How Green Home Improvements Impact the Resale Value of a Home

If you’ve saved up some money and want to reinvest it in your home you’ll have no shortage of options to pursue. The staff at the local home renovation stores will be more than happy to guide you through massive displays of glittering new appliances, stainless steel hardware, or fancy European tile, or suggest contracts for heated swimming pools. But with all things being equal, how do you choose a renovation project for your home? If it’s not about filling some immediate need or fixing something that’s falling apart, your primary concern should be how the improvement will better the resale value of your home. That’s why many people avoid putting in pools, even though the kids would love nothing more than to splash around all summer. So if you’re thinking along these lines, you should take a long, hard look at projects that make your home more energy efficient. Here is a quick look at how green home improvements impact the resale value of a home.

First off, a quick word of advice. While energy efficient renovations will always make the house cheaper to maintain, it doesn’t always immediately translate into added dollars in a future sale. The problem lies in the appraisal service. Green home improvements are fairly new, and most appraisers have been doing their job for decades. If you don’t spell it out for them they may not understand how energy efficiency actually increases the value of your home. So consider paying for an Energy Star power auditor to walk through the review along with the home appraiser. He’ll have specific numbers to point to, and that will help prove your case.

Start your green home improvements by looking up at the roof. One of the best things you can do to increase the resale value of your home is to install a quality set of solar panels. Solar energy is one of the most bountiful alternative energy sources on the planet. Depending on where you live your home could enjoy near constant sun each day, with only a small reduction in output during the winter. With solar panels plugged into your home’s existing power system you’ll see your utility bills plummet. Some people have even brought it to the point where they can sell excess power back into the grid. Quality solar panels will offer something in the neighborhood of a 10% yearly return on investment, and that will certainly impact your home’s resale value.

Another green home improvement that will go over quite well with potential buyers is installing new doors and windows that are highly rated for energy efficiency. Old, cracked or poorly sealed doors and windows waste a ton of energy. They force your HVAC system to work harder to create a lesser result. The new models will also improve the insulation, so you might be able to leave the heating system turned off longer during cold weather. Depending on the options you choose you might even get a tax break during the installation. One of the best ways to prove their impact on value is to keep your utility bills from before and after the switch. The value added should be more than obvious.

So you’ve got your solar power isolator, your modern windows and doors and the professional who will lay out the benefits for your future buyer. The next step should always be to replace old appliances with new Energy Star models. The Energy Star rating means each unit requires as much as 40% less energy to operate. Imagine how often a family runs a dishwasher, a washer/dryer or a hot water heater in a given year, or the fact that the refrigerator is constantly on. Bringing in Energy Star appliances will make a massive difference, and they will pay for themselves in only a couple of years.

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