Cloister Home Sales During 2012

CloisterSalesCartoonThis is a listing of Cloister home sales including Purchase Price, Appraised Value, and Selling Price as a percent of Appraised Value. These are listed from most recent sales to the first sale of the year 2012.CloisterHomeSales2012Year0001
The Graph below indicates purchase price and appraised value for the 25 homes sold in 2012. The trend lines suggest that the larger homes with 2 car garages sell at better prices vs appraised value. Possibly some of the smaller units are selling below appraised value because the new buyer must pay for the Fee Simple ownership that was offered as an option to owners several years ago. Some owners rejected the “Fee Simple” purchase option when it was offered, their property values are being effected in two ways.

  1. In some cases the asking price must be reduced since the new owners must purchase the “Fee Simple” ownership on the property.
  2. Required Fee Simple purchase by the new owner causes an increase in the time (days on market) necessary to sell the property. The seller usually then reduces the asking price.

Many smaller 2 bedroom units include a one car garage and are not desired by couples who need accommodation for two cars.


Possible Clothes Dryer Problem with Some Cloister Homes

ClothesDryerUnitOur Cloister home is a “C” unit with a small laundry closet in the bathroom between the front bedroom and the kitchen. We noticed that our clothes dryer was not drying a load of clothes over one cycle. There was also an odor of varnish in the air when we used the dryer. We later discovered the problem came from the overheating blower motor inside the clothes dryer working too hard to move exhaust air through a long, dirty and lint-clogged duct.

The problems result from the layout of the dryer exhaust system using a 8 ft vertical duct pipe inside a wall with an additional 20 foot plastic flexible duct from the top of the vertical duct pipe to the exhaust hole in the roof and the narrow clearance between the back wall of the utility closet in the bathroom requiring that a flexible duct connector be twisted and coiled when the dryer is moved into the small space in the laundry closet.

Dryer Vent Connection to Roof

Dryer Vent Connection to Roof

Example of kinked hose

Example of twisted hose

Both of these combined to cause a drop in the exhaust air volume resulting in a buildup of lint inside the ducting, which, during freezing weather becomes damp because the humid dryer exhaust air condenses water inside the exposed duct hose in the freezing attic. We had the dryer exhaust vent system cleaned a few years ago but those people did not do a complete job and failed to thoroughly clean the flexible duct in the attic. This duct has been in the attic for over 25 years.

Old Plastic Hose

Example of Plastic Hose

Metalized Hose

Example of Metalized Hose

Today a technician removed the attic duct and inspected it on the ground. The plastic and wire coil ducting was so old that it was brittle and falling apart. We had it replaced with a new, fireproof, metalized duct hose. He then cleaned the rest of the duct system and our dryer is working beautifully. We didn’t realize that the dryer hook-up in our Cloister home would require so frequent cleaning.

Periodic inspection and thorough cleaning is now an important part of our regular home maintenance. From now on we plan to have our dryer exhaust duct thoroughly cleaned frequently making sure they clean all the ductwork from the dryer to the top of the roof vent cap.

The clothes dryer exhaust vents need to be regularly cleaned and condensed water can cause rapid lint clogging when the dryer is used during sub-freezing temperatures….When is the last time you had your dryer exhaust duct cleaned?

The Story of the “Black Eye Pea” Tradition


civil-war-soldiersCivil wars can be murderous affairs to its citizens and its effects are sometimes never forgotten. Today countries like Syria are being destroyed to rubble.

There is a tradition in the South of eating Black Eyed peas on New Years Day. There are many stories about the origin of this tradition. Here is one from a Southerner perspective.

“The Real Story is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. It’s a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war this nation has ever seen, military might and power pushed upon civilians, women, children and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs. An unhealed wound remains in the hearts of some people of the southern states even today.

The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA being considered good luck relates directly back to Sherman ‘s Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by Major General William Tecumseh Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/64 when Sherman ‘s troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta , Georgia , and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864.

When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the blue belly aggressors that had looted and stolen everything of value and everything that could be eaten, including all livestock. Death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors.

There was no international aid, no Red Cross meal trucks, no disaster relief, no FEMA. The Northern army had taken everything they could carry, eaten everything they could eat and destroyed what they couldn’t. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south found for some unknown reason that Sherman ‘s bloodthirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas.

At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or eaten.

Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Years Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.”

black-eyed-peas1Some traditions and memories are never forgotten and are passed down from generation to generation forever…..

Security at The Cloister

PoliceLate last year Bonney and I were driving on Cana and saw a Police car stopped at the curb just ahead. The outside emergency alarm in one of the condo units filled the air with a harsh, disturbing scream. The Police were standing outside the home talking with several neighbors. Bonney and I pulled to the side of the street and watched.

We found later that the home owner had gone shopping. I don’t know if she had a card posted on the outside door but after some conversation with a neighbor we saw the police break into her home by crashing through her storm and regular doors. The owner had to pay to replace both doors!

It might be a good idea in case of an emergency to type up a card, about the size of a business card and tape it to the front door. The card reads:

In Case of an Emergency Call:

Neighbor 555-5555

Son 666-6666

…and leave a spare house key with the neighbor whose phone number is on the card.

We have one of these cards taped onto our front door. It not only allows a way for emergency response people to enter the house in case of an emergency but is a safe and convenient way to keep a spare house key.911A

Finally At Home After the Holidays

What I learned from our recent home flooding…..

After our Cloister home flooded because of a broken water pipe inside a wall we were given two choices by our USAA insurance adjuster.

  1. Make our own arrangements and hire contractors for water mitigation and home repair and replacement of our damage.
  2. Allow USAA to hire contractors to do the jobs.

We concluded that:

  •  If we hired the contractors it would be a one-time hire and we would be forced to rely on each individual contractor’s good will that they would provide timely and quality service.
  • If we allowed USAA to use their water mitigation and repair and replacement contractors then the contractor’s future business with USAA would be at risk if they did not deliver in a timely manner with a quality outcome.
  • We decided to allow USAA to handle the situation with their contractors.
  • We decided not to pay our deductible amount until all the work was completed so the contractors would have some incentive to complete the work in a timely manner. I have learned a long time ago to never give a contractor or repairman any payment in advance but to pay after the work is done.

I think we made the correct choices. Almost everything has been completed except for some minor work and final clean up which will be done on the next workday.

Here is a “before and after” of the results…..finally a new floor

Immediately after our home suffered from a broken water pipe.

Immediately after our home suffered from a broken water pipe.

After replacement by the crew from RITERUG @

After replacement by the crew from RITERUG @

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.