Home-buying can be confusing as well as stressful. It can seem even more confusing when you are looking for a green home. There is definitely a market for green homes with many styles to choose from. Here are a few tips to help you find that dream, green home.
Getting good help is the first step. With increased eco-awareness, and energy prices soaring, more people are worried about things like indoor air quality and energy efficiency in their homes. When screening potential realtors, try to find out how much they know about home energy performance and other environmental issues that matter to you. If you need help finding an eco-friendly realtor there are a few sites that offer these services like EcoBroker, Modern Green Living, as well as other green residential sites.
Finding a green realtor is truly a benefit, but sometimes there are things you can do on your own for a prospective home. You can tell a lot just by taking a careful look around. Check out the heating and cooling systems carefully and make sure they are in good working order and sized appropriately. Look at the windows, and check if they're single or double-paned, and at the doors, to see if you feel a draft coming through around the edges. Be on the lookout for missing or inadequate insulation, or signs of mold. To get really good information, hire a professional to perform an energy audit. They'll use things like infrared cameras for heat loss and special fans to pressurize your house and determine if it is energy efficient. This will help you determine if your potential new house needs any expensive efficiency upgrades, or if something like new insulation is all that is required.
Choose your location carefully. Even if the countryside is more your taste, it's worth thinking about commuting distances, proximity of local facilities, and how you are going to get around. Try to choose a location where everything you need for daily living and work is within a one half mile radius. You can do this online by visiting Walk Score online to locate restaurants, parks, grocers and other businesses and amenities within walking distance of your possible future home.
Space is another environmental factor to consider. The smaller your living space, the less energy is needed to heat and light it. The less you have to spend on utilities means more money to spend on things that you’d enjoy. With some thoughtful, careful interior design, you can create beautiful living environments out of some surprisingly small spaces. Stores such as IKEA have wonderful ideas on multi-functional furniture and decorations as well as how to make the most of your space.
Simple Do it yourself home improvements are also worth considering. Brushing on a fresh coat of low-VOC paint is easy, affordable, and improves air quality. Look over pipes, paints, and more, so you can get an idea of the changes you'll want or need, to create a greener, healthier home.
In addition, there are websites such as Planet Green and LEED that give advice on how to make your new home green. Little improvements can make a huge difference toward your goal of a dream green home.