Villanova might bleed blue and white, but it really shines in green.
In its latest report, real estate company Redfin ranked the Main Line suburb as the top neighborhood in the country for environmentally friendly homes. According to Redfin, 57 percent of homes in 'Nova have "green" features, like energy-efficient appliances, double-paned windows, tankless water systems and smart home monitoring features.
Redfin's researchers arrived at their conclusion by analyzing real estate listings for all homes in the company's markets sold in 2015 and had the words "green" or "energy star" in the listing description.
Villanova beat out five cities in California and one in Washington state, areas known for their eco-mindedness. That is, at least more so than Villanova. The Main Line, known for its manicured lawns and sprawling mansions built in the 1960s, isn't the kind of place you'd expect modern amenities. But Blakely Minton, local real estate agent with Redfin, said new owners often update the aging technology.
"Over the years homeowners in the area have replaced aging roofs, windows, plumbing, heating and cooling systems with newer, energy-efficient materials and designs," Minton said. "In renovated homes you’ll find ENERGY STAR appliances in the laundry rooms and kitchens, high-end foam insulation in the walls, double-pane windows, energy-efficient tankless water systems and smart home technology that monitors light and heat use."
Updating an old home isn't so far-fetched, either.
Alex Dews, executive director of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, said older homes are great candidates to be renovated with energy-efficient technology because their construction with brick and stone provide a solid foundation. Plus, it can help you save money.
"Green building doesn’t just help lower utility bills, it’s about health too," Dews said. "In the last 10 years, people have become more aware of how the materials used in home construction – including the drywall, flooring and paint – can impact interior air quality and health. We spend a lot of our time in our homes, so it’s no surprise that homeowners are prioritizing materials that keep the interior environment as healthy as possible."
If saving wasn't enough, homeowners can also make money. According to Redfin, green homes sold for an average $33,894 more than homes without green features last year.