Archive for the ‘home maintenance’ Category

Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase

April 17, 2010

I am so proud of Mar Vista.; this is a great event, and they have been offering the Sustainable Works programs that were developed in Santa Monica. I hope you can join me for this year’s Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase to see how residents in our community are combating California’s water crisis through drought resistant landscaping.

 Free self-guided walking and biking tours through 79 private Mar Vista resident gardens offers a firsthand look at a variety of sustainable, drought-resistant landscapes. As a model community for water wise best management practices, Mar Vista has been at the forefront of Los Angeles’ most progressive water conservation measures which include hosting a Water Wise Use Expo and participating as the first neighborhood in the City’s Rainwater Harvesting Pilot Program.

 Click marvistagreengardenshowcase.blogspot.com for a preview of the gardens and a map of the locations to plan your own tour. Choose a walking, biking or driving tour, or select the gardens that showcase solutions that you may be considering. Look for the flags with the Mar Vista Community Council  (MVCC) logo in front of each house on the day of the tour:

   Sunday, April 25  2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 This is a wonderful opportunity to get some fresh air and some fresh ideas about how you can take steps to save water while at the same time greening your garden.

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Ideas for your garden

March 1, 2010

Many homeowners think that a new landscaping project will cost them a great deal of time and money. While it’s true that there’s no end to the ways one can spend money on landscaping, there are many things you can do to improve your yard at relatively little expense. All it takes is a little planning and a couple of days of good weather. Rethink your walkway: Even if you can’t dig up your walkway or change the direction of your entranceway, consider creating a welcoming path to your door using plants, border fencing, or other treatments. Add new flowerbeds to your lawn: Sketch your plans for the new beds and consider creating attention with intriguing shapes. Install new lighting: Fixtures don’t have to be the expensive type – they just need to be strategically placed to highlight features and to create awareness. Decorate freely: Use rocks, driftwood, outdoor art, a fountain or birdbath to provide visual anchors and points of interest. Get neighborly input (and plant contributions): Ask friends, neighbors and relatives for advice, and don’t refuse plant transplants from their perennial gardens (but pay special attention to seasonal foliage, hardiness, etc.).  Since we have many years with little rainfall (not this year)I would also advise you to do some research on drought tolerant or native plants.  The Sunset Garden Book is a great resource , as well as TheodorePayne.org which has a nursery and demonstration gardens in Sun Valley.  Their Native Plant tour is April 10-11 .   Culver  City Garden Club has a meeting the first Tuesday of every month, at 7:30 pm in the Garden Room of the Culver City Veteran’s Building located at Culver Blvd. and Overland.  You can go to the meetings for free or join for $12/year, $18 for 2 people.  They have plant raffles at every meeting.  The Coral Tree is Los Angeles office tree, not the Palm Tree.  Bird if Paradies is our official flower.  Gardening can be a very relaxing past time, just try not to over do it.

For info on what your house in Los Angeles is worth or to search your new home go to my site DonnaBenton.com.  310-398-2332

Real Estate 101 glossary P-R

November 28, 2009

Here we are after Thanksgiving.  Forget the turkey, I was stuffed.

PARTIAL INTEREST   A shared ownership in a piece of property. May be divided among two or more parties.

PARTIAL PAYMENT   A payment of less than the regular monthly amount. Usually, a lender will not accept partial payments.

PERIODIC PAYMENT CAP   The limit on how much regular monthly payments on an Adjustable Rate Mortgage can change during one adjustment period.

PERIODIC RATE CAP   The limit on how much the interest rate on an Adjustable Rate Mortgage can change during any one adjustment period.

PERSONAL PROPERTY Owned items which are not permanently affixed to the land.

PERSONAL RESIDENCE   The primary domicile of a person or family.

PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT (PUD)   A coordinated, real estate development where common areas are shared and maintained by an owner’s association or other entity.

PLAT   A plan or chart of a piece of land which lays out existing or planned streets, lots or other improvements.

POINT   A percentage of a mortgage amount (one point = 1 percent).

PRE-APPROVAL   The process of applying for a mortgage loan and becoming approved for a certain amount at a certain interest rate before a property has been chosen. Pre-approval allows the borrower greater freedom in negotiations with sellers.

PREFABRICATED  Any building or portion thereof which is manufactured and assembled off site, then erected on a property.

