Asheville green homes

Step Up Your Green Home Maintenance Game this Spring

 

Spring Daisies

As the weather takes a turn for the warmer, many a homeowner begins to contemplate cleaning, decluttering and strategizing toward spring home maintenance.  With some intentionality, you can carry out your spring home maintenance plan with our planet’s health in mind. Take a moment to read this post while relaxing on your front porch, then roll up your sleeves and dig in.  You will reap the rewards of a cleaner, greener and freshly maintained property in a few days of honest work.  Then you will be back to enjoying your front porch with a clean conscience and healthy, efficient home!

 

Green Home Cleaning

 

Green home cleaning involves using compounds that are bio-based as opposed to petroleum-based and synthetic.  For example, vinegar and filtered water, scented with essential oils makes a great all-purpose cleaner that is versatile enough to use to clean windows or to mop floors.  Stains may be tackled using baking soda, water and salt.  If you choose to purchase green cleaning products, look for logos by these certifying agencies:

 

  • USDA Certified Biobased Product

  • GreenSeal Certified

 

Make sure that your vacuum cleaner uses a HEPA rated filter.  This will help improve your indoor air quality by not allowing residue to cycle back into the room as you vacuum.  Choose microfiber cloths over paper towels.  Microfiber is recyclable and very efficient at picking up dust and not leaving behind residue.

 

Green Home Contracting

 

If you are having work done on your home, try to find tradesmen who use recycled materials, methods that save resources and energy, or materials that are better for the environment.  Carpenters, painters, landscapers, energy contractors, plumbers, masons and remodelers can all obtain certifications that help you identify their green home contracting status.  Look for certifications such as these:

 

  • Certified Green Professional (CGP)

  • LEED Professional Credentials

  • Green Advantage Certified Practitioner (GACP)

Home with Solar Panels

Green Improvements You can Make Now

Replace old windows.  You can significantly lower your energy bills and reduce your consumption of energy simultaneously if you replace your old windows with modern, energy efficient windows.

 

Install solar panels.  Due to the significant reduction in panel installation costs and energy savings by as much as 80%, the number of households installing solar panels is skyrocketing.  Harness the power of the sun this spring!

 

Install water-saving measures.  Energy-efficient toilets, rainwater collection barrels, tankless water heaters, and low-flow fixtures are all great ways to reduce your household consumption of water.  According to the EPA, your family could save about 20,000 gallons of water annually by making just a few of these changes.

 

For information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

 

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West Asheville's Craggy Park Combines Community and Nature

Craggy Park Streetscape

Imagine a sustainable urban community featuring streamside trails and organic gardens against a park-like backdrop. Now imagine this idyllic setting within easy walking distance of West Asheville’s vibrant Haywood Road corridor. The distinctive neighborhood of Craggy Park has all of this, and more. Its 45 green-built homes, featuring modern, clean lines and bright, open designs, are responsibly constructed for low environmental impact and sustainable living. Ditching the car in favor of biking or walking to restaurants, grocery, schools, the library and other amenities along Haywood Road and Patton Avenue is easy for Craggy Park residents, making this neighborhood the ultimate in green living.

Connecting to Nature at Craggy Park

Amenities at Craggy ParkCraggy Park’s design philosophy of clustering homes around ample common space means residents don’t have to go far to enjoy the outdoors. The neighborhood’s park on Fox Creek and adjacent urban woodland conservation area make it easy to stay connected to nature. The park includes a nature trail with benches, a lawn by the stream, two “little free libraries,” a tree house, an oversized double swing, organic gardens, a fire pit, a picnic area with a community grill and herb spiral gardens. Native, drought-tolerant and edible landscaping throughout the neighborhood provides a habitat for local flora and fauna.

For a more immersive experience in nature, residents have a range of nearby options. The neighborhood is an easy drive to hiking and biking trails in Bent Creek, water recreation on the French Broad River, and camping in Pisgah National Forest.

Connecting to Community at Craggy Park

Easy Access to Haywood RoadCraggy Park is linked to the Haywood Road business district via a greenway trail and a short stroll or bike ride up Dunwell Ave. Slicing through West Asheville, the vibrant commercial corridor has been the area’s main artery for more than 100 years. Mom-and-pop shops stand alongside an influx of newer businesses – everything from retro arcades to artist co-ops to bike and skate shops to music halls have found their way to Haywood. Even with the seismic shifts the street has seen, it still retains a small hometown air. Residents of Craggy Park can, in mere minutes, be at restaurants, bars, grocery stores, parks and other amenities – making it all the easier to truly experience the area’s energy and sense of community.

