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New Home? A Guide To Search Like A Pro – World Earth Day Edition

New Home? A Guide To Search Like A Pro – World Earth Day Edition

Everything starts with a dream, even your new home. And some dreams can benefit both you and the environment you live in! A healthy and sustainable home is one such dream you need to achieve. That’s where we come in! But before that, Congratulations! You have taken the first step in realizing your dream. You have started the search!

You’ve decided to embark on the exciting journey of finding a new home. The journey to homeownership starts with a search, then the evaluation phase, and finally the move. Whether it’s your first try into the world of homeownership or a fresh start for the search that has been happening for quite a long time, you need this guide. 

Our comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and best practices to 

  • Navigate the search process like a seasoned pro
  • Ensure due diligence during the evaluation phase
  • Finalise and move into your dream home that is financially sound and environmentally healthy as well. 

Remember, a healthy home is the foundation for a healthy life, and this World Earth Day serves as a perfect reminder to prioritize not just your physical well-being but also the environment you live in.

A Green Guide, To Search and Move-In Like A Pro

Our green guide goes beyond just finding a house with the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms. It emphasizes the importance of securing a healthy and sustainable living space, one that aligns with your long-term goals and promotes overall well-being for you and our environment. We have listed some best practices for you to help you with your search for your family’s new base.

1. Be Aware of Latest Real Estate Changes

The real estate market is constantly evolving, and staying informed is crucial.  One recent development is the removal of set commission rules for home sellers. Traditionally, sellers paid a 6% commission split between listing and selling agents, impacting the final sale price.  This change could have positive implications for home buyers, potentially leading to:

  • Lower housing costs: With commission rates potentially decreasing, overall housing affordability could improve.
  • Flexible fee structures: Buyer agents may now offer diverse fee options like flat rates or sliding scales, allowing you to find a structure that aligns with your budget.
  • Increased competition: Agents might be more inclined to compete for your business, potentially leading to better representation.

Remember to discuss commission fees openly with any buyer’s agent you consider working with.

2. The Latest Real Estate Trends- The Green Movement

When it comes to sustainable living, real estate has taken commendable leaps in ensuring the safety and sustainability of our environment. Here are some exciting green trends to consider on your quest for a new home.

  • Energy-Efficient Homes: Look for houses with features like Energy Star appliances, solar panels, and smart thermostats that reduce your environmental impact and utility bills.
  • Sustainable Building Materials: Homes built with recycled materials, sustainably sourced wood, and low-VOC paints minimize environmental damage.
  • Water-Saving Features: Drought-resistant landscaping, low-flow faucets and showerheads, and rainwater harvesting systems conserve precious water resources.

3. Embrace the Power of Eco-research

Curiosity is key! Be curious about your new home’s environment. And don’t stop there, research as much as you can. Thorough research ensures you find a home that not only promotes just comfort but also your overall and environmental well-being.

Location, Location, Location (and Green Initiatives!)

The first point of your search should start with the listing in itself. Know more about the location identifying your ideal choice. To identify your ideal location, you can consider factors like:

  • Proximity to Public Transportation and Walkability: Reducing reliance on cars minimizes carbon emissions and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
  • Access to Green Spaces: Parks, community gardens, and bike paths contribute to a healthy environment and a sense of well-being.
  • Energy-Efficient Infrastructure: Look for areas with a focus on renewable energy sources or smart grid technology.

Going beyond the basic amenities, consider the long-term implications of your location as well. Think about access to healthcare facilities, noise levels, and potential future developments that might impact the surrounding area.  A healthy neighborhood contributes significantly to your overall well-being.

Know Your Budget: Affordability and Sustainability

Financial planning is essential and can be Earth-friendly. It involves its own share of research.  Determine a realistic budget that incorporates not just the purchase price but also ongoing costs like:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Property taxes (Pro Tip: Consider researching average real estate tax rates in your desired location.)
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Potential HOA fees

Added to these, also factor in environmental options like

  • Energy Efficiency Upgrades: Factor in potential upgrades like insulation improvements or solar panel installation, which can lead to long-term energy cost savings.
  • Sustainable Transportation Options: Budget for a bike or invest in an electric vehicle if your location supports sustainable commuting.
  • Hidden Costs: Remember to factor in hidden costs like potential renovations or upgrades needed to make the space suit your needs.

A proper financial plan ensures you purchase a home that promotes financial health, environmental health as well as physical well-being.

4. Search Smarter and Greener, Not Harder

Leverage Online Resources

Technology is your friend! Utilize online tools to streamline your search. Popular real estate websites allow you to filter listings based on specific criteria like location, price range, and property features.

Many real estate websites allow you to filter listings based on eco-friendly features like Energy Star certification or LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

How about a Real Estate Agent

An experienced real estate agent can be a valuable asset especially if they specialize in sustainable properties.. They can:

  • Provide local market expertise and expertise on local green building initiatives and resources.
  • Help you navigate the process of obtaining green certifications.
  • Negotiate on your behalf and connect you with eco-conscious vendors for inspections and services.
  • Guide you through the complexities of the buying process
  • Connect you with trusted vendors for inspections and title searches

5. Secure Your Dream Home – Beyond the Bricks and Mortar

Conduct a Thorough Title Search

Finding the perfect house is only half the battle.  Get a comprehensive Title Search done by a qualified professional. This crucial step ensures the property has a clear title, free from any legal claims. A clean title gives you peace of mind and protects your investment.

Don’t Forget the City Lien Search

Along with a title search, consider a City Lien Search.  This reveals any outstanding debts associated with the property, like unpaid taxes or code violations. Addressing these issues before purchase can save you from future headaches and financial burdens.

Understand Real Estate Taxes

Taxes are a reality of homeownership. Familiarize yourself with the average real estate tax rates in your area.  This information is vital for budgeting and ensuring you can comfortably afford the ongoing costs of maintaining your new home.

6. Moving In and Beyond:  Building a Healthy Home

These real-time tips that we curated from our real estate experts will help you get your dream home peacefully, efficiently, and eco-friendly. But the ball doesn’t stop there. We don’t want you to have just a nice home, we want you to have a healthy home. The following tips will help

Prioritize Indoor Air Quality:

Once you’ve secured your new home, prioritize creating a healthy living environment. Ensure proper ventilation by opening windows regularly and using exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms. Consider investing in air purifiers, especially if you live in an area with high pollution levels or have allergies.

Embrace Natural Light:

Natural light not only brightens your space but also offers mood-boosting benefits. Maximize natural light by keeping windows clear and exploring options like skylights or light tubes for darker areas.

Maintain a Healthy Humidity Level:

Mold thrives in a damp environment. Aim for a humidity level between 30% and 50% to prevent mold growth and respiratory issues. Invest in a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels and consider a dehumidifier if needed.

Create a Safe and Clean Environment:

  • Conduct regular inspections for potential hazards like lead paint or asbestos.
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Address any leaks or water damage promptly to prevent mold growth.
  • Regularly clean carpets and air ducts to remove dust and allergens.

Bring Nature Indoors:

Houseplants not only add aesthetic appeal but also purify the air by removing toxins. Research low-maintenance and air-purifying plants like snake plants, spider plants, and peace lilies.

Invest in a Healthy Sleep Environment:

A good night’s sleep is crucial for overall health. Ensure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool for optimal sleep. Consider blackout curtains, earplugs, and a comfortable mattress.

Happy Living!

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