Increased eco-awareness and high energy prices have impacted the way a potential buyer views a home. Green homes are more energy efficient and greater efficiency means lower costs. Saving money is a long-term amenity for many buyers.
A survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® looked into green home features that were popular with that recent home buyers. 14% of home buyers aged 36-60 and 13% of those under age 35 purchased a home for green or energy efficient reasons. Only 9% of buyers aged 51 -69 and 12% of those aged 70-90 purchased a home for its green features. Those surveyed also noted specific environmentally friendly features that were very important or somewhat important in their home purchase.
The most important feature to home buyers surveyed was home heating and cooling costs. 84% reported an efficient heating and cooling system was an important feature when purchasing a home. The number one interior green/energy efficient remodeling project was upgrading insulation at 71% and HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) replacement at 52%.
As a homeowner or seller, it is important to note the cost and recovery of these projects. Upgrading insulation can cost around $2000 and the percent recovered is 95%. The cost to replace the HVAC system is between $5000-$7000. The percent recovered is 71%. These percentages do not include energy savings over time, so you can expect to see those percentages increase if the upgrades are done while still living in your home.
67% of home buyers viewed energy efficient appliances and lighting as important features. Upgrading appliances to Energy Star® certified models can improve the look and efficiency of the home, but can be also be a sizable expense. Replacing old faucets and showerheads are a few cost effective ways to green up the home.
47% described landscaping for energy conservation as an important home feature, but it was not the number one exterior remodeling project. 47% reported replacing windows as the primary upgrade. Only 11% of home buyers reported solar panels as an important energy efficient feature and 44% stated environmentally friendly community features as important.
If you are considering energy efficient projects in your home before listing, consult the experts at CoListings who can provide insight into what it means to be green and if a project will benefit you in a sale.
Sources: http://www.realtor.org/reports/highlights-from-the-2015-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers http://www.realtor.org/reports/remodeling-impact http://www.realtor.org/reports/home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends