Sabtu, 10 November 2012

How Do Community Management Companies Help a Community?

A neighborhood that is run by a homeowners association (HOA) should meet the needs of its residents, but many HOAs lack the resources to uphold neighborhood standards and meet community goals. When an HOA becomes powerless to evolve a neighborhood, or maintain the neighborhood's standards, community management companies can help. With the assistance of management, an HOA can make improvements in the following areas of operation, among others:

Financial Assessment

Some HOA boards are composed of volunteers, many of whom may lack financial expertise. Maintaining a neighborhood's monthly expenses does not require a shrewd financial approach, but planning its investments to meet long-term goals does. HOA support services staff financial experts who can implement a full range of financial services, from the collection of assessment fees to the financial assessment of neighborhood projects.


The maintenance of a neighborhood plays an important role in the curb appeal of its properties-a quality desired by both community members and prospective property buyers. Good maintenance involves more than ensuring that HOA rules are met; it also involves selecting a reputable maintenance contractor and maintaining good contact with the contractor. An HOA support service can handle both tasks.

Neighborhood Planning

Different neighborhoods have different goals, but keeping the goals on track and within budget requires careful financial assessment. Also important is to plan a neighborhood to meet the vision of its residents in a social and cultural sense- tasks that benefit from the assistance of experienced community planners, who are staffed by community management companies.

HOA management involves more than managing the present community; it also deals with evolving the neighborhood in a way that increases its social, cultural, and financial value.

Value Added Services

Depending on a neighborhood's prestige, it may include value added services that distinguish it from other HOA neighborhoods, such as salon services, high-end security services, and childcare services. Developing the right mixture of services for a neighborhood requires careful attention to the expectations of its members and the vision established for its development.

Real Estate Value

The ultimate goal of HOA management is to promote the real estate value of the neighborhood, making its properties more valuable to community members and more desirable to prospective homebuyers. To do this, the HOA must use the resources provided by the support service, particularly resources for financial management, neighborhood planning, and neighborhood maintenance.


Community management companies assist an HOA in the areas above, among others. When an HOA is unable to meet the needs and expectations of its community, supporting it with a management team is often the best solution.

In some cases, an HOA persists with poor management practices for years, sabotaging the value of a neighborhood and frustrating its members, who invest in the neighborhood with the hopes of a social and financial payoff that never seems to come. If your HOA is having difficulty meeting its plans and obligations, it may need the assistance of a support service.

To learn more about the benefits of HOA support, contact a management service that specializes in your type of community.

Community management companies specialize in bettering communities through homeowners association management.

When Does a Community Need HOA Management Companies?

When a homeowners association (HOA) lacks the administrative resources to meet the needs of its community, it often requests the assistance of a management company-a service that supplies the administrative resources a needed to meet obligations. However, not all struggling HOAs request the help of management at the first sign of trouble. According to major polling firm Zogby International, four questions can be used to assess the value of an HOA to its community. To assess the value of your community's HOA, try answering the following questions:
Do board members focus on serving the community?
Most board members are elected to serve as volunteers-a scenario that requires them to have a passion for the community, as their service is not rewarded financially. Some board members soon tire of this arrangement, while others must put their jobs ahead of service to the community. Regardless of why board members do not focus on serving the community, their lack of attention must be compensated for if the community is to remain attractive to its residents and potential buyers.
Do community rules promote property value?
HOA rules range from being needlessly persnickety to being unfortunately lax, and though both types of rules are annoying, the latter generates the most ire from concerned community members. Unless the rules focus on maintaining property and developing community interests in a way makes the community attractive to potential buyers, they should be reconsidered with community development in mind.
Does a community support organization support the HOA?
An HOA that is supported by management typically performs better than ones that pursue community support without the help of management companies. As mentioned above, some board members juggle their duties with job duties, and few boards have the luxury of administrative assistants who provide extra support. Add in the fact that many boards lack members who are trained in business administration, and the importance of a support organization becomes obvious.
Do community members receive a fair return for assessment fees?
Nothing makes members of planned communities angrier than feeling as if they receive an unfair return on their assessment fees. When assessment fees fail to generate expected improvements to the community, financial mismanagement if often to blame, or poorly executed development plans. In some cases, fees are collected and saved, but not invested as originally planned, presenting the image of misspent funds.
Seeing assessment fees translated into community improvements is a basic expectation for members of HOA communities. When the expectation is not met, the financial upkeep of the community can benefit from the assistance of a support service.
Depending on how you answered the questions above, your HOA may need a management team to help it meet its obligations to the community. Provided by HOA management companies, this service helps planned communities improve their administration, financial upkeep, and community planning. For more information on HOA support, contact a support service that specializes in communities like yours.
HOA Management companies improve communities by performing homeowners association management.

