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If You Build GREEN – They Will NOT Come

August 17th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

The flurry of Green Home Building activity over the past couple of years has been really interesting to follow.  When I first started writing about it and getting designations/certifications – Most people still had no idea what it meant.  People weren’t tired of the word GREEN yet.

But this flurry of activity has brought sparkles to some builders eyes around Houston.   Dollar signs in the eyes like in Cartoons – Thoughts of fame and fortune for building the next latest and greatest home on the market.

Thoughts of  ‘If You Build It – They Will Come

Well folks, it doesn’t really work that way.  I announced the beginning of a series Dirty Little Secrets of Green Home Buyers through my Facebook and twitter page so here you have it.

The truth is, the majority of home buyers that I have worked with over the past 2 years have been Green.  Many of them being incredibly Green longing for Renewable Energy, Geothermal, Low VOC paint products and LEED Certifications.  BUT, the truth of the matter is no matter how many homes are built green around Houston my home buyers do not flock after them to purchase and brag about.  Why is that?

Even looking through the LEED Certification list there are SO many aspects of green.  Here are a few:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • LOCATION
  • Renewable Energy
  • LOCATION
  • Gardening/Composting
  • LOCATION
  • Healthy

In the mind of a Home Buyer, they could want either one or all of these things.  And the list above does not even incorporate all of it.

The truth is, even if the home you have built is LEED Platinum – Many home buyers would rather buy an incredibly NON Green home before they buy your LEED Platinum home that is ready to go.

I have termed this ‘building for points‘ – Meaning, let’s look at this list and see where we can get the most points.  Sometimes the points don’t even make sense.  They are just points.  The true point behind green building gets lost.  The ‘needs’ of a particular Green buyer get lost as well.

If you as a builder are doing this for the right reason and simply wanting to offer a higher quality product to your home owners and do right by the environment.  Great!  If you are just building for the publicity of building Green thinking that every Green Certified Real Estate Professional and Home Buyer will be knocking down your doors with multiple offers.  Think again.

Selling Green is not as easy as it sounds.  Stay tuned for all of the reasons why.

In the mean time if you have questions just give me a shout.  Steph@TurningHoustonGreen.com

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas Johnson

    In Texas, there is not the will in terms of the government incentives for green building. At the end of the day, the cost effectiveness rules the purchase. A $15000 home theater beats a $15000 solar array with a 15 year payback every day for most buyers. What am I missing?
    .-= Thomas Johnson´s last blog ..New Appraisal Rules are Causing Problems =-.

  • steph

    Hi Thomas, I don’t know about all of that. The buyer that I am referring to is not the typical buyer. I also think that the days of someone wanting to spend that much on a Media Room are numbered.

    Besides, the construction techniques that I will refer to here will end up being code in a few years anyhow so people may as well get used to it.

  • Andrew S.

    Hey Steph,

    Very interested in hearing more on this one! I agree with you 100% on this. We see the same thing here in Utah. I think a lot of LEED is built strictly for the feel good side of it and not really because it is what buyers want. Many of the LEED housing projects in my area are having a hard time selling and they are very disapointing in overall quality. Most points come from lacation based scores.

    Now, all that said, some folks have built homes to live in and have them LEED certified. Completely different thing and some amazing homes.
    .-= Andrew S.´s last blog ..59 W. Layton Ave. =-.

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