It’s Storm Season, Time To Check Your Roof

Rytech NashvilleSummer storms are just a fact of life throughout the United States, and especially in the southern US. And while 90% of undesirable weather that rolls through town is little more than an inconvenience, the rest is capable of inflicting damage to your property. Downed trees and a water-logged basement are usually the main concerns. However, your roof, which is fully exposed during all weather events, may not always come out unscathed. 

According to the water damage restoration experts at Rytech Nashville, it pays to take a quick look at your roof once the sun comes out, even if you don’t have an apparent leak. Keep reading for answers to frequently asked questions on how to identify storm and water damage, restoration needs, and other roofing issues.

Q: What type of roof damage can happen during a storm?

Rytech Nashville: That depends on the storm. High winds can rip shingles from the roof. Excessive rain can cause water buildup in the gutters that can also damage the shingles. Hail can remove asphalt granules, leaving the underlying material vulnerable to the elements.

Q: If the shingles look fine, what else can a homeowner look for?

Rytech Nashville: One telltale sign that the roof is at risk are raised nail heads. Even if the shingles are in place, this almost always means that winds have pushed the shingles out of place. You can also look at the flashing, which are pieces of metal around the chimney and air vents. Bent, broken, or dislodged flashing can cause water to penetrate your home through the walls or the roof. If this happens, you will almost certainly need water damage restoration services and may require mold removal to make the home safe.

Q: What should I do about sagging gutters?

Rytech Nashville: Gutters that have been dislodged from the fascia have likely become clogged with leaves, small twigs, and other debris. If it is safe, clear the gutters and reattach them to the house. Clogged gutters are a serious issue. When it rains, if the water cannot drain, it can build up and gradually seep into the walls through the roof. Rainwater can also pour off the sides of the gutters and pool around the perimeter of your home and then enter through cracks in the foundation. Even a small amount of water inside the home can cause significant mold growth. Mold removal can help, but unless you identify weak spots, it will grow back.

Q: Are there signs of roof damage that may not be apparent from the outside?

Rytech Nashville: Yes. Grab a flashlight and head to the attic. Chances are, the plywood sub-roof is exposed from underneath. From here, you can look for discolorations in the wood and will be able to see if the plywood is sagging. Dark spots likely indicate that it has been in contact with water. Turn the light off and make a note of any areas where you see sunlight coming in from the outside. The only spots that should allow light to enter are the gable vents on either side of the home. 

Q: There is a tree on my roof and obvious damage. What should I do now?

Rytech Nashville: Your first priority is to get yourself, your family, and any pets out of the home until it is deemed safe for return. Contact your insurance company to find out if they will cover the cost of a hotel or other accommodations until a roofing company can get out and inspect the damage. If your home has been flooded, ask them about water damage restoration coverage. The sooner your roof is fixed, the better, since standing water in the interior causes more damage the longer it is there. 

Rytech Nashville offers water damage restoration and mold removal throughout Davidson, Sumner, Williamson, Wilson, and Rutherford counties. Visit Rytech.com/Nashville for more information.

Without Vision, My People Perish

United Faith ChurchUnited Faith Church provides 3 KEY STEPS to follow in order to walk in GOD’S VISION. Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago are the senior pastors of United Faith Church in Barnegat, NJ.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

Revelation. Divine guidance. Prophetic vision. These are all terms used to describe the original Hebrew word for “vision” in the famous Proverb above.

We hear the word vision all of the time. Companies have visions for their path to success, athletes have a vision to reach their goals, and we routinely go to the eye doctor to examine our vision. But what exactly does it mean to have “vision” in God’s Kingdom? United Faith Church is excited about their vision to touch the nations for Jesus Christ, which God placed on the hearts of Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago at the start of their ministry.

Night versus Day

When Jesus planned to return to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead, His disciples asked Jesus why He would risk going back there when last time He went, the Jews tried to stone Him.

Look at how Jesus responded.

“Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light”” (John 11:9-10).

Was it the light of the sun that Jesus was really speaking of here? Let’s look at something else Jesus said to His disciples after healing a blind man.

“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5).

Jesus is explaining that just as we need sunlight to see during the day, we need His light in order to see in God’s Kingdom. He was able to venture down a dangerous path because He had spiritual eyesight to see exactly where to go and not stumble along the way. This is vision. Without it, people perish; they stumble because they cannot see in the night.

