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    Protecting your Home Investment with the Help of The Bug Dude

    Saturday, January 14, 2023 | Mid-Cities Pest Control

    It’s January, and while that would normally mean chatting with friends and family about New Year’s resolutions, this year the topic of conversation is more likely to find its way to the economy and the inflation we are all contending with. And while the inflation most getting under your skin might be the excessive cost of eggs, or the hike in your utility bill, perhaps the thing you are most concerned about right now is the housing market, and with good reason. If you’re a homeowner looking to refinance or sell your home, or if you’re a prospective home buyer, you likely already know that the current market is not in good shape. The median asking price for a home has been on a significant increase over the past decade, and has skyrocketed over the past few years. Even worse, mortgage rates have been on the rise and are now the highest they’ve been in 20 years! This makes buying a home more expensive than ever.

    If you haven’t been following the housing market lately, here’s a brief synopsis of where it’s at. In the past 2 years, the median sales price a house in the U.S. has gone up 35%; in terms of the actual house price, it’s gone from $337,500 to $454,900. That’s an increase of $117,400! To give some perspective, that dollar amount of increase, $117,400, is several thousand dollars more than the median cost of a home in 1988, just 34 years ago. For additional perspective, the real median household income in the U.S. in 1988 was $60,115 (this number is adjusted to 2021 dollars) and today is only 18% higher than that, at $70,784, while the cost of a house, in that same time frame, is up a whopping 74% (when adjusted to 2021 dollars)! Adding to the housing woes is the mortgage rate; this too has been on the rise over the past 2 years, up 140% from a rate of 2.67% in December of 2020, to 6.42% in December of 2022. All of this means that your monthly loan payment (assuming an initial 20% down payment) for a home purchased just 2 years ago would have been $1,091 (not including taxes/fees), but for a house purchased today, it would be $2,281; that’s an 109% increase!

    Now if you’re thinking, surely this is a housing bubble and is due to pop any minute, there are compounding factors to consider. The rise in house prices coupled with the rise in mortgage rates means that fewer people are looking to sell their home. In fact, the total number of houses for sale as of August 2022 was only about 1.1 million, a record low, down from 3.4 million in July 2007. Perhaps even more shocking, there is fewer than half the number of homes listed for sale in 2022 than there were in 1982, but the U.S. population has grown by 43%, or 100.2 million people; this means that there are potentially a lot more people looking for homes than there are houses to purchase. Unfortunately, that demand in the market means that housing prices are unlikely to go down very much, at least not for the foreseeable future; that is unless a recession hits, then all bets are off about what’s to come. Yet, because of the extreme cost of buying a house at the moment, there may soon be more houses on the market than people who can actually afford to buy them, even with there not being that many houses on the market at all. Additionally, if you are looking at the 2008 housing bubble as an example of what’s to come, the state of affairs today is quite a bit different then it was at that time, since regulations and policy changes were put into place after that crisis to help prevent it happening again; this means that we are unlikely to see the housing marking take a sharp turn the way it did 15 years ago.

    Ok, so the housing market is troubling, but what does that have to do with pest control? Simple: with the housing market in its current condition, it makes your house more valuable than ever for you, which means that keeping it in good shape and pest-free is more important than ever. Now, the first step in keeping your home safe from pest damage is to maintain a regular pest control plan with The Bug Dude. But what if you already have a rodent issue? Or what if wildlife is making your house into their home? That’s where exclusion work comes in. What is exclusion work? Essentially, it’s a specialized type of home repair designed to seal up areas where wildlife and rodents are getting into your home. And since you are likely to want your home to last you a long time (especially in today’s market), keeping destructive animals out and getting repairs done in a timely manner are vital.

    What is Exclusion Work?

    Exclusion work is a type of home repair that is designed to keep rodents and wildlife out of your home. This can be achieved with a number of methods, from repairing a known entry point in such a way that the animal can’t utilize it again, to installing items that will prevent entry in common problem areas (for example, door sweeps). Each exclusion work job is unique and is designed by the technicians at The Bug Dude to address the specific needs at your home.

    What Causes the Need for Exclusion Work?

    Exclusion work is needed because an animal (rat, squirrel, etc.) has made or found a way to gain regular access to your home. Often, the animal has chewed a hole into a part of your house and is using that as a way to get into and out of your home; the repair work in this case will be to the animal-created hole. However, animals are smart, and can just as easily utilize an existing method of entry into your home. In these instances, exclusion work may be needed to seal up gaps that have appeared in areas around your home as the house has settled and aged, or it could simply be needed because an existing structure has broken or worn out (think vent covers). Regardless of how an animal entry has appeared on your house, you are likely to only know you need the repair work after you notice you have a rodent or wildlife problem inside your house.

