(Rent vs Mortgage) - Energy Savings

The long-standing reason to “buy a home vs throw money away on rent” is full of new factors to consider. The challenges now are great, the path to home-ownership much different than it was just over 10 years ago, when this argument encouraged millions of people to buy a home.

Rent vs Mortgage minus Utilities.png

The current median home price in Idaho is $255K. In 2018 Ada County home costs rose to a record breaking $314,000. The current average rental cost for a two bedroom apartment is $1,344 according to a report from the Idaho Statesman earlier this year.

Let’s look at how the math and incentive to invest in mortgages worked before the 2008 housing bubble burst a little over a decade ago.

Median Home Costs.png

At the statewide median home price, a new home could’ve been paid off in around 16 years for the current cost of rent. In Ada County this would’ve been about 20 years.

The federal government has tightened up on home lending, since “The Great Recession” when the market dropped out and home-lending was a focus, just 10 years ago. It is now required that a buyer have 20% down, $51,000 for the state in this example, and $62,800 for Ada County.

10 years.png
20 percent down on Idaho median.png

According to Business Insider the median income is so much lower than the average home cost, many people will have to wait 10 years to save for a down payment.

At EarthCraft we look to adapt, finding ways to make living in a green home a reality for more people. Recently we’ve discussed multi-generational homes as one possibility for new home buyers looking to cut costs in many areas. Adding a separate living space to your current residence is a good way to remain in the area and neighborhood you love if you’ve got the equity but cannot afford a new home at $314,000.


One of the cost savings areas we consistently look to is cutting energy use through the application of good home design. The average utilities costs in the area are $171 per month for a 2 bedroom apartment, according to the Expatistan website. Although utilities in Idaho cost 12.7% less than the national average currently, EarthCraft has anticipated rising costs. We design/build to meet minimal energy use goals. For those with tight budgets, and/or fixed incomes the savings could be substantial.


Try out a 2,000 sq ft home built to capture natural sunlight and hold the warmth through the winter—constructed to block the sunlight in the summer, insulated SO well that it stays cool all day. With a couple of sensible additions such as an operable sunroof (or two) and you’re able to release that heated air in the evenings, assuring a cool sleeping environment all night.

Screen Shot 2019-03-24 at 8.31.21 AM.png

If you go the most natural route we offer, you can also enjoy sweet still silence when it’s time to finally call it for the day. Straw bale homes offer the best in insulation and it’s all natural.

Utilities Savings 15 years.png

Saving $171 per month over 15 years could come to $30,780… well you’ve got to pay something for utilities right?

Depending on the location, and how homeowners manage energy use, we can design the home to use as little as $100 worth of utilities in a year. In 15 years that’s closer to $29,280 savings just on utilities… if everything holds right where it’s at. Utility or energy costs are in a fluctuating state, and expected to rise.

Our homes are built to provide ongoing energy savings for the LIFE of the home. The amount you will save on utility bills will only continue to return your investment.

EnergySage.com is a site reporting solar costs, reporting on changes, and provides cost-calculators to help with estimation. They say utility costs have risen nationally over the past 10 years.

20 years Utilities Savings.png

Why not build a home that uses less utilities in the first place, and persists in cutting costs for the life of the home? If you choose to sell, you’re chances of benefiting a profit are increased for these reasons and others that green buildings can provide in terms of curb-side appeal. Additional benefits to living in an EarthCraft custom green home include a home built to your personal criteria, and increased health for all living there. These are the parameters implemented from the beginning as a home is designed to be built for you. These have been EarthCraft’s standards for over 10 years. It began with a promise to a granddaughter.

Leave Camp Better than You Found It.png

All something to think about! Call or email us if you’re ready to start a conversation. (208) 515-0293

If you’d like to just stay in the loop, please join our mailing list to receive 1 email per month.

We’re also on these networks if you’d like to connect that way:


Instagram @EarthCraftDB