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Date Archives: December 2019

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Energy Efficient Home Improvements

A new year brings a chance for a fresh start, both for you and your house. Our REALTORS® have talked with a lot of homeowners about future home improvement goals, and one topic keeps coming up again and again: energy efficiency. 

There are countless reasons to work on improving the energy efficiency of your home, from saving the environment to saving money on your utility bills. Here are a few ways you can start saving in 2020.

  1. Install new windows. If you own an older home, there's a good chance you have old, outdated windows that are leaking heat all winter long. According to Energy Star, replacing old windows with new, energy-efficient models can reduce your energy bill by 15%. It's a significant investment upfront, but it pays big over the long haul. 

  2. Switch to more efficient light bulbs. Manufacturers stopped making 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs way back in 2014, but a lot of homes still aren't using the most efficient bulbs available. Some of your best options are compact fluorescent lamps, also called CFLs, which cost around $4 each, and have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. 

  3. Move your fridge. You probably know that replacing an old refrigerator can help you keep your food colder using less electricity. But have you considered the location? If your fridge is in a spot where the sun hits it, it's probably working overtime to offset the heat generated by the sunlight. Look for a place where your fridge can stay in the shade. 

  4. Install a storm door. Even if you already have relatively efficient doors on your house, adding storm doors can cut down on heat loss in wintertime. Most storm doors come with low-emissivity glass, which can help reduce heat loss by up to 50%. They typically last between 25 and 50 years and often cost less than $100.

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Top Holiday Gifts

When friends or family members close on a home, everyone wants to be part of the celebration. Even if you can't be there in person for a housewarming party, sending a gift is a great way to be there in spirit.

But what should you get?

There's an added element of challenge: Someone who's just moved probably needs a little bit of everything. Sometimes, a recent homebuyer will create a gift registry. Just about every big-name retail outlet you can name has this option on their website, which does away with a lot of guesswork. But lots of people don't like asking for gifts – and many will want to enjoy the surprise. As the holidays draw closer, it's time to dive in and figure things out!

These gifts are just the thing to crack the code and delight the homeowner on your holiday list:

  1. The Classic Welcome Mat
    A welcome mat is one of the first ways any homeowner gets to express their style. Whether it's a joke or a pretty piece of art, the welcome mat sets the tone for all of a home's visitors. Plus, it could be used for many years to come.

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