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PO Box 490, St. Albans Bay, VT  05481

Phone: 802.876.6200



Appraisal of High-Performance Homes

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray

About this Page

Frequently Asked Questions: Appraisal of High-Performance Homes

These frequently asked questions and the answers provided were developed for the Vermont Builders and Remodelers Association’s Education Committee by Jeffrey Gephart on behalf of Efficiency Vermont (a VBRA member) and are based on the work of the Vermont Green Home Alliance.

Of critical importance to their development is the work of The Appraisal Foundation, the Appraisal Institute, Building Codes Assistance Project, RESNET (HERS), U.S. Dept. of Energy (HES), Brad Hevenor, MAI, Markus Appraisal, and especially appraiser, educator, author, and advocate, Sandra K. Adomatis of Adomatis Appraisal Service as they have played major roles in developing an understanding of the problems faced and solutions needed to ensure energy efficiency and renewable energy information is available and properly used in real estate appraisal.

The Vermont Green Home Alliance’s mission is the transformation of the real estate market so that buyers and sellers can identify and accurately value energy efficiency and renewable energy benefits.

The Vermont Green Home Alliance includes:

Association of Vermont Credit Unions
Building Performance Professionals Association of Vermont
Efficiency Vermont
Energy Futures Group
Little River Realty
New England Federal Credit Union
New England Real Estate Network (MLS)
New Hampshire/Vermont Chapter of the Appraisal Institute
USDA, Rural Development, Housing Program
Vermont Builders and Remodelers Association
Vermont Passive House
Vermont Association of Professional Home Inspectors
Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
Vermont Green Building Network
Vermont Housing Finance Agency
Vermont Association of Realtors®
VSECU – a credit union serving all Vermonters
Education Committee and VBRA member and friend, Jeff Gephart, has been working on the forefront of the appraisal of high-performance homes for the past ten years. Jeff has been instrumental in pushing the Appraisal Institute to implement rules appraising homes based upon their energy efficiency as well as ensuring that there are certified appraisers in our area who are available to give high-performance builders an appraisal which values the benefits of these homes. 
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  • 07/01/2019 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    Energy efficiency can be overlooked in the appraisal process for a variety of reasons, including a lack of access to quality data, underwriting impediments, and lack of appropriate appraiser qualifications. Many appraisers are not aware of the unique features of an energy efficient home.

    High Performance Homes are Specialized Property Types and Complex Appraisal Assignments

    • High-performance houses have unique features compared to a traditionally built home
    • Databases are insufficient presenting research challenges (hard to find comparable sales)
    • Most appraisers do not have training about this specialized property type
    • Without knowledge of construction methods and benefits to the owner, it will be difficult for the appraiser to appraise this specialized property type appropriately
  • 07/01/2019 1:27 PM | Anonymous

    Yes, indeed, Efficiency Vermont services and those provided by collaborating contractors provide expert technical assistance and 3rd party verification of the energy efficiency a home achieves for both new and existing homes. Additionally, assistance with national energy efficiency and green certifications is also available in Vermont.

    New Homes (and homes undergoing a complete gut rehab) – to learn more call: 800-893-1997

    Numorous options exist in Vermont for independent, 3rd party verified home performance documentation through Vermont's statewide energy efficiency utility, Efficiency Vermont.

    Existing Home Efficiency Improvements - to learn more call: 888-921-5990

    Existing home services are provided in collaboration with Efficiency Vermont by Building Performance Institute (BPI) certified auditors and/or U.S. DOE Home Energy Score Assessors.

    National and Vermont certifications, 3rd party varified by BPI certified auditors and/or U.S. DOE Home Energy Score Assessors - fees may be charged by auditors/assessors.

  • 07/01/2019 1:26 PM | Anonymous

    The best advice to a borrower or someone seeking a value of a high-performance property is to provide all the information necessary to allow the appraiser to understand what is behind the walls and what makes the house high-performance.Sandra K. Adomatis, SRA, LEED Green Associate

    First and foremost, the information to provided should include a completed Appraisal Institute Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum (all homes, new, and existing).

    The objective of this Addendum is to standardize the communication of the high-performing features of residential properties. Identifying the features not found on the [Uniform Residential Appraisal Report -URAR] 1004 form provides a basis for comparable selection and analysis of the features. Builders, contractors, homeowners, and third party verifiers are encouraged to complete this Addendum and present to appraisers, agents, lenders, and homeowners.

    Attached to the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum include:

    • A full Home Energy Rating System (HERS) report labeled either “Proposed”-from-plans or “Official” when construction is complete (new homes)

    The HERS Index Score is an ideal tool for appraisal use and of particularly high value is the calculation of the home’s annual energy savings as compared to a minimum code-built home. That net present value of the energy savings may support adjustments to the Sales Comparison Method of appraisal by enabling use of the Income Capitalization Method of appraisal.

    • Vermont Home Energy Profile and DOE Home Energy Score (existing homes)
    • Certifications from any energy efficiency organizations or green building programs

    When applicable (generally with new homes) indicate either “Proposed”-from-plans or “Official” if construction is complete)

    • Copy of VT Residential Building Energy Standards (RBES) Compliance Certificate (all homes)

    Either “Proposed”-from-plans or “Official” if completed

    • Building plans and specifications (all homes - when available)
    • Renewable energy specifics and energy production records (when applicable)

    When applicable, use PV Value a U.S. DOE Sandia National Lab developed online photovoltaic (PV) system production and value calculation tool

    • Incremental cost of construction data for energy efficiency and green features in the home

    Cost Data Addendum for High Performance Homes is a good tool, useful for collecting and sharing data with an appraiser (all homes)

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