Going Green Sells Homes and More

The sale of existing homes and buildings faces stiff competition from new construction builders who, in competing with foreclosures, are now using cutting edge, healthy, ecofriendly technology and code compliance to differentiate themselves. These builders pay close attention to surveys and trends, and existing home sellers and property owners will also want to follow suit.

An increasing number of new buildings are built to meet the EPA’s Energy Star Program, USGBC’s LEED certifications, HERS Home Energy Rating System, NAHB’s Green Building Program, and regional programs such as Build It Green, Built Green, EarthCraft House, Earth Advantage and others. On January 1, 2011 the new California Green Building Code, goes into affect, which requires all new construction to include specific healthy, eco-friendly alternatives.

Along with this competition from new construction, buyer requests for “green” and healthy features in a home is growing. Nearly 50 percent of American adults said that their New Year’s resolution for 2010 was to go green, and even more said they are going to strive to reduce their household energy usage this year, according to a new survey by Move.com. In Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change, McGraw-Hill Construction found that 70% of homebuyers said they were more inclined to buy a green home in a down economy than a non-green home. More buyers are looking to not only curtail high utility bills, but also save the planet and their health. With the rising cost of medical expenses it’s only logical that there is money to be saved by using healthy materials inside a building.

Featuring a home’s green assets creates an attractive selling point in today’s market, and many real estate professionals are getting specialized training. The National Association of Realtors has created the NAR GREEN designation, and the Association of Energy and Environmental Real Estate Professionals (AEEREP) has the Eco Broker Green Designation. These organizations and others collaborated in the creation of the Green MLS Tool Kit ( http://www.GreentheMLS.org ) aimed at showing local MLSs how to add a green initiative. The Southern California MLS form includes an extensive list of “green” features.

In the May 2009 Certified Home Performance study, conducted by the Earth Advantage Institute and with the assistance of brokers, appraisers, and university professors, it was found there is a sale price premium and marketing time advantage for homes that have a third-party green certification. The study’s abstract says: “certified homes in the Seattle metro area sold at a price premium of 9.6% when compared to non-certified counterparts, based on a sample of 68 certified homes. In the Portland metro area, certified homes sold at a price premium ranging between 3% and 5%. In addition, the certified homes stayed on the market for 18 days less than non-certified homes.” Other statistics in Atlanta during 2009 show certified green homes sold 3.6% closer to list price and were on the market 31 days less than conventional new construction (108 vs.139 days).

The economics make sense for rental properties as well. A Study by the Institute of Business and Economic Research in April 2008 shows higher rent and occupancy rates for “green” office buildings throughout the U.S. Also of concern for property owners is the affect of indoor air quality on occupants’ health. Buildings with poor indoor air quality due to molds, toxins, radon and electromagnetic fields can create unexpected expenses. Not only will correcting these issues bring higher rents and occupancy rates, but remediation will be far less costly than litigation from occupants.

As long ago as November 17, 2008, Daily Real Estate News published results from a Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey. The survey said bout 48 percent of home owners would spend $2,500 or more to green up their homes for resale. One-third say they would be willing to spend $5,000 or more on green improvements to make their homes more appealing. So, property owners, it’s not just a passing fad. The movement is on. Be sure to include “green” eco healthy features in your property.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia Grier. All rights reserved.

Cynthia Grier has been a proponent of environmental causes for many years, beginning with Environmental Studies courses in college. She received her degree in Interior Environmental Design and has 30 years experience in the design and building industry in a variety of settings. She is a Build It Green Certified Green Building Professional, a member of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the Natural Building Network, the Institute for Bau-Biologie and Ecology. Cynthia sits on the Ojai Valley Green Coalition – Building and Construction committee where she has helped to design and assemble a mock green home in both the Ojai Valley Museum and the Community Services of Ventura County Green Center.

Cynthia’s passion is to make eco-friendly building materials accessible, and to teach ways of creating beautiful, healthy, affordable environments that promote sustainability and can be a source of well being. She continues to venture forth with this mission through the EcoLogic LifeStyle magazine where she serves as a contributing editor and specializes in sustainability reviews for the travel industry. For more information visit EcoLogic Life – green design build showroom at http://www.ecologiclife.com, and EcoLogic LifeStyle – online magazine at http://www.ecologiclifestyle.com

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Buddha Statues For the Home and Office

Buddha statues have become the “in” way to decorate your home, office, and any other personal space. From the smallest of small intricate statues to massive replicas of traditional Buddha statues. There is a Buddha statue for anyone, at any age at any time in their life. There are a few circumstances in which you will find you need a Buddha statue. Whether you are trying for an Asian design in your home or office, Feng shui, or if you are practicing the yoga lifestyle. All of which are meant to sooth your body mind and soul, enabling you to create a sanctuary.

