More and more home buyers are searching for homes that offer better energy efficiency and use sustainable materials. Eco-friendly homes not only help the environment but can mean significant savings in energy and maintenance costs. As more home builders consider the environmental impact of their housing developments, finding an eco-friendly home is easier than ever before.
Here are a few things to look for when searching for a greener home.
• Nature Use – When searching for an eco-friendly home, notice the use of trees and other landscaping to save energy by blocking sun and wind—lowering air conditioning and heating costs by adding a natural barrier.
• Window Quality – Home buyers should notice not only the quality of the windows but the placement as well. Are they placed to take advantage of the sun during the winter yet glazed to prevent summer heat?
• Building Materials – Natural materials are not only beautiful but also offer sustainability and lower maintenance costs. For example, cedar-plank siding is resistant to both water and pests, which makes it stronger and longer-lasting than other options; natural stone for counters and floors adds a modern touch, is easy to clean and lasts for years.
• Floor plan – Recent changes in home design trends are turning floor plans upside down—literally. Look for homes with living spaces on the top floor, which can take better advantage of natural light while keeping the lower-level bedrooms cooler and more peaceful.
Sustainable building designs and materials are becoming more common. Home buyers can find newer homes, as well as remodels, taking advantage of these trends. Buying an energy efficient, eco-friendly home can provide a beautiful lifestyle and save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of ownership.