Sustainable lifestyle has gone mainstream — and many home buyers are looking for eco-friendly properties, in addition to fitting their lifestyle requirements and location preferences. Studies support that an increasing number of home buyers consider sustainability when buying a new home. But how to ensure sustainability in the home buying procedure? These 7 tips will help.
Define Your Priorities
The first step is to figure out what's important to you regarding sustainability. Do you want a home that uses renewable energy? One that doesn't have any volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? Maybe you want a smaller home with a smaller ecological footprint. Your answers to these questions will help you prioritize your must-haves and nice-to-haves when looking for a sustainable home.
A great place to start is by reading up on green building practices. Some good resources are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council andNational Association of Home Builders' National Green Building Standard. These organizations have certifications for homes that meet certain standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, and other sustainability criteria.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
The National Association of Realtors has a Green Designation awarded to agents who complete courses on green building and sustainable development practices. These agents can help you find homes that meet your sustainability criteria. You can also consider connecting with Hayden lake id real estate to expand your options for sustainable homes.
Get a Home Energy Audit
If you're looking at an older home, it may not be as energy-efficient as you'd like. A home energy audit can help you identify ways to make the home more efficient — and save money on your utility bills.
Here are important components of an energy audit:
- A blower door test that measures the airtightness of the home.
- Assessment of the HVAC system.
- An insulation check.
- Water heater evaluation.
- An examination of windows and doors.
After the audit, you'll receive a report with recommendations for improving the home's energy efficiency. Some updates may be simple and inexpensive, like caulking around windows and doors. Others, like upgrading to a more efficient HVAC system, may be more costly.
Consider a Green Mortgage
Green mortgages often have lower interest rates and offer additional incentives, like cashback for making energy-efficient improvements to the home. You can check with your lender to see what options are available.
Factor in Operating Costs
Things like electricity, water, and gas can add up — especially if the home isn't energy-efficient. Factoring in such costs can help you determine whether a home is truly affordable. You can also look for homes with solar panels or other renewable energy sources to offset some of these costs.
Get a Home Inspection
Even if a home has been certified by a green building program, it's still a good idea to get a home inspection. This will help you identify any potential problems with the home, including air and water quality issues.
Pay close attention to these factors when getting the home inspected:
- Indoor air quality: The inspector should check for mold, lead paint, and asbestos.
- Water quality: Test the water for lead, bacteria, and other contaminants.
- Energy efficiency: The inspector should assess the home's insulation, windows, and doors to see how energy-efficient they are.
Whether luxury or comfortable home, incorporating sustainability into your home is a big decision, but it can help you save money and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Moreover, you will have peace of mind that you're contributing to the environment by lowering your carbon footprint. You can find the perfect green home for you and your family by following these tips.