Big Green Home Bust

A well-appointed green home outfitted with energy-saving appliances and other eco-friendly features might save money on utility bills and ease your conscience, but it won't always help close a sale in a tough real estate market, a California homeowner has learned.

The warning sign for the green residential market: A house for sale in Costa Mesa that was the first in Orange County to receive a coveted LEED Platinum certification (green building's Good Housekeeping Seal) had its price slashed by half a million.

The seven-bedroom, 4,900-square foot Craftsman-style house is the ultimate green showcase, boasting everything from low-flow faucets to solar panels (see "Home Energy Saving Projects for Every Budget"). But even those hallmarks of sustainable design were no match, it seems, for the cruddy economy and skittish buyers. According to the Orange County Register, the green home's list price recently dropped $500,000, from $2,999,000 to $2,499,999.