According to the National Association of Realtors the green housing market is expected to increase 5 fold by 2016. These houses are selling quicker and for more money. I also know that FHA is considering factoring in the cost of energy when qualifying buyers for a home. Energy costs are often more than insurance and taxes which they already take into consideration. The Appraisal Institute is also setting their appraisers up for factoring in energy improvements when appraising a home. They already recognize the HERS score which is something that is generated when a home is rated following the RESNET standards. This type of rating is also used when rating for an EEM.
Here in the Reno area I personally know that there is a market for Green Buyers but the Lenders and Agents have been slow to embrace things like Energy Efficient Mortgages. I regularly perform Energy Audits for people taking advantage of these loans and know that the people that go forward with the energy retrofits are saving on average of 26% on their utilities. This goes up when the home is all electric, propane, or oil. Energy improvements are the only home improvements that pay themselves back. There is also $1000 available from HomeFree Nevada when a homes energy consumption is reduced by 20%.
The article mentions the GREEN Designation to set yourself apart. There is also the Eco Broker designation for agents. The disappointing part is that many of the local agents that hold these designations are not actively informing buyers of or marketing energy efficiency. I’m currently working with some forward thinking agents that see the benefits and are representing clients that are now living in more efficient, more comfortable, and healthier homes.
The Energy Audit uses a visual inspection along with high tech equipment such as a manometer, blowe door, duct blaster, and thermal imaging camera.We also check for gas burning appliance safety.
Nevada requires anyone performing Energy Audits or Energy Assessments to be licensed. I’m a Certified Home Inspector and Licensed Energy Auditor. By holding both I can make it extremely easy for the buyer and the agent to get the home inspection and energy audit done.
The NAR article can be read here.http://themembersedge.blogs.realtor.org/2012/03/30/how-to-attract-and-close-green-homebuyers/
More information on the EEM and Resnet. http://www.resnet.us/professional/ratings/mortgages