A new consumer web site launched by Los Angeles County aims to connect Southern California home buyers with real estate agents trained to help them understand green home features. GreenHomeAgents.com, administered by the Energy Network, will help buyers locate Realtors who are knowledgeable about green homes and mortgages, including energy rebates and renovation financing. The site provides a directory of local, licensed real estate professionals who have completed the National Association of Realtors' Green Designation training.
"Home buyers can now turn to these certified agents for guidance to choose a more comfortable, healthy, and money-saving green home, or to purchase an older home and upgrade it to be more energy efficient with lower utility bills," said Howard Choy, general manager of the county's Office of Sustainability. "This new website makes it easy for consumers to find an agent and read more about the benefits of performing green upgrades at the time of purchase."
These specially trained real estate agents can match their clients to contractors, home performance specialists, and lenders who can help them make green home improvements easy and affordable, through generous energy rebates and financing that allow them to roll green upgrades into their existing mortgage.
The Energy Network was created in 2012 by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to work with residents and businesses to advance energy savings across Southern California. Across its 12-county region, the Network has set a goal to help at least 400 licensed real estate professionals earn NAR's Green Designation in 2014. The Energy Network has waived the fees for Realtors to attend training sessions where they learn what factors make a home healthy and efficient, and how any home—including a fixer-upper—can be transformed into an energy-efficient dwelling. They also gain skills to expand their business to serve the growing consumer demand for green homes.
The Energy Network is also training home appraisers in how to assess the value of a home's green features, from solar to insulation.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA.