Green Real Estate – What Makes a House Sustainable?

Continuing our discussion in green real estate or eco-friendly homes, we will be discussing how you can make your house more sustainable and self-sufficient. This is one of the best advantages that you can get from green real estates and is the reason why you need to check the house that you are trying to build. We will be starting this article by showing you how a sustainable eco-friendly house works up to how you can have in on your own without spending a lot of money.

Sustainable eco-friendly house refers to a house that is different from an average house. If an average house uses electricity and ordinary paint, eco-friendly homes use less energy and are using paint that can help reduce carbon in the air. When we say sustainable, it means that you will be building a house that can sustain its needs without requiring too much from you. There are a lot of options that you can take, but the easiest is to install solar panels and have it work for you.

Solar panels may cost a lot of money, but you are not required to have enough to support your need for electricity. All you have to do is to install a new one every 6 months to dramatically reduce your electric consumption. These panels are not cheap, but the amount that you can save from these panels will pay-off in the long run, especially if you are going to consider the fact that these panels could last up to 20 years. This will not only keep your house sustainable, but will also help you save more money in the long run. All you have to do is to choose the best type for you and you also need to consider your budget.

Another option that you can do in order to make your house more sustainable is by creating small gardens in your house. There are homes with large space for garden, while some where built with landscapes. But what if you do not have these spaces to build your own garden? The answer is on your roof. If you are still planning your house, it would be better if you are going to create a rooftop where you can place your garden. This is where you will be planting, and build your own landscape. Not only will you be able to make your house more sustainable, but will also give you a place where you can relax.

It is true that there are dozens of things that you can do to make your house more sustainable and eco-friendly, but you need to make sure that it will also be beneficial for you. There are a lot of people who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their house more eco-friendly, but were not able to get the most out of it, simply because they are sure with what they are doing. It would be better if you are going to consult a professional before you start to implement the things that you want to have.

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Green Real Estate Tips You Can Easily Implement

Green real estate returns to a house that was made to be eco-friendly. These houses are not only built to minimize carbon emissions but also reduce the carbon in the air. A lot of people are already using eco-friendly homes because they are getting better value for the money that they are spending. Aside from this, you can also play a great role in our fight against global warming. The problem is that it is not very easy for someone to renew their homes and some would cost thousands of dollars. In this article, we will be discussing some of the things that you can easily implement to make your house eco-friendly.

When building green real estate, the first and easiest thing that you can do is to repaint your house. This is something that we do on a regular basis and all you have to do is to add a small amount to use carbon-absorbing paint. Although this would cost more money, if you are repainting your house regularly, you do not have to spend a lot. Just make sure that you are going to use the right type of paint because this will be your first step towards having an eco-friendly house. You can also seek for professional help whenever you are planning to paint your house to be sure that you are going to get the results that you are expecting.

If your house has a rooftop, then you can start building your own garden on top of your house. You do not have to spend a lot of money on it because you can start building it gradually. Simply add a couple of plants on a monthly basis and you'll be surprised with the results that you have after a year. What most people do is that they are planting vegetables on top of their homes, making their efforts more efficient and productive. This will not only make your house eco-friendly but will also give you produce that can be taken whenever you want to. This is something that not everyone will do, but those who will, can expect great results overtime.

Another very easy tip that you can implement is to start installing solar panels on your house. You do not have to install a lot just to support your need for energy. You can try to install at least 1 every six months to reduce your electric consumption. Once you've started implementing this step, the next thing that you need to do is to start investing in low-power-consuming electronics. This will not only help you fight global warming, but will also help your solar panels to keep up with your electric consumption. This is something that everyone should have, but due to the price of these panels, we can not expect everyone to have it.

These are some of the most simple tips that you can implement to be successful in making your house more eco-friendly. Keep in mind that you do not have to spend a lot of money, and you are not required to do it immediately.

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Is Google Earth Causing People to Clean Up Their Backyards?

