Yes It Does!
Commercial real estate has long benefitted from sustainable features, and now residential real estate is catching up! Here’s the short list of the benefits before we go into more detail:
- Corporate: Investment decisions, energy use disclosures, sustainability indices, tenant demands, carbon disclosures, tax credits and incentives are all among the green trends driving commercial real estate!
- Residential: The Appraisal Institute released an enhanced form in this past March to help real estate appraisers analyze green features in residential homes!
What Makes a Home Green?
- Energy efficient windows
- Good insulation
- Water saving features
- Safe and non-toxic materials
- An energy efficient HVAC
- Energy star appliances
- Green landscaping
- And more!
Recent Trends in Green Homes
Incorporating energy efﬁcient designs and construction techniques have the potential to offer immediate beneﬁts on monthly and yearly bills. Buyers should be willing to pay more for homes with lower utility bills in anticipation of savings on future costs of operation, and sellers should attempt to charge more for homes with energy efﬁcient features.
Simply put, studies have found that homeowners are willing to pay for greater energy efﬁciency!
Intersection of Green and Healthy Homes
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation, indoor air is up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, largely due to the presence of mold and toxic chemicals in carpeting, paints and other synthetic materials. In fact, the EPA ranks indoor air as one of the top 5 human health risks. Green or sustainable designs limit indoor exposure to carcinogens such in manufactured wood products and to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in finishes by requiring nontoxic materials.
What Can You Do to Increase the Value of Your Home?
Current assessment tools for the residential market include:
- The EPA’s ENERGY STAR qualification
- The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification for Homes
- The National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard
Each of these assessment tools sets forth various criteria to ensure that the homes certiﬁed met a minimum level of increased energy efﬁciency compared with more common building designs and construction practices.
Looking to buy or sell?
Here are a few tips to help you maximize your home with green initiatives:
- Search for a National Association of Realtors Green Designee who has been trained to recognize and understand green features in residential construction
- Check into energy efficient and energy improvement mortgages
- Look for a real estate broker who has been trained in green building
- Consider purchasing a foreclosed property and spend your extra cash making it greener
—The EnergyEarth Team
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