Monthly Archives: May 2009

Adding balance in your life helps balance the planet.

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How does creating a “greener” lifestyle add balance to your life?   Most folks find it hard to create balance in their lives because of the daily demands of career, family, and endless list of “to-do’s”. Going greener and becoming conscious of lifestyle choices may seem like just another thing on your to-do list, but it can be easy and can make you feel good.  It’s rewarding to take steps to balance your use of resources on the planet.  Making choices that benefit the planet will also benefit you — saving you money and supporting your health.  Taking baby steps toward a greener lifestyle can be simple and can help you save money and support your health.  For example:

  • Next time you have to replace a light bulb, choose a Compact Fluorescent Bulb.  It uses less energy than a traditional light bulb. 
  • Choosing low VOC paint when painting interior walls causes less toxicity in the air you breathe and it will lessen the impact on your health.
  • Need a new dishwasher? Buying energy-star rated appliances can save you money in the long run.
  • Installing a radiant barrier in your home and using window screens or window tinting on windows helps balance heat and cooling and helps the house stay cooler.  For more information about radiant barriers, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/radiant_barrier
  • Using less toxic cleaning supplies no longer means you need to sacrifice effectiveness and they’re safer for your health.  Look at the label to see if they are environmentally-friendly.
  • When you have a choice, pick products that have been recycled.

Green living is about consciously making lifestyle choices that have minimal impact on the planet. Balancing the needs of humans to survive and live comfortably in their homes with the need to have a healthy planet can be simple and rewarding both for your pocketbook and your satisfaction with life.

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What you pay for a new appliance now can save you money later.

Alarid Kitchen

Using Energy-Star appliances in your kitchen can add up to savings in the long run.

 

AC on the blink? Dishwasher dead?  Many people find appliance shopping a necessary but frequently dreaded adventure. When an appliance unexpectedly breaks you’ll have to make a major purchase you may not have anticipated. If you have to take the leap remember that it the appliance has two price tags: what you pay to take it home and what you pay for the energy and water it uses.

Energy-Star qualified appliances incorporate advanced technologies that use 10–50% less energy and water than standard models. The money you save on your utility bills can more than make up for the cost of a more expensive but more efficient appliance. Look for an energy star label on appliances such as washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, room ac’s dehumidifiers, and air filters.

 A few tips when before buying a major appliance:

1. Refrigerators with freezers on top or bottom use 10 to 15 percent less energy than a side-by-side model of equivalent size

2. Energy star top loading washers can be as energy efficient as the front loaders that many people have switched to because of energy concerns. Be sure to purchase a washer with several choices of water levels and a faster spin cycle.

3. Look for dishwashers that have a energy-saving cycle that allows dishwashers to be air-dried with circulation fans, rather than heat-dried

4. If your central air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, replacing it with an Energy Star model can reduce your energy consumption by at least 20 percent. And make sure all your ducts are sealed and insulated. (You’ll need a contractor to perform a pressure audit as they can’t be seen by sight

5. A gas water heater costs less to operate than an electric water heater. Check the units Energy Factor…a high-efficiency gas model has an EF around 0.8.

Dare I say that buying an energy-efficient appliances and knowing you’ll be saving money can make the experience fun.  For more information on the Federal Energy Star Program see www.energystar.gov

Ten Easy Ways to Create a Great First Impression when Selling your Home.

 

Selling your home?  Did you know that it takes a home buyer only ten seconds to form a first impression?  Ensure your home creates a positive first impression and makes a buyer happy by applying these ten simple suggestions based on art and science of Feng Shui.  It’s your attention to the details that will help your home outshine the competition. 

Keep personal messages to a minimum when selling your home.

The front door and door mat greatly influence a buyer's first impression of your home.

1- Remove dead plants in the front yard.

 2- Add colorful flowers to flower beds or plant flowers in terracotta pots and place in sparse areas of your yard.

 3- When looking at the front yard from the street, ensure that each side of the yard is balanced with landscaping or yard furniture.

 4- Keep your pathway free of debris.  Sweep daily.

 5- Keep the front door sparkling clean and repaint it if necessary. 

 6- If your front door mat is more than a couple weeks old, replace it with a new colorful mat.  It’s best not to have personal sentiments on it, except for things like “welcome” or “glad you’re here.”

 7- Potted flowers on each side of the doorway are welcoming but ensure that the leaves are rounded…no cactus!

 8- Wipe off patio furniture daily and remove cobwebs from underneath overhangs.

 9-Powerwash your home if practical.

