Every day we read more about global warming, the rapid consumption of the earth’s non-renewable resources, and the great cost of pollution. We’re also realising that we as individuals have a choice about how much we contribute to this, and perhaps a responsibility to live our lives in a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly manner. One way of doing this is to live in an eco-home – either a dwelling specifically built with ecologically sustainable principles in mind, or one that has been converted to save energy and reduce waste. However, whether you’re building your own home or just buying a property, you’ll almost certainly need a mortgage. In addition, going green can bring in many additional factors that will definitely influence your choice of mortgage provider.
Choosing a mortgage
An increasing number of companies now offer a green mortgage to encourage more energy efficient, environmentally sound homes. Some even plant trees every year in your name, in order to offset the output of your home, effectively rendering it carbon neutral.
To qualify for a green mortgage you generally have to incorporate some energy saving features in your home. If you’re buying an existing property, this could include extra insulation and draught proofing, double-glazing and updating your boiler. You might also want to consider a way of generating your own power, using a source of micro-generation like solar panels or wind turbines.
Solar panels and insurance cover
Solar panels on your roof are a great way to reduce your electricity bill and to help the planet, by generating your own renewable, clean power. The government will even pay you for the energy produced under the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) scheme. Nevertheless, not all mortgage providers will lend on a home with solar panels, and you should also check the specific conditions of your home insurance cover.
Building your own home from scratch can be the best way to make sure that it’s as environmentally friendly as possible. Though this can seem daunting, building an eco-home or renovating a derelict property can be cheaper than buying new. Again, not all mortgage providers will finance the building of a new house, due to the risk and uncertainty involved. Making guarantees that you will build the home on sustainable, ecological principles can actually encourage mortgage lenders however, and you can also benefit from a number of grants and government schemes designed to encourage energy efficient properties.
Doing your research and shopping around is the key. Be clear as to your mortgage requirements, and make sure that you get the right mortgage from the right provider – at the right price. Along with your mortgage, you should also make sure that you have a comprehensive insurance policy that’s right for you. Home insurance and mortgage life insurance are essential in case of unforeseen misfortune, and this is especially true if you are constructing your own eco-home.
By living sustainably and cutting consumption levels, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint and save money too. Increasingly, mortgage providers and insurance companies are coming round to the eco-friendly point of view, and there are some great deals out there if you keep searching, and don’t compromise on your dream eco-home.