Green is key at this year’s builders’ show

The 2010 International Builders Show took place at the end of January in Las Vegas.  Four energy-efficient homes were on display that focused on using less energy, less water, and having cleaner indoor air.  I love this quote by Kevin Morrow, The National Association of Home Builder’s senior program manager of green building standards:

If these trends continue, “Keeping up with the Joneses” could take on a different spin as neighbors compete for the lowest power bill on the block!”

So what’s going to be new and more green?  Here’s some featured items:

Panasonic’s ventilation fan, the WhisperGreen FV-13VKM2.  It features dual motors, an energy-efficient motor to improve air quality. 

Rainwater Collection Solutions Inc. has the Original Rainwater Pillow.  This is designed to collect rainwater and is stored horizontally, such as under a deck or porch.

Hoping to reduce energy costs, BaySystemsTM is combining an HVAC system with spray foam insulation installed by an energywise Preferred Contractor to keep your utility bills lower.

EcoStar® has a premium line of synthetic slate and shake roofing tiles manufactured with 80% post-industrial recycled materials.

Sommer USA happily showcases their garage door opener, the quietest in the world.  It’s stronger than a chain but quieter than a belt drive.

I’ve talked about low VOC paint before, great for people with allergies.  Sherwin-Williams was on hand to promote their zero-VOC, low-odor paint. 

Here is a list of even more products that were featured this year: CLICK HERE.

More information on the show can be found here and here.  I’d love to know what new energy-efficient products you’d like to see in the future.  Please visit me online or leave me a comment below.

Finding the good news in this economy

Everyone always wants to hear some good news that can be found with this troubled economy.  The  National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) just completed a study that nationwide housing affordability has reached its highest level in five years at the end of 2008. 

Of all the homes that were sold in the last quarter of 2008, 62.4% of them were affordable to families that were earning the national median income of $61,50o a year.  In the third quarter of 2008, only 56.1% of homes met that criteria, and in the final quarter of 2007, that percentage was only 46.6%.  house-on-money-749529

So what’s causing this change?  Obviously, lower home prices to get homes sold more quickly among the massive inventory as well as decreased mortgage interest rates.  National Association of Home Builders Chairman Joe Robson said that he hopes the new tax credit and government legislation will help incent more buyers to purchase homes.

Indianapolis, Indiana came in as the most affordable city in the country.  It’s actually been first on the list for the past 14 years.  Other areas were: Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan; Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania.; Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Michigan; and Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan.

At the bottom of the list (the least affordable) was New York-White Plains-Wayne, New York-New Jersey, where just under 14 percent of all homes sold during the period were affordable to those earning the median income of $63,000.  Other areas included San Francisco, California; Nassau-Suffolk, New York; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California; and Miami, Florida.

For the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area, 56.8% of homes in the final quarter of 2008 were affordable.  We ranked 164th nationally. 

Click here to download a complete list.  More information can be found in this article.

Are you ready to make that home purchase in the Chicagoland area?  Please visit me online for assistance.