Archive for October, 2016

Electric Car Home Charging Stations

Every consumer who is considering purchasing an electric car must consider at least two major issues. Where will they charge their vehicle while on the road and how will they charge their vehicle at home. This post is going to focus on electric car home charging stations for electric only vehicles. Hybrid vehicles use the cars gasoline engine, brakes etc to recharge the batteries are are not considered part of the subject of this post.

What do you Need for electric car home charging stations?

There are some practical aspects to consider when installing electric car home charging stations. For example you will need an electrician to install the plug in or near your garage, wherever you park your car. It should be at least 30 amps capacity and have a chord that will reach to wherever your car is parked.

Go large. In other words it may cost less to install a 15 amp charger, but a 30 amp charger will charge your batteries more quickly. This is a consideration for this vehicle and your planned use as well as future vehicles. It can be frustrating to wait around for your cars batteries to charge.

The cost will vary by location, but somewhere between $500 to $1000 seems to be the norm. Regardless follow the specifications provided by the dealer. Build as much flexibility and capacity into the installation as you can depending on the additional cost. Some charging cables can also be portable. If so take advantage of this feature if you plan to move in the near future.


Consumer Solar Electric Generation Trends

Consumer Solar Electric Generation TrendsAs the cost of solar panels decline and the cost of power from traditional sources increase, consumer solar electric generation trends are going to favor homeowners installing their own solar panels on the roofs of their houses. As we write this post, home owners in the south western United States are beginning to find that they can make a positive business case for a solar power installation. Rates per KW are high for electricity, solar power is getting cheaper and they have more days fo full sunshine than most other areas in the US.

Consumer Solar Electric Generation Trends

Based on our research, the cost of generating power via solar panels has dropped 10% per year over the past 5 years and is now near the national average of $.12 per kilowatt. In many places the cost of power is much higher than this figure supporting the business case to install solar power generating panels on the roof of a home.

Over the next 25 years there will be a significant increase in solar power generation. Solar power may never replace or even jeopardize the existence of large traditional power generation plants.  They will have an impact on the industry over time and be an alternative power source.

Consumers will demand better more efficient prices and they will get them either by installing solar panels or by the traditional players developing more efficient power generation of their own. Solar power generation will grow significantly from an estimated .2% of the total to a much larger portion of the power industry.

For more energy saving ideas, click here.

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Selling Your Home

Selling Your HomeWhen preparing a home for sale, most homeowners focus on pleasing the eyes. In other words, they make their property “look” as attractive as possible. Focus on the curb appeal to begin with. This is the first impression that the prospective buyer will consider. You want it to be a positive impression.  Next focus on the inside entrance. Continue the experience for the buyer. Make them want to have this home. That is, of course, a very important thing to do! However, there is more to selling your home. Your home will be even more appealing to buyers if you also engage their other senses.

Take smells, for example. Ideally, you don’t want any smells at all in your home during a viewing. So be careful about odors that can linger after cooking. Use the fan. Do not use scented air fresheners or strong perfumes in washrooms prior to viewings. If you or another family member smokes, avoid having the smell come into the home.

As for sounds, soft, pleasing music is fine. Just be sure to choose a style that would be acceptable to all. Think elevator music! If a neighbor is creating a loud noise next door – jack hammering a patio foundation, for example — ask him or her to keep it down during showings. Most good neighbors will be happy to do so.

In general, anything you can do, that will make your home more appealing to all the buyer’s senses is worth the effort.

Selling Your Home – New Homes

When you shop for a new home, you’ll probably start by thinking about what you need in your next property. Your list might include a spacious kitchen; three bedrooms; and, a mature tree in the backyard.

Those are property features and, of course, they’re important. But finding your next dream home involves more than just property features. It also involves getting what you want from the surrounding area. After all, a home isn’t going to be enjoyable if commuting to work from your neighborhood is long and agonizing. So when you shop for a new home, also think about:

Work. How will you get to work? Is public transit nearby?

School. Where will your kids go to school? Is transit or bus service available? Will your kids be able to walk to school?

Kids. Where will your kids play and hang out? Are there nearby playgrounds and parks?

Neighbors. Do the local homeowners seem like the kind of people you’d like as neighbors?

Shopping. Where will you do your weekly shopping?

Hobbies. How far will you be from golf, theater, or other hobbies.

