Does the home use a lot of electricity? Are there aspects of the house’s history which make it a potential health hazard?
If you’re looking for an ideal green home, here are some important tips to remember as you shop around.
Think smaller, not bigger
First and foremost, it’s important to acknowledge that the larger the home, the more energy, water, and resources will be consumed in the maintenance of that home. You should not realistically expect a three-story home with dozens of rooms and four or five bathrooms to be build with “green concerns” in mind. Therefore, it may be best to consider a smaller home.
Yes, location matters
It may surprise you to know that the natives of New York City have some of the smallest ecological footprints of any group of people on earth. If you didn’t do the research, you’d assume that the “cramped big city” narrative would make it a terrible place for someone concerned with the environment.
When looking for a home, try to find out if it’s in a location where gas and electricity consumption are lower than the national average.
Check the heating system
Depending on where you live, heating can be one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in your home. Choosing a green heating option can drastically reduce your ecological footprint and save you money! Solar water heaters are a great way to generate warm or hot water without relying on traditional forms of energy. Propane is another environmentally-friendly option, which is listed as an alternative clean fuel by the Clean Air Act.
See if it uses the LEED principles
There is a point-based system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) used to judge the environmental status of a home. Known as the as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED, this approach looks at five important aspects of human and environmental health. This includes water savings, energy efficiency, sustainable site development, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Using these steps as guides can help you select a house that is not only cozy, but has a small ecological footprint.
Ask the realtor
Sometimes finding out if a home is eco-friendly is as simple as asking the person selling the home. Did they require a lot of energy to heat the home in the winter? Are the doors and windows insulated?
There are different questions you can ask about the house which will give away whether or not it’s very eco-friendly without simply asking, “Is this house eco-friendly?”
Search through green websites
You may not quite understand the specifics of LEED principles or feel that you are knowledgeable enough about what to look for in a green home. That’s perfectly fine; if you aren’t confident in your ability to find a green home on your own, it’s probably best that you house-shop through a specific channel. There are also sites like EcoBroker and ListedGreen, sites built to help people buy and sell green homes with relative ease.
As environmental-awareness concerns increase, it becomes even easier to shop for homes that are eco-friendly. However, easiness does not negate the need for proper research and education about buying green. The more preparedness invested in buying a green home, the happier you will likely be in your new home!