How to prevent frozen pipes and what to do if a pipe bursts

When the temperature reaches freezing, this can cause the water inside pipes to freeze. As the water freezes, it expands causing the pressure inside the pipes to increase. Frozen pipes is a minor inconvenience; a pipe that bursts is a homeowner’s nightmare.

Water lines are particularly susceptible to freezing when the temperature outside gets cold very quickly because the warmth from your heating system is unable to keep up with the demand the suddenly cold temperatures bring. Homes in more temperate climates are also susceptible when the temperature dips below freezing. Because they are typically warmer, water pipes may not be insulated as well as they should be.

Preventing frozen pipes

  • Insulate pipes, especially those close to outside walls, attics or crawl spaces where the chance of freezing is greatest.
  • Seal any air leaks near the pipes.
  • If there are water supply lines in your garage, keep the garage doors closed.
  • Always remember to drain, disconnect and store garden hoses.
  • Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs.
  • Open the cabinet doors in kitchen and bathroom – this lets warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
  • Maintain thermostat at 55 degrees or higher when you are out of town.
  • If you get a cold snap, turn on both hot and cold faucets near outside walls allowing a small trickle of water to run during the night.
  • Identify the locations of shutoff valves so that you are prepared to stop the flow of water as soon as possible when a pipe bursts.

If pipes freeze:

  • Thaw a frozen pipe using a good hair dryer. However, avoid using a hair dryer around standing water.
  • Heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around the pipe.
  • When thawing a pipe, start nearer to the faucet and work your way back.
  • Turn on the faucet so water can drip out as the ice melts.
  • If you have one frozen pipe, chances are that you may have more. Check all other faucets in your home.

If pipes burst:

  • Shut off the water at the main valve.
  • Take precautions to avoid electrical shock from being in or near standing water.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a plumber.
  • Take inventory of any damaged property.
  • Contact your insurance agent to help you locate an emergency water mitigation specialist who can dry out the damaged area quickly.

Looking to buy a home or sell your home, visit my RE/MAX website for a home search or great information.

Avoid snow shoveling accidents this winter

With much of the U.S. getting its first snowfall of the year, people in many areas are getting the white stuff that don’t normally see it.

Clearing the driveway is a rite of passage for many homeowners. According to, snow shoveling injuries send more than 11,000 adults and children to the hospital every year.

Common injuries

Not to sound like a medical disclaimer, but a number of injuries, and even death, can occur while shoveling. Many of the injuries, of course, involve slip and falls, but many are due to technique and the physical demands.

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Lower back injuries, ranging from back spasms to much more serious herniated disks
  • Heart-related issues, which accounted for all deaths
  • Head injuries due to flying snow shovels, most victims are children

Why injuries occur

Believe it or not, shoveling snow is great exercise. You’re using every muscle in your body from legs to arms to core to your heart. (Yes… it’s cardio exercise, too!)

The problem is that people don’t use the proper technique – or the proper tools – when shoveling. Most snow shovels are not long enough and not ergonomically designed for efficient use.

How to limit injuries

The cardinal rule when it comes to shoveling snow is to practice a bit of common sense.

  • Stay in shape – People who are physically fit have less concern about injury.
  • Stretch beforehand – Warm up the legs, back and shoulders.
  • Take breaks – Don’t do it all at once. Shovel small areas and take an occasional break, especially if it is wet, heavy snow.
  • Use proper technique – Use the shovel like a bulldozer, rather than a scoop. Use your legs rather than your back. Don’t rotate or twist your body.
  • Use the right shovel – Ergonomically designed shovels with bent handles take the stress off the back.
  • Wear layers – Keeping your muscles warm will help you avoid strain.
  • Wear proper footwear – Wear snow boots with good traction to avoid slipping.

Things To Do Near Mentor, Ohio – October 2013

Everyone enjoys the weather during the fall in Ohio, so why not take advantage of it? There is a plethora of thing to do near Mentor, Ohio, that will allow you to enjoy the fall with your friends and family. Whether you’re looking for a physical activity or scary Halloween fun for the whole family, Mentor is the place to be.  Here are a five events going on near you this month.

Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

When: October 6, 8:00 a.m.

Admission: $95

Calling all runners – the Rock’n’Roll Marathon series is coming to Cleveland! Sign up now to run an exhilarating 13.1 miles through the heart of Cleveland. The cost of registration covers an official t-shirt, goodie bag, refreshments, a finishers medal and live bands along the course.

Monster Mash – Boo Scary Dinner Theatre

When: October 11 – 13, 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Admission: $50

Come on out to Old Firehouse Winery for a Monster Mash Dinner Theatre. Watch as classic movie monsters come to life – or dead life – in this music-filled comic romp of epic distortion. Miss the rush and reserve your tickets early to ensure you’ll have a seat.

Howl-o-ween Party for Dogs

When: October 18, 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Admission: Free

Do you ever feel bad about going out to have a good time and leaving your poor dog alone at home? Well, worry no more! Let your pet enjoy the Halloween season along with you at the Howl-o-ween Party for Dogs. Dress your K9 up in the best costume and bring them out to the Mentor Dog Park to enjoy fun with other pups.

Family Scarecrow Day

When: October 26, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Admission: Free

Enjoy the Halloween season with your family and head out to Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve and Marina for the Family Scarecrow Day. Work together to make your own scarecrow, which you will be able to take home at the end of the day. Afterward, you will be able to take a hayride and enjoy some roasted marshmallows.

Boo at the Zoo

When: October 17- 20 & 24 – 27, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Admission: TBA

Bring the kids out to the Cleveland Zoo for some spooktacular Halloween fun. The event is designed for a younger audience, so if your children are young it won’t be scary. There will be delight on every corner from magic shows to a Monster Mash dance party, your children will leave feeling festive and happy.

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Things To Do In Mentor, Ohio – September 2013

Mentor is a moderately sized city, with more than 50,000 residents and 1,700 businesses calling it home. Mentor’s strategic location near State Route 2 and Interstate 90 means the bustling city of Cleveland, Ohio is less than 30 minutes away, offering residents of Mentor close proximity to various arts, culture and sports venues. But, residents don’t need to go as far as Cleveland to find fun and entertainment for the whole family! The northern border of Mentor lies along the shore of Lake Erie, the city boasts of an extensive Bikeway System of walking and biking trails, and residents have access to an impressive system of parks, swimming pools, skate parks, nature preserves, ice arenas, and more!

Aside from these favorite year-round options for entertainment in Mentor, the city also hosts numerous events and festivals. Here are some of the events that Mentor will be hosting this September, so mark your calendars!

Farmer’s Market

When: Friday Septmber 6, 2013,  3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Civic Center Park, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard, Mentor, OH

What: By popular demand, the city extends its market to every week during the growing season. Fresh produce, honey, baked goods and other food products are available for purchase.

Madness in Mentor Pickleball Tournament

When: Saturday & Sunday September 7 – 8, 2013

Where: Civic Center Park Pickleball Courts, 8600 Munson Rd., Mentor

What: Mentor Recreation Department will host it’s first pickleball tournament, attracting players from across Northeast Ohio, in support of this new and upcoming sport! Men’s, women’s and co-ed divisions will have beginner (2.5 – 3.0), intermediate (3.5 – 4.0) and advanced (4.5 – 5.0) matches. First matches will be played at 9 a.m. both days. Fee is $20 for registration in one division, $10 for each additional division. Participants should bring their own racquet. Participants will receive their match times and more information from tournament director one week in advance. Snacks and t-shirt included in registration fee. Registration deadline is Friday, August 30.

Opening Reception Dorothy McNamara Maloney Art Show

When: Friday September 13, 2013,  7:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Where: Mentor Senior Center, 8484 Munson Road, Mentor, OH

What: Accepted work for this annual art competition is on display through October 2.

