Modern and Green


Green home in Fall CityIt’s a question on the mind of every real estate agent and every appraiser when pricing or appraising a “green” home. What, if any, value does “green” add? The Seattle Times had an interesting article on green homes last week reporting on a California study that showed these homes fetched an average of 9% more than their non-green counterparts.


Would you pay more for green?

The study, which used a large sample of 1.6 million homes, noted that areas that had a greater environmental consciousness, dubbed the “Prius Effect” because they used hybrid auto registration to determine these areas, were more willing to pay a premium. Makes sense. I wonder though, is it all about green or does home style have anything to do with it?

Is Green Modern?

According the article, the study eliminated “all other factors contained in the real-estate records, from locational effects, school districts, crime rates, time period of sale, to amenities such as swimming pools and views.” Did they eliminate architectural style too? We like to say that “modern is green and green is modern”. Certainly in the past, green homes tended toward modern architecture more so than traditional. That is changing rapidly however. Issaquah Highlands is a great example of green-built traditional homes and many new communities in the suburbs around Seattle are being Built Green. However we know that in many cases, modern homes tend to get a premium in the market. Admittedly, this is anecdotal, but we see it from the trenches all the time. This study looked at homes sales between 2007 and 2012 so it makes me wonder how many of these homes were of a traditional architecture and how many were modern? Did they tend toward modern on the high end and traditional on the low end? Were more of them modern early in the study with that changing as time went on? We aren’t trying to make a statement here but merely asking an interesting question.

Is it Modern, Green or both?

Modern homes and modern enthusiasts have always been on the cutting edge of design and technology, it’s ingrained in the style and the philosophy. We are lucky, in our area we can easily find both modern and green in the same building and one thing we know for sure, the two together are a winning bet.

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