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More and more homebuyers are searching for homes that offer better energy efficiency and
use sustainable materials. Eco-friendly homes not only help the environment but can mean
significant savings in energy and maintenance costs. As more home builders consider the
environmental impact of their housing developments, finding an eco-friendly home is easier
than ever before. Here are a few things to look for when searching for a greener home.

• Nature Use – When searching for an eco-friendly home, notice the use of trees and
other landscaping to save energy by blocking sun and wind—lowering air conditioning
and heating costs by adding a natural barrier.

• Window Quality – Homebuyers should notice not only the quality of the windows but
the placement as well. Are they placed to take advantage of the sun during the winter
yet glazed to prevent summer heat?

• Building Materials – Natural materials are not only beautiful but also offer sustainability
and lower maintenance costs. For example, cedar-plank siding is resistant to both water
and pests, which makes it stronger and longer-lasting than other options; natural stone
for counters and floors adds a modern touch, is easy to clean and lasts for years.

• Floorplan – Recent changes in home design trends are turning floorplans upside down—
literally. Look for homes with living spaces on the top floor, which can take better
advantage of natural light while keeping the lower-level bedrooms cooler and more
peaceful.

Sustainable building designs and materials are becoming more common. Homebuyers can find
newer homes, as well as remodels, taking advantage of these trends. Buying an energy-efficient, eco-friendly home can provide a beautiful lifestyle and save thousands of dollars over the lifetime of ownership.