Thursday, April 29, 2010

Help for the First Time Home Buyer

When starting your search for the perfect home. Start here!! Follow the links and you will be surprised at the available programs that can make your first time home buyers dreams come true. It does take a little research on your part, but when you can get assistance to purchase your first home the time invested will be worth it.

There are many Cities in Santa Clara County who today offer either, down payment assistance, closing costs assistance and below market housing. Take a look.

Need help finding that home.... Call me. 408-718-4128

1. City of San Jose Housing Department
2. Housing Authority of Santa Clara County
3. Community Technology
4. Housing Trust of Santa Clara County
5. City of Santa Clara Housing and Community Services
6. City of Sunnyvale Housing
7. City of Mountain View Housing and Community Development
8. City of Campbell
9. City of Cupertino Housing
10. City of Gilroy Housing
11. City of Milpitas Housing
12. City of Morgan Hill Housing
13. State Housing and Community Development Program
14. California Housing Finance Agency
15. Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
16. Fannie Mae Homeownership Services
17. American Home Buyers Alliance

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Green Tips for Your Home

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, here are some tips to help you make an impact-on our planet:
  • Lower your thermostat by a few degrees in the winter and raise it a few degrees in the summer.
  • Say goodbye to bottled water by purchasing a reusable water bottle.
  • Install low-flow faucets and showerheads. If your budget allows, purchase a water efficient toilet-you may even get a rebate from your local water company.
  • Start a compost in your backyard.
  • Buy foods locally at a nearby farmer's market. It's good for local economy and saves gas.
  • Bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store.
  • If you don't have your resuable shopping bags with you at the grocery store and are given the choice of paper or plastic, choose paper.
  • If you like using plastic grocery bags, recycle them to be used as doggie bags, dirty diaper storage or for small trash can liners.
  • Install compact fluorescent light bulbs throughout your home.
  • Turn off lights and electronics when you leave the room. Likewise, unplug electronic items, energy strips and protectors when not in use.
  • Recycle newspapers, cardboard, paper and plastic items.
  • Carpool to work more often or take mass transit when available.
  • Recycle your old cell phone.
  • If you live within close proximity to your work or downtown community, ride a bike or walk.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run the whole time.
  • Go to your local library instead of buying new books.
  • At holidays and birthdays, give your family and friends the gift of saving the earth by donating to their favorite environmental group, foundation or organization.
  • Remove yourself from junk mail lists by going to For a small fee, you'll be removed from junk mail lists, and Precycle will even plant five trees for you!
  • Whenever possible, purchase products that use recyclable materials.
  • Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street.
  • Use organic cleaning products.
  • Collect the water you use for rinsing fruits and vegetables and reuse it to water houseplants.
  • The next time you are getting ready to purchase a new car, consider buying a fuel-efficient car or a hybrid.
  • Landscape with native plants.
  • Buy organic milk.
  • Cut down on paper waste. Get online subscriptions for your newspaper and magazines. Switch to online banking and opt to have your bills sent to you electronically.
  • Teach children about the importance of being good to the environment.
  • Take your batteries to a recycling center.
  • Turn your car off if you're going to be idle for more than one minute.
  • Do full loads of laundry and set the rinse cycle to "cold."
  • When buying new appliances, consider those that are water and energy efficient, and offer cycle and load size adjustments.
  • Reuse. Plastic food containers make good crayon and marker holders. Use padded envelops more than once. Buy your toddler or preschooler's clothes from a thrift shop and give away items that don't fit to friends.
  • Limit the length of your showers. Even better, take a "navy shower," shutting off the water while soaping up and shampooing.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
  • Wash towels only after several uses.
  • Put a damper on things by installing fireplace draft stoppers, attic door covers and dryer vent seats that only open when your dryer is in use.
  • Seal off drafts around your home and save 5-30 percent in energy costs.
  • Recycle your technology. Dell, Hewlett Packard, Apple, and IBM, among others, offer recycling programs.
  • When purchasing paint, opt for zero or low VOC paint, made by most major paint manufacturers today.
  • Keep your house cooler during the summer by closing shades, blinds or curtains during the hottest times of the day.
  • Line dry your clothes whenever you can.
  • Drop your tissue in the trash instead of flushing it and save water every time.
  • Plant trees and shrubbery around your home to help keep your home cooler during the warm summer months, and help you run your air conditioner a little less.
  • The next time you make improvements to your home, use green materials.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded and turn off the dry cycle and air dry dishes instead.
  • Wash your pet(s) outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
  • Go paperless at work and avoid printing whenever possible.
  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows.
  • If your budget allows, install solar panels on your roof and see your energy savings soar.
  • Bring your mug to your local coffee shop, or keep one on hand at work for coffee fill-ups.
Recycle Cell Phones, computers and electronics
The City of Gilroy has recycling information including information regarding the following items:
Recycle old paint
Recycle oils
Recycle paper, plastic and aluminum