Keep Your Home Cool in the Warm Summer MonthsThe winter chill is behind us.  Bring on the beautiful springtime sunshine in Hendersonville!  However, with warmer weather comes higher cooling costs.  That doesn’t have to be the case, though.  Here are a few simple ways to keep your Henderson County home cool in the warm summer months without spending a ton of money.

Thermostat – Turn your programmable thermostat up to 78 degrees.  For an idea on how much energy air conditioning can cost, keeping your thermostat set to 72 rather than 78 will increase your cooling costs by 12-47%.

Ceiling Fans – Easy to install, ceiling fans will help circulate your home’s interior air to help you feel cooler without having the costly air conditioning on.  While it won’t dramatically decrease the ambient temperature of a room, the air circulated by the ceiling fans helps your body cool off better than stagnant air does.  Another option would be to use oscillating floor fans or desk fans in your home office.

Microwave and Grill More – Heating up the oven also heats up the house.  One way to avoid this is to use your microwave more often or embrace the outdoors by cleaning off and using the barbecue.  Grilling can be a fun, healthy way to enjoy family time together as well.

Window and Door Leaks – Check for and plug up any air leaks around windows and doors.  Replace old weatherstripping or add caulking if necessary.

Filters – We don’t worry about these much during the winter months, but during the summer, you should consider changing out your air conditioner’s filters on a monthly basis.  A dirty filter causes an air conditioning unit to use more energy to work properly.  Changing out your filter more often costs mere pennies but will save you many dollars in the end.

Blinds/Drapes – Streaming sunshine through your Hendersonville home’s windows is welcoming, especially after the dreary winter months.  However, that same sunshine can heat up the interior of your home quickly.  Keep your blinds or drapes closed, especially during the hottest part of the days.  An alternative to closing out the sun would be to add a reflective film to the windows, which keeps the heat out while allowing the sunshine in.

You can keep your Hendersonville home cool in the warm summer months without spending a ton of money.  Get out and enjoy the beautiful Western North Carolina weather.  If you need help with buying or selling your Hendersonville home, please contact me today.

Rich Cooke, your Hendersonville real estate specialist

Hendersonville Named Tree City USA CommunityFor the 20th year in a row, the Arbor Day Foundation has named Hendersonville a Tree City USA Community in honor of its continued commitment to urban forestry.  In order to be honored as a Tree City USA Community, Hendersonville has to maintain a tree board or department (which is legally responsible to care for and manage the city’s trees), a community forestry program (with a budget of at least $2 per capita for tree care funding), a tree care ordinance (to put policies in place for caring for community trees) and an official proclamation and observance of Arbor Day.  The love and care of trees is a normal way of life for a community that sits in the natural beauty of Western North Carolina’s mountainous region.

How does Hendersonville benefit from being a Tree City USA Community?  Energy consumption can be cut by up to 25% by planting just three trees around every building in the community.  This could translate to $2 billion in energy consumption reduction across the country if it were implemented everywhere.  Trees also reduce costs for erosion control, storm water management and energy by an average of $273 per tree.  Property values increase by approximately 7-21% in neighborhoods that encourage tree planting.  Research also shows that properties in wooded areas rent quicker and the tenants of these property stay longer. 

Hendersonville isn’t the only local Western North Carolina city that has been honored as a Tree City USA Community.  Nearby Asheville has been a Tree City USA Community for more than 30 years now.  This shows how important we believe nature is to the health and well-being of our residents.  Just one more reason why I love living in the Hendersonville area.

Rich Cooke, your Hendersonville real estate specialist

Congress Approves Homebuyer Tax Credit ExtensionIn a late vote last night (June 30, 2010), Congress approved an extension of the homebuyer tax credit.  Previously, homebuyers with a signed contract by April 30th had to have their loans closed (through escrow) by the end of business day on June 30th to take advantage of the $8000 first time homebuyers tax credit and $6500 homebuyer tax credit.  Because so many people rushed to get their loans in under the April 30th deadline, there was a huge backlog of loans that needed to be approved.  Usually, two months is plenty of time to close out a loan.  However, the backlog pushed about 180,000 people to the edge of missing out on the tax credit, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The tax credit deadline only extends to those people who had a signed, binding contract for their home loan by the end of business on April 30, 2010.  If you bought a home after that, you are not eligible for either tax credit.  For those homebuyers who had their contracts under way by April 30th, you now have until September 30, 2010 to close escrow to still be eligible for the $8000 or $6500 homebuyer tax credits. 

Now that congress has approved the homebuyer tax credit extension, many homebuyers can breathe a sigh of relief.  Even if you missed out on your chance to take advantage of the tax credits, it’s still a great time to purchase your dream Hendersonville home.  Home prices are very affordable, a variety of different types of homes are available and interest rates remain at historical lows.  Just contact me today!

You'll never get a lemon in Hendersonville real estate if you use Rich Cooke.