Minggu, 05 Agustus 2012

Managing Specialist Input In Code for Sustainable Homes Projects

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is the national standard in the UK that stimulates the construction of sustainable housing. It operates a star system, whereby six stars represent the most sustainable projects. Many local planning authorities in England require that a certain number of CSH stars are achieved, even for development proposals that comprise only one unit. This article explains the specialist input required for a CSH project and provides a suggestion to manage this effectively. Project managers/architects and their clients should be aware of these in order to meet these planning requirements without undue delay and cost.

Specialist input required
At the outset of the project one should be aware that a small team of sustainability specialists is required. As a minimum there are three specialisms required:

    A formal CSH assessment is required to receive a certificate with the achieved rating. The assessment can only be carried out by a licensed CSH assessor.

    A licensed SAP assessor will be required to produce the energy efficiency calculations for the building. This is also a requirement for the building regulations and therefore not additional to a CSH project.

    A hydrologist report is required to demonstrate compliance with the minimum requirement related to drainage design.

These three specialisms are the minimum required specialist input. Depending on the site and the sustainability measures that will be selected for implementation, additional specialisms may be required. Typically these include an ecologist, a specialist in daylight factor analysis and an acoustic specialist. The need to appoint these specialists is project specific and depends on the selection of sustainability issues that will be chosen to be implemented. To ensure that the process of appointing these specialists does not cause undue delay to the progress of the project and increase the budget to unviable levels an early identification of the identification of the sustainability measures that is essential.

Early start
It is important that thinking about which measures to implement starts as early in the project as possible. There are a number of key items that significantly affect the CSH rating. Items likely energy strategy and water strategy may involve considerable cost and design time. Also when ecology credits are expedient to achieve the required CSH rating a specialist ecology report may be required. This report needs to be prepared based on a site visit that is carried out before any work (including site preparation) has started on the site. Other issues may have an effect on the construction contract that needs to be drafted. I therefore usually advocate the following steps in a CSH project:

    Option analysis, where an initial appraisal about the feasibility of each of the CSH issues are examined
    Development of energy, water, materials and construction management strategies
    Pre-assessment, where the final list of sustainability measures is agreed
    Design stage assessment
    Post construction review

Only the last two stages are formal and lead to a certificate.

Identifying the menu of sustainability measures
When considering all the items in the CSH manual, the project team should start with identifying the easy wins. Only a small number of items within the code are mandatory; most items are what is referred to as tradable. The design team has the freedom to select the items that would add up to the required rating. Depending on the characteristics of the project, some credits can be achieved by default. For instance in the second issue in the health category the code awards credits where the noise insulation between adjacent properties is better than the minimum requirements in the building regulations. Detached properties can claim the maximum number of credits in this issue by default. Other credits are so easy and cheap to achieve that there is not much discussion about their inclusion. This is for instance true for energy-efficient lighting or providing a drying-line for laundry.

Once the default credits and easy wins have been identified the design team has an indication of the shortfall in credits. This allows for the targeted development of strategies around the big-ticket items such as energy, materials, water use, construction management and ecology. These items need careful consideration: they represent a large number of credits but may have a significant in the cost of the project or its management.

Once the strategies have been developed and decisions about which sustainability measures to implement have been made the pre-assessment can be prepared as a road map for the formal assessment stages. It is at this stage that the list of specialist input that is required for the project has been defined with a reasonable certainty. This also means that at this stage a reasonable estimate of programme and budget needs can be made.

So, in short, this article explained that some items on the CSH menu of sustainability measures require specialist input. The nature and amount of specialist input is project specific. As appointing specialists may add to the duration of the project's programme and require additional funding it is essential to consider all the sustainability measures that will be implemented at an early stage.

David McGregor is a sustainability consultant with Planning for Sustainability Ltd. His specialisms include Code for Sustainable Homes, BREEAM and environmental impact assessments.

Rabu, 23 Mei 2012

Is Google Earth Causing People to Clean Up Their Backyards?

