News Press Stillwater
REALESTATE W E E K LY
September 30, 2021
Mortgage rates followed the trend of the 10-year Treasury yield last week and inched lower.
Your best source for weekly real estate news and listings for Stillwater and surrounding communities
$399,900 This custom built 3 bedroom + office located in Steeple Chase Farms is just moments from town. This home has 2.5 baths and sits on 2+ acres. It features tons of storage, a huge deck, and lots of privacy for morning coffee or evening wildlife watching.
11420 S. Churchill Downs - Perkins
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Inflation forces homebuilders to take it slow out of the market. The erosion in affordability is one reason LOS ANGELES the pace of home – Even in the hottest sales has been easing U.S. housing market in recent months. in more than a deAt Sivage Homes cade, new home con- in Albuquerque, struction has turned N.M., the builder’s into a frustratingly efforts to keep its conuncertain and costly struction on schedule proposition for many are undercut almost homebuilders. daily by delays for evRising costs and erything from plumbshortages of building ing fixtures and materials and labor windows, to bathtubs are rippling across and appliances. the homebuilding “Nowadays, we industry, which acliterally could be sitcounted for nearly ting waiting 30 days, 12% of all U.S. home maybe even 60, for sales in July. Conone thing or another,” struction delays are said CEO Mike Sivcommon, prompting age. “I’ve been doing many builders to this since 1986 and I pump the brakes on have to say I’ve never the number of new seen anything like homes they put up this before.” for sale. As building a The pandemic set new home gets more the stage for higher expensive, some of prices and shortagthose costs are passed es of construction along to buyers. products. Factories Across the econwent idle temporarily omy, prices having and are now trying spiked this year amid to catch up on proshortages of manuduction at the same factured goods and time that demand components, from has intensified due cars and computer to an unexpectedly chips to paint and hot housing market building materials. and a surge in home The Federal Reserve remodeling. meets this week and Lumber futures officials’ outlook on jumped to an allwhen they might time high $1,670 start raising interest per thousand board rates could indicate feet in May. They’ve how worried the Fed since dropped to is about inflation. $634, about 10% The constraints higher than a year on homebuilders are ago. Still, wholesale unwelcome news for prices for a category homebuyers, already of homebuilding comfacing historically low ponents that includes levels of resale homes windows, roofing on the market and tiles, doors and steel, record prices. Econincreased 22% over omists worry many the last 12 months, first-time homebuyaccording to an analers are getting priced ysis of Labor DepartBy Alex Vega
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, September 30, 2021
AP Business Writer
ment data conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. Before 2020, it was typical for such aggregate prices to rise a little over 1% annually. Those conditions are likely to persist. Robert Dietz, chief economist at the NAHB, said he’s heard from builders that “there are ongoing challenges, and in some cases growing challenges, with flooring, other kinds of building materials.” Meanwhile, any savings on lumber have yet to filter down to many builders, including Thomas James Homes, which operates in California, Washington state and Colorado. “The price we’re paying for lumber today is the same price we were paying 90 or 120 ago,” said Jon Tattersall, the builder’s president, who noted his compa-
ny’s overall building costs have increased about 30% since November. Homebuyers shouldn’t expect to see any discounts from falling lumber prices, either, because builders set their prices based largely on overall demand in the housing market. A signed contract for a home yet to be built typically includes an allowance for unexpected construction costs, but generally builders will have to eat big increases and then pass them on to the next buyer. “On our future ones, those are the ones we’re having to raise the costs on,” Tattersall said. Higher building materials prices aren’t the only factor driving up builders’ costs. A chronic shortage of skilled construction workers has worsened during the pandemic, forcing
builders to factor in higher labor costs. Inflation is being felt across the economy. Consumer prices rose 5.3% in August from the same month a year ago. At the producer level, inflation jumped an even steeper 8.3%, the biggest annual gain on record. The Federal Reserve has said it believes the surge in inflation will be temporary. For now, though, the rise in building materials costs and the lingering supply crunch are making everything from houses and apartments to commercial buildings more expensive. To manage, many builders are slowing the rollout of new homes. Zonda Economics, a real estate data tracker, estimates some 85% of builders are inten-
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in July to $359,900, according to the National Association of Realtors. As these firms have faced higher costs to secure skilled labor or source the materials they need to do their job, they’ve had to pass those increases onto builders. Tri Pointe Homes, which builds homes in 10 states, including California, Texas and Maryland, has faced higher labor costs. It’s been working through those increases, at times moving beyond its core group of contractors, said CEO Doug Bauer. One way Tri Pointe and other builders are dealing with product delays is to ask contractors to install temporary fixtures and appliances, for example, so that buyers can move in as quickly as possible.
