Sunday, January 12, 2014

A HERS® Index Score Can Help Sell Your Home!

We at Capital Home Builders have always built homes to a higher standard by using quality materials and labors. Our homes are not built like standard built homes in Thomasville and South Georgia. The approach to building a minimum code home is “how much can I really cut back on laborers, materials and building code. Capital Home Builders approach to building a quality high-performance homes is how can we build it better, stronger and more energy efficient, our RESNET number do not lie. 

If you’re selling your home and a potential buyer wants to know what its HERS Index Score is, can you tell them? Because chances are, this is a question that’s going to come up more and more often. That’s because the issue of home energy efficiency is on the rise and consumers are trying to cut back costs wherever they can – and that extends to buying a home.
Fact: the highest cost of homeownership outside of the home loan is energy.
For many years, consumers have been able to buy cars and appliances based on energy performance. While cars have MPG (miles-per-gallon) stickers and appliances have Energy Guide labels, for the longest time homebuyers had no way of knowing the potential energy costs of homes they were viewing. That meant sometimes choosing a home that ended up costing more than anticipated due to poor energy performance. The HERS Index Score changes that.
  • The HERS Index was developed by RESNET and is the industry standard by which a home’s energy performance is measured.
  • A HERS Index Score is the result of a comprehensive HERS rating, in which a certified RESNET HERS Rater assesses a home on its energy performance.
Fact: mortgage default risks are 32% lower on homes with low HERS Index Scores.

Why Should Homeowners Get a HERS Index Score?

A HERS Index Score tells you how your house compares to other similar homes for energy performance. The lower the score, the more energy efficient the home; the more energy efficient the home, the higher the potential resale value. The Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon, “found that newly constructed homes with third-party certifications for sustainability and energy efficiency sold for 8% more on average than non-certified homes in the six-county Portland metropolitan area. Existing houses with certifications sold for 30% more.” Their report, published in May 2009, confirms that energy efficient retrofits add value to homes, resulting in generally higher resale prices for sellers.
Fact: energy efficient homes save money, improve home comfort and enjoy higher resale values.
As a homeowner, you want to keep your energy costs under control and your home comfort levels high. The best way to achieve this is through energy efficient improvements. By making your home more energy efficient, not only do you save money and improve your home comfort, you also add value to your home. And that means a higher resale price when you sell, because homebuyers want energy efficient homes, and HERS Index scores tell them how energy efficient a home is.
Therefore, as a homeowner who is looking at their home as not just a place to live in but also as an investment, getting a HERS Index Score is the smart thing to do. After all, you know how energy efficient your car is – don’t you want to know about your home too?

Saturday, January 11, 2014


We are the first and only builder building energy smart custom home builders. All of our homes are built above minimum code with high-end materials and quality laborers. We GUARANTEE that our homes are more energy efficient than any other new or existing home built in Thomasville, GA. 

You simply can't buy a  NEW HOME and get a better RATING then "GUARANTEED".

When insurance companies offer discounts for lower risk customers, you can bet it’s based on reliable evidence. Think lower car insurance rates for drivers with no speeding tickets, and discounted life insurance for non-smokers.
Genworth, the large private mortgage insurance firm spun-off from General Electric, now offers a discount for buyer of energy efficient houses.  (OK – Genworth implemented this policy in Canada — but reports suggest it’s coming to the US market….
Genworth is validating that the risk of loss to the mortgage lender is lower when the borrower is in a more energy efficient house.
Blue Sky Homes Desert 2
Image via Blue Sky Building Systems
The policy makes a ton of sense.  Attributes of an energy efficient house — better air sealing, more insulation, high performance appliances — are attributes of a well-built house. These measures make a house more valuable. If the borrower gets into income trouble and can’t afford the mortgage payments, a more efficient house will likely hold its value better than a house built to lower standards.
And home value is a strong predictor of lender losses — if a borrower has home equity, default is rare because the house can be sold for more than the mortgage. For more on that, see this paper by economist John Campbell.
A more efficient house also means lower energy expenses, so the borrower might not get into income trouble in the first place. And, these lower expenses are one reason an efficient house is more valuable.
A funny thing about the mortgage market is that this kind of policy can be self-fulfilling. The fact that more energy efficient houses are more valuable is a basis for the Genworth policy to give a discount, but it’s also likely to be an outcome of the policy. That is, the discount on mortgage insurance should allow some borrowers to pay more for energy efficient houses and increase demand for those houses among homebuyers. This effect should remind lenders, investors, appraisers, and others how the current, conventional policy can be self-fulfilling in the opposite direction — loan policies that make it difficult for a borrower to borrow more to pay a premium for a more energy efficient house can inhibit the very evidence needed to support policy correction.
While most U.S. mortgage borrowers don’t get private mortgage insurance, the fact that Genworth has adopted this new policy should be a strong signal to lenders, investors, appraisers, and others to continually assess how the value of energy efficiency is reflected in the property value and the loan.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

