Are you average U.S. householder? Probably not.

Households pay 24 percent of their total income for housing on average. The average expense: $927 a month.

Renters generally pay less in housing cost ($845 versus $1,008 for owners per month), but they usually pay a higher percentage of their household income than owners (31 percent versus 20 percent).

Twenty percent of recent movers identified convenience to their work as the most important factor in choosing a neighborhood.

So says the Census Bureau in its 2011 American Housing Survey, the latest year for results.

If you’d like more tidbits on the nation’s 115 million occupied homes, read on.  For example, questions about safety, health hazards and accessibility demonstrate that 64 percent of houses have no steps between rooms.

As for entry-level baths, the percentage is 48; for entry-level bedrooms, 36 percent.

The least common accessibility features were elevators (found in 0.2 percent of homes), ramps (1 percent), handrails or grab bars (excluding steps) in non-bathroom areas (2 percent), raised toilets (7 percent) and built-in shower seats (8 percent).

Wait, there’s more:

  • The median size of single-family detached and mobile home units is 1,800 square feet, with owner-occupied units being larger (1,800 square feet) than renter-occupied ones (1,300 square feet);
  • Newly constructed units are also usually larger, with a median size of 2,200 square feet;
  • Most homes have three or more bedrooms (64 percent);
  • New homes (those built in the last four years) generally have more bedrooms than older homes, with 74 percent of them having at least three;
  • About half the homes (52 percent) have two or more bathrooms, and new units have more of them, with 83 percent boasting at least two;
  • More than eight in 10 units have a washing machine (83 percent) and clothes dryer (81 percent).
  • About two-thirds of the units (66 percent) have central air-conditioning;
  • The most common Energy Star-rated appliances found in housing units are refrigerators (35 percent), washing machines (30 percent) and dishwashers (22 percent);
  • About seven in 10 respondents (71 percent) rate their homes highly, with 29 percent giving them the “best” rating of 10;
  • Asked how they found their current units, recent movers mentioned a real estate agent (20 percent), (17 percent) and word of mouth (16 percent);
  • More than a fifth (21 percent) of all primary mortgage holders reported a change in their monthly payment in the previous 12 months, mainly because of modified property taxes or homeowners insurance;
  • Twelve percent of households reported a smoker living in the unit;
  • Sixteen percent reported have a swimming pool;
  • Mold was reported in 4 percent of housing units;
  • In 2011, owners spent a median of $33 on routine maintenance;
  • Of the 43,740 owned homes in which a home improvement had been made in the last two years, 35 percent replaced or added an appliance or some type of major equipment, 19 percent replaced or added plumbing fixtures and 17 percent replaced or added a heating and air-conditioning system;
  • The cost of an average kitchen remodel was $5,000, while adding or renovating a kitchen was much more expensive ($27,353), and the average bathroom cost $2,432 to remodel, with renovations or additions costing an average of $3,422.

If you’re still not sated with real estate trivia, head to the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data access tool for a thrilling diversion.

Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you have the option here to search all available properties privately.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

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