Zionsville Real Estate

Town of Zionsville, Indiana http://www.zionsvi...
Image via Wikipedia

A community on the outer edges of the Indianapolis Metro area, Zionsville, Indiana, is located in Boone County and was named the state’s most affordable suburb by BusinessWeek magazine in 2009. It is home to a population of around 10,000, and the Zionsville real estate market is a thriving market very popular for those relocating to the area. In recent years, the market has seen its prices affected as the city and surrounding communities struggle to deal with the effects of the economic downturn in the U.S., as unemployment has risen in the state, forcing many into foreclosure.

In the month of January, there were nine homes sold in Zionsville at an average sales price of around $343,000. Homes spent an average of 98 days on the market here before selling, and the highest-priced home sold in the month was one for $518,000. Homes received 97% of their listing price, on average, and the average listing price was around $557,000. At the end of January, there were 253 Zionsville homes for sale.

Recently, Boone County has seen an increase overall in sales volume. According to Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors statistics, for the three-month period ending Feb. 28, sales volume was up 14% to 130 from 114. For the six-month period ending at the end of February, volume was up 24%, to 374 from 280, and over the year, volume was up 10%, from 701 sales to 774. The county’s housing supply has remained constant, as it stood at 11.3 months’ worth of inventory at the end of February, up only slightly from 11.1 months’ worth a year ago.

The average sale price in Boone County is up in the short term but down slightly from a longer-term perspective. In the three-month period ended Feb. 28, the average sales price was over $253,000, up 11% from the same period a year earlier. The six-month period showed an increase of 2% to around $222,000, while the yearly figure showed a 6% decline, with the average price for the year ended Feb. 28 at around $223,200, down from $237,700.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Solar Energy in Hawaii

Potential Energy
Image by jurvetson via Flickr

Hawaii properties – Solar energy in Hawaii: Hawaii is one of the most vulnerable places when it comes to energy. Because the island state is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it relies on regular shipments of oil that are used to power electric generators throughout the island chain. This reliance on fossil fuels has put Hawaii at a severe disadvantage and incredible risk. At the whim of nature, Hawaii can quickly be without power in days. However, the spread of solar energy in Hawaii will help to lessen the state’s dependence on the outside world and will increase its safety buffer should things go wrong. While experiments with wind power have been started on Maui and Oahu, solar energy is now being pushed as an essential step to winning energy freedom.

Presently, using solar energy to heat water is the most common method of harnessing the power of the sun. Current state and federal tax credits have encouraged thousands of homeowners to convert from electricity-powered heating systems to solar-powered ones. In 2009, over 50,000 homes transitioned to the new heating system. Photovoltaic or solar electricity uses cells made up of semi-conducting materials to convert sunlight into useable electricity. While the technology is relatively new, several residents are installing these large systems into their homes. Not only can residents completely remove their dependence on electricity, they can sell unused electricity back to the Hawaiian Electric Company.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tap Into the Sun

On 140 acres of unused land on Nellis Air Forc...
Image via Wikipedia

Many people are aware of the environment and economic dangers of relying on oil as our primary source of energy, and this is why so many alternate forms of energy are being researched, such as wind, ocean, solar, geothermal, etc. However, because many of these alternate energy technologies are fairly new, there is still a pretty big price tag attached to them. However, over the past years, solar energy has become a more common technology and with many of the rebates given for purchasing solar panels, this alternate form of energy is more affordable than you think.

Although solar energy is cheaper to tap into than most other alternate forms of energy, solar panels will still cost you. However, many people will be glad to know that depending on your home’s energy consumption, the money saved from cutting your electric bill will allow the solar panels to practically pay for themselves in a matter of years. What’s better is that many electric companies will pay you to obtain any extra energy that your solar panels create that would otherwise be stored in batteries for future use. The fact that the sun is always guaranteed to be in the sky, except during bad weather and nighttime, of course, makes solar energy extremely reliable. If you don’t wish to go entirely solar, just investing in solar water heaters is a wise choice because for many households, about 40% of the energy used in the home is used by water heaters.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

How to Get the Most Out of Your Batteries

batteries.jpgEngery is getting more and more expensive and those little packages of energy that we call batteries are getting more expensive too. The number of items that we use, that requires battery power, is growing each day. Digital cameras are one of the most used items that need batteries to work. They are also a great drain on battery life. Extending the life of your batteries once they are in the camera can be difficult, but with a little care your batteries’ life can be extended by taking action taken before the batteries are installed in the camera. Use these simple rules to get the most from your batteries:

Don’t expose them to heat. Keep batteries out of your car. Your car can become an oven during the day. Storing your batteries in heat will shorten their life. Remember to never try to charge non-rechargeable batteries. They could overheat and cause a fire.

