April 2014

Found 9 blog entries for April 2014.

Moving into your home is an exciting time, and you shouldn’t allow higher than expected electricity bills to dampen your spirits. Every day, households around the world waste large amounts of energy. If your home uses more energy than it needs to, you are the one that is paying the price. Luckily, there are many ways to make sure your home is running as efficiently as possible. Save yourself from 'utility shock' by taking these seven steps.

Make Energy Efficiency Your Electric Company's Business

When you first move into your home, have your appliances inspected by an authorized technician. You could call your appliance's manufacturer or the electric company to find someone to inspect your appliances. If you do find yourself on the phone with the

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Though it can be an entirely different story for a trend shift in the opposite direction, which then requires you to get out the soaking bucket and scraping tool, wallpaper coming back into style is a home décor blessing for many. Wallpaper is back in - in a big way! - and it's making your dreams of accomplishing a fashionable living space come true much faster and easier than you could have imagined. Quite frankly, wallpaper can do the "fashionable home" trick to virtually any room in your house, adding that touch of warmth and personality you've so far only seen in show homes. It's time to get with the trends, and give your home a quick and easy facelift!

A World Of Design With Wallpaper

Let's face it: wallpaper can achieve a world of options that

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Some people love living in condos, while others swear by detached homes. When it comes to deciding between the two, however, you can't always rely on someone else’s word. Sometimes it's as simple as understanding and assessing your lifestyle to make the best choice, since condo living and home ownership are two radically different experiences, and thereby serve two very different types of lifestyles and personalities. Here are a few considerations if you’re trying to decide whether you should invest in a house or a condo.

House: Best If You Have A Furry Friend

Do you have a furry friend or two that are an integral part of your family? Depending on their size and species, you may want to consider a detached house over a condo, simply for the amount

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Even the most aesthetically pleasing homes can have mold issues. A type of fungus that thrives on moisture, mold can trigger symptoms such as itching eyes, asthma attacks and bouts of sneezing or coughing. As a result of the possible health issues, mold is the sort of problem that should be dealt with prior to listing a home, and people who are in the market to buy a home would do well to have a licensed professional conduct a mold test on any home they're seriously interested in buying. What follows is a rundown of five places in the home where mold could be hiding.

The Unwanted Basement Tenant

If climate control measures are not implemented, basements can end up becoming breeding grounds for mold. Most basements get little or no direct sunlight, are

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When purchasing a piece of real estate, it is important to ensure that the features of the home meet your criteria and best serve your goals. An ideal investment property has many important features that will differ from the vital features of an owner-occupied piece of property, and therefore it’s important when choosing an investment property to know what you should be looking for. Here’s what you need to know if you’re investing in a rental property for the very first time.

Consider The Furnishings To Capitalize On Your Condo

When looking to purchase a condominium, it’s important to first ensure that the building allows for rentals, and that rental terms are flexible. Second, one should do research about the building and the community’s rental

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If you live in a climate where your yard has been hibernating for months, then you’re probably reading for warmer weather and a hint of green outside your kitchen window. So, in preparation for children running on lush grass through spritzing sprinklers, use the five tips below to get your lawn ready for spring. It will reward you with picnic perfect grass all summer long.

1. Clean Up Winter’s Clutter
Take a rake and remove all of the dead leaves and debris left over from the winter months. Leaving a layer of last-year’s foliage on the ground can smother your grass and hinder your lawn’s growth. Once your yard is clear, spread a thin layer of compost to enrich your soil and provide nutrients for when you grass is ready to sprout.

2. Aerate Your Yard

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Have you been looking through home décor magazines and gazing with wonder at the gorgeous homes inside? Do you want to add a touch of elegance and luxury to your Santa Cruz home, but you are on a tight budget? No need to worry, there are many ways that you can make your home look like a million bucks, without actually having to spend a fortune. 

Here are a few great ideas that don’t have to cost a lot, they just require a little bit of planning and some elbow grease and they will take your home from ordinary to luxury.

• Mount your curtains at ceiling level rather than the top of the windows. This draws the eye upwards and gives the illusion of high ceilings.

• Paint your interior doors a sleek and shiny shade of black. This looks very modern and

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If your monthly energy bill has started to make you cringe, then it might be time to conduct an energy audit on your home. Hiring a professional can cost you a pretty penny. So save the dough and examine your home yourself. With a few tools and the tips below, you can identify problem areas that could be costing you every month.

Energy Bills
Analyze last year’s energy bills. Each statement should itemize the energy you use each month in kilowatts. Note any spikes that could indicate problems with one of your appliances or the structure of your home. Call your energy provider and ask what the average cost is for a home of your size in your area. Then determine how extensively you need to conduct your energy audit.

Air Leakage
Warm or cool air escaping

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Buying your first home is a major milestone in your life, similar to graduating high school or moving out of your parent’s house.

When you buy a Santa Cruz property, you are making a long term investment decision in your future and potentially taking the first step toward your future financial security. However, buying a house before you are ready can actually be a negative move that puts a cramp in your plans.

It is important to assess where you are in life, so that you know whether or not it’s the right time to buy a house.

Some people buy their first home at 21, others at 30 and some might continue to rent for the rest of their lives – the decision depends on personal circumstances. But how can you determine for yourself whether you are

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