Green Homes Red Hot on Market

In Tough Housing Market Green May Sell

By Greg Bledsoe
|  Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009  |  Updated 6:45 AM PDT
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Green Homes Red Hot on Market

This home for sale in Encinitas is green in more ways than one.

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Green Homes Red Hot on Market

You don't have to spend thousands to make your house more eco-friendly -- and real estate experts say those little things can make a big difference when it comes time to sell.
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"It's a very hard time to try and sell a house right now," says Susie Brillault-Bergen.  And she would know.  Her family is trying to sell the Encinitas house they moved into just a couple years ago.

Susie's home, however, does have a few things her competition might not.

"In comparison to everyone else I talk to, our energy bills are really low," she says.

The reason is because there's a list of about twenty eco-friendly features to the house including a tank-less water heater, low flow toilets, and energy saving lighting.  The porch is made out of recycled trash bags.  Hardwood floors and eco-friendly paint emit almost no toxins inside the home.  In color and concept, this house is green.

"There is a lot of desire for homes that have green elements to them or create healthier living environments," says Jim Simcoe, a certified Eco-Broker and green consultant.  He's also selling that home in Encinitas.

Simcoe says the estimated energy saving alone is a selling point buyers are after.

"I think it's a win win because, not only are you going to save a certain amount, anywhere from 40% to 60% on the cost of operating the home, but you're creating a healthier living environment for you."

In October, the median home price in San Diego County fell again to $323,500.  That's down almost 30% from the same time last year. While home sales are actually up, it's misleading.  More than half of resales came from foreclosure properties not individuals.

Despite the overall numbers, Simcoe says he sees a real demand for houses with green technologies, but hardly any of them on the market.  He says if someone is looking to sell, this is a way to set themselves apart.

He says, "My hope is, in the future, this will not be an uncommon house, and that everyone will have an opportunity to live in a house like this."

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