The other day, I was talking to a business broker as I was giving some consulting to a small businessman who was interested in expanding his operations in the region. He did not have time to go around and look at various locations, but he asked me for some advice, so I spent a few hours checking commercial real estate property values, closeness to distribution hubs, and then I went on to Google Earth to have a look. One of the locations which was quite ideal for him, as it was near a college for low-cost interns, unfortunately had a lot of old debris in the side yard behind the industrial building. Okay so, let's talk about this for second shall we?

It turns out that the entrepreneur and founder had retired that building and company had left his business to his kids that had run it into the ground, and they had decided to sell the accounts, and sell the building. There would be quite a bit of cost to remove all that old junk, and it made me wonder if there would be any contingent liability for environmental problems in the soil and there was a creek bed, with a little bit of erosion which had gotten under the fence in a few places.

This made me wonder if Google Earth was causing people to clean up their backyards, and not necessarily just commercial buildings, but what about residential areas as well? Everyone has probably looked up their own home online on Google Earth, and they probably also have been able to see into their neighbor's backyards. It is akin to flying over someone's property in an aircraft, and as a pilot, I equate it to basically the same visual, the only difference is you do not have to pay for the aviation fuel, and is not quite as fun flying over something on a computer, as it is in an actual aircraft.

Since everyone has looked up their own home on Google Earth, they probably thought that other people are doing the same thing. This might make them wish to clean up their backyard so that they do not look like slobs. After retirement, I traveled around the nation for about seven years in an RV, I was amazed at how many places in the southern states where the residents had old junked-out cars in the yard, and it is as bad as the comedians say with a talk about such things. Sometimes that's why it's so funny, because it's so close to the truth.

If I were a betting man, I would say that more than one person in your very own neighborhood has cleaned up their backyard, after they looked at their own home on Google Earth, and were shocked at what they saw and did not want them neighbors to know that they had a junkyard back there. So, maybe that's a good thing, although it seems that many people complain about their privacy on this issue. In fact, the Germans were quite upset when they learned how much Google Earth revealed and now want such images blocked out online.

Still, if this is keeping Americans from making a mess of their own backyard, sometimes it will help them take pride in our country as well, perhaps throw less garbage or trash on the street, so maybe this is a good trend. Just a thought, so I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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The Benefits of Living in a Houseboat

The benefits of living in a houseboat are the same benefits that are available to a land-based home that lives off the grid.

We lived on a sailboat, a houseboat with sails, in the Caribbean for eight years, it made us very aware of how wasteful life on land was in comparison to sailboat life.

We also realized the freedom of making your own energy by the use of solar and wind power … A houseboat has a very low or zero carbon footprint when compared to living on land.

Our floating home supplied 90 to 95% of its energy requirements with wind and solar power.

We had a 12 V refrigeration system on board our 35 foot sailboat called, Shadowtime , this refrigeration used around 85% of the total energy that we consumed.

Our experience told us that we needed 110 to 120 amp hours of electricity in a 24-hour period when we were stationary … And we were stationary 98 to 99% of the eight years that we were in the Caribbean.

We had two 75 W solar panels located on top of our Bimini … They required no maintenance, made no noise and had no emissions … With today's higher wattage solar panels we could have eliminated our wind generator.

Why would you want to eliminate your wind generator? It could be noisy, especially at higher wind speeds. It was a Catch-22, the higher the wind speed, the more electricity it would produce, but the noise and vibration would cause you to tie off the wind generator to restore peace and quiet on the boat.

When using solar power and wind power your emissions are eliminated … And since our houseboat never left the Caribbean we did not have to generate heat of any kind.

As far as consuming natural resources is concerned living on a houseboat teachers you how wasteful most people are when it comes to fresh water consumption in a normal home.

An average family of four in the United States uses 400 gallons of fresh water in 24 hours.

Our sailboat had a freshwater tank with a 90 gallon capacity … We found that this 90 gallons would last us for two weeks … It included a daily shower a piece, water for doing the dishes, and provided our drinking water.

These green benefits of living on a cottage when combined with the fun and freedom that such a lifestyle entails, makes you feel more like a good steward of our precious natural resources.

We went from never stepping foot on a sailboat to living on one in four years and we can show you how … You too can enjoy this ecologically friendly lifestyle.

