Living Green? Small Space? Check out the Space Saving Furniture!

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According to Kentfield, Marin county Architect, Sarah Robinson, an Alumni of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture; that Being Green is not just to tear down and build from scratch but it’s about “Seeing the untapped potential that already exists.”

“Green Living” is not limited to only use ‘Green’ products such as energy efficient appliances, water saving faucets, shower heads, toilets, bamboo flooring, recycled water, drought resistant plants, solar energy, double/triple paned windows, reuse building material, no VOC paint, and such.

Today, a friend of my shared a video of space saving furniture, which I thought would fit in nicely with green minded, sustainable living friends. these furniture has intelligent design where each piece of furniture has several purposes and fits in a tight space, are artistic an allow for smaller space thus reduce footprint of the new building design.

On a practical side, for friends or college kids who live in small apartments, houses, dormitories; these furniture allow them to have better quality of life while dealing with the tight space.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I do

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Sylvia Barry, Realtor, ePRO
Marin Realtor for Marin Luxury Real Estate 
Marin, San Francisco North Bay
Frank Howard Allen Realtors 
website: www.SylviaSellsMarin.com
Blog: www.AllAboutMarinHomes.com

MARIN, SONOMA, S.F. BAY AREA REAL ESTATE – Beveldere, Corte Madera, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marinwood, Mill Valley, Novato, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Sausalito, Tiburon; Cotati, Penngrove, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa.   Starter Home to Luxury Property.  REO (Bank Owned), Short Sale, View Homes, Architectural Distinctive Homes. Investment, 1031 Exchange.

Millworks Novato Grand Opening brings New Dimension to Town!

mw_logo_rgbA controversial project due to the sheer size, the location and what it is and what it is not (a bit vague?  Ask me!), Millworks Novato had it’s grand opening today (April 25th).  What a pleasant surprise the development is!

As a Novato resident and a Realtor; although I missed the design, approval phases of the project; I, as many Novatans,  have watched with great interest and concerns in the progress of the building.   Today, I got to tour Millworks with my friend, Barbara.  We came away quite impressed!

Millworks – According to the developer, Millworks Novato is “Nestled among the North Bay’s rolling hills landscape, charming Old Town Novato is the home to Millworks, and environmentally sustainable and pedestrian-friendly new home community”. 

Millworks Novato

Millworks Novato

The building, sits atop the coming-soon Whole Foods,  located at the east end of Old Town Novato, consists of 124 flats and townhomes.  The homes are designed to be a combination of 1 bedroom/1 bath, 2 bedrooms/2 baths flats and 2 bedrooms/2 baths plus Den Flats. 

Amentities — Other than a few larger units on selected locations; first and second floors are mostly for Whole Foods and parking for Whole Foods and third floor is mostly for residents parking.  In addition, there is a library, a fitness center and a social room for gatherings.

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'Roof Garden - Living Roof' on 4th Floor

Roof Garden – One of the Millworks’ most unique design is the rooftop garden on the 4th floor where the interior units all have patios on the ‘Roof Garden’.  This Living Roof – centrally located with open sky courts – have living gardens and flag stone patiors, gives the 4th floor residents a sense of being on the ground floor which is a very appealing, surprising feature!

Views Galore – For outdoor lovers, the floor to ceiling windows brings tons of sunshine and the breathtaking surrounding Novato hill views inside.  I can only imagine how beautiful the night time views will be with the twinkling lights from the distance.

Kitchen and Living Room

Kitchen and Living Room

The Interiors – Millworks have open floor plan where kitchen opens into living and dining rooms (area – depending on plan).  Kitchens have granite slab counter tops, break fast bar, Bosch stainless steel, Energy Star appliances, Kohler sinks and faucets.  Bathrooms have Kohler faucets, Marble slab counters and surrounds on bathtubs.  Dual flush toilets conserve water.   All units are equipped with air conditioners (although I always say that we really don’t need that in Novato – the breeze from the ocean cools down most hot days by night).  Schlage hardware, recessed lighting, sustainable flooring, cable ready.

Green Features at Millworks

Green Features at Millworks

Building and Living Green – Millworks is also designed with ‘Building Green’ in mind as Sustainable is a big concern for environmental minded Marin Residents.  The building is designed with

  • Money Saving features such as emergency efficiencies while determining the direction of the building (South facing), insulation grades,  dual paned windows, doors, Energy Star appliances..
  • Preserving Health – such Cabinet doors are free of formaldehyde, none-toxic and low VOC Materials are used throughout
  • Environmentally Sustainable– Pre-engineered lumber, waste recycling during construction, Build-in recycling centers, sustainable flooring’s and cross ventilation windows are some example of the environmentally friendly design.

