Buying a new home is both a stressful and exciting time in one’s life, especially considering all the different variables that go into choosing your perfect home. For those of you that are green minded, it can be even harder to decide on a home that will help you live the green lifestyle. Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do and look for to make sure that your potential new house is as green as you are.
###1. Consider the Size###
House size is often considered a status symbol. The bigger the house, the more you’re worth. It might be a good idea to consider if you really need the extra room. A bigger house means that it will use more energy. Other than putting a strain on the environment, this could possibly be putting a strain on your wallet. A good way to reduce your energy usage and impact on the environment is to choose a home with just enough space for your needs.
Did you know the way your house is facing could potentially impact the amount of energy you use? One thing you might consider looking at in a house is which direction the windows are facing in the rooms you will use the most. Nice big windows facing south could help to keep your home warm in the winter and reduce the amount of oil or gas you burn to fight the chilly days.
In the summer, a tree’s leaves may help to block the sun in the same windows that gave you heat during the winter. Another good idea is to look for areas where you can successfully implement a rain garden. Rain gardens are a great way to help restore the correct water cycle in a more developed area, recycling water that might otherwise go to waste. In addition, it saves you from using water from your home to water your garden, saving you money in your utility bill or putting less stress on your private well.
###4. Request a Professional Energy Audit###
Finally, if you are unsure about the house you are looking at, you can always opt to have it inspected by a professional Energy Rater. The Energy Rater will inspect the house and give it a score based on its Energy Efficiency. A report will also be included that will outline potential upgrades that will improve its score. Getting one of these reports is the first step in getting an Energy Efficient Mortgage (often called a green mortgage or EEM), which is great if you find a house that you love, but may need some help reducing its energy usage. EEMs allow you fund energy saving upgrades to your home, and you might find that you will be able to afford solar panels, new insulation, or new windows by using this method.