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May 2020

You're reading the: Home and Garden, Real Estate column.

Turn Your Home Green

by Joan Byrnes for Home and Garden, Real Estate

It’s time to give back to our planet. Whether you are looking to save money, become a naturalist or are anxious to have the cutting-edge technology, follow these simple tips and help make our world a better place.

Buy new light bulbs
When it’s time to buy light bulbs, opt for the premium fluorescents. They will shine a pure-white or buttery-golden light and can cut your electricity bill by 5%. These bulbs can range from $3 to $12.

Have a barbeque
Outdoor grilling doesn’t just result in a tasty burger – it’s also good for the air. Outdoor grills use less energy that your electric kitchen stove and also keep heat out of the house; therefore, lowering air conditioning costs. Choose a grill that uses propane or natural gas because they emit 5.6 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour whereas a charcoal grill emits 11 pounds!

Brew coffee with an energy-efficient coffee machine
The energy-efficient coffee machines brew coffee at the exact temperature recommended for coffee; therefore, it doesn’t waste any extra heat and you’ll never have burnt coffee again!

Buy a flat screen monitor
The old, bulky monitors not only take up space, but they also increase your electric bill. You’ll save money by switching to an LCD flat-panel model because a flat screen uses as little as a third of the electricity as the conventional tube-based models. You should also consider this when shopping for large-screen TVs – the savings are in the LCDs and rear-projection models because they use less than half the energy of plasma TVs.

Clean-up with recycled papers towels
Next time you’re in the paper good aisle, throw the recycled paper towels into your cart – they’re cheap and environmentally-friendly.

Become an expert recycler
Local recycling practices may vary, but there are a few universal rules that you can follow. First of all, shopping bags never go in your recycling bins. Look on the bottom of your plastic items for a number and only put the items with a one or two in your bin. Second, don’t put light bulbs, broken glass or bits of food into your bin – they slow up the process and make waste professionals feel like they’ve been tossed to the curb.

For more home-owning advice or for Sun Lakes real estate needs, contact me at your earliest convenience.

Joan Byrnes, SRES
Realty One Group
joan_byrnesmartin@msn.com
www.SunLakesLiving.com

 

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Clean Homes Show Better

by Joan Byrnes for Real Estate

So, here’s a question for you. Would you rather walk into a clean home or a dirty one? No, it’s not a trick question but it is an important one. You see, when it comes to selling a home, many people forget how important the answer to that question really is. Sellers get busy looking for their new home, preparing the kids for a move, packing up their belongings, getting organized for their new life and relocation so much that sometimes their home that’s for sale doesn’t get the TLC that’s needed to push it to the top of the buyers’ must-have list.
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The Extended and Expanded Homebuyers Tax Credit

by Joan Byrnes for Real Estate

joanbyers-homechecklist

Expanded Homebuyers Tax Credit

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a long-time homeowner, Congress recently extended and expanded a home-buying tax credit for which you may qualify.

Current Homeowners…

If you’re an existing homeowner and would like to sell a principal residence (a location where you spend more than 50% of your time) that you’ve lived in consecutively for 5 of the past 8 years, then you may qualify for a tax credit of up to $6,500 on the purchase of a home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Qualifications…
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Build the Perfect Home Office

by Joan Byrnes for Home and Garden, Real Estate

A recent survey showed that more and more people are working remotely, according to the National Association of Realtors®. If you fall into this group, or are just looking to prepare your home for sale and want to make room for a home office, follow these tips:

Find the Right Spot

There’s a lot to consider when finding the right spot for your home office. Ideally, you want enough room for your desk, chair and at least one filing cabinet. You also want to be comfortable where you work, so a tight, cramped office won’t do. If possible, find a room with a closet to store supplies. Also, make sure to choose a location that is away from distractions. Avoid rooms near a TV or kitchen. Finally, remember to pick a room with enough electrical outlets and Internet access. When choosing the latter, go with wireless. The quick connection will save you time and frustration and you won’t have to worry about the extra cords.
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What Is Your Home Worth?

by Joan Byrnes for Real Estate

Market value is the amount prospective buyers are willing to pay at the time homeowners are ready to sell. Now you may ask – how do I find out the market value of my home? Well, the best way to ensure that you get the best price is to obtain an honest Comparable Market Analysis (CMA). You can get a CMA from your qualified, professional real estate agent.
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Make Your Home Easier to Buy

by Joan Byrnes for Real Estate

 

By making it easy for buyers to learn everything there is about your home and neighborhood, you can actually influence the sale. Working with an agent who is very familiar with your neighborhood will help ensure that these details are well-marketed to potential buyers. You should also be sure to share any key information about your home or neighborhood with your listing agent so he or she can use it to more effectively. You’ll also want to make sure that your agent provides as much information about your home as possible – on the Web. Time -starved home buyers like to use the Web as a convenient way to hasten the home search process.
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