Evolution of Green Real Estate Properties

The ideologies of the buyers in the real estate industry have been drastically changed over the years. All they need is eco-friendly or environmental properties with required facilities. Some of the environment friendly features are:

Use of renewable energy sources
The current trend in the market is demand for eco-friendly properties. Use of solar energy in water heating appliances, air conditioners and inverters can attract many buyers. This kind of energy sources can reduce their E-bills.

Rainwater collectors
Rainwater harvesting is effective way of storing rainwater for domestic usage. By using this method in our home, a large scale of water scarcity can be reduced.

Use of wooden furniture’s
Consumers are considering organic materials like wood and bamboo to be used in interior furniture. Plywood made from wood chips and window treatment, which include bamboo shades are some of the organic designs evolving in the green properties. Wooden furniture can add warmth, richness, comfort and finesse to the household area.

Natural landscaping
It is one of the important factors for the green real estate property. Properties, which have native plants and trees growing in and around the surroundings, have much demand among the consumers. A property, which has artificial grass lawns, requires lot of water to be supplied whereas native plants and trees require only seasonal rainfall to grow. Plenty of water can be saved by having natural growing trees and plants.

Eco-friendly interior insulations
Interior insulation in home is necessary as it affects the room temperature. Use of eco-friendly insulations with wooden chips, cotton, small broken pieces of stones and rocks, newspapers, cellulose insulation can reduce the noise and green house gas emission. Natural insulations have a low embodied energy and are fully disposable/recyclable at the end of their life.

Due to the increased demand in green real estate, many firms have started to promote their properties as eco-friendly homes. Buyers are showing more interest in having energy efficient products and systems in properties. Many financial institutions and private sector firms are investing huge money in green real estate predicting its demand in the future. According to government policies, investors who are investing in this sector pay fewer taxes compared to commercial sector investing. Green building construction has become increasingly popular and construction of such buildings has been a great challenge in long run. A green building is setting up new avenues in sector and increases the talent among the architects, environmentalists and suppliers.

 

Choosing the Best Green Home Builder

Today many people are “going green”, which means that they are becoming environmentally friendly in how they live their lives and minimizing the harm done to the earth. When some people decide to build their home from the bottom up, they decide to have a green home builder build their home. This contractor would build their home with low environmental and energy efficiency in mind. To find a green home builder you should talk to the contractors in your area. Some that will travel to your area to build your home but their services will add more expense to the cost of your home.

To ensure that you will have the best green home builder ask them what type of building material they will use. You should also inquire about their disposal methods to make sure they are in compliant with sustainability practices. The materials that they should use are non-toxic when possible, and environmentally friendly. They should also be materials that come from renewable sources, or sustainable material. This can include materials from homes that have been knocked down. This material can include old doors, cabinets, some of the wood to accent the home such as using the material for ceiling beams, and more. They should try to avoid using plastics and choose their wood carefully. You should ask to see examples of the green projects they have completed. Their construction philosophy should focus on green building. It should not just focus on using green techniques as a secondary technique. Make sure that the contract you sign states that it will be constructed from sustainable and green material.

A home builder may tell you that they are using green building techniques but it could be easy for them to start using less environmentally friendly techniques and designs to save money on materials so they can put more money in their pockets. This is why you need to be sure that they are a reputable home builder and have good references as a green construction company. They need to be knowledgeable about green techniques and processes and committed to green construction and design. If you want your new green custom built home to be built using unconventional techniques make sure the home builder can demonstrate they understand the techniques you want and can do them correctly.

Before you choose a green home builder, you should educate yourself on what constitutes a green home and the process to build one. This will help you to determine a good green home builder and to know if they are cutting corners using non-environmentally friendly material. Having a green home can save you money on heating and cooling costs, and if sustainable material is used it can save these materials from being disposed of improperly.

 

Green Homes for Sale

If you were looking at real estate ads and saw one that stated “green homes for sale”, you may at first wonder why anyone would a listing stating the color of their home. This is not what this type of ad means. It is just stating that the homes for sale are earth friendly and energy efficient. Green homes for sale are being built in an effort to less the carbon footprints we leave behind.