The other day, I was talking to a business broker as I was giving some consulting to a small businessman who was interested in expanding his operations in the region. He didn't have time to go around and look at various locations, but he asked me for some advice, so I spent a few hours checking commercial real estate property values, closeness to distribution hubs, and then I went on to Google Earth to have a look. One of the locations which was quite ideal for him, as it was near a college for low-cost interns, unfortunately had a lot of old debris in the side yard behind the industrial building. Okay so, let's talk about this for second shall we?
It turns out that the entrepreneur and founder had retired of that building and company had left his business to his kids that had run it into the ground, and they had decided to sell the accounts, and sell the building. There would be quite a bit of cost to remove all that old junk, and it made me wonder if there would be any contingent liability for environmental problems in the soil, and behind the fence where there was a creek bed, with a little bit of erosion which had gotten under the fence in a few places.
This made me wonder if Google Earth was causing people to clean up their backyards, and not necessarily just commercial buildings, but what about residential areas as well? Everyone has probably looked up their own home online on Google Earth, and they probably also have been able to see into their neighbor's backyards. It is akin to flying over someone's property in an aircraft, and as a pilot, I equate it to basically the same visual, the only difference is you don't have to pay for the aviation fuel, and isn't quite as fun flying over something on a computer, as it is in an actual aircraft.
Since everyone has looked up their own home on Google Earth, they probably thought that other people are doing the same thing. This might make them wish to clean up their backyard so that they don't look like slobs. After retirement, I traveled around the nation for about seven years in an RV, I was amazed at how many places in the southern states where the residents had old junked-out cars in the yard, and it is as bad as the comedians say with a talk about such things. Perhaps that's why it's so funny, because it is so close to the truth.
If I were a betting man, I would say that more than one person in your very own neighborhood has cleaned up their backyard, after they looked at their own home on Google Earth, and were shocked at what they saw and didn't want their neighbors to know that they had a junkyard back there. So, maybe that's a good thing, although it seems that many people complain about their privacy on this issue. In fact, the Germans were quite upset when they learned how much Google Earth revealed and now want such images blocked out online.
Still, if this is keeping Americans from making a mess of their own backyard, perhaps it will help them take pride in our country as well, perhaps throw less garbage or trash on the street, so maybe this is a good trend. Just a thought, so I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on 

Selasa, 15 Mei 2012

How Does Climate Change Affect Real Estate?

Climate change is one of the things that could affect the price of real estate prices in an area, and you need to be aware of it if you want to be successful with your investments. The problem is that there are a lot of people who are not aware of the fact that climate change can affect the price of properties, and this is the reason why they are not getting the most out of their investments. In this article, we will be looking at this situation from the point-of-view of a seller and a buyer to give you better information about it.

How Buyers Are Affected

If you are going to buy a property, you need consider the effects of climate change in the area. This could increase or decrease the price of the property that you are going to buy. As an investor, you need to make sure that you are going to get better returns for your investments, but how are you going to get better return if the price of the property decreases over time. This is something that you need to consider when buying a property, especially if you are looking forward to selling it at a much higher price.

On the other hand, if you are going to buy a property to have a house where you can live, then it would be great if you are going to carefully check the effects of climate change in the area. Keep in mind that you are going to spend several years in this house, so you need to make sure that you will be comfortable with it. Though you will be spending more money for it, this will ensure that you will get the best from your investment, and will give you a house that will help you be more comfortable.

How Sellers Are Affected

If you are going to sell a real estate property, you need to make sure that you are aware of the effects of climate change in your area. There are different things that could happen, and it would depend on the location of your property. If you want to get the best deal from a sale, you need to make sure that the buyer is aware of the things that they will experience. You need to start building rapport with your clients and you can do this by letting them know the things that they need to know.

It would be better if you are going to renovate your house and make it adaptive to climate change to increase its overall value. You don't have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be able to make it a better real estate property for climate change. Yes, you will be spending more for it, but the benefits that you can get from doing this is worth more than the amount that you will be spending. Just think of it as an investment that will help you get better deals and value for the property that you are trying to sell.

Getting better at Sacramento Real Estate won't happen overnight. You need to have great knowledge when it comes to investing, if you want to be successful with it. The problem is that there are a lot of things that should be considered, and you need to have someone who can provide you with all the information that you need when it comes to Real Estate Sacramento.

Senin, 14 Mei 2012

Which Heating Options Do New Home Builders Recommend?

Is the vast multitude of heating options for your house leaving you feeling hot and cold? Choosing the best heating option for your house can be difficult as you have to take into account many different factors such as cost, energy efficiency, availability of the needed fuel, the size of your house and your personal preferences. Whether you are hiring new home builders to construct an original house or want to implement a different heating system in your existing house, the following advice should be useful to you.

    Many construction companies regularly encourage their clients to include solar panels in the design of their original space, as the panels are a great way of providing clean energy to the house for free. Solar heating systems can reduce the cost of heating a house by fifty per cent or more, making it an excellent, cost effective choice for existing spaces and original houses alike.

    Wood Stoves
    Wood stoves are a favourite choice amongst many house owners looking for a rustic touch and are actually one of the most efficient and cheap ways of providing heat to a house. Good quality wood burners are required, however, as are copper tubing systems if you want your entire house to be heated by the wood boiler. Well aged and dried fire wood is also necessary for smoke and chemical free burning. For the best possible solution, you should find a sustainable fire wood source to use with your efficient wood stove.

