Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Are people really buying ‘green’ homes?

Green-rated homes are becoming more popular
Image: FreeDigitalPhotos
Builders tried for years to entice prospective homeowners to purchase green materials for their new homes. Not as many people as hoped took the bait. Perhaps it was cost or merely a lack of interest, but now builders have a different approach.

More and more companies are deciding to build greener homes at no extra cost…and it’s working. Houses are outfitted with solar power and other green features which ensure buyers will save on their utility bills and other household expenses.

Markets in Washington D.C., Las Vegas, Orlando, Phoenix and Tucson have seen a rise in interested buyers, particularly because the costs are more reasonable and the promise of cheaper electricity is a significant selling point. KB Homes has noticed a 30 percent increase in interest for green homes now that the costs have remained ‘reasonable.’

In 2010, sales for green homes were at nine percent. Last year, that number rose to 17 percent. The National Association of Home Builders predicts the numbers will reach between 22 and 25 percent by next year.

The Green-certification debate

Green-rated homes, such as the Energy Star rating, have been a hot topic within the real estate market for several years now. While studies have shown consumer interest in green-rated homes, signs have also pointed toward those homes selling for a premium.

A study done in California between 2007 and 2012 showed green-rated homes were worth 9% more than non-rated homes. Researchers were also able to make a link between environmentally conscious people who owned hybrid cars, like the Prius, and the likelihood of paying a premium for a green home.

The designation of a green home can be done through different organizations. Energy Star is a certification started by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. LEED certification was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and GreenPoint was created by Build It Green, a non-profit organization.

Though the National Association of Home Builders is keen to continue on this green trend, particularly now that it's gaining traction, the National Association of Realtors has tried to limit green labeling as it feels this will adversely affect resale values for non-certified houses.

What do you think about this debate? Are you in favor of green labeling? Would you pay more for  a green-rated home, even if it'll help the resale value?

Making green homes greener

Electrocorp's AirRhino AH
can easily be integrated into
an HVAC system
Environmental consultants and experts are often involved in the construction of green homes. Though some people are not willing to pay extra money for 'smog-eating' tile, as they can't always see the benefits of such an investment, an air cleaner is often a more welcome addition.

Electrocorp provides several types of air cleaners for the home. As HVAC systems are common in new homes, an air cleaner such as the AirRhino AH can be attached to the central air system, thereby cleaning the air throughout the house. This unit has a medical-grade HEPA filter and an activated carbon filter which help remove particles, chemicals and gases from the air. 

For more information on Electrocorp's air cleaners, contact us.

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  1. Thanks very much for doing the research and posting these facts. Truthfully, we have been overlooking the green aspect of real estate, but you've convinced me to do my research and add it to my areas of knowledge...

  2. Green-certified homes sell for 9% more than regular homes in California and their premium is highest in the hottest and most eco-minded areas, says a report today.
    HVAC tech certification