Green technology and the popularity of green living are advancing rapidly, and many real estate appraisers are interested in gaining specialized knowledge and expertise in eco-friendly housing. Last month, we asked our appraisal community, “What green home feature are you most interested in learning about?” Solar panels were the most popular answer, by far, but they’re not the only green home feature that appraisers said they’d like to investigate. Read the full survey results below.
What green home feature are you most interested in learning about?
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Solar panels (65%)
“As green energy continues to gain popularity, I want to learn more about valuing the solar arrays.”
“Solar panels are the new thing!!”
“Solar panels are becoming more common in our local market area. I am wanting to learn more about the initial investment of installation vs. the return on the investment and further analysis of the contributory value this energy efficient feature has on the residential market.”
“Off grid, solar powered homes are becoming increasingly popular in rural North Idaho. The systems can vary greatly in functionality and cost. Assistance and education in valuing these would be appreciated.”
“Solar panels are now ‘the rage’ in Virginia. Being half way up/down the eastern sea coast, is it really affective in this area and does the direction your house faces have any impact on how much electricity is generated?”
“Solar panels are becoming a bit more prevalent in SE Michigan, so to know more about how to appraise a home with them will be a good thing.”
“I see more Tesla Roofs being installed in my city. Would like to learn more about the technology!”
“Lately, I see more solar panels going up on roofs and I have had 2 homes to appraise with solar panels yet a recent sale in one of the communities did not reflect the solar panels on the home in the sale price. Counterintuitive since they do save electric payments.”
“There seems to be such varied opinions on what value to give owned solar panels, if any.”
“How to make adjustments for solar panels.”
“How to adjust for owned (not leased) solar panels when there are no other sales to use for matched pairs.”
“It seems like solar panels are the future of how we will gather energy to power homes and transportation.”
CE Course: For in-depth information on appraising solar panels, enroll in our new CE course, Valuation of Residential Solar.
Smart home systems (12%)
“There are so many new and different smart home systems out there today that research and understanding is key to understanding what they do and how they benefit a specific homeowner group.”
“I am studying hard to pass my appraisal principals course. One thing we recently learned is about real property vs personal property. If homes are starting to have smart features installed, that would increase the value of the home. I want to know specifically what types of home systems are prevalent in today’s market and how it affects value!”
Geothermal heating and cooling (8%)
“I would love to know more about geothermal heating and cooling. I’ve done some researching and it’s a very smart way to efficiently heat and cool your home from the ground up!”
“Geothermal systems have buried components. It may or may not impact the continued use of a parcel. Plus do I need to know where units are located underground?”
LEED certification (6%)
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, providing a framework for healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. The U.S. Green Building Council reports that LEED-certified homes have grown substantially since 2017, with more than 400,000 units located in the U.S. as of August 2019. According to the report, the top ten states for LEED-certified residential buildings are California, Texas, New York, Washington, Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Maryland, and Georgia.
Professional certification: Want to learn more about appraising green homes? Sharpen your skills with McKissock’s Certified Green Home Appraiser (CGHA) program.
Green roofs and/or rain gardens (4%)
“I believe a city like Baltimore with many flat roofs would benefit from green technology. Especially in underserved and distressed communities, as a source of more efficient energy use among many other eco-friendly benefits.”
Sustainably sourced materials (2%)
“I am interested in some of the alternative/prefab dwellings that are becoming available. Recently watched a show about shipping containers being used for a backyard office and a new 3000+ sf house.”
“I’ve been a tree-hugging environmentalist for my entire adult life. When I was on the Tree Commission for the municipality I lived in, I helped set a standard that only native trees could be used in the parkways. I do my best to maintain a low-waste household and buy products that are sustainably made. I would love to learn more about this topic as it relates to my work life.”
LED lighting (1%)
LED stands for light emitting diode. According to EnergyStar.gov, “LED lighting products produce light up to 90% more efficiently than incandescent light bulbs” and therefore help reduce household utility bills.
A few survey respondents selected “Other” and wrote in their own responses. Their answers included the following:
- “Which green features are profitable without subsidy?”
- “5G radio frequency effects inside and outside of home.”
- “All of the above.”
Additional comments from appraisers
“Real estate is going green with or without us! I am very interested to learn what this means to the value of homes and to the market.”
“Overall, I’m interested in what impact utilizing renewable energy has on expenses for income-producing properties.”
“I want to increase my skill level in analyzing properties that are energy efficient, to more competently quantify/estimate a market premium (if any) for those properties.”
“I don’t know of any green feature that pays for itself at this time. I believe that when that happens the government will not have to use our tax dollars to incentivize. Our market will do that for no tax dollars. That will be a win-win.”
What green home features are you most interested in learning about? Join the conversation! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Or, sign up for our newsletter to get a new survey question in your inbox each month.