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Got Nuisance Squirrels? - 08/31/11 08:29 PM
Here’s What You Can — and Can’t — Do to Get Rid of Them Aug. 14 — YORK, Pa. — Ed Beck had so many squirrels damaging his York Township property that he started trapping the animals and releasing them at a York County park. But a county park ranger recently spotted Beck intending to release a squirrel and warned him that he could be cited: It’s illegal to release an animal in a county park. So Beck called the state Game Commission and said he was told he could kill the squirrels. However, he lives in a residential (2 comments)
Energy Efficient Fireplaces: Wood-Burning and Gas-Burning - 08/30/11 02:32 PM
Energy-efficient fireplaces, both wood-burning and gas, let you enjoy the glow of a fire without letting your home heating energy go up in smoke. EPA-qualified wood-burning fireplaces regulate how much air is used for combustion, reducing energy use and emissions. A traditional wood-burning fireplace adds warmth and romantic ambience to a home’s interior. But most are energy hogs, converting only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat. Fortunately, new energy-efficient fireplace designs are helping wood-burning fireplaces achieve efficiency ratings of 75% or more. Fireplace inserts and gas fireplaces are even more efficient. Energy-efficient wood-burning fireplaces If you’re adding a (3 comments)
Mortgage rates posted mixed results this week, but the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rates fell to a record low of 4.41%, according to Bankrate.com. The average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.43 discount and origination points. The previous record low of 4.42% was set in October and November of 2010. The average 15-year fixed mortgage increased to 3.63% while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate bounced to 4.94%. Adjustable-rate mortgages were mostly lower, with the average 5-year ARM dropping to 3.12% and the 7-year ARM sinking to 3.27%. Both are record lows. Prevailing economic concerns (1 comments)
Roof-top solar panels that create hot water with sunshine significantly reduce energy bills and are relatively easy to install and maintain. We Americans take our hot water for granted—we love our soaker tubs, and many of us just can’t start the day without a vigorous shower. But it’s not free. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, on average we spend about $308 per year, per household, just to have hot water ready at the twist of a faucet handle. But you could slash that figure in half, or more, with a solar-thermal system—a proven renewable-energy technology that enables the (1 comments)
How many of these seven flood insurance myths do you believe? Myth #1: Hurricanes, not floods, are the No. 1 natural disaster and cause the biggest economic losses in the United States. Hurricanes grab the headlines, but because floods happen in virtually every part of the country, they cause more losses than any other type of natural disaster. What causes floods? Rising rivers Storms Early snowmelts Manmade problems from the construction of roads, shopping malls, homes, and industrial complexes Hurricanes Myth #2: Everyone who lives in a flood zone has to buy flood insurance. Nope. You must buy (0 comments)
When President Barack Obama announced his first foreclosure prevention initiative in February 2009, he promised $75 billion to help up to 4 million home owners modify their mortgages to more affordable payments.
More than two years later, less than $3 billion has been spent and fewer than a million home owners have received permanent loan modifications. The Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was to provide $50 billion of the total, with another $25 billion coming from taxpayer-subsidized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Here is how three TARP foreclosure relief efforts have fared: What it is: The $29.9-billion (2 comments)
Preparing and keeping a fully stocked home emergency preparedness kit could be the key to your family's safety if a disaster strikes. Preparing a home emergency preparedness kit you hope never to use may seem like a waste of time and money. But when disasters happen that are beyond your control, you can take charge of how you respond. “What became clear in Hurricane Katrina is that in big events, the government isn’t going to come to your aid right away. You have to be prepared to take care of yourself,” says Rick Bissell, PhD, a professor of (0 comments)
Never Too Early to Prepare for Winter - 08/22/11 04:01 PM
The hot, hazy days of summer are a perfect time to start preparing for winter. Many must-do projects, such as caulking, cleaning gutters, adding insulation, or preparing emergency kits will make your home more energy-efficient, help prevent weather damage, and make things easier should the power go out. “It is never too early to save energy and save money at home,” said Joelle Terry, spokeswoman for the Energy Department. “Whether it’s choosing energy-efficient products, sealing air and duct leaks, or adding insulation, American households could save over 20% on their household energy bills by making energy upgrades to their (3 comments)
Mortgage rates declined for a third straight week, with the benchmark conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate now 4.45%, with 0.45 discount and origination points, according to Bankrate.com. The record low of 4.42% was set in October and November of 2010. The average 15-year fixed mortgage reset a record at 3.58% while the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate fell below the 5% mark for the first time, landing at 4.89%. Adjustable rate mortgages saw the biggest decreases, with the average 5-year ARM dropping to 3.15% and the 10-year ARM falling to 3.83%. Mortgage rates remain at, or near, record lows on (1 comments)
Laundry Room Storage: 5 Naked Truths - 08/17/11 04:24 PM
Unless you do your laundry in the buff, it’s one chore that’s never really done. Follow these laundry room storage ideas, however, and you can breeze through your dirty duds in no time. Locate your washer and dryer as close to bedrooms as possible, and then make supplies a snap to find with these laundry room storage ideas. 1. Make space for your washer and dryer Put your laundry room or area near bedrooms where you generate the most laundry so you can minimize steps and clothes clutter. To carve out space for a laundry station inside a (1 comments)
Low-Cost Kitchen Storage: Cheap Stress Reduction - 08/16/11 08:24 AM
