What Does “Green” Mean, Anyway?

When upgrading their homes, many people choose to go green. But, what does “going green” really mean, and what does a home appraiser need to understand about appraising a green house? 

First, an appraiser should understand the five pillars of being green:

  1. Energy savings
  2. Physical health benefits
  3. Reduction in water usage
  4. Sustainable materials
  5. Geographic location

When performing a house appraisal, a skilled appraiser will recognize how the various components of the home uphold to each of the five pillars:

  1. Exterior & envelope systems, including windows, doors, roofing, and siding
  2. Mechanical systems, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy systems
  3. Energy-efficient electrical and lighting, lightbulbs, and dimmers, etc.
  4. Plumbing system and fixtures: WaterSense faucets, low-flow toilets, water timers for sprinkler systems, etc.
  5. Finish materials and coatings, including insulation, and weatherproofing
  6. Waste management systems designed to reduce and reuse
  7. Sustainable landscaping and yard maintenance

Are Green Homes Actually More Valuable?

Under Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA guidelines, an appraiser is required to consider energy efficient features when analyzing a property’s value. In most instances, a green home is more valuable, and that value will be reflected in the house appraisal. However, there are exceptions to this statement. For example, if there are few other homes with “green” properties in the local market, then these eco-friendly characteristics are less likely to add value.

Hiring a Green Property Appraiser

When it comes to green home appraisals, it’s important to hire an appraisal company that understands green homes and what sets them apart from other property types. Ask yourself these 4 questions before hiring an appraiser for a green home:

  1. Is the appraiser is trained to understand green home appraisals?
  2. Will the appraiser take into consideration the home’s green characteristics in their house appraisal?
  3. Does the appraiser have enough local knowledge to properly assess the value of the green property?
  4. Does the property have a LEED certification score, which could help the appraiser more easily—and accurately—determine the home’s value?

Green Property Appraisal Service

Appraisals Unlimited, Inc. is the largest residential appraisal company in New England and New Jersey, with over 100 appraisers in seven states. Appraisals Unlimited can satisfy all of your commercial and residential appraisal needs, including green property appraisals! Our large and experienced team of appraisers also offers excellent local knowledge of real estate markets and brokers in all of New England and  New Jersey.

If you are interested in working with us, give us as call at 781-449-7600 or email us at office@appraisals-unlimited.com.

If you have an immediate need for a commercial or residential real estate appraisal, fill out the brief form below or order an appraisal online. We are the most trusted appraisal company in New England and New Jersey, performing more than 10,000 appraisals every year!