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Helping you find ecologically sustainable homes and innovative communities of exquisite beauty offering an abundant and comfortable lifestyle. We vow to use our knowledge to help our real estate clients find or build natural homes in elegant communities.


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Fox News has Brainwashed the Tea Party to Destroy America

Fox News has Brainwashed the Tea Party to Destroy America

I was stunned yesterday when I heard a guest on Fox News say “not raising the Debt limit is not a big deal” and the announcer treated that statement like it was true. Even though Standard and Poors the bond rating agency stated unequivocally that a default resulting from a failure to raise the Debt Ceiling would have a devastating effect on the national economy and the cost of borrowing for every American, Fox treats the lies like they are true.  Fox News somehow controls a small but powerful minority of misguided Americans that are about to end the American lifestyle as we know it. An American economic default would be more devastating then the attach of “9/11” and in my opinion could lead to more death and suffering in the long run.

So lets look at the facts, News Corp the owner of Fox News is owned by a man born in Australia, Rupert Murdock and a Saudi Prince, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al-Saud, yet they have tremendous influence over our nation. We know that the attacks of 9/11 were paid for in great part by Saudi subjects and now this Saudi Prince is finishing the job, and by the way is getting tax credits to do it. We also now know that companies owned by News Corp broke the law in England, phone hacking and illegally accessing Prime Minster Gordon Brown’s legal and medical records and was successful in bringing down his government when they lost 91 seats in the House of Commons in 2010 under a withering attack from New Corp owned papers in England.  Now they are five days away from bringing down our entire economy and way of life.

Using fear and racism, owners of Fox News have blinded the Tea Party members to their own best interests and the interests of their country. What our enemies could not do with bombs and hijacked planes they are doing with lies that manipulate a small percentage of the American population.  We now see that the Tea Party so hates our government and America for electing a black American President that they are willing to let a Saudi Prince finish what was started in 9/11. If you believe in the American way of life, call you representatives and let them know and if you were duped into voting for a Tea Party candidate let them know that you did not put them in office to destroy or economy and diminish our standing in the world. We have only five days.

Zero Energy Home Arrives

Low-Cost “Zero Energy Homes” have Arrived

This 1,550 sq ft plan is available in many locations in Santa Fe for $339,000.

This home can be built with a Zero Energy Package on many lots in Santa Fe.

Natural Homes of Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate has, for the first time, brought together the knowledge and evolved technology to construct a comfortable home with a net annual utility bill of “0”. At a price a working family can afford, these solar homes are designed to be healthy to live in and can be built almost anywhere and in any style.

Natural Homes has delivered LEED certified Zero Energy Homes to buyers for less than $339,000 with some homes garnering as much as $25,000 in State and Federal tax credits. LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” and is a Federal program offering up to $9.00 per square foot Federal tax credits plus solar tax credits. For some time the builder community claimed that these homes were too expensive to build, but with the evolution of building science and the drop in the cost of solar electric panels, builders within New Mexico and around the country have proven that these superior homes can be built for around the same price as older, less efficient homes. With the volatility of energy costs these homes provide residents savings from day one and energy security into the future.

According to the organization Architecture 2030, 49% of all energy used in America is used in buildings. As America faces energy insecurity and the effects of Climate Change it is becoming clear that our very survival may depend on making existing buildings more efficient and building new Zero Energy Homes. Kim Shanahan the Director of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association (SFAHBA) is acting to educate his members on how and why to build these more efficient buildings. He says, “We call on our members to rise to the occasion and achieve the efficiencies available today and to inform buyers that these homes are available today at around the same price as less efficient homes”

To provide this ground breaking information, SFAHBA and Natural Homes along with other sponsors will be offering free workshops for buyers and builders starting July 8th. These workshops will take place in a passive solar home designed and built by the director of Natural Homes, Alan Hoffman that is being upgraded to Zero Energy. The following workshops will cover the essentials of what the new techniques are, how they are rated and how new Zero Energy Homes can be delivered to the public at an effective cost right now. Information on how existing homes can be renovated to achieve Zero Energy and what tax benefits are available will be included.

For more information about Zero Energy Homes available in Santa Fe, New Mexico, go to http://www.newvillage.com/ or call Alan Hoffman at 505.316.0449

Green Home with Zero Energy Package, offered in Santa Fe

Green Home with Zero Energy Package, offered in Santa Fe

Affordable, healthy and energy self-sufficient homes are finally on the market. One such home is located above West Alameda, only 5 miles from the Santa Fe Plaza.  This 2,100 square foot, three bedrooms, two bath home captures Sangre De Cristo Mountain views and the Sun, which provides a large part of the heating requirement. With a passive solar green house and domestic solar hot water, this home has extremely low energy bills, which can be offset by the addition of a three-kilowatt, grid tied Solar Electric installation.  The listed price includes the installation of this system such that the approximately $6,000 tax credit can be passed on to the buyer.

