Choosing the Best Green Home Builder

Today many people are “going green”, which means that they are becoming environmentally friendly in how they live their lives and minimizing the harm done to the earth. When some people decide to build their home from the bottom up, they decide to have a green home builder build their home. This contractor would build their home with low environmental and energy efficiency in mind. To find a green home builder you should talk to the contractors in your area. Some that will travel to your area to build your home but their services will add more expense to the cost of your home.

To ensure that you will have the best green home builder ask them what type of building material they will use. You should also inquire about their disposal methods to make sure they are in compliant with sustainability practices. The materials that they should use are non-toxic when possible, and environmentally friendly. They should also be materials that come from renewable sources, or sustainable material. This can include materials from homes that have been knocked down. This material can include old doors, cabinets, some of the wood to accent the home such as using the material for ceiling beams, and more. They should try to avoid using plastics and choose their wood carefully. You should ask to see examples of the green projects they have completed. Their construction philosophy should focus on green building. It should not just focus on using green techniques as a secondary technique. Make sure that the contract you sign states that it will be constructed from sustainable and green material.

A home builder may tell you that they are using green building techniques but it could be easy for them to start using less environmentally friendly techniques and designs to save money on materials so they can put more money in their pockets. This is why you need to be sure that they are a reputable home builder and have good references as a green construction company. They need to be knowledgeable about green techniques and processes and committed to green construction and design. If you want your new green custom built home to be built using unconventional techniques make sure the home builder can demonstrate they understand the techniques you want and can do them correctly.

Before you choose a green home builder, you should educate yourself on what constitutes a green home and the process to build one. This will help you to determine a good green home builder and to know if they are cutting corners using non-environmentally friendly material. Having a green home can save you money on heating and cooling costs, and if sustainable material is used it can save these materials from being disposed of improperly.

Tips for Making Use of Natural Lighting When Building a House

Natural light is bestowed by nature free of any charge. The more of it that enters your house, the more advantages you’ll get from it. Imagine the cost you’ll be able to save from your electricity bills. It also give a refreshing glance of your house because it imbibes positive energy. Here are some tips to let natural light help enlighten your house.

  1. Build house to where the sun is oriented. Most builders recommend to have most windows face the south direction. They will get the most sunlight than have it lost. According to experts, north light is more pleasing and free of glare.East and west-faced windows gets more sunlight but they can be difficult to manage and can trap more of the sun’s energy and give a hotter feel. If you can’t avoid having east and west-faced windows, be sure to have low E-coatings on those windows. Deciduous trees can also help give shade during the summer months, and let more sunlight enter during the winter months because they shed leaves.
  2. Have light control materials in your windows. Curtains and blinds are light control materials that will help natural light enter your house depending on the amount you want. During the first hours of the morning, it is good to get sunlight in because it gives a refreshing energy to move. As the day heightens, the curtains and blinds will help you control the amount of sunlight. They may seem low tech but they can help keep in or keep out the amount of sun’s light you just need.
  3. Have daylight harvesting system installed. This is an automated system which through the help of sensors and detectors can control the light inside your house. It combines natural light and artificial light to illuminate the parts of the house. This system detects the natural light intensity and signals the artificial light to give off the right percentage of luminescence to give an atmosphere that will be conducive for movement and productivity.

Natural light is important in a house. Aside from illumination, it gives health benefits particularly to the skin which needs the natural vitamin E that it gives. However, maintaining the amount of natural light that enters the house is still within the control of the owner. Through the tips given above, it is hoped that you somehow grasped the general idea of how to keep natural light inside your house just as you need it.

Before You Buy, Your First Home

Real estate is one of our oldest industries, because as long, as someone owns, something of value, there will be conditions, at some point, or another, which bring him, to consider selling it! Every individual, who buys any house, at some point must proceed, to purchase his first home, and doing so, for the first time, has certain specific challenges, and obstacles, involved, as compared to when, someone buys their second, third, etc. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some smart considerations, when one is ready, to purchase his first home, of his own.

1. Why are you buying, versus renting, etc?: Begin with an introspective, objective, review, of why, you want to own a home, rather than continue, your present living arrangements. How has your life experiences, and/ or expectations, led you, to this decision? Have you considered the responsibilities, and obligations of owning, in terms of financial, maintenance/ repair/ renovations, and how, you might feel about doing so? How will owning, better serve your needs, and expectations, etc, than renting, etc?

2. Financial considerations/ preparation: Are you prepared for owning a home, of your own? Have you looked, at your finances, and consulted, a mortgage professional, to consider your qualifications, and ability to obtain the loan, most need, and require? In terms of finances, you must closely consider, and examine, if you have the funds, for the down – payment, as well as all the needed reserves, etc. Some of the reserves, must include: Reserve fund, for contingencies, in case you have some change in work status (recommend 6 – 9 months reserves); funds for immediate repairs, renovations, upgrades, including painting, flooring, etc; appliance reserve (for upgrading/ replacing appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers. freezers, cooking appliance, etc; future renovations; future repairs; upgrades; and major needs, etc. Homeowners, who prepare for contingencies, discover, owning is far more relaxing, and less stressful, than those who fail to be ready!