    The most foolproof heating system recommended by new home builders is not really a heating system at all,but just good quality construction practice. Thick, effective insulation can keep your house warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer and can reduce the effects of noise pollution, as well as making your house more energy efficient over all. All original houses should be constructed with comprehensive insulation in place, including measures such as double glazed windows. Fresh insulation can also be installed in older houses.

    Avoid the Traditional Fireplace
    You probably will have noticed that the huge, roaring fireplaces so common fifty or so years ago can hardly be seen any more in the catalogues of new home builders. This is because indoor fireplaces are notoriously inefficient all year round, despite their comforting and nostalgic presence in a house. If you want to retain the fireplace in your old house you can install dampers and tight fitting glass doors to prevent massive heat loss through the chimney.

This article is shared by John K Taylor on the behalf of Even Wedge Homes.Even wedge homes is reputed new home builders in Melbourne. If you are planing to hire home builders for your dream home then contact us today.

Selasa, 24 April 2012

Will the New Legislation of Energy Act 2011 Mean Greener Properties? By Ramesollin Rame

The Energy Bill was first introduced in the House of Lords in December 2010, and the process completed within the Commons on the 14th September 2011. The House of Lords were in agreement with the amendments made to the Bill by the House of Commons, which allowed the Bill to receive Royal Assent on October 2011 and the Energy Bill was passed then as the 'Energy Act 2011'.

The new legislation, which is part of the Energy Act 2011, makes landlords legally responsible for improving the energy rating of their property by various means. 'The Green Deal' is also going to be introduced as part of the 'Energy Act 2011' where there would be a financial arrangement to allow landlords or homeowners to make energy-saving improvements to their property and pay back the cost over time through their electricity bills. Although some of the legislation is yet to be brought in to action over the next few years, it is advisable for landlords to plan ahead and start making their properties more energy efficient.

So the pertinent question now is, will this new legislation really push landlords and tenants to concentrating their efforts on keeping their properties energy efficient? Perhaps it will because more recently, landlords, tenants and even lettings agents in London and other parts of the UK are being trained to conduct the audits or certification of properties (Energy Performance Certificates). This audit or certification considers factors like identifying the type of boiler, the water heating and storage, thickness of walls, number of low energy light bulbs, etc.

The Energy Act aims at introducing energy efficiency measures to residential and commercial properties in order to achieve low carbon emission with better energy supply and use. This will then help to create fair competition within the energy markets.

The current Energy Performance Certificate rating is from A-G and the figures from a recently conducted, over 14 % of landlord owned properties come under the bottom two energy efficiency categories F and G. Ideally, each home must have this certificate which displays the complete information on how much energy the property typically uses.

Interestingly, as per the legislation under the Energy Act 2011, renting out properties that lie below the minimum standard E will be against the law from April 2018 onwards. In such a case, landlords shall become legally compelled to upgrade the energy efficiency and rating of their property.

It is important that this legislation be forced into practice because introducing new energy efficiencies will only contribute in making a property more appealing to tenants. This is

Senin, 23 April 2012

Finding The Right Green Home

There are a number of great things people can do to help ensure that their next home is as environmentally friendly as possible. We'll go over the top tips to help you make sustainable choices and ensure that your home is an asset you're proud to own.

1. Find an Agent with Green Designations

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Ecobroker have both created Green Designation programs, which will help your real estate agent assist you in finding green real estate that follows the most efficient sustainable practices. NAR has also built a green business network that allows individuals to find eco-friendly businesses, ranging from architects, designers and energy auditors to appliance vendors, attorneys and title companies. Find a Realtor with a Green Designation and they will be able to help you find a low-impact home that meets all your needs.

2. Alternative Energy Homes & Real Estate

One of the best green real estate resources to look for is homes with alternative energy already installed, like solar panels, wind turbines or geothermal systems. Many homes are coming pre-fit with these great technologies, making it easy to own green real estate at no extra effort.

If these features are lacking in your region or your dream house doesn't have alternative energy pre-installed, look at homes that can easily be modified to include non-electrical energy sources. For example, solar panels do best on south-facing roofs, while a geothermal system will require adequate yard space. Research alternative energies to find the solution that's best for you and then ensure the real estate you view can accommodate it. Also include a budget outside of your mortgage for installing alternative energy as soon as you take possession, to ensure you are reaping the benefits right away.

3. Retrofit Simple Energy-Efficient Upgrades

Technology has made massive strides in the last decade and dozens of home-energy innovations have been made. In addition to replacing old appliances with Energy-Star alternatives, there are a number of more budget-friendly upgrades that can be made. To get started, you can draft-proof windows with caulking, install low-flow showerheads and replace halogen light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs. Once implemented, these simple features don't require any modification to your daily routine and have been proven to save money.