 10- A yard ornament with a cheerful message can help create a positive impression, but avoid personal messages.

So after checking off this list, you’ve got a buyer excited about your home and eager to see more, congratulations!  Stay tuned for information about the next “first impression” — what happens when a buyer steps inside.

Feeling good? It’s your Feng Shui.

 

Both exterior and interior pathways carry energy.

Both exterior and interior pathways carry energy.

 WHY are some homes inviting and instantly comforting – while others leave you cold and ill at ease?  Why do you work better in some rooms and not in others?  Odds are, it’s the energy of the space that you’re feeling.  The ancient wisdom of Feng Shui (fung schway) explains how and why energy flow  in an environment impacts the way a person feels in that space.

 Feng Shui is a time-tested discipline with specific guidelines involving geographical,  philosophical, mathematical, aesthetic and astrological concepts in relation to living space and energy flow.  Once solely a New Age preoccupation, Feng Shui is now widely practiced in homes and businesses and even Donald Trump uses Feng Shui.   Feng Shui provides powerful guidelines for living in balance with your environment.

 Through the use of Feng Shui, you can balance energy through the placement of buildings, doors, furniture and accessories in order to create harmony, prosperity and well-being.  When your energy and the energy of your environment are aligned, the space not only feels comfortable and looks beautiful – it positively impacts three important aspects of your life – your health, your wealth and your relationships.  Creating balance in your home can help you enjoy a more satisfying, fulfilling way of living!

Feng Shui is simply about how you feel living or working in a space. If you feel great and your life is going well, odds are you’ve got good Feng Shui.

I don’t have to believe in Feng Shui, I do it because it makes me money – Donald Trump

 

 

Sell your home by creating soul.

Getting ready to sell your Home?  

Imagine yourself in an un-furnished home with white walls, beige carpet, and little or no color.  Does it feel sterile and soul-less to you?  Contrast this with a place you feel comfortable in – with color, interesting decór, and light.  By using Feng Shui Home Staging techniques to prepare your home for selling you’ll create a space that feels comfortable, looks balanced and appealing, and has a intagible feel which I call “soul.”   People, most importantly, potential buyers, will inevitably feel more comfortable in a space with soul and this translates into a sale. 

Feng Shui Home Staging Techniques can help create comfort and appeal and help your home look and feel different than the competition.  What is Home Staging? Staging is marketing. It’s a way of arranging a house into a product that can be marketed and sold. Effective staging helps a home appeal to the broadest possible audience.  Staging sells homes in less time than un-staged homes and helps maximize your profit.  See more about home staging at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_staging

 

What is Feng Shui?  It’s a time-tested discipline with specific guidelines involving geographical, psychological, philosophical, mathematical, aesthetic and astrological concepts in relation to living space and energy flow. In short, Feng Shui works to put people at ease in their environment and helps balance energy so that the space not only looks appealing, but offers a sense of comfort.  See more about Feng Shui at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng Shui

 

When these two disciplines are applied correctly a visually appealing and comfortable space emerges.  A home with soul!  It may feel so good that you don’t want to leave!

 

My home looked so good after Elizabeth and her team finished staging it that I didn’t want to move!  S. Pearce, Central Austin

Don’t worry about the market, and don’t try to time the market.

green yellow flowersSelling your home this year?  Even though the Austin Real Estate market remains one of the strongest in the country, the truth is that you may not be able to sell your home for the price you thought you could, especially if you’ve lived in the house for under three years.  And you know what?  It’s okay!  When you need to sell your home, you need to sell your home.  Waiting another year may get you a larger profit, but will it ultimately be more stressful to wait rather than to sell now?  

I’ve worked with several clients recently that were fearful and confused about whether to sell their house because they weren’t going to get the return they had hoped for.  I encouraged them to do what would best support them right now.  In both cases, the cost of keeping the house would have been far greater on their emotional and physical health than the cost to sell it.  What price do you put on an intangible benefit like peace of mind? 

I believe the intangible benefits of  better mental health, increased energy, and less stress easily outweigh financial goals.  I encourage home sellers to make peace with the idea that they aren’t going to make as much money as they may have hoped for, but weigh that with the benefits they’ll reap by making a positive change in their lives by selling their home right now.

A Brief Introduction

We’d like to share our experiences in the roller-coaster world of Real Estate, offer Real Estate and Feng Shui help to those who come here and to add a bit of spiritual perspective to stay balanced.

My partner in life and in business is David Dailey and I hope that he’ll chime in to share stories from his former restaurant days as well as what’s going on in his life today.

Here we go!