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Showing posts from January, 2010

Buying or Owning a House with Well Water

My first experience with well water in East Hampton was...well....it was frightening. We're talking scene out of a horror film frightening. I turned on the outside faucet to water the garden and the water came out BLOOD RED. Needless to say I ran screaming. I could practically hear the neighbors snickering, "city girl." After 10 years in real estate and dealing with well water, I can now say I think I've seen it all, and I have a few tips to share with those of you considering or new to well water. Most of us with private wells require water treatment systems. Most commonly in our area, you will find high concentrations of iron in the water, giving it that lovely shade of red. If you don't treat the water, the iron will stain your fixtures, will clog your lines with iron flakes, and probably even stain your clothes in the washing machine. You have the option of either shelling out the money and purchasing a treatment system, or renting one and having the company

Discrimination by Energy-Comsumption?

Those of you who know me know that I'm perpetually afflicted by the travel bug. It's always been that way. I have my adventurous parents to thank for that, and I am lucky to have married someone who shares this passion. I don't have to twist his arm to convince him it's time for a trip....I just have to create a budget and then save the money for it. No problemo. So we're packing up the children and heading to Europe for a month this summer. (If you have small children, feel free to make your "she's nuts!" comments here. I know, we might just be crazy, but why keep putting off what we love?) I won't lie...I'm having a blast with the planning. At least I was, until I got to the part where we rent a Tuscan villa for a week. I reviewed hundreds of them online until I found the perfect, dreamy house surrounded by vineyards, sunflowers and lavender, with the perfect view, etc. When I began communications with the owner, all seemed well at first. We

Towns as GREEN Communities

I drive through a lot of towns while out showing houses, but it's more than just driving by. I'm always keeping my eyes open and trying to get a feel for neighborhoods, amenities, and of course stopping to try the local coffee or ice cream shops. Last week I found myself scouting Wethersfield. I always thought I knew Wethersfield, having lived about a mile from it for more than 12 years. I know where to get the good pizza, the best playgrounds, Old Wethersfield and the Cove. I've been to a wedding at the barn (cheers to the happy couple - Nicole & Rodney all these years later!) Last year I discovered the town was developing a GREEN vibe when the townspeople voted to conserve the large tract of farmland known as the Wilkus Farm. (Pictured: The Web Barn) What I didn't know was that the town had the foresight to have a Shade Tree Commission. Isn't that wonderful? Separately, in celebration of Wethersfield's 375th anniversary in 2009, the town w

GREEN Flooring Choices?

I don't have any flooring projects in mind in the near future, but I find myself thinking about flooring anyway. (Call it a job hazard of working in real estate and visiting so many homes.) I thought I'd take a look at what's available for eco-friendly flooring these days. When it comes to flooring, eco-friendly can mean that it is made with recycled materials, natural or sustainable materials, or doesn't use toxic chemicals. Toxic chemicals? No thank you. Why on earth wouldn't you look into alternatives to toxic chemicals? In our search for GREEN flooring choices we can find recycled/reclaimed wood, recycled glass tiles, bamboo (which is actually a grass), linoleum (which is biodegradable and doesn't release any toxins), natural fibers like jute & sisal or sea grass, cork (which is the bark of a tree and continues to grow.) You can also find recycled rubber carpet padding or the interlocking rubber tiles (such as you find in gyms or children's

Our Great, Big Attic Insulation Project

OK, so it turns out it's not as much a BIG job, as a MESSY one, but Scott (with the help of my dear dad,) finally insulated the attic floors of our 100+ year old home. It's also a 2 person job and proved fairly easy, with a few hours of prep work in the attic, one day of blowing in the insulation, and one afternoon of cleaning up the attic afterwards and reinstalling those original floorboards. (Ours is a full walk-up 3rd floor attic.) You may remember this project was the recommendation made to us by the home energy audit contractors this summer. Scott chose a product called greenfiber, which is a natural fiber insulation. http://www.greenfiber.com/ . My favorite things about it: contains no formaldehyde, produced using 10 times less energy than other types of insulation, no-itch, it's 85% recycled paper fiber (the labels say each 40 sq.ft. bag of insulation contains the equivalent of about 46 Sunday newspapers! What's not to love, right? All in all, we went throug

Green Resolutions, Anyone?

Happy New Year from The GREEN Connecticut Realtor! I've been hearing some interesting New Year's resolutions this year, and a lot of the same old ones, but not many GREEN ones. I'm a list-maker myself, so making resolutions for me is more along the lines of making another "TO-DO" list, only more ambitious than my weekly lists, and slightly more attainable than my life list (now THAT is a fun list!) So what are some ways to incorporate eco-friendly ideas into our best-intentioned resolutions? It seems pretty simple. There must be tons of ways to do so. I'm always trying to think of ways to reduce my footprint on the earth, and I still seem to get too much junk mail from companies (such my banks & insurance companies) who do business with me and so feel entitled to send me mail. Besides recycling it, which I do, I've recently decided to shred it and feed it to my hungry composter. If you're still getting lots of unwanted credit card offers, you