As If the Housing Market Weren’t Bad Enough . . .


More costly “green” regulations will take effect in Austin, Texas, come June 1. Under a unanimously approved city ordinance, sellers of Austin homes that are ten years old or older will be required to obtain (at their expense) an energy audit and disclose the results to prospective buyers. This is heavy handedness, pure and simple.

If prospective buyers are concerned about energy efficiency and want more information, they can choose to search for such information, on their own dime. But requiring home sellers to pay for such a service will only delay and increase the cost of selling a home.    The Austin American-Statesman reports:

“There’s never a good time to add fees to a transaction,” said City Council Member Mike Martinez, “but I think this requirement is a good thing. It allows the consumer to fully understand the purchase they’re about to make. If you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an investment, you would want to know how efficient that investment is going to be for you.”
Fine, but the prospective buyer(s) should bear that burden, not the seller — a sentiment echoed by Austin home seller Michael Lucy:

“They should involve the people with a vested interest in the future of the home, not the people that are on their way out the door, literally,” said Lucy, who works for a pharmaceutical company. “There’s no reason in the world why this should be tied to the purchase or sale of a house.”


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