Buddha statues fit into any serene atmosphere, whether it be inside or out. Some are even well-suited as garden statues. Making them available for any of your decorating needs. Fortunately they can be found almost anywhere. From home and garden shops, Feng shui shops, yoga shops, and Buddhist specialty shops. While you may be able to find them at your local shop, taking your Buddha statue shopping online is the perfect method. Not only will you have countless thousands of choices. But you will also be able to look up their meanings, and find the right type of Buddha statue for you.

The price range of Buddha statues can vary greatly for many different reasons. Chances are if you purchase a small polyresin statue of Buddha, it will be less expensive than the intricately carved jade statues. However, size still plays a role in the price of any one Buddha statue. Whether or not it has been treated for out-door use, or if there are any other bells-and-whistles upon the statue. Some such “bells and whistles” being the Kuan Yin statues that drip soft rivets of water into Lung the dragon’s mouth. Often times made of porcelain to prevent the water-wear that will come with the constant dripping of water.

While it is a common mistake to think that Hoti (the laughing Buddha) is the only one available. There are countless hundreds with different meanings, and stories behind them. These articles are a guide to find the perfect Buddha to match your life, beliefs, and the needs in your home.

Remember, that while you may simply select any Buddha statue by it’s looks. If there is any one specific purpose that you wish to obtain a Buddha statue; you will find that this guide will be helpful in your search for the perfect addition to your home.

The three popular types of yoga you may have heard of are hatha yoga, power yoga and bikram yoga. Hatha yoga is the style of yoga most practiced today. It is what you will think of when you think of yoga in general. Power yoga is a more aerobic-style yoga, with an emphasis on cardio. Bikram yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated room to accelerate detoxification. Universal Yoga sells everything you need to practice these and other forms of yoga, pilates and meditation including Buddha figurines [http://www.universalyoga.com/], yoga mats [http://www.universalyoga.com/yogamats.html], workout clothing, meditation cushions, uplifting apparel and yoga DVDs.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sarah_Freeland/49746

 

Antique Vases and Garden Decor

The annual Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville is coming up in February at the Nashville Convention Center. This is a show with beautiful floral presentations and of fabulous antiques and decorative arts.

You will see antique vases, porcelain, silver, paintings, oriental rugs and more at the antique booths. The horticultural booths will have architectural elements for the home and garden. They will have furnishings, orchids, whimsical accessories and more. There will also be exhibition gardens designed by Nashville landscape professionals.

There will be more than 150 antique-selling booths and garden booths at the show. The show attracts thousands of attendees of all ages each year. Going to the show is a great way to get inspiration for decorating your home inside and out.

Two well-known experts in the fields of antiques, decorative arts and landscape design will be speaking at this event. New York-based interior designer Charlotte Moss will be one of the speakers. Charlotte has written seven books and has designed collections of china, fabric, carpet, decorative accessories and home fragrance. Sarah Champier will also be speaking at this event. She was the personal florist to Prince Charles for 11 years.

The Nashville Convention Center is in the heart of downtown Nashville Tennessee. Visitors to the Antiques and garden show may also want to visit some Nashville tourist attractions. The Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium are both within walking distance from the Nashville Convention Center. There are also plenty of downtown Nashville restaurants for dining.

This article was written by Donna Nicely owner and author of a website called Nashville Vacation Attractions and Entertainment. [http://www.nashville-vacation-attractions-and-entertainment.com/]

Donna has a B.S. in Accounting. She and her husband of 20 years have lived and worked in Nashville for more than 15 years and enjoy living there. She enjoy spending time with family and friends as well as traveling to experience new things.

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Ornamental Gravel May Spice Up Your Property And Garden Layout

With Spring coming, most of us are looking for approaches to better decorate our properties and gardens in the new year. There’s a satisfaction in home ownership and obtaining a highly adorned and maintained residence on the outside can be almost as essential as the inside.

