A growing segment of homeowners are concerned with making environmentally friendly improvements to their homes. At the same time, many homeowners are also struggling to overcome the drop in value of their homes. This can lead to some interesting ideas for raising the value of a home. I was recently asked my opinion about using solar panels to increase the value of a friend’s home. It is important to really consider the purpose of the upgrade.
On one hand, adding solar panels can save a family money on power bills and be a benefit for the environment. When it comes time to sell your home, solar panels are features that will be attractive to environmentally conscious buyers. However, how much value will they add to your home? Typically, potential buyers are attracted to the schools in an area, location, and layout of the home. Solar panels are not popular with everyone. Some potential buyers may actually not want solar panels. My opinion is that solar panels are a good conversation piece about a home, but they don’t add or subtract from the value of a home.
There are a variety of environmentally friendly improvements that you can make to your home. One option is to replace incandescent light bulbs out with CFL’s (compact florescent light bulbs). These bulbs are not very expensive and can save money on electricity bills. You can also upgrade to Energy Star appliances. This can cut about 10% off your electricity bills. In some areas there are also rebates available to help cover the costs of upgrading. Owners might also consider replacing kitchen and bathroom faucets with newer environmentally friendly faucets. Along those same lines, insulating pipes is another attractive environmentally friendly feature. This is especially effective if you also insulate the hot water heater. Consider for moment that the hot water heater is on the entire day. Extra insulation can save an impressive amount on energy costs. Some analysts have predicted savings up to 15% on monthly energy costs.
If you really want to think out of the box, consider tinting the windows in your home. This will help stabilize temperatures during winter and summer months by reducing heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer months. As an added bonus, this will eliminate most harmful UV rays from entering your home. This will protect the coloring of furnishings in your home. Furniture can be pricey. Why not keep it in “like new” condition for as long as possible?
When considering making environmentally friendly improvements to your home, there are many options. Some of these options can be inexpensive and really be an added value. It is important to make sure as a realtor you are aware of the improvements made and be prepared to sell those features to potential buyers. My opinion would be to start small. I have provided a number of easy improvements you can make to your home that are not easily seen. Solar panels may or may not attract potential buyers. I would not suggest adding solar power in hopes of raising the value of a home. Focus on improvements that will attract buyers. The last thing you want to do when selling a home is add a feature that is not favorable to a majority of buyers.
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