Although homes with green features can sell for 10 to 14 percent more than comparable traditional homes, getting appraisals to accurately reflect the value of a home’s green features has been difficult. The Appraisal Institute designed a form to help appraisers analyze energy-efficient features in commercial buildings, recognizing they result in a higher net income for building owners. However, green residential properties appraisals rely on an older form that evaluates site, water, energy, materials, indoor air quality, and maintenance and operations, and notes a certified green building is not the same as an energy-efficient building. Although solar panels lower utility costs, using the Appraisal Institute’s form to evaluate their value requires answering 22 questions, some highly technical. The Philadelphia Building Industry Association has a green committee that is working to clarify many of the issues involved with appraising green homes using a cost-benefit analysis. Builders need to know buyers are willing to pay a higher price for a green-certified home before they invest in the higher building costs. | Read More