Posted by Casey Miller on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 4:27 PMBy Casey Miller / February 28, 2017Comment
If the idea of having an eco-friendly home seems unrealistic, you should know that you have a lot of options that can make a noticeable difference. We San Diegans enjoy the outdoors, and do our best to take care of the environment, but sometimes when it comes to our homes we’re not quite sure how to make a substantial change. The truth is, you don’t have to install solar panels or wind turbines-just follow these suggestions:
Change your Lightbulbs!
LED lighting uses significantly less energy, and produces light levels comparable to traditional lighting. LED bulbs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours, and only use 10 watts of energy. Installing LED lighting in your home is a quick and easy way to make a big change in terms of efficiency, and cost.
Split-Ductless A/C Systems
Conventional air conditioning systems run large air ducts from a central unit throughout the house. Air ducts account for 30% of energy loss, while Split-Ductless A/C systems use multiple small units spread throughout the home. With a Split-Ductless system, you’re in control of the temperature in each room so that you only need to heat and cool them individually, the heat/cold is delivered directly from the source, and it’s 300% more efficient than conventional central air.
Posted by Casey Miller on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2:17 PMBy Casey Miller / February 22, 2017Comment
When you’re deciding on how to maintain the lawn in your new home, purchasing a lawn mower is the first step. There are different options available when you purchase a lawn mower, and depending on the size and surface of your lawn you may want to opt for one over another. Manual lawn mowers work best on small even lawns, while gas mowers can work on small or large lawns with either flat or uneven surfaces. Electric lawn mowers work well on most sizes of lawns, but work best on flat surfaced lawns. One benefit of electric mowers is the fact that they don’t have any emissions, but gas mowers work better on thicker grass than electric mowers do.
String trimmers are great to have if there are places in your yard where your mower is too big to go, and edgers can be used to cut clean dividing lines between your lawn and your driveway, or walkways.
There is a misconception that cutting your lawn very short is better, and will ensure that you mow less, but that’s not the case. Keeping your grass too short damages the grass, and makes it easier for weeds to take root. Cutting your lawn a bit longer shades the ground, retains moisture, and enables root development. In reality, the time it takes for a lawn to look unkempt is not dependent on the length of the grass.
Depending on where you live, your watering schedules may vary but in general it’s better to water for longer intervals a few times per week rather than to water for a short amount of time daily. Watering in the early morning is the best time, especially if you live in a hotter part of San Diego county. If you water at night, the grass is soaking...
Posted by Casey Miller on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 12:34 PMBy Casey Miller / February 21, 2017Comment
Not having a plan. Starting a landscaping project without a solid plan means you might not be satisfied with the end result. If you have the money to do so, consider hiring a landscape architect.
Choosing plants not suited to your climate. Just because a plant is for sale at your local garden center, that doesn’t mean it’s going to grow in your yard. Some plants require more effor than they’re worth in order for them to grow in harsh climates. We’re lucky here in San Diego since our weather tends to be relatively mild, but in areas of East San Diego like El Cajon, or Escondido where there is harsher heat, you may want to evaluate the conditions needed for your plants to thrive.
Forgetting about proper irrigation. Each plant in your yard may have different watering needs. This is another great reason to start with a good plan. You don’t want to risk killing plants by either over or under-watering them, and you definitely don’t want to have to rework your irrigation after your landscaping project has been completed.
Improper tree placement. We have probably all seen a tree in a neighbor’s yard that has overgrown and is hanging over their home. That is a huge hazard. When you’re planning your landscaping project, don’t forget that trees get big! Don’t plant them too close to your house, walkways, or deck. Try to visualize what the tree will look like when it’s larger when you’re in the planning stages.
Getting in over your head. Be honest with yourself about...
What will a Trump presidency mean for the real estate market, especially here in San Diego?
For starters, interest rates went up the day he won the election and continue to rise; rates are already a half point higher than they were pre-election. They are still low by historical standards, though. We’re seeing a lot of buyers coming into the marketplace with rates this low, knowing that rates are on the rise. You can lock in a low rate for a home or an investment property to create some cash flow at a low cost.
Secondly, we’re hearing some protectionist rhetoric as far as keeping jobs in America through policy, taxing, and penalizing companies for sending jobs outside the country. Don’t get me wrong—I love that we’ll have more American jobs, we just have to understand that this rhetoric can very easily turn into inflation beyond the normal levels. We’ll...