Developer Rob Anderson on Greenhabbing Existing Homes

By: Taz Loomans

Below is an interview with developer Rob Anderson who is behind a recently completed project with Firefly Living – a greenhab of a mid-century home in the Devonshire neighborhood in Central Phoenix.  Read why Rob believes that greenhabbing existing homes brings value not only to the homebuyer but to entire neighborhoods.

Come check out this project at the first open house tomorrow (Tuesday the 24th) from 4:30-6:30pm at 4241 N. 10th Street!

Taz Loomans: What value do you think the average homebuyer gets from a green home?

Rob Anderson: I think that the buyer of a green home gets value in two forms: measurable economic value and what I’ll call self-fulfillment value.

The measurable economic benefit is pretty obvious-a decreased annual cost on utilities. For the project we just wrapped up in Central Phoenix, we took the estimated annual utility cost from $3,418.00 to $2,451.00.  This represents an annual savings of almost $1,000.00.  In this economic climate, almost a thousand dollars to your annual bottom line can make a big difference. That savings translates into around $80 per month.  That’s $80 per month that is freed up for life’s necessities or maybe doing something nice for your spouse, your kids or yourself.

The self-fulfillment value is a little more nebulous, but in my view, just as important.  I believe that people can and should take pride in doing their part for our environment.  By owning a house that consumes less resources, they’re playing a role in decreasing the consumption of said resources.

My sincere hope is that people get a sense of pride and happiness from knowing they’re taking an active role making our world better.

Taz Loomans: Why did you get into greenhabbing?

Rob Anderson: I believe that now more than ever, people are aware of the fact that we need to be cautious with our consumption of the planet’s resources. Thankfully, the movement to consume less and be more environmentally conscientious has gained momentum. With this, we see an increased demand for things which dovetail with that conscientiousness.  It’s far beyond cliche at this point, but just look at the overwhelming success of the Prius. The demand for green housing is in its infancy right now and should grow in the coming years.

I feel sure that the sentiment in the previous paragraph comes off as wholly capitalistic and money-driven, but there’s more to it than that. We have an obligation to create homes that consume less, use sustainable materials, and perform and look better than their counterparts.   If we want to leave something behind for our kids and their kids, we need to have a look at how we’re going about things. I believe our planet is in for a hard time if we don’t start making better decisions about how and what we consume.

These two notions taken together represent the crux of why I got into green-habbing:  I wanted to prove that we can reconcile the capitalist side of our brain and the environmentalist side of our brain. We can make business decisions that have an immediate positive impact (making money on your flip), have a longer term economic view (early servicing of a market that is sure to grow) AND do right by our environment.

Taz Loomans: What is your commitment to making a positive impact on neighborhoods?

Rob Anderson: Our commitment to making a positive impact on neighborhoods manifests in two ways:  being the first to go into slightly less desired neighborhoods and by doing repeat deals in those neighborhoods.

The project in Central Phoenix that we are just wrapping up sits on a horseshoe shaped street.  It probably encompasses about 1.5 miles. At the time we purchased this home, there were approximately 6 bank owned homes on the street. I drove down the street week before last, and all but one of those houses had sold. The majority of those that have sold appear to be getting remodeled in some way. I can’t say for certain that our purchase and subsequent remodel caused those other houses to sell, but I’d like to think that maybe it played a tiny part.  As those houses are completed and brought to the marketplace, the quality of the neighborhood will improve.

We’ve also had great luck in purchasing consecutive deals in the same neighborhoods. We’ve had scenarios where we purchase a house, do the remodel, sell it, then find that there is a similar house down the street.   By doing that next deal in the same neighborhood, we can take a far more active, hands-on approach to improving the quality of the housing in that neighborhood.

If you want to check out Rob’s project in Central Phoenix, make sure to attend the first open house tomorrow (Tuesday the 24th) from 4:30-6:30pm.  The address is 4241 N. 10th Street.  Here’s more information about the house.

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  1. […] asked Rob Anderson, the investor partner behind Firefly’s green-habbing project on 10th Street about his thoughts on […]

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