Jay LeClerc's Blog
As you've gotten older, you have become successful at living an energy efficient lifestyle. You purchased a fairly green home and have developed good habits for living green. Now you have children who are reaching an age to start doing things on their own and contribute to household chores and upkeep. Awesome. Just remember that you’ll need to work with them to teach them the good habits you developed for yourself. You’ll need to demonstrate how to perform tasks without being wasteful and will want to monitor your kids as they take on new chores and responsibilities. Start with the basics and moving on from there, your children will soon be able to contribute to your home and develop positive habits for maintaining an eco-friendly and energy efficient lifestyle.
Here are some areas of responsibility where children are likely to misuse energy and some ideas for guiding them in the right direction from the start.
It is very easy for kids to overuse water. The most significant use comes from brushing their teeth and showering. It might seem to you like a no-brainer, but you'll need to show your children they don't need to run the faucet the whole time they're brushing their teeth. Teach them just to get their toothbrush wet and then complete brushing before they turn the tap back on to rinse. Long showers and overfilled baths are another way that children can unintentionally over-use water. Show them how to be efficient while showering. For example, by shampooing their hair first and then letting conditioner set while they wash their body to save time. To further assist simply use a timer to limit the length of their shower and help them become aware of time-wasting things they might be doing. For baths show them the level to which they should fill the tub and maybe mark the line with a decal so that they don't overfill the tub unnecessarily.
Dishes are another area of potential waste. If you have a dishwasher, the easiest thing to do is to get your kids in the habit of rinsing dishes immediately after using them and placing them directly in the washer. Plates and cups with dried food and sauces require more water to rinse before putting them in the dishwasher. If you're teaching children to wash dishes by hand, rinsing and washing immediately after use is still the best method. First, fill both sides of your sink with water and add dish soap to one side. Use one side to rinse all your dishes and the other for washing. Drain the rinse side and refill for a final rinse to remove soap before placing dishes in the drying rack.
Teaching your children good electricity management is easy in theory, but you will have to stay on top of their practices while they build good habits. The simplest way to start is by teaching them to turn off the lights every time they leave a room. This practice will quickly help you manage your family's electricity bill. As your kids begin to accumulate new technology, you'll want to make sure you're working with them to create the habit of turning off their gaming systems after use, turning off the television and DVD player when they’re done watching it and shutting down their laptops or family computer. Managing constant flows of electricity throughout your home is a good thing to teach your children and an effective way to live an energy efficient lifestyle.
Now that you have some ideas for how to get your kids positively contributing to your family’s water and electricity use its time to start thinking about food waste management. Read on to part two of this article for more ideas.
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As a homebuyer, you likely want to do everything you can to ensure you can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey. Yet problems may arise that hamper your homebuying aspirations. Lucky for you, we're here to help you analyze the property buying journey and ensure you can avoid complications along the way.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can minimize the risk of problems as you search for your dream residence.
1. Learn About the Homebuying Journey
There is nothing quite like buying a home. As such, you'll want to do whatever you can to prepare for the property buying journey to ensure you can limit the risk of encountering potential pitfalls.
Oftentimes, it helps to review housing market data related to residences in your preferred cities and towns. This information can help you assess the prices of available houses in your area and find out how long residences typically stay available before they sell. Plus, this housing market data may help you differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market.
You also should establish realistic homebuying expectations before you enter the real estate market. In some instances, homebuyers require many weeks or months to find the perfect residence. But if you set realistic expectations for the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than ever before to overcome myriad property buying challenges.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A mortgage is essential for most homebuyers. If you secure a mortgage before you start your home search, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a residence. Then, you can narrow your home search accordingly.
It generally won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage, either. If you meet with local banks and credit unions, you can review your mortgage options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
There is no telling what may happen as you pursue your dream residence. However, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you'll be able to prepare for any homebuying challenges that might come your way.
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. He or she will help you craft a homebuying strategy, as well as respond to your homebuying concerns and questions. Furthermore, a real estate agent will maintain constant communication with you to ensure you can get the homebuying support you need, exactly when you need it.
For homebuyers who want to minimize complications, hiring a real estate agent is crucial. This housing market professional will set up home showings, help you analyze properties and enable you to submit a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. And as your home closing day approaches, a real estate agent will do whatever it takes to help you quickly finalize your house purchase.
Ready to buy a home? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the property buying cycle.