Sustainable Living with Sandy Austin

In Asheville, we like our cars with low emissions, our restaurants with local produce, and our power solar. In other words, we like things green. Why should our houses be any different? 

“A green home is one of the best investments a buyer can make,” says local Residential Broker Associate with Beverly-Hanks & Associates—and Asheville native—Sandy Austin. Green homes can come with a steeper price tag than traditional builds, but Austin points out the benefits are worth the extra pennies, as long as you know what you’re buying and why. 

“Buyer education is an extremely important component when selling a green home,” Austin explains. “Buyers must understand the benefits before they can see value in the home. Green home buyers are often willing to pay higher up-front prices in order to reap the short and long term benefits of a green home.” Realtors like Austin understand those features and benefits, and can translate them into laymen’s for befuddled buyers.  

The jargon and price can be particularly bewildering for buyers because green building is still such a new concept—even in a sustainable haven like Asheville. “It’s important for me to work closely with appraisers when they are evaluating the energy efficiency and high performance additions of a dwelling’s green improvements,” Austin says. “Often, there is an absence of comparable sales, so appraisers must summarize the costs above a code-built house.”

Once you’ve swallowed the pill of a higher price, you can begin to appreciate the many benefits of a green house (many of which may make up for that initial investment). Take, for example, this North Asheville home (a recent sale by Austin herself). The environment-friendly aspects of this house are many, and the perks plentiful. 

In a city and time where living sustainably is more important than ever, living green is a literal reality.