More and more, homebuyers are looking not just for affordability, good school districts and a place to call “home sweet home;” they are also looking for environmentally friendly – and preferably green-certified – homes. Not only are local media outlets peppered with announcements about “Green Home Showcases” and “Emerald” subdivisions, but USA Today reported that 648 community tours of such homes have been registered with the American Solar Energy Society to date as part of the organization’s National Solar Tour. The tour, which is free, actually started nearly two decades ago with a 20-home showcase in Washington, D.C. Now, more than 150,000 people participate.
This focus on green living and sustainable energy sources in real estate has led to a burgeoning interest on the part of new homebuyers in green features like tight insulation, efficient appliances and even green certification. These features not only make a home more attractive in terms of being environmentally responsible, but in a tough economy buyers are looking to save money on energy costs, which means that retrofitting an existing home and “tricking out” a new one with energy-efficient appliances and construction can make a difference in the speed at which the home sells and the price that it goes for.
In fact, some realtors report that some homebuyers will not even consider a property not certified as green. “When I look at the transformation, it’s been amazing,” related Lucy Smith, President of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. “The economy we’re living in has people being more cost-conscious and doing better for the environment.” Nashville’s MLS system is one of the first in the country to provide buyers with the option of selecting only green homes in their search.
Are you investing in green homes?