From an economic standpoint, purchasing an eco-friendly home makes financial sense because you will find that appraisals for these homes are generally 15% or higher than other comparable homes. What this means to you in financial terms is that your home will hold its value, even when there are real estate market readjustments like the one we are still going through at this time. The initial cost is usually higher for an environmentally friendly home than it is for other homes, but you will usually recover your investment through energy savings and appreciation.
Aside from the economic benefits, going green has other benefits which include greater energy efficiency, pollution reduction, natural resource preservation, healthier air indoors and lower maintenance costs. You have to learn how eco-friendly and energy efficient a home is before deciding on your purchase. Lighting, heating, cooling and potential energy loss should all be taken into account, and the following list may help you decide whether a home is eco-friendly, and whether you should buy it. For example:
Check to make sure that all of the appliances in the home are energy efficient, and it will translate into less electricity and/or natural gas consumption.
Find out whether the home has double-paned windows and low emissivity or low-e will help with heating, cooling and lessen potential energy loss, which will all equate to less energy consumption.
Check whether the attic, crawl spaces, ducts and other places where there is potential energy loss are insulated to minimize it.
Look to make sure that the home's heating and cooling systems are efficient and the right size for the home so that you will make efficient use of energy to heat or cool your home.
There should be no drafts coming through the doors or windows so that heat does not escape in winter and cool air does not escape in summer.
The home should have excellent natural lighting so that you can cut down on the use of electricity, and it should make use of solar or wind power to lower energy consumption and perhaps even contribute excess energy to the energy grid.
The home must have passive solar orientation to make full use of the heat and power that sun makes available.
The things listed above are by no means a comprehensive list and each home may have some, all or more of the things that have been listed. Whatever the case, you should consider what your needs are and whether the home fits your needs. You also need to consider whether the home fits your budget since eco-friendly homes do tend to be more expensive than other homes.
Other things that you may consider when you are making your choice is how close your home will be to shops, the market, entertainment, parks, schools and work. The more time you spend having to drive around from one place to another, the more energy you will consume.
There are many different environmental organizations, and it may be advisable to consult them and try to find a builder who is eco-friendly if you are looking for a brand new home. In the end, buying a house is an extremely personal choice, and it is up to you to decide what will fit your family the best.
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