A Guide to Buying Eco-Friendly Homes

If you’re looking to start living a more sustainable lifestyle, then you’ve likely looked into environmentally friendly homes. While building a new sustainable home is an option, it’s not viable for everyone. It’s entirely possible to purchase an eco-friendly home that’s already been built. And keep in mind, buying literally any home that has already been built is a green decision, as you’re reusing and not increasing your carbon footprint by using more resources to build something new. Follow this guide if you’re buying a house and want it to be sustainable.

Be Prepared to Spend Time and Hire a REALTOR®

If you want a home that will be as sustainable as possible, you should be prepared to spend more time than usual on your house hunt. Most homes weren’t built with sustainability in mind, so it may just take a bit longer to find the right home. For this reason, it would be helpful to have an experienced real estate agent helping you out. They’ll be able to spend their time looking for homes that fit your criteria to make your own search quicker and easier.

Get a Home Inspection

While it’s always a good idea to get a home inspection done before buying a house, it’s especially important when you want to buy an eco-friendly house. The inspector should be able to tell you how efficient the house is, drawing from systems like the lighting and plumbing and how good the insulation is.

Ask for the Utility Bills

When you’re checking the home, take some time to talk with the owner about the energy efficiency, and ask them if you can see a recent utility bill. Being able to see the utility bill will show you which systems in the house are costing the most and where there could be wastefulness.

Small Things to Check in the Home

While you’re viewing the house, there are a few different things you can watch out for that will indicate how environmentally friendly it is:

• Check that the doors fit snugly in the frame. This indicates good weather stripping, which helps keep the house energy-efficient. If there are any gaps around the door, that’s going to be leaking air, which will negatively impact the home’s efficiency. If the doors are in that condition, there’s also a good chance the windows and other aspects of the home will be subpar as well.

• Check for eco-friendly landscaping. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it can make a difference in the long term. Having a yard full of trees that shade the home will impact climate control in your house. On top of that, drought-resistant plants and grass will make it easier to maintain your yard, as you won’t need to use as much water.

• If the house has a sunroom, ensure it can be isolated with a door. If the sunroom is just open to the rest of the home, that will also negatively impact climate control.

Focus on the Bigger Picture

Keep in mind that it’s far easier to change small things in a home rather than the design of it. For example, if you find a home with a design that’s easy to control the climate in but has an inefficient heating system, it’s likely worth the purchase. You can always change out the heating system for something more efficient when you move in.

It’s important for us to keep sustainability in mind as we look for homes in the future, not only for the environment but for our own finances. Keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to find your own eco-friendly home.

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