Consider this hypothetical scenario. You’ve been hunting for a new home in Austin Texas and it’s finally down to two houses. The basic stats are similar: same square footage, number of bedrooms, and comparable neighborhoods. One of the houses costs $200,000 and the other is $190,000. You have a chat with your lender and she shows you the numbers: the first house will cost about $1491 each month, the second house about $1416. Based on the mortgage numbers you’re leaning towards the cheaper house. It will save you $75 each month. You could take a nice little holiday each year with the extra $800. But is this the complete picture? What about the operating costs of the house? Is one house more energy efficient?
Parking around Austin just got a little easier because Wednesday the city launched EasyPark, a device that allows drivers to pay parking meters from the comfort of their car. “I always use a lot of coins, and sometimes I don’t always carry my debit card with me,” explained Robert Cox, who works downtown. “But if I were to get this, it would actually make it easier.” EasyPark is an outside company that’s providing the service to the city. Drivers would be able to leave the coins and credit cards behind and transfer money onto a little yellow device that parking enforcement can see. People have to first sign up and buy a device, but the company will ship it with $10 already on it as a beginning balance. How does it work? 1. Drivers will first select the city they’re in. 2. Choose the proper parking “zone,” which is located at parking stations. 3. Then hang it on the window closest to the curb. “It’s a little more convenient for folks than getting out of your car in 100-degree weather, walking over to the pay station, to get a receipt. And it’s also green,” said Steve Grassfield, the parking enterprise manager with the city. There is a price tag for this convenience, including a monthly membership fee which would include support and battery replacements. What it costs.
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