A Groundhog’s Real Estate Predictions

With the dawn of February, comes the advent of a momentous tradition that dates back to 1887 – Groundhog Day.

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Featuring a rodent meterologist, this day was first celebrated in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and has roots in roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of cold winter weather. Tradition also states that an early spring is indicated if the groundhog does not see its shadow.

Here is to hoping that Phil the Punxsutawney groundhog, does NOT see his shadow tomorrow, when he emerges to predict the next few months of weather.


 

Like Phil, we have a few predictions about how the real estate market will behave over the next few months.

Unlike Phil, we have done research and are not scared of our own shadows.

Based on our research, here are a few things you can (most likely) expect over 2017:

  • While 2016 saw record-low rates, mortgage rates have begun to rise following the election. Experts predict that rates will climb by half a percent over 2017.
  • According to predictions by  Joe Kirchner, senior economist at Realtor.com, millennials and baby boomers will dominate demand in the housing market will millennials making up 33% of the buyer pool and baby boomers representing another 30%. This prediction is expected to hold true for the next decade.
  • However, as more “first-time buyers” (millennials) seek out their first homes, the available inventory is expected to continue to drop in 2017. Which inventory already down an 11 percent in the top 100 metros in 2016, this means that home buyers will have even fewer choices.
  • Kirchner further predicts that the West will outpace the rest of the country in real estate action, with home prices in Western cities increasing 5.8% and sales increasing 4.7%.
  • According to Zillow’s chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell, new construction projects will also be hit with higher costs. In Zillow’s 2017 Market Predictions, she argues,

“Buyers of new homes will have to spend more as builders cover the cost of rising construction wages, driven even higher in 2017 by continued labor shortages, which could be worsened by tougher immigration policies under President-elect Trump.” 

  • There are some positive expectations in place as well. Gudell predicts that as incomes rises and rent appreciation slows, rental affordability will improve. Her argument is supported by Urban Land Institute’s October 2016 Real Estate Consensus Forecast, which noted that apartment rental rate growth is expected to moderate to 3.0 percent in 2017,  but remain above the 20-year average growth rate of 2.8 percent.

 

 

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Congratulations to the Rubergs!

Congratulations to the Ruberg Family – this fun-loving family of four (daughters not pictured) recently closed on their first home!

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We have such a great time getting to know the families that we work with! Each family dynamic is unique and we really appreciated how well the Rubergs work together as a team and their ability to take some stressful moments and be able to laugh at it with their fun sense of humor.

(We were also impressed with their two adorable daughters!)

The Rubergs started their journey a bit unsure of exactly what area they wanted to live in, but were dedicated to the process and soon zeroed in on their ideal neighborhood. They ended up with a bit of a compromise: they purchased a home that needs a little work, but is in their dream location. These first time home-buyers impressed us with their ability to look at the long-term picture and with their willingness to confront every concern head-on!

As issues arose with their home inspection, they met each stressful situation with an optimistic attitude. Rather than becoming exasperated with the challenges, the Ruhbergs communicated directly with the city permit department and are now well-versed in the requirements for the work they intend to do. They took all the necessary steps to make sure they knew exactly what they were buying, and what it would take to make it exactly how they want it!

Fun-loving clients that are also logical and dedicated are our most favorite kind. We are so thankful that we were along for the Rubergs’ home-buying journey and look forward to watching them create their family’s dream home!

 

Joe & Taryn: Home For The Holidays!!

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, we are excited to announce that our clients Joe and Taryn will be home for the holidays! We were functioning on a strict time-line, but were able to help these newly-weds find a home they both loved in under a month!

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These two were dream clients and are the perfect example that finding a home can be done fairly quickly if you follow our home-finding process. Immediately after meeting with us for a buyer’s consultation, they completed their “driving homework”and were able to identify exactly which neighborhoods they did and didn’t like. Simple steps such as this help us to eliminate homes from the get-go and ultimately save a lot of time when it comes to finding ideal homes for our buyers!

 

Joe and Taryn decided to make an offer on a new construction home, which is a different process from purchasing a standard resale home. Knowing this, they were extremely thorough in reviewing the 100-pg purchase contract (much more intricate that the standard RPA!) and we were happy to discuss all of their concerns! They brought a lot of great questions to the table, but in the end they felt comfortable with moving forward and knew the source of every fee and cost!

We are thrilled that we got the chance to assist Joe and Taryn in this huge life step! They made our jobs easy by not only following our advice, but also by communicating clearly and giving us regular feedback. They remained involved and attentive throughout the entire process – there is nothing Realtors like more than responsive clients!

