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Natural Easter Egg Dyes

If you’d like to enjoy your Easter Eggs without the chemicals in the store bought kits there are alternatives found in nature. Choose your favorite colors, follow the instructions below and safely enjoy the eggs for yourself and your family.  Happy Easter!!

Purple = 1½ cup shredded red beetsPurple-Beets

Rust = 7 yellow onion skins

Yellow = 3 tablespoons ground turmeric or cumin
Orange = 3 tablespoons chili powder
Sky Blue = 1½ cups shredded red cabbage or 2 cups of grape juice

Royal Blue = 2 cups of blueberry juice

Green = 2 cups spinach

Brown = 2 cups brewed coffee (do not dilute with water)

Instructions:

  1. Bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add coloring agent.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or longer for the deepest color.
  4. Strain liquid into a large mason jar, and allow to cool to room temperature, 2-3 hours.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons white vinegar and add 3 hard-boiled eggs.
  6. Seal the jar, and refrigerate overnight or until the egg is the desired color.
  7. Rub dried eggs with a dab of vegetable oil to give them a shinier finish (optional).easter egg dye

 

Zeavola – EcoLiving In Thailand

This Tuesday, let’s travel to the lush rainforest on the Phi Phi Island of Thailand.  There you will find an environmentally friendly luxury zeavola08hotel with suites made of teakwood connected by a tranquil white sandy beach.  Zeavola- Koh Phi Phi has engaged in an energy conservation system, water is sourced from local wells and rainwater collection systems.  Waste water is treated before being used to water the jungle garden, natural waste is composted, and the resort is engaged in beach and coral cleaning programs. Even further, Zeavola participates in first aid and survival assistance for birds.  All of this lead Zeavola to be recognized as the world’s top sustainable boutique hotel.

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The villas are spaced to give some privacy and offer some variety.  Options are beachfront, village garden or on the hillside.  And during your stay you can relax on the beach, scuba dive in the Andaman Sea, take a cooking class, or enjoy the spa.  Zeavola is just the type of EcoLiving adventure we would love, how about you?

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2019 Vision Board

Better late than never, with the third generation of EcoLiving Property home from school for Martin Luther King Day we made our 2019 vision board a priority to do this morning.  MLK said it best with “Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

The intention behind doing a vision board is to put that intention into the universe and begin to manifest the things we are going to see through.  Even when we haven’t figuredimg_9890 out all of the action steps (this is the next part of the process) we begin to dream what we are going to create for the next 12 months.

It was important for me to include my eight year old in this process and help guide her in an important life lesson.  I had been noticing how negative her train of thought had become very recently and felt she may need some fun lessons to reinforce thinking positively.   As we cut our pictures for our collage and dreamed of our adventures in the next year we talked about the charge in our thoughts.  Our thoughts are powerful enough that when we think positive, we generate positive energy and the same is true for the opposite.

We added a couple of big goals and a few habits we will improve on, we surrounded our pictures with powerful words and hung it in a place where it will be a daily reminder of the vision we are creating for 2019.  This is going to be our best year yet!

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What’s my house worth?

You may have just started considering the idea of selling or you have been wanting to take this step for a long time.  One of the first things you want to know: how much is my house is worth?  As licensed real estate professionals and investors we want to help property owners in Kansas City with as much practical information as possible.  Whether you sell your property directly to us or we help match you with the right buyer, we can help you with honest information.  Enter your address below and get an idea of what the fair market evaluation would be for your house.  Please keep in mind, this does not include any updating or repairs currently needed on your house.

https://hollyjackson.exprealty.com/sellembed.php

Planting Seeds

At the inception of EcoLiving Property, we aimed to have a positive impact on the properties we touched and the communities surrounding them.  We wanted to inspire others to follow our influence and see how homes can be renovated in a mindful way which reduces harm to the environment.  We knew with every project we would find ways to improve our own system; increase the sustainable ideas and decreasing the waste.  We knew we would face challenges and that others would doubt our ability to accomplish our goals.

What I failed to realize is the positive impact we would have within our own house and with the next generation EcoLiving home rehabber.  My daughter has absorbed so much of the business from how we preview a property and estimate repairs, to what products we use in our projects and how we market.  She can recite many of the things I tell to real estate agents, contractors and fellow investors about our business.  And she is excited about some day being responsible for her own project.  Now if she could differentiate between colors/patterns of her own preference and the preferences of the majority of buyers I would say she is about ready.

