Rachel Burris is a writer for Quicken Loans’ Publishing House, covering topics of interest to present and future homeowners, as well as industry insiders. Prior to joining the company, she worked in New York City as a licensed real estate salesperson for the luxury brokerage firm, Brown Harris Stevens, and as an English teacher for the NYC Department of Education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Bucknell University, a Postbaccalaureate certificate in Psychology from Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Top 6 Eco-Friendly Home Features Buyers Want
Content sponsor Quicken Loans reveals the energy-saving products most in demand right now.
September 2, 2020
With climate risks rising, an increasing number of homeowners are trying to do their part to improve the environment. If they haven’t already, your customers likely will start asking to see green and sustainable homes. We’ve gathered the top six eco-friendly features buyers are looking for so you’re better prepared to help them with their search.
What Are Eco Homes?
Eco homes are designed to promote greener lifestyles by minimizing the greenhouse gases they emit into the atmosphere. These homes reduce their environmental impact by including sustainable materials and technologies that reduce homeowners’ energy and water needs.
Each of the following eco-friendly home features helps limit the waste produced by households. While some are common features in contemporary homes, others are highly specialized and challenging to find on the market.
- Energy Star-rated appliances. Homes with high-efficiency appliances are in demand because they offer enhanced performance with reduced energy usage. Not only do Energy Star-rated appliances lower homeowners’ carbon footprint, but they also look good and reduce utility costs.
- Programmable thermostats. Eighty-five percent of buyers consider heating and cooling costs to be a significant factor in their home search, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This desire to cut costs has led more buyers to seek out homes with programmable thermostats. Homes with older HVAC systems are wasteful and costly because they pump hot and cold air throughout the home without regard to when and where it’s needed. Conversely, programmable thermostats provide homeowners with increased control over their climates.
- Radiant floor heating. With heat directly transferring from the ground to the individuals standing on it, radiant heating uses much less energy than traditional heating methods. Commonly found in luxury bathrooms, radiant heating requires electric coils or water tubing to be installed under the floors. It’s pricey to install, but this technology ultimately contributes to lower energy expenses.
- Solar panels. Instead of relying on the utility company to provide electricity, buyers are interested in generating clean energy themselves. Now that capturing the sun’s power is far more affordable, buyers are on the lookout for homes decked out with solar panels.
- Recycled materials. Building and finishing homes with recycled materials is a trend that’s on the rise. Producing new materials depletes many natural resources, so reusing them eliminates waste and diminishes the environmental impact. Reclaimed materials, like barn wood and recycled quartz, also are more affordable and can furnish homes with striking textures.
- Geothermal systems. “Geothermal systems use the ground’s relatively cool temperature to cool a home in the summer and relatively warmer temperature to heat homes in the winter,” says Chris Fisher, manager of solar product development and marketing at CertainTeed. “They’re eco-friendly because they can displace heating loads, which currently rely on the burning of fossil fuels to produce heat.” While this method is more efficient than traditional HVAC systems, it’s also more expensive to install. Since it regulates temperatures by transferring heat from the earth into your home, installation requires extensive drilling.
The Benefits Of Eco Homes
With their environmental and financial advantages, it’s no wonder buyers are seeking eco homes. As an agent, you can provide higher-quality service by assisting your customers in finding and assessing these new technologies. Remember, homes with eco-friendly features are highly coveted, so they’re likely to sell faster and possess a higher resale value in the future.
Visit Quicken Loans’ real estate agent resources for more industry-related tips.