By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine
More studies are showing the power of green on boosting sales prices. In the most recent study, University of California researchers found that green-certified, single-family homes sold for $34,800 more — or 9 percent more — than comparable non-green certified homes.
Researchers analyzed 1.6 million home sales from 2007 to 2012 to determine if “green” really helped homes net more at times of resale.
The researchers called the findings the “Prius effect,” since the California cities that had the highest sales prices of green homes also were in places that had the highest sales of electric vehicles.
“We observed a phenomenon we’ve termed the ‘Prius effect’ — a positive correlation between the value of green home labels and environmental ideology, as measured by the rate of hybrid registrations,” co-author Nils Kok, visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told USA Today. Such residents may view green homes as “a point of pride or status symbol,” Kok added.
Previous studies that focused on home sales in Seattle and Portland, Ore., also found that “green” homes sell for higher dollar–as well as stay on the market a fewer number of days. Continue reading »
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
Some recent studies suggest that green homes sell faster and for higher dollar than their non-energy saving counterparts. For example, in Seattle, new homes certified green (such as from the government’s Energy Star or U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED) sold for 22 percent more per square foot and spent 12 percent less time on the market, according to the ECert report by GreenWorks Realty in Seattle, which analyzed data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service of new homes sold from September 2007 to February 2010. (Green homes made up 6 percent of the market.)
Similar results were found in a separate study of “green” certified homes in Portland. New homes in that region sold for 18 percent more while existing-homes with a certification sold for 23 percent more compared to non-green homes, according to Earth Advantage Institute, which pulled data from the Portland area Regional Multiple Listing Service of homes sold from 2009 to 2010.
While more buyers are expressing an interest in “green” energy efficient materials in homes, they’re finding that going “green” can be expensive. For example, solar water heating systems can cost between $1,500 to $3,500 and solar panels upwards to $15,000. (It’s important to note that cheaper “green” alternatives for your home exist that can still offer savings to your utility bills, such as changing out your light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs can reduce electricity costs.)
Some home owners or buyers are turning to Energy Efficient Mortgages or EEMs to curtail the costs of installing green features. Continue reading »
By Erik Fowler, Green trends expert
This is the fourth article in a series designed to help you make sense of the green landscape as a real estate professional. REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog and I are excited to be covering green home trends in America. In the previous article, I provided a quick guide to green home trends. Here, we’ll highlight green home ratings and certifications.
As we discussed in the last few articles, when discussing green homes it’s important to avoid generalizations or greenwashing, and stick to specifics. As real estate professionals, we should always insist on third-party sources of reliable and verifiable information wherever possible.
When people make “green” claims, we need to know exactly what they mean.
Below are the most widely recognized national green building and/or energy efficient programs nationwide. Keep in mind there are local and regional green building programs as well.
For instance, the Austin Green Building Program was not only one of the first programs in the country to develop a regional green building standard, but it is still considered to be one of the very best programs and models.
Commonalities Among Green Programs
All green building programs should ideally share some common attributes, namely:
- Third-party verification;
- Performance (points) and/or a prescriptive path designed to set green “targets” in several green categories;
- A resource center for the builder and the consumer.
The point to note is that a standard is followed, documented, measured, and verified. We all know what happens when standards are “self enforced” with no accountability (think latest mortgage crisis).
Also, notice below the various categories of green, what each certification addresses, and recall that green homes do more than address just energy use. While very important, energy is not the only measure of green or sustainability in a home or building.
By Erik Fowler
This is the third article in a series designed to help you make sense of the green landscape as a real estate professional. REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled, Staged & Sold blog and I are excited to be covering green home trends in America. In the previous article, I provided an overview of green homes and real estate. Here, we’ll highlight green buyers and sellers, and the listing and marketing of green homes.
When talking about a green home, it’s important to avoid generalizations and stick to specifics. For instance, when working with a buyer and discussing his or her interests and needs, the subject of utility bills or other costs associated with a home purchase will often come up. This is a perfect time to discuss energy efficiency and how utility bills are affected by how well-built and how well-insulated a home is.
It is important to understand that the purchase price is a major, but not the only, cost consideration. Utility bills and home maintenance contribute to monthly bills as well.
Is it an Energy Star Home?
If your client is considering new construction, you may want to search for an Energy Star Qualified home. Energy Star homes must be tested by a third party and are designed to be at least 15 percent more energy efficient than baseline new construction (do not confuse Energy Star appliances with an Energy Star home).
The point here, of course, is that agents should be informed about energy efficiency and green home trends, but should not represent themselves as experts in this area.
When a client mentions specific issues of concern or interest to them, the first reference point should be your state’s disclosure notice from the seller. In the case of energy efficiency, if the seller markets his/her home as “green” or “energy efficient”, then it is our job as real estate professionals to ensure that the buyer has as much specific information as possible from the seller or builder, and from reputable third-party sources. Continue reading »