Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category
CUMMING, Ga. (AP) — The government wants you to install solar panels at your house, and will even give you a tax break to do it. But your neighbors? Maybe not.
It’s a lesson Angel and David Dobs discovered when their homeowners association north of Atlanta denied their request to install solar panels on their roof. Neighborhood officials said the panels would look out of place and might lower home values in a community that regulates details as fine as the coloring of roof tiles, the planting of trees and the storage of trash cans.
“It’s like living under communism — someone gets to dictate every possible thing you do,” David Dobs said.
Homeowners associations around the country have banned or severely restricted the installation of solar panels, and the solar industry has pushed back to halt the practice. A recent attempt in Georgia to expand the right to go solar had support from environmentalists and some Republican lawmakers concerned about private property rights but it succumbed to opposition from developers and real estate agents.
Roughly two dozen states now forbid or limit homeowners associations or local governments from banning solar panels, according to a database run by North Carolina State University. Similar disputes have prompted lawsuits in Nebraska and California.
Angel and David Dobs supported the Georgia legislation after their run-in with the homeowners association. David Dobs had viewed the project as his personal contribution to prevent global warming.
Leaders of the Vickery Lake Homeowners Association in Cumming say the dispute is about architecture and aesthetics, not the merits of solar power. Homeowners automatically accept the community rules when they purchase a home there.
“We’re not going to debate whether it’s a good idea to have green energy or not,” said Jim Pearson, the association’s president.
These debates are likely to keep flaring as more people install solar energy systems because the equipment is getting cheaper and governments subsidize the cost. Taxpayers can now deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing solar panels from their federal tax bill. Other states and local governments offer additional incentives.
The fight is not new. Some solar rights laws date back to the 1970s, while other states have added similar measures more recently.
California’s law, first enacted in 1978, prevents homeowners associations from forcing residents to make aesthetic changes to photovoltaic panels that raise the cost by more than $2,000 or decrease a system’s efficiency more than 20 percent.
Most disputes in California are worked out privately, but a few have reached the court system. Last year, a California appellate court upheld a decision forcing a couple to remove solar panels that were installed in their yard without the approval of their homeowners association. They were allowed to keep other panels on their roof.
“They don’t like the way they look,” said attorney Michael McQueen, who represented the couple and others in similar disputes. “And (homeowners associations) are all about looks. Is your lawn green? Are your hedges trimmed?”
Ricardo Cestero, an attorney for the homeowners association, said neighborhood leaders were concerned the ground-level panels were not set back far enough from the street, were inadequately protected from damage and might cause erosion.
Texas adopted a law last year preventing homeowners associations from totally blocking solar panels. The law makes clear that residents can install them on roofs or in fenced-in yards or patios, subject to some limits.
In Georgia, the fight between the Dobses and their homeowners association started in 2010. David Dobs said the rules required that he and his wife seek permission to build solar panels.
He first proposed installing 30 panels on two areas parallel to the slope of his roof. People could have seen sections of the three-by-five-feet panels as they walked or drove along the street.
The homeowners association rejected that request and three others from Dobs.
Board member Jim Graham said that to win approval, the panels would probably need to be out of view, perhaps mounted in a backyard and obscured by a fence — though fences too are subject to association approval.
Graham said that if people don’t like the rules, they are free to buy elsewhere.
“They chose to come into this community,” he said.
Lawmakers in Georgia tried to resolve the problem with legislation giving homeowners associations the rest of the year to decide whether to ban solar panels. Any neighborhood that did not set a ban by next year would be unable to stop a homeowner from installing solar panels in the future.
There were limits. Homeowners associations could restrict the panels to roofs or fenced-in backyards and patios. They could require that panels be installed parallel to the slope of a roof and ban any backyard solar equipment that rose higher than the surrounding fence.
Even in states that give homeowners the right to install solar panels, homeowners associations still ban them.
Neighborhood leaders in a Salem, Ore., subdivision rejected Larry Lohrman’s request to install solar panels on his roof because their rules banned the equipment, Lohrman said. He successfully argued that a 1979 solar rights law made that ban illegal, and he and a neighbor helped the association draft guidelines governing the installation of solar panels.
His panels were installed and started producing power in 2010, though Lohrman said he nearly abandoned the effort in frustration during the year it took to write the new guidelines for his homeowners association.
“They’re just afraid that someone’s going to put up this big, honking ugly thing that reflects light and just looks ugly,” he said.
Associated Press reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report. Follow Ray Henry on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rhenryAP
InfoTube thinks some logical thought should prevail on this issue. On one hand, we want to encourage US independence from fossil fuels that harm our environment and fund terrorism. On the other hand, homeowner association rules are in place to protect the beauty, value and function of a neighborhood.. Restrictions against solar panels are common in most associations and those rules were in place when the homes were initially purchased.
A Green or Living Roof… is a concept that has been around for centuries and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States. Cities such as Atlanta, Portland and Chicago now offer incentives to encourage builders to put green roof’s on their buildings. The green roof on the Chicago City Hall (shown below) is one of the earliest and best known examples in the USA.
Why are Green Roofs Good for Man and Earth?
1. Adding Green Roofs to Buildings in Urban Area’s has a dramatic effect on high temperatures, which are increasing. A green roof can decrease cooling costs by 50-90% depending on the amount of glass used in the building. On average, the use of green or living roof materials in cities can reduce overall summer temperatures by 4-7 degrees. Imagine a July high temp of 82 vs 90.
2. Living roofs dramatically reduce storewater runoff and they filter pollutants and heavy metals out of rainwater. They can retain up to 75% of rainfall and reduce the need for expensive underground sand filters that meet storm water regulations.
