Home and Real estate blog

The Benefits of having Stratton Exteriors’ energy efficient windows

It may be common knowledge that choosing energy-efficient windows will save you money on your heating and cooling bills. Unfortunately, it can come as a surprise that the initial investment is often a bit higher than people expect. It is higher than standard windows. Energy Star certified windows can reduce home energy costs by 7-15 percent, but this only happens a few years after you buy the windows and the difference between the lower bills and the higher cost of the windows balances out. Initial savings may not be the best reason to choose energy-efficient windows, but luckily there are many other benefits to get rid of old, leaky windows and install new windows with energy saving characteristics. All these benefit make it worthless to replace your windows with anything but energy-efficient choices.

We at Stratton Exteriors recommend all our customers make an investment in low-emissive (low-E), double-hung, argon gas filled window replacements. They do cost approximately 10% more than regu006Car windows, but the benefits are many. The brand we most recommend is Alside Excalibur Fusion-Welded Vinyl Windows, which are favored by our Nashville clients. The benefits of these windows may not be apparent to the general public and they might feel reticent to pay more for them. The first thing to understand is this: energy-efficient windows usually pay for themselves within four years, which is much longer than they’ll last. After those initial years, you will be keeping more money in your pocket every month when the energy bill comes due.


Great Benefits to Home Exterior Appearance: Old windows with peeling, cracking frames can make a house look a lot older and more run down than it really is. Buying and installing new, energy-efficient windows not only increases the overall value, but makes your home look fresh and up to date too. Our Alside Exterior windows come in a range of colors to match your exterior.

Does Block Heat But Not Light: Low-E windows are coated with a special treatment of invisible metallic oxide or metal. This material allows all the light to come through the window so your home is bright and cheery, but blocks the damaging rays that will fade window treatments. It also reflects heat very efficiently.

Warmer Surface:Double-paned windows are warmer to the touch than old single pane varieties. This is partly due to the multiple layers, but also because of the non-toxic, odor-free gas called argon which fills the space between the panes. This noble gas is heavier than air, which increases its insulating capabilities.

Cleaning is a Breeze: Save your own energy on cleaning double-hung windows that tilt in so you can access both sides without needing to remove the screens or climb ladders.

Environmentally Friendly: Installing energy-smart windows reduces your family’s carbon footprint in many ways. Not only will you save energy and money on home heating bills, but the benefits translate to less pollution from power plants too.

Receive Tax Credits: Visit EnergyStar.gov to learn about generous benefits you may get for installing energy-saving skylights and windows in your home. Owners can get a 10% tax credit for windows (up to $200) and doors (up to $500).

How to Compare Different Australian Home Loan Rates

If you are considering taking a home loan, there are certain factors you should consider before opting for loan. The first and foremost of it being is the home loan rates. In a recent update, the National Australian Bank estimated that the demand for mortgages in Australia will remain the same even as the house prices grow consistently. The bank’s head told the press that the price growth will probably settle at 2-3% per year. If the real estate market is changing like this, so are the home loan rates.

first-home-buyer_first-home-loansAustralian market has offers varied types of home loans for enthusiastic buyers. Rates of these home loans keep changing from time to time depending on the market condition. For instance, comparison rate as of June 27, 2014 is ranging from 4.71% to 6.17% among the top 5 private firms and banks. The rates can be calculated mainly based on three factors: loan type, loan purpose and loan duration.

As a buyer, you should conduct a thorough market research to know about the latest trends, different rates, different types of loans available and variations in all these. The following are different types of loans:

  1. Traditional purchase mortgage Loans

  2. Refinance loans

  3. Second mortgage Loans

  4. Fixed and Variable interest rate loans

  5. Building & Construction Loans

  6. Honeymoon and Introductory Loans

  7. Split Loans

  8. Low Documentation Loans

  9. Line of Credit or Home Equity Loans

A buyer must carefully weigh and decide which type of loan suits him/her from the above list. Not only should you consider the changes in rates, but also the various features associated with each of them. Now you must be wondering how to calculate the loan rates. That is also made easy through various lenders now-a-days.

