Green Homes Mean Higher Sales Prices in California

Does purchasing a more efficient and sustainable home in Santa Cruz County mean that you’ll have to spend more money in process? This is one of the biggest issues regarding sustainable living which causes many to wonder if purchasing a green home is a valuable real estate investment.

Home Energy Studies

There are studies that validate the belief that there are many potential home buyers who do not mind paying more for homes that are more energy efficient and there are also studies that show that throughout daunting economic periods, price becomes the deciding factor in many cases.

Recent studies on homes sold in California between 2007 and 2012 note that accredited sustainable homes see an increase of almost 10% in value. Areas, like Santa Cruz County, that are more involved with environmental preservation produce more buyers of green homes. Studies have shown that there are no connections between utility usage and the amount of potential home buyers open to pay more e green certified homes. This study did show that Californians that live in areas with higher temperatures than coastal cities are more prone to purchase green certified homes based on the savings in energy costs provided.

Research by representatives from UCLA, Maastricht University and UC Berkeley on over 1.5 million home sales determined that a little over 4,300 green certified homes were sold.

Providers of Energy Efficient Solutions

Energy Star is a well known provider of energy efficiency products and is endorsed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy Star is often used in new construction and facilitates to reduce cooling, heating, and water expenses as well as enhance the air quality.

LEED is an organization that focuses on providing sustainable options for residential and commercial development.  LEED was created by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Build It Green is a nonprofit organization that developed the GreenPoint Rated designation feature that shares some of the same features as LEED and can be implemented on new constructions or current homes.

There was a similar study done in Europe in which the average price increase of about 10% was noted for green certified homes. Energy efficient homes are more common in Europe and homes that aren’t highly rated by the European Union are generally listed at much lower rates.

To Label or not to Label?

Classifying homes based on energy efficiency has cause a lot of uproar in the United States. The NAR (National Association of Realtors) has campaigned against federal organizations as well as congress to deter mandatory classification of existing homes. The NAR notes that forcing home owners to label their homes based on energy efficiency may have detrimental effects.

Meanwhile, other organizations such as the NAHB (National Association Home Builders) argue that labeling green certified homes would prove extremely beneficial to home sales for new construction. Many new constructions tend to be classified as sustainable and energy efficient but there are two sides to every coin. Many of these green certified communities are built on the outskirts of urban areas which may lead to longer commutes and more air pollution.

Many buyers and sellers agree that labeling sustainable and energy efficient homes can prove advantageous.  What are your thoughts on green certified homes?

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