Steps Village Property Owners Take to Shrink Energy Bills
Energy costs may not be skyrocketing as quickly as some other costs, but The Villages property owners continue to watch incoming utility bills with a wary eye. It’s only natural: they remember sudden energy price leaps in the past.
One of the ripple effects of high energy prices is the possible impact on anyone planning a future sale of their own property in The Villages. Canny prospects are likely to demand to examine past utility bills — sometimes going back for a year or two. As we encounter cooler weather, that’s why it’s doubly important to keep a lid on gas and electricity bills.
Some of these steps you can take are easy to accomplish…and all too easy to forget!
Most experts recommend setting the water heater thermostat between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, with the exact setting dependent upon your area’s microclimate, The Villages property type, and your particular household’s requirements. The goal here is to avoid sustaining temperatures above the 140-degree mark — which would be sure to add digits to this fall’s energy bill.
Now is the time to take an inspection walk around your property on the lookout for leaks, be they toilets, pipes or faucets. It’s easy to do a double-check, too: just keep an eye on your meter over a two-hour period when there is no water use (this idea comes from Mark LeChevallier of American Water). If you spot activity, you may need to do more active detective work.
Clogged air filters are more serious than most would think: they can burden mechanical systems — not only boosting energy costs, but eventually damaging the mechanicals behind them. Failing to replace filters causes dryers, heaters, AC units, etc., to run longer. It’s easy to picture what the impact on the monthly energy tab can be.
Being able to produce low energy bills is just one way to help prospective buyers see the wisdom of buying your Villages property. If you are considering selling your own property in The Villages anytime in the future, now is the time to make a few changes. Call me to discuss other prudent long-term marketing positioning.
Imaginative Online Resources Can Shortcut Home Searches
If you are looking to buy a house in The Villages and surrounding communities and haven’t yet taken advantage of the power of the Internet, wow! — are you missing out! A host of new technologies and online resources have simplified finding and analyzing properties. To help zero in on your ideal house in The Villages this October, here are a few of my favorite online resources:
Google Maps can save hours of time. Just go to Google and click on the “Maps” option at the top. Key in the full address of the property you’d like to look at, and, voila! You’re instantly looking at it in a choice of satellite view or from street level. For a quick glance a property’s “curb appeal,” you can’t beat it!
Long before you buy a house in The Villages and surrounding retirement communities, you’ll want to know whether it’s a bargain or overpriced. The quickest way to get a rough estimate is at Zillow. Zillow.com provides a rough estimate (okay – very rough!) of the current valuation for most properties. Although these “zestimates” are approximate, you can also see what other properties in The Villages have sold for.
PropertyShark.com is a great place to ferret out more detailed information about a property. On this site you can find out information such as the owner’s name and address, assessed taxes, and the recorded purchase price. Also find data about the surrounding areaneighborhood including demographics, recent sales data, and even the heights of surrounding properties.
The Trulia website can help shorten the research needed before you buy a house. Here you pose questions about a property to be answered by local experts. Ask about prices, closing times and real estate commissions. You can also find detailed information about The Villages neighborhoods like commute times, crime stats, and local school ratings.
Online resources like these can reduce a lot of legwork (and gasoline consumption). Of course, nothing can replace the expert advice of a local Realtor® and viewing a selection of properties in person — but using these resources helps shorten the process. If you’re looking to buy a house in The Villages or surrounding retirement communitiesthis fall, I’m here to help.
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