Greetings from Indian Wells California and the California Association of REALTORS® winter meeting sessions. The weather is beautiful and the conversation is electric.
The Sacramento Association of REALTORS® is well-represented here and we are all here to support the association, your business and private property rights. We are the REALTOR® Party. On the forefront of the conversations is the issue of Electrification. For a simple explanation of this, it is to force all housing to be 100% electric at some point in the future. See SAR’s page of Electrification Resources here. Ultimately, decarbonization is a good thing as we cannot keep polluting our planet and using all it’s natural resources without impacting our children’s futures. It does sound good to the ear but when you start to dissect it, you see that to do so has a large impact on the real estate industry. Currently this is the topic of the day and it is important. As defenders of private property rights, we have to be alert for anything that will greatly affect homeowners and investors alike.
There is currently a plan to reduce the carbon footprint and consumption of natural resources in the couple of decades. It is expected to reduce the extreme use of resources by 2030 – 2040. How do we do this? Remember that if it sounds good it may also be detrimental to the real estate transaction as it can and will increase cost to make a home comply with the proposed regulations. This is where we come in. We have to be at the forefront of this conversation to limit the impact on the business of real estate. For new construction it is easier as everything in a home can be electric still at a higher cost, but offset by making the homes solar and eliminating installing gas appliances. When we are talking about existing construction, it gets way more complicated. The powers that be would like to mandate that we rip out all gas consuming appliances. Then we have to have a supply chain of all electric ones to put in. But what about the electrical grid that has frequently been tested and has rolling black/brown outs? What about the fact that an older home can have a patchwork of electrical systems that may not support all electric appliances? That is the real question and problem to solve. Mandates like this can and will cause hardship to people as it is not cheap to replace an electrical panel and bring an older home into compliance with this type of mandate. So here we are – at the table to help make rational choices to meet the climate action plans of our area and keep it from becoming a Point Of Sale requirement. As REALTORS® it is our job to educate the public and, in turn, our elected officials as to what this can do to the real estate transaction. SAR fought successfully to remove Point Of Sale language at the city and county levels by working closely with elected officials and their staff to educate them on the local housing impacts. What if it becomes too costly to sell a home? Then what? Well, the best way is to push for time of replacement mandates and offer incentives to do so.
Time will tell what this is going to look like, but rest assured we are fighting for private property rights and protecting the environment in which we do business from unreasonable demands. We have to find a compromise on this issue so that we protect the planet as well.
Look out for more education from SAR and be part of this very important conversation. See you all next week at the Main Meeting on February 14th.