Living on noisy street is harming your health according to WHO

Residents who live on busy streets, near railways or under a flight path are a greater risk of a range of health problems, a report prepared by the World Health Organisation has revealed.

Heart disease, tinnitus, sleep disruption and cognitive impairment in children were all flagged as potential health risks posed by living with an unacceptable level of noise.

Depending on the type of noise, different levels were considered acceptable by the researchers.

For road traffic, anything above 53 decibels was considered a risk during the day, and 45 dB at night. For railways it was 54 dB and 44 dB for day and night respectively and 45 dB and 40 dB for aircraft noise.

University of Western Australia Bioacoustics researcher Shane Chambers said the effect of ambient noise on health was well known among experts, but residents living with noise could be unaware of how loud their environment is or the risks associated.

“It’s hard to know the noise level, even the background noise level, short of putting your own microphone out there,” he said. “There is very little information available.

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7 mistakes homeowners make when renovating older properties

Digging into your home’s past can be fun, but it can also help you make aesthetic decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Architect Anik Pearson recalls a New York client who wanted to install a pool in his basement. She referred to historical maps of Manhattan that showed where all the waterways, wetlands and hills existed, and discovered a river underneath the townhouse. “They poked a hole in the basement and sure enough, there was running water. The river was still there.”

In this age of home renovation shows and YouTube tutorials, many homeowners consider bypassing a professional for what they think are easy cosmetic alterations. But mistakes can cost them more than an architect’s fee. A common example is when homeowners try restoring curb appeal with quick-and-dirty fixes, such as power-washing a stain or painting over an ugly house colour.

Stripping or removing paint is especially an area to exercise caution: Although in newer homes it’s safer because modern paints don’t contain harmful substances such as lead, old paints can contain such substances. But simply applying a new coat shouldn’t be a problem for DIYers.

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San Diego home sales drop to lowest level in 11 years – Price also dips

San Diego County home sales dropped 17.5 percent to the lowest level in 11 years for a September in the first significant sign of a slowdown in the market, real estate tracker CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Last month, 2,942 homes sold in the county, down from 3,568 sales a year ago. It was the lowest number of sales for a September since just before the Great Recession when 2,152 sold in September 2007. Also, last month’s median home price dropped to $575,000 — the first decrease since January — after hitting an all-time high of $583,000 in August.

Most experts attributed the slowdown to a rise in mortgage interest rates, and the sale price reduction to potential buyers balking at higher monthly payments.

“Mortgage rates (are) another thing that is going to add cost, and temper demand,” said Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “Rates are hovering around a seven-year high so people are really, possibly, taking a step back before they jump into home buying.”

Chandler said buyers should begin to feel more empowered because they now have more leverage after years of facing a sellers’ market.

Other reports released Tuesday also signaled a slowing market. The closely watched S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices showed the resale home market in the San Diego metropolitan area losing momentum.

In San Diego metro, resale single-family home prices in August increased 4.8 percent in a year, the fifth lowest out of the 20 cities studied. Las Vegas prices went up the most, 10.6 percent, and San Francisco the second highest at 10.6 percent.

The nationwide yearly price increase was 5.8 percent, the first time it fell below 6 percent in 12 months.

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