Buying a Green Home

With the housing market on its way back, and the concerns about the earth as intense as ever, many people don’t simply want to buy a home, they want to buy a green home. Currently, there are various government incentives on the federal, state and local levels that make it easier and more cost effective to buy a home that in environmentally friendly. It’s also estimated that living green can save you $20 for every dollar invested, so it is worth your while to move forward while you can. PaydayLoansCashAdvance has gathered the following information on buying a green home.

Finding a Realtor

If you are going to build or buy a green home, finding a realtor that specializes in finding and selling eco-friendly homes is a must. Looking for someone with an eco-broker designation can guide you in not only finding an energy efficient home, but can also lead you to the information which will help you save the most once you are in your earth friendly home. These eco-brokers receive additional training that will help you find a home you love, while you take advantage of all the perks you have coming with your commitment to green living.

When you are first thinking about making a purchase, it is good to look at possible realtors that are endorsed by an authorized auditor. You can look up realtors in your area and investigate one that can work with your financing needs. As with any decision, you should make a short list of possibilities and take the time to properly evaluate before making your choice.

Energy Efficient Mortgages

Energy efficient mortgages (EEMs) are available to many types of home buyers. FHA EEMs allow for lenders to make cost effective energy improvements to a home. If improvements don’t add more than $4,000, or 5 % of the home’s value, up to $8,000, the amount of the down payment will not go up. Many active members and veterans may qualify for a VA EEM, and may be able to make up to $6000 of qualifying improvements.

Some private corporations may also offer mortgages for those buy their home with energy efficiency in mind. For these mortgages, an auditor can review the efficiency of a home and make suggestions on how to improve it. Those who follow the advice of the auditors may see benefits such as reduced mortgage rates or lower fees and closing costs.

Less is More

Once you find your realtor, it is time to start looking at homes. While there are a number of green living innovations that have been discovered and utilized more in recent years, the most effective way of living green is often personal conservation by not looking for something that is more than what you need.

If an eco-friendly home and an ordinary home are sitting next to one another and are listed at the same price, you can usually bet that the eco-friendly home will be smaller in many ways. The yard will be smaller, meaning less gas and water used in yard maintenance. There may also be less space inside the home, and the design may yield itself to having less wasted space. If this something you are not accustomed to, you may need to spend a bit of time visualizing your greener lifestyle. There’s more to it than following a trend. It’s important to be prepared to take on the commitment.

Green Material

Energy efficient materials, however, do help quite a bit when it comes to reducing the carbon footprint of a home and saving the homeowner money. Solar panels on homes are much more common than they once were, as are wind turbines. Since these sources of energy are renewable, they will help keep utility bills under control. Toilets, shower heads, faucets, and appliances such as the washing machine and dishwasher should be designed to limit the use of water when it is not needed.

Insulation is another key component of an energy efficient home, and it is one of the few things in the home there should be more of. It belongs everywhere from in the concrete foundation of the home, to the floors, walls, ceilings, and of course windows. Whether you are keeping in warm or cool air, insulation will help you make the most of it.

Natural and sustainable materials such as cork and bamboo flooring are good choices because they not only look great, but they are easy to grow and harvest. When painting is done, paints should be made with low volatile organic compounds (VOC) The bolder and brighter the color, the more toxins there are likely to be within the paint, so despite the trend of colorful wall, white or light colored walls may be a healthier choice.

Green Credit

Depending on your home buying qualifications there are various incentives and credits available for those who buy a green home or remodel an existing home to make it more appealing to the environment. The Residential Energy Efficient Tax Credit is a personal tax credit for many energy efficient measures including lower energy water heaters, air conditioners, and furnaces and also by using the right materials in roofing, installation, and even windows. Purchases made from 2011 through 2013 qualify for this credit. Many states also have tax credits available, and local power companies may offer rebates as well.

While your realtor may be able to steer you towards part of what you qualify for, reviewing the purchase with your tax advisor is also advisable in order to get the best benefit.

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