Low-cost kitchen storage strategies bring calm to your kitchen, banishing stress-inducing clutter and leaving the space calm and orderly. Good news for budget-minded cleaning compulsives: Getting organized in the kitchen won’t drain your piggy bank. Stash more cash and control the chaos with these low-cost kitchen storage solutions, all readily available at home centers, discount stores, and online. Rack attack: Store pots, everyday dishes, spices, and wine on racks that are freestanding, wall-hung, and ceiling-hung—and voila! Everything is in its own location, visible, and easily accessible!Position the racks where they make sense: A (2 comments)
12 TIPS FOR SAVING ENERGY IN YOUR HOME OFFICE - 08/12/11 04:53 PM
Laptops use one-third the power (22 watts) of a typical desktop (68 watts) when in active mode. With roughly 34 million telecommuting adults in America—a number slated to double by 2016, according to Forrester Research—adjustments to your home office power consumption, lighting, and heating and cooling can impact the environment and your wallet—up to about $200 per year in energy costs. Down-shift your power consumption 1. Activate power-management settings. Home office electronics have multiple power modes: active (or “on”), active standby (“on” but consuming less than 100% power), and passive standby (or “off”), according to the nonprofit American Council for an (2 comments)
The 2010 Tax Credit for adding insulation is GONE, but small one in 2011 is better than NOTHING - 08/11/11 04:53 PM
The biggest air leaks are usually found in the attic, but it's often easy to add insulation there. Whether it’s summer heat or winter cold, insulation makes your house a lot more livable. From 2009 to 2010, the government helped out, letting you take $1,500 in tax credits for adding insulation. If you took full advantage of this credit, congratulations: Be sure to file IRS Form 5695 in 2011. Relax, because you’ve taken all the energy credits you’ve got coming. If you didn’t, and you’re kicking yourself as you shiver in the cold, you still have options. At the last minute, (0 comments)
Microsoft says installing cloud computing servers into homes and businesses could heat them instead of wasting energy by cooling the air in server data centers. A research paper published by Microsoft in conjunction with Virginia University researchers examined the feasibility of selling “Data Furnaces” to consumers, who would benefit by having their winter heating bills reduced down to almost zero, PhysOrg.com reported Tuesday. Because servers generate so much heat, the paper envisioned having server “furnaces” in the basements of homes all over the country, clustered around cites where most demand for those servers exists. Customers would purchase a server (0 comments)
10 Must-Have Mobile Apps for REALTORS® - 08/08/11 03:03 PM
Apps are great—especially the ones that help you get your job done better and faster. Take a look at these favorites and see how they could help make your day a little less hectic. 1. AroundMe (FREE)This program quickly identifies your location and allows you to choose the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, movie theatre, restaurant and much more. It shows you a complete list of all the businesses within each category, along with the distance from your location. It’s helpful to show buyers what conveniences are close to the property. 2. Suburb Scout for Android ($1.99)Suburb Scout (0 comments)
HOW TO GET A PLAYGROUND BUILT IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD - 08/05/11 04:46 PM
Amenities like playground equipment can improve your happiness, your family's well-being, and your property value. Love your home but wish the neighborhood offered more for kids? You can spearhead efforts to build a new playground that children will love and homebuyers will desire. “We’ve seen some tremendous dedication in fundraising, community partnerships, and use of available resources where small groups have done wonderful things,” says Anne-Marie Spencer, marketing director for GameTime, a playground equipment manufacturer. “Basically, if a community wants a playground, they can build one.” A new play space will benefit adults as well as kids because (0 comments)
Cleaning rain gutters - 08/04/11 05:15 PM
Clean gutters to protect your siding and landscape plantings, and prevent thousands of dollars of damage to your foundation. Leaving debris in your gutters can damage them and force freezing water under your shingles. <!-- end related info --> In a downpour, a clogged roof gutter sends a cascade of water down the side of your house, making canyons of your flowerbeds and saturating your foundation. Clean gutters of leaves and debris to help prevent damage to your landscaping and siding, and to head off expensive repairs to your foundation that may cost (1 comments)
Low-Flow Showerheads: How to choose - 08/03/11 06:39 PM
You’ve heard it for years: Save water by replacing your old showerhead with a low-flow model. But if you’re like a lot of people, you may have ignored the message. That’s because you’re likely thinking of the early low-flow versions, which worked by simply restricting output or pumping the stream full of air. While that saved water, it didn’t make for a very satisfying shower experience. These days, thank goodness, it’s different. With one of the new generation of ultra-efficient showerheads, you can reduce shower water use—and energy consumption, since we’re talking about water you pay to heat—by up (1 comments)
Lead Paint Test Kits: Cheap & Easy to Use - 08/02/11 05:21 PM
Health risks associated with lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes prompted a flood of DIY lead paint test kits. Many are accurate and simple to use. The swab in LeadCheck will turn pink or red when it comes in contact with lead. <!-- end related info --> If you’re thinking of renovating your pre-1978 house, think carefully. Houses built prior to 1978 often contain lead-based paints, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has enacted strict laws to prevent toxic lead paint and residue from getting into the ground and water.How do you know if your (2 comments)
SPRING & SUMMER SEASONAL MAINTENANCE GUIDE - SOUTH - 08/01/11 12:39 PM
If you live in the south, here are maintenance jobs you should complete in the spring and summer to prevent and keep your home in top condition. Storm shutters are important have if you live on the coast. Also remember to keep plywood on hand if you need to board up windows. <!-- end related info --> Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. These maintenance tasks are most important for the South in spring and summer. For a comprehensive list of tasks by season, refer to (0 comments)
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.