After a weekend of house searching and researching, we are still no closer to finding the perfect eco-friendly home. We have been looking for the perfect eco-friendly home for at least three weeks now. We want something that doesn’t harm the environment and something that doesn’t break the bank. Our current neighborhood doesn’t allow solar panels, so we have been looking at neighborhoods surrounding the area as close as five minutes away and 20 minutes out.
The first issue, I have noticed is the pricing of the neighborhoods that allow solar panels. The least expensive house in one of those neighborhoods is around 189,000. If you add in the 20000 for the solar upgrade you are looking at least 200,000 for the house. I would like to find a house around 120,000 to 150,000 thousand and then add all the eco-friendly addons. However, I have yet to find a neighborhood that allows them in the areas with cheaper housing. I am not debating the Green New Deal, but I really wonder how anyone would work that sort of thing out given the obstacles of finding eco-friendly neighborhoods. Some of the older houses would not be able to sustain the upgrades needed for solar panels even if the neighborhoods allowed the houses to do the necessary upgrades. Where would the money from the new roofs come in and the money for the panels? Perhaps, we need to start building more eco-friendly neighborhoods and slowly start moving people in that direction.
I have land in the country that would allow us to build, but it is at least four hours away which would take the children away from their friends. I am not trying to do that because the children need their support systems, so we have to find a peaceful medium. It is all a little confusing to be honest. We talk about going green, but there are many HOAs that frown upon the addons for solar enhancements. If we are going to get serious about going green we need to get serious about rewriting some of the rules outlined in HOAs across America.
I am having difficultly understanding why HOA groups are allowed to dictate what I can and can’t do in a house that I aim to buy. If I want to help make our environment better it is a good thing. So, at this point we are still looking and searching for that perfect neighborhood that offers the chance at eco-friendly living without reaching into the 200,000 range.
With the current issues in Saudi Arabia and the risk of going into another war, I think now is the time for all of us to get serious about going solar because we do not know what will happen in the future. Oil wars are not cheap and I do not want to be a casualty of war. So, I will continue looking.
As we are nearing the last leg of our lease we have to answer some really tough questions in regards to how we want to move forward. For starters, I want to keep my daughter in her school because I do not want to rip her away from her friends. I’ve been searching our neighborhood for weeks now and I have come to a sad conclusion. I do not think the historical district allows solar panels. The historical district is lovely, but going green really is the end goal for us. It is our way of doing what we can to help minimize our impact on climate deterioration. It starts with us!
So, it’s time to get real about the obstacles of installing solar panels. I love trees, but there are a lot of trees in the area, which in truth, would offer yet another challenge when it comes to installing solar panels. If we were to get a house and by some miracle get an okay for the panels, we would have to remove some of trees. By the looks of it, we would have to remove three or more. I know some people think that the solar panels will offset the removal of trees. However, it is still harming an ecosystem. So, it looks like we will have to look at houses near the medical district.
The area near the medical district is nice, and the houses are newer. We have seen houses with solar panels in at least one neighborhood in that direction. It would add about 10 minutes to my daughter’s school commute each morning and evening. Not to mention, the last time we checked the area out, I didn’t have to worry about creepy follower aggro. I just worry about the size of the backyard. I want to buy a small greenhouse and have room for my dogs. Another plus about that neighborhood is the fact that they are currently building homes.
So far, finding the right area for solar panels isn’t looking as easy as I thought it would be. A lot depends on the location, type of roof, health of the roof and landscaping surrounding the house.
Yesterday I posted an article about house hunting. Over the next month or two I will be looking at houses in my area and trying to get an idea of which houses seem eco-friendly. So, this morning after I grabbed a small bag of donut holes with my daughter, I decided to look at some of the houses in our area. We were trying to see if there were any solar panels in the area right across from us. From out of nowhere I see this black car stall and slowly start to follow us. SO NOT SLICK BY THE WAY.
It was a version of the car in the picture, just wider and less cool! So, moving on with the story. I didn’t let it stop me from looking because I am a woman on a mission. I have noticed that there aren’t any homes around me with solar panels. This makes me wonder if solar panels are able to be attached to these houses because I should be able to find at least one. I do not know if a HOA would outlaw them, but still the lack of solar panels makes me worry. I didn’t see any eco-friendly devices of any sort which takes away the magical feeling of living in the area. I do not want to live in an area that might not be friendly towards those who want to protect the environment.
Anyway, while we are driving slowly looking at the designs and the top of houses. I notice this car is still following me. It is closer now like uncomfortably close. Like on my bumper darn near close. I’m in my mom mobile which is a little clunker I purchased for local travel. It’s old and I might have a scratch here or there. My husband takes our JEEP to work so I use the clunker to pick up the kids and run errands.
Okay not that old, but you get the picture. Finally as we get ready to cross the road onto the other side of the neighborhood, the BMW decides to just stop tailing me and turn around. I was a little sad, I wanted them to follow me home, so I could offer some coffee and tea. Oh well, maybe I will get the chance tomorrow, because this little wagon stops for nobody!! Was it because I was black or because I drove an old clunker!!!! Who knows, but I’ll be back!!!!
My husband and I moved into this house a little over a year ago. When we first moved in our electric bill was around 250 per month. The 250 per month included an energy saving plan with TXU. Supposedly, the green plan would help save us money and lower our bill. After about six months of seeing very little savings we decided to move to another plan with TXU. This plan was supposed to save us more money because we wouldn’t be paying for energy on the weekends.
About a month or so after the plan we noticed that our bill started to get out of control. It was no longer in the 250 range, it was going into the 300 plus range. The weather was starting to change and the house was starting to get colder. So, I asked a TXU representative why were our bills so high. He told me that basically, I needed to mimic the outside weather. So, if it was cold outside, my house would need to be a representation of that in order to have a normal bill. I asked him are you saying we need to freeze, he said bundle up!
That was clearly not going to work with three children in my home. So, we started cutting back on other bills. No matter how we limited our usage, or what we did, the bill was still high. The area we were spending the most money in was still heating.
After my year ended, I linked up with Direct Energy. I have since noticed about a 200 dollar drop. TXU called me back and wanted to know what they could do in order to get our business back. They stated that the plan I was on prior to leaving was a plan that cost 14 cent per kilowatt. Average households pay about 12.7 to 13 per kilowatt, but TXU had us paying 14 cent. This was the reason my bill was never going down. I now pay 10 cent per kilowatt.
If you are having trouble with high energy bills, you need to talk to the company about the amount you are paying for your electricity. You shouldn’t have to freeze in your home in order to save money. Pay close attention to where the most energy is being allotted. In our case it wasn’t about computers, TVs or even appliances it was something we needed. Study your bill, and look back at your usage from a year ago. I hope your home stays a climate friendly zone.