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Showing posts with label programmable thermostat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label programmable thermostat. Show all posts

July 5, 2011

Homeowners Unite! How Can We All Save Money?

Hi Folks,

   Happy Mid-Week to you.

   If you're a homeowner, I don't need to tell you how expensive it can be! Every time you turn around there is another expense coming at you, whether it is a break-fix or plain old fashioned preventative maintenance. It is expensive. Recently, Beth Braverman wrote an article for Money Magazine (on CNN Money), titled, "3 ways to save on home costs", which aimed at sketching some broad strokes for homeowners to take.

   For the purpose of our story, we are going to take her 3 sub-topics out of order, and we'll leave the biggest one for last.

   In the article, Braverman suggests to, "Trim the cost of borrowing", and she discusses the extremely low mortgage rates as an example. She suggests that you refinance at the lower rates, but to request a, "good-faith estimate" before you apply, to permit you to lower the closing costs. Jonathan Steele, a RN in Pennsylvania, suggests that you, "Get a 30 year loan and pay off your house in 15 or less", and cautions that you should, "Make sure the loan allows early pay off with out penalty.".

   The second sub-topic that Braverman discusses is that you should "Get a deal on furniture", and shares some tips from Furniture industry author Kimberly Causey, as follows: "When sales slow in the summer, many mom-and-pop shops will make deals to move inventory, says Causey. Ask for 20% off, and don't settle for less than 10%. Gently used floor models can go for 25% off."

   Now, as I mentioned in the beginning, the 3rd sub-topic has the most potential and ways in which homeowners can save, and Braverman refers to this one as, "Negotiate on repairs and upkeep", and from her angle, she says that contractors are, "still facing a slumping real estate market", and "will strike a deal to get your business."

   When posing the question of how homeowners can save costs, a majority of the replies were related to this specific sub-topic. Interestingly, one of the most popular suggestions was in favor of using a "programmable thermostat". Jonathan Steele says that he has had his for over 18 years, and that he owns two houses, and the tenants he has who "refuse" to use these have, "twice the heating bill we have by simply automating the heat turn down when we are gone in the day and asleep at night.". Dianne Martz, co-founder and principal of Sustainable Life Solutions LLC, says that installing and using a programmable thermostat, "can reduce your heating and cooling bill by 10%.", and says that if you already have one, to be sure it's programmed to "turn itself down or off when you're sleeping or at work or school.".

   Timothy G. Wiedman, D.B.A. Division of Economics and Business at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, also calls the programmable thermostat, "The most cost-effective thing" that he ever did, and adds the following summary: "Believe it or not, that thermostat paid for itself in two months; and over its life, it literally saved thousands of dollars on our winter gas bills."

   A few other tips that were provided to us were regarding the hygienic quest we call, "washing our clothes". Steele says that he bought a front loading washer, which was, "twice the cost of a traditional washing machine". He says that the savings "were in the water", and adds that "when you pay for water coming in, you may also pay for the quantity of sewage going out in some municipality. So saving on the water used can be a double savings." An additional tip comes from Pablo Solomon, an Artist and Designer, who suggests to, "Put up a clothesline", since it is "really" inexpensive, and says that if your neighborhood prohibits clotheslines, "fight the board and get the rule changed."

   So what does it all boil down to?

   Mandy Williams, Author of, "What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!", suggests, "Thinking Before Spending", which she admits is, "A very basic concept", but says that we are all "guilty of "mindless" purchases that we do without thinking. And definitely without considering the total amount spent over time". She suggests a very simple tip; to , such as "merely to write down everything you spend money on for a week.", using what she calls "Green Sheets". Williams says, "You Are Never to Old or Young to Budget", which she admits is an "Obvious concept", but, "rarely remembered when at the time money is being spent."

   I hope these tips have been helpful. Can you also provide some helpful tips to your fellow readers here?

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Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #homeowners #mortgage #refinance #thermostat