Marion Cheney's Blog
Most of the time, we build homes to our taste rather than to their environment. And while it’s important to have a home that you love to look at, it’s also necessary to take your local climate and surroundings into account.
One of the best up-and-coming home architecture styles features something called “passive solar” design.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to passive solar and talk about why so many homeowners are choosing passive solar homes in today’s age of rising energy costs.
What is a passive solar home?
Passive solar homes utilize four main things to ensure the lowest possible energy usage:
The building site
The area’s climate and weather
Strict building standards involving top quality materials and airtight construction
Let’s talk a bit about how these three features help make passive solar homes the most energy efficient homes currently available.
Choosing a site for a passive home can be a complicated and scientific endeavor. In colder climates, this means allowing the home to utilize as much sunlight as possible. The building site, therefore, has to take into account the sun’s path throughout the year to provide the home with the best angles for maximum sunlight.
Since sunlight travels lower on the horizon in the winter months and higher in summer months, roofs and overhangs are designed to let in maximum light in the winter time and block out light that would overheat your home in the summertime.
Airflow throughout your home is vital to maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round. Passive homes rely on a heat exchanger system that uses heat from warm areas of your home to heat air that is vented in from the outside.
This means that the air in your home is constantly being circulated and heated without relying on too many outside sources.
Building materials are another key part to passive solar homes. To make an airtight home, special types of sealing and insulation is used.
Furthermore, insulated areas of your home are designed to absorb sunlight throughout the day and slowly release heat after the sun goes down, providing a natural source of heat for the entire 24 hour cycle.
Can I convert my current house into a passive solar home?
While making a home adhere to passive house standards typically requires planning at the construction phase, there are some ways to utilize passive solar techniques in your current home.
Making your home airtight, using thermal mass to slowly heat your home overnight, and taking advantage of heat from the sun are all things that can be retrofitted to a home.
Making these improvements can take time, especially if you plan to change window locations or build an overhanging roof. However, you might find that the upgrades will save you money on energy costs and add to the resale value of your home.
Before buying a home, you may have a number in mind as to how many houses you think that you should look at before you find the house that's right for you. You may wonder if you’ve looked too much or not enough while you’re in the process of searching for a home. The fact of the matter is that how many homes you look at is completely up to you. It’s a very personal preference. If you feel comfortable after looking at one house, you’re probably right. Trust your own intuition!
The average condo buyer takes between 1 to 3 months to find the right property. House buyers take a bit longer, averaging between 3 and 6 months of searching. The home buying process seems to entail a few more questions and a bit of a learning curve, which tends to take more time. This is obviously why first time buyers tend to take more time searching.
How To Have A Successful House Hunt:
Map Out Your Potential Neighborhoods
Before you even get in touch with your realtor, you should have an idea of the neighborhoods you’d like to look for a home in. Drive around your potential towns and hang out there. Go to local restaurants, see the downtown area and check out the grocery store. See how you feel being there, and if you’d like it to be part of what you call “home.”
Know Your Lifestyle
Where your friends live, where you work and what you like to do for fun all have an impact on the type of neighborhood that you’ll choose to search for a home in. If you love to golf, and the nearest course is more than 30 miles away, maybe you should reconsider where you’re searching. Of course, you want your commute time to and from work to be as short as possible.
Decide What You Need
Make a list of everything that you absolutely need to have in your home and neighborhood. Narrow down your wish-list to that of “must-haves.” Then, understand your own budget for a home purchase. Knowing your finances will also give you a better idea of where you should focus your search. Once your focus is narrowed, you’ll be able to work with your realtor more freely. Being able to tell your realtor what you want and what you can afford is a great step in the right direction during the home search process.
Taking the time to know what you want out of where you want to live can help you to search for the right home. So, while there’s no magic number of homes to look at before you buy, it’s a better idea to understand your wants and needs and go from there.
If you want to increase the value of your home there are certain things that you can do to make sure that you get the most for your money when it comes to the sale of your property. One barrier to activities that increase the value of your home is that you only have so much time and money that you can invest before the home goes on the market. Take a look at these tips to increase the value of your home by quite a lot.
Clean Out Your Home And Stage It
You don’t need to make expensive changes to your home in order to make an appearance. If you take the time to clear out the clutter of your home and stage it, it will look like a brand new place. No one wants to see piles of papers, dog toys, and crumbs as they walk through a potential home that they might buy. The difference that cleanliness and a little maintaining of your home makes can be huge.
Make A Great First Impression
Messy yards and exterior issues on your home can really cost you quite a bit when trying to sell your home. If things appear disarrayed and broken around the outside of the home, you need to clean it up before you sell it. To add some spice to your curb appeal, you can do things like add some potted plants to the front of the yard. This is so simple, yet can make such a huge difference.
Pay Special Attention To Your Kitchen And Bathroom
Doing something as simple as adding fresh paint to the bathroom and kitchen can really add a lot of charm to your home. While you may not have the funds to do a complete renovation of these rooms a simple “cleanup” of the spaces can help.
As much fun as DIY jobs are, sometimes hiring a professional can really make a huge difference. If you’re not too keen on the type of job that you’re undertaking you should really hire a professional.
Another professional that you may want to hire is a real estate agent to help you sell your home. Realtors are experienced in marketing homes and understand the complete process from home showings through the closing on the sale. While you may think that you can sell the home on your own, you’ll get a much better return if you leave it to the experts.
As you can see, these simple actions are a great way to increase the value on your home when you’re ready to sell. Take your time, and get a better return on your property investment.
13 Riverside Drive, Dover, NH 03820
You've decided to sell your home and listed your residence with a real estate agent. Now, you'll need to prepare for your first open house.
Ultimately, hosting an open house can be a stressful experience, particularly for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of getting your house ready for potential homebuyers.
Here are three tips to ensure that you can prep your residence for an open house.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
De-clutter your house as much as possible – you'll be happy you did. With clutter out of the way, homebuyers should have no trouble assessing every nook and cranny of your residence.
For those who possess a large assortment of clutter, it may be worthwhile to donate items to charity or host a garage sale. Also, you may be able to sell your excess items online.
Don't forget about family members and friends, either. If you have excess items, family members and friends may be willing to take them off your hands for free. By doing so, they'll be able to help you de-clutter your house and ensure that it looks great during an open house.
2. Clean As Much As Possible
There may be only a few days before your open house, but you should try to take advantage of any free time at your disposal.
Use your time wisely and clean up your home as much as you can. You can clean rugs and carpets, wipe down walls and floors and much more. If you need extra assistance, you can always hire a professional cleaning company to help out as well.
For home sellers, it is paramount to make a positive first impression on homebuyers. And if you commit the necessary time and resources to clean your residence, you may be able to boost your home's chances of making a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.
3. Consult with Your Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent is available to help you before, during and after an open house. As such, he or she is happy to provide tips so you can get your residence ready for an open house in no time at all.
With an expert real estate agent at your disposal, you'll be able to prioritize home maintenance and repairs. This real estate professional will be able to explain the importance of an open house, along with the steps that you can take to transform your ordinary residence into an unforgettable one.
Plus, your real estate agent will help you minimize stress in the days leading up to your open house. He or she will be ready to answer your open house concerns and questions and ensure that you can set realistic expectations for the event.
Getting ready for an open house may seem like a time-consuming and exhausting process. Fortunately, your real estate agent will make it easy for you to plan accordingly and ensure that your open house is a resounding success.