Appraisers unfamiliar with improvements may hinder ROI on green retrofits

Improving the energy efficiency of one’s home is beneficial for a variety of reasons but one may not include improving the home’s value.  Most agree that energy retrofits are good for the environment and save homeowners on utility bills but a recent article by CNNMoney indicates that some appraisers are not well versed in valuing these features.

This is heady stuff considering cash for caulkers may be coming soon.  Legislation, if passed, would give homeowners up to a $12,000 tax credit for energy retrofits.  According to the article, this legislation will help the environment, increase energy efficiency of homes, and put contractors back to work.

Rather than defining utility savings, the ultimate question may be how does this impact value?  Two Realtors interviewed for the article said some value is added but not much.  This is due, in part, to the fact that most appraisers are not yet adequately trained to appraise these features in homes.  It’s not clear if the Appraisal Institute would agree with the statements in the article but the trade association has been offering training on appraising green features for some time.  You can get more information on the course, which counts as AI continuing education, here.

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