Sunday, May 24, 2009

How to create virtual tours in Google Earth

Enhance your web site

I have been trying different methods on how to help clients in my profession. I stumbled across this article and thought it would be beneficial for Realtors to use it on there web sites. I also think it would be beneficial for builders to show there homes in a neighborhood.

If I was selling a home I would like to make the potential clients search as easy as possible. In Google Earth and Google Maps they provide tools for making this possible.
Lets take this example: A potential buyer wants to but a home in Raleigh NC. They search for a realtor and they visit there web site on the web. The realtor provides Google Earth link with all the listings of available homes in "Raleigh". The client can click on markers in the area they would like to view and see pictures of the home.
Builders could also provide the same thing for selling there homes. I'm sure allot of you already use this useful tool but if you haven't this link will provide you with step by step instructions on getting you started and put you one up on your competitor. "How to create Virtual tours"

Mike Schulz
Affordable Home Inspections

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Simple steps to keep that A/C in working order

Afforadable Home Inspections

Just wanted to add to this a little more. Your service provider should but not limited to check these items.

  1. Calibrate and level thermostat.

  2. Clean filters as needed.

  3. Monitor voltage/amps on fan motor

  4. Lubricate and inspect bearing for wear.

  5. Check condition of indoor coil

  6. Flush/treat condensate drain with anti algae.

  7. Inspect condenser coil.

  8. Monitor operating pressures of refrigerant

  9. Inspect safety devices for proper operation.

  10. Inspect disconnect box for proper rating and installation.

  11. Tighten all electrical connections if needed.

  12. Test/inspect contacts for burning, pitted contacts.

  13. Inspect electrical for exposed wiring.

  14. Test and inspect capacitors.

  15. Inspect fan blade.

  16. Clean Condenser coil/remove debris.

  17. Inspect service valves for proper operation.

  18. Measure temperature difference-supply/return

  19. Inspect duct work for energy loss.

  20. Monitor compressor for proper amperage, volt draw and wiring connections.

Information provided by

So if your service technician is not doing at least this maybe it's time to look for another!

Via Scott Patterson - Middle TN Home Inspector (Trace Home Inspections):

Five Simple Steps for a Happy and Cool Summer!

Summer is upon us! Today in Nashville TN, my A/C was on and it was not the first time this year! Just a few weeks ago we were in the mid 80's. The following easy steps we help homeowners in preventing a few problems from occurring with their A/C system this summer.

•· Inspect the filters - The first step in maintaining a well-functioning air conditioning system is to inspect the air filters. These should be changed or cleaned at least twice a year. Monthly maintenance is recommended if the system is in constant use or if the air is dusty and dirty. Replace that filter every month. The best time is when you pay your electric bill!

•· Make sure the machine is properly lubricated - Over time, friction can increase within the machine. Oil the motor and bearings twice a year. Be sure to turn off all electricity to the unit when servicing. NOTE: I would not recommend this for the typical homeowner! This job is best left for the professional HVAC contractor.

•· Inspect the fan belts - Check fan belts and pulleys for wear and proper tension. This is located in the "blower" compartment. Most newer systems do not have belts but rather a direct drive motor that is virtually maintenance free. If you do have belts that need replacing, have a professional replace worn parts.

•· Clean the outdoor condensing unit - Foreign objects and dirt can affect the performance of the machine. Brush away or hose off any insects, dirt or other items on the outdoor condensing unit.

•· Clean the drain line -Inspect the drain line to make sure there are not any problems with the termination. If algae is present, wash the affected area with chlorine. This will keep to keep the condensation water from overflowing and causing damage to your home.

If you have a window air conditioning unit, check the window and sill for decay, inspect the unit for rusting and spot paint if any rust is present.

I strongly recommend using a local company for yearly tune ups on your cooling and heating system. Once in the late summer/early fall for the heating system and then in the spring time for the A/C.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009



This letter was sent to the Wall Street Journal on August 8, 2008 by Alisa Wilson, Ph.D. Of Beverly Hills , CA . in response to the Wall Street Journal article titled "Where's The Outrage?" that appeared July 31,2008.

