ENERGY STAR windows are the single-most wanted green feature among home buyers, with 89 percent reporting that it is an essential/must have (38 percent) or a desirable feature (51 percent).
In our latest study on preferences, What Home Buyers Really Want, NAHB asks recent and prospective home buyers (people who bought homes in the previous three years or are planning to do so in the next three years) about the features they would like in a home or community. Home buyers used a four-tier scale of essential/must have, desirable, indifferent, and do not want to rank features. A chapter in the study places special emphasis on the green features that home buyers want the most. Figure 1 displays the top ten green features.
Two other ENERGY STAR features come in second and third place: ENERGY STAR rated appliances (86 percent of home buyers want these) and an ENERGY STAR rating for the whole home (81 percent).
Further analysis of Figure 1 provides evidence that for home buyers, a green home is first and foremost an energy efficient home. Except for water-conserving toilets, every one of the top ten green features deals directly with energy efficiency: ‘efficient lighting that uses less energy than traditional bulbs’ (77 percent), ‘windows with triple-pane insulating glass’ (77 percent), ‘insulation higher than required by code’ (73 percent), as well as low-e insulating glass windows (62 percent), a tankless water heater (61 percent), and solar water heating/electric system (59 percent).
A second tier of green features (Figure 2) shows that after energy efficiency, home buyers want features that help with the air quality inside the home: a home dehumidification system (58%), whole house mechanical ventilation, low VOC materials, and an electronic air cleaner (all rated essential/desirable by 57 percent).
To lean more facts about the green features that home buyers want in a home and community, please visit the BuilderBooks online store to download the latest edition of What Home Buyers Really Want.