Monday, February 11, 2013

Green Housing in 2013

United States Green Building Council
The housing industry is still in one of the most depressed times in many recent years. With this down turn the focus to include green in a project may get pushed aside. Budgets are tight and many builders have the concept that green building costs more and in some cases it does. But it does not have to cost more and the suppliers in the building industry could help change the higher cost stigma.

This post is directed more to the building material supply industry. Many in the industry have not engaged the green concept and are quick to tell customers it cost more to discourage the customer from wanting to be green. Like I said in some cases it does cost more up front.

Look at an energy efficient window. It may have a higher up front cost but it does not cost more to install. But the higher cost is recouped from savings on the heating and cooling bill. Many products can be looked at this same way. What is the cost over two years, five years or ten years and then determine if it costs more.
The material suppliers could gain great benefits from engaging the green concept. But it takes more than just defining which products qualify in a green program. It takes learning the process and helping customers through the process. What differentiates different suppliers? Service! Some will say it is the product or the price. But service is what makes customers return. Learn Energy Finance Analytics' LEED commissioning services or NAHB Green Program process to help your customer whether a contractor or a home owner through the process and you will be the person that will get the next green project from this customer.
Some of the ways to learn more about the green building process is:
  • Studying the different guides.
  • Reading from the internet.
  • Joining Green committees
  • Reading Green Building books
  • Reading the many blogs about Green Building.

This list can go on and on but the key is the learn the whole process not just about the products. Many lumber suppliers of log siding products get caught up in just the wood supplied but there is so much more. Recycled wood products, reclaimed wood and alternatives to wood are more of what a lumber supplier needs to know. How do the different products compare, what are each of the benefits and what are the cost differences. How can you truly sell a product if you don’t know what you are selling against? Digging in and learning the process is going to be a great benefit for any supplier in the economy of today.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Have you found your dream second home, but it’s not for sale?

A tablet with the phrase "For sale by own...
We've all had the experience of finding the perfect home while out for a weekend drive. Sometimes we even drive by that home on a regular basis, hoping that one day there will be a for sale sign out front (or we check the MLS listings and FSBO listings on a weekly – or daily – basis hoping to see it listed). The real estate market is still down, but that doesn't mean all local markets are suffering. Okversilia real estate is very popular at the moment, and home buyers need to be aggressive when it comes to finding a home in that area. Using that site, you can look up homes for sale in Italy, search for land in Mexico, and buy Red Sea property".

There are a couple of different options for trying to purchase a home that is not currently on the market. If a property appears to be abandoned or otherwise not being lived in, inquire with the town or county that it’s in to see if the taxes are up to date. If not, then you may be able to acquire the property for the amount of the back taxes. If taxes are up to date, you can at least get the contact information for the owner of the property. While you’re there, see if you can get what the tax appraisal for the home is, and when it was last sold (and for how much).

There are a few ways to go about approaching the owner of the property. If the property is owner occupied, you may be able to simply knock on the door and let them know that you love the home and see if they’ll let you know first if they ever plan on selling. Another option is to write a letter to the owners stating the same thing. Often, if the owners are considering selling, they may jump on the offer and start negotiations. Or, they may just make a note of your contact information in case they ever do want to sell. The worst they can do is say no.

Another option is to have a real estate agent approach the owner. Sometimes an owner will take an offer coming from an agent more seriously than one coming from a random person. It shows that you are a more serious buyer.

In all instances, the worst the owner can do is tell you no. But, hopefully the owner will already be considering selling, and you’ll be in the right place at the right time!

Finding a Local Real Estate Agent For You

The purpose of obtaining a local real estate agent in is to avoid the hassles of selling or buying property without the advice or representation of a professional third party. You need the help of a Realtor to save precious time and money. They will generally be of great assistance to you by displaying a wide range of properties to purchase, or enabling you to market your home efficiently. Agents are required to demonstrate professionalism and diplomacy in order to cater to your needs.


It is not likely you will find the ideal agent in  if you do not put a substantial amount of effort into it. Your success relies heavily on how much research went into finding a Realtor. It is important to put a lot of time and consideration into your decision before taking action. Consult with family, friends, and co-workers for referrals or spend ample time reading through profiles and listings on the Internet. Never settle for less than you deserve.

Ask Questions

During the process of searching for a local real estate agent, do not forget to ask agents specific questions regarding their experience and intentions in the real estate business. Do not assume anything! They are the experts and it is important to listen to their advice. It might also pay to go to local open houses and interview potential candidates. If you are unable to attend such an event, simply call a real estate office and request a recommendation from the manager to find out what agent may coincide with your interests.

Communicate Frequently

The power of good verbal skills goes a long way in the real estate business. When you have chosen a local real estate agent, discuss deals and preparations regularly to avoid any misunderstandings. Together you both can create an outline of your expectations in accordance with their qualifications. Communication is the key to successful real estate transactions.


You and your local real estate agent must work as a team to ensure the most successful real estate transaction. Make it a priority to provide them all the information they will need to meet your standards as a consumer or a seller. Even discussing plans over a light meal or drink will enable you to cooperate with one another and further open the lines of communication. Also remember to hold on to vital documents concerning transactions and agreements.

If you're looking for a real estate agent that matches all of these above criteria in Arizona, I'd recommend checking out Cactus Mountain Properties. They're Your Arizona Online Connection, and they've been helping buyers and sellers in The Valley of the Sun for over 10 years!