NC is poised to make history by implementing significant changes to building codes, appraisals and the Multiple Listings Services.
Governor Purdue is supporting the historic initiatives that will increase the energy efficiency of new homes and value the energy efficiency features in all homes.
Code changes are fundamental to building more efficient homes. This is an historic opportunity to support the 15% increase in home energy efficiency.
Read, act and pass this on to everyone who cares about green in their pockets and a greener environment.
Organizations such as Sierra Club, NC Sustainable Energy Association, North Carolina green home builders and USGBC have been promoting and supporting adoption of stricter residential building codes, NC Energy Code for Residential Construction. Previous blog entries have discussed the ICC and the NC Building Codes.
This week Governor Perdue proposed changes for all stakeholders: consumers, real estate agents, lenders, insurers, builders and appraisers. Note that the changes are not suggestions but requirements.
- Requiring all NC MLS groups to include green fields and certifications. As a real estate professional in the Triangle, I am fortunate to be a member of an MLS that does include tracking fields for green certified homes and green features since March 2009. The Triangle is one of the two in NC and one of the few in the nation. It is critical to be able to identify homes that meet the standards of the many green home certification programs. Finding green features such as insulated concrete form (ICF) foundations, energy efficient windows, low VOC paints or metal roofs is critical as consumers are beginning to value a more efficient and healthier homes. MLS is the source of data that appraisers use to value homes.
- Requiring lending competency about energy efficiency and green buildings. As an EcoBroker who has represented both buyers and sellers understand the need for green lenders. The number of lenders that really understand energy efficiency and the loan programs are very few. We need ALL lenders to understand basic energy efficiency, green building goals and know the lending products that value energy efficiency.
- Require that borrowers understand and are offered Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs) and Energy Improvement Mortgages (EIM) and . This is easy to require. Agents can explain energy efficiency mortgages the same way that they are required to explain agency to all buyers and sellers through the consumer document, Working with Real Estate Agents. An informed consumer is a knowledgeable consumer. Agents were educated, adapted and learned to explain the types of agency in NC and the benefits to consumers. It can be done.
- Require appraiser competency about energy efficiency and green buildings. In my experience the number of appraisers who understand and value energy efficiency is very low. More education and changes to the appraisal process are needed to award more value homes that are more efficient. As an EcoBroker I often get asked to value green homes. It is so difficult without appraisers willing to value the efficiency. I can price an energy efficiency home but buyers have to be willing to pay for the efficiency and in the end appraisers must value the efficient home.
- Encourage a review of the appraisal report. The current report is not built to incorporate energy efficient features, HERS ratings or green certifications. Change is needed to standardize forms.
- Add the HERS score onto the tax record. This would allow everyone to see a home’s energy efficiency rating. The advent of online tax records changed the face of real estate. Recording the HERS score and green certification is a game changer.
I encourage you to consider the changes and contact the Governor’s office, write a letter to the editor, talk to everyone in support of these initiatives related to energy efficiency of homes in the entire state of North Carolina.