The Perfect Property

Why Living Green Means Buying A New Home

by Zachary Thompson

Although recycling is a staple of environmentalism, there are some situations where it simply makes more sense to buy new. Buying a house, possibly the largest investment you will ever make, is one of those situations. Not only does buying new give you greater flexibility and fewer unpleasant surprises, but it also places you at the cutting-edge of green technology. The new homes being built today are far more efficient than the houses built as little as 10 years ago, and that increased efficiency can translate to significant savings for your family in the long-run. 

Building With Eco-Friendly Materials

Some eco-conscious homeowners balk at the idea of financing the construction of a new home while there are still used homes on the market. You can help mitigate the environmental impact of the construction by using recycled materials whenever possible. Recycled rubber, wood, asphalt and plastic are all commonly available for use in residential homes, particularly for flooring and roofing. The recent trend of deconstructing old buildings for use in new ones can even be incorporated into your home's design, giving it an antique charm while displaying your commitment to building responsibly. 

Heating and Cooling Efficiency

Older homes are drafty and inefficient, leaking hot and cold air into the atmosphere and running up your energy bills in the process. Modern homes, on the other hand, are designed with a more advanced understanding of ventilation and insulation in mind. Your new home might employ radiant heating instead of relying on ducts, for example, and feature double-paned windows that improve your energy usage by 30 to 50 percent.

Installing Cutting-Edge Appliances

Often, the used home you buy comes stocked with older appliances, which may use excessive amounts of water and electricity. Buying new, meanwhile, ensures that you can start this new chapter of your life with cutting-edge appliances that are still under warranty. Not only will investing in modern appliances reduce your consumption of valuable resources, but it will also cut down on your water and electricity bills as you find your footing with a new mortgage. 

Designing With Alternative Energy In Mind

As solar panels become cheaper and easier to install than ever, many homeowners are retrofitting their houses with alternative energy systems to reduce their carbon footprints. But these systems must be built to accommodate an existing roof, and improper installation can cause leaks and roofing problems. By designing a home from scratch, you can position solar panels as efficiently as possible and incorporate the heat and energy they produce directly into your home's plumbing and wiring. Instead of attempting to bring an old, inefficient home into the 21st century, it is often easier to begin again by buying a new home that is eco-friendly from the start.