Remember ‘Point / Counter-Point?’ I just read an article that asked the question ‘which sells new homes faster: energy efficiency or design?’ Two highly credible market researchers argued their side of the story and you guessed it, they disagreed on the answer.
The first point was made by American LIVES. Based on their recent nationwide survey, energy efficiency wins the day because all those resale homes simply can’t compete with it. Their research found that three-fifths of shoppers preferred new homes over used homes, mostly because potential buyers could expect a lifetime of lower utility bills. In fact, fifty-five percent of those buyers said that they’d pay up to $5,000 more for energy features like insulation, low-E windows, and high performing HVAC systems, knowing that any upfront costs would be quickly paid back if they built new instead of buying ‘old’.
The counter-point came from Marketscape Research and Consulting. They say American shoppers want “different and better”—and home shoppers are no exception. Look no further than the TV industry as an example of this, they say. Pricier flat screen TVs are flying off the shelves yet they perform the same basic functions as their bulkier counterparts. Why is this happening? Flat screens are perceived as different and therefore better and in the same way, design trumps energy in new home sales.
Furthermore, Marketscape hears from home shoppers around the nation who continually lament about seeing ‘the same old houses’. The company cites examples of homebuilders who are thriving today mainly because they are meeting consumer demand in new ways, with re-invented floor plans and home designs that reignite the fun and excitement of new-home purchases. Builders who best deliver what today’s consumers want, succeed.
So who is right? Our in-house research confirms that both sides are! We’ve built over 17,000 new homes in the last four decades and each one was custom-tailored to our buyers’ tastes. Design and floor plan innovations occur here on a daily basis–we like to say ‘At Wayne Homes, almost anything is possible!’ And because we also combine that custom building with an exclusive Energy Smart Guarantee you get the best of both worlds. We’ve been an Energy Star partner since 1997, because it’s a brand we trust.
Are we as smart in statistics as these two highly-regarded research firms? Probably not; however we are extremely good at listening to our buyers! This trait gives our customers the exact home that they want: one that looks great, lives well, and costs less to own day in and day out. Isn’t that the real point?