Just 12 things, huh?
A good list though it would have to be adapted to different parts of the country.
A commenter says something great:
The builder/contractor/whatever does not pay the recurring energy bill so they have no incentive to make your bills lower. They have to make the sale prices as low as possible to get people in the door.
and that is a big deal. This needs to change. Some kind of TCO (Total cost of ownership) rating would be useful. Energystar is a good start but only really talks about the appliances and not enough about the rest of the house.
I've also noticed lots of how homes that have all the features you are supposed to want but are so badly laid out that it makes it really hard to live in the house. A warning sign is if you are going through the model and there are doors not installed pay extra attention to the hinges, the doors probably clash and with the doors in place would severely darken the space.