6 Features of Sustainable Homes

solar is a great feature in many sustainable homes

Our home is our castle, and while we might focus on decorating our houses, we can also expand our focus to build green, sustainable homes. But what does that really mean … and yes, it’s confusing. Knowing there are numerous organizations creating different green home standards, I decided to see what Wikipedia has to say about sustainable homes. The results from googling “sustainable homes wikipedia” were fascinating:

Code for Sustainable Homes – covers the rating method for certifying the performance of new homes in the UK. Green Building - talks about green construction or sustainable building that is “environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout... 

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Decorating with Metallics – Tile, Fabric & More

Metallics are the hot new decorating trend. Beyond the color choices we’ve had for years, metallics provide more depth and sparkle to a room, for a fresh new look. Metallics come in a variety of colors – silver, gold, bronze and nickel, all adding a regal touch that can’t be matched by paint. So are you ready to explore decorating with metallics?

There are many different ways to add metallics in your home. You can start with small accessories to see if you truly like them. Or you can add them to a kitchen or bathroom, where it’s traditional to use... 

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5 Reasons Why Home Buyers Choose New Construction

Many home buyers want a new-construction house. Their reasons vary, with a few common themes that most home buyers give for picking new construction. The most common reason given is the feeling that comes with living in a house where everything is fresh and new.  

Design and Construction Week  explains that a new Trulia survey shows buyers prefer new houses 2 to 1 over existing homes. There’s no denying the appeal, but not everyone can afford to buy new. The cost is usually higher than existing homes, but it might also even out over time. Older homes might need... 

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Re-Caulking a Door

Our front door needed re-caulking to prevent water from seeping in

Re-caulking a door turned out to be the simple solution to fix the problem of unwanted water in my front hall. At first I was worried this would require another major repair, but I consulted my experts and everyone agreed re-caulking the door would do the trick.

Homeowner: Lee Laughlin Project: Re-caulking a door Budget: Under $25

Re-Caulking A Door

Our house is only 11 years old, and we’re already on our second front door. The theory is that the first one failed due to an installation issue. The builder came back, addressed the problem and all was well.

Fast forward a... 

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Property Maintenance Tips for Cleaning Vinyl Siding

property maintenance includes cleaning windows

Vinyl really is an easy-care siding. (Read: Low-Maintenance Siding Options) There’s no wood to rot, nothing to scrape, and you’ll never have to go through the property maintenance chore of painting or staining. But like anything else, vinyl does need to be cleaned. That’s not just important for keeping your home looking fresh, but also to help avoid stains, such as mildew. 

It’s practically fall, and there’s no better time to get started. And we’ve got some tips that will help you clean your siding better and with less effort, so you can get back to all of the things you’d... 

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Confusion Between Pre-Qualified & Pre-Approval

a mortgage gets approved, but there's no pre-approval

Once upon a time buying a house and getting financing was relatively easy. Following the collapse of the housing market in 2008, buying a house and getting a mortgage became a lot harder.

The rules keep changing and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is working to provide guidelines for a more efficient and standard way to process and approve mortgage loans. So hopefully words like pre-qualified and pre-approval, will one day have definitions that really mean what they imply.

We’re so accustomed to searching for everything online today, you might not remember that before the Internet, you could only find... 

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Vacant Homes May be a Target for Teen Parties

a vacant house can invite teens to have a party

Your home might be temporarily vacant for any number of reasons. Maybe you’re planning a vacation or holiday with family. You might be moving and your house is on the market but you’ve already moved away. Sometimes there’s no getting around leaving a house unoccupied, but vacant homes can also be a beacon for the wrong element. 

ABC News explains that property owners are at risk when nobody’s home. While you’re safe and sound elsewhere, your home might not be. But you can help protect it, even when you’re not there. (Read: Home Security Tips for Your Castle)


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Managing the Home Mortgage Process

Getting a mortgage today is much more difficult than it needs to be. At least that’s my perspective based on buying my fourteenth house in 2014, meaning I’ve got lots of experience with the home mortgage process.

I just walked away from the first mortgage broker I was working with, a week before the scheduled closing (that story is another post). I didn’t realize until after I made this decision, that I was partly to blame as I had not taken charge of my own home mortgage process. It won’t happen again!

Just to be clear – I’m not, and have never... 

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Keeping Cool When There’s a Heat Wave

keeping cool is easier with a big fan sitting in front of you

Summer’s heat can zap your energy and make your cooling bills soar. But when there’s a heat wave, you don’t have to just suffer through it. There are ways to maximize your home’s comfort without adding unnecessarily to your energy consumption. 

Keeping cool when the weather is unforgiving means making smart choices. (Read: Surviving the Heat Wave) Some of those choices are new cooling appliances. But some are just using what you have in a smarter way. Here are a few ways to help beat the heat and survive with your wallet intact:

Whole-House Fans are All About Keeping Cool

A whole-house fan... 

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How Difficult is Buying a House?

buying a house is challenging & rewarding

Several months ago I would have told you buying a house wasn’t too difficult. Based on buying 13 houses over the years, I expected the challenges to be picking a city to move to … and finding a house that supported my husband’s astronomy hobby, which is why we’re moving. 

Many buyers get through the home buying process by dreaming about their new home, the lifestyle changes the new house will afford and more. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about family finances, and how to manage your homeowner commitments as few people understand the true cost of home ownership.


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