Many Apartment Hunters Prefer Green Digs

According to a recent survey by Apartments.com, many people in the market for an apartment are now actively looking for green features in their dwellings.

Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Chicago–According to a recent survey by Apartments.com, many people in the market for an apartment are now actively looking for green features in their dwellings. The company, an apartment search site, asked more than 1,400 of its web site visitors across the country whether or not green or sustainable considerations affect how and where they choose to live.

The survey found that 88 percent of respondents said the environment is an important issue, affecting way they live and even search for and select apartments. A roughly equal number, 89 percent of respondents, said they would prefer to live at a “green” apartment community, and more than 25 percent would pay more in rent to save money on energy costs.

Of course, green features aren’t the primary determinant in leasing decisions. Preferences for green aside, nearly a quarter of the respondents, 24 percent, said they would rent an apartment that did not offer green amenities or programs, and 58 percent are on the fence about the question, with location, price and more traditional amenities still being the main factors in dwelling decisions.

Still, green can give apartment properties some competitive oomph. “Green apartment properties may have an edge in attracting future renters,” Tammy Kotula, a spokeswoman for Apartments.com, tells MHN. “From the response we received, it’s clear the environment impacts many of the respondents’ daily lives. These renters will likely choose an apartment property that offers green amenities and programs over an apartment that does not.”

Green-conscious apartment dwellers reported the following behavior in their own lives, presumably whether they live in apartments or not: turning off lights, computers and appliances when not in use; running the dishwasher only with a full load; recycling paper, plastic and glass; using energy-efficient light bulbs; and purchasing “green” products.

During their apartment searches, they report looking for environmentally friendly amenities and features. Those might include energy-efficient windows and appliances; non-toxic paint; recycling programs; and automated processes for paying rent, renewing a lease and placing maintenance requests.

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