Do Green Homeowners Have Buyer's Remorse?
February 6, 2014 – EcoBuilding Pulse
By Katie Weeks
Are green homeowners satisfied with their purchases? A new study conducted by GuildQuality that was commissioned by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says yes. Surveying homeowners who has purchased a National Green Building Standard-certified home the past three years, GuildQuality asked respondents about their overall satisfaction with their purchase. Respondents represented single family, town home, and condominium owners.
“Historically, studies have focused on interest in green among buyers in the market or on trends as reported by industry professionals,” said Matt Belcher, co-chair of NAHB’s Energy & Green Building Subcommittee in a release about the study. “While that’s certainly important information for all those in the industry, it doesn’t always get to the heart of what new buyers want to know, which is: ‘How satisfied are green homeowners with their decision?'”
So, how satisfied are they? According to the survey:
- 94 percent of the homeowners would recommend a green home to a friend.
- 92 percent would purchase another green home.
- 71 percent of respondents believe that green homes are of higher quality than a non-green home.
- 65 percent of respondents strongly agreed that having an energy-efficient home was an important factor in deciding to build or buy their home. In comparison, 59 percent strongly agreed that air quality was an important decision factor, and 37 percent strong agreed that water usage was an important factor.
- 55 percent knew their home may have cost more than a non-green home but felt the benefits outweighed the cost premium.
When asked about which green aspects of their homes they were most satisfied with, the top choices were low utility bills, energy efficiency, and insulation. When asked about the least-favorable aspects, a large majority of respondents left the question blank. However, some of the attached comments shed light on perceptions that high-performance home builders still need to address. Among them were concerns that not enough time is spent explaining the use of the home’s features or how to maximize their benefits; concern that the term “green home” is used too loosely; and concern that green homes still cost too much.