    Why Get Exclusion Work Done?

    Your house is a huge investment, quite possibly the single biggest monetary investment you will ever make. And even more than that, your house is a home for you and your loved ones. So protecting it, and your family, from the ravages of a rodent or wildlife infestation (by means of physically keeping the pests out of your home) will not only protect your investment, it will protect your peace of mind. In addition, once you have a rodent or wildlife issue, even if you’ve resolved it through other services The Bug Dude offers, if you don’t remove the entry point that the animal used to invade your home, it’s extremely likely that you will face a repeat infestation, possibly even worse than the one you just eliminated.

    Why Use The Bug Dude for Exclusion Work?

    The short answer to this question is that using The Bug Dude for your exclusion work makes your life simple. But how do we do that? First, when you call The Bug Dude at 817-354-5350 because of a rodent or wildlife issue, the technician that comes out to your house can evaluate the entire situation, making sure to address both the current infestation, as well as how to prevent future issues through exclusion work. Second, our exclusion work comes with a 1 year warranty to the area of repair, so if you have a particularly persistent pest trying to break into the same part of your home over and over, you’re covered! Third, by making The Bug Dude your one-stop-shop for all your pest control and exclusion work needs, you don’t have to worry about coordinating treatment and repair schedules, warranties, or treatment plans between multiple companies; instead, you can sit back and know that your house is in good hands.

    What Happens if You Don’t Get Exclusion Work Done?

    Your house is a long-term investment, especially in today’s housing market, and while that can offer many advantages, it can sometimes also feel like a money pit. On those occasions when it feels like your house is costing you more than want it to, it’s only natural to weigh each expense carefully for it’s return on investment. While it may be tempting to think that exclusion work is one of the optional expenses, ignoring these types of repairs can cost you more in the long run. A few of the biggest issues you will contend with if you don’t get exclusion work done in a timely manner are:

    • Rodents and wildlife can easily return to your home. This means you will have spent time and money getting the pests out of your house, only to leave the door open for them to return, causing you to have to spend your time and money again on the same issue.
    • Property damage. Each rodent and wildlife infestation brings with it the possibility of property damage. From family photos, to stored clothing and bedding, to the wiring in your house, and so much more, these animals can do costly damage, so keeping them out of your house also keeps money in your wallet and peace of mind in your life.
    • Heating and A/C Expense. Not only can rodents and wildlife potentially damage your heating and A/C system directly, the holes they create will add to your monthly bill as all that cooled or heated air escapes from your house. This can quickly add up as the cost of heating your home is on the rise (see the Time article here). It will hurt your wallet even more, though, if there is damage to your actual heating and A/C systems, as their repair and replacement costs are on the rise as well, due to that industry facing labor shortages, less availability for raw materials, and increased transportation costs.

    Your house is more than just a building you live in, it’s your home. And while saying it’s a part of your family may be a bit of a stretch (unless you live in the Disney/Pixar universe), it is something that your family relies upon for safety and comfort. In this time of uncertainty in the housing market, and maybe even the economy as a whole, your house is more important than ever. That’s why at the first sign of a pest problem you should call on The Bug Dude at 817-354-5350, and let our technicians help you keep your home ship-shape, pest free, and ready to last you for as long as you need it to. Because while you can’t know what’s going to happen next in the housing market, you can know that you can rely on The Bug Dude to have your back on all your pest problems and exclusion work needs.

    Further Reading:

    “The Housing Market Is Worse Than You Think” – Stefanos Chen, The New York Times

    “Median Sales Price of Houses Sold for the United States” – FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    “Real Median Household Income in the United States” – FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    “30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average in the United States” – FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

    “The Twelve Days of Squirrels” – Alissa Breach, The Bug Dude Blog

    “Rats: Not Even Their Own Are Safe!” – Alissa Breach, The Bug Dude Blog

    “Are Unexpected Guests Crashing Your Thanksgiving?” – Alissa Breach, The Bug Dude Blog

    “Things that go Bump in the Night” – Alissa Breach, The Bug Dude Blog

    “Preventing Unwanted Christmastime House Guests” – Alissa Breach, The Bug Dude Blog

    Author Bio: Alissa Breach has been gaining knowledge and experience around pest control concerns over the last 13 years while working for Mid-Cities Pest Control. She has a creative writing BA from UW-Madison and is always pursuing new and interesting writing projects.

    The Bug Dude Blog