A Big Home with a Small Footprint – 133 Fairfield Built by Green Builders

133 Fairfield Court was built in 2007 by Green Builders, Inc. A few of the money-saving features include a tankless water heater, spray foam insulation, and energy star appliances.  As an example of the potential savings, this 2,192-sf eco-friendly home has a 2011 average electric bill of $65/month!  Considering the excessive heat wave that Austin just experienced, that is a significant savings compared to other homes without spray foam insulation.  Most “traditional” homes could have bills 2-3 times this amount and every $50/month in savings is equal to another $10,000 in your loan amount.  Consider this: You can buy an inferior home for the same amount of money, but if you consider the true cost of ownership and factor in your low utility bills, you will  end up paying less monthly for a better home!  Prove it to me you say?  Well, here’s an example from Edward, who also lives in a Green Builder home.  Click this link to read the article on his experience.

Other green features include low VOC paint, varnish, and adhesives, upgraded recycled carpet, stainless Tresca countertops, drought-resistant landscaping, rain water collection system, and Low-E windows.  This is a rare find as Green Builders no longer builds in Georgetown Village.  133 Fairfield allows you to enjoy the benefits of enormous eco-saving efforts in this home, and save money on utility bills!

Rare Green Builders home with 24/7 views of the park.

Not only can your wallet feel good about this home, so can your eyes as you look out your window to a beautifully treed park across the street.  Georgetown Village is filled with hike and bike trails, trees, and benches, but not every home has one within ten steps of their front door.  In fact, only nine other homes on Fairfield Court share this park.  It’s no wonder that out of nine total real estate transactions on this street, eight of the homes averaged under 60 days on the market!  This is a great opportunity to own a home in Georgetown Village that is green for the environment and faces a park – a rare combination!

From your door to this trail in under 10 seconds!

The 2,192-sf home boasts a huge kitchen and living area, three big bedrooms with walk-in closets, a separate game room, detached garage, ample back yard space, front row seats to the park, and a 400-sf space above the garage that can be finished out to meet any of your needs – 4th bedroom or guest accommodations, executive suite or office, media room or home theater, game room or play room, heated and cooled storage, etc.  The huge space makes this home a perfect fit for any buyer.  Finishing out this space can add instant equity to your home!

Uncage your creative self with 400 sf of workable space!

This home is not just designed to save you energy, but also time.  If you have a load of laundry sitting in your master bedroom closet, simply open up the “secret” door that leads to the laundry room and dump it in the washing machine!  These type of features are normally seen in custom homes that cost three times as much!

For a reduced price of $211,900, you get panoramic park views, an energy-saving home, and a space above the garage that can be easily expanded for an extra 400 sf of living space.

See below for more information, pictures, and video and contact us if you have any questions.

 

133 Fairfield – Floor plan
133 Fairfield – Energy Efficient Home
133 Fairfield – Upgrades
133 Fairfield – Lot Title Survey
133 Fairfield – Inspection Report – All items repaired by Green Builders except for toilet (seller) and AFCI
133 Fairfield – Sellers Disclosure

Not just hype – Green building pays off

Green Building – Should you believe the hype?
hype-mfp-energy-drink-iiThere’s been a lot of hype surrounding green building practices lately.  Save energy, save the earth and feel good about yourself for making a difference for the next generation.  What’s not to love?  Especially if you can save money at the same time!  Well, last year I decided to test the waters with my own green building experience.  I decided to move into a home built by Green Builders in Georgetown Village and got my Ecobroker certification to learn more about the industry and help others through the process of “going green.”

After 12 months of living in a green home, I decided to compare my utility bills with the previous year of living in a “non-green” home and see if there was a noticeable difference.  Keep in mind that this blog post will only focus on the financial benefits, but green building also benefits the environment and the health of your family.  Before I get into the results, there are a few details I need to share with you first:

1.  My previous home was on 115 Village Park Drive (115 VP) and I only moved 5 houses down to 125 Village Park Drive (125 VP) – Location is pretty much the same (Georgetown Village), and so all the climate and home positioning factors are relatively equal.

2.  I compared the time frame of August 2007 – July 2008 for 115 VP with August 2008 – July 2009 for 125 VP – The 2008 summer was pretty dang hot….but anybody can tell you that the 2009 summer was even worse, not to mention a pretty bad drought that we’ve been having too!

3.  For utility consumption purposes, my family size stayed the same:  Just Me, my wife and 3 rascals under the age of 5.

4.  Lastly (here’s the big one); the home on 115 VP drive is a 2000 SF, SINGLE STORY and my new home on 125 VP drive is a 2800 SF, TWO STORY – a home that is 40% larger!

Comparing the Gas Bill

Gas

Both of my homes used used gas for the stove, furnace and water heater.  125 VP had a slight advantage in efficiency because the home was built in 2008 and 115 VP was built in 2002.  My home on 115 VP used a traditional water heater that would maintain the temperature at a fairly consistent temperature.  The home on 125 VP uses a tankless water heater so it heats water on demand.  I also have a 50 gallon traditional water heater that is dedicated to my 400 SF home office above my garage, but I hardly ever use hot water up there.  So despite the fact that I have 2 water heaters, 1.5 more bathrooms and 800 extra SF more in my newer home, I still ended up spending only $359 over a 12 month period compared to $521 for 115 VP.  A savings of $162/year.