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Construction Trends in Green Real Estate

Green real estate is considered as the most popular type of property that is being constructed nowdays. There are a lot of things that you can get from building these eco-friendly homes, but you still need to make sure that you are updated with the things that were being used to build these houses. In this article, we will be discussing some of the things that you need to include whenever you are planning to build eco-friendly homes. This will help you determine the things that you need to have, and will ensure that you are going to get better results. Read on to find out about the trends that you can use whenever you are planning to build an eco-friendly house.

The most important part of a house is the roof, but did you know that green real estates are mostly made of solar panel roofs? These panels will allow you to convert the energy of the sun to electricity that will help you maintain the power of your house. This may cost more money on your side, but the amount that can be saved in the long run will be worth more than the amount that you have spent. Aside from this, you will also make your house self-sufficient, allowing you to have worry-free living. Just make sure that you are going to get a professional who will be installing your solar panels, because this will ensure that you will get the most out of your investment.

Another option that is commonly used by a lot of people who are building eco-friendly homes is the eco-friendly paint. There are different types of paint, but if you are planning to build your own green real estate, then it would be better if you are going to use the one that can absorb carbon in the air. This may not be too beneficial for you, personally, but if there are several hundred of houses that use this kind of paint, the carbon in the air will be a lot less. This may cost more money on your side, but the results that you can get from it are worth more than the money that you are going to spend for the special paint that you will be using for your house.

The latest trend that is being used in most green real estate properties today is the roof garden. There are a lot of homes that have their own garden on their rooftop. Aside from having the ability to grow plants, you will also be able to help the environment by reducing the carbon in the air. This will also be beneficial for you, since you have a place that can provide you with fresh air. You no longer need to look for a property that has a huge lot, because your garden can be placed on top of your roof. This will not only help you save more money, but will provide you with a place that can help you relax.

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Managing Specialist Input In Code for Sustainable Homes Projects

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) is the national standard in the UK that stimulates the construction of sustainable housing. It operates a star system, wheree six stars represent the most sustainable projects. Many local planning authorities in England require that a certain number of CSH stars are achieved, even for development proposals that comprise only one unit. This article explains the specialist input required for a CSH project and provides a suggestion to manage this effectively. Project managers / architects and their clients should be aware of these in order to meet these planning requirements without undue delay and cost.

Specialist input required
At the outside of the project one should be aware that a small team of sustainability specialists is required. As a minimum there are three specialties required:

  1. A formal CSH assessment is required to receive a certificate with the achieved rating. The assessment can only be carried out by a licensed CSH assessor.
  2. A licensed SAP assessor will be required to produce the energy efficiency calculations for the building. This is also a requirement for the building regulations and therefore not additional to a CSH project.
  3. A hydrologist report is required to demonstrate compliance with the minimum requirement related to drainage design.

These three specialties are the minimum required specialist input. Depending on the site and the sustainability measures that will be selected for implementation, additional specializations may be required. Typically these include an ecologist, a specialist in daylight factor analysis and an acoustic specialist. The need to appoint these specialists is project specific and depends on the selection of sustainability issues that will be chosen to be implemented. To ensure that the process of appointing these specialists does not cause undue delay to the progress of the project and increase the budget to unviable levels an early identification of the identification of the sustainability measures that is essential.

Early start
It is important that thinking about which measures to implement starts as early in the project as possible. There are a number of key items that significantly affect the CSH rating. Items similarly energy strategy and water strategy may involve considerable cost and design time. Also when ecology credits are expedient to achieve the required CSH rating a specialist ecology report may be required. This report needs to be prepared based on a site visit that is carried out before any work (including site preparation) has started on the site. Other issues may have an effect on the construction contract that needs to be drafted. I therefore typically promote the following steps in a CSH project:

  • Option analysis, where an initial assessment about the feasibility of each of the CSH issues are examined
  • Development of energy, water, materials and construction management strategies
  • Pre-assessment, where the final list of sustainability measures is agreed
  • Design stage assessment
  • Post construction review

Only the last two stages are formal and lead to a certificate.