Just Kids Stuff Garage Sale

When: Saturday September 14, 2013 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Where: Eleanor B. Garfield, 7967 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, OH

Where: It’s just kids stuff for buying or selling. Reserve a 10×10 table in advance, or set-up your own the day of the event. Call 974-5720 for more details.

Visit The James A. Garfield National Historic Site

When: Any time!

Where: The James A. Garfield National Historic Site, 8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, Ohio 44060

What: In 1876, Congressman James A. Garfield purchased a small farm in the charming Village of Mentor, Ohio. Too small to comfortably accommodate the General, his wife, their five children and his mother, Garfield immediately began to add large additions around the original structure. By the summer of 1880, work on the house was complete, just in time to welcome thousands of visitors to Mentor. The James A. Garfield National Historic Site is the restored home of our 20th President. The home, visitor center and grounds are owned and operated by the National Park Service.

For more information on Mentor, Ohio and upcoming events click here.

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Things To Do Near Mentor, Ohio – August 2013

Mentor, Ohio, less than 30-minutes from Cleveland is a city with great neighborhoods, an excellent educational system, and tons to do. The northern boundary of Mentor lies along the shore of Lake Erie and offers Ohio’s longest public swimming beach. Also, the city has a vast system of parks, pools, skate parks, nature preserves, ice arenas, and an extensive Bikeway System of walking and biking trails. Because of Mentor’s dedication to its residents, businesses, and visitors, the city was named to the list of the 100 Best Places to Live by Money magazine in 2006 and 2010, and to Smart Money’s Best Places to Retire in Ohio in 2012.

So, whether you’ve settled down in Mentor or you’re just planning a visit, be sure to check out some of these upcoming events!

Chalk Art Contest

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When: Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. (rain date August 15)

Where: Civic Center Park Bike Path

What: Mentor invites students of the school district to share their artistic talents with the community in this annual art contest. Registration begins at 9:15 a.m. and this event is free to all. Each contestant will be given a section of the bike path that is approximately 4’ x 5’ to work on. Prizes will be awarded in four age groups: 5- 7, 8-10, 11-12, and 13-16. Judging and awards follow the completion of the contest. Chalk will be provided, but contestants are allowed to bring special/additional colors. This year’s theme is “Happy Birthday, City of Mentor!”

Mentor CityFest presented by Lake Health


When: Friday, August 23, 2013 4 p.m.–11 p.m., Saturday, August 24, 2013 12 p.m.–11 p.m.

Where: Civic Center Park

What: This year’s festival includes a parade, festival food, live music, local exhibitors, local food, a beer & wine garden, dozens of activities, and many new, exciting attractions and activities for everyone. Also, Mentor is hosting a huge concert Saturday night with their featured Chicago-based musical group BritBeat, a Beatles cover band, with fireworks as the finale! And Disco Inferno, a local favorite, is sure to get the crowd dancing on Friday night! The Cincinnati Circus Company will be in attendance as well with its flying trapeze show, stilt walkers, acrobats, flame throwers and more. Those who come to the festival will a chance to swing through the air on a flying trapeze and help pick a winner in our high school Battle of the Bands! See innovative displays from Mentor’s largest manufacturers in our Business Expo tent, ride a trackless train through Civic Center Park, grab friends for a game of indoor laser tag, climb a 20’ rock wall, stop by the arcade tent, and try out more than a dozen reasonably priced community-run games, and a big assortment of giant inflatables. The entire grounds of Civic Center Park will be filled with something for everyone this year!

Mentor CityFest 5-Mile Run / 2-Mile Walk


When: Sunday, August 25, 2013, Registration is from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.

Where: Veteran’s Park

What: At 8:30 a.m. the  5-Mile Run starts, at 8:45 a.m. – 2-Mile Walk starts. The Mentor Rotary Club hosts this challenging, scenic race along bike paths, trails, and through Veteran’s Park. There are 8 Men’s & Women’s divisions with awards going to the top three overall male and female winners, top three male and female age division winners, and $200 prize for establishing a new 5-mile race course record (current records: male  – 24.07/female 27.27).

