Some builders, remodelers, and lenders are reluctant to invest in green features that homebuyers may not be willing to pay for. “It’s kind of a cart before the horse sort of thing,” says Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit Earth Advantage’s Erik Cathcart. Green building advocates are working to help brokers and appraisers market the value of green features to prospective buyers. Earth Vantage is arranging an educational bus tour for industry professionals of Portland’s green homes, explaining how they were listed and appraised. Efforts to include green features in home listings help appraisers determine a green home’s value and makes homebuyers more aware of green features. “If it’s not in the listing, it doesn’t exist,” says Portland appraiser Taylor Watkins. “It has to be in the listing in order for me to isolate it…and demonstrate [a buyer] will pay more for it.” Although some homebuyers are actively seeking green features in homes, others are more interested in seeing a return on their investment in energy savings and resale value to justify the additional cost of the green features. Portland builders Hawthorne and Berquist build Passive House Institute-certified homes, a rigorous standard, and typically sell the homes before they are finished building them, so many homebuyers never see the homes on the market, making it difficult to determine how the homes would fare on the open market. | Read More

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