Green Real Estate – How Green Homes Offer Many Benefits

Consider as many green building products as you can when building your home. You can consider things like bamboo wood flooring or recycled newspaper insulation, for example. There is some plywood or paneling that is made from wood chips and other wood products. Window treatments can include wicker or bamboo shades and used brick facades can add style to the front of your home. There are many green building products made from plentiful resources. This includes building products that are made from recycled plastic and metals, including siding, some kinds of decking, and other products that can be included when you decide to build green real estate.

Another consideration to make your new home friendlier to the environment is natural energy sources that are easily available, such as solar or wind power to lower your energy usage. It can be an easy way to save money on your utility bills and a way to add an energy system that can pay for itself very quickly. If you are not familiar with how wind or solar energy systems work, most builders in your area can advise you on which choice might be the best for your particular location. Most parts of the country are able to use one of these choices when building green real estate homes.

Considering your natural landscaping and shade trees should be one of the first things you think about when you are looking for the perfect building lot. Try to find a lot that has plenty of large trees near your planned building area and look for natural landscaping that can help save water. You do not need to have a grass lawn to water if there is plenty of natural gravel and rock. Boulders and rock gardens or native growing plants and flowers do not need much water to thrive. Large shade trees can save on your energy bill, as long as they do not shade your solar energy system, when making a green real estate investment.

Think about the placement of your home when you are looking at lots because southern exposure is the best placement for your home. This allows you to take advantage of the winter sun, which is in the southern part of the sky during winter and it can save money on your heating bill. Another thing to think about is whether you can take advantage of earth contact building on the lot you select. If there is a hilly area on the lot that faces the south, it might be the perfect place to build a home that is insulated by the earth, making it perfect green real estate for your home.

You might want to consider used building products when you are thinking about green building. If there is an old barn on the property, used barn wood trim, or panels can make an interesting wall. You might want to consider checking some of the used building supply yards that carry brick that can be used for patios. Antique stores might have ornate wooden doors and windows that can add character to your home. Even stained glass windows add character and can be found at some building suppliers and used salvage yards that specialize in salvaging old buildings. Part of building green real estate can mean recycling products that can add a personal touch, too.

When you are designing your home, make sure you consider the ways you can take advantage of natural lighting. Design your home with green building in mind. Make sure that windows take advantage of southern winter sun, but minimize the number openings that are exposed to cold northern winds. Consider that many storms can come from the west and the summer sun is hottest through these windows. For the best energy savings, careful planning of windows allows you to get natural lighting and save on your heating and cooling bills when thinking about green real estate.

As you can see, we have learned quite a few things about green building and most of it does not involve additional expense. In fact, you may find that you can build a green home for less than many kinds of homes and save money on your energy bills every month. Careful lot selection, location of your home and the materials you plan to use are part of the easiest things to do, when you are considering green building practices. Many people are wrong to think building a green home is more expensive. Your energy savings can pay for any additional costs you might run into. The next thing you should do is use these tips and find out more information to make your next home part of the green real estate movement.

For more information about green real estate, visit The Derrick Monroe Group, a team of full time Minneapolis real estate agents of that have a detailed knowledge of the Twin Cities real estate market. With attention to details and a unique marketing approach for home sellers and a second to none program for home buyers, you are sure to find what you are looking for with them.

How to Install Cabinet Hardware

If you’re looking to do a kitchen remodel you can save some money by hanging the cabinet doors yourself. It doesn’t take much in the way of tools or equipment. All you need is plenty of time, patience and a drill and a screw driver. So if you’re looking for how to install cabinet hardware read on.

Door hinges are the first item that you’ll need to install. You’ll need to line the door up level with the cabinet face and mark the hinge locations with a pencil. For smaller cabinet doors you can use two hinges while large cabinets will need three to support the extra weight.

Now that you have the hinge location marked on the frame and door, drill a small set of pilot holes into the door frame for the hinge mount.

Hold the door up to the hinges and make sure it sits square to the cabinet. Mark the pilot holes in the cabinet door.

Now it’s time to drill the pilot holes in the cabinet doors themselves. Don’t drill completely through the door! All you need is a shallow hole for the screw to bind into.

The next step is tying the entire door together with the cabinet. Mount the door up to the hinges and screw in place. Open and close the cabinet door checking for ease of swing and that it sits level with the cabinet lines.

Now that the cabinet doors are hanging it’s time to move on to installing the door hardware.

A new set of cabinet doors is a fresh canvas for new door hardware. You have the option of either installing knobs or handles. Either option is a good choice. They just require slightly different ways to mount them.

If you’re mounting handles just place the handle in the desired location and mark the screw holes with a pencil.

Drill the pilot holes and then screw the handle into place.

Going with a knob will require drilling through the entire cabinet. Place the knob against the cabinet and trace around the base where it touches the cabinet front.

