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GREEN HOME BUYING & SELLING GUIDE
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHEN BUYING OR SELLING “GREEN”
There are a number of “green” features in the marketplace today. Some are great ideas, while others may might not be such a good idea to add to your home. If you’re interested in energy efficiency, it’s important to be informed and get educated when purchasing an existing green home or converting your current home to become more energy efficient.
To get started, take a few moments to review the list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to consider when buying and selling a home with sustainable and energy efficient green features.
1. What features should you add FIRST to get started saving money on utility bills?
The first step is to obtain an Energy Audit. An energy audit will show how your home is using energy and losing money. The results of the Audit will provide you information on which features to add to your home for the best return on investment (ROI). If you are considering selling your home, green features might be valuable to a buyer and possibly help your home sell for more than a similar home without green features. Learn more about energy audits at https://energy.gov/public-services/homes/home-weatherization/home-energy-audits
2. Why are “Green” features important to today’s homes buyers?
Home buyers buy green for various reasons. Buyers buy green to save money, improve indoor air quality, to remove chemicals from the home and/or reduce the home’s carbon footprint. If you are considering buying a green home, the seller should disclose to you all the energy efficient features to you during your inspection period. If buying green is important to you, be sure to ask the seller upfront if an Energy Audit has been performed, what work was completed, and the overall effect of the changes. Be sure to request a copy of work performed to review.
See all Active Homes for Sale in Scottsdale, Arizona with solar panels – click HERE
3. What is the best way to save money on energy bills in your home?
Every home’s energy use is different based on the home’s components and occupant habits. Homes that are more energy efficient will include newer energy efficient windows (dual-pane or better); Energy Star rated heating/cooling systems and appliances; adequate or extra insulation; and a variety of other features. Solar panels are also popular today to reduce energy bills. If you are not sure of the energy efficiency of your large electrical systems in a home, be sure to have them inspected by a certified 3rd party for verifiable results, ie an Energy Audit or HERS index.
4. How can you learn about the condition of the Air within a home?
Asbestos, mold, lead-based paint and radon tests can be performed if you are concerned about indoor air quality. You may wish to consider doing your own tests; however, these tests can be less reliable. Mitigating issues may require professional testing for a good outcome. Also consider newer energy efficient heating and cooling units that include an air filtration system or an add-on system for better air exchanges. Additionally, an energy audit can show how leaky the home’s systems can be and if dust is entering your home vi leaky ducts.
5. What is the best way to conserve water in my home?
If buying a new home, ask if faucets are WaterSense® or high efficiency, if the home has high pressure shower valves and if they have low-flow or dual flush toilets. Be sure that the home is free of any water leaks. If you have a lawn and/or irrigation systems installed, water your yard early in the morning to avoid the hotter part of the day and fast evaporation. Visit WaterUseItWisely.com for information.
6. What type of landscaping is best to comply with Green standards?
Maintaining a full blow- grassy lawn costs money, uses more water, and creates carbon emissions from lawn mowers. Xeriscape (desert) landscaping saves water, time, money, is less maintenance and reduces your carbon footprint. Drip systems will help conserve and be sure to watch for yard leaks in your irrigation systems to prevent water waste. Planting a tree helps provide shade to west and south facing windows. Don’t know where to plant one? Visit FindMyShade.com.
7. How do light bulbs reduce an electric bill?
Regular incandescent bulbs cost more to operate and are less efficient. Replace burned out bulbs with LED’s that last much longer and use less energy. They may be a bit more expensive to purchase, but will last longer and cost you less to replace in the long-run.
8. I am allergic to Dust. What can I do to limit dust in my home?
It’s important to be sure that the home has had the ducts cleaned. The National Air Duct Cleaning Association recommends duct cleaning at least every 3 to 5 years. It is also highly recommended that you change out your home air filters with high quality filters at least once a month if running your HVAC unit often.
9. I am allergic to some pets. What should I know before I buy my home?
Find out if the previous owner had pets and if so, what kind. If so, you will want to consider removing any and all draperies, carpets and have the ducts cleaned to remove pet dander. Be sure you change out air filters to small particle air filters too.
10. What do those labels added to homes that are supposed to be “green mean?”
Homes that are labeled “Energy Star,” “National Green Building Standard,” or “LEED” for example, have been certified by a 3rd party and have energy saving features. Learn more about Energy Star standards and more information about available federal tax credits when you upgrade your home to be more efficient by visiting the national site for rebates and incentives, Dsireusa.org.
Bottomline, homes with green features tend to sell faster and for more money. If you aren’t sure where to start or what amount to spend give me a call. I provide complimentary energy audits for every client to provide all the information necessary to make a smart purchasing/selling decision.