Estate & Lack of Inventory
The current real estate landscape is characterized by a significant lack of inventory, resulting in varying price trends across different areas and home types. Buyers and sellers are exercising caution and holding tight, which has led to a slower market pace. Even with enticing incentives offered by new home builders, there has been a noticeable slowdown in their sales. As we look ahead, it appears that the summer sales may continue along the current trend without significant changes.
6 Tips to Keep Your House Cooler & Energy Efficient
1. Use ceiling and stand fans
Using fans in conjunction with your air conditioner can greatly enhance air circulation and help distribute cool air more efficiently throughout your home. Fans create a gentle breeze that can make you feel cooler, allowing you to raise the thermostat setting on your air conditioner. By using fans strategically in rooms where you spend the most time, you can reduce your reliance on the air conditioner and lower your energy consumption.
2. Use natural ventilation
Consider installing a whole-house fan that draws in cooler air during the night when outdoor temperatures drop. This can help cool down your home and reduce reliance on air conditioning. Additionally, take advantage of natural ventilation by opening windows during cooler evenings or early mornings. This allows fresh air to flow through your home and helps maintain a comfortable indoor environment without solely relying on artificial cooling.
3. Maintain your air conditioning system regularly
Regular maintenance is crucial for the optimal performance of your air conditioning system. Clean or replace the filters regularly to ensure proper airflow and efficiency. Additionally, have a professional inspect and service your system at least once a year to address any issues, clean the components, and ensure the system is running smoothly. Proper maintenance helps your air conditioner operate efficiently, keeping your home cool while minimizing energy waste. It may also save you a long wait for an AC repair tech when temperatures are the hottest.
4. Install window coverings, sun screens, or reflective films
Installing window coverings such as blinds, curtains, sun screens, or reflective films can significantly reduce heat gain from the sun. These solutions block out UV rays and prevent excessive heat from entering your home through the windows. By keeping the heat out, you can maintain a cooler indoor environment and reduce the workload on your air conditioner, resulting in lower energy consumption and utility bills.
5. Avoid using heat-generating appliances during the daytime
Heat-generating appliances like ovens, stoves, dishwashers, and dryers can significantly contribute to the heat buildup in your home. During hot days, try to limit the use of these appliances or shift their usage to cooler times of the day, such as evenings. Additionally, consider switching to energy-efficient LED light bulbs, as they generate less heat compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, helping to keep your home cooler and reducing energy waste.
6. Improve your home’s air envelope
Enhancing your home’s air envelope refers to taking steps to reduce air leakage and improve insulation. Proper insulation in walls, ceilings, and attics helps prevent heat transfer, keeping your home cooler during hot months. Seal any gaps or cracks around windows, doors, and other areas where conditioned air may escape or hot air can enter. By improving your home’s air envelope, you can minimize the exchange of hot and cool air, making your air conditioning system more effective and energy-efficient.
By implementing these tips, you can keep your house cool, reduce your reliance on air conditioning, and lower your electricity bill during hot months while maintaining a comfortable living environment.