Browsing: Real Estate

Tips To Zero In On That Perfect Farm For Sale

Zeroing in on that perfect farm for sale among the countless thousands that are up for grabs is not just a matter of luck but depends more on your foresight and the ability to distinguish a fertile tract of land from a wasted one. So how do you go about looking for a farmland that is just apt for your needs and will also bring you riches? Here are some tips:

* Assess your needs. Why do you need a farmland? Will you raise crops on it for selling or will you use the tract as grazing land or pasture? To raise crops, you need to buy a high-yielding piece of arable land that will keep producing crops year after year. The kind of crop you want to grow will also determine the farm for sale that you must choose. This is because specific crops demand specific soil and weather conditions.

If you intend to raise crops on your piece of farmland, then you must also have an idea about the amount you want to grow in a year. This will determine the area of ​​the agricultural land that you need to buy.

If you plan to also live on your farm, choose a piece of land that leaves you with ample room to construct your house after devoting a sizeable chunk for the crops. The farm for sale that you choose may come with a farmhouse; in that case, you will need to consider the condition of the house. If you have to spend a fortune on making the house livable, then buying the farmland may not be an economically viable option.

* Scrutinize the farm for sale. Once you have shortlisted a few farms for sale, it is time you peered more closely into their specific properties. Analyze the condition of the soil. Keep in mind that a low pH value indicates low fertility and you might need to put in more efforts to grow crops. Sparse vegetation also indicates that the land might be infertile and that does not conducive to grow crops.

While considering the economic feasability of buying a farm for sale, also take into account factors like proximate to a water body or the presence of streams or rivulets in the property. Nearness to a water body will aid farming.

Are you now feeling a bit apprehensive about how to spot that perfect piece of farm for sale? Trust Dalhart Real Estate to spoil you with lucrative choices. In farm management and real estate business for more than 35 years, they have the expertise and the experience to steer you to that Dalhart farm for sale that you have been looking for.

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Are You Looking For Agricultural Land For Sale?

Well, the term farming includes a wide range of agricultural production. So if you say that you want to start farming, there are a few things that you need to consider before that. There are a lot of people who plan to switch to farming from a mundane 9 to 5 job but what they need to realize is that there will be an equal amount of hard work that you would need to put it.

Before looking for agricultural land for sale, you need to decide on which part of the country you would like your farm in. this will in turn depend upon what kind of crop you would like to produce; for instance, whether you would want a dairy farm, a ranch or plain organic farming.

The thing that you need to figure out is how much you would like to produce on a yearly basis. This will help you to have a clear idea about the size of your farm and how much of it you would like to reserve for the animals and how much for the farming itself. For this, you have to analyze the quality of the soil. If the ph content of the soil is extremely low, then you have to put in a lot of effort to bring back the balance. Different kinds of fertilizers and manures would enable you to do just that.

If you live in the city or the suburbs, the suburban countries that surround the metropolis are a good place to look into as far as agricultural land for sale is concerned. While you are location hunting, you need to check whether there is sufficient water available in the particular area. Also try to find out if there has been any flood in the region. A flood can be disastrous for agricultural land. If you planning to sell your farm produce in the market, kindly check the abundance of your land from the target market.

In case you are finding it extremely difficult to find an agricultural land for sale, consider hiring the services of real estate agents. They specialize in this area and will be able to help you find some of the best lands.

For superior quality agricultural land for sale, visit Dalhart Real Estate. These guys have a lot of experience in the subject and they will make sure that your search ends at their website.

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Creating Privacy and Shade

The great thing about a brand-new home in a brand-new subdivision, is the brand-newness of it all. The not so great thing is the lack of privacy and shade. While Colorado is rather temperate, the sun is hot, the elevation is high, and our likelihood to burn sitting outside for more than 15 minutes is higher yet. Especially that left arm hanging out of our car window as we race around doing errands!

To be able to completely enjoy your outdoor space, here are some privacy and shade-y tips for you to consider. After all, now is the time to start planning and organizing your spring projects!


