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Text only newsletter stories Issue 3 Vl. 5


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Headline: New home? Here’s how to save

Here are a few things new homeowners can do to save on energy and maintenance.

When you’ve just purchased a new home, there’s a ton on your mind. There’s moving, decorating, getting to know your new neighborhood, and more. Here are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list, because they’ll save you a lot of money.

Check on your water heater
Set your water heater for 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This is plenty hot enough for bathing, washing dishes, and any other household use of hot water, so heating water above 120 degrees is a waste of energy and money. And if your water heater is an older model, it’s worthwhile to invest in a water heater blanket to keep it insulated.

Replace air filters
Sellers often put in a lot of cosmetic work to get the home move-in ready, but they often skip or forget about air filters in the HVAC system. Filters can be found at your local hardware store (just make sure to get the right size) and are easy to replace. Doing so will improve air flow and quality, and save on energy costs.

Get a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat, such as Nest, will cost you some money up front but is well worth the long-term savings. It’s programmable so that your AC and furnace run at lower levels when you’re not home, so you’re not wasting money to cool or heat an empty house.

Set up a space to air-dry clothes
Whether it’s a rack in your laundry room or a clothesline in the back yard, air-drying clothes is a big money saver over even the most energy-efficient dryers. Air-drying your garments will also help them last much longer.

Check for leaks and running toilets
A leaky faucet or a constantly-running toilet will use up water unnecessarily, and that’ll show up on your utility bill. And in the worst case, they’ll cause expensive water damage and mold.


Headline: The best things about home ownership

If you own a home, there was certainly a lot that went into your decision to buy rather than continue to rent. Now you’re enjoying all the advantages of homeownership—here are the top five.

 1. Building wealth: When you own a home, you have an asset that will likely increase in value over time. It provides great security, and the opportunity to essentially live “rent-free” in your retirement years when the home is paid off.

 2. Freedom to make it your own: Landlords can be strict about customizing rental properties. Most don’t even allow their tenants to paint. But when you own a home, the possibilities are endless. Get rid of a wall, or paint it any color you like. It’s your property.

 3. Building equity: Every mortgage payment your make, and every improvement you make on the home, is putting money back into your pocket. Unlike with renting, owning a home gives you more than just a place to live. You can use your home equity to get loans and even cash for emergencies.

 4. More freedom and stability: Studies show that homeowners have a better sense of pride and security than renters. When you relax in your own home, you know it’s the result of hard work and planning, and that you have the freedom to change it as you wish.

 5. *Tax advantages: Homeowners can deduct the interest paid on home loans and property taxes—that’s a big break that comes up every April 15.*


Headline: Just moved in? Here are the must-haves for your new home

Moving into a new home is an exciting time in your life. You’re making plans for renovations and choosing furniture, but before you get too far ahead of yourself, there are some more important matters to attend to.

Staying safe: Make plans for home security and emergencies. What’s your escape route in case of a fire, or shelter in case of a severe storm? Do you have a home security system, a protective dog, or weapon available in your bedroom? Choose your “Stay Safe” tactics and make a plan for the worst-case scenarios that put your safety at risk.

A disaster kit: Even if it’s as simple an inconvenience as a power outage, you want to be ready. Stock a flashlight, non-perishable food, water, a first-aid kit, and warm clothes/blankets that you can access in case of an emergency.

A spare (secret) key: It’s no fun getting locked out of your house—especially in cold or wet weather—and no one wants to pay a locksmith to access their own home. Hide a key somewhere outside (just be more creative than hiding it under the welcome mat). There are plenty of devices you can purchase, such as magnetic key hiders, that can help you hide your key in places that a trespasser wouldn’t consider


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