You probably know about the government’s Cash for Clunkers program from earlier this year—government-sponsored rebates for turning in clunker cars. A new crop of cash-for-stuff ideas has been floating around in Congress and in the minds of innovative lawmakers. The Cash for Appliances program is quickly gaining ground, and there is a new one that hits real close to home, like your home’s walls. Some call it “Cash for Caulkers.” The proposal offers cash incentives for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, through methods as simple as installing insulation or caulking up leaky seals.
Determining how to spend stimulus dollars in the most strategic way possible is the goal of lawmakers. One smart way to do so is by giving it back to the consumer for home improvement tasks, which would lead to energy efficiency, which would begin the money-saving, job-creating, energy-conserving cycle that the nation needs so badly. Here’s how the program would help:
Save energy. Who doesn’t want to save energy? Especially when saving energy equals saving money. Obama painted a very picturesque image of the situation during a recent speech: “If you saw $20 bills just sort of floating through the window up into the atmosphere, you'd try to figure out how you were going to keep that. But that's exactly what's happening because of the lack of efficiency in our buildings.” As homeowners make improvements as simple as new caulking around a window or additional insulation in an attic, they can have a visible improvement upon the efficiency of their home, not to mention the cost of their energy bill. ...read full post →
Are people buying, waiting, or just pulling their hair?
Photo Credit: cambodia4kidsorg
If you’re looking to buy a house, you’ve probably had your share of frustration. You might have even been caught up in a few bidding wars that left you discouraged. Or perhaps you’re one of the 100 million Americans who no longer believe that owning a home is a realistic way to build wealth.
There are a lot of mixed feelings when it comes to homeownership. So what’s the buzz out there? The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) released the results of a recent survey (taken during May & June) and it looks like nearly half of this country is anti-homeownership. People no longer believe in the American dream of building equity as a means to financial security. ...read full post →
Talk about taking back the streets! Developers are cashing in by purchasing cheap multiple properties in a row and transforming them into upscale condos. This process is known as gentrification, and it’s changing the face of San Francisco as we know it. Urban professionals are flocking to the newly gentrified neighborhoods to design their own personal live/workspaces & artist lofts (and give the rest of us something to drool over).
The number of newly renovated condos in San Francisco skyrocketed since this trend began. Not only has it allowed developers and contractors to put their unique stamps on neighborhood styles, it’s offered young professionals a blank slate for creating their own interiors.
The trend among condo-dwellers in SF is minimalist, yet comfortable with a touch of luxury. The hard lines are softened by earthy tones, dark woods, art deco accents and distinct landscaping.
The result is uninhibited wide open space and gorgeous natural light, like this police precinct-turned-artist’s live/workspace. ...read full post →
The construction industry is NOT dead!
Limping a little, perhaps, but not dead. According to Remodeling Magazine, the slack in the construction industry caused many job losses this year and last, but it seems to finally be slowing. In May 2009, nearly 60,000 construction jobs were lost. While this is an astounding number, it’s also promising, considering that it was double that just the month before. Many remodeling company owners report that they are seeing an increase in workload this year. However, they are doing much more to market themselves to their communities than ever before.
Photo Credit: Re-New Magazine
McAdams Builders, in Kirkland, Washington, for example, held an open house to invite the public into their new showrooms and offered an ice cream social as an incentive to check it out. The owner, Len McAdams, also noted that he’s been writing a monthly article for a local newspaper to draw attention to his company. ...read full post →
Yes, the whole thing!
I once read an article about a man who bought an old house for $1. The purchase agreement contained the caveat that the house had to be removed from the property on which it sat, so that the property owner could repurpose the building site without having to demolish the old house first.
Photo Credit: aka kath | Move completed by Expert House Movers
That story was so colorful, it made me curious about the process of moving an entire building from one place to another. As I delved into the topic, I discovered a company that specializes in moving houses and other buildings around the country. Wolfe House & Building Movers talks about some of the benefits of moving an entire structure:
The structure changes locations, intact
All the plumbing, heating, and HVAC systems go right along for the ride ...read full post →