January 14 2011

3 Easy Budgeting Tips For The New Home Buyer

by racheal

Budgeting For New Home Buyer

1. Carry cash and use it instead of your credit card or ATM card. This tip will help you spend less because you’ll see the dollars coming out of your wallet. When you use a credit card, it is easy to spend money that you don’t have yet. Then you end up with credit card balances that you can’t pay in full each month.

3. Carry a notepad with you for 14 days and document every penny you spend. I know this may sound like a hassle, but you’ll be surprised at how much money you spend on things you don’t need.

3. The last is the hardest one to do… Every time you get your paycheck and have paid off all your bills, pay your credit card balances down to $0. This will maximize your credit score and will make you feel like you always have a cushion for a rainy day.


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January 6 2011

Ideas For Adding Winter Curb Appeal To Your New Home

by racheal

Ideas for Winter Curb Appeal

When the autumn chill turns to winter cold and the sun sets earlier in the day you may find that your yard that was once full of color during summer is now gray and dull.  When it becomes more difficult to create that inviting look, that grabs attention to your beautiful home, follow these simple tips to add winter curb appeal to your new home.

1. Make the front door the focal point of your yard with a large wreath adorned with colorful artificial flowers and ribbon. Also add vibrant planters filled with evergreens near the door.

2. By adding green and purple plants, grasses, and evergreens you can liven up a home’s winter landscape. Growing tall grasses, such as fountain grass which can survive the harsh winters, will allow green tones to be seen during winter. Plants from the cabbage family will also add color with their vibrant purple hue and they too can withstand the chills of late fall and early winter.

3. Have a fountain or bird bath that you keep dormant during winter? Bring it back to life with a seasonal display of twigs, red berries, winter greenery and large glass balls of various colors for that finishing touch.

4. Light it up.! No, I don’t mean with your Christmas lights.  Use exterior spotlights to focus on your new home’s architectural features. This light also bounces off white snow to create a warm, inviting glow. 

5. The simplest and most important thing you can do to make your home look inviting and alive in the winter is to shovel the driveway and sidewalks leading to your home. 


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December 10 2010

Let’s Get Cooking on Saving Energy #2 – The Oven!

by April

All right, before we tackle all that holiday cooking let’s jump on that oven!  Get out your mitts and help lower your energy usage with these handy tips:

Saving Energy During Holiday Cooking

• Use glass and ceramic dishes.  They hold heat better and you can lower the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees.

• Save energy by cooking entire meals in the oven at the same time.

• A microwave is best for thawing and cooking small portions – use the oven for the big items or multiple items at the same time.

• Small appliances are often a good choice for cooking and saving energy.  Crock Pots are terrific and offer great winter comfort food.

• Preheat only if the recipe calls for it and don’t preheat if you are using the broiler.

• Use the window on the oven to check the food; yes you may need to clean it.  You lose 25 to 75 degrees of heat every time you open the oven while cooking.  Food takes longer to cook and uses more energy- so, no peeking!

• If you have a self-cleaning oven and use this feature – clean it immediately after you’ve cooked.  The oven will already be hot and take less energy to get to the heat needed for the cleaning stage.

Next week will be the Green Christmas blog – don’t miss it!


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December 3 2010

Let’s Get Cooking on Saving Energy – The Stove

by April

Tips on Saveing Energy at Home - Stove

Since these are the months that I spend the most time in the kitchen, here are the tips I can pass on to help you save energy at home and save your green! This week let’s check out that stove:

• Thaw foods and cut vegetables into small pieces.  They’ll take less time to cook.

• Put lids on pots and pans and make sure they are the right size for the burners.  Foods will cook faster and use less energy.

• Clean the reflector pans under the burners – they reflect more heat when they are clean and shiny.

• If the flames on your gas oven or stove are yellow, energy is being wasted and the burners need to be adjusted.  Call an appliance repair professional.

