Green homes making an impact on the real estate market
As peak real estate season draws near, many renters and homeowners are considering how their decisions impact the planet when they search for a new place to live.
Fortunately, Homes.com offers earth-friendly attributes in its listings to help those looking for a new home find the most "green" listings. The listings offer specific features that differentiate these "green" homes and show renters and homeowners how they cancan reduce their environmental impact to reduce carbon footprints, regardless of type of residence.
According to Energystar.gov, energy-efficient homes require making environmentally preferable and sustainable decisions throughout the building and remodeling process, including energy-efficient walls and windows, effective insulation, and efficient heating and cooling equipment.
Of the environmentally friendly listings available on Homes.com, more than 88 percent are residential homes, 9 percent are condos and 2 percent are mobile homes. California and Texas comprise 26 percent of the energy-efficient residential homes listed on Homes.com. The residential "green" houses in California comprise 22 percent of the total available California listings on Homes.com. Of those listings, 86 percent are residential homes, with the remainder being mobile homes and condos at 4 and 11 percent, respectively. Further south, "green" homes comprise 15 percent of the listings available in Texas, with the majority having been built in 2014. In both California and Texas, the average energy-smart listing has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, with a square footage of around 2,260. Of the energy-efficient listings available on Homes.com, more than 7,000 units were built in 2014 alone.
Protecting the environment has become a higher priority for those seeking new accommodations. "The shift to energy-efficient housing is widespread and happening quickly - with the West taking the lead, according to Homes.com data," said Wendy Froehlich, vice president of marketing, Homes.com and ForRent.com. "Even the slightest change in habits affects the earth positively and can be achieved without increased costs or searching for a newly built 'green' home."
Most energy-efficient homes for sale on Homes.com have an average of 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms; they were built after the year 2000, with most being built in 2014. Condos and rental units with energy-smart features have an average of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and boast more than 1,000 square feet.
According to USNews.com, a few energy-efficient upgrades can be accomplished in a budget-friendly manner by renters and homeowners alike. Examples of upgrades include:
- "Low-flow" fixtures to reduce water consumption, such as low-flow toilets
- Insulated walls to keep house warm in the winter and cool in the summer
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs that last 4 to 10 times longer than regular light bulbs
- Modern dishwashers that use an average of 5.8 gallons of water per cycle; older models can use as much as 10 gallons per cycle
- Programmable thermostats, which accurately regulate in-home temperatures, saving energy and money
- New caulking and weatherstripping around windows and doors
- Smart power strips to reduce phantom power being sucked out of electrical outlets into appliances and electronics if they're left plugged in.
Read more about building green.