To walk in the night is to have no understanding of God, doing whatever seems best, yet having no revelation of God’s will for our lives. We want God to bless what we do without knowing whether it is what He wants for us. We trip and fall as we make decisions in darkness over the years, and we end up paying the price, stumbling with each step along the way. This is because we cannot see.

But God’s desire is for us to see, which is why he sent his Light, his Son Jesus. To walk in the day is to see the way God sees. When we can see Jesus, we know the way to walk, and our plans prosper. We have vision for His will in our lives and the lives of our families. His light guides us on the path that will keep us close to Him and bring His Name glory.

United Faith Church teaches the importance of having vision which is modeled through the lives of Pastor Janeth Santiago and her family. Below are three key steps to follow in order to walk in the vision God has for our lives.

  1. SEEKING

How do we get vision? Having vision means that we can see that our own ways keep us in darkness, but in the light of Jesus we can see His ways that lead to righteousness. Our eyes are opened to this vision through seeking; “…seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

On our knees, we come into the Light. We cry out, Lord, show me the way! And we come to know the Light. God gives us spiritual eyes to see Him in everything. He helps us to take responsibility for our past, present, and future, and to make godly decisions according to the vision He puts in our hearts. No longer do we make decisions based on our own limited darkened understanding, but we look to God, the One who knows all things, to lead us. “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).  The beauty of being able to see is that it sets us on a straight path for our lives and for the future generations to follow.

  1. CONNECTING

Next, we must learn to continually connect with God. Many have heard the verse “…I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). If God never leaves us, why the need to seek and connect?

We see the heart of God in His word that says to trust in Him with all of our hearts, to not lean on our own understanding, and to acknowledge Him in all of our ways (Proverbs 3:6). When we do not look to God in all of our daily decisions, we disconnect from Him; even though He is there, we cannot see him just as a blind man cannot see the person standing in front of him. But if we connect to the Light, we can see Him, and we can hear Him. It is in the seeking and connecting that we come to know and walk in the Day and remain as children of the light.

  1. REMAINING

Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). God’s desire for us is that we come out of the darkness into the light and to remain in the light.

How do we remain? By daily living in the vision that God has given. Those living in the light cling to the word of God as the guide that directs their every step. The decisions they make for their families are in accordance with the divine vision of Christ Jesus and His plan for each of their lives. They carry in their hearts the dream that they and their children will be ministers and lovers of God for His glory and honor. Although they live in a dark world, they are not of it; by faith they come into the light of Day where they see their God and follow His leading.

This is what David spoke of when he said, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…” (Psalm 23:4). When we remain in God, He lights our path and leads us in the way we should go in peace. The vision of God takes us beyond what we can do and even imagine and allows us to see God’s plan for us in His Kingdom… “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago, along with the families of United Faith Church, have big dreams to touch many lives for God. Their vision extends to their children and the many generations to come.

For more info and articles, please visit www.unitedfaithchurch.org. United Faith Church is led by Pastors Jerry and Janeth Santiago.

Everest Gymnastics: Why Are Sports Physicals So Important?

Everest GymnasticsIf you have ever driven by a walk-in clinic or pediatrician’s office, you have probably seen signs advertising sports physicals. What are these, and why are they important? The coaches at Huntersville-based Everest Gymnastics explain in the following question and answer session.

Q: What is a sports physical?

Everest Gymnastics: A sports physical, which is also known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), is similar to the checkup that a child receives each year at the pediatrician’s office. However, it focuses on the child’s physical abilities to determine whether or not they are capable of safely participating in sports.

Q: Are they required?

Everest Gymnastics: Most states have laws in place that require young athletes to undergo a sports physical. Even in those states that don’t, it is highly recommended.

[Read more…]

Specialists from Homelife Warranty Protection Discuss Benefits Of Insulation

HomeLife Warranty ProtectionIf you want to get the most energy efficient use of your home, proper insulation is a must. In today’s expert interview, we speak with HomeLife Warranty Protection founders Dennis and Nicole Roehl about what areas need special attention.

Q: Today we welcome HomeLife Warranty Protection to our site to discuss ways proper insulation can save a homeowner from an uncomfortable situation.

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Thank you for choosing us.

Q: We know that homes are insulated. But why?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Insulation works to keep the temperature and moisture levels in your home best suited for everyday living. And, sealing off air leaks also reduces your home’s energy efficiency footprint.

Q: What is the most important part of the home to insulate?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: There isn’t one area that’s more or less important. I would say, however, to start with the ceiling and walls and work your way around from there.

