In the video http://youtu.be/xn8cHADwRkA from they cover a number of ways that swapping out those old light bulbs for energy efficient ones can have a serious impact on your energy costs.
One thing I learned is that not all energy efficient bulbs are the same. Who knew, right? The video goes into some of the main difference between different types of bulbs and where they might work best for the needs in your home.
Whatís also interesting is they highlight the coming light bulb ban, aka the Federal Energy Savings Act, which phases out high-wattage incandescent bulbs.
Take a look at the video above and see if making some simple lighting changes can have a big impact on your home.
How to Fold a Fitted Sheet Video
There are certain things in my home that I openly admit I have no idea how to do. Replace a sink? Tried it and didnít work out to well. Install a bathtub? Not gonna happen. I know my limitations as an amateur handyman. There are simple things that I should know how to do, but just never learned to do it the right way. Like folding a fitted sheet.
It sounds like the simplest thing. Just fold a sheet. How hard could it be? But no matter how many times I try I just seem to end with a balled up sheet that I stuff in between two nicely folded sheets to try and hide the horrible job I did. So I finally turned to someone for help: Martha Stewart.
This should be part of a prep class for owning a home. The video above goes through step by step how to properly fold a fitted sheet so that it actually fits nicely in your linen closet. Maybe Iím the only one who has issues, but the fact that the video has over 80,000 views makes me feel better about my lack of sheet folding skills.
For those that are already fitted sheet folding experts, I tip my hat to you for your prowess. But for the rest of us home owners trying to figure it out, this video is a step in the right direction.
What is composite wood siding?
Most people refer to this siding as fake wood or composite wood. The siding is man-made, utilizing various combinations of wood chips and glue, manufactured to resemble real wood. Some wood chips are large while some are very fine grained, overlaid with very thin laminate to give a "real wood" look on the surface. These products come in lap and panel siding. Lap siding runs horizontally, and each board laps over the other. Panel siding is a 4x8 or 4x9 sheet of paneling.
Do I have a problem with my siding?
If you are not having problems now, there is a high probability damage will appear in the near future. The question is not if your composite wood siding will go bad, the question is when. Qualifying damage may not be visible to the untrained eye.
Most homeowners don't think they have a problem because they haven't taken the time to carefully examine their siding properly. In our experience, if a home is more than 5 years old, and the siding is made by one of the companies involved in the class-action, you have a problem. These siding products tend to buckle and deteriorate prematurely, and delaminate, swell and harbor fungus.
Click on the links below to view photos of the different types of damage. Remember some of these photos are shown in very advanced stages of deterioration. Your siding does not have to look as bad as the photo examples in order to qualify for compensation. The damage must only meet the minimum threshold set by court approved protocols.
Take the time to go through the following checklist:
Compare weather-exposed pieces of siding to unexposed, undamaged pieces of siding, for example, choose a board that is under an overhang.
Look at the drip edge (the bottom edge of the siding). Is the drip edge swelling or cracking? View an example
Look for swelling and peeling at the joints where boards are joined together. View an example
Does the siding swell around the nail heads to the extent that the nails look sunk in?
View an example
Are any pieces of the siding deteriorating? Pay close attention to boards that are closest to the ground.
View an example
Do the boards buckle and appear to be warped?
View an example
Is there fungal growth on the drip edge of the siding?
View an example
Is your paint peeling and flaking and is it difficult to get paint to stick to your siding?
View an example
Note: Boards close to the ground and boards installed on chimneys are the first to become damaged. Look there first.
Why must I deal with this problem now?
It could cause subsequent damage to other products on your home such as wall and roof sheathing, and other interior products
You could have a problem selling your home in the future. Most new homebuyers are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to purchase decisions. They do their own research and will discover that this product exists on your home.
You will need this money to help defray the cost of repairing or replacing your problem siding.
Disclosure is becoming a serious issue with the sale of homes. You may be held legally accountable for not disclosing this problem to a potential buyer
Why does composite wood siding fail?
Several factors contribute to the failure of composite wood siding: the performace of the product itself, the quality of its installation, and/or the design of the sturcture. Composite siding does not handle water very well. Water droplets collect on the bottom edge of the siding after a rain shower or morning dew. The wood fibers expand and contract causing the boards to crack, buckle, peel and delaminate. As the paint cracks it allows more moisture and damage to occur. Fungi and bacteria are also attracted to wet wood.
Many new homes lack sufficient gutters and overhangs. Most homes are not painted using the recommended number of coats of paint. Homes today are sprayed with machines and the bottom edge of the boards are not properly protected.
Beginning in 2007, foreclosures rocked the real estate world. Like an out-of-control freight train, they began decimating the market, peaking in 2009. Myths and rumors began propagating like mushrooms as consumers struggled to understand the new reality. Although many misconceptions have come and gone, we still encounter five myths on a regular basis.
This rumor has appeared every year since 2008 and has been routinely debunked. However, recent announcements that the Feds reached a settlement over the robo-signing scandal have reignited speculation. The idea is simple: Since the cork is now out of the foreclosure bottle, weíll soon see another flood of REOs inundating the marketplace.
My personal opinion: donít hold your breath.
Banks have learned that if they control inventory, they can affect local prices. By releasing homes in measured amounts, they realize higher prices than if they released a glut of homes. In addition, theyíve learned that if they can mitigate their losses by agreeing to a short sale, everyone wins.
Every few weeks Iím asked how to buy foreclosures direct from a bank. Someone knows a friend being foreclosed on and they want to step in and grab the house before it hits the market. Donít we all? In reality, banks have a simple system Ė they first offer properties on the courthouse steps. The rest they assign to asset mangers who then hire local real estate agents to put them on the market along with all the other homes. Want an REO? Pay cash at the courthouse steps or get in line witheveryone else when they hit the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).
You would think this myth would be dead by now. Unfortunately, like Elvis sightings, it just wonít go away. Hereís the truth: Banks want REOs sold in 30 days or less, so they typically appear on the market priced slightly under comparable properties. If the property doesnít sell quickly, the bank will lower the price after about 30 days. Lowball offers are ignored and are, quite frankly, a waste of everyoneís time and effort. You might get a deal by offering a lower price on a foreclosure thatís been sitting on the market for more than 90 days, but remember that there are good reasons itís gone unsold for so long. And even if you have cash, your lowball offer wonít be accepted óseriously.
Or short sales, for that matter. That is no longer true. In fact, in many neighborhoods, thatís all thatís there. Therefore, foreclosed or distressed sales represent the actual value of homes in the area and HAVE to be used to appraise other properties. Donít like it? Get over it. Times have changed and the ways neighborhoods are valued have changed as well.
This used to be true. However, while foreclosure rates on the lower end of the market have actually decreased, theyíre actually increasing on the upper end. According to Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, the market share of foreclosed homes under $1 million is shrinking, but those among properties valued over $1 million are rising Ė up 115% since 2007. And foreclosures on properties valued upwards of $2 million have increased by 273%. While some well-known jet-setters have melted down and lost everything, others are choosing to strategically default. They see it like liquidating a poorly performing portfolio Ė they have enough resources to cut their losses and move on. Historically, banks have been reticent to foreclose high-end homes and absorb a large loss, but defaulters are now forcing their hands and mansion foreclosure rates are moving on up.
Myths control behavior, and this has never been truer than in the housing market. Savvy agents will work hard to educate their clients, debunk myths, explain market trends, educate with solid facts Ė and actually close transactions.