Thanks to Kria Lacher, a Portland, Oregon real estate agent who bills herself as "Portland's Green Realtor®", it's gotten a little easier to buy a green home... if you're looking in or around Portland.
According to this article, which appeared earlier this year in the Oregonian, Lacher worked with the Regional Multiple Listings Service, the database of homes for sale, to add fields that describe green certifications and other features, defined as those "that can contribute to energy efficiency and ecological design. Some of those features include whether the house has a high-efficiency furnace, cork or bamboo flooring and partial solar power."
Is it a perfect solution?
Not quite; some green houses aren't certified as energy efficient, and not all certified houses perform well. We'd like to see more data added to the listings, like a listing of energy use for the past several years, and the ability to search on these new criteria from the RMLS website; right now, the advanced search is only available to agents. But it's a great first step.
If you've looked for a green home lately, we'd like to hear about your experience. Was it easy to find one?