Like any early adapter, people are paying more for their Green Certified homes than your average run of the mill resale home. The new gadgets, like solar panels and underground catchments for rain water storage just cost more because they aren't part of "regular" homes.
Think about the I-Phone. People that waited in line for their new phone at around $400, when only three months later it was reduced to $300, without fanfare. As an early adopter in green home technology, the sooner we all embrace living "greener," the sooner pricing will come in line.
I work closely with a builder, Chris Avant, Canyon Construction, who has recently completed two LEED Platinum remodels, one here in Oakland, and the other in Moraga, where his corporate office is housed. Avant worked with the founder of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,) David Gottfried and his wife Sara to create one of the greenest homes in America, right here in Rockridge. David and Sara wanted to capture their greywater in order to re-use it for landscape watering, they installed solar panels and even created a home office for David in the backyard to make their green home a reality, they had to downsize and learned even more about the value of good design.
David and Sara have the resources to showcase their environmental stewardship in their home, but what about other people? More and more, Green Building is quality building, using the most durable materials, that won't have to be replaced, having the most energy efficient appliances and sealing up a home against the effects of weather, keeping cold air out, and warm air in. Green homes are healthy homes, places where indoor air quality is not adversely effected by inexpensive (smelly) carpets or noxious paint fumes.
The past of Green Home Design in California, has been predominately taken on by the wealthy, and it is a thrill to see it filtering down to ordinary folk.
Wondering about the resale value of your green improvements?
In Seattle, Washington where existing data for green home resale value has been tracked for 2008, on average the green single family home was 16.7% of total sales. The green home was 25% smaller and sold for 4% higher value in 18% less time... but the catch here is that dollars per square foot, the green home outperformed the non-green home by 37% in dollars per square foot. Now that is something to consider!