DECEMBER 17, 2013 by ge.admin
Last month’s GreenBuild in Philadelphia – the annual meeting of the U.S. Green Building Council – revealed dozens of nifty products that are new or will soon be released. Here are our top 4 picks:
- Refridgerator Magnets Save $$$– A new material that cools when demagnetized, expected to hit the market in about five years, could revolutionize the world of fridges and air conditioners by replacing the decades-old use of refrigerants. “This technology has the potential to be more efficient by 25 percent to 30 percent,” says Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, director of advanced technologies for GE Appliances, which has patents pending for the material. He says it’s ready now, but General Electric is working to lower costs.
- Need a Showerhead? Print It! – GE expects the home of 2025 could have under-cabinet 3-D printers. Personal 3-D printers may sound like a pricey luxury or a niche product for geeks, but soon they could become a household appliance that saves consumers thousands of dollars a year on the purchase of common household objects. A recent study found a shower head costs $2.53 to make on a 3-D printer (3 cents for electricity, $2.50 for plastic). A comparable model showerhead costs anywhere from $8 to $437 at a store.
- Solar, Solar Everywhere – Everyone can be off the grid with all the new innovations in solar energy. Quebec-based Renewz plans to begin selling residential Solar Charging Carports for about $30,000, says company CEO Sass Peress. The carport generates solar power that can be used to charge an electric vehicle or to supplement a home’s energy. Princeton-based NG Energy will begin selling the gazebo-like Solar Canopy, which has solar panels on top. Once assembled, the modular kits could enable homes to go off grid or, by storing energy in batteries, provide backup power in case the grid goes down (e.g. hurricane). United Technologies is making solar-powered elevators so it seems the skies the limit for solar (he, he, he).
- Now That’s Smart – Smartphone apps will allow home owners to perform all types of activities. Apps will integrate with your home’s smart meter to provide real time adjustments. “We can measure and control everything – every outlet, every light switch, every mechanical system and every fixture,” says David Gottfried, founder of the U.S. Green Building Council. He estimates monitoring can help consumers save 30 percent to 50 percent of energy and water. Homeowners will use smart apps to control window glare & heat gain. View (formerly Soladigm), began selling windows with thin-film electrochromic material between the panes. When a low-voltage current is applied, the material can reflect or absorb light and change the glass’ color. This is something we Floridians would appreciate!
Some of these ideas may seem far-fetched, but recent breakthroughs and consumer demand will drive these innovations to become standard in every home.
OCTOBER 29, 2013 by ge.admin
Part 2 – Creating a Ranked List
This is part 2 in a series that culminates with the creation of a list of all Brevard Public & Charter Schools ranked in order of 2013 FCAT performance and provides Florida DOE grade rating.
When my husband & I moved to Melbourne from Northern California six years ago, we placed a premium on ensuring our daughter went to good schools. This drove us to target certain neighboorhoods when looking for our new home. At the time, I swear I had a table, listing the FCAT scores for each Brevard County school printed by a newpaper. Being an engineer, I strive to make “data driven decisions” so I referred to that list constantly while home shopping. When exploring the School of Choice program for middle schools I again wanted to refer to a ranked list.
Finding the right school is more than just finding the school with the highest standardized test scores. Enrichment programs, teachering staff, administrative staff, campus/facilities are just of few of the things that should be considered when looking at schools. Florida’s Department of Education assigns A-F letter grades to every school in the state. The grading is based on FCAT scores (performance & learning gains) for lower grades as well as accelerated course (participation & performance) and college prepardiness for upper grades.
It is cumbersome to wade through the 2013 FCAT 2.0 scores and grades on Florida Department of Education’s website to compare elementary schools in Brevard. So Ellingson Properties commissioned the generation of a ranked list of all local public & charter schools for its clients. The list includes each school’s A-F grade rating from the state.
The list ranks elementary, middle, & high schools according to their average Math and Reading score for all grades tested. In Brevard, an elementary school performance includes scores from grades 3 through 6 although the districit considers grade 6 to be middle school. Brevard middle school performance includes grades 7 and 8 while high school performance is based on reading scores for grades 9 and 10 only.
Below find the top three schools in each list:
It is important to note that 2013 high school grades have not been released yet. A school may have high average FCAT scores, but it’s state grade may be lower because improvement gains were not met.
