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Answering all those burning questions you didn’t know you had about home ownership.

Bats, Birds & Student Loans

Picture of Jessica Dabkowski

Jessica Dabkowski

Helping you with all things homeownership!

I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired this week. When I sat down to write this week, I realized I had a few small things I wanted to touch on. So today we’re doing a series of small, but mighty topics: bats, birds and student loans.

What happened with the bats?

To my knowledge, the bats are gone. The removal company is scheduled to come out in the early fall to remove the “bat doors” and spot clean out insulation. When the team comes out at that time, they’ll be able to verify there’s no new activity.

Anyone else remember this scene?

The other update here is that the bats did not go far, so any neighbors reading this might want to have their attics inspected. A few days ago, some of my mom friends and I were each enjoying a refreshing Aeperol Spritz (a delicious beverage addition we brought home from Sicily) on our deck at dusk. A bat swooped down into my yard and headed out, but he didn’t come from the bat door on my house. He has re-homed himself somewhere close. I told my friends I was glad for the five-year warranty from the exclusion company because I would probably have them come out at the two year mark to ensure everything still looked good up there.

My friends and I would totally take a spritz-cation.

And now with the birds?

Okay, in recent weeks we’ve covered the bats and the bees. Now let’s talk about the birds. (I feel like I’m in Freshman health class right now.)

Our deck is entering it’s fourth summer season. We’ve had issues in the past with the bees loving our metal dining table (don’t ask me, IDK). This year, the bees are gone but now we have bird poop all over our railings.

I’m not going to lie, its pretty funny only because it’s driving The Mathematician up the wall. It’s like the birds are intentionally antagonizing him. I’ve never seen him so infuriated about a pest situation.

As funny as it is, the piles of bird poop on our white post caps are NOT funny. I’ve done a little light reading on how to mitigate the issue, and the internet rose to the occasion.

Here are some of the noteworthy ideas I rejected:

  • Hang CDs on strings so the light reflecting scares the birds away. I have no doubt this works, but there is no way I’m going to do up my deck like a 90s rec room.
  • Get a plastic “predator” bird statue and have it “guard” the deck. If you’ve tooled around a lake in the summer, you frequently see these creepy owls on floating docks to keep the seagulls away. I had to pass on the red-eyed demon owls because I am afraid it will scare the small children in my neighborhood and prevent a certain adorable blond toddler from visiting my deck to look for H’s monster truck toy.
  • Bird spikes can be placed on any surface where you don’t want birds to land. (They are exactly what they sound like.) While these are probably great for under overhangs, they’re probably not the best fit for my deck railings. As much it might make the deck look fierce, it’s a bit of a safety hazard and give off a vibe that our house is “uninviting.”
  • Wind chimes apparently scare away the birds with their noise and reflecting light. I don’t mind wind chimes, personally. However, because the noise will travel beyond my property I don’t like to force my sound preferences on my neighbors. In one home we lived in, a close neighbor had wind chimes which were quite loud and higher-pitched. Occasionally I wished I could run outside, hop the fence and rip them down.

Here’s are ideas I’m looking to try:

  • Bird deterrent reflectors. Along the lines of the CD, these are hanging reflectors but they look more decorative, like small mirrors strung together.
  • Reflective tape, which I could place on the actual posts to deter the birds from resting (and pooping) there.
  • Reflective pinwheels, which I know the tiny human in our house would absolutely love.

Have you successfully dealt with a similar shitty problem? 😄 I want to know! Drop a comment or send me an email and tell me how to scare the birds away.

Student Loan Forbearance Comes to an End

This topic comes to us courtesy of J, from Plymouth. In March 2020, then-President Trump allowed federal student loans to be placed into forbearance. Since this time, loan holders have had their interest rates set to 0%, no payments have been due and all collection activities have been halted.

Well, the COVID gravy train has come to an end. Borrowers will need to resume payments in October, and interest will start accumulating again September 1, 2023.

Why does this matter to the housing market, you ask? Well, as J pointed out, for the people not making payments for three years, what happens when those payments resume?

We all know the cost of everything has increased – dramatically – in the last three years. Many people purchased new homes during this time. Some of them probably conveniently forgot they would have to add these loans back into their monthly budgets. Others have been using the funds that would otherwise go towards student loans to offset the rising costs of inflation for everyday items, such as groceries.

One of the few people who doesn’t flinch at the cost of groceries. That’s why he’s so happy.

The Department of Education posits that we could see a marked increase in student loan default and delinquency once payment resumes. What happens when someone defaults on a student loan? Yes, class, that person’s credit is train-wrecked.

And what happens if your credit is train-wrecked? It is very difficult to get a mortgage, and if you can secure one, it is probably quite pricey as you are now viewed as a “risky” borrower. I’ll be keeping an eye on this topic over the coming months to see if there is impact to the housing market.

As always, thanks for joining me this week. I’m here to help with all your homeowner questions!

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