So many people have been buying and selling houses over the past year!
Lately, people have been much more concerned about their health and wellness, both in their lives and in their homes. Fortunately, we now get to take our health and happiness and wellness into account when looking for a new home or fixing up the house we are living in.
I am Marla, the Green Home Coach, and I am excited to bring you another teach-talk! Today I will be doing Part 2 of an episode I did a couple of weeks ago with Tee (Therese Forton-Barnes) of The Green Living Gurus. In that episode, Tee and I had a fantastic conversation about different ways to make your home better and how to clean up your house to make it less toxic, safer, and healthier for everyone living in it.
In this episode, I will be talking about what you, as a new home buyer, need to look for to find a new home that works for you and has all the elements you need. I will help you formulate a plan and share some of the things I learned from my experience of buying a home about five years ago.
When buying a new home, there are specific things to look out for that will give you a good starting point for having health, wellness, and comfort in your home. You also need to notice the things that are missing so that you can build them in and improve your home.
If your home has a very old furnace or air-conditioning system, it could be a perfect opportunity to upgrade to something energy-efficient with healthy ventilation. Possibly an air-purification system, too.
Many options are available for loans or financial assistance for energy-efficient home upgrades, either through the FHA or privately.
You need to know what you are looking for when buying a new home, and you also need a plan to know where to start. I will help you formulate a plan using a hand-out I helped create for a mini-workshop for new home buyers that was put on several months ago by a mortgage company in Oklahoma City.
- Make a list of your top three non-negotiable priorities. (These are the things you must have.)
- Make a list of your top three “nice-to-haves”. (These are things you would like to have but could do without if they were not there.
- Make a list of the top three things that you will not accept under any circumstances. (If you are working with a realtor, share those things with them.)
Finding things you want that will meet your health, safety, and comfort requirements
- Look at the neighborhood where the house is to make sure that you will be happy living there. Communities and neighborhoods can differ a lot.
- Check to see if the home has enough insulation and that it will perform. (Energy assessments are available in most communities across the US if you want to be sure.)
- Check for ventilation. Make sure that there are operable bath fans and a kitchen range hood that vents to the outdoors.
- Check for any spots, and notice any musty or suspicious smells. If you find any wet spots, have them inspected to know why they are there.
- Look for durable and easy-to-maintain finishes and materials, like hardwood floors and scrub-able paint. (Use low or no VOC paint if you need to repaint.)
- Look at the countertop materials in the bathrooms and kitchen. Make sure that they are durable and meet your lifestyle.
- Find out what the operating and maintenance costs are. It is vital to know what you are getting yourself into and how much it will cost to run your home. (Set aside between one and three percent of the purchase price of the house for your annual maintenance.)
- Take the hassle factor into account. Make sure that the house is as easy as possible to run and maintain.
I recommend reading Green Building and Remodeling for Dummies by Eric Corey Freed. Although it is a little dated, it covers all the basics, and I learned a lot from it!
Have a happy, healthy day!
Did You Miss Part 1 with Tee?
My website Green Home Coach
Learn how to make your home healthier for you and our world in my Love Your Everyday Green Home
Book: Green Building and Remodeling for Dummies, by Eric Corey Freed
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