In honor of Earth Day, we’re taking a look at the “greenest” neighborhoods across the country. Eco-friendly upgrades not only help preserve our beautiful planet for future generations, they’re better for your wallet, too. Green homes sold for $46,532 more on average in 2017 than homes without green features, according to our latest analysis. That’s some serious green in your pocket when it comes times to sell!
To find out which U.S. neighborhoods are leading the way in sustainability, Redfin data scientists analyzed real estate listings for all of the homes in Redfin markets that sold between January 1, 2017 and April 2018 and identified those that mentioned one or more “green” features. Examples of “green” features include “energy efficient,” “solar,” and “LEED.” The 10 neighborhoods with the highest percentage of green homes earned a spot in the ranking.
1. Malvern (Cleveland, OH)
Homes With Green Features: 66%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $455,000
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $460,000
Philadelphia took the top spot in our 2016 ranking, but it’s Cleveland that wins the “green” medal this year. Three out of the top 10 neighborhoods for green homes were in Cleveland, and all in the suburb of Shaker Heights. Malvern took the number one spot, with 66 percent of all homes having green features.
We’re not surprised to see more than one Shaker Heights neighborhood on the list; the city has its very own Climate Change Task Force! To encourage residents to reduce their carbon footprint, the city of Shaker Heights offers a recycling program, home energy assessments, energy incentive programs, access to financing for solar panels and more.
The work that the city is doing is evident, according to local Redfin agents.
“As our homes age, it’s important to not only preserve the classic architectural charm of Shaker Heights but update them to meet today’s modern lifestyle,” said Redfin Cleveland agent Danielle Parent. “Homebuyers are drawn to the historic, classic-style tudors that adorn the tree-lined streets of Shaker Heights, but many homes, because of their age, are in need of significant updates. The city has done a tremendous job of communicating the resources that are available to homeowners to help them implement eco-friendly features like solar panels and energy-efficient windows. The city was ahead of the curve and has been an ardent supporter of reducing its carbon footprint since 2002.”
2. Fernway (Cleveland, OH)
Homes With Green Features: 60%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $212,250
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $229,650
In Fernway, another Shaker Heights neighborhood, 60 percent of all home sold had green features. Again, many of the homes there are historic and have been retrofitted.
“Fernway a very tight-knit community centered around Fernway Elementary school, and there are lots of older, well-maintained homes there,” said Redfin Cleveland agent Summer Mayhugh. “Many of those homes still use old techniques that don’t require a lot of energy, such as boiler systems, wood-burning fireplaces and open windows for cross ventilation. Many owners have upgraded to energy-efficient appliances as well.”
3. Chestnut Hill (Philadelphia, PA)
Homes With Green Features: 59%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $440,000
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $480,000
Grabbing spots three and four on the list are neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The city has its own Office of Sustainability, focusing on improving the quality of life in neighborhoods like Chestnut Hill. Their Greenworks on the Ground checklist encourages residents to grow their own food, reduce food waste, conduct a home energy audit, explore solar and more.
“Philadelphia was established by William Penn in 1682 as a ‘greene country town’, so it’s no wonder that the city continues to lead when it comes to sustainability,” said Philadelphia’s Director of Sustainability Christine Knapp. “Under Mayor Kenney’s leadership, the city has committed to reducing carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050 by focusing on the efficient use of clean energy, creating zero waste plans, expanding bike sharing and bike lanes, and using green stormwater infrastructure to manage stormwater. These programs help to reduce Philadelphia’s carbon footprint, but also help to create a healthier and more equitable city that people want to live in. Programs are most effective when they help address current problems facing our residents while also moving us closer to our vision of a sustainable city for all.”
4. Spruce Hill (Philadelphia, PA)
Median Home Price: 59%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $350,000
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $335,900
“Spruce Hill is a classic Philadelphian neighborhood with many older homes,” said Philadelphia Redfin agent Erik Lee. “This highly desirable area of the city also contains part of the Penn Alexander School catchment. Due to this high-ranking school and the classic features of the homes, properties in Spruce Hill often receive multiple offers and competition can drive prices up. This has led many homeowners to update their homes with more energy efficient systems, newer windows and insulation, all of which reduce energy costs. Along with Energy Star appliances, we are seeing many owners take advantage of the benefits of a smart home. App controlled lights and thermostats help homeowners be more aware of their energy use.”
5. Red Hook (Brooklyn, NY)
Homes With Green Features: 59%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $1,414,000
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $1,888,000
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated Red Hook, a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. But the quirky waterfront destination is now on the rebound. Developers have converted many old buildings into condo units and vacant land is being purchased for new builds. In addition to these new-construction homes that are more eco-friendly, many of the homes that were constructed in the 1800s and early 1900s have been gutted and renovated or restored with sustainable features.
Rounding out the top ten were Baker Ranch, Echo Ridge Village, Georgetown, Painted Trails and Mercer:
6. Baker Ranch (Orange County, CA)
Homes With Green Features: 58%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $1,032,827
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $1,080,372
7. Echo Ridge Village (Orange County, CA)
Homes With Green Features: 57%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $729,500
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $729,500
8. Georgetown (Seattle, WA)
Homes With Green Features: 56%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $597,500
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $602,750
9. Painted Trails (Orange County, CA)
Homes With Green Features: 56%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $734,500
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $762,500
10. Mercer (Cleveland, OH)
Homes With Green Features: 55%
Median Sale Price of All Listings: $285,000
Median Sale Price of Green Listings: $297,500