In new subdivisions you sometimes wonder why the developer did not leave more than 10 feet between each house, and why on earth they designed the subdivision to allow 4 other houses look in on your dining room while your family, for once, is sitting down together eating.

* Before digging in your new yard, please call the utilities company to spray for you where your power and gas lines lay. *

To create privacy it sometimes meaning creating borders. Fencing is common, and if you bake your neighbors some cookies and suggest a plan to put up a nice wooden fence, they too may want to go in on the expenses with you to have it match. Some HOA's (Home Owners Associations) only allow certain types of fines, at certain heights, colors, and more. Please verify with your board before building.

Want to go green? You could buy green materials for your fencing, or you could plant green. Tall shrubs which grow quickly can provide a natural barrier between you and your neighbors, while also providing a little shade and a nice wind block.

Trees are another great green and natural privacy blocker. Trees also provide a lot of filtered shade. Conifers grow exceptionally well in Colorado, although as I've seen in older neighborhoods, if you give them time, deciduous (leaf bearing) trees also thrive.

Bamboo is an overlooked plant that grows very fast, spreads fast, and makes a great fence. If you feel industrious, you can also cut some and weave baskets, burn it for kindling, or make furniture out of it.

Swings attached to pergolas do not need to create a large privacy barrier, but they do set a tone for, “This is where your eye needs to stop looking.”

Large pots of varying sizes enclosed near patios can create a more private setting for those sitting on the patio, but will not need unnecessarily block your neighbor's yard. These can be really nice features to add to your space by bringing in colors, tall grasses, and colorful flowers.


We already covered trees, as an obvious solution to producing or creating some shade in your yard. One thing I have not mentioned yet, is your grass will thank you for some relief during the afternoon. So many new homes put down sod. The sod undoably fries in the hot sun and the new yard looks bad. By planting trees in your yard you are providing some shelter for your grass as the sun passes over it. The shade provided by trees, especially as they get taller, can help you reduce energy costs in your house. During the winter months, the trees can act as wind barriers, and in the summer, the trees provide shade helping keep your house a few degrees cooler.

Arbors and trellises can make a lovely addition to any backyard or patio. If you are a garden buff and want a nice place to sit amongst your plants, an arbor can be a great touch. Place a bench under and allow roses or other climbing vines to grow on it. Placing a trellis above a deck can provide nice shade, and if it is a lower deck, growing vines on it can help provide more wind breaks and shade. Some people have grown grape vines and used the grapes to create their wine! Imagine sitting in the shade on your patio sipping wine that came from the very vines amongst you! I've also seen hops grown and the hops used in home brewing. A win-win!

Pergolas are just like arbors only they are comprised of wooden beams instead of trellising. These can be very nice for a eastern or northern facing deck that does not see much sunshine, but you are looking for an architectural feature.


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Marketing Energy Efficient Features and “Green” Attributes of a Home to Increase Its Market Value

How many times have you purchased a new home without reviewing a 12 month history of the utility bills for the home? If I were your agent, the answer would be “NEVER”! As a Certified EcoBroker. I have learned to market one of a homes most valuable features, its monthly expenses! In my opinion, many agents miss the mark on this issue. How many times has a new homeowner received the shock of their life in the form of an overwhelmingly high gas bill during the dead of winter or a sky high electric bill during the summer time when the air conditioner is running at its highest level?

It is very important for a prospective buyer to understand that the seller has taken the necessary precautions to guard against the highs and lows of a utility crisis. This could be a major selling point when buyers are making a decision between two very similar homes.

There are several ways that sellers can take advantage of energy efficient features to increase the value of their home, some of these items include:

1. Programmable Thermostat – lowers your heating and cooling expenses by 30-40% annually
2. Energy Efficient Appliances – decrees consumption of electricity, gas and water up to 50%
3. Energy Efficient Windows – decreases heating loss or gain and lowers annual heating costs up to 40%
4. Energy Star Certified products – homes tend to be 20-30% more efficient and can generate a federal tax incentive up to 25%
5. HERS index – A rating system for the Home Energy Rating System
6. Insulation with a greater 'R' value – could increase your heating savings by 20-30% monthly
7. Lighting – CFL's and LED's offer an average savings of $ 30 over the life of the bulb.
8. Site Design – including natural daylight, landscaping and shade trees as a factor on natural heating / cooling
9. Plumbing – low flow toilets, showers and faucet aerators
10.Indoor Air Quality – increased ventilation, low VOC paint, lead

