Green homes are great for the environment and will save you money over time. The EPA has identified components that qualify buildings as green to help in the process of finding Santa Cruz real estate that is environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
The cost of running a home can add up over time, but buying a home that is properly insulated, made out of sustainable materials and reduces waste provides many benefits to the homeowner.
• Energy Efficiency - According to the EPA, as of December 2012, buildings account for 68% of total energy consumption Green homes can reduce these two numbers with energy efficient appliances, well-sealed, double-glazed windows, and good insulation. Using alternative energy sources, such as solar panels, will also save energy.
• Green Building Materials - Several factors go into determining if a product is green, including methods of manufacturing and shipping. Materials that are environmentally preferable would be reclaimed materials, such as wood from an old barn or a demolition project. Carpeting, insulation and countertops made from recycled materials are also features to look for in green Santa Cruz real estate.
• Location and Home Orientation - Make sure the home is located in a place that is within convenient driving or walking distance to places you frequent. Also consider how the home is oriented. A home with the main living areas facing south will be warmed by the sun in winter and not get overheated by the sun in summer. Proper placement of windows allows for cross-breezes that will help lower energy costs in summer.
• Indoor Air Quality - Good air quality means a safe, toxin-free environment. Using non-toxic paints and other green materials inside will improve air quality inside the home, because over time, synthetic materials break down and release particles into the air.
When looking into purchasing a green home, be sure to ask questions, including how it was built, the materials used and the types of appliances that come with the home.
Please call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at Lauren@LaurenSpencer.com for more information about finding green Santa Cruz real estate.
For additional real estate information, please visit my website at www.MySantaCruzRealEstate.com.