as well as http://www.buildinggreen.com; West Coast Green was an exciting event last year and should be even bigger this year with more green home building products exhibited. I'd also highly recommend http://www.greenbuildingblocks.com which is a resource to find appliances and other home products. You could consider purchasing a home and greening it yourself with new appliances and such. Good luck!
If you are interested in Green (eco-friendly) buildings, a good place to look will be the city of Novato in Marin county (north bay).
We are really big on nature, green, econ friend, ; sustainable is another buzz word; even the schools are going green. . .
We have several green builders. A new small subdivision (Virginia Grove with starter price new homes, completed last year, just recently sold out. http://www.marinij.com/ci_8121362.
For higher end properties, Olive Ridge is a good place to go, built by one fo the best quality builders, the houses kind of like an oasis sitting in the middle of a marsh with distant hill views right on a preserved marshland with gorgeous hill views. There are 19 homes in the development, 12 sold, only 7 left.
Best way to find ecofriendly home listings? Ask a local realtor who understand the housing supply well and let them find the green builidngs for you.
I have been leading this effort for the Board and been working with Cal Broomhead and Jared Blumenfeld of the DOE. The system will soon be part of the Transfer Disclosure Statement. In the meantime you, as a buyer Caroline, will have to look in the marketing remarks for whatever features the seller claims to have made.
I have a follow up question though. If the choice for you was two properties that were not identical, because most properties in SF are not, what would you use as the deciding criteria? Can you rate them for us? Carbon footprint, location, view, proximity to a cool neighborhood, schools, transportation etc.
A good realtor or even a good search for some key words will give you the answer -- In this day and age where the buzz is about being green, you can bet you're bottom dollar that the advertising for the home will "Scream" about how "GREEN" it is. I could probably find a couple in the MLS and point you to them.
And because "GREEN" homes are a newer concept, you can also bet the price will reflect the concept at a premium. Drop me a ine in private and I'd be happy to point you in the right direction. There have only been a handful that have been built so far.
Michael Ackerman, Zephyr Real Estate "We're all about San Francisco"
The Eco-Broker designation is a series of training seminars that teach agents how to market the property that is built that way. When we were discussing the rating system I mentioned earlier we looked at this designation for agents. First they misuse the term â€œbrokerâ€. In our industry a broker has a higher level of license then sales agents. The eco-broker designation is not reserved for brokers. Also they say in their literature that they are not recognized by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and go on to say that NAR doesn't recognize any third party designations, which is factually incorrect.
When we had the recent West Coast Green convention in SF I attended a class on LEED building and marketing of eco-friendly homes. I'd say it was interesting but the focus of the green building industry is new construction. As a former construction manager and life-long eco guy I'm disappointed with the retrofit market. I have a neighbor who has added solar, double paned windows and if I was marketing his home Iâ€™d be able to market those features and the benefit associated.
There was a beautiful home sold a few years ago on Clipper St. Rain catchment systems, it had everything. The builder was telling me about the difficulty he had in getting permits and that some of the features he wanted to include had never gone through the planning or building department before.
Things have changed quite a bit in the past few years. Look for more in the future and contact the Department of the Environment (SFgov.org) for more information on the rating system.
You should talk to my colleague, Jennifer Smith @ Hill & Co. Real Estate. She knows alot about all of this and is certified as well. You can reach her at 415-921-6000 or 415-321-4237.
One thing to remember is that ecofriendly materials are not exactly inexpensive. The more ecofriendly resources that are used in a home or condo, the more expense it adds to the price of the home, and the more a home seller will use that distinction to market his/her home at a premium. Ecofriendly homes tend to stand out against their neighborhood counterparts and thus, bring unique values.
Hope this helps!
Try, "green, eco friendly, recycled, solar, etc" Think of the buzz words. You can save a search and it will automatically email you new homes the day they come on the market.
Michael is right. Unfortunately, the MLS is not offering us that search criteria as yet. There are a very small handful of Realtors that specialize in green homes.
Hopefully, more and more people will go green and we will have the capability of searching for only green homes.