Energy Savings is Top of Mind for Buyers; Now What?
We’ve all read how important energy savings are to today’s home shopper. Some marketing analysts say energy savings are considered right after the floorplan and location — in essence, the #3 determining purchase factor.
And, today’s buyers recognize they’re not merely “doing good” with energy efficient features…they can actually save money! Take a look at KB Homes’ interactive touchscreen presentation’s display highlighting a specific floor plan’s energy savings as compared to a comparable resale home; it’s definitely an eye opener!
|Buyers want to see the impact of verifiable energy efficiency savings|
A recent BUILDER interview with Cliff Majersik, Institute for Market Transformation’s Executive Director, highlighted a dilemma facing home builders, buyers and mortgage lenders related to energy efficiency: mortgage lending/prequalification doesn’t take these real, month-over-month into account in determining a buyer’s ability to purchase.
As a result, these significant, verifiable and month-over-month savings don’t translate well into the bulder’s purchase price, either.
Majersik contrasts this situation to the costs associated with homeowner’s insurance — which is included in the qualification process. If a buyer can recognize $400, $800, $1,000 savings in their out-of-pocket expenses related to the purchase of the new home…why not factor those savings into the lending process? And, see an associated increase in the builder’s selling price, too.
It’s an interesting question; what do you think?
US Senators Bennet and Isakson have proposed legislation (S. 1106 — known as the SAVE Act) that would include a borrower’s expected energy costs when financing a house. The BUILDER interview as well as information regarding the SAVE Act are available from the BUILDER website here.