Q: How can a homeowner determine if they have enough insulation in the attic?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Attics should be insulated with an R-30 value material, which equates to 11 inches of fiberglass or eight inches of cellulose insulation. Before adding these materials, it’s a good idea to check for any air leaks and seal your attic access.

Q: What is a radiant barrier?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: A radiant barrier is a reflective material used to reflect radiant heat. They are typically used in attics of homes in warmer climates to help keep cooling costs down.

Q: What type of insulation is ideal  for exterior walls?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: If a home is already finished, blown insulation is fine. This can be installed by what’s known as the dense pack technique. Blown insulation provides significant benefits with minimal disturbance to the rest of the house.

Q: Is it possible to insulate the floors above a heated garage?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: This is a very simple project that requires roll insulation and flexible metal rods which keep the insulation in place.

Q: Should the foundation be insulated?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: A well maintained and insulated foundation will keep any below-grade rooms comfortable and work to prevent insect infestation, radon, and moisture problems.

Q: What are some ways to insulate a basement so that it can be used as livable space?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: The interior wall should be insulated along with any exposed ductwork. Insulating basement walls minimizes thermal bridging and helps reduce condensation on hard surfaces below grade.

Q: Why do some insulation materials require fire-rated covering?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Certain materials release toxic fumes when ignited and must be covered with a flame retardant.

Q: What are some different kinds of insulation?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Batt and roll insulation, concrete blocks, foam board, loose fill, and spray insulation are all good choices. Insulated concrete blocks have gained popularity over the last 10 years in new construction.

Q: How should the crawlspace be insulated?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: That depends on whether it’s ventilated or unventilated. Unventilated crawl spaces should be sealed airtight. If you have a ventilated crawlspace, pay careful attention to the area below the floor, especially around air vents.

Q: Are there ways to add comfort to a home built on a concrete slab foundation?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: New construction should utilize insulated slab. It is extremely cost prohibitive to insulate the perimeter of an existing home, but it can help reduce heating bills by up to 20% in extremely cold regions.

Q: Does insulation really make a difference to my overall utility costs?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Absolutely. Proper insulation can help homeowners save 30% or more in utility cost.

Q: What other improvements keep the home cool and comfortable?

HomeLife Warranty Protection: We would suggest installing ENERGY STAR-certified windows and doors and making sure your HVAC unit is inspected at least twice a year.

Q: That’s great advice. We appreciate your time today and thank you for joining A Gathering Of Experts.

HomeLife Warranty Protection: Our pleasure.

All About Sliding Glass Doors with Morgan Exteriors

Morgan ExteriorsMorgan Exteriors discusses the clear benefits of modern-day glass in today’s expert discussion.

A Gathering of Experts: Welcome, and thank you for your time. Today, we want to talk about doors. Warmer weather is coming and, for many, that means it’s time for a home exterior update.

Morgan Exteriors: Yes, it does, and a new door is a wonderful project!

A Gathering of Experts: What kinds of doors does Morgan Exteriors install?

Morgan Exteriors: We offer a full line of French, entryway, and sliding glass doors.

A Gathering of Experts: What’s the difference?

Morgan Exteriors: French doors are usually installed in sets of two and they swing in or out depending on one’s preference. They are a grand addition to decks and balconies.

A Gathering of Experts: And sliding doors? Where do those fit best?

Morgan Exteriors: Like French doors, sliding glass doors are great for accessing your home’s outdoor space. We install many of these on lower-level areas, such as a ground-level patios.

A Gathering of Experts: How many types of entryway doors are available?

Morgan Exteriors: We can install a door regardless of configuration – single, double, even triple, if need be. We have virtually unlimited designs, styles, and colors.

A Gathering of Experts: How does installing a new door change the look of the home?

Morgan Exteriors: Whether you realize it or not, the doors on your home make a statement. They can be inviting or not so friendly.  A clean, new glass door that opens easily brightens up the home and welcomes guests.

A Gathering of Experts: But installing new doors is really expensive – isn’t it?

Morgan Exteriors: We believe that you get what you pay for in building materials. Our doors are not the cheapest on the market, but they offer a value beyond anything you’d get at a ‘big box’ retailer.

A Gathering of Experts: Such as…?

Morgan Exteriors: We are known for our lifetime warranty on doors, windows, and vinyl siding.

A Gathering of Experts: Okay, that’s different. Lifetime?

