Greater Columbia, Chapin, Irmo, Lexington and Lake Murray.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Clean Air in Your Home

How's the air in YOUR home?
Research has found that in homes across America, the quality of indoor air can be worse than outdoor air. Problems can arise from moisture, insects, pets, appliances, radon, materials used in household products and furnishings, smoke, and other sources. Effects range from minor annoyances to major health risks. Remedies include ventilation, cleaning, moisture control, inspections, and following manufacturers' directions when using appliances and products.
Changing AC & furnace air filters in your home is probably the easiest and most effective way to have clean air in your home. I see way too many dirty air filters in homes that I show to prospective home buyers. I highly recommend buying premium filters. Basic and inexpensive fiberglass filters should be changed every 1-2 months and premium filters can ususally be changed every 3 months. Do you know your filter size(s) and when was the last time you changed your filter?

Dirty Filters I've seen lately (I see plenty of this!)

The Coker's Change Filters Quarterly!

Radon is a significant contaminant that affects indoor air quality worldwide.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is NOT typically a problem in central South Carolina (Lexington, Richland, Newberry, and Kershaw counties). However, The US EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, American Medical Association, and National Safety Council recommend testing your home for radon because testing is the only way to know your home's radon levels.

Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. You can do it yourself with a short-term test kit. These kits typcially include the lab analysis as part of the cost.

I did the testing in my Lexington County (SC) home this week. I ordered one kit from the National Safety Council and another kit (First Alert) from Amazon. Both kits arrived within about one week. The kits are less than $13 each and include analysis after the kit is mailed back. One kit was out for 2 nights and the other kit was out in my home for 3 nights. I mailed the kits back on Monday and Tuesday of this week and both had results posted online today (Thursday, September 24th). My results were 1.1 and 1.2 pCi/L. The Lexington County average test result from is 1.6 and the USA national average is 1.3. So my results were very low. A test result above 4.0 pCi/L would indicate a need for radon remediation. If the radon level in your home is between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L, the EPA recommends that you consider
correcting the problem in your home.

For more home clean air information, tips, and links, please view my NEW Home Clean Air website. It covers air filters, radon, mold, moisture, Home Tour potential problem areas, and much more.
NEXT Blog... Take a Myrtle Beach vacation (at a great price!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Save Money On Home Improvement

Ready to start a Home Improvement Project? I may be able to help! (at least with helping you save some money)

I am an affiliate member of Carolina Wholesale Floors. This company offers excellent products and service out of a very nice showroom in Columbia. You can only get in with a card from a member. I offer, upon request, a FREE admission card to this awesome showroom. On most products, the discount is 40% off of the listed price in the showroom.

Carolina Wholesale Floors has the following products available and on display: carpet, hardwood floors, ceramic and porcelain tile, stone, area rugs, laminate or vinyl.

Call or email Mel Coker for your FREE member referral card. I will mail this to you (or stop by my office). Visit my webpage for more information.

I'm also a member of the Lowe's Realtor Benefits program. As a member, I can offer real benefits to my clients and friends. Visit this webpage to request a FREE 10% off coupon (on up to $5000 with limited exclusions). I can also send you my HGTV/Lowe's email with access to helpful videos and a 10% off coupon. Just send me an email with your name and email address.

Also, please request my FREE Lowe's Client "Inside-Out" E-Newsletter. Just send me an email with your name and email address. I'll set you up for the FREE monthly email newsletter. This newsletter will contain helpful hints and tips, new and innovative products and projects, and periodic money-saving coupons at Lowe’s. It's FREE and with NO obligation of any kind... be sure to request this!
Ready to buy or sell real estate in Columbia, SC? Be sure to contact Mel Coker.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

NOW is the Time for First-Time Homebuyers!

Opportunity of a lifetime for first-time homebuyers? Maybe so!
NOW is a Great time to buy a home for anyone... and, now especially so for first-time homebuyers.

Reasons to BUY NOW: Build equity (increase net worth)... deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on federal and state tax returns... lots of home inventory... LOW interest rates... prices in general have slowed or remain steady and now Congress has enacted a law to encourage home ownership for first-time homebuyers (The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008).

Quick Facts About NEW Law Provisions for First-time Homebuyers:
  • The tax credit is available for first-time home buyers only. (anyone who has not bought a home for the last three years is eligible)
  • The maximum credit amount is $7,500.
  • The credit is available for homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009.
  • Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.
  • The tax credit works like an interest-free loan and must be repaid over a 15-year period (it's an interest-free loan!).
  • The home owner does not have to begin making repayments on the credit until two years after the credit is claimed.
  • If or when the home is sold, the remaining credit amount would be due from the profit on the home sale. If there was insufficient profit, then the remaining credit payback would be forgiven. (THIS provision is BIG... it's almost a guarantee or protection that the home value will increase during the period of the tax credit payback)
More information:

I have created a special website: First-time Homebuyers Guide
This covers home-buying benefits and 9 steps to buying your first home. I have also created a RENT vs. BUY comparison that shows the huge savings when you BUY a home. CLICK HERE for the rent vs. buy comparison

Home Buying = Wealth Building!

Ready to BUY a home in Columbia, South Carolina? Contact Mel Coker.
Call (803) 749-5800