How to Buy a Green/Eco-Friendly House

by Miranda Marquit, Contributor

There has been a lot of interest in living a more sustainable lifestyle lately. Indeed, many people are concerned about the impact their lifestyles have on the planet. For some, this interest even extends to how to buy a house that is a little greener. In recent years, an interest in greener building has made it easier to buy a house that is a little more eco friendly.

If you are looking to buy a house that is a little easier on the environment, here are some things to look for:

Good insulation: You want a home with plenty of good insulation. There are different kinds of insulation, and some are greener than others. Make sure that the insulation is thick enough to increase the energy efficiency of your home.

Energy efficient windows: When you buy a house, look at the windows. There are energy efficient windows now, designed to help escape air leaks.

Green building materials: You can check to see that the home was built, as much as possible, with eco-friendly building materials. This can include lumber, flooring, and other materials.

Green upgrades: There are a number of upgrades you can look for, such as solar panels or a wind turbine for power, as well as energy efficient appliances.

Landscaping: When you buy a house, make sure the landscaping is appropriate to the area. Look for limited lawn, and look for native plants. It will use less water.

Look for LEED certification: The U.S. Green Building Council has a list of qualifications that ensure green building practices. When you buy a house, check to see that the builder and the home meet the LEED standard. It is possible to buy a house, and then add your own home improvements to make it greener. In some cases, this might be more desirable than buying a home that is already green.

The Cost of an Eco-Friendly Home When you buy a house that it more environmentally friendly, be aware that you may have to pay a little more. There is a premium for getting a home with the kind of upgrades that green homes have. With home prices so low, you might be able to find some good bargains, but it is still likely that you will have to pay a little bit more for a green home than you would for a house built with more standard materials. Run the numbers, and examine your values, and then decide whether it is worth it to buy a house that is better for the environment.