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Buying a home and looking for more in a home builder

Posted Thursday, March 16, 2006

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This year an estimated 2 million Americans are expected to build a new home. As with any home decision, the choice of a home builder will largely be based on three popular criteria: neighborhood location, cost and design style.

What if a home builder could satisfy those needs and surpass them while making a difference in your home, pocket, environment and community? A company’s responsibility to you and your community should be at the top of every home buyer’s checklist.

What makes a responsible home builder?

Responsible home builders recognize the importance of corporate stewardship, which includes protection of our natural resources and endangered lands that might otherwise be developed. Last year, almost 1.5 million new single-family homes were built in the United States, many of them on undeveloped land. Development is good for communities and good for the economy, but home builders must also “do the right thing” by making long-term leadership and financial commitments to forward-thinking environmental initiatives.

The final commitment is up to the home buyer: support responsible builders. By selecting a responsible builder, you are making an investment in your new home and a smart decision that can have impact on your local community, environment and important issues.

The top four tips to help you select a responsible builder are:

* Community involvement. Responsible home builders build communities and invest in them. Just as you are investing in a home, consider a home builder that gives back to the community through financial contributions and volunteer time. Consider a home builder that supports initiatives that provide homes for our nation’s less fortunate.

* Application of responsible construction practices and alternate materials. Responsible home builders pursue the use of alternate building materials that make homes more affordable and often more energy efficient, and also promote environmental integrity by reducing the use of natural raw materials. Examples include use of composite sheathing and underlayments instead of plywood, metal and fiberglass doors, steel and vinyl windows, and laminated veneer lumber, beams and finger joint studs instead of using virgin wood.

* Energy efficient construction. Homes that save energy are good for your budget and for the environment. A responsible home builder offers energy efficient options that will boost your home’s value and, through energy savings, eventually pay for themselves. Responsibility doesn’t end with the construction of the home. Industry leaders actively participate in and support federal, state and private research projects focusing on new energy savings efficiencies for the home buyer, such as indoor air quality, durability and intelligent wiring.

* Ensure sustainable, well-managed forest resources. Home construction does require wood, but trees can be planted to replace the ones that are harvested. Look for builders who are committed to giving preference to suppliers of wood products who subscribe to sustainable forestry management and certification programs.

When considering the company that will build your new home, be sure you select a responsible builder. Your choice has an impact well beyond the walls of your new home.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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