Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a
Energy Saving Tips Including Green Building
What exactly is green building? Green building means improving the way that homes and home building sites use energy, water, and materials to reduce impacts on human health and the environment. Learn more at the Environmental Protection Agency (www3.epa.gov).
What if I want to buy or build a green home? If you are buying an existing home, energy-efficiency can be tough to identify. Look for ENERGY STAR-certified homes, which are independently verified to meet strict guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency. If you don’t purchase an ENERGY STAR home, you can still look for these features while home shopping:
•Walls and attic with proper insulation and sealing
•Efficient equipment for heating and/or cooling the house
•Efficient lighting and appliances, including ENERGY STAR certified dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.
•Double pane windows with durable weather strippingFor new homes, seek out builders who specialize in green construction.
You can search a list of Energy Star Home Builders at www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fuseaction=new_homes_partners.locator&s=footer. Be sure to check the licensure of any contractor you hire.Research financial incentives for energy-efficiency improvements, and find out of you qualify for a “Green Mortgage” at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website (http://www.huduser.org/portal/consumer/financial_incentives.html).
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program) has a state-specific list of financing options, including a list of utility rebates available.
Once you’re a homeowner, consider taking these steps:
•When buying a new appliance or lighting, look for the blue ENERGY STAR mark
•Install and set a programmable thermostat•Use weather-stripping and caulking to eliminate air leaks around exterior doors and windows
•Conserve water by installing a low-flow shower head
•Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with your community’s recycling guidelines—you likely can recycle more than you think. Try to reuse or resell any items that can’t be recycled.
•Choose nontoxic, biodegradable house cleaning products, or make your own with inexpensive ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. A quick online search will yield dozens of recipes.
•Shop for sustainably produced furniture. Look for products certified by GreenGuard or the Forest Stewardship Council.
•Hire service providers who use environmentally sound practices in their work. You can search professionals for everything from pest control to kitchen design at the GreenHomeGuide website (greenhomeguide.com/findapro).
•Visit your local used building materials yard or store
•Check out Home Energy Saver, a consumer resource for home energy savings—including a Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audit (http://hes.lbl.gov/consumer/)and eight tips to lower your energy bills by the U.S. Department of Energy (http://energy.gov/articles/resolve-save-energy-year).
For more great tips like these, please follow my blog at: http://www.herbertanderson.har.exprealty.com/blog.php?agentid=35961
Herbert (Allen) Anderson is a Houston, Texas based REALTOR® I Trusted Adviser with an immensity of experience and core understanding of how to deliver first class client service.
• Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE)
• Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR)
• Sellers Representative Specialist (SRS)
• Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
• Graduate, REALTOR Institute (GRI)