Thursday, November 06, 2008

Americans Ready to Spend More Green on the Home

48 percent of homeowners would spend $2,500 or more on greening up a home for resale according to the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate “Living Green” Consumer Survey

A survey conducted at home shows in 15 cities across the country gauging consumer environmental practices suggests that many Americans are going green when it comes to their homes. Despite “cost” being singled out by 36 percent of respondents as the greatest impediment to going green, half of those surveyed have paid more money for an energy efficient product in the past 12 months and one in three homeowners (30%) claim they would be willing to spend $5,000 or more on green improvements to increase a home’s appeal to potential buyers. The findings are the result of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Living Green Consumer Survey which looked at responses from over 2,300 consumers and is considered accurate to within +/- 2.2%.

These and other national survey results are being announced as a part of the Better Homes and Gardens and Green Works Living GreenTM Tour finale - the culmination of an eight-month, 15-city tour promoting healthy and environmentally friendly living. Launched in February 2008 by Better Homes and Gardens magazine and Green Works Natural Cleaners, the tour featured a 2,500 square foot Living Green Home, which showcased how small changes can impact the energy efficiency of everyday homes.

“As their environmental awareness grows, American homeowners are beginning to take action on green issues and are willing to spend their money accordingly,” explained Sherry Chris, president and CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “These survey results confirm homeowners are identifying greater value in green and when the time comes to sell their homes, they will look to convert high consumer awareness levels on the green issue into a market differentiator.”

Additional survey findings revealed that 82 percent of respondents believe they are informed when it comes to issues pertaining to the environment. When preparing to buy or sell a home, more than half of those surveyed (51%) believe in the importance of working with a green certified real estate agent ― professionals who can assist in the identification and marketing of homes with high green quotient. This would include knowledge in regards to housing materials and construction, energy efficient appliances and systems, as well as the impact of landscaping on a home’s environmental footprint. In the cities of Hartford, Conn., Greenville, S.C., and San Francisco, two out of three respondents indicated that working with a green agent would be important.

“This tour provided us with an outstanding opportunity to extend our green coverage beyond our magazine pages and Web site,” said Gayle Butler, editor in chief, Better Homes and Gardens magazine. “The exhibit offered consumers a hands-on opportunity to learn realistic steps to save money and energy while minimizing their impact on the environment. The added benefits of the survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate gives us qualitative insights into the mindset of consumers regarding the green issue.”

Some of the other factors keeping survey respondents from being greener included convenience (22%), lack of knowledge on how to (18%) and lack of time (17%). However, many consumers reported engaging in “eco-friendly” or “green” acts in the past six months, including recycling (73%), replacing incandescent lights with CFLs (69%), conserving water (57%), adjusting the thermostat (51%) and purchasing energy efficient appliances (30%).

The Living Green Tour and Exhibit included stops in Hartford, Conn.; Greenville, S.C., San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, Miami, Nashville, Tenn., Boston, Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Atlanta, and New York. More details on the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Living Green Consumer Survey, including an executive summary and presentation, are available upon request.
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