Using Green Power in the Home

 

Running an energy efficient home no longer means you must sweat through the summer, freeze through the winter and only use your lights when absolutely necessary. If you’re environmentally conscious, there are a number of options when it comes to choosing renewable energy plans. By law, energy suppliers must purchase 2-3% of all energy supply from renewable sources. However the government’s GreenPower program gives environmentally conscious consumers further options when it comes to powering their houses with renewable sources.

What is the Green Power Program?

The program was set up to stimulate investment in renewable energy sources. When a consumer elects for a percentage of their energy to be produced by renewable energy, the energy supplier must purchase that energy on their behalf in addition to the 2-3% that they are already required to purchase. For example if you wanted 25% of your energy to be from renewable sources, the energy supplier would have to purchase that 25% of energy on your behalf.
Consumers can elect for anywhere between 10-100% of their energy supply to be generated by renewable sources. While this energy can come at a slightly higher cost, it allows consumers to reduce the energy that is produced from non-renewable coal fire stations sources and to be more energy efficient in the way they power their homes.How much is Green Power?
The additional costs of purchasing green power will vary depending on how much energy you consume, and the percentage of green power you want to use. It is estimated, however, if you purchase 10-25 per cent of GreenPower that your energy costs will go up by as little as $1 per week. To switch to 100% green power, your electricity bill is likely to increase by 80 cents to $1.50 per day.Using GreenPower in the home
It’s important to note, however, that although you are paying for a percentage of energy to be produced from renewable sources, you don’t actually receive green power in your home. Rather, the purchase of that renewable energy on your behalf is absorbed into the power grid. The more people that purchase green energy, the less non-renewable energy sources we will need to use. Demand will drive more renewable energy investment, so the more renewable energy that Australians purchase, the more it will be produced and the more affordable it will become.
If you’re interested in participating in the green energy movement, the GreenPower renewable energy program is a simple yet effective way that you can help change the way energy is produced in Australia. The Australian government is making it easier for consumers to make choices about where energy is sourced from, so if you’re interested in switching your energy contract to include renewable energy, ask your energy supplier about your options and how you can get set up on the GreenPower program today.

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Tips to Simplify the Home Buying Process for First

Many individuals who earn well or recently married couples who wish to settle into their dream nest yearn to buy a new house. Buying a home for the first time is both exciting and unnerving.  Before you step into the real estate market for the first time as a buyer, consider these points that will help you sail smoothly through the whole process.

Type of Home

Are you the only person going to stay in your new home? Is your girlfriend moving in with you? Are you the partying kind who likes to invite friends every now and then? Do you have children? Keep these factors in mind to analyse your space needs. Not everybody needs a sprawling villa, huge apartment, or condominium. Think over how many bedrooms and bathrooms will be required. Remember not to overspend for any extra space.
See to it that the house is airy and receives enough sunlight. Are you willing to furnish your house, or do you need a pre-furnished house with all the amenities present? If you don’t want to invest in house decor, a well-furnished house is the right option for you. Check if the foundation of the house is strong, the walls are sturdy, and there are no major loopholes that make living there difficult. Make a checklist of the things that you need in a house. After you are done visiting a house, rate the house on a scale of 1 to 5; rate it according to the number of criteria fulfilled.

Secondary Factors

You need to pay attention to not only the house but also its surroundings. Find out who stays in the neighbourhood. Are they decent blokes or rowdy, crazy bunch of people? See if you can gel well with them especially if you are of the social kind. Many a time, people are forced to leave their house and find another for want of peace.
Find out whether the property has easy access to marketplace, gas station, coffee house, and other sources of entertainment. Is it far away from your workplace? When looking for a home, look not just for beauty but convenience too.

Budget

Budget is the top constraint for most house buyers. Determine your budget, and see if a property lies in that range. If you have a regular source of income or if you can obtain enough credit from bank, it is feasible to go for a house that is slightly higher than your budget. Analyse your credit history; do you have debt accumulation? Will a bank extend loan to you without any hassles?

House Search

You may hire a real estate agent to help you with home search, or you can skip him and go for online home search. Don’t get into the trap of believing that it is mandatory by law to involve an estate agent; these are gimmicks played by agents themselves. Don’t be in a hurry to finalize the property deal; look for an average of 7-8 properties before you select one. When you find a property that suits your requirements, ask them to let you inspect it once again. It’s highly likely that second thoughts about the property might lead to a change in your decision. Compare the self-ratings of different properties that you visit, and choose the best one.

Property Valuations

One common mistake that first time house buyers make is paying more for a property that isn’t valued so much. To avoid this, approach a property appraiser to get a valuation done. An appraisal will help establish the fair market value of a given piece of property. Quite often, the value of a property is much less than the price that the seller is quoting. An appraiser report helps you negotiate with the seller effectively.
Home buying decisions are tough. You need to thoroughly consider the above factors before you finalise a deal. The same applies to commercial properties also; in fact the process is more complex and ridden with valuation problems.