Our recent transaction with Joe and Taryn reminded us of the difficulties that could arise with new construction and we are happy we could be there to help smooth out the kinks and negotiate on their behalf. This article by NOLO provides an extensive pro-con list when it comes to purchasing new construction, but here are few Weber Accetta Certified tips for purchasing new construction homes:

  1. Get an inspection! Although no one has formally resided in the home, new homes have problems too. We recommend hiring an inspector to make sure everything is safe and up to code – for peace of mind and to protect you from future headaches!
  2. Check future plans! This is especially important if the home you are purchasing is in an underdeveloped area. Be sure to check with the city to see what is planned for the surrounding area and/or neighborhoods.
  3. Hire your own agent! Often-times model homes will be staffed with an agent who has a relationship with the builder, so it is important to hire an uninvolved agent that has your best interest in mind.
  4. Get pre-approved! It is still essential to have your finances in order and to get pre-approved by a bank or mortgage lender. This helps prove your validity as a buyer during the negotiation process and helps ensure that escrow moves smoothly and closes on time!

If you are in search of a NEW home for the holidays, consider letting the Weber Accetta Group work alongside you and help expedite the process! Shoot us an email or give us a call anytime of day to help discuss your needs!


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Lauren@WeberAccetta.com

310.387.4693



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Michelle@WeberAccetta.com

  310.293.1883

 

 


 

A Property Tax Guide for New Homeowners

 

Now that the distraction of a highly publicized presidential election is over, it is time to turn our focus on a topic that is (almost) equally as fun! Property Taxes.

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First, it is helpful to understand the process and how your property tax and who determines it. Your home is assessed by a county property assessor, who then assigns your home a certain value. Then your local taxing authority sets the multiplier, or the rate at which your home will be taxed. So, for example, if your home is assessed at $800,000 and the tax rate is set at 1.25 percent, each year you would need to pay $10,000 to your local taxing authority.

Next, be sure to familiarize yourself with tax due dates – delinquent penalties are harsh and expensive. Mark the following dates on your calendar:

Installment             Due Date            Delinquency Date*            Penalty, if delinquent

1st                   November 1               December 10                 10% of amount due
2nd                   February 1                     April 10                     10 % of amount due + $10.00 Cost

At first glance (and for most situations) these dates and payment amounts are straight-forward – as a homeowner you will receive clear instruction for how much you and when it is due by. However, as taxes get a bit confusing when you purchase or sell a home and are want to ensure that you are not held responsible for paying taxes before (or after) you actually own the home!

Here is a helpful step-by-step guide from SF Gates on how to calculate the property taxes you will owe:

  1. Refer to the most recent tax bill or municipal and county tax records to determine the total property tax due for the fiscal year. California’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. Divide the total bill by 360, which is California’s customary measure of a year for the purposes of real estate transactions. This figure is the amount of property tax due for each day of the fiscal year. For example, a $12,600 tax bill divided by 360 days equals a daily tax amount of $35.00
  2. Count the number of full months from July 1 through and including the day before closing. Multiply that figure by 30, which is California’s customary measure of a month for the purposes of real estate transactions. For example, there are three full months if a closing is scheduled for October 15: July, August and September. Three months multiplied by 30 days equals 90 days.
  3. Count the number of days in the partial month in which closing is to occur, but don’t include the closing date. In the October 15 example, there are 14 days. Add this number to the number of days in the full months. Using this example, the total is 104.
  4. Multiply the total number of days by the daily tax amount. Using the same example, $35 per day for 104 days equals $3,640. This is the amount of prorated tax the seller owes at closing.
  5. Count the number of full months from closing day to June 30. Multiply the number of months by 30 days. For an Oct. 15 closing, there are 8 full months, or 240 days.
  6. Subtract from 30 the number of days the seller will own the home in the closing month. The answer is the number of days the buyer will own the home during closing month. Using the Oct. 15 example, the buyer will own the home for 16 days in October.
  7. Add the total number of days the buyer will own the home during the fiscal year. The sum for this example is 256 days. Multiply that figure by the daily tax amount to determine the buyer’s tax proration. In this example, the buyer owes $8,960.

