Why is the USA so behind on tons of new green stuff.Even as a new home buyer they should get something green.

Asked by Clay Renoit, Miami, FL Tue Aug 4, 2009

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Ross Neag, Other Pro, Chicago, IL
Sat Oct 17, 2009
The very fact that it is now on the tips of our tongues and is sweating out of every newspaper and magazine is a good thing. Our country has had the ability to improve and reduce its consumption of energy and materials for DECADES but after a few scares (energy spikes), it finally seems to be hitting home. We even REMOVED solar panels from the White House 30 years ago. Of course, there are Green Charlatans who will make the smallest effort to achieve the green hype that so many builders, rehabbers and the like are after.

Tom and Grace, good answers. Green is not easy and requires the input from several dedicated professionals to make a project work. It's hard to understand why people can't see the ROI on homes that will keep you safer, more comfortable, use less energy and arguably, last longer. Maybe once Oprah greens out her pad here in Chicago will the rest of the America get a hint. We've been offering energy improvement suggestions and findings in our reports for years and clients have loved that.

Baby steps...although I hope our native born babies are huge!
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Grace Hanamo…, Agent, Cupertino, CA
Wed Aug 5, 2009
Hello Clay and thanks for your post.

I have to agree with my colleagues that despite the movement toward renewable products, recycled building materials, more efficient appliances, solar panels, and water systems, the average American buyer simply is unwilling at this time to pay for these new and technology more sophisticated products. In fact, although home buyers "support" the development of green housing products, those same individuals will not expend the 20% more in costs to support the implementation of those same products. A good example is a housing project that I manager in San Jose where the homes have achieved a coveted Building Industry recognized energy and "green" system rating. The price of the houses were 14 percent higher than the surrounding homes to cover the new products and, guess what, no one wanted to pay more for a better, more efficient home. Even though the developer did not make a dime off the cost of the green upgrades, to limit the increase, the homes still stayed on the market longer than their "non-green" competition.

I do agree with you, Clay, that we're so far behind our European and developed Asian country counterparts. In fact, home insulation, for example, in most of Europe has been for almost 20 years now, four times (4 x) more efficient than the stuff we stick in the walls here in the US. Only in the past decade have builders been interested in upgrading their building materials with newer and more efficient European products. It's good that we've adapted, but sad that it's taken so long.

So here's to hoping that, as part of our recovery and in this more economically conscious political climate, we see more green bulidings in the future.

Grace Morioka, SRES, e-Pro
Area Pro Realty

P. S. Thomas, a green Dodge Dart--probably with the black pinstripe package--I have an whole new vision of you, Speed Racer! : )
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Tom McCarey, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 4, 2009

Shrek was green. So was Kermit the frog. Other green things include a Dart that I drove in high school and several shirts both then and now. Green also is the color of money (as well as the name of a movie about selfsame subject). Green also is the term used to describe naivete. Green, too, is a term to describe a political movement and a nearly ubiquitous term that some believe suggests a leaning to organic.

Truth be told, I'm pretty green. Not in the naive sense. But in the sense of last of the definitions that I provided. My fabrics and edible items are organic, we recycle and compost, we do all number of things to lessen our carbon footprint. And the project we intend to do in rehabbing our home will be as green as we can make it.

But like the items we wear and eat that are "green," the cost to do this is greater. And most people don't like to spend more.

With respect to what you wrote, I am not sure if it was question or a statement. But the reason more places aren't "green" is because most of the time buyers are not willing to pay the true price for a "green" property, even if a "green" property has a tangible worth in the course of several years of occupancy (tax rebates, lower utility costs, so on and so forth). So, if a seller isn't going to recoup the cost of making a home green, a seller isn't going to willingly and knowingly lose money. Make sense?

Tom McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @properties
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Maria Morton, Agent, Kansas City, MO
Tue Aug 4, 2009
Green is becoming more desirable according to recent surveys. However, most buyers at this time say that they would like green building components but are not willing to pay for them. As costs come down, green will be found in more homes.
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