This elegant home is in near new condition and is easy to live in with winter and summer gardens and large outdoor living spaces. The kitchen offers lots of counter space and maple cabinets, stainless and black energy star appliances and a large pantry. The lush gardens frame the view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from the kitchen, dinning room and living room with its large vigas and tall ceiling. With a great room, three bedrooms and a den, this home offers elegance and sustainability.

And now, the next generation of reasonably priced sustainable homes has arrived. These homes produce the same amount of energy they consume in a year and are healthier than homes of the same price. Natural Homes of Prudential Santa Fe Real Estate working with Renaissance Builders are offering several plans for Zero Energy Homes complete with tall ceilings in the great room, a central court yard and fine details. These homes can be built almost anywhere and conform to all bank requirements.  The state certification and the solar electric system generate a State and Federal tax credit of between $15,000 and $25,000. To see plans and possible locations contact Alan Hoffman at 505-316-0449 and go to NewVillage.com.

newvillage.com/blog What Green Really Means

What Green Really Means

The term Green is one of the most misused terms in real estate. Green implies sustainablility and is more particularly described as follows.

Our definition of a “Green Home” is a “durable, comfortable and healthy home that uses the least energy and water and producing the least waste” in it’s construction and operation.

A “Green Community” is a settlement where residents have pedestrian access to places to live, work, shop, go to school and have fun and connectivity to the greater community by public transportation reducing or eliminating automobile use. The community should support energy efficiency, energy generation and reclaim and reuse all waste water making local agriculture practical.”

-Green Building comes in two flavors, Low Tech and High Tech. I started in 1977 building some of the early experimental Passive Solar homes. These original, Low Tech homes face south to let winter sun in while shading out summer sun. We learned that a well insulated house with the majority of the windows facing south and equipped with massive materials like concrete or adobe in the house can store the winter heat, releasing it at night to provide most of the homes heating needs and if properly designed also help cool the house in the summer. Over the years we have refined passive solar designs and identified their problems. One of the first Passive Solar homes I built had around 33% of it’s floor space (600 sq ft) in south facing glass (200 sq ft) and had only a few opening windows. We learned from this prototype that far less south glass is required and more ventilation is needed to prevent the house from becoming a “toxic oven”.   We have found that 6% to 12% of floor space in energy efficient south facing glass is sufficient for solar heating if the home’s envelope is “super insulated” with walls insulated to an R21 and the ceiling insulated to an R50. That is to say that a 2,000 sq ft home needs only 200 sq ft of south facing glass if all other elements were done properly. Those other elements include super insulation, properly designed window overhangs, proper ventilation and the minimum number of windows on the east, west and north sides of the house. A properly designed Passive Solar home is the best proven Low Tech Green home because it requires almost no energy input and requires a minimal of ongoing repairs and maintenance.

The one limitation to low-tech designs is that they are not capable of reaching Zero Energy operations without adding High Tech elements like Photovoltaic panels. By adding these panels that generate electricity directly from the sun, the energy is provided to offset the energy used by appliances, lighting and when there is not sufficient sun to heat the house. With this addition, a Passive Solar home can reach Net Zero energy consumption on an annual basis.

Recently a number of companies have engineered and built high tech LEED certified homes. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and includes more than energy efficiency. LEED requirements include healthy air quality, reduced waste in construction, water conservation and of course energy efficiency. There has been a misconception for a long time that “Green” homes have to cost more but we are learning that this is not necessarily true. For example, there is a company that has been building high efficiency homes including LEED certified homes at a price comparable to less efficient homes. A 1,500 sq ft three bedroom home equipped with a Zero Energy package sells for less than $300,000 in Santa Fe, New Mexico a generally pricey market. This home comes equipped with a LEED Silver certified envelope and Whole House Heat Exchanging Ventilator to keep the air quality healthy. The house is than upgraded to LEED Platinum with the addition of a 5.2 Kilowatt solar electric system, a solar hot water system and a highly efficient all electric heat pump heater and air conditioner. This addition of solar electricity offsets all the energy a family of four uses on an annual basis.

As America goes through the biggest technological change since the advent of electricity much research and innovation is taking place in the area of decentralized energy generation and enhancements in efficiency in appliances, lighting andhome heating.