This knowledge and experience will give her financial security early in life by recognizing the value of real estate and understanding the business.  Even better, she identifies the desire to protect the environment.  I have no doubt my daughter will continue to improve our processes and share the positive influence until the environment will no longer need protection.  I’m just grateful to be planting the seeds.

This Week’s Head Ache

There are bound to be hiccups during the home redevelopment process.  Sub-contractors quit, wood flooring is too thin to be sanded and refinished one more time and lumber for decking disappears – unfortunately all of these things have recently occurred and we have worked through them and kept going.  This week one of the head aches we have struggled with the most is trying to find a way to reuse the clawfoot tub for The Genessee Project.  As Kansas City’s environmentally friendly home redevelopment company we aim to repurpose what’s existing instead of buy new whenever possible.

The tub was left in the house by the previous homeowner but had never been installed.  Screenshot (15)Seeing as it goes with the character of this century old victorian property, we opted to reintegrate it into the hall bathroom.  With naive optimism we assumed finding hardware and installing plumbing would be as easy as a Sunday afternoon soak…  Select a tub faucet, handle, shower faucet done – right?  Let’s just say, after hours of searching, conversing about and re-searching faucet options – we still don’t feel like we have determined how this bathroom will take shape.

Vintage-clawfoot-bathtubIn place of continuing to shop for faucets that don’t exist, I turned to a google search for “clawfoot tub images.”  This will help give me some direction for what to look for, I thought.  It didn’t take me long to find almost exactly the tub we have in the house with the same three holes and where they are positioned.  Enlarging the image showed it was attached to an article link entitled “Why You Shouldn’t Install A Clawfoot Tub.”

Oh the irony…  If we hadn’t already invested so much time and been so stubborn about making it work – it may have ended up out in the yard as a planter.  I’m making this declaration heard:  We will be conquering the clawfoot and this bathroom will be a masterpiece!

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What’s happened to Midtown Blue?

This project is about ready to be listed.  We are indescribably proud of the energy and effort we put into this property to maintain the integrity of this 100-year-old shirtwaist home.  It is in a fantastic location just a few blocks South of the coveted Union Hill neighborhood and will have an easy connection to hop onto the Kansas City Streetcar as the expansion continues down Main Street.  This property is ideal for anyone who wants the luxury of their own house with easy access to downtown Kansas City.

The renovation of this house was not an easy project to tackle, however, we wanted to stay true to our mission and make environmentally sound decisions.  This meant we took time to hold an estate sale to sell off then donate remaining belongings in the house rather than send everything to a landfill.  We replaced all the windows to reduce energy loss and ensured all the new appliances carried an energy star rating.  Instead of tearing out the interior down to the studs; we worked to preserve original lathe and plaster, trim and flooring where possible.  This reduced waste and also maintained the character and charm.

The following are some before and after pictures of some of the improvements.  If you would like to know more about this property you can text 1632 to (913)246-5566 

Livingroomb&aOne of the first tasks to this project was reinforcing the main beam in the basement of the house to ensure it will continue to be structurally sound for another century.  The house had a noticeable droop in the middle and walls were cracking and some doors were not level because of this.  Then, throughout the main floor we refinished the wood floors and trim.  We fixed the pocket door between the dining room and office and opened part of the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  We removed the drop ceiling and paneling, updated all of the electrical and added new light fixtures.

kitchenb&aBeyond opening the kitchen to the dining room, we also reduced the full bathroom to a powder room in order to add more cabinet and counter top space into the kitchen.  The new cabinets, counter tops, tile and paint compliment the classic design of the property.  It was important to us to maximize the kitchen design to include the most storage space as possible while not interfering with the back entrance to the house or basement door.  We overcame this challenge while still maintaining the big open feeling everyone desires in a kitchen.

officeb&aThe office is on the main floor with access from three doorways; the front hall, dining room pocket door or the kitchen.  It was also a victim of the drop ceiling and paneling.  We also had some damage to the wood floors in this room which was able to be remedied to blend.mastersuiteb&aOne of the greatest improvements to Midtown Blue is the addition of a master suite.  Fortunately this room already had a grand size walk in closet which we know is not always the case in houses built in this era.  Once the clutter was cleared we were able to construct a plan to open a doorway between two bedrooms to add an en suite bathroom.  The second bedroom (the blue room) also provided a stairway to finish the attic into livable space.  The master suite is stunning and we are slightly jealous of the future homeowner who will get to lay their head down here each night.

