Regular readers of this blog are well aware by now of the benefits of living in energy efficient homes. Not only do these eco-friendly properties offer long-term savings on utility bills, but they also cut back on a typical residence's environmental impact, reducing harmful carbon emissions that contribute to climate change.
But for as long as homeowners have known about these pros, they've also been aware of the cons: It's difficult, if not impossible, to reap the investments put into a green home because the seller's market doesn't accommodate for them. Many real estate listings don't have separate fields for properties with an emphasis on energy efficiency – preventing potential buyers from shopping for them – and many appraisers simply don't know how to take into account the added financial value of a green home.
But that's all set to change, as Inman News – a U.S. real estate news outlet – reports that the National Home Council is planning to launch a new nationwide campaign next month, aimed at improving how the market gathers and values data on energy efficient houses. In its research paper, "Blueprint to make Energy Efficiency Improvements Visible in the Real Estate Market," the council asserts the need for the 850 MLS organizations across the country to begin establishing categories for green residences, and will be supplying these groups with data on how to set up these fields inexpensively.
The campaign will also be promoting the Appraisal Institute's "Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum" primer to help educate appraisers and lenders about how to identify and calculate energy efficient improvements made to a home being put on the market.
Virginia homeowners can make these same energy-saving improvements to their own houses by meeting with Virginia home inspectors for an energy audit, which can assess the power usage of your property and recommend steps you can take to increase efficiency.