If you'd like to get an edge on your competition, make sure you hire an agent who is well educated in these area's and can orchestrate a proper marketing approach to making your home stand out in a sea of ​​similar homes. An agent with the design of Certified EcoBroker is your best option but if you can not locate someone in your market, simply interview each agent by asking what features they would highlight to showcase your home's Energy Efficiency and 'Green' attributes.

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Eco-Friendly Steel Buildings Are Proof That Responsible Development Is Possible

It is no secret that the future of the planet depends upon a large degree on the ability of man to take better care of the environment and to take steps to correct previous mistakes and to minimize further negative impact. However, without realistic solutions that are economically viable, very little progress will be possible. Eco-friendly steel buildings can contribute greatly towards a more responsible approach to the environment.

These buildings have proved to be made of the most sustainable of all structural materials. They can be built very fast, which saves construction cost, and they are for a very long time. The long lifespan implies a lesser environmental impact than would otherwise be required with continuous reconstruction when buildings reach the end of their lives. They are also very safe and can be adapted for alternative uses easily.

Another very important advantage is the fact that very little waste is produced when erecting one of these buildings. Even better, all waste can be recycled or even used in other areas of the project. There is no need for any waste to end up in a landfill. The advantages that achieved have significant benefits for both the environment and the contractor.

Buildings made from this material are also more energy and water efficient. Studies have shown that structures with metal roofs can save up to forty percent in energy usage. These structures are also inherently ideal for the efficient use of solar power and the collection of rainwater. In this way, the carbon footprint of the project is strictly limited.

A better quality indoor environment can have many advantages. These structures usually have better air quality due to the fact that they do not emit the potentially noxious fumes that are often found with the use of other building materials, especially those made from organic compounds. Airflow is also better and temperature can be controlled easily, leading to further savings in air conditioning and heating systems.

Other advantages include the ability to easily make changes in the layout of the building. Even expansions can be achieved with minimal interruption. These structures do not decay and deteriorate, and when the do reach the end of their lifespan, the entire structure can be recycled. As a matter of fact, it may have been made from recycled material.

Critics have raised a number of mostly minor concerns. One of these is the possibility of corrosion. Modern materials, however, are treated and the problem is seriously relevant any longer. Another issue that is raised regularly is the fact that metal structures require additional fireproofing. Yet others worry about condensation, although this concern is easily addressed during the design process.

Eco friendly steel buildings are true examples of how the needs of man can be satisfied without undue harm to the environment. The various parts of these structures are often manufactured elsewhere, reducing waste and toxins, and resulting in minimal interference. They easily blend in and they are highly adaptable. They also require much less maintenance, resulting in huge savings.

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Rio Ferdinand’s Green Home

Footballer Rio Ferdinand is building a green home with the smallest carbon footprint possible. He has purchased a two acre plot on the border of Kent and Southeast London, just a few miles from the London estate where he spent his childhood. The house will be around 12,000 sq ft in size and will incorporated cut edge green technology and he hopes that one day the home will be his permanent base for his family once he retires from the game.

Rio Ferdinand is ambassador for the energy company E.on, they sponsor the FA Cup and encourage households to reduce their energy use which will not only help the environment but also save money for their customers. Ferdinand explains that while he was having meetings with E. on advisories he learned about energy-aware projects that they were involved in and so the footballer decided to incorporate these into his house building project. Once explained he describes himself as being a convert to green issues, the advisors that he had met worked along the project manager for his house to incorporate green technology into the build.