Morgan Exteriors: Yes, of course. As well, our premium vinyl doors are impact-resistant and durable. They are low maintenance, too!

A Gathering of Experts: Energy efficiency is a big topic these days. How do your doors perform?

Morgan Exteriors: Every door we sell is ENERGY STAR certified.

A Gathering of Experts: What does that mean exactly?

Morgan Exteriors: ENERGY STAR doors have been rated by an independent team based on standards aggregated by the EPA. A certified door is one that’s proven to reduce energy consumption and help keep your inner atmosphere comfortable.

A Gathering of Experts: How do I know my door is being installed correctly?

Morgan Exteriors: Our employees are trained by the factory and supervised by home improvement veterans. That’s why we package our doors with a lifetime warranty!

A Gathering of Experts: Before we close, can you tell our readers a little about your company?

Morgan Exteriors: We were established in 1995 by Kirk Morgan, who remains involved with every project in one way or another. Kirk has been known to show up to job sites unannounced just to make sure things are going smoothly. He has worked hard to build this company, which is reflected in the fact that we’ve been voted Tampa’s # 1 door and window installer for 15 years straight. Our customer service team is available by calling 813.931.4663. We proudly serve Tampa and the surrounding communities.

Interview: Gary McClure Talks About Wins and Losses

Gary McClureFormer APSU baseball head coach Gary McClure saw his share of highs and lows during his long and illustrious career. In the following interview, the now-retired Gary McClure discusses breaking records and embracing losses.

Gathering of Experts: Good evening and thank you for taking the time out to speak with us today.

Gary McClure: It’s my pleasure.

Gathering of Experts: Given your recent retirement, we would like to discuss some of your career highlights.

Gary McClure: My second year back in 1989 really sticks out because that was the year we were able to turn this program around from a talent standpoint and getting our guys to believe they could win at Austin Peay. That is one of the biggest hurdles to get over when there hasn’t been a lot of winning. We were able to get to the conference tournament and play our way to the championship game finishing 2nd in our league. 2011 was a fantastic year. It was then that I passed Johnny Reagan as the all time leader for wins in the OVC. I’ll never forget that moment! Truly though, nothing compares to the years we were successful on the field and able to accomplish our greatest feats as a team. That’s true gratification.

Gathering of Experts: Johnny Reagan is an OVC Hall of Famer, correct?

Gary McClure: That’s right, with a 776-504-11 record. Johnny’s also one of the most classy people you will ever meet and he had many more accomplishments at Murray State. At one time he was the AD, and i believe he was both a baseball and basketball star there at one time.

Gathering of Experts: How long were you with the Governors?

Gary McClure: For 27 seasons. I started as the interim head coach in 1988. I was actually still finishing my graduate degree at the time.

Gathering of Experts: But it didn’t take long for you to start raking in the victories…

Gary McClure: My first win as head coach was in February of ‘88, against Trevecca.

Gathering of Experts: How was your first full year as head coach?

Gary McClure: 1989 – We actually had the 2nd most wins in school history with 32. We also finished 2nd in the OVC tournament that year and were 1 win short of going to the NCAA Regional. It was a lot of work, but extremely fun for the players and coaches.

Gathering of Experts: You quickly became known as one of the best coaches in the OVC.

Gary McClure: Well, it took six years of hard work before anyone ever thought that! In 1994 we won the OVC regular season championship and unknowingly I became the Govs all time wins leader as well.

Gathering of Experts: You surpassed that record easily.

Gary McClure: I won’t say it was easy. In athletics at that level nobody is going to make anything easy for you. And I definitely would not say I did it by myself. I had very good players that bought into what some very young coaches laid out for them. They had good attitudes and were very coachable

Gathering of Experts: 1994 was special for another reason, wasn’t it?

Gary McClure: Yes very, as i mentioned before, we won the school’s first championship since 1971. It was obviously my first as a head coach.

Gathering of Experts: And 1996?

Gary McClure: Many people have called the 1996 team the best in the program’s history. I can’t really argue that. We had a lot of great players who won 44 games and they took me to my first NCAA Regional as a coach. Also, when i look back at least 3 of the players on that team are in the Austin Peay Athletic Hall of Fame and close to 10 of  those players went on and played professionally.

Gathering of Experts: Like who?

