Four Ways to Use Technology in Order to Live a Greener Lifestyle
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There's no doubt that many people want to follow a more eco-friendly lifestyle. However, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when you encounter so many marketing campaigns about products and services that claim to promote greener living. Still, with the help of a few eco-friendly devices, anybody anywhere can take the first steps toward assisting with a healthier planet.
Light BulbsEveryone needs light in their home, but what many people don't realize is that there are many different ways to go about it. When you are trying to find ways to go green, consider making the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Not only can energy-efficient light bulbs last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs — up to 25 times longer, in fact — but they use up to 80 percent less energy.
While the price of energy-efficient bulbs might potentially be a bit higher than traditional bulbs, they tend to last much longer, making them a better value overall. Even if you don't want to change out all your light bulbs right away, you could get a great start by changing out the bulbs in high-use areas such as the living room or the kitchen.
Smart Thermostats Reduce your carbon footprint and save energy when you switch to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats do what their name describes, and learn the heating and air conditioning patterns in your home.
Smart Neighbor explains you should choose a smart thermostat based on what your personal preferences are. For example, smart thermostats from Nest can connect to your Google Home, Echo, or other device. The ecobee4 has Alexa built in, and Microsoft/Johnson Controls GLAS offers a translucent touchscreen, and it has Cortana voice controls.
As Quartz points out, it’s important to understand that smart home devices are not immune to hackers. In fact, just the opposite, so avoid issues like identity theft and viruses with precautionary measures, and make sure your whole family is on the same page.
Streaming DevicesGoing green is about simplifying your routine and reducing clutter as much as anything else. It is easy to fall into the trap of having various devices all over the house. However, by switching to a streaming service, you will be able to streamline your entertainment experience. Plus, you can finally recycle those old DVDs that have been sitting on a shelf for years and years.
There are many different streaming services to consider, like Netflix, Roku, and Hulu. When choosing the perfect streaming service for you, consider what type of entertainment you will use the most in your home and any upcoming shows or movies that you especially want to see. Many streaming services offer special deals for new subscribers, so you can save money while living a greener life.
Business EssentialsIf you’re dedicated to a healthier environment, taking green practices into the workplace is the natural next step. Reach out to your employer to act more conscientiously; changing to more efficient light bulbs and using less energy for heating and cooling are smart choices from a business perspective, and your employer can even boast about it on social media and in local business channels.
Maybe you’re the boss and you’re considering something on an even grander scale. Take inspiration from cities like Phoenix, Denver and Salt Lake City. These locations are known for their green practices and economic health; you might decide to transition to one of those locations for the business and ecological gains they offer, or you push similar policies in your own neighborhood. Better walkability, better bikeability and more reliance on renewable energy make sense for everyone, personally and professionally.
Every little thing that you do to help the environment might not seem like much at the time, but it all adds up. If every person takes one small planet-friendly step, such as choosing energy-efficient light bulbs or paring down the clutter with the use of a simple streaming device, everyone wins in the end. Hopefully, these tips have enabled you to have a better understanding of how technology can really enhance your green initiative.
Homeownership is good for you. It helps you put down roots in a community, provides a sense of stability, is an excellent investment, and can even help you save on your taxes. Let’s explore how owning a home can mean more cash in your pocket at tax time.
Mortgage interest payments are generally tax-deductible on home loans up to $750,000.* This applies to first mortgages, second mortgages, and home equity loans and lines of credit, as long as the funds were used to buy, build, or substantially improve your home.
The private mortgage insurance deduction was set to expire, but the IRS extended it through tax year 2020.
Mortgage discount points may be deductible under certain circumstances. A point costs 1% of your loan amount, and purchasing points at closing will lower your interest rate.
Property taxes paid to state and local government entities are deductible up to $10,000.
Capital gains taxes, where you pay tax on the amount of money you make when you sell an asset, may be waived up to $250,000 (or $500,000 if married filing jointly). For example, if you purchase your home for $300,000 and sell it for $575,000, you may only need to pay taxes on $25,000 of the profit, rather than the full $275,000.
The IRS postponed the 2020 tax filing deadline to May 17, 2021 for most states.** Keep in mind, the change only applies to federal taxes, so check with your state tax authority to confirm when those taxes are due. Learn more about the federal extension here.
A house is probably the biggest asset you’ll ever own. If you have questions about the benefits of homeownership, tapping into equity, or your options when it comes to home financing, I’m here to help.