Identifying the menu of sustainability measures
When considering all the items in the CSH manual, the project team should start with identifying the easy wins. Only a small number of items within the code are mandatory; most items are what is referred to as tradable. The design team has the freedom to select the items that would add up to the required rating. Depending on the characteristics of the project, some credits can be achieved by default. For instance in the second issue in the health category the code awards credits where the noise insulation between adjacent properties is better than the minimum requirements in the building regulations. Detached properties can claim the maximum number of credits in this issue by default. Other credits are so easy and cheap to realize that there is not much discussion about their inclusion. This is for instance true for energy-efficient lighting or providing a drying-line for laundry.

Once the default credits and easy wins have been identified the design team has an indication of the shortfall in credits. This allows for the targeted development of strategies around the big-ticket items such as energy, materials, water use, construction management and ecology. These items need careful consideration: they represent a large number of credits but may have a significant in the cost of the project or its management.

Once the strategies have been developed and decisions about which sustainability measures to implement have been made the pre-assessment can be prepared as a road map for the formal assessment stages. It is at this stage that the list of specialist input that is required for the project has been defined with a reasonable certainty. This also means that at this stage a reasonable estimate of program and budget needs can be made.

So, in short, this article explained that some items on the CSH menu of sustainability measures require specialist input. The nature and amount of specialist input is project specific. As appointing specialists may add to the duration of the project's program and require additional financing it is essential to consider all the sustainability measures that will be implemented at an early stage.

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Which Heating Options Do New Home Builders Recommend?

Is the vast multitude of heating options for your house leaving you feeling hot and cold? Choosing the best heating option for your house can be difficult as you have to take into account many different factors such as cost, energy efficiency, availability of the needed fuel, the size of your house and your personal preferences. Whether you are hiring new home builders to construct an original house or want to implement a different heating system in your existing house, the following advice should be useful to you.

  • Solar
    Many construction companies regularly encourage their clients to include solar panels in the design of their original space, as the panels are a great way of providing clean energy to the house for free. Solar heating systems can reduce the cost of heating a house by fifty per cent or more, making it an excellent, cost effective choice for existing spaces and original homes alike.
  • Wood Stoves
    Wood stoves are a favorite choice among many house owners looking for a rustic touch and are actually one of the most efficient and cheap ways of providing heat to a house. Good quality wood burners are required, however, as are copper tubing systems if you want your entire house to be heated by the wood boiler. Well aged and dried fire wood is also necessary for smoke and chemical free burning. For the best possible solution, you should find a sustainable fire wood source to use with your efficient wood stove.
  • Insulation
    The most foolproof heating system recommended by new home builders is not really a heating system at all, but just good quality construction practice. Thick, effective insulation can keep your house warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer and can reduce the effects of noise pollution, as well as making your house more energy efficient over all. All original homes should be constructed with comprehensive insulation in place, including measures such as double glazed windows. Fresh insulation can also be installed in older homes.
  • Avoid the Traditional Fireplace
    You probably will have noticed that the huge, roaring fireplaces so common fifty or so years ago can hardly be seen any more in the catalogs of new home builders. This is because indoor fireplaces are notoriously inefficient all year round, despite their comforting and nostalgic presence in a house. If you want to retain the fireplace in your old house you can install dampers and tight fitting glass doors to prevent massive heat loss through the chimney.

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How Does Climate Change Affect Real Estate?

Climate change is one of the things that could affect the price of real estate prices in an area, and you need to be aware of it if you want to be successful with your investments. The problem is that there are a lot of people who are not aware of the fact that climate change can affect the price of properties, and this is the reason why they are not getting the most out of their investments. In this article, we will be looking at this situation from the point-of-view of a seller and a buyer to give you better information about it.

How Buyers Are Affected

If you are going to buy a property, you need consider the effects of climate change in the area. This could increase or decrease the price of the property that you are going to buy. As an investor, you need to make sure that you are going to get better returns for your investments, but how are you going to get better return if the price of the property decreases over time. This is something that you need to consider when buying a property, especially if you are looking forward to selling it at a much higher price.

On the other hand, if you are going to buy a property to have a house where you can live, then it would be great if you are going to carefully check out the effects of climate change in the area. Keep in mind that you are going to spend several years in this house, so you need to make sure that you will be comfortable with it. Although you will be spending more money for it, this will ensure that you will get the best from your investment, and will give you a house that will help you be more comfortable.

