If you’re like many of our eco-conscious neighbors, you know you want to buy a green home in Boston or the suburbs. As you look through the Boston MLS, you’ll notice that many homes have one or two “green” features – but even then, those features aren’t always advertised in listing descriptions. So how do you find a green home in Boston?
Here’s what you need to know.
9 Essential Tips for Buyers Who Want a Green Home
Green is the way to go – not just to help the Earth, but to help your pocketbook. If you’re looking for a green home in Boston, check out these nine tips to help you find the right match:
- Define what green means to you
- Work with a green-friendly REALTOR®
- See how a home relates to the land it’s on
- Ask about eco-friendly materials used in construction
- Ensure the attic is well-insulated
- Check out appliances
- Examine the windows
- Look for drafts
- Explore additional features
Here’s a closer look at each.
#1. Define What Green Means to You
“Green” is a pretty broad term – so before you start house-hunting, you need to define what it means to you. Your opinion may differ from what some sellers believe, and there are varying levels of ecological friendliness that you’ll find in homes all over Boston. Some people believe a green home simply has minimal negative impact on the environment, while others look for features that make a positive contribution to it.
#2. Work With a Green-Friendly REALTOR
If you’re interested in finding a green home for sale in Boston, it makes sense to work with a REALTOR who understands the market – and who can find you a home that meets your definition of green. It’s important that you work with an agent who knows which features to look for, has connections with other real estate agents who sell ecologically friendly homes and can help you find the perfect place for your needs.
Related: How to stage your home to sell fast
#3. See How a Home Relates to the Land It’s On
Many people overlook a home’s relationship to the land it’s on when they’re looking for green homes for sale in Boston. A truly ecologically friendly home makes the best use of the property it’s on. That may include things like which direction the front door and most of the windows face, how many native plants are used in the landscaping and whether the landscaping is sustainable.
#4. Ask About Eco-Friendly Materials Used in Construction
Many newer homes are built with eco-friendly materials, such as salvaged or reclaimed wood, recycled steel, bamboo and precast concrete. Sustainable materials are incredibly important in a green home – not only because they reduce the whole house’s ecological footprint, but because they may also reduce energy consumption.
#5. Ensure the Attic is Well-Insulated
Insulation is one of the best ways to reduce energy use, so it’s incredibly important to learn about a home’s attic (and the interior spaces within its walls) before you can make a solid decision on a green home. Many types of insulation, such as cellulose, is made from recycled or sustainable materials; it’s worth asking your agent to find out what type of insulation is installed in any home you’re interested in.
#6. Check Out Appliances
The most basic way a homeowner can “go green” is by using energy efficient appliances. Although there’s a good chance that you already know this, you should look for homes that come with ENERGY STAR-certified appliances. They’re designed to help you save energy (and money).
#7. Examine the Windows
A green home has weatherproof windows. Look for double-paned, double-glazed windows. If possible, avoid window frames made from UPVC, which can release toxins. Instead, choose those with wood or metal frames – which are more energy efficient and more insulating anyway.
#8. Look for Drafts
Check the doors, windows and fireplace for drafts. Check the attic, as well. Drafts can tank a home’s energy efficiency.
Pro Tip: If you find drafty spots in the house, it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. In fact, you can ask the seller to repair areas that let conditioned air out (and unconditioned air in) before you finalize your purchase of the home; your REALTOR can put it in your contract. There’s a good chance that your home inspector will look for poor ventilation, unwanted gaps and weather stripping, too.
#9. Explore Additional Features
Many homes have additional features that make them greener than most, such as:
- Solar panels
- Underfloor heating
- Programmable thermostats
- Low-emittance windows
- Energy efficient lighting
- Cool roofs
If any of these things are important to you, talk to your REALTOR – he or she can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you find a home that’s close to what you’re looking for, you can always attempt to negotiate upgrades with a seller so you can get your dream home.
Do You Need to Talk to a Boston REALTOR About Selling Your Home Fast?
If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, we can help you sell it quickly and at the right price. Using innovative marketing techniques, we can bring in qualified buyers who can’t wait to see the inside of your home – so let’s talk. Call us at 617-966-2475 or 617-262-3075 now, or fill out the form below, to find out how we’ll help you sell your home in Boston.
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