Sustainability is understandably on more people’s minds than ever before, and the benefits of making it part of your home buying process extend beyond your carbon footprint.
It can be easy to feel slightly unsure about where to start when it comes to sustainability, but in truth it can often be a case of just making it part of your decision making. From choosing a car with lower emissions to reducing plastic use and food waste, the more people who buy into the idea, the greater impact it can have on the environment.
As well as that, these efforts can so often be of long-term financial benefit to you when done correctly. An electric car for example will remove the need to purchase fuel, and a well-insulated house will similarly help reduce the amount you need to spend on heating.
Speaking on the Through the Front Door podcast was Lorraine Fitzgerald, Head of Sustainability with Glenveagh Homes. As Lorraine puts it herself, prioritising the long-term costs of a house is something worth bearing in mind from the get-go.
Made in association with Glenveagh Homes, Through the Front Door is a weekly podcast that will seek to give listeners the tools they need to make their home buying experience go as smoothly as possible. It’s always important to love where you live, so have a look at some of the incredible developments becoming available all over Ireland by visiting the website here.
“We’re seeing the rising costs of fuel, we know that there are increasing costs in terms of carbon taxes and things like that. So, people need to consider the lifetime costs rather than just the top line costs of a house.
“When you’re thinking about purchasing a house, one house might be cheaper than the other, but let’s look out a little bit. What is the cost of your energy over the next while going to be, incorporating rising costs and the carbon taxes?
“Compare it to maybe a newer house that has a really good BER rating and really high standards,” Lorraine says.
Multimedia Ireland · Making sustainability part of your home buying process
Digging deeper into the numbers
Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased a home before, it is never a decision taken lightly. There are countless different factors at play, with the overall cost of course being one of the most prominent.
That said, Lorraine says it is important to extend your research on a house into factors that might not seem particularly obvious in the beginning. Not only can this help you make a more informed decision on what home is right for you, but it can also result in finding financial savings that would have otherwise slipped under the radar.
“Something else I tell people to consider is the cost of your mortgage. We’ve seen all the major banks now have ‘green mortgages,’ and that means you get a reduction in terms of your interest rate on a really energy efficient house.
“It’s probably the cheapest mortgage you can get at the moment. Pretty much all the major banks across the board are offering those green mortgages now,” she says.
As technology advances to let our homes become more sustainable, people have naturally grown to expect more effort in this regard. This is reflected in the unquestionably high standards modern homes need to achieve, be it BER or otherwise, and Lorraine says considerable progress has been made in the last few decades.
The better insulated your home is, the more comfortable it will be even in the depths of winter. Making sure whatever fuel you use heats up the home much more efficiently, it also means whatever heat is built up will remain inside to keep you and yours feeling as comfortable as possible.
“Energy efficiency regulation has moved on considerably in the last number of years, and we’re trying to go beyond that. Last year, 83pc of our homes were A2 rated, which is the second highest rating.
“We’re targeting 50pc being A1 rated for 2022,” she says.
The team at Glenveagh understands that buying a home is possibly the biggest decision you will ever make in your life. Their aim is to exceed your expectations in every way possible. To find out more about the buyer journey, visit the website here.