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.

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.

Green Homes – Ugly Ducklings Or Beautiful Swans?

A “green” home is a home that is highly energy efficient, has excellent indoor environment, and is built to exceed local building codes. So are they ugly then? Look like the Jetson’s space-age house? So obvious they would stick out like a sore thumb? No. No. and No. A green home looks just like conventional construction inside and out.

The beginning of a green home is a set of plans that starts with a conventional floor plan and elevations. Then an experienced green home building will modify the systems of the house to accommodate green home features and energy saving devises – A geothermal system rather than air conditioning; in-floor heating rather than a conventional natural gas forced air system; a grey water recapture system; energy efficient windows, doors, appliances, and water heater; and high quality, high ‘R’rated insulation.

The best part is that these systems work very different from their conventional counterparts, but are invisible to the homeowner and their guests. The home will be quieter and cleaner without the dust and noise of conventional forced air heating. And the energy cost savings are substantial, depending on your particular situation.

Energy Star appliances sip electricity but are similar or identical to your current appliances. And cabinets and trim can be identical to conventional houses or use recycled material or earth-friendly woods for a more eco-friendly alternatives.

The cladding and shingles on the outside of the home are no different than a conventional home making the home blend in to its neighborhood seamlessly. However, the market value is probably higher than the surrounding homes due to its energy saving advantages and tax incentives.

So a green home is a beautiful swan, not an ugly duckling, at all!

Tips To Get Your Search For Homes For Sale In The Right Track

Buying a house is a major financial decision that will not only give you a peace of mind, but also a wonderful place to live, and of course, the perfect location to start a family for those who are planning to settle down. Sooner or later, you will have to decide to settle down on your own home that will be considered as the best location to start a family.

That being said, it is important to greatly consider the factors that will affect your everyday living experience. The following tips will help to get your search of to the right start. While it is important to note the number of rooms, the size of the yard and the layout of the kitchen, there are several important things you need to consider before making an offer.

Avoid trying to time the market

– Trying to time the market when you are planning to purchase is impossible. Considering whether the market drops low or gets too high will only prolong and possibly make you lose your chance of owning your perfect house of choice. The best time is when you find the best one that you can afford. The real estate market is cyclical, and waiting for the perfect time will only make you miss out on an opportunity.

Location

– Proximity to essential establishments and the surrounding people can give great impact in your living environment. You can overlook a couple of imperfections in a home if you love the neighborhood and neighbors. As most would say, three of the most important factors in buying a home is location, location, location. When choosing, you need to consider its proximity to your work and other essential establishments, environment or the neighborhood, and public transportation.

Inspection

– Of course, you will need to check everything out inside the house. When you have finally narrowed down your list of choices, it’s time to hire a home inspector. It may cost a little but in the long run, it will end up saving you thousands. This will help you gain the best information regarding the new home so that you can make the best decision as to whether or not take it.

Situation factors

– One important thing to note: when buying a home, you can easily replace furniture, and other things inside however, you can never change the location. This is why it is important to also check the situational factors. Is the location suitable for kids, pets and gardening? Do the neighbor’s window look directly to your home? Has the driveway elevation properly installed for safe access to the property?

Buying Foreclosed Homes – Be Careful of the Great Deal

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you have probably heard that the economy and real estate market have been in a bit of a bind. People are losing their jobs and homes are foreclosing at a rapid rate. While this is a very sad and unfortunate situation for thousands of people each month, it is also an unbelievable opportunity for people buying foreclosed homes. The deals to be had are amazing, but you have to know where to look and what to avoid.

One of the first things you need to make sure about is the actual value of the home. Just because a home has been foreclosed upon does not mean that it is necessarily a good deal. Sometimes the real estate agent or the bank decides to list the home at fair market value for awhile before reducing it down to a really good deal. Be sure to look at comparable sold properties within the last 3 to 6 months. This will help you gauge what the market really is doing since there have been a lot of changes recently.

You also want to make sure that you do a thorough inspection of the property. Nothing is more upsetting to a new home buyer than to find out after closing that the property needs a lot of repair work done. That can cost thousands of dollars depending on what the issues are, so it needs to be uncovered early in the process when the buyer can still get out of the contract without penalties.

When buying foreclosed homes, it is important not to get swept up in the excitement of getting a good deal. Instead, buyers should keep a cool head about them and make sure they do as much due diligence as possible.