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Should You Buy or Build a New Home?

 

The prospect of building your own home is incredibly exciting and can save you some money in the long run, but you need to really stop and consider what a major step it is. There’s no clear cut answer on whether you should buy or build, it’s different for everyone, but we can provide you with a few aspects of building your own home to consider in order to decide whether or not it’s for you.

Building Your Dream Home

The best thing about building your own home is really building the home you dream of to your own specifications. If you want three balconies, a twenty foot hallway lined with bookshelves, a bathroom with twenty foot ceilings or a back porch overlooking the sunrise, then it’s entirely up to you to do so. For many homeowners, the discussion ends here. This alone makes building your own home worth it to many.

Lower Costs

The cost can also be quite a bit cheaper. If you’re not careful, the materials can add up quickly, but if you shop around and know about about construction, it should be quite easy to build a home for a fraction of what you’d spend buying one, even including the installation of a water line, plumbing, electric and so on, it can still be done for a fraction of the cost of buying.

Total Control

When buying a home, it’s not even the sticker price that gets you, it’s the lack of control you seem to have in the market, even though it’s a buyer’s market. People selling homes are often suffering from denial and frustration that the home they invested in five years ago isn’t worth what they thought it’d be, and they often refuse to lower the price to something more in tune with what it’s actually worth. When you’re buying land, you generally don’t have to contend with a song and dance about how much they put into it, you don’t have somebody showing you that these new brass doorknobs prove that you should be spending six figures on a five figure house and so on. When you buy land, sellers aren’t so afraid to admit that it’s a buyer’s market.
These are just a few of the aspects of buying a piece of land and building on it. Whether building in the city or out in the country, whether building a home or homesteading, there are simply too many benefits to building a home to ignore. Even if you have no real experience with a hammer and nails, there are ready-made kits for building homes, guides and contractors who will do the job at lowered rates. Look around and see if building is for you.

 

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Renters Insurance: A Wise Idea for Renters Everywhere

 

Your home is your safe place; it’s the place you go when you want to shut out the world and all the chaos and feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable. Because the home is held so dear to many people, it would make sense for more people to choose to protect their home and belongings. Cameras, TVs, stereos, family jewellery and heirlooms, and anything else of extreme value are left for long periods of time, and unfortunately, anything can happen. Luckily, renters insurance covers your losses if something unfortunate were to happen, so you can get your life pieced back together quickly and efficiently.

Who Needs Renters Insurance?

The answer to that question is simple; anyone who rents their apartment or home could benefit from renters insurance. Some apartment complex managers require their tenants to purchase renters insurance, but it’s typically not very broad coverage. Most managers also provide insurance coverage as well, but it’s focused on damage to their building, not your personal belongings.

What’s Covered?

There are many different plans you can choose from for renters insurance. Most basic plans typically cover damage caused by fire, water damage, burglaries, and vandalism. To cover more of your belongings, you can always add additions to your policy that will allow for coverage of your personal items. No one wants their laptop with their music supply to get stolen, and having to replace your turquoise jewelry set would be devastating. While renters insurance doesn’t protect you from break-ins, it does make it easier to replace any financial loss that you might experience.
Aside from what’s inside your apartment, some things can be covered from outside the home as well. Most policies offer coverage that can extend to your belongings in your car. Most apartment complexes don’t come with garages for all of their tenants, and unfortunately, vehicle-related thefts are all too common.
If your home were to be damaged to the point of being deemed unliveable, renters insurance can also cover your shelter while your apartment is being fixed up or while you transition into a new home. Having the relief that your basic necessity of housing will be covered can be a warm wave of relief in a frustrating and difficult time.
Accidents involving bodily injury from within the home can be covered with an additional provision to your policy. Trips, falls, and burns are common household accidents, and if someone was injured in your home and held you responsible, renters insurance could help cover their medical bills as well as your legal costs.
Unfortunately, certain things aren’t covered. Damage caused by natural disasters is usually excluded, so if you live in a high risk area, you might want to talk to your insurance agent about other polices that would help with coverage in the event that a flood or earthquake takes place.

Let’s Talk Money

One of the best perks of renters insurance is the fact that it’s fairly cheap. Plans can vary from $5-$50 depending on the coverage, and additional add-ons to the basic policy aren’t usually very expensive. Considering the value of your belongings or the cost of possible damage to your apartment could add up to be a big chunk of change, it’s really not putting you out too incredibly much to spare a few extra dollars a month to ensure your home and belongings.
People insure all sorts of things; car, health, and life insurance are all very common policies that people consider necessary. It makes sense that insuring one of the most valuable things you have, your home, would be just as big of a priority. Renters insurance is great for anyone renting their home or apartment as the coverage is broad and the cost is relatively low; besides, peace of mind is priceless.

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