How Sellers Are Affected

If you are going to sell a real estate property, you need to make sure that you are aware of the effects of climate change in your area. There are different things that could happen, and it would depend on the location of your property. If you want to get the best deal from a sale, you need to make sure that the buyer is aware of the things that they will experience. You need to start building rapport with your clients and you can do this by letting them know the things that they need to know.

It would be better if you are going to renovate your house and make it adaptive to climate change to increase its overall value. You do not have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to be able to make it a better real estate property for climate change. Yes, you will be spending more for it, but the benefits that you can get from doing this is worth more than the amount that you will be spending. Just think of it as an investment that will help you get better deals and value for the property that you are trying to sell.

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How Do Community Management Companies Help a Community?

A neighborhood that is run by a homeowners association (HOA) should meet the needs of its residents, but many HOAs lack the resources to uphold neighborhood standards and meet community goals. When an HOA becomes powerless to evolve a neighborhood, or maintain the neighborhood's standards, community management companies can help. With the assistance of management, an HOA can make improvements in the following areas of operation, among others:

Financial Assessment

Some HOA boards are composed of volunteers, many of whom may lack financial expertise. Maintaining a neighborhood's monthly expenses does not require a shrewd financial approach, but planning its investments to meet long-term goals does. HOA support services staff financial experts who can implement a full range of financial services, from the collection of assessment fees to the financial assessment of neighborhood projects.


The maintenance of a neighborhood plays an important role in the curve appealing of its properties-a quality desired by both community members and prospective property buyers. Good maintenance guarantees more than ensuring that HOA rules are met; it also involves selecting a reputable maintenance contractor and maintaining good contact with the contractor. An HOA support service can handle both tasks.

Neighborhood Planning

Different neighborhoods have different goals, but keeping the goals on track and within budget requires careful financial assessment. Also important is to plan a neighborhood to meet the vision of its residents in a social and cultural sense- tasks that benefit from the assistance of experienced community planners, who are staffed by community management companies.

HOA management involves more than managing the present community; it also deals with evolving the neighborhood in a way that increases its social, cultural, and financial value.

Value Added Services

Depending on a neighborhood's prestige, it may include value added services that distinguish it from other HOA neighborhoods, such as salon services, high-end security services, and childcare services. Developing the right mixture of services for a neighborhood requires careful attention to the expectations of its members and the vision established for its development.

Real Estate Value

The ultimate goal of HOA management is to promote the real estate value of the neighborhood, making its properties more valuable to community members and more desirable to prospective homebuyers. To do this, the HOA must use the resources provided by the support service, particularly resources for financial management, neighborhood planning, and vicinity maintenance.


Community management companies assist an HOA in the areas above, among others. When an HOA is unable to meet the needs and expectations of its community, supporting it with a management team is often the best solution.

In some cases, an HOA persists with poor management practices for years, sabotaging the value of a neighborhood and frustrating its members, who invest in the neighborhood with the hopes of a social and financial payoff that never seems to come. If your HOA is having difficulty meeting its plans and obligations, it may need the assistance of a support service.

To learn more about the benefits of HOA support, contact a management service that specializes in your type of community.

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When Does a Community Need HOA Management Companies?

When a homeowners association (HOA) lacks the administrative resources to meet the needs of its community, it often requests the assistance of a management company-a service that supplies the administrative resources a needed to meet obligations. However, not all struggling HOAs request the help of management at the first sign of trouble. According to major polling firm Zogby International, four questions can be used to assess the value of an HOA to its community. To assess the value of your community's HOA, try answering the following questions:

Do board members focus on serving the community?

Most board members are elected to serve as volunteers-a scenario that requires them to have a passion for the community, as their service is not rewarded financially. Some board members soon tire of this arrangement, while others must put their jobs ahead of service to the community. Regardless of why board members do not focus on serving the community, their lack of attention must be compensated for if the community is to remain attractive to its residents and potential buyers.

Do community rules promote property value?

