As resolutions for the coming year are being formed, such as healthier mental and physical habits, now is also the ideal time to set real estate resolutions as well. If purchasing a home or home renovations are in the plans for 2021, consider supporting the healthier and more energy efficient homes movement. Reflecting on the Central Oregon real estate market, we see homes that are achieving record high prices and inventory that remains consistently low. Bend and the surrounding areas have become even more desirable, offering a reprieve from quarantine in metropolitan areas, especially with increased ability to work remotely.
The distractions of everyday life can make it hard to focus on things such as energy efficiency and building homes to healthier standards. With less inventory, it's more difficult for buyers to speak with their purchase actions, as buyers are forced to make quick decisions within what's available. Energy efficiency and healthier homes are areas that are sometimes put on the mental back burner, but it's still important to keep them in mind.
Advancements in building technologies, with new high-performance construction and performance remodeling, have allowed builders, buyers and realtors to become more savvy to the benefits of living in healthier and more efficient homes that provide occupants with better indoor air quality and lower utility bills. Homes that are built with a tighter envelope will keep outdoor pollutants out and can mechanically bring in clean, filtered air. Utilizing energy efficient systems like the lighting, kitchen appliances and heating and cooling sources, combined with better insulation in the home, make the monthly utility bills shrink.
Reducing the overall footprint of the home is another way to live a more sustainable lifestyle. A smaller home uses less energy and requires fewer materials and maintenance. A well-designed small home can provide similar needs as a larger home by taking advantage of taller ceilings, making the most of the storage space and providing adequate light through proper window placement.
Jesse Russell is a local builder who's implementing many of these techniques in his new homes. Stemming from a dream of relocating back to Bend to minimize and build a tiny home, the company Hiatus Homes came to fruition. Its first development in southeast Bend was Hiatus Benham, consisting of 22 598-square-foot cottages, a 400-square footprint that uses loft areas to create almost 600 square feet of usable space. The next development is well underway on Bend's west side on the flanks of Awbrey Butte, offering amazing views of downtown, the Old Mill and Mt. Bachelor. Hiatus Roanoke consists of 10, 1,200 square-foot, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom Net-Zero-ready homes. With the addition of solar panels, these homes will offset their individual energy usage. By shrinking the footprint and using advanced insulation, airflow control and design techniques, these homes will keep people more comfortable while helping in the global fight against climate change through reduced energy consumption.