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Tips on Finding a Healthy Condo

By
Real Estate Agent with Royal LePage

These days, we have far more options when searching for a new home than previous house-hunters. In fact, one of the best ways that today's house-hunter can be certain of finding a healthy, green home is by looking for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Homes built with this certification are built to exacting standards of design, construction and materials.

If you can't find a LEED certified home within your budget, another option might be to look at older buildings. Yes, that's right. There are numerous benefits to purchasing an older home. First of all, you reduce the ecological footprint required to produce your housing. Consider it housing recycling. The buildings can offer many other benefits such as:

  • central location (think lower transportation requirements)
  • the beauty of aging and weathering materials (inlaid hardwood flooring, glass door knobs, wood fireplace, etc)
  • charming architectural features (coved ceilings, arched doorways, etc)
  • low-dust heating systems (such as radiant heating)
  • lower price point than new construction.

 When looking for a new home, these tips can help you to find the right healthy and green condo:

  • Specify key areas that you are interested in residing in.
    • Spend time getting to know the city and find the communities that you like the most. Get a feel for the restaurants, cafe's, groceries and other amenities in the community. The less you have to (or want to) travel outside of your new community the better. There's less stress for you commuting, and less stress on the environment too.
  • Communicate your priorities to your Realtor.
    • A Realtor is there to help you find your perfect home. Explain to your Realtor that you are searching for a home with as many green features as possible.
  • Use your eyes
    • To minimize heating and lighting costs, consider the impact of the properties exposure to light. The best exposure is to the south, followed by east. Selecting either of these exposures will mean you get the benefit of more sun in the winter months and less overheating in the summer. Also, look for:
      • big windows
      • outdoor space with balcony or patio
      • sliding glass doors
      • space between neighboring buildings (giving you privacy and access to light)
      • views to a varied skyline with water, trees and mountains
  • Follow your nose
    • You'll find you can get a lot of information about the health of a home from your olfactory senses. In the long run, you'll find the most positive impacts from a home that has no odours, or just the smell of natural, seasoned materials. Take a moment to close the windows, turn off the fans and then see what happens.
    • Watch for the smell of chemicals (emitted by paints, particle board, glues, etc) as well as musty odours.
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Great tips!  I wish this was rebloggable ...

Dec 28, 2008 09:28 PM