It's no secret that energy-efficient upgrades rank high on buyers' lists of desired home attributes these days. Many real estate agents are quick to ask sellers about a home's energy efficiency before suggesting a listing price. Prospective sellers who know well in advance when they plan to sell a residence are often also able to enjoy shrinking utility bills after making upgrades.
Buyers today are very savvy about the benefits of owning an energy-efficient home. Many are willing to pay more for structures with so-called green upgrades. Which popular upgrades should you consider without breaking the bank? Here are eight of the most important.
They're easy to install as well as inexpensive. Beyond helping conserve the local water supply, low-flow fixtures can cut residential water consumption in half. A homeowner can buy a low-flow showerhead for around $20 at a home improvement or a big box store.
Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which can last as much as 10 times longer. Although the initial purchase costs more, residents will reap rewards when energy bills arrive, and it is easy to see how efficient lighting is one of the most popular energy efficient upgrades in Fort Collins homes. Another option is the use of LEDs, which are more expensive but which can last as much as 25 times longer than regular bulbs and four times longer than fluorescents.
Tankless Water Heater
It can peel 20 percent from a residential water bill. Best of all, a tankless water heater will always have hot water available. It typically has a life expectancy that's five to 10 years greater than that of a water heater with a tank. In some cases, a purchase might be eligible for a federal tax rebate.
Weather Stripping for Doors and Windows
When installing new windows or doors appears to cost too much for a seller to recoup the benefits they provide, weather stripping is an affordable alternative. Air leaks are responsible for as much as 40 percent of heating/cooling loss in a home. Homeowners can buy weather-stripping products starting around $5.
A good job of insulating a home will cut heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent. Prospective sellers who are handy with installing insulation can buy a roll for as little as $15 at a home improvement store. Others will want to let a contractor handle the job.
Buyers love them for their cost- and energy-saving benefits. A programmable thermostat not only saves money. It is typically more accurate than a regular model. Upgrades such as these are one step down a long road to owning a smart home.
The cost of a ceiling fan starts at around $50. Not only does this upgrade save energy. It also adds a decorative touch to a room while providing a comfortable temperature.
Most home appliances sold today bear energy ratings that express their efficiency in terms of water and power usage. Prospective home sellers will want to determine how old their existing appliances are and whether to replace them. When a replacement seems a good move for marketing a home, consider that buyers prefer a product with an Energy Star symbol. Dishwashers currently sold use less than six gallons of water for each cycle as opposed to 10 gallons for older models. If the dishwasher in a home has only a few years of age, however, it could be cost-effective to clean and repair it to attract buyers.
For an assessment of where your home fits into in the local market, contact a real estate professional. He or she can explain how popular energy-efficient upgrades could affect the sales prices of a residence and how long it might remain on the market. To help your real estate agent market your home, be sure to provide your actual utility bills. If you opted for a formal energy audit, also furnish your energy rating.