Put a small dot in the middle of this traced circle.

Use a small drill bit to drill a pilot hole completely through the door. Be sure you go from the outside to the inside to avoid splintering.

Now you’ll need to enlarge the pilot hole by using slightly larger drill bits. Keep drilling until you have a hole just a hair larger than the bolt the knob will attach to.

Run the bolt from the back of the cabinet through the door face and screw the knob into place.

Whether you choose a knob or a standard handle is purely a personal choice. Either style can be found in a design that will accent your new cabinet doors. Now that you know how to install cabinet hardware you can save a good deal of money on that kitchen remodel. Just have a little bit of patience and you’ll be finished in no time.

Home Improvements Made on Credit

If you are currently working on some home improvement projects or surprising your better half with new appliances as a Christmas gift, one way to save a considerable amount of money during the holiday season or even throughout the year is to apply for a Lowe’s Credit Card. Lowe’s is one of the largest home improvement retailers in the US and they frequently offer credit card deals that can be too good to pass up.

Many retailers offer their own branded credit card as a way to get consumers to buy through credit and capitalize on this multi-billion dollar market. Often times, with introductory offers too good to pass up, if you are a disciplined consumer and well versed at paying your credit bills on time you can save hundreds of dollars depending on what you purchase. The Lowe’s Credit Card is a way to save your hard earned cash and still get a good deal.

Home improvement retailers are big businesses and it’s no wonder they too are cashing in on the credit market. It’s good business as they win customers who may have been inclined to shop elsewhere for appliances and other home improvement products at marked down prices. The Lowe’s Card can offer initial purchase savings as well as same-as-cash options for upwards of six months to a year if paid off by the end of the term.

Be careful though, as many retailers through in that you must make a minimum monthly payment to stay within the terms of the same-as-cash credit offer. Others however, will give you the entire length of the deal to make a lump sum cash payment before the end of the term, but these deal are becoming harder to find.

If you’re a savvy consumer and good at reading the fine print, you can save significantly by applying for a Lowe’s Card when you are purchasing for that next big home improvement project.

James contributes frequently the management of having a Credit Card. See how a Lowes Credit Card can benefit you.

Low Interest Home Improvement Loans

We all love to make home improvements but this is truly a very costly project we have to deal with. Of course, no one wants to spend much when it comes to such activities like this. Fortunately, there is good news if you’re considering your home improvement plan. Today, we can avail of low interest home improvement loan which is regarded as low cost as it takes advantage of the equity on the home you’re planning to renovate.

If you’re one of those who wish to redesign and make your home a more comfortable and special place to dwell in, turning to a low interest home improvement loan is just one of the smartest and most economical ways of obtaining financial assistance. They are very easy to avail of as they don’t require many documents for approval. What’s more interesting about them is that unlike unsecured personal loans, they provide more benefits that will surely delight you.

Low Interest Home Improvement Loans are known as home equity loans that are purposely designed to make home improvements in the same property which is being used as a security of the loan. For this reason, lenders can be assured that his finances are secured with a property and that his money shall be used to augment the value of the property used as collateral.

In addition, this type of loan is a type of secured loan which have requirements for approval. These requirements are associated more to the property itself than to the debtor. The debtor’s condition is not as essential as the property’s equity and value. Once you already have secured all the proper documents and there are no further legal conflicts with regards to the property, the debtor will most likely be approved no matter if you had a bad credit record in the past.

Although they make your credit score into account, this will not serve as an issue when they decide for your loan approval. One of the primary requirements comprise of the property which has sufficient equity to provide a guarantee and protection to the amount of money to be borrowed. It is significant to understand that the equity shall then be computed by diminishing the quantity of mortgage loan to that of the entire property’s value. And the outcome shall be the quantity of equity remained on your home.

It is very essential that when searching for the suitable lender for you, you must acquire loan quotes from various lenders in order for you to compare them so you can discover which one has the lowest rate. Be reminded that loans can get very pricey because of some hidden charges so it is a must for you to compare other costs and fees too. You may browse online for your creditor. Luckily, there are several online sites that provide various types of loans. Once you have found the one which you think can perfectly help you with your home improvement loan concerns then all you need to do is to carefully review the terms and conditions so you can start your long dream home project right away.

Steps to Install Cabinet Hardware

Installing new cabinet hardware is a great way to bring life back to dingy old cabinets. It can be done as a regular upgrade to tired old cabinets or an added extra flair to a cabinet refinishing job. Learning how to install cabinet hardware is an easy affordable task that will pay off in no time, when you do the job instead of hiring a carpenter.

There are four basics parts to your kitchen cabinet:

Latching mechanism

You can find a hinge to suit any style door from an industrial meat locker to a dainty dollhouse filigreed surface mount hinge. When replacing the hardware, if you want to take the guess work and aggravation out of hanging the doors, look for a set of hinges that match the current screw pattern as well as door swing path. Just because the holes line up doesn’t mean the hinge will work the same way. You might want to buy a couple test hinges first if you aren’t ready to tackle figuring out exactly how to remount the hardware.

