Deb Tebbs Group

Cascade Sotheby's International Realty

Category: Tips & Tricks

Help the Environment (and Your Wallet) With Energy-Saving Accessories

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Most homeowners want to cut down on costs and try to conserve energy in and around their home. The great news is that there are several ways to equip your home with the right accessories to make an impact on the environment and your bottom line. Check out these energy-saving accessories for your home:

     Low-Flow Shower Heads

Controlling the flow of the water in your shower can influence your energy bill. It is likely that your home is equipped with a builder brand shower head that isn’t energy efficient. Replace it with a low-flow shower head, which allows you to control the temperature of the water and reduce the flow of water to a trickle once the heat reaches 95 degrees. You can resume normal flow by pulling on a cord and save on your hot water costs. It is estimated that you can save up to $250 every year by installing a low-flow shower head, according to PRBC. However, the savings are dependent on your overall water usage and utility rates.

     Learning Thermostats

Are you constantly lowering or raising the temperature on your thermostat? Is the air conditioner or heater on for long periods of time while you aren’t home? These actions raise your electric bill. Invest in a learning thermostat to remove the guesswork out of controlling the temperature in your home. You can control the temperature via your smartphone, which means you can program it on vacation, during an evening out or from work. Some thermostats offer an estimate on how much energy you save if you plug in the square footage of your home, your usage and the type of heat you use. Within a few months time, you not only lower your electric bill, but also reduce the amount of wasted energy.

     Shades

Window treatments can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint and saving on energy costs. Solar shades promote an eco-friendly designchoice and enable you to double your energy savings to lower the heat from outside. With this type of shade, you can still let in the natural light without it heating up your home or casting a glare. Energy.gov reports that by using shades, you can reduce your bill by at least 25 percent.

     Ceiling Fans

You may focus on the decorative aspects of your ceiling fan, but it can also help you save on your energy bill. By continuously circulating air, it helps your room seem warmer or cooler with the air flow. Mother Earth News reports that you can save up to 14 percent on your energy bill by keeping the fan circulating and raising your thermostat by just two degrees.

     Compact Fluorescent Lights

By replacing incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lights, homeowners use 25 to 80 percent less electricity, according to Energy.gov. In addition, save energy by keeping lights off in rooms that aren’t occupied or that can be lit by natural sunlight.

Reducing your consumption of electricity not only helps you save money on your electric bill, but it also lessens your carbon footprint and is good for the environment.

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Tips for Hiring a Pet Sitter

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It’s almost summer vacation season and that means finding someone to care for your cat or dog while you’re away from home. Although some pets enjoy a boarding situation, many pets, especially cats, are happier when they can stay at home where they’re comfortable. That’s where a pet sitter can help.

Here are a few helpful tips for finding the right pet sitter for your household.

1. Finding a Good, Reliable Pet Sitter

A good pet sitter stays in your home while you’re away and feeds, walks, and otherwise takes care of your pet. Finding a good, reliable sitter used to be a matter of asking at your veterinarian, talking to other pet owners, and maybe even putting up a sign in the local library. While those methods can still work, there are a myriad of new resources made available by searching online. Pet care resources like the National Association of Pet Sitters and Care.com provide ways to help match up prospective pet sitters with pet parents in search of good care.

2. What to Pay and How to Pay the Sitter

How and when to pay your pet sitter can also be confusing. Pet sitters listed on Care.com generally charge between $50 and $75 per day, and often require the ability to stay overnight at your home to minimize travel time. You may want to give the sitter some of the money upfront, leaving the balance payable when you return. Some pet parents also leave funds for a pet health emergency or other unforeseen event. You can also consider making arrangements with your vet so that they keep your credit card on file and can charge it in case of an emergency health issue while you’re gone.

3. Avoiding Security Issues with Your Pet Sitter

No matter how well the pet sitter’s references check out, it’s important to remember that you are still giving a person who you don’t know access to your home. Since that carries a degree of risk, it’s wise to take steps to protect your personal information. Keeping your valuables and electronics locked away out of sight is important, but don’t forget the little things. Ensure you haven’t left bank records or receipts in the trash, or left personal documents in unlocked desk drawers. Give yourself added peace of mind by monitoring your credit for any unexpected fluctuations. That way, in the event of a problem, you’ll be alerted right away, and will be able to minimize any potential damage.

4. What to Expect of Your Pet Sitter

The range of services and expectations of a pet sitter varies from person to person. The U.S. Humane Society offers a list of suggestions on how to set up your pet sitting arrangement for success before you leave town. They recommend that you have your pet meet the sitter before they come to stay for a period of days. They also advise making sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. Buy extra pet food and supplies just in case you are delayed getting home, and make a point to leave a spare key with a neighbor or trusted friend to use in case of an emergency.

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5 Step Process for Buying a Home in Bend

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Buying a home in Bend is an exciting part of life since it means you will finally be moving from being a renter to a home owner.

Although the local Real Estate market is competitive right now you can give yourself the edge in the home buying process by following these simple tips.

    Tip 1 – Get Pre-Approved For a Mortgage Loan

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important since it will tell you the exact mortgage loan amount you qualify for and the funds you have to work with when buying a home.

Tip 2 – Determine Your Preferences

Think about where you want to live in Bend and determine what you are searching for in a home including your “must have’s” and “should have’s” in a home.

You should also determine the amenities you are searching for in a home or community as well.

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Tip 3 – Choose a Real Estate Agent

Interview at least 5 Bend Oregon Realtor’s so you find the right Realtor ® who you feel comfortable working with.

Tip 4 – Preview Homes for Sale

Your agent may start with an area tour then show you specific homes in Bend which match what you are searching for.

During the home search it’s important to keep an open mind, especially since you may come across homes which have great potential, and after a little renovation could have everything you could want in a home.

Tip 5 – Make an Offer on a Home

Once you find a home in Bend you are interested in buying you will then make an offer on that home.

Before submitting an offer though your Realtor will provide you with a comparable analysis of homes for sale in Bend so you can submit a competitive offer on the home.

Don’t be deterred if you are going up against multiple bidders, take the time to write a letter to the homeowner which talks about your family and how much you love the home.

Adding that personalized touch may help the homeowner to choose your offer versus a competitors offer.


 

For more tips on buying a home in Bend, or to view the latest Bend Oregon Homes for Sale, contact the Deb Tebbs Group today by calling us at (541) 323-4823 or click here to contact us through our website.

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