Dreaming Your Home – how to dream it, plan it and pay for it
Building or finding your dream home is a goal for many of us. However, it is key to understand not only how to pay for our dream home, yet also how to plan for it. It is possible for you to have your dream home and make it a green home…with a little planning. The word “dream” keeps coming up a lot in our lives, yet it seems many of us forget to dream or are too busy to dream. As people, we need to make time to dream. Dreams help us to set goals and work towards achieving them. The day you stop dreaming is the day you stop living.
For me as a person and an entrepreneur, dreams fuel my goals, business and personal, and help me to think of what’s possible. And one of my big dreams is to build or renovate my own Dream Green Home.
Having a clean slate helps to really dream and think about what is important. For your Dream Home, think about where it is and how does it make you feel. Is it a place for gatherings, and if so, is it big enough for entire family? Your home is not just a place, and not one size fits all.
To figure out the dreams and goals, start with what you want your home to feel like? Home is more than a place, it is also a feeling. It’s more than just a place to shelter us. If you look at the money, time and effort we spend on homes, it is obvious they mean something to us. Owning up to the feelings we want in our home is the first step.
I recently did a Dream Green Home workshop and it was so cool to see people’s reactions. Many of the participants said they had never thought about their home in this way. They had a chance to think about their dreams for their homes. And then put them into goals.
A life goal for many of us is to have/own a dream home.
The promise of your home are the benefits it provides the people who live in it. My top 3 benefits from my home are health, safety and comfort. After that – time, money, ease and convenience. These seven benefits are the most commonly cited promises that people expect from their homes. And they match up to the benefits provided by a green home.
How do you get to your dream home?
The secret is connecting what you want in your home with the ways to get there. Let’s say you want a healthier home. Do you have a specific health issue to be addressed or just in general want a healthier home? Indoor air quality is a great way to work towards a healthier home. For both an existing home being spruced up or a newly built home, you can choose products that are less toxic, such as low or no VOC paints. You can choose hard floors, rather than carpet. You can choose mechanical or natural ventilation. There are lots of ways to create a healthier home once you’ve identified the goal.
We as residents, homeowners and consumers, do often assume that houses are built to meet our needs and have our best interests at heart. Yet they often don’t, simply because they are built without our specific wants and needs in mind. It is important to understand your priorities so that your home fits your needs.
You can work with a builder, even a builder that builds hundreds of homes, as long as you have a roadmap and understand what you want. If you haven’t set your own priorities, when you talk with a builder, you could end up just jumping into all of the decisions, selections and choices without understanding HOW they accomplish your goals and dreams. If this happens, your dreams may never get to a part of the plan. You end up following what is available, rather than leading with your priorities.
Plan your dream home and give the plans and priorities to your builder or architect or home pro to help turn your plan and priorities into actionable items. That action is what matters – the materials chosen and the practices followed.
Paying for your Green Dream Home
Now that you know how to set your priorities, you need to figure out how to pay for it and how to make it reality. There are many resources to help pay for new homes, remodels and replacements. You may have to invest some time to find the resources and fill out paperwork, yet the return may be a way to do more – a way to fund your dreams.
Programs include rebates, incentives, financing. Once you find a few resources to help, more help seems to start showing up. Incentives and rebates are a great place to start and the DSIRE database lists, by state, all types of programs available from utilities, government, co-ops and more. Financing programs, such as the FHA Power Savers Program*, covers independent energy upgrades, also 2nd mortgage and remodels. There are other financing tools available – just ask your lender or look online.
Many of us may never live in a new home and programs like Power Savers help us update and upgrade our home and stay in the home we love or want to stay with. If you want to do more than you feel your home pro or financial resource is willing to help you do, don’t give up. There may be other resources out there for you, yet it all relies on your priorities and actions. For different results, do something different.
Resources about Dreaming & Planning Your Green Home on today’s podcast
*A little more detail on the Power Savers program from Energy.gov.
ENERGY UPGRADE LOAN – This type of loan is for smaller projects such as insulation, air and duct sealing, water heating, and upgrading or replacing heating and cooling equipment. This is an unsecured consumer loan—no home appraisal is required.
SECOND MORTGAGE LOAN – Larger retrofit projects that may include energy efficiency, solar PV, solar hot water, geothermal, or other renewable energy projects can be financed with this type of loan.
POWERSAVER – FIRST MORTGAGE UP TO FHA LOAN LIMITS – This loan is for home purchase or refinance. It can be used for energy efficiency improvements as part of an FHA 203(k) rehabilitation first mortgage when purchasing a home or refinancing an existing mortgage.
Every week on iTunes and The Green Gab Podcast, get the gab with us as we share what we’ve done, as well as tips for greening up your home, your job, your family and your life! Get in on the gab for why green matters – to you, your family and friends and your community.
I’d love to speak at your next event – for ideas check out my speaking information. Thank you and have a blessed day.
Get in on the gab for why green matters – to you, your family and friends and your community.