CenterPoint Home Energy Program
Thursday, September 08, 2016

Green homes sold for $33,894 more on average than homes without green features in 2015

By Kim Slowey and Natalie Schwab | September 8, 2016

According to Redfin, homeowners are going green in response to environmental conditions — like the California drought — or are taking advantage of eco-friendly elements in the course of other upgrades. Homeowners also see green features as a contributor to future resale value and energy-bill savings. Those renovating or building a home are also aiming for a healthier living environment by using more nontoxic building materials and finishes. The analysis also revealed that homeowners can earn green by going green. Homes with green features sold for $33,894 more than the median sale price of all homes in the cities Redfin analyzed. With record-breaking droughts and high temperatures across the country, more house hunters are looking for these amenities.

Homebuyers in all demographics are increasingly demanding homes with green features, and Hanley Wood recently reported that baby boomers are no exception. The company found that 55-plus homebuyers valued sustainability, energy efficiency, wireless security, adaptive lighting and smartphone-controlled home features.

Taking green living literally has emerged with the rising popularity of "agrihoods," which are residential communities built around farms. Instead of demolishing farms to make way for development, homes are added so that residents can experience growing their own food, raising animals and living as part of a community. Green features often come standard with these homes, which tend to be more expensive because of the low-density nature of the developments. Texas billionaire and former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot Jr. built one of the nation's first residential farming developments near Dallas, and other major homebuilders like D.R. Horton and PulteGroup’s Del Webb division are experimenting with the concept and have reported success so far.

While most people appreciate the value of green features, particularly ENERGY STAR appliances and windows, a National Association of Home Builders survey found that homeowners are cost-minded when it comes to upgrading their homes to these standards, and at least half demand a 20% return on their energy efficiency investments.