Green Construction and Energy savers in Arizona!

By
Real Estate Agent with Moving to Marana - Tierra Antigua Realty

Did you know...  With threat of global warming many people are looking for ways to help save the environment. One easy and effective way is with a light bulb! It takes 18 seconds to change a light bulb, so how many has your state changed? Find out through a new campaign hosted by Yahoo. Here states and cities can compete to see how many pounds of coal and dollars they have saved, cars that they collectively kept off the road and pounds of CO2 they have prevented from entering our atmosphere by replacing incandescent bulbs with compact florescent lamps (cfl's). When you purchase a cfl anywhere in the US it will be added to www.18seconds.org !

For more info on green living try http://www.thegreenguide.com/

Green Options of Berkley CA, recently published an article with Top 20 No-or Low-Cost Green Building Strategies [PDF]. Feel free to click on over for more information on each strategy.

•·          Orient Building To Maximize Natural Day lighting
·           Place Windows to Provide Good Natural Ventilation
•·          Select a Light-Colored "Cool Roof"
•·          Provide Overhangs on South-Facing Windows
•·          Install Whole-House Fans or Ceiling Fans
•·          Eliminate Air Conditioning
•·          Provide Combined-Hydronic Heating
•·          Install Fluorescent Lights with Electronic Ballasts
•·          Install High R-Value Insulation
•·          Select Energy Star Appliances
•·          Design Water-Efficient Landscapes
•·          Install Water-Efficient Toilets and Fixtures
•·          Use Permeable Paving Materials
•·          Use 30-50% Flyash in Concrete
•·          Use Engineered Wood for Headers, Joists, and Sheathing
•·          Use Recycled-Content Insulation, Drywall, and Carpet
•·          Use Low- or No-VOC Paint
•·          Use Formaldehyde-Free or Fully Sealed Materials for Cabinets and Counters
•·          Vent Rangehood to the outside
•·          Install Carbon Monoxide Detector

Now for a local DID YOU KNOW....

In Arizona where water conservation is always an issue, the push for more energy efficient homes is increasing. Awareness of a building's environmental footprint, and rising costs for energy usage, is creeping into many buyers' thoughts when considering new construction.

 "Tucson is home to some extremely well planned green urban communities. As Arizona is very much feeling the effects of years of drought and the resulting forest fire devastation of 2002, topics such as water conservation, forest management, thin-diameter tree products, and mankind's relationship to our environment are on our minds and in our newspapers. "-USGBC Arizona Chapter  http://chapters.usgbc.org/arizona

Comments (2)

David Hintz
Accurate Appraisals & Consulting of AZ - Maricopa, AZ
AZAppraiser

Hi Tina

Good information.   However, from an appraisal stand point, appraiser's don't calculate energy improvements made to homes becase standards don't exist to accurately measure the increased value from energy upgrades.  If it is not a standard in the MLS or Tax information, appraiser's are unable to make the assumption that the comparable properties do or do not have energy efficient items and are unable to make adjustments for them in the appraisal reports.

From an article in bizjournals.com about appraisers and energy efficient items  "...Evidence of Rational Market Evaluations for Home Energy Efficiency concludes that for every $1 a homeowner saves on his or her annual fuel bill, the resale home value will jump by $20 or more."

If realtors added to the MLS energy efficient items consistantly, values can be adjusted for these items and a part of the costs can be recovered in the resale of the property.  Not all items can be fully recovered due to certain factors such as depreciation, life expectancy of certain items, and the market demand of specific items.

This and other incorrect or omitted information in listings do have a significant impact on the accuracy of the appraised value of a subject property and the actual market value.  To help in obtaining an accurate market value, perhaps realtors should consider a pre-listing appraisal or an enhanced CMA from the appraisal process point of view or at least consult with an appraiser for a square foot verification (mostly for older properties with additions) with a computer generated sketch to include in the listing.

Working, even a little, with an appraiser before listing or offering a purchase price on a property can result in better service, accurate pricing, less on the market time, and an overall more pleasant expierence for the client.  It also makes the jobs of everyone involved in the whole transaction process a lot smoother.

 

Mar 16, 2007 09:52 AM
Tina Furtado
Moving to Marana - Tierra Antigua Realty - Marana, AZ
Realtor Tucson, AZ

David, I'm glad you brought this up. I have been making a case for pre-listing appraisals and also pre-listing home inspections with my sellers for the reasons you state and some others. Mainly, as you say, correct pricing. Particularly in cases of older homes in neighborhoods with less turnover, where significant energy saving modifications have been made, setting price can be difficult at best! Another advantage is pre-listing appraisals provide timely information to the seller on valuation, necessary prior to any price negotiation in this high inventory market.

Similarly pre-listing home inspections provide info to the seller on what issues can come up in the inspection period and give sellers a chance to address the problem before it becomes an issue. It also sends a clear message to the potential buyer that here is a responsible seller who isn't trying to hide anything.

In my listings I always include any energy saving features as additional selling points. In new construction, I have seen this become standard practice with most builders here in Tucson over the last several years. Things are beginning to change.

Appraisers and realtors need to communicate! Thanks for your comment!

Mar 16, 2007 01:31 PM