First MLS Analysis Shows BUILT GREEN Certified Projects Carry Higher Value

Today’s post is hot out of the Inbox, from the May Built GreenTM News which has a Letter from the Director of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish County. It is good to read the proof is in the certification! I am in the process of refinancing to get into a better loan at a lower interest rate than what we used to buy our 3-star Built Green certified townhome in the Seattle redevelopment of High Point. The appraisal completed earlier this week showed 8.86% appreciation in 9 months. Based on the prices I am seeing on the resales coming on the market now here in my community, that seems to be on target for most of the pricing here.

This MLS news actually came out on Wednesday but my entire townhouse was torn apart yesterday while the builder came in the correct an oversight by some contractor who hopefully ends up in court someday. Polygon paid for a company to come out and screw down the subflooring – a nice extra step they take to ensure against future floor squeaks. Our 9 month old townhome developed more floors squeaks than the 1929 farmhouse we sold to buy it! It was driving us crazy and I have to give credit to Polygon for standing by their product, even tho it was a major hassle. I lost an entire day of work, and kept having to yell “Keep the door closed” at any one of the ten workers hired to move furniture, move carpeting, or screw down the floor, relay the pad and carpet, and put the furniture back (we didn’t want one of the freaked out cats to bolt). It was an all-day (and into the night) project and they are going to have to come back for another round since they still didn’t manage to get to the whole house. They even leveled out some of the flooring because the yahoo who put in the joists put some in upside down and they figured while they had the floor torn up trying to find the popping water pipe noise that was also driving us crazy they would fix that while they were at it. The cats were freaked out, the dog curled in a ball and lay with her eyes wide open, and my husband and I took turns going to our various appointments scheduled for the day. We actually got a lot done – I got to two doctors appointments, he went to the dentist, and we took turns going out for haircuts. The noise was incredible, saws and hammers and three foot long screw drills, and who knows what else. Had some minor breakage of wine glasses and champagne flutes (including some stemless ones that were gifts for our 10th anniversary this year), but to be able to live in a home with a silent floor is worth the loss.

First MLS Analysis Shows Certified Projects Carry Higher Value

A new analysis of MLS green home sales data done by Greenworks Realty shows what may be a bright spot in today’s real estate market. Between September 2007 and March 2008, environmentally-certified homes sold for 4.8 percent more and stayed on the market for 24 percent less time than comparable homes sold last year.

In the first year since it began tracking environmentally certified homes, 19.8 percent of new homes in Seattle sold on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) were environmentally certified. These homes (which include townhomes as well as single family homes) averaged 1,477 square feet, just slightly smaller than the 1,492 square foot average for all new homes sold. On a square-foot basis, this means green homes sold for a 5.9 percent premium. Green homes certified by a third party such as 4-Star and 5-Star Built Green homes sold for a 10.5 percent premium on a square foot basis.

In King County, 13.5 percent of new homes were environmentally certified. These homes had 21.5 percent less square feet and sold for a 1.2 percent premium. On a square-foot basis, this means green homes sold for a 28.9 percent premium.

“In today’s changing market, this is an important finding for homeowners to consider,” noted Ben Kaufman, founder of GreenWorks Realty. He added, “environmentally-certified homes offer homeowners a way to get the most value and sell faster.”

Environmentally-certified homes include those certified by Built Green®, Energy Star® or LEED for HomesTM. From Sept. 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008, 168 environmentally-certified, single-family new homes were sold in the City of Seattle out of a total of 848 new homes sold. 285 environmentally-certified, single-family homes were sold in King County out of 2,109 new homes sold.

Between the three programs, 241 homes were certified through Built Green, 106 through Energy Star Homes Northwest, and 4 through LEED-H.

Until now, the idea that people are willing to pay more for environmentally-certified housing has been based on consumer surveys and our expectations. Now, for the first time anywhere in the country, we have hard sales data to back up what many of us have believed– consumers value green homes more.

So now homebuyers have one more reason to by a certified green home, they carry more resale value in addition to the many other benefits. It seems more people are realizing that sound financial planning and environmental stewardship can be one in the same.

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