Tag Archives: green

Green & Gorgeous Homes: Can they Command a Premium?


It’s not easy being green — if you’re a house for sale.

Sure, everyone loves energy efficient upgrades — in theory.

But when it comes time to fork over green paper with pictures of dead presidents, many buyers won’t pay a premium for eco features, no matter how sexy and how beneficial for the planet. That could soon start to change as some new national programs create incentives and infrastructure for energy upgrades in for-sale homes.

One problem the green industry faces is not enough appraisers are qualified to appraise green, LEED or energy-efficiency properties.  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com, they are the forerunners in green property appraisals.

Some forward-thinking developers have taken green to the max in rehabbing high-end SF houses. Here are two luxury renovations that received LEED Platinum certification — among only a handful of SF houses to snare the coveted designation.

First up, a six-bedroom Queen Anne at 235 Broderick on the border of Haight Ashbury and the Panhandle. Its owners* spent $2 million and a lot of time and energy redoing it to be ultra-environmental.

“Every single thing in that house is salvaged locally, sustainably forested or a combination,” said listing agent Amanda Jones of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Getting LEED certified requires a lot of attention to water consumption, energy use and air circulation.”

The three-story house was gutted, given a new steel frame, new foundation and lots of extras. In addition, the house is “wired to the hilt,” Jones said, with an impressive media room.

It looks spectacular in the photos — but hasn’t found someone willing to pony up extra to be that green, although lots of successful tech execs and even some Hollywood types have toured it.

The house hit the market almost five months ago at just over $4 million and this month dropped the price by $600,000 to $3.495 million.

Now, the owners, who are moving back to Australia, are contemplating renting it, at a cool $17,000 a month.

Read more at: http://blog.sfgate.com/ontheblock/2013/09/21/green-gorgeous-homes-can-they-command-a-premium/

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

Experts Share Ideas for Greener Living

Many people will argue that the greatest barrier to living a greener lifestyle — one that involves more organic or environmentally friendly food or home and personal care products — is the prohibitive cost.

Experts acknowledge that manufacturers and consumers do pay more for natural products, but they hope, as the market shifts toward more nontoxic alternatives, prices will become more affordable.

Will these products add value to your home.  Contact the appraisers at http://www.scappraisals.com

I asked a few experts how we can live a healthier lifestyle on a budget: Christopher Gavigan, who with actress Jessica Alba, co-founded the Honest Co. — makers of safe, nontoxic and effective personal care and cleaning products — and green living proponent Indie Lee of indielee.com.

Lee began her journey as a green expert in 2009 after surviving a brain tumor that may have been caused by environmental toxins. Gavigan has long been a champion of children’s health and development. That led him to partner with Alba, who describes in her book “The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You” (Rodale, $23) how motherhood made her question “greenwashing” in many products.

“Most people think living greener is about safeguarding the Earth, but my approach is about living for your health, which ultimately has positive impacts for the planet,” Gavigan says. Gavigan and Lee agree it is possible to live green without spending too much green.

Here they each offer a few baby steps:

Personal care/office

• Purchase glass nail files that you can wash and reuse. It may cost an extra $2, but it will never wear down, Lee says.

• Use a crystal goblet or cute Mason jar to sip water at your desk rather than continually purchasing water bottles.

• Look for clothing brands that offer affordable, sustainable products without sacrificing style. Lee suggests H&M Conscious.

• Rather than buying a huge pack of pens, purchase a chic fountain pen and buy inexpensive refills.

read more at: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/jun/01/tp-experts-share-ideas-for-greener-living/

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

Californians – Keep Your Lawn But Make It More “Green” Friendly


If ever you should decide to redo your garden, sooner or later you’ll likely hear someone say, “Be sure to stay true to the surroundings.” It is one of those stock phrases that architects and decorators often use to suggest that the garden’s design shouldn’t veer far from the style of the home and interior, or that native plants and local aesthetics should be embraced. But for Lisa Gimmy, a landscape architect who has spent the last 20 years designing gardens around Southern California, the idea of staying true to your surroundings goes far deeper. For her, garden design is a matter of seamlessly integrating inside and out, lifestyle and landscape — and her solutions have yielded gardens that are livable above all else.

Does making your landscaping “green” add value to your home?  Contact the appraisers at www.scappraisals.com for you value questions.

Many of the gardens she has designed, including the two featured here, belong to midcentury modern California homes. She’s a master at selecting plants and hardscape that not only work with the dry California climate but also with the horizontal lines and hard edges of modernist design. But Gimmy’s philosophy and approach to design is universal, and could just as easily apply to a farmhouse in the Midwest or New England.

More attuned to a home’s ethos and environment than her own personal vision, Gimmy does not have a signature style. It is possible to visit several of her gardens and not immediately realize they are by the same person. “There is not a look,” she says. “My gardens are more about the site, plants and views, and about finding a design that is in sync with the architecture and that allows the clients to live the life they imagine for themselves.”

Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/04/magazine/california-landscaping.html?ref=realestate