Make us your home page
Instagram

The Nation's Housing: Hard to see 'green' on resale homes

Hard to see 'green' on resale homes

WASHINGTON — When it comes to energy efficiency and "green" features in homes, there's a chasmic disconnect among consumers, real estate appraisers and the nation's Realty sales system.

On the one hand, prospective buyers routinely tell researchers that they place high priority on energy-saving and environmentally friendly components in houses.

On the other hand, a majority of multiple listing services — the organizations that compile listings of local homes for sale — do not yet include so-called "green fields" in their data search forms to facilitate consumer shopping for homes with high-performance features. Plus most real estate appraisers do not yet have training in the valuation of green homes and often do not — or cannot — factor in the economic values of expensive but money-saving components such as solar photovoltaic panels.

A survey of 3,682 actual and prospective purchasers by the National Association of Home Builders found that 94 percent of respondents rated Energy Star appliances as among their top several "most wanted" items out of 120 they could choose from. Ninety-one percent said the same for new houses that came with Energy Star certifications.

Energy Star is a federally backed set of energy-saving performance standards for a wide range of products including appliances, windows, doors, electronics, all the way up to and including newly built homes. The study also found that buyers would be willing to pay an additional average of $7,095 in the upfront cost of a house if that investment saved them $1,000 a year in utility expenses.

Meanwhile, a survey of buyers and sellers conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that 87 percent rated energy efficiency in heating and cooling as "very" or "somewhat" important to their choice of a home. Seventy-one percent said the same for energy-efficient appliances. The newer the house, the more important were energy-saving and green components.

But while most new homes come with energy certifications and ratings, the overwhelming majority of resale homes do not. For shoppers and purchasers who prefer to save on energy outlays, there's often little information in the MLS data search to highlight houses with extensive green components.

The lack of green fields hampers not only buyers. Appraisers who search for "comps" — recently sold comparable houses — often are unable to distinguish those with significant energy efficiency investments from ordinary energy-guzzling homes. Worse yet, say industry critics such as Sandra K. Adomatis of Punta Gorda, most appraisers have no specific training in valuing high-performance or green features and tend to ignore them or undervalue them in their appraisal reports to lenders. This hurts sellers and buyers alike.

To help bridge the information gap, the country's largest appraisal professional group, the Appraisal Institute, recently released an updated "green addendum" that Realty agents and sellers can use to call attention to the energy saving features of homes. Appraisers can attach the addendum to their standard appraisal reports as a way to justify additional value assigned to the house because of the cost-saving improvements.

Bottom line for sellers with significant energy conservation investments: Make sure your agent gets them highlighted in the MLS listing. And make sure that the appraiser who is sent to value your property uses the green addendum and has adequate training to do the job.

The Nation's Housing: Hard to see 'green' on resale homes 03/23/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 5:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washington Post - Writers Group.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]