Archives For Energy efficient

There are many ways that consumers can save energy and spend less––adding insulation, buying a programmable thermostat, replacing single-pane windows, and installing a solar water heater, to name a few; however, many homeowners are considering energy efficient mortgages as an alternate way to go green at home.

Energy-efficient mortgages are a great way to maximize efficiency and finance the cost of improvements that will help you save energy. Fannie Mae, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Veterans Administration loan program all offer energy-efficient mortgages. Though you may make a higher monthly payment, lenders will not move forward with the project unless they believe your home will net cost savings.

In addition to the financial benefits, energy improvements will also help boost your home’s value. According to the Shelton Group, 81% of consumers say energy efficiency “somewhat-to-very-much” affects their home buying decision.

This post can be found in its original form on US News.

Photo: Inhabitat

Want to be on the cutting edge of home design? According to CBS MoneyWatch, here are the top 5 trends for 2014:

1. Open kitchens: More often than not, kitchens are no longer a separate room. “Lately we’ve seen a focus on entertaining from our clients,” said Jase Frederick, ASID Illinois’ director of communications. “They are looking for spaces that maximize their ability to gather and relax with friends and family.”

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2. Neutral colors: Whites, sandy stones, and gray tones will remain popular over bright, bold colors. “There is also a trend towards subtle glamour – neutral palettes with dazzling details,” Frederick said.

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3. Universal design: People want to know that their homes will be able to accommodate them as they age so spaces are being designed with long-term residents in mind.

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4. Quartz countertops: Factory engineered quartz has the same look and feel as granite, but is more durable and its non-porous surface is easier to clean.

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5. Energy efficient and water-saving appliances: Green appliances from touchless faucets to high efficiency shower heads, dishwashers, and toilets have become (and will remain) the standard in most homes.

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This post can be found in its original form on CBS MoneyWatch