How to Get the Real Estate Market to Properly Value Green Home
Washington Post (05/28/15) Mooney, Chris
The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings initiative announced a new program to help improve information about home energy efficiency in the real estate market by collaborating with the Appraisal Institute, the Council of Multiple Listing Services, and the National Association of Realtors' Center for Realtor Technology. Information about a home's energy efficient upgrades has been scattershot, according to real estate market observers. Some areas of the country have created fields for including a home's energy features in their listing service, but most others have not. It also is a challenge for homeowners to calculate and communicate the energy savings of upgrades they have made. Underwriters require home appraisers to use comparable properties for valuations, but there are no current methods for comparing the energy saving features of homes. Making energy use information available helps prospective homeowners calculate the cost of owning the home. A recent study by the U.S. Department of the Environment found "listings which utilized available green fields performed well in the market." Federal energy policymakers are working to improve the flow of information on green upgrades in existing homes.