When you purchase a green home they will contains all or some of the following features that are earth friendly.

• Fiber cement siding
• Alternative power system like wind and solar
• Recycled building insulation
• No VOC stains and paints, which stands for volatile organic compound. It is any compound that is carbon-based and will vaporize at standard room temperatures. Some of the more prevalent ones are formaldehyde, acetone, and methane.
• Solar powered hot water heating

Even if you do not live in a green home, there are things that you can do to increase your energy conservation. It will even help contribute to saving our environment. Making your home a green home can help to reduce global warning and save the homeowner money. It will significantly better the environment and require little effort for the homeowner.

Making a green home

• Instead of using the standard incandescent light bulbs start to use compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). When you switch to the CFL’s you can save per year over a hundred dollars. You can find these lights in the same aisle as your regular bulbs but they are little more expensive. In the United States, if every house switches the type of light bulbs they were using to CFL’s there would be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of one trillion pounds.
• Install a thermostat that is programmable-with this type of thermostat the homeowner can program the thermostat so that the air conditioner or heater is off when homeowners are not at home. The programmable thermostat can be programmed so that it will cool or heat your home shortly before the homeowner arrives home. This change could save the homeowner ten percent or more on cooling and heating costs
• Plug air leaks-this will help the homeowner save money and practice conservation. You can do this by installing weather stripping, keep the temperature in your home from rapidly fluctuating, and caulk windows correctly to stop air drafts.
• Energy Star® rated appliances-these reduce the amount of electricity that is needed to operate them so they have less of an impact on the environment. They will also save on your energy bill.

 

5 Simple Energy Conservation Ideas For Your Home

While most potential home buyers, consider their monthly mortgage payment (including principal, interest, and escrow/ taxes), many, fail to adequately consider other monthly expenses, associated with home ownership. Perhaps the most significant one, is the cost of energy – related activities, including electric, and heart. The purpose of this article is not to examine the many alternative heating alternatives, including solar, geo – thermal, etc, but rather, to review some simple steps, one can somewhat easily take, to make their home more energy – efficient, and friendly. Let’s look at 5 simple, basic, energy conservation ideas/ steps.

1. Windows and doors: What is the Energy Efficiency Ratio of your entry doors? What material are they made of? How are they hung? How much air is seeping out, through the spaces created, because of their alignment? Simply, assuring your door has a bottom sweep, and the spaces around the top, and sides, is reduced/ eliminated, will prevent heat escaping in the winter, and air conditioning, escaping during the summer. What type of blinds, or curtains are you using, and are you using them, to let sun in, when it is cold out, while reducing the entry of the heat of the sun, when it is hot? When was the last time you checked your windows, in terms of air – tightness, energy rating, and tinting (if your local climate indicates doing so)?

2. Insulation: Every form of insulation comes with some R rating. This number indicates the amount of insulation, but are you certain, all exterior walls and ceilings are properly insulated? Doing so, might potentially save a considerable amount of unnecessary energy costs.

3. Energy efficient appliances: Certain home appliances, especially refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners, have become far more energy – efficient, in recent years. How old are yours? Look at the rating, and it will indicate how much energy a particular appliance might be using. When I recently replaced my refrigerator, the new one was far more efficient (therefore, cost less to run), than my 15 – year old model. Similarly, today’s oil and gas burners and boilers are far more efficient, than they have ever been!

4. Water and toilet: Are there any dripping faucets or toilets that continue to run – on? Eliminate the drips, change faucet heads (especially in the shower), and check the efficiency of your toilets.

5. Lights/ fixtures: Begin by making the effort to turn lights off, when you leave the room! What type of light bulb are you using? Many bulbs today are four, or more times, more efficient (use less energy/ wattage), than older ones. Do a lights and fixtures – review on a regular basis!

These 5 ideas may seem basic and obvious, but you’d be amazed how few people consider these. Unless you like wasting energy, and spending more than you need to, using these simple, conservation methods, will save money, and reduce energy waste.