HOA rules range from being needlessly persnickety to being unfortunately lax, and though both types of rules are annoying, the latter generates the most ire from concerned community members. Without the rules focus on maintaining property and developing community interests in a way makes the community attractive to potential buyers, they should be reconsidered with community development in mind.

Does a community support organization support the HOA?

An HOA that is supported by management typically performs better than ones that pursue community support without the help of management companies. As mentioned above, some board members juggle their duties with job duties, and few boards have the luxury of administrative assistants who provide extra support. Add in the fact that many boards lack members who are trained in business administration, and the importance of a support organization becomes obvious.

Do community members receive a fair return for assessment fees?

Nothing makes members of planned communities angrier than feeling as if they receive an impartial return on their assessment fees. When assessment fees fail to generate expected improvements to the community, financial mismanagement if often to blame, or poorly executed development plans. In some cases, fees are collected and saved, but not invested as originally planned, presenting the image of misspent funds.

Seeing assessment fees translated into community improvements is a basic expectation for members of HOA communities. When the expectation is not met, the financial upkeep of the community can benefit from the assistance of a support service.


Depending on how you answered the questions above, your HOA may need a management team to help it meet its obligations to the community. Provided by HOA management companies, this service helps planned communities improve their administration, financial upkeep, and community planning. For more information on HOA support, contact a support service that specializes in communities like yours.

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Eco-Friendly Homes – Is Green Real Estate More Expensive?

Global warming is one of the largest universal problems that we are facing today, and a lot of people should think of a way on how they can reverse the effects of global warming. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are still unaware of the things that they can do in order to help the fight against it, and they are also unaware of the things that they can do in order to minimizeize its effects.

Eco-friendly homes are said to be one of the best things that a person can do in order to fight global warming, but a lot of people are saying that that would cost a lot of money. This is the reason why there are only a few people who are thinking about building their own eco-friendly homes. This article will help you understand the advantages and disadvantages that you can get from eco-friendly homes and how you can benefit from it.

Green Real Estate is Expensive

If you are planning to build a green real estate, you need to be sure that you are prepared with your finances. You will probably be spending twice the amount that you will be spending for an ordinary house, because there are a lot of things that you need. Keep in mind that these commodities are not cheap, and would require other things that you will not need on a regular house.

For example, you need to install solar panels to make your house solar-powered. You will be spending thousands of dollars for these panels, which most people do not have. The only thing that you need to consider is that it can help you save money from your electric consumption. There are already some self-sufficient buildings that are not using electricity, but these establishments would cost millions to build.

You can also use eco-friendly paint that will help you absorb carbon in the air. This may cost more money on your side, but keep in mind that you are also considering the environmental benefits of this paint, which is not cheap. Depending on the type of paint that you are going to use, you'll probably be spending twice the amount of a normal paint, making eco-friendly homes more expensive.

It is true that you will be spending more money if you are going to build eco-friendly homes, but we can consider it as your contribution to fight global warming. Rich countries are spending billions of dollars to help reduce carbon emission, and spending a bit more than what you are going to spend in ordinary homes is very small. What do you think would be the effects if there are hundreds of green homes in a state?

The only thing that you need to consider is your finances in order to build eco-friendly homes. It would be better if you are going to consult a professional before you start renovating your house, because they can help you make your decisions when choosing the materials that you will be using for your new green real estate property.

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Five Reasons To Buy A Villa In Italy

Have you ever thought to buy a villa in Italy? If so, have you hesitated about whether it should be in Italy or another European country? Have you probably worried about the language?

Well we went through all these thoughts when we first pondered the move. We got our globe out and immediately ticked off the places we did not want to go to. We then went to an international property fair and from that ticked off a whole load more places and under without really realizing it, Italy came out top of the list in all the areas we prioritized. We had been on holiday a number of times and always loved it so we came, we looked, we bought, we moved and we have had eight wonderful years here and intend having many more. Here are the five reasons why:

