New homes are being built greener than ever.

New homes are being built greener than ever.

As resale inventory continues to be low in the Hampton Roads area, buying a new construction home might be a perfect option for your client. New homes are being built greener than ever with new technologies being introduced into the industry all the time.

With more options offered to potential buyers, new construction homes can help save money that they can put to other uses as well as help the environment. It starts from the foundation and
goes up from there! As many homes in the region are built on crawl foundations, these can lead to damp conditions, more termite issues, and unregulated temperatures under the home.

A growing trend is to have a raised solid foundation, which has the lifted appearance of a crawl space foundation but instead is a solid concrete base. Pipes are better temperature regulated and less likely to rust or bust that would be more likely on a crawl foundation. This foundation also has less settlement issues as there are no piers under the home. As one builder once explained, “There are no squeaky floors on a raised foundation.”

Properly-laid insulation in a home is another key component for the green power of the home. Insulation is measured in R-values, which is the capacity of the material to resist the everyday heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating power.

R-values can be found for walls, floors and ceilings with various types of insulation available. Additional foam core insulation on attic doors can also help keep the air from escaping into the attic and less insulated spaces.

Control over heating and cooling unit continues to become more user-friendly and can save buyers more money. The higher a SEER rating for the unit, the more efficient the unit is and lower the operation costs. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio and units with a SEER value of 18 or higher are now being the criteria for Energy Star most efficient ratings.

Consumers now have access to programmable and smart thermostats for better control of their home temperature and home energy costs. Some choose to set times for systems to run best with their schedules. Other programs can be run into smartphones that can detect your location.

One can choose to turn down their systems when they are away from their properties and when the system detects you within a certain vicinity of the property, the system will bring the temperature of the home to the preferred setting.

Working with a builder who is knowledgeable on trends is a winning factor for everyone. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) offers a Certified Green Professional designation for their builders and industry professionals. This requires builders to have a background in green building methods as well as the ability to reach consumers, without driving up construction costs.

Hampton Roads has over a dozen builders with this designation and they can be found on NAHB’s website at

As a REALTOR®, you can gain more knowledge about construction through the course “Anatomy of a Home,” which is taught twice a year. The class starts with an in-classroom session and is followed by a field trip to a new home under construction. You learn about what it takes to raise the sticks up in the air and what is behind the walls.

Local builder Jeff Ainslie of the Ainslie Group has taught the class for over 20 years and makes the construction lingo entertaining.

The New Homes Council will be hosting the next class on May 16 at HRRA, so join us to learn more about building your clients’ dream home.