Focus on Green Homes – Landscaping to Save Energy

Landscaping a home in green manner is an important part of planning and building your green home. Landscaping consumes a lot of water and maintaining your yard can produce a large amount of carbon monoxide. Green landscaping means selecting plants that reduce the amount of water used to keep them alive.

For the lawn, plant grass that grows very slowly and requires very little water to survive. By planting this type of grass, your lawn would not need to be mowed every week, but maybe only a few times a summer, reducing the amount of exhaust from your mowing activities. Also since water bills are usually calculated by consumption, the less water the yard requires, the lower the water bill.

For the plants and bushes around the home, select hardy plants. Hardy plants are less susceptible to diseases and damaging pests, allowing you to forego or eliminate pesticides and fertilizers. The less of these chemicals that are used the better it is for the environment, reducing the amount of chemicals that run-off of plants during a rainstorm and soak into the ground. This type of run-off of pesticides and fertilizers has the potential to contaminate ground water and drinking water.

Another major consideration with green landscaping is the heat island effect. The heat island effect is heat from the home, from man-made surfaces around the home, and from the lack of appropriate landscaping. The combined heat from these sources can increase the temperature in a community noticeably. Heat islands can cause increased use of air conditioning, increased air pollution and greenhouse gas production, and lower water quality.

For your green home, this effect can make your heating and cooling systems less effective. The right types of landscaping can help prevent the heat island effect. For example, planting our hardy trees, shrubs and plants at least 24 inches away from the house can break up the heat transfer mechanism. In addition, planting deciduous trees on the west side of your green home or along driveways and walkways can be very effective for cooling the house and yard. Plan ahead, though. Trees and bushes growth over time can interfere with the effectiveness of any solar panels that are installed.

When planning your landscaping, plan to install a rain barrel as well. Why not store some of the run-off rainwater for eco-friendly, free water for watering the lawn, plants, scrubs, and trees? In addition to a rain barrel, the ground can be shaped to direct water coming from the roof and the ground during a rainstorm to collect around the plants, shrubs, and trees in the yard. This allows the earth to do your work for you. As the water from the storm drains into the ground, the last part of the ground to dry out is the part of the lawn that received the most water, reducing the amount of tap water needed.

By taking the extra time to address these issues during the design of your green home, you can achieve a beautiful, very low maintenance and environmental-friendly landscaped yard.

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Real Estate Appraisal-Tips on Getting Prepared

Getting ready for an typical real estate appraisal of a home is not complicated. Once the loan application has been approved, an appraiser is assigned to the property either by the lender, or in the case of loans for veterans, by VA itself.

The lender must provide the assignment order form along with a sale contract. Recent changes in the law require that appraisers dealing with a sale situation must review and analyze the sale contract. Refinances and other types of requests will of course not have a sale contract.

Ready access to the property must be available to avoid delays. Most appraisers are members of the local Board of REALTORS and normally possess a lock box key. Our experience with tenant-occupied properties is that it works best when the listing agent directly assists in setting up appointments. This helps the tenant feel more secure since they are already familiar with the agent.

It is always helpful for home owners to have their homes clean and in order. Appraisers are by tradition looking at a home from the viewpoint of a buyer, so a good impression is important. By the same token, appraisers often encounter a home when the owner is in the process of moving out, so boxes and other items are sometimes in disarray. This is okay. Appraisers understand this and are more concerned about being able to have full access to all areas, including the garage, than how the moving items look.

The appraiser is likely going to need to take measurements of the interior of the garage and look into water heater and AC closets, so be sure these areas are as clear and accessible as possible.

The appraiser’s worst enemy (next to a thunderstorm) is thorny or impassible shrubs or trees next to the house. They need to be able to use a measuring tape along each outside wall.

Dogs that bite are a problem but sometimes owners do not realize that their otherwise trusty and gentle pet may bite a stranger too. Dogs should always be penned up somehow and not left in the back yard when the appraiser arrives. It is best not to pen the dog inside the home or the garage unless they are confined to a cage, since the appraiser will need to enter all rooms and the garage.

Copies of seller disclosure notices are always welcome along with lists of recent sales and other marketing information. It’s hard to give an appraiser too much information. Especially useful is a copy of a recent survey.

It is not normally necessary for the owner to be absent during the appraisal. Most appraisers don’t mind if someone is there, especially when there are pets around. Burglar alarms should always be left off if the appraiser is allowed to visit the home when no one is there.

Real estate appraisers are pretty easy going folks. They want and need your cooperation as much as you do theirs. The modern appraiser typically approaches a job with an open mind.

Container Homes Are Ecological & Sustainable

Have you ever considered looking into shipping container homes? If the answer is yes, then you are in for a real surprise. For starters, shipping container homes are the most environmentally stable and sound form of home development on the market today.

Using only a tiny percentage of the typical materials to build most standard homes, costs and labor to actually create one of these is astounding compared to constant price increases of your average house today.

The overall structural strength of a shipping container allows the builder to develop multi-story dwellings, offering a larger living space without expanding its footprint. The heavy corrugated steel framing allows the unit to withstand 65,000 lbs of stacked weight.