Let's get real here! Have you ever been driving down the road and talking to your co pilot and say something about what you need and the next thing you know there is a specified ad for it on your facebook? Have you been in the market to buy a home and all the sudden you have several people harassing you via phone? In our day and age the World Wide Web has strengthened to unbelievable technology and is being able to compute faster than even our brains can! This can be a bit frightening. Our phones are listening to us. Our TV's our Alexa's are listening to us! With or without our permission these crimsons are outsourcing our private information. Not only that but what if our information gets into the wrong hands?
Here are 4 tips to stay smart and vigilant during these times where technology can put a lot of our information at risk:
1. React- If you receive a phone call after you announce your want or need for a specific item ask the caller for information on how they got your information. Sometimes they will give you a number to call.
2. Elder-This puts our elderly at risk. Make sure to have a talk with family and even children about what to do if you feel your information has been breached.
3. Act - Talk to your local congress members about change. Just like China has implemented internet police there should be some type of security provided and those business or crimsons should be held accountable for such breach.
4. Look- Check your phone settings to see what you can do to secure things more. Social media is a big outlet for breaches and they should be held accountable too. When they say it is a free service believe me when I say this. Nothing is free.
Well I hope this helps out some people and inspires others to be vigilant of their surroundings even on the internet! Thank you for reading and as always if you need help Buying or Selling your next home we are here! Also Joseph can help you refinance! As of today the interest rates are in the 2%'s!
We're all spending more time inside these days...If you’re like us the words “spring” and “cleaning” in the same sentence usually make us turn the other way, but in an effort to add some structure to our days and get ahead on spring cleaning, we've started a 10-Day Declutter Challenge! Whether you're waiting on this uncertainty to pass before listing your home for sale this spring or you just want to tidy up a bit around the house - this challenge is for you! Before you deep clean everything, you need to declutter. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to clean. Our 10-Day Declutter Challenge will help you slowly tackle decluttering your home to make it a little less daunting and a little more fun if you’re the type of person who likes to cross things off a to-do list every day. Happy decluttering!
Make sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #10DayDeclutterChallenge!
DAY ONEJunk Drawers & CountertopsBefore diving too deep in grandma’s china we’ll start small. Everyone has at least one (or two) junk drawers in their kitchen. Clean these out first, throw away any actual “junk” and organize the rest.
DAY TWO Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer Remember those frozen pretzels you bought last year when you were craving them? They’ve probably expired or will stay in there for another year so it’s probably best to toss them. Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer to get rid of all expired and unwanted food items.
DAY THREE Kitchen CabinetsNow we can dive into the good stuff. If you’re the type of person who loves getting free cups at every event you go to or has way too many plates it may be time to part ways. You can donate anything you don’t need or toss anything that’s been used too much.
The Living Room
DAY FOUR Books, Movies, and the Mail PileUnless you’re stuck in the ’90s or like to collect DVD’s there’s no reason to keep piles of them. You can toss them out, give them away, or put them in a box tucked away.
DAY FIVE Toys, Games, and/or Office SuppliesIf you have kids, it’s likely you have a lot of toys laying around. Go through the toys and games they’ve outgrown and set them aside to donate.
After decluttering your living room, here are some tips on how to stage if you are considering selling soon.
DAY SIX ClothesIf you haven’t heard of Maire Kondo yet, she has great tips on how to sort through your clothes that actually work. Check them out here.
DAY SEVEN Shoes and AccessoriesJust like with your clothes, sort through your shoes, belts, bags, hats, and anything else that may be hiding in your closet. Throw out or donate things that don’t fit or are not used anymore.
DAY EIGHT Under the SinkThe space under your sink is probably filled with a couple of things... cleaning products, old lotions, and a few half-used bottles of shampoo. Take some time to go through which products you'll actually use and toss the ones you know you won't or those that have expired.
DAY NINE Linen Closet and Medicine Cabinet Did you know that medicine expires? It does, so those old prescriptions and cough medicine should probably get tossed out. This would be a great time to put old towels in the garage for chores and to refold all the towels in that one perfect way.
DAY TEN Nightstands and Tops of DressersFor the last day, let's clear off your nightstands and the top of your dressers and first give them a good dusting. We find that these areas are often neglected and tend to collect a lot of dust. Then, re-evaluate what you have on top of these spaces - is everything functional? Do the remote batteries need to be replaced? Can you get rid of anything here?
