Category Archives: Green
From where contractors’ subs come from to where the money ultimately goes when consumers buy a house, more and more of my buyer clients are asking about “local” … Most home builders have energy efficient scores – HERS ratings, blower door tests, etc. I’m wondering whether a “local score” would have an impact. (and thusly, who would provide said score?)*
Click through for an outstanding infographic titled “Why Buying Local is Worth Every Cent”
Albemarle County’s parks are a tremendous asset to all – from the disc golf course at Walnut Creek to swimming and fishing at Mint Springs to mountain biking and horseback riding at Preddy Creek.
And now this, via press release:
Have you ever wondered what a trail was like before you hiked it? The Albemarle County Parks and Recreation department has partnered with Terrain360.com to offer a new tool that will solve that dilemma. By visiting www.albemarle.org/trails, hikers can take a 360 degree panoramic tour of the trails at Darden Towe, Preddy Creek, Byrom, Mint Springs, Ivy Creek Natural Area and Walnut Creek from their computers or smart phones.
I spent last Wednesday and Thursday in Northern Virginia in Earth Advantage training, learning more about green homes, green real estate, their respective relevance in the market and how best to help and advise my clients regarding such. Below the “fold” is a Storify I did and conversations I had during the sessions, but these are five big takeaways.
1 – Consumers (generally) don’t care how green a house is; the house could be painted with motor oil but if it costs them less they’ll buy it. In fact, making one green decision may lead to making less green decisions. (see also: Do Green Products Make Us Better People?)
2 – Green homes and energy efficiency matter. “How much does this house cost to run” is one of the number one questions my buyer clients ask, and this is more than a trend; it’s a way of life. See: Green-certified homes sell for 9% more, study in California finds
3 – I’d wager that a “miles per gallon” for homes will be common place in the next three years. I firmly believe that a “MPG for homes” would hurt resale value of existing, less-energy-efficient homes. The Department of Energy is funding programs such as LEAP and this Earth Advantage training and other such programs in order to create a market for energy efficient homes and products; I can make at least two arguments about this, one pro and one con. Either way, now would be a good time to learn about the SAVE* Act and see who supports and opposes it.
4 – There are more than 70 green home certifications across the country; Earth Craft, Energy Star, LEED are the most prominent in this part of the country. They’re all different; they all have different qualification systems and they’re all brands.
Heck, I’ve saved about $2k in heating bills since my home’s LEAP makeover.If you’re interested in retrofitting your home, now would be a good time to do so; start with an energy audit (ask me if you have questions about what that is … I might write a post about it soon) and look at the 0% interest Power Saver Loans offered by the UVA Credit Union;
Figure out how you might save locally by taking LEAP’s survey.
If you’re interested, spend some time (scroll to the bottom and work your way up) reading through the green real estate training Storify after the break.
Late late year, my house, with LEAP’s (Local Energy Alliance Program) help, became much more comfortable and energy efficient.
Energy efficiency is good for the environment, but it’s even better for saving money, and “how much does this house cost to run” is one of the most important questions a buyer can ask and a seller can answer.
I’ll wager that Best Buy isn’t entering the Home Energy market out of altruism.
Retailer giant Best Buy is launching a modest push into home energy products, planning to sell gadgets that can help home owners cut their energy consumption, and have lower energy bills. Best Buy will sell the gear via dedicated sections of three of its brick and mortar stores and also through a new Home Energy portal on its website.
Regardless of their motives, this is good news.
Years ago, I discussed how people were going green to save green.
Myth 2: Green consumers’ main motivation when reducing their energy use is to save the planet. Continue reading
Today was interesting. As part of the LEAP Energy Makeover, the 2nd phase of my home’s energy efficient makeover began …
Foam insulation’s not cheap, and it wasn’t fully covered by the award, but doing it was the right choice. We’re nearing the finish of the makeover, and I an my family are looking forward to feeling the difference, both in our home and in our monthly budget.
As some I know I am in the midst of making some energy efficient upgrades on my home. I am finding that the $2500 dollar prize is great, but its only just a start.
To truly realize energy efficient gains I am faced with the choice of spending an additional three to five thousand dollars (and could easily spend more). I could get the blown insulation, but will really see and feel differences with spray foam insulation. Which costs a lot more.
$2500 would let us achieve at least 15% energy savings, but I want (and really need) more savings and a more comfortable home.
As with everything new, there is a learning curve. New experiences, new products bring new things to learn and new questions to ask. There are potential negative and unintended consequences to sealing one area of your house and not the entire unit. One of these unintended consequences is the off gassing from the spray foam insulation. It is something that I never knew about. I never knew you’d ask. I never knew not to ask.
This is a process … of learning, of asking questions, of digesting answers and asking more questions. It’s also one of budgeting.
I was humbled to participate in the panel with real business leaders John Lawrence of Mudhouse Coffee and Crystal Mario of Rivanna Natural Designs yesterday. John and Crystal are setting standards for what and how profitable green/sustainability can be done successfully. Continue reading