Incorporating eco-friendly measures in homes has moved beyond installing energy-efficient appliances and swapping out incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescents – going green is giving home sellers a competitive advantage. With luxury condos touting eco-friendly features like rain water recycling, and home builders incorporating energy-saving features into new homes, it’s no wonder real estate professionals say more and more home buyers are asking about “green homes.” In the end, small changes to a home can help the environment and help a property stand out among the competition.
“It makes sense on a number of levels to incorporate green principles into a home and many consumers are surprised at just how easy it is to do so,” said Graham Canham, Luxury Real Estate Agent in the TCI. “Not only is it great for the environment but homeowners are looking at ‘going green’ as an opportunity to have their island home stand out from the crowd.”
The following are eight tips from “Green” professionals, that outline how to make homes sustainable, energy and cost-efficient now, and appealing to eco-conscious homebuyers:
1. A Ray of Light: South-facing windows provide more natural daylight making a home more bright and cheery. Drawing shades during key daylight hours during the summer can help cut down on air conditioning needs.
2. Green Gardening: Sustainable landscaping is becoming all the rage to eco-conscious homeowners. Planting native plants, vegetation and shade trees strategically around a yard can keep a home cool during the summer. Native vegetation thrives in its preferred environment without requiring excess water.
3. Switch to Green Power: The use of renewable energy in a home, such as solar, wind, water or geothermal, greatly helps reduce pollution. However, installing solar panels or wind generators property can be cost-prohibitive for some.
4. Dial it Back: Lowering the settings on water heaters, refrigerators, dishwashers and laundry machines reduces the amount of energy required to maintain the temperature. Installing low-flow sink faucets and shower heads also lessens water consumption.
5. Reuse Rain: Recycling rain water for gardening is another great way to conserve. For example, a water collection system under drains or from washing machines can catch the water and then reuse it for watering landscapes. Most houses in the Turks and Caicos Islands are built with large cisterns under the home. Ask us about the cistern, waste water collection and irrigation systems when looking at homes in Turks & Caicos.
6. Less Lawn does More: Eliminate as much of the lawn as possible and plant native bushes, flowers, etc. Depending upon a number of factors (including the climate of the region), homeowners can simply cut back on the amount of space that they have to mow to promote energy conservation in lawn care.
7. Turn Old into New: Refurbish the home’s existing materials when remodeling instead of buying new ones (cabinets, tiles, flooring). If brand new appliances are required, homeowners should make sure they are energy-efficient, and should consider donating their old appliances to be recycled or reused.
8. Insulation is Key: Insulating cold-water pipes will prevent them from dripping condensation, and insulating hot-water pipes will prevent costly heat loss and save on energy bills.
For more information on “Going Green” in Turks and Caicos we invite you to contact us.