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1916 W 9th - 2 BD/1 BA/1 car garage. Very neat one-owner home close to park .................................................$145,000
115 N. Boardwalk - 3 BD / 3 BA / 2-car attached garage in NE Stillwater .......................................................... $222,500 FOR RENT - 615 S. McFarland - 3 BD/1 1/2 BA y Office Space y for p Rent. Downtown
tionally limiting their sales. “They’re trying to make sure they have the land ready, the workers ready and the materials ready to be able to actually delver the homes that they’ve sold,” said Ali Wolf, Zonda’s chief economist. Even with inflation, builders are benefiting from the hottest housing market in years. Demand for new homes has strengthened, while the number of previously occupied U.S. homes up for sale has fallen to historic lows, pushing prices higher. The median price of a new home sold in July climbed 18.4% from a year earlier to $390,500, an all-time high, according to the Commerce Department. For existing homes, the median price jumped 17.8%
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Horticulture tips for October indoor move.
reached via email at email@example.com, phone at For more infor405-747-8320, or in mation on this or person at the Payne any other horticultural topic, you can County Extension contact Keith Reed, office, located at 315 the Horticulture Ed- W. 6th in Stillwaucator in the Payne ter. County Extension Oklahoma State office. University, as an Keith can be
equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. For more information, visit http:// eeo.okstate.edu
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502 N.9366 Burdick - 3 2 1623 ft Close to Sho in & Schools - 225 000 - Donna NE HWY 33 - 3s bed, 3 bath on .75-acre m/l - $275,000 - Ann 2023 E. Linda - Large corner lot with outbuilding. sq ft $248,000 5020 Ave W 10th - 4 bdrm., Stillwater Country 3BR/2.5BA Club, largeOver lot - 1900 $360,000 - Tiffany – Tiffany 814 S. Rock Hollow Ct. - SWDr. area over 3.5 1990Bath, sq ft/SCC access $274,000 10217 S Brenna - 4 /Bed, 2,891Golf sq. Cart ft. - $490,000 - Ann – Tiffany 9715 E. Horizon Dr.bdrm./3 - 50 x 60 livestock barn on 5 acres with Campus! no restrictions $100,000 – Lori K- PENDING 1919 Brooke Hollow Ct. - 4 bath/Large Lot/North of OSU - $343,000 - Tiffany any 0 W. 19thAve. Ave -#43 7.48- acres inside Stillwater city limits $350,000 – Lori K 6000 N Pennsylvania 2 bdrm./2.5 Bath Condo, Oklahoma City - $129,000 - Tiffany 801 S. Burdick - 3BR/1.5BA, 1.5 1253 story on sq ft a $89,000 Lori C PENDING! 1408 N. M5215 Spring Creek Cir. E - 2/1 sq.large ft. onlot 3 1371 Lots with Barn -–$299,900 - Lori K.00 – Lori 4517 Broker Associate 1115WS.Country RichﬁeldClub Ct. - 3BD/2BA 1775 ft $305,000 4713 - NICE Lot for sq sale - $25,000– -Tiffany Donna 20J onna Lori 10 Lori 405-612-6724 2923 N. Monroe 2321 ft $208,000 – Tiffany Shumard Oaks - 5 Nice- 3BD/2BA Lots for you tosq build your new home -PENDING! $27,000 - Donna n 7917 Pickles Gap Nice large lot in Perkins School District $22,500 – Lori Scotthaven Addition - Nice Large lots in Perkins School District/starting at - $45,500 - Donna 6021 Hallies Meadow NEW CONSTRUCTION 4BD/2BA 2347 sq ft $379,900 – Lori 5607 S Mehan Rd. - 52.5-acres for Sale, Will Divide, Ripley Schools - $349,000 - Tiffany 1408 N.PEND Mai 5005 N Perkins Rd - 4000 sq ft warehouse - Oh the possibilities $399,900 – Donna y5,900 iffany – Lori 00 E 810 Rd., Tryon - 53.34-acres. Hunting/Building/The possibilities are endless - $224,028 - Kyle 5706 W. Garden Pointe Dr.Lots - Gated 3BD/3BA, 2754 sq ft $550,000 – Ann 1218 W 12th - 4 Commercial in aCommunity very High Traffic area/starting at $255,000 - Ann 3618 W. Fountain View Rd. Ct. --5BD/2.5BA, in ground pool - Woodland Trails -addn $362,900 – Tiffany 3000 S. Range 4 bed, 4.5 bath, on 3.2-acres - $845,000 Tiffany/Dolores $820,000 208 N. Donaldson 1851 sq ft - close to shopping & schools $205,000 – Donna a 3215 S. Boomer- 4BR/2BA Rd. - Nice Commercial Building for sale - $2,245,000 - Tiffany 719 Kar 0 - Tiffany 910Main Kansas / Pawnee - 1936 farmhouse / 1 acre lot with outbuildings $129,999– Tiffany 211 E. St., St. Coyle - 64 Unit Storage Building, GREAT INVESTMENT - $165,000 - Donna ri- Lori K. 415 W. 80th - 52.65 OK, acresCute ruralhome property, no restrictions $300,000 – Lori riffan 505 S. 11 Morton Ave. - Ripley, across from the School - $75,000 617 S. Main - Downtown Stillwater commercial plus apartment unit $395,000 – Tiffany - Tiffany 2923 - 3 bdrm./2 bath/Study/Game Room.unit One block to Boomer Lake - $219,000 29 N. Monroe Tiffany 830456 S. Ct. 3354 / Carney 1468close sq ft to - out buildingLake $199,900 – Lori - Tiffany - 9Rd lots platted-3BR/2BA for duplexes Boomer - $420,000 719 Karen000 N Glenwood , 0 - Tiffany 111 E. Tower / Perry 3BD/1BA 1118 sq ft $79,800 – Tiffany 7917 Pickles Gap - Nice large lot in Perkins School District - $22,500 - Lori 1408 N. ,900 - Lori N. Burdick - 3BR/2BA sq ft Close to shopping & schools $209,000 – Donna- Lori 6021502 Hallies Meadow - NEW 1623 CONSTRUCTION 4BR/2BA, 2,347 sq. ft. - $379,900 2923 5005 920, 920 1/2 S. Duck 2 Investment properties, -2Oh, homes, bedrooms total $160,000- Donna – Amy iffany N Perkins Rd. .- -4,000 sq. ft. warehouse the 5possibilities - $399,900 W. 80th building and shop on2,754 11.5 acres – Lori$495,000 57061408 W. Garden Dr.- -Commercial Gated Community 3BR/3BA, sq. ft.$4,000,000 - NEW PRICE $510,000 - Ann N. M 101Pointe 35,900 - Lori 354 Cou4517 ,500 - Tiffany W. Lakeview - 10 acres/ NW of Stillwater $300,000 – Lori 910S.Kansas St. /5011 Pawnee - 1936 farmhouse 1-acre lot with outbuildings - $129,999 - Tiffany 0 - Lori 522 12th- 52.65-acres - Commercialrural building in downtown Stillwater -$250,000 – Lori 415 W.E.80th property, no restrictions $250,000 - Lori 354 Tiffany PENDING - 2620 S. Black Oak Dr. - 4BD/3BA, 4813 sq ft Georgian elegance & style $950,000 – Donna - ffany ,900 - Tiffany 354 617 S. Main - Downtown Stillwater commercial unit plus apartment unit - $395,000 - Tiffany 1304354 & 11111012 45,000 - Lori iffany N. Manning St. 3BR/2BA storm shelter, outbuilding $195,000 – Tiffany PENDING! E. Tower / Perry - 3BR/1BA, 1,118 sq. ft. - NEW PRICE $70,800 - Tiffany - PENDING PENDING – Tiffany W. 3rd - Close to campus 3BR/2BA 2208 sq ft $239,000 920, - 2 Investment properties, 2 homes, 5 bedrooms total - NEW PRICE- $152,500 - Amy - - ,000 -Tiffany 1304 & 920½- S. Duck2218 - Lori 1408 N. Main / Perkins4BD/3BA 2098 sq ft NEW CONSTRUCTION golf course $325,000 101 W. 80th - Commercial building and shop on 11.5-acreson- $4,000,000 - Lori – Lori 4517 Jenna Ln. - 3BD/2BA 1756 sq ftNW NEW $266,900 5011 W. Lakeview - 10-acres of CONSTRUCTION Stillwater - $300,000 - Lori – Lori Tiffany 354 115E.E.12th 80th- -Commercial 14.5 acres m/l Just North of 68th & Mehan - $121,075 - Tiffany 354 S.3 522 Tiffany building in downtown Stillwater - $250,000 - Lori -Kyle 80th - Nice4,813 large ofﬁce 3 acres m/l $950,000 – Lori- $950,000 354 Cou , -700 Tiffany . Oak203 Kyle 2620S306 S. Black Dr. E- 4BR/3BA, sq. ft.on Georgian elegance & style Donna 270 -- -Lori 2707. 3202 E 2nd - 4BD/2BA 1717 sq ft Split ﬂoor plan $175,000 – Ann -7 - Lori PENDING & 1306 24 ft. - $135,000 - Lori 14081304 N. Main /Perkins -sq. $325,000 $315,000 - Lori K. 2707 W.S4 - 4BR/3BA, 2,098 sq. ft. NEW CONSTRUCTION on golf course 317 Lori Lori 6038 Haydans Brook 4BR/2.5BA 2183 sq ft $349,000 – Lori - Lori 4517 Jenna 1,756 sq. ft.