California law states that if the same owner keeps the property, that the assessed value of a property cannot increase by more than 2 percent per year. However, when a home is sold or transferred, it becomes subject to be reassessed at current market value  and in most cases is assigned a new base tax value. As California real estate historically appreciates over time, the base value generally increases with each reappraisal which results in increased property taxes. (Some exceptions apply – See our post on Propositions 60 and 90)

New homeowners: be expected of receiving a supplemental tax bill approximetely 6 months after your purchase. A supplemental bill is based on the difference between your home’s old assessed value and the new assessed value (generally the purchase price). This amount will be prorated from the purchase date and calculated by the number of months left in the fiscal year. However, if the property is reassessed at a lower value than the previously assessed value, you should be on the lookout for a refund. Supplemental tax bills are your responsibility and will be mailed directly to you by the Treasurer and Tax Collector’s Office approximately 6 months after your purchase.

There is some good news in all of this! This chart by the LA Times ranks Redondo Beach as the 75th least expensive county taxation rate out of the 88 cities in Los Angeles. Note – the stated rate is the calculated median amount, so your home’s rate may be higher or lower. Further, the rate does not include taxation for direct assessments for services which is charged by cities and includes lighting, sewage and others.

For more specific information concerning your home, we recommend checking out the Los Angeles County Property Tax Portal –  where you can find:

  • Information for new home and business owners.
  • Property data and maps.
  • How to read your tax bill.
  • How much your taxes are, and how to get a copy of your current tax bill.  How to appeal your value.
  • Areas of responsibilities of the four property tax departments with direct links to each of their websites.
  • A public inquiry form and contact information.
  • Answers to the most frequently asked questions about property taxes.

 

One quick reminder:

If you own and occupy your home as your principal place of residence, you are eligible for a Homeowners’ Exemption that reduces your property tax by about $70 annually. Be sure to file for this exemption and put that money towards something fun for your family!

 

– Cathy Strini

Pumpkin Patch Appreciation Party – The Experience.

 

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At the Weber Accetta group, we are passionate not only about about guaranteeing success for our clients, but also about building a community that supports and encourages each other. Whether it be featuring Redondo Beach listings on our social media, highlighting monthly Neighborhood Spotlights or hosting a networking group, we continue to search for more ways to redefine real estate from a transaction to an interaction.  We are huge believers in the power of a strong community and feel incredibly lucky that our jobs allow us to facilitate the growth of new relationships and partnerships. 

One of our favorite ways to reflect our gratitude to our clients, friends and family is by hosting “Appreciation Parties”.  While these gatherings are primarily geared towards having a great time, they also create a platform where our South Bay neighbors get a chance to mingle and create new meaningful relationships! We have both worked with and networked with so many inspiring individuals and feel responsible for helping them all to intermingle and share their awesomeness!

Most recently, we hosted a “Pumpkin Patch Appreciation Party”- both to celebrate the fall season and to familiarize our clients and friends with our new office. We worked hard to provide a smorgasbord of tasty treats, seasonal drinks and festive decorations.. but the vibe was truly set by the participation and enthusiasm of everyone who attended!  

 We asked for some feedback from one attendee who commented,

“What a great vibe it truly was, so many people came through from all different walks of life and yet everyone interacted as if they were already friendly and acquainted with each other.

 From an outside perspective, you can tell that Lauren and Michelle really nurture the relationships with their clients to not only have great transactions, but to create friendships. The wonderful turnout showed that.” 

One of the most exciting aspects of the night was the introduction of our pumpkin carving competition! We gave each attendee a pumpkin of their own and encouraged them to tag us on our Facebook in order to compete. We are thrilled to announce the Nishihira family as the winners. We did have other amazing submissions – so thank you to everyone who participated!

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In the end, a picture is worth a thousand

words so take a scroll.. (and try not to die of the cuteness!)

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We look forward to many more opportunities to celebrate our clients, friends & family (and hold all their adorable children)! Thank you all!

 

Fall in the South Bay!

There is no end to the exciting events happening throughout the South Bay! We are fortunate to live in such an active, involved community & want to help promote local events happening throughout the remainder of the month. We have pooled a few of the upcoming festivities and happenings we are most excited for – but please reach out if we have missed your favorite 🙂

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The Rising Tohoku Food Fair hosted by Mitsuwa Marketplace in Torrance presents 2 full days of food and cultural festivities to celebrate the charms of the Tohoku region in Northeast Japan, which can be enjoyed by children and adults. A variety of delicious food including seafood, wagyu beef, and sweets will bring you the authentic flavor of Tohoku, Japan. Check out fun workshops and dance presentations on Saturday and Sunday (11.5-11.6 from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm)!

