Using Solar for Renewable Homes in Minneapolis

July 17, 2017

Why are so many homes overpriced right now? Well, part of the reason is that there’s an extremely limited inventory and it seems that because of that, people are just snatching at whatever they can get.  The competition is really intense and it’s tough to get a decent home for a decent price. But it doesn’t have to be that way – not if we incorporate better design and more renewable energy.

Just the other day, I looked at a new construction house that was listed for $600,000.  I couldn’t believe it.  It was a block off of 35 W with 2,500 square feet, and though it was spacious, many of the design details were problematic: there were little to no South side windows, and none of the bedrooms had light on more than one side. While details like this might not strike someone as important, in the long term they make a huge difference. Well-designed homes that are smaller can feel much larger and more welcoming and spacious than huge homes with poor lighting and almost too much open space.  What ends up happening is that a buyer pays an astronomical amount of money for something that they really don’t need.

You shouldn’t have to overpay for a home that just isn’t worth it. Instead, consider all the alternative options out there – you can build your own house and make it very small and energy efficient, which means far fewer utility bills, the opportunity to power your own electric car, and far less environmental waste and more clean air.I really can see this happening in Minneapolis, and I believe we can truly make a difference.

I think that on a larger scale, we also need to start thinking deeper about what we’re building and how it impacts not only our own lives, but the community and planet as a whole. Are we using designs that make for better living spaces? Are we using energy that is renewable with long-term positive potential? Are we building our homes with materials that aren’t wasteful and harmful to both the environment and our own health?

I was thinking this week about the iceberg that just broke off in Antarctica – for me, it was shocking, and I think we need to take it as a sign that we need to work together in whatever way we can to make housing more sustainable for both the short and long term (and to impact both our own lives and the planet). I believe we need to get on solar power, start investing in electric cars, and support the innovations that are coming from places like Tesla and people like Elon Musk, because that is the future and if we do that now, we’ll be able to help save the planet sooner. 

So if you’re looking for a new home, why not make it better – for the Earth and for your own pocketbook in the long run? It’s definitely worth it.