- NEW CONSTRUCTION - $266,900 PENDING 202 Ln. - 3BR/2BA, 5 - -Donna N. Monroe - 2 Commercial buildings on & 3 acres $600,000 – Dolores E. 80th - 14.5-acres m/l just north of 68th Mehan - $121,075 - Tiffany Lori K. 61152112 354 S. Council sale office in Crescent, OK - No 33.5 acres m/l $167,000 203 E.Rd. 80th- Land - Niceforlarge on 3-acres m/lrestrictions - NEW PRICE $1,200,000 - Lori – Tiffany . as or S. Burdick - 3BR/2.5BA ft $87,000 – Tiffany 3202 0000 E. 2nd 4BR/2BA, 1,717 sq. ft. Split1371 floorsq plan - $170,000 - Ann ---PENDING S.- 801 Ann 44th Haydans - 15.86 acres - will -divide, look for2,183 signs west $317,000 ffany Brook 4BR/2.5BA, sq. ft.of- Western $349,000 - Lori, – Lori any 474 2707 . W 6038 Cedar Oaks &Commercial 19th - 7.48 acres m/l inon city3-acres limits $350,000 – Lori 2112 N. Monroe 2 buildings $600,000 Dolores N. Possibilities! $2,352,900 Lori 601 fany N. - 15.86-acres Lori- PENDING 0000 S. Country Club Rd. - 20forAcres Paved Road - $200,000 - Ann- Lori 2707 W 44th - will divide, look signsonwest of Western - $317,000 Lori Crosby Donna Rhinehart 4717 S. Turtle Pond Ct.&- Great m/l Lotm/l for in your - $45,000 Montie Stewart Monty Stewart Cedar Oaks 19th -.-acre 7.48-acres citybuilding limits -pleasure $350,000 - Lori - Tiffany Realtor Associate 3000 Range Rd $845,000 1-3 Dolores Lemon Realtor Realtor Associate N. Washington Rd. 151.8 acres m/l, OH the Possibilities! $2,352,900 Lori 4717 S. Turtle Pond Ct. - Great .-acre m/l lot for your building pleasure - $45,000- -Lori Tiffany PEN q. ft. - $349,000 405-612-4184 405-747-7306 405-372-5151 ngtonRd. Rd. -- 151.8-acres 151.8 acres m/l, m/I, OH OH the N. Washington the Possibilities! Possibilities!- -$2,352,900 $2,352,900- -Lori Lori
you are unsure which trees to select. • Cool season lawn seeding can still be done in October, although the earlier in the month, the better to take advantage of ideal growing conditions. • Some fall leafy vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens and lettuce can still be planted assuming some frost protection is available for early cold snaps. • Consider planting a cover crop for vegetable gardens to improve the soil and increase the organic matter content. Crops like Austrian winter peas, wheat, clover and rye are all good choices for our area. If you have heavy clay soils, add turnips to the mix. Note: a good cover crop planting is considered a gourmet dinner for deer so be aware of this if you are known to have deer in your area. • Begin preparing sensitive potted plants for their move indoors by gradually moving them to the shade, thus slowly reducing light levels. It is also a good idea to inspect the pot and plant closely for signs of rodents or insects before making the
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, September 30, 2021
Consider the following landscape/ garden tasks as we transition into fall. It’s been a very warm September so some of these jobs may be need to happen pretty quickly once the weather finally starts cooling. • Although landscape plants don’t need the same amount of water now as they do in the heat of summer, adequate moisture is important so that they enter the winter in good condition. Keep an eye on soil moisture and water as needed. • Continue planting cool season ornamentals like pansies, kale, snapdragons, asters and mums. • Spring flowering bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, crocus, and daffodils can also be planted beginning later this month. • October is also a great month to plant trees. Purchase quality plants that have proven themselves in this part of the world. Avoid overplanting a single species. Diversifying the plant palette will help fortify your landscape against the inevitable next pest or severe weather outbreak. The Extension office can provide some direction if
Lawyers could keep America’s eviction crisis from getting worse
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, September 30, 2021
