Friday, March 21, 2008

Save Money by Going Green

I like to check in from time to time with ways to go green, and this month I will be mailing to my clients a list of helpful tips on ways to save money by going green. Yet another reason that going green is great is because it appeals to both our altruistic side (saving the earth) and the selfish side (saving money). Here is a preview of what I will be sending my clients this month:
  • Ceiling fans use less energy than air conditioners and save you money in the long run.
  • Hardwood floors require no vacuuming, meaning you will save electricity and money.
  • CFL lightbulbs are afordable, long-lasting and use a fraction of the energy of traditional light bulbs. Save more money by getting them at CostCo or one of the many partners with PG&E.
  • Set those CFLs on timers to conserve even more energy & energy costs while you are away.
  • Wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket and turn it to the lowest setting when you are away.
  • See if your city offers solar rebates and take advantage of them.
  • Install solar-powered garden lights. They look stylish and are oh-so-easy! (for more stylish green tips, always visit
  • Always buy appliances qualified and rated by Energy Star.
  • Plant trees on the east and west sides of your home to keep it cool in the summer and warmer in the winter. The right placement can reduce the sun's heat by 20-50%.
If you ever have questions about greening your home and saving money, just let me know. I'm always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Home Design Deals in the East Bay

Well, I'm back from a little break. This time we hit the Rhine River from Amsterdam to Frankfurt with stops in Dusseldorf, Cologne and more. Now, back to the real estate market...and real estate blogging!

I love Ikea as much as the next person, but sometimes you need something a little different. One of the great ways to find unique and affordable home decor ideas is to hit the Alameda Point Antique and Collector's Faire. This where many of the East Bay's top interior designers and home stagers get their goods, so why shouldn't you have a chance at them, too?

I've been meaning to write about the Alameda Point Antique and Collector's Faire for quite some time, but now I don't have to because the SF Chronicle has just run a terrific article about the place. It is a great read full of tips and guidance on navigating about 750 vendors and bumping elbows with about 9000 other early-rising shoppers.

Here are some of the main tips shared in the article:
  • Get there early. Very early! The gates open at 6pm and eager shoppers are already waiting in line.
  • If you see something you like, buy it. It probably won't be there when you come back.
  • Feel free to haggle. One designer recommends asking "How much are you asking?" as opposed to "How much is it?"
  • Some shoppers like the new vendors on the far side because they may not be as savvy as the old-time vendors
  • Grab a map and take notes so you don't get lost.
  • Prices usually drop as the day goes on so that vendors don't have to cart stuff back.
The Faire occurs the first Sunday of each month, so mark your calendars for April 6th. The admission cost is $15 each, but it goes down in price as the day gets later.

This article is a fun read and really gives you everything you need to know about the Alameda Point Antique and Collector's Faire. And, if you ever have questions about interior design and home staging in the East Bay, just let me know. I'm always happy to help. I can be reached at 510-547-5970 x57 or