It has been estimated that 86% of the materials used to build a shipping container house have been recycled. Also, the main foundation design is not as expensive and uses a fraction of material which is much quicker to assemble.

If you are concerned about the transportation infrastructure of these containers, no need to worry because it already exists, so the container homes can be easily moved by train, ship or truck, thus reducing major transport time.

Everything needed to complete the final product is delivered in one trip. An investment is already made by not having to pay extra money for several deliveries and separate construction materials.

Many people today have explored the possibility of getting a shipping container house. With a little research on the internet, you will be amazed at what is available today. The cost of regular constructed houses are sky rocketing as we speak. Even the materials being used are getting cheaper and seem to not last as long as they once did in the past. With the money you can save by investing into a container home, a bright future is in store for you.

Tips for Choosing a Good Custom Home Building Service

There are many advantages to choosing to build a custom designed home rather than buying an existing property; these include the possibility to create a space that caters to all your unique needs and wants. This does not have to be an exceptionally expensive option either – another benefit is that you will have complete control over your budget.

To make sure that you get the best experience out of your home building experience it is very important to find a good custom home builder to help bring your dreams to life. Here are a few important guidelines to follow to find the best professional to entrust with creating your new home.

Firstly, do not underestimate the power of recommendations; the best way to choose between a selections of custom home builders in your local area is to find out which ones have the happiest clients.

As with any service, people are always keen to share their positive and negative experiences, so seek out independent reviews websites which may provide useful information to help you make your decision on the best building service.

It is also worth looking on the company websites of the custom home builders you are considering. These best ones will not be backwards in coming forwards with the testimonials they have received from satisfied clients who have created their dream home with the help of the company.

It is also a good idea to ask the builders directly if they can put you in touch with their former clients. You may even in some cases be able to visit one of the properties that the custom home builder has created and speak to the owner. This will provide you with a valuable insight into the experience that you can expect if you work with them.

After you have found a few highly rated and reputable services, the next thing to do is to have a look through the portfolio of properties that they have designed and built. This will give you an idea of the types of property that they are used to constructing and designing.

You may be looking for a very modern, energy efficient and eco friendly home, and there are many custom home builders that deal often with this kind of building project, so you will benefit from all of their experience in this field if you choose to hire them.

On the other hand, you may like a more traditional looking home, in which case it is a good idea to find a custom build service that is experienced in creating this particular type of home. Either way, look carefully through portfolios to find a service whose previous projects appeal to you and are similar to what you have in mind for your own home.

Another thing that you absolutely must be aware of when you are looking for custom home builders to help you create your dream property is that there are many different aspects to such an enormous project. As you are taking care of every single large and tiny detail of the project you will need to find a service that can assist you with this.

The best service for those who are likely to find themselves overwhelmed by the enormity of such a project is one that guides its clients from start to finish of the build. This includes finding a good architect, creating an accurate budget, installing home video and audio systems, installing security systems, choosing finishes for both the home interior and exterior and much, much more.

The best way to make this kind of project a success is to find a professional that can help you every step of the way and one who is experienced enough to offer excellent advice on every single aspect of your project. Bear all of the above points in mind and you will be well on your way to finding the best custom home building service for you.

Real Estate Tips That Will Prove To Be The Confidence In Every Decision You Make

Real estate tips are useful when you are exploring the many different opportunities in the real estate industry. Tips are good for both buying your first home and or becoming an investor within the rental industry. In order to make the best investment you’ll need to align yourself with the appropriate information to help qualify the choices you make.

There are so many different areas within the real estate market where one can find their niche and financial success. In order to accomplish this you must first get clear about where your passion lies as this will allow you to align yourself with the right sources. Finding a mentor or professional who is living the experience you want to acquire for yourself is a smart business move.

Finding an agent that makes you feel like they have your best interest at the forefront of their mind is a requirement for the success of the process. You can measure their level of dedication by how well they listen to your needs; and how that translates into the properties they want you to view.

A strong real estate professional will not only have an interest in the type of home you are looking for; but they will also inquire about the environment you want. This is a very big deal and no portion of it should be taken lightly as it will serve as the foundation on which you will live your life. Take your time is making a hasty and compromising decision could lead to unfavorable circumstances.

The same guidelines holds true for anyone interested in the investment aspect of the real estate industry as someone who is looking to purchase a home to live in. It is vital that you put yourself in your potential renter’s shoes and ask yourself if you would want to rent the property. You want to challenge yourself to purchase properties that are appropriate for the market you intend to serve.

Being an investor will also call for you to consider how you want to manage the properties you’ve acquired. There are a number of reputable property management companies that can help you both screen and maintain the grounds on a monthly basis for a small fee. Once again it is important to assess your level of commitment to the process and to only take on the responsibility for aspects of it you will follow through on.

Having a system where you are able to screen your candidates is vital. A potential renters credit history alongside their rental patterns will help you choose responsible people. While this may be a headache for you to take on under your own there are professional services that can streamline the process for you.

Real estate tips are a great resource when they speak to the aspect of the industry you are interested in. They can help you both avoid making costly mistakes and find the level of confidence you require to make the right choices. Getting the best information can be easily attained by aligning yourself with like minded people.