Hot Green Trends in Home Building

New construction continues to feature advanced green home building. Here are trends to ask your real estate agent about when you're ready to buy a new home.

Eco illustration

Despite the fact that federal incentives for eco-friendly home upgrades like solar panels are no longer available, plenty of home buyers are interested in finding properties that meet their sustainable ideals.  Not only do such homes help owners to reduce their impact on the environment, but in many cases the energy- and water-saving properties also reduce ongoing expenses, as savvy real estate agents can attest.

Because the demand for eco-friendly products remains high, new construction continues to feature advances in green home building.  Here are just a few trends you should ask your real estate agent about when you’re ready to buy a new home.

Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood is nothing new – it’s a wonderful way to get the hardwood you love at a discounted price, eschew the deforestation that new wood production entails, and get the beautiful patina of age that simply cannot be faked.  It could also help to increase the value of your home, or at least the aesthetic appeal.  These days, though, reclaimed wood is for more than just flooring.

Builders are using reclaimed hardwood to create focal points on walls, to add built-in structures like bars or cabinetry, and to regain a sense of craftsmanship that sterile, modern homes are sorely lacking.  Many buyers prefer this marriage of a clean, modern aesthetic paired with softer touches.

Durable, Sustainable Materials

Realtors are quick to point out the desirable features of any home they show, and modern, green buildings now have selling points that include the use of materials that not only do less harm when they’re harvested or manufactured, but also stand the test of time better than traditional building materials.

This is partly due to consumer demand, but your real estate broker can tell you that it also has to do with changing building codes requiring materials that stand up to weather conditions and other potential damage better.  Whether a home features insulated concrete forms or locally-sourced slate roofing, the inclusion of sustainable and durable materials is important to many home buyers.

Edible Landscaping

Drought-resistant landscaping continues to dominate as droughts persist, awareness increases, and homeowners grow accustomed to spending less time and money maintaining a traditional expanse of lawn.  That said, edible landscaping is a growing trend among greenies that want to get the most out of their landscape by turning it into an organic food source.

Indoor/Outdoor Living Spaces

If people are going to go to the trouble of cutting their carbon footprint, they want to enjoy the beauty of nature their efforts are supporting.  Your real estate agency should be able to provide you with more listings that offer such features because more and more builders are blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces with removable walls that open entire rooms up to the great outdoors.

Water Generators

SunToWater’s water generator is a system designed to draw moisture from the air to be used for regular household, industrial, or medical needs. It can be hooked up to your water system similarly to a water softening system, but instead of softening hard water, it pumps in fresh water it drew from the air.

The systems run about $9,000 (currently $8,499 with a special offer), but they produce 40-100 gallons of fresh water each per day. Homes can buy as many units as they need to supplement their water from the grid, or go off-grid completely with a connected storage system.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.