4. Research The Neighborhood

Most neighborhoods have their own distinct style and vibe, which attracts like-minded individuals. Choosing a city or community that is known for being eco-friendly will help you find relevant real estate resources with greater ease. If you're unfamiliar with the area, your real estate agent will be able to let you know what neighborhoods are most likely to suit your needs. Concentrating your search for a home in these areas will help you in meeting your energy-saving goals.

Overall, green real estate is a fantastic investment. In addition to saving money on monthly energy costs, eco-friendly homes tend to be worth more than their high-impact alternatives. Environmental concerns continue to increase the demand for sustainable initiatives that have been proven to work, making green homes a hot commodity across the globe.

Everything you need to know about Santa Cruz real estate is right here at Lauren Spencer, Coldwell Banker Realtor will be glad to answer your questions about homes in Capitola Village.

Sabtu, 21 April 2012

Construction Trends in Green Real Estate

Green real estate is considered as the most popular type of property that is being constructed nowadays. There are a lot of things that you can get from building these eco-friendly houses, but you still need to make sure that you are updated with the things that were being used to build these houses. In this article, we will be discussing some of the things that you need to include whenever you are planning to build eco-friendly houses. This will help you determine the things that you need to have, and will ensure that you are going to get better results. Read on to find out more about the trends that you can use whenever you are planning to build an eco-friendly house.

The most important part of a house is the roof, but did you know that green real estates are mostly made of solar panel roofs? These panels will allow you to convert the energy of the sun to electricity that will help you maintain the power of your house. This may cost more money on your side, but the amount that can be saved in the long run will be worth more than the amount that you have spent. Aside from this, you will also make your house self-sufficient, allowing you to have worry-free living. Just make sure that you are going to get a professional who will be installing your solar panels, because this will ensure that you will get the most out of your investment.

Another option that is commonly used by a lot of people who are building eco-friendly houses is the eco-friendly paint. There are different types of paint, but if you are planning to build your own green real estate, then it would be better if you are going to use the one that can absorb carbon in the air. This may not be too beneficial for you, personally, but if there are several hundreds of houses that use this kind of paint, the carbon in the air will be a lot less. This may cost more money on your side, but the results that you can get from it are worth more than the money that you are going to spend for the special paint that you will be using for your house.

The latest trend that is being used in most green real estate properties today is the roof garden. There are a lot of houses that have their own garden on their rooftop. Aside from having the ability to grow plants, you will also be able to help the environment by reducing the carbon in the air. This will also be beneficial for you, since you have a place that can provide you with fresh air. You no longer need to look for a property that has a huge lot, because your garden can be placed on top of your roof. This will not only help you save more money, but will provide you with a place that can help you relax.

Real Estate in Sacramento may seem overwhelming for a lot of people, but if you have someone who can provide you with all the information that you need, everything will be easier for you. This is the reason why it is very advisable for someone to get an agent or a realtor who has the capability to close a Real Estate Sacramento transaction for them.

Jumat, 20 April 2012

Southern California Real Estate Is Hot and on a Comeback Mode

Southern California real estate is on a high. This surge in demand has graced the commercial as well as residential segments. The revival is coming after the great bubble burst of 2008 that sent the sector into a cold slump.

There was a 20 percent increase in transactions in May 2012 and the median price became a 20-month high. According to Jon Walsh, president of Southern California HomesDataQuick, "the spurt in sales for Southern California is driven by low interest rates and an improved economy."

Thus home sales went up in San Diego County and Los Angeles County with the median price for houses increasing 5.4 percent in the whole of South California from $280,000 to $295,000.

As things are changing there is jubilation in the market with many agents and consultants asserting that the market is in the pink of health now and the emerging market signals are trustworthy.

Attractions of Real Estate

The Southern California real estate market holds many attractions. They include:

• Excellent Locations
• Wonderful Weather
• Entertainment Options
• Good properties
• Many Picnic hotspots

A buyer will never regret the purchasing of real estate in California. There are multiple reasons for it. It gives an escape from cold weather conditions unlike the coastal regions elsewhere. Most people prefer warm climate. Southern California can fascinate any visitor with its warm weather and pleasant surroundings. The scope for unlimited entertainment is plentiful by way of San Diego's sports festivities, famous museums and good zoos.

Good property mix is yet another attraction. Besides expensive properties southern California also offers options like condominiums closer to the beaches and ocean. This is affordable and is quite a value for money option in housing.

Make a Profit

The analysts and brokers are encouraging buyers by citing at least three reasons to show the revival as genuine.

