All of the changes that are being proposed, these are still not addressing the buyer's mindset. Have you asked why a buyer is not buying? Try asking this question.
The response will be: too much for a home, taxes are too high and job security is an issue. They will not want an investment that is going south in value. Would you? The state of the real estate market is what is on the line.
Ideas from real estate practitioners are what policy makers, both Democrats and Republicans, need to be seeking. (And don't ask NAR, the National Association of Realtors -- they are just more policy makers.) Ask the people in the trenches.
Having completed close to 400 real estate transactions, ask me. We need to give the buyer reason to buy again. Create better local and federal tax incentives for homeowners to renovate green. A healthier home that comes with lower utility bills and reasonable taxes is an overall better investment. Would you buy a home with a $600 utility bill and taxes at $3,000 - $8,000 a year if your job is at risk or you feel insecure?
Sellers, builders, and renovators need to renovate and produce a product worth buying. THINK WHAT TAX INCENTIVES TO RENOVATE AND BUILD GREEN WOULD DO TO THE MARKET! Then the buyer will come. Then the value of that investment will increase again. Prices and taxes need to be adjusted, big time. Who wants a mortgage at $1100 and another $1100 in taxes and utilities?
The upside is that these tactical moves by government will create a job base building a new energy sector. This will also increase small businesses aimed at these types of renovations, as well as jobs for administrative forces. My company Green Real Estate Education has established a "green leadership" certification program for under $100, offering the real estate agent a new reason to visit their clients, with good news.
This industry needs market transformation. We are educating on how a home can build real value. It is not and will never be business as usual again. We are doing this with education in the field of energy consumption. Realtors learn how they can guide clients to mortgage professionals whose companies develop programs that can help fund a home to be energy efficient, using renewable energy. That creates better value.
We need to push the mortgage industry to offer "green funding" programs for consumers to have upgraded systems installed in their homes to save on energy costs. The real estate industry needs to know how to save money and create valid reasons to want home ownership again.
I can tell you the real estate market will not recover with just lowering interest rates, or with just a focus on the $700 billion bailout. Buyers want green homes. If a consumer looks at a home today, not only can it not lose value, but it better be energy efficient. It better offer a healthier interior space.
The "Green Building for Real Estate Professionals- GL(c)" Level One certification course has certified just under 4,000 Real Estate Professionals in just 17 months, with over 5,000 more scheduled for certification by mid 2009. Kerry Mitchell is also a founding member of the U.S. Green Real Estate Council, a trade association offering resources for all in the various professions to understand energy issues. Mitchell established the recognized certification for the real estate industry, the GCREP.GL. She worked for 14 years as a licensed real estate broker in Maryland and Florida, where she now resides. According to Mitchell, Green Real Estate Education is the only company in the U.S. teaching to align the real estate industry on building business on this level at a price point all can afford: under $100.
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