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L.A. County ends controversial PACE home improvement loan program

Los Angeles County has ended its controversial PACE home improvement loan program, a decision that follows years of criticism that the county enabled predatory lending and put people at risk of losing their homes.

County officials — who launched the PACE program in 2015 to fund energy- and water-efficient home improvements — said they made the decision after determining the program lacked adequate consumer protections.

Homeowners repeatedly alleged the private home improvement contractors who signed them up for PACE misrepresented how the financing would work, saddling them with loans they could not understand or afford.

The county also faced lawsuits alleging that government authorities failed to properly oversee the private lenders it partnered with to issue loans that, if unpaid, could lead to foreclosure.

The criticisms mirror complaints directed at other Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, programs across California that fund environmentally friendly home improvements such as solar panels,

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Either way, now that we live in a time when job security is scarce, you may want to at least look into starting a freelance

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Lighting and Outdoor Space Were Key to Transforming This New Construction Home

When Shanty Wijaya of Allprace Properties decided to take on her latest project—a modern farmhouse in L.A.’s historic Jefferson Park neighborhood—she wanted to create a calming atmosphere with an intrinsic outdoor-indoor living situation inspired by the California-cool neighborhood it was built in.

“This neighborhood is known for its Craftsman-style homes, filled with character and history,” says Shanty. “The layout was very closed off and the finishes were uninspiring. The landscaping was completely bare, unappealing, and empty. Our goal was to transform this standard new build into a character-filled Craftsman-style home that blended nicely into the charming neighborhood.” Working with a theme of modern farmhouse and Craftsman style, she completely restored the newly built 2,000-square-foot home, which includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms on a 5,076-square-foot lot.

<div class="caption"> <strong>BEFORE:</strong> Shanty says that landscaping was one of the most difficult tasks of the transformation. “When we designed and landscaped the project, it was winter and most of the plants were still dormant. It was difficult to find tall, mature plants that had a full appearance, which is the look we were going for. We wanted to make sure that the homeowner could enjoy an outdoor, private <a href="https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/creating-your-own-edible-garden?mbid=synd_yahoo_rss" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:oasis" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">oasis</a>, and we were able to get the desired look for the landscaping, which I am very proud of.” </div>
BEFORE: Shanty says that landscaping was one of the most difficult tasks of the transformation. “When we designed and landscaped the project, it was
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10 Ways to Save Energy and Reduce Utility Bills at Home

Cut back — for the environment and your wallet.

Making your home more energy-efficient isn’t just about making a positive impact on the environment — it will make a positive impact on your wallet, too, by reducing your utility bills. Some changes are simple, like replacing old lightbulbs or unplugging machines that aren’t in use, while other projects can transform your home, like bringing your air conditioning up to date or installing solar panels. Big or small, the changes you make can help lower your monthly utility bills and lessen your environmental impact. Read on for 10 ways to save energy and money at home.

Updated on Mary 7, 2020: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

Consult a professional.

To determine where your home is wasting the most energy, consider a professional energy audit. This may involve blower door tests to

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