As the American housing market continues to recover, more buyers are interested in the green features a home offers. According to the most recent NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 6% of home buyers in 2010 cited green/environmentally friendly community features as one of the reasons they chose to purchase a home in the neighborhood they did. This was most commonly cited by buyers in urban areas and married couples, and is an increase from 5% in 2009. Although it’s a modest increase, it is an important one, one that may reflect increased knowledge of green solutions for the home or one that indicates a generational shift in priorities.
Or perhaps it shows recognition by homebuyers that long-term costs associated with green alternatives saves the other kind of green as well. The top three green features of importance include heating and cooling costs, energy efficient appliances and energy efficient lighting. While landscaping for energy conservation and eco-friendly community features were deemed “not important,” this may change in the future as energy costs increase. Buyers in the South were more likely to say that the top three green features were important, which may be surprising to some, until you realize that the costs associated with air conditioning—a necessity for many during the hot, sticky summer months—can drive up the monthly electric bill to several hundred dollars. That’s a huge bill to face each month.
While an energy efficient oven or clothes washer/dryer may have higher costs upfront, they have been shown to save the owner money over time…and decrease that hard-to-swallow electric bill. Similarly, conducting an energy audit, adding insulation, installing awnings or whole house fans, or upgrading to low-E windows may cause some homeowners to balk at the initial costs, the potential savings are huge and can make those high electric bills a distant bad memory.
For an overview of energy consumption in the home, and to find ways to reduce your footprint, go tohttp://www.energysavers.gov/pdfs/energy_savers.pdf