Buying Green: Busting the Myths About Eco-Friendly Houses

Arizona has the third-most installed solar PV capacity in the country, behind only California and North Carolina. Of course, solar energy is just one component of living more green.

If you’re in the market for a new home and thinking about going more environmentally friendly, you may have heard things about going green that have you wondering if it’s a wise decision.

Here are the top five misconceptions about green homes:

Myth 1: Only newly constructed houses can be green. It’s true you can “go all out” in creating an eco-friendly home if you are building from the ground up. But you can also make changes in an existing property, even if they are just subtle ones. You can buy an existing home and make it greener simply by updating wiring and plumbing or installing low-emissivity windows. You may be able to purchase more energy-efficient appliances or reinsulate.

Myth 2: Green homes cost too much. Many eco-friendly updates will actually help you save on home energy costs. Upgrade your roofing system with recycled metal to reflect the sun’s heat, and be sure the attic is properly insulated and the roof thoroughly ventilated to save on your cooling expenditures—as much as 34%. There are tax credits for Arizona homes installing solar systems through 2021. There is also a federal solar tax credit that allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system. 

Myth 3:  Eco-friendly homes are ugly. Sustainable houses don’t have to look a certain way. They certainly can look every bit as appealing as any other home. There’s no rule that says sustainable homes have to look a certain way—and they definitely don’t have to be ugly. If you’re thinking about building, there are plenty of plans for sustainable homes to fit all tastes, from tiny houses to sprawling, net-zero luxury homes. If you’re buying an existing home, you can follow a well-considered plan for going green that doesn’t have to ruin your home’s curbside appeal.

Myth 4: You have to go off the grid. When you tell someone you’re thinking of going green, people probably imagine extremes, wear you make your own clothes, grow your own food, live in a hut made of recycled material and walk everywhere. But it’s seldom as intense as that. You don’t have to go off the grid just to have a sustainable home.  Sustainable homes don’t have to be off-grid because they generate their own power and other resources. You don’t need to buy a goat to enjoy lower water and energy bills.

Myth 5: It’s too challenging to go green. Going green doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking. An increasing number of companies are coming out with sustainable products. But there are also simple steps you can take yourself that will help you live more eco-friendly after you purchase your new home, like starting a garden. Another example is to replace water-needy patio plants with native perennials. Eliminate toxic pesticides and fertilizers in favor of more natural products.

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