Simple Steps to Shrink Your Home’s Delaware Energy Bills
Right about this time during most years, if yours is a typical Delaware home with typical cooling capacity, its energy consumption will rise (just as it does in the chilliest depths of winter). It isn’t at the top of most homeowners’ summer to-do list, but now is an ideal time to take a hard look at how to reduce your Delaware home’s energy consumption.
According to the people who study these things, now is actually an ideal time to assess how your home’s energy use can be improved. That’s because—according to the U.S. Department of Energy—three-quarters of all U.S. homes have air-conditioning. The Consumer Energy Alliance says that cooling demands account for “approximately $29 billion annually to individuals and families.” If you’re used to an abrupt rise in your own Delaware energy bills right about now, your family’s budget confirms the claim.
Professional energy audits take between a half an hour and four hours—and are almost always worth the cost. But short of that, there are many budget-saving actions you can take yourself, right now. Here are some of them:
· Clean or change your filters
· Raise the thermostat (rule of thumb is that a 7-10 degree change can save 10% every year)
· Upgrade to LED bulbs
· Clear space around air vents
· If the attic is suitable for frying eggs, see about getting better insulation or (better still) an attic fan
· Check your water heater temperature. Recommended: 120F.
That third bullet-point is a beauty. LED bulbs don’t just use 75% less energy—they also emit less heat (a summertime add-on). Yes, they seem to cost a lot more— but not when you consider that they last 25 times longer!
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Delaware ‘For Sale’ Signs’ “Startle” Power
Every now and then we have to shake our heads at how much the electronic transformation has changed daily living in Delaware. Electronics have invaded practically everything—from home wifi to ultra hi-def TV to cell phones that double as search engines.
As you read this, you’re only a couple of clicks away from being able to summon up all the current Delaware homes for sale that fit your chosen criteria. Want to check out 3-bedroom single family residences currently listed for $400,000 or less? Click click: here they are—complete with pictures (and perhaps a video tour). It’s a revolution that’s still ongoing, too—one bound to produce surprises we haven’t even imagined.
Yet, despite the sweeping changes in Delaware real estate marketing, there is one old standby whose power and utility hasn’t changed one whit. It is master of the real (nonvirtual) realm.
The two words in point are “For Sale”—specifically when they appear on one of my eye-catching front yard signs. Their power is undeniable; proven time and time again. As soon as a ‘for sale’ sign appears in a front yard, the secret is out! Everybody in the neighborhood quickly notes the nearby property that’s suddenly available. If family or friends have been thinking of moving closer, it’s a possible solution. If a neighbor has been looking for more room (or thinking of downsizing), likewise. Prospects who have been eyeing the area will write down my phone number and give me a call. Even casual passersby who hadn’t been entertaining the idea of buying a home may suddenly find themselves mulling the possibility: “I hadn’t been thinking of a change, but I saw your sign over on _______, and we were wondering how much they’re asking…”
The truth is, the good old-fashioned ‘For Sale’ sign still packs a wallop—possibly because it sticks out so startlingly on an otherwise unchanging residential street. It’s an unexpected direct communication. And whether or not prospective buyers have even been thinking of themselves in that category, everyone gets the message: what if that place could be mine?
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
7 Step Progression for Buying Delaware Homes Under Pressure
Buying Delaware homes takes some degree of organization no matter what. Especially when time is a screaming imperative, it can make or break whether you land a home that’s right—or one you ultimately determine isn’t adequate over the long haul. Whether the time pressure is due to a sudden job transfer, family emergency, or the unexpectedly rapid sale of an existing Delaware residence (that can happen when I’m your selling agent!). Finding your next home in a hurry calls for no-nonsense organization.
The precise path to your house-hunting success is bound to include some unexpected elements, but having a step-by-step plan in mind will provide a useful template:
1. Get pre-approved. This comes first, rather than determining how much you can (or want to) afford because it will reveal the lending world’s opinion, which—if you are other than an all-cash buyer—will preclude wasting time chasing just-out-of-reach properties.
2. Set your budget. This may not be all you can borrow: it should be what you can comfortably afford.
3. Hunt online. This is where today’s shoppers can cut to the chase way more efficiently than previous generations.
4. Find a real estate agent who is highly experienced in the Delaware market (highly recommended: me!).
5. Tour a variety of candidate properties. Your agent will manage this process to save time. Don’t be afraid to visit open houses if they pop up (but be sure to tell the showing agent you are represented).
6. Revisit the finalist properties. Experience dictates that first impressions are not trustworthy.
7. Discuss the terms of an offer; have your agent prepare and submit.
Once sale terms have been negotiated, your agent will keep the ensuing provisions on track and on schedule (including the professional inspection, which is always a prudent step no matter how pressing the timetable). At some point in the process, it’s likely you will revise what you thought you wanted: selecting the home that “feels right” can’t be done without walking through the non-virtual space—and that more than once.
- Written by Jimmie Bachand