Vanderbilt University via The Conversation
due to wage and job to regain possession losses. of a property. AnIn August 2021, other is that most recovery spending, 7.7 million Amerilandlords have legal Lawyers may be but states have been representation, while cans were behind on the only thing stand- rent, and millions slow to distribute the most tenants do not. ing in the way of more were concerned funds to those in need But when tenants eviction for millions of about their ability to – though the pace with valid defenses renters. appears to be picking are represented by pay rent in the next With the end of the month. up. counsel, their chances federal Centers for The Treasury DeFederal, state and of remaining in their Disease Control and partment is pushing local governments homes increase sigPrevention’s eviction imposed a variety of states to expedite the nificantly. moratorium on Aug. distribution of these eviction bans over The data supports 26, 2021, most landfunds by streamlining this. In 2011, Boston the past 18 months lords can now ask tenants’ application to keep people from used a randomized courts to evict tenants losing their homes in process. The Justice study to measure who haven’t been Department had an the middle of a panthe effect of full legal paying their rent. As demic. Apart from a additional idea: enlist representation for a result, new eviction few moratoriums still the help of lawyers. a targeted group of filings are already Lawyers to in place, the majority low-income tenants spiking across the the rescue of bans have expired. facing eviction becountry. Data shows Eviction court faEviction filingsare tween 2009 and 2011. that once an eviction nowsurging across vors landlords, even In this study, twocourt begins a case, in situations where the country. Data thirds of tenants with it’s very likely the the law is on the rent- full representation further shows that tenant will quickly er’s side. Black communities retained their homes, be out on the street There are several are being disproporcompared with just – unless they have reasons for this. One one-third of similar tionately impacted. legal representation. is that every state Earlier this year, unrepresented tenAs the director of has statutes that Congress provided ants. the Housing Law make the eviction US$46.5 billion in A Minnesota study Clinic at Vanderbilt process quick and renter relief as part had similar findings, University Law easy for a landlord of its coronavirus including that tenSchool, I’ve seen firsthand the impact that legal represen914 S. Rock Hollow Ct tation can have on Welcome home to a great neighbora renter navigating hood (Crosswinds) and your beautiful home. Built in 2004 with over 2,300sf, the eviction process. 4beds/2bath, and a bonus sunroom this That is why I believe home has a lot to offer. Located at the front providing more tenof a dead-end road limits the traffic in front ants with access to a of the house. As you walk into the house lawyer could be the you are greeted with the oversized Dining area which leads to the large living area with a gas fireplace. The kitchen has ample cabinet and counter space with an island for key to keeping more people in their homes. additional storage and food prep. The bedrooms are split with the master on one side By Jennifer Prusak
Protections lost Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have fallen behind on their rent obligations
of the house and the other 3 bedrooms on the other side. The master suite has plenty of space with a door out to the sunroom. The master bathroom has dual sinks with a separate shower and jacuzzi tub. The sunroom offers a nice bonus space with multiple options including potentially adding heat/air to the room to use it year-round.