The next area is the door opener or knob. You can find these in every style available. If you’re replacing the kitchen cabinet hardware as part of a door refinishing you’ll be able to choose different styles than were on the door before. Simply put some wood putty into the old screw holes as you’re refinishing, sand them down and stain along with the rest of the door. You now have a clean slate to work with. You can choose a single knob that screws through the door to itself or drawer pull type arched handles that will add a bit more beauty to the door.

If you have custom built cabinets you might have roll out drawers. As long as you’re pulling this out for a refurbishment it’s a good time to check the rails and rollers inside the cabinet. If they are worn or not tracking straight go ahead and replace them.

The final area to look at is the latching mechanism. Normally this is the magnet catch that holds the door in place. Chances are your old hard ware will work just fine but if you had problem doors that didn’t close now’s the time to change these parts out. The latching mechanism consists of a small metal plate attached to the door and the magnet mounted inside the frame. Just pick up a few new ones if you need them. They are the last piece of hardware you’ll attach to the door once it’s hung and swinging true. Luckily it’s also the easiest piece to place and adjust.

Now that you know what hardware to shop for just make up a list of everything you need and head out to the home store. How to install cabinet hardware starts with the basics of knowing what to replace. All you need are the new hinges, handles or knobs, and replacement rollers and catches. In no time you’ll have a remodeled kitchen that looks brand new for much, much less than if you tackled an entire cabinet replacement project.

Author Jennifer Akre is an owner of a wide variety of online specialty shops including that offer both items and information on how you can easily furnish and decorate your space. Whether it is knobs for your bathroom or cabinet hardware [] for your kitchen there are many tips you can use to make those spots both functional and beautiful. Click today [] and indulge your senses.

Secured Home Improvement Loan – Finance for Enhancing Home Value

It was long time back since you bough or built a home for your self. Now the home requires lot of improvement works and that in turn means a fresh borrowing. Certainly you would like to do the improvements with as low cost as possible. Secured home improvement loan is meant for making a low cost loan available for various improvement works that you need to complete. You want to add a story to your home, make your kitchen look more technologically updated, want to enlarge a room to accommodate more family members and so on—secured home improvement loan can be put to variety of usages. Take note that on doing works through secured home improvement loan, the value and equity of your home increases sharply, making the loan availing even more easily in future.

Secured home improvement loan applicant is required to place collateral with the lender. Collateral is usually the very home that you intend to make improvement on. The loan amount is decided on the back of value of collateral.. Usually lenders offer secured home improvement loan amount in the range of £5000 to £75000. The biggest advantage of secured home improvement loan is its lower interest rate. Lower interest rate means the borrower is making home improvement at a low cost of finance. What is more advantageous to the borrower is that he can repay secured home improvement loan in larger repayment duration of his choice. The loan can be returned in 5 to 30 years. This means the borrower can choose to repay a smaller monthly amount towards installments.

You can easily borrow required amount as secured home improvement loan even if you are labeled as bad credit. Your property like home as collateral has already reduced risks for the lender. So, the lender has no hesitation in offering a loan amount. Lender has the option of selling bad credit borrower’s property for recovering the loaned amount. Still, take a copy of your credit report from a reputed credit rating agency and check it for inaccuracies before approaching a lender.

But ensure to have a close look at different secured home improvement loan offers. You can locate them on internet. Compare their interest rates and apply online to the suitable lender. Online lenders do not take any fee for processing loan application and approval also comes earlier. Certainly secured home improvement loan is an opportunity for finishing improvement works at low cost.

Installing Cabinet Hardware

Cabinet hardware is not indestructible and you will eventually have to install new hardware. Or if you are remodeling and your current hardware does not fit with your new design you will have to replace it. Most of the time, it’s the cabinets in your kitchen that need replacing and that includes replacing the kitchen cabinet hardware. There is so much going on in your kitchen whether it’s the repetition of opening and closing your cabinets or pulling open a silverware drawer one too many times. It doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor to replace the knobs and pulls, however if you don’t look around you might find yourself paying more than you bargained for.

The best way to go about replacing all the hardware in your kitchen or any room with cabinets is to count the knobs and pulls and see just how many need replacing. It doesn’t make sense to replace just a few pieces unless you know where to find the exact cabinet hardware knobs that you need. Otherwise you will want to replace all the cabinet hardware handles at the same time. Some styles to consider are stainless steel, satin nickel, zinc and pewter. All of these make excellent cabinet hardware choices and can make your kitchen look much more sophisticated without blowing up your budget.

