Adventures in Homeownership

10 Steps to Becoming More Water Efficient

California is currently in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recorded history. Everyone’s working to conserve. But water conservation is important no matter where you are. How can you do your part to save water? Here are 10 tips you can follow.

Take Shorter Showers. This is the first step everyone lists, and with good reason. Your bathroom in general accounts for around 75% of your home’s water usage. And a typical shower uses 2.1 gallons of water per minute. So showering for 10 minutes can waste over 20 gallons. Keep showers to around 5 minutes or so, and you’ll cut your water usage considerably.

Check for Leaks. Have a plumber check your toilets, faucets, hoses, and any other water sources in your home for leaks, and repair them. Depending on the severity of the leaks, this can save you up to 200 gallons of water per day. (more…)

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Transform Your Backyard into BBQ Headquarters

For some people, barbecuing is just an occasional thing you do in the summer: haul out the grill and the charcoal, throw on some burger, and call it a day. But for others, it’s a way of life. Your barbecuing is legendary—and so are your barbecue parties. But if you really want to throw some parties this summer, you’re going to have to do some landscaping. What can you do to turn your backyard into the top spot for outdoor parties? Here are a few ideas

Fix Up Your Lawn. The first thing you need to do before you invite people over is make sure your lawn looks good. If you’ve got brown patches, or bare patches, you might want to reseed. Also consider bringing in some potted plants, to add to the atmosphere. You can even have a potted herb garden, and impress your guests by picking fresh thyme or rosemary and bringing it straight over to the grill to season the meat. (more…)

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Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Keep  Your Home Cool This Summer

Keep  Your Home Cool This SummerIt’s summer, and the heat is getting practically unbearable. You drink lemonade, eat ice cream, and take cold showers to mitigate the heat, but you want a more long term solution. What home improvements can you make to keep your home cool this summer—and for many summers to come? Here are a few:

Central Air. If you’re keeping your home cool with fans, window air units, or a swamp cooler, then the time has come to invest in a central air conditioning system. A single unit circulates air to your whole house, allowing you to adjust the thermostat to you preferred temperature. (more…)

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Three Alternatives to Your Average Grass Lawn

Maintaining a grass lawn takes time and effort even under the best of circumstances. It needs to be watered regularly to stay green, and mown regularly to keep it from becoming overgrown. But in California lately, both of those tasks are getting harder and harder. Gas prices are soaring, making it more expensive to operate a gas-powered mower.

More importantly, though, the state is also in the midst of what’s turning out to be the worst drought in over a millennium. Therefore, watering the grass must be done sparingly, and keeping it green and luscious is off the table. So what can you do to keep your lawn green and luscious in the midst of these crises? Here are three grass alternatives, that look great, but require less maintenance. (more…)

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Automate Your Home…Today!

It’s amazing to think that all the automation features you learned about for the “Home of the Future” are actually available to today’s homeowners. Almost every function in your home can be controlled by a switch, device or smart phone, and there are considerable benefits for automating certain operations. You can make your place more secure, save on energy bills and home insurance, and generally make everyday life more convenient around the house. Have a look at some basic information if you’re ready to get started with home automation.

Start with a smaller-scale system. You don’t have to install a household-wide system to gain the benefits of home automation – and it’s an especially unwise move if you’re new to this type of technology. Go with some of the basics, such as: (more…)

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Winterize your home

Winterize your home - Paramount Equity®

Winter Decorations - Paramount Equity®Winter is here: Fido is wearing his Christmas sweater, your 2-year-old is bundled up like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and you fear going to get the mail. Your home is by and large the most important investment in your life. In order to save money, keep your family warm, and keep up with your biggest investment, here are five tips to help you properly winterize your home this season.

  1. Work on the Inside — When surveying the inside of your home, look for cracks around the windows, walls, and outlets. According to the Earthworks Group, the average home in the U.S.has leaks/holes which can amount to a nine-square-foot area. So, how do we plug these potentially expensive holes? Well, you can use a standard caulking gun in instances where you can see a hole, crack, gap, or feel a draft on a windy day. As well, door sweeps can help to curtail drafts from under the door. And for inefficient windows, a company such as Duck Brand offers weatherization seals/insulation kits that will save you energy (and money). (more…)
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Fun Housing Facts That Can Save You Money

Fun housing facts - Paramount Equity®

Saving for a House - Paramount Equity® If you are the type of person that wants to make your home the best that it can be, then you should take a look at these fun housing facts. There are so many simple things that you can do to enhance your home without breaking the bank.

Watering your lawn

If you want to get the most out of the water you use to water your lawn, then you should make sure that you do it after the sun has set. When you water your lawn during the day, you end up using more than you would if you did it at night. The sun makes the water evaporate very quickly – the more sun there is, the less water your lawn actually gets.

Winter sealing

It is common knowledge that people use (more…)

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The Average Cost of 5 Common Home Repair/Improvement Projects

paramount-equity-leaky-roof

House Repairs - Paramount Equity®Home repair is essential for bringing your house up to code, to remodel a “fixer-upper” or prepare for a life style change. The average cost for home repairs depends upon the quality of materials used, project size and locality. Home repairs create a more healthy living environment and add great value.

“How much do home repairs cost?”

You should visit your local hardware or home improvement store to price various materials. Experienced carpenters will give you an estimate based upon the area or the project. You will need to know how much money you need for your home repair loan application.

When you are buying a home, you should also calculate how much home repairs will cost. Improve your living environment with a good home repair.

Here are the average costs for 5 common home/outdoor repairs and/or improvement projects: (more…)

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