How to Become an Eco-Friendly Homeowner
How to become an eco-friendly homeowner involves saving space, creating zero waste and using locally-sourced materials. This can be done by purchasing a LEED-certified or green home or making modifications to your existing home and the choices in products you buy. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to go green so that humans can sustain the wonders of Earth without depleting all its resources.
When it’s time to make a move to a new home, consider moving to an eco-friendly home. Construction take a drastic toll on the environment. According to the US Green Building Council, 40 percent of the world’s raw materials are used in the construction of buildings, which gobbles up 13.6 percent of all potable water. (Roughly equivalent to 15 trillion gallons per year.) Eco-friendly homes are designed to run on more sustainable energy practices, which include recycling, putting in skylights, and installing solar panels or solar assisted water heaters. Individually, these upgrades may seem small, but they’ll help you conserve energy and leave a smaller carbon footprint. Here are some tips to get started.
Searching for Green Homes
If you are searching for a “green” home on the market, start by finding a green realtor. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) lists a number of sub-categories of realtors. One of these is the Green Designation and Accredited Buyer’s Representatives, who specialize in eco-friendly homes. They’ve been trained to assist you in identifying whether the home you have or the home you want to buy are true zero-energy properties. Even with the expertise of a green REALTOR® to help them, buyers looking for green homes are often advised to look and keep looking, because pinning down eco-homes and neighborhoods usually takes time.
Paying for Green Homes
Purchasing a green home is great for the planet and for your pocketbook because you’re saving a fortune on your energy bills over time. For now, though, keep in mind that the initial cost of building a green home can be 20-30 percent higher than its conventional alternative. And because eco-homes aren’t yet quite a mainstream purchase option, you may have to hire a special builder to install a whole-home water filtration system, or to build your home off the electrical grid.
The Future of Green Building
As the NAR states on its website, “Sustainable properties are the future of the real estate industry.” By some estimates, there are currently 370,105 LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) residential units in the US. That figure is only expected to rise in the future, especially since these homes are designed to gobble up 30-60 percent less energy than their conventionally-built counterparts.
Another plus is that they can be built for the same price as a regular home. And if you ever need to move, green single- and multi-family homes decked out with eco-friendly features usually sell for 3.5 percent more than homes without those features. Studies have also shown that the green-home construction market is projected to boom from $55 million in 2015 to $100.4 million in 2018. That’s red-hot growth of 24.5 percent.