Archive for the ‘Value and Energy Efficiency’ Category

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

Thursday, 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

Friday, 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

Monday, 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


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

Monday, 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

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

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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

Residential Green Valuation Roundtables Update

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

There has been a hiatus in our blogs due to the very tight schedule of roundtables we have conducted in Olympia, Seattle, Vancouver, Spokane and Boise, Idaho these past couple of months.  We are now in the report out phase.  With the recent accouncement of  collaboration between The Appraisal Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy (see our previous blog)  to collaborate on a series of activities focusing on energy efficiencies and the valuation of green buildings, the findings from these residential green valuation roundtables frankly could not be more relevant.  Watch this space.

Appraisal Foundation and U.S. Dept. of Energy to collaborate on Green Valuation

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

The work SEEC has undertaken in the Pacific Northwest over the last couple of years to highlight the interrelatedness of valuation and green building in the residential sector is now starting to be undertaken at the national level.  In the Appraisal Foundation’s Press Release of June 13th, 2011 the importance of energy efficiency was recognized as “gaining traction throughout the marketplace”.  The MOU signed between the two organizations relates specifically to commercial buildings though.  This is not surprising since this is where the big $$$s are concentrated.  Also, the sometimes significant savings on energy consumption associated with green buildings can be realized by commercial building owners and can be used by the appraisal industry to create added value using the income approach – already the weighted approach in commercial appraisals. 

The struggle is in the residential sector where the income approach for energy savings may be used to justify an adjustment, but only as long as it can be supported by the primary approach -  the market or sales comparison approach.

Nation’s Largest Publicly Traded Builders Adopting Green led by Energy Efficiency

Monday, April 4th, 2011

What are some of the indicators that real estate professionals and appraisers use to gauge the average buyer’s sentiment to green and energy efficiency?  When green and energy efficient building practices are adopted by the nation’s big-builders.

According to a survey “A Green Recovery for America’s Homebuilders?” released December 2010 by Calvert Investments, builders who embrace green-construction objectives, such as energy efficiency and water conservation, will have a leg up as the housing market tries to find its footing.
The survey focused on the 10 largest publicly traded homebuilders and the degree to which they’ve integrated sustainability into their practices and products, and follows-up a similar Calvert survey conducted two years ago. The 2010 survey covers five principal areas: land, building materials, energy, water, and climate change.

The green initiatives that builders, led by KB Home and Pulte, tend to pursue most vigorously are driven by their potential to reduce operating costs and their financial benefit to customers.  The survey report noted that companies are most active “in programs that will increase the energy efficiency of the homes they build.  That finding is in line with a J.D. Power survey, cited by Meritage Homes on its website and noted in the Calvert report, that, among homeowners who have purchased a “green” home, 94% reported they purchased the home because of the savings they would see on energy bills” (taken directly from the Fine Homebuilding Blog by Richard Defendorf).

Residential Green Valuation Roundtable Series – a First!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Created by SEEC and sponsored by Northwest ENERGY STAR ® Homes, a program to deliver ten green valuation roundtables in major cities across WA, ID, MT and OR kicked off March 25th with the first roundtable being held in Olympia, hosted by local partners the Thurston Climate Action Team and Evergreen College.  The second in the series is being held in Bellevue this Thursday, March 31st hosted by local partner Built Green® King Snohomish.

Here’s some feedback:

Nice job today. I walked away with some good stuff and some new insight” – Cory Eckert, Laupen Homes

and a News Flash issued by TCAT TCAT Valuation Roundtable News Flash