Tough Times for Owners of Eccentric Eco-Homes

Here’s an interesting real estate story with an accompanying video and slideshow recently published by the Wall Street Journal (and no, I’m not talking about the one about the International Banana Club and Museum being forced to relocate): folks who go out of their way to build exceptionally (some would say unusually) eco-friendly homes are finding that securing a lender for a mortgage loan isn’t exactly easy. The article talks with a handful of beleaguered homeowners including Jon and Laura Hagar of Colorado who have perfect credit and are otherwise exemplary candidates for refinancing except for one thing: their 2,700-square foot “trash house” (that's it pictured above) is constructed from 17,000 recycled tires. The gaps between the compressed tire bales are plugged with other types of refuse like cans and bottles. Then there’s Richard Messer, also of Colorado, who didn’t even bother to look for a conventional mortgage and instead opted to borrow money from friends. The reason? The insulation of home is made from 50 tons of Coors beer packaging. This isn’t to say all owners of eco-friendly homes are having trouble refinancing. But those with “oddball” eco-friendly homes — dome-shaped abodes, homes built underground, and homes constructed from garbage — are struggling when they once had no problem. Take a look at the below video where the WSJ’s Anton Troianovski steps inside some of the homes in question to chat with the owners. Via [The Wall Street Journal] Image: Anton Troianovski/The Wall Street Journal