3 Tips To Save Energy In Any Home

3 Tips To Save Energy In Any Home

It’s time to face the cruel fact that summer is behind us. The nights are getting cooler and your home needs to be ready to take on the changing season, both inside and out. So many seasonal lists focus on what to do outside a home before the seasons change, but here is a list of 3 sure-fire ways to keep the inside warm and cozy, even without a fireplace!

Green Peeps on the job
Air Sealing is one of the most effective and least expensive fixes for comfort and energy savings

1) Do the Candle Test to find phantom air leaks. It’s simple. Light a candle and watch the flame as you do a quick perimeter check. Be sure to hit the obvious places like windows and doors. But also be sure you check out the area around any recessed lighting, a commonly overlooked spot for air leaks. If the flame is dancing (or worse, goes out!), you have an air leak on your hands. Relax! It’s nothing a bit of sealing can’t fix. For a list of best practices, click here.

2) Change Your HVAC Filter! Simply put, your home will feel more comfortable when you rid it of excess dust and dirt in the air. If you leave a dirty air filter in your HVAC, each time the heat kicks on it’s recirculating those particles through your vents and into your home. Make sure to replace it about every 3 months for the best results. Plus, check out the high-efficiency pleated filters that can help grab more from your air.

3) Save $75 by swapping out your light bulbs! If you’ve been hesitant to change out your bulbs for the more efficient counterparts, it’s time to take another look. LEDs can provide the same comfortable glow as the classic incandescents, but allow you to keep more money in your pocket. While the cost up front is still higher than the old incandescents, you’re getting more bang for your buck. Replacing just 5 of your most used light bulbs can yield $75 in annual savings. If you’re still in need of a crash course in new light bulb language, take a look at this article.

Here are some additional links:

More about how to find drafts.

More about your HVAC filters.

More about Seattle City Light LED incentives.



Modern Madison Valley New on Market

seattle real estate
Central Seattle Easy Living

Modern Madison Valley New on Market

Have you been looking for a modern home in Central Seattle? Do you want a walkable lifestyle with options for entertainment and recreation just minutes from your front door. Do you like the idea of a 4 star Build Green certification? This may be the house for you!

Modern Construction
Open floor plan with lots of natural light

New construction from Cascade Built highlights the 21st Century lifestyle. Nestled just off the Madison corridor, this home and the neighborhood is so close to many other well known neighborhoods: Madrona, Capitol Hill, Lake Washington Park, Denny Blaine, Madison Park, the Arboretum, and of course, Downtown Seattle. With a Walk Score of  77, and a Transit Score of 57, this is one of those places one can get by without a car.

The top floor has a master suite with a rooftop deck above to watch the Blue Angels fly overhead during Seafair, or to entertain guests for a nitecap after walking to dinner at one of several nearby restaurants. This is urban Seattle living at it’s best!

Update on the NW Green Home Tour 2014

Update on the NW Green Home Tour 2014

The NW Green Home Tour 2014 sign up deadline has passed. The good news for you as a tour attendee, is now you can choose between 35 Site Hosts for living spaces and 12 Sustainability Stops or retail spaces–who are notable for pushing forward the green conversation. Want to get a hint of what this is all about. Check our the brochure on line, or pick up the April issue of Seattle’s Natural Awakenings magazine at a coffee shop near you.

The guiding principle of the tour is education. Think you know all about green building? Not many people can really say that, in fact the more the know they realize actually they know less than they thought they did. Many of the participates of the NW Green Home Tour 2014 are torn between being a host on the tour or spending the day learning new principles and concepts from their peers.

Ultimately all of us who have been involved with the planning process, want to show everyone that “Green Homes” aren’t outside of the box. Indeed they are familiar, cost effective, neccessary, and above all smart. OK , granted sometimes they are forward thinking or “hip” while drawing upon sometimes new technogies and systems taken for granted or even developed by previous civilizations. Other times they are the most ordinary looking, and yet high performance home on the block.

