We have heard an awful lot about “Green Homes” and “Green Construction” in the last few years. In fact, builders have been working hard to fill this demand in the marketplace, but is there really a demand? I have heard that stats show buyers will not necessarily choose an eco-friendly home over a standard home simply because it’s green. Although I think that buyers can be influenced to buy a green home if they think that it can save them money. The big issue with people who are converting their existing home to a green home has been the upfront expense. I tell home owners that are thinking about making a green improvement that it may not benefit them in the wallet when it comes to resale, but can help the home sell quicker.
For example, if you are thinking about putting in a geothermal heating unit to be green, efficient, and cut down on energy bills, you better plan on staying in that house a long while to make up for the expense of installing it. The person that really gets the payoff on the geothermal system is the individual that buys your home. Chances are they did not pay more for your home because of the geothermal system and yet they will reap the benefits in the energy bills while you up fronted the cost of installation.
Still, there are benefits to certain green updates. Installing new energy efficient appliances that are being sold with the home is attractive to potential homebuyers. Tank-less water heaters still seem to be in demand and are on some buyer’s wish list. Energy efficient furnaces and air conditioning units are a noticeable upgrade that the average buyer wants. Converting all of your lighting from incandescent to fluorescent is cheap and people like it. In some cases, solar panels can be a good investment, but again, that walks the line on whether or not you will see your money back when it’s time to sell.
Of course, there are the die-hard green buyers out there who want recycled blue jeans for insulation, recycled glass tile, as well as carpet in a home that has zero energy bills. As a seller of an existing home, I do not recommend you go to this extreme. This is still a small segment of the buying population that is best suited for custom green builders.
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