Welcome to the Golden Age of Green Real Estate

Sustainable home construction and remodeling is thriving in popular real estate markets—and with good reason: it makes sense.

It also makes happy homeowners, buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. And there’s little sign of the trend slowing. In fact, it’s estimated that just four years from now, nearly a million homes will have rooftop solar panels.

Developers are taking notice. Real estate marketers are also mindful of the unique demands (and enhanced profitability) associated with green home listings.

Properly installed sustainable home systems can add to a property’s intrinsic value and reduce the cost of ownership. They also appeal to a growing and relatively affluent market segment of environmentally conscious, tech-friendly homebuyers.

From an objective standpoint, the benefits of green home systems are readily measurable. Vendors should be able to provide reliable return-on-investment projections for any installation or modification. Indeed, as the technology underlying these products and systems continues to evolve, it’s only getting easier to justify their cost. Doing so should never be a matter of speculative guesswork.

That said, the subjective value of sustainable construction and additions can also be significant. Many find the idea of reduced dependence on the “grid” appealing enough even to overlook a little fuzzy math in their cost-benefit projections. But that’s not to say one ever really should.

While some benefits are more easily quantified than others, there are many compelling reasons to go green. Competitive positioning among other conventional home listings is one. All else being equal, a reputably certified sustainable home is likely to stand out from its traditionally-built counterparts on the market.

Even for a buyer who isn’t shopping for a green home per se, sustainable features could be an attractive surprise. Sheer novelty, tech-appeal, and nifty, innovative engineering are all proven (and mostly legitimate) selling points.

High efficiency, eco-friendly options abound in the world of new construction. There are also many viable remodeling applications for electrical, waste processing, HVAC, and roofing systems, to name only a few.

Those who have a bit of land may find numerous opportunities to harness energy from the sun, wind, or moving water. There are plenty of options for urban dwellers and owners of multifamily properties as well. With the steady stream of new possibilities hitting the market, there’s never been a better time to upgrade to sustainable home systems.

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