Five Tips for Buying a Green Home

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Eco-friendly housing is a trend that’s strongly influencing home buyers! Some real estate agents estimate that as high as 75% of their buyers indicate they have a strong interest in buying a green home, with energy efficiency and sustainable materials as two important components.   Here you’ll find five tips for finding a green home to fit your needs.

  1. Look for energy-efficient features. A huge priority for most people, energy-efficient features are  good for the environment and your wallet! Some great home features to look for include: Energy Star appliances, double-pane windows and the heating and air conditioning systems. It’s also smart to learn about the insulation if the information is available.
  2. Ask for documentation. If you’re serious about buying green, ask for documentation from the seller. Don’t be surprised, however, if you find that home sellers don’t have documentation. Since green living is a newer standard, certification for many features is not standardized. It can never hurt to ask, though!
  3. Understand the whole property. Green homes make the best use of the land they are on, so inspect the property and ask questions with the seller and your real estate agent. Be sure to look at the home’s orientation and tree height to find out how much sun exposure your home will get, as it will surely affect heating and cooling the interior. Be aware of plants and how healthy the grass is as well. Non-native plants will require more water, so sustainable landscaping featuring natural plants and trees will end up using less water and energy to maintain.
  4. Find homes that feature sustainable architecture. There are a few features that influence sustainable architecture. Start by looking for sealant over gaps or cracks where moisture can enter and heat or cooling can get in. Architects can use energy-efficient materials that reduce drafts, balance room temperatures and control moisture, so ask the sellers for any information they may have. Some homes will be LEED certified, which recognizes green homes and buildings that feature materials and strategies that improve the environmental impact. To learn about LEED certified homes, read more here from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  5. Look for ways you can improve the home. From finding space for rain barrels to the possibility of using solar power, make sure you inquire with your real estate agent about the best ways you can make your new home a better use of the earth’s natural resources. Remember to ask about zoning requirements if you’re planning on any additions.

Shorewest reported in October that green living is a housing trend that’s here to stay. Six months later, eco-friendly living is still a hot topic among home buyers and sellers. Be sure to check back on the blog later this week for more tips about green lifestyle and homes.

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Categories: Home Buying

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