Category Archives: Going Green

How 2016 Technology Has Changed Your Home Search Forever

scrolling through mobile phoneWhen was the last time you hopped in your car to start your home search? Most home buyers today just pick up their phones to instantly view properties all around the country — no car required.

Each year, new technology changes the way we interact with the world. Here are just a few of the ways 2016 tech has changed the way buyers find real estate.

You Can Access Anything On the Go

Your home search doesn’t stop while you’re out and about. Today’s technology has made it easier to access information when you need it. While you’re waiting in line at the store or idly scrolling through your phone, you can find articles about the home buying process on social media, see listings on a mobile search app, or check commute times from homes you’re considering.

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The Top 5 Home Features That Save Time and Money

Everyone wants to save money on energy bills every month. But did you know that having today’s popular energy-efficient features in your home can also save you time and stress when you sell your home?

two home buyers surrounded by moving boxesMore and more first-time home buyers are searching for homes in the area, so there is more of a demand for move-in ready homes or homes with certain features.

As Millennial Magazine notes, what buyers are looking for in a home include open floor plans, homes with great cell service, and energy-efficient features.

Having the best energy-efficient home features now means you won’t need to upgrade your home later when you sell. Plus, these features may also add value to your home.

5. Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats let you control when you want the heat and air conditioning to be running in your home, saving you money on your monthly energy bills. Some thermostats, such as Nest Learning Thermostats, even let you control the temperature remotely on your phone, an appealing feature for today’s home buyers.

upgraded kitchen with bright spring flowers4. Energy-Efficient Appliances

There are plenty of cost-saving options for the appliances throughout your home. Energy Star offers many appliances and equipment from kitchen appliances to water heaters that are popular energy-efficient home features.

3. Green Home Construction

Materials involved in home construction can be also be energy-efficient. Different types of insulation and energy-efficient windows, such as low-emissivity (low E), can be installed to reduce your heating and cooling costs.

2. Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

A way to save money on your water bill is to replace your toilet, faucet, or shower head with a low-flow toilet and water-conserving features.

LED light bulb on a white surface1. LED Lightbulbs

A simple switch from incandescent lighbulbs to LED bulbs will not only brighten your home but save you money on your energy bill.

Using these bulbs can also help you as you’re selling your home, too; brighter rooms are more appealing to buyers who are scrolling through online listing photos and viewing homes.

Today’s Buyers are Searching for Your Home

Not all home buyers are searching for new construction homes in the area. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders found that less than 9% of Millennials and only 12% of older home buyers bought a brand new home.

Today’s home buyers may be searching for a home that is similar to yours, and if you have the energy-efficient home features they are looking for, they may value your home more.

But Before You Upgrade Your Home…

person using an iphoneAs the real estate experts in this area, we know what features home buyers are looking for. So before you completely upgrade your home with these features or other home improvements, talk to us about whether you need to spend the time and money installing them.

All your home may need is expert marketing to attract buyers.

We’d be happy to talk with you about the best energy-efficient home features and what today’s buyers are searching for. Just give us a call at The Bouma Group at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com today!

2877 Textile, Saline MI Real Estate Listing

2877 Textile, Saline MI 481762877 Textile Rd., Saline MI Real Estate Listing

SOLD! Custom green-built, executive ranch style home situated on 2 acres backing to the Brookside Golf Course. Features include:

  • 4033 square feet, plus 3000 in the finished lower level, 5 bedrooms and 5 full baths.
  • Vaulted great room offers a cozy fireplace flanked by windows viewing the golf course.
  • Gleaming hardwood floors, built-ins, and unique detail throughout.
  • Private apartment over the 4 car garage.
  • More photos & features
  • Virtual tour
  • MLS# 3228891
  • Listed for $894,900

For more information on 2877 Textile Rd. or to set up a private showing of this luxury Saline Real Estate, contact The Bouma Group, Realtors today at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com. See more of our Featured Properties here!

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XSeed Energy to Install Solar Panels at Michigan Theater

The Ypsilanti-based Clean Energy Coalition (CEC) is the parent organization for the newly-formed XSeed Energy, “Ann Arbor‘s Community Power Project.”  XSeed’s inaugural project, approved at their August 12 meeting by the Historic District Commission, will be the installation of solar panels at the Michigan Theater at 603 East Liberty Street.

Using funding from community donations and grants, XSeed Energy was created with the goal of developing renewable energy projects in Ann Arbor. Profits will be recycled back into an ‘Energy Bank’ to fund ongoing renewable energy installations. The goal – and hence, the name – is to ‘seed’ community funded, and possibly community owned, power projects in Ann Arbor.

