What makes a home green

REALTORS should know how to identify a green home for their clients. Below is a list of characteristics from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to look for when searching for your buyer’s perfect home. These things will help your buyer save money and the environment. To see the full list, click here.

Location - A green home should not disrupt wildlife and should be in a densely populated area close to public transportation.

Size - Generally, smaller homes are automatically greener.

Design - A green home should allow for plenty of natural light to enter the interior so as to reduce the need for electrical lights. Its design should keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Building materials - Look for homes with non-toxic building materials and furnishings.

Insulation - A non-toxic insulation will help prevent cool air leakage in the summer and warm air leakage in the winter, saving your buyer a significant amount of money in utility costs.

Windows and doors - The USGBC suggests looking for EnergyStar rated windows and doors. Also, make sure they are sealed tightly to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.

Energy efficiency - EnergyStar rated lights, heating and cooling, and water systems.

Renewable energy - The home should be able to produce some of its own energy, such as the use of photovoltaic systems (solar panels).

Water efficiency - A green home has a water-conserving irrigation system and water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Look for a rainwater collection and storage system.

Indoor environmental quality - There should be plenty of natural light and ventilation.

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Find out more about the all-new Graduate REALTOR Institute (GRI)

The all-new GRI designation is the foundation for your success. It's designed to: increase your productivity; reduce your risk; maximize your resources; and provide solutions to your toughest challenges. Find out more and get started taking classes by visiting the GRI designation page of To apply for your GRI designation once you've satisfied all requirements, contact NYSAR directly at 800-239-4432. Please note that a $25 application fee applies. Need financial assistance? Click here for information on REALTOR scholarships.