What Makes a Home Energy Efficient?

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Everyone wants an energy efficient home these days. Between saving the planet and saving money, what’s not to like about energy efficient homes? The real question is what makes a home energy efficient? Here are six signs of an energy efficient home.

  1. Insulation– Although it’s a bit hidden, insulation is definitely something you want to check for if you’re looking for an energy efficient home. Insulation is one of the best ways to keep your thermostat at a steady temperature no matter what the weather is like outside. There are two ways to find out what kind of insulation is in a house. First, you can simply ask the seller. If you’re buying a new construction home the builder should be able to tell you, and if it’s an older home the home inspector might be able to find out for you. If that doesn’t work, try looking in the attic. Unless it’s a finished attic, the insulation should be visible.
  2. Appliances– One of the biggest draws on the electric bill will be your appliances. Washers, dryers, refrigerators, and even TVs can have a huge impact on the overall energy efficiency of your home. The Energy Star stamp of approval is a great way to tell if the appliances in a home are energy efficient or not.
  3. Windows– Much like insulation, windows can either really increase the efficiency of a home or really decrease it. Old windows are notorious for letting money fly out of the house. Upgrading windows is a great way to make sure your home is energy efficient.
  4. Light Bulbs- It might not sound like a big deal, but light bulbs can have a big effect on the utility bill. Using compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can save three-quarters of the electricity bill compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs also last a lot longer, so you’ll save money for on the electricity bill and on light bulbs.
  5. Landscaping- One surprising energy saver is landscaping. Planting deciduous trees on the west side of the house will block the hot sun in the summer and allow sun through in the cold winter when it sheds its leaves. It can be hard to measure the exact savings of this method, but it’s still a viable way to make a home energy efficient.
  6. Furnace- An old furnace can be one of the biggest drains of energy efficiency in a home. Older furnaces with standing pilots can waste up to 35% of the fuel you put into it. Most new furnaces only waste 10% of the fuel, which typically saves around 27% on a heating bill.

There are plenty of other ways to make a house energy efficient, and these six are a great start. If you’re looking for a new construction home that is highly energy efficient, call Perry Hood Properties.

5 Signs You Need a Bigger House

5 Signs You Need a Bigger House

When you out grow your home, it may not be as obvious as you think. Once you’ve lived in a home long enough you become attached to it and this can make seeing the signs that you need to upgrade hard to see. If this sounds like you, here’s a handy checklist that will let you know if you need to buy a bigger house.

  1. Adding to the Family– If you’ve added a child or two to the family, it might be time to upgrade. How nice would it be if every kid had their own room, or maybe a nice big play room to burn off some energy? Just take a second to imagine the kids running around in a nice sized backyard or playing basketball in the driveway, sounds good doesn’t it? Kids are one of the most common reasons for families buying a bigger house, so remember that it’s perfectly normal to start looking after having more kids.
  2. Frequent Guests– Is your house the hot spot for family gatherings and hosting overnight guests? Both of these are big indicators that you can benefit from a bigger home. Adding some square footage can give your guests their own room with a bed, instead of a living room with a couch. And let’s not forgot how much better family dinners would be with a big and beautiful kitchen.
  3. Amenities- In your younger years skimping on amenities was a great way to save some change and it didn’t really bother you. Now that you’ve grown up a bit, you can afford a few more amenities and start to enjoy the finer things in life. With a bigger house you’ll have more room for whatever new amenities fit your lifestyle.
  4. Storage- The longer you’re alive, the more stuff you collect. This rule of life is another great reason to look for a bigger place. Busting at the seams with all the stuff you’ve collected over the years is no way to live. A new house with a spacious garage or a roomy attic can help you manage all your stuff, so stop cramming and start living.
  5. Timing- A perfectly good reason to go house hunting is a hot buyer’s market. If prices are right, selection is good, and you can afford it, why not look around? You never know when the market will turn on you, so you have to take advantage of a buyer’s market while it’s still here.

If some or all of these apply to you, consider looking at one of our many available homes for sale in the Tulsa area. Once you see what you like, give us a call.

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

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Did you start the first of the year by shopping for your first house? If so, congrats! Buying your first house is a great financial step to take. If you’re just getting started with the process it might all seem very intimidating, but here are a few tips that should make things a little easier.

