It’s still a rental property-owner’s market!

While mortgage rates remain low, some lenders still are making it tough for first-time homeowners to purchase an entry-level home. That’s forcing them to remain in rentals. It’s still a rental property-owner’s market. If recent statements from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen are any indication of what’s to come — she said it may be time soon to pull back on its “quantitative easing” policy — mortgage rates could tick up and put even more financial pressure on first-time homebuyers, keeping them in the rental market longer.

Brevard has seen a bump in occupancy in its 90 apartment complexes, rising to almost 95 percent, up from 88 percent six years ago, according to ALN Apartment Data Inc. As the supply of rental units has decreased, prices have gone up. And just as quickly, special deals and incentives to lure tenants have diminished.

Greg Craven, publisher of the monthly Melbourne-based “Apartment Community Guide & Locator Service,” said occupancy rates are probably the highest they have been in three years. He said rental properties still are benefiting from the mortgage foreclosure crisis in which people lost their homes and had to move. But there also is an influx of new people moving into Brevard who are renting before they decide to purchase.…

What is the best way to remove funky odors from a fridge?

You should start by unplugging the refrigerator. Next, pull out any shelves or drawers that can be removed, and give them a soapy bath in the kitchen sink. Before you put those fixtures back in, clean every surface inside the refrigerator with a mix of warm water and baking soda. (You’ll find different “recipes” online, but try two tablespoons for every gallon of water.) Remember to get into the nooks and crannies; ie. the shelf supports.

After you have cleaned, you’ll need to wipe everything down with a dry cloth and let the refrigerator air-dry.

The fridge still might smell funny even after it has been cleaned, so it’s a good idea to place an odor absorber in the appliance for a week or so. Everybody has their own favorite solution. Baking soda is probably the most popular, but others swear by charcoal briquettes, coffee grounds and wadded up newspaper. If you really want the fridge to smell great, you can wet a cotton ball with lemon juice or vanilla extract and leave it in the refrigerator for several days.

-As found in the Community Investor March/April 2015 publication-