Thursday, October 2, 2014

What To Talk About At The Water Cooler

Real estate has always been the number 1 hot topic in a business and social setting.  Most would agree that even when the conversation doesn’t start there it naturally flows there at some point.  So what is the 2nd hottest topic in a business and social setting that everyone is expected to be able to intelligently discuss?  It is sustainability; or as you may know it, energy efficiency and going GREEN.  So how do we link the two?
When talking real estate what is the first item on the list?  Value.  There are countless third party websites that estimate the value of a home.  If you ask any real estate professional; however, they will tell you that 99% of the time those estimates are way off.  They only take into account one thing; the other sales in the surrounding area, not the style home, size home, or improvements to the home.  Energy efficient improvements are a smart way to help your home's value catch up with the inflated values on the world wide web.

Let's look at the facts:

 Homes that have energy efficient improvements can gain a higher value for the upgrades in an official appraisal. 
The Appraisal Institute has a specific certification program that instructs appraisers on how to recognize and valuate GREEN features siting it as a "specialized topic" that should be valued accurately.

The National Association of Realtors has encouraged the use of and developed a GREEN MLS Implementation Guide to help multi-listing service companies implement GREEN fields and search criteria in the MLS siting that "the demand for GREEN is growing."

The National Association of Realtors has a GREEN Designation that educates realtors specifically on consulting, marketing, and selling GREEN homes.

New home builders must build all homes to a certain energy standard and many new home builders opt to specialize in Energy Star and LEED building.

Mortgage lenders offer energy efficient mortgages so that homeowners in existing homes can make energy efficiency improvements which help them compete in the housing market.

Multi-listing services like, Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc., track trends in home buying and consumer wants and expectations on energy efficiency. Andrew Strauch, Vice President of Product Innovation and Marketing stated that “With higher energy costs and an overall concern for the environment, more homebuyers increasingly factor in environmental efficiency when searching for a new home.”

Utility companies are part of the movement to reduce energy consumption in Maryland and offer discounts and rebates to homeowners that take advantage of energy efficient improvements to their homes.

We've made our case for being educated in GREEN real estate talk so what's next?  Use the programs that the State, County, City, and utility companies have put in place to make the improvements that will create a more sustainable lifestyle for you.

Angel S.
The Eco-Friendly Angel

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