Ferdinand had photovoltaic cells instead of solar panels on the roof, low energy lighting and green roofs grown from sedum plants. The house is thought to be a traditional Georgian farmhouse style at the front and more contemporary detailing at the back. It will have a swimming pool, triple garage and of course a gym but will be kitted out with the best energy-efficient technology that money can buy.The house will have ground source heat pumps; they will draw warmth from the earth and will be used to heat the house. People who have used this technology before have mentioned how dramatically their heating bills fell once installed. The windows will be very large in the house and will be covered with a reflective film, the purpose of this is to stop heat escaping in the winter and in the summer it helps to cool the house. The house will have a combined heat and power system whereby homeowners can sell excess power that their home generates back to the national grid. The large gardens will be tailed using large tanks which harvest rainwater.

As Ferdinand became more aware of energy saving ways he adapted his Alderley Edge home to incorporate more green technology too. He has installed electricity monitors and energy light bulbs and has had his Manchester restaurant Rosso have the green once over too. Simply by becoming more aware of the green technologies has made adapt his homes to a greener way of living. Even if you do not have a footballers salary there are changes that everyone can make to their home that much greener.

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Saving Green Space Bad for the Environment?

Real estate developers have long been criticized as a threat to the environment and, many times, for good reasons. Suburban sprawl has certainly destroyed many open, green spaces and natural habitats. Forests have been cut down in exchange for big box retail and rows of overpriced McMansions. But, when it comes to urban development, there are examples where saving green space can do more harm then good.

Recently, the City of Philadelphia has begun to auction off many of their surplus properties. The economic picture for the City of Brotherly Love looks dim, much like the balance sheet of every major city in the country. Budgets are in the red, and promises made to pensions, medical care, and bloated payrolls will keep cities losing money for many years. So, it looks natural for Philadelphia to begin a process of selling real estate. However, many times, vacant lots owned by the City have been used by neighborhoods as parks where children play and events are hosted. For this reason, many residents are upset, and rightfully so, that developers may get there hands on these properties and quickly destroy green spaces.

Although one can certainly understand neighbors fighting against further development and preservation open green spaces, there are several larger issues to point out – both environmental and economic. For example, it is important to keep in mind that urban development is a gener option in and of itself. The more density there is in urban areas, the less suburban sprawl. That means more public transportation and less gas consumption. Smaller townhomes often use far less resources than larger suburban developments. In other words, keeping urban spaces open and green pushes development further out into the suburbs where resources are utilized less efficiently.

Philadelphia is one of the most spread out cities and one of the largest reasons is that for so long no one was able to build higher than William Penn's hat on the top of City Hall. This caused less density in the City, less population, less businesses, and less tax revenue. Although this law was finally repealed, the City is still trying to catch up and bring businesses back into Center City. Less density and development has hurt Philadelphia economically and made it tougher for the City to compete for jobs.

All economic decisions have tradeoffs and keeping these spaces open is really just causing another space somewhere else to get developed and suburban sprawl to continue. We should be embracing housing demand in urban areas because, in the larger picture, it is more sensible for cities economically and better for the environment.

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Flexible Growth Medium – A Hydroseeding Contractors Perspective

For many hydroseeding contractors and erosion control specialists the development of Flexible Growth Mediums could just be the next big innovation; hydroseeding contractors can now hydraulically apply an erosion control solution that outstrips the performance of other techniques, offering superior results whilst achieving major labor savings.

FGM's are at the cutting edge of soil erosion technology, improving the performance of high quality Bonded Fire Matrix products and erosion control blankets. This has strengthened the position of specialist hydroseeding contractors in the soil erosion marketplace, who can now use the hydroseeding equipment they already own to carry out market leading erosion control works.

For hydroseeding contractors and clients the major benefits of this new technique include.

• Effective application-bonds directly to the soil
• Stellar erosion control-99% effective in major testing laboratories
• rapid turf establishment-vegetation can grow eight times faster than bare soil and twice as fast as blankets
• Quicker to lay and lower installed costs than blankets
• Seduced soil preparation required
• Safe for wildlife-no nets, threads or staples to snare wildlife or become caught in mowing equipment

Once a hydroseeding contractor has applied FGM it effectively acts to seal off the soil from the impact of rain and concentrated flows, to out performing erosion control blankets in rain simulation tests. Once applied the FGM is able to hold on to water and maintain air space, these results in superior and accelerated growth.

