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New generation of professionals seek green homes

2013-04-15-green-living-tips-lightbulbs-april-29-2013-photoThere’s more to finding a great apartment than shining a flashlight under the fridge, knocking on the neighbor’s door to check their sanity, and sniffing the air for residual bug spray. While those tactics may have been essential when moving from a college dorm into a first “real” apartment, for professionals looking for a long term apartment home that includes a quality of life element, there are a few essential things to consider.

Many apartment hunters look for a home that is ENERGY STAR Certified, both to keep utility bills in check and to keep their own energy footprint a bit smaller. Ecofriendly, intelligent design should be a natural extension of green design. Amenities like a community garden, on site fitness facility, and on site entertainment options help increase the overall health and happiness of the apartment building’s residents, which in turn contributes to a higher quality of life. GE charging stations for electric vehicles and bicycle storage make living an eco-friendly life easier.

For the busy, professional apartment hunter, shared social spaces are essential to overall productivity and satisfaction. Finding an apartment home that offers beautiful, intuitive, shared spaces to network and connect helps provide the kind of social environment they seek.

According to this article about apartments in California, tech offerings rank high on the list of desirable amenities, as well.

Tech offerings are a major draw for busy professionals and other dynamic renters. We’re living in the age of constant technological breakthroughs so it’s only natural to be able to do everything online.

When considering a Wood Partners green home, keep in mind that not only are high end amenities available to renters in hundreds of communities from San Francisco to Massachusetts, but the means by which the homes are created is green, as well. Wood Partners construction methods adhere to the LEED program standards, including construction waste recycling. For more information on how residents of a Wood Partners community enjoy highly sought after, innovative amenities in combination with green living, please contact us.

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Is it better to buy a single-family home or rent an apartment in a Wood Partners community?

Appeal of Apartment LivingThe long held belief that home ownership is a reliable investment option is fading fast as a mobile population of young professionals who have the means to buy a home choose to rent instead. The American dream of acquiring a large, comfortable home with a 30 year mortgage is changing. In many cases continuing to rent serves long term financial goals more efficiently than signing up for a mortgage, property taxes, ongoing maintenance costs, and homeowners insurance premiums.

People who know they are facing a move in the next five years typically do not want to endure the hassle of home ownership. The closing costs and selling cost involved alone tip the scales in favor of renting. This detailed infographic and rent calculator from the New York Times shows that buying a home may pay off after five years, but certainly presents a set of liabilities inside a shorter time frame. One interesting perspective brought to light by this exhaustive list of considerations is the lost opportunity costs. When deciding whether to rent a home or purchase one, it is important to consider how much money can be made from investing the down payment in a solid mutual fund while renting a home, instead of putting it into a mortgage that may or may not someday turn into equity in a home.

When making a decision about whether to rent or buy a home, consider the cost of renovation as well. Many homeowners underestimate how much they will spend on essential renovations, which can not only affect how much money is spent on a home, but also the homeowner’s quality of life. Living in a space that is under construction can be stressful, and can negatively affect other aspects of life.

Many apartment communities in major cities offer amenities that they typical homeowner does not have the means to add to their own living space. Living in a Wood Partners development offers many advantages that may be out of reach for a homeowner. Green living is easy in a Wood Partners community.

For more information on the advantages of renting an apartment home with Wood Partners, please contact us.


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Green Living with Incandescent Alternatives

2013-04-15 Green Living Tips - LIghtbulbs April 29, 2013 - PHOTOIncandescent bulbs represent a mature and reliable technology that unfortunately uses up too much energy especially for residential lighting. One way to practice green living and save on monthly electricity bills is by replacing such old technology with these three modern alternatives.

Halogens

Pure white halogens have less soot on the inside of their bulbs making them shine far brighter than incandescent bulbs. They’re ideal for reading because their brightness reduces eyestrain. In addition, the color of the light more accurately renders photos and other artwork. They not only use 10 to 20 percent less energy, they keep more of their original output toward the end of their lives. Their main disadvantage is that they burn hotter than incandescents, making it possible for you to burn yourself on a light fixture if you’re not careful.

Compact Fluorescents

Also known as CFLs, compact fluorescent lights are up to four times more efficient than incandescent. You can have the brightness of a 100-watt incandescent with a 22-watt CFL. Because they use less energy, CFLs can last up to 10 times longer. They are more expensive although the price keeps coming down as more people use them. Their lifespans are longer but can be reduced with frequent on-and-off switching. They are therefore not suitable for places where you turn lights on briefly, such as an entry way or powder room. CFLs also contain mercury, which is toxic to the environment but only if the bulb is broken or disposed of improperly.

LEDs

Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the newest of the three alternatives offering 50,000 or more hours of illumination, no warm-up period, and no ill effects in cold temperatures. They contain no hazardous materials, give off very little heat, and can be dimmed like incandescents. Their main disadvantage is that they are currently the most expensive option, although the longer lifespan means that they are cheaper to use overall. As they age, they may also shift color.

An advantage of these technologies is that you don’t have to leave them behind when you move. If you originally bought them, you can replace them with the original incandescent bulbs when you move. If you want to know more about green living in your apartment, or need help in finding a place to live, please contact us.


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Sustainable Living Tips, Tricks, And Ideas

Green Idea Image for WP Blog #3

A lot of people are talking about ‘sustainable living,’ or ‘living green.’ What does that mean exactly? Well it’s just as it sounds. Sustainable or green living means to live a lifestyle which has as little of an impact on the Earth as possible. People that live a sustainable lifestyle live in self-powered homes, they tend to eat local grown foods or grow their own, and tend to lean towards electric vehicles or bikes as a means of transportation. If this type of lifestyle appeals to you, read on for some tips on how to start making your lifestyle more green.

Eat Local and Seasonal Foods

Purchasing local and seasonal foods is a great way to fund the local economy while reducing the carbon emissions from long distance hauling of out of state produce. Since these fruits and vegetables will be grown during their proper season, they don’t require the wasteful process of greenhouse growing. Locally grown foods are more fresh, unprocessed, and argued to be more nutritious.

Green Transportation

With gas prices and climate concerns, traditional automobiles are becoming less and less feasible when it comes to sustainability. The use of plug-in hybrid vehicles and also bikes is on the rise. Some cities are even installing bike and pedestrian friendly pathways.

Water Use

Many green homes are built with ecofriendly low-flow toilets, shower heads, and other fixtures. Checking faucets and piping regularly for leaks is a great way to reduce wasted water as well.

Reducing Waste

One method of cutting waste is to reduce the amount of paper waste the home accumulates. Stopping junk mail and transferring important documents and continuous paper work to a digital format is a great way to cut paper waste. Food waste can be composted outside, and any foods bought can be bought in bulk to cut down on packaging.

These are just a few steps a person can take to make their lifestyle more ecofriendly and sustainable. For more information on sustainable living feel free to contact us at our website.