Home Innovation Insights

The price of a home is a key factor for buyers ... just remember it's not the ONLY factor.

Michelle Foster
October 9, 2015

Is It Really All About That Price? Not Likely!

Many builders mistakenly believe that green certified homes are a niche product; that only the most environmentally-conscious consumers care about green features. Instead, they reason, homebuyers are all about the sales price. That might be the case. That is, of course, unless you are selling to one or more of the homebuying segments below.

The Persuadable Middle

It is true, as many builders assume, that most consumers are not motivated exclusively by the environment. Only 16 percent of consumers are considered “Super Greens” whose purchasing decisions are motivated to save the Earth. At the same time, only 18 percent of Americans reject being environmentally-conscious. That leaves the “Persuadable Middle,” a huge swath of homebuyers that have good green intentions and would like to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but perhaps don’t know how to or are afraid it will be too expensive. Rather than targeting either extreme on the green continuum, builders should target their NGBS Green Certified to mainstream consumers. What builder wouldn’t want a marketing message with appeal to nearly 70 percent of homebuyers?!

Massive Middle Greens 


If your target consumers also include women, you might want to rethink the value of a green home. Women “lean green” and the female consumer is a growing force with which builders need to reckon.

The Green Goddess Factor: Women Lean Green 

Consider these statistics:

  • Women currently account for $7 billion in buying power.
  • In 40 percent of households with children, women are the breadwinners.
  • Among homebuyers, 20 percent are single women, and 31 percent are single women with kids.

The bottom line is that women are making, or at least substantially influencing, many home purchasing decisions. And what do women care about most? Not energy efficiency. They care about the health and well-being of their families.

The Millennials

Our youngest and largest generation is the Millennials – 87 million strong, they are bigger than even the Baby Boomers and represent 20 percent of the adult population. Millennials are sociable, globally-conscious, environmentally-motivated, and cause-inspired. Importantly, 93 percent of Millennials want to own a home. A hallmark of this generation is they are inspired to pay more for goods and services if it is beneficial to the environment. In fact, well over half report they have a responsibility to purchase products that are good for the environment and society.


These homebuyers are not motivated to buy a high-performance, energy-efficient home because they will have lower utility bills. In fact, they might even be offended if you suggest that as a possible motivation. Rather, they want to buy a high-performance, green home because it is the right thing to do.

The Aspirationals

Aspirations are where granite and green come together. The target audience known as “the Aspirationals” seeks to combine style, social status, and sustainability. They are the largest consumer segment representing 37 percent of American adults. And, while their average age is 39, they cut across different generations and ethnic groups. What unifies this consumer segment is that they measure goods by style and quality, and an overwhelming percentage believe that Americans need to consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations. These buyers want it all and don’t want to sacrifice on quality in order to gain quantity. Home builders that want to be relevant to these buyers should present homes that are high-performance, aesthetically-pleasing, and of superior quality.

The Bottom Line

Homebuyers will always be concerned about finding a home they can afford in a desirable neighborhood. Once price and location criteria are satisfied, builders can help their homes stand out from the competition by offering those green features that consumers want most: high-performance features; a healthier indoor environment; and a home that is part of a more sustainable lifestyle. All of these can be accomplished -- and proven through third-party verification – by attaining NGBS Green Certification.

Interested in learning more? Visit www.HomeInnovation.com/Green.

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