Part of being “green” means making some thoughtful decisions. As an EcoBroker, I find that clients often say they want to be green because they have a romanticized view of what this entails, aptly named greenwashing.
The reality is that they are usually not sure what it really means. In many cases, they find that going GREEN can mean giving up some of their high style options. As their Realtor, my job is to help them find the satisfaction in choosing the long term benefits of going GREEN.
My basic rules of ecofriendly real estate include:
- Renovating an existing property is always greener than new construction (even if it is in a green community with an energy star rating). Anytime new land is cleared, the environment and all the flora and fauna are decimated.
- Local materials should be selected whenever possible. Transporting building materials can add up to a huge carbon footprint.
- Energy saving features should take priority in the budget. Investing in a long term benefit of reduced energy consumption is good for the buyer and the planet.
- Water conservation should be part of the landscaping plan. Drought tolerant lawns and plant materials are also easier to care for. Native plants are always a good option. Placing plants in the optimal conditions will also reduce the need for watering.
- Explore all tax credits, state and federal, to know the bottom line. The Obama administration has implemented serious incentives for upgrading hvac, windows, and insulation and other energy saving products.
- Find a lender who can provide a “green” mortgage product. Many of these loans will permit a higher amount to be borrowed provided it will go toward energy saving improvements. Continue reading this post