How do you define a 'green home'?
If want to buy a green home, the first thing you should do is ask yourself why, says David Bergman, who teaches green architecture at Parsons The New School for Design in New York and wrote the book "Sustainable Design: A Critical Guide."
"It's an important question because people tend to buy a green home for one of three reasons, and while each of those reasons overlap somewhat, they do determine what the buyer really means by green."
According to Bergman, green can be as simple as saving on energy costs, which means buyers will want to focus on energy-efficient appliances, weatherproof windows and good insulation.
Alternatively, some buyers define green in personal health terms, so they want a home that uses nontoxic materials. For these buyers, even seemingly innocuous carpeting is a big deal, because carpets can be a nightmare for people with allergies.
Last, some buyers define green as contributing to a sustainable future. For those buyers, Bergman says, it's often important to look for building materials that are locally sourced and sustainable.