Keeping up with the latest in home design and renovation is more than just an obsession with being trendy, it’s a proven way to increase your home’s value, which is especially important when it comes time to sell. However trends do come and go, so if your upgrades are just passing fads, it can actually be a detriment to your resale value. That’s why it’s always a good idea to stick with upgrades that have a timeless appeal and skew towards lifestyles rather than tastes.
One of the biggest trends in home remodeling right now, is ‘going green.’ Green upgrades are beyond just an aesthetic, they’re socially conscious and definitely a trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The best part is there are actually statistics backing this up. According to a recent USA Today study, homes with Green Certification in some of the hottest real estate markets across the country, not only sell faster, but for more money.
Another great thing about green technology home improvements is that they really do run the gamut cost-wise, so there is sure to be one that will fit any budget, and the return on that investment is always worthwhile. Sure these upgrades appeal to people concerned about environmental issues, but they also have a value to those who are just concerned about cutting energy costs as well, and when selling your home, anything that gives you an edge is always a good thing.
So why not increase the value of your home while at the same time making a positive impact on the environment? It’s a win/win for everyone involved. Here’s just a few simple yet innovative upgrades that will get you more green just by going green.
Getting rid of older appliances are one of easiest ways to give your home not only a cosmetic upgrade, but a green one as well. Energy Star Appliances use 10 to 50% less energy than ones that aren’t. Sure they cost a little more, but the savings they bring to your energy bill is well worth the investment, not to mention the added appeal new appliances always have for potential buyers.
Cutting down on water waste is becoming increasingly important, especially in states like California that are suffering through a drought. Although they initially had a bad reputation, low-flow toilets are now just as efficient as standard toilets, while using half the amount of water per flush as a standard toilet. Low-flow shower heads have also improved dramatically since the early incarnations that left people underwhelmed by the low water pressure. So now you can have a satisfying shower while consuming less water, and what’s better than that?
Everyone is all about staying hydrated, but tap water has grown out of favor in recent years, and bottled water is no better, since it produces a ton of waste. Investing in a home water-filtration system is sure-fire way to increase your home’s value. These systems eliminate the waste of buying bottled water, while still letting you and your family consume purified water, straight from the tap. There are many other benefits to water-filtration systems as well, including being gentler on all of those Energy Star Appliances you may have purchased, giving them a much longer life.
These have grown in popularity over recent years and are pretty much becoming the standard, making them a no -brainer upgrade. They’ll run you between $750-$1,000 to buy and install, but are definitely something that potential buyers look for now when purchasing a home, since water waste is one of the biggest concerns for those who consider themselves eco-friendly.
Not only does a well-landscaped yard add major curb appeal, but by using water-wise native plants, you’re adding more than just natural beauty. You’re adding landscaping that requires very little care, which is always a plus for busy homeowners. For added home value, install a drip irrigation system that delivers just the right amount of water and can even be programmed for added ease.
As if protecting the earth and adding home value wasn’t enough, there are numerous government incentives that make many green upgrades an even better investment, something that is especially useful if you want to go for a more costly upgrade such as geothermal heating systems or solar panels.
For information on the incentives available in your area, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) and EnergyStar.gov.