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August 24, 2016

Green? Or Just a Shade of Green?

Homeownership
Green? Or Just a Shade of Green?

In today's world, there's an immediate attraction to homes described as "energy efficient," "environmentally friendly," "sustainable" and "green." But homebuyers beware: there is a growing practice called "greenwashing" – a tactic used by sellers and builders who market their homes as green when, sometimes, the description couldn't be further from the truth.

A recent article highlights this concerning trend – and it's an important reminder to always do your homework. Is the home truly green, or is it just an energy-efficient lightbulb in the bathroom?

Just how do you determine if a home is legitimately green? It's recommended that you ask the following questions to validate the marketing:

If you’re a homeowner, do your homework when considering financing energy improvements for your home. Shop around for an option that best suits your situation, making sure you understand the terms and risks of each option.
  1. Is the site plan sensitive to the immediate environment, such as minimizing tree destruction and managing water runoff well?
  2. Is the home energy efficient throughout, from high-performance HVAC, lighting, insulation and appliances?
  3. Does the home use advanced air filtration and exchange systems, providing exceptional interior air quality?
  4. Did the builder extensively use non-toxic building materials?
  5. Does the home leverage today's water conservation efficiencies, such as water-saving toilets and shower fixtures, and possibly some reuse of waste water?
  6. Does the home demonstrate signs of easy operation and management over the long term?

Be sure to do your homework before jumping on a home that's marketed as energy efficient. Green can have many different shades to sellers and builders and it's important that you're not misled about one of the biggest transactions you'll ever make – your home. 

Follow this series to learn more about energy efficiency in your home and the importance of being green.

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