US housing stages ‘lopsided’ recovery | Bedford NY Real Estate


US housing stages ‘lopsided’ recovery | Bedford NY Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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May Gains for Residential Construction Spending | Bedford Hills Real Estate


May Gains for Residential Construction Spending | Bedford Hills Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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30 Year Mortgage Rates Average 4.08% | Katonah Real Estate


30 Year Mortgage Rates Average 4.08% | Katonah Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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A Recovery Tipping Point for Housing | South Salem Real Estate


A Recovery Tipping Point for Housing | South Salem Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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Employment Situation in June for Housing | Cross River Real Estate


Employment Situation in June for Housing | Cross River Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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U.S. Housing Markets Strengthen | Bedford NY Real Estate


Freddie Mac today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize with the strongest markets realizing the greatest benefits from a spring homebuying season in full swing.

The national MiMi value stands at 78.7, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing an improvement (+0.14%) from March to April and a three-month improvement of (+2.10%). On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved (+3.57%). Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 33 percent, but it’s still significantly off from its high of 121.7.

News Facts:

  • Twenty-six of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (97.8), North Dakota (96.3), Montana (92), Hawaii (91), and Alaska (87.4) ranking in the top five.
  • Thirty-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (94.8), Honolulu (92.3), Austin (92.1), Los Angeles (89.1) and Salt Lake City, TX (88.9) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Washington (+1.49%), Indiana (+1.32%), Tennessee (+1.03%), Oregon (+0.83%) and Mississippi (+0.82%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+10.89%), Nevada (+10.55%), Oregon (10.29%), Colorado (+8.72%), and Michigan (+8.31%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Palm Bay, FL (+1.51%), Portland, OR (+1.32%), Indianapolis, IN (+1.22%), Oxnard, CA (+1.22%) and Lakeland, FL (+1.99%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+12.6%), Palm Bay, FL (+12.14%), Miami, FL (+11.97%), Cape Coral, FL (+10.73%), and Las Vegas, NV (+11.54%).
  • In April, 43 of the 50 states and 92 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 99 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“We saw a significant improvement in housing markets nationwide, with ten more metro areas and nine more states moving within range of their benchmark, stable level of housing activity. The West and Southwest areas of the country continue to lead the way, especially Colorado, Oregon and Utah, and California is right there as well. Unlike a year ago, when the most improving markets were those hardest hit by the Great Recession, we’re now seeing stable markets among the most improving as well. So the strong housing markets are getting stronger, which reflects the better employment picture, rising home values and increased purchase activity in these markets with the spring homebuying season in full swing.”

 

U.S. Housing Markets Strengthen | Bedford NY Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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DIY Outdoor Stove/Smoker | Bedford Hills Real Estate


For only $300, you can build this durable outdoor cooking unit that can function as a stove, oven, grill, and smoker.
The firebricks are stacked without mortar to allow for expansion and contraction as the temperature changes.

This DIY, wood-fired, outdoor masonry stove can be used four ways: for baking, grilling, cooking, and smoking. Whatever your cooking needs, our outdoor stove/oven/grill/smoker can do it, thanks to interchangeable grill grates and griddle surfaces. If you want to grill steaks or fish, use the grill grate. If you want to bake bread, slide on the steel griddle, stack some bricks on top to retain heat and add the door to hold in the heat. If you want to use the stove top, just slide the metal plate (or griddle) over the top of the firebox.

The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors and I wanted to design a highly efficient, multi-purpose stove that uses little firewood (or charcoal) and retains heat for baking and cooking. So, we included a thick insulation layer of lightweight perlite/cement between the firebox and surrounding concrete block, and we included a removable door. This design holds the heat in the firebox where it’s needed. (Perlite is the porous white stuff often found in potting soils. You can buy this mined mineral product at garden centers.)

You can build the outdoor oven in stages, a few hours at a time. (You’ll need a few days between some steps.) Check local building codes before you start building. The oven is made from materials you can buy at local hardware or building stores. You may be able to find some of the materials at a salvage yard, too. (See the materials list and the building diagram). Detailed instructions for building the outdoor brick oven are below. Even if you only use it to bake bread, you can save enough money in one year to more than pay for the $300 cost.

Ideally, the stove is built to a comfortable height with concrete countertop space on each side, plus a roof to protect against the elements. We covered the concrete blocks with tile, primarily for aesthetic reasons, but you could apply stucco over the blocks, or just paint them. Having an outdoor sink and storage space nearby is also convenient.

Our outdoor oven requires a fire in the firebox for about 45 minutes to one hour to reach a baking temperature of 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Or, if you want to grill, you can start in less than half an hour. For comparison, it can take about three hours to get a clay earthen oven up to proper baking temperature. That’s a lot of time and firewood expended, which really adds up if you’re using the oven frequently. The firebrick used in our stove reaches cooking temperature more quickly than clay because its higher density makes it more efficient at conducting heat.

Another key design element is the firebox size — not too small, not too large, but just right. Properly sized fireboxes heat up quickly, have improved combustion, produce less smoke and stay hotter longer. We measured cookie sheets, bread pans, medium and large roasting pans, canners and baking dishes to arrive at our optimal firebox size of 13 inches wide by 28 inches deep by 13 1/2 inches high.

DIY Outdoor Stove/Smoker | Bedford Hills Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.

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