The desire for eco-friendly homes has increased dramatically in recent years. We may commemorate Earth Day in April, but many people make a concerted effort to go green in large or small ways all year long. And now, in addition to hybrid cars, biodegradable packaging, and recycling efforts, buyers are increasingly eco-minded when it comes to their homes. Eco-friendly homes have gone mainstream: most people would trade in their swimming pools for Energy Star appliances and CFL lighting, according to a realtor.com® user survey.
More than 30% of the realtor.com® user survey respondents currently live in an eco-friendly residence and nearly 85% of those we surveyed said they would like to own an eco-friendly home. Eco-friendly residences often use green building materials and low-VOC paint and have other features such as high-efficiency water heaters, energy-conserving insulation, and rainwater collection.
Those who don’t live in an eco-friendly residence are still doing their part to go green: 80% have energy-efficient appliances while almost 75% have energy-efficient lighting. It seems that there is plenty of room to grow when it comes to solar power; just 5% of respondents indicated that they have solar panels.
It appears that most are paying attention to environmental concerns, with the majority of people saying they have been aware of the need for eco-friendly homes for some time. Only 7% of our survey respondents said that the eco-friendly became a concern for them in the past year, with the bulk of respondents indicating that their interest in going green began at least several years ago.
Green Homes, Real Value
How important is living in a green home to today’s buyer? Nearly 40% of survey respondents told us they would be willing to sacrifice square footage for a more eco-friendly residence. Smaller homes are often greener because they consume less energy and materials. In addition to less space, potential buyers would also be willing to sacrifice other home amenities. A full three quarters of respondents (75%) would give up the pleasure of their own pool, while 74% would say farewell to the game room.
Their motives aren’t purely altruistic: survey respondents also indicated that they are aware that eco-friendly features have real value. A total of 70% of respondents believe that eco-friendly features add monetary value to a residence, while 68% would pay more money for an eco-friendly residence.
Eco-friendly homes aren’t just good for the environment; they can also be good for our wallets. No wonder then that energy efficiency features were very desirable for our respondents. Energy-efficient air conditioning topped the list at 86% of those surveyed opting for it. Also, 85% wanted energy-efficient appliances, 79% were interested in energy-efficient lighting, and 76% had their heart set on water-conserving appliances.