• When your electric burners are worn and don’t work properly they use more energy.  Save by replacing them.

• Time to buy a new stove?  Choose a model that has electric igniters instead of pilot lights for more efficiency.

Get your mitts out - next week we tackle the oven!


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December 1 2010

‘Tis the Season to Buy a New Home!

by racheal

Holiday New Home

During the holiday season of December it is the perfect time to buy a new home. You may be thinking to yourself, but with all the holiday gifts I need to buy and groceries I need to purchase for my holiday meals, right now is NOT the time to make a big purchase. However, you could not be any further from the truth.

Just think about it. During the months of December and January are when the biggest sales of the year are going on. Not only are home department stores providing great deals, homebuilders are too. Many homebuilders are offering great savings on new homes with promotions in the price of the home, reduced or no closing cost and upgrade deals.

Plus, once you purchase your new home, you get to do your entire home decor shopping during Christmas and end of year sales where you can purchase all your new furnishings and electronics at the lowest price of the year! Just think about how nice it will be to be able to purchase a new coach, buy that big screen TV you always wanted, and your new washer and dryer all on sale, maybe even half off! Not to mention that you can always let family and friends know you are buying a home and that you would like all your holiday gifts to be for your new home.


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September 13 2010

New Home Buying Advice

by racheal

New Home Buying Advice

It is true; becoming a homeowner can be a bittersweet experience and you may be craving some new home buying advice. While gaining the responsibility of a mortgage commitment for 15 – 30 years is a frightening thought, you also are gaining the freedom of owning your own home, where you are free to decorate the exterior and interior of your home just the way you desire.

The best new home buying advice that is out there is to not see the mortgage as a scary thing. In fact, you should see the mortgage to your new home as the steadiest rent control you in your life. While in the past you my have always had the fear of your rent increase at your rental renew, a mortgage is a predictable monthly payment. Not to mention when you buy your new home, you get the home free and clear after 360 payments along with great tax breaks!

Here are the 5 new home buying advice you can’t afford NOT to know:

1. According to most financial planners, the best time to buy a new home is as soon as possible in life. This way you begin the process of building equity, creating financial stability and receiving homeowner tax breaks.
2. “Location, location, location,” is one of the best new home buying advice out there. Based on what you can afford, buy in the best neighborhood. You are better off buying a smaller home in a well known area, then buying a larger home in a less desirable location. When the time comes to sell, your home’s value will increase more in a well respected neighborhood then a poor one.

3. NEVER assume the bank where you keep you checking is the institution that is going to be the best lender for you. Make sure to shop around at your local credit unions, banks, and mortgage lenders and brokers for the best rates and lowest closing costs. 

4. Keep quality accounts that are 2 years or older and consolidate any other smaller accounts and finance loans.

5. The last new home buying advice, but perhaps the most important; calculate what you can afford for a home payment and stick to it during your search for a new home. The last thing you want is to become controlled by your mortgage payment.

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May 8 2010

Saving Energy And Cutting Costs

by racheal

Electric bills coupled with a poor economy can be a bad mix in today’s society.  It seems that the price of everything is going up but you seem to be making less.  Many people are facing hard times. However, there are a few things that you can do in order to help decrease some of the electric costs that you may be paying for.  Simply following a few of the tips mentioned below can help you decrease the monthly payment that you find yourself paying each and everyday.

Saving Energy and Saving Costs

The first thing that you can do would be to turn off the lights, televisions and computers when you are not using them.  This sounds easy but many people forget. In most homes today there are two or even three computers.  These really do pull a lot of electricity. Therefore, it is very important to remember to turn then off when you are not using them.

The next thing that you should do is spend some time looking around your home and identifying what is currently plugged in that is not being used.  Many people do not realize it but there are a lot of appliances that will continue to draw power even if they are not being used.  Therefore, these things may need to be completely unplugged until you are ready to use them. 