Home Loan Calculators and How to Use Them:

Any basic loan calculator should have the aforementioned three variables in it (type, purpose and duration). You can be either a home buyer or an investor interested in home loan rates. There are a lot of online tools in the market which help you for a better loan search. Also there are expert dealers who reach out audience through their company websites. These sites offer you a great deal of information through means like free PDFs, DIY rate comparisons and personalized services. The services these companies offer are very flexible and fit to any requirements of their customers. Various companies allow users to compare and calculate home loans using different home loan calculators.

A Safe to Protect Your Home Valuables

A big part of selling real estate is protection: the idea of safety. The day will come when you will depart from a home you have lived in for quite some time. The boxes stack neatly on top of one another like pancakes, ready to be easily stored in a truck. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Things to do Before Selling Your House

The open house date is coming up on the calendar as you look at the red “x” on each date leading to it. There are some things that need to be done, so pull up a checklist to get the home sold and buy a new one. The first to do is to get rid of any clutter that’s your belongings. [Read the rest of this entry…]

What I Use to Clean Up for an Open House

Selling homes in this market can be quite difficult during an economic quagmire. Many home owners have lost homes to foreclosure, and are moving back with older relatives, renting, or the unfortunate of living on the streets. It’s important to have a clean home if you’re going to sell it – the windows shine, the siding is pristine, the bricks appear brand new, as the lawn is perfectly cut. [Read the rest of this entry…]

New build houses save your time and money

You are in need of immediate move in and you don’t have time to wait until the process of building new home is going to end? And at the same time you want a new place, not used by others, without any evidence of someone else previous presence and living? Well, there is a solution for you. Get one from the new build homes which are available on the market.


It’s now and it’s new

There are homes on the market that are previously owned. And yes, they are usually cheaper. And yes, you can buy it. But you need to remember, that if you buy someone else home, you buy it with its history. And that history may be kitschy wallpapers, awful kitchen furniture and cracked bathroom tiles. And remember that pipes and electrical wiring can be in very bad condition. But when you decide to buy one of the new build houses, you will be able to create the history of your home from the beginning and you will not have to do expensive repairs and makeovers.

If you are looking for something standard

New build home is good idea for people who don’t have individual and particular needs when it comes to choose a place to live. If you looking for standard place to spend life with your family, this is something that will satisfy you. This would be a great solution, as long as you don’t have any demands which standard house wouldn’t fulfill. And the obvious advantage of new build homes is the fact, that you will get standard, already checked and functional project and design. Besides, living in a adorable neighborhood is also in plus. Think of one of the sunday mornings in your beautiful garden with a nice neighbour behind the fence. Is there anything else you can dream of?

New doesn’t mean expensive

Buying new build home can save you not only a time but also a money. Try to look for new build homes that are on the market for some time. Their price may be lower. It is good to hire someone to find you new build house in attractive price. Hiring a buyer’s agent will spare you some stress. As an professional, he will find you the best offer for the best price and he will not get cheated by dishonest seller. You should also obtain some legal advice before buying a house. Show you lawyer a contract before signing it. And also don’t forget about home inspector. Ask him to check the house carefully. This is very important, even if your home is brand new.

New build homes are one of the option on real estate market. And that option is worth to look close to it if new home is something we dream of but we don’t want or can’t wait for it too long.

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How to Have the Perfect Open House

When you’re in the real estate business, open houses are everything. Whether you represent a buyer or a seller, you’re going to be going to your fair share of open houses. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to be talking about representing the seller’s side, and how to host a great open house that will get multiple bids on your property. Here are some good tips. [Read the rest of this entry…]

Invest In Profitable Mississauga Real Estate

Mississauga real estate is undoubtedly an investment to watch out for in the days ahead. Living in a condo is like living in your own home but without any need for maintenance. It can be compared with sleeping on a bed without worrying about the bed-making process. 

Condo living can easily be termed as easy of living and this has made condo business in Mississauga the investment of the future. There are many baby boomers who are approaching retirement age bracket and who are prospective owners of condos that are coming up throughout the region. As most of them progress into old age, their energy might have reduced drastically and thus might not be able to bear with the hassles of life and this means the quiet lifestyle offered by the condos will be a perfect fit for them. 

filedesc Mississauga's "condo" skyli...

filedesc Mississauga’s “condo” skyline.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The comfort one would get in a condo is largely determined by the type of services available when buying the units. There are different types of services available and some of the tariffs available are more advanced than others.  