PREPAYMENT  Payment made that reduces the principal balance of a loan before the due date and before the loan has become fully amortized.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY   A fee that may be charged to a borrower who pays off a loan before it is due.

PRE-QUALIFICATION   Less formal that pre-approval, pre-qualification usually means a written statement from a loan officer indicating his or her opinion that the borrower will be able to become approved for a mortgage loan.

PRIME RATE   The interest rate that banks and other lending institutions charge other banks or preferred customers.

PRINCIPAL   The amount owed on a mortgage which does not include interest or other fees.

PRINCIPAL BALANCE   The outstanding balance of principal on a mortgage. Does not included interest due.

PRINCIPAL, INTEREST, TAXES, AND INSURANCE (PITI)   The most common constituents of a monthly mortgage payment.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI)  A form of mortgage insurance provided by private, non-government entities. Normally required when the LOAN TO VALUE RATIO is less that 20%.

PROPERTY  Any item which is owned or possessed.

PURCHASE AGREEMENT   A written contract signed by the buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold.

QUADRAPLEX  Any building designed to accommodate four families.

QUALIFYING RATIOS   Two ratios used in determining credit worthiness for a mortgage loan. One is the ratio of a borrower’s monthly housing costs to monthly income. The other is a ratio of all monthly debt to monthly income.

QUITCLAIM DEED   A legal document which transfers any ownership an individual has in a piece of property. Often used when the amount of ownership is not known or is unclear.

RAFTER  A structural element of the roof, sloping from the peak to the outer walls.

RANCH HOUSE   An architectural style typified by a single-story, low-roof construction. Popular in the western U.S.

RATE LOCK   A guarantee from a lender of a specific interest rate for a period of time.

RAW LAND   Any land which has not been developed.

REAL ESTATE   A piece of land and any improvements or fixtures located on that land.

REAL ESTATE AGENT   A licensed professional who facilitates the buying and selling of real estate.

REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (RESPA)  A federal law requiring lenders to give full disclosure of closing costs to borrowers.

REAL PROPERTY   Land, improvements and appurtenances, and the interest and benefits thereof.

REALTOR®  A real estate agent or broker who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®.

RECEPTACLE   An electrical outlet to plug into.

RECORDER   A local government employee whose role it is to keep records of all real estate transactions within the jurisdiction.

RECORDING   The filing of a real estate transaction with the appropriate government agent (normally the RECORDER). A real estate transaction is considered final when it is recorded.

REFINANCE TRANSACTION   A new loan to pay off an existing loan. Typically to gain a lower interest rate or convert equity into cash.

REGISTER   Where air from a furnace or air conditioning system enters the room.

RELOCATION SERVICE   Any company or agency that assists corporate employees in relocating from one place to another. Services may include hiring and coordinating real estate agents, moving companies, utilizes and the like.

REMAINING BALANCE   Back to top
The amount of principal, interest and other costs that has not yet been repaid.

REMAINING TERM   The amount of time remaining on the original amortization schedule.

REMODEL   An activity designed to improve the value or desirability of a property through rebuilding, refurbishing, redecorating or adding on to it.

REPAYMENT PLAN   A plan to repay delinquent payments, agreed upon between a lender and borrower, in an effort to avoid foreclosure.

REPLACEMENT RESERVE FUND  An account, or fund, setup for the replacement of short life items, such as carpeting, in the common areas of a cooperative property.

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY  A piece of property whose highest and best use is the maintenance of a residence.

REVOLVING DEBT   A type of credit that allows the borrower/customer to make charges against a predetermined line of credit. The customer then pays monthly installments on the amount borrowed, plus interest.

RIDGE BOARD   The structural member of a roof where the rafters join at the top.

RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL   An agreement giving a person the first opportunity to buy or lease a property before the owner offers it for sale to others.

ROOF PITCH   The degree of slope in a roof.

RURAL  An area outside of an established urban area or metropolitan district.

West Coast Green

September 19, 2009

Lola and meOctober 1-3 in San Francisco at the Fort Mason Center

Green innovation conference of the built environment

Epoxybox celebrates new location on Lincoln

September 19, 2009

Lola and meAfter the Envionemtal meeting in WLA you can hop over to Venice to  the new Epoxybox showroom..  2434 Lincoln.  Parking on Lincoln and Venice or valet parking at the Venice United Methodist Church, located at Lincoln and Victoria.

