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Cost Savings, Not Environment, Top Motivation for Buying Green Home

Sixty-three percent of homeowners report lower operating and maintenance costs as the key motivation behind buying a green home, according to research sponsored by McGraw-Hill Construction and the National Association of Home Builders. Nearly 50 percent report environmental concerns and family health as motivators.

According to the study, 0.3 percent of all homes in the U.S. are truly green (containing elements in three of five environmental building categories), a market sized at approximately $2 billion.

Homeowners are happy with their green homes, with 85 percent happier with their new green homes versus their previous non-green ones. And they’re not shy about sharing those feelings. This finding is important because 28 percent of the homeowners reported first hearing about green homes through word of mouth.

The research also found that:

  • The new green homeowner is affluent and well educated, in his/her mid forties and married, and also more likely to be from the Southern or Western states.  Women are also more likely to be green homeowners.
  • The top three obstacles, all hovering over 60 percent of respondents, were oriented around education, additional costs involved in green homes and the availability of the homes.  However, when looking at the “biggest” obstacles, green homeowners view education as the biggest hurdle to overcome.
  • Approximately half the overall U.S. homeowner population has recently done some renovation work on their home, and approximately 40 percent of that population is doing so with green products.
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