Buying, Selling and Marketing Green Homes: The New MLS for a New Generation of Sustainable Building


Green Homes 

I am just like you — I promise. I troll the internet and news sites looking for anything about new eco products and technologies. It’s like being a kid all over again; the excitement of seeing that new toy, that new idea, that new whatever. Except that sometimes it’s actually not new at all, but an old way of doing things or a simple concept of generations before — but it’s still exciting! You can actually feel the excitement and the anxiety of our generation making leaps towards ways to conserve energy and water, renew and recycle products, all in an effort to modernize and to help save our planet, its resources and, well, let’s be honest, our humanity. It’s a lot to take on. So, I’m starting with the first step: my home and how I’m going to sell and market it now that it incorporates green building features.

Before I welcome you into my home (which typically comes with a craft cocktail made by my husband for guests), I want to let tell you about myself. I recycle, reuse and reduce, I try and find the most environmentally friendly products to use or make and I try to balance my dreams within my sustainable realities. But I’m not perfect and my budget has limits and sometimes my options are too limited for what I want or need to do while trying to live within a “sustainable lifestyle.” As a result, I’m green, but I’m not perfect. So while I write about sustainable living, focusing on housing, I’m going to be realistic for today’s family. Sustainable homes are easy to accomplish if you have some planning and passion. Seriously. It can be that easy. And the return for your wallet, your health and your home’s resale value can be substantial.

Home Remodel 

Green Homes Sell For More

You may have already known about the benefits to your health and wallet from owning a sustainably built (or remodeled) home, but what about your home’s resale value? Did you consider that as well when you paid for those solar panels or that tankless water heater? A home with sustainable features or systems is a premium house. According to the Berkeley Lab newsletter, “New research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds strong evidence that homes with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems sell for a premium over homes without solar systems…This corresponds to an average home sales price premium of approximately $17,000 for a relatively new 3,100-watt PV system…”

And in my ten years of real estate, I have never heard anyone say “Oh, no, I can’t stand energy-efficient systems or having a lower water or electric bill. I love paying lots of money for my utilities! And you can forget about products that have zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds).  I just love inhaling toxic compounds. Find me a house that will eat away at my wallet as quickly as it will my health… let’s go!” A buyer will never, ever, say that.

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