Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
After making headlines earlier this year, the government’s energy efficient appliance rebate program is still largely in effect in most states and hasn’t even began yet in others.
Dubbed “Cash For Appliances,” the program provides rebate incentives for purchasing energy efficient Energy Star appliance models. Unlike it’s “clunker” predecessor, this program does not require turning in an older model appliance to receive the rebate.
Though some states have allocated all their available funding, 36 states and territories still have funding as of June 2. In addition, certain states are beginning second and third phases of their rebate programs, expanding the list of qualifying products and offering additional rebates.
State funding ranges from $100,000 in the U.S. territories of American Samoa and Northern Marianas Islands to $35,267,000 for California. And qualified appliances range from three products (refrigerators, clothes washers and room air conditioners) in California to fifteen different eligible products in Georgia.
According to the Department of Energy and the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority, New York’s rebate program alone will help save residents $6 million in annual energy and water utility costs and $33 million over the lifetime of the products.
Rebates for appliance upgrades are distributed in the form of a Visa prepaid card, which local commerce departments hope will encourage consumer spending at local restaurants and retail locations.
To check whether your state still has available funding, which appliances are eligible for rebates in your state and to view a summary of each state’s rebate program, visit the Department of Energy.
Lori Brown is a staff member of Earth911.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
|Rank||Prev.||Town||ZIP||Price||Pricing rank||Sales rank||FC rank|
Newport Beach 92660 had Orange County’s zippiest housing market in the most recently concluded quarter.
So says our Zippy rankings that weigh pricing and sales momentum plus foreclosure frequency as measured by DataQuick stats.
This ZIP — running from Back Bay to around Fashion Island up to the toll road –ranked 7 of 83 for pricing; 2 for sales; and 6 in terms of foreclosures frequency in the community. In the previous quarter, this ZIP ranked 19 of 83 overall.
Second strongest was Newport Beach 92663 – from the pier to around the bay up to Hoag Hospital — followed by Irvine 92614 as third best. The beach theme in the Top10 also included Laguna Beach 92651 (#5); Newport Coast 92657 (#6); and Newport Beach 92661 — basically, most of the Balboa Peninsula (#8).
When you look at the 83 major ZIPs in the county and their Zippys rankings, you see these trends for the best-performing communities:
- The top 25 had a median selling price of $635,000 – that’s +35% vs. the middle of the pack.
- Price momentum of the top 25 — activity vs. a year ago was 17% compared to 8% for the middle of the pack.
- Sales momentum of the top 25 — activity vs. a year ago was 54% compared to 5% for the middle of the pack.
- Forecloures occurred in the top 25 ZIP at a rate of 1.4 homes per 1,000 vs. 2.6 for the middle of the pack.
- Forecloures momentum in the top 25 ZIP — change vs. a year ago — was 11% compared to -2% for the middle of the pack.
- At right is last quarter’s 10 zippiest ZIPs, as measured by Zippy math, and their respective rankings (1 best; 83 worst) in terms of pricing and sales momentum and foreclosure frequency.
- Two Santa Ana ZIPs finish last in Zippy rankings.
- See this coming Sunday’s Register for more analysis.
PS: What’s a Zippy? Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
...and not with Windex.
Along the lines of the e-waste and regulatory compliance issues I've posted about in the past, companies would do well to give the same care and attention to their copiers that they devote to their PCs and servers. Copiers, it turns out, do much more than churn out paper copies. They store document images on their internal hard drives to speed up performance, sometimes indefinitely.
The problem is that many organizations aren't taking the time to wipe those hard drives when they dispose of their copiers, many of which end up in the used business equipment market. As you can see in this CBS News video, used copiers can fetch a couple hundred dollars. Now think about all the businesses and government agencies that handle private data (doctor's offices, insurance companies, police stations, and so forth...) and you can see why criminals might think nothing of parting with a few Benjamins for a shot at a treasure trove of personal data that can net them much, much more. Or they can skip the buying a used copier altogether and pry the hard drives of retired copiers sitting in a storage area, or worse, the brazen ones might snatch the drives from actively used models. This data security hole is so potentially damaging that the FTC has now taken an interest.
So a word of advice: treat copiers like other IT equipment (many are sophisticated enough to qualify) and make sure that their hard drives are completely wiped before they're disposed of.
- Irvine-based housing consultant Walter Hahn think it’s “a disaster,” saying the market is still too depressed for to take it to market. “I think they’re wrong on the timing because the market isn’t back,” said “Job growth will be really slow over the next two to three years. Job growth drives everything. … I think it’ll be two years before you’ll see much of a resurrection of new home sales or even resales because of jobs.”
- But another consultant, John Burns, also of Irvine, argued that the housing market is recovering, saying that Lennar will “hit the ball out of the park.” The question isn’t why Lennar is bringing Central Park West to market now, but why didn’t it act sooner, said Burns, one of many who advised Lennar on the project. “They’ve got tens of millions of dollars in the ground. They had to sell them. Opening now is a no-brainer,” Burns said. “It’s kind of a bigger story that they waited this long.”
- Still, condo specialist Veronica Hicks of CondosEtc.com thinks CPW’s homeowner’s association dues and Mello Roos tax makes the units too pricy. She added that young families may shy away from CPW because the project is outside the coveted Irvine school district, falling instead in the Santa Ana distirct.
Meanwhile, close to 2,200 people showed up last month for Lennar’s “grand opening” of sales for the 496-condo project, located at Jamboree Road just off the 405 freeway, company officials said. More than 400 filled out registration cards.
The development includes two 14-story condo towers and five other low-rise condo buildings in a variety of “urban” designs, from brownstones to lofts.
Construction has been under way at the 42-acre site for at least three years, but Lennar abruptly took the homes off the market in November 2007 amid falling home prices to wait for the market to improve.
Lennar officials say that sales at CPW, as the project is known, are resuming because the market is showing signs of recovery.
But Hahn argues that the site – adjacent to a freeway and office buildings — is “not exactly a great location for residential property.” And, he added, “the low-rise condos are really ugly.” They either have a “cockamamie” design or “look like barracks,” he said.
The last strike against CPW is that large portions of the project — which ultimately will have 1,380 homes in eight separate sites — remain unbuilt, Hahn said. People will be reluctant to move somewhere that’s still a construction site.
“This particular project has been a disaster right from the beginning,” Hahn added. “They can overcome those negatives if they price (the homes) low enough. Way low.”
Hicks of CondosEtc believes the high-rise units also will have difficulty competing with distressed condo high-rises down the road, which sell for at least $100,000 less than Lennar is charging. “I think the location is fantastic,” Hicks said. But, she added, “there are some problems with that project, and I don’t know how they’re going to cure them.”
Burns disagreed. Their targeted buyers are affluent singles and couples, he said. The housing slump has hit bottom, and spring is the season when homebuying picks up. “I think they’ll hit the ball out of the park,” he said.
- Prices cut 25% on new ‘urban’ condos
- 21 Irvine condos sell before opening
- Sales resuming at mothballed Irvine project
- Irvine high-rise condos set for sale — again
- Mothballing of Lennar home projects to continue
- Lennar dramatically slows Irvine, Anaheim plans
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Complete updates on the subjects you are most interested in, whether it be foreclosures, short sale information,Loan modification, current market trends in "the OC", Orange County California or are searching for properties in and around Newport Beach California, Costa Mesa California, Irvine California or Huntington Beach California..... California Real Estate Broker ID 000526572
New York-style mini-apartments are catching on among renters who couldn't otherwise afford to live in choice neighborhoods.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
What are the benefits of recycling?
- Creates jobs
- Saves money
More info from the National Recycling Coalition
- Conserves landfill space
- Reduces air, water and land pollution
- Reduces green house gas emissions
- Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
- Conserves energy
- Prevents habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, and soil erosion associated with logging and mining
More info from the National Recycling Coalition
- Promotes community pride, awareness and cleanliness
- Is an easy way for people to protect and conserve the environment
- Helps sustain the environment for future generations
- Reduces the need for mining and the demand for virgin resources
What are some key facts about recycling?
There are several organizations that offer information about recycling and waste reduction:
Statistics on commonly recycled items:
- Kansas City, Missouri recycles between 1,200 and 1,500 tons a month through its KC Recycles curbside recycling program.
- The United States currently recycles 28 percent of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.
- Twenty years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 1998, 9,000 curbside programs and 12,000 recyclable drop-off centers had sprouted up across the nation.
- In a lifetime, the average American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. This means that each adult will leave a legacy of as much as 100,000 pounds of trash for his or her children.
- Each person generates about 4.5 pounds of waste per day.
- Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water!
- Paper products make up approximately 40 percent of our trash.
- Every day Americans recover about 40 percent of the paper we use.
- Paper products use up at least 35 percent of the world's annual commercial wood harvest.
- More than 1/3 of all fiber used to make paper comes from recycled paper.
- An aluminum can is unique in that in 60 days it is recycled, turned into a new can and back on a store shelf.
- Over 50% of the aluminum cans produced are recycled.
- Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95 percent less energy.
- Twenty recycled cans can be made with the energy needed to produce one can using virgin ore.
- Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours or run your television for three hours.
- Tossing away an aluminum can wastes as much energy as pouring out half of that can's volume of gasoline.
- Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W bulb for up to six hours.
- It takes about 450 years for one plastic bottle to break down in the ground!
- It takes about 25 recycled plastic drinks bottles to make one fleece jacket.
- Recycling one ton of soda and water bottles saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
- PET bottles are made into fiberfill, carpets, clothing, automotive parts and industrial strapping, sheet and film.
- Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100 watt light bulb for four hours.
- Glass never wears out -- it can be recycled forever. We save over one ton of resources for every ton of glass recycled -- 1,330 pounds of sand, 433 pounds of soda ash, 433 pounds of limestone and 151 pounds of feldspar.
- Recycled glass saves 50% energy versus virgin glass.
- Recycled glass generates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution.
- One ton of glass made from 50% recycled materials saves 250 pounds of mining waste.
Sources: St. Louis County Department of Health, U.S. EPA, Illinois Recycling Association, Oberlin College Recycling Association, Earth 911, Container Recycling Institute and South Lakeland District Council
http://puntasayulitasurfclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/PuntaSayulitaClassic_r...and more photos can be found at:
or at Costa Azul Adventure Resort's facebook page:
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