Homes With Heart – Heather Coombs-Perez

If your home could make New Year’s resolutions, what would they be?
Every year my friends and I always seem to make the same resolutions to lose weight, get out of debt, volunteer more, get fit and learn something new. I recently read an article in Houselogic that renamed these resolutions in “house-speak”. Let me explain…
Lose weight—aka cut your energy use
Many homes in Southern California are notorious for being badly insulated. Without experiencing the cold harsh winters of our sister cities in the Midwest or the Northeast, many Californians, particularly those living in older homes, aren’t even aware of the appalling lack of insulation in their homes. This year have a reputable HVAC company inspect your heating and air conditioning ducts. Energy Star estimates that sealing and insulating your ductwork can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent.

Get out of debt—aka budget for improvements
It’s inevitable that something in or on your house will need replacing or require maintenance at some point during the year. Don’t be caught short-handed. The need for a new roof or kitchen appliance, repair of broken sewer pipes, gas or water mains (that always seem to occur on your property and not the city’s), interior or exterior painting, and plumbing and electrical fixes are all common issues that arise periodically for many homeowners. Having a slush fund for expected repairs, as well as creating a nest egg for emergencies, can save you a lot of headache when the time comes.

Volunteer more—aka support your community
Neighborhood Watch, community gardens and coming together to support local schools are all ways to increase your volunteerism. Culver City is so lucky to have such a great volunteer force helping keep our communities safe and clean, as well as raising money to support a number of important causes. Remember, the more involved you are, the better your community.

Get fit—aka do some DIY work
Hate the gym? According to CalorieLab, here’s the number of calories you can burn by participating in some normal household activities:
• Building a fence: 340 calories per hour
• Caulking windows and doors: 280 calories per hour
• Cleaning rain gutters: 272 calories per hour
• Chopping firewood: 340 calories per hour
• Mowing the lawn: 306 calories per hour

Learn something new—aka educate yourself on home finances
Mortgage rates are at an all time low. If you haven’t looked into refinancing the mortgage you purchased 10 years ago, and you are employed with a good credit score and equity in your home, you might do well to run to the nearest lender! Another simple way to save a few dollars is to improve your insurance score. Much the same as a credit score, keeping credit card debt low, paying bills on time, and not making repeated insurance claims will keep your score high and your premiums low.

If one of your New Years’ resolutions was to buy your first home, or buy or sell your existing home, call or text direct to 310-259-7419 or drop me a note at [email protected]. Visit us online for more home tips at

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