• No cheap loans floating in the market
• Housing Inventory is very low
• Reduction in distressed properties

Those looking for San Clemente Real Estate exciting properties are now up for grabs. San Clemente, lying in the southern part of the Orange county is extremely business friendly and has headquarters of many business corporations.

Investor Confidence

A survey conducted by Market Research Group Trulia, is reassuring. It says 60 percent of people expect prices to rise in the next year. Rising prices are also swinging developers into action to create finished properties.

Economic Recovery

The indications of a housing revival are there. If the rising property prices can drive the construction sector to the erstwhile glory, the housing market will become the engine of economic recovery. The rising house prices can also facilitate mortgage- modification in the medium and long term.

Riding the customer optimism it is not out of place to believe that rising prices may finally peak in the next 10 years. It is very pleasant to see the battered markets like Las Vegas and Sacramento seeing soaring prices. Certainly this is good news for all!

Posha Hansen is a dedicated writer of who gives you information about real estate. Like California real estate, Oceanside real estate, San Clemente Real Estate, etc. Call us now for more information 877-902-2893

The Importance of Ecofriendly Options When Investing in Real Estate

Ecofriendly houses are the key trends in building houses these days. There are a lot of people who are spending more money than usual just to be able to build houses that have less carbon emission and will be beneficial in helping our environment to fight global warming. The problem is that that are a lot of people who are too afraid of spending a lot of money, because they think that buying these houses won't be very beneficial for you. In this article, we will be discussing the importance of having different options when buying ecofriendly houses and how you can use it to your advantage.

If you are planning to buy an ecofriendly house, the first thing that you need to consider is that price that you are going to pay. Of course, you cannot spend $100,000 if you can only afford a house that is worth $75,000. What you can do is to look for a house that was built to be an ecofriendly real estate but doesn't have everything that is necessary. Since you can simply work on it overtime, you don't have to spend a lot of money at once. There are a lot of things that you need to consider, and if you are going to spend all your money to buy an expensive property, you will probably run out of money that can be used for the relocation and for renovating the house.

An ecofriendly house can be built overtime and you simply need to work on the materials that you can use. All you have to do is to decide the things that you want to be installed in your house and it will be taken care of by the professional that you have hired. For example, you are going to buy the house next month; you can start painting it with ecofriendly paint after a couple of months and start installing solar panels after a year. This won't force you to spend a lot of money at once and it will be easier for you to manage your funds. Aside from this, you will also have the ability to be more flexible with your finances.

More than the amount that you will be spending when building ecofriendly houses, you will also have the ability to choose the facilities and features that you want your house to have. If you don't want to install solar panels, then it is up to you. There are a lot of things that should be done when building ecofriendly houses, but you also have all the options that you need to spend more money or not. The only thing that you need to do is to make sure that you are going to hire a professional who can explain the process to you. This will ensure that you are going to do things perfectly and that you won't have problems while building your house or while creating a budget for the real estate property that you are planning to have.

If you want to learn more about the Sacramento Real Estate, then it would be better if you have a professional with you. There are a lot of things that you need to understand and you need to make sure that you are going to work with someone who has the highest reputation and credibility. You can check out our website now to find out why we are the best that you can hire when it comes to Real Estate Sacramento.

Green Real Estate - What Makes a House Sustainable?

Continuing our discussion in green real estate or eco-friendly houses, we will be discussing how you can make your house more sustainable and self-sufficient. This is one of the best advantages that you can get from green real estates and is the reason why you need to check the house that you are trying to build. We will be starting this article by showing you how a sustainable eco-friendly house works up to how you can have in on your own without spending a lot of money.

Sustainable eco-friendly house refers to a house that is different from an average house. If an average house uses electricity and ordinary paint, eco-friendly houses use less energy and are using paint that can help reduce carbon in the air. When we say sustainable, it means that you will be building a house that can sustain its needs without requiring too much from you. There are a lot of options that you can take, but the easiest is to install solar panels and have it work for you.

Solar panels may cost a lot of money, but you are not required to have enough to support your need for electricity. All you have to do is to install a new one every 6 months to dramatically reduce your electric consumption. These panels are not cheap, but the amount that you can save from these panels will pay-off in the long run, especially if you are going to consider the fact that these panels could last up to 20 years. This will not only keep your house sustainable, but will also help you save more money in the long run. All you have to do is to choose the best type for you and you also need to consider your budget.

Another option that you can do in order to make your house more sustainable is by creating small gardens in your house. There are houses with large space for garden, while some where built with landscapes. But what if you don't have these spaces to build your own garden? The answer is on your roof. If you are still planning your house, it would be better if you are going to create a rooftop where you can place your garden. This is where you will be planting, and build your own landscape. Not only will you be able to make your house more sustainable, but will also give you a place where you can relax.

