Before shopping for an eco-friendly dwelling – or any home – make sure you know what features are most important to you.
For some buyers, “green” can be as simple as saving on energy costs. These buyers will want to focus on energy-efficient appliances, weatherproof windows and superior insulation.
Other buyers define green in terms of personal health. To them, it’s vital to purchase a home that uses nontoxic materials. For these buyers, even seemingly innocuous carpeting is a big deal, because carpets can be a nightmare for people with allergies.
Last, some buyers define green as contributing to a sustainable future. For those buyers, it’s necessary to look for a home that was built with materials that are locally sourced and sustainable.
When touring potential homes, be sure to check the appliances (Energy Star is a big plus), the windows (double pane), and the heating and air-conditioning system. You can also speak to the seller’s agent about obtaining an energy audit. This gives buyers a more in-depth look at energy costs as opposed to simply comparing past bills.
Don’t overlook the land surrounding the home. How the house is oriented on the property determines how much sun exposure it gets, which affects heating and air-conditioning use. Trees and shrubbery surrounding the home can also impact energy costs. While you can always make changes to the landscaping, poorly placed or non-native plants can mean greater maintenance and water usage.
Finally, work with a knowledgeable real estate professional, like me, to ensure that you find a home that meets your needs, for the best possible price.