 

Things to Consider While Hiring a Green Builder

As an environmentally conscious person are you passionate about implementing green building design for your next project? Then you need to look for a reputed and experienced green builder who’s equally passionate and motivated in coming up with energy efficiency designs. Consider the following points while hiring one:

1. Whether it’s a commercial or residential project, you can hire a well committed architect who relies on the latest technology and is capable of coming up with customized solutions for any project category.

2. The green architect you choose to work with should be able to come up with practical net zero design for your project. He/she must be able to communicate every aspect of construction with clarity and care. You need to hire an individual who can reason well and think independently to give you the desired end result.

3. It’s better to talk with the references they provide to really understand and see for yourself how well the builder executes green building solutions on large or small scale projects.

4. More importantly, the builder must be capable in carefully monitoring the budget and communicate at regular intervals about the project status.

5. It’s good to choose an architect who’s certified by LEED program as their designs and practices are well approved and recognized by the Green Building Council.

A green building approach can turn out to be not just Eco-friendly, but also helps in conserving and producing energy while saving you considerable money on your monthly power bills. On the other hand, a green building will decrease waste production and cut down on pollution. In short, the design will be environmentally efficient and responsible all through the building’s life-cycle. So the right green architect should be able to help you right from siting the right place to designing and construction or renovation of the project. You can choose a company that specializes in offering green building design that smartly addresses any energy consumption issues. A well experienced firm will provide you with a wide range of options to help you in assessing all the available possibilities and choose the best for energy conservation for your industrial or residential projects. They will help you with designing a building that makes effective use of water, energy and various other important resources, while protecting the health of people who live within its premises. The sustainable building design principles can be effectively applied for new construction projects as well as renovation work, so its time you considered it by choosing the right people.

 

How to Go Green in an Apartment

You’ve already take the first step to green living – moving into a small space in an existing building. But did you know that there are many other ways you can live green in an apartment? Read on to learn some of these ways.

Your kitchen

Think about how you drink water, juice, and other beverages. Can you use a reusable container? If the water in your apartment isn’t very good, you can install a water filter on the tap or use a countertop model. Then you can just refill your bottle as you need. You’ll also recoup your investment quickly by saving the money you would otherwise spend on bottled water.

Power outlets

Just having something plugged in can actually draw electricity through it, even if the appliance or device on the other end is not on. If you aren’t actually using the device, make sure you unplug it. You can cut your power usage by as much as 40%, based on studies that have been done.

Adjust that thermostat

No doubt you’ve heard that changing your thermostat can reduce your electricity bill. It’s true. Turn down your winter thermostat to 68 degrees and you will be able to save quite a lot of both money and electricity. Conversely, turning your thermostat up in the summer and using windows strategically to let in the cooler night air will save on your air conditioning costs.

If your complex allows you, you can even use a plastic film over the windows to keep out the cold in the winter or the heat in the summer. Even if you are not allowed to do this, you can use heavy curtains that will help block out strong sun rays and keep you warmer when the nights turn cold.

Appliances

If you have appliances in your unit like washing machines and dryers, use them only when you have full loads to make the most of your water and power. Remember, the machine uses the same resources regardless of what is inside. The same is true of a dishwasher. Make sure it is full before running it.

Plant some plants

The fresh air that plants can help generate goes a long way towards cleaning the air in your apartment. There are lists you can find of great indoor plants, so long as your apartment managers allow for them. Even if you can’t grow any indoors, you might be able to have a small container garden on your patio and have fresh veggies and fruit. There’s also a concept called vertical gardening that lets you even grow squash in a small area.

Green cleaning

You can find greener cleaners in the organics section of most grocery stores, so your laundry and dishes will have less of an impact on the environment. They don’t have heavy perfumes, either, so your air will stay naturally fresher.

Light switch

Just changing your regular incandescent bulbs out for fluorescent or LED bulbs will use less electricity and give you a longer lasting bulb. LEDs can last for years, recovering the investment in them along the way.

As you can see, it’s actually pretty easy to go green, even when you are just renting your apartment. So what are you waiting for? Go green today!

