Let me know how I can help.
Sustaining home values will likely be the challenge no matter what you do to make them eco-friendly. A lot of those expenses going into green updates won't come back to you for some time to come. The recent hits on the economy are working against you. The things that will be noted as eco-friendly with value added have been mentioned, in detail already; however the value may likely not be monetary (equity) initially; the value may be in immediate personal satisfaction because of the priority put on conservation or maybe the value will come into play upon promotion of the home as most desireable and economical among the competition when it's finally put up for sale. Getting a greener home is a more costly way to build/remodel in many ways. It requires replacing the old for the new (or cleaverly recycled)- which costs dollars....dollars that won't necessarily come back to you in the short run. If you are looking for attributes that will help a home sell better (but not necessarily for more money if the economy stays sluggish) in the long term then some of the preceding ideas are the way to go. Keep in mind, greening a home requires dollars that may not give a profitable return for quite some time, but over time will benefit you or future owners. But at least you can have satisfaction in knowing you've taken strides to protect and preserve the environment while you're waiting for the return on your investment.
June Lizotte, Real Estate Broker
Providing REAL Service
Prudential NW Properties
6400 SE Lake Rd., Suite 200
Portand, OR 97222
"Portland is just a smaller more hip more green weirder and funkier San Francisco!". Dirk, you should take your quote to the Portland City Council...that could be our new P-town slogan!!! Love it...
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
Well that is a very good question. In this market will a consumer actually pay a lot more for extensive eco-friendly and green building techniques.
Overall the interest level is high. But consumers are so "deal driven" that I do not think at the end of the day they are going to pay more. For me being a Realtor in the oft chilly Northwest and having been doing that for 25 Years I have seen some major demarcations in this area.
#1 Improvement here: 1993 Building Code update required new standards on Windows and Insulation effectively doubling the insulated factor of both. NOTHING can enhance the value of a home more than Overall energy efficiency. This leads to HUGE cost savings and the amount of insulation in floors, walls, ceilings, and foundations is the #1 return on Investment and I feel is the most valuable. Windows are a part of this. Efficient Low-E Glass windows are a very big factor. The combination that we use now in the Pacific Northwest makes for a cozy home that can be heated at 1/2 the cost of a home with lesser quality.
#2 Now that our home is cozy we gotta heat this sucker. Therefore I must stress the need for High Efficiency Furnaces and Heaters. I have seen everything from Oil and Wood Fired Hot Water radiant to solar and ground loop heat pumps. Again this is area specific. In most areas Heating does better as a Natural Gas Unit and Cooling is certainly electric for the most part. A 90-95% high efficiency Gas Furnace with a Variable speed fan and proper venting with a cold air induction from the outside is a big plus. This is smart technology and saves hundreds if not thousands on heating and cooling costs over time. I have a 100 year old property and we have a hard time keeping it warm but we use a combination of a 95% Gas Furnace and some very smart European Wall mounted electric units that operate on a convection current with no electric fan. Thy work very well too. No matter what the age of the home I would say this is an issue that can pay big dividends in the homes value and livability and this is easy to upgrade.
#3: Solar Elements and Design: While Solar systems are still expensive and a few years out for the masses, incorporating Solar designs and orientation into planning, developments, and housing is here to stay. Here is a Grey climate like Seattle and Portland we can still take significant advantage of the sun by oriented the home and Efficient Windows or Passive solar designs into our housing. It makes the home brighter, more livable, warmer, and nothing enhances the value of a home the way that this type of thing can. People see a home and say "I am not sure what it is but i just love that place!" and many times we find it to be due to smart design and use of solar.
Other Green elements like Bamboo, Water Recollection Systems, Eco-Roofs, Low emission Paints and finishes all help too. In Portland we believe we are the greenest city in the US and maybe in the world. Of course there is a myriad of Green and LEED Certified techniques we can brag about. Here I think our planning and committment is he most important thing. Many features can enhance the value but only a few can say they have stood the test of time. The three I mentioned I believe make the most difference!
Great Question Sharon! Can I interest you in a Green Eco Friendly Cottage in the Silicon Forest where I live? I can even hook you up with an electric car or shuttle that can take you 1/2 mile to the MAX light rail as you travel to your job in The Greenest Place in The world...Portland! Maybe Trulia needs to move out of that area an come up here and join in the Fun! After all...Portland is just a smaller more hip more green weirder and funkier San Francisco!
Have a great one and thanks!
Re/Max Hall of Fame
Re/Max Metro Gold
#1 and #2 Rated Team in Oregon 2007 2008
Web Reference: http://www.theknudsens.com