The Value of Green Real Estate / by Scott Newland

Several months ago, applying for a construction loan, I did my best to educate the appraiser working for the mortgage company on the "green" features that we were planning for the new home.  I pushed him to look at comparable properties in the vicinity so that the benefits of such progressive construction would be taken into account.  I believe that my efforts helped to some degree.

Now, after having toured a few homes for sale in the area and comparing the brochures they put out, I'm wondering the same sort of thing again.  How are environmental features figured into the marketing and valuation of a home?  It appears that they're really not.  The MLS template seems to be rigid, using only the "remarks" area to include anything of the sort.  I think this needs to change.  Like the gas mileage on a car, a home should AT LEAST have its HERS score listed (is it built only to code, or how much better is it?).  It should AT LEAST have yes/no answers to questions like "Does the house have any green rating system certifications?" or "How many of the major appliances are ENERGY STAR rated?" or "What is the annual water usage?"  I intend to look into this in the upcoming months.  Stay tuned.