Going Green Adds Value to Your Home

A study recently conducted by national appraisal experts has stated that implementing “green” features to your home can yield a higher value for your home. Boosting your home with energy efficient products, systems, new windows and other green improvements can show a return by a better selling price.

The study compared “high performance” energy and resource conserving homes against similar homes in the area that did not have any green improvements over a two year period. They calculated the additional increments that buyers were willing to pay for the green features and found that they ranged between $10,000 and $53,000 or an average of 3.46%. In some cases premiums reached as high as 6 or 7% when homes had solar panels which reduced electricity costs.

The research indicated that green features being added into new construction is a quickly growing trend. Homes that are Energy Star rated or LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are on the rise. LEED certification requires an evaluation that the dwelling meets high energy efficiency and resource conservation standards set by the United States Green Building Council. Energy Star homes must meet energy-savings standards set forth by the EPA.

The study shared that when buyers learn about certifications and the cost savings with energy efficiency, they can often be swayed into paying a premium for the benefit. Tanya Topolewski, a Washington D.C. green developer who rehabbed two homes selected in the study shares “The vast majority of people who come to see our houses are just interested in real estate,” she said in an interview. But once they see the advantages of buying a home with extraordinary energy efficiency, fresh air 24/7 and a positive environmental impact, “it’s kind of a no-brainer.”

One of the toughest hurdles is to educate buyers on the programs and advantages of owning a green home. Additionally, only some MLS networks in the United States feature searchability by green features but attachments should also be permitted for this to educate buyers about the certification descriptions.

The takeaway for sellers is to be sure they are promoting the features in the marketing of their property so they aren’t leaving money on the table. The reality for the buyer is that paying a premium for a green home can potentially save you money in energy costs while owning a healthier place to live.