Industry News

Resale value of ‘green’ home improvements hard to quantify

'Greenwashing' complicates appraisals

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When you spend $30,000 to install a solar photovoltaic system or wind turbine on your property, will the real estate market recognize the energy-savings expenditures you've made and credit extra value to your house at resale?Equally important: Will the appraiser hired by your prospective buyer's bank recognize the value -- or ignore it because there's inadequate data on comparable houses in the local multiple listing service showing the higher sale price commanded by energy-efficient houses?These are important questions facing growing numbers of homeowners -- including myself and my wife -- who want to do the right thing and go green, but who also don't want to be penalized financially.On the one hand, we're aware of the major initiatives under way -- tax credits, refunds and grants, at the behest of the Obama administration, Congress and some state legislatures -- to encourage green homebuilding and improvements.In our case, we're considering adding solar panels, maybe geothermal heat...