Saturday, August 23, 2008

I want aCoolerHouse!

My home in Murphy is great.

It's in a great Murphy neighborhood, the elementary school is exemplary, the yard, the house, the trees, the flowers, and shrubs. It seems silly to say, "I love this house!" but I do. I do not, however, love my electric bill. This house is only 7 years old! It's Energy Star certified, etc., etc. We're not hanging meat in the living room, the Thermostat is on a mere 79 degrees. WHY IS IT SO HOT??? WHY AM I PAYING $400 TO THE UTILITY COMPANY???

Enter in my latest favorite home improvement service provider:

I really liked my initial meeting with Mike Ross from A Cooler House and I am eager to get the work started on our radiant barrier, new green ventilation options, and the sealing of our HVAC duct work. I'll be detailing our experience here on the blog... so stay tuned, stay green, and stay cooler!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Go Green for the sake of your $Green$ (2.0)

John Tierney has another list I like about being a Greedy Greenie, or an Armchair Environmentalist. The goal here isn't to turn into Al Gore or some other environment saving superhero. Don't worry, not another list of to-do's! My goal is to save money and not hinder the earth being... well, the earth. No, this is a list of 'skip it' items that at best make you feel greenish but neither green up the earth nor your wallet.

5 Environmentally Green Things Not to Sweat

• Turning off your car's air conditioner - Yes, the AC does affect fuel efficiency. But Consumer Reports figures it amounts to only one mile per gallon...

• Filling up your tank with ethanol - The corn-based fuel benefit is swamped by the adverse environmental consequences, according to an exhaustive study of bio fuels last year by Swiss researchers.

• Recycling everything - While it can make economic sense to recycle aluminum and paper, towns frequently lose money recycling glass and plastics because they're expensive to collect and aren't worth much.

• Buying local food - Foods from farther away may be grown and shipped so much more efficiently (and cheaply) that they produce fewer greenhouse gases.

• Going organic - Buying organic food makes sense if you believe it's tastier, but there is one major environmental downside: organic farms often yield less per acre thus leaving less room for forests that absorb carbon dioxide and wilderness areas that promote biodiversity.

Wow... I need a Radiant Barrier company in Murphy or Plano to sponsor this blog! Maybe Ed Begley, Jr. can come hug a tree with me.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Housing Law is Good for Buyers!

Uncle Sam Wants You to Buy a House!

It's no secret that President Bush signed a $300 billion housing bill into law last week. In addition to helping cash-strapped homeowners avoid foreclosure, the law aims to help first-time home buyers to jump start their search in a tough[ish] economy.

So if you're house hunting on [etc.], the law can mean a BIG benefit. To boil it down to the basics: first-time home buyers get up to $7,500 tax credit. This basically means you get a 0% loan for 15 years if you buy a home between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009.

Of course Uncle Sam has some restrictions based on your income, so Trulia rounded up some key advice and opinions from Trulia Voices to answer your questions. Check it out on Trulia...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Go Green for the sake of your $Green$

I'm going to save the world: I declare that everyone should buy and sell their homes with me as their contracted agent. Do so, and I'll buy you a tire gauge. With that apparently you can save America?


I just read a news article that featured Senator Obama, Presidential Candidate, suggesting that properly inflating our tires is a way we could stem the impact of fossil fuel costs. "Obama had noted that keeping tires inflated and cars tuned was endorsed by both NASCAR and AAA and should be part of any comprehensive plan to reduce reliance on imported oil." Really? Sure it's a good idea, but that's like putting granite counter tops on a house that needs $30,000 in foundation repair so you can list it for $10,000 over market value! Hmmn....

I'm all for Green Living, Green Building, a Greener Murphy, and Greenpeace. But the Green I care most about, is the GREEN in my wallet! Homeowners in Murphy, Plano, Richardson, Dallas, Rowlett, Mesquite, Allen and all over the Dallas Metroplex can help the environment while seeking primarily to save the endangered species in their wallets: their cash!