It is true that there are dozens of things that you can do to make your house more sustainable and eco-friendly, but you need to make sure that it will also be beneficial for you. There are a lot of people who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their house more eco-friendly, but weren't able to get the most out of it, simply because they are sure with what they are doing. It would be better if you are going to consult a professional before you start to implement the things that you want to have.

There are a lot of people who are having problems when it comes to investing in Sacramento CA Real Estate, because they don't have a professional with them. If you want to get the best returns for your investment, then you need to make sure that you have a Sacramento Area Real Estate agent who can help you make the right decisions and close the deal for you.

Kamis, 12 April 2012

Green Real Estate Tips You Can Easily Implement

Green real estate refers to a house that was made to be eco-friendly. These houses are not only built to minimize carbon emissions but also reduce the carbon in the air. A lot of people are already using eco-friendly houses because they are getting better value for the money that they are spending. Aside from this, you can also play a great role in our fight against global warming. The problem is that it is not very easy for someone to renovate their houses and some would cost thousands of dollars. In this article, we will be discussing some of the things that you can easily implement to make your house eco-friendly.

When building green real estate, the first and easiest thing that you can do is to repaint your house. This is something that we do on a regular basis and all you have to do is to add a small amount to use carbon-absorbing paint. Although this would cost more money, if you are repainting your house regularly, you don't have to spend a lot. Just make sure that you are going to use the right type of paint because this will be your first step towards having an eco-friendly house. You can also seek for professional help whenever you are planning to paint your house to be sure that you are going to get the results that you are expecting.

If your house has a rooftop, then you can start building your own garden on top of your house. You don't have to spend a lot of money on it because you can start building it gradually. Simply add a couple of plants on a monthly basis and you'll be surprised with the results that you have after a year. What most people do is that they are planting vegetables on top of their houses, making their efforts more efficient and productive. This will not only make your house eco-friendly but will also give you produce that can be taken whenever you want to. This is something that not everyone will do, but those who will, can expect great results overtime.

Another very easy tip that you can implement is to start installing solar panels on your house. You don't have to install a lot just to support your need for energy. You can try to install at least 1 every six months to reduce your electric consumption. Once you've started implementing this step, the next thing that you need to do is to start investing in low-power-consuming electronics. This will not only help you fight global warming, but will also help your solar panels to keep up with your electric consumption. This is something that everyone should have, but due to the price of these panels, we cannot expect everyone to have it.

These are some of the most simple tips that you can implement to be successful in making your house more eco-friendly. Keep in mind that you don't have to spend a lot of money, and you are not required to do it immediately.

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Selasa, 10 April 2012

Benefits of Green Real Estate for Homeowners

In the recent couple of years, the cost of electricity, gasoline and home heating has hiked at an alarming rate. Thus, most homeowners today are turning towards the copious benefits that come along with going green. If not for the environment, they aim at building a green home either to save money or add to the value of their homes. Green or eco-friendly real estate entails use of things, like energy-efficient devices, alternative sources of energy and better insulation for conserving energy. Talking about green homes, which are known to have a skyrocketing popularity, well as the name suggests these are built using eco-friendly building materials. Sometimes, they are even such areas built inside the house which make it more energy-efficient. For instance, in order to maximize the insulating properties and conserve energy, these homes are built on the sides of hills.

Green properties are not only for the environmentally conscious people. Green real estate offers numerous practical benefits to every homeowner. For instance, if you use low-flow plumbing fittings and energy-efficient devices in your home, then you can literally save a lot on water and utility bills. Also, if you have an alternate source of energy, then you can substantially lower down your increasing energy bills. In the older homes, several appliances, which might be available since seventies or eighties, would likely be using a lot of electricity. By updating all such appliances with the modern energy-efficient ones, the homeowners can save a great deal of money. The initial costs are usually a deterrent, however as a homeowner would likely be staying in his house for several years, the costs of upgrading are outweighed by the long-term savings.

Besides, use of solar panels is also one of the various ways in which a homeowner can go green and enjoy advantages of the same. Those living in the high sun regions can benefit from numerous government programs, which subsidize your purchase and installation of the solar panels. Though the initial expenses for the solar panels may seem to be jaw-dropping, but in the long run, they can be highly gainful for you. In fact, many homeowners run their house solely with the use of solar energy and pay nothing to utility companies.