“Green” Labeled Homes Worth More on the Real Estate Market, Study Says

Capital Home Builders are the first builders of green smart homes in South Georgia. It looks like the green building trend has not reached the South Georgia area. We think if Thomasville, Georgia can still live in the era of horse and carriage they would, but we are changing the way homes are being built in Thomasville and South Georgia by building better homes above minimum code. Green Homes are built above minimum code non-green homes are NOT.......
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Los Angeles today released a new study on the economic value of green home labels in the California residential marketplace. “The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market” is the first rigorous, large-scale independent economic analysis of the value of green home labels in California. The study found that a green home label adds an average 9 percent price premium for single-family homes in California. Based on the average California home price of $400,000, homes with a green label sell for an average of $34,800 more than comparable homes without a green label.
In addition, the study yields two key insights into the effect of green labels on property values. First, the price premium associated with a green label varies considerably from region to region in California, and is highest in the areas with hotter climates. This trend may indicate that residents in these areas value green labels more due to the increased cost of keeping a home cool. Second, the premium is also positively correlated to the environmental ideology of the area, as measured by the rate of registration of hybrid vehicles. The observed correlation suggests that some homeowners attribute value to intangible qualities associated with owning a green home.
Led by researchers Nils Kok, visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and Matthew Kahn, professor at the Institute of the Environment, Department of Public Policy and Department of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, the study examined data on the 1.6 million single-family homes sold between 2007 and 2012 in California. Of these homes, approximately 4,300 were certified with green home labels from Energy Star, GreenPoint Rated, or LEED for Homes.
“In certain regions of the state, we observed a phenomenon we’ve termed the ‘Prius effect’ — a positive correlation between the value of green home labels and environmental ideology, as measured by the rate of hybrid registrations,” said Kok. “In communities with strong environmental values, residents may see green homes as a point of pride or status symbol.”
The estimated $34,800 price premium for green-labeled homes is significantly greater than the price increase associated with other typical home improvements made by homeowners prior to sale, such as home staging. A 2012 survey by HomeGain found that staged homes sold for an average of $2,144 more than non-staged homes, while an upgrade of the kitchen and bathroom was found to increase the sale price by $3,254.
“Environmental ideology was not as strong in some other areas, and yet we still saw a high value placed on homes with a green label,” said Kok. “It appears that a hotter local climate also provides a practical reason to value green homes. With both ideological and pragmatic reasons to go green, it’s no surprise that the popularity of these labels is rising.”
The benefits of green homes include:
  • Lower operational costs than conventional homes due to greater energy and water efficiency, which can result in lower utility bills;
  • High quality construction, since green label requirements for building materials and techniques often go beyond standard building codes;
  • More comfortable and stable indoor temperatures;
  • Healthier indoor air quality; and
  • Other features that reduce environmental impact such as proximity to parks, shops and transit.
“Increasingly, homeowners who are planning to sell their home are looking for innovative ways to make their home more attractive to potential buyers,” said Robin Gaskins, a realtor who has worked for 10 years in Alameda County. “Particularly if a home already has a number of green or energy-saving features, it really does pay to go the extra mile and get a green label.”
Growing awareness about global warming and the extent of greenhouse gas emissions from the residential sector has increased attention to green building in recent years. Previous research has shown the value of green labels and certifications in the commercial real estate sector. “The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market” confirms that the same trend applies to single-family homes.
“The Value of Green Labels in the California Housing Market” has been submitted for presentation at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association and will be submitted to a scientific journal in fall 2012.