Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 2/23/2018

As a homeowner, you're constantly faced with a variety of spending decisions, many of which could improve the quality of your life or just put a strain on your budget. The challenge is to monitor your cash flow, anticipate your family's needs, and avoid spending more than you can afford. There's a goal that's much easier said than done! Although managing one's budget is based on personal priorities and financial resources, it's often useful to consider feedback and perspectives from other homeowners. The following thoughts are based on the experiences of one such homeowner.

  • Tool sheds are not an absolute necessity for most people, but they can be extremely helpful in protecting your yard equipment and keeping your property looking neat. If you own a riding mower, for example, there may not be space in your garage to store it. For those who own a backyard swimming pool, a shed can be very useful for storing pool chemicals, maintenance equipment, and pool toys. While a tool shed can set you back a few hundred dollars or more, getting one on your property will make your yard look nicer and keep your tools, chemicals, and machinery in a safer, more secure place.
  • Many people are aware that a basement dehumidifier can remove excess moisture and help prevent the growth of mold. This is especially important if you're storing anything of value in your basement, such as old books, important documents, clothing, framed art, or collectables. Since basement humidifiers vary in price from a couple hundred dollars to well over $1,000, some homeowners postpone buying them. However, when you factor in the potential cost of mold remediation and having to throw away belongings that get damaged by moisture and mold, the cost is much more justifiable. If you're fortunate enough to have a dry basement with a humidity level of less than 50%, then a dehumidifier may be an unnecessary purchase. If you want to be sure, though, you can buy a cheap humidity gauge for $10 or $20 -- either online or at a local hardware store.
  • A ceiling fan may seem like a frivolous expense for a screened in porch, but you'll be mighty glad you have one on hot, humid days! You might think that large window screens would provide ample circulation for an outdoor porch, but unless there's a breeze -- either natural or man made -- then that hot air will often just sit there and linger, much like a guest who has overstayed their welcome! A ceiling fan can pull that uncomfortable air away from you and stir up some much-needed circulation. Ceiling fans, which typically cost between $100 and $200 (plus installation) -- create both the look and feel of a cool, breezy environment. They also help reduce air conditioning costs inside your home.
Since everyone's personal needs, budgets, and lifestyles are different, there are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding whether to purchase (or postpone) any of these three items. Hopefully, this blog post has provided you with some helpful insights on making those decisions!




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 5/28/2017

It's no fun living in a hot, stuffy house. Every year, you know it's coming. In a few months, temperatures are going to rise. Let temperatures and humidity rise too much and you could rush out to the nearest home goods store and buy an air conditioner. You also might start turning your air conditioner down so low that your utility bills escalate.

Quick actions to lower home cooling costs

Despite how long you've been giving into this trend, it doesn't have to go this way. You can be proactive. By preparing to save on home cooling costs now, you could avoid making emergency decisions that force you to spend hundreds of dollars. Following are quick steps that you could take to start creating a fuel efficient house.

  • Install a ceiling fan. Choose a ceiling fan that has a light and you'll get a double benefit.
  • Clean air filters for fans and air conditioners.Replace filters as needed.
  • Check to see that air conditioning air compressor fans are clean. Remove objects that are blocking the fans from spinning freely.
  • Examine and replace coolant lines that show signs of damage.
  • Replace insulation throughout your home as needed.
  • Buy heavy duty room fans for rooms that you spend the most time in. Adding a heavy duty fan to your bedroom could keep you from turning on the air conditioner at night until it's deep into summer.
  • Make sure that air vents are cleaned.
  • Cook at night when it's cooler. Cook enough food to store in the refrigerator or freezer for several days.
  • Take cool showers instead of soaking in a hot bath.
  • Place locked screen shields and alarms on windows that you plan to open during warmer months.

Your utility company may partner with you to lower home cooling costs

Prepare to save on home cooling costs while temperatures are still cool or cold. That gives you at least three weeks to set yourself up to save on home cooling utilities. The extra time is budget friendly. Time to save on home cooling costs also lets you relax and measure how well the energy efficient actions you have taken are working.

Don't rule out working with your utility company to reduce your home cooling costs. Some utility companies include ways to save on home cooling costs in individual utility bill mailings. Your utility company is also good resource to work with should you find it hard to pay all of your cooling expenses on time.

Although utility companies generally don't provide as much financial support during hot months the way they do during winter, reaching out to your utility company could pay off. Set up a payment schedule, if necessary. And ask the representative who you speak with to share even more ways that you could save on home cooling costs. The representative may know why specific cooling services are higher in certain areas where you live and what you can do to cut into these expenses.




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