Sept. 16, 2010

Thinking Big in a Small Way: Green, Sustainable Homes in Portland

Who wants a tiny home? We all think we want to move up in size, convenience and number of bedrooms, right? But then, we pick paper over plastic at the grocery store and think we’re changing the planet for our children’s children. Right on! It’s a small step toward a better future…but a really small step. We can do more.I’m guilty too. I consider myself environmentally conscience by riding my bike on short trips around the city, making sure my car tires have the right air pressure, and blaming BP for the oil spill. But even those are just baby-steps. It is time to think bigger…or smaller, as it were. According to the Green Space website, “If all buildings in the U.S. met leading green building standards, national energy use and global warming emissions would drop by ten percent. The potential for reducing waste is even greater, with the rate of construction waste recycling at over 70 percent. Green building is also critical when it comes to managing storm water runoff”.

Have you considered buying a green LEED, or a minimalist home? After all, you care about the environment and want to invest in more than just your own future, right?

Slowly, but steadily, things are beginning to change. Just like anything new, it will take time for Green Building to gain mainstream acceptance. Buyers need to be educated and prices need to stabilize at an affordable level. Currently, Green homes can range anywhere from $140-400 per-square-foot to build, whereas a conventional home is closer $100, depending on the location. That’s a big gap. Increased consumer demand and mainstream acceptance will eventually drive prices down.

For now, at least one company in Portland, Oregon is bringing affordable green homes to the masses.

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If a purely minimalist home is what you are after than check out the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. These tiny homes start at $99. Not per-foot, though… just $99. That’s just for the plans, which you can purchase and then build yourself. Or, if you prefer, you can purchase a finished home ranging from 65 Square feet all the way up to 837. My first apartment was 550 sf. and it was perfect for myself and a cat. I think I could go back to that someday, but it would have to be well planned space, which these are.
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A Tumbleweed Tiny House

It was this mindset of sustainability that initially drew me to become a Realtor with eXp Realty. I used to drive an hour a day to get to and from the office, made multiple copies of every transaction for each file and supported a brick and mortar building, none of which I do now, thanks to inventive thinking and commitment to a smarter way of doing business. Think about the change it would make if every real estate professional made that switch.

So the next time you are at the grocery store and choose the paper over plastic (or better yet, bring your own bag!) I hope it reminds you to make the some kind of smart choices with your next home.

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