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Culture » Take Me Home

Wellness in Real Estate

Green buildings and green realtors support healthier lifestyles

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The numbers don't lie: Personal and community wellness is trending. The Global Wellness Institute states that the entire wellness market grew 12.8% between the years 2015 and 2017. It's still on the rise, and is currently valued at a $134 billion market internationally. More and more of the population is moving toward a healthier lifestyle, incorporating an improved diet and exercise into the daily routine.

This concept of wellness is spreading throughout the housing industry, too. Builders and developers are cashing in on the shift toward a more sustainable and healthy building style. Wellness-focused real estate developers concentrate on optimizing the occupants' physical and mental health. The use of low-toxicity materials, installing smart appliance and intentional, highly efficient design of spaces for exercise, meal preparation and meditation can result in a higher quality, and possible longer, duration, of life.

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Homeowners and contractors understand how lifestyle choices and habits can affect health. The Environmental Protection Agency states that Americans, on average, spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. Recognizing this is fundamental to understanding why it's so important to live and spend time in a healthier home. Green building practices address the reality that materials, and indoor air quality, can greatly affect the health of the occupants.

Alongside the contractors and developers jumping on board with the green and wellness building movement are the green realtors. Real estate brokers can earn multiple designations and certifications to broaden their understanding of this topic, such as the National Association of Realtors' Green Designation and Earth Advantage Broker certification.

Working with a realtor who has one of these designations is highly beneficial for clients looking to live in a healthier, more efficient home. Green education gives a realtor the ability to identify unhealthy areas of concern, as well as identifying costly and ineffective heating sources. Those realtors can also become resources for advice on the most beneficial home upgrades. This knowledge is not only advantageous for those looking to build a new green home, but equally important for a homeowner looking to accomplish a green home retrofit, which takes an existing home and makes it healthier and less costly to operate.

Living in a home that's been designed with wellness in mind will result in a mutually beneficial relationship between the home and the owner. Considering the reduced utility bills and increased mental and physical health benefits, it's truly a win-win situation.

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