As a potential home buyer, you will not want to settle for anything but the best. But expect a lot of hard work when it comes to selecting your dream home. You must think beyond the design, features, and location of the property and dig deep into other factors before going ahead with the purchase.
Sustainability is one of the selling points in the current residential landscape as it ensures good health, cost savings, and high resale value in the long run. But most buyers fail to understand the green potential of real estate. But anyway, let’s share a home buyer’s guide to assess the sustainability of properties.
Check the developer’s reputation
Checking the land developer’s regulation is the first thing you must do, even before starting the sustainability assessment of the property. An eco-conscious business owner goes the extra mile with environmental due diligence for every project they work on. Further, they follow all best practices for designing a green home, so you can seal the deal without second thoughts. You can seek recommendations and read online reviews to learn more about the reputation part. For instance, if you are considering retirement communities, a quick look online at Traditions of America will show you that they are the current National 55+ Builder of the Year!
Start with a green location
A green location is the cornerstone of a sustainable property, so it must be on top of your assessment checklist. Check facts like Wetland Delineation, protected species, and lot orientation to pick red flags and determine the development feasibility of the project. You can go ahead with the deal without apprehension if the land looks good from a sustainability perspective. But remember to check the building design and features.
Consider building material
After verifying the project location, consider the building material to ensure a green investment. Sustainable supplies are renewable or recycled as these materials have a minimal environmental footprint. Bamboo, reclaimed wood, and natural stone are ideal examples of green materials. Likewise, locally-sourced materials are also valuable. Also, look for durability because early replacement goes against green principles. Chemical-free paints are polishes are other factors to look for.
Opt for eco-friendly architecture
Another factor that makes a home sustainable is its eco-friendly design. Look for one that optimizes space because small properties are inherently energy-efficient as they require less heating and cooling. Eco-friendly designs also maximize the availability of natural light, heat, and fresh air to prevent the overuse of energy for illumination, heating, and ventilating the home. As a bonus, the property is healthy because natural light and air kill germs.
Look for green features
Green features are the add-ons that make a property sustainable through energy efficiency. These include solar panels, home automation, and water-saving fixtures. The homes with these features may cost a bit more, but they are worth investing in. The features pay back through significant savings in energy bills over the years, so you should not have qualms about the initial investment. You may save more by earning tax cuts and credits from the government.
Sustainable properties make an excellent investment for homeowners, even if they entail a significant investment. But you must choose wisely by digging deep and checking these factors.
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Choosing eco-friendly materials for plumbing is also important. From the point of view of health, commonly used PEX, copper, PVC, and CPVC are safe. However, most of them are not recyclable, and the manufacturing process is highly polluting. Such piping material as PP has received little attention in the US. But PP is safe for humans and is considered an environmentally friendly material.
Steel is another durable material. And besides this, it is recyclable and energy efficient. That is why steel is considered the best material for doors and windows. Buildings with steel doors and windows conserve warmth and cool much better without increasing energy consumption.
Here are some more ways to implement a sustainable approach in construction: https://portella.com/blog/future-residential-architecture-trends/.
If you want to buy a property with green potential, you also should pay attention to heating and cooling systems. ENERGY STAR certified central air conditioners use 8 percent less energy than conventional new models, so it’s better to buy homes with such systems.
But I should also add that even if you have a highly efficient household appliances, you need to keep in mind the regular HVAC maintenance. Otherwise, it won’t bring good results.
If you buy a home with a swimming pool, make sure it uses variable speed pool pump. Unlike single speed pool pumps, variable ones consume less energy. The US Department of Energy has determined variable speed pool pumps to be up to 75% more efficient than a single speed pump.