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TedxManhattan Beach 2016: What If? takes place at Mira Costa High School on Saturday, Nov 5th and is a day of delight, creativity, inspiration, education, and fun. Three sessions of engaging speakers plus unlimited exploration of our interactive exhibit hall with breaks for breakfast, snack, and lunch. Meet 14 people who will surprise, delight, educate and open our eyes to what is possible when we ask “What if”..

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Meet a real mermaid and pirate at the SEA Lab’s November Fishtivities Saturday, Nov 5!  Mermaid activities will run from 10:00am-11:30am and Pirate activities will run from 1:00pm – 3:30pm (each session costs $5 per person, you can just participate in one for $5 or both the mermaid and pirate activities for $10)

 

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Alpine Village Oktoberfest is back! The longest running Oktoberfest in Los Angeles, this annual event offers traditional German fare, delicious German beers brewed by Warsteiner and  Bavarian fun is supplied by Oom Pah Pah party bands!  The Alpine Village Imports Market offers an array of German foods and products, as well as tasty sausages and a bakery.  Schedule runs as follows:

Fridays: 6:00 PM to midnight – 21+

Saturdays: 5:00 PM to midnight – 21+

Sundays:  1:00 PM to 6:00 PM – ALL AGES!!!

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How is it already time for the Manhattan Beach Pier Lighting & Holiday Open House?! Downtown merchants will be open until 9:00 PM and are sure to offer some distinctive gifts and intriguing offers this holiday season. Our restaurants will be serving their original menus and some sampling is sure to get your palette started for an evening of wonderful food. The event is set to take place Wednesday, Nov. 16th from 6:00-9:00 pm.

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AirBNB – Here to Stay?

The world of travel has been recently revolutionized by Airbnb – an innovative company that allows travelers to have a more home-roots experience when venturing to new cities.

Available in over 191+ counties, the site gives home owners an opportunity to capitalize on empty rooms or vacant apartments. It describes itself  as “a social website that connects people who have space to share with those who are looking for a place to stay”.

While Airbnb certainly makes travel more convenient, more affordable and let’s face it – more fun, a few cities are concerned with their casual approach to the travel industry and argue that it is contributing to the current housing crisis.

Should we, as homeowners/renters in one of the most populated cities in the country be concerned with the growth of Airbnb?


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To start, some lawmakers are anti-Airbnb because it allows people to make money without having to pay hotel taxes. The company charges guest a 9-12% service fee on every reservation made, as well as charging hosts a 3% fee.  Worth over $10 billion dollars, the company’s current valuation exceeds that of many global hotel chain. It has lessened our reliance on traditional hotels and motels – which ultimately means that the hospitality industry is losing money. In fact, HVS estimated that hotels lose approximately $450 million in direct revenues per year to AirBnb.

Beyond this financial impact, the popularity of Airbnb could ultimately be contributing to the rising cost of living in your city. It is more profitable for home owners to offer short-term rentals (think $150 a night) rather than long-term monthly rental agreements – think $150/night vs $800/month!

According to research done by Vice, this issue is aggravated in cities where vacancy rates are low and rental rates are historically high. Bennett Baumer, an organizer with the Housing Conservation Coordinators, shared, “Airbnb is exacerbating the affordability crisis and the general anyone-looking-for-an-apartment crisis by taking almost 20,000 apartments out of the market.” While this powerful statement was made in reference to New York City, Los Angeles no doubt fits the “low vacancy rates, historically high rent” description and it is likely that this issue translates over to the West coast.

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Further, renters who list who list their apartments or homes on the site may very well be in breach of their rental agreements. People who use their spare rooms to make quick cash on Airbnb without approval from their land-lord or the home owner, may find themselves evicted or in court! While Airbnb encourages its users to be “responsible hosts” and check renting laws and lease agreements prior to listing their spaces, the company does not take responsibilities for any legal issues that may arise.

On a more personal note, there is always the risk of bringing loud, irresponsible and reckless groups into your home/neighborhood. While you have the opportunity to screen and ultimately decline guests, the site does not require background checks. There have been instances of neighbors or fellow tenants reporting properties that are illegally renting out their homes.


In family friendly Redondo Beach, it is easy to see why your neighbors may be wary of you listing your home on Airbnb. While we see both the pros & cons of Airbnb, we urge you to be cautious if you are considering listing your home on the site. If you currently in a lease, be sure to double check your rental agreement and run the idea by your landlord. If you are a homeowner, we advise being open with your neighbors and selective in your guest selection.