A combination of Thermally Refined® wood fibers, crimped man-made fibers and performance-enhancing additives form an interlocking matrix that creates air space and water-absorbing cavities to accelerate germination, reducing the impact of raindrop energy and minimize soil loss once hydroseeding is complete . After hydroseeding Water-resistant tackifiers and flocculants chemically bond the matrix to the soil surface, absorbing water and enabling superior vegetation establishment. Some FGM's are able to achieve 98% effectiveness just 2 hours after hydroseeding and are proven to be 99% effective once cured.

As with BFM's, Flexible Growth Mediums hydraulically using a range of hydroseeding equipment. This hydraulic application carries all of the cost saving benefits of hydroseeding and BFM products by keeping labor and ground preparation requirements minimal.

Recently Profile Products has introduced the new Flexterra high-performance, flexible growth medium (HP-FGM). This is designed to be used by hydroseeding contractors and is capable of achieving 600-percent greater primary seed germination and more than a 250-percent greater biomass than its predecessor, whilst being totally biodegradable.

The original Flexterra FGM, initially set the standard in the market and it was widely used by hydroseeding contractors; It led the march towards hydraulically applied techniques that could be delivered using hydraulic machinery.

Tests following EPA protocol concluded the product is completely safe for aquatic and terrestrial life forms and after hydroseeding it immediately bonds to the soil surface to reduce turbidity of runoff for up to 18 months.

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Are FITs Going To Pay Long Term?

If you generate your own green power then you could be approaching yourself some cash as well as being eco-friendly. The government feed-in tariff (FITs) was launched last April and allows homeowners the chance to sell their home grown electricity and get paid for each unit that they produce. Payments are around 41.3p per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and this is more than three times the average consumer price. Some investors have taken note of this and bought wind turbines and solar panels to cash in. This has made to levels of subsidy unsustainable; investors have purchased large fields and covered them with photovoltaic (PV) panels. Cornwall council has just granted permission for the first scheme of its kind, the site is a former tin mine near Truro and many more look to be planned. These sort of projects look to be 2,000 times the size of small domestic ones and so there is a lot of money to be made.

The energy secretary Chris Huhne has now ordered a comprehensive review of FITs and so this may change the way homeowners generate their electricity. Homeowners receive payment for the electricity they produce either they use it or not. Small domestic generators earn more per unit than the larger ones. Of the power that is fed back into the grid, homeowners earn an extra 3p per kWh. In the UK 22,000 households have signed up for FITs and of these 22,000 95% of them are using PV panels.

Payments for FITs do not come from the government but from the levy on electricity bills. A spending review conducted last year placed a cap on FITs at £ 360million by 2014-15 and so as a result the energy departments are now taking action. It does not just affect solar power but all categories that come under FITs. These are wind, combined heat and power, biogas, hydro and of course PV. They will all be reviewed by the end of the year and if any changes to the tariff will occur it will take effect in April 2012. Mr Huhne has asked for a fast track system, to be completed by the summer, in regards to PV installations and anything over 50kW. The payments may be cut for these large scale projects.

That does not mean that domestic tariffs are exempt, FITs were supposed to be fixed until April 2013 but this has already been brought forward a year. Once you have joined the scheme you will continue to receive payments at your initial rate for the entire time of the scheme, although inflation may lead to adjustments. Therefore the message is that if you are intending to install solar panels it is better to do it sooner rather than later. The tariff for newly fitted solar systems falls by 8.5% every year so by 2021 it may be 18p per kWh instead of the 41.3p until 2013. So as the government reviews its incentives green households may be losing out in the future, even though the government promotes green living as the ideal way.

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Ground Source Heat Pumps Can Work In Most Homes

Anyone can heat their home with energy that is absorbed from the ground. Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) are buried in your garden and can reduce your energy bills by heating your water and your radiators, they can also heat your under floor heating if you have that installed in your home also. The way that it works is that benefit the surface the ground stays at a constant temperature of around 10C to 12C, this is through the year so even if it is the middle of winter you can still be heating your home through the GSHP.

