Buyer’s Most Wanted Features Green Items
I sold a home this week to a Costa Mesa real estate buyer who was looking for a home with “green” features. Yes, that goes beyond a putting green or a garden. Green features are becoming more common in Costa Mesa real estate homes, even though the majority of our housing in the city is more than 50 years old.
What are some of the more common Costa Mesa real estate green features?
Here are the most common green items you would find as compared to the chart to the left.
1. Programmable thermostats- Nest has recently captured a lot of attention since selling to Google for $3.2 billion (gulp!), obviously there is something to a smart thermostat. It’s the easiest way for costa mesa real estate homeowners to conserve energy.
2. Dual pane windows – Dual pane windows typically will save as much as 15% on an energy bill, but compared to the original windows most Costa Mesa real estate homes were built with, you could see substantially more savings when paired with good insulation.
3. Energy Star appliances- are becoming a well-known symbol for energy-efficient appliances. While you probably are familiar with the symbol, you may not know ENERGY STAR is a government program that was started to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The result has been a well-trusted, easily identifiable system to help consumers choose the most energy-efficient appliances for their homes. ENERGY STAR appliances earn the label by meeting a certain list of criteria set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These appliances offer significant energy and water savings (usually 10 to 50 percent) without compromising performance
4. LED and CFL lighting –Everybody by now is familiar with those curly, pigtail like compact florescents. But if CFLs aren’t for you, you may want to consider LED lights. In 2010, Philips unveiled an LED bulb designed to replace the 60-watt incandescent bulb. The LED bulb is 80 percent more energy-efficient and lasts 25 times longer than a traditional 60-watt light bulb. Expensive to put in, but if you are staying in your Costa Mesa real estate home for a long time, you will certainly recoup the investment in savings.
Costa Mesa Real Estate Buyers Want List
5. Low flow toilets and low flow faucets- Toilets are the most obvious starting point for water conservation in your Costa Mesa real estate home because they use 26 percent of the water in your home. Today’s industry standard for toilets is 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). If you were updating an old home, you would see significant savings compared to older toilets that use as much as 3.5 gpf. But there is still room for more water savings when installing toilets in a new home. Many high-efficiency toilets on the market use as little as 1.28 gpf, which can add up to a savings of 3,000 gallons of water per toilet, per year. Mesa Water district offers nice rebates on updates too.
6. Sustainable Materials – A huge benefit to building a new home is you get to make everything custom to your tastes. If greening your home is important to you, you should consider this as you pick your design features as well. You don’t have to compromise your tastes to be green. Beautiful flooring and countertop options can be chosen with Mother Nature in mind. Bamboo flooring, recycled glass, and recycled concrete are all good ways to go here.
7. Efficient HVAC Systems – Costa Mesa real estate homes were built a long time ago, and while the original heaters were good, you can see significant energy savings with more efficient, newer models.
8. Landscaping – With a focus on the natural landscape and plants native to the area, you can actually save money on the cost of taking care of your lawn, as most natural landscaping requires less water and maintenance, which can add up to an average of $700 a year. Succulents have become really popular, and it’s a great way to reduce your water usage around your Costa Mesa real estate property.
9. Tankless Water heaters – are expensive, but last twice as long as tanks, and reduce gas usage significantly.
10. Proper Insulation – Probably the biggest energy suck in the Costa Mesa real estate homes that I see is lack of good insulation. Most of our homes were built without insulation, so nothing exists in the walls and seldom in the attic. Adding the right amount will significantly reduce energy bills.