A number of well-regarded schools within walking or biking distance – including Vance Elementary School, Francine Delany New School for Children, Rainbow Community School and Asheville City Preschool, just to name a few – make Craggy Park ideal for families.

For a personally guided tour of Craggy Park, or for more information on real estate here or anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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Asheville's CompostNow Service Makes it Easy for You to Go Greener

compost

Ever wish you could cut down on the food waste your family adds to landfills every year, but stymied by the logistics of composting? Maybe you live in an apartment, have a small backyard, or simply want an easy way to turn your food scraps into food for the Earth. If you live in the Asheville area, there’s a simple solution: CompostNow is a service that allows anyone to compost without the hassle and maintenance of a compost bin. Members receive bins that they can fill with compostable items; the bins are collected on a weekly basis and returned with earned compost, either to you or to a local community garden of your choosing.

The Benefits of Composting

There are many reasons why composting is a great idea. Garden soil thrives best on compost; it helps loosen clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. And unlike commercial fertilizers, it has no petroleum-based compounds. Compost curbs plant diseases and pests, and helps your garden to produce much higher yields of healthy fruits, vegetables and flowers.

Then there’s the benefit to the Earth: Composting keeps food-related waste out of landfills, easing the environmental burdens that weigh on our planet. In fact, CompostNow members divert over a third of their waste from landfills — that’s more than 500 pounds per household.

How CompostNow Works

Compost Now AshevilleAnyone in the Asheville area (or the Triangle area, CompostNow’s other service point) – be it a household, business, restaurant or even an event – can sign up to be a CompostNow member. For a household, once you sign up, you will receive up to two bins. Just put your food scraps and other compostable materials (CompostNow provides you with a list, which includes even bones, meat, dairy and pizza boxes) in the bin; every week, the service comes to collect your food-related scraps, replacing your bin with a clean one. CompostNow partners locally with Danny’s Dumpsters, which takes the collected scraps to its facility in East Asheville for composting.

You start earning compost immediately, and it’ll be dropped off whenever you indicate you’d like it. The service also offers the option to support the local food movement by sharing earned compost with a local community garden of your choosing.

For more information on CompostNow, and how you can easily get in on the composting movement, visit www.compostnow.org.

For more information about our area or about real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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In Asheville, Residential Solar Systems Brighten the Bottom Line

Solar Panels Home Asheville

As the movement toward alternative energy sources continues, residential solar energy incentives are gaining a growing audience. In Asheville, homeowners can take advantage of many rebates and incentives at the state and federal levels, meaning that both up-front and long-term costs can be reduced. Following, a few financial benefits to installing solar systems in your home:

Federal Tax Credits

The installation of both solar water heaters and solar panels can qualify for a tax credit. As of 2018, that means a credit of 30% of the cost, including installation costs, with no upper limit. (The credit decreases to 26% in 2020). The systems must be installed in a home you own and use as a primary residence, between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2021. For solar water heaters, at least half of the energy generated must come from the sun, and the system must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corp. For solar panels, the photovoltaic systems must provide electricity for the residence.

State Incentives

Solar Power HomeDuke Energy provides its N.C. customers with rebates if they install solar panel systems. Homeowners can receive a $0.60/watt rebate for systems up to 10 kilowatts. That means an average 6-kilowatt system would be eligible for a rebate of $3,600.

Revolving loan options are another perk for North Carolina residents. Legislation enacted in the state allows for cities and counties to offer low-interest loans for solar panels. The legislation limits loan terms to 20 years, with an interest rate cap of 8 percent.

Property Tax Exemption

Solar PowerSolar systems are lauded for increasing the value of your home, but that can also mean higher property taxes. However, in North Carolina, for homeowners who are using their systems for residential purposes (and not for business or profit), an N.C. property tax exemption means that the value their system adds to the property isn’t included in property tax assessments.

Another incentive for N.C. residents who install solar panels is net metering. The state’s net metering policy credits homeowners for the extra power the solar panels produce, and allows them to apply that credit during times when the system doesn’t generate enough electricity.

At the local level, installing solar panels will net a bonus incentive. If you live in the city of Asheville, you can receive a rebate on your building permit when installing a solar system on either residential or commercial construction.

If you’re in the market for a home in Asheville that is equipped with a solar system, or one that can accommodate such a system, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

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