We are thinking of building a very contemporary style green home but I am concerened about resale value.

Asked by Massgal, Massachusetts Wed Jul 22, 2009

I know that we like this style, but do other people? Any thoughts on the resale value of modern style green homes in Massachusetts? (1 hour from Boston)

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Rachelle Kni…, , Orange, MA
Thu Jul 23, 2009
This is a very interesting question, and I don't think there is an easy answer. If you look at past home trends, "contemporary" styled homes that are not too outrageous are not all that unusual. In fact, open floorplans, a hallmark of the early contemporary style, are a great selling point. I agree with Angela, though, the more unique any home is, the more difficult it is to find comparisons and often to find buyers. Older homes with energy efficient features and their resale vary widely- old solar panels, now outdated by newer technologies and often either in need of repair or not functioning at all, are not a good resale. Older homes with a very energy efficient insulation or roof system are always popular.
How long do you plan to own your home before selling it? In the next 10 years energy efficient technology will probably not change dramatically. In the next 50 years? Obviously some things will be outdated, but you will have saved considerable money (and had a smaller carbon footprint) for a long time.
I would suggest searching area listings to see what kind of contemporary homes are on the market. Look at what green improvements are being advertised most heavily in those listings. Unusual or expensive things, like geo-thermal heat, may catch on more slowly. More common improvements, solar hot water, alternative heat sources or energy efficient green landscaping seem more popular and may have a longer, simpler resale. High quality, energy efficient siding, windows, roofing and foundations are always a great idea.
Best of luck!
2 votes
Angela Dolber, Agent, Whitinsville, MA
Wed Jul 22, 2009
Hi Anya,

I think "going green" is definitely starting to catch on with home builders, but it really depends on how contemporary and green you are thinking of going. You want to construct a home that is not unique to the point where you have a limited amount of interested buyers, and sometimes contemporary does just that, again, depending on how "contemporary" you plan on going and mainly where you are building the home as well. If you're in a more rural setting, I can see this type of home selling okay, but put it in a neighborhood and it will be the "unique" home on the block, maybe overvalued for the neighborhood, thus not being able to find any comparable homes for it when an appraiser does his value if an offer is presented and accepted.

I only mention the last thing because nowadays with the banks being stricter on appraisals, if an appraiser can't find comparable homes, it's even harder to put a value on the home and for a bank to accept giving a buyer a loan. So I would throw caution to you when building it (if you wish to re-sell it in the future) that going green is of course a great idea, especially if you focus on functionality like glass windows to the southern exposure, but not so out there that a buyer wouldn't be able to buy it due to its unique nature.

Angela Dolber
Prudential Prime Properties
Web Reference:  http://www.thedolberteam.com
1 vote
Kelli Cassidy, , 01950
Thu Jul 23, 2009
Hi Anya,

Bravo on on going green! It is the wave of the future. My question to you is how long are you planning on staying in the home? I find alot of clients whom are building there homes are concerned about resale value even though they plan on staying in there home for the rest of thier lives, if you are not and plan to relocate in the next 5-10 years make sure you have the basics of a home and a nice flow curb appeal . Keep in mind if you are planning to sell in the future a realtor can not say a home is green, but must state facts for example if you are LEED or Energy Star certified, energy audits, materials used in the home such as no VOC paint, the list goes on and on. As your building your home keep all docs and products used list for the future. If you have any questions please call anytime. I hold my National Assoc. of REALTORS Green Designation and I am also a licensed builder in MA. You can visit my website under going green there is a free Home Energy Savings booklet and Green Home Guide at the bottom of the page.
Good Luck,
Kelli Cassidy
Web Reference:  http://www.kellimovesre.com
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Jul 23, 2009

Some things come and go and are considered "fads." People quickly forget about their existance and move on to the next craze.

"Green" is not going away and is here to stay. We all ready see numerous examples of governmental pressure applied to manufacturers to introduce more efficient products to the public. We see this trend continuing until it becomes common place.

We are at a point in time when "Green" is considered optional but this will most certainly change as society becomes more in touch with the need to exist responsibly with nature.

Our recommendation is to not trouble yourself with resale value because you are ahead of your time....the rest will catch up.

Good luck
The Eckler Team
0 votes
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