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Sharon Go, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA

What green or eco-friendly changes improve the value of a home? Share your top 3 tips and interesting stories.

Asked by Sharon Go, San Francisco, CA Mon Mar 30, 2009

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RE: ways around CFL's...

* There are some "instant on" ones now.
* Kelvins will tell you about the coloring of the light. If you look closely you can find some bulbs with Kelvins labeled. 2700 Kelvins comes pretty close to the light color you are used to from incandescent bulbs.
* Phillips now makes Halogena bulbs. They are energy efficient halogens.

I use some of each of these in my home and they work well. I purchased them all at either Lowe's or Home Depot so they are pretty readily available.

My last trick is that I mix the halogens, traditional CFL and instand on's. So for example in my kitchen I have 6 recessed cans. I have an instant on one in the socket right where you enter the room. Above the peninsula I have Halogena since these are task areas. I have traditional CFL's in the rest. The first 3 lights come on fast so your eye doesn't notice the last 3 flickering as they catch up. Every little bit of energy saved counts! Good luck until the LED's are more affordable!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 12, 2009
I am looking forward to seeing the LED lights! I have energy saver lights in my home too. When I was taking photos of family during the holidays, my shots came out with a yellow hue and were on the dark side. (I open up all the blinds and turn on all the lights when taking photos.) I am not a pro photog, but I am usually much more successful with the GE reveal bulbs or some other standard bulb.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
I wrote a blog on Trulia about how going green can cost a seller money, check it out.

Sorry to disagree, the very worst thing a seller can do is to stall those energy saver bulbs while the property is being shown. Afterward, go for it. But those bulbs throw the very worst light and take forever to get as bright as they can.

The big energy savers are replacing the windows, siding, exterior doors. If the furnace is not ready to be replaced, make sure you have had it properly serviced along with the central air conditioning. Have copies of those repair records on hand to show the buyer.

Also, a property with trees and natural shade is a real energy saver in the summer time. Consider installing a solar heating system for your pool if you need to warm it up.

More than 3 I know, but it's a start.

Have a great day!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
In this day and age there are so many way to really promote the ECO home lifestyle. I think the biggest and most valuable changes you could make that will show value to a new home buyer are....

1.Replace an old air-conditioner with a new unit with a SEER rating, add proper insulation and buy a programmable thermostat you can set to respond to your daily activities.

2.Buy Energy Star appliances through out the home and even consider a tankless water heater

3.Change your bulbs to energy efficient Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFBs)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Solar air heaters or geothermal heat -- Heat
Produce electricity: wind turbines, solar panels, etc -- Electricity
Don't flush too often: 3 gallons per flush of drinkable water on most toilets -- Water

notes: geothermal heat can be expensive to install (excavation and it might not interface with your current heating system). producing electricity can be expensive although some affordable options are becoming more available.

the other thing, to replace older systems can be perceived as not green in that it can create waste. to recycle, and better yet to upcycle, is green. for instance, we replaced a toilet recently, and threw away the old toilet; it's in the landfill right now. that was only a pseudo eco friendly option.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 7, 2009
I do agree with the both of you on the fact that CFB are not the besting looking lights around a home. I do think they throw off a cool white light and lack warmth. I personaly use them in my home and yes they do take some time for them to warm up. On another note I am also a photographer and the CFB are very similar to the color temperature of natural light. A properly lit room with CFB do a great job from a photography stand point.

I did a little bit of research and I think the next wave of lighting technology is L.E.D. lightbulbs. Very expensive at this point but it could be the next big thing!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
@ Tammy- thanks for sharing your opinion and reasoning.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 6, 2009
Hey Paul,

These are really thoughtful responses! Is there any way to go around it if I don't like fluorescent bulbs?

Thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
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