I like the notion of 'buying green' but how do I get around the inflated price tag attached to homes that are touted as being eco-friendly?

Asked by Josh Mo, Miami Beach, FL Sun Jan 27, 2013

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Howard Chase’s answer
Howard Chase, Agent, Miami Beach, FL
Thu Jan 31, 2013
The sellers willingness to sell will obviously determine the ultimate selling price for any property, green or not. However, if you want to offer a price that is lower than what the seller is expecting, you can make the other terms of your offer more attractive like a larger deposit, shorter inspection period or faster closing time. A good realtor can guide you through this. Feel free to call me any time for more details.

-Howard Chase
0 votes
xxx xx, , Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sun Jan 27, 2013
Although some green remodels and buildings can be expensive, buying a new green home doesn’t have to be more expensive than a traditional home. When builders construct a new home to “green” certification standards, they often pass the cost along to the buyer, which can make the initial price of a new green home higher than that of a traditional one. However, energy costs continue to rise and many buyers are finding the long-term savings they will accrue from an energy-efficient house outweigh the higher price tag. Also, as the practice of green construction increases, the cost of green building will continue to decrease.

One good thing that's on your side - many homes in South Florida qualify as "green" but are not being properly marketed as such. I can help you identify those homes, just give me a call or email.

I have a lot more information about green and eco-friendly home buying and selling - visit my website at http://www.devensellsflorida.com/go-green/.
2 votes
Thanks Deven - your site is very helpful!
Flag Sun Jan 27, 2013
Ann Ryan, Agent, Doral, FL
Sun Jan 27, 2013
Buy any condo in an inner city. Most high-rise developments are actually pretty environmentally friendly without any adjustment - there are simply efficiencies that happen when large numbers of people live together. Then, continue the trend by trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, using less AC, and taking public transportation or walking when possible.
1 vote
Kelly Pessis, Agent, Malibu, CA
Mon Feb 23, 2015
If you try and retrofit after, you are likely to pay more. A good example is solar panels for the electrical service or water heater - it is not just the cost of putting in the panels it is the additional cost of tying it in to your existing system, permitting and, in some cases, moving vents, skylights, etc., to meet fire department codes for roof accessibility. There are all sorts of unforeseen obstacles that add up when it is not planned into the original construction. If you have the option to add to new construction and finance it into your mortgage, it is probably best in the long run.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Mon Feb 23, 2015
It matters not if we talk about strawberries, BMW's, organic, free range or 'buying green,' the buyer always wants it to cost less. So what is new?

Your attachment to the work inflated may indicate a disconnect regarding your understanding of the real cost of building green that leads to the benefits of living in a green house.

How do you get around it? Don't buy it. Keep your GREEN in your pocket.
While you are holding your $$$$, engage your local politician to release citizens from their bondage to the utility companies. As it stands. the State of Florida, by practice, deed and code, demonstrate their belief that the greatest benefit to the state regarding GREEN is to have DUKE Energy to greenify their infrastructure which those elected believe is more beneficial than single family homes. SO....you should vote for those who have a different enlightenment.

Then, the real action you should take is to make a purchase offer that reflects what the house is worth to you. THEN the research can be completed to discover where the disconnect exists.
0 votes
Jeffrey Mill…, Agent, Miami Beach, FL
Mon Feb 23, 2015
Unfortunately, since green technology is still in the initial phases of development and is not currently being used widespread, the prices associated with eco-friendly homes are higher. Even though the initial costs may seem inflated, if the "green" home was built to be more efficient or to use alternative energy sources, your every day living costs will be lower and thus will actually save you money.
0 votes
Santiago Vit…, , 33134
Sat Mar 2, 2013
All the answers posted are good ones, but the truth is that green technology costs more than the existing mass produced counterparts. For example when we install a higher efficiency rating A/C condensers in our developments we spend 25% more than if we installed the min code requirements. Generally the savings can be offset over a period of 3-5 yrs based on how good is the insulation of the structure. The next big ticket is insulation, foam insulation clearly has a higher R value than fiberglass if properly applied, but again a higher cost to the developer. I would say that LED lighting pricing has gotten more reasonable and adequate substitutes can be found at reasonable pricing. Also the use of recycled materials is limited as to the nature of the structure and the geographical area where you would like to live in. South FL due to the abundance of termites and tropical storms make for wood structures not the very best option, hence limiting the viability of recycling old timber.
In brief there are no free lunches in this industry, as better construction methods keep being developed and building codes amended, mass production of new systems will with time lower their price and make them more affordable. Meanwhile there are a significant number of small project one could do to an existing structure to make it more efficient in energy conservation and hence more green.
0 votes
Robert Ernst, Other Pro, Reno, NV
Thu Jan 31, 2013
One of the Greenest things you can do is buy and older home and retrofit it. The more old materials you leave in the home or reduce or re-purpose items also is a way to be green. The FHA EEM loan is a way to retrofit your house. There are also some state or utility programs that might also give some rebates. A new home takes about 15 years to pay off it's impact on the environment in energy savings.
0 votes
David Popoff, Agent, Darien, CT
Sun Jan 27, 2013
Josh, green building materials have come down a lot in the past few years. Building green does not have to add extra to the home if done correctly depending on what you do. Green homes on average cost 1 to 4% more than the standard home but saving on living in it will give you a payback usually in 6 yrs or less.

For examplle :-A tight building envelope and good insulation might cost a little more but when then the HVAC system that is required will be much smaller thus saving you money, one cost cancels out the other.

Here is an article on a Net Zero Home that cost about 3 to 6% more.

And here is a home that cost $122 per sq ft to build, avg cost in Ct is closer to $200 sq ft.

Good Luck
0 votes
Kevin Clouti…, Agent, Cape Coral, FL
Sun Jan 27, 2013
Buy a regular home and make it green yourself as you go.
0 votes
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