Green Real Estate Toolkit
“The main reason I chose to pursue LEED certification on the custom home I am building in Chicago is because my lender’s appraiser said they could support a higher value for the construction loan if I had a third-party certification on the project. With the green MLS in place, I believe LEED will make my home more competitive in the market when I go to sell it in the future.”
- Brian U., LEED homeowner in Chicago, IL
Eco Achievers has designed this Green Real Estate Toolkit as a resource for real estate professionals and developers that need to make the economic business case for green homes. Here we’ve assembled resources on real estate, appraisal, lending, insurance and more.
The ONE THING you need to know
Anyone can complete the following form. Builder, Rater, Homeowner, Broker. If you read nothing else on this page, use the following resource at the time of completing a mortgage application. It will help ensure your lender hires a competent appraisal of your high-performance green home, and a boost in home valuation.
The guide Appraised Value & Energy Efficiency: Getting It Right includes ways builders can help the buyer learn about the loan and appraisal process and help assure a competent appraiser is selected - with sample letter templates! It also provides information for lenders about hiring the right appraiser for the assignment.
Our Research on Green Home Values in Chicagoland
Visit our Chicago Green Real Estate Research page to learn how homes that achieve ENERGY STAR, LEED or HERS ratings in the Chicago area have enhanced values.
Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Improvements
YES! There are tax credits for green / energy efficient homes. Up to $2,000 per unit!
Location, Location, Location
The old real estate phrase is enjoying new light in the phrase, Location Efficiency, which directly correlates to sustainability, bringing both economic and environmental benefits. Some tools:
- abogo.cnt.org shows you how transportation impacts the affordability and sustainability of where you live. Abogo measures the money an average household from your region living in your neighborhood would spend getting around, including car ownership, car use, and transit use. It also tells you what the CO2 generated by this car use would be. With this information, you can measure the true cost and impact of where you live.
- Walkscore.com shows heel-to-toe distances (not as the crow flies) to community services and resources such as stores, libraries, transportation, as well as parks too, giving you a feel for how walkable the location is. Also has options for a specific location’s map to be embedded on another web site – perfect for green real estate listings. And Walkscore is now automatically added into listings on some MLS systems (such as Chicago area MRED MLS and Redfin).
Incentives for Green
More details to come on green homes' eligibility for insurance premium discounts.
Green Market Value and Appraisal
The GreentheMLS.org Toolkit to help you transform your multiple listing service (MLS) into a Green MLS that supports green features and third-party verification for homes. Green home values always start with data. If your MLS tracks green building characteristics, then appraisers will have the data needed to support adjustments to market value for green homes.
The latest version of the GreenMLS Toolkit emphasizes using document back-ups to verify the data put into green fields. The impact will support fair value for green homes at resale. It ensures the flow of information from green home builder/contractor to home owner to Realtor to appraiser.
- Find a green Real Estate Appraiser: Find a green appraiser or educational courses to recommend to your lender so the appraiser hired has demonstrated competency in valuation issues related to green building.
- Strategies for Valuing Green: This academic article discusses four techniques appraisers can use to value high-performance homes with green features. Be sure to check out our blog with 5 Ways to Maximize Your Home-Performance Home Value.
- Green Addendum Appraisal Form: Encourage your real estate agents, appraisers, and lenders to use the optional AI Form designed to quantify the value for a high-performance, green home. For those that really want to learn more, there is a book about how this is used or download the Green Addendum.
Market Studies of Green Building
- What is Green Worth?: IMT releases a study discussing how homes marketed with green features, such as photovoltaic-ready or LEED certified, and classified as “high-performance” perform in the Washington D.C. real estate market as compared with a conventional home.
- Recognition of Energy Costs and Energy Performance in Real Property Valuation: Considerations and Resources for Appraisers, 2nd edition (a guide for the green narrative report)
- Green loans less risky - Did you know that owners of green / energy efficient homes are 32% less likely to default on their mortgages? You can take that large research of 25,000+ homes to the bank – and to their underwriters!
- PV Value™ Photovoltaic Energy Valuation Model spreadsheet tool helps determine the value of a new or existing photovoltaic system installed on residential and commercial properties
- "NC ENERGY STAR Market Impact Study” Appalachian State University, North Carolina Energy Efficiency Alliance
- Article: “An Early Look at Energy Efficiency and Contributory Value” presents case studies of residential properties in the greater Denver metro area
- "How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value for Owner Occupants" downloadable practice guide from Rocky Mountain Institute
Green building and municipalities
- Green Infrastructure: CNT and American Rivers have released a new guide that quantifies the economic value of green infrastructure’s benefits – the key to helping municipalities adopt this innovative and cost-effective storm water management approach. The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits is a broad analysis that is the first to place an economic value on the numerous benefits provided by green infrastructure. The guide fills an information gap that has hampered widespread deployment of green infrastructure—the practice of managing storm water with natural systems.