A GSHP circulates water and antifreeze around a loop of pipes which is buried in your garden, this loop of pipes is commonly known as a ground loop. The heat in the ground is then absorbed into the fluid and is pumped through a heat exchanger which is located in the heat pump. The lower grade heat is then passed through the heat pump compressor and is concentrated into a higher temperature which can then heat your home. Ground loop fluid which then cools, passes back into the ground where it then absorbs more energy from the ground. This process then begins again, it is continuous while the heating is required. You can have a small amount of ground loop or a larger amount depending on the size of your home and depending on the size of your garden.

The ground loop can either be laid flat in your garden, coiled or if you are limited in space you can install a vertical loop into the ground about 100 meters in depth. Although heat pumps do use electricity when they are running, the heat that they extract is renewed naturally. They do not use high temperatures like boilers as their temperature is much lower over longer periods. Radiators powered by GSHP are never red hot to touch like boiler powered radiators so in winter they have to be left on all the time in order to heat your house adequately.

What are the benefits of GSHP?
1. Reduces your carbon footprint.
2. Lower energy bills.
3. Needs little maintenance once installed, unlike conventional boilers.
4. If you previously used oil, fuel deliveries are a thing of the past.

Is it suitable for your home? Consider these below:

· Is your garden large enough? It does not have to be a particularly large garden but it needs to be accessible for machinery to fit the ground loop. The ground also needs to be suitable for digging the trench.
· Make sure that your home is well insulated because GSHP are of a lower temperature than your traditional boiler. Draughty homes will not make the system work to its best ability.
· If your house is a new build then it will be cheaper than installing it in a older house as the installation will be built into the cost of the build.
· What fuel are you replacing? Heat pumps are not recommended for homes just on gas. Electric and coal systems can be replaced with GSHP and fuel bills can be greatly reduced.

It costs about £ 9,000 to £ 17,000 to install a system and of course the running costs will vary due to the different sizes of homes. Also how well insulated your home is makes a difference.

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Codes for Sustainable Homes

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched the Code for Sustainable Homes on 13th December 2006. They are a national standard when constructing new homes so that sustainable design can be incorporated. The whole home is measured through the Code and it assesses its sustainability through nine separate categories.

1. Energy / CO2
2. Health and Well-Being
3. Water
4. Pollution
5. Materials
6. Water
7. Management
8. Ecology
9. Surface water run-off.

The Code intends to signal how Building Regulations will be directed in the future in regards to home carbon emissions and energy use. The Codes are rated between 1 to 6 star rating and it shows the overall sustainability rating of any new home. Minimum standards are set in regards to energy and water use and allow both builders and homeowners' access to valuable information in terms of sustainability.

The Code Levels for energy efficiency are: –

· Code Level 1 = 10%
· 2 = 18%
· 3 = 25%
· 4 = 44%
· 5 = 100%
· 6 = Zero Carbon

Guidance for solutions to meeting the energy efficiency requirements for level 3 and above are below:

As of 2010 code levels 1 and 2 were made redundant as the Code Level 3 was made mandatory for new buildings in both the public and private sectors, this includes both house and flats. Code Levels of 4 and above are voluntary but in the future increases in each step will take place, some landowners and agents are already selling certain sites asking for a certain Code Level. All new homes need to have an Energy Performance Certificate so a new home will have a rating against the Code anyway. This gives builders and developers an incentive to reach higher ratings. If no assessment is done on the new build then the new build is given a zero rating.

Many Housing Associations now require a Code Level 4 as a minimum standard for their homes, the reason that they require a high level is that the end product is suited to their tenants. Energy efficient homes will not only be kinder to the environment but more importantly for their tenants they will have low energy bills.

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Building A Self Built Green Home

More Britons are now being encouraged to build their own homes. Housing Minister Grant Schapps has promised us that he will make it easier for us to build as planning constants will not be as severe. On average about 10,000 of us self build every year and it requires tenacity and a drive to complete the project. Of course the end result is your dream home which is everything that you want in a home. All fixtures and fittings are to your taste and you can make your home as green as you want it to be because it is a new build. All of the green credentials can be incorporated into the design from the beginning stages of the drawings. Best of all is that at the project you will have probably made a profit if you have not gone overboard with your designs.

