Mortgage Blog

Shopping For a Greener Home

April 17, 2022 | Posted by: Sharon Patton

Shopping for a Greener Home 

It is undeniable that today’s home buyers want greener homes. Here are 10 features to consider when you are looking for your greener home option. 

Location, Location, Location 

City living can mean greener living. Higher urban density reduces sprawl into agricultural and natural wildlands, promoting food security and reducing pressure on wildlife. Urban living also promotes smaller homes, often in shared spaces like condo buildings, which require less energy to heat and cool. City lifestyles tend to be less car-dependent too. 

Walk-ability and Bike-ability 

The greenest commute is one powered by human energy, rather than fossil fuels or electricity. Whether in the city, suburbs, or countryside, a home within walking or cycling distance of work and daily activities is a huge CO2 saver. Keep an eye out when house shopping for areas that meet those needs, like sidewalks, bike lanes, and secure locations to lock your bike. 

Accessible Public Transit 

Public transit is more energy-efficient than driving. Learn about the transit system and routes in your community (and for a specific home address), to ensure that public transit is a convenient green option for your daily commute. 

LEED Condo Certification 

Green building design is gaining traction in big cities across Canada, with developers eager to tout their eco-certification. LEED certification is the gold standard in third-party green labeling, scoring buildings on a variety of criteria. This includes site selections, water, and energy efficiency, materials and resource use, indoor environmental quality, and design innovation.

A New-Build House 

The average new-build home is more energy-efficient than an older one, due to its energy systems, construction materials, and superior 'building envelope' (i.e., airtight, well-insulated, properly ventilated walls and roof). Older homes can be retrofitted, so no need to worry if you love century homes. 

High-efficiency Heating/Cooling Systems

Space heating accounts for 63% of Canadians' home energy. Pairing high-efficiency heating and cooling systems with a well-insulated, draft-free building envelope will shirt your carbon footprint and energy bill significantly. 

Energy Star Appliances 

Energy Star certified appliances use less energy than conventional models, saving you money while boosting sustainability. Whether the appliances came with the home, or you are considering replacing less energy-efficient older models, this will make your kitchen and laundry rooms more eco-friendly. 

Energy-efficient Lighting 

Look for energy-saving lighting, both for indoor and outdoor spaces.  Lighting fixtures should be compatible with CFL or LED builds. Bonus if they use energy-saving dimmer switches. For outdoor spaces, motion sensors or times will save energy. Solar-powered path or deck lights as they are off the grid and are virtually maintenance-free. 

Wildlife-friendly Outdoor Spaces 

Green spaces promote human physical and mental health. When choosing a property consider land use. Did a new development require the conservation of wildlands? Look for green spaces like parks, mature trees, a condo with a rooftop patio garden, or a garden with plants to support pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. 

Environmentally Friendly Building Materials 

Reclaimed, salvages and responsibly harvested materials boost a home's green design. Whether you are making selections while buying from a blueprint or planning to renovate a resale property, things like salvaged wood, recycled materials, and FSC certified hardwood flooring are solid, stylish, and environmentally friendly choices. 

A home is the biggest investment you will make, and we want to make sure you are fitted with the home you want and the best plan for your financial future. Whether you are just starting your house shopping or looking to upgrade your current home with more greener options, we are here to help you. Getting the green light with a pre-approval is the first step to ensuring you find the green house you can afford. 

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