Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 9/22/2013

Everything green is all the rage, and recently there has been an increased demand for green homes. Some experts estimate a projected demand  of a $100 billion sub-market by 2016. In 2011, green homes made up roughly 17 percent of the market and are expected to reach two out of five homes by 2016. The list of reasons to buy a green home is extensive. Green homes are friendly to the environment. Consumers also believe that green homes will have better value in the future. Green homes may cost a little more to build now but have shown to save money in energy efficiency over time. According to a survey conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction, ninety percent of homeowners surveyed said energy efficiency is important because of personal values, and because of lower energy bills. They also cited other factors like indoor air quality, material durability, use of post-consumer materials and sustainability-focused waste management practices. Consumers may also be able to save money on their mortgage or receive a federal tax credit for buying a green home or doing eco-friendly home improvements. For certain efficient home improvements, you can receive a federal tax credit equal to 30‰ with a cap at $1500 for the purchase of energy efficient technologies such as

  • Water Heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Boilers
  • Heat Pumps
  • Air Conditioners
  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Roofs
  • Stoves that use qualified Biomass Fuel
 




Categories: Money Saving Tips  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/19/2013

House plants can significantly improve the dynamic of a room.  While some are purely decorative, there are others that can have a dramatic effect on air and indoor pollution levels.  If you are planning on making a few botanical additions to your home, then why not get the added benefit of choosing plants that will work for you, as well as providing an aesthetic benefit?  Here are a few to get you started. Golden Pothos - This vine-like plant is very easy to grow, requiring very little light, and can survive quite comfortably if you happen to forget to water it on a regular basis.  With regular fertilizing, this plant becomes a fast-growing vine that looks fantastic in any room.  Clippings can be taken, put in water, and will develop root structures in as little as a few days.  Because this is a submersible plant, it is also popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  In addition, this plant is a heavy oxygen producer, and can also remove benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene from your air. Peace Lilies - Interestingly enough, these houseplants are not true lilies. These attractive members of the Araceae family need only a little light and water in order to survive, and produce brilliant flowers. Rubber Tree - While used as houseplants in North America, these plants have an interesting use in India; the roots are guided over chasms in order to create what is commonly referred to as living bridges.  These plants prefer bright sunlight, and while they can withstand infrequent watering quite well, they will thrive if given enough moisture. Weeping Fig - This is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand.  In a study by NASA, this plant was shown to effectively remove airborne toxins from its environment.  This plant thrives in warm, sunny conditions, but can also tolerate low-light conditions fairly well.  If it is moved to a new room, it will shed a large number of its leaves, and replace them with new leaves in response to the change in light conditions.  While it is adaptive to changes in light, care should be taken not to place it in an area where it will be subjected to strong, cold drafts.  This plant is also popular among bonsai enthusiasts for its aesthetic properties. Snake Plant - Also known as "mother-in-law's tongue", this plant has been recognized in the same NASA study as one of the best plants to remove indoor air pollution.  Like other pollution-reducing plants, this one can survive quite well with low light levels and irregular watering.  Care should be taken not to over water this species, as the root structure is fairly sensitive. For further reading, you can pick up the book How To Grow Fresh Air, by B.C. Wolverton.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/20/2013

These days everyone is looking to go green? Knowing when, how and where to start can be the hard part. So, why not start in the kitchen? Here are some items from your kitchen that you can use on your way to a greener home. Baking Soda Baking soda can be an effective cleanser for your bathroom. Use one cup of baking soda mixed with a teaspoon of liquid soap, a bit of water, and a few drops of antibacterial essential oil (such as tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, or peppermint) make a great cleaner. Milk Milk can be used as an all natural stain remover. Soak the stained garment in a bowl of two parts milk and one part white vinegar. This works especially well for ink stains. Herbs Many herbs are natural cures for aliments like stress, digestion, immunity, and more. Use seeds from plants like lavender, mint, lemon balm, and thyme to make your own natural remedies. Compost Pail Make your own nutrient rich soil to grow plants in by composting. Keep an airtight container in your kitchen and use it to dispose of food scrap items such as vegetable and fruit waste, meal leftovers, coffee grounds, tea bags, stale bread, grains, and general refrigerator spoilage. Reusable Tote When you shop for all of these items make sure to use a reusable tote. You can find these for sale at grocery stores and other shopping centers. This will cut down on plastics.