 

Seven Tips for Finding Great Real Estate Bargains

The recent influx of foreclosures and distressed properties creates a wonderful opportunity for investors. However, in order to find great deals on real estate, you can’t just have a few coming across your plate every couple days. Instead, use these seven tips to keep the bargains flooding your desk:

1. Connect With Lots of Agents

When properties go into foreclosure, it often ends up as real estate owned (REO) property. Agents who deal with these types of properties are your closest allies. Don’t just work with one. Instead, create a list of local REO agents. Take some time to meet with them and establish a good working relationship. Let them know what you’re looking for – you’ll find they will do a lot of the grunt work for you.

2. Work with Asset Managers

Asset managers can notify you of potential properties before they reach the multiple listing services. Some of these deals are far too good to pass up! And if you’re able to close quickly on these great bargains, the bank will just keep feeding you more and more.

3. Market Yourself to Local Individuals

While they may not be in foreclosure, there are many families experiencing financial difficulty that would love to sell their home. Don’t be afraid to spend some money on a strong marketing plan that targets these distressed homeowners. These individuals are looking to sell for whatever they can get, and you can find some profitable bargains when negotiating one-on-one with the seller.

4. Go to the Court House

There’s very little competition on real estate owned homes that have yet to hit the multiple listing services. While you can’t do a thorough inspection inside the house, you can find some great deals if you purchase on the courthouse steps.

5. Homes Being Sold by Owners

Since the homeowner isn’t paying a real estate agent to sell his home, these types of sales can present great bargaining opportunities. They aren’t listed and don’t get nearly as much activity as those homes on the multiple listing services. At first, the owner may not be ready to meet your low price. However, keep in contact and see if he’s willing to negotiate later on.

6. Search Ads and Respond Promptly

Motivated sellers advertise their homes in as many places as possible. Check the ads in your local newspaper or other publications. You can also find ads on social media websites, online home listing websites and even Craigslist. Check these ads on a daily basis and respond as quickly as possible in order to secure the best deals.

7. Let Friends and Family Know About Your Investments

As with any type of business, word of mouth is one of the most effective means of gaining clients. Let your friends and family know that you’re looking for great deals on real estate. Ask them to let you know when they or their friends are selling homes, especially if the price is low. Investors find many of their best bargains through word of mouth interaction!

 

Tips For Finding Green Housing

Every day in the news we hear something about the environment. It might be scientists discussing climate change, or an animal care expert discussing habitat loss. Sometimes it’s something as simple as people wanting to know what they can do. When you’re looking for a home, you might have thought about buying a green house. Here are some tips to consider to help you find a green house.

One of the main things to consider is where the house is located. Part of being green is cutting back on your carbon footprint. Is your house close to shopping, schools, and work? If not, you’re spending a lot on fossil fuels getting to where you need to be.

You also should plan for a home that takes advantage of natural light where possible, so you can keep your electricity bill down. A green home will have landscaping that blots out the hot summer sun. The plants then lose their leaves in the winter to let in the winter light.

You should also find a home that has the ability to create cross-drafts to be able to take advantage of the cool night air. Few things are more refreshing after a hot day than that lovely evening breeze.

Choose a smaller home when you can. You’ll save resources since there is not as much material to go into construction. Plus, you’ll not have to heat as much in the winter or cool as much in the summer. This also means you should consider the floor plan. Does a two-story make sense, or should you go with a one-story ranch instead?

One of the current trends is the micro-home. These tiny houses are often smaller than most apartments, but they are still fully featured. Talk about cost savings! Many furniture makers are now crafting multi-purpose creations to go into these micro-homes, too.

You should also consider the types of construction materials used, like how solid the insulation is. The batting type of insulation with a high R rating is your best bet. Windows that are double pane are less likely to overheat a house in summer. Take a look for any deals on solar panels, and if your energy company gives rebates. Some customers can even sell excess energy back to the power company. Check around doors and windows for any leaks or drafts, too.

Should you decide to do any upgrades on the house, be sure to look for a green contractor. Explain that you would love to see as many materials recycled as possible. Your contractor can also help find natural wood instead of particleboard cabinets. He or she can also be creative in repurposing materials like countertops.

