See my blog for NAR’s Appraisal Insight on The Cost Data Addendum for High Performance Homes

October 24th, 2013

Check out my blog on NAR’s Appraisal Insight on the value for appraisers of builders identifying the incremental costs for a particular residential project going from code to high performance

NAR approves SEEC’s new four-part series as alternative credit towards its national Green designation

September 13th, 2013

WA and OR real estate brokers until recently were stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to choosing which courses to take to further their green building education.  On the one hand, they could select from some excellent local courses that either provided no designation or one that had little if no recognition nationally.  Or, they could take one of the two national designations: NAR’s Green or EcoBroker and either skip the local education or take it in addition.  With NAR’s Green REsource Council accepting  SEEC’s four-part series (check out our Green Classes page) as alternative credit towards its Green designation, brokers can stay on top with excellent local green continuing education, while earning a national and major designation.

Sponsored 3.5 CEUs webinars being offered to Hawaii appraisers

May 13th, 2013

Through the generous sponsorship of Hunt Companies Hawaii and Gentry Homes, SEEC is offering its 3.5 CEU approved CAP webinar Appraising Energy Efficiency in New Homes and Retrofits for Hawaii appraisers for the very low cost of $25.  There are three offering dates in 2013: May 21st, May 31st and June 14th.  The offer is limited to the first 24 appraisers per class to register.  Hunt Companies also sponsored SEEC’s session Building and Buying Green: How do we know its value?  at Hawaii’s Build and Buy Green Conference and Expo in Honolulu May 10th.  The session was designed to start the conversation on how green homes in Hawaii can be recognized in the transaction process.  The webinars were planned as a follow-up to the conference session and are the first opportunity for Hawaii appraisers to receive continuing education specifically on green (also known as high performance) homes in Hawaii.

Hunt Logo


Green building education workshops offered to Thurston County, WA real estate brokers

May 1st, 2013

Check out this article in ThurstonTalk about our current series of progressive green 3.5 clock hr courses sponsored by Thurston Energy and Olympia Federal Savings.  Take one or all four: we cover the essentials to know to get the competitive sales edge in remodeling, marketing, valuation and navigating green fields in the MLS.

Consumer energy efficiency awareness going viral

April 24th, 2013

RESNET announced this morning that it is the recipient of a  Google Grants award and will receive $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising to use towards promoting the value of home energy efficiency.    With the grant, RESNET will leverage online advertising to reach consumers when they are searching on Google, and who doesn’t use Google!  I’d say energy efficiency awareness among consumers, particularly around home energy performance scores, is about to go viral.

A new green course for WA & OR real estate brokers: Energy Performance Scores – Valuing Energy Improvements

April 15th, 2013

Announcing the first offering of a new green course for real estate brokers: ”Energy Performance Scores – Valuing Energy Improvements” May 1st in Olympia, WA of our new four-part green broker series.  Each course is designed as a stand-alone module and, when taken as a series will progress attendees’  knowledge and expertise in green homes.  Thanks to our sponsors Thurston Energy and Olympia Federal Savings, the first 12 to register and pay the nominal fee $35 for this class, get to bring a COLLEAGUE FOR FREE.  In return for our sponsors’ commitment, SEEC will be offering these courses regardless of class size.  This is a 3.5 continuing education course for brokers, but is highly suitable for remodelers, home inspectors, mortgage professionals and even homeowners wishing to understand more about the value of home energy efficiency improvements.

Series Sponsored by: OFS logo green stackedThurston Energy Logo Altered

Announcing SEEC’s new school of green real estate

March 21st, 2013

The first day of spring seems a very appropriate time to announce the launch of our new school of green real estate approved in WA and OR for real estate brokers .  We have already been delivering green building valuation continuing education to real estate appraisers in WA, OR and ID both through our live 7 clock hr class and our 3.5 AQB approved webinar class – January saw that number climb to 400.  For the last two years, SEEC has also been offering the 2 day designation course, Green Agent Essentials, through its partnership with O’Brien and Company and GreenWorks Realty, as well as its extremely well received 7 clock hr class “Green and ENERGY STAR Appraising: How Agents Affect the Process.”

We will continue to offer Green Agent Essentials, which provides brokers with the opportunity to take Built Green’s coveted Green Real Estate Professional designation exam as we still consider it to be an excellent foundation course.  The reason for our own school?  Well, we feel it is time to offer more in-depth stand-alone courses that really drill into different aspects of high performance building, remodeling and energy retrofits.  April will see the role out of 4 new courses.  Watch this space!!

Study shows energy efficient home owners less likely to default on mortgage

March 19th, 2013

A study was released today by the University of North Carolina and the Institute for Market Transformation that finally assesses the linkages between residential energy efficiency and mortgage risks.  The study Home Energy Efficiency and Mortgage Risks Report found that the risk of mortgage default by home ownes is one-third lower for ENERGY STAR labeled homes (typically a minimum 15% improvement in performance over a code built home of the same year).  With HERS Index Scores even lower than 85 the risk level further decreased.

Researchers used a sample of 71,000 mortgage loans, originated during 2002-2012, from 38 states and the District of Columbia, all derived from CoreLogic’s mortgage data base.  To get statistically pure results they controlled for house size; age of the house; neighborhood income levels; house values relative to the area median; local unemployment rates; borrowers’ credit scores; loan-to-value ratios; electricity costs; and even local weather conditions.

And in case you are wondering, the average sale price of both the energy-efficient homes and the others was approximately $220,000, removing the possibility that the energy-efficient properties were high-end houses purchased by the 1%.

Introducing the Cost Data Addendum for High Performance Homes

March 5th, 2013

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and SEEC LLC recently launched version 2 of its Cost Data Addendum for High Performance Homes V2 (see attached Press Release). The addendum was created in response to appraisers’ requests for credible incremental cost data for homes in their markets that incorporate high performance measures, now includes under version 2 energy and water savings estimations.

SEEC introduced the addendum to the residential green and high performance homes community in the first of a series of webinars slated for this year.  The webinars are a MUST for any green/high performance builder wishing to have their homes accurately appraised.   Click this link to listen to a recording of the first webinar.  While COST does not necessarily equal VALUE, participants learned from industry experts (appraising, water and energy conservation) how completing the addendum will assist appraisers in the following areas:

a.            Cost data info allows appraisers to source appropriate comparables (particularly important in the absence of/limited green fields/or no direct comps)

b.            Cost data info could be used to test the reasonableness of adjustments made under another method

c.            Cost data info could be used by the appraiser to determine the rate of physical depreciation

d.            A HERS or EPS energy score provides the appraiser with documentation to prove a home’s energy efficiency

e.             Water and energy savings estimations could be used to calculate an overall adjustment for the savings identified

See my blog for NAR’s Appraisal Insight on Free Market, Liability, and Greening an MLS

February 7th, 2013

See my blog for NAR’s Appraisal Insight on Free Market, Liability, and Greening an MLS in which I discuss whether we really can assess accurately the market’s reaction to green homes, if we do not have green fields fully populating a Multiple Listing Service’s Input Form, along with extensive search functions.  Do we really have a free market in housing if  there is not full transparency of building information that the consumer might react adversely to?