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This is a guest post from a good friend of mine from high school Bob Black, who I recently reconnected with.  He is a Realtor in Rhode Island and  I asked him if he could share a few tips on how to save money as a home owner.

As a Realtor, I am often asked for money saving tips for home owners. I do have lots of tips, and enjoy sharing them. If you’re selling your home and want to get the most “bang for your buck” I can tell you how to spruce your home up a bit before putting it on the market without spending a lot of cash. If you’re a buyer and need tips on how to make a home your own without breaking the bank, I can point you in the right direction there, as well.

One of my favorite and often surprising tips has to do with energy savings and how saving energy can save you money. Check out what our local energy company is doing for it’s customers:

Our local energy company in Rhode Island, National Grid. is offering free energy assessments for its customers. You will be provided with recommendations for ways to cut your energy costs – examining your insulation, light bulbs, windows, etc. Call the EnergyWise Program at 1-888-633-7947. If you are not a Rhode Islander, check with your local energy company… I’m sure they offer something similar.

In addition, if you choose a pre-approved contractor to weatherize your home, you can receive a 25% rebate recommended energy improvements… Up to $2,250.00 per home!

And how about a Federal tax credit for appliances you may be purchasing anyway?

At you can find information on what Energy Star qualified products are qualified for a tax credit. We’re talking up to 30% of the cost of insulation, heating, air conditioning, windows and doors, biomass stoves, and even small residential wind turbines. Some tax credits expire at the end of 2010, while others don’t expire until the end of 2016! Also, some states still have funding available for the appliance rebate program.

For more tips on energy saving, house hunting or selling, the great state of Rhode Island or what to feed your Dachshund for a shiny coat, visit me at