If you’re considering selling your home any time soon, you should have sustainability on your mind. Why? Not only do 48% of buyers interested in brand new homes cite “energy-efficiency” as their most desired feature, but investing in some eco-friendly upgrades before putting your home on the market can yield higher appraisals and listing prices. This is definitely an option today’s home sellers should keep in mind: HGTV.com already recommends taking 15% to 20% off what the home is worth when selling your home, but a few mindful and sustainable upgrades can really help your home stand out above the rest in the ever-competitive real estate market. Here are just a few eco-friendly upgrades to consider before putting your home up for sale.
Installing eco-friendly windows could be the perfect way to spruce up your home’s curb appeal while investing in its long-term energy-efficiency and savings. You’d be surprised just how many homes are long overdue for window replacements. If your home frequently drafty, or your windows are old and outdated, chances are they can be dramatically improved with eco-friendly features.
If you don’t quite have the budget for full window replacements, you can also consider more affordable options that have some of the same effects, such as window tinting. You could save up to 40% on your utility bill by tinting your windows, and they can also keep the glare and harmful UV rays out. Take advantage of this option by tinting the windows in the rooms where people gather and socialize the most.
For bigger homes that cost a lot to heat and cool, consider investing in a smart thermostat system to optimize the temperature in each and every room as opposed to heating the house as a whole. This enables each person to customize their preferred temperatures at various times throughout the day. It also allows homeowners to minimize energy usage by heating or cooling their home only when they are occupying it. You can even set these systems in line with your work schedule, ensuring your home’s heat turns down the moment you leave and turns back up just before you return. When all is said and done, experts say homeowners can save almost $200 a year on home energy costs.
Finally, if you have the budget, replacing your home’s water heater may be an incredibly wise choice. Most experts agree that bathroom additions offer some of the best ROI, but this investment, and those of similar sustainability levels, offer more value than others.
“A new, energy efficient water heater is a great way to save money. They won’t run as often, and homeowners will enjoy the ability to have hot water on command as opposed to having to wait for the water to heat up while they watch several gallons of water go down the drain,” writes Bill Gassett on Massachusetts Real Estate News.
Once you’ve made your upgrades, consider getting an energy audit to legitimize your eco-friendly investments and make sure the measurements are quantifiable and accurate on the listing. Of course, after making all of these eco-friendly improvements, you may not even want to sell your home at all — but who could blame you?
Ultimately, about $1.4 trillion of new mortgages were issued in 2008, and new homes are constantly being mortgaged to eco-conscious consumers. Being aware of the ways you can make your home more appealing to those with similar values is the key to making your real estate transaction as quick and easy as possible.