The Units and Pricing – One Bedroom / One Bath unit (812 sf to 883sf) starts from the low $400,000s; Two Bedroom / Two Baths Flats (1260 sf to 1360 sf) starts from the mid $400,000s and the Two Bedrooms, Two Bath plus Den Falts (1452 sf to $1595sf) starts from the high $500,000.  

HOA Fees – HOA fees ranging from $393 to $494 monthly.  An interesting chart provided by Millworks compares  HOA fee to the average single-family detached homowner’s regular maintenance cost per year, and of course, Millworks HOA seems more reasonable according to the chart – email me if you are interested!

Keep in mind the price includes standard features, and any and all upgrades will be additional costs to the buyers.

As a baby boomer and looking forward, I thought this will be a great place to retire – low to no maintenance, single story (elevator up/down), walk to town, new, green building, etc.  Having a Whole Foods downstirs works well also.   However, as a  young, single professional living in Chicago many years ago, I also enjoyed staying in downtown highrise for the amentities it provides (Millworks is not close to the 45th floor I was on before).  

Releases – The current plan the developer has is to release 10 homes at a time while gauging the interest ,control inventory and proper pricing. 

Tax Credit – And don’t forget the Federal First Time Homebuyer Up to $8,000 Tax Credit as well as the California State Up to $10,000 Tax Credit for purchasing new contrustions !

Interested in Checking out Millworks? – I enjoyed my visit to Millworks with Barbara.  Let me know if this stirs up your curiosity.  Please give me a call (415) 717-0293 or email me at sylvia@SylviaSellsMarin.comif you want to check out Millworks.  I would love to come with you and get your input about the building that changed the face of Old Town Novato, For Better For Worse, and hopefully, since it’s already here, we will make it ”For Better’ because that’s the only way we can all benefit! 

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Where to Buy U.S. (NOT Imported) Gas?

WHERE TO BUY US GAS?   THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW: 
 
Following up wiith the previous Gas Saving Hints, here is some information I found about where to buy Gas that produced in the U.S., …………

Gas rationing in the 80’s worked even though we grumbled about it. It might even be good for us! The Saudis are boycotting American goods. We should return the favor. An interesting thought is to boycott their GAS. Every time you fill up the car, you can avoid putting more money into the coffers of Saudi Arabia.

Just buy from gas companies that don’t import their oil from the Saudis. Nothing is more frustrating than the feeling that every time I fill-up the tank, I am sending my money to people who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends.

I thought it might be interesting for you to know which oil companies are the best to buy gas from and which major companies import Middle Eastern oil.  

These companies import Middle Eastern oil:

  Shell………………………. 205,742,000 barrels 
  Chevron / Texaco……… 144,332,000 barrels 
  Exxon / Mobil…………… 130,082,000 barrels 
  Marathon/Speedway….. 117,740,000 barrels 
  Amoco…………………….. 62,231,000 barrels 
  Citgo gas is from South America, from a Dictator who hates Americans.

If you do the math, at $30/barrel, these imports amount to over $18 BILLION!  (Oil is now $90 – $100 a barrel).

Here are some large companies that do not import Middle Eastern oil:

            Sunoco………………0 barrels
            Conoco……………..0 barrels
            Sinclair……………..0 barrels
            BP / Phillips / 76….0 barrels
            Hess…………………0 barrels
            ARC0……………….0 barrels
 

All of this information is available from the Department of Energy and each company is required to report where they get their oil from and how much they are importing.

But to have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It’s really simple to do. Now, don’t wimp out at this point…. keep reading and I’ll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

If each of you (assume 10 of you read this article) sends it to at least ten more (10 x 10 = 100)…and those 100 send it to at least ten more (100 x 10 = 1,000) .. and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over  ONE MILLION consumers !!!!!!! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 10 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it . .. ONE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE!!! Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. How long would all that take?

 

Premium Gas – Get Most For Your Money

With Gas price skyrocketing ($4.00+ May 6th and $4.50+ June 20th per gallon in Marin), I really appreciate getting the follwing tips on how to effectively pump gas and save the precious commodity – money and Gas.  And yes, I have been doing everything wrong until now…

1) Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold.

Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground, the more dense the gasoline. When it gets warmer, gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening…your gallon is not exactly a gallon.

In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature makes a big difference.  The service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps as the distributors do.  So make sure you only pump the gas when the temperature is low.    2) When you’re filling up, do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look, you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode you would be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return system. If you are pumping on the fast rate, more of the liquid that goes into your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are sucked up and fed back into the underground storage tank, so you’re getting less gas for your money.

3) One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL (or HALF EMPTY). The reason for this is, the more gas you have in your tank, the less air there will be occupying the tank’s empty space. More air = more evaporation.

 

Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves to create zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so as to minimize the evaporation of the fuel.4) Another reminder:  If there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up–most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles to the bottom of the tank.

 

Hope this will help you save a little when you pump those precious gas!