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Feb 19

Real Estate Values - Think Green

by Mary Teresa Fowler
Energy Efficient Home

Doug Overholt of BC (British Columbia) Hydro's Power Smart New Home Program is the latest official to encourage home owners towards energy-efficient products. Overholt points out the benefits of 'green' homes and insists that energy-efficiency is a factor in resale real estate value. The greener the house, the higher the resale value.

Think Green

Of course, saving energy also translates into more comfort, extra savings in the short and long term, and taking care of the environment. The BC Hydro representative makes a point that we discussed here previously at estaterebate.com. Despite the fact that almost everyone understands the benefits of being green, sometimes we get sidetracked with other purchases. Our earlier post referred to them as "eye candy." Several home owners would sooner pay extra for the gorgeous granite countertop than high-performance windows.

Are 'Green' Homes Worth The Price?

Overholt says that green homes are worth the price. He explains how rising energy costs will cause more homeowners in the future to look for energy-efficient homes. Even though if a homeowner makes simple alterations, they can save on energy bills in the meantime.

"Sometimes new home buyers overlook two important aspects of energy efficiency. First, an efficient home is going to cost you less to operate every month. That's money in your pocket - you can pay down your mortgage faster. Second, we live in an era of rising energy costs. Down the road, a house that's an energy pig won't sell as easily, or appreciate as well as one that costs less to operate," says Doug Overholt of BC Hydro's Power Smart New Home Program.

Sometimes people get off track because they think that green homes will cost more. No doubt, certain features such as heat pumps can come with considerable initial cost. Yet these smart purchases pay for themselves with savings in the long term.

Anyway, everything 'energy-efficient' does not have a high price tag. Usually, extra insulation or air sealing will not break your budget. As well, there are energy-efficiency grants out there to help Canadian and American homeowners. With high energy costs and an economy emerging from a downturn, many people need help and providing energy grants goes in the right direction.

Energy-Efficient Programs

Sometimes the programs may not go far enough, however, in the right direction or the path may be too complicated for certain groups. For example, specific programs encourage homeowners to buy energy-efficient products and receive reimbursement from the government. That plan does not always work for families living on low incomes because they cannot pay the upfront cost. That won't be because they are spending it on "eye candy." Their income covers only (or maybe does not even cover) the basics.

Yet everyone should check with state (provincial in Canada) and federal officials to see if there is an energy-efficiency program to suit your needs. Thinking green can save you money today and in the future.

For resale real estate value, think energy efficiency

estaterebate.com has also provided information in another post about Prince William's new 'green' home at Harwood Park Estate. A few interesting green details here! Let us not forget, however, that every family, regardless of income, should be able to live in a comfortable and energy-efficient home.

At Home with Prince William & Kate Middleton

Are You Planning Energy-Efficient Improvements?

Image courtesy of immaterial-labor.com

Nov 19

At Home with Prince William & Kate Middleton

by Mary Teresa Fowler
Prince William's and Kate's House

Media and royal watchers were fascinated this week with Britain's most famous, newly-engaged couple – Prince William and Kate Middleton. Everyone was abuzz about the engagement ring and love-struck photos but then it was back to practical issues – but on a royal scale. As with all engaged couples, the question arose – where will the couple live to start their new life? Let us look at the homes at the center of this royal announcement.


At Home with Kate Middleton

Although the royal engagement was announced outside the Middletons' five-bedroom home in the village of Bucklebury, this house was not Kate's childhood home. Kate spent her childhood in a four-bedroom home, known as West View, in the neighboring Bradfield Southend – just two miles from her parent's present house. The Middletons moved in 1995 when Kate was 13; they had purchased the home in 1979.

Described as a "charming Victorian villa," Kate Middleton's childhood home was available for rent in 2009 at £1,250 per month. With "light, airy rooms and views of the countryside," this cozy home down a country lane was not expected to remain unoccupied for any length of time. The house has changed hands a couple of times since the Middletons moved to Bucklebury, Berkshire.

Yet Kate's home is much the same today as when she was growing up in West View. The house has been updated somewhat but the basic layout is the same. Kate's parents had built an extension to the ground floor and added a playroom. These additions can still be enjoyed by today's occupants.

Take a peek at Kate Middleton's childhood home.


At Home with Prince William and Kate Middleton

Apparently, the famous couple has been living together for several months on the island of Anglesey off the coast of Wales. Prince William is based at RAF Valley as a Sea King search and rescue pilot. They are reported to be renting a whitewashed farmhouse for £750 a month. Although there are no known plans for a move during the engagement period, there is a new home in the future for the happy couple.

Prince Charles is building a home for his first-born son and future daughter-in-law. It looks like Prince William and Kate Middleton will be starting their married life at the Harewood Park Estate in Herefordshire. The 900 acre estate is situated in prime countryside between Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye. The property in rural Herefordshire is close to the border with Wales as well as Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.

The estate will have a chapel as well as a 200 L rainwater reservoir and stables. The couple's new six bedroom 'starter' home is being built with every available eco-friendly, modern convenience. The 'green' features include a boiler using wood chips from trees on the estate, solar panels, reed-bed sewage system, and walls lined with insulating sheep’s wool.

Water-saving and low-energy appliances will be used throughout and the home will be topped off with a roof made from salvaged Welsh slate. A decision was made to downsize the home from almost 15,000 ft.² to approximately 8500 ft.² and, therefore, improve its energy efficiency. A green and modern home for a prince and his princess!

Prince William and Kate Middleton will live an ultra-green royal fairytale

Will The Royal Couple's Harewood Park Estate Start A 'Green' Trend?

Image courtesy of mirror.co.uk

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