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Archive for January, 2009

joe_polaneczkyA couple days ago, The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced its 2009 list of a dozen unique cites to visit for a less than usual travel experience.  Those of us who live here can attest to the fact that this is a unique place to live, and therefore, visit.  When I think of a tourist here, though, I think about Anthony Bourdain, host of No Reservations, a very fun program on The Travel Channel.  His experiences always seem most city-hall-from-afar2poignant/memorable when he is hanging out with the locals.  His trip to Venice is a classic example of that.  While there is much to see, the tourists all seem to miss the Venice that is right under their noses but not noticeable unless you really dig in or know somebody.  Athens is the same way (No, I am not comparing ATH to Venice).  Tourists in Athens need to talk to people, be social, and ask questions.  If you do that, the town will change right in front of you.  If not, you may end up saying, “While in Athens, I saw some cool architecture, lots of bars and college kids, a double-barrel canon, and a tree that apparently owns itself.”

 

I said this before about this town:  First and foremost it is a people town.  If you are an extrovert, plan a mini-vacation to ATH.  You’ll love it.  Maybe pick up a real estate book while you’re here, and you can spend you first evening in a cozy tavern, planning your next move.  I’ve seen it happen…

 

athens-outdoorseating1By the way, those of us who own homes in ATH never complain about the effect coverage like this has on our investments.  Please note that Athens feels less pain when the national real estate market is squealing like a stuck pig. 

Hey, if you are new to this blog and are thinking of a visit to Athens, please see my post on my limited supply of Guides to Athens.  They have some really user friendly maps in them as well.  Drop me a line, and I will mail you one for free!  No Strings attached, and no kidding!  If you are coming to town for a mini-vacation, drop me a line too, and I will meet you downtown.  Always eager to meet my readers! 

Here is the link to the NTHP site and some other links to various media sites that picked up the NTHP press release:athenspic

CNN.com

USA Today

Columbus Ledger Inquirer

Black Hills [SD] News Bureau

BizJournals.com/Buffalo[NY]

GazetteExtra.com [WI]

 

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jared-close-compressedJanuary is National Radon Action Month.  Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas caused by the breakdown of radioactive materials, mainly uranium, within the earth.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  If you are a smoker, your radon risk is much greater.

The risk of radon is largely overlooked in the Athens area, but high levels can be found in our area as well as in homes all over the United States.  It seeps up from the ground, through the homes foundation or flooring, and can become trapped within the living space.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you and your family are most likely at your greatest risk while in your home.

I often hear “my home is newer so I don’t have to worry about radon.”  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Radon does not recognize the homes age and every age home is susceptible to high levels.  Whether your home is on a crawl space, basement, or slab, you are at risk.   The EPA estimates that one out of every 15 homes has high radon levels.

 The only way to know if your home has elevated radon levels is to have it tested.  Testing your home is a simple non-invasive procedure that only takes a few days.  I use an electronic continuous radon monitor that takes hourly readings and averages them together.  The system prints out an easy to interpret report with a color graph.  The EPA recommended action level is at 4.0 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).  Therefore it is recommended that any home with a reading over 4.0 pCi/L be mitigated.

If your home is found to have elevated radon levels, it is recommended that a radon mitigation system be installed.  Mitigation systems basically consist of PVC pipe and a continuously running blower fan.  The pipe is inserted through your foundation and runs up and out of the home (typically through your roof.)  The fan draws the radon saturated air from the ground before it is able to seep into the home and expels it outside.  Mitigation systems can also have a side effect of reduced humidity within the home.  This makes for a more comfortable and reduced allergen living environment.

If you would like to learn more about radon, you can visit http://www.epa.gov/radon, or http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/hmbyguid.html .  Even if you are not buying or selling, it’s not a bad idea to get your place checked out.  Jared

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