Do you have an Airbnb experience you would like to share with us? We would love to hear more 🙂

 

 

How To Rock Your Request For Repairs

A typical Residential Purchase Agreement contains an inspection contingency that allows for the buyer to inspect the property, review the reports and present a request for repairs to the seller. If the buyer is unsatisfied with the agreed upon repair list he or she can choose to cancel the deal and have their deposit returned. A request for repairs may ask for a detailed list of work to be done and/or a credit amount to cover the cost of the repairs.

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While some buyers feel that opting to waive the inspection contingency will give them a better at getting their offer accepted, we always advise buyers to opt to have the property inspected. While general home inspections cost several hundred dollars and are paid by the buyer, they could save the buyer a large amount of money in the long run. It also helps to educate you on the overall condition of your home and the condition of its systems.

Your home inspection will inevitably point out some problems with the property – no matter if it is brand new or 25 years old. Your home inspector will check that the main appliances and main systems (plumbing, heating, electrical, etc) are safe and operational. They will also check to see if there are any health and safety issues that might be a problem with the specific property. Pending the results, the general inspector will recommend additional inspections from a specialist (such as a roofing or foundation expert) and/or a list of necessary repairs. Most home inspectors have years of experience and should be able to identify what is problematic and needs to be addressed immediately, as well as what will need maintenance in the near future.

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At this point, you will need to generate a list of requested repairs or credits to present to the seller. This part of the escrow process requires negotiation and strong communication between both the agents and their respective parties. Thus, when deciding what issues or problems to put on your list it is helpful to consider how the seller might react – while you may feel that you are entitled to put everything the inspector recommends replacing, this is a key example of “picking your battles”. You may an extensive list, but it is best to get the list down to the most crucial items and be willing to let the minor things go.

Generally, it is a good idea to stick to health and safety items, as well as any damage that could adversely affect the structural integrity of the home over time. A few items of real concern are: cracks in the chimney, foundation cracks or a damaged roof.

As a buyer, you should be absolutely be persistent on ensuring that your future home is up to par, but you should prepared to take on some of the responsibility of the repairs. After all, you do not want to the deal to fall apart or get drawn out because you cannot come to an agreement as to which party will fix a few cracked floor tiles.

The best way to ensure that you get the most from the seller is to present estimates of the actual cost from contractors. While this may require more effort on your end, doing this gives the seller concrete proof of the price work that needs to be done and gives them little wiggle room.

Another thing to keep in mind when crafting your request list is the sale price of the home. If you were able to secure the home way below asking price, you should consider being a bit more lenient on your list. If you paid full price, you will have more wiggle room to include more requests, but remember that it is very rare to have the seller agree to all the requests right off the bat.

Most importantly, lean heavily on your agent during this whole experience! Remember, we are negotiation specialists and have gone through this process many times. We know the importance of being flexible, but also when to stick to our guns and fight for our clients and their wants. In the end, our job is to ensure that you get the best deal and that you feel 100% confident moving forward with closing on your new home!

Con’s of Contingent Offers

Looking at a real estate purchase agreement can be overwhelming…Even the name of the contract is an unnecessary mouthful (Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions). Each page is full of confusing terms & dense explanations. One area of a contract that a majority of people have trouble comprehending is the “contingency clauses.”

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According to Investopedia: “A contingency defines a condition or action that must be met in order for a real estate contract to become binding. These becomes part of a binding sales contract when both parties (i.e., the seller and the buyer) agree to the terms and sign the contract.”

Basically, a contingency is generally put into a contract as a way for the buyer to back out of a sale if something goes wrong  without losing their full deposit.

There are two main kinds of contingency clauses within a Residential Purchase Agreement there are :

  1. Appraisal Contingency: This requires hiring a third party to determine the current fair-market value of the home. If the appraised value is lower than the sale price, the buyer is given the option to cancel the deal. Buyers still have the option to move forward with the sale , but should remember that a lender will only provide money based on the APPRAISED COST, not the agreed upon sale price. You could also chose to waive this contingency entirely when writing an offer, but this could drastically raise the amount you pay out of pocket.
  2. Home Inspection Contingency: This allows the buyer to have the home professionally inspected and then, based on the inspection results, to request repairs to be made by the seller. If the seller refuses to make the requested fixes, the buyer is given the option to back out of the sale. A good home inspection looks for major issues (such as foundation problems or mold), but also examines the functionality of the home’s major systems (such as water heaters). Again, a buyer could choice to waive this contingency clause but we generally do not suggest it.

 

It is important not to confuse these contingency clauses with a contingent offer!

