Reprinted with permission from EnviroCitizen
February 20, 2010 -- Finding a green home is getting to be easier as more people are becoming aware of the benfits of green living for their health as well as for the Earth. There are a few things to look for and ask when you are in the market for a green home.
Before looking at anything, begin by listing the sustainable features that you want. Are you looking for energy efficiency? Or are you more concerned about finding a home that was built using salvaged or recycled materials? Are you aiming for healthier materials such as low-VOC paints? Are you trying to conserve water? Are you looking for all of those things and more? Do you have space requirements—more specifically, are you wanting a larger home are you looking for something a little simpler? Determine what a green home should be to you. Remember that you may have to be flexible as not all green homes are created equally.
When you're ready to start looking, find a green realtor to help you. A certified green realtor can help you separate the truly green homes from the imitators. They will also know where and when new green homes are in the market. Look for a National Association of Realtors agent who has earned a green designation of some sort. They designate their realtors who have completed green training and certification as “Realtor-Green.” These realtors are usually well-known for their extra training and skill and therefore make themselves well known in the area. Just be sure that they are truly certified by looking up their credentials.
On your own, you can do plenty of research, too. Check out listings for green homes. Many people have built or remodeled green homes to make them stand out in this real estate market, and will proudly announce their green features. Looking up local real estate sites can help as well as online databases. There are many sites that specialize in green real estate. A quick search on google for green homes in your area may even turn up some results that are worth perusing.
Finally, check out your local environmental groups or activist groups to see if there is a particular development that they would recommend. Building or buying green is a big deal now and comes up in many conversations. These groups typically have their ear to the ground on what is out there. They may even be acquainted with some of the owners. EnviroCitizen.org has found that many people have made green upgrades or renovations to their homes to help them stand out in this real estate market, so ask around and you're sure to get some good leads to green homes.