  1. The weather. It is warm most of the year, hot in July and August and can cold in winter but the cooler weather is welcomed and refreshing.
  2. The people. They are warm, charming, considerate and delightful. They love it when you try and speak their language and they are so patient in helping you along. They will go out of their way way to assist with whatever the problem may be and they do it with such grace.
  3. The medical care. If you come from a European country, your care is covered and operates very much to the British National Health System. If not from Europe, you will usually have medical insurance. Once in the system, our experience has been that the medical staff are thorough, helpful, patient, give you as much time as you need and waiting times are reasonable.
  4. The country and its history. It is so stunningly beautiful with a diverse interest history which is to be seen everywhere and which means you will never be bored. Whether it is the ancient towns, art, the ruins or artifacts of the Etruscans or the Romans, the traditions which are regularly played out, there is always somewhere wonderful to go and something to see.
  5. The food – of course. The only way I can express it is to repeat what Marcella Hazan says in her book entitled 'The Classic Italian Cookbook' and that is' Nothing significant exists under Italy's sun that is not touched by art. Its food is twice blessed because it is the product of two arts – the art of cooking and the art of eating. Not everyone in Italy may know how to cook, but nearly everyone knows how to eat. Eating in Italy is one more manifestation of the Italian age-old gift of making art out of life '.

And so here we are and for these reasons and many more, we love our life here. Buying a villa in Italy was one of the best decisions we ever made.

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Does Going “Green” Add Value to Your Home?

There is really no evidence to really prove if going green actually adds value to your home. According to certain specialists, installing energy- and water-saving technology to your home does in fact add value to your property. It also adds more value to those who are interested in purchasing these kinds of homes. You are more likely to sell your home in a higher price and also are more likely to be in demand. There will be more people who are likely to want to purchase these homes than regular ones. The more these homes are in demand, the more people would want to have them. This means the purchase price for this kind of property would increase.

There was a study done in Australia which determined that most office buildings with very high green star ratings are rented more often, which means they are able to profit more. The property in itself is considered high in value. This trend is spilling untidential properties as well and many homeowners are finding out that they too can benefit from this revelation by having a high green star rating on their homes.

Even though you can profit more on properties with high green rating, it is also good to know that it is beneficial to the environment as well. The fact that it is not only beneficial to you financially makes it an ideal investment. It is also good to know that it will help in how the environment is treated. It is basically great for two reasons. This is definitely a win-win situation. Those who care about the environment will most likely purchase these types of homes since they know they will be helping the environment in the long run. Preserving and giving back to Mother Nature will be worth every cent to them.

The fact that the cost of electricity and water is increasing nowdays will certainly be a good idea to own home like this. It will lower the costs since it is a home or property that saves energy and water. It is not only beneficial to the environment but it will also lower the cost of living when it comes to utility expenses. If you choose to own a home like this, it will most likely save you money over the years even though it will cost you a lot to buy one. Look at it this way – purchasing a home with high green rating will benefit you in the long run because you will be saving money with lower costs in water and electricity which is two of the major things people need to survive. With the cost of living going higher and higher, it helps to have a home that will less the costs when it comes to the essentials.

It is true that going green will in fact add value to your home. Why not spend on a home that will not only save you money in the long run but also help the environment while you are at it. Green homes are fast becoming a necessity in this day and age where earth's resources are becoming scarce if we do not start to conserve today. Some say green homes and buildings are the future and this is the best investment a person can make for their family, the earth and future generations.

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Community Management Services: Signs a Community Needs HOA Management

There are several types of community mismanagement, but they all have the same result: the residents of a community are disappointed by its failure to uphold neighborhood standards or deliver on promises. When HOA neighborhoods have difficulty meeting their obligations to residents, community management companies can help them meet the obligations, but the key is to know when the assistance of a management company is needed. When a neighborhood faces one or more of the following problems, it may need the help of an organization that renders community management services for HOA neighborhoods:

Unkempt Grounds

Unkempt properties are an obvious sign that an HOA is out to lunch. Although most members of HOA neighborhoods are happy to maintain their property and keep it beautified, some members ignore neighborhood rules, and let their property become an eyesore. An HOA support service can ensure properties remain properly maintained by issuing warnings and penalties to non-compliant property owners.