Buying a home is often a very exciting time, as it represents a significant life achievement and financial success. However, new homebuyers can overlook some important considerations in all of the excitement, leading them to make potentially costly mistakes. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to be aware of them right from the beginning. If you are looking to buy a home, here are some common homebuyer mistakes to avoid:
1) GETTING A HOME AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUDGETWhen buying a home — especially your first home — it may be tempting to go all out and get your dream house. You will start rationalizing more expensive properties to yourself because you fall in love with them, even if they are over your budget. Breaking your budget is a bad idea, and the best way to keep yourself from doing so is to get preapproved for a mortgage first. Even then you should strive to come in at least 15-20 percent under your preapproved amount. Just because you can afford something right now doesn’t mean that your financial situation might not change in the future. It is always better to play it safe.
2) FORGETTING ABOUT ADDITIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP COSTSOne of the main reasons why you should always stay within your budget is that homeownership comes with many hidden costs which can really add up. You need to be aware of the property taxes, utility costs, insurance and maintenance costs that are going to come with your new home. If you don’t take these costs into account when coming up with your budget, you will have a difficult time making all of your monthly payments on the house.
3) FORGOING A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONThe importance of getting a professional inspection before finalizing a sale on a home cannot be overstated, as it can save you from unexpected costs in the future. A house may look like it is in great shape and worth every penny, but a professional inspector can tell you if you will be looking at needing to make major and costly repairs after your purchase. This information can help you back out of a bad deal in time, or, if you’re willing to make the repairs, negotiate the price of the home.
4) NOT CONSIDERING THE RESALE VALUE OF YOUR HOMEWhen in the processes of buying a new home, one of the last things you are probably going to consider is the home’s potential resale value. If you love the home and you plan to stay there forever, then why give any thought to selling it one day? Any number of life changes could mean needing to move again in the future. The time may come when you will want or need to sell the house, so ensuring that it has good resale value before you buy may help you out immensely in the future.
5) RELYING ON VERBAL AGREEMENTSWhen buying a new home, you should never rely solely on verbal agreements. It is in your best interest to get everything in writing before agreeing to the sale. Failing to get a seller to agree to your offer in writing can also open the door for another buyer to come in with a lower offer at the last minute and steal the property out from under you! Getting everything in writing is a must. Review the contract carefully with your real estate agent. Homebuyers are sometimes shocked to walk into their new home only to find that there are no kitchen appliances or light fixtures, for example.
Wishing you and your family
a FUN and SAFE 4th of July!
And please don't forget about your furry family members!
Here are some 4th of July safety tips for dog owners:
As The Denver Metro Area has become a booming area for not just potential homeowners, investors and more flock to get a piece of real estate. The more we become another New York, California culture, we become united with all the different types of people that enter our beautiful state to create an everlasting rich satisfying place to live! From our mountains to our need for CBD we have cultivated in to so much more than just what we used to be known as, a cow town.
Was it Legalization of Marijuana that caused our up beat new found destination? To watch out of state plates is the new slug bug of road trips here in Colorado. I do believe now that other states are legalizing we will start to see a slight downward hill but not a crash. This might help even out the prices for those trying to buy as well.
To unify and to watch so many move to our great state just makes it even more robusk with intellectuality of those all over the Globe, not just the United States. Being in the Real Estate business I have had the pleasure of working with people all over and now they have joined our fine state. What more could a girl ask for. The growing population is wonderful however it has caused an unbelievable need for affordable housing pushing some natives out of where they were raised.
You will see signs that say No Vacancy to others frustrated with the all hours of the day traffic but we need to be in realization that this will not define us. We welcome everyone on all four corners of our beautiful state regardless of race, gender or beliefs. To give back to our community in such a way to fix our affordable housing issue has always been a goal of mine.
The current affordable housing programs that exist do not work properly. As the income limitations make not sense. Say for instance you have to make under $40,000.00 for income qualifications but to purchase the home you have to make $70,000 to qualify. Makes no sense right? Also, why would someone want to buy affordable housing if you can't keep your equity? Well that makes it just renting from the government.There needs to be some rules established, like you must live in Colorado for more than 5 years to apply. The potential homeowners should be allowed to keep their equity and sell for a profit after 5 years also. There should be reasonable income limits also. I plan on finding a route to fix this by obtaining cheap land and building on it. These are dreams but I have often made dreams reality so let's just leave it there.
Staying up with all the new data that come in can be challenging but that is what we are here for