Thursday, June 26, 2008

Becoming Green, Go Solar Water Heating

Most of you know that I am becoming, well, green. And to some people (like 4 year old JJ) I have been green for awhile.

I am trying to do my part at protecting and sustaining the environment. Outside of the home I try to walk or BART as much as possible, I support local and green businesses, I combine errands by location, and I drive the hybrid as much as possible. Inside the house I started composting, I pack lunches in "Wrap-n-Mats" instead of wasting plastic bags, and we have cut the water pressure in half on all showers.

But there are some bigger things that can be done to your home. Think solar. Yes, we have all heard about the benefits of solar electricity and how it can drastically save you money on your energy bill. But going solar can cost some serious cash. Here is something you don't hear a lot about, solar water. Yup, a solar water heater. Huh?

Last month I had the pleasure of interviewing Martin Morehouse of Sun Light & Power. I met with Martin at the home of one of his current projects in Rockridge. Martin was kind enough to tell me a little bit about solar water heating and just how it works.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Website rates "walkability" of a home

With gas prices reaching an all time high (last week I paid $4.89/gal) people in Seattle are turning to a new website called

The creaters of Walk Score measured the Walk Score of 77 Seattle neighborhoods and created a walkability map to help you find Seattle's most walkable places to live. The site sizes up restaurants, schools, parks, shopping and other destinations and then gives the neighborhood a score of 0-100.

Walk Score helps people find houses and apartments in walkable neighborhoods. Walk Score shows you a map of what's nearby and calculates a Walk Score for any property. Living in a walkable neighborhood is good for the environment and good for your health. Wouldn't it be cool if this was a feature of every listing that hit the market?

Visit to find out when Walk Scores will be available in your neighborhood.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Networking in the Blogosphere- is there any value left?

Earlier this year I participated in a panel discussion at the California Association of Realtors in downtown LA. The topic? "Social Networking. Is there any value left?" I was humbled to be on the panel with such esteemed members of the real estate community.

This title now has me thinking, what exactly is social networking? Social networking for you may not be what it is for me.

Isn't it true that most people want to build a community, or if not build one, at least be a part of one? Isn't this social networking? You go to the local market, see your friendly checker, and while admiring her new haircut, ask where she had it cut. Isn't this social networking? Or perhaps you log onto your LinkedIn profile, search your contacts to see if they are connected to any financial planners, and then contact them. Isn't this social networking?

So is there any value left? Heck ya. So long as people have a desire for community, then social networking has value.

Click here to read the full panel discussion: or check out the June/July magazine.