Gary McClure: Third baseman Nate Manning, who was named OVC Player of the Year, and Craig Smith was bestowed the honor of Pitcher of the Year. Shortstop Chuck Abbott was a tremendous player and was the first draft pick by the Angels in 1996. We had hall of fame catcher Ryan Bennett, centerfielder Kent Brown, and RHP Mike Eikenberry, who were all selected in the draft. That team really had very good players all throughout the lineup

Gathering of Experts: After the 1996 season, the Govs kind of disappeared for a while. What happened?

Gary McClure: Well, we didn’t really disappear although everyone has some ups and downs. It just we were just finishing in 2nd and 3rd some years and not winning championships. We were still right there banging on the door.

Gathering of Experts: Fast forward to 2003…

Gary McClure: We came back into the spotlight and actually had our first 3-Peayt with  back-to-back OVC regular season titles (2003 and 2004) and a OVC tournament championship in 2005 and got back to the NCAA Regional again that year.

Gathering of Experts: Out of all the games you coached, what would you say is the most memorable?

Gary McClure: Wow, i really can’t pick just one, but the NCAA  game in 2007 against Vanderbilt was truly one of the most intense and competitive games i’ve seen or been a part of. They were No. 1 seed. We lost, but it was a fierce battle over 11 innings. Shawn Kelley matched up with David Price and he pitched for 10 of those and allowed just one run. It was a late error on what was truly a fluke play that finally got us in the 11th inning. It was an extremely heartbreaking loss for everyone, players, coaches, and fans. I would also have to say that our victories against Georgia Tech in the 2011 regional, Cal State Fullerton in the 2012 regional, and Florida in 2013, were very special. Etery championship game in our league was also very high on the list.

Gathering of Experts: Those all sound like exciting contests. As we’re sure they all were. Thank you, Gary McClure for joining us today!

Severe Morning Breath Avoidable, Says Edmond Dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Edmond DentistSmokers at higher risk of bad breath in the morning, according to Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS.

A Gathering of Experts: Good afternoon, Dr. Johnson, thank you for joining us today. We would like to talk about a rather embarrassing problem: morning breath.

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Uncomfortable as it may be, it’s very common. Everyone experiences morning breath to some level.

A Gathering of Experts: But what causes it?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Bacteria, plain and simple. When you sleep, your salivary glands take a rest, too. Without the extra moisture in your mouth, bacteria thrive.

A Gathering of Experts: Is morning breath more of a problem for some people, more than others?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes; smokers, those who snore, mouth breathers, and allergy sufferers are often the most affected.

A Gathering of Experts: How is snoring related to bad breath?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: When you snore, your mouth dries out faster than when you inhale normally. The same applies when you breathe through your mouth at night.

A Gathering of Experts: And smoking…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Smoking is a double whammy where bad breath is concerned. Aside from having a drying effect, it also increases the temperature of the mouth.

A Gathering of Experts: You mentioned allergies as a contributor to bad breath…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes. When the body responds to an allergen, it creates mucus. This phlegm gets caught in the throat at night and becomes an all-you-can-eat buffet for germs. If the allergies evolve into a sinus infection, the situation gets even worse.

A Gathering of Experts: Let’s talk about solutions. Is bad breath preventable?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: That’s the good news. Yes: It is treatable. All it takes is a little preemptive oral care.

A Gathering of Experts: Like…

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Brushing the teeth regularly is a good start. But, you have to brush for a full two minutes for it to be really effective.

A Gathering of Experts: Why is that?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Studies have found that two minutes is the minimum time required to actually hit every surface of the teeth and tongue.

 A Gathering of Experts: The tongue…?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: The tongue holds 85% of the bacteria that causes bad breath.

A Gathering of Experts: Does flossing help?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Of course! Flossing helps you remove food particles between the teeth that brushing simply can’t reach.

A Gathering of Experts: How about mouthwash?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: Yes, but only if used properly and in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

A Gathering of Experts: What’s the proper way?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: You have to start by buying an antibacterial mouthwash. Preferably one that’s ADA approved. Then, rinse the mouth for at least 30 seconds.

A Gathering of Experts: So, a quick swish won’t do the trick?

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: I’m afraid not. A few seconds doesn’t give the mouthwash time to kill the bacteria.

A Gathering of Experts: Thank you for your time today. This has been quite informative!

Damon R. Johnson, DDS, Edmond Dentist: My pleasure.

Q & A with Fred Wehba | Real Estate

Fred WehbaA Gathering of Experts: When are most residential properties listed on the market?

Fred Wehba: We usually see a rise in home listings in the spring when weather warms up.

A Gathering of Experts: How is today’s real estate market as compared to the big bubble burst of 2007?