Before purchasing a Mississauga condo it is important to check the entire list of services offered. Check whether it has any limitation of the number of annual maintenance calls that you can make based on your entitlement. Does the contract include any routine maintenance checks? Do you have a say in the choice of a shop and is there shopping transport available?  


You should also consider whether there are any rules included in the list and which you might not be comfortable with. For example, is there any night time limitation for noise? Can you do barbeques in the patio or balcony? You should ask for a list of full services written down and dated. As you draw the purchase agreement, consider having the full service list affixed to the agreement as an appendix. You should also have the terms of the list signed into your contract. 


You should look beyond the facilities offered and the layout of the condo as there are many other necessary factors to consider. Consider the surrounding area and see whether the environment favors your desired lifestyle. Many Mississauga condos are located near town and shopping malls which make it easy to walk around and relax. The facilities offered within the proximity should also feature in your considerations based on your lifestyle and age. Making a wise decision is always necessary and this means looking at the available condos from different angles if you are to get real value for your money!




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One of the Biggest Jumps for UK Property Asking Prices

The housing market in the UK is consistently seeing change, and has of late been on the rise. More specifically, throughout the December to January period, the average asking price for UK properties rose significantly, indeed it’s probably one of the biggest jumps on the property market in recent times.

Although this may seem like a boon for existing homeowners and property owners looking to sell, this may bode ill for first-time buyers. In addition, this rise contributes to the risk of a housing bubble.

Unusual rise in house prices over Christmas
According to the latest figures released by estate agency specialists, Rightmove, the properties coming onto the market rose 1% between December 9th 2013 and January 11th 2014. This is starkly contrasted to the typical fall of around 0.2% during the same period over the last 10 years.


UK property prices have jumped recently.
Image source: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2517/4192915147_0a827bac63.jpg

Over the whole of the last 12 months, the annual price growth in the housing market was 6.3%. This is a very significant rise; in fact it’s the highest documented since November 2007. The property market therefore is most definitely on the up, and although this is aligned with a rise in the rate of the cost of living, property prices have risen more than three times the rate of inflation.

Double-edged sword
The rise in the market may be attributed to the success of Britain’s growth, particularly when taking into account falling unemployment rates, record low interest rates and government mortgage schemes. In comparison to many other major industrialised economies in recent months, Britain’s growth, in the housing market in particular, is significant.

Yet this speedy recovery of the market may be a little too quick. In response to the recent growth, the Bank of England announced that it would be scrapping incentives for mortgage lending under its Funding for Lending Scheme. However, the sector still remains supported by the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee programme set up by the government.

This rise in the market reflects a greater demand for housing. Rightmove have identified early signs of a more abundant supply of existing homes coming onto the market in 2014 to meet this, yet also suggested that more construction projects in both the private and social sectors will be necessary to help deal with the expected levels of demand.

Uncertain future
As mentioned before, it can be considered a great thing that the housing market is prospering and growing so much recently, it acts in favour of existing homeowners and is a boon to the UK economy. However, it also acts as a barrier to potential first-time buyers, but more significantly there is a very real risk of creating a housing bubble.


Getting the keys to your house is always a special moment.
Image source: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3618/3608960623_5849137fba.jpg

A housing bubble is a phenomenon in which house prices rise to the extent that they peak and plateau too soon. This is shortly followed by a dramatic drop in prices and can really damage the industry as a whole, leaving any home-owners caught in negative equity. A sharp rise in prices and quick growth is one of the primary contributors to this risk and perhaps the increase seen between December and January is merely a forewarning of a crisis in future. So enjoy the success while it lasts, because gained too quickly, it can lead to downfall.

Image credits: Roger4336 and Stevendepolo

Identifying Necessary Roof Repairs

roofMost people do not give much thought to their roof. So long as it continues to function correctly, you probably do not have any reason to question the integrity of the roof on your home or business. However, even in sunny Southern California, roofs can slowly lose their integrity over time. The conditions that lead to damaged roofs can be identified early on which gives you the chance to arrange for Oak Park roof repair before conditions are too far gone. [Read the rest of this entry…]

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