Energy-Wise Renovations: Will they sell in this market?

What is an Energy-Wise Renovation anyway?    To be an Energy-Wise Renovation, which is the main focus of this blog, the renovator must take the “whole house approach.”   At a minimum, that will include: Dual Pane Low E2 Windows,  Big insulation in attic and walls, R38 to 55 depending on your climate zone, Attention to “thermal bypasses,” Shell sealing of the floor and attic, New HVAC system,  New engineered and sealed duct system, a ventilation scheme, because the house will now be tight enough to need one, and an air quality and CO test to ensure safety.   The best jobs will be “tested in” and “tested out” to ensure that performance is actually delivered.   At a minimum the contractor will test out.    If no testing is done, it cant be called Energy Wise and may even be unsafe.

Obviously, not all contractors are qualified to do all these measures.   In California, I recommend contacting the CBPCA, California Building Performance Contractors Association.    In other states ask for BPI certification.  Building Performance Institute.    In future posts I will elaborate on these energy efficient and green measures and how they work together.

In Central California, where I live, the package mentioned above costs about $20,000 on a 40 year old  1500 sq ft tract home.   So the question remains, can you buy a foreclosure, install a green energy retrofit for 20k plus all the normal rehab expenses and sell the project at a profit?    Most people would say, “No, not in this market.”

Having recently sold 5 such projects at a profit, I say, “Yes it can be done, but be careful.”   Actually, if you are careful, and master the ART of Energy-Wise Renovation, your houses will sell faster than your competition’s.  If you follow the steps that I will outline in this blog, you will have no competition.  You will begin building a brand and your houses will sell before they are finished, and some will sell over full price.   At least that’s what I’ve been experiencing,  and that’s what I’ll be sharing in this blog.

Many readers of this blog will have no inclination to become an “Energy Wise House Flipper” like me.  But if you’re a realtor and  not too busy for another client, can you see the benefit of finding a client like me.   I use a broker to buy and sell my houses for 3 reasons:  1) I am busy doing what I do and I will do 25 houses this year.  2) My wife is a travel agent, and somebody has to go on those trips to protect her.  3) I hate paperwork, and in California, we have a load of it.    Who do you know that should be reading this blog?

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