5 Takeaways from “Green Real estate” Training

I spent last Wednesday and Thursday in Northern Virginia in Earth Advantage training, learning more about green homes, green real estate, their respective relevance in the market and how best to help and advise my clients regarding such. Below the “fold” is a Storify I did and conversations I had during the sessions, but these are five big takeaways.

1 – Consumers (generally) don’t care how green a house is; the house could be painted with motor oil but if it costs them less they’ll buy it. In fact, making one green decision may lead to making less green decisions. (see also: Do Green Products Make Us Better People?)

2 – Green homes and energy efficiency matter. “How much does this house cost to run” is one of the number one questions my buyer clients ask, and this is more than a trend; it’s a way of life. See: Green-certified homes sell for 9% more, study in California finds

3 – I’d wager that a “miles per gallon” for homes will be common place in the next three years. I firmly believe that a “MPG for homes” would hurt resale value of existing, less-energy-efficient homes. The Department of Energy is funding programs such as LEAP and this Earth Advantage training and other such programs in order to create a market for energy efficient homes and products; I can make at least two arguments about this, one pro and one con. Either way, now would be a good time to learn about the SAVE* Act and see who supports and opposes it.

4 – There are more than 70 green home certifications across the country; Earth Craft, Energy Star, LEED are the most prominent in this part of the country. They’re all different; they all have different qualification systems and they’re all brands.

5 – Charlottesville’s @LEAP_VA program has retrofit 600+ homes; $370k projected annual savings; 2.5 GWh in energy savings.

Heck, I’ve saved about $2k in heating bills since my home’s LEAP makeover.If you’re interested in retrofitting your home, now would be a good time to do so; start with an energy audit (ask me if you have questions about what that is … I might write a post about it soon) and look at the 0% interest Power Saver Loans offered by the UVA Credit Union;

Figure out how you might save locally by taking LEAP’s survey.

If you’re interested, spend some time (scroll to the bottom and work your way up) reading through the green real estate training Storify after the break.


* If Congress would spend as much time fixing things as they do figuring out clever ways to title bills so that they have clever acronyms …

Learning about Green (real estate)

Learning to be a better, greener Realtor so that I can better advise my clients – buyers and sellers (and my readers) about energy efficient housing. Notes from the Earth Advantage class … a story in progress.

Storified by Jim Duncan · Thu, Jul 19 2012 12:49:27

Summarizing two days of green real estate training: Consumers say they care about saving energy but really, they care about saving money.Jim Duncan
Talking about how we’d market the $1.3 million "green" house this morning, I can’t help but reference this: http://bit.ly/Nk5gsbJim Duncan
Charlottesville’s @LEAP_VA program has retrofit 600+ homes; $370k projected annual savings; 2.5 GWh in energy savings.Jim Duncan
A few photos from the Passiv Haus I saw this morning – http://bit.ly/NUTuRDJim Duncan
@jimduncan the thing about houses is they don’t make 500,000 identical models every year.Berry Enloe
@jimduncan well the formula to figure price/sqft On active & solds in last 6 months within half a mile is dead simple and easy to automateBerry Enloe
Back to the Green class … Heard this KBB ad coming in; http://bit.ly/NJCnaM I bet we’ll see this on houses soonJim Duncan
#efficiency world needs to align if they want real estate to understand! MT @jimduncan: 70+ different "green certifications" in US!Laura Reedy Stukel
@JimDuncan For me the immediate benefit of cash saved is huge. The environment getting some love is a great secondary effect.Jeff Cornejo
After a full day yesterday learning about "green" building I’m more convinced that "green" is popular for saving money, not the environmentJim Duncan
Energy Star is the bare minimum for (residential) energy efficiency ratings. Making sense of the various programs requires study + trust.Jim Duncan
Looking back at a post I wrote in 2010 about a "MPG for houses"- http://bit.ly/MkS1YS Looks like I’ll be updating this soon w/new knowledgeJim Duncan
Next year I’ll probably be advising energy audits for my buyer clients.Jim Duncan
Now learning about differences b/t Solar PV & Solar water heating …Jim Duncan
Hey @JimDuncan. check out http://www.solarideahouse.com/ and http://www.theenergydetective.com/what-is-tedJeff Cornejo
@JimDuncan If you would like more information, feel free to DM me and I’ll give you the contact info for our Environmental Policy Rep.REALTORS®
@JimDuncan Hi Jim, NAR opposes the SAVE Act. We believe that homeowners should move towards energy efficiency at their own pace…(cont)REALTORS®
.@REALTORS Do you (we) have a position on the SAVE Act? http://bit.ly/NFHZ5OJim Duncan
In Portland & Seattle: "(Green) Certified homes sold at a price premium of 3-5%" — in 2009. I’ll bet that’s higher now.Jim Duncan
@JimDuncan best expense:: money-saved I ever made was installing two @nest thermostats. Immediate $70+ per month savings. @superninjarobotJeff Cornejo
Buildings use 40% of energy in the US – 1/2 commercial and 1/2 residentialJim Duncan
Carpet is 3 times heavier when you take it out than when it was installed. #yuck!Jim Duncan
@JimDuncan @LEAP_VA Yes, both VA and FHA offer, but are rarely used.Matt Hodges
Are there any lenders offering Energy Efficient Mortgages in #Charlottesville area? @LEAP_VAJim Duncan
@JimDuncan I wonder how much of that is a desire to be green versus growing costs to cool homes in the face of record temperatures.John Feminella
Green building is an evolution … five years ago no one care about energy efficiency. Now most people do.Jim Duncan
When evaluating "green" construction, ignoring labor & material source is …Jim Duncan
Scoring green homes w/o incorporating source of labor & materials is presenting an incomplete/misleading(?) scoreJim Duncan
@cornexo I think it’s also a collective recognition of the connected world + conservation of resources (such as money)Jim Duncan
@JimDuncan on a macro scale it’s all economics. Generically: go green->use less oil->more strategic economic autonomy(security).Jeff Cornejo
RT @cornexo: @JimDuncan my 2¢. Pre recession was culture. Post recession was economics. [Absolutely agree on that evolution re: green]Jim Duncan
Right now?…economy! RT @jimduncan: Are we green because "culture "has changed or because the economy has changed?Laura Reedy Stukel
Are we green because "culture "has changed or because the economy has changed?Jim Duncan
There are more than 70 different "green certifications" for homes around the country – from Earthcraft (South East) to LEED. #whoKnew?Jim Duncan

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