New Home Buyers Want Home Technologies, Energy Efficiency

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Photos courtesy of Meritage Homes. New home technology placed in and around your house can save you money every year.

A 2012 Homebuyer Insights Study conducted by BDX (Builder Digital Experience) reveals that home shoppers looking for new homes are more likely to embrace technology and value energy efficiency and health. The online survey of 984 participants across 25 metropolitan statistical areas shows the value of new construction and fuels BDX’s multi-million-dollar Start Fresh Buy New Campaign.

“There’s a huge desire for all things new,” says Melissa Morman, vice president, Builder Client Experience of BHI (Builder Homesite Inc.). “Those who prefer new have a propensity for the latest and greatest gadgets. They don’t want the shag green carpet, and they want the latest and greatest technologies.”

Thirty percent of those who prefer new homes say they love to buy gadgets, compared to 25 percent who are indifferent to new or used homes and 17 percent who are seeking existing homes.

The new home seekers are also more likely to be early adopters, with 24 percent saying they are the first of their friends to try new products and services, versus 16 percent of indifferent buyers and 12 percent of existing home buyers.

A whopping 77 percent of new home buyers believe new homes are better for energy efficiency, topping a list that includes the ability to customize, lower maintenance costs, better floor plans and more living space.

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There is clearly a perception that new homes are better for energy efficiency, and when combined with home tech features such as connected home solutions and home automation, this could prompt sales.

“You’ll see more and more technology integration,” says Morman.

“Builders that are successful will get on the same page with consumers on technology,” says Mike Moore, an industry veteran performance coach with Moore Leadership & Peak Performance. “For new homebuilders, getting the new stuff in today and providing people with the lifestyle they want is the key. We haven’t built a home that people walk through and say [they] have got to live with all of these things, but I’m seeing a ground swell of interest in that.”

BDX says new homes are 30 percent more efficient than homes built 10 years ago. New homes can be made even more efficient by adding home technologies that monitor and enhance efficiencies.

Newly built homes also save an average of 3,449 kWh of electricity, or about $390, a year.

“Energy efficiency has been a super important piece of the puzzle for homebuilders. It really differentiates them [from inefficient existing homes],” says Lisa Kalmbach, partner with New Montgomery Partners, a real estate investment, development, and marketing company embarking on a 12-home luxury home project in Tiburon Homes at Marina’s Edge in Tiburon, Calif. “I love the whole energy management concept. Giving consumers feedback is really important, because they can start monitoring and changing behaviors.”

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