This house will hit the market very soon so if you or someone you know is interested in a fantastic midtown location with a house you can be confident is redeveloped with integrity reach out to EcoLiving Property.   If you would like to know more about this property you can text 1632 to (913)246-5566. 

#Travel Tuesday: EcoLiving In Japan

Today we are highlighting an environmentally genius home in Kitasaku District, Japan.  This structure was conceived by Kotaro Ide / ARTechnic architects and constructed in 2008.  This house is not only a unique architectural marvel, it also is intended to coexist with nature as a weekend retreat to escape busy weekday life in Tokyo.

What Makes it Energy Efficient:

  • Due to the humid climate it is constructed mainly of steel to reduce deterioration.
  • Custom made floor heating improves the energy efficiency and prevents the growth of mold.  By dividing the oval section with a flat floor, a bow-shaped space  serves as a heat chamber.  Warm air blows from locations of frequent use will efficiently heat the flooring.
  • Since the house is not utilized full-time, other measures were added to automatically kick in to run an antifreeze procedure, dehumidification and ventilation as needed.

 

Take a Ride on an Earthship

Imagine a home that produces energy to use and produce to eat, yet you can still build in all the modern conveniences you could want in a home.  Sound like somewhere you would want to live?  You may want to check out earthships.  Earthships are an eco-friendly dwelling made from recycled materials.

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The exterior walls are typically formed out of old tires while interior walls can be made from bottles or cans.  These homes are built half way into the earth so the ground helps to moderate the temperature inside the home; warming it in the winter and cooling it during the summer.  Earthships are constructed with a wall of windows on the front where occupants have a built in green house and solar panels collect energy.  Rain water is also collected and filtered through the plumbing of the homes.  In some cases, water gets recycled several times so it can be used in the faucets, then gardening, then toilets.  Earthship residents can use either a composting toilet or have it connected to a septic system.

This Canadian couple built their own earthship with less than $70,000.  Even in the cold Canadian winters he reports the home stays around 70 degrees, he’s even grown bananas in his house during the winter.  

Would you reside in an earthship?

Thanks for reading, follow us on Faccebook or Instagram if you want to stay posted on our redevelopment projects in Kansas City.

Don’t let a bank ruin your house.

Observing the flooding from hurricanes leaves everyone with a sickening feeling.  We understand the rising waters will ruin homes and require replacing most if not all of their belongings.  There is a shared sadness felt across the country, especially when considering many homeowners are not insured to cover the damages to their properties.  Thankfully there is an abundance of effort to help those in need and some government support which can be offered during natural disasters.

At EcoLiving Property, we see another kind of disaster and it affects families and houses just the same.  According to Realty Trac there are over 600,000 homes in some stage of foreclosure in the United States today.  There are so many reasons good, hard-working Americans begin struggling to make their mortgage payments.  Unfortunately job loss, medical problems, separations and so many other problems can become the financial constraint.

During the foreclosure process a bank will not be patient with a borrower on a human level, they don’t care to understand what the circumstances are.  Banks rely on a set of rules and numbers, they eventually will evict homeowners no matter how much equity they may have in the house.

What follows is the “natural disaster” to the house.  A once loved home can sit vacant for months or even years before it is processed by the bank to either resell or put onto an auction.  Over time all the regular upkeep a homeowner would do goes undone and begins to eat away at a house.  Wood rot sets in, sediment develops in pipes, termites can go undetected and moisture grows to mold.  A vacant house can even draw vandalism and lower property values in the whole neighborhood.  The longer it sits, the more damage is done.

Below are photos of a home we recently viewed.  It is a split level family home in a cul-de-sac in a nicely kept suburban area.  It was clear the property had sat vacant for too long and will likely stay on the market for much longer.  In this case, like many others, the bank wants a certain price and won’t take any less.  It is lower than retail price but can’t be financed through a traditional loan due to needed repairs, eliminating most retail buyers.  And the cost of the necessary repairs makes the bank’s asking price too high for investors.  Unfortunately houses like this will sit and deteriorate further.

As residential redevelopers and real estate agents we see a lot of houses in horrendous conditions.  It’s always a curiosity to wonder if there was something we could have done to help, if we could have been of assistance to the homeowner during a difficult time?

We buy houses quickly with cash and can help prevent the damage a foreclosure can do to credit.  Buying houses this way even prevents the damage a bank will cause by allowing a house to sit vacant following a foreclosure.  If you or someone you know is struggling with making mortgage payments, don’t worry you’re not alone.  We want to help you and lessen the impact of the disaster in your life.

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