Store your batteries in a cool, dry place. Don’t store your batteries in your refrigerator. The refrigerator is cool, but not dry. They can be stored in the refrigerator, to maximize their life, by using those little silica gel packs that come in the packaging of some items. The silica is used to keep the batteries dry. This is too expensive and it is extremely inconvenient. You have to use a container with a lid to store the batteries in. Also, please beware that the silica is a hazardous item. You don’t want it to touch any food items at all. This is why this method is not really viable. A good general rule is to keep toxic items away from your food. There are other cool, dry places in your house that you can store your batteries. Look around and be creative.

Don’t short out the connections. Your batteries should be stored in an organized fashion. The ends of batteries should not touch the wrong thing (usually metal) or the battery will be shorted. Many people lose battery power this way in their junk drawers or tool boxes. The best container to store batteries is the packaging that the batteries come in. They are oddly shaped but they are designed not to drain the batteries during long storage. Perhaps the battery companies will figure out good packaging that will fit in a drawer.

Don’t mix and match brands or rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. Different brands use different chemistries to manufacture their batteries. Mixing brands can pull energy away from the more powerful batteries. Mixing rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries also drain power from the non-rechargeable.

Finally, don’t throw your used batteries in the trash. Batteries are filled with toxic chemicals that should not be put in landfills. There are now recycling locations that accept old batteries. Visit RBRC.org to find a recycler who accepts used batteries near you.

How to Make Green Dishwasher Detergent

One of the newest efforts of the Green community is to lower the amount of Phosphorus that is released into the oceans. One of the major sources of this phosphorus is dishwasher detergents. Some states are even reducing and completely phasing out the sales of detergents with 0.5% phosphorus or more.

In the oceans, harmful algae blooms feed on the phosphorus. Harmful algae blooms are algae that release toxins which are harmful to marine plant and animal life. When these algae die, oxygen is used up as they decay in the water. The marine life then suffocates from the lack of oxygen.

Large algae blooms also appear in freshwater lakes and streams as well as drinking water supplies. This is perhaps why non-coastal communities are also making an effort to eliminate dishwashing detergents containing phosphorus.

If you think that soaps containing phosphorus are not an important issue, consider this for a moment: Hand soaps and dishwashing soaps that are designed to be used with your hands, do not contain phosphorus. It is too dangerous of a substance for that much skin interaction.

There are commercial phosphorus free dishwashing detergents available in your local grocery store. It will say ‘Phosphorus Free’ very clearly on the box. Green cleaners are very popular products and having a phosphorus free product is a something that manufacturers are very happy to market. These products are also a bit more expensive than the regular dishwasher detergent.

You can make your own Green detergent and save a lot of money at the same time.

Here’s how to do it:

Mix equal parts Borax and Washing Soda and store in a plastic container. Both Borax and Washing Soda can be picked up at your local grocery or drug store. They are very common items.

When you use the dishwasher, pour some of the Borax/Soda mixture into the soap dispenser of the machine. If your dishes are really dirty, you can put in an extra amount. Put it in the little container with the door. The door will pop open while the machine is working, creating a second wash cycle.

Use vinegar in the anti-spotting container in the machine. Vinegar is great at getting rid of spots. Not only does it work better than the commercial products it is much, much cheaper.

I strongly urge you to try this Green technique. Not only does it globally affect food supplies as well as the marine ecosystem but it also affects local water supplies, including much needed water for communities.

Many people will be surprise by how much money they will save by making their own dishwasher detergent. Prices are going up on all household products and the boxes of detergent at the store seem to be getting smaller and smaller while the prices just seem to go through the roof.

Whatever you do, make sure you use phosphorus free dishwasher detergent. It really affects the world.

Make Your Own Green Cleaning Kit

Many of the cleaning products available today contain toxic chemicals that can affect you, your children and pets. Some of the chemicals are also extremely damaging to furniture and household items. It is unwise to use harsh cleaning products on antiques and other valuables because the cleaners can remove varnishes and other coatings. This can devalue collectibles very quickly.

The modern synthetic cleaning products were created from formulas passed from generation to generation. These were cleaners that worked very well but disappeared over time in most homes to be replaced by toxic cleaners. You will save your own health and money if you create your own Green cleaning kit. This will not take much time and for about a tenth of the money spent on commercial cleaners, you will have enough cleaning supplies to last for months.

