Is That Home REALLY Green

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Hartung & Noblin, Inc

It seems that all the developers and builders are declaring their products are GREEN.  Going Green is a very popular buzz word right now.  Read is very interesting article by Richard Thompson  describing the many aspects of green construction. Thompson owns Regenesis, a management consulting company that specializes in condominium and homeowner associations.  It really would be a great checklist to use in examining some developments to see how "green" they really are.

 Jane Bixler Conn, Realtor with the  Capitol Green Building Group stated that only a certified home can be called Green.  The only certifications currently available are the Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) and LEED, with NAHB finalizing their requirements. Also, only a development that had gone through the certification process can be called Green.  There are less than a dozen in Florida.  One can certify a newly completed home.  One can not certify a subdivision after completion.

Don Pickett, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Hartung and Noblin, Inc. Tallahassee Real Estate N Data Services, 850-591-4725,    Search the entire Tallahassee Area Real Estate Market.

Comments (7)

Aaron Cullen
Brokers Inc. Residential Real estate - Folsom, CA
Folsom, El Dorado Hills & Sacramento Real Estate &

I was at a bbq last weekend and was talking to a small home builder and he said they installed recepticles in the garages, for a couple hundred dollars each, so they could call the homes "green."

Aug 20, 2008 01:50 AM
Suzanne Champion
N.J. Realty - Westerville Ohio - Columbus, OH

Yes Don, there are all kinds of measurements and tests that have to be done to differentiate true Green from not so green.  We do indeed have builders here who are meeting those requirements with the proverbial flying colors...

This is another reason that buyers should be using us when they go to buy new homes.  We can help them get educated so that they get the product they want, not a knock-off!

Aug 20, 2008 01:51 AM
Carol Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate - Langhorne, PA
Realtor, Bucks County, Pa

"Green" is defiantly a buzz word these days.  I read that article and found it insightful.

Aug 20, 2008 01:55 AM
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

What kind of 'recepticles' can make a home green? This sounds very odd. Is he talking about recycling receptacles? Green normally describes: recycled or high efficiency building materials, low energy use, low water use, solar power etc.

Aug 20, 2008 01:56 AM
Charlene Sandoval
Keller williams West sound - Gig Harbor, WA
Relocation and Real Estate Gig Harbor Washington

I love the checklist, Its all very accurate. I don't own a consulting company, but I also did not just get on the bandwagon. Someone needs to share with developers that smaller is greener , and the sustainable areas, i.e infill, or building in an old rail yd is much more green than what the developer's are doing.

if you talk to developers , ( at least the ones here in WA state) about what they are building , 3-4bdrm homes with upstairs living in 4 out of 5 floor plans and sq ft sizes from 3000-5000 for a family home. They will tell you that they have been building this way for 10 years and that is what people want. and they know exactly how much it costs them to build them.

Prices vary based on region, but in the greater Seattle area this home runs you between 650-950K depending on the neighborhood. 650K based on a 6.375 % mortgage with 20% down gives you a monthly house payment of 4k a month and due to the tighter lending guidelines  a dti of 41% means your income is greater than 10K a month and you have no other debt. and that is on the conservative side at 875K purchase price your monthly house pymt is 7300 based on 41% dti means your income is 18K a month with no other debt.

Then ther eis the fact that many people , I will go out on a limb here ) most people do not think about what it costs to furnish and maintain that home.

Green is a way of thinking , not just a type of construction. Its about better layout and design, more natural light , more ergonomic. its about spending less on energy by investing long term. The benefits of a green home we just remodeled are huge. an electric bill of $18.00 a month , gas $29.00 a month . for 1600 sqft 3bd. 1.5 bath 1 block off the waterfront walking distance to everything in downtown Gig Harbor.

Anyone who is in the developing , construction, or real estate industry should know that our demographics have changed since the mid 1990's . By 2010 60% of our population will be over the age of 60. Most of these people are downsizing and would like to live in a community in a rambler /ranch ( single level home ) that is 2000 sqft or less. within walking distance to everything where they can lock up and leave . The days of spending all your weekends maintaining a huge yrd are for the most part in the past . This sector of or population also controls 1.7  trillion dollars in wealth. If you want to see the housing market improve we need to pay attention to the wants and needs of this population and educate them.

THere are green mortgages available too





Green Mortgages Equal Larger Loans and Efficient Homes

Tired of heat and energy prices skyrocketing out of your budget? Now you can do something about it...and your mortgage can help!

Energy-efficient improvements, such as installing double-paned windows and additional ceiling insulation, can save you money every month, not to mention pay for themselves in the long run. But how do you come up with the cash to pay for those projects up front or to buy a slightly more expensive house that already has them? One way is with a "green mortgage."

What is a Green Mortgage?

Green mortgages actually come in a couple of different formats. Officially these loans are classified as either Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) or Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIMs).

An Energy Efficient Mortgage essentially allows you to purchase a home that is already energy efficient - even if the price of that home is larger than you would normally qualify for under your debt-to-income ratio. Energy Improvement Mortgages, on the other hand, allow you to take out a larger loan to make energy efficient repairs and improvements to a house that is not currently rated as energy efficient.

The main benefit of both of these mortgages is that they help you to qualify for a larger loan amount and help make it possible for you to live in a better, more energy-efficient home. The basic principle behind this type of financing is that the money you save from the more efficient home will offset the larger mortgage payments.

Qualifying for a Green Mortgage

To qualify for a green mortgage, you typically need to have a Home Energy Rating conducted. This rating provides the lender with an Energy Savings Value, which is the estimated monthly energy savings and the value of the energy efficiency measures.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may qualify for a conventional, FHA, or even a VA green mortgage. Each type of loan is designed to fit specific situations and, therefore, each loan has specific requirements that must be met.

You can learn more about the differences between conventional, FHA, and VA green mortgages at the Energy Star website. And for more details about green mortgages in general, visit the HUD website.

for more information on a Green mortgage contact Lani Kish at

"Lani Kish" <>,

Aug 20, 2008 02:35 AM
Peg Gilliland
Charlottesville Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
Broker, GRI, CDPE

I see that you are new to Active Rain and I just wanted to welcome you. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do and that you find it a great resource.

Aug 20, 2008 07:34 AM
Joe Manausa - Tallahassee, FL
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Well done Don, you picked this up great. You might want to check out how well your article appears on localism too.

Aug 20, 2008 09:33 PM