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Preventing Misconceptions in Housing: Sustainable Architecture Essay

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Currently, misconceptions are present in the home buying industry, which delude buyers into thinking that more expensive homes are better. Although better is a subjective term, the problem remains: People are overextending their budgets on homes that they cannot afford and on homes that they cannot afford to maintain. The inability to properly finance homes stems from the fatigued economy and job market, and foreclosures become prevalent when home buyers can no longer afford payments. Although many may argue that the key to solving the problem of foreclosures stems from the economic means of financing the home, I argue that foreclosures can be solved at the root of the problem, architecturally in the way we design and produce our homes. Sustainable architecture can greatly reduce the amount of money people pay on utility bills and other types of home expenses, making sustainable architecture more economically beneficial to those with modest budgets. Through looking at the precedent of the ecoMOD project, led by John Quale of the University of Virginia Architecture School faculty, and more specifically at the systems used in the ecoMOD OUTin House, the solution to solving foreclosures will extend from the claim that houses can be made to be both affordable and sustainable. Affordable houses that are also sustainable will solve the problem of foreclosures because the buyers will be able to afford the initial price of the home, while also being able afford the costs of utilities and other maintenance associated with home buying.
When buying a home, every homebuyer wants the best house for the amount they are willing to pay. Some homes are innovative and deemed better, but are not well-designed for the budget of the people ...


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...o solve itself.
The lessons of the ecoMOD housing projects can be applied on a national scale in the way architects and builders think about the designs of the homes they are building. The key to solving foreclosures is to make the home affordable in the cost of the building and in the cost of its maintenance. People can stop overextending themselves financially once options for better and more affordable housing are more readily available. Sustainable architecture provides this linkage. Once the trends in housing produce sustainable homes that reduce the cost of utilities and maintenance, then people will be able to afford better homes without overextending their budgets, because they are already saving money in utility costs. The problem of foreclosures can be eliminated if the root of the problem, the home, is effectively evaluated and improved upon.



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