Fred Wehba: I think we’ve pretty well recovered, with some places even hitting record high prices.

A Gathering of Experts: Do you think we are being set up for disaster again?

Fred Wehba: In some areas, possibly. However, most cities have seen steady gains of around 5% per year which is sustainable.

A Gathering of Experts: Do lower mortgage rates encourage buyers?

Fred Wehba: Absolutely and possibly more than any other factor.

A Gathering of Experts: But these rates can change so quickly…

Fred Wehba: That’s true. My best advice would be to lock in your rate when it’s at a comfortable number.

A Gathering of Experts: What is the difference between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market?

Fred Wehba: A seller’s’ market means there are fewer homes and they are selling for more money. A buyers’ market is just the opposite.

A Gathering of Experts: What’s considered a healthy supply-to-demand ratio in the real estate market?

Fred Wehba: Specifically for residential, a six month supply is about right.

A Gathering of Experts: What sells faster, turnkey properties or those that need work?

Fred Wehba: Move in ready homes are more popular for buyers who want to live on their property.

A Gathering of Experts: Are investors still buying the fixer uppers?

Fred Wehba: Always.

A Gathering of Experts: Do higher prices tend to drive investors away?

Fred Wehba: Usually, yes. It’s very difficult to turn a profit if price points are too high.

A Gathering of Experts: It’s been said that it’s cheaper to buy a home than to rent. Is that true?

Fred Wehba: For the most part, yes. Rental homes are in demand, and that drives up price.

A Gathering of Experts: How much more affordable is it to buy?

Fred Wehba: Month-to-month it is literally about half the cost.  Mortgage payments average 15% of a buyer’s income as opposed to 30% spent by renters.

A Gathering of Experts: Is credit still nearly impossible to obtain?

Fred Wehba: There are definitely more stringent requirements now, as opposed to before the economic collapse. However, many lenders are loosening up just a bit.

A Gathering of Experts: Are homes getting bigger?

Fred Wehba: Actually, no. Despite a steady economic recovery, the average new home size has dropped from around 2500 ft.² to around 2200 ft.².

A Gathering of Experts: Why do you think that is?

Fred Wehba: The new generation of homebuyer is more ecologically aware than their predecessors.

A Gathering of Experts: Does this affect home design?

Fred Wehba: Absolutely – it’s very difficult to sell a home now that isn’t outfitted with energy efficient appliances, windows, and plumbing.

A Gathering of Experts: Switching gears to commercial real estate. Are the supply levels consistent with residential?

Fred Wehba: Actually, commercial real estate is at an historic low.

A Gathering of Experts: Are investors still squeamish after all the losses the last few years?

Fred Wehba: Many are, yes, but some are hungry for risk.

A Gathering of Experts: Do you have any thoughts about how investors decide what in what area they want to spend?

Fred Wehba: That’s pretty simple, really. Investors follow jobs and people. The more an area is expanding, the more likely it is there will be a need for housing and commercial operations.

Debunking Myths About Running a Business

5Being an entrepreneur and running a successful business can be tough, and there are definitely hurdles to cross. According to statistics, 95 percent of all businesses fail in the first five years. For every successful entrepreneur, several are held back. Some try and fail, giving up before they should. Some don’t even start because of myths and misinformation. To assist them, here are some myths about starting a company, and the truth behind them.

Myth: No more personal life.

Truth: It will be challenging to juggle the responsibilities of running one’s own business and spending time with family, but at the end of the day, business owners can be much more flexible with personal life than any corporate employee can ever be. Time management and planning skills are essential to get things done so entrepreneurs can enjoy time spent with friends and family.

Myth: Sneakiness and shrewdness are keys to a successful enterprise.

Truth: In order to be a successful entrepreneur one needs to build honest, solid relationships with both clients and suppliers. Ruthless pricing may secure a few good deals but business owners won’t build profitable and lasting relationships. The goal should be to figure out how to make the most money while still keeping customers and suppliers happy.

Myth: More time off and less work.

Truth: A corporate job may force employees to put in long work hours and deal with a frustrating commute. Running one’s own company is appealing because it promises the opportunity to slow down and make one’s own hours. While this picture may be somewhat true, there is no denying the fact that being self-employed is very hard work. Most small businesses don’t show profit until well into the third year. If it were easy, everyone would do it. What makes the difference is that a business owner is doing something he or she is passionate about, so the long hours won’t seem like such hard work after all.