As a renter, home owner, home builder, cook or gardener, there is something for everyone here. When looking at the NW Green Home Tour Guide be sure to note the icons, they give you a hint of the site’s most prominate features. Each one of these categories contains a myriad of other concepts. for more information keep check back at the tour web site for more details about the different sites.


Green Home Features
Map Key of site features for planning out your tour day route


As the Map Key states this tour is for all shades of green. Think you don’t care? How about savings on 1/2 of your utility bill. How do you get green? Learn the “Low Hanging Fruit” on some easy to acquire upgrades. Think you are already green enough? You might be able to learn how to bump it up a notch. If you are thinking of buying, remodeling or retrofitting a home this day is a must. So mark your calendar, Saturday April 26th as your tour day. Get the maps and descriptions, plan your route, wear slip on/off shoes, make your game plan in advance–there is way too much to see in one day. Then after the tour join us for our wrap party immediatly after. Just ask any greeter/volunteer of the day of the tour for the details.

NW Home Tour Committee Chair
For your Sustainable Real Estate needs from now into the future

City Cabins near Columbia City Opens

City Cabins near Columbia City Opens

November marks the sell out month of Martha Rose’s City Cabins on South Nevada Street. These forward leaning homes are garnering a 5 Star Built Green Rating. Some people may call them “Green” others might call them “Smart” or “High Performance” construction.  What ever you call them, the facts are they are more energy efficient and comfortable than the current standard of construction.  With the constant promise of rising energy costs, these homes far exceed current code requirements and will save the occupants money on utilities now and for many decades to come.

5 Star Built Green Homes
4 High Quality Homes at Rainier Vista in Columbia City

Located in the up and coming neighborhood of Columbia City, many in Seattle know that this close in neighborhood has been going through a renaissance in the last decade. Historical buildings, wonderful restaurants and pubs, funky galleries, live music and art walks help all add the lively attitude of this neighborhood. The proximity of these homes to the new light rail station supports the notion the residents of  Rainier Vista, don’t find it necessary to own a car.

Built Green Homes by Martha Rose
Understate, comfortable finishes inside and out

Concrete floors, wood beams, solar panels, plug-in for an electric car, south facing exposure, balanced ventilation, and a green roof are just a few of the unusual features you will find in these homes. Purchase a City Cabin, and it’s likely you will become the educator to your friends and guests explaining the  future of the built environment. Few people have homes like these, and most don’t know many of these features will become standard in the next decade. The argument can be made, by purchasing a deep green home, you not only save money on utilities while living the the house, but your protect your resale investment by having a well insulated, efficient  and desirable  home that’s built to last into the next century.

Deep Green Homes South Seattle
Complete with Green Garage Roof and Fruit Trees and Cisterns

The open house are now long gone on this property. Contact me if you like to know more about these special homes or other intelligently built homes in the Seattle WA area. Hopefully these have inspired some other spec builders to “do the right thing”. Let me know if you would like me to add you to my email list.

For your Sustainable Real Estate needs from now into the future
For your Sustainable Real Estate needs from now into the future



Famously Beautiful Deep Green Town Home Seattle

Built Green Homes by Martha Rose

Famously Beautiful Deep Green Town Home Seattle

This town home is famous and extremely good looking, but don’t let that scare you off. The subject of radio interviews, articles and soon to be featured in the 2013 10x10x10 Green Building Slam, this high performance home was a behind-the-walls star on the 2013 NW Green Home Tour last spring.

Built Green Homes by Martha Rose
Understated, comfortable finishes inside and out

Are you the kind of person that is drawn to smart, versatile, easy-going, practical, no nonsense natural beauties?  Who isn’t?  This GREEN Realtor can’t help you with your ideal life partner but this home is a great fit for someone looking for those same features in their next residence. Just the elegance of authentic finishes, no faux or fancy anything here. Ponderosa knotty pine, polished concrete, stainless steel, cork, forged steel and some pleasantly surprising design choices thrown in for fun.

