Looking for a green home in Houston?

July 21, 2008 3:52:54 PM PDT
After years of being overlooked, building green has become a big new trend in home construction and for home buyers.But in an oil city like Houston, where can you look to find green homes?

Action 13's Green Team reporter Deborah Wrigley shows us a new specialty in the real estate business that's starting to catch on.

If you're curious about what the home of the future may be, Houston might be the place to look. At one green home in town, it's what you don't see that sets it apart. It is well-insulated, with a tankless water heater and solar panels.

And developer Matt Ford's "Shadehouse" homes are in demand.

"The interest we have now and the traffic is so much more than even two years ago, I really think it's the right time," Ford said.

Now, green is going beyond developers to realtors. For instance, Stephanie Edwards Musa is a licensed "eco-broker."

"I've never had anyone say, 'I want a skyrocketing electric bill,'" Musa said. "They want something that's affordable to live in and yet comfortable."

She searches out properties that meet green standards and matches them to clients like Edith Li, in the market for her first house.

"I think the value of your home, especially if you go green, is going to go up," she said. "You can't live with the big sprawling houses that eat up a ton of electricity and never give anything back. You can't do it forever."

For now, Musa, as a licensed eco broker, is a rarity, but soon she may have company. There's enough buyer interest in green that the Houston Association of Realtors plans to encourage agents to start thinking about eco-marketing.

"We're here to educate them and provide them with knowledge so they can assist buyers and sellers in the process," Houston Association of Realtors representative Chaille Ralph said.

It's the start of something new that is unique for now, but that looking towards the future might be revolutionary.

You can find out much more about green homes in the Houston area by visiting eco-broker Stephanie Edwards Musa's website.

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