Get a Little Greener for the New Year

windmillsSaving money on energy costs can be one of the easiest ways to save on bills, especially during winter months. If you get into the habit of making energy saving part of your every day routine you will be surprised at how the small things can add up to bigger savings.

Here are some quick little tips to help you do just that:

Use Power Strips
Simply having an electronic device plugged in causes power use. By plugging multiple devices into a single strip you can easily switch the whole strip off, or unplug it to keep the power drain from multiplying. Great for office spaces!

Turn Off Unused Electronics
Seems simple, but it’s easy to forget too. Leave a room? Turn off that light. Going to bed? Close that laptop. If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time you might even consider unplugging larger or lesser used appliances as well like the tv or stereo.

Unplug The Charger
Nowadays we have any number of pads, phones, or other devices that need charging, but when the device is fully charged unplug it – no need to let that power trickle away. Be sure to unplug the charging cord itself as well as they can pull small amounts of energy just being in the wall.

Use Programs
There are a number of energy use tracking programs available these days, and many appliances even have self-regulating options for power useage – so take advantage of them!

Bright Ideas
Be smart in choosing light bulbs. LED bulbs and compact fluorescents are much easier on power use; while their light may not be as complimentary they are perfect for closets and shops where the harsher light isn’t such a problem.

Cold Cold Water
Using cold water in your wash will generally keep clothes just as clean and uses less energy than hot water. Fact is, hot water can actually strip your clothes of color, so by using cold water you can solve two issues at once!

I have a passion for exceptional Idaho real estate; helping people find the homes of their dreams here throughout the Boise area. I hope you’ll enjoy reading my blog and all the great ideas shared here, as well as feel free to visit my Facebook Fan Page to stay up on the latest happenings online!

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Take the Stress Out of Home Buying

the best homes in boise

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of your life, but that doesn’t mean it has to be the most stressful. One of the ways I excel is by putting my buyers at ease, from the initial home searching phase all the way through signing the last document – I understand how hectic it can be; so I go out of my way to help keep my clients at ease. Here are some tips as you begin the search for the home of your dreams. Keep these quick tips in mind to help zen out through the whole process:

Work with a qualified REALTOR®. It just so happens that if you’re reading this you’re well on your way to having already found a great one to work with! A real estate professional will be able to put your mind at ease if any problems do arise and will prove invaluable when it comes time to shuffle all
that paperwork.

Don’t obsess about time. There is no “right” time to buy. Everyone’s situation is different; while mortgages are really low and prices are still great that doesn’t mean it’s THE time for you. The market isn’t going to turn on it’s head tomorrow, rate changes take months not days, so don’t get stressed
thinking you’ve got to get it all done RIGHT now.

Don’t demand a deal. Your agent is really the best negotiator you can hope for, it’s their job to see to it your best interests are at the forefront of any negotiation – so let them do their job. Trying to “win” a negotiation by getting a super low price or refusing to budge at all on your offer can cost you the home you’re looking for — negotiation like all things is a little give and a little take.

Plan ahead. Don’t wait until you’ve found the home you want and made an offer to get approved for your mortgage. Research the best home insurance and warranties before you buy as well. Go ahead and make a list of utilities and other services you’ll need to transfer before the rush to move starts.

Love it. Unless you are strictly into flipping buy your next home first and foremost because you love it, then think about appreciation. While home appreciation has remained fairly high over the years it shouldn’t be your first focus when you buy your home.

I hope you will keep me in mind when starting to look for your next home. I love helping people find just the right home for them. You can begin looking for your home right away by visiting my real estate website to see what’s currently available or contact me to work hands-on!

Foreclosures, Fall, and Home Design Trends

Signs of improvement! Mortgages in foreclosure for the Boise-Nampa metro area have decreased in July from July 2011, according to a national real estate research company. CoreLogic said the Treasure Valley’s foreclosure rate was 2.42 percent in July, 0.2 percentage points lower than July 2011. It also was below the national rate of 3.25 percent but above Idaho’s statewide rate of 2.33 percent.

That’s good news! And a positive turn for the housing industry overall! Bank owned real estate in the meantime still provides some of the best deals for home buyers in Idaho also. You can view all of the available bank owned homes on my website; here are a few of the top picks.

Big Dreams, Small Houses
The trend towards smaller more tech powered living spaces continues, especially in the urban centers of the country. While some may think it gives new meaning to living in a shoebox many find these pint sized palaces perfect for their needs. Some schools of thought say as our national concept of family continues to change that there will be even more need for one, two, and three person home designs. Read More Here…

Featured Deliciousness
Fall is in the air and with the cooler temperatures soup is once again the go-to meal that keeps the frost at bay. Tested this recipe on my friends and family – it was a big success! Delicious and healthy to boot, give this one a try, you won’t be disappointed!
Read the Recipe

I’m always sharing great recipes, as well as local Boise events and info on my Facebook page! Hop over there, give the page a LIKE! Follow along, or share your favorite recipes and ideas as well – I’d love to hear from you!
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Boise Bug Blues

Summer time means a lot of things to different people. Warm afternoons shared with friends and family, swimming, fishing, barbeques… bugs. BUGS?! Yes, that’s right it’s Summer again and that means the bugs are back to pester their way into our otherwise lovely time.

From ants and wasps to the notorious mosquito, insects can be real party poopers. Here are some tips to help you control these nuisance creatures and make a more comfortable Summer!

Start from the ground up. The better you take care of your lawn, the better chance you’ll have fewer bugs. Tall grasses and unkempt flowerbeds are a haven for our pesky friends.

Collar the canines. It doesn’t have to be the traditional collar really, there are a multitude of great products that will help keep your hound flea free – making you both much more comfortable!

Standing water. Empty an standing water than you can, don’t leave empty containers out gathering the rain as shallow warm waters are a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Have bird baths or kiddie pools? Change the water out at least once a week; this will cut down on pests.

Oil change! Get natural. Bug repellent doesn’t have to be stinky or chemical based. There are a number of plant oils that bugs hate! Mix distilled water, spearmint, and orange oil then spray your arms, legs, and other exposed areas to help keep biters at bay.

Old reliable. Fly-tape. It’s not pretty at all but it will do the job to keep flies on the patio down or even to help round the up if they get in the house. It’s a last ditch suggestion but they can work!

Redneck TV. Your good ole bug zapper. This handy device is best used at night but will work all hours helping keep all kind of flying insect populations down; depending on the company you keep may very well be the most entertaining part of your next get together.

Lets not get kill crazy. Bugs can serve a real purpose in the magical circle of life…but that doesn’t mean you want them dive bombing your Aunt Tilda’s potato salad this weekend. I hope these tips will help keep the bugs from bugging you!

Got your own bug solutions? Ever tried the pennies in a zip-loc to keep flies away (does that work?!) ? Tell me about them here on this blog or visit my Facebook fan page to leave your ideas!

By the way, if you are looking for the best homes in Boise you don’t have to search very far. Visit my Integrity Group Real Estate to start finding the homes you’ve been looking for!