Installing them is simple. You only need a drill with screwdriver attachments. If you can get away with using the same holes then that would make things easier but you may need to drill new holes. This will require you to use a wood filler or a filler that matches that material of your cabinets. You may also need a level to make sure the handles are put on properly and are not crooked. Put the hinges on first and then the knobs or pulls. And you want to use screws that go through the entire cabinet door and can fit a nut on the other side. This will make the cabinet hardware more secure.

Marty West has been in the home improvement field since 1998. He is now a freelance writer for home improvement websites. If you are interested in learning more about cabinet hardware or if you would like information on specific types of cabinet fixtures like cabinet knobs, just follow the links provided and you will find all the information you need.

Reasons Why Green Real Estate Has Become So Popular

Green real estate involves building a house in a way that ensures that it consumes as little energy as possible. Furthermore, the materials that are used in building the house should be environment-friendly. The house should also incorporate alternative sources of energy that are known to be friendly to the environment.

There are a number of reasons why this type of real estate is so beneficial to the home owner or the real estate investor. For starters, going green will ensure that one is in very good books with the government. The governments of various countries are encouraging individuals to go green in every aspect of their life in order to reduce the carbon footprint. One of the encouragements offered are tax credits as well as write offs on green products. A real estate investor who is able to use energy efficient doors or even windows will get a tax credit from some governments. Also, in some countries, homeowners get a certain percentage of tax credit on their home if they install solar panels as an alternative source of energy.

The second benefit is that green homes are very popular with buyers and renters. Most buyers would like a home that will help them to save on their energy consumption. This is because it will mean that they will pay less every month in terms of energy bills. Furthermore, it will mean that they will be able to play their part in conserving the environment and lowering the carbon footprint. Therefore, green homes are literally flying off the market while houses that do not use these principles are experiencing a downturn.

Green homes are beneficial for homeowners who would like to live in their house and not necessarily rent it out. This is because it will help them to save a lot in the long term. Energy costs will be significantly reduced and they could end up paying nothing in terms of energy bills. In fact, they could generate more energy and ‘sell it’ to energy companies in the form of credit on electricity.

Individuals who are selling their homes these days have opted to make it greener in order to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Green homes are a great selling point, and the homeowner can be sure that they will be offered a good price for their home in a short time. Those who already own a homes are installing energy saving features will help the homeowner to save money in the long run. These benefits are the reason why green real estate is the investment of choice for most individuals.

Green Real Estate – Interest Grows in California

I grew up in North Hollywood, California. I remember attending Monlux elementary school in Van Nuys when “Ecology” became big news. That’s 40+ years ago! Back then it was about recyling. We’d have huge newspaper drives to divert some of that trash for re-use. I didn’t really understand what was happening back then but now I realize that I was witnessing the birth of something important. California really was the birthplace of the “Green” movement. Sometimes it seems like the rest of the country is just catching up. And now that we are reaching the onset of the economic recovery we are beginning to see emerging technologies leading the way, and in the forefront of these technologies will be the development of green building products and real estate practices. Nowhere in the United States are they more focused on developing environmentally responsible practices than in California. This focus will create a growing opportunity for green real estate in California that will be something people will want to be a part of in the years to come.

As a seller of homes or commercial properties, environmentally sound additions are always a major selling point. Being able to point out the smaller carbon footprint of one home compared to another will be a desirable feature to a homebuyer. Californians have led the way in developing green practices such as solar and wind generated power and energy saving building materials and techniques. Any property in California that can state the energy efficient inclusions in the home is far more likely to sell before homes that have no environmental awareness at all. Taking into account the importance of environmental responsibility is imperative if a seller wishes to be successful in the state of California.

As a buyer in California, green real estate is just another of the enormous number of incentives to purchase a home in 2010. As if the extraordinary home prices and interest rates together with the tax incentives to purchase a primary residence were not enough, there will now be added seller competitiveness to offer green options in the homes they are selling. The climate of environmental concern is prevalent in California. Many homes have either been built or retrofitted with more environmentally friendly features and products than in any other state. If the choice comes down to two homes in the same price range, it would make more sense for a buyer to purchase a home that will save them money continuously with the energy savings that are provided in a green home. With California’s awareness of the need to become ecologically responsible, there is no reason for a buyer to choose a home that is not environmentally sound.

One of the most important industries in the future of our economy will be the usage and development of green real estate practices, and California those holding a California real estate license would be wise to learn all they can about the subject.. In doing so, California will set the stage for the nation to create stronger economic opportunity in environmental responsibility. Buyers and sellers alike will not be able to ignore the absolute importance of green real estate to the overall state of the economy in California. For decades, ever since there has been discussion about the need to protect the environment, California has been a leader in environmental and ecological issues and will continue to push forward in environmentally responsible real estate practices.

David Goldstein is a Partner at the American School of Real Estate Express aka Our school offers 100% online California real estate license