  1. Get Your Credit In Order– Your first step should be to check your credit score. There are plenty of free tools you can use to do this, just make sure it won’t count as a hard check on your credit. If you see something wrong or need to pay something off, do it ASAP. It takes a very long time for your credit score to update and the last thing you want to do is wait for the credit bureaus to clear your name before the bank will give you a mortgage.
  2. Shop For Mortgage– Once your credit looks nice and pretty, you can start shopping for your mortgage. Try to get at least three different quotes so you can have some comparison. If you weren’t able to clean up your credit enough to go through the banks, check with the Federal Housing Administration for an alternative loan.
  3. Get Preapproved– This is a document stating that the bank has already done a lot of leg work for the mortgage application and they have approved you for a certain amount. Sellers love seeing pre-approval letters because it means there shouldn’t be any hiccups during closing. It will also alert you if there are any lurking problems so you can address them before you try to close.
  4. Use a Realtor– They don’t cost anything to use as a buyer, so what do you have to lose? Having an unbiased person, who has tons of experience, on your side will be a huge help. Realtors know a deal when they see one and they can help steer you clear of a potential money pit.
  5. Be Flexible– Remember that your first home isn’t going to be your forever home. Make a list of things you have to have and another list of things that are nice to have. Once you have your lists, show them to your realtor and see if you’re being realistic based on your budget. The reality is that you’re probably not going to get everything on your wish list with your first home, so be ready to compromise.

Once you’ve done all of this, contact Perry Hood Properties to see all the available homes we have in the Tulsa area.

Most Common Moving Mistakes

Moving is no small task, and there’s always so much to do and remember. Between the packing, the cleaning, and coordinating everything all at once, something is bound to slip through the cracks. Believe it or not, there’s a handful of mistakes almost everyone makes when moving, so we made a list to help you avoid these common moving mistakes.

Most Common Moving Mistakes

  • Change of Address– One of the first items on your moving to-do list should be filing a change of address with the Post Office. It’s actually pretty easy. All you have to do is go to USPS.com/move and follow the instructions. This will make sure your mail forwards to your new address.
  • Pick Ups and Drop Offs– If you’re moving to a different city, double check that you don’t have any clothes hanging out at the dry cleaners or packages waiting at the post office. It’s also a good idea to search the house for any overdue movies or books that need to be returned to the video store or library.
  • Cheap Movers– Loading the moving truck is exhausting, and some people will do anything to avoid doing it themselves. If you plan on hiring a moving company, make sure they are a reputable company. These days there’s a whole slew of shady people willing to give a low bid and then do a terrible job.
  • Packing Wrong– There’s actually a science to packing and it can make a huge difference when you start unpacking. First make sure you pack the boxes you’ll need immediately, last. This way you can unload them first and use them as soon as you start unloading. Next, put all your important documents in one place and keep it somewhere safe. Finally, don’t be stingy with the bubble wrap.
  • Rental Inspection– If you’re moving out of a rental, make sure you don’t skip town without completing your landlord’s checkout procedure. Most likely this will involve a walk through and a few final forms to sign.
  • Procrastinating– We waited to talk about this one until the last bullet point. Packing and moving always take longer than you expect, so don’t wait around. Start packing non-essential items as soon as you can and then move onto the big ticket items as the moving day approaches.

If you’re looking for new homes for sale in Tulsa, give us a call to see all the great homes we have available.

New Year’s Resolutions For Your House

Gyms are packed, candy bars sales are dipping, and budgets are finally being made, safe to say the new year is here. While there are plenty of new year’s resolutions you can make to better your life, there are also a few resolutions you can make to better the life of your house. This year, take some time and make your home better with these five resolutions.

New Years Home Improvement

  • Go Green and Save Some Green– With a few small changes you can make a big difference in your utility bill and for the environment. Two of the best and easiest things you can do is to turn off the lights when you leave the room and crank down the thermostat when you leave the house. In colder months turn it down to 55, and up to 85 in the summer.
  • Tidy Up– Make a daily and weekly cleaning schedule so things don’t pile up. Before you go to bed, make sure there are no dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor, or items out of place. By keeping the house picked up every day you can focus on actually cleaning once a week.
  • Just Breathe– We all know we’re supposed to change the air filters every three months, but most are lucky if they’re on a six-month rotation. With technology, there’s no excuse for this. Take out your phone right now and set a reminder for every three months. It will only take 5 minutes and it will make your home much happier!
  • Get Organized– Whether it’s a drawer, a closet, an entire room, or garage, catchall spaces have a tendency to grow much larger than you ever intended. William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” This year, go room by room and apply this rule. Get rid of all the junk you’ve slowly collected and only keep what you need.
  • Budget for Improvement– Honey-do lists never seem to get any shorter, and a big reason is because home improvement project can add up quick. Take some time now to prioritize which projects you want to tackle this year and budget accordingly. If necessary, call in a contractor to get some estimations.