- Real estate agent

What to Ask For When Buying a Green Home

Even with the economy slowing down, the green building is still booming in the United States. The green building marketplace is estimated to be worth between $40 billion and $70 billion per year by 2012. There are several reasons why the green building is showing such remarkable resilience to the financial crises that other related industries such as real estate and construction face. It is renowned for introducing new technologies to meet the ever-growing consumer preference and builder demands. Statistics show that over 80% of consumers are interested in green features and energy efficiency when buying a home.

In Charleston, South Carolina, many homebuyers that would be interested in green features and sustainable buildings have not been exposed to or educated about their options and for that reason, they do not ask for them. Your real estate agent can point out these features as they may be the deciding factor when selecting a home to buy. There are many homes for sale in Charleston’s real estate market with green features.

What makes a building green? A high-performance green building is energy efficient; it consumes less water and natural resources. It creates less waste when built and is healthier for its inhabitants than a standard building. Eco-friendly homes also tend to hold their value better, even in this slow real estate market green homes appraise for up to 15% more than comparable traditional homes. When taken into consideration, these factors could make the next green house just the perfect home for both, the homebuyer and the environment.

Some tips for buying a Green Home:

Look for:

o    Air Quality Enhancing features

o    Energy Efficient appliances (Energy Star appliances)

o    Low emissivity and double paned windows

o    Solar power if available

o    Natural Light

o    Native, drought-tolerant landscaping

o    Low-flow toilets

o    On-demand hot water system and water saving shower heads

When buying a new home look for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certified ratings.

Tips for Green Renovation:

o    Reuse as much material (walls, foundation, interior doors) as possible when building a sustainable home.

o    Use new materials that do not have to be shipped from far.

o    Consider adding energy saving solutions such as geothermal heating and cooling systems, point-of-use water heaters as well as solar panels that supplement the hot water supply.

o    Insulate your new house well, use new materials such as recycled denim and closed cell foam.

o    Use structural panel systems and eco-roofing systems.

o    Use paints, stains and adhesives with either low or zero volatile organic compounds as these will improve indoor air quality.