Energy retrofits and the future of home values

A homeowner and professional appraiser shares her thoughts on the role that home performance might play in valuation.

Sara and her family I recently had another brief chat with Sara Goodwin, a homeowner and Certified Residential Appraiser with over ten years of experience, about trends in the appraising field.

When asked about the impact that green measures like an energy retrofit have on the appraisal value of a home compared to other types of remodels, Sara cited continued instability in parts of the housing market as a source of uncertainty.

“If we were in a stable or increasing market across the metro area, I would say that energy savings is a bonus that can be measured through analysis but home values in some areas continue to decline.”

However, she went onto explain, “I believe that ‘green’ will catch on everywhere eventually when the market is back on the incline.”

Sara drew on her years of experience and peered deep into her crystal ball to predict the role that green measures will play in home values in the months and years to come.

“For current trends, home performance appears to be a more successful strategy in urban areas, then declines in suburban areas and then sometimes picks up in rural areas again (especially where second homes or retirement homes are built by urban primary residents). Hopefully this will spread more to the suburban areas in the future, especially with updated building codes requiring higher efficiency in buildings.”

Sara’s instincts about the direction of home values echo Hammer and Hand’s understanding of a fundamental shift in the housing market.

Our own Sam Hagerman sums up the position in a 2011 piece entitled “Saving housing from the jaws of doom” when he said, “Short-term profit no longer drives investment in real estate.  Quality and value are the new drivers – building performance, energy efficiency, durability, health and safety, comfort, and design integrity.”

That’s why Hammer and Hand’s Home Performance team is excited to help home owners build lasting value by making their homes more comfortable, efficient, and safe. As we emerge from recession, investments made in these fundamentals will pay off, both in the marketplace and in quality of life.

– Cody

Back to Field Notes