 September 24th at 6:30 p.m. for the grand opening of their new location in Venice in the Oragne Office building.  The  new, expanded space includes a separate department for trade and large build along with the many products for homeowners and smaller projects that were available at the old space on Abott Kinney and Venice.  And a new lighting department with fixtures from Light Green,  purveyors of the largest array of green lighting fixtures.  They  also now have a kitchen cabinet department on site in cooperation with Bradco Kitchens.  Bradco on Pico has so many  great kitchen cabinets.

Feds Award Los Angeles $37 Million

September 19, 2009

a REMAX logoThe City has received over $37 million from the US Department of Energy under the federal stimulus program, to undertake programs that reduce fossil fuel use, improve energy efficiency, and create and retain jobs.  EnvironmentLA will be hosting seven public meetings over the next two weeks to gather public input about how we should spend this money.

The Westside meeting is September 24, 5-7 at the Felicia Mahood Senior Center

11338 Santa Monica Blvd., west of Sawtelle-around Corinth and Purdue

 

You will have an opportunity to voice your opinion and see eligible plans.

DOE Awards $535 million loan for solar panel research

September 9, 2009

a REMAX logoGreat article from the  DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE)

 

DOE Finalizes $535 Million Loan Guarantee for Solyndra DOE has finalized a $535 million loan guarantee for Solyndra, Inc., a Fremont, California, company that manufactures innovative solar photovoltaic panels. The loan guarantee is the first using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, and the first from DOE since the 1980s. In the September 4 announcement by Vice President Joe Biden, he noted that the money will finance construction of the first phase of the company’s new manufacturing facility, which will have the capacity to produce 500 megawatts of solar panels per year. Solyndra estimates the new plant will initially create 3,000 construction jobs and will lead to as many as 1,000 jobs once the facility opens, in addition to hundreds of new jobs throughout the country for installers of the solar power systems. This view from beneath a Solyndra solar panel shows blue sky through the gaps between the glass tubes, which cast shadows on the surface below. Support structures hold the panels about 10 inches above their mounting surface. Credit: Solyndra, Inc. Solyndra also started construction of the new facility on September 4, with Energy Secretary Steven Chu and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger lending a hand for the groundbreaking. The facility will employ a new and highly innovative process for manufacturing Solyndra’s solar panels. Solyndra deposits thin films of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), a photovoltaic material, on the inner surface of glass tubes, which are then hermetically sealed on both ends with a metal caps. The glass tubes are then assembled into large, flat solar panels. The cylindrical design enables the CIGS material to capture direct, diffuse, and reflected sunlight, allowing the panels to be mounted flat and close together. This makes greater use of the rooftop area than a traditional flat solar panel, which is typically mounted in racks that tilt the panels toward the sun. The design also allows air to flow through the panels, keeping the operating temperature down and reducing wind loads, which in turn makes installation easier. Solyndra’s panels will be primarily used in the fast-growing market for solar power systems installed on large, flat rooftops. See the press releases from DOE and Solyndra, the Web site for the DOE Loan Guarantee Program, and Solyndra’s overview of its solar panel technology.

Healthy Home Tips 4: Pick plastics carefully | Environmental Working Group

September 4, 2009

I found this article and website helpful:  I hope you will also.

Donna

a REMAX logoHealthy Home Tips 4: Pick plastics carefully | Environmental Working Group

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DWP water restrictions in Los Angeles

June 27, 2009

What do you think about the DWP water restrictions?  Are you complying or ignoring?  Do you not know about them?  Do you see violators? 

 

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Culver City Garden Club Show and Sale

June 24, 2009
426 Manchester g housea REMAX logoThe Culver City Garden Show and Plant Sale is this weekend.  It’s free and a lot of fun.  56th Annual Culver City Garden Club
 
Garden Show and Plant Sale
 
Sat. June 27, 12 noon to 4pm
Sun. June 28, 10am to 4pm
 
Culver City Veteran’s Auditorium
4117 Overland Ave, Culver City
(corner of Culver Blvd)
 
free admission and parking
hourly raffle for donated prizes
 
professionally judged plant show
plus 10 vendors selling plants and garden-
related goodies.
 
more info 310-203-1482