In design and home life, green continues to gain momentum, and it can be a lucrative niche for North Carolina real estate brokers. Beyond the benefits of making homes more sustainable and reducing our footprint on the world, new design and increasing demand are making green technology, in some cases, cheaper than traditional methods. This, combined with other benefits, is making “green” more attractive than ever. Here are five green home trends that brokers should know about.
1. Smart homes
Smart homes are becoming the norm both in home renovations and new construction. Voice-activated and app-directed commands allow you to schedule indoor and outdoor lighting as well as heating, cooling, watering, and washing—allowing you to take advantage of non-peak hours and control electrical usage while out of town. Even items such as automatic closing drapes and sunshades work to keep our lives more comfortable and profitable in the long run.
2. Deconstructed design
Not to be confused with deconstructivism (asymmetrical architecture and design), deconstruction is a concept that utilizes recycled raw materials. This new trend is toward more authentic, natural materials such as exposed wood, metal, and brick. It is an exposed style of un-building reminiscent of Frank Gehry in the ’90s, but with a more refined and green edge to it through its emphasis on reuse, salvaged, and donated materials. And by mixing in more green materials such as quick-growing bamboo, you can even add “newer” natural materials to the mix.
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3. Better energy generation and storage
Smart tech is making life easier, cleaner, and cheaper. More efficient batteries are making electrical storage more effective while microgrids allow you to use and buy electricity from off-grid sources, making it easier to take advantage of more clean energy than ever before. Additionally, solar technology and the selling benefits they provide make electricity increasingly cheaper for homeowners. Though it requires an initial investment, the continued trend in solar technology is making it equal and even cheaper than traditional energy, ensuring it pays for itself and then some.
4. Prefab home designs
The focus on prefab, modular style homes continues, providing many benefits. Prefab homes are produced in closed settings that keep production times reliable and prevent materials from getting damaged by weather. An increased focus on computerized cutting and standardized sizing allow for maximum usage of materials, resulting in less waste. Since the designs are made to ship, there is special attention placed on durable construction. Also, with an increased focus on shipping cargo containers in design, there is less container waste in the environment along with the added durability these containers provide.
5. Tiny home additions
Tiny homes have benefits such as fewer materials, less energy, and less waste than traditional homes, making it easy for homeowners to create zero environmental impact. They function in ways beyond daily living, working great as vacation cabins, guest quarters, pool houses, and home offices. One of the attractions of tiny homes is their ability to avoid permanent footings, which allows them to retain a portability designation for financial savings.