How Green Home Improvements Will Help You Sell Your House

Posted April 26th, 2012
by Isabell Davila (no comments)

With the current economy being as bad as it is, now more than ever homeowners who need to sell their homes are looking for ways to appeal to the buyers in the market. In previous years, luxurious additions and modifications were the strongest attraction for potential buyers, but with today’s environmentally savvy consumers, our approach needs to change.

A Tough Market

An estimated 1.4 million houses have been foreclosed since 2010 and despite a recent decline in foreclosure rates, 2012 is slated to see a continued rise. According to recent reports, negative equity was a high contributing factor in the decline of mortgage rates, and although a mere 12% of homes had negative equity, they still accounted for a staggering 47% of all foreclosures. What does this mean for today’s sellers? Equity is clearly one of the top factors to consider before putting your home on the market.


How Does Negative Equity Hurt Your Selling Abilities?

When homeowners are in a state of negative equity, it dramatically reduces their options for selling their home based on the mortgage and the bank. If the homeowner is buried beneath a pile of negative equity, they will have to choose whether to pay the difference between the current value of their house and the mortgage or negotiate with the bank to work out a short sale – both options mean less money to the seller. In order to avoid limiting your options and maximize the money you receive from the sale, improving your equity is crucial.


Go Green

Here’s where we come to the heart of the issue. It’s not enough to just make general home improvements to boost your equity. Because of the competitive selling market, homeowners have to find a way to rise above the competition. “Go Green” has become a popular mindset of this generation and sellers who tap into this trend can gain the necessary advantage over their competitors in the selling market. If you intend to dust off your tools and upgrade or modify your home prior to listing it, consider opting for some more environmentally friendly changes.

  1. Improve the view
    Double- or triple-paned windows are by far the most efficient way to lower loss of heat or air conditioning. If your windows are single-paned, at least make sure any cracks are sealed with caulk or foam strips.
  2. Door Detection
    Don’t forget to check your garage doors for possible leaks and worn weather stripping. Home improvement stores offer replacements for stripping as well as sealant or caulk for drafty places.
  3. Wonderful Water
    If your water heater is older than 15 years, it may need to be replaced. Recent models available on the market include energy efficient options for comparatively low prices. Usually the cost of the heater is repaid in savings over a year or so. The insulation around your water pipes can also affect the state of your water temperature.
  4. Bright Idea
    Most stores have stopped selling incandescent light bulbs, but if you have any left around your house, replace all of them with fluorescent bulbs. They save 70 to 75% more energy than incandescent bulbs, a major plus for energy efficiency. In addition to more efficient bulbs, consider installing dimmer switches for lights. The ability to lower the light in a room while not completely eliminating it allows for even greater energy savings.
  5. More Power to You
    Using power strips for your home office saves energy that would otherwise be wasted. Power strips are a cheap way to preserve even more power, especially for those with multiple computers, printers, or other office equipment.
  6. Trash to Treasure
    Does your kitchen have a garbage compactor? These appliances can reduce trash volume by as much as 80% and are an attractive option to those who don’t want to make multiple trips to the dumpster or curb. Not only does a compactor reduce the volume of your trash, but it also reduces the number of garbage bags used, further reducing waste.
  7. Look For Leaks
    Leaks can be quiet but deadly when it comes to conserving water. Check all of your plumbing, both indoor and outdoor, for any possible leakage. This is one of the easiest repairs you can do to provide instant savings and boost environmental efficiency.
  8. Low-Flow
    Low-flow toilets reduce water usage from 3.5 to 5 gallons down to 1.1 or 1.6, a saving of nearly 34,000 gallons per year for the average family of four. This will dramatically reduce costs for water.

Given the economic challenges of today and the heavy emphasis on environmental practices, it is clear that improving home equity is the first step towards overcoming the current housing market and that green home improvements are the most advantageous method of doing that.

Categories: Home Improvement

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