Dec.20 03:15:30 PM

December 20, 2010

Gifts For The Homeowners On Your List

Need a last minute gift for a special homeowner on your list? We asked some of our readers to tell us their favorite gifts they’ve received over the years that are specifically for their homes:

1) Programmable thermostat – The gift that continues to give throughout the year.  A programmable thermostat enables a homeowner to automatically adjust the home’s temperature to a more comfortable setting at times when people will be there, and then switch to a more energy efficient temperature when inhabitants are sleeping or out of the house. The end result is a year full of energy savings for your giftee.

2) Digital, mountable weather station – These devices not only tell you the current temperature inside and outside your home, but can give a quick and general weather forecast for the day, which is nice if you’re in a hurry.

3) Hand-crank emergency radio – Every homeowner has, or will, lose power at some point in their homeowning lives. For extended outages, particularly those during poor weather events, a hand-crank radio can be invaluable. The radio is powered by good old-fashioned elbow grease – crank the handle for a minute and get usually an hour of power. Some even include built-in flashlights and cell phone chargers.

4) Gardening kit – Growing your own food isn’t just cost-effective, it’s healthy too. Put together a kit with things like gardening gloves, pots, a shovel, trowel, seeds and a bag of organic fertilizer. 

5) Leaf blower – This is a big ticket item, but AHAA members who live in neighborhoods with lots of trees say they will never forget the generous folks that gifted their leaf blowers.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season from AHAA!

Apr.17 12:51:05 PM

April 17, 2010

2010 U.S. Census: Have You Been Counted?

Yesterday was the date by which Census officials hoped you’d return your Census forms that enable the government to count each and every resident of the United States. Did you return yours on time?

If you haven’t, consider that when you take the time to fill out your Census form, you’re really donating those 10 minutes to your community. How? Because federal funds for hospitals, schools, emergency services, bridges and tunnels, job training centers and senior centers are dispensed based on the information gathered in the Census. If you don’t get counted, your community loses out.

Census data also help determine the number of seats your state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

As of today, the national participation rate is 69 percent. That means, for the remaining 31 percent of the population that hasn’t returned their forms, beginning in May, Census takers will have to visit every home to take the answers verbally. It costs $57 to employ a Census taker to come to your house and record your answers versus the 42 cents worth of prepaid postage to mail back your response.

According to the 2010 Census Web site, it’s not too late. If you haven’t mailed back your form yet, take the 10 minutes and put it in the mail today. Have questions or wish to give your Census information over the phone? Visit the 2010 Census contact page for more information.