Archive for the ‘ Green Real Estate ’ Category

HomeGain Radio: Hampton’s Green Alliance

I had the pleasure of speaking with Tim Dalene of Hampton’s Green Alliance in New York the other day. He had an impressive story to share in regards to Green building.

hg_radioHampton’s Green Alliance (HGA) is a non-profit organization, created to be a Green resource for Green building on the east end of Long Island. For this project they brought together a group of local sub-contractors who specialize in difference areas of Green building and came up with innovative ways to create efficiencies within the home.

Their goal? They wanted to create a house where they could answer questions previously unanswered like how much would a Green house cost, what would need to be done, what kind of energy efficiencies could be incorporated — basically what does a Green home mean?

Taking the foundation of an existing home on Long Island that had burned down, this is the story of how the community came together to rebuild it, entirely from recycled and sustainable materials, so the home would be “carbon neutral” and would have “net zero energy”, meaning the homeowners will break even after 8 years, and ultimately not pay for electricity or gas, estimated at a $230,000 savings.

Listen to the HomeGain Radio Clip (approx 10 minutes):

Visit the HomeGain Green Real Estate page.

Listen to more HomeGain Radio calls.

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on May 17th, 2010 under Green Real Estate, HomeGain Radio

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HomeGain Celebrates Earth Day 2010

To celebrate Earth Day today, HomeGain is delighted to share feedback, comments and participation from real estate agents across the country who support and practice Green real estate.

Today we published a press release for the Top 9 Green Home Improvements for Home Sellers.tree-planet-earth-day

Agent Blogs

Agents Practicing Green

  • Do everything possible via laptop and avoid paperwork. We now have a lawyer to ratify the contract and have the bank accept a scanned copy of the contract instead of over-nighting approved original offer.
  • We work hard to keep printed paper to a minimum. Email and scanning is wonderful!
    Our office is hosting a shredding day and e-waste event. We also recycle bottles and cans and we re-use paper in the fax machine. We also turn out the lights when they are not in use.
  • My office is near paperless due to a Tablet PC.
  • I became a Certified EcoProfessional. I changed the way I live, where I buy my food, Greened my real estate business and also buy electricity generated by wind.
  • I use the back of all printed listings as scrap paper for call notes, to do lists, grocery lists.
  • We have unplugged all non used electrical items so we are not wasting any trickle charges to unused appliances, lamps, motors, etc.
  • “I am providing a paperless business model to my clients. Every document is signed on my computer and all the files are in PDF format. How’s that for lessening our carbon footprint!”- Jaime Sparks
  • I have planted a home garden, walk when possible, and reuse items or donate them to charities. Continue reading this post
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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on April 22nd, 2010 under Green Real Estate

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Green Home Staging: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle

“Reuse, Reduce and Recycle” is a tune my grammar school son chants all the time. He learned it in school and I have even found myself chanting it at times. And as with anything, once something gets in to your head you find yourself applying it to your everyday life.green-home-staging-window

As Earth Day approaches I am excited by how I have applied some of the “Green” principles of my son’s song to my own home staging business in Marin. As home stagers, we try to have environmentally sustainable designs that improve our environment rather than detract from it.

REUSE & RECYCLE

The most obvious is that we reuse our furniture for home staging. And when we need to add to our collection we try to buy locally so we can reduce transportation costs and waste.

When clients are thinking of replacing their upholstered furniture I suggest that they have their furniture recovered rather than just throw it away. Upholsterers can recycle the furniture to look like new, with half the waste as buying new, and half the cost.

REDUCE

Lighting is also an easy way to be eco-friendly. Before any open house Realtors turn on all of the lights in the home. This creates light and a welcome environment. This is also something I do before a party when I want my guests to feel welcome and the energy in the house come alive. But before wasting all of that wattage consider using only compact florescent light bulbs. Switching from a traditional light bulb to a CFL is a simple change everyone can make to reduce up to 20% of our greenhouse gases without skimping on the ambiance.