Making simple changes like this can really benefit you in the long run.  Of course, there are simple things like turning the heat down at night or washing your laundry in cold water.  However, if you do these things along with the tips mentioned above, you will be sure to see an improvement in your monthly payments.


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May 2 2010

Removing Pet Stains From Your New Carpet

by racheal

Buying a new home is always exciting. Once you have moved in you feel refreshed knowing your carpets are new and clean, there are no marks on your freshly painted walls, and everything is just perfect. BUT wait…. Rex your pet dog just ruined all that fresh felling because he just marked his territory on your new carpet! Animals’ lovers know that animals have accidents and they can make a mess of your carpet. Being able to handle these unpleasant situations is very important in keeping your new home neat and tidy.  Do not get yourself all worked up when an accident occurs of course, here are simple to follow tips for removing pet stains from your new carpet.

Removing Pet Stains From Your New Carpet

• Start by blotting the area with a white cloth or towel to get the liquid up off of the carpet. 

• Once you have most of the moister lifted out of the carpet, get warm water in a bucket and work from the outside in as you gently massage the water into the area.

• Once you have completed, take another clean, white towel and begin blotting again to dry the area.

• Mixing half water and half vinegar and placing this on the stain will help as well.  You will massage the water and vinegar into the carpet and clean it up just like you would with the warm water.

If you catch the pet stains early you will be able to remove it without any problems.  Make sure you do not use any harsh treatments or cleaning products in the middle of the room until you have had an opportunity to test it in a discrete location, like under your couch or in a corner, just in case it causes damage to your new carpet.


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May 1 2010

How To Find The Best Paint Color For Your New Home

by racheal

I am sure you do not wants to spend your time painting the interior of your new home only to find out that you do not like the results.  When this occurs you are left with two options. One, you can repaint the interior of your home, which means more money, or two you can leave the walls the color used and be unsatisfied.  If you want like to avoid this snag you should consider these simple tips to help you select the best color for your new home.

Paint Color For Your New Home

1.) Find a store that can match an item that you would like the color for your paint. A lot of home improvement stores now have the capability to create the exact color that you are looking for. Make sure the color matches the color scams for your furniture and accessories of the room.

2.)   Find a color that is not as bright and extreme as the color you are looking for with the finished painting.  Because the colors will reflect off of themselves once the room is painted, the finish project will look more intense then the paint looked appeared by itself.

3.)   Test the paint on a section of your wall. This will give you an opportunity to look at the color in your new homes natural light as well as your light at night. This will help you picture your entire room with that color of paint.

If you follow these easy steps, you will be happy with the end result or your newly painted home.

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January 25 2010

Vancouver Homes for Sale: Will the Olympics Affect Prices?

by brook

As many market watchers are quickly learning, there are a number of factors that can affect new home prices. In Vancouver, for example, the upcoming Winter Olympics are causing real estate experts to ponder what affect the Games will have on housing prices. Why? Think about it: What better exposure for a region than an event that captures the world’s attention for nearly an entire month? Viewers from around the globe will be taken in by Vancouver’s glorious features, and many will be enticed to pay the city a visit; or, perhaps, make it their new home.

According to a spokesperson for the Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association, this publicity comes at a crucial time in history, noting the low home sales numbers reported in December 2009. As with other regions throughout Canada and the U.S., Vancouver has felt the burn of this phenomenon, and the city is looking forward to this much-needed potential boost.

Is there good news for buyers? Absolutely! No matter the influence of the Olympics on Vancouver home prices, there’s no shortage of affordable new homes in the region; everything from condos in Burnaby, to single family homes in Coquitlam, to river view flats in New Westminster is priced at a record low. Like everywhere else in North America, now is the time to buy! In fact, even upscale, urban high rises are priced reasonably for the discerning buyer.

If Vancouver homes for sale are of interest to you now, or you’re inclined to view prospective homes just for fun, there is a virtually countless number of options. Check these out online – and, more importantly, in person.


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