3. Green Roofs Filter pollution and carbon dioxide out of the air, which lowers respitory diseases such as asthma. Check out the green walled homes built in Austria below.
4. Living Roofs create a Natural Habitat for Birds, Bee’s, Butterflies and Insects in Urban and Rural Settings. They increase our agricultural space and can be used to grow food, herbs, fruiting tree’s and shrubs.
5. Green Roofs Require Little to No Maintenance…and Mowing can be fun
6. Living Roofs dramatically improve a roof’s insulation value and cuts heating and cooling bills about 25% on average. The roof’s also last two to three times as long as a standard asphault shingled roof.
Flower Tower Building – Paris, France
7. Green Roof’s Increase Real Estate Values and Earn LEED’s points
The idea of Green roof’s may be centuries old..but in the 21st century they are becoming new again. They increase life, and the beauty of it…in addition they make financial and environmental sense.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. If you are installing or caring for a green roof…please send us your pictures or share you story with us. We are always looking for new ways to improve quality of life and the value of real estate.
Okay, sure… not ALL of the beds in these cities are infested. But if you’re planning on hotel stays in any of these destinations, you might want to do an inspection around the headboards before you lay your body down.
Pest control corporation Rollins (which owns seven companies - including Orkin) reports a 34% rise in bed bug biz from 2010 to 2011.
Here’s the list, including the change from the previous year’s ranking:
3. Detroit (+1)
4. Denver (+2)
5. Los Angeles (+20)
6. Columbus, Ohio (-3)
7. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas (+43)
8. Washington, D.C. (-3)
9. New York (-2)
10. Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+6)
11. Houston (-1)
12. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Calif. (+35)
13. Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Ohio (+1)
14. Boston (+4)
15. Dayton, Ohio (-7)
16. Las Vegas (-1)
17. Honolulu (+55)
18. Baltimore (-6)
19. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+9)
20. Philadelphia (-9)
21. Atlanta (+24)
22. Lexington, Ky. (-13)
23. Syracuse, N.Y. (+25)
24. Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (+27)
25. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (+19)
26. San Diego (+13)
27. Seattle/Tacoma, Wash. (-3)
28. Omaha, Neb. (-11)
29. Buffalo, N.Y. (-16)
30. Pittsburgh (-3)
31. Indianapolis (-12)
32. Milwaukee (+6)
33. Charlotte, N.C. (+13)
34. Phoenix (+19)
35. Louisville, Ky. (-3)
36. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-16)
37. Grand Junction/Montrose, Colo. (+30)
38. Knoxville, Tenn. (+4)
39. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, Mich. (-17)
40. Nashville, Tenn. (+15)
41. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+24)
42. Des Moines/Ames, Iowa (-13)
43. Salisbury, Md. (+46)
44. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-23)
45. Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (-22)
46. Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn. (-20)
47. Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (-17)
48. Salt Lake City (-8)
49. Charleston/Huntington, W.Va. (-13)
50. West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Fla. (+6)
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. Visit our website to list property, search for a home, purchase an InfoTube or InfoBox or place a property listing on the MLS or Realtor.com. If you have a home to sell….we can help and save you money!!
We just love this smart, green designed, micro house that lives BIG.
The architecture blends into the environment and requires no maintenance.
The bright, open and contemporary design offers everything you need in a guest house or secret hideaway.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. Take a minute to search our database of Homes for Sale to see what surprises await for you.
Infotube LOVES smart and flexible housing like this worry-free, Fold and Go Writers cabin.
When the walls are lowered, they make a great ourdoor deck to set on and take in the starlit skies.
Smart and worry free design inspires your artistic side.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. Search free, private website to find your dream writers cabin.
We would like to say a big THANK YOU to the folks at Lowes Hardware for putting InfoTube back on the store shelves.
Lowes has been a supporter of InfoTube since the early 1990’s, but they made a decision to stop stocking The InfoTube a few years back, when the real estate market hit the skids.
Now, in support of our effort mutual efforts to Support American products and American workers, Lowes has restocked the shelves with InfoTubes, in anticipation of the spring home selling season. As a result, we have been able to add workers and our customers love the convenience of shopping at Lowes. (Lowes will also continue to sell our popular InfoBox, too.)
We appreciate everyone at Lowes and we appreciate all of you. Please look for our products trademarked Red Lids and Caps when you shop…and ask for InfoTube and InfoBox products by name.
Say NO to Chinese imports. Together, we can rebuild our country… one little product and one worker at a time.
Take a look at the imagination and resourcefullness that this home builder used to convert two, abandoned, semi truck trailers into a sweet 2 bedroom cabin in the woods.
First, Locate an abandoned truck trailer that is no longer road worthy.
Place the trailers onsight and weld the two structures together.
Sketch up your Floor Plan and get to work.
Cut through and bring your two worlds together
Stucco over the metal on the trailers to add insulation and prevent further rusting. Cut out your windows.
Install double insulated windows and french doors.
Frame out the house. Add batt insulation between the studs.
Panel the walls, put in the floors and move your furniture in.
Hang up your flat screen and watch the game.
Congratulations to this Green, Creative Homeowner!! Home Sweet Home for a few thousand dollars. Stucco exterior. Double Paned Windows. French Doors. And, 1162 square feet of warm, cozy living space.
Thank you for visiting InfoTube.net. Place a FREE home or land listing, search for thousands of great deals or shop for Made in the USA real estate marketing products.
Tommi Crow, owner of Crow Erickson, Inc and inventor of the InfoTube and InfoBox battled Home Depot and Lowes…and WON!!! Now, she and her company get to keep selling their American Made products and her US workforce will stay employed.
To Read About this David vs Goliath Victory …CLICK HERE!!!!