Of all the nuisances that homeowners experience, animal infestations appears to be chief among them, based on a new survey performed by the U.S. Census Bureau.
In the past year, roughly 10 percent of American homeowners have observed some type of rodent or insect infestation problem in their primary residence, according to the latest housing poll done by the government, MarketWatch reported. Cockroaches were cited as the most frequent indication of a home-related deficiency, slightly more than signs of mice. Other typical issues that respondents said they've seen in the past year included cracks in the floors, exposed wiring, broken plaster, and/or peeling paint.
Every year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development teams with the Census Bureau to poll both renters and homeowners about the state of housing. The 2013 American Housing Survey is the 40th anniversary of the first one being conducted in 1973.
Though rodents and insects were pointed to as the most common household problem, deficiencies in general aren't as prevalent as they once were, HousingWire pointed out from the poll. Including plumbing, heating, and electrical, the number of these issues dropped in 2013 when contrasted with 2011, totaling 2 million of the nearly 133 million housing units countrywide. Roughly 90 percent were occupied in 2013, nearly 400,000 more than two years prior.
Warm-air furnaces homeowners' main heating source
In order to save on costs, a growing number of homes are turning to alternative forms of heating, such as wood or pellet stoves. However, the main form of heating continues to be warm-air furnaces. Approximately 66 percent of all housing units used this form of heat last year, 12 percent used electric, and 10 percent used radiant heating, the AHS revealed.
Disaster preparedness is also something that more Americans are doing. HousingWire pointed out from the AHS report that close to 84 percent of homeowners said they have a 72-hour kit, supplied with enough food and water to last their family for three days. Close to 40 percent indicated that they also have established a meeting place that everyone should gather at should they become separated during a weather-related disaster.
Were an evacuation to be ordered, few homeowners said that they have enough money to last them for a lengthy period. Less than 30 percent said that they "lack sufficient funds" to finance what may happen in the aftermath of an emergency evacuation. The study deemed $2,000 or more to be adequate.
In the past several years, there has been a relatively limited number of homeowners insurance claims stemming from hurricane activity. However, the winter could prove to be a damaging one if predictions about snowfall prove to be accurate. The 2015 Farmers' almanac recently forecast that "copious amounts of snow and rain" will affect one-third of the country," primarily along the East. Winter storms have cost an average of $28 billion in insured losses from 1993 to 2012, based on data collected by the Insurance Information Institute.