Just like the solar panels, even the wind turbines act as a great asset for homeowners, especially for those who reside in the high wind areas. For domestic use, wind turbines are quite unobtrusive, small in size and sometimes a little ornamental to match with natural surroundings. These devices do not produce equivalent energy, as the solar panels; still they can make a huge difference in what a homeowner can save by using them. Going green is not a big expense. By simply making certain changes, like switching conventional incandescent bulbs with the CFL lights, opting for wooden flooring, planting lots of trees in the garden area etc, can significantly increase your savings as a homeowner. So, go ahead and enjoy the copious benefits of green real estate.

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Selasa, 20 Maret 2012

What Makes a Home "Green?"

GREEN: 10 often capitalized: relating to or being an environmentalist political movement b: concerned with or supporting environmentalism c: tending to preserve environmental quality (as by being recyclable, biodegradable, or nonpolluting) Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

"Green" is the buzzword these days in regard to just about everything: cars, cleaning products, food, and, especially in my world, houses. In all realms, there is certainly a lot of "green washing," meaning claims of eco-friendliness that are purely marketing ploys for products that are not in any significant way environmentally kind. Even with homes, it is not always easy to determine "greenness," and that very term or the concept of "eco-friendly" can mean different things to different people.

I have found two kinds of environmentally conscious home buyers. First, there are the folks who are concerned with making as small an impact on the planet as possible with their home. These people prefer homes that have used sustainable products (bamboo floors are a common example, as bamboo is a fast-growing renewable crop) and recycled products. Along with sustainability goes making a small "footprint." Less square footage is better; building up rather than out is preferred. Also, there is a definite preference for native plant landscaping which reduces the need for watering and fertilizing.

The second group of eco-friendly home buyer is primarily concerned with health issues. These folks often have serious sensitivity to chemicals, toxins, and off-gassing. They are looking for homes created with no VOC (volatile organic compound) products (paint is a good example, or certain glues and formaldehydes) or homes that have aged long enough to have completely "off-gassed." This group also includes people who must avoid homes with mold, pest treatments, carpets, vinyl, etc.

Clearly, these two groups of people over-lap, but generally one concern over-rides the other (lack of allergens verses sustainable products). For example, a client recently pointed out that a home which is "eco-friendly" because it used recycled products can still off-gas the chemicals from the recycled product that make her sick! I am all for sustainability, but I would have to go with a home with the least mold potential possible (kryptonite to me).

So, then, how do we define an eco-friendly home? I think there are many aspects of a home that can make it "friendly." The state of North Carolina has established a certification program for new homes called the Healthy Built program. A home with this certification falls into one of three categories (silver, gold, and platinum) by meeting strict criteria. (See ). The Healthy Built certification covers energy efficiency, non-toxicity, and sustainability. Another certification is the Energy Star, used for appliances for years, this now applies to homes also. Energy Star is primarily concerned with reducing energy usage through highly efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems (HVAC) and insulation.

No doubt more certification programs and designations are forthcoming to help us define an environmentally friendly home. However, I maintain that there are many things that can make a house "eco," and no one designation can capture everything. Like most movements, the "green" movement is, and needs to be, one where everyone does what he or she can do to ease our impact on the planet and create healthy living spaces. For some people, like me, that means living in an "old" home. My last home was built in 1929. The footprint is already there; the impact on the earth already made. The original materials in the home have long-since off-gassed, and any new materials I put in to update can be sustainable and eco-friendly. This home is also in one of the oldest parts of Asheville, so it is close to town and walking distance to all kinds of groceries, drug stores, restaurants, and "walking" neighborhoods, thus lessening my dependence on my car. I think an older home is a terrific way of truly recycling and reusing! For others, building a dream-home need not be an endeavor that is detrimental to the earth. By using earth-friendly materials, making a small footprint (up verses out), and landscaping with native plants, a new home can be a great a positive addition to life on the planet.

Finances dictate what most of us can do to be environmentally friendly. An old home can be made efficient and non-toxic, but it takes patience and revenue. I worked on my home in stages, starting with sealing the building envelope, reducing toxicity, and installing the highest efficiency heating system possible. Many areas, like Asheville, are lucky to have local professionals that can assess a home and create a plan for making it efficient and "green."

But I must express one note of caution: some builders have jumped on the "green" bandwagon without the experience necessary to create a safe and sustainable home. When a home is tightly sealed, precautions must be taken to assure adequate ventilation and air exchange. And just because a home is newly constructed doesn't mean that it is perfect. Always have a home inspection by a licensed professional, and don't hesitate to call in specialists to evaluate any home you are considering buying.

In the end, a green or eco-friendly home may be what you can afford and modify right now, with an eye on future improvements. The important thing is that we all do everything we can to create sustainable and healthy homes.

Margaret Vestal is happy to be your real estate resource in the Asheville, NC area for green-built and eco-friendly homes. Visit to search homes or for more area information. You can email questions or comments to