Outstanding Homeowner Fees

Outstanding homeowner fees are never pleasant to collect, but leaving them uncollected limits the ability of an HOA to support the neighborhood financially. If a neighborhood has thousands of dollars in uncollected dues, collecting them with the help of an HOA support service is an excellent way for the neighborhood to become financially current.

Low Return for Homeowner Fees

Different neighborhoods invest homeowner fees in different ways. Some charge low fees and use them strictly for maintenance, while others charge high fees and use them for a combination of maintenance, annual projects, and service support. Regardless of how a neighborhood invests its fees, it is the job of the HOA to ensure the fees are invested as planned. If they are not, and financial mismanagement is to blame, community management companies can help.

HOA Board Lacks the Time to Address All Business Matters

Community management services provide administrative support to HOA boards that lack the time to give business matters the attention they deserve. For HOA boards that are composed of members who have other jobs, receiving the administrative support of a management service can be essential.

Increasing Number of Empty Homes

If there is one thing that no HOA community wishes to see, it is an increasing number of empty homes in the neighborhood. Empty homes can make a neighborhood seem unappealing to potential buyers, and it may indicate a degree of discontent among residents.

Unfinished Neighborhood Projects

Unfinished projects can be the result of several things, such as poor financial planning, lack of initiative, and poor project management, to name only a few. Regardless of their cause, unfinished projects can make a neighborhood frustrating for its residents and unpopular with prospective homebuyers – two things no HOA community wants to happen.


Community management companies help HOAs improve neighborhood management and meets the expectations of residents. If your neighborhood faces one of more of the problems above, its HOA board should consult with a company that offers community management services. To learn more about the benefits of using an HOA support service, contact an HOA support service that specializes in neighborhoods like yours.

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Community Association Management Services: An Overview

Homeowners associations (HOAs) are similar to governments: when they support community interests, the community is content, but when they mismanage its interests, it requests for change. Unlike bad governments, bad HOAs typically suffer from poor planning and management, not corruption, but the poor planning and management can be stressful for residents who invest time and money to have a well-maintained neighborhood. When an HOA has difficulty meeting its obligations to a neighborhood, it often inquires about the benefits of Homeowners Association Management (HOA) -a service that is available from a provider of community association management services. For most HOAs, the following benefits can be extremely helpful:

Collection of Fees

HOA members are often placed in the unenviable position of collecting overdue HOA fees from people they know personally. Consequently, not collecting the fees can be become as attractive as collecting them. An HOA support company eliminates this scenario by acting as a liaison for the HOA. Residents pay fees on time, or the late payments enter the approved collection process.

Collecting late fees concerns more than enabling HOA rules; it is also necessary to give the HOA the financial leverage its needs to meet obligations.

Maintenance Upkeep

Most HOA neighborhoods require some types of maintenance, from tree trimming to the upkeep of public buildings. Coordinating the maintenance is ideally a job for a company that has experience in overseeing neighborhood maintenance, such as a provider of community association managed services. A homeowners association management company can coordinate maintenance services with a maintenance contractor, and then perform maintenance inspections when the work is complete.

Administrative Support

HOA boards typically lack assistance from administrative assistants and secretaries, leaving them with the task of handling all correspondence and accounts that deal with the neighborhood's sponsors and finances. In addition to being overwhelming, these duties may also require expertise that board members do not possess, such as knowledge of business administration or financial management. A HOA support company can handle the administrative needs of a neighborhood, allowing the board members to focus on what they were elected to do: make plans and decisions for the neighborhood.

Neighborhood Planning

Residents of HOA neighborhoods expect the HOA to conduct planning for neighborhood improvement. For prestigious neighborhoods, planning often involves the implementation of value-added services such as spa treatments, and the development of unique stores and restaurants. For modest neighborhoods, planning may involve basic services such as snow removal and improved building security.

Neighborhood planning is a task that requires community vision, financial management, and, as the plan falls the point of fruition, project management. An HOA support company can fully support neighborhood planning with these services and others.


Homeowners association management helps an HOA meet its obligations to the community. Available from a provider of community association management services, it supplies an HOA with the administrative support and planning it needs to promote the neighborhood's interests. To learn more about the benefits of HOA management, contact an HOA support company that specializes in neighborhoods like yours.

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