January 3, 2017
It’s New Year’s resolutions time! Now that the holiday decorations have been put away (they are, right?!) and the tree has been stored or recycled, let’s set some New Year’s resolutions that will make us healthier, wealthier and happier in 2017 and beyond!
SAVE SOME $$$$
Saving money and creating wealth are two sides of the same coin and here are a few easy ways to do both in the coming months.
- By putting aside a few dollars every week and applying those to your mortgage payment, you’ll end up paying less interest over the long term. How much?
Consider this: The monthly principal and interest payment on a $400,000 mortgage (30-year term; interest rate of 3.5 percent) is around $2027. Paying an extra 1/12 of that amount, or $169 each month, would increase the payment to $2196, but also save you more than $36,000 in interest!
It takes discipline to commit that extra money to your home loan, but you’ll be better off in the long run!
- Installing a programmable thermostat can cut your home heating and cooling costs by about $180 this year alone.
- Trading lightweight sheers for heavier or insulated draperies and curtains can cut energy costs, too.
- Using LED bulbs, which last thousands of hours between changes, is economical even though the initial cost is high (about $40 per bulb). LED bulbs eventually pay for themselves in energy savings in a few years.
- Starting a no-shoes-in-the-house rule, especially with kids, can prevent lead and other toxins and bacteria from being tracked into homes on shoe soles. Plus, dirt, sand and other debris can degrade the finish on your floors and cause more wear and tear on carpets.
IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
- Joining the Meatless Mondays movement by cooking vegetarian meals one day a week can save money AND reduce your risk for cancer and heart disease.
- Packing a lunch, for at least the month of January, is healthier and less expensive. For some lunchbox ideas check out our blog from September!
- Growing your own herb garden will save you money at the supermarket and add heart-smart antioxidants to your home cooking (not to mention reduce the need for extra fat and sodium!). The bonus? The live plants purify your indoor air!
- The more air-purifying plants you cultivate, the more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene you filter from indoor air, too. NASA, in fact, has used houseplants to purify the air in its space station. Their top picks? Boston Ferns, rubber plants and Janet Craigs.
- Watch out for dryer lint. We know you clean the little trap, but most people never think to clean the vents and ducts behind the dryer. Lint may seem harmless, but it’s highly combustible, says the U.S. Fire Administration, accounting for more than 15,000 building fires a year.
- Testing your Co2 detector, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers is an easy way to protect your family and your biggest investment – your home – from damage.
Resolve to Live in Southshore!
The New Year is the perfect time to make this beautiful lakeside neighborhood your own. If you’re not a resident yet, tour one of the beautiful models at Village Homes and check out the new collection designs from Richmond American Homes. And, coming this month, Century Communities will be rejoining the builder line-up with new homes in The Hills at Southshore. This new neighborhood features spacious single-family homes with unique curb appeal, including six new floor plans in ranch and two-story models. Watch this space for the latest on our new home lake community!