New year, new decade. Time to breathe new life into home design.
Restoration, optimism and sophistication are woven throughout this year’s selection of colors of the year, announced annually by Pantone and various major paint manufacturers. Each color represents an expected trend by each company, based on the current activity in the industry and what it anticipates for the year ahead.
Clear patterns for 2020 include nature-inspired hues, soft, cheerful pastels and timeless basics to create inviting spaces intended for recharging to tackle the year ahead. Click here to read more...
Fixed Rate Condo Financing
From our Friends at RMN!
Financing for a condo is different than financing for a single family home or a zero lot line. For example, some lenders will only offer an adjustable rate mortgage if you’re purchasing a condominium - which could cost you more in the long run! Discover why RMN believes in offering fixed rate mortgage for condo purchases.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
May your holidays be filled with happiness, good health, family and friends. And if the new year brings changes in your real estate needs, please think of us.
What is R - Value?
Insulation levels are measured in R-value, but what does R-value mean? R-value is the insulation's resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the less heat is transferred in or out.
Any type of insulation can be installed to have any R-value level; it may just take more or less insulating material to reach that level.
Recommended R-values change depending on climate, the type of building and the location of the insulation within that building. The level of R-value achieved is also based on proper installation. Poor air or vapor seal can reduce the effectiveness of insulation.
Properly installed, however, any type of insulation with the recommended R-value level will increase comfort and efficiency year-round.
Click here to watch video...
Source: Linn County REC / www.linncountyrec.com
How Long Do LED Bulbs Really Last?
Homeowners across the country are switching to LED bulbs, and for good reason. LEDs have a number of advantages over conventional incandescent bulbs:
- Higher energy efficiency
- Improved light quality
- Average rated life of up to 50,000 hours or more
That all sounds great, but what exactly does "average rated life" mean? How's that different than "actual" life? After all, you want to know how long a bulb really lasts, not how long it's rated to last. We'll explain average rated life, how bulb manufacturers test for it and what it means to you.
The facts of LED life
Average rated life is the life expectancy in hours based on laboratory tests of a sample set of bulbs. The "average" rated life is the point at which half the sample bulbs failed. For example, if 100 lamps are tested and 50 of them fail at 10,000 hours, then their average rated life would be 10,000 hours.
The useful life of LEDs is defined differently than it is for other lighting technologies. Incandescent bulbs fail when the filament burns out. LEDs typically don't burn out. They experience "lumen depreciation" where their brightness slowly fades over time.
Research has shown that people will accept gradual light reductions of up to 30% with little notice. The average rated life of LEDs then, is established by a projection of when the light output will decrease by 30%.
Manufacturers test LEDs for lumen depreciation for at least 6,000 hours. The small amount of lumen depreciation in that test and UL temperature testing of an LED fixture is combined and rated life is projected out by a factor of six times the test duration (50,000 hours for 8,400 test hours).
Real world test results
Projections are nice, but how do we know if LEDs really last 50,000 hours or more? U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) tests may provide an answer. In 2010, the DOE began testing a sample of 31 LED bulbs. After more than 60,000 hours of continuous operation, the average lumen depreciation was only 5% and all of the bulbs were still going strong.
Bulb life and performance can vary depending on the product. To get the best results in your home, purchase ENERGY STAR®-certified LED bulbs. ENERGY STAR products are independently tested to ensure that they deliver efficiency and performance.
Busted! 3 Common Myths About Home Heating
Don't be fooled by bad advice and careless assumptions. These home heating myths could waste energy and cost you money. Knowing the facts will help you reduce your energy bills and make your home more comfortable.
Myth 1: Cranking up the thermostat will heat your house faster
Fact: A furnace is either on or off. Raising the thermostat doesn't make the air coming out of the register warmer, it just makes the furnace work longer to reach the higher temperature.
By the time you're sweating and need to turn the thermostat down, you'll have overheated the house and wasted energy. Every home is different; indoor and outdoor air temperatures, furnace efficiency, your home's layout and how well it's weatherized all affect how long it takes to warm your home.
Myth 2: A bigger furnace will keep your home warmer
Fact: An efficient furnace that's the right size for your home will be much more effective than a huge system with more capacity than you need.
Climate, home design and weatherization are important factors to consider. Efficiency improvements will save on the cost of a new furnace by allowing you to purchase a smaller unit. If you live in a cold climate, invest in the highest-efficiency system, not the biggest. In milder climates with lower annual heating costs, it may be hard to justify the extra investment required to go from 80% to 90% or 95% efficiency.
Myth 3: Closing vents will reduce your heating bill
Fact: Heating systems are designed for balance. Closing air vents can result in back pressure, causing ductwork to leak and reducing heating system efficiency.
If your home is heated by a forced-air system, talk with a qualified professional about closing down the heating registers in unused rooms or adjusting dampers in the ductwork to redirect heat where it's needed.
Learning the facts behind heating system performance can help you save energy, reduce your winter heating costs and ensure your family's comfort all season long.
Source: Linn County REC / https://www.linncountyrec.com
November 25, 2019
November 18, 2019
Getting Ready for the Relatives: How to Prep Your Home for the Holiday Season
Getting ready for the holidays, especially if you are expecting company, can be serious business, but with a bit of cheerful organization it’ll be a snap. Click to Read more......
November 11, 2019
November 4, 2019
From our friends at RMN, Inc.
First-Time Home Buyers Can Benefit from the MCC
If you bought your first home this year - or are thinking of buying your first home - you need to know about the Mortgage Credit Certificate program!
Mortgage Credit Certificate Benefits
Mortgage Credit Certificate Requirements
- Obtain a fixed rate mortgage
- Meet the federal income limits. Income limits vary by county and the size of your household.
- Plan to use the home you purchased in Iowa as your primary residence.
- Be a first-time home buyer, defined as a person who has not had an ownership interest in their primary residence in the past 3 years.
- Purchase a home in a targeted area.
Work with RMN to Sign up for the MCC
- Be a military veteran with a discharge other than dishonorable who has not previously used a Mortgage Revenue Bond Program.
, Nov. 4, at 2 a.m. __________________________________Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist
The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program provides first-time home buyers with a tax credit based upon the interest paid each year. Here’s everything you need to know about the MCC and how it can benefit you for years after buying your first home.
First-time home buyers who sign up for the MCC program will receive a tax credit of 50% of the interest paid on their mortgage for that year, up to $2,000. The best part? The MCC provides this tax credit for the life of the loan.
This means you could save thousands every year you own your home when you sign up for the Mortgage Credit Certificate.
The MCC program was created to be a benefit for first-time home buyers. To qualify for the MCC in Iowa, however, there are a few additional requirements you must meet.
You also must satisfy at least one of the following three conditions:
RMN is one of the leading providers of the MCC in the state of Iowa. We have the experience and the expertise to get you signed up for the Mortgage Credit Certificate so you can enjoy savings for years to come.
To learn if you qualify for the Mortgage Credit Certificate or to get signed up, schedule a meeting with one of our loan officers today!
Source: RMN, Inc
October 28, 2019
Just a reminder......
The annual turning back of the clock by one hour was once posed by Benjamin Franklin as a way to preserve candles that served as the main source of light in the 19th century. Read more...
Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist:
Fall is a good time to take care of big home repair projects before shorter days (and in many areas, ice and snow) make outdoor work too difficult. And if you do live in an area with cold winters, take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care (we spoke with an expert to find out what you need to do). Tick these 15 items off your list this season, and you can rest easy knowing that your home and yard are buttoned up and ready for winter. Read more…..