With environmental awareness on the rise, many people look for ways to make conscientious choices about their lifestyle.
It applies to minor preferences like foods they eat and cosmetics they use to major concerns about the means of transportation they commute with or the energy efficiency of their homes.
This approach has a measurable impact on real estate, and you can use it to increase the value of your property.
Small improvements like low-energy LED bulbs are now standard in most houses, so to make your house cater to the needs of a modern conscious buyer, you’ll have to make a further effort and make your property the most sustainable it can be.
Proper insulation, solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, water-efficient boilers, and sprinkler systems – the list of money and energy-saving additions is virtually endless. And below, you will find some of the most popular green improvements that will increase the value of your property.
Insulate the Property
When talking about making a house eco-friendly, many modern solutions come to mind. However, before you start working on the more complex additions, you should first focus on the basics. There’s no point in installing an innovative HVAC system if most of the heat goes out through poorly shielded walls and windows.
Your house should be properly insulated from the foundation to the roof. This means checking every spot and aspect of the structure for potential leaks or weak spots and filling the gaps, such as attic spaces with little to no insulation.
You should also make sure that there are no cracks in the plasterwork, gaps in the floorboards, or any other unwanted points for air to get in and out.
The same goes for doors and windows. If your house was last renovated before double and triple glazed windows became standard, this is the first thing you should change. As for doors, they should be insulated, both with tight seals and the suitable materials used.
Such improvements don’t have to be expensive, but they may turn out costly as you add them all together. However, it’s safe to say that even taking a home renovation loan for it will be worth your while.
Install Appropriate Heating
Heating remains the biggest energy drain for homes, so it’s best to invest in efficient equipment.
In the UK, about 85% of homes are equipped with gas-powered boilers, and it is now subject to change as they add a significant amount to the UK’s carbon footprint.
The alternatives, however, prove not to be as effective, and with that, the heating industry is set to develop more and more energy-efficient boiler systems.
If you have a boiler in your house, replacing it with a newer, more eco-friendly model, along with installing a smart thermostat – a device that has taken the world by storm in the early 2010s – will help you lower your energy bills and with that, increase your home’s value.
Needless to say, the heating solution in your home should suit the climate.
Unlike that of the UK, the climate of Australia allows for using solar energy collected during the day to heat up the water tanks and distribute it throughout the house. Properly maintained panels facing south may even make your house completely energy independent.
Invest in Energy-efficient Appliances
This is a tricky one.
When selling a house, you probably want to set it up in a way that allows the new owner to move in without investing in too many changes, but on the other hand, you shouldn’t make the place cluttered with tons of appliances that are simply taking up space.
Yet, some appliances are essential and make for another way of increasing the value of your home.
For example, if there’s still an old, conventional gas stove in your kitchen, you may want to replace it with an electric induction cooker – especially considering surging gas prices. The same goes for the fridge, washing machine, and other essential appliances you use daily.
When deciding which one to pick, look for their Energy Rating labels. They are issued by a government agency and tell you how efficient the appliances are according to specific metrics.
Although it may seem like getting new appliances for a house you want to sell is an unnecessary investment, you can use it as a bargaining chip when negotiating the price with potential buyers. It will also show that the house is well-taken care of and ready for the next owner.
Choose Renewable Energy Sources
As mentioned before, solar panels are a great way to reduce energy expenses in places with lots of sunlight. But this isn’t the only way to tap into renewable energy sources.
If your house is in a place with frequent storms or winds, and you happen to have some space in your garden, you can make use of wind turbines. They may not be as efficient as solar panels, but they still provide you with some extra energy.
Solar panels still may not be the most common way of getting electricity, mainly due to their low efficiency in the early days and high upfront costs.
Still, with technological advancements and more opportunities to fund their instalment, they are becoming more and more and more cost-effective.
Apart from generating electricity for your household, you can also sell excess electricity back to the grid, making extra cash.
Other Small Improvements
Buyers tend to look for more than just the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a house.
They also carefully observe the way the interior is designed, looking for signs of care and consideration, even such minor details as to whether the lighting is adequately planned or if there are any nice details and surprises.
You can use this to your advantage by making small improvements that show that you care about the house and are looking for buyers who will take good care of it.
It’s no surprise that LED lighting has taken over the world. They are more efficient, last longer than conventional bulbs and are free of mercury, making them safer to dispose of.
You can replace all the lights in your house with LEDs or create some pleasant lighting effects by using them in strategic places such as on the stairs or in the dining room – where the light is constantly on.
The same goes for the outside lighting, and you can use it to make your house stand out at night with self-powered garden lights equipped with solar panels.
You can install smart thermostats, charge points, and other devices to make your house “smarter” and, with that, increase its value.
The range of devices available is growing steadily year by year, and you have an excellent opportunity to choose the ones that will help you save more energy and money.
For example, you can create a smart home that automatically adjusts the settings to the current weather forecast and time of day, or you can use an app to control various appliances in your home according to your daily routine.
Garden and porch features may not contribute to your house’s value, at least directly, but they can make a great first impression on potential buyers. That’s why it’s best to make sure you invest in some nice features and leave the garden neat and tidy.
What’s more, you can still combine form with function and make sure your garden is a practical space. For example, you can install a rainwater collection to keep the lawn green and healthy during dry periods. An efficient irrigation system will ensure that you can use your garden to its full potential.
Improving the energy efficiency of your home is one of the best ways to increase its value.
Not only does it contribute to a healthier environment and allows you to save money on your bills, but it also shows that you invested time, money, and effort into making your home a better place to live in.
This is a very convenient way of negotiating with potential buyers, as it is a great point of reference for them to make their own offers and make their house the best it can be.