12th Mentor Cruise-In


When: Sunday, August 25, 2013, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where: Civic Center Park

What: Mentor invites residents and visitors to enjoy music & refreshments while strolling the grounds and taking a look at the classic vehicles. No pets, alcohol, rollerblades or bicycles. Vehicles may set up beginning at 8 a.m. Vehicle registration begins at 9 a.m. Day of the event questions? Call (440) 255-1100.

Doggie Dip Day


When: Monday, August 26, 2013 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Where: Civic Center Pool

What: The Civic Center Pool will officially be going to the dogs! Bring your favorite four-legged pal for a dip and enjoy some good family fun! Dogs must be licensed and vaccinated, leashed when not in the pool, and owners must be prepared for cleanup duty (extra bags will be available). You are welcome to bring dog toys. The cost is $3 per dog with fees going to dog park improvements.

For a list of all of Mentor’s upcoming events, check out their community calendar here!

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Things To Do Near Mentor, Ohio – July 2013

Looking for something to do in Mentor, Ohio? Check out this month’s upcoming events…

July 4th Fireworks Display

When: July 4, 2013 9:50 PM – 10:50 PM

Where: Civic Center Park, 8600 Munson Road, Mentor, OH

Details: One of the area’s best fireworks displays. Free admission. Plenty of free parking at Civic Center Park, the adjoining Mentor School Campus, or at the Laketran Lot on Market Street.

Mentor Farmers Market

When: Fridays in July, 2013 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Civic Center Park, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard, Mentor, OH

Details: By popular demand, the city extends its market to every week during the growing season. Fresh produce, honey, baked goods and other food products. Cooking demonstration by Chef Jarrod McCarthy.

Mentor’s Got Talent Show


When: July 10th, 2013 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Where: Civic Center Amphitheater, 8600 Munson Road, Mentor, OH

Details: Show off your talent at this annual Kids’ Talent Show for ages 4 – 17.

Summer Concert Series


When: July 9, 2013 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Where: Amphitheater at Civic Center Park, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard

Details: Free, outdoor concerts on the lawn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Concerts sponsored by City of Mentor and area businesses. If it rains, the concert will move inside the Civic Ice Arena.

Family Camp Out


When: July 12, 2013 5:00 PM – Sat, Jul 13, 2013 10:00 AM

Where: Civic Center Amphitheater, 8600 Munson Road, Mentor, OH

Details: Get a real feel for camping, right in the middle of Civic Center Park! You bring the tent, we’ll supply the food and activities. Check in and tent set up begins at 5 PM. Roast hot dogs, make a craft, go swimming and catch a movie before lights out!

Family Fun Day & Picnic at Wildwood

When: July 14, 2013 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Where: Wildwood Cultural Center, 7645 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, OH

Details: Old fashioned games and entertainment on the grounds surrounding the Wildwood Manor House. Picnics available for sale, or bring your own. Sorry, no grilling on property.

Headland’s Beach Fest


When: July 27, 2013 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Where: Headlands Beach State Park, State Rt. 44 at Headlands Road

Details: A free, family-friendly event that celebrates the arts with the elements of sand, water and wind. Make a kite and fly a kite on Ohio’s longest beach, learn how to paddle board or kayak, build the best sand castle, play games, join an art workshop, test your skills in a hula hoop or limbo dance contest, swim, or just hang out and swing to the sounds of beach music and steel drum bands. This premier event is presented by City of Mentor and Headlands Beach State Park, with support from Lake National Bank, Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation, Mentor Patch and the Lake County Visitors Bureau.

Highlight – Mentor, Ohio

Though it started out as a small farming town, today Mentor, Ohio is home to more than 50,000 residents and 1,700 businesses. Mentor’s location near State Route 2 and Interstate 90 means it’s only a 30-minute drive from Cleveland’s arts, culture and sports venues, but you don’t have to travel anywhere for entertainment. Mentor has over 150 restaurants, Ohio’s 7th largest retail center, and hundreds of recreational programs going on year round.

