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This LEED Gold home by developer Rolling Bay Land Co. and architect Russell Hamlet includes solar hot water collectors in the back yard.


Connecting Buyers and Builders
The poor economy and tanking home values have pushed the green issue down on consumers’ priority lists, and Johnson reports that sustainability no longer ranks as a primary concern for most of today’s home buyers. “Price and location are back on top, but if a green option exists and the home fits their needs amenity-wise, it will definitely be a top pick.” Agents and lending organizations are often the link between home buyers and green builders, and experts say that crafting a sustainability message that gets attention in the current economic environment requires good collaboration. “Green builders and developers definitely appreciate our focus on sustainability,” Johnson says. “They know we understand what they’ve built, and are confident in our ability to convey their story—and the features and benefits of their project—to all potential buyers.”


According to John Beldock, the executive director of the Association of Energy and Environmental Real Estate Professionals, which awards the EcoBroker designation, consumers may see “green” as a loaded or overused term, and are now being more cautious about using sustainability as a comparison tool when shopping for homes.


“The good news is that we’re constantly hearing our membership report that people prefer better homes, better quality, better operating costs and health sensitive features,” he says. “This bodes well for the high-performance building industry, where energy and environmental features in residential buildings can now often be found in the same price points as those homes with less focus on performance, health and safety and comfort.” Frequent and ongoing exposure to buyers’ questions and concerns gives agents a valuable perspective on which green home features pluck the “buy” chord, insight that may help builders fine-tune their offerings.

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