• Homeowners today across the country are continually striving toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. And agencies like US Florida Property Management have been trying earnestly to help them achieve that, by encouraging more eco-friendly solutions. While most homeowners may not know where to start, there are small steps that can be taken that can add up to make a big difference. Read this post to learn how to do it.

    OurGreenerLife.com has these tips that can help you lessen your eco footprint.

    1. Use less water
    Saving water is all about small steps. Here are a few simple ways that will help you conserve water while saving money.
    *  Shut off the water while you brush your teeth. If you check out Delaney Park Dental on their resources/tips page – they’ll have more suggestions regarding this
    *  Take showers that are a minute or two shorter
    *  Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
    *  Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.

    2. Use less energy
    If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with the following small changes.
    *  Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
    *  Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up power even if there’s nothing attached to them.
    *  Put devices with remotes, like TVs, VCRs and stereos on a power strip and turn the power strip off when you’re not using the devices. These gadgets use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
    *  Walk or ride your bicycle for short trips.
    *  Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
    *  When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved—you can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using and compete to see who uses the least.

    Make This Townhome Eco-Friendly!3. Reuse
    Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought, there are many items around your home that can be reused—toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch, old yogurt containers can be cut into strips to make plant labels and old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases as part of your home remodeling.

    4. Use environmentally friendly products
    When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more ‘natural’ or ‘eco friendly’ products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products: Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural and they’re often expensive.

    If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself? Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products. You can also buy branded reusable bags as they last longer and don’t require you to buy a bag every time you go out.

    Advantage Inspection Raleigh

    . . .  performs the Nation’s Best Home Inspection and provides the Nation’s Only “No Denied Claims Warranty” available in the industry. For the last 18 years, Advantage Inspection has been the deciding factor for the people we serve:  Buyers, Sellers, Real Estate Agents and Home Inspectors.  Advantage Inspection Raleigh serves Raleigh, Durham and the Triangle area.

    Dave Park

    Advantage Home Inspection Raleigh
    more than just an inspection company!”
    www.adrdu.com

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  • In most markets, one of the sectors that a small business can get a good deal on these days is commercial office and retail space. Whether you need more room or a better location, now is probably a good time to think about finding and negotiating for those new business digs, personally I fully recommend to rent commercial property in Charlotte, North Carolina when looking to start a business.

    But just in case you’re a little rusty on where to start the process, let’s focus on the initial steps of commercial real estate leasing fundamentals that will help you find and compare leased space that works for you.

    1. Don’t stop looking until you find at least two or three places that work. The extra shoe leather will pay negotiating dividends later.

    2. Don’t sign any lease until you know the entire expense picture, including maintenance, which we’ll cover next time.

    3. Avoid emotional attachment until after you’ve negotiated lease terms you can live with. At this point, the only emotion that should enter into your decision is whether customers will get excited about the location. Love is for lovers – this is business.

    4. Ask for a pro forma copy of the lease as soon as possible and read it. Commercial leases are like belly buttons – each one is different.

    5. Create a comparables analysis in an electronic spreadsheet that allows you to compare the details of prospective properties. The basics include: leased square footage, unit lease price, incremental expenses (including maintenance), lease term required (how many years), plus pros-and-cons notes about each property. The notes will come in handy later if you need a tie-breaker when you’re making the final decision.

    Since every leased space is different in size and price, here is a handy rule of thumb to help you start the elimination process. Ask the agent or landlord for the unit lease price – $8, $14, etc. – which is the price per square foot of the space per year. Multiply those two numbers and then divide the product by 12 to get the monthly base rent. Use this only as a quick tool to compare properties of different size and unit price.

    Taking these numbers and your preferences into account, by now you should be able to get your list of prospective properties down to a manageable list.

    In the next column we’ll wrap-up this project with the rest of the financial analysis and lease details, including types of commercial leases.

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