Tips for Potential Home Buyers

Buying a house isn’t a task to be taken lightly. The house you decide to live in and its location have an enormous effect on your life. Your house does more than protect you from the elements; it’s where you raise a family and go to relax after a long day’s work. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or have lived in several houses, it’s daunting to search the housing market to find a home for your family.

Buying a house through a real estate agent offers many benefits that make the process simpler. It’s a realtor’s job to know about the houses available on the market. If your family needs a room for every kid, a pool, or a small yard, realtors can find houses that meet your wants and needs. Finding that right house for your family is largely dependent on hiring the right real estate agent.

Where ever you’re looking for a home, the area is bound to have multiple real estate companies each with several agents. Finding the right agent to work with can be trickier than you think. The first thing to look for in an agent is whether or not they are a realtor. The difference between realtors and real estate agents is that the former is licensed through the National Association of Realtors. Realtor licensing requires additional professional and ethical training. Not to say that all realtors are better than real estate agents, but it’s a first step in finding the right one.

Whether you go with a real estate agent or realtor, be sure to check the validity of their license. The status of a license can be verified online through a state’s Bureau of Real Estate. In addition to checking that a license is valid, you can find out if the agent has complaints against them or if they’ve received awards.

Once you’ve found potential agents, give them a call. Interviewing real estate agents is the only way to come to your own decision. You might ask questions about how long they’ve been in business, the type of homes they work with, and how they prefer to communicate. With a bit of research, you can find a real estate agent who works hard rather than one that’s hard to work with. Finding an agent who is honest and dedicated to your needs is the first step in buying the right family home.

Myths & Misconceptions Of Solar Energy

Myths

We know solar like the back of our hand. That’s why, when someone comes to us with a crazy myth about solar, we are more than happy to dismiss it.

Here are some of the most popular myths we like to bust:

* Solar doesn’t work in cold or cloudy places. If that was the case, most of Europe would be without power for half the year and England would have no chance. All solar needs is UV light and cold solar panels actually work better!

* Solar is unreliable. This is one of the most common myths but solar is actually far more reliable than your utility company, particularly with off-grid systems which aren’t affected by blackouts.

* Solar doesn’t support the Australian economy. Sure, many of our solar panels are built overseas, but thousands of Aussies are employed in the local solar industry – installers, maintenance, sales. Take EnergyOptions for example.

* Solar panels are too high maintenance. False. They don’t have any moving parts, so unless there has been some sort of damage you need checked, or your regular maintenance (including an annual clean), your panels should last as long as (or beyond) what the warranty states.

* You have to be rich to have solar. No, you don’t. In fact it’s more common for middle income earners to have solar. The good thing about solar is the long-term financial benefits are well worth the initial investment.

Misconceptions

Renewable Energy seems to be the way of the future. It’s becoming more prominent every day, in both residential and commercial holdings, and countries all across the world are changing the way they operate to utilise the best of what they have for free – the sun, the wind, and water.
So what are the common misconceptions about solar energy?

1. Solar Energy isn’t a 24 hour thing. Yes, it’s true that solar relies on the sun to work and wind power relies on there actually being wind. But there are plenty of systems out there that have back-ups (they might be powered by another renewable source, or could be electric or gas) that will ensure you get the benefits of solar 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

2. It’s too expensive. Okay. We admit it. Getting solar on your home or business does cost more than connecting the electricity. But in the long run, you’re going to save more than your solar cost you. According to the Clean Energy Council of Australia, based on a 3kW system – you’ll save around $1000-$1200 per annum.

3. Solar systems are ugly and decrease the value of your home. This is simply not true anymore. There are a number of systems available that take up little space on your roof, but provide full benefits. Split-systems, for example can take up a small bit of space on the roof with the remainder on the ground. So your home remains looking amazing, but you get all the benefits of solar.