Home buying

7 ways to Green Your Home buying

Home buying is not only an important financial investment, it's also an environmental one. Each choice you make—from the location of your abode to the number of bedrooms—is an opportunity to tread lighter on the earth.

  1. Buy a home in a mixed-use neighborhood

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    Whatever you call it—new urbanism, smart growth, or sustainable neighborhoods—the emphasis on walking instead of driving is what makes these neighborhoods earth friendly.

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  2. Live in multi-family housing

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    “Multi-family” simple means that your humble abode is attached to another. Living in a townhouse, condo, apartment or even a duplex will cut your energy and resource consumption compared to living in a single-family home.

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  3. Live in an intentional community

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    Buying a house in a cohousing, ecovillage, or other sustainable living community will reduce your eco-footprint in a socially beneficial way.

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  4. Buy a small house

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    How much square-footage do you need? Smaller houses use less energy as well as consume less land and construction materials.

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  5. Buy a certified green home

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    Homes certified by LEED, ENERGY STAR, and others have demonstrated energy-saving features and other eco-friendly qualities.

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  6. Use a green realtor

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    How do you sort out green marketing hype from verifiable claims when looking for a green home? Knowledgeable green realtors can help.

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  7. Get a green mortgage

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    Not sure if you can afford the higher purchase price of an energy-efficient home? You can with a green mortgage!

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Comments

02/17/2009
6:45pm
Amanda Ogden

As the owner of a green real estate brokerage company in Austin, TX, E3 Properties, I was really glad to read your suggestions on how someone can identify a true green agent from someone who is not.
With all the "green washing" going on these days it's important for the consumer to be armed with the right tools( in this case questions) to identify the real from the fake.
As you pointed out, there are many individual agents and companies that misrepresent themselves as green. While it's important to make sure that your agent has a green certification, that in and of itself doesn't qualify someone as being truly "green".

 During the interview process, I would suggest that consumers dig a little deeper with their agents and ask them about their business practices in their offices.  Do they minimize paper use, print only on FSC certified paper w/soy ink (do they know what that is), offset their vehicles etc. Also, I would make sure that they are well connected within the "green" community in your city, and that they have a list of affiliate green businesses that they can refer you to if needed.

It's great to see so many agents becoming green certified. However, as a consumer you want to find the ones who are doing it for the right reasons.

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