Realtor® GRI 806-281-4383
ants with legal support were four times less likely to enter a homeless shelter after their hearing than those without. Attorneys are more likely than tenants representing themselves to get frivolous actions dismissed, to raise appropriate legal defenses, to prevent unjust judgments and to ensure due process is followed. Additionally, attorneys can keep eviction filings off tenants’ records. They can negotiate with landlords for reasonable amounts of time for tenants to move. They can also help tenants come up with rental repayment plans and help them
apply for rental assistance. That’s why the U.S. government is encouraging states and cities to use some of the $46 billion in renter aid to create right-to-counsel problems like those in New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee and manyothercities. That is also why U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently sent out an urgent request to America’s lawyers to volunteer their time to help renters avoid eviction. Avoiding an eviction crisis It’s not too late to avoid the wave of evictions and homelessness that tenants, policymakers and
housing activists are bracing for. Distributing rental aid more quickly will help, but lawyers – whether they volunteer or have their time paid for by a right-to-counsel program – have a vital role to play in keeping vulnerable low-income tenants from losing their homes unjustly. While this issue is particularly acute now, in the middle of a pandemic, ensuring the rights of tenants are respected in eviction courts will have long-lasting health and economic benefits – not just for the individual tenants impacted, but for their families and their communities as well.
1000 NORTH STAR #3 • $152,000
Perfectly situated 2-bedroom WINDROCK garden home. Convenient to everywhere you want to be. This unit overlooks the pool and the complex. The back patio has great tree privacy. The flooring, windows, furnace, light fixtures and paint have all recently been replaced. Granite countertops in kitchen and bathrooms. Lots of closet space. A covered parking spot is included. Classy and fun, this unit won’t last long!
Style-savvy housewarming gifts Associated Press
keychain itself by getting one that’s monogrammed. Mark & Graham offers leather tasseled ones in Kelly green, black, red or blush. If the newly moved are going for a boho décor vibe, consider Natural Life’s hand-painted wood flower hooks, which could go next to the door, on a porch wall or really anywhere. FOR THE WALLS Seattle designer Elizabeth Herrera suggests a customized house portrait. “Upload a special photo to www.minted.com, and they’ll create a letterpress or standard printed drawing,” she says. You can choose frame style, mat and size when you order. If the recipients have moved to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco or
Texas, Minted’s designers have created cool toile papers for each of those cities, offered in framed pin boards perfect for kitchens or home offices. Chatbooks, which lets you connect your Instagram or camera roll to create photo books, prints or cards, has a wall-tile option too. Have the images printed on square canvas frames with moveable adhesive backing; perfect for renters. Whispart on Etsy will create a personalized heart or house-shaped map of the new digs; add as many details as you want, then download and frame. GETTING COZY City dwellers might love a soft plush pillow in the shape of a tropical leaf or succulent, from Green Philos-
ophy Co; they’ve partnered with nonprofit Trees for the Future, so pillow and throw sales support planting initiatives worldwide. Another eco-friendly idea: The Polished Jar offers reusable bottles for personal and house products like soaps, lotions, etc. Choose plastic or glass, and you can further customize with a snazzy metallic or matte black pump, plus a waterproof label. Available singly, or in bundles that include a stylish tray. Bring some pleasing fragrance into the new home with Otherland’s Manor House Weekend soybased candle collection. The fall version has notes of smoky maple, cardamom,
toasted nuts, pear and apple. Homesick’s New Home candle, a blend of jasmine, cedarwood, lime and sandalwood, can be customized with a personal message on the jar label. SUBSCRIPTIONS If you know your recipients well enough to buy them a gift that revisits them every month, a subscription box might be good. There are lots of options, and they can take the guesswork out of decorating. “I love to give friends with new homes a monthly holiday décor subscription box,” says Floyd. “Because it’s either their first home and they don’t have many decorations, or they just don’t have the time
to decorate for the holidays having just moved in.” Boise, Idaho, designer Mikayla Keating had a suggestion for flower and plant lovers in either houses or apartments. “Fresh flowers always make a new home feel inviting and put together,” she says. At Bloomsy Box, a bouquet is sourced from fair trade farms, wrapped in eco-friendly paper and shipped each month. Subscription options include pet-safe bouquets and mixed arrangements, as well as one inspired by the New York Botanical Garden; a portion of its sales helps support the Garden’s work on plant science and conservation.
