Research over the last five years or so has shown an increasing consumer demand for green features in homes. A 2019 study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 68% of home buyers want environmentally-friendly homes and 70% of real estate brokers believe that describing a home’s green features helped sell a house.
To fully understand how environmentally-friendly homes sell in the 2020 marketplace, you need to know what types of green features home buyers want. All of the features described below may have a high initial cost, but they will save money in the long-run. That, and their ability to help the Earth, is what makes these six green features so popular with home buyers.
Top Six Green Features Home Buyers Want
Consider adding these green features to your home. They will attract home buyers. If you are a home buyer looking for a new home in Virginia, consider using Northern Virginia Home Pro. Buyers outside the state should use their local real estate company. These professionals are trained to help you find a green home with these six features.
At the top of the list is Energy-Star-rated windows. Energy-Star is a US certification that indicates aspects of a home that efficiently use and save energy. The Energy-Star program was implemented in 1992, and since that time it has saved almost three trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity. It has also reduced about three billion metric tons of greenhouse gas.
Approximately 89% of home buyers want Energy-Star-rated windows. For 38% of that 89 %, Energy-Star-rated windows are a must-have in their home. For windows, the Energy-Star certification means that very little heat is lost or gained in the home. The inclusion of vacuum-sealed spaces in between the window panels achieve this goal.
Energy-Star gains the top-three spots in this list of green features. That popularity speaks to the ubiquitous nature of the program in the United States. There are name recognition and an association with quality that makes Energy-Star an important feature for home buyers.
Energy-Star-rated appliances are another important aspect of a home for buyers. 86% of home buyers want Energy-Star-rated appliances in the home. The appliances that most often carry the Energy-Star certification are clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers. When a home has at least one of these appliances with an Energy-Star rating, its bills are reduced significantly.
Energy-Star also certifies an entire home. These certified homes must meet certain standards throughout the building process. An Energy-Star agent is sent to the site to assess the energy usage and compliance with the program throughout the building process. Energy-Star homes have very efficient heating and cooling systems, a complete thermal enclosure system, a water protection system, and efficient lighting and appliances.
When you purchase an Energy-Star home, you know that you are getting the most efficient and comfortable home available. It is no wonder that 81% of home buyers want the Energy-Star rating for their whole home.
The fourth most important green feature for home buyers is LED and energy-efficient lighting. This is one of the most inexpensive and easiest green renovations to complete in your existing home. LED lights have a much longer lifespan and produce fewer watts per bulb than traditional incandescent lighting. For example, the lifespan of an LED lightbulb is 25,000 hours as opposed to the 1,200 hours for an incandescent lightbulb.
Homebuyers in 2020 also want smart features in their homes. LED lighting is a great place to add smart home features. You can install a controllable lighting system. These often connect to smart devices or they could have voice controls. Lighting systems reduce energy usage even further—as much as 4-9% reduction has been reported—and provide a homeowner with the ability to create multiple lighting “moods.”
Water-conserving toilets are essential to 19% of home buyers, and desirable to 44%. This adds up to 63% of home buyers who would prefer having water-conserving toilets in their homes. Purchasing the correct water-conserving toilet is essential to creating the greatest savings. Some water-conserving toilets are extremely expensive. If you plan on adding one or more to increase your home’s marketability, make sure to do your research. Your municipality or water provider may even offer a rebate for your purchase of a water-conserving toilet.
Toilets account for 24% of water use in a home. The average traditional toilet uses 3.5 gallons of water per flush. Some of the most recent water-conserving toilets use only .8-.11 gallons. That is a huge reduction of water, which helps both the aquifers and the homeowner.
Probably the most recognizable green home feature is solar panels. Traditionally, this feature has also been one of the most expensive green features as well. Yet, the price of solar panels and solar systems has reduced in recent years. In Virginia, you could save up to $64,400 in the lifetime of the panels. Modern solar panels typically last 25-30 years.
Solar panels are not as popular as some of the other features described here. But, 59% percent of home buyers still name them as an important green feature in potential homes. Solar systems can be very complicated to set up properly, and so you should consult with a professional before adding them to your home.
Homebuyers are at the forefront of the push towards including green features in homes in 2020. New builds can be built to Energy-Star standards, but green features can also be added to older homes. Pick one or more of the features listed above, and you will increase your home’s salability.
Focus on the Energy-Star windows and appliances first. A large majority of home buyers prefer that certification and see it as essential. Energy-efficiency is an important part of any type of home. Then you can focus on water, electrical, and lighting efficiency. Work on greening your home today. You will see a return on investment as these features are likely to continue increasing in popularity.