Later this year The Localism Bill is likely to come into effect which will give communities greater powers and take away the powers from the councils in regards to how our neighborhoods are formed. Neighborhood groups will be able to approve developments without having to go through the usual channels of gaining planning consent from the council. So it looks as though next year more and more of us will decided to venture into self builds as planning laws will be more lenient, well that it what self builders hope.

Marcus Copeland is a mortgage broker from Cwm in North Wales. He built a five storey, six bedroom house which has panoramic views of the valley stretching down to the coast and the house is only a 30 minute drive from Chester. The house is fabulous and costs Mr Copeland around £ 1million to complete which includes land value and build costs. He admits that if could do it all again he would bury his spending. He used a stone for the exterior walls from Scotland when he could have settled for a cheaper option but he admits that this house was going to be his dream home and so he spared no expense. He has now decided to put the house on the market for £ 1.5million, so he is still in profit.

It took 18 months for him to complete the build. He has included highly insulated windows, two mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MhVr) systems and of course under floor heating on each of the five floors of the house. He grew up in the area and managed to persuade a local farmer to sell him a plot of his land. Once this was agreed then obtaining the planning permission was very straight forward. The land that he had purchased already had planning for a small house and so the revised plans that Mr Copeland submitted had all the necessary eco-credentials that planners like and he also communicated with all of the neighbors. This meant that there were no objections to the plans and the planning permission was granted. The plans included rainwater recycling, solar panels, green roofs and ground source heat pumps. So it sees that the more green credentials in your proposed home the better. In June self builders can also earn an income via Feed-in tariffs wherey you sell surplus electricity back to the National Grid.

Many believe that green homes are a better quality because they are built with extra care. The finish of the houses tend to be superior to traditional buildings and of course because they are much more energy efficient the energy bills of these houses is much lower. So for self builders beginning at the design stage, the more green credentials included in your new home the cheaper it will be to run in the long term.

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Solar Panels: A Bright Idea And Cool Tax Perks

Get possible electric bill cutbacks very soon. More and more homeowners are utilizing solar energy in order to save them some money. Not only is it an ecologically friendly option, it could also possibly save you a lot. Tax refunds, freedom from sales tax on solar panel-related equipment and more: Picture that. What is not to like?

For the previous five years, the federal government has been trying to give out rewards for more responsible energy use. The Energy Policy Act in 2005 was the first tax break of its type. People who opted for renewable energy were awarded it. If you've been a house owner long enough, you'll realize that some big configurations have gone into effect, as there used to be very few rewards for house owners to make the switch to renewable energy.

Homeowners can receive a tax credit as high as $ 2000 or 30% of whatever they invested in buying solar panels because of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 alone. It was expanded back in 2008 to cover almost every home in the United States that primarily makes use of solar energy, even though it originally only benefited homes existing from 2005-2007. This consists of houses constructed through January 2009.

Further to this act, in 2008 the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act was approved. Use of solar energy, including solar panels, now provides even more tax incentives. Although it expends the Energy Policy Act of 2005, it also adds more credit for those who plan to do home improvements in 2009 or beyond. This bill takes out the $ 2000 tax credit maximum in favor of the 30% rebate on investments in solar energy. Retroactivity in certain situations is also one of its features.

The state level may also extend tax incentives for setting up solar panels. New Mexico, Florida, Vermont, Minnesota, Washington, New York, Texas, Virginia, Arizona and California are some of these states. Tax rebates and the drop or elimination of sales tax on solar panel equipment expenses are some state perks that exist. It is certainly worth considering, if you're thinking of going the environmentally friendly route. Professionals can install solar panels or you can purchase a do-it-yourself kit. The tax incentives are well worth the shift either way.

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Old Versus New Home – What Is the Best for Eco-Friendly Updates?

People are the one responsible in the negative changes that we have seen in the environment today. That's why we human being should be aware of our choices every now and then. By being careful with our choices we can make the earth a better, full of life and healthier place to live in.

We created to progress and live life in advance and the modern way. Along with the progress caused negative impact and degradation to the environment. However, with the climate changes and calamities that we have experienced, people are now much concerned with the environment. The government and the rest of the world are making moves that will help lessen the environment degradation process.

Thankfully, there are so many methods to save the mother nature nowdays. We can start it with our home by transforming that into an eco-friendly property. That way you can save energy and helps preserve the environment. But what type of home is best for eco-friendly updates, is it a new home or an older one?

New Home Advantages

  • Insulation is very important a home must have as it helps maintain the temperature inside that could save energy. Modern homes come equipped with effective energy saver insulation.
  • With the modern homes, bathroom equipments like, faucets and shower heads are designed to use less water compared to their older counterparts.
  • Windows installed in the new homes will save you a lot of energy, prevent any heat leakage, damage or any problems associated with the older windows. They will remain in good condition for long time as they were built to last.

New Home Disadvantages

  • Formaldehyde-containing particle board are usually found in new homes.
  • Sometimes base models of newly-built homes are with low-end features, like vinyl counter tops and wood laminate flooring.

Old Home Advantages

  • When looking for quality craftsmanship, real wood flooring and architectural design that much different from others, can have it all with the old homes.
  • Parts of the house will deteriorate as the time goes by that needs a remodeling job that will greatly increase its energy efficiency.

Old Home Disadvantages

  • Being exposed too much to the minerals called asbestos may cause several health problems and illness. Old homes may contain this kind of hazardous mineral, and workers may put their life at risk of being exposed during remodeling process.
  • Older homes may cost you a great amount of energy usage. Energy efficient windows, bathroom equipments and appliances are rarely found in this home.

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Foundations Of Conservation


The topic of this article is conservation of energy in residential buildings. When we talk about conservation we are not talking about little things like turning off the lights when we leave a room. We are talking about big things like the conservation principles of energy and matter that preserve our universe, the process of homeostasis that sustains the conditions for life on our planet, the laws of thermodynamics that order the distribution of energy in our universe, and the environmental processes that distribute the nutrients of life to every living creature on board. These principles and processes tell us how this planet preserves and recycles both energy and life.

Our choice is to either cooperate with, or oppose these laws. When we oppose, we are in a zero sum game against nature that we will lose. Buildings that cooperate with the 2nd law in particular, will collect energy, while those that oppose it will disperse energy.

Earth is an energy capture devise that maintains an average surface temperature of 59 * F, converts energy into its many different forms, and is the only known conservatory for life. She is our perfect model of how to collect, convert, and conserve energy.

Buildings can be designed to replicate the activity of the planet in order to collect and convert energy that can be conserved and recycled exactly as the planet does. Buildings can be designed to conserve and recycle, rather than consume and disperse energy.

The dominant ordering principle of our world, however, is the consumer economy. That is the matrix of our thinking, the index our vocabulary, and the most popular reality. The American home, automobile, and lifestyle are designed to burn energy as quickly as possible. Buildings turn tricks for the electric company by violating all of the principles described above. But the passive conditioning techniques that were abandoned because of the energy glut can be reinstated. The physics is still valid, and the practice is still common throughout the world.

Our species has attained escape velocity from Planet Earth, and hearsay has it that some will be moving to Mars soon. A few more have moved back into the woods and “off-grid”, but most people are not that tough anymore. For those leftovers that are still looking for a way out of a world that is pretty well both paved and electrocuted, there is the path of conservation that is based in equilibrium state conditions for energy. This is the Way of the natural world.

The organizational principle of any species is energy. Our species is energy poor! We think we do not have enough when in fact we have too much. We convert all of our resources into electricity because of its convenience. We have exceeded our energy budget, overextended our populations, and upset planetary homeostasis. We can reduce our electrical dependence by eliminating the need for air conditioning in rural low-rise homes.

Knowledge is one of our most precious resources. As expected, it is managed by those that manage the means of production. The reality that we know is as manufactured as any other product on the shelf. Product availability is determined by profit curves rather than by what benefits the people or the planet.

We do have options that do not even require collective action. They are simple, low-tech, no-cost house plans that the common man can build on his own individual building site.

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