Today’s home buyers are looking to check “go green” off of their moving to do list. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors, 56% of realtors said that their clients were interested in sustainability while looking for new homes.
With 40% of Americans reporting that they are likely or somewhat likely to move within the next five years, this spike in prioritizing sustainability could have a significant impact. The NAR survey also found that 71% of real estate agents reported that their clients found listings that focused on energy efficiency either “somewhat valuable” or “very valuable,” according to a report by Construction DIVE.
The agents reported that 50% of their clients were most interested in energy efficient lighting. Lighting, which makes up about 11% of residential energy use and 18% of commercial energy use, came out as the top priority for these home buyers. This feature was followed by smart home technology (40%), shared amenities (37%), landscaping to encourage water conservation (32%), and renewable-energy systems (23%), ConstructionDIVE reports.
As home buyers are seeking greener amenities, this trend toward sustainability has led to the rise of green communities nationwide. The Babcock Ranch in Florida, for example, is an eco-friendly town founded by retired football player Syd Kitson, according to a report by Muscat Daily. Around 15,000 people went to visit the community last week, viewing the selection of homes, villas, and apartments. The ranch also includes a 440 acre solar farm which offsets the energy of almost 20,000 homes.
“We are building a new town from the ground up and that just doesn’t happen very often,” Kitson said in a statement to Muscat Daily. “We can do it right from the very beginning, and that is what we have set out to do.”
Looking North to New York State, Hudson Woods is a similar eco-community made up of a series of cabins. Gear Junkie reports that with a modern design and cozy feel, the homes maximize solar energy and the builders source materials from the surrounding area. By using boulders for retaining walls and lumber sourced by the Forest Stewardship Council, for example, the community is built with a more sustainable future in mind. The company also emphasizes local economic development by working with local contractors, Gear Junkie reports.
The use of sustainable products seems to be growing in popularity. According to a recent report by the National Association of Home Builders, 14% are using reused or salvaged materials and 34% are using materials with recycled content. The survey found that 67% of builders are using construction techniques aimed at reducing material usage all together, making projects more sustainable overall.
If homeowners are feeling inspired by these statistics to create a more sustainable home, there are many steps they can take. Even just placing shrubs and trees around the home can save up to 25% on energy bills, representing the power that every homeowner has over their own energy consumption.