In 2010, Money Magazine named Mentor one of the best 100 places to live in America. And, in terms of small cities, Mentor ranked #37 because of its stable economy, great neighborhoods, excellent educational system, and reasonable cost of living. Additionally, Mentor’s northern border is right along the shore of Lake Erie, which offers residents year-round easy access to the lake and all of its amenities. The city also boasts of Ohio’s longest public swimming beach and “The Best Beach in Northeast Ohio” (as voted by readers of Cleveland Scene magazine).

Residents and visitors can also enjoy a vast system of parks, swimming pools, skate parks, nature preserves, ice arenas, as well as an extensive Bikeway System of walking and biking trails.

True to its humble origins, Mentor has over 1200 acres of green space including 34 parks and public facilities, which provide more recreational opportunities than many major cities do. Whether you like to sunbathe, get out for a hike in nature, learn about history, or just relax, Mentor has something for everyone. Mentor Lagoons Nature Preserve, Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve and the Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve provide great resources for hiking, bird watching, and more. Also, James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, purchased a small farm in 1876, which he built on to, that still stands today. The James A. Garfield National Historic Site is the restored home of our 20th President.

If history isn’t your thing, the Mentor Parks, Recreation & Public Facilities Department offers more than 1,200 ways to play each year, including art workshops, fitness classes, senior trips, day camps,golf instruction, kayaking tours, nature walks, hockey leagues, and more – you’ll never be bored in Mentor!

For more information about the area, check out the city’s webpage here.

Things To Do In Mentor, OH – June 2013

Looking for something to do in Mentor, Ohio? Check out this month’s upcoming events…

Mentor Farmers Market


When: Fridays in June, 2013 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Civic Center Park, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard, Mentor, OH

Details: By popular demand, the city extends its market to every week during the growing season. Fresh produce, honey, baked goods and other food products. Cooking demonstration by Chef Jarrod McCarthy.

Take Pride in America


When: June 19, 2013 7:00 PM – Jun 19, 2013 10:00 PM

Where: Jerome T. Osborne Stadium, 6477 Center Street, Mentor, OH

Details: This event features the United States Drum and Bugle Corps — the only full time, active drum corps in the U.S. Armed Forces. 80 active-duty Marines dressed in ceremonial red and white uniforms perform marches and popular music on the field at Mentor High School. They are joined by the Silent Drill Platoon that performs precise rifle drill movements flawlessly without a single verbal command. The Marine Corps Color Guard is a detail comprised of four Marines who carry the colors (national and unit flags) in an honored tradition to show respect to our nation and those who have served it. This free show is presented by the City of Mentor with support from many local businesses.

Summer Concert Series


When: June 25, 2013 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Where: Amphitheater at Civic Center Park, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard

Details: Free, outdoor concerts on the lawn. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Concerts sponsored by City of Mentor and area businesses. If it rains, the concert will move inside the Civic Ice Arena.

Final Fridays at Civic Center

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When: June 28, 2013 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Civic Center Park, 8500 Civic Center Boulevard, Mentor, OH

Details: “The Market with a Festival Atmosphere” continues at its new home at Civic Center Park on the last Friday of June, July and August. Our weekly farmers market will be joined by arts & craft vendors, live music, food and kids activities. Entertainment includes music by WIXY 1260 Unplugged, balloon twisting by Rainbow Rae and facepainting by Sarah Jane Walland.

33rd Annual WildWood Fine Arts Festival


When: June 30, 2013 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Where: Wildwood Cultural Center, 7645 Little Mountain Road, Mentor, OH

Details: More than 60 juried artists are featured on the shady grounds surrounding the historic Wildwood Manor House. Entertainment and light refreshments. $2 donation.

