LEED for Homes Certification: Will it Give Your Austin Home a Competitive Edge?

LEED for Homes Certification: Will It Give Your Austin Home a Competitive Edge?

Many selling a home in Austin and want to give their property an advantage over its competition. Consider getting LEED for Homes Certification. LEED is a nationally-recognized certification program from the U.S. Green Building Council, this certification indicates to homebuyers that your home has better air quality and is more energy efficient than other properties, and this is highly appealing to those in the market for Austin real estate.

What Is the U.S. Green Building Council?

The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit organization focused on changing the future by encouraging green building practices in a cost-effective way. They offer certification to those builders who are willing to utilize green building practices. They also offer certification to already-built homes whose owners have taken the initiative to incorporate green practices in their home improvements.

What Is LEED for Homes Certification?

LEED for Homes Certification is a certification process is designed to show that your home is healthy and energy efficient. To achieve certification, your home must maximize fresh indoor air and minimize the number of airborne toxins and pollutants you're exposed to. In addition, homes must be energy and water efficient, with the average home using 20 to 30 percent less water and energy than non-certified homes.

Homes are certified through an extensive points system. If the home earns enough points when it's seen by the Home Verification Team, it can be certified. If not, improvements can be made to earn more points for the home. Points or credits are earned for water efficiency, energy and atmosphere efficiency, the materials used in the building the home and in home improvement projects, indoor air quality and many other categories.

How to Achieve Certification

Just to give you a general idea: Existing homes achieve LEED for Home Certification by having their home rated. A qualified third party will need to inspect the home and complete some performance testing to see if it is LEED Certification-worthy. Austin real estate that performs well will be given the certification. Homes that need a little more work in improving their energy efficiency can be re-tested after project is completed.

Improve the Value of Your Home

How does LEED Home Certification impact you when you are selling a home? If you will be doing any improvements to the home before listing it with an Austin real estate agent, you may want to make those improvements with LEED Home Certification in mind. This certification will add value to your home, as people will realize that living in the home costs less to run (in the long run) compared to its non-certified counterparts. This may mean that you sell it faster and for a better price, making the investment worthwhile. To ensure that you can achieve certification, you will need to use green practices when improving the home.

The Austin real estate market can be highly competitive. If you're looking for that edge when selling a home in Austin, consider investing in improvements that will earn you LEED certification. The results, a higher home value and faster sale, are well worth the effort.  However, you should still want to make sure that your home improvement costs do not exceed your budget or the amount to will earn when selling the home. Talk to a professional real estate agent to see if this approach is right for you. 

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