Yes, this home is rated 5 star Built Green, but it is also the physical manifestation of 30 years of an accumulated knowledge and intuition of a highly experienced and insightful builder.  This is where form meets function.

Beautiful Townhome
View from master deck in October

There is just one townhome left, an end unit with privacy overlooking a magnificently ancient tree located in a park across the street. Depending on your lifestyle this townhome can approach  the status of a Net-Zero or Passive House. Even if you aren’t frugal with your energy use, the house will save you money on utilities while saving you money on your taxes. The already installed PV panels are working away feeding power back to the grid while they are waiting for the new occupant to move in. Besides the electricity generation the water saving features watch your consumption so you don’t even need to think about water usage.

This town home might be well known, but fame hasn’t changed it. It’s had it’s time in the limelight and is ready to retire into a quieter life. It knows it’s built to last at least the next 200 years. It will be a reliable friend that will keep it’s good looks for years to come.

Just a sample of the unusual features:

  • PV Panels (Solar Panels already installed) complete with financial incentives
  • Passive solar and lots of natural daylighting
  • Polished concrete floors with 4″ closed cell foam insulation beneath
  • Bibs insulation with advanced framing minimizing thermal breaks
  • Specially installed triple pane windows atop custom metal pan liners
  • Green roof, cistern, and almost invisible storm water mitigation
  • Custom milled, sustainably harvested wood, locally sourced
  • Heat Recovery Ventilator with MERV 12 filter for superior air quality
  • Universal Design on all floors
  • Low utility usage–and bills
  • LED lamps installed throughout–can be changed if desired
  • In-wall USB charging ports and networking throughout the home
  • All electric home including radiant ceiling heat and induction range
  • Additional loft not included in square footage
  • Beautifully functional 3rd floor deck with lots of light and Mt. Rainier view
  • Owner/operator manual with hands-on warranty from the builder
  • It’s own fan club (honestly, the builder has a following!)

As the Buyer’s Agent if you would like to know about this one of a kind opportunity I’d be happy to speak with you. This one of a kind home is not going to last for long. Take advantage of the bad luck of the government shut down and low interest rates. You’ll be glad you did.

2858 South Nevada Street Seattle  (Columbia City) 2 blocks from the light rail station.


What is a Northwest Energy Star Home?

This is not a Northwest Energy Star home

 What is a Northwest Energy Star Home?

 It’s a common misperception that it’s a house with “Energy Star” rated appliances. In fact many Real Estate professionals mistakenly label their listings on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service as NW Energy Star if the kitchen has an efficient dishwasher and refrigerator.  The “Energy Star” label is widely recognized and respected by the vast majority of home buyers.  Few people know that the Northwest Energy Star home goes much further in saving the occupants money on their heating bills as well as make their homes much healthier and more comfortable to live in.

 So what the difference? Short answer—quite a bit! The NW Energy Star house is third party certified. This means an accredited party inspects and signs off on the home from the beginning all the way through the end of construction. As a home buyer, you may not see what’s inside the walls but the certifier does.  Whenever a home is advertised as NWES, it should also have the accompanying paper work to prove its designation. Although it is slightly more expensive to build a home or a remodel, it pays for itself in a short amount of time in decreased heating and cooling bills, not to mention increased indoor air quality and comfort.

 The Northwest Energy Star program includes Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington States. The Northwest has higher standards than other regions, and the NWES program stays approximately 15% more efficient than current local building codes.

 The Northwest Builder Option Package (NW BOP) is the standard builders and remodelers are held to. With the concept of “Peak Oil” and the ever increasing costs both monetarily and environmentally, these homes are expected to hold their value better in a resell market as well as increase the comfort of the residents. Northwest Energy Star makes sense for Seattle area homes.

For more information go to: http://www.northwestenergystar.com