Our Real Estate Blog
Large homes use a considerable amount of energy throughout the year, especially from heating and cooling. Making some upgrades to your home can significantly reduce your energy usage while also boosting the value of your home. If you’ve been thinking about making your home more energy-efficient, consider one or more of the following eco-friendly upgrades.
Solar panels provide you with a way to generate energy for your home without having to rely on fossil fuels or other sources of nonrenewable energy. These panels convert sunlight into usable energy to power appliances, lighting, HVAC systems and other items in your home. Having solar panels means you’ll be using a renewable source of energy to produce electricity, which decreases your dependence on fossil fuels.
When you install solar panels, you can also expect the value of your home to rise. According to Money Magazine, solar panels raised home values in the U.S. by roughly 4 percent. This increase in value could add thousands of dollars to the sale price of your home when you put it on the market.
Making your large home more eco-friendly can involve literally making it more green. Bringing greenery into your home helps improve your indoor air quality by removing pollutants and allergens. Having plants around has also been linked to better physical and emotional well-being through improved mood and reduced stress, according to a study published in Environmental Science and Pollution Research.
Rather than placing a few houseplants around your home, consider going bigger with a living wall. These are walls or columns made out of various plants and flowers. Living walls can provide you with the health benefits of indoor greenery while also making your home more decorative. The types of plants that would work best for a living wall in your home will depend on different factors, such as the amount of sunlight that part of your home gets.
From floor lamps to chandeliers and landscape lights, the amount of energy your home uses for lighting adds up quickly. Changing to energy-efficient lighting provides a simple way to reduce this type of energy usage. Switching to LED bulbs can help you use roughly 75 percent less energy compared to traditional light bulbs. Having skylights installed is another way to use less energy for lighting your home. Skylights allow you to enjoy stunning views of your surroundings and increase the amount of natural light your home gets on a regular basis. Adding skylights in one or more rooms or areas can also boost the value of your home.
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If security in your home is a concern, you can consider stepping things up a bit with steel entry doors. While you may think of steel doors as something that you’d find in an industrial type building, they’re not just for businesses anymore. Many homeowners are turning to steel entry doors in order to capitalize on their many benefits.
You’d be surprised that many new construction homes can be found with steel entry doors, and the prices aren't bad. A basic door will run somewhere between $100-$150. You’ll still need to buy the installation hardware for the doors, but these prices are fairly reasonable.
Benefits Of Steel Doors
There are many benefits to steel entry doors. The first of these perks is that they are incredibly secure. Break-ins generally occur either on lower level windows or through a front door. Thieves have a slim chance of getting into a steel door that has been properly installed.
The next benefit of steel doors is that they’re very durable. Steel is known to be quite a weather resistant material. These doors are also energy efficient and help you to keep the cost of your utility bills down.
Be careful when choosing your steel doors. Not all steel doors are fire resistant. A fire-resistant door can block high levels of heat and flames for about 20 minutes. You can check on your specific door of choice for how extensive the flame retardant material is and how long it will last.
Steel doors don’t require much maintenance. Because of their resistance to rust, cracking, and bending, these doors will last longer and keep your home looking sharp for longer periods of time. Steel doors are especially favorable if you live in an environment with high amounts of precipitation and humidity. The moisture won’t affect the condition of the door. If the doors happen to need any repairs, know that steel doors are just as easy to repair as a standard wooden door is. Your steel door will rarely require a replacement.
When you think of a steel door, you may picture a cold, metal door that’s quite unwelcoming. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You’re able to paint these doors any color that you’d like. First, you’ll need to remove all of the hardware from the door. Then, you’ll need to sand and prime the door. Next, you can move into the painting phase. You can use many different methods to paint a steel door including brushing, rolling, or spraying the door.
Whenever someone is looking to purchase a home, there is always an inherent risk. It is common for buyers and sellers of homes to look for the best deal possible; however, it is also possible that issues might arise after a home has already closed. When looking to buy or sell a home, it is critical to be familiar with some of the common legal issues that arise. Understanding these issues ahead of time may help someone avoid devastating legal consequences after the fact.
False Advertisements May Arise
One of the most common allegations made is related to false advertisements. Sometimes, someone purchases and house and feels that they didn't receive exactly what was advertised. These ads might take place in a booklet, leaflet or on the Internet. There is a certain code of ethics that comes with any real estate advertisement. While everyone wants to get the best deal possible, it is also important to make sure that all information advertised is truthful.
Equal Opportunity with Real Estate
This is, perhaps, the most important law that everyone needs to keep in mind when it comes to real estate. In the past, it used to be common that people wouldn't sell apartments, homes or condos to people of certain backgrounds including ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. Now, the government has clauses that protect everyone from discrimination when it comes to real estate. It is critical for anyone selling a home to make sure they provide everyone with an equal opportunity to buy that home. At the same time, those looking for a home should never feel like they are being blocked from buying a home on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, orientation or other demographic factors.
Disclose All Accurate Information Accurately
When someone is looking at various homes, they are counting on the buyer to disclose all relevant information related to the condition of that home. Nobody wants to buy a home only to realize that, immediately after purchasing the home, it is in need of substantial repairs. Sometimes, sellers will try to conceal information from the buyer in an effort to pass on the repairs to someone else; however, this is illegal. If the purchaser finds out that information related to potential repairs in the home were concealed, they can go to court and file a lawsuit to recover the costs of the repairs. Some of the most common issues that arise in this area of real estate law include boundary issues, the presence of pests, problems with the structure and roofing issues. It is important for buyers to make sure they ask for a home inspection to uncover these issues ahead of time.
No matter how much experience you have as a gardener, mistakes happen to everyone. Some gardening mistakes are actually avoidable. Below, you’ll find some of the most common gardening mistakes and how to stay clear of them. Next time around that you decide to plant, you’ll have an even greener thumb than you did the season before.
You Planted Too Early
When the springtime hits, it’s easy to feel eager to plant and get your crops going. Planting too early without proper grow cloths or warm enough temperatures can be completely detrimental to anything that is trying to grow.
Watering Too Much Or Two Little
There is a finite amount of water that’s required for plants to thrive. The general rule is for plants to receive about an inch of water per week. Plants that have not been watered enough will show certain signs including yellowing leaves and wilting leaves. Any fruits that are produced will be deformed. Be sure that you make up for the deficit of water during dry spells that occur by watering accordingly.
Plants that have been overwatered can also cause yellowing leaves. You don’t want your water to pool or cause puddles in the garden. If this happens, you’ll need to add a bit more organic matter to the soil itself.
Not Planting In A Bright Enough Place
It’s a basic scientific principle that plants need sunlight to grow properly. If you have planted things in the shade, they may not thrive. If you don’t have a sunny spot to plant your garden, try using portable gardening containers that you can move around. Shoot for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day for your plants.
Weeds can obviously choke your crops, sucking moisture and food away from the plants. If you don’t actively work to eliminate weeds, your plants will suffer greatly. Eliminate weeds as soon as you spot them. Allowing one weed to flourish is to allow them all to take over! Mulching can be a great start in helping to keep weeds away. If any weeds are found after the mulch has been put down, be sure to move them promptly.
Planting Too Much
If you plant too much, space can become a problem. Focus on planting what you and your family like to eat and will actually use. This problem comes down to a matter of preference and taste. You don’t want to spend a ton of time gardening just to realize that you’ve completely wasted your efforts.
Keep in mind that there’s always something new to learn when it comes to gardening. Know that no matter what level of gardener you are mistakes are inevitable but not completely unavoidable.