There is a great article in the April 2008 issue of Reader's Digest. Like me, the John Tierney recognizes the emotional, political, and financial benefit of a little "Armchair Environmentalism." Here's a summary list of 10 things homeowners can do to green up your wallet (oh, and save a spotted owl-turtle-fish-whats-it also!):

1. Skip a Trip -- take a "stay-cation" and avoid spewing jet fuel fumes across the country. Our local communities have things to offer for fun that we can make into memorable vacation time.
2. Hire Someone to Seal Up Your House -- wow... I can get lower HVAC bills, cleaner indoor air, and feel more comfortable? Oh, and I won't be using as much fossil fuel, right. Fossil fuel bad, I got it.
3. Work From Home -- sweet, and I won't have to waste all that water showering and shaving.
4. Drive a Fuel-Efficient Car -- great Idea, I wish Detroit would build a V8 muscle car with an optional electric motor. 90% of the time I'd be happy to zip around town in a golf cart. Then I could fire up the V8 and really drive...
5. Use Cruise Control -- win-win: lazy and fuel efficient!
6. Cool Your Water-Heating Bills -- apparently scalding hot water isn't that great for clothes, skin, or the budget. Turn the HWH down to 120 degrees. Remember what Dustin Hoffman taught us, "Hot water burn baby! Hot water burn baby!"
7. Don't Wash the Dishes -- that's right, the dishwasher is your friend. He's more effective and efficient.
8. Use a Laptop, and Let It Nap -- Laptops in sleep mode save you a lot of kilowatts
9. Drink Tap Water -- My wife thinks this one is gross, but the savings is in avoiding the fuel spent on lugging the bottles either from the store, or if you pay a distributor, lugging them from the warehouse.
10. Stay Married --my wife thinks this one is gross----no, wait wrong tip, um... divorce produces two households and thus doubles the utilities bills, and doubles the greenhouse gas production. Not to mention the paperwork! My Dad the attorney says, "every time a lawyer hangs out his shingle, the forest weeps."

For the complete article and the rest of Tierney's list go to

From Reader's Digest - April 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Churches and Synagogues Near Murphy

Sunday afternoon... seems like an appropriate post.

North Pointe Church of Christ
Meeting Location: Murphy Middle School 620 N. Murphy Rd
Office Location: 231 FM 544 Ste 114 Phone Number: 972-424-2414
Woodcreek Church
Meeting Location: 3400 East Renner Rd, Richardson, TX 75082
Phone Number: 972-238-8722
Murphy Road Baptist
Meeting Location: 411 South Murphy Road Phone Number: 972-424-6026
The Springs Church
Meeting Location: Boggess Elementary Phone Number: 214-912-9715
Bridge Family Church
Meeting Location: Groves Elementary School 1100 Mc Creary Rd
Office Location: 605 Comanche Trl.Phone Number: 214-534-5438

For a complete list, click here... Also, feel free to add your place of worship in the comments below! Thanks.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008

Read the whole story here:

H.R. 3221, the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008,” passed the House on July 23, 2008, by a vote of 272-152. On Saturday, July 26, 2008, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 72-13. The President signed the bill on July 30, 2008. The bill includes the following provisions:
GSE Reform – including a strong independent regulator, and permanent conforming loan limits up to the greater of $417,000 or 115% local area median home price, capped at $625,500....

FHA Reform – including permanent FHA loan limits at the greater of $271,050 or 115% of local area median home price, capped at $625,500; streamlined processing for FHA condos; reforms to the HECM program, and reforms to the FHA manufactured housing program...

Homebuyer Tax Credit - a $7500 tax credit that would be would be available for any qualified purchase between April 8, 2008 and June 30, 2009...

FHA foreclosure rescue – development of a refinance program for homebuyers with problematic subprime loans. ... Program is effective on October 1, 2008. ...more.

National Association of REALTORS®Summary of Key Provisions of H.R. 3221 - The Housing Stimulus Bill (as of 7/30/08)