According to Vermont Housing Data, 4834 primary residences and 1493 vacation residences sold in 2010 in Vermont. If the majority of vacation residences belong to individuals and families that already own a primary residence, then it is clear that we value having a place to call our own.
Though our decorating styles vary, we share other basic values when it comes to our domicile, and these values tend to evolve along with current trends and technology. According to the US Green Building Council, “Consumer interest in green building exploded in 2007… Thanks to extensive media coverage, an increasing number of consumers are becoming familiar with sustainability and green building… Consumers are becoming more attuned to the benefits of green homes.”
What this means, also, is that we are increasingly interested in purchasing homes that will save us money. It begins with a home that is in good condition. This is believed to be the first priority of first-time and veteran homebuyers as well, before energy concerns.
This is a very practical and realistic point of view. For example, today’s well-informed homebuyer knows that even the latest model, Energy Star furnace may be somewhat irrelevant if the house for which it provides heat is poorly insulated. For this reason, the informed home seller knows that it pays to make the proper upgrades. In the end, the added value benefits buyer and seller alike.
In other words, structural integrity and green efficiency go hand in hand, but structural concerns, or overall condition, come first on the homebuyer’s checklist. Energy efficiency means lower utility bills. $105 is the average residential monthly bill for electricity alone. The modern homebuyer has done his or her homework and knows that intelligent budgeting secures proper housing while leaving room for living.
It is easier, less costly and often more enticing, to adapt ones lifestyle to the surrounding neighborhood than to upgrade a new home that did not meet one’s expectations and needs from the start. For this reason, most homebuyers want their home to be located in a good neighborhood and an environment that suits their lifestyle, but are more likely to compromise on this third point because it offers a wider range of possibilities that are less likely to break the bank.
Though sellers and buyers may not necessarily become friends in the course of the Real Estate transaction that brings them together for a while, the fact that they share many of the same values is much to their mutual advantage. It opens the door to the natural empathy that leads even strangers to understand each other’s needs.