Agent Kim Mulligan is the resident green homes expert at Engel & Völkers Seattle Eastside.

Agent Kim Mulligan is the resident green homes expert at Engel & Völkers Seattle Eastside.

LIVING GREEN: Sustainable homes a great place to start

Puget Sound area residents can find their green real estate expert at Engel & Völkers

If you’re a Puget Sound area resident seeking a home that is environmentally friendly, highly efficient and the right size to accommodate your current and future needs, you’re not alone.

But if you believe a “smart home” – one that relies on automation and electronic technology – will provide you with all of those features, you could benefit from a conversation with Kim Mulligan, a real estate advisor and eco-building specialist with Engel & Völkers Seattle Eastside.

“The new concern is resiliency – in other words, future-proofing,” she says. Considerations of climate change, she adds, are prompting more builders to design and construct homes to last longer, operate more efficiently and need less maintenance over the long term than traditional construction. “There’s a term out there, ‘build it tight and build it right.”

A green home’s benefits are often invisible

As Mulligan points out, “You can’t always tell a home is green by looking at it.”

That’s because many of the aspects of construction that qualify a home for a green certification are under wraps, so to speak. They can include such features as additional insulation that makes your home’s heating and cooling systems more efficient, increased air quality indoors through the use of low-toxic paints and flooring materials, and the use of recycled, upcycled or renewable materials to create things like countertops, flooring and cabinetry and even the structural elements of a home.

As a potential buyer, it can help to acquaint yourself with the work of such organizations as Built Green, the leading certification program in King and Snohomish counties. They certify single-family and multi-family dwellings at four levels, from Three Star up to Emerald Star, and have examples of each sprinkled around the region.

Whether you’re looking to build new or find a previously lived-in green home, such residences undergo extensive inspections through their various stages of construction, to assure the homebuyer that strict criteria have been met.

Talk to Kim about your green home dreams

Mulligan, a recent addition to the Engel & Völkers team, has a long history in helping the local home building industry shape future development, with an eye to sustainability and smart growth.

She’s a former building contractor, member of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild and has been involved with the annual Northwest Green Home Tour. She holds many local and national designations and is a past winner of the National Association of Realtors’ EverGreen Award for educating the public on the value of green homes and her industry work promoting sustainable design and green building.

For a curated list of available homes with green and energy saving features at any price point, call Kim at Engel & Völkers at 206-579-9066 or email her at kim.mulligan@evusa.com.

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