Unfortunately, it will take quite a bit of hard work to layout, plan, and put into action a gardening plan for your home. After doing work all day, taking care of the kids, managing errands, and anything else we must do throughout the day, who’s got time to put all of that work and hours into sustaining an excellent looking back garden? We would like to allow you in on a little solution that a number of the professional landscapers can use to chop down on the effort without the need of cutting corners on style and design.

Decorative gravel will be the answers for those short on time but searching for a great look and feel to go outside the house. Professional landscapers realize that gravel calls for much less effort and that lots of their customers tend to be impressed with the style when finished, and is often utilized by landscapers, developers, and home gardeners when preparing a new job.

Among the best aspects of decorative stones is the wide variety of shades and dimensions available, providing a plethora of choices to the property owner and permitting every house to retain that exclusive look. You will find delicate or hard rocks and the delightful appearance and feeling exudes high quality, elegance, and brilliance. There is something in regards to the quality of noise when walking or driving on tiny rocks that just sounds sophisticated and is usually used for lengthier drive-ways to custom countryside houses.

Using ornamental stones within the backyard can be of benefit as well, because the rocks help to prevent erosion from the dirt from stormy rainfall and permit the blossoms or plants to capture a lot of rain water in the ground. You will also observe that you generally have much less weeds growing in a back garden that utilizes gravel in the earth.

After you have added stones to your gardening area, you will find that you could usually reduce the regularity of watering required by as much as 50%, helping you save on both the water costs and the time needed to water the garden. In addition, you will spend less effort tugging unwanted weeds out because they don’t tend to grow as well in earth which contains tiny rocks, saving you energy.

Using gravel to split up the yard can work too, providing a nice style effect and reducing the amount of yard that should be cut. One thing to consider here although is the appearance. Sometimes the unusual shapes that provide an attractive viewing example can be awkward to take care of, so ensure the yard areas are easily readily available.

Taking advantage of ornamental stones has been a technique of the industry employed for years by skilled landscapers and building contractors. Now that you have exactly the same expertise they do, you are able to prepare and design your home and garden to appear fantastic without having all the trouble.

JWC is an author, business investor, and internet marketer. In addition to running Trybpo, a corporation in Davao City, he also creates niche sites about diverse topics such as windows shutters exterior and replacement windows ratings [http://replacementwindowsratings.net]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Justin_Cooke/328988

 

Lawn and Garden Equipment

Every homeowner wants their lot to look great! It is all about curb appeal and manicured lawns these days. Fortunately it is easier to keep your property looking its best with all of the great lawn and garden equipment on the market. It does not matter if you are completely new to this routine, or if you are an experienced gardener. Virtually anyone can acquire lawn and garden equipment that makes it a cinch to keep the garden area, lawn, and trees in excellent shape. However, just so you know, this routine does require a little bit of time and effort on your part. Get ready for a greener lawn.

So where do you go to get all of the best lawn and garden equipment for your home? Well, probably the easiest place to seek out these supplies is in local home and garden centers. A few of these stores are Home Depot, Lowes, and Ace Hardware. However, you should never dismiss superstores like Walmart and Target. These large discount stores will typically offer a lot of the same lawn and garden equipment as other stores, but without the higher retail price tags. The easiest way to approach this is by visiting a local Home Depot and Lowes, as well as Target in order to see what is available, and what the prices are.

As you certainly know by now. Most lawn and garden equipment is available through the Internet as well. Target.com offers all kinds of specials and sales on lawn and garden equipment during the fall and winter seasons. In fact, this is the most ideal time to purchase lawn tools, pruning devices, lawn mowers, grass seed, fertilizers, mulch machines, and weed eaters. You will get a much better deal on these lawn and garden supplies if you buy them when they are not in demand. As for the summer and spring seasons, all of these tools and supplies for the lawn and garden will be at their highest prices.

If you are interested in patio sets or outdoor furniture, you will also want to check out these items in the off seasons, such as the fall or winter. Again, the prices will be much lower at this time of the year. If you are looking for specific brand names of lawn and garden equipment, you should find out a few different local and online distributors who offer these products, and then proceed to see which one has the lowest price. This does require a little bit of effort, but it is well worth your time when you consider all of the money you can save by doing this. There is a deluge of lawn and garden equipment out there to choose from and sort through.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Ellis_Oneal/740330