- JR Hevron - MortgageLoan.com
Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011
Green is a catch phrase in today’s real estate market, and for good reason. Buyers who are looking for a new house want to feel that the biggest investment that they’ll ever make is a responsible one. As a side benefit, buyers also want to save money on utilities.
Here are a three points to think about when looking for a green home:
1.) Don’t be fooled by Greenwashing:
If you aren’t familiar with the term
, “greenwashing” is the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing to give the illusion that a product or company is environmentally friendly. “Consumers are still looking at the bells and whistles of homes,” says Erin Griffin
, a Chicago-based mortgage banker
for Corby Mortgage. “A house isn’t necessarily green just because it has recycled glass countertops. You really have to look at the efficiency of the home itself to get the full picture.”
2.) Find an educated realtor:
If you don’t know how to find a green house on your own, the easiest way to get started is to find a broker
who understands the market. “People don’t know about furnaces, about the envelope of the home, about the insulation behind the walls,” says Griffin
. “Those are things that educated realtors should know.”
One easy way to find a qualified person is to find a real estate professional with a green certification. One of the more popular ones is the EcoBroker certification. From their website
, EcoBroker is, “a program for licensed real estate professionals providing education on energy and environmental issues and strategies for capitalizing on the growing green market.” Their website provides easy links to find certified professionals in your area.
Still, there are many non-certified real estate professionals out there who are very knowledgeable about green homes and programs like the Energy Efficient Mortgage
. For example, Erin Griffin
, has been developing her own innovative version of the Energy Efficient Mortgage (called the Green Solutions Loan
) for new home purchases and refinances with green improvements that she offers through Corby Mortgage
3.) Get a HERS report: Just because a home isn’t currently energy efficient, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make improvements. The first step is to get a Home Energy Rating System report. A HERS is prepared by a trained energy rater and takes into account things like windows, insulation, appliances, climate, etc. to come up with a report that gives the house a rating, suggests upgrades, and estimates the savings.
“We’ve been pushing a little bit to have a HERS report for each home,” notes Griffin
. “That way, you know what you can do and it might just be simple fixes compared to getting something like an all new HVAC
system. It could just be things like caulking and sealing the doors and windows.”
A HERS report can cost anywhere from $300-$800, but the annual savings can add up to much more.
Educate yourself, shop smart, and utilize environmentally knowledgeable real estate professionals and it’s possible to find a house that you can feel good about and will save you on monthly energy bills.