Dan Gil's Blog
Keeping your house cool during the summer months is easy--just blast the air conditioner until autumn, right? Well, for most of us the steep increase in our summer electric bills make us hesitant to keep the air conditioner on more than necessary.
There are techniques and habits, however, that will help you keep your house cool without sweating your electric bill.
In this article, we’re going to break down several ways to lower the temperature in your house. Some will save you money immediately, others are long term solutions that will keep your bill low years down the road.
Investing for the future
Oftentimes, the best solutions are the ones that address the root causes. If your house receives a lot of sunlight, there are a few projects you can undertake now that will save you money for years to come.
First, making sure your home is air tight and well insulated will help you keep the cool air in and the warm air out. Insulation and weatherstripping are easy to neglect, since they’re mostly out of sight and mind. However, the work they do and the pennies they’ll save you in heating and AC will add up over the years.
Next, if you do use an air conditioner, make sure it’s energy efficient. Many people use years-old air conditioners that waste a lot of electricity. Determine if your unit should be replaced or maintenanced--spending some money on your air conditioner now will save you in the long run.
Other, lesser-known, methods of cooling your home involve altering the exterior of your home. You can do this by planting trees in strategic areas to give shade to your home. Or, you can paint your home a brighter color and use reflective roof paint that will reduce the amount of light absorbed on sunny days. This is also true for driveways, where dark colored asphalt will absorb more heat than bright colored concrete.
Simple cooling tips
If you’d rather make short-term changes to your house to lower the temperature now, we have several pieces of advice:
Open your blinds and windows at night, when the outdoor temperature drops below the indoor temperature, and then close them in the morning before you leave for work.
Limit daytime appliance use. Your laundry machine, dishwasher, and oven all give off a lot of heat that can make your house hotter than need be. Wait until the sun goes down and until you can open the windows in your kitchen and laundry room before starting your chores. Cooking outside and having cold prepared meals is a good way to limit oven use in the summer months.
Change or clean your air conditioner filters. Old and dirty filters make your until work harder than it needs to.
Try the ice and fan trick. Put a large bowl of ice in front of your fan to chill and moisten the air it gives off. This is especially nice if you don’t like the dry, sterile feeling of air-conditioned rooms.
Keep the lights off and use high efficiency bulbs, such as LEDs.
Create a draft by opening a downstairs window slightly on one side of the house and opening fully an upstairs window on the other side of the house.
Make sure your ceiling fan is blowing down, or counter-clockwise.
Use awnings to let light into your home while avoiding direct sunlight from heating up the house.
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A home appraisal often helps a property seller determine how to price his or her residence. As such, an appraisal is important. And with a great appraisal, a seller may boost the likelihood of earning top dollar for his or her house.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to trust the final results of a house appraisal, and these reasons include:
1. A home appraisal is conducted by a property expert.
An expert home appraiser will allocate significant time and resources to complete his or her report. This professional also will perform a home analysis as part of his or her assessment. That way, a home appraiser can provide an accurate property valuation.
As you consider home appraisers, you may want to search for professionals with comprehensive experience. By doing so, you can find a home appraiser who knows the ins and outs of evaluating properties.
2. A home appraisal is based on your home's condition and real estate market data.
Although many home sellers believe an appraisal's property valuation is based solely on the age and condition of a house, other factors come into play. In fact, a home appraiser generally evaluates the current state of the housing market, the prices of comparable houses that recently sold and other real estate market data to determine the optimal property valuation.
Of course, it typically is a good idea to perform myriad property upgrades before an appraisal is completed. This may help you improve your chances of receiving the best-possible property valuation.
3. A home appraisal provides home selling insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
A home seller won't have to wait too long to receive an appraisal report, as a home appraiser usually can provide this report over the course of a few days. Meanwhile, the report includes a property valuation and other home insights that a seller may be unable to obtain elsewhere. And as a result, the report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the value of his or her house.
When it comes to conducting a home appraisal, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can explain how a home appraisal works and answer any concerns or questions that you may have. Plus, a real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with the top-rated home appraisers in your city or town.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the house selling journey, either. A real estate agent will help you list your home and promote it to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can offer a recommendation about how to proceed with this homebuying proposal.
Ready to add your residence to the real estate market? Perform a house appraisal, and you can move one step closer to establishing a competitive initial asking price for your home.
Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.
While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.
In today’s post, we’re going to do just that. We’ll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.
1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood
It’s easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesn’t drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.
2. Getting pressured into making a decision
Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.
It’s when we’re under pressure that we can make choices that we aren’t happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you don’t make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like you’re being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, there’s a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.
3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home
Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you don’t plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.
This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that won’t appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.
4. Didn’t consider all financing options
There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.
While there may not be one “right” decision when it comes to financing your home, it’s a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.
Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.