Archive for the ‘Consumer Preferences for Green Building’ Category

NAR approves SEEC’s new four-part series as alternative credit towards its national Green designation

Friday, September 13th, 2013

WA and OR real estate brokers until recently were stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to choosing which courses to take to further their green building education.  On the one hand, they could select from some excellent local courses that either provided no designation or one that had little if no recognition nationally.  Or, they could take one of the two national designations: NAR’s Green or EcoBroker and either skip the local education or take it in addition.  With NAR’s Green REsource Council accepting  SEEC’s four-part series (check out our Green Classes page) as alternative credit towards its Green designation, brokers can stay on top with excellent local green continuing education, while earning a national and major designation.

A new green course for WA & OR real estate brokers: Energy Performance Scores – Valuing Energy Improvements

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Announcing the first offering of a new green course for real estate brokers: ”Energy Performance Scores – Valuing Energy Improvements” May 1st in Olympia, WA of our new four-part green broker series.  Each course is designed as a stand-alone module and, when taken as a series will progress attendees’  knowledge and expertise in green homes.  Thanks to our sponsors Thurston Energy and Olympia Federal Savings, the first 12 to register and pay the nominal fee $35 for this class, get to bring a COLLEAGUE FOR FREE.  In return for our sponsors’ commitment, SEEC will be offering these courses regardless of class size.  This is a 3.5 continuing education course for brokers, but is highly suitable for remodelers, home inspectors, mortgage professionals and even homeowners wishing to understand more about the value of home energy efficiency improvements.

Series Sponsored by: OFS logo green stackedThurston Energy Logo Altered

See my blog for NAR’s Appraisal Insight on Free Market, Liability, and Greening an MLS

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

See my blog for NAR’s Appraisal Insight on Free Market, Liability, and Greening an MLS in which I discuss whether we really can assess accurately the market’s reaction to green homes, if we do not have green fields fully populating a Multiple Listing Service’s Input Form, along with extensive search functions.  Do we really have a free market in housing if  there is not full transparency of building information that the consumer might react adversely to?

Nation’s Largest Publicly Traded Builders Adopting Green led by Energy Efficiency

Monday, April 4th, 2011

What are some of the indicators that real estate professionals and appraisers use to gauge the average buyer’s sentiment to green and energy efficiency?  When green and energy efficient building practices are adopted by the nation’s big-builders.

According to a survey “A Green Recovery for America’s Homebuilders?” released December 2010 by Calvert Investments, builders who embrace green-construction objectives, such as energy efficiency and water conservation, will have a leg up as the housing market tries to find its footing.
The survey focused on the 10 largest publicly traded homebuilders and the degree to which they’ve integrated sustainability into their practices and products, and follows-up a similar Calvert survey conducted two years ago. The 2010 survey covers five principal areas: land, building materials, energy, water, and climate change.

The green initiatives that builders, led by KB Home and Pulte, tend to pursue most vigorously are driven by their potential to reduce operating costs and their financial benefit to customers.  The survey report noted that companies are most active “in programs that will increase the energy efficiency of the homes they build.  That finding is in line with a J.D. Power survey, cited by Meritage Homes on its website and noted in the Calvert report, that, among homeowners who have purchased a “green” home, 94% reported they purchased the home because of the savings they would see on energy bills” (taken directly from the Fine Homebuilding Blog by Richard Defendorf).

Homebuyer sentiment in WA shifts from square footage to quality and energy efficiency

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Quadrant Homes built its reputation in WA on the fact it built homes with more space for less money.  This approach was right in line with consumer demand for ever-increasing square footage.  But behind the scenes Quadrant was starting to embrace some of the principles of green building by producing homes to Built Green® 3-STAR standards and ENERGY STAR® certification was offered to homebuyers as an option.  But there was a disconnect between their marketing message “More House, Less Money” and their entry, under the Built Green® program, into more resource efficient construction methods.  No longer though.

As of the beginning of 2011, Quadrant is building all their homes to the new 2011 Northwest ENERGY STAR® standards.  So why does one of the most succesful production home builders in WA make such a commitment?  Following on serious market research conducted July and August 2010, Quadrant received the message loud and clear that while they still enjoyed a high brand awareness level, homebuyers’ expectations had changed.  “What happened was this buyer became more discerning as the market started to turn down,” said Ken Krivanec, Quadrant’s president.

As a result of the research, Quadrant immediately began to shift the company’s focus away from “More House Less Money” to “Built Your Way” in what the company calls an “Evolution to a Revolution.”  The revolution?  Homebuyers are seeking quality over quantity and are willing to sacrifice square footage to achieve that.  “Our [average] square footage is down year-over-year,” said Krivanec.  The market research also showed that energy efficiency was important to buyers – hence Quadrant’s commitment to build to a higher energy standard.

Other production builders should take heed.  Quadrant’s success has come from the fact that it gives homebuyers what they want.  And what they want now are smaller, higher quality, energy efficient homes.

Consumer Survey finds Green Certified agents important

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

A Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Living Green Consumer Survey released Nov 2008 found one in three homeowners (30%) claimed they would be willing to spend $5,000 or more on green improvements to increase a home’s appeal to potential buyers. 

Additional survey findings revealed that when preparing to buy or sell a home, more than half of those surveyed (51%) believe in the importance of working with a green certified real estate agent ― professionals who can assist in the identification and marketing of homes with high green quotient.  This would include knowledge in regards to housing materials and construction, energy efficient appliances and systems, as well as the impact of landscaping on a home’s environmental footprint.

Yet more evidence that consumers want agents qualified in green building to represent them.  Take the Green Agent Essentials Course May 9th and 10th through Seattle King County Association of REALTORS.

New Survey Indicates Green Features as a Priority

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

A recent survey of homebuyers registered on revealed that 55 percent of survey respondents rated a home’s green features a “somewhat important” or “very important” part of their home hunt.

Other highlights from the survey include:
•Homebuyers who view green features as a priority ranked them important because they helped save money (49 percent), as well as allowed them to do their part to help the environment (40 percent).
•Other reasons homebuyers valued green features included occupant/family health (37 percent), tax credit availability (12 percent) and the home’s resale value (15 percent).
•Although homebuyers overwhelmingly rated energy efficiency the most important green feature in a home (89 percent), an additional survey conducted by the brokerage of MLS-listed homes across the 35 markets nationwide ZipRealty serves found that less than one percent of homes on the market included the term in their description of the home.

See Aug 18th BuildingOnline news service for full story.