Category Archives: Green Home Features

‘Keep It Simple’ Up Keep


Using Traditional Light bulbs: If you still have incandescent light bulbs in your home, you could be throwing a lot of money away every month on inflated electric bills. Over its lifespan, an incandescent bulb can use $180 worth of electricity. A CFL will only use $41 worth of electricity over the same time period. Even better is the LED bulb, which only uses $30 per bulb.
Ignoring a Leaky Faucet: A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, which is enough water to take more than 180 showers. Some of us live in areas where water is plentiful, but for those of us in areas plagued with drought, this could be costing you a fortune. Fix or replace your leaky faucet and save a ton on your water bill.
Not Customizing Temperature: Invest in a customizable thermostat. If you are away at the office all day, you can program your heater to shift down a few degrees while you are gone and then shift back up shortly before you return home. Heating or cooling an empty home wastes a lot of money in energy costs.
Water Heater Temperature Set Too High: Unless you have a tankless water heater, your water heater is keeping the water in its tank hot 24/7. Decrease the temperature in the summer, and bump it back up when winter comes.  ***

Life on the Farm: The Urban Farmer


As we get closer to the end of long summer days and begin our courtship with autumn’s harvest moons, it is worth mentioning a new trend appearing in the housing market: the backyard farm. With society becoming more and more health & environmentally conscious, folks are beginning to take matters into their own hands, or yards. Fresh fruits and vegetable gardens are sprouting up, bees are being cultivated and there are even a few instances of livestock where you aren’t used to finding them – the city.

Having a backyard farm is not something to be taken lightly. A lot of work goes into creating this type of backyard. There are rules that need to be followed and making sure it’s all up to code with the city and/or an HOA takes some time and effort. Of course, then there’re always the neighbors. If having things like bees or chickens is something that suits your fancy, making sure it’s good with everyone surrounding you is something that must be done. No one wants to be shocked awake every morning by a rooster or stung by a bee while swimming in their pool on a warm day. Keeping everything kosher may involve some bribery, like a BBQ or some home-brewed beer as a token of appreciation for being so cool with things. But once all of the politics are cleared up, the fun can begin.

But what does that do to the sale of a home? How does a buyer see this built-in responsibility? Is it a perk or a deal-breaker? I suppose, it all depends on the buyer. What you need to do as a realtor is show the upside of having this type of yard. Mention the fantastic condition the soil is in from seasons of use and how much money could be saved by growing their own. Make sure the hives or coops are in good condition so it is seen as a pleasure rather than as a hassle. Stage the home with the fruits from the garden. Create a centerpiece of tomatoes or squash blossoms and make sure to highlight areas where vegetation grows best, like an herb garden windowsill. Features like chicken runs and raised garden beds have not only been cared for, but can also be repurposed to suit the new owner’s needs, for example turned into safe place for a dog to exercise. Those that are into sustainable practices, will be excited that steps were already taken before they have even moved in and those with pets could be excited that there is a designated place for their pet to run without disturbing the overall landscape.

The point is to focus on promoting these landscapes as lifestyle-friendly features that can be easily modified to fit needs of new homeowners. In fact, knowing in depth the rules and regulations that may affect the sale of a property will only benefit your business, as a real estate agent. Having knowledge a client can use when deciding on a new home purchase is a win-win situation. Put tips about seasonal vegetation or an article on how to keep a garden vibrant into your newsletter. Even folks that have a plant or two can benefit from this facet of your real estate repertoire.

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Always Love Your Mother Because You Will Never Get Another


She feeds us, helps us breathe and provides us all of the tools we need to survive. She even keeps us from wandering off, lost in the universe. The term “Mother Earth” isn’t that far off base. So, as we approach the holiday we celebrate our birth mothers, today is the day we stop for a moment and pay our respects to our mother planet.

Just like our mother-appreciating holiday, we shouldn’t leave this special love to only one day… It should be given all year ‘round. Unfortunately, us kids are pretty selfish for the most part and don’t respect our elders as much as we should. She doesn’t ask for much, but for some reason even the easiest requests always feel like a dreadful hassle. But if we want our allowance, we really need to get on the ball. So let’s take care of Ma Earth for a day. It’s the least we can do for all that she does for us.

Clean up your room. Litterbugs are generally thought of as the annoying pests of our society. Making a mess everywhere you go helps no one. So don’t be lazy. Pick up after yourself. Organize a group & pick up a beach or a park. Even the smallest groups can make an impact. And most importantly recycle, recycle, recycle. Turn in your cans & bottles for money. Repurpose anything into something magically new. Donate your unused stuff to someone who could use it. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

Make your bed. It always starts at home. Saving energy & natural resources really doesn’t need a lot of time or money. Change incandescent lightbulbs to fluorescent & change out air filters. Turn off lights when you leave the room and the sink while you brush your teeth. Make sure your faucets don’t leak. A little bit of upkeep can save you money and the planet its resources.

Eat your veggies. Let’s face it… We really need to start eating better. Studies continually show up about pesticides and how great organic is. So how about we quit feeding the dog all of our nutritious food? Plant a garden & use organic pesticides. Add trees & shrubs for some good ol’ carbon dioxide. Take more walks or bike rides and fill the air with carbon dioxide & not with vehicle emissions. The less bad stuff we put into our bodies, the happier we will all be.

Get along with your brother & sister. The key to keeping Mother Earth happy is if we all work together. It isn’t good enough for her to have her proverbial “favorite kids”. We all need to fight for her love. We can do that by looking after one another. The following infographic shows how a seller’s GREEN home is growing in popularity for buyers. It is a slow progress but a progress nonetheless. So spread the word. Add graphics like this and other helpful tips to your custom newsletter. Let your clients know that you’re looking out for them too. After all, isn’t the key to our time on this planet to live by the motto “Each One, Teach One”?

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