Sandy spurs sales increase in self-sufficient houses

Mon, 11/26/2012 - 14:09

Following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many moneyed buyers were motivated to purchase self-sufficient homes. More than 8 million people were left without power after the storm and some people felt enough was enough and contacted real estate agents or developers about purchasing a self-sufficient home.

Forbes Magazine reports that a self-sufficient property is a house that can run without a connection to normal utility lines for electricity, water or sewer.

"The most green thing you can do is build a house that will last 100 years with renewable energy that is protected from the types of infrastructure challenges we have seen with storms like Sandy," Maura McCarthy, co-founder and vice president of Blu Homes, told the news source.
New subdivisions of self-sufficient properties are being built across the nation - especially in storm prone areas. The green prefab homebuilder Blu Homes recently built a $1.6 million model home that features a heavy-gauge steel frame similar to those used in skyscrapers and is boasted to be hurricane resistant.

Self-sufficient properties can generate their own power using solar, wind or geothermal energy. In addition, builders and homeowners are opting for utilities such as heating and lighting that implement the use of energy-efficient technology like radiant heating.

Kevin Morrow, senior program manager for green building at the National Association of Home Builders, told the news source that "[Energy and durability] are the easiest [qualities] to communicate to buyers. If you are talking about durability, you are talking about less maintenance, and energy efficiency means lower utility bills."

Radiant heating provides a homeowner the ability to comfortably warm a property using less energy than traditional technologies. Heat is directly circulated throughout rooms and can be zoned according to space use so that in case of an emergency or to simply reduce energy costs a homeowner may choose to only heat one area of the house.