Things to do near Mentor, Ohio – May 2013

Mother’s Day Mom’s Play Free

When: Sunday, May 12 – All Day

Where: Black Brook Golf Course

Details: This Mother’s Day, treat your favorite mother to a free round of golf at Black Brook Golf Course. All ladies play free when accompanied by another player. Call Black Brook Golf Course for tee times today (440) 951-0010. Cart not included. Offer valid Sunday, May 12 only.

Wildwood Garden Club’s 29th Annual Spring Plant & Flower Sale

When: Saturday, May 18th from 11am-2pm

Where: Wildwood Cultural Center

Details: The Garden Club will have a great selection of outdoor plants and flowers at reasonable prices for your summer garden. All proceeds benefit the Wildwood Garden Club. The plant sale is held rain or shine!

Memorial Day Walking Parade & Ceremony

When: Monday May 27th

Details: Parade units gather in the Heinen’s parking lot at 9 a.m. with step-off to Mentor Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. for this solemn processional. Groups wishing to participate in the parade and/or memorial services should call the Recreation Department at (440) 974-5720 before May 10.

Just Kids Stuff Garage Sale

When: Thursday, May 30th from 9am-12pm

Where: Garfield Park Pavilion

Details: Clean out the toy boxes, closets, and attics, and get ready for one of our biggest events of the year – the Just Kids’ Stuff Garage Sale. Mentor residents can begin reserving city-owned tables on April 29; nonresidents on May 1 or set up your own table on a 10’ x 10’ space for the same fee, collected the morning of the sale. Please keep the following rules in mind when planning your sale: You may not sell out of your car, or hang items on clotheslines from the trees or pavilion. An adult must be present at each table. Residents should be prepared to show a currently utility bill and driver’s license to receive the resident rate. Space rental fee is $20 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.

Mentor Farmers Market

When: Fridays from 3-7pm May 31 through September 6

Where: Civic Center Park (New Location)

Details: The market with a festival feel has evolved from a few growers and a few local artists and musicians to attracting more than 1,000 visitors a week on the grounds of the James A Garfield National Historic Site. This year, the market grows again to it’s new home at Civic Center Park and will include 15 weeks of fresh produce sales. We’ve also added a new element – Final Fridays, featured the last Friday of each month to include live music, arts and crafts vendors, food, face painting, balloon artists and lots of entertainment for kids. Final Fridays will take place May 31, June 28, July 26 and August 30. Get All The Details Here.

See more events in Lake Count Ohio Here.

How is the housing market in Northeast Ohio?

If you have been paying attention to the housing market, you have heard that things are looking good. This is very true! So far this year, every update and statistics report that has been released has revealed great news for the housing market. Here are a few highlights from the National Association of REALTORS®…

  • February existing home sales were at the highest level since the tax credit period of November 2009

  • Total housing inventory rose 9.6% at the end of February to 1.94 millions homes for sale in the US. But, inventory is still lower than previous years

  • Average median home price is up 11.6% from last year, reaching $173,600 in February

  • Distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) accounted for 25% of sales in February, down from 34% in February 2012

  • Interest rates are still low averaging about 3.53%. Not much change from last year.

  • Median days on market is 74 in February. A big change from February 2012 when it was 97

These national averages are all looking good! Rates are still low which is great news for buyers! Homes are selling quicker and in some cases at a higher price, which is great news for sellers. These are all national stats, let’s take a look at our region…

Our Region – Northeast of the US

  • Home sales fell in February, but are still 8.6% above February 2012

  • The media price is $238,800, 7.6% above 1 year ago

Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said conditions for continued housing improvement are at play. “Job growth in the improving economy and pent-up demand are causing both home sales and rental leasing to rise. Though home prices are rising much faster than rents, historically low mortgage rates are still making home purchases affordable,” he said. “The only headwinds are limited housing inventory, which varies greatly around the country, and credit conditions that remain too restrictive.”

Right now we are seeing a busy market. Buyers are out looking for homes now, but Sellers are being shy creating a “low inventory-high demand” situation in some areas.

*All stats and facts are from