Here is what you will need:

White vinegar
Baking soda
An organic, mild liquid soap
Washing soda
Tea tree oil
2 glass jars
6 spray bottles

WINDOW CLEANER
1/2 teaspoon liquid soap
2 cups water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
Spray bottle

Pour all of the ingredients in the spray bottle. Mix well. This will work better than a commercial brand. The soap removes wax residue, so make sure your add it in.

OVEN CLEANER
1 cup Baking soda
Spray bottle of water
A squirt or two of liquid detergent

Spray a lot of water on the bottom of the oven. Cover all of the burnt dripping with baking soda until the surface is completely white. Spray more water on top of the baking soda. Let everything set overnight. In the morning, just wipe all of the grease. The baking soda and water will have loosened all of the grease and it will just slide away. After most of it has been wiped away, use a little bit of liquid soap on a soft scrubber to clean up what is left. You might be surprised how well this method works and you will not miss the horrible smell of the commercial oven cleaners.

FURNITURE POLISH
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar

Mix the oil and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray a little on a soft rag wipe on your wood furniture. This is very easy on furniture and will store indefinitely.

Mold Killing Spray
Pure vinegar will kill 82% of all molds. This is a great mold spray for showers and baths. Pour white distilled vinegar, undiluted, in a spray bottle. Simply spray on the affected area, and let set without rinsing. The mold will die and the smell will go away in a few hours. It isn’t as bad as the commercial shower cleaners that are sold in the stores.

These are just a few of safe, Green cleaners that you can use around the home. Try them out and find out how much better they are than commercial products.

How to Go Green

One of the hottest trends is going Green. No longer is the conversation about global warming. Going Green is no longer a political discussion but an economic discussion. Going Green is about the environment, energy creation and the price of energy.

Going Green in regards to the environment could be anything from being an activist to deciding not to use chemicals unfriendly to the environment in your home or yard. There are many commercial as well as homemade anti-pest and cleaning products that are available that it is pretty easy to keep going down the Green path once you start.

Energy creation is a Green category that uses the Earth’s own characteristics to create an ongoing supply of energy that has little if any negative impact on nature. Solar power is one of the most widely known Green energies. Not only can solar power be used to heat food or a house, it can also be stored as electricity for later use. Many households are finding that they can create enough energy to power most of their needs by installing a few solar power cells on their roof. Wind farms are now popping up all over the United States to harness wind energy and turn it into electricity. It is said that the United States has the most opportunity to create the most wind energy. Because of it’s size and differences in it’s regions, the U.S. has the most windy land regions.

While going Green to save the environment has been the motivation of most activists. Many people still dismissed all talk of energy and the environment as the ramblings of a certain political group. That is until energy prices shot through the roof. Whether they were paying cooling, heating or gasoline bills, everyone has been affected by high energy prices. Since people are mostly interested in their own checking accounts the high energy prices put many more people on the Green bandwagon.

You will see the most benefit from going Green in order to save money. The energy creators mentioned earlier, but going Green to save money can have immediate benefits. Saving containers to reuse is a very Green technique, but it also will save you from having to buy a similar container in the future. Planting your own vegatables is a very Green technique that saves you money on your food bill. Even buying local, second hand clothing can be a very Green technique that will save you money. That shirt that you buy at the thrift store could have been thrown away, only to be replace by another shirt, shipped from overseas.

The Greatest Green Products for Your Money

Going Green is a big trend with businesses. Many ‘Green’ claims on packaging and food labels are not necessarily being truthful. Since there are no standards regarding Green labeling, how do you know what products to purchase that will really have the greatest impact in the Green movement.

Produce from your local farmer is probably the best bang for your Green money. Purchasing from local farmers will give you better tasting food than the produce that is shipped half way around the world. It is also much easier on the environment with all of the fossil fuels that are saved from shipping and then trucking the item to the local grocery store. Buying locally also helps the community by keeping profits in the area rather than having money go out of state or even worse, overseas.

Drainbo is a much gentler way to unclog your pipes than the common drain cleaners available. It is a safe drain cleaner that is composed of a natural bacteria. Some of the bacteria is also used as an aid to clean up the oil spills we hear about in the oceans. These bacterial cultures will break down cellulose, carbohydrates and fats. Fats and oils are a constant threat to our water systems as well as our natural rivers, lakes, and oceans. This drain cleaner is a much better alternative to the dangerous drain cleaners that children and pets can sometime get into. These chemicals also eventually end up in our water systems and oceans. This drain cleaner might seem more expensive at first, but the bacteria does grow in the drain and the helps prevent future clogs.

