Home Buyers Are Seeking Green Features

Saving energy, keeping homes more comfortable and doing a good thing for the environment are all benefits of adding green features to your home.  In fact, adding green features to existing homes, or building them in from the beginning is becoming more important to most homebuyers today.

Recently, the National Association of Homebuilders surveyed buyers about several types of green features and which were most important to them. Add them to your home and you’ll benefit by making your home more comfortable you’ll also add value to your home.

Not surprisingly, the some of the most historically popular green features are energy efficient appliances, windows and insulation. Recent droughts have moved water saving features higher up the list.

The biggest thing buyers want in new homes is for the whole house to have a green certification, for instance an Energy Star® rating for the whole home. That includes appliances, insulation, windows. Buyers are willing to pay more for homes that will save them on utility bills, up to a point. Interestingly, gas-filled windows were the least popular feature of those surveyed.

If you’re planning to update old appliances, it’s wise to consider tankless water heaters and a high SEER air conditioning system. For other easy upgrades, look for water saving shower heads, toilets, and dishwashers. Adding a rain/freeze sensor to your irrigation system can also help.

Other green features are probably better suited for homeowners who are planning to stay in their homes for some time. Solar panels, for instance, have come down drastically in price, but are better suited for a long term investment than for someone who is planning to move soon.

If you are considering or in the process of adding green features to your home, a great way to get started is to speak to a MetroTex Realtor.  You can also look for MetroTex Realtors who have the GREEN certification, indicating they are knowledgeable about green construction and retrofits. Additionally, Realtors can provide valuable counsel, discuss ROI, and provide you with referrals for licensed contractors. Visit dfwrealestate.com for more information on working with a MetroTex Realtor.

Homebuyers Seeking Green Features

Saving money on summer electricity bills is pretty important to most North Texans. And using less electricity in the summer is a great way to start living greener, too. But how many homebuyers are actively seeking green features, and what are they looking for? 

In North Texas, the most popular green features do tend to revolve around keeping the summer cooling bills to a minimum. Updates MetroTex Realtors report seeing most often include 16+ SEER air conditioning units, extra insulation in the attic, solar screens, and energy efficient windows. Less costly updates for the DIY set include blankets on water heaters, low flow shower heads and dual flush toilets. Bigger investments are beginning to make headway in the area, too. A recent search on the local MLS revealed more than 100 homes on the market with solar panels, and about 1850 with tankless water heaters. MetroTex Realtosrs also report that buyers do appreciate green features that are perceived to save them money on utility bills, and will more often perceive homes with green features as a better value.

According to research by the National Association of REALTORS®, 11 percent of new homes are bought for green/energy efficient reasons. As for which features buyers of new homes desire, buyers ranked the following as very or somewhat important: heating and cooling costs (84 percent); energy-efficient appliances (67 percent); energy-efficient lighting (67 percent); landscaping for energy conservation (47 percent); environmentally friendly community features (44 percent); and solar panels on a home (11 percent). And while all generations seem to be going green for environmental and financial reasons, 14 percent of those between the ages of 36 and 50, and 13 percent under the age of 35, bought a newly built home for green/energy efficient reasons.

If you’re considering updating your home, it makes sense to incorporate green features where you can: changing out a toilet to a dual flush system, using LED lighting, replacing windows with broken seals to more energy efficient models. You’ll be more comfortable in your home, save on energy bills every month, and your future buyers will appreciate your efforts. 

The MetroTex Association of REALTORS® is comprised of more than 16,000 licensed agents in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information on buying, selling, and leasing property in Texas, speak with a MetroTex REALTOR or visit www.dfwrealestate.com


George Jetson doesn’t live here – but you could.

Saving time, money, energy and effort, smart home technology is now available to the masses. And it’s easier to add into your home than you might think. Have an internet connection and a router in your house? How about a smart phone? Then you’ve already got the basics to get a smart home system in place.

Whole Home Smart systems often involve a dedicated tablet mounted to a wall that controls the home systems – things like heat and air conditioning, lights, audio systems, pool equipment and security monitors. Complementary apps for your phone will let you control these things from room to room or while you’re away. For instance, Smart thermostats can have sensors placed in a room to make sure that rooms that are often uncomfortable get heated or cooled properly. Furthermore, you can change the temperature or change the thermostat to other settings while away, so you set the thermostat to away settings when you leave and can revert to the right temperature before you board the plane to come home.

But it’s not just about climate control, Captain Picard. Smart kitchen features are here, too. Refrigerators can let you know when you’re out of milk. Ovens and even the simple slow cooker are now controlled remotely to adjust temperature settings and cook times. Even plumbing gets in on the action with motion sensors instructing faucets to turn themselves off when no one is in the room. And with remote monitoring, if you get a leak under your sink or from the water heater, remote monitoring can alert you to the problem and shut off the water until a plumber can be called.

There’s no danger here, Will Robinson. Adding to the safety and security of your home is easier now with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that send alerts to you if there is an alarm. Wireless security cameras with audio are now pretty affordable and can both see in the dark and record what’s happening in your house. Garage door openers and locks are also smart enabled. No more lost keys. You can even let your neighbor in to water the plants if you forget to give them a key before you leave on vacation.

Audio and Visual equipment, always at the forefront of technological advances is certainly no exception. Sound systems that play from room to room, and televisions that turn off when you fall asleep are only the beginning. Homeowners can incorporate all of the flexibility they can imagine with shareable content and delivery.

Rosie the Maid also gets a break with the newest technology. Robot vacuums have been around for a while and can link to your phone so you can adjust the settings without having to look for the instruction manual. Even feeding the dog gets automated with wi-fi enabled pet dishes.

Many of these systems are easy enough for the DIY crowd to install.  If you’re planning on adding a lot of systems to your home though, it might be best to consult with a smart home installer to make sure the products you’re considering are scalable and compatible with a whole home system.

If you are considering upgrading your home with smart technology, consult with your MetroTex REALTOR to find out which features are most popular in your area.

For information on buying, leasing or selling a home in Texas, visit dfwrealestate.com or call a MetroTex REALTOR.