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Eco-Friendly Home Improvements: Worth the Investment?

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Energy-efficient homes are in fashion today, and can save a homeowner significant money on utility bills in the long run. If you’re planning to sell your home soon, though, you may be wondering whether certain eco-friendly home improvements will add enough to your home’s value to pay for themselves in the near future. The answer? It depends on the market you’re selling in and the type of home improvement you’re considering, but an eco-friendly update, large or small, may well pay off when you sell.

A Big Investment Worth Considering

Photovoltaic panels—solar panels that create electricity for your home—are increasingly popular. Many homeowners have found that they no longer need to buy any electricity from their local power grids, but most homes with solar panels are connected to local grids in case they need supplemental electricity. As an added bonus, homeowners can make money by selling any extra power they make back to the grid. This post from Realty Times shows that solar panels have been found to increase homes’ resale value by 30 percent in some communities in Southern California. In Colorado, solar panels are popular and very effective (since our state gets considerably more sunshine than most regions), but the jury is out on exactly how much they’ll increase your home’s sale price. This is a big investment worth discussing with your real estate agent. Before you make your decision, find out whether similar homes with solar panels have sold in your community, and if so, how much higher their sale prices were. Is the increase in selling price more than the cost of adding solar panels to your particular home?

Items to Replace the Green Way (If You Replace Them)

If you need to replace these items in your home, you can increase your selling price for a much smaller investment:

Water heaters: If your water heater is on its last legs, consider solar water heating or a tankless, on-demand system. As this post from DisneyFamily.com explains, these options will cost more than a traditional heater and tank, but they will save your buyers a great deal on their water and energy bills. Either solar or tankless water heaters are great selling points.

Appliances: If you’re replacing an older appliance (such as a refrigerator, washer or dryer, oven, range, or dishwasher), you probably can’t help but to buy a more energy-efficient model. New appliances are getting greener all the time. When buying replacements for large appliances, check energy-efficiency ratings, and factor those into your purchasing decisions.

Windows: If your windows need to be replaced, chances are that any newly installed windows will make your home more airtight and energy-efficient. Again, factor in eco-friendly energy ratings when choosing replacement windows.

Bathroom Appliances: If anything in your bathroom needs to be replaced, go low-flow. According to this post from Women’s Day, a low-flush toilet can save more than four gallons of water per flush over old-style six-gallon toilets. Low-flow showerheads and faucets also save considerable amounts of water, and all of the more efficient fixtures look attractively modern.

Little Eco-Improvements Worth Making

Installing low-flow showerheads and compact fluorescent light bulbs will improve your home’s greenprint for very little investment on your part. The post from DisneyFamily.com also points out that inexpensive solar-control window film, applied to the windows you already have, can keeps the sun’s heat out, making the home cheaper to cool (without obstructing the view). If you don’t need to replace your kitchen and bathroom fixtures, you can inexpensively retrofit your toilets with water-saving dual-flush valves, and add low-flow aerators to existing faucets.

The Staff at San Juan Realty, Inc.

511 County Road 22 40 Acres Cimarron Mesa for sale

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