 

A contingent offer is an offer that is reliant on the sale of your buyer’s home. Generally speaking, contracts contingent upon the buyer’s sale of his home do not even enter escrow and or being inspections, appraisals, etc until the buyer actually sells his/her home. We suggest caution when it comes to accepting a contingent offer for a few reasons:

  1. Once you accept a contingent offer, the MLS will require your to change the status of your listing.. meaning that it will be listed as “pending” or “contingent”rather than “active”. While this does not completely remove your home from search sites, it will limit it’s visibility or marketability. Buyers and agents are less willing to take the time to see or make offers when a home is not 100% available, which makes it more difficult to line up a back-up buyer.
  2.   It is stressful  enough worrying about selling your own home.. but accepting a contingent offer means that you are now dependent on the sale of second home. You also have no say in how this home is marketed or how proactive the owner’s/owner’s agents are being. This scenario could increase your stress level, drag out the sale of your home and culminate in a frustrating outcome.

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However, there are exceptions to the general rule.. and each situation must be evaluated individually. For example, if the buyer’s home is in the last stages of escrow then accepting their contingent offer is a much lower risk. It might be worth considering if it is your only offer OR if their offer is significantly better than any other offer you have.

In general though we suggest to avoid contingent offers by asking the buyer to remove the sale contingency and replacing it with a longer escrow. This gives the buyer more time to sell their home, but compensates you for your time by allowing you to keep their deposit. If the buyer is unwilling to do so, you could always suggest that the buyer resubmits an offer once his or her home is sold.

 

Creating An Eco-Friendly Home

From solar panels to green-lifestyle dating sites (yes, those are a thing!), it is hard to miss the emergence of new products/lifestyle options that take eco-friendly living to a whole new level!

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While it is inspiring to see more Californians opting for a less harmful existence, many still view taking on a greener lifestyle as a daunting and expensive endeavor! We have devoted this week’s blog post to putting together a list of simple, cost-effective, and in a few cases, fun tips to help make your home more eco-friendly. You do not have to implement all the suggestions below, but try to pick one that seems feasible and go for it!

Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. – Carl Sagan

Upgrade Your Insulation & Windows

Adding insulation to prevent leaky  walls, windows, doors and duct can reduce your home’s energy usage up to 20 or 30 percent. If totally updating your insulation is too expensive for your fall budget, consider trying out thermal shades. These shades are made not only to block the sun in the summer, but also to retain heat in the winter! Energy-efficient windows also help to better insulate your home. Check out this article by House Logic to learn more about the importance of efficient windows and to find the best models for the most reasonable prices.

Opt for Fragrance-Free Products

Conventional fragrances often contain chemicals that may be harmful to the ecosystem when washed down the drain. If you like your soaps, cleaning products, or cosmetics to smell good (we certainly do!) read the labels to find ones that are made with essential oils. Real Simple offers a huge selection of all-natural cleaning solutions! This helpful blog post also provides a list (and reviews!) of the best eco-friendly cleaning products for your home.

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Low-Flow Your Bathroom

Flushing toilets accounts for 30%  of indoor water use! An average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent and save $$ in water costs by replacing old toilets with newer WaterSense labeled models.  While you are in the bathroom, go ahead and install a low-flow shower head as well. Also, regularly check your toilets and faucets for leaks.

Replace Your Lightbulbs

Save up to 66% of energy by replacing all of your incandescent lightbulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs! Beyond saving energy, CFLs also last up to 6 times as long as incandescent bulbs. (Saving money and time!) Also, turn off the lights when you leave a room.. or consider installing automatic timers in your forgetful teen’s room!

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Cool Down Your Clothes.

According to Huffington Post a huge amount of energy goes into heating water to wash your clothes. Try selecting the “cold water cycle” on your washing machine next time you throw in a load! Also, always make sure you are washing a full load every time. Running a full cycle for just a few towels or a pair of pants uses a substantial amount of water!

Grow An Indoor Garden

Living plants such as the Gerbera Daisy can act as natural air filters and help to improve indoor air quality. Check out this full list of 15 houseplants that not only brighten up a room, but help to absorb harmful pollutants throughout your home!

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Create a Recycling or Compost Station

Nearly half of the trash that a home produces is made up of food scraps. Rather than sending these scraps to the dumb, why not get a compost bin at your house and use those scraps to make fertilizer for your garden?! Get creative and build your own…(or check out these top-selling Amazon options!)

 

We are working to implement these changes in our own homes, so we are open to any tips or suggestions  our readers have!