USA Today: Old Phoenix ranch house gets rehabbed, at a profit

Old Phoenix ranch house gets rehabbed, at a profit

by Wendy Koch, USA Today

Philip Beere’s 150 West Elm rehab in Phoenix boosted the home’s energy efficiency and its style, as seen here in its airy lving room.

 In Phoenix, a city where the real estate slump has hit hard, developer Philip Beere has found an eco-friendly way to make money by rehabbing old homes, most in foreclosure.

This is the exterior of the 70-year-old ran house, after its rehab. To reduce water use, native landscaping is used.

He dramatically upgraded the looks and energy efficiency of a 1,600 square foot, 70-year-0ld ranch house in the Pierson Place Historic District near the city’s new light-rail line. He then resold it.

His 150 West Elm rehab was honored earlier this month as the “remodel project of the year” by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which gave it the top or emerald certification via its National Green Building Standard.

This is the kitchen after the rehab, which included Energy Star appliances.

As National Preservation Month comes to a close, with the theme “old is the new green,” Beere’s remodel is “This Week’s Green House.”

“The project symbolizes our company mission of creating walkable neighborhoods, preserving existing structures, and sustainable development,” said Beere, founder of Green Street Development, which has been rehabbing homes in Phoenix since 2007.

Beere reduced the home’s carbon footprint by more than 70% and its water use by 65%. Its Home Energy Rating, set at 100 for today’s new homes, fell from 208 to 65.

Here’s the bathrooma after the rehab, which inlcuded low-flow plumbing fixtures and energy-efficient lighting.
The home features new Energy Star-rated windows and appliances, water-efficient fixtures, additional insulation, soy stained concrete floors, upgraded HVAC systems and native landscaping.

“This home is a great example of green remodeling done right while also done beautifully,” Eric Borsting, chair of the NAHB’s Green Building Subcommittee, said in the announcement.

Beere works directly with banks to negotiate the purchase of distressed properties. He aims for a 40% return on investment, according to a company spokesman, noting Green Street’s projects are cost-effective. The rehabs sell quickly, with an average time on the market of 20 days.

Green Street picks existing homes near public transportation to revive walkable neighborhoods. It maximizes living areas through creative use of spaces.