More structural problems: how to shop for a smaller, better designed, more energy efficient house?

” I’m sure there are many [real estate agents] that do say something like, “have you considered a smaller, more energy efficient home?”, but I think those agents are still in the minority. This is not really their fault though either. It is a structural problem with our understanding of home value. The MLS itself makes it difficult to search on any criteria that consider efficiency, sustainability or design. Appraisers have to have their arms firmly twisted to take performance into consideration. Banks claim to offer energy efficient mortgages, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anyone getting one. Size is still firmly in charge of the housing market.”

Erik: Right, there is no form (like HERS) that sellers of homes need to fill-in. What if each house being sold had a HERS (kinda like MPG for a house) rating? Or if square feet measurements needed to meat the ISO standard used in careful passivhaus ratings. And maybe a solar shading study. Then we’d be in business!

All of this stuff is coming I assume. But maybe not until 2050.

Another fun fact is that if you build a house with thicker walls (more insulation), your tax bill will go up vs a house with similar inside usuable space. That’s because tax assessors use outside house dimensions to calculate assessed values.

LINK for quote above


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