With school coming to an end in the next few months and families preparing for summer, the height of the real estate season looms. The number of homes for sale rises as anxious sellers hope to pitch that sold sign out front and home buyers shop around for properties that fit their wants and budgets. A growing segment of buyers seek green homes, which is a type of structure that is loosely defined as bringing together “a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health.”
On the green technology front, these practices and techniques can range from energy-efficient appliances to solar panels. As you consider buying a “green home” or preparing to sell one, what are some of the things to think about? To answer these questions we’ve turned to Portland, Oregon-based realtor Amber Turner for the answers. Turner is a realtor with boutique firm Living Room Realtors but, more importantly, she is also the founder of the green homes touring group GreenPDX and a strong advocate of the green homes movement.
EarthTechling: What constitutes a “green home” by today’s real estate standards?
Amber Turner: I believe for a majority of real estate industry professionals a “green home” is defined by certifications such as Earth Advantage, Energy Star, and LEED for homes. However, none of these encompass everything needed to make a home as healthy as possible. While the labeling is helpful for streamlining a greener home concept, one doesn’t need buy into a label to have a healthy and energy efficient home. I believe as “green” becomes more mainstream and less of a buzz word, more and more consumers will be advocating for even higher standards of energy efficiency and less toxicity.