The American Green Home

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What is a green home? According to John Shipman, a green home has a credible green label attached to the home. In other words, the green label has to involve an independent third party to assure quality.

Home owners are concerned more with energy costs and increasing utility costs than seeking out a green home. Shipman reported an NAHB study found homes built before 1960 had average maintenance costs of $564 a year, while a home built after 2008 averages $241. Multiply those savings over many years and it adds up.

The top reasons to buy a green home:

  1. Saving on utilities
  2. Increased comfort
  3. Healthier indoor air quality
  4. Greater resale
  5. Good for environment

More incentives that will increase demand include less maintenance, pride of ownership, eligibility for rebates and incentives, and lowering true cost of home ownership.

Notable national real estate industry initiatives include NAR’s green MLS toolkit, new lending programs that will take energy into account (PITI + E), SAVE act, and the Appraisal Institute’s Green and Energy Efficient Addendum.

Be proactive in the appraisal process. Request a qualified appraiser from the lender. Ask the appraiser about their experience in evaluating green homes. Put together an evidence file—records like MLS data, utility bills, and certificates—and use the appraisal addendum. Provide proof of energy and green improvements and cost. Finally, remember if you do not sell it for a higher price, appraisers can’t appraise it for a higher price.

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