It's so hot the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs. … So hot that cows are giving evaporated milk. … So hot that Lance Armstrong tested positive for water. Enough already! OK, once you get past the lousy jokes, it's time to deal with the harsh and hot reality: Some 35 million Americans are currently sweating -- no, make that suffering -- through hellish temperatures and oppressive humidity. And August has just begun.
But don't let pesky global warming trends ruin your weekend home shopping plans! From our (blessedly) overly air-conditioned offices, we spoke to real estate experts about how to survive the sweltering heat outside while making your appointed house-hunting rounds.
1. Schedule your viewings when it's relatively cool
"It's hotter here than you can imagine right now," says Michael Charles, a Realtor who sells within Southern California's Coachella Valley. (Note to Mr. Charles: We have very good imaginations.) "I schedule all of my showings in the morning starting around 9:30 a.m. so I can be done by 1 p.m. before things become unbearable."
Find out what time of day is hottest in your area -- in Charles' case it's between 3 and 5 p.m. -- and schedule around it. In Memphis, TN, agent Alan Crenshaw pushes his clients to see homes in the early evenings between 7 and 8, when the sun is still up but not blazing hot. Bonus: You get to see the area at dusk.
2. Map out homes that are close to one another
"You need to have a very clear plan of which homes you will visit within a certain area," says Realtor Lisa Kuhlman, whose territory is the greater Phoenix area. "Move quickly down the list of homes near one another so you can avoid your car overheating."
Ask your agent to map out visits to four or five homes that are a reasonable distance away from one another. In Phoenix, which is spread out and has lots of traffic, that would be 3 to 5 miles apart.
3. Carry a fan
Libby Gerald, a Realtor who covers the Starkville, MS, area, has taken to carrying hand fans, which she offers her clients. "I got a bunch of cute ones with cows and cowbells on them, because a lot of our clients are alum of Mississippi State." Note to agents and house hunters alike: Throw one in your bag before you head out.
4. Laugh it off
"Because everyone is fatigued in this heat, I really try to keep things light and people laughing," says Frances Katzen, a Manhattan broker. Grab your water bottle and start looking for your next oasis, or at least sweat trying.