How to be an eco-friendly homeowner

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Being a 'green' homeowner is good for the planet and good for your wallet, too. Best selling author David Bach explains how having an eco-friendly home will pay off in many ways.

How to be an eco-friendly homeowner

Buying green doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money. Here’s how to make eco-friendly choices in your home.

  • Start with an energy-efficient mortgage, which can make it easier to make green improvements to your home. Banks offer loans that are specifically designed to finance ‘green’ improvements to your home.
  • ‘Greening’ your home is the latest trend in home improvements. Making your home healthier makes it more attractive to future buyers and increases its value.
  • ‘Greening’ includes using low-toxic paint and carpet, adding solar paneling and energy-efficient appliances, adding air filtration systems, etc.
  • Going green and increasing utility efficiently can really help sell your home in a down-market. Buyers want a home that won’t cost a lot of money to maintain.
  • Going green requires an initial investment, but you’ll make money in the long-term.

 

Transcript

DENISE: Hi, there. I’m Denise Richardson for howdini.com. Buying greener products usually means spending more green, right? Not always. Personal finance guru and bestselling author David Bach is here to tell us how we can actually make money with eco-friendly choices around the house. David’s ninth book is called Go Green, Live Rich. Thanks for being with us, David.

DAVID: It’s great to be here!

DENISE:  What’s a green mortgage?

DAVID: These are what’s called an energy-efficient mortgage. So you can go to the bank, and you can say listen, I’m interested in doing some improvements to my home, green improvements, and do you have a mortgage that will allow me to buy a home and fix it up green, or do you have a home equity product where I can pull money out of my house to make green improvements. And the answer is yes. They’re called energy efficient mortgages and that’s what they’re specifically for.

DENISE:  Might they give you a larger loan if you’re making those improvements to your home?

DAVID: It’s not necessarily a lot larger, but it’s like a construction loan, or it can be, you know, an extra two or three percent so you can specifically go buy these products for your home. Like those Energy Star appliances. Those make a huge different in your house, and that’s what people want now.

DENISE:  I would imagine there are tax benefits as well.

DAVID:  There can be tax benefits. You really have to talk to your accountant about it specifically. And it comes down to what it is also that you’re putting in your home.

DENISE: What are the kind of improvements that would make the difference?

DAVID:  Well, I’ll tell you what. It’s the new thing to make your home green, it really is. So like ten years ago we all wanted those, you know, marble countertops, we wanted to redo our kitchen and we were redoing our bathrooms and our master bedroom. Now the new thing in real estate, really the trend, is how do I make my home healthier? And that is everything from, you know, taking the, the bad toxic paint off, and putting an organic, low VOS paint on your walls, to, again, putting in a healthier carpet because they’re less toxins in it, to redoing all the appliances in your home, to redoing the way air is filtered into your house and out of your house, to putting solar paneling on your, on your roof. There’s so many things that you can now do to have your home be healthier and have it be better for the planet. And that’s called, that’s called really greening your home.

DENISE:  In a, in a, in a time when so many people are losing their homes, so many people are trying to sell their homes, if you’re going to do something to make it more approachable or more sellable, go green?

DAVID: Yeah, and I’ll tell you why. Because a big part of greening your home is making your home more efficient. So we waste a fortune on paying for utility cost that we don’t need to pay for because we’re just wasting all this money on utilities where literally the air is seeping out of our house, and we’re spending hundreds of dollars a month on utility bills that we don’t have to. So if you can show that your home is more energy efficient – that it’s healthier for you, but it’s more energy efficient – people are looking to buy homes that will save them money. And that’s why greening your home can be very profitable for you, because people want that house that doesn’t suck money out of their pockets. They want a house that’s healthy, and also that will possibly make them wealthy.

DENISE:  And then if you go green, you can live rich.

DAVID: That’s right.

DENISE:  David, thank you for being with us.

DAVID:  You’re welcome. Good to be here.

DENISE:  I’m Denise Richardson for howdini.com.

meet theexpert
  • David Bach

    David Bach Financial Expert and Bestselling Author David Bach is the author of seven consecutive national bestsellers, including the #1 New York Times bestseller The Automatic Millionaire. He has appeared frequently on The Oprah Winfrey Show and is a featured columnist on Yahoo! Finance. more about this expert »

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