Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone - WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate

Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 10/11/2018

Whether you're environmentally conscious or just want to save a few dollars on your utility bills, there are simple ways to do both. One of the first steps to conserving electricity and water is to become more aware of when and how you're using it.

A major challenge for many parents is to get their kids to turn off lights, appliances, and water faucets when they're not using them. With persistence, you can hopefully get them to understand the importance of saving money, controlling costs, and conserving resources.

Dependable Old Appliances Are a Mixed Blessing

Toilets and household appliances can last much longer than their expected life span, but after a certain point, you're getting diminishing returns. If your toilets are more than 25 years old, for example, you're wasting gallons of water with every flush. Inefficient toilets from just a couple generations ago use as much as six gallons of water every time they're flushed. According the Environmental Protection Agency, recent advances in toilet design are now enabling families to use only 1.28 gallons of water per flush while still getting superior performance. In dollars and cents, families that replace old, obsolete toilets with Watersense-certified models can save more than $110 a year (and nearly 13,000 gallons of water). The EPA says utilities may even offer rebates and vouchers that can lower the price of a WaterSense labeled toilet. (As a side note, toilet use in homes accounts for nearly 30 percent of an average family's indoor water consumption.)

If your washing machine was manufactured before 2003, it's another source of wasted water and energy. The newer Energy Star-certified clothes washers can save about $45 a year in utility bills, based on typical usage patterns. They use about 25% less energy and 45% less water than the old, standard models. The EPA also says that if you have a dishwasher made before 1994, it wastes approximately 10 gallons of water per cycle. By switching to an energy-efficient model, an annual savings of $35 a year can be realized by the average family.

There's actually a wide range of Energy Star-certified products available that can save you money on utility costs and help conserve water and electricity. In addition to washers, dryers, and dishwashers, other energy-efficient appliances include dehumidifiers, refrigerators, freezers, air purifiers, water heaters, heating and cooling equipment, computers, televisions, pool pumps, and much more. Energy efficiency -- or a lack, thereof -- is one factor to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace old appliances, HVAC systems, or plumbing fixtures in your home.

Not only will you save money when your home is operating efficiently, but you'll enjoy the satisfaction that comes with minimizing waste and making the most of natural resources.

Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 10/9/2018

WOW! This Home Is A Mind-Blower: It Has Everything You Could Want In A Home! Open Floor Plan w/Hardwood Floors; Home Was Remodeled In 2005; Newer Kitchen w/Maple Cabinets, Stainless Steel Appliances, Island w/Seating; Recessed Lights, Kitchen Open To Dining Room & Family Room; Den/Living Room Makes For A Perfect Kids Playroom; Newer Mudroom Has Custom Built-Ins w/Wainscoting & Closets; Separate Laundry Room & Full Bath; The 2nd Floor Has 4 Bedrooms & A Full Bath; Huge Composite Deck On The Back Of The house; The Double Lot Is Amazing, Ton Of Green Space For Kids To Play w/A Miniature Kids Cottage; Awesome Detached 2 Car Garage Just Built 4 Years Ago & Has Electricity & Unfinished Walk Up Storage Waiting To Be Finished (Man Town)! All This On A Quiet Side Street Minutes To RT 24 & Costco; Prepare To Be Amazed When You Walk Thru This Home & Bring Your Check Book Because You Will Want To Make An Offer On The Spot! Value Range Pricing, Seller To Entertain Offers From $474,900 -$499,900!

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Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 10/4/2018

It's amazing how one piece of carefully chosen, strategically placed furniture can drastically improve the look and feel of your kitchen, living room, or any other space in your home.

While it is very satisfying to pick out furniture that delights you every time you look at it, furnishing and decorating your home can take a big bite out of your budget. What many homeowners don't stop to consider, however, is that it is possible to get good deals on nice furniture without depleting your bank account.

Here are a few strategies for accomplishing that.

  • Take advantage of sales, discount coupons, and closeouts. When a furniture outlet advertises that they "will not be undersold," it's often worth your while to stop over and take them up on that offer. First, however, it's necessary to know what the competition is charging for the same or very similar furniture. Once you're armed with that information, you're in a good position to pay the lowest possible price. Like any type of shopping, comparing prices will save you money.
  • Dispense with your aversion to negotiating. Have you every heard people say "I hate negotiating" or "Negotiating makes me feel uncomfortable?" Are you one of those people? For whatever reason, it's a mind set many people have. The disadvantage of thinking this way, however, is that you may be missing out on chances to save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. When you add up the savings and realize all the worthwhile ways you can use that saved money, you may reconsider your position on practicing the art of negotiating!
  • Estate sales can potentially be a great source of good quality, reasonably priced furniture, and sometimes you can stumble upon incredible bargains. For obvious reasons, your ability to negotiate the best possible deal increases as the end of the sale approaches. When you play the "waiting game" or tell them you'll come back later or tomorrow, you do run the risk of someone else snatching up that great dresser, coffee table, or antique lamp you had your eye on. Waiting can be a gamble which sometimes (but not always) pays off. There's also an art and science to getting the best deals at antique shows, but effective bargaining requires the right mindset, a little knowledge, and plenty of practice.
  • Attending garage sales can also yield great bargains and unique finds. Homeowners holding garage sales are often motivated to liquidate their old furniture --especially if it's a moving sale. If you've ever held a yard sale, yourself, you know that the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is to haul unsold furniture back to the house when the sale is over.
With a little research, friendly negotiating, and patience, finding great furniture for the right price is an attainable goal.

Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 10/3/2018

Custom Duplex w/2 Car Garage & Open Floor Plan Is Way Bigger Than It Looks From The Outside! Amazing Cathedraled Great Room w/Skylights That Is Open To Loft Area on 2nd Floor; Natural Gas Fireplece & French Doors To Private Composite Deck Area, 1st Floor Master Bedroom w/Cathedraled Ceiling and Skylight; Master Bath w/Granite Double Vanity & Custom Tiled Shower; Stained Hardwood Floors; Tiled Mudroom w/Custom Bench Area; Lofted Family Room on 2nd Floor Makes For A Great Play Area For The Kids Or Man Town Area; Large Bedroom w/Walk-in Closet & Additional Den/Office Mean That Everyone Has Their Own Space; 2nd Full Bath w/Granite Countertops & Subway Tiled Tub/Shower; Full Basement w/Steel Beam Is Ready To Finish; Close to Highway, Commuter Rail, Center Of Town & Stadium! This Is 90% Finished & There Is Just Carpeting Left To Select. Can Close The End Of October Or Be In Before The Holidays!!

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Posted by Gregory Murphy & Cathy Ferrone on 10/3/2018

Perfect Starter Home On a Quiet Side Street; Cherry Cabinet Kitchen, Hardwood Floors Throughout; 2 Full Baths, One On Each Floor; 3 Large Bedrooms & a Walk-In Closet For Additional Storage; Vinyl Windows, Newer Boiler (5years old) & Oil Tank (There is a new Gas Line On The Street & the Seller Will Have Gas Brought Into The House Prior To Closing), 150 Amp Electrical Service w/Circuit Breakers; Fenced Backyard Is Perfect for The Dogs or The Kids To Run Around, Patio Area For Table & Chairs Or Use It To Add A Shed To The Backyard, Deck Is Perfect For The Grill & The Backdoor Entry Is Covered So You Won't Get Wet While You Are Grilling; All This & A 1 Car Detached Garage w/Opener Is Perfect For A Vehicle Or Make It A Workshop (there is electricity out to the garage).

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