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GOOD OLD HOUSES - 07/31/06 11:58 PM
I just read an article in the August issue of National Geographic about New Orleans. I was struck by the photo of an 82 year old man who built his house with his own hands in 1953.. It said that when Hurricane Rita flooded the Lower 9th Ward in 1965 the water came almost to the top of the decorative archways that he had made himself. (He was a platerer by trade). Hurricane Katrina filled the house to the ceiling. It ruined his clothes but the house suffered no structural damage except a broken window pane. THAT IS A SOLIDLY BUILT (2 comments)
Bringing the Outdoors In - 07/30/06 09:51 PM
New homes often have a coverd patio or deck. In older homes, they have often been enclosed to expand the amount of space in the house or they are not in good repair. A best case scenario would be if a patio or deck is in good repair to use it as an outdoor living area. This gets the family outside into the fresh air and makes it part of the house whether it becomes the favorite dining are in summer or the best place for crafts, a well designed shade for sun protection can enhance its use and also be the (0 comments)
Why Buy Recycled? - 07/30/06 01:58 AM
When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I recycle houses. That almost inevitably gets them to ask how I do it or what I mean. I then explain to them that I am a Realtor and I specialize in residential resale which is a way to reuse existing homes. This gives me an opportunity to talk to them about the advaqntages of mature neighborhoods and the ability to get exactly what you want while getting a healthy house for less money. That usually gets their attention. Mature neighborhoods offer a lot of advantages: Usually, what you see is what (3 comments)
USONIAN HOUSE PRINCIPLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY - 07/28/06 09:47 PM
As green building principles become more mainstream more people are looking at issues of energy efficincy in existing homes as well. Frank Lloyd Wright's "United States of North America" houses were built to take into account the principle we are now rediscovering. Orientation-- the siting of a home can make it a great house for passive solar heating. Properly sized windows and overhangs as well as shade trees can save families hundreds of dollars on heating and cooling. It really does matter where the windows are located to facilitate natural ventilation. While you may not be able to change the location of an (4 comments)
WAYS TO HELP AVOID CREATING GREENHOUSE GASES AROUND YOUR HOME - 07/27/06 12:24 AM
As an EcoBroker, I have a commitment to helping homeowners learn ways that they can make our larger home a healthier and safer place by helping them understand ways to make their own homes more energy efficient and have better indoor air quality while saving money. Here are some tips from a very good website with lots of practical ideas. The link to the site is at the bottom of the list. Around the House Don't use a leaf blower. Instead, get a broom and a shovel. Do it by hand. It will make your place look cleaner and you get a (0 comments)
How Much Space Do You Really Need? - 07/25/06 10:06 PM
As "McMansions" continue to pop up all over the country, I am wondering why people keep buying them. More and more when I visit people, I find that they have one or more rooms that they never use. If I inquire about a closed room as they are showing off their home, they say something like "Oh, that's the junk room". We keep meaning to do something withit but we just store stuff in there." I think this is yet another illustration of our "stuff" owning us rather than the other way around. In the 1950's the average home had a (0 comments)
Green building - 07/22/06 01:37 AM
In a previous post I wrote that 60% or more of greenhouse gases come from buildings. That was information from an older book by Santa Fe architech Ed Mazria. More recent information says that the current annual energy consumption by buildings is 48%....I'd love to believe that better insulation and more efficient appliances and HVAC systems have contributed to that change. I'm sure that using more efficient building techniques has helped too. As the use of SIP's, poured and tilt up concrete walls as well as alternative materials like strawbale and rammed earth become even more popular the building sector will be (2 comments)
Creating recycled housing - 07/20/06 12:34 PM
All over the coutry, there are great examples of buildings recycled from other uses into shelter. In some cases this creates affordable housing .In others the housing cost is comparable to other area housing costs but it has the advantage of reusing the existing building envelope for a new purpose. It avoids the cost (in dollars and in embodied energy) of new construction. It keeps most of the existing building from ending up in a landfill and when done resposibly recycles the materials not reused back into other economic uses. For years people have turned old barns, office buildings and hotels (2 comments)
Old kitchens - 07/16/06 11:49 PM
Kitchen remodels seem to be the one thing that just about everyone agrees is needed in most older homes. At the very least, replacing older appliances with energy efficient models is a necessity. Not only do they save money by using less energy they generally have a larger capacity than older models. There seems to be a good deal of leeway in floor refinishing given all the choices on the market todaqy. I have seen tile, vinyl, linoleum, laminate and wood. One thing that has cropped up in some of the 200-330k houses I have shown lately is round kitchen (2 comments)
Small House Living - 07/15/06 09:30 PM
I am often asked why I focus my efforts on older, smaller homes and often in neighborhoods that are not "the best". I believe that everyone deserves a decent place to live. Not everyone can afford the ritzy neighborhood and some who can still choose not to live there. I try to mkake sure my clients find a home that fits their needs and their budget. AIf they must struggle to make the mortgage every month, they will not be happy in the home...they probably won't be there as much because they are working extra to make ends meet. I focus (0 comments)
Small is Beautiful - 07/14/06 05:30 PM
I have noticed that houses seem to be getting larger even as family size gets smaller. Since I specialize in residential resale, I have a need to be able to explain to people the advantages of older homes and smaller spaces. I have often had people be pleasantly surprised when they learn that a particularly well designed home is much smaller in square footage than what they thought they needed. Use of Clerstory windows to add natural light and give a feeling of openess and height can work wonders as can using walls of glass and large overhangs ovet a (0 comments)
Good Old Homes - 07/13/06 12:43 AM
I specialize in residential resale for several reasons, not the least of which is that I love old houses. They lend themselves to creativity and excite me about the possibilities of continuing to inhabit a space that has seen so much happen already. The old "if these walls could talk" idea lurks somewhere in my brain when I am in these homes. Perhaps a more important reason is the economic and environmental sense it makes. As an EcoBrokertm I am very concious of the need to provide good, energy efficient , affordable homes. The cost of remodeling an existing home (1 comments)
My blog is as much about a philosophy of life and living as it is about real estate as a business. E.F. Shumacher subtitled his book SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL "Economics as if People Mattered" In the real estate industry we realize that people matter and that where they live matters. We now also have a larger responsiblity, I believe, to get them to consider HOW they live. Everyone in the developed world using less energy and resources makes it possible for those who have access to neither to experience a better life and to make the difference between their being able to having a roof overhead or not or for their children to eat or not.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.