A Home Inspector’s Weblog by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck

exploring homes and the lives in them around Houston

Archive for April, 2009

A Little HOPE in Houston while Going Green

This past week the Houston Association Realtors announced its initiative to help Houston’s HOPE program by listing those homes for sale on the MLS. I know many Realtors have been involved with this program, but it is nice to see this renewed commitment by the real estate community in helping to improve our neighborhoods. HOPE focuses on rebuilding neglected neighborhoods while helping families into homes. The program is open to first time and low income home buyers, and there are additional incentives for teachers, fire fighters, and police officers. When you couple the money you could receive through HOPE and the tax credit for home buyers, this turns out to be an extraordinarily fantastic deal. One of my favorite aspects of the program is that it teams up with builders to produce green homes for these families. These are not homes where the builder slaps on the green label to make them attractive to buyers; the homes meet Houston’s Green Building Initiative, which follows the guide lines established for building a green home as laid out in the ANSI 700 and the International Residential code. If you wish to read my thoughts on the program in further detail, you can see what I have written about Houston’s Hope program, which will provide you with more information about taking advantage of it. I have been writing a bit about converting an existing home to include green features. I have seen where my posts on this topic inspired others to take my ideas to discuss on their own. I think that this is great. If you are not buying a home, you should consider how you can add green features; hopefully this past Earth Day may have inspired you. Yesterday, I posted an article that looks at the solar lights that can be used to brighten spots around your home at night. This post has already been read by quite a few people, so you may want to check it out. If you are interested in finding some of those lights, CSN Lighting has a good selection, with great customer service from my experience. Soon I will be buying the solar light that can be turned on and off for my garage. (I was working on taking some solar light panels apart to see if I could make my own, then I found one there, which will serve my needs in the garage and shed). Have a little HOPE in Houston, and go green in your home.