Despite the pros & cons, FCAT scores do provide insight into a schools performance. This information can help parents make informed decisions when home buying. Use the link below for a copy of the 20130Brevard County Schools Ranking & Rating.
What schools are you zoned for? Check out this districit link.
MAY 31, 2013 by ge.admin
It is hard for most to believe it has been about five years since the national real estate market crash of 2008. Though homeowners and homebuyers alike have seen some low points in Brevard County real estate sales, recent surveys have shown that consumer confidence is once again on the rise. Trulia compiled a list of real estate market trends concerning the remainder of the year for Brevard County property as well as properties nationwide. Following are just a few of those big trends for 2013.
1. Home Prices Rise
At the top of the list of real estate market trends is the rising prices homebuyers will find on the market. Since the crash in 2008, new home construction has been at an all time low, which has created somewhat of a shortage of available properties on the market. Many analysts say that 2012 was the year the market began to turn around, and we can expect to see prices continue to rise through this year and continuing into 2014. Home prices are expected to rise about 5 percent this year.
2. Short Sales Up
In short sales news, property owners and buyers can expect to see an increased number of short sales in Florida. More and more banks are trying to avoid foreclosure procedures by reaching out to homeowners and offering foreclosure assistance. New rules have reduced the documentation that borrowers have to show to demonstrate hardship, and borrowers now aren’t necessarily required to pay the difference between what they owe on the mortgage and the final sales price. Homebuyers should look on brevardmls.com or ask their agents about short sales to find some great deals on today’s market.
3. Rental Demand Increase
Finally, this is a great time for investors, as property management continues to boom. Three to five million young people (most 20-30 years of age) have been riding out the shaky economy by moving back in with their parents or staying with friends. As they start to get jobs, they’re looking for their own apartments. This pent-up demand will drive up rents as well. Many investors have been buying Brevard County foreclosures and other distressed properties to turn them around as rentals. As investors continue to get great deals on such properties, they are turning to management companies to maintain such properties, putting a high demand on their services.
Expect these trends and more in 2013 as the Brevard County real estate market turns around.
Source: The Fiscal Times
MAY 21, 2013 by ge.admin
As the housing market continues to improve, and as demand begins to overtake supply, many homeowners are looking to sell their homes for a great profit. Still, a number of sellers find that they are having trouble finding the right buyer for their property.
Brevard County real estate specialists have noticed certain patterns amongst properties that seem more difficult to sell and have compiled a list of the most common issues homeowners come across when selling their Brevard County Real Estate.
The following are four of the top reasons a home remains unsold and what savvy sellers can do to avoid them.
1. THE PRICE IS WRONG, BOB
The first and foremost issue many analysts have noticed is that some homeowners tend to price their properties too high. According to an article on usnews.com, “Sellers have emotional attachments to their homes,” and thus they may find it difficult to establish a proper home value. Appraising the property and taking an objective stance to the pricing is a great way to ensure the property is not overpriced.
2. A BAD IMPRESSION
Curb appeal really is a big deal when it comes to real estate. Your home and property may be in great shape, but even the smallest sign of water damage, for example, can turn off a potential buyer. Thoroughly inspect your home from top to bottom and make sure that everything is clean, neat, and as it should be. “Fresh landscaping or a fresh coat of paint in certain areas” can do wonders for your property’s appearance and appeal.
What’s on the inside is just as important as what’s on the outside. Nothing says stay out as well as blocked doorways or strong pet odors. Few buyers will see past dirt, odors, or clutter to realize there’s a jem to be had. A home should look and smell as good as it can from the minute it hits Brevard MLS. A sellers who procrastenates staging their home risks having their property thought of as a problem property.
3. MARKETING CAMPAIGN LACKS DEPTH
Your agent should be doing more than just listing your home on Brevard MLS and putting a sign in the yard. 90% of home-buyers search the Internet for their homes. The most important vehicle for advertising your home is Internet exposure. Not submitting photos — or uploading only one unflattering photo of the front of the house can deter potential buyers.
4. RESTRICITED ACCESS
Finally, homeowners should be flexible with their scheduling for showings and open houses. Showing your home frequently is the best way to generate traffic and interest in your property. No lockbox, restricited hours, 24 hour notice, or by appointment only can hamper showings. Work out a schedule with your real estate agent that maximizes your exposure, and discuss your listing on Brevard MLS with your agent.