Denver Homebuyers Going Green

As one of the more energy-efficient states in the country, Coloradans take pride in their efforts to be “green.” Whether it’s riding our bikes to work or simply recycling our soda cans, we do what we can to help maintain communities that are environmentally responsible.

Now more than ever, “green” homes are a hot commodity among homebuyers. Energy efficient features have added substantial value to homes, which are flying off the market quickly! Earth Day is a great reminder to revisit your active listings and update them with any green energy certifications that apply.

Please enjoy the article below by our guest blogger, Melissa Baldridge, owner at GreenSpot Global – a green real estate company in Denver, CO.


A valuation premium for green homes and energy efficiency is a lot like Schrödinger’s cat, says a new study released by the Colorado Energy Office. If you expect to see a high-performance home sell and appraise for more, it probably will.

Getting a valuation bump for high-performance homes has been elusive for many builders and developers. But the peer-reviewed appraisal study shows that growing levels of energy efficiency in homes have additional “contributory value,” and that trend will continue as data rolls in from the marketplace.

Author and appraiser Lisa Desmarais, who also wrote a solar valuation study in 2013, says that solar wasn’t cool, to say nothing of value, in appraisals. Until it was.

“You have to pay attention to energy efficiency. Every appraiser used to say solar added zero value. Now they act like they knew it all along,” she says. “I think this is similar to looking at real estate trends. All this is moving in the same direction, but we haven’t seen it pop.”

The studied homes in Denver/Boulder ranged from $200,000 to $1.2 million, and from 900 to 3,000 square feet. What linked them was their emphasis on energy efficiency – in the designed elements, the description of those features, and the data trail when the houses sold.

One big takeaway is that home performance and energy efficiency are often invisible systems, an interplay of many elements that can’t always be seen by the untrained.

Another critical point Desmarais makes is that it’s a super idea to work with an energy professional (like a HERS rater or energy auditor). That input is vital to identifying and quantifying these features.

Desmarais says real estate pros must put this critical data in the MLS where appraisers can find it.

“Energy efficiency will continue to grow in importance,” she says. “We need your energy documents. Put them in the MLS.”

– Melissa Baldridge

To read Melissa’s full article, see here. Melissa is a contibutor to the study, An Early Look at Energy Efficiency and Contributory Value. Click here to download the study!

Melissa Baldridge is an owner at GreenSpot Global – a green real estate company offering land and deal sourcing, green certifications and consulting, and finished product sales. GreenSpot is nationally recognized for excellence and innovation in green build. Its homes and buildings save hundreds of tons of emitted carbon a year, and GreenSpot is responsible for $10 million in finished green property sales. Baldridge helps clients by making green building simpler and adding value to real estate.


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