LED lights are the cutting edge of light technology. This doesn’t sound very exciting, until you think about the kind of energy and money that can be saved with the new bulbs that are being produced. The LED lights produce a warm alternative to the cold yellow light emitted from fluorescent lights. Depending on how much the bulbs are used they can last from 11 to 34 years. They also use 15% to 25% less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs with traditional light fixtures are now available at your local hardware store. This is one of the easiest methods of saving energy.

Use these three techniques for going Green and you will be affecting the world in some powerfully positive ways.

Green Living and Green Design

Builders and investors are finding that going Green can not only save them money, but can actually earn them a lot of money and other incentives. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that 68% of energy consumption. Builders are enjoying tax benefits from the points they earn by Green building techniques and investors are finding Green technologies are the future big investment. The Green Building Initiative is a system that builders can earn green certified points when they use sustainable and energy efficient techniques when they are building new homes. Planting shades trees can earn points as well as the installation of energy efficient technologies and appliances.
A home can earn points by either conserving energy in the home or preserving natural resources. Using wood or metal concrete instead of asphalt on the roof can earn points because those materials absorb less heat then asphalt. Reduction of artificial lights can reduce costs and environmental impact by installing skylights, which will also earn the homeowner or builder more points. Installing low flow shower heads and toilets can earn points as well as building the floorings and framings with recycled materials. Energy creating products like solar panels or a solar heating system for a pool can start to rack up numerous points very quickly. The point can be used for tax breaks and other government programs.
The need for green design and living has even created mortgage products. They may be getting a bad rap lately, but Fannie Mae has a Energy Efficient Mortgage that is specifically intended for green construction and design. The Energy Efficient Mortgage is aimed at development in urban neighborhoods. Urban communities are also targeted for Green technologies ranging from energy creation with solar, wind and tidal energy to the creation of food in the cities with multi-story greenhouses that will grow that food local. Conserving both energy and carbon footprint.
Mortgage companies are not the only businesses who plan on making money on green technologies. Venture capitalist have increased investments into green technologies and products, by 37% from 2007 investment figures. North American, Chinese, Indian and European investors have made a $2.5 billion investment in green industries in 2008. A trend that will only go higher as the demand for energy has proven to historically go higher.
Green industry will also be a major hiring force for new college graduates. MBAs, engineers and software designers are all going to be hired in numbers unseen from the future green technologies. The industries that venture capitalists are investing in are usually a very telling indicator of where the future of consumer money is spent. Energy consumption is now one of the major issues that communities find themselves challenged by as technologies and consumer demand creates a greater strain on energy supplies. Venture capitalists recognize this and they are banking on businesses that create or conserve energy.

The Best Houseplants for Filtering Indoor Air

House plants change carbon dioxide into oxygen, but the absorb many pollutants, like formaldehyde and benzene.  This makes them a great candidate for filtering the air in homes and offices.  Chemicals are released into the air, from many everyday items, with a process known as off-gassing.  Plants are a great, natural way to clean the air around you. Placing a plant to cover every 100 square feet has been known to remove up to 87% of the common toxic pollutants.
 
Gerbera Daisies and Chrysanthemums also known a Mums are very effective at removing benzene which is a known carcinogen. They love sunshine and are very happy in well-drained soil. They come in many colors and you can choose the colors according to the colors of your interior.
 
Golden Pothos is a beautifully green ivy with large leaves.   To keep this plant thriving, water it regularly but reduce watering in cold weather. If you are starting to see leaves drop it is a good sign that you may be over watering it. Most people over water, it is the number 1 killer of house plants. To grow new shoots, pinch the growing tips.
 
English Ivy is grows in pots very well, especially with another houseplant. The Ivy fills the base of the pot which is very visually appealing as no potting soil will show.  You can also grow it in a small pot by itself.
 
Dracaena is house plant that will grow very big, making them ideal floor plants.  Don’t use direct sunlight for the Dracaena, in front of an east window works well.
Philodendrons are one of the best house plants that remove formaldehyde in the air.  These plants can actually remove high concentrations of the chemical. There are quite a few varieties, but the Heart Leaf and the Lace Leaf varieties are probably the best for air purification. These plants have large leaves which are very effective for purifying the air in large rooms.  They also look great in the corner of the room.
Spider Plants grow very well in bright but indirect light.  Put it near a window and it will do great.  They like water when they are in their heavy growing period. Not too much water though.  Check to see if they need water by pressing gently into the soil about an inch, if your finger is wet, you will want to hold off on watering.