The age-old mantra for real estate says it all. But when it comes to a green strategy for saving money, the location can have a profound effect on your energy bottom line. How?
When designing a new home, many people consider the energy consumption of their appliances, the insulation of their homes and the efficiency ratings of their heating and air conditioning systems.
But a large factor is how your new home fits within your life. Its distance to your work, your community, schools, hospitals, recreation and retail can dramatically affect your energy consumption. When looking at a location, many people lose sight of the driving distances from amenities.
When deciding on a location, many people find it helpful to keep a log of daily and weekly activities including the mileage to and from each destination. An iPhone app called Road Trip (Darren Stone, $4.99) might be a helpful tool to track your mileage.
When considering the new location, scout around the immediate and near-distance area to see if there are alternative outlets for certain activities. Calculate the amount of time and mileage for your commute to work each week. Recalculate what the commute costs might entail if the cost of gas increased by a dollar per gallon. Research any public transportation options, including carpooling, school buses, airports, train and bus routes. If you’re building your retirement home, include any projected hobbies or activities that might kick into effect upon retirement. Activities many retirees consider might include a return to college, sports such as golf or tennis or extensive travel.
Consider too the proximity to the fiber optic grid. If you are able to reduce some of the physical errands by shopping on the internet rather than driving, a more remote location on the grid might actually work quite well. Many remote locations are only accessible by dialup or satellite internet service.