Why Energy Efficiency is Important on Your Next Home Purchase or Renovation

by Shashank ShekharMay 20, 2015

Instead of being an implicitly smart piece of modern society, energy efficiency and the whole green movement have been effectively politicized. By flipping the script on the issue and turning it from financially wise to politicized, certain people have produced ignorance and apathy around embracing a more sustainable, energy efficient lifestyle.

Why? Why do people allow the narrative to construct for them instead of shaping it themselves?

Let us have an educated discussion minus any tree hugging. Let’s talk dollars and sense by focusing on the personal economics of the issue.

You do like saving money? Are you also open to hearing about ways to accomplish that task more frequently and with increasing volume? Thought so. Me too. Good, we are clearly on the same page.

The Most Wanted List – Features That Buyers Require and/or Want

We should start at the beginning. The home features that buyers – as a whole – look for when they are on the hunt.

And yes, we have lumped some very different home buying demographics into an oversized and over simplistic, bucket labeled “home buyers.” We will break the demographics down further in part two of this energy efficiency series. To those looking at buying their first home, you may think these are unattainable. As a complete set you might be right, but individually these features may partially be available at first. As you grow and plan for the inevitable move-up purchase, you will want to consider these features in your renovation and home improvement plans. They will help you maximize your investment.

So, what do home buyers want? The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) surveys potential homebuyers on their “must-have/required” and “desirable” home features quite frequently. There has been a clearly defined trend over the past 5+ years.

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Buyers in the market for a new home are increasingly and overwhelmingly leaning toward energy efficiency as a must have. In fact, EnergyStar appliances topped the list with 94 percent of homebuyers wanting them included. Appliances were not standing alone however, 91 percent surveyed want an energy-star rating for the entire home and another 89 percent want energy-star rated windows.

Outside of energy efficiency, home buyers continued to emphasize practicality on their preferred feature list with focus on storage, how space is used and modern amenities: 89% bought a home with a laundry room, 78% bought a home with a garage, 57% bought a home with a fireplace and 41% bought a home with a basement.

Generational Demographics – Different Age, Different Preferences

In addition to NAR’s study, surveys by GfK Roper Reports and 24/7 Wall Street looked at preferences among younger buyers and older buyers. Sellers can use this information to target their marketing to the buyers they think are most likely to purchase their home. For example, the surveys found that hardwood floors were more important to younger buyers than an older generation.

Older buyers think a private master bath is an important feature to have in their home. While younger buyers want this as well, it’s less of a priority for their age group.

Both older and and younger buyers are looking for open floor plans, as well as a home office with up-to-date wiring.

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About The Author
Shashank Shekhar
Amazon.com Best-selling author, Shashank Shekhar (NMLS 8176) is a mortgage lender with Arcus Lending, offering loans for home purchase and refinance. Shashank has been featured as a mortgage expert on Yahoo! News, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX. He has been named "Top 40 under 40" most influential mortgage professionals in the country.