SOURCE: KJM Real Estate

February 06, 2007 17:08 ET

How Do You Green Your Home and Increase Its Value?

KJM Real Estate Brokers Teach Green Real Estate 101

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 6, 2007 -- In the age of environmental awareness, greening your home is the next frontier. The question is how do you green your house and what are the benefits? The answer is, it is easier than you think. Greening your home is affordable, good for the environment, increases its value, lowers your utility bills and makes it a healthier place for your family to live.

"With the home sales market becoming more competitive, greening your home is a way for sellers to set their property apart while adding value," says KJ Marmon, President and Broker of KJM Real Estate, one of the first green real estate companies in the US. "People are more eco-conscious than ever, which is creating a growing demand for homes with green features amongst buyers as well." For this reason, the agents at KJM are trained to be green consultants, knowledgeable in environmental issues, energy efficient technologies, sustainable energy choices and green mortgage options. They are all members of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and many of them are also certified EcoBrokers®.

"The key to greening your home is knowledge," Marmon explains. "For example, people may look at the price of solar energy systems and think they are too expensive. However, if you are knowledgeable about the various manufacturers, government tax rebates and incentives and the resulting savings in energy costs, you can recoup your solar investment in just a few years." Brian Back, Founding Editor of Sustainable Industries Journal wrote in the Top Green Building Products 2006 supplement stated that "thanks to the wildly successful growth of green building certification over the past decade, we've entered an era where new, innovative building materials are increasingly crucial to design practice. Developers everywhere are realizing the economic advantages of green building in a market where mindless energy consumption and excessive waste are a major liability." According to an article published by the National Association of Home Builders, builders must consider more than just energy efficiency; they must also consider performance, reliability and durability when building green homes. Marmon agrees that this is what most people want in their homes.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air quality on average. The major cause is volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in most wall paints, stains and glues. By switching to low or no-VOC paints, formaldehyde free building materials and other greener, healthier products, people can improve air quality and reduce allergic and asthmatic reactions.

Many people want to make healthier, greener choices for their own homes, but they don't know where to begin. Marmon and his team of agents at KJM will be teaching "Green Real Estate 101" classes to both real estate brokers and consumers. The class for real estate agents, held at the Beverly Hills Greater Los Angeles Association of REALTORS® (BH/GLAAR), starts in June of 2007. Marmon and his team developed a curriculum to teach agents about the meaning of green real estate and instruct them on the value, benefits and certifications of green housing. They will also teach the class for consumers at the KJM offices in Beverly Hills, CA where they will provide consumers with specific ideas on how they can make their homes healthier and easier on the environment. This consumer class will utilize elements from their Green Home Resource Center, such as samples eco-friendly flooring, countertops, paints and other products, as well as lists of service providers who use green practices.

To make your home healthier and more eco-friendly, the KJM team recommends the following:

--  Use eco-friendly products to renovate your home, including bamboo
    flooring, real wood veneer laminates, clay plaster, and low or no-VOC
    (volatile organic compound) paints.
--  Switch to compact fluorescent lights since they use 66 percent less
    energy than regular bulbs and last fifteen times longer.
--  Place a plant every few hundred square feet within your home to
    improve the air quality significantly.
--  Fix leaking faucets to save water -- one drop per second can waste 165
    gallons per month.
--  Use appliances with the Energy Star label.
--  Install ceiling fans to reduce energy waste and save money on heating
    and cooling bills.
--  Turn off your air conditioning for at least three hours during the day
    in summer months.
--  Use double-paned windows to retain heat and air-conditioned cooled
    air. (Most homes lose 15 to 20 percent of their heat and cooled air through
    air ducts.)
--  Use a tankless water heater to reduce your energy bills and have
    access to hot water instantly.
Marmon and the KJM agents are also developing a green consulting service to help home owners green their homes for investment or renovation purposes. "One of the best things people can do for themselves and the planet is to make sure their homes are as healthy and environmentally friendly as possible," said Marmon, who is currently greening his own investment property in Venice, Calif. "My goal is to educate agents and consumers on choices and introduce them to the products and service providers who can make greener renovations and new home construction as simple and cost-effective as possible."

The KJM office stays green with a recycling program and waste reduction and energy conservation practices. Anyone can visit the Green Building Resource Center at KJM Real Estate, located at 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 99, Beverly Hills, Calif. For more information on KJM Real Estate, visit or call 310-432-7200.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Lisa Elia Public Relations
    phone: 310-479-0216
    e-mail: Email Contact