Another way we reduce waste is to reuse our packing materials over and over again rather than have our moving companies use new materials. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Stephanie Decker on April 19th, 2010 under Green Real Estate, Home Staging

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Green Home Trends

The key to mainstreaming green homes is to make sure that consumers understand the value of green upgrades — how cost-effective energy efficiency can be in the long run. Consumers want homes that are environmentally friendly and home values should reflect the increased savings.

Better Homes and Gardenseco-home

Recent poll results of 2,342 people who plan to purchase or do a major home improvement in 2010 show (numbers have been rounded):

  • 2% of consumers are planning to have high-efficiency heating and cooling in their next home
  • 3% are planning to have high-efficiency appliances
  • 3% will have geo-thermal heat
  • 5% said energy-efficient heating and cooling will be more important to them
  • 6% said Energy Star appliances will be more important

Appraising Green

Appraisals need to better reflect the value added to energy efficient green upgrades. Legislation is pending which will require the consideration of any renewable energy sources, or energy-efficiency or energy-conserving improvements. Appraisers will tell you they have been considering green improvements for 15 years, typically, double paned windows, insulation and solar hot water heaters. The value normally attributed is  the installation cost. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Howard Sobel on February 5th, 2010 under Green Real Estate

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Top 9 GREEN Home Improvements

A few months ago we announced the top 12 do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements for people selling their home.

green-home-improvementWith the environment and sustainability in the hearts and minds of many Americans, HomeGain has also surveyed Realtors for the top 9 GREEN DIY home improvements.  Nearly 1,000 REALTORS® responded to the survey.

While the results show that green home improvement projects may not be as popular as traditional non-green improvements (percentage of Realtors who recommend them), the GREEN trend does seem to be catching on as people realize the benefits. (See Realtor comments below.)

According to a McGraw Hill study, 70% of homebuyers would rather buy a green home than a non-green home in a down economy. The Management Information Services/ICMA has said that “landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent.” According to Move.com, to date, around 1,100 Realtors have earned the NAR Green Designation (out of 1.3 million registered Realtors in the U.S.).

Based on national average cost and return on investment (ROI) to sellers…

The top 5 GREEN home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers are:

  1. Plant native trees and plants ($141 average cost / $399 average price increase / 284% average ROI / 65% of agents recommended)
  2. Replace air filters ($76 cost / $201 price increase / 266% ROI / 63% recommended)
  3. GREEN home staging ($223 cost / $445 price increase / 199% ROI / 47% recommended)
  4. Weather strip and caulk doors and windows ($169 cost / $313 price increase / 185% ROI / 68% recommended)
  5. Install programmable thermostats ($146 cost / $249 price increase / 170% ROI / 62% recommended)

The complete 9 GREEN home improvements are as follows:

green-home-improvements-chart

Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on January 12th, 2010 under Green Real Estate, Home Improvement, Home Improvement Surveys, HomeGain Surveys

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Green Homes and Sales Trends

Green is the New Black

The housing industry hasn’t developed a reliable way of breaking down green versus conventional homes sales figures. But its clearly a hot button issue and will even become more important, perhaps mandatory, as we begin to seriously deal with global warming.

green-home-sale-trendsWhat Others are Saying….

Developers
“Those builders are seeing that they’ll get more buyers coming to their developments when they have solar. They sell like hot cakes,” Bernadette del Chiaro, an energy specialist at the advocacy group Environment California, told the Los Angeles Times. The Times also quoted Julie Blumden, a vice president at San Jose-based solar tile maker SunPower Corp., as pointing out that the increase in sales velocity is actually paying for the solar systems.

MLS
At least one MLS listing service is updating its database to allow for property searches based on a range of green features.

National Association of Realtors®
According to a recent NAR survey, 90 percent of recent home buyers thought energy efficiency was a very important consideration when searching for a home, and the demand for green buildings and environmentally sensitive home features is growing.

HomeGain
Arbor National Mortgage & American Forests notes that 83% of Realtors believe that mature trees have a ‘strong or moderate impact’ on the saleability of homes listed for under $150,000; on homes over $250,000, this perception increases to 98%. This survey is supported by observations from the USDA Forest Service: mature trees add an average of 10 percent to a property’s value. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Howard Sobel on October 19th, 2009 under Green Real Estate

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