Really. I can tell you where the outrage is. The outrage is here, in this middle-aged, well-educated, upper-middle class woman. The outrage is here, but I have no representation, no voice. The outrage is here, but no one is listening for who am I!

I am not a billionaire like George Soros that can fund an entire political movement.
I am not a celebrity like Barbra Streisand that can garner the attention of the press to promote political candidates.
I am not a film maker like Michael Moore or Al Gore that can deliver misleading movies to the public.

The outrage is here, but unlike those with money or power, I don't know how to reach those who feel similarly in order to effect change..
Why am I outraged? I am outraged that my country, the United States of America, is in a state of moral and ethical decline. There is no right or wrong anymore, just what's fair.

Is it fair that millions of Americans who overreached and borrowed more than they could afford are now being bailed out by the government and lending institutions to stave off foreclosure? Why shouldn't these people be made to pay the consequences for their poor judgment?

When my husband and I purchased our home, we were careful to purchase only what we could afford. Believe me, there are much larger, much nicer homes that I would have loved to have purchased. But, taking responsibility for my behavior and my life, I went with the house that we could afford, not the house that we could not afford. The notion of personal responsibility has all but died in our country.

I am outraged, that the country that welcomed my mother as an immigrant from Hitler's Nazi Germany and required that she and her family learn English now allows itself to be overrun with illegal immigrants and worse, caters to those illegal immigrants.

I am outraged that my hard-earned taxes help support those here illegally. That the Los Angeles Public School District is in such disarray that I felt it incumbent to send my child to private school, that every time I go to the ATM, I see "do you want to continue in English or Spanish?", that every time I call the bank, the phone company , or similar business, I hear "press 1 for English or press 2 for Spanish". WHY? This is America, our common language is English and attempts to promote a bi- or multi-lingual society are sure to fail and to marginalize those who cannot communicate in English.

I am outraged at our country's weakness in the face of new threats on American traditions from Muslims. Just this week, Tyson's Food negotiated with its union to permit Muslims to have Eid-al-Fitr as a holiday instead of Labor Day. What am I missing? Yes, there is a large Somali Muslim population working at the Tyson's plant in Tennessee. Tennessee, last I checked, is still part of the United States. If Muslims want to live and work here they should be required to live and work by our American Laws and not impose their will on our long history.

In the same week, Random House announced that they had indefinitely delayed the publication of The Jewel of Medina, by Sherry Jones, a book about the life of Mohammed's wife, Aisha due to fear of retribution and violence by Muslims. When did we become a nation ruled by fear of what other immigrant groups want? It makes me so sad to see large corporations cave rather than stand proudly on the principles that built this country.

I am outraged because appeasement has never worked as a political policy, yet appeasing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is exactly what we are trying to do. An excellent article, also published recently in the Wall Street Journal, went through over 20 years of history and why talking with Iran has been and will continue to be ineffective. Yet talk, with a madman no less, we continue to do. Have we so lost our moral compass and its ability to detect evil that we will not go in and destroy Iran 's nuclear program? Would we rather wait for another Holocaust for the Jews -- one which they would be unlikely to survive? When does it end?

As if the battle for good and evil isn't enough, now come the Environmentalists who are so afraid of global warming that they want to put a Bag tax on grocery bags in California; to eliminate Mylar balloons; to establish something as insidious as the recycle police in San Francisco. I do my share for the environment: I recycle, I use water wisely, I installed an energy efficient air conditioning unit. But when and where does the lunacy stop? Ahmadinejad wants to wipe Israel off the map, the California economy is being overrun by illegal immigrants, and the United States of America no longer knows right from wrong, good from evil. So what does California do? Tax grocery bags..

So, America, although I can tell you where the outrage is, this one middle-aged, well-educated, upper middle class woman is powerless to do anything about it. I don't even feel like my vote counts because I am so outnumbered by those who disagree with me.

Alisa Wilson, Ph.D. Beverly Hills, California

There are a lot more out there who think just like Alisa Wilson. The only difference, she put her thoughts in an email that will reach thousands. I would like to keep this going and see how big it gets.