From a reduced environmental footprint to lower utility bills, purchasing an eco-friendly home offers benefits to both the buyer and the world around them. For these reasons, finding an eco-friendly home is a top priority for a number of home buyers. But where do you start when it comes time begin house hunting, and what features have the biggest impact?

Getting to Know Area Builders
With the exception of full-home renovations, the most eco-friendly houses tend to be newer construction. A good first step in locating these types of homes is to search for builders or developments in your area with a focus on the environment.

While “green” has been a buzz word in years past, set your sights on something more specific when identifying local builders. Look for companies that use sustainable building materials, energy efficient in-home technologies (appliances, lighting, etc.) and construction-site recycling practices.

Meet the Passive Home
The latest standard in environmentally friendly building is the passive home—a house rated by how energy efficient it is while people are actively living in it. This doesn’t just mean efficient appliances, but rather focuses on an air-tight seal to keep temperature-controlled air from escaping.

Windows are one of the number one features to keep in mind when searching for a passive home. Check for double or triple-paned windows in the houses you’re visiting, as the added glass helps keep air inside the home.

Making Your Own Upgrades
Another factor to keep in mind is your ability to add additional efficiency after purchase. Simple changes like replacing exterior door thresholds to better seal doorways or upgrading lightbulbs from incandescent to LED can make a big difference on both your energy bills and the environment. Additionally, adding smart technologies like remotely control thermostats can be a big help.

Trusting Your Agent
If efficiency and sustainability are top factors you’re looking for in a new home, be sure to let your real estate agent know so they can better tailor the homes you visit to your needs.

If you’re an agent looking to join a team that provides the best for their clients, then you might just be a fit for the Benchmark team. Take our quick online assessment today.