Â I'm a simple guy, really. Â I love a good project - dirty hands, power Â tools, sawdust, the celebratory beer...and when I can save the Â planet at the same time, well, so much the better.
Â So I've found my new happy place -Â TreeHouseÂ in the Westgate Â Shopping Center (between Central Market & the movie theater). Â So before I became the power real estate broker I am today, I built Â homes (okay, still do) - and Green homes at that. Â Why? Â Simply Â it's a better way to build - it's designing & building the home to Â work efficiently, producing a comfortable & healthy indoor & Â outdoor environment. Â And in the end, it saves money. Â Sure, there Â are the feel-good reasons too (which are valid), but I'm more about appealing to the practical side.
Â Which is why I'm so excited with the newly opened TreeHouse - Â they seem to understand that presenting this approach to home building/home improvement will only be successful using common sense and rather than with aÂ wag-of-the-fingerÂ or a tug of the heartstrings. Â They stress education without the pretense, making it approachable & understandable. Â Hell, I don't even feel (that) bad about parking my SUV out in front of the store.
So TreeHouse is 25,000 sf of "smart" home improvement goodness, from no-VOC paint to cork flooring, water-sense toilets to solar panels, windows to kitchen cabinets, cleaning products to SIP panels, rainwater collection to housewares. Â And there's even an idea center to explain what any of that means. Â Each time I've been there the staff has been nothing but helpful, passionate, and eager to show off their new pride & joy. Â And I've already met 3 out of the 4 owners in only 2 visits...which is very cool.
All the products are pre-screened for sustainability, healthiness, performance, and corporate responsibility so you don't need to spend your time label surfing. Â And soon they'll be servingÂ Progress Coffee, so I'll never have to leave (sorry, honey.)
I'm most excited about being able to see, touch, and test all these products that are not stocked in the normal home improvement stores. Â It's hard to convince a client (or yourself) of a green product with a grainy website picture and a guaranteed 2 month leadtime. Â Now it's finally easy to see that green/sustainable/smart (whatever you want to call it) can be comfortable, beautiful, functional, and economical (and in stock.)
Now the only hard part is figuring out which project is next...
Rob Albertson is a Realtor/EcoBroker and proud South Austinite for over 10 years. Â He specializes inÂ South Austin HomesÂ for Austin Fine Properties, a Private Label Realty Company, and can be reached at 512.653.8939 or email@example.com.