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The Greening of the House Hunt

by Michael Marsden

If you haven't yet read 10 February 2008 article in the Hartford Courant, The Greening of the House Hunt, you can click the title to read it right at the Hartford Courant website.

 

It points out that its just as difficult to find a green realtor who knows what s/he is doing as it is to find a green home in CT. Inventory of green, eco-friendly, and zero-energy homes in New England are scarce. Builders with new inventory do what they know how to do, build traditionally, and green and zero-energy building in general remains as just rhetoric and cliché to them. They fail to realize to build green and with higher energy efficiency would differentiate their inventory from the ho-hum masses. It would motivate a buyer looking at resale homes to look at new homes. Especially if the buyer knew it would cost 50-80% less in energy costs year after year. This is the main reason I founded My Easy Green Home last year.

Currently I am working with 4 clients who are looking for existing green and energy efficient homes. Each customers motivation differs slightly and finding what they want is a challenge. There just isn't a lot out there to begin with and those who own such homes are sellng. There's no easy was to find them in the existing inventory in the professional MLS, however a recent communication I had with the CEO of the CT Statewide MLS was upbeat. The additional of fields helping agents identify such properties will be discussed in the near future and hopefully be added to the statewide MLS within the year. Perhaps I am a bit optimistic, but how else should I think about it? Although I have my methods using smart comment searching to find homes in the MLS, it'd be nice to have them as standard and defined fields.

The clients I am working with right now have mostly prioritized my search on their behalf to:
1. Finding an existing green home;
2. Find one that has the bones and siting to be renovated into one;
3. Find the right site in their desired target area and build from the ground up.

Climate change and the media's recent attention to green thinking is helping everyone become more aware that the status quo cannot continue. A client looking for land this week in our office asked her agent for the name of a "green" builder to build her new home. The general public is beginning to get it. You don't have to be an environmentalist to like not having to pay high energy bills or live in a healthy home.

Some think the house they'd have to build will look like a hippy dome home or something unappealing. That's simply not true! To the world your home will look the same as a conventional home you'd have designed, but to you it will make a world of difference. For instance there are new solar panels available that look just like regular roofing shingle. Now those who want the benefit of solar but don't want to see the traditional panels on their roof can have it both ways. Green is here to stay and its a matter of time for the masses to step up to do whatever they can do passively and actively to lower their energy bills and make a contribution to lower their carbon footprint.

If you haven't yet visited My Easy Green Home please do so.

Although the site is in its infancy and being added to as time goes on, the team and know how is in place to build for you right now! If the customer elects to do enough passive and active means to getting the house to a 75% improved efficiency, the builder will pay for the 1st two years of energy bills. (The terms and limits are being worked on to be fair to all). I have assembled a team of professionals with the experience and know how to simply building your next house green.

I am constantly educating myself on how to build or refit existing homes to be green and energy efficient. I have many links dedicated to the subject here on my site. You can learn about LEEDs requirements, to local and national tax credits and rebates, to sites on various building materials used to accomplish the goal and task. If you have a useful article, link, or any information that I could post on this site, please contact me. I will look forward to your contributions.

A new year is here

by Michael Marsden

This is my first post of the year. I took some time off at the end of the year to recharge my batteries. Now that I am energized for 2008 I am excited as ever to get back to work. I don't like resolutions, however I do have a plan for year. First and foremost is my orientation towards green and zero energy real estate. The enigma for New England is why isn't there any to buy? New England's climate is far harsher than the west coast and yet we're so far behind. So far around these parts its remained rhetoric and cliché. You'd think that crude at $100 would motivate some of us...but not really. One thing for sure is that some don't get what "green" building is or "zero energy" homes are and how to get there. I asked some people to tell me what they thing green building is and some actually thought it was building with pressure treated (green) lumber. I created myeasygreenhome.com (the site is under construction but the team is up and can produce a green zero energy home today) to give people in CT an easy way to get the job done. I formed a team of professionals that can handle everything from locating and buying the building site, to the design and execution of their new home. My goal for 2008 is to blog upon the subject ad nauseum with an eye on educating the people in my market about the importance to think green, build efficient homes using the latest techniques available. I want to keep my finger on the pulse of the LEEDs certification and share what's going on in that vain as well.

 

So let's say you want to build a "zero energy" green home. Here's how we'd simplify the process and justify your investment in advance of putting a shovel in the ground:

 

1. Do you have land and/or building site? If not, we'll assist you in finding the right site.

 

2. Do you have a house design or plans? If yes, go to step 3. If not, we'll design your home from the ground up or revise an existing plan you like.

 

3. Baseline analysis. Here we determines the energy performance for a given home. During this process we will either use a given set of plans and specifications, or a given set of plans and energy code level (i.e. IECC 2004) to determine the baseline energy performance of the home. This baseline is later used to help calculate costs and benefits for energy performance improvements, and the availability of certain tax credits and rebates.

 

4. Recommendations. Using a combination of architectural, energy modeling, and fluid modeling software, we will generate design and system recommendations which will increase the energy performance.

 

5. Facilitate Final Choices. Based on your budget and desires, we finalize your selections into the final building plan.

 

6. Forecast of Utility Costs of Final Plans. We now take the final construction documents and use them to forecast the new plans utility bills. This forecast will be used to identify available tax credits and rebates.

 

7. Analyze Financial Incentives. We analyze and identify all available tax credits and rebates. Some credits and rebates are applied for by you, the homeowner, some are available only through us, the builder. Once all tax credits and rebates are identified, we will provide the information necessary for you the to obtain your tax credits and rebates. Those tax credits obtained by My Easy Green Home and our subcontractors are reflected in the final cost of your new home.

 

8. If we build it, you'll be happy. At this point we will have all the specifications, plans, and designs to build your home which will pay you back year after year.

 

We build ANYWHERE in CT, RI, and MA including Block Island, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket.

My Easy Green Home!

by Michael Marsden

Announcing a company that makes building a zero energy or high performance, green, ecologically sensitive home simple and affordable. To the world your home will look the same. To you, it will make a world of difference. You don't have to be an environmentalist to love not paying energy bills! We will build a home for you that will be 75% to 80% more efficient than a home you might build conventionally. Most think that it will take 15 years to break even before it pays you back, however, our team of financial analysts, green mortgagees, energy designers and engineers, and our builder with 35 building experience will deliver a home where the extra you invest to create eco-friendly, high performance home can be paid up in about 5 years. With the ever rising cost of energy the pay back will just get better and better. I believe that years from now the resale value of our home will be worth more given its energy efficiency. I hope to have our website up and running in the next couple of weeks, but don't let that stop you for calling 860.334.1379 now. If you're in the market to build a new home you owe it to yourself to at least talk to us. WE'RE SO SURE THAT THE HOME WE BUILD FOR YOU WILL BE SO EFFICIENT THAT WE'LL PAY YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS OF ENERGY BILLS!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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