The Obstacles To Building Green in Houston - Death of the term 'Green'

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The Obstacle to Building and Selling Green in Houston will be a Series - this is the first of the series.

Typically speaking in the Real Estate Market right now in regards to Green I would say that the average line of thought, the average acceptance of a 'Green' or 'Greener' home not only in Houston but around the Nation is very high.

We have gone from a few years ago, the average consumer thinking that a 'Green' Home was Recycled and only beneficial to the Environment to Today - Understanding that not only is a 'Green' home better for the Environment, It is better for the Homeowner.

This is a Drastic change in thinking for Society when you think about it in real terms and how fast this thought has changed.  Now, the acceptance of Greener Homes may be high, but do they sell?

Regardless of what publication we may read that 'Green' homes are not selling, then we hear that 'Green' homes sell faster and for more money.  When we speak to consumers we hear 'Green' homes are not being built in my area and then 'What is a Green Home?'

This tells me, my personal opinion, that there is still a lot of confusion out there in the market. In all actuality it is probably too soon to know what statements are correct.  In basic terms I personally believe that we have 3 different kinds of people:

  • The extreme Green Buyer that will spend and do what ever it takes
  • The what I call an Enviro Hater that won't buy anything termed 'Green' or 'EcoFriendly' just for the principle
  • The Buyer that wants to do the right thing, not be wasteful and have a better quality of home and environment

The 3rd point being the largest of the population generally speaking.  Then, there is the confusion.  The confusion comes in to play because everyone has a different opinion of what 'Green' really means.  Some think it means that the product costs more, some think of it as being Energy Efficient, others think made of recycled content ...

How effective really are the Checklists for Green Building if the purchaser has no idea what it means?

More than ever in the Real Estate Industry we are at a point where we have to sell Value whether it be for a service or a product.  People want to know what makes you or your product different and worth it for me to buy it whether it is Green or not.

What this tells me is that where a couple years ago we thought we had 10-15 years before the term 'Green' disappeared in relation to 'Green Building' - we are probably on the verge of it happening right before our very eyes.  Today, right now.

As a Real Estate Professional that specializes in helping people buy and sell Green Properties I see the need to use different terms to overcome this Confusion.  Let's get rid of the Term 'Green'.  Buh Bye,  See ya Later.

Why? Because it is becoming Normal.  It is expected now that Homes are more Energy Efficient now than what was built even last year.  It is expected that Homes are moving in the right direction and using Healthier Building Products.  And, what the heck is Green anyhow?

We need to, as Real Estate Industry Professionals, learn what it is that makes a product 'Green' and be able to explain it to people.  In markets, such as Houston, where we are still trying to get over the hurdle towards Mass Green Building, do we need a new approach?  A change in terminology and possibly even a change in the approach to what products we build with.

If it is a Green Home, Why?  What makes it Green?  Is it more Energy Efficient?  What products separate it from the rest and does the Home Buyer even care?

All of these are obstacles to building a better and greener home in the Houston area.  Over this series let's break it down and look at the real trends of where 'Green' building may be headed.  Let's take a looksy at how to get the Green Building movement going in a faster pace towards a more Sustainable Houston.

The answer may very well be where they always have been.  The answers may lie in our daily Housing Market and average Houstonian Statistics.

Part 2 of the Series - Who is the Average Homebuyer in Houston?  Who lives in Houston anyhow?


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Comments 32 New Comment

Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

Stephanie- OK, my dear friend, I will hang in there, just because it is you:)

May 15, 2009 08:31 PM
Russell Lewis
Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate

Stephanie, this is well written post and I am just glad that folks like you and many others, including myself are still committed to building sustainable , and energy efficient projects. Why someone think it will drive us back to the stone age is just neanderthal thinking...Sorry, I could not help that!

May 15, 2009 08:37 PM
Greg Nino
Houston, Texas
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP

The average Houstonian has too many other things on their plate, unfortunatley.

May 15, 2009 11:32 PM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
knitwit at thred UP

Katerina,  I posted part 2 last night.

May 16, 2009 08:39 AM
Chris Olsen
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate
Olsen Ziegler Realty

Hi Stephanie -- Great post and I wonder how much green will end up taking a back seat due to economic constraints of today.

May 16, 2009 10:06 AM

Stephanie Edwards-Musa

knitwit at thred UP
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