3. Know your needs: Smart buyers know, and fully consider, their needs, now, and into the future! Are you buying this house, for the longer – term, or focusing on it, as a starter – home? If it’s the latter, then, it might be simpler, to consider, because there are fewer variables! Those looking, longer – term, must evaluate, whether they might be well – served, and whether there is a potential, for adapting the specific house, on this property, for future needs!

4. Location: It’s possible to change many things about a specific house, and property, but, you can’t change its location! Before buying, walk around the neighborhood, and area, see if it meets your needs, and priorities, in terms of schools, conveniences, shopping, transportation, safety, etc.

These are just, four, of the considerations, before purchasing your first house. Those who consider things, thoroughly, consistently, are happier, and better served, with home ownership!

Green Home Building Trends For 2010

Although the building industry had a dark year in 2009, Green building seemed to somehow stick out and shine. According to the Multiple Listing Service date, certified sustainable green new homes actually rose the past year in the northern west coast areas like Portland and Seattle. This trend is believed to spread over the U.S. and green building is expected to grow within new home sales. Already new home sales are on a rise from a year ago with March of 2010 seeing the biggest jump in new home sales in 47 years. So what trends can we expect to see in 2010 in green new homes?

1. Energy Monitoring Home Dashboards. The increasing demand for energy efficient homes, the development of a custom web-based display panel within the home, will show real-time home energy use. This sophisticated produced can break down the real time energy use of homeowners appliances, which will help a homeowner change the way they use their electricity. For example the way an electric car miles per gallon indicator encourages the owner to adapt their driving habits, new homes that offer these Dashboards may encourage homeowners to reach lower energy use. Dashboards will also increase the probability that homeowners of green homes will reach the Energy Performance Score.

2. Energy Efficient Green Home Labeling. Like the miles per gallon label you would find when searching for a new car, energy rating systems for new homes has become popular among legislators. This energy rating system will make it easier for home buyers to see the energy efficiency of one green home compared to another. Each homes score will be available on the MLS.

3. Lenders and Green Homes Make for a Better Bottom Line. Lenders have come to the conclusion that green new homes are better for their bottom line. By seeing a trend of green home owners being more responsible and less probable to default on a loan, due to the fact that most green home owners are more accountable and likely to place higher value on home maintenance. Home owners are also less likely to default due to the decrease in energy coast within their green home. Lenders are now working to get reduced-rate loans and insurance packages for green new home owners.

4. Less Is More. Back when the housing market was booming, a larger homes lead to greater equity. However since that “bubble burst” this is no longer the case. With energy prices expected to rise over time, and the Federal Reserve likely to raise interest rates during 2010, home buyers are likely to feel more at ease with smaller new homes.

5. Water Conservation. Did you know that residential water usage accumulates for more than half of the public water supplied? The EPA decided in December 2009 to implement WaterSense. WaterSense specifies that new homes will need to reduce water use by 20 percent than conventional new home. Mandatory energy labeling in Europe already documents the water efficiency.

6. Net Zero Homes. A net zero home is a green home that generates more energy than it uses over a year. This is done by building a fairly small new home that is extremely energy efficient and uses on site renewable energy like wind, solar or geo-exchange systems.

Choosing the Right Home Builder For Your New Home

Not every person likes to buy an existing home when shopping for that dream spot on earth. For those who want to be the first one living in that new home, a home builder will pose the first obstacle in the building project.

In order to choose just the right builder for your project, you will first need to decide which type of house you will want to have constructed. There are two types of builders. The production builder and the custom builder.

The Production Home Builder

The production home is one that is designed on a large scale and mass produced as a “model”. These models are often changed up a bit with available customizations and upgrades to the home. These upgrades are offered as part of a package added onto a base model home.

Production homes are often offered at a base price with additional costs being added to the final price for those last minute touches. When choosing a production home builder, it is best to buy the home as a package with all of the appliances and upgrades included. Adding these items individually can drive the price up higher than the market value may allow; leaving the owner with immediate negative equity in the home.

The Custom Builder

For the potential home owner who wants to build a home from scratch, a custom home builder will be able to help you along the process of planning the home and attaining all of the permits needed for the build. The potential home owner will have to purchase a plot of land, have the land surveyed and choose a set of plans for their home.

When choosing custom plans for a home, remember that these plans are only a guide. A custom home builder will be able to adjust the plans to your specifications before the final plans for the home are set in stone.

As the home progresses, the extra costs associated with incidentals will need to be taken into consideration when pricing the home and staying within budget.

Real estate is an investment and while many people love the immediate nature of buying an established home, for those who want to own a home of their own that is customized to their wants and needs of a builder is one of the best options.