If you have the ability to find a green real estate agent, this person is more likely to be familiar with the home features you want. He or she will know the green builders and be able to guide you to a good green home.

You might think a green home is trendy, and won’t have any resale value down the road. In actuality, as more and more people become aware of the need to be green, they’ll only become more popular.

 

Tips for Making Your Neighborhood More Eco-Friendly

It’s not just your house that you should be concerned enough to turning green. After exerting efforts to make your place as sustainable and as eco-friendly as possible, why don’t you do homework together with your neighbors and turn your neighborhood into one that is eco-friendly too. Here are some tips.

Sharing garden space. Why would I share my garden with my neighbors? There are various benefits you can get from this act. First, your unused garden can be a space that supports plant and flower life. It can be turned into one that yields fruits and vegetables. There are organizations that are willing to give seeds in return of the favor of using your garden for their activities.

Establishing neighborhood cooperatives. A lot of success stories have been told about the establishment of neighborhood cooperatives. These can range from types that support the collection of recyclable wastes from the neighborhood and turning them over to larger recycling facilities in exchange for cash. The recyclers can often drop by at your designated place in specific intervals to pick up what you have collected. This is an efficient way of teaching your neighbors the importance of solid waste reduction.

Neighborhood coops can also be the types that produce processed or bottled foods, baked goodies, and other small scale profitable ventures.

Encourage the holding of swap days. It takes a lot of energy to make new things. It will also involve raw materials which are mainly coming from nature to make some of the thing you usually like. Taking inspiration from the old barter system of our ancestors, why don’t you initiate the staging of swap days among your neighbors every weekend.

This is a great opportunity not only to score the stuff you like but to also make friends with your neighbors. It will strengthen cooperation among neighbors while allowing each and everyone in your community to partake in conservation efforts.

If you’re good at baking, why not bring in some of your goodies. Who knows you can exchange it for a vase that is very fit for your center table. There are a lot of possible trades that can happen. You can even make it a swap party anchored with a weekly theme so things for swaps will have some variety.

Making your neighborhood an eco-friendly one can also be a goal towards developing a place that is harmonious and where people are always willing to exert an extra dose of helpfulness.

For other real estate concerns, your local real estate agent is just a call away. He or she has expert advises that can be helpful in owning an eco-friendly house.

 

5 Reasons for Building Green

Various reasons have been given by many people and entities why they go for green homes and buildings. Through the years, developers have been very keen on abiding by the standards set by authorities aimed at promoting sustainable living. Despite the discussions and information drive, many of us are still left clueless about the advantages of such efforts. It is hoped that with the rest of the article, you, as a reader, will be shared with valuable information which will help you grasp the genera idea of green building.

One of the foremost benefits of investing in a green home is the multitude of economic benefits it can give. It may be a costly investment, but as years pass, the owner can actually reap the benefits of lowered electricity and water bills. Operating costs will likely depreciate in figures as compared with operating or maintain a non-green compliant home or building.

The market value of green properties surges as time passes by. Demand for this types of homes are projected to go up by 2020 with more millenials jumping into the realization that owning a dream house should be aligned with embracing environmental obligations as well. If time comes that the owner decides to sell his piece, gain is probably on his edge. Life span of green homes is projected to be longer than their non-compliant counterparts.

Families invest in homes because of their kids. Essentially, the social welfare of younger family members is in the high ranks of consideration when a house is built or bought.

With this come the associated health advantages that owners are likely to get. Planned ventilations and well-located air circulation appliances contribute to improved air quality. In general, windows of green homes are also designed to let natural air and natural sunlight pass according to controlled amount or as needed.

Green homes would not be called such if without for the benefits that the environment gets. These types of homes and structures in general are built using hybrid raw and recycled ingredients. This lessens trees cut for use as boards, lumbers, and hardwoods. The trees are given more time to mature in their natural habitat. Well-planned water sewage and waste disposal systems are also incorporated in the designs of green houses. There is lesser chance that the owner will likely be contributing to the accumulation of untreated waste products.

If you are planning of building a green home, the various benefits discussed above are more than enough reasons to give your plan a green signal.