How Green is Your Next Home?

Your first thought is going to be of things like Energy Star appliances. Then you’ll think of insulation, solar power, light bulbs, etc. But what about location? How green can a home be if you have to drive everywhere for everything you do?

Transportation to and from a home can have energy costs that are twice as much as operating the home. So what’s the alternative? The oldest answer in the book when it comes to real estate – location, location, location.

If you are truly concerned about living a “green” lifestyle then you need to consider whether or not you’ll be getting into a car for everything you need to do and how far you will have to drive. Is anything you do walkable?

There is a wonderful website called www.walkscore.com that allows you to plug in an address and see its “walkability score”. The higher the score, the more walkable, and therefore, greener, the home.

Not too long ago we were looking at $4 per gallon gas, and even though prices have dropped, most experts say they will rise again. When that happens we will begin to see the walkability of a home connected to its market value. The more walkable the score, the higher the value, relative to other factors.

It’s already happening in some cities across the country. CEOs for Cities just released a study based on data from Walk Score and Zip Realty that shows one point of Walk Score is worth as much as $3,000 depending on the metro area.

So before you buy your next home, take a look at its score and decide if it meets your priority for a truly green life.

Featured contributed by Crissie Cudd, you can share a thought with Crissie at http://www.CrissieCudd.wordpress.com