With more and more people moving towards eco-friendly lifestyles, savvy home owners have to ask: how should this affect my property and its future selling potential? Do buyers want to see eco-friendly design choices? And, most importantly, will implementing such choices mean a higher price tag?
While the answers to these questions can depend upon a lot of factors, from local housing markets to the preferences of individual buyers, the bottom line is that going green is a huge focus right now, not just in real estate but in all areas of society. Therefore, it’s a good idea to examine the available options.
Are you planning to live in your home for a while?
If you have no immediate plans to move, green improvements should primarily focus on your preferences. Whether you’re considering updating appliances, renovating with green materials or purchasing an energy-efficient A/C system, you need to ask yourself if you want it. Many times, such green choices create immediate financial savings due to their efficiency, cutting costs of monthly water or electricity; additionally, eco-friendly improvements give you the comfort of doing something good for the environment. If these benefits are important to you, you should get the upgrades. When it comes time to sell, you won’t regret making these improvements you were able to enjoy.
Are you planning to move soon?
If, on the other hand, you are looking to sell your home in the near future, you primarily need to be thinking about what will appeal to buyers.
According to LowImpactLiving.com, “Appraisers [believe] half of the cost of a solar installation can be recouped at selling time … according to The Appraisal Journal, every $1 decrease in energy costs results in a $10 to $25 increase in home values. If this holds true, eliminating a $1200 annual electricity bill translates into at least a $12,000 increase in home price.”
Still not sure?
If all else fails in this decision-making process, here’s another idea: make some green renovations that won’t break the bank. This way, you’ll have the added appeal for buyers without the risk of investment. For an example of smaller green renovations to try, consider these:
Install a Programmable Thermostat. With these, you can control the heat and air while you sleep or while you’re away at during the day. Some even allow you to keep track of your usage on the computer so you know exactly how much energy you’re using.
Add a Water Filter. Choose a filter that you mount on the sink, providing clean water and reducing your need to go through countless bottles. It needs to be changed every so often, so it helps you keep track of how much water you use.
Add ceiling fans throughout. Ceiling fans are a real energy saver because they keep the air circulated and fresh! During the summer, they keep the rooms cool. But during the winter, you can turn them clockwise at a low speed to send warm air downward.
Change water fixtures to low-flowing versions. Toilets, showerheads, faucet heads, laundry appliances and utility sinks can all be equipped with energy-saving gadgets. Lower water bills aren’t just good for you; they’re attractive to buyers!