Sandpoint Efficient Cottagecomments (2) February 10th, 2012 in Project Gallery, 2013 HOUSES Awards Gallery Pin It
We built this home on speculation in 2010 to introduce an unavailable option in our area: a certified green, efficient home, targeted to empty-nesters. Our biggest challenge was explaining the concept to realtors and, suprisingly to us, to empty-nesters. As far as we know, this was the first home in our county certified by both the NAHB Green Building Standard and Northwest Energy Star. Turns out, young professionals were most impressed with the design, layout, energy, water and resource efficiency.
"Green" has a connotation of being just another marketing term used to elevate prices. We wanted to prove that "green" didn't have to cost more than traditional "stick" built homes, but that it was a matter of design choices and construction techniques.
Our top priority was that the home performed well. It earned a HERS score of 57 and the average gas/electric bills have been less than $70 for the past year (it's been occupied since April, 2011).
Our next priority was that the home functioned well and displayed true craftsmanship. A Ross Chapin GoodFit plan, there are numerous built-ins, smart layout and design and great use of space.
We had a very difficult time initially selling the home. Realtors told us no one wanted a 2 bedroom, that there wasn't enough square footage and that no one really cared about "green". We dropped the price and spent 6 months sharing the benefits of the home to anyone that gave us the opportunity. In the end, we sold the home to another local builder, who helped his son purchase the home. To us, that was validation that the quality was recognized by someone who would know. Additionally, we received a nearly 20% increase in appraised value per square foot over other new construction in the area.
posted in: Project Gallery, 2013 HOUSES Awards Gallery, Energy-Smart, 2013, Small Home