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There are quite a few irritated practitioners at the Land Use, Property Rights, and Environment forum at the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. They’re frustrated with home energy labeling programs, which score homes on their energy efficiency. More than a handful of attendees told the committee that the programs “stigmatize” older homes that haven’t been upgraded with energy efficient improvements, and they want the National Association of REALTORS® to look more closely at the matter.

“We have far more existing homes and buildings than new ones going up. It’s going to affect financing for anyone who wants to buy those buildings,” one real estate professional from Colorado said.

The Federal Housing Administration offers so-called energy efficient mortgages that help buyers finance green upgrades for the homes they purchase, but that’s no consolation for this crowd. There may be many improvements the mortgages won’t cover, which could force an older property to be stuck with a lower energy score and hurt its resale value, one attendee posited. It could also hurt the seller of such a property if they can’t afford to pay for the improvements themselves.

“When we talk about retrofitting, what are we really trying to accomplish?” another attendee said. “We need to make sure we’re not buying into commercialism that’s being disguised as helping the environment.”


Source: Speaking of Real Estate

Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.