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Anita Gullo-Eardley

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GREEN LIVING AND YOU: Cost saving ideas for your home - Part II

  Anita Gullo-Eardley

Continuing on Tuesday's tips for green tips that save you money, we hope all these tips help you save money this year while doing just a little to save the planet:

 

- Energy Star AppliancesENERGY STAR qualified appliances incorporate technologies that use 10-50% less energy and water than standard models. If you can’t replace your appliances just yet, consider these tips:

- Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately.

- Don't over-dry your clothes. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying.

- One of the easiest things you can do to increase drying efficiency is to clean the lint trap before each and every load.

- Dishwashers use about the same amount of energy and water regardless of the number of dishes inside, so run full loads whenever possible.

- Place your fridge in a cool place away from a heat source such as an oven, a dishwasher, or direct sunlight from a window.

- Glass Block Windows - These windows offer great versatility, visibility and light transmission, energy conservation, security, durability and cost effectiveness. Glass block is scratch-resistant and requires minimal maintenance with a long-term life cycle.

- Lightbulbs - Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save $70 a year in energy costs. Compact fluorescent bulbs can last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs.

- Programmable Thermostat - A programmable thermostat  is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.

- Pay attention to your furnace - Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool - wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system - leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure

 

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GREEN LIVING AND YOU: Cost saving ideas for your home - Part I

Anita Gullo-Eardley Throughout March, we are focusing on green initiatives that help the planet while also improving your home. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite aspect of earth-friendly tips -- the ability to save money.

- High Efficiency Furnace -- Newer models can reduce heating costs by more than 50% when compared to previous generation units, resulting in a significant savings to your heat bill. New high efficiency oil furnaces are cleaner burning and require less maintenance. Act now to take advantage of the current tax credit up to $500 good through the end of the year.

- New Windows - Windows are one of the primary sources of heat loss in your home and one of the best items to increase resale value. ENERGY STAR qualified windows can help improve your comfort, cut drafts, and reduce fading of interior furnishings.

- Insulation/Ventilation - Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20% - and sometimes much more.

- Hot Water Tank - The newest models are much more energy efficient than they used to be, and are practically guaranteed to lower energy costs. Set too high, or at 140 degrees F, your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses. Set at 120 degrees F, you will save energy and money.

Check back later in the week for more cost saving tips.

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2011 Trends in Real Estate

Anita Gullo-Eardley As we look fresh at 2011 following a year in record foreclosures, interest rates unseen in years and a tax credit that helped spur many to purchase homes, we turn our sights on some of the likely trends in this year's market. Many of the predictions we are seeing for 2011 are cautious assumptions that the market may change slightly. For the most part, experts are predicting that changes will be slow and subtle and that there will be no huge surprises in the year ahead.

- Smaller homes make a comeback: The average size of a new home decreased for the first time in decades from 2008 to 2009, and analysts believe that trend will continue into 2011. A shift has begun toward urban cores, smaller homes and away from large suburban communities according to FrontDoor.com. Behavior is changing as we start to think differently about the extent of our disposable incomes and necessary savings as many found themselves unprepared for the recession. New buyers will have to be more conservative with their mortgages and will need to pay a higher percentage for a down payment, which means they’ll need a home with a smaller price. As a result, we’ll see builders continue to trim the size of their homes and look for new ways to make square footage work harder.

- Rental properties: People are choosing to rent with the intent of living in their houses longer once they do buy. The census shows the average person moves about 11 times, but some predict that number will slowly decrease. "Thankfully, the idea of a home as a short-term moneymaker is essentially gone, so when people do buy, they’ll do it with the intention of staying put for closer to 10 years rather than two to three,” says Jim Chittaro, president of Smykal Homes. This means people will be studying floor plans more closely, to ensure the home will grow with them. Chittaro says “floor plans that can adapt to lifestyle changes with flexible features like second family rooms should do well in 2011.”

- Healthy homes: When you consider a study by the National Institutes of Health that found the number of people with allergies is as much as five times higher than 30 years ago, the trend toward building homes with a healthier environment will also gain ground in 2011. Indoor air quality, low VOC paints and adhesives, and all-around healthier materials are becoming more and more of a concern for people building homes – especially for those with children. This trend is effecting existing homes, too. Due to the economy, many people have decided to stay put in their existing home and invest in changes to make it look better and live healthier. Construction companies are pricing more jobs that include installing HVAC systems with better filtration, using low-VOC materials and replacing old doors and windows to safeguard against exterior pollutants.

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Welcome

Welcome to Connolly Home Sales. We are full-time, full-service realtors, whose focus is on 100% client dedication. At Connolly Home Sales, our core values of honesty, integrity, loyalty and accountability have served our hundreds of clients well. Whether buying or selling, we keep our clients apprised of the latest trends within the industry. We believe in remaining available to our clients long after the transaction closes.

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