Green home features such as solar panels are becoming more and more prevalent in the market. For a variety of reasons (e.g., lack of comparable sales), green homes and their features can be particularly challenging for appraisers. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of six excellent resources for appraising energy-efficient or high-performance properties and features.
1. A Guide to the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum
The Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum is designed to help appraisers analyze green home features and properties. This guide, published in 2018 by the Appraisal Institute, gives an overview and walks you through the addendum step by step. It provides detailed instructions for completion as well as notes on the relevance to appraisers.
Here are links to both the residential and commercial addendum forms:
2. Appraised Value and Energy Efficiency: Getting It Right
This brochure includes links to resources on secondary mortgage market guidelines for appraising energy efficient features. It addresses what builders can do and also how buyers can ensure appraiser competency. It includes a sample letter for the lender highlighting the special green home features that require an appraiser with specialized knowledge.
3. Field Guide to Solar Energy PV Features
The Field Guide to Solar Energy PV Features, current as of January 2019, is a fantastic resource for appraising solar panels. It includes a list of quality resources for learning about solar photovoltaics (PV), as well as detailed info about the impact on real estate values and the valuation of solar PV. The guide also describes the most recent studies of residential solar PV systems and solar trends. Additionally, it includes secondary mortgage market guidelines, installation databases, and maps of installed solar PV systems across the U.S.
4. Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)
This online database is the most comprehensive source of info on policies and incentives that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the U.S. It’s operated by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. With one click, you can pull up a list of all current “green” policies and incentives in your state—for both homes and businesses.
5. Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET)
Another must-use resource is the Residential Energy Services Network. RESNET is an independent non-profit organization that develops national standards for energy-efficiency rating and certification systems in the United States. The RESNET National Registry is a valuable source of info for builders, consumers, utility programs, and appraisers. It allows you to search for HERS-rated homes by property address.
6. Information Atlas for Appraising Green and High-Performing Buildings
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Information Atlas for Appraising Green and High-Performing Buildings has a ton of resources and links. For appraisers of green and high-performance homes and buildings, this vast web-based “information atlas” is a go-to site for resources on a wide variety of topics related to the valuation of green homes and more.
Learn more about how to appraise green homes and other complex properties in our top-rated CE course: Complex Properties: The Odd Side of Appraisal.