If you need more details about selling your home, click here.

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Installing Public Electric Charging Stations

Installing Public Electric Charging StationsThere are really three major obstacles for electric vehicles from this writers perspective. All of them are difficult to overcome and it will take time. The three obstacles are Resistance to change, Installing Public Electric Charging Stations, and time to recharge batteries. We will explore each of these in more detail. However many people would argue that the lack of electric charging stations is a big impediment. With only 10,000 electric vehicles in Quebec and 5000 in Ontario, there is not much incentive to install charging stations.

Resistance to Change

Consumers are pretty happy with their gasoline and diesel powered cars. They like the features, the flexibility and the ideal they can fill up anywhere and pretty much at any time. It only takes a few minutes as well to fill up the gas tank. The only negative is the cost of rising gasoline prices. At the time of writing this post is pretty flat and not hurting people in the wallet.

Installing Public Electric Charging Stations

There are simply not enough charging stations around. Although more are being installed every week, the numbers do not begin to approach the availability of gasoline stations. There also at the present time little financial incentive for dealers to install charging stations. Time will solve this problem, but right now it is a huge impediment.

Time to Recharge Batteries

Another big negative is the time to recharge the batteries. A consumer will need at least a few hours or even overnight, depending on the charging station capacity. Compared to five minutes this really just does not work. Tesla has tried to deal with this issue by providing a battery swapping service which cuts down the time significantly. It will be many years before this service is wide spread.

 


Mulch Beside the Foundation

Mulch Beside the Foundation When placing mulch beside the foundation there are several issues to consider. Consumers want to avoid future problems. Although it may look nice, if leaks, deterioration of the foundation, mold etc develop you will regret the day you placed the mulch. The main consideration is always about the presence of water, drainage of water and moisture remaining in place. Whenever there is water present in liquid form or dampness, there is a chance that your foundation will pay a price. This means it will cost you money at some point in the future. We will explain further.

Mulch Beside the Foundation

As landscaping of any kind is considered, the following rules should be considered to avoid future problems:

  • Ensure that there is always a gentle slope away from a foundation to channel water away from the wall
  • Always keep the ground level at least 9 inches below the top of the foundation.
  • Always avoid earth or mulch touching a wood wall or siding. Water will penetrate and begin rotting your joists.
  • Using stones instead of mulch against the wall would be a better solution than mulch
  • The ground will often settle next to the wall over time due to water washing down the wall and into the weeping tile that surrounds your foundation. This is a natural process and should be topped up so that water will channel away from the wall
  • Lack of eaves troughs allows water to fall next to the wall and the foundation. Install eaves trough and channel the water away from the wall.

By following these steps you should be able to avoid leaks in your basement, damp  basements and deterioration of supporting wood structures sitting on top of the foundation. For other maintenance information concerning your home, click here.

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Real Estate Selling Terminology 

Real Estate Selling Terminology As in any industry, there are terms and buzzwords that are unique to residential real estate. I you do not understand or know what these terms are, it can be pretty confusing. When you put your home on the market, you should know what those terms mean. It will save time and cause less confusion during what is a very stressful time for many people. Here are definitions for the most common Real Estate Selling Terminology :

Real Estate Selling Terminology

Fair market value: This is an estimate of how much a specific home will sell for in today’s market, taking into account what similar properties in the area have sold for recently. Another term used in conjunction is, comparables. These are homes similar to yours.

Seller’s Agent: That would be me, the REALTOR® who is helping you sell your property. I would also assist you in finding and buying your next home.

Buyer’s Agent: This is the REALTOR® who is representing the buyer of the property you want to sell.

Pre-approved Mortgage: This is a statement (often in the form of a certificate) from your bank or other lender that states that you qualify for a mortgage for a particular amount of money. A pre-approved mortgage adds credibility to any offer you make on a new home.

Staging: This is a strategy where a home is purposely prepared so that it appeals to potential buyers. Staging may involve cleaning, de-cluttering, rearranging furniture, redecorating, and more.

Survey: This is a document that defines the boundaries and measurements of your property and any structures on it.

Offer: This is an offer of purchase, in writing, for a particular property.

Conditional Offer: This is an offer to purchase, but with conditions. For example, such as “conditional on a satisfactory home inspection” or “conditional on arranging suitable financing”.

More information about selling real estate is available, click here.

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