Not planning on staying in your home for more than a few years? A recent study conducted for the EPA Energy Star Homes Program concludes that home value increases by about $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills. This means you can profit by investing in energy efficient homes even if you're uncertain about how long you might stay in the home. You'll enjoy positive cash flow for as long as you live in your home and can also expect to recover your investment when you sell the home.
An analysis by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory indicated that building a home to exceed the Model Energy Code would result in annual savings which can be projected over the life of the home. Applying these findings to a study by the Appraisal Journal equates to an increased home market value of between $4,250 and $10,625. These are based on very conservative energy savings
in the range of $170 to $425 per annum. Using your actual energy savings may result in a much higher valuation.
Risk management and long-term strategies are really a money management decision - when buyers consider purchasing a home, they are interested first and foremost in their safety and the longevity of the investment they are making - the ICF structure is a perfect answer for their concerns.
"I figured it couldn't hurt to learn about a building system that's both strong and energy efficient. On the barrier islands where I build, we feel the effects of almost every hurricane and nor'easter that hits the East Coast. Insulating walls rated to withstand 200-mph winds and promising to cut electric bills in half might sell themselves," says Ralph Woodard, a builder on North Carolina's Outer Banks. (Source: Journal of Light Construction, June 1998.)
In a flood that exceeded the 100-year level for the Guadalupe River in Texas, an ICF home withstood rushing flood waters and debris while other homes were torn from their foundations and heavily damaged. "If this had been a conventional home (the debris) would have gone straight through," said the owner, Earl Roberts, who goes on to say, "It truly held up well." (Source PBF Magazine, April 1, 1999.)
According to Gene St. Onge, the structural engineer of an ICF home in earthquake-prone California, "With a little more concrete reinforcement and strengthening of the roof and floor, incurring not that much more expense, a structure can be designed to withstand major quake damage using an ICF system." (Source: PBF Magazine, August 15, 1999.)