THERE’S A NEW LAND MAN IN TOWN! Montie Stewart
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, September 30, 2021
723 S. Main Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074
comes with a bag of 75 hexagonal penny tiles, so the new renters or owners Bread and salt. can create their own Wine. A broom or sack of flour. Honey, welcoming message. Leia T. Ward, pineapples, even bluebirds – a symbol founder of LTW Design in New Canaan, of happiness – have Connecticut, likes been bestowed on the idea of giving a people moving into new homes over the little connectivity. “An Alexa or an centuries. Fall is a busy time Echo (may) seem random,” she says, for relocating, and “but it’s great for many people have those extra spaces recently done so that homeowners because of pandemtypically don’t tend ic-related changes to buy smart speakin work, school and ers for, like a patio, home life. So if you’re looking garage, home office or bathroom.” for some modern Or how about a housewarming preshouse key locator? ents to go with (or “A GPS finder for instead of) the tratheir keychain is a ditional ones, we’ve great housewarming got some suggesgift,” Ward says. “It tions from interior seems random and designers for both new renters and new unimportant until that one time they owners. actually need it.” AT THE If they’ve already FRONT DOOR got the finder, you Baylee Floyd, might update the an Orlando, Florida-based designer with the online platform Decorist, suggests giving your friends a welcome mat. “A front door mat is always a great gift – I get custom, monogrammed mats made to help them really make their place feel like home,” she says. Etsy.com and others offer customizable mats, or you can shop Grandin Road, Frontgate and Birch Lane for initialed coco mat designs. Elysia Home’s Letterfolk doormat By Kim Cook
Wildfire smoke is here to stay How to clean the air inside your home By Bernard J. Wolfson
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, September 30, 2021
Kaiser Health News
The fierce wildfires that broke out across much of the western United States this summer, spreading smoke across hundreds of miles, continue to pose a serious health hazard to millions. More are expected this fall. That’s a major health concern because microscopic particles in wildfire smoke, carried by the wind, can penetrate deep into your lungs and travel into your bloodstream. One study linked wildfire smoke exposure to a twofold increase in the rate of asthma and a 40% rise in strokes and heart attacks. Other research tied smoke to hospital admissions, ER visits and premature deaths. The standard advice is to stay inside when heavy smoke is in the air. But the smoke can get into your house or apartment. So you might want to consider investing in equipment to clean the air inside your home, especially with climate change likely to continue escalating the scope and intensity of the fires. “I think we have fires enough now that people should
think of this as something they want to buy,” says Deborah Bennett, a professor of public health at the University of California-Davis. “Even if they only turn it on during the fires, there’s going to be plenty of times when they’re going to have it turned on.” There are many options for cleaning the air in your home, depending on your circumstances and – of course – your budget. If you have an HVAC system, it likely recirculates air that’s inside the house rather than drawing in air from outside. But if you have an air conditioner with a “fresh air” system that brings in outside air, you should turn off the fresh air setting on heavy smoke days. If you don’t know how, seek professional advice. And be sure to close all doors and windows; otherwise, your efforts will be in vain. You can convert your HVAC unit or furnace into a better air-cleaning system by installing a higher-efficiency filter capable of catching a large proportion – though it won’t get 100% – of the tiny smoke particles. To cope with wild-
fire smoke, many public health and air quality experts recommend what’s known as a MERV 13 filter. MERV, or “minimum efficiency reporting value,” is a scale from 1 to 20 that rates a filter’s ability to capture particles. MERV 1 is the lowest rating, indicating the least impact on air quality, while filters rated MERV 17 or higher are used in hospital operating rooms and clean rooms. You can buy MERV 13 filters at large stores such as Costco, the Home Depot and Lowe’s or online from multiple vendors. A MERV 13 should cost around $20, or substantially less if you buy packages of them. Before you install a new filter, check first with an HVAC professional to make sure your system can accommodate it. The more efficient the filter, the more it reduces airflow, diminishing the cooling capacity of an air conditioner and requiring more energy to run the heater. If you don’t have central air, or you have it and want to augment your system’s ability to clear the air, consider buying a portable air cleaner with a high-efficiency partic-
ulate air, or HEPA, filter, which can remove almost all particles of the tiny size found in smoke. You can put it in the room you use most during the day, then move it to your bedroom at night. If the smoke gets really bad, put it in the room of your choice and stay there as much as possible. “If you have an appropriately sized air cleaner with a true HEPA filter and you put it in a room and close the doors and windows, you have clean air really fast,” says Sarah Coefield, an air quality specialist with the Missoula City-County Health Department in Montana, which has had its share of wildfire smoke in recent years. If you have kids, or share the home with other people, you should ideally have one air cleaner for each bedroom. Alternatively, you may need to put everyone in one room at night during a smoke emergency. Portable HEPA air cleaners cost anywhere from under $100 to over $1,000, depending in part on the number of square feet they can clean effectively. To clean a room, you can get a perfectly good one for under $200.
All air cleaning devices sold in California must be certified by the California Air Resources Board, which posts a list of air cleaners it has certified. You might also want to look at Consumer Reports’ list of best and worst air cleaners and at a review of those selected by The New York Times’ product review website, Wirecutter. Public health experts warn that you should avoid devices that are sold as air cleaners but actually emit ozone, the main component of smog. The air resources board also publishes a list of ozone-emitting devices. Gina Spadafori, a resident of West Sacramento, has both a central HVAC system with an extra-thick filter and a portable HEPA air cleaner she keeps in her bedroom. Spadafori, 63, has serious asthma and has long been concerned about the air quality in her house. In recent years, she has endured numerous days of hazardous wildfire smoke and that has changed the way she uses her HVAC. “I probably use the fan-only setting more than I have in the past to just filter the air rather than heating or cool-
ing it,” she says. On bad air days, she turns the portable air cleaner on an hour before she goes to bed and closes the door so it will “super-clean that air” and she’ll get a good night’s sleep. “It’s just sort of a second line of defense,” she says. There is a lower-cost option: Make your own air purifier by attaching a high-efficiency filter to an electric box fan. You can get a suitable fan for around $30 and the filters for around $20 – or cheaper in bulk. The website montanawildfiresmoke. org publishes a howto guide for building such a contraption. The Environmental Protection Agency has an FAQ on box fan air cleaners with instructions for building them. The EPA recommends using only box fans built in 2012 or later, because earlier models could overheat and cause a fire. Lab testing has clearly shown such do-it-yourself devices are safe, though they may heat up the room and produce more noise than a portable HEPA cleaner, according to the EPA. For those who can’t even afford to make an air cleaner from a house fan, nonprofits
and local government agencies have provided help. People who don’t have a lot of money are likely to live in older, leakier housing that lets more smoke in. They are also more likely to have chronic illness and thus be in greater need of clean air – yet less able to afford it. Climate Smart Missoula, a Montana nonprofit, has distributed around 500 air cleaners to low-income and homebound people in recent years, said Amy Cilimburg, its executive director. In California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District is providing 3,000 air filtration devices to low-income people with respiratory conditions in nine counties. The American Lung Association has also donated air cleaners to people in need. But these efforts are tiny compared with the gaping need, said Cilimburg, who thinks the federal and state governments, hospitals and insurers should step in. She envisions a day when medical staffers at a clinic will tell a patient, “’Oh, look, given x, y or z, you should just take one of these HEPA filters home with you.’”
News Press Stillwater
Stillwater NewsPress • Thursday, September 30, 2021
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