I don’t know if anyone else had a hard time getting started with this week after Daylight Savings on Sunday, but I know I had a tough time on Monday! Luckily by now it seems my body and mind are getting used to the gaining of an hour, with the sun rising a little earlier and setting a bit later (anyone catch any of the amazing Colorado sunsets yet? Keep an eye out every night right now they are unlike anything you have seen). With the changing of time also comes the changing of seasons. Spring is upon us as we enjoy some 70-degree days right now (but it is March and us Denverites know it is one of the snowiest months of the year so we won’t count ourselves out of the woods quite yet). Many of my clients are coming to me who are thinking about putting their homes on the market or buyers who bought in the last few years and ask me how is it they can save money right now around their homes and I always say spring is a great time to do some “spring cleaning” around the house and working to save money where and when you can.
Here are some personal recommendations I have for my sellers and buyers when it comes to finding different ways to save around the home:
· Refinancing your home – This might be one of the biggest ones I recommend to my homebuyers who are planning to stay in their home for the next year or so. By refinancing your home, you can get a lower interest rate and in return, you will be paying less on your mortgage. Sounds like savings all over the place with this plan.
· Transferring credit card balances – I know my wife and I do this and it can actually save a lot of money. Sometimes, we don’t realize just how much interest we have on some of our credit cards until we see our statements at the end of the month. I would suggest transferring your credit cards balances to lower interest credit cards so you won’t have such high fees. Be careful when you sign up for a card as well, make sure to ask about the interest they have along with the credit card company’s rewards and money back programs.
· What specials your cable or satellite provider has to offer – Usually a few times out of the year, your cable or satellite company will have some specials for the month. Another place to really do your research when you are getting into your home or thinking of moving, finding the best provider for your area for the best price.
· Unplug any unused devices and use LED light bulbs – If you walk around your house right now, you would probably find you might not have one empty outlet in your whole house. We tend to keep every appliance we have plugged in even when we don’t use them daily. Unplugging these devices will help save energy and if you also use LED light bulbs, you will also cut costs.
· Replace old windows – For those of you living in older homes around Denver, your old windows are probably costing you more money then you know. In the winter, these single-pained windows barely hold any heat in and let the cold right through which drives up the cost of your heating bill. Same as the winter, trying to keep it cool in your house is hard when your windows are not insulated. Try to keep your windows updated so you can cut your heating and cooling costs.
· Upgrade old A/C units to Zone heating and cooling systems – This type of heating and cooling system literally splits your home into zones that are temperature controlled separately. This allows everyone in your home to be comfortable and also cuts some real costs to your utility bill.
· Replace water heaters with “On Demand Systems” – What if you could have endless hot water AND save up to 50% on your utility bills? Would you give your old water heater the boot? That’s possible with an on demand system that provides hot water only when needed but always when needed.
There are so many ways to save around your house by replacing and updating certain factors of your house and also working on financial parts of your home. Hope your spring forward is full of savings this year!