For this first project, a set of 60-foot solar panels will be placed on the south-facing wall of the Michigan Theater, then connected to the local power grid. According to Bonnie Bona, project manager for XSeed Energy and former chair of Ann Arbor’s planning commission, the Michigan Theater was selected for XSeed’s first project “because of the public visibility of the solar panels, the theater’s willingness to participate, its community involvement, and the fact that it is already pursuing other renewable energy solutions.”

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Ann Arbor Downtown Library Lot Development Discussion May Regain Life Soon

As of last Thursday, there are big changes beginning near the Ann Arbor Downtown Library. Fifth Avenue from Liberty to Williams is now closed, and will remain so for at least a year. The northern section of the Library’s porch is closed, and handicap access has moved to William Street (with a new incline that ends across from the automated door). Bike hoops are now near the flagpole. So why are all of these changes being made?

At present, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is building an underground parking deck on the Library Lot site, which is the cause of the immediate (and ongoing) disruption. However, the top of the lot has been – and remains – under discussion. Several months ago, the League of Women Voters hosted a public meeting about possible uses for the Library Lot. At that meeting five, five-minute proposals for potential development were presented, followed by an hour of questions and answers. The League’s intent was to keep the city council apprised as to what kinds of development Ann Arbor residents were interested in seeing.

Part of the issue, as discussed in our previous blog Plannning for Green Space in Arbor, No Walk in the Park, is over whether the land should be used for commercial development or for greenpsace or other public purposes.

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Ann Arbor Recycling Made Easy with Single Stream Program

We’ve mentioned many aspects of green living in Ann Arbor, and it’s important to note that an environmentally conscious lifestyle always begins at home. When you think about recycling, what comes to mind? For many people recycling seems like a daunting prospect; maintaining different bins for glass, plastic, metal, and paper, lugging bins to the end of the driveway, and spending time separating recyclable waste can feel like an overwhelming task!

Beginning yesterday, Ann Arbor residents now have an easy solution. Thanks to a commitment by the city to single stream recycling, and a partnership with RecycleBank, homeowners can put all their recyclable materials in one convenient wheeled recycling cart. As an additional incentive, RecycleBank provides vouchers and coupons to residents based on the amount each household recycles. The new carts will have radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards to electronically track how much households are recycling and award points accordingly. The vouchers and coupons can be used at certain businesses, or donated to charities. The RecycleBank program will begin on September 1.

The combination of the single-stream program with the RecycleBank incentive program will substantially increase the city’s recycling rate, while lowering solid waste costs. The city is spending $3.25 million to upgrade their Materials Recovery Facility and $1.4 million for the new recycling carts. It is anticipated that the program savings will pay back this investment in less than six years.
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Planning for Green Space in Ann Arbor – No Walk in the Park

Parks are such an important part of the Ann Arbor landscape that every five years, the city’s master plan for the parks is reviewed and updated.  In preparation for an October meeting of the park advisory commission, planner Amy Kuras is holding focus groups, surveying residents, and holding public meetings about the Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) plan before it is voted on by the parks advisory commission and city council and submitted for state approval.  The meetings have been lively so far, and certainly illustrate that planning for green space in Ann Arbor is no walk in the park.

The process, however, shows a lot about how issues that concern citizens and the future development of the city are handled in Ann Arbor.  Ms. Kuras asks substantive questions and wants thoughtful responses from the public.  Clearly, the goal is to have an Ann Arbor that includes planned green space, with amenities that are kid friendly, attractive, and useful to all.  After all, many people may move to Ann Arbor to attend or work at the University of Michigan or local companies; they stay because they get hooked on all Ann Arbor has to offer.

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Green Building for Cool Cities Tour Coming to Ann Arbor This Weekend

The “Green Buildings for Cool Cities” tour, sponsored by The Sierra Club and The U.S. Green Building Council, will unveil exciting housing possibililities in Ann Arbor this Saturday and Sunday, June 12 & 13. As the world becomes increasingly  environmentally conscientious, you may be thinking of buying a new green home – or finding a home to make it more green – right here in Ann Arbor or the surrounding area. Offering guided tours each day from 9am-3pm (with self-guided tours until 5pm each day), this tour is an opportunity to learn about energy efficient, sustainable home building methods directly from the builders and architects who made them that way. You’ll experience the inner workings of homes that work hard to keep their owners, communities, and the earth safe and healthy.   Continue reading