Monthly Archives: May 2013

New Alderwood Additions Coming this Summer

AlderwoodNew Atlanta townhomes are coming soon! Ashton Woods Homes has decided to build 10 more homes at Alderwood, and they are just in time for summer.

Alderwood is a lovely community located in Sandy Springs with great amenities on the way. Residents can stay nice and cool this summer by taking full advantage of the community pool! Residents can relax by the water’s edge while chatting with new neighbors. During the chilly summer nights, residents can warm up to the new outdoor fireplace. Continue reading

Being Green and Saving Green: Eco-Friendly Building Material Options

low-e windowWhen you’re building your Atlanta new home, there seems to be a never-ending list of things to consider and decide on during the process. One of the newest things that homeowners are adding to that list is how to build a more eco-friendly, green home. You know that you want your home to be economic, you want your building materials to last and you want your home to be energy efficient throughout its lifetime. While trying to incorporate as many as many of these energy and earth-friendly materials as possible, here are a few things you may want to consider:

  • Radiant floor heat – One thing to consider is how you are going to provide heat to your home, especially during the coldest winter months. Radiant heat rises out from the floor, and can be fueled by electricity, heated air or hot water. In single family homes, hot water systems are used most often because they are the most cost effective. Tubing is laid under the floor, and hot water funs through from the boiler.
  • Recycled wood or plastic composite lumber – Re-using materials that might end up in a landfill otherwise is a perfect way to make your home a little more green. These materials are becoming common in playground equipment, and the National Association of Home Builders reports that using plastic waster with wood fibers creates lumber that is less toxic and more durable than regular treated lumber. Materials with plastic help to reduce mold and rot, making it the perfect choice for decks and patios.
  • Low-e windows – Giving your house the ability to hold its temperature through low emissivity (low-e) windows is an easy way to make your home more energy-efficient. These windows require more of an upfront investment, but they quickly put that money back in your pocket through reduced energy bills.
  • Insulated concrete forms – Another alternative to wood is insulated concrete forms, which can reduce energy consumption by as much as 20 percent in colder climates.
  • Recycled steel – Using steel beams in construction can add stability and take away the risk of mold or rot you could get from wood. Steel beams are commonly made from scrap metal from cars, instead of a natural resource like wood. By using scrap metal, 75 percent less energy is used over making new steel.
  • Plant-based polyurethane rigid foam – Insulation plays a large part in whether or not your home is energy efficient. One of the best insulation options is made by a company that previously manufactured surfboards. After a slap on the wrist by the Environmental Protection Agency, the company stopped using hazardous materials in their boards and began using plant-based polyurethane rigid foam, which they realized was excellent insulation.

It is often the case that green products are initially more expensive, but by investing in the products now, you save in future energy costs over the lifetime of your home. You can also take even more pride in your energy-efficient Atlanta new home and know that you are benefiting the overall good of the environment.

Pros and Cons of Debit and Credit Cards

Credit rating boosting cardsWhich is better for you? Credit or debit cards? The Equifax Finance Blog gives the pros and cons of each in their new article, “

Tips For Choosing Between Paying With Debit or Credit.” This key information can help you live a cash-free lifestyle, as well as help you remove the need for paper bills and statements by knowing which plastic to use for your credit score.

Credit Cards:

  • Pro – When you use and pay down a credit card, you help build your credit history.
  • Pro – Less risk of major financial and credit file damage from an identity thief.
  • Pro – Higher likelihood of being able to contest fraudulent charges.
  • Pro – Rewards can help buy things or pay down your balance.
  • Con – It’s easy to over spend using credit cards; since payment for your purchases is delayed.
  • Con – Using a credit card to earn rewards could cause you to spend more than you really can afford.

Debit cards:

  • Pro – The money is taken directly out of your checking account, so no interest and no late payment fees.
  • Pro – Having debit cards has no negative impact on your credit.
  • Con – Having debit cards has no positive impact on your credit.
  • Con – If stolen, the thief can wipe out your bank account.
  • Con – Many banks offer little protection against fraudulent use; some do, they just may require a fee
  • Con – If you or a thief overdraws, you will be hit with substantial fees.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages to both credit and debit cards, and which you use, and when, and how often, is up to you and what works best for your financial lifestyle.

If you’re looking for more tips on building credit, saving money, financial management,

protection from identity theft and more, visit the Equifax Finance Blog!