By now, everyone has heard never ending stories about how bad our current housing market is. However, there are still plenty of people searching for a home to purchase. So whether you are looking to buy your first home, or have bought more than a few homes in your lifetime already, buying a home is one of the largest financial decisions you can make. Additionally, the size, type, area, and cost of your next house, along with what you decide to do with your new house, can have a very large impact on your environment.
If you are concerned about the environmental footprint you leave behind for your loved ones, while at the same time enjoying a beautiful home, read on and learn about purchasing a "green" home.
Cut your homes energy bills by reducing its energy usage:
Nearly anyone can conduct their own, quick and easy energy inspection of their own home or a prospective home to see what is needed to make the home more green. It is a simple process which begins with simply looking for leaks or drafts in the home. Check common problem areas such as doors, windows, baseboards, and even power outlets. Wherever you find a draft or see sunlight, seal the areas with common items such as spray in insulation or window tape. Your local hardware store can usually assist you if you have unique situations or difficult to fix locations. Also, make an effort to use a full load for household appliances such as your dishwasher, washer, or dryer. Over or undersized loads create unneeded energy waste by inefficient use of the appliance's motors.
Purchase an energy efficient home:
If you are looking to purchase a home, you can choose to have your Realtor search for "green" homes. Modern home builders are constructing "green" properties that come with upgraded insulation, energy saving blinds and windows, along with appliances that are designed to conserve energy. To find houses like this, consult with your local Realtor. Owning an eco-friendly home in this current marked is a smart choice because the homes are becoming increasingly popular and in demand, and have a better potential to sell quickly and at a better price. Every day, a larger percentage of the population is putting greater emphasis on either saving money, protecting the environment, or both!
People who live in crowded, dense populations, in general, leave a smaller ecological footprint than people who live in suburbs. This is not necessarily because people from places like New York City are in principal more eco-conscientious than people in suburban areas, but more likely because they tend to live closer to work, shopping, and entertainment than suburbanites. Furthermore, individuals who live in dense populations are generally more likely to use subways, busses, or public transportation to get to their destination than non urban dwellers.
The lesson? Chose the location of your home carefully and pay close consideration to commuting distances, proximity to shopping and your method and options of transportation.
Live Large, while Buying Small.
It's the newest mantra for eco friendly individuals: Small, is really the new big. The smaller your living space, the less heating/cooling, and lighting it will need. Thus, you will have reduced energy usage and utility bills.
With some careful interior design, you can create a tasteful and beautiful living area out of some surprisingly small living spaces.
Don't be afraid to make changes:
Don't expect to find the perfect home when you are shopping for any home, let alone an eco-friendly home. Whatever home you purchase, you will likely want to make some basic changes to make it more aesthetically pleasing for you and your tastes and needs. A fresh coat of low VOC paint in your favorite color is easy and affordable. However, ripping up the old, leaky, rusty, lead leaking plumbing is a much bigger task, but something to consider depending on the house's needs. These are important things that you should consider when purchasing a home. An experienced Realtor can assist you with some of these considerations.
When you are looking for your next home, don't rule out a home just because of an out of style kitchen or bathroom. Typically, these are two of the rooms in a home that will get you your best return for your renovating dollar. Assuming you don't have to gut the place and change the structure of the rooms to get something that will make you happy, you can perform a modest remodel based you your ecological principals and obtain a greener, more efficient home which suits your style and needs, and likely increase your home's worth and resale value when it is time to upgrade to your next home.
The importance of Shade:
While some people want trees close by for hugging, others look at trees for their climate control abilities. The foliage that comes with your new home can influence your home's energy usage. In the summer, a trees leafy branches will block the sun and help keep your home cooler and use less energy. Conversely, in the winter, when the leaves fall, the bare branches let in more sunlight and in turn heat your home, resulting in cost savings to you.
More on the Outdoors:
A large yard with a lush green lawn maybe what you always wanted growing up, but remember, the lawn will use up a significant amount of water and need the appropriate amount of upkeep . A smaller yard will use less water, require less upkeep, and give you more time to enjoy your home!
Good luck and happy home hunting!