While most homeowners don’t see that return until they sell their home, you can start seeing the benefits now through conserving energy by making your home green.
So in honor of the upcoming green holiday, stop searching for that pot of gold. Get inspired by St. Patrick’s Day to go green to cut your energy costs with the environmentally friendly renovations below. You’ll soon see the savings building up at the end of the rainbow.
- Use Reclaimed Wood For Flooring
Instead of chopping down more green for your floors, reclaim wood that’s already been cut. While prices vary depending on they type of wood and how it was transformed, you can get a unique look and conversational piece that no one else will have.
Just think, you could be standing on the Jackson’s old barn or a dismantled ship.
- Green Your Latrine
Install a low-flow toilet, which according to http://www.ConsumerReports.org could save you money. Older toilets use about 3.5 gallons per flush, while newer low-flow toilets can use less than 1.3 gallons.
If you don’t want to dish out the dough for a new toilet, then add pebbles or a sealed water bottle into the back tank to displace water and reduce consumption.
- Install A Programmable Thermostat
This is something you can easily do on your own. Purchase a programmable thermostat at any home improvement store for around $50, shut off power to the room you’ll be replacing it in, unscrew your old one and connect the wires to the new one.
Finished! Now you won’t have to worry about remembering to turn the air down at night and you’ll save money monthly.
- Replace Old Kitchen Appliances
If your refrigerator or dishwasher is more than 10 years old, then consider replacing them with newer energy efficient models. Look for appliances that have Energy Star labels, as these machines have passed strict energy requirements.
While this upgrade might cost you up front, you’ll quickly be saving energy and leaving more green in your bank account. Don’t get pinched this St. Patrick’s Day! Instead of just wearing green, surround yourself in it by making environmentally friendly renovations.
By taking your home green, you’ll reduce your energy usage and see savings in your monthly bills!
Being a homeowner is exciting. It can be financially rewarding, too. Unfortunately, it can also put you in a tough legal position.
Between the complexities of owning a house, having to deal with lenders and the risk that comes from owning something valuable, keeping yourself legally protected is a good idea.
Here Are Some Risks And Some Ways To Handle Them
- HOAs. If you own a condo, townhome or other property in an association, the homeowner association is extremely powerful. Not paying their dues, violating their rules, or doing just about anything else to end up on the wrong side of them could leave you subject to fines or even foreclosure.
- Neighbors. Whether or not good fences make for good neighbors, bad neighbors make for legal problems. Before dealing with your neighbors, research your community’s laws to see what options you have to deal with their unlicensed backyard dog breeding facility, teenager that steals your oranges or their tree that keeps breaking your window. It’s good to know what your responsibilities are as a neighbor, as well.
- Legal Paperwork. Part of having a house is having paperwork. Keeping it in a safe place where you can get to it when you need it is always a good idea.
- Being A Landlord. If you’re thinking about moving out and turning your house into a rental, take the time to see if you can really do it. Your mortgage, your homeowner association bylaws and your community’s laws can all either prevent you from renting out your house or can impose conditions or extra costs.
- Financial Scams. When you own a house, you’re at risk of being the victim of mortgage scams. If you also have strong credit, you could also be a target for identity thieves that want to steal your good name to steal money.
- Insurance. Your insurance does more than pay if something happens to your property. It can also give you liability protection that pays off if you harm someone at or away from your home. Given that you could lose your house in a suit, this protection is particularly valuable.
Being a homeowner requires more than just mowing the lawn and painting on occasion. You will also want to pay careful attention to your legal exposure and manage it.
A little bit of care could save you a lot of money and trouble down the line.
Last week’s economic news included construction spending and the CoreLogic Home Price Index for January. Reports for February included ADP Employment, Non-Farm Payrolls and national unemployment data.
The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report and weekly reports on mortgage rates and new unemployment claims rounded out the week’s economic news.
Highlights for last week include:
Consumer spending gained 0.40 percent for January. The expected reading was 0.20 percent and the reading for December was flat.
The Commerce Department reported that increased spending was less an indicator of consumer discretionary spending than an indicator of high utility costs caused by severe winter weather.
Construction spending ticked upward in January with gain of 0.10 percent as compared to expectations of -0.40 percent and the prior month’s reading of 0.10 percent.
January’s reading translates to a seasonally adjusted annual figure of $943.1 billion.
Federal Reserve: Winter Weather Obscures Accurate Economic Outlook
According to the Fed’s Beige Book report, much of the U.S. economy was impacted by severe winter weather. The report is based on anecdotal information provided by business contacts and industry leaders throughout the 12 regions of the U.S. Federal Reserve System.
Eight regions reported slow economic growth. Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the Fed, noted that winter weather was not expected to alter the Fed’s plan to continue reducing its asset purchases under its quantitative easing program. She also said that it may be months before accurate economic readings can be obtained in the aftermath of winter weather conditions.
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey brought good news on Thursday as mortgage rates fell across the board and discount points were also lower in most cases.
Average mortgage rates were down nine basis points for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.28 percent. The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.32 percent, a decrease of seven basis points.
The rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was 3.03 percent, down by two basis points from the prior week. Discount points were unchanged for 30-year fixed rate mortgages at 0.70 percent, but dropped to 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
Employment Sector: Surprise Results
The ADP payroll report showed a reading of 139,000 jobs added in February as compared to the prior month’s 127,000 jobs. ADP tracks private sector jobs. The BLS released its Non-Farm Payrolls report for February, which also surpassed expectations.
175,000 jobs were added against expectations of 140,000 jobs added and January’s reading of 129,000 jobs added. The national unemployment rate rose to 6.70 percent against an expected drop to 6.50 percent from January’s reading of 6.60 percent. Once again, foul weather was seen as a major influence.
What‘s Ahead This Week
This week’s economic news schedule is relatively light with no releases set for today.
Mortgage rates will be released by Freddie Mac on Thursday, along with weekly jobless claims. Retail sales and the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index round out next week’s schedule.
There is a fine line between adding color to your home décor and using too much color, so that you feel like you are living inside a rainbow.
A little bit of color will add a lot of fun and interest to your home design, but too much color can be overwhelming. How can you achieve that perfect balance?
Here Are Some Tips To Keep In Mind For Using Color In Your Home In A Subtle And Balanced Way:
- Use Color Schemes
Before choosing the colors for your décor, do a little bit of research into color schemes and how they work, so you know how to combine colors harmoniously.
For example, you can choose a complementary color scheme with shades that are across each other on the color wheel – such as blue and orange or purple and yellow.
Or you could try an analogous color scheme, which is a scheme where the colors are next to each other on the colour wheel – such as blue, green and purple.
- Use The 60/30/10 Rule
This is a rule that interior decorators use in order to use colors in a balanced way. Use the dominant color on 60% of the room, so that it will create a unifying look.
Then, use the secondary color on 30% of the room in order to add visual interest. Lastly, use an accent color for 10% of the room to add that little extra.
For example, you might use the dominant color for the walls and carpet, the secondary color for the upholstery and the accent color for some pillows, a wall hanging or a throw rug.
- Try An Accent Wall
Perhaps you have found a gorgeous paint color, but it’s just a little too bright and overwhelming to use for all four walls of a room.
In this case, you can simply paint one wall with the color and the other walls with a neutral tone, so that you can enjoy the shade without it being overpowering.
You could also simply use the color in one aspect of the room, such as the baseboards or the door jams.
These are just a few of the ways that you can incorporate color into your home design, without it being overpowering.