Winner:  125 VP

Comparing the Electric Bill

So how did my larger 125 VP home use 20% less electricity then 115 VP?  Well, for one, all of the bulbs in that home are compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).  According to the Energy Star website, CFL’s use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs.  This is an easy upgrade for any homeowner to do.  Word of warning though, you’ll notice that the cost of these bulbs are MUCH higher.  Sure, they’ll boast that the CFL lasts 7 years or longer and that might be a good justification, but as of the 12 month mark, I had 4 of my CFLs go out on me already.  I also purchased a more efficient refrigerator, and a front loading washer/dryer set for my new home.  The HVAC unit in my Green Builder home also went up in efficiency to a minimum of 14 seer.  These appliances can make a significant difference in reducing energy consumption.

Another HUGE advantage that 125 VP has is that the insulation is spray foam.  You can go up in the attic at 125 VP during a 100+ degree summer day and you won’t feel like you’re in an oven.  In fact, you might feel comfortable enough to play a game of checkers up there.  The foam does an amazing job keeping cool air in and hot air out during the summer so that my HVAC doesn’t have to work as hard.  The home’s exterior is a white Austin stone, which is better at reflecting heat then the red brick on my 115 VP home.  In order to minimize direct sunlight shining directly into the home, Green Builders constructs their windows higher up and extends the roofline over the home further out.  The result: I spent $1304 for 125 VP and $1418 for 115 VP, a savings of $114/year.

Winner:  125 VP

Comparing the Water Bill

125 VP has low-flow toilets and showerheads, a 53 gallon rain collection barrel, drought-tolerant landscaping and more efficient appliances.  115 VP has a smaller yard.  Even though my grass is looking pretty ugly over at the 125 VP home, at least I can feel satisfied that I spent less on my water bill then I did at my 115 VP home!  In fact, it was a measly $16/year less ($378 versus $394), but still a win for green building!

Winner:  125 VP

Conclusion:

Living in 125 VP saved me money and usage on all three utilities:  Gas, Electric and Water.  A total savings of almost $300/year or $25/month!  However, keep in mind the home is 40% larger and still managed a savings.  At a utility cost of $0.73/SF/year, that would mean that if I didn’t upgrade and just moved into a 2000 SF green home, my utility costs would only be $1458/year.  115 VP, a 2000 SF home, cost me $2333/year!  That’s a difference of $875/year or $73/month.

This $73/month could justify a homeowner paying $10,000 more for a green home and keep his cost of ownership (house payment and utilities) pretty much the same.  Another way to look at it is this:  If you are going to invest $10,000 to achieve a savings of $875/year, you might want to make sure you live in the home long enough to reap the financial benefits.

If you’re considering a purchase of a green home or doing energy efficient upgrades, tap into my Georgetown Texas real estate expertise and give me a call or share your experiences in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!

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Green Builders in Georgetown Village – Their newest customer

Craftsman-style home by Green Builders in Georgetown Texas

A few weeks ago, I helped one of my favorite clients, Rod and Carol, purchase a home by Green Builders in my neighborhood Georgetown Village. This was very special for me because it now meant that I have sold every major builder that has been built in this neighborhood! That would include Perry Homes, Bowen Homes and Origin Homes; which are the current builders, and also some past builders like David Weekley, Lennar and Morrison. That seems like a lot of builders for a small neighborhood of around 500 homes like Georgetown Village, but as we move forward, it seems as though only Green Builders and Perry Homes will be doing the bulk of the building.

After I showed the home to Rod and Carol I jokingly told them that I liked the floorplan so much that if they didn’t buy it, I would! The funny thing is, soon after they closed on the home, a contract on this home (pictured above) fell through and it came back on the market. It was the same exact floorplan as the one I had sold to Rod and Carol! So after a few days of negotiation, I am now the future owner of a Green Builders home! The beauty of this is that it’s just 5 houses down on my same street…so no moving truck needed:)

My wife is pretty excited because we gain an extra bedroom and lots more space. It may not look very large, but it’s 2400 SF and has 4 bedrooms, a gameroom, a study and a large studio above the garage which adds an additional 400 SF.

This studio is the main reason we’re moving. I’ve been blessed to be able to work from home, but the downside is that it’s hard to focus and concentrate with 3 kids running around in the home! Now, I can bring clients to my office without having to do the “5 minute house clean-up”, I can better focus on my work, and I’ll be better able to STAY AWAY from work when I’m with the family. I mean, what good is it to work from home yet not gain any additional quality time with the family?

So, here’s to HIGHER quality family time and LOWER energy bills!

